3 Lessons Learned from Trestle Trail Tragedy

Affinity in Tragedy

Affinity Building . . . through Bodybuilding?

My daughter Bree is into bodybuilding.  I’m not.  Or, at least, I wasn’t. When shown a picture of a woman with bulging biceps and massive quads, my first reaction is, “oh, wow, why would a woman want to look like that?”  And the bodies of Arnold Schwarzenegger-ish men were, at best, an enigma, and, at worst, a turn-off to me. That mindset is starting to change . . . but only because I’m making a conscious effort at affinity building. For the past few years, Bree has been dedicated to a near-daily gym routine of cardio and weight lifting. When she started dating Justin, who happens to work out at her gym, his passion for bodybuilding rubbed off on her.
By |November 12th, 2014|Training|0 Comments|


Affinity: the connection between and among people, based on common experiences, passions, and interests. The ability to discover and develop those connections is the key to successful relationship building.  ________________     “Make sure each EITC client signs the 8879 and that all your volunteers have their Pub 17 handy,” said the IRS trainer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. One of my roles when I worked at a community action agency was to oversee its tax assistance program.  I dutifully sat in the 4-hour training session the IRS offered in Milwaukee, WI for site coordinators.  The 8879s and Pub 17s that would later become a
By |February 20th, 2014|Training|0 Comments|

A Shocking Reality

  Warning:  I asked a trusted colleague to review this blog before I posted it.  He said he was “creeped out by it and got the heebie jeebies” before getting to my main point.  I acknowledge that you may find it a bit over the top compared to my other messages, but please understand that I’m trying to emphasize the importance of considering EVERY person’s feelings and caring about ALL people, even if we don’t know them or like them. __________________ Not that I want to contradict Dan Hill’s “We Always Hurt the One we Love” lyrics, but I know—and so do you—from personal experience that it’s so much easier to hurt a stranger.  By “easier,” I mean it hurts me less to hurt a stranger than it does to hurt someone I love.
By |February 9th, 2014|Training|0 Comments|

You Have Only One Chance . . .

“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”  -Will Rogers I love meeting new people.  Whether they’re a potential friend or client or someone I may never see again, I’m fascinated by the world of possibilities that opens up every time a new person comes into my life. Whether you share my passion for meeting new people or not, I hope you share my passion for wanting to make a good first impression . . . and for affinity building. One thing I love about the concept of affinity building is that ALL of us have the ability to do it.  Yes, it’s fairly basic, but, no, not everyone is good at it.  And, even those who have the skill sets aren’t always deliberate about using them.  Even at the very elementary level of “meeting new people,” we often breeze into the opening moment without making the most of the opportunity.

Childbirth and Cinnamon

My baby girl turned 24 this week.   My mind drifted back  to the hours leading up to her birth. “On a scale of one to ten, what is your pain?” the OB-GYN nurse asked, as I entered another round of contractions. “About an eight,” I grunted, dreading what a ten was going to feel like. “OK, let’s turn you over on your side so that your labor can be more productive,” the nurse said.  More productive turned out to be more agonizing as the pain soon hit a ten.  They didn’t tell us in Lamaze class that you will likely feel like your body is going to snap in half.  I suppose there’s no way to really explain that type of body contortion. Only women who have given birth know how it feels.