Reflections on Charlottesville

Much has been written about the terrible events that unfolded August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia. For some of us this event struck home – literally. Our family lives just a few blocks from where the violence took place.  While my wife and children left town Friday on a long-planned visit to see extended family, I stayed behind. It was an eerie Saturday morning.  Walking to the [...]

2018-01-17T17:03:35-05:00 August 16th, 2017|6 Comments

SLATE MAGAZINE: Hal Movius talks about Negotiation Theory

From Slate: Hal Movius explains that we shouldn’t be afraid of conflict in negotiation, that it can actually produce good outcomes—but only if we can be smarter about it. I asked him to help walk me through the pitfalls and opportunities for Democrats attempting to negotiate and govern at a time when such negotiating will happen from a position of total weakness. Read the entire article [...]

2019-11-04T15:55:22-05:00 January 13th, 2017|0 Comments

Why We need Courage Now, More Than Ever

Ethics is a hot topic these days, and (sadly) for good reason. There is little sign that greater emphasis on ethics and compliance has led to better behavior, at least judging from recent headlines. is an inspiring organization that is trying to understand how to foster more effective ways to promote ethical reasoning and action. Its team of research collaborators includes Dan Ariely, Jon Haidt, [...]

2018-01-17T17:03:35-05:00 December 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Is Mindfulness Effective?

Do you practice mindfulness?  Here's an interesting piece questioning the evidence that it is effective.  Here’s how I think about it: mindfulness is an emotion-focused coping strategy (one that tries to help us escape or modify our emotions in the moment); evidence suggest these strategies can be helpful when we face a situation that cannot be changed.  When we face a situation that CAN potentially be [...]

2016-12-01T16:30:26-05:00 November 30th, 2016|1 Comment

On the Secret Formula for Resilience

From an article, "How People Learn to Be Resilient" by Maria Konnikova in the New Yorker: “Frame adversity as a challenge, and you become more flexible and able to deal with it, move on, learn from it, and grow. Focus on it, frame it as a threat, and a potentially traumatic event becomes an enduring problem; you become more inflexible, and more likely to be negatively [...]

2016-11-16T14:18:03-05:00 November 16th, 2016|0 Comments

Building Resolve to Engage with Political Adversaries

Much will be written about the 2016 Presidential election. Its outcome signaled a realignment in political coalitions but also reflected an increasingly balkanized information environment, with people reading and watching sources that reinforced their beliefs and emotions. For some people in America – at least half, if the polls are right – the morning of 11/9 was a kind of traumatic echo or bookend to the events [...]

2018-01-17T17:03:35-05:00 November 11th, 2016|0 Comments

The Power of Active-Constructive Responding

John Gottman Psychologist John Gottman has been researching relationships for more than four decades, and in recent years the popular media have taken notice of his findings. Accounts of his work have often emphasized the four “horsemen” in communication patterns that signal trouble for marriages: criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt. But we sometimes lose sight of the positive communication patterns that correlate with marital [...]

2018-01-17T17:03:35-05:00 October 25th, 2016|0 Comments

How do you feel about conflict?

Quick: would you rather Be stuck overnight in an airport with no place to sleep Raise an issue with a friend when it might lead to a fight or argument Argue with a roommate If you’re like 330 adults I surveyed this summer on MTurk, Amazon’s research tool, all three are equally unpleasant. Surprised? I admit I was. Sure, some forms of conflict – spirited debate, [...]

2018-01-17T17:03:35-05:00 October 11th, 2016|0 Comments