Category Archives: Communication

Be a Helper: Why We Need Diplomacy When Things Get Ugly

By: Dr. MaryJo Burchard Just a few days ago, the unthinkable happened in my community. My city – one of the safest cities in the U.S. – experienced a tragedy beyond imagination, and we are all still reeling from it. Having worked at the City of Virginia Beach for four years, I knew people involved.…
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Appreciation: Infinitely More than Recognition

Sharon sat down and stared at the “Employee of the Year” plaque on her wall. She knew this was a high honor, but after the last 24 hours, the distinction felt hollow. She could not understand where the frustration and sense of disappointment were coming from, but they overwhelmed her as she felt a lump…
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Making Connections that Count

By: Dr. MaryJo Burchard This week, I am having lunch with a very important friend. She has walked with me in pivotal moments, challenged my thinking, and inspired me to take healthy risks in my own development. I will invest a 3-hour commute to meet with her, and I know the meeting will be meaningful…
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Recognizing Employees

If you’re thankful for your employees, let them know it. In this season of gratitude and thanksgiving, it’s time to return to one of the foundational principles of leadership and motivation – the practice of recognizing employees for all that they do in our organizations. Countless studies have shown that recognition is one of the…
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Empathy for Logical Leaders

You’ve probably heard all of the hype in the last few years about emotional intelligence and how important it is for leaders to be effective. But if you are a more logical or non-emotional personality, you may be wondering if it’s possible, or even desirable, to become more emotional in your leadership. If you’re one…
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Effortful Understanding

Sometimes I still get smacked in the face by how hard it is for us to understand each other. I recently argued with my wife for half an hour before realizing that I had completely misunderstood what she was saying. Even after 25 years together, getting to a point of understanding can still be a…
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