Ask 1 Question and Increase Your Connections

One of my expat friends recently moved back to the U.S. to an area she has never lived in before.

 When we spoke recently she shared how hard it is to develop friendships with people in the area.

When she is out walking and greets her neighbors, they look at her like she is from another planet.

When she meets people at her children’s schools and they learn that she was recently living overseas the conversation ends quickly.

Energized: By Human Connection

My husband and I are preparing for an extended vacation and made a quick trip to the store to pick up a few things for the trip and a few basics for the remainder of the week we are here.

We were barely in the store when the call to prayer sounded.  (Which means that for the next 30 minutes we are free to wander around the store, but we can’t receive any assistance from the staff or checkout.)

After gathering all that we needed we joined a group of families in a semi-circle around a produce weighing station, which was already surrounded and now three layers deep.

As a western woman, I still struggle to understand the rules of engagement in these settings.  (Whatever you do -don’t look the men in the eye and don’t smile at them.  And although the women may make brief eye contact and are gracious, they don’t always speak the same language.)

So as I looked for a place to focus, a little girl with enormous brown eyes and tiny pigtails spotted my husband and I.  (She reminded me of Boo from Disney’s Monster’s Inc. movie.)

The Great Divide and How You Can Build a Bridge To Cross It

We’ve been back in the U.S. for nearly 6 weeks. Watching the divide we witnessed across the ocean.  Aching as it appears to be growing deeper and wider.

I know I’m not alone in my concern for our country or in my desire to be a part of the solution. Several of my leadership connections have been sharing both struggles and wisdom in their blogs.

Alli Polin, Erin Schreyer, Steve Keating and Jesse Lyn Stoner have each written important articles to help us build bridges across that divide.

  • Each of the image quotes below highlight something from their articles that I found especially powerful.
  • Each of their original articles are linked after each image through their name.

If you are struggling with the current state of our union – I encourage you to:

  • Read each one
  • Watch the Conversation Safari video at the end of this post

And then make strategic choices to be the change you want to see

Analyzing Kapernick’s Protest: 8 Lessons for Leading Change

+ 3 ways you can help to change the conversation from conflict to solutions

Our world needs people who can lead positive change!

It requires unshakable vision, grit and character.  Recently I’ve been watching a story develop in the U.S. that is worth studying – Even if you don’t live there.

For those that aren’t aware of this story, this is a quick look at the facts:  

Colin Kapernick is a professional football player that recently decided to exercise some of the freedom our country grants everyone.

He decided to stay seated during our national anthem, as the rest of the stadium stood and honored our flag and our country.

Colin says he is protesting because, I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

His decision created a lot of heated debate with some people criticizing his patriotism, some people defending his right to protest and others applauding his reason for protesting.

It did not take long to discover that Colin chose to wear socks with pictures of pigs in police uniforms during practice, which caused more debate.

A short time later he met with a Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret Soldier and professional football player with his own passion for freeing the oppressed. Their conversation resulted in Colin’s decision to kneel; instead of sitting the next time the National Anthem was played.

Colin has also indicated that he will donate $1 Million to help those affected by police injustices.


Lessons for Change Leaders:

How Outside Perspectives Can Reveal YOUR Purpose

A few weeks ago I was guest hosting the Lead With Giants Tweet Chat with Dan Forbes.

When we asked the question, “What have you learned from considering another perspective?”  Lori King responded and indicated that 120 characters was not enough space to list all that she has and is learning.

Because perspectives fascinate me, I asked her if she would be willing to write more and allow me to share what she has learned about perspectives in a guest post. I’m delighted that she accepted.

It is fascinating that although I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and writing about how other perspectives increase understanding, and fuel intellectual and organizational growth, Lori’s post emphasizes how the perspective of others can help us find clarity about our purpose.

Below is her story…


Lori A. KingThree years ago, I made the decision to leave a business I started with a partner.

It started with a strong desire to take the summer off to spend time with my elementary aged children. I felt guilty for working when I was at work and I felt guilty at home when there was work to be done, which is all the time when you own a small business. The summer flew by and the next thing I knew, my kids were going back to school. I wasn’t refreshed, revitalized or ready to return to work. Instead, I dreaded going back.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.I have an angel hanging next to my computer with this quote on it that my business partner gave me:

I had always loved it. I thought about the quote many times over the years applying it to this or that event; but, it never quite fit. As

I write this now, I know what it is I thought I couldn’t do. Leave.

And leave I did.

The process was a painfully slow awakening and one of the hardest things I have done.

While my children were in school, I had time to reflect and listen deeply to figure out what is my purpose in life. I was always too busy before to have the time to think in this manner.

  • I began meditating.
  • I read more books than ever.
  • I attended online webinars about topics I was interested.
  • I attended Twitter chats and became an ambassador to a popular chat on the world of work.

As time went by, I struggled with where I was in my life. I asked “Why?”

  • Why did I get a biology degree?
  • Why was I CEO of a translation business?
  • Why did I enjoy leadership and chats regarding the world of work?
  • Why couldn’t I let go of my social media handle that connotes translation?

I voiced these questions to a dear friend I met on Twitter. It’s interesting when you are so immersed and swirling around in your stuff you don’t see what’s right in front of you.

This was her perspective: It’s all connected.

Biology has everything to do with how the body communicates, translation is communication from one language to another and social media definitely falls into the communication field.

While I stayed home with my kids, I felt incomplete. I have always been a career-minded person. A couple clients hired me to assist them with communicating on social media. My first client said my name was perfect, “You translate my thoughts to the world.” As I kept seeing my world through the lens of my past and felt stuck, these people were not immersed in my story; and therefore, it was easy for them to be forward thinkers.

With these perspectives supporting what I think is my purpose, I show up every day communicating with purpose. I feel aligned and joyful whereas 10 years ago I was over-worked and stressed.

I got validation after listening to the first WBECS Pre-Summit webinar with Judith E. Glaser: “Healthy Cells, Healthy Cultures” in which she discussed the relevance between healthy and unhealthy cells in the body to healthy and unhealthy cultures in the world of work. I see the bridge from biology to communication, I see a bridge from language to communication and I see a bridge from where I am now to working in social media communication thanks to just looking at life through a different lens.

The connections are endless!

Please share:  Has something happened to you that you can look at from a different perspective and see the light?