How to Deal with Defensiveness and Defensive People in Conversations

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Have you ever been in conversation with someone who easily gets defensive? Or maybe you’re that person?

One thing you may have noticed is that when defensiveness is present in conversations, they never go quite as well as you want them to. Conversations get stopped, communication gets blocked and, in the long run,...

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The #1 Way to Build Trust With Others

Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with the former head of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, Robin Dreeke. Though we discussed a wide range of topics, we spent most of our time talking about the concept of “trust”.

Robin has spent quite a bit of time thinking about that concept. Before he left the FBI, he spent years working to recruit foreign spies to join his side.

If one is to go about doing something as challenging as that, you’ve got to know a thing or...

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Not All Conflict Leads to Drama

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It’s been a few months since I landed in South Africa. It’s been an exciting and tumultuous time for me. Transitions can be quite stressful, and taking on one that involves uprooting to a completely new continent and culture has been no exception.

Not only was I excited to explore a new place and new culture, but I was running my business, gathering information to start a non-profit in a foreign environment, maintaining healthy exercise and workout...

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Have you ever had someone yell at you?

Photo by Arwan Sutanto on Unsplash

A friend of mine is having issues with someone in his building. As the president of his condo board, he interacts with a wide variety of personalities. One woman, in particular, had been making demands of him, yelling and "berating" him to do something she wanted.

"No, absolutely not. I will not be doing what she wants. Especially in the way she is asking," he tells me.

And how could you blame him? How inclined would you feel to do something where the...

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3 things NOT to do when someone is feeling mad/sad/hurt (and what to do instead)

Photo by DANNY G on Unsplash

I managed to avoid a total disaster yesterday.

I was in the car with my wife, driving back from a long weekend away in nature. 

Since we had left on our trip, we had been avoiding checking our phones. Alas, now that the trip was over it was time to get back into the swing of things.

Once we got reception back, my wife checked her phone and surveyed her emails.

And as she came back to "reality", she became very worried...

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How to let in more love in your life

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

In one of my coaching sessions, a client and I were exploring what it would look like to have more acknowledgements in her life.

First off, I love that idea. Is there a thing as too much acknowledgement? If so, I haven’t found that limit yet.

What was so interesting was what my client had discovered for herself several weeks into her acknowledgment experiment.

Naturally, she started to become much more aware of when she gave out acknowledgements and,...

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Your Friends are Lying on Facebook (and I can prove it)

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

I gleaned over the Facebook event details, unsure of whether this is something I would be interested in attending or not.

Someone had invited me to their birthday party. My plans were open for the evening, so I didn’t really have an excuse not to go.

I looked at the guest list. Lots of unfamiliar names and faces appeared. My uncertainty and unwillingness to commit to this party remained.

I lingered on the event page for only a few more moments before...

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Do Goal-Setting, Not Resolutions

Photo by Artur Matosyan on Unsplash

New year's resolutions get a bad wrap. That’s probably because the vast majority of people decide to take on something new in their life - a workout regiment, a diet, a new skill or hobby, to get organized,  [ list well-intentioned endeavour here] - and ultimately fall off the bandwagon within months, weeks, or even days.

There are many, many reasons people fail to keep their resolutions. In this article, I’m going to highlight a few that...

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How Unaddressed Feelings Can Dominate Conversations

Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

He had just finished speaking to his daughter on the phone and, from the sounds of it, the conversation didn't go too well.

The call ended and he immediately made his way toward me.

"Can you believe it? All she did was blame me the entire time."

I didn't hear exactly what was said on the call, but it sounded like he wasn't treated very nicely. And unsurprisingly, he responded in kind, speaking rather aggressively to his daughter.

He spoke to me for some...

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How Meditation Can Improve Your Communication Skills

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Last week I wrapped up a 10-day silent meditation retreat. In fact, it was the 5th 10-day retreat I had sat within the last few years.

I get many questions when I share this, the most common of which is: Why?

There are many, many reasons why I sit retreats and maintain a regular meditation practice. And I'm going to let you in on one major reason. In fact, this reason directly relates to cultivating better communication skills.


I distinctly remember the...

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