WEBLOG Archive September 2008


We played this game on a road trip awhile back -- or maybe you could call it a combination of wager and game.

I challenged Jamie to one hour of judgment-free conversation. The first person to make a judgmental statement would lose. We would be limited to descriptive language – no judging allowed. For instance, I was prohibited from saying, “Jamie, you are speeding” but I could say “Honey, you are going 80 and the posted speed limit is 65.”

If we stopped for lunch, we couldn’t say, “That waitress gave us crappy service.” Instead we would have to…


I wish I could take credit for this statement, "Conversation is Work," but it comes from The World Café.

The World Café is book and a community located on the Internet, and it is much more.

The big idea comes from material developed by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs written about in the book. The quote comes from workshop we attended at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, conducted by Bo Gyllenpalm.  World  Café  is a powerful way to engage 12 or more (read thousands) in “conversations that matter.”

By convening people in an…


Check out this blog by copy editor ONEITA JACKSON, which is posted on the Detroit Free Press website. (It’s a conversation between mother and son. It starts out a little slow, but keep going to get to the meat.)

She writes: "I've seen many an unsophisticated mind incapable of sustaining an argument without introducing race when it is irrelevant." (Although in her son's story, she soon learned it was.)

It made me laugh, albeit a little ruefully, because it reminded me so much of conversations I have had with my parents.

They spent a few years…


I don’t know about you, but in this highly political season our email boxes have been filling up with emails extolling/deriding the character of this or that politician and skewering/supporting this issue or that.  We get them from friends and family who see us as sympathetic to their point of view and from friends and family who hope to win us over. Heck, I have sent a few links out myself.

Clearly, people feel passionately about their points of view. I get that. What concerns me more than anything is how people are arriving at their points of…


Great News!

We’re very excited! Today we had an article published in the American Management Association E-magazine, “Moving Ahead: Management Insights for Business Success”. The American Management Association is an organization that is held in high regard by the business community.

It is an honor to be included here.

Read the article, “Revolutionize Your Workplace, One Conversation at a Time” and comment here or on the AMA site.


A few weeks before I started working with Jamie, I had begun an 7-month yoga teacher-training course to deepen my practice and to learn more about the philosophical foundation of this ancient tradition. I was constantly amazed by the similarities and connections between what I was learning in my yoga training and what I was learning as Jamie and I taught conversations workshops to workers in a large healthcare company we were working with. (This also gave me terrific experience and increased my passion for writing the book.)

In light of all the…


While browsing the Internet on Labor Day, I ran across “Labor’s Dead: Long Live Labor” posted on Global Labor Strategies. The title captures the dissonance I feel contemplating this issue. Having grown up in the 60s in the Flint, Michigan, and having spent much of my adult life working for and with organized labor, my bias is that labor unions can be a great force for good. But I also recognize the need for reform and revitalization.

Labor unions gave us the 40-hour workweek, middle class wages, safer and more humane work environments,…