So Confident It’s Scary?

Power Poses

On a recent visit to Caribou Coffee, I got to engage in a lovely conversation with a past student who was working as the barista. As we ambled through our topics (which college he is transferring to, what credits transferred, etc.), the student told me, “You scared me on our first day.”

“What?” I exclaimed.

“You didn’t know that?! Yes, you scared me!” he said. “I had heard you were confident, he continued, “but when you came into class that first day, whoa!” (His face registered surprise and he stepped back, hands up, as if warding off imaginary me), “you were CONFIDENT!”

Now let me tell you. While I do love teaching, on the first days of class I am a WRECK inside. My armpits sweat, my hands get clammy, and I have a hard time keeping a straight line of thought. I feel like I stumble over my words. I get a sweat mustache. This comment, coming from a student I would have described as confident himself (he is a theater major: vocal, smart, and dynamic), caught be off guard and, quite frankly, delighted me. read more…

Wait! Isn’t It My Turn?

Group Talking

This week I took part in a conference on change management. As part of our workshop, we were tasked with creating a change initiative, brainstorming a list of stakeholders and their respective receptivity to the change, and creating a communication plan. The team was comprised of men (ages ~30-60) and women (ages ~25 to 50), and all were white. Please pause and picture this team. Now, for fun… who do you think did the most talking?

Your answer to this question will be greatly influenced by your culture: your age, gender, ethnicity and/or race. Each of these variables affect how and how much we talk in a group situation and how we perceive others talking. read more…

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Schnoodle and Bell

I have a little dog, a mini-schnoodle we bought one year ago. My son and I lovingly refer to Daisy as “13 pounds of watch dog” although we should say “13 pounds of love,” because her main feature is her big heart. She is affectionate and sweet, always delighted when people come over. I come home and she pees with excitement and happiness. We love our little girl.

We have been in the process of training Daisy since her happy arrival in our home. This past spring we decided to bell train her. We hung a bell at her snout level, and every time we took her out we would ring the bell. The idea was to create a shared communication channel and message for “going outside.” read more…

Follow Your Own Rules

Ba Ba Dum

Today as I drove my children to Target listening to Pandora, one of our family’s favorite songs played: ” They ,” by Jem. When my kids were young we had the CD, and as toddlers they would request the song by articulating its baseline: “Play ‘Ba-Ba-Dum.”

It had been awhile since I heard the song, and I was struck anew by the lyrics:

“Who made up all the rules/ We follow them like fools
Believe them to be true/ Don’t care to think them through

And I’m sorry so sorry/ I’m sorry it’s like this
I’m sorry so sorry/ I’m sorry we do this

And it’s ironic too/ Coz what we tend to do
Is act on what they say/ And then it is that way” read more…

I Framed It Wrong!

Dad and Me

I Framed It Wrong

For the last two weeks my dad and I have been at my lake-lot building a cedar deck and staircase down to the water. It has been both a joy working with side-by-side with my good-natured father and an education in carpentry and patience. It has also reminded me about how easy it is to make mistakes in our perception. read more…

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