3 Tips To Avoid Othering In A Divisive Environment

My kids and I have always enjoyed super hero comic books. The idea I’ve always bristled against, though, is the idea of a “bad guy.” In well-developed fictional worlds, knowing a villain’s own story from their perspective can change how you think of them. You may still see their decisions as selfish, dangerous, or harmful,Continue reading “3 Tips To Avoid Othering In A Divisive Environment”

What Do Mail-In Ballots Have To Do With Your Teams?

When our mail-in ballots for the 2020 state and presidential election arrived a week or two ago, my wife and I independently had the same reaction. We both try to be informed voters who spend time learning about the candidates and ballot questions before heading to the polls, and we already knew what our optionsContinue reading “What Do Mail-In Ballots Have To Do With Your Teams?”

Banquets & Potlucks In Your Workplace (And In The 2020 Elections!)

Remember the days of large gatherings of people, and sharing food with one another in an enclosed space? Those days may feel like a long time ago, but banquets and potlucks can help us to understand our workplace, and even our larger society. A large proportion of Building Bridges Leadership’s consulting and workshops focuses onContinue reading “Banquets & Potlucks In Your Workplace (And In The 2020 Elections!)”

The Power Of Open-Ended Questions

Bring to mind a recent conversation – in the workplace or elsewhere – that didn’t go as well as you would have liked; that left you, or others, feeling misunderstood, undervalued, or unacknowledged. What kinds of questions (if any!) did you and your conversation partners use? Now bring to mind a conversation that went well;Continue reading “The Power Of Open-Ended Questions”

Chadwick Boseman – Creating Space & Honoring Choices

Chadwick Boseman’s death from colon cancer has hit me in a way few celebrity deaths have. I’m a self-confessed Marvel nerd and read Black Panther comics in my own childhood, but I don’t think that’s it. I’ve also been inspired and impressed by his non-Marvel choices, playing Black icons of history such as Jackie Robinson, James Brown,Continue reading “Chadwick Boseman – Creating Space & Honoring Choices”

“Black is King” and Challenging Your Center of Gravity

Last year, because of some writing work I had done on the music icon Prince, I was invited backstage following a show by his former band the New Power Generation. There, with some of the musicians I had listened to for the last 25 years of my life, we had a lengthy conversation about howContinue reading ““Black is King” and Challenging Your Center of Gravity”

Making a Mosaic Instead of a Melting Pot

Like many people in the first decade of the 21st century, I was hooked on the TV show LOST. I watched it religiously, talked through theories with friends, and followed the character names to learn more about the real-life figures they were named after (Locke, Rousseau, and Faraday, to name just a few). One of theContinue reading “Making a Mosaic Instead of a Melting Pot”

Lessons from the Life of John Lewis

Two years ago, I was fortunate to be working at Harvard’s 367th Commencement ceremony, at which John Lewis received an honorary doctorate. In his speech, he encouraged everyone in attendance to make “necessary trouble” and stand up for justice, “even when injustice wears a uniform.” Mr. Lewis’s death last Friday has caused me – along with manyContinue reading “Lessons from the Life of John Lewis”

Stop, Collaborate And Listen

On July 4th, ’90s rapper Vanilla Ice was scheduled to play a concert in Austin, Texas. Billed as being a “carefree return to the pre-coronavirus ’90s”, he was promoting the show as late as July 2nd, before quickly reversing course just four hours later, saying “I listened to my fans… I didn’t know the numbersContinue reading “Stop, Collaborate And Listen”

Computer Crashes and the Systems Around Us

Last week, I had some computer issues, which left me faced with the prospect of losing everything on a laptop and starting fresh. It was a relatively new computer with nothing important that wasn’t backed up elsewhere, so this would ultimately not have been a big deal, but in the first few hours, my mindContinue reading “Computer Crashes and the Systems Around Us”