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Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose….”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr., “Where Do We Go From Here”

“Presence” can be tricky to define, and “leadership presence” trickier. Google searches produce thousands of pages and hundreds of thousands of hits. We’re interested, it seems, in knowing what they mean, whether we have them, and how to acquire them.

Fact is, we all have presence — a quality of mind, body and spirit that is us. Sometimes our presence is more evident to others, sometimes less. Sometimes we feel big, sometimes small and contracted.

When we walk…

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photo credit: Reina on Assignment

Have you heard of email apnea? Suffer from it? I heard the phrase for the first time as a participant in a Zoom meeting about the documentary The Social Dilemma. I knew exactly what they were talking about — holding your breath while reading email. I know because I do it. But I wasn’t aware how many people have been writing about it since Linda Stone first named the phenomenon. Stone worked for Apple and Microsoft before beginning a writing and consulting career. …

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When I started writing this post I wasn’t exactly sure what was going into it. I knew the title — “Everyday Miracles” — and the gist, that there are everyday blessings that we take for granted and even stop seeing, especially in this time of fear about pandemics, violence, and polarization. And these miracles are what make my Life — make it worth living. How can I not be present to them?

These thoughts came to me during a morning meditation when I opened my eyes for a moment and noticed my surroundings. It was still dark, but I could…

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photo by: Raya on Assignment

In Turn Enemies Into Allies, I share multiple stories about seeing events through another’s eyes. I sometimes find that easy to do, and other times not easy at all. I think wearing masks in this Covid environment when we’re in close proximity to one another is a good idea, for example, and I’m not trying too hard to see the other side of that argument. And… I know there is one.

Which is probably why in my book I give so much weight to the power of inquiry, curiosity, and nonjudgment — key skills and mental models that give us…

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Judy Ringer & Mike Metskas

Perhaps others who shared these events with me, whose lives crossed mine, would recount the events differently, But that is their story. This is mine, my life as I recall having lived it, my life as I recall having loved it. — Michael C. Metskas

My grandfather, Mike Metskas, was a brave young man when he left his native Macedonia as a 16-year-old to come to America and find his way in the world. …

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By Martina Osmy, Shutterstock

In my last article, I posed a question about whether you can catch yourself when you’re about to make an assumption about another person’s thoughts or actions, and whether you can choose to move toward curiosity instead of judgment — a crucial awareness if you want to have more skilled conversations.

I think now a more important question than “whether” you can catch yourself is “why you might want to.”

As I read and re-read the post, I came to see it as naive. Those of us who want to catch ourselves making assumptions will do it and get better…

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Have you ever wondered what was going on in another person’s mind when they spoke or acted in a way that for you was unimaginable? Did you leap into curiosity or judgment?

When our indoor pool was still open, I was enjoying the hot tub after my daily swim when I was joined by a fellow early morning swimmer. We know each other by name but otherwise not well. …

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Photo credit: Yuka Cass.

My aikido dojo, like other schools, closed temporarily due to the Coronavirus pandemic. I founded Portsmouth Aikido in 1995, and still play an active role, but the current owner and Chief Instructor is Aaron Cass. Students call him Sensei (teacher).

Aaron joined our dojo as a high school senior, continued to study in college and in Japan, and became an avid student of the art. Now a fourth degree black belt, Aaron rejoined Portsmouth Aikido upon his return to the U.S,, and in time took over the leadership role.

Aaron initiated new traditions, achieving 501c3 non-profit status, finding us a…

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photo courtesy of Wikicommons

Beginning again and again is the actual practice, not a problem to be overcome.
— Sharon Salzberg

As I made my way to the exit, the other passengers on my JetBlue flight were taking their time making their way down the aisle. If I could just get off this plane, I might make the 6:10pm bus to Portsmouth and home, and not have to wait an hour for another bus. The flight was already late getting into Boston, and I really wanted to make that bus.

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(Judy with Buddha photo credit: www.rayaonassignment.com)

I’m reading a book by Shari Harley — How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships That Really Work. I’ve also watched a couple of her videos, which are easy to find on the Web.

One of the things I like about the book is the title, which grabs your attention. Having written a couple of my own, I know how important that is. I also like Shari’s simple 8-step formula, especially the “State Your Motive” feature, because it shows the speaker’s positive intent:

  1. Introduce the conversation by asking for a few minutes of the person’s…

Judy Ringer

Judy Ringer is the author of Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace and Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict.

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