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Being and Doing

By Musings

“Reflection without action is ultimately as unproductive as action without reflection” – Robert Kegan

It has been a busy year and we still have three months to go!  We have taken full advantage of the break in travel shelter-in-pace has created.  Time at home has allowed us to work in a focused, disciplined and methodical way on how we will bring more humanity to the workplace: website, book platform, social media presence and oh, did we mention, writing our book?  It has been fun and fulfilling and creative, and a ton of work.  As August approached so did a looming deadline to complete the second draft of Be Human, Do Better Work.  The harder we tried, the closer it got, the more we knew we weren’t going to make it.  It caused us both a lot of angst.We were tired.  We needed to rest – to step away from our computers, zoom meetings, writing, editing, coaching, clients, creating, thinking, and even each other.  The self-imposed pressure and the relentless energy we were putting into so many different areas shielded us from what our beings desperately needed: a break!

Finally, we admitted to ourselves that the August deadline was not going to happen. The book needed more time, we needed more time.  We also realized our “deadline” was artificial.  We created it, we could move it.  We could choose.  And we chose to no longer ignore what we needed most – to take a break and step away.

So, our silence in August was because we put everything down: the book, newsletters, articles, social media, interactions with most other humans.  We unplugged from our doing and spent time just being.  Kate and her husband, George, took a road trip in a cute little tear drop trailer. They hiked, canoed, enjoyed starry nights. They reconnected with nature and themselves.  Debbie and her family spent time in a beach house being lulled by the sound of waves crashing on the shore, taking long walks in the sand and spectacular boat rides on Puget Sound.  We reset our souls, the human being in each of us.  and, now we are back; rested, restored and ready to take on the rest of 2020!

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the doing of a busy life that you can forget to pause and really think about what fuels you to do what you do, and why you are doing it. It’s easy to get caught up in human doing.  We were reminded that life isn’t a scarce resource, living it purposefully is.  We hope in the craziness of this year each of you have found time to connect with the human side of your being – let if fuel and guide your doing.  If you are stuck doing and need to reset, start by playing around with these questions and see what comes up for you:

  • What on my mind?
  • What is important about that?
  • What else?

1 + 1 = Amazing

By Musings

“Collaborate with people you can learn from” – – Pharrell

When you work with others to bring something new into the world, it is challenging.  Doing something new can be scary, being outside your comfort zone can be unsettling. There is so much that you don’t know, so many new things to learn.  When you are working with others you can’t always have your way (and probably shouldn’t!). Tensions emerge; disagreements and differences of opinion flare up.  It gets hard.

Our formula for working together is 1+1 = Amazing. On your own you might be fine, but when collaborating with others you are, in fact, better. It’s a mindset. Take really different people, with different experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and perspectives. Share a passion. Envision a shared goal. Give freely without reservation. Leave your egos at the door. Remember you are not in competition with each other. Have fun together.

If working together is harder than you want it to be, find out if it is you or if it is them.  Download our free workbook, How to Work With Difficult People – The 4 Skills You Need Today

What Difference Do You Want To Make?

By Musings

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make” ~ Jane Goodall

Illuminated in very painful ways, it is clear some fundamental aspects of humanity are broken. Humanity does not come from being a human.  Humanity is an outcome, a way of being with one another. Humanity is present when all humans can trust the world is a safe place, physically and psychologically. Humanity is present when we step towards our differences, seeking to understand and appreciate the breath and expansiveness of one another.  Humanity is present when we acknowledge and accept the unique value of each human being. Humanity is present when we are conscious of the impact we create and, if it’s messy, take responsibility for cleaning it up.  Humanity is present when we dare to be vulnerable and admit we need help.  Humanity is present when we extend our hearts and hands to help those who have not been afforded our privilege. Humanity starts with you. You are part of the solution.


Small actions can make a difference. Small actions amplified can make a big difference. So, what kind of difference do you want to make?

To help you figure this out, we offer a few questions.  Questions are like flashlights that shed light into the unexplored corners of our mind.  They can challenge us into a new way of thinking and being.  These are big questions to ponder, try on and live into.
  • What are you taking a stand for?  It is important to know why you are being the way you are, not just that you are doing something.  So, dig in here.  What values are you honoring by taking a stand.
  • What are you tolerating?  Many of us have been tolerating too many things for too long.  What has been simmering underneath the surface for you? The answer may lead you to the root of action.
  • What outcome do you want to create? Get clear on what you want to be different.  Focus on that! Let the best of your emotions fuel your courage to take action and create the outcome you want.
  • What do you need to let go of? We are changing all the time.  What are some of the behaviors, actions, even beliefs that you need to let go of.  They have served you but are no longer needed.
  • What do you need to step into?  Real change happens with a conscious stepping into new action and behaviors.

While you are working to determine what difference you want to make, we are beginning a three-part series that explores how to deal with difficult behavior: incivility, micro-inequities and toxic behavior. These are all behaviors that can limit you, and can limit others.  Our series provides insights into yourself and practical skills to help you deal with challenging behaviors, and the humans that exhibit them.  You can get our articles and podcasts, along with our free download “How to Work With Difficult People” at

If working together is harder than you want it to be, find out if it is you or if it is them. Download our free workbook, How to Work With Difficult People – The 4 Skills You Need Today

What We Are Up To

By Musings

As part of the launch of Humanity Works and the announcement of our upcoming book (working title), Be Human, Do Better Work: Want More Productivity? It’s All About People, we recently reviewed all of our contacts on Linked In, Facebook, Google contacts, Twitter, etc. You might have seen us peeking at you and wondered what was going on.  It turns out, somewhere along the way, our worlds intersected and, we both said “yes” to staying connected.  So, this blog is about updating our side of that connection.

Some of you are connected to Kate Roeske-Zummer and know her purpose is to bring more humanity to the workplace by tapping into discontent and exposing the inhumanity that often accompanies complacency in our lives and our work.

Some of you are connected to Debbie Cohen and know her as a non-conventional HR executive with a propensity to challenge the status quo in order to transform people and organizations so both can reach their fullest potential.

The exciting news is we have joined forces and launched Humanity Works. We are on a mission to bring more humanity to the workplace so we can change the world of work, together. We have developed an ecosystem to emphasize a fundamental concept: productivity is about people. Our straightforward skills and practices show you exactly how-to shift behavior so that everyone, from employees to the c-suite, work better together to produce great business results.  You can check out our monthly newsletter, follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook or check back on our website for updates.  We hope you are enticed to stay connected: subscribe to our monthly newsletter and join our movement!

Digging Deeper with Simon Sinek

By Musings

I listened to Simon Sinek talk about These Are Not Unprecedented Times and I cannot stop arguing with him in my head.  I know Simon from Ogilvy and Mather, we worked there as Strategic Planners back in the early 2000s.  I admire him and his body of work tremendously.  But there is something in this article that really got me agitated, he stepped over something I care deeply about: bringing others along.

The core of his message, as I hear it, is companies often ignore the need to embrace innovation and to constantly reinvent themselves so they can stay relevant. Changes in technology and the competitive landscape requires whole industries to pivot.  This happens all the time, remember Blockbuster Video? It is not unprecedented in this context.  So, there is that.  OK – it’s a good headline – it’s doing its job! What I am claiming is, outside of his business premise, these are unprecedented times, certainly for me, my family, my community and people across this country.

In this moment, we are asking people to care more about the greater good of our fellow humans than their bottom line or what might be good for just them.  I know that Simon cares about this too – his sub headline is, after all, “together is better”!  Right now, as a country, we are struggling to let go of some pretty important behaviors for the sake of others. Yes, a form of self-sacrifice was done during World Wars I & II, then we rallied around the core of American democracy; we were fighting villains that threatened the whole of what our country stands for. And I get it, some Americans see those same freedoms threatened.  But I don’t. This time around the war we are fighting is to save the lives of our fellow humans.  And, that is big, and not normal, and yes, in my eyes, unprecedented.

Thank you for the headline Simon.  It made me explore the reasons for my agitation in a deeper way.  It clarified another layer of why this historic moment in time is challenging and gave me another place to look, to reinvent my thinking.  We also believe in being better together.