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Communication

Listen Up!

When was the last time you really listened to someone? I mean really, truly listened—with no phone in your hand, no earbud in one ear, no inner monologue? Chances are it’s been a while. Listening is an incredibly powerful skill—and an even more powerful tool. By truly listening to someone, you’re ensuring their voice is […]

Picking Fights With Strangers (OK, not really.)

  I have an unusual hobby: asking random strangers about warm and fuzzy topics such as religion and politics. Where’s the best place to do that? Airplanes. Airplanes are perfect for such a conversation since your fellow passengers are stuck with you once they’re buckled in. I like to start off with something like, “Hi. […]

See something, say something: how confrontation makes us better

    Years ago, there was a student on our team—I’ll call her Julie—who did some strange things while cleaning our clients’ homes. She would try on clients’ shoes, spray on their cologne, play their very old, very expensive and very off-limits pianos (“Mary Had A Little Lamb,” no less), and she even made a […]

Words Make a Difference

  Recognizing people is one the most important parts of being a leader, and it’s also one of my favorite parts. Praising and complimenting others has always come naturally to me, and I love making people feel good about themselves. But the first time I remember my positive words really making an impact on someone […]

Ask a Second Question

“How are you?” “Good.” “How are you?” “Tired.” “How are you?” “Busy.” Sound like a familiar conversation? “How are you?” Has become a throwaway question and a space filler in seemingly meaningless interactions. It’s casually tossed out when passing someone in the building and it is asked flippantly in the beginning of meetings. We ask […]

Boosting event attendance

Student organizations are constantly dreaming up the ultimate event for their campus. But no matter how great the event is, it won’t matter unless people actually show up. Many student leaders have been disappointed by low attendance at the events they throw. Sometimes students scramble to increase attendance by trying things that help a little […]

We have a communication problem

During my more than twenty five years of working with college students, I have seen a lot of change. In recent years I have spent a great deal of time with students, specifically, sorority women. When you spend time in their environments and not just speaking to them from a stage, you learn more than […]

The lost art of civility

ci·vil·i·ty: (N. courtesy, graciousness, polite, respectful; the way to change the world for the better in 5 minutes. Some days I fear that courtesy and civility are dead. I was at a student group meeting last week and felt like I was actually attending its funeral. Folks were so rude to each other and to […]

What “old” people want from us

As a young entrepreneur in a college town, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a lot of professors and mentors from older generations about how they view our generation, the Millennials, as we’re usually called. Contrary to what you might think, most of the feedback is actually pretty positive. People from the Boomer and […]

Want to dive deeper into your leadership?

We’ve all been there. Something happens and one of our members makes a poor decision – what I like to call an “oops moment.” As an organization leader we’re faced with the choices of holding someone accountable for their actions, maybe even a close friend. This is the situation you’ve been trained on. Or have […]

Five ways to #BeLessAwkward

Being able to communicate with confidence is a game changer. It’s the difference between getting people to believe in you and your organization, or causing people to quickly forget about you and your cause. If your professors and campus administrators are inspired by your passion, they’ll invest in you and your college experience. If employers […]

Communicating diversity correctly

by T. Leon Williams 1) Manage emotions and know your biases and misconceptions One of the first steps in dealing with diversity issues is to understand how your emotions, biases and misconceptions interplay. This is an important first step because as emotions rise around the issue, the intervener/moderator/facilitator/student leader/campus community must have a pulse on […]

Elephants and Onions workshop

Motivating students to embrace diversity and peel back the layers of social justice. For many campus communities, diversity is the elephant in the room. As it continues to morph into something bigger, social justice, people need a safe environment to have discussions and learn how it impacts our communities. You might be looking for an […]

Yeah… but

How often do you make excuses for your daily actions? Do you often look back on your actions or reactions and think “oops”? Whether it’s making personal decisions or ones within a group setting, it’s time to look at the moments that the little voice in our head says “yeah, but…” As we embark on […]