Touchstones for trustworthy spaces

Touchstones help groups hold tension and engage in meaningful, honest conversation about difficult subjects with both courage and kindness. They can create the conditions that enable creativity, engagement and courage. How and where are you experiencing safety and trust? Where in your collaborations and relationships might you need a little more?

Can you see their health? A salutogenic take on parenting, leadership and change

As a parent of a young adult with physical and developmental disability and multiple chronic conditions and as a healthcare change agent, I’ve been thinking about how paradigms in healthcare influence how I see and experience my life and my work. In particular, I’m noticing how a new paradigm in particular is giving me a greater sense of ease and effectiveness.

Deep listening as a leadership practice

One theme that appeared again and again is deep listening. It seems to be a foundational practice for living and leading well. Here’s a round-up of some of the practices and insights this fall has offered.

Making change or being changed?

As the dog and I walked down the street early this morning, I heard the scraping of a car windshield, heralding this season’s first frost. I’m reminded that it’s the autumnal equinox today, and I brace myself for the coming shorter days with a sense of dread by pulling my sweater tighter around me.

If the lights go out, just move

This past winter I spent a long weekend on retreat in stillness and good company. The theme of the retreat was hidden seeds, the way nature can look as if it’s sleeping or even dead, when it is in fact gathering strength and getting ready to burst forth when the conditions are favorable.

To start a movement, tell a story

Increasingly, activists and change agents are using their own personal stories as a way to awaken leadership in others. Stories speak the language of emotion, the language of the heart. They not only teach us how to act, but also inspire us with the courage to act. Our stories help us translate our values into action by accessing our emotions.

The tyranny of Norman doors

Through their design, objects subtly communicate instructions on how they should be used. Certain handles just feel like they should be pushed, and others pulled. Bad design sends us signals that are confusing.