By Anne Harbison
"To fashion an inner story of our pain carries us into the heart of it, which is where rebirth
inevitability occurs." - Sue Monk Kidd
You'd know that I grew up in Kentucky, I was a national speech competitor in college, and my first job was at Procter & Gamble. I received my doctorate researching leadership development. I've been married to my college sweetheart, Steve, for over twenty years. We love being parents.
Pretty basic stuff, which makes it a tame (and lame) icebreaker in the retreats I facilitate for leadership teams. But conversations like these get more interesting when we start telling the stories behind the stories. So...
Before joining P&G, I spent a year with a music group that traveled around the world. We were in Eastern Europe when the Berlin Wall came down, performing in the shipyards of Gdańsk where Poland was invaded at the start of WW2.
After P&G, I joined an...
What if your most challenging task became quick, easy and fun?
When I was a doctoral student, I labored for years to finish my dissertation. I thrived during the coursework and teaching, but sitting alone with research notes and a blank computer screen became the bane of my existence for several years. I was frustrated, drained, and quickly losing confidence in myself. In fact, at one point, I decided it may just be time to call it quits, even though I had invested five years of my life in the process.
Then I decided to join a creative writing group. Instead of academics and researchers, I was surrounded by playwrights, poets, and authors of children’s books. I decided to try the same techniques that those artists use as a way to get through my academic writers block. Getting out of a more structured, university environment and into a creative and free-spirited one was what I needed to reframe the challenge that had dogged me for...
I’m a communications junkie. I majored in Speech Comm in college, competed in National Collegiate Forensics, played preacher instead of house as a kid. I make my living coaching, teaching, facilitating, advising, moderating, interviewing, keynoting. Plop me down in almost any setting, audience, or topic and I can probably make it work. Writing, not so much (more on that in the next blog). But speaking – that’s my sweet spot.
“Have an attention-getter, a thesis, three points, evidence and stories” may be the synthesis of Speech 101, but my advice is to forget the mechanics. If you think about communication as creating a meaningful exchange you can ditch a lot of the “presentation how-to’s” and get to the heart of what really matters.
• Focus on what they need to hear, not what you have to say (for anyone, anytime, anywhere)
This is the difference between a death by PowerPoint data download (i.e. what I...
Once a leader asked me to serve on a volunteer committee, and my immediate response was “Hell No!” I was already overcommitted with work and family and knew with absolute certainty that I couldn’t handle anything else on my plate. The leader laughed and said, “Well, I’d rather have a ‘hell no’ than a ‘maybe yes’.”
This week I’d like for you to look out for parts of your life where you are a ‘maybe yes.’ These may be obligations that grew out of scope-creep in your job; a volunteer position you said yes to out of guilt; a project that you thought would be no big deal but is now sucking up your time an energy.
A ‘Maybe yes’ dilutes your energy, time and leadership brand. Time spent in these areas typically yields mediocre outcomes while sacrificing focus you could be dedicating to activities that are truly important to you.
As you go through your week, pay attention to...
Welcome to Surviving and Thriving Together! I hope you find these resources inspiring and informative. You'll receive your free excerpt of my book in the first email - straight to your inbox shortly after you click Submit! I’m glad to be joining you on the journey.
*By submitting, you agree to share the information with the site owners & receive emails. Opt out any time.*