A Framework for Mastering Challenging Interactions

A Framework for Mastering Challenging Interactions

Five steps toward coherent conversation and authentic exchanges.

We humans come together in different ways whenever we want to accomplish something. This is called organizing and it puts us in a relationship with one another. These relationships are built on, moved by, and sustained through conversation.

Practicing in Complexity

Practicing in Complexity

Ideas I have found useful

Success in navigating complexity requires a particular outlook or mindset, which includes a commitment to staying in the present as much as possible. I’m always surprised at how challenging my monkey brain makes it to do that. Staying in the moment requires letting go any worries about the future and any assessments from the past.

Confusing Facts with Meaning

Confusing Facts with Meaning

A risk at all times, but even more acute now.

A little over a week ago we had a kerfuffle over the departure of a number of senior administrative staff from the US State Department. Remember that? I know. It seems so long ago. A quick refresher: on Jan 26, four career Foreign Service officers, each of whom served under both Democratic and Republican administrations left the agency.

Clarity on the Golf Course

Small talk leads to a breakthrough insight


A few days ago I was on the golf course, and one of my playing partners was asking about my work. On the 5th tee, he pushed me to go past the usual bland commentary and asked why he might hire someone like me.

That got me thinking.

Group Awareness and Being in the Moment

What is the opposite of certainty?


I’ve started to play around with an idea I’m calling “group awareness”. My working definition is in two parts. A collection of people has group awareness when they have developed 1) the ability to learn about where they are and what they are doing at any given moment, and 2) clarity about what they want to do next.

This seems so simplistic.