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BLOGGING FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION: ONE YEAR LATER

One year ago today I got a phone call no one should ever receive. I'd lost a close friend to suicide. I assisted her family by taking over her legal practice and obligations, attended the informal memorial service put on by her friends, because her family couldn't bring themselves to have one, and learned more about her end days. She'd kept her friends separate, like corn silos in a field, so her death came as a surprise. But it shouldn't have. Looking back, I feel naive. The warning signs had…

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THREE QUICK TIPS FOR TACKLING TOXIC PEOPLE

          Know-It-Alls, Bullies, Whiners, Gossips, Angry Aggressors, Passives...           We've all come across toxic people, in both our work and personal lives. But what do you do when you're stuck dealing with one for more than a prolonged encounter? During a recent seminar I taught on how to read body language, an attendee had a question. It began with him describing how a co-worker sat with one hand behind his head and what that meant. This was easy to decipher. The guy was practically yelling "I'm…

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Cabin in the Woods 2015

Once upon a time there was a cabin built on a pine tree-dotted mountain in Northeastern Arizona. At first, it was a simple A-frame used as a summer home, a respite from the heat of a California desert residence. When my parents retired there, some rooms were added, one filled with windows to let in the sun. It provided a peaceful place to watch birds enjoy the plentiful food provided year round. There was a deck with a porch swing to watch Blue Jays get up their courage to hop…

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How to Detect a Liar

Let's face it, everyone lies. Lies can run the spectrum from trying not to hurt someone's feelings to toxic manipulation in work, life or love. Can you tell when someone is lying? Fortunately, with a little practice, liars can become easy to spot. These simple tips will help you not be deceived. Listen To What Is Being Said "Timmy, did you eat one of the cookies without asking?" a mom questions her six year old. "No, Mommy. I did not eat one of the cookies without asking." If you know…

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5 Reasons Leaders Crash and Burn

Can you recall when a supervisor/manager/CEO in charge of a business, committee or project caused everything to derail? Why does this happen? They Aren't Natural Born Leaders Leadership comes pre-loaded in some people. They're the ones everyone turns to when a decision needs to be made. They step in and say "Here's what we should do..." in a crisis. Of course, they can always be better leaders by learning more about how to be effective, but it's in their DNA. If they don't recognize they are natural born leaders, they…

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How To Be a More Effective Communicator Than the President

I've been a fan of Marc Maron's WTF podcast quite awhile and was surprised President Barack Obama had decided to visit Marc's garage in LA and give an interview. Then I listened to it. And I got annoyed. (And for anyone who thinks I'm going down Politics Road, sorry to disappoint.) President Obama is known for giving moving and commanding speeches. However, delivering a prepared speech (read from a teleprompter, notes or even from memory) is a lot different than answering extemporaneous questions or giving an interview. If you want…

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Adding Drama to Public Speaking

Every time we talk, we use different tones of voice, gestures and body language. When it comes to public speaking, it's no different. After determining what message you want to convey and crafting a speech, be it inspirational, educational or humorous, the hard work has just begun, because it's time to determine how to present your material. To give perspective, imagine that tonight you're attending a charity event where the keynote speaker is going to advocate for those who suffer from Alzheimer's. The speaker comes on stage, stops in the…

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My Lessons about Suicide Survival and Support

My last post dealt with the suicide of a dear friend and colleague. It's been over a month, but my questioning and self-reflection hasn't ended. The one abiding question for me remains: What can I do to stop this from happening? Unfortunately, this is a question many of us will need to ask ourselves. Suicide rates have risen in the U.S. and make it the 10th leading cause of death. In the news this past week was the story of Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who flew himself and 149…

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Blogging for Suicide Prevention:Ode to a Friend

Four days ago I answered my phone and was greeted by the sound of weeping. The call was to notify me a friend and attorney colleague had died by suicide, and I was being contacted because she'd left a note for me to take over her cases. I've never lost anyone to suicide. Death isn't a stranger, taking both my parents in 2010 within four months of each other, and many others over the years. Yet, the news of my friend's final act shoved me into shock. There were two…

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and THE BLAME GAME

Right now, the media is in an uproar over the case of Ray Rice, the NFL Football player who knocked his wife, Janay, out with a punch to the head in an elevator. He's been suspended.http://deadspin.com/heres-video-of-ray-rice-knocking-out-his-fiancee-in-an-1631864196The front page of CNN.com has Janay making a statement that "To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific. (sic)" Will the media now begin the "victim blame game?" Go back and read the first paragraph of…

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