January 27, 2016

How to leave a first good impression

Photo by xmyrcn [Flickr]

Darrell is a polite, handsome man, who had little luck meeting people and making friends. He didn’t get why and it was frustrating. I first met Darrell during his final months in prison -- a few of robberies and a bad temper had got him into trouble.

But Darrell is one of the few who manage to overcome the nasty effects of jail time. He decided to change. And he did. What didn’t change was the way people reacted to him. It seemed as though everyone knew his past.

Then he figured out why. And it had nothing to do with his past.

October 16, 2015

The difference between sympathy and empathy


Today I read a post on LinkedIn written by John Ford about the difference between sympathy and empathy. I decided to comment on it, but the amount of text seems to be limited. So I wrote this post instead.



Words matter.

Agreeing on what words mean matters more.

September 25, 2015

Is your small talk SMART?

Photo courtesy of Barcelona Global

Last week I attended the 3rd Hola Barcelona Cocktail, an event organized by Barcelona Global to welcome new international professionals arriving in Barcelona.

The purpose is to strengthen the relationship between Barcelonians by birth and Barcelonians by choice. It was lovely. I met wonderful people and conversations were great, which got me thinking: What makes small talk interesting? 

The topic is important, but not everything -- you can have a pointless conversation about a great topic! The key is HOW we talk:

May 27, 2015

12 Tips for Constructive Feedback

Whether a direct report, a manager, a colleague, a friend or a partner, giving constructive feedback is a crucial element of our relationships.


How you give feedback 
determines how it is received.


I moderate constructive feedback sessions for teams and their leaders, and some patterns prove to be more effective than others. Here's a set of keys that unlock the doors for constructive feedback to be well received.

Download and discuss them with those you give feedback to.

April 5, 2015

The Trap





Warning: This post is a rather thick philosophical “steak”. If you don’t have much of an appetite, you can save it for later. If you do, take your time and enjoy. :)


Who is it that is aware that I am thinking?


Let’s start with a demonstration: While you’re reading, can you hear what you’re thinking? Catch yourself thinking. Is it What’s he talking about?, Wheres he going with this? or something else? Go ahead... 

November 10, 2014

The Trust Story


For Yoel Calek

Once upon a time, there was a man who valued trust very much. Before he decided to trust someone, he thoroughly made sure the person was worthy of trust. Only then, he felt he was ready to trust. 

This meant he didn’t really trust anyone.

September 21, 2014

How Odie Helps You Design Awesome Workshops!


The other day my friend and colleague Evgueni Talal, a specialist in customer satisfaction, asked for feedback on a workshop he’s preparing for the Toastmasters Fall District Conference in Lyon.

This got me thinking about what makes workshops awesome. I noticed four recurring elements that make workshops memorable experiences. Remember Odie from Garfield? These are the ODIE elements of awesome workshops.