Conversation is the Cure for the Greater Good

April 16th, 2015

Conversation is the Cure

For many of my clients, it’s a challenge to sustain long-term focus to keep goals and noble visions for their businesses alive when there are immediate needs and pressures functioning to crowd out front-of-mind activities. When operating in prefrontal cortex overload mode, frustrations kick in and the amygdala becomes more highly activated. We can only make so many decisions at a time. and the noisiest typically take precedent when we are under pressure. Conversation and making changes become really tough. Read the rest of this entry »

New Ways of Listening: Conversations at Work

March 2nd, 2015


What can the corporate world learn from The Horse Whisperer when it comes to hosting conversations that really matter? It’s said that a good trainer can hear a horse speak. But a great trainer can hear him whisper.

By this definition, Monty Roberts is a great trainer. Known as the Horse Whisperer, Monty has broken away from traditional methods of horse training to introduce a new level of trust through listening. He has changed the game entirely by deconstructing the fear-based training paradigm. Read the rest of this entry »

CorpTalk and Siemens at STIA + 2014 DC: Simple Means to Rich Ends

December 5th, 2014
CorpTalk and Siemens Keynote graphic recording

When it comes to corporate well being, we diagnose the conversation, not the people. Conversation is the cure.

When I think about the STIA + 2014 DC conference (Nov 5-9), where I was honored to co-keynote our CorpTalk and Siemens cultural transformation success story, “simple means to rich ends” comes to mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Starting a Conversation at STIA + DC 2014: using narrative change methodologies to drive cultural transformation

October 14th, 2014

STIA + 2104

Want to stir up some synapses? Please consider joining me at STIA + DC 2014 in Washington, D.C., to participate in an amazing learning and community experience. The STIA + DC 2014 Systems Thinking in Action conference is shaping up to be an extraordinary gathering of business and community leaders, OD practitioners and educators from all over the globe, under the stewardship of Temenos enterprise transformation consultant Siraj Sirajuddin, ABC Connects founder Carol Gorelick, Creating Clarity  founder Jean Tully, STIA + NOW host and In Essence  founder Chris Clark and other conference weavers.

I will be co-presenting with keynoter David Stein, CEO of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics’ Point of Care business. His incredible team of culture change ambassadors—the COMMSquad—will be presenting an inspired collaborative learning session, too. Read the rest of this entry »

Call for Stories

October 14th, 2014

Call for Stories

I’ve heard from many of you with your work stories for Talk to Me, and I thank you for sharing them. Some of you want a better idea of the kinds of stories I’m looking for.

I want to hear the full range of your experiences—from happy to horror, your triumphs and your trials! Your stories will help inform and illustrate the chapters in my book. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Time to Think is Truly a Gift

October 1st, 2014

Thinking of the Big Idea

A benefit of writing a book is that I can legitimately take time to think.

I don’t know many people who feel they can take the time to really think. Do nothing but think. Not just an afternoon or a weekend, but months even.

Like many of you, I had been double/triple timing it for years.  Going back to grad school, starting a family practice and then evolving that practice into CorpTalk, all while bringing up my daughter as part of a larger, active and loving family.

Once I was certain my daughter was set to graduate college and all tuition and living costs had been paid, I pulled the plug. I stopped pursuing business— which is a little scary for any business owner—and started thinking. Really thinking about the things I feel are most important.

So that is precisely the gift I gave to myself this year and the one I wish for each of you: sufficient time to think. Read the rest of this entry »

Talk to Me: Tell Me Your Work Stories

September 9th, 2014

Talk to Me

Many of you have been asking, “Maria, when are you going to write the book?”

Well, I’m doing it. And here’s the update.

I took a short sabbatical where I thought through what would make the most difference to others. Twenty years in the trenches has allowed me to really process my own crucial learnings and distill the heart of my experience in order to pull through what I believe has the most value. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping Conversation Channels Open: 10 Essential Tips

May 16th, 2014

Serious Conversation 1How would you rate your conversation skills at work? Research indicates that we think of ourselves as better communicators than we really are. What usually happens is we tell ourselves we got it right and the other person got it wrong.  After all, I was clear. But it’s up us to ensure that the message sent (what we intend to say) is the message received (what the other person really hears). Here are 10 essential tips for keeping conversation channels open

Read the rest of this entry »

Practice Makes Perfect – Especially when it Comes to Communicating

April 24th, 2014

Music Photo

Practice Makes Perfect—especially when it comes to communicating.

We often take communicating for granted—after all, everyone can talk. But, like anything in life you want to get good at, it takes a lot of practice to be a truly effective communicator. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Everything and Everyone Counts for Effective Communication

March 14th, 2014

Effective CommunicationTo achieve truly great things at work—to innovate, activate, and motivate—it’s all about effective communication. You have to cultivate an open dialogue with colleagues and important stakeholders. When people are really talking, the business is progressing. When people stop talking, the business stops progressing.

It’s that simple. Read the rest of this entry »