Life Lessons from Our Furry Friends

Brodie died. I’m sure that for all pet owners, the death of a pet is never easy. I don’t know if you could ever get used to losing an innocent creature who loved you unconditionally, trusted you more than anything else in this world, and gave you so much joy. Most people don’t know this, but Brodie was my first pet. We never had pets growing up and I got him just a few years after college. In some ways, I feel like I had a bit of a unique experience raising Brodie because everything was new, everything was a lesson, and I experienced it all through the eyes of an adult - not taking anything for granted and always seeking to understand. I didn’t anticipate how many insights about myself and life lessons I would gain from taking care of Brodie. My hopes for this article are a bit layered. First, I hope that you take a moment to truly appreciate the people and creatures in your life. Death is around the corner for all of us and we never know when it could happen. So, please give an extra hug to someone and to your pets. Show a little extra love today. Next, I hope that my first-time experiences and lessons in being a pet owner in adulthood will translate to your life – whether you have or haven’t had a pet.   Patience When I got Brodie, I was scared and determined. I was terrified that I would [...]

The Controversy Over Emojis

by Intel Free Press There are many emoji haters out there. To be honest, I don’t understand why. I love emojis! I wish there were more emoji options. Say, let’s get rid of the smiling poo and add more facial expressions. ... Oh, who am I kidding, keep the smiling poo. People who don’t like - or look down upon - emojis are missing a critical communication perspective.  Emojis were created because you asked for them! Okay, maybe not you personally. I don’t know if you sacrificed a goat asking the emoji gods for pictures, but here is what happened... Texting became a part of our culture. We were limited to 140 characters. We shortened our words and flipped the bird to grammar. And in our texting frenzy, people got upset. Why? Because sarcasm, tone, and subtlety don’t translate easily in 140 character. And so, to make sure that our points were interpreted correctly, we added body language to our texts! : )  : P ; ) : (  :’( Remember those? We did that. We created emojis before they existed. As a culture, we unanimously said, "in order for my emotion to be properly expressed in the limited space I’m given, instead of telling you, I’m going to show you. " Brilliant! It proves how important body language plays in our overall communication.

Texting Rules: Not as Simple as You Might Think

by Felicia Åkerman It seems as though everyone has their own texting pet peeves. The other night, I was talking to a woman who despises getting a reply text that just says, “k.” Some of my friends hate texting entirely. They would prefer a phone call – you know, like the olden days. Other friends complain about people who still text using shorthand like “u” instead of “you.”  Confession: I am guilty of all of the above offenses.  I find texting preferences to be quite fascinating. It’s another very clear example of how we all have our own communication “rules” we expect others to follow, even though a communication manual has never been handed out.  […]

Traveling Through Influential Communication

When people are first introduced to this world of influential communication, they naturally feel overwhelmed at first. There are many moving pieces - body language, techniques, profiling, strategies, etc.  It’s like opening up a watch and seeing all the gears at once for the first time. Which gear does what? What happens first? What connects to what? With a little extra inspection, the complexity actually becomes very simple. There is a method, a pattern, that creates the clear result. Getting through that first stage of “Whoa!” is all it takes. I often equate learning influential communication to my first time in Los Angeles. I rented a car and was on my way to meet a friend at Chipotle for lunch on Ventura Boulevard. I don’t know if I have ever felt more homicidal in my life.  One moron in front of me was driving in two lanes, moving slower that the old man using his scooter on the sidewalk. Shouting every obscenity I could - within the safe confines of my car - the driver behind me was doing the same blaming me for the slow pace while letting his horn do some of the talking as well. “There’s nothing I can do!” Screaming and gesturing with every ounce of my Italian blood, “It’s not my fault, so shut the hell up!” Welcome to Los Angeles.  I was visiting LA to test the waters and make sure that I wanted to live here. This moment definitely went in the “con” side [...]