Common ground, empathy, kindness, and listening are all ways to build bridges and encourage dialogue, especially dialogue with people who see the world differently than we do. But sometimes we simply need to stop conversations that are racist, sexist, and hateful. This takes courage. In this video I talk about an instructional coach who showed great courage to stop a racist conversation in her school, and I discuss a strategy you can use to find ways to have the courage to stop conversations that must be stopped.


Use these free forms for redirecting toxic conversations and toxic emotions, based on my book, Better Conversations.

Controlling Toxic Emotions – Looking Back

Controlling Toxic Emotions (I of II) – Looking At 

Controlling Toxic Emotions (II of II) – Looking At

Controlling Toxic Emotions – Looking Ahead

Redirecting Toxic Conversations – Looking Back

Redirecting Toxic Conversations – Looking At

Redirecting Toxic Conversations – Looking Ahead


The Election and Our Need for Common Ground

The election we just experienced in the US has surfaced a disheartening lack of unity we are all experiencing. When we connect, we are at our best, but it seems harder and harder for us to connect with people who see the world differently than we do. To avoid conflict, we might be tempted to silence ourselves but the way forward probably isn’t silence, the way forward is courageous dialogue. In this short video, one of ten I’ll be posting in the next ten weeks, I talk about the power of finding common ground. We are more alike than we are unalike, and finding common ground is a necessary first step for many of us if we are ever going to have the important conversations we need to have.

Find several free forms for finding common ground, here:


Understanding Teacher Resistance

One question I am frequently asked is what should I do about resistant teachers?  The answer, as most answers usually are, is more complex that one might think. In this video, I discuss that resistance involves a relationship, and to decrease resistance we need to first understand how what we bring to the relationship might create a misalignment with our learning partners. Then I introduce two simple questions that can help us identify the source of the resistance we experience with others.

One Thing You Can Do to Move Coaching Forward

What is one thing you can do to move coaching forward?  In these days, when it seems harder and harder for people to have meaningful conversations, one important step for communicating is finding common ground.  In this short video I explain why finding common ground is critically important, and I describe some simple ways you can do it.  I think finding common ground is one of the most important things a coach (in fact anyone of us) can do. You can download some simple forms from Better Conversations to help you practice this strategy here:  Forms for Finding Common Ground