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 www.humanityworks.com

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.

You are not a teacher, you are a parent

By Musings

The airwaves are filled with memes, gifs, (and a few drinking games!) from distraught parents overwhelmed with trying to navigate their work, life, fear, and the kid’s schoolwork. So, if it’s too much, quit. You are not a schoolteacher, you are a parent.

You are first and foremost a parent. You brought these little humans into the world and it is your job to raise them. To raise them to be good humans. You are your child’s first teacher. Your first touch showed them tenderness, and love. Your family rituals and traditions, the big ones and the little ones, telegraph your family values. They learn every day through your actions and behaviors, how to be in this world. So, give yourself a break.

An offer: Rather than focusing on what you are trying to teach, demonstrate what you are asking them to learn. Great teachers, of life and in school, tend to possess a few key characteristics: they are great communicators and great collaborators. They know how to listen deeply to the different points of need. They help people feel seen and valued. They believe in their capabilities. They are clear with boundaries and provide structures to help people feel safe. They love them even when they are not at their best.

As my daughter, Melissa, who happens to be a teacher, with a 7 and 9-year-old at home, told me, you are not home-schooling, you are trying to do schoolwork at home.  Control what you can control by expressing your values through love, tenderness and caring. Give yourself some grace. Focus on what you can teach them best, and know those magnificent humans, who choose to be schoolteachers, will teach them what is needed when school resumes.