Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

Generating Breakthroughs in Challenging Relationships (Part 3): Starting From Scratch

Generating Breakthroughs in Challenging Relationships (Part 3): Starting From Scratch

How do you take a challenging relationship — personal or professional — and transform it into one built on trust, respect and intimacy? Over the past two weeks, we have examined the first two steps for generating this kind of breakthrough. The first step is that both parties must genuinely want to take the relationship to a new, better place and commit to having the necessary conversations. The second step is to have an honest, open, rational conversation about the past so that you can complete the past and “zero it out” so you can start over. This week, we’ll discuss the third step of the conversation: generating a rich, exciting possibility for the future […]

Generating Breakthroughs in Challenging Relationships (Part 2): Zeroing Out the Past

Generating Breakthroughs in Challenging Relationships (Part 2): Zeroing Out the Past

How do you take a challenging relationship — personal or professional — and transform it into one built on trust, respect and intimacy? Last week, I outlined four steps for generating this kind of breakthrough. The first step is that both parties must genuinely want to take the relationship to a new, better place and commit to having the necessary conversations. This week, we’ll examine the second step: Complete the history of the relationship by fully getting each other’s reality and experiences. This requires an honest, open, rational conversation about the past. Setting the Stage for Change Start by setting the time and place for the conversation. Obviously, if possible, do it in person. However, […]

Having Effective Conversations to Build or Restore Trust in Any Relationship

Having Effective Conversations to Build or Restore Trust in Any Relationship

There are some people with whom we easily build trusting, productive relationships — people with whom we connect and take our relationships to the next level without much trouble or controversy. But there are other relationships — personal and professional — that require more work, either because past dealings or misunderstandings have created mistrust or animosity, or because different personalities make it harder sometimes to find common ground. Sometimes there is a problem in the relationship that we need to address or react to. But at other times, even if the relationship is functioning sufficiently, we want to take it to a higher, better level. Communication: The Key to Transforming Relationships Trust, relationships, partnerships: These […]

When Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Courageous Living: When Ignorance Is Not Bliss

This is the final blog in my three-week series on blissful ignorance and awareness. Over the last two weeks, I have discussed the ways in which ignorance of certain information can be both empowering and disempowering (Is Ignorance Bliss? & Blissfully Ignorant or Blissfully Aware?). This week, I will discuss the areas of our life in which we definitely want to be aware—and how to ensure we stay awake and aware in these important areas. While there’s a lot we don’t need to know in order to be happy, even information that we are better off not knowing, there are a few areas of our lives in which awareness always trumps ignorance. These are the […]

Blissfully Ignorant or Blissfully Aware?

Blissfully Ignorant or Blissfully Aware?

Is ignorance really the key to bliss? Is it awareness? Or is it, perhaps, a combination of the two? In last week’s blog, we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of being aware or ignorant about certain information and why it’s important to deliberately manage a balance between the two. But how do you know when knowledge is power and when it can be disempowering? Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether you really want to know more: Is this information true? Benjamin Franklin once said, “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.” Most of the information we use to make decisions is not based on fact. […]

Is Ignorance Bliss?

Is Ignorance Bliss?

The phrase “ignorance is bliss” is often used in sarcastic, critical, and judgmental ways—as if it means burying your head in the ground like an ostrich to avoid dealing with the real challenges of the real world. But is that really true? Is staying ignorant and protected from certain information or conversations a blessing, or a curse? On the one hand, the older I get, the more I understand the validity of the idea that knowledge, or information, is power. The more facts you have in an area that is important to you, the more empowered you are to make informed and effective choices. When we lack information, we are more likely to make rush […]