Category Archives: #FriendsandFamilyFriday

Sheryl Sandberg and the Value of Sharing Your Story

Sheryl Sandberg‘s book Option B gives us some great insight on the value of sharing and listening to each other‘s stories as a way to learn from one another Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group.

The media maelstrom around Sheryl Sandberg’s latest book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy stirred up almost as much public attention as it did emotion for me. First a friend sent me the link to a television interview, and then I heard a story on NPR, next it popped up in my Facebook feed. I ordered it immediately.

I’ve followed Sheryl Sandberg’s career since Lean In was published in 2013. When I heard the news that she suddenly lost her husband in 2015, I felt her agony. My connection to Sheryl Sandberg was instant and intense. I too, lost my husband when he was in his 40s. My children, like hers, lost their father when they were in 2nd and 4th grades.

Sheryl bravely described her loss and grief publicly, first on Facebook and then in Option B. She called attention to something so universal that it affects everyone in some way, at some time in their lives. Sandberg’s sage, practical guide offers help for those who are grieving and those whose lives touch them. Which means, of course, everyone.

Sandberg weaves her own narrative and the stories of other people who have had extraordinary life experiences to show the myriad of losses that human beings endure and can overcome. We learn of other people’s experiences, their struggles and their victories. We learn the ways that they find light and hope in times of unbearable sadness. We learn resilience.

By sharing her story in Option B Sandberg has started a dialogue around resilience and loss. I’m hopeful that she’s also starting a movement for storytelling. Storytelling allows us to be empathetic, to slow down and listen to one another. In an interview published in the New York Times, she was asked: “Is there hope in sharing our deepest stories?”

I’ve thought about this a lot… we need to create areas to come together, where we can be there for each other.”

Since my husband passed away after a long battle with cancer, I’ve committed myself to creating a community for other families. I founded a non-profit that helps children who are living with a critically ill parent learn to share their stories. We empower kids to express themselves through creative arts. Families come together as part of a community of others who are living similar experiences.  My goal is to help families find solace in communities and help one another through listening to each other.

I’m grateful to Sheryl Sandberg for sharing her story and exposing her grief. She’s a leader modeling the power of storytelling to help build human connections, even in business environments. One of my favorite classes to teach at The Latimer Group involves storytelling. We all have a story — those stories are poignant, captivating and inspiring. We each have something to share. Learn by sharing stories. Learn by listening. You’ll be a better leader because of it.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com
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Your Colleagues Will Build a Statue in Your Honor

In nearly every workshop I teach, I ask a question that sounds something like this: “How many of you attend too many meetings that run long?” Nearly every hand goes up, every time. “How many of you get too many emails that are too overwhelming to read?” Nearly every hand goes up, every time. “How… Continue Reading

Exploring Your Personal Brand

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. Last week I had the pleasure of teaching personal branding at a Women’s Leadership Conference for one of our clients. It was an incredible event—women from across the country gathered to share experiences and learn together at an annual retreat. Like… Continue Reading

To Change the Minds of Others, Change This About Yourself

Some of our most popular blog posts lately have been about how we communicate with each other, and the divide that’s so often formed when we’re faced with an opinion or viewpoint different from our own. And while there are plenty of examples we’ve written about from our President on this subject, it’s certainly not limited to… Continue Reading

Kathrine Switzer and the Boston Marathon: A Lesson in Empowerment

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. This week was the 121st running of the Boston Marathon. Boston is unlike any other marathon; the course, the crowds, and its history make it unique. This year was especially significant– it was the 50th anniversary of the first woman to… Continue Reading

United Airlines: Every Day is a Job Interview

Like many of you, I watched the video of the United Airlines passenger being dragged off a flight with horror and sadness. It was an awful scene, and for those of you who have not heard the story, here are the basics… passengers had boarded a flight in Chicago, bound for Louisville. It was a… Continue Reading

4 Communication Missteps Men Make in the Workplace

Earlier today, I had a LinkedIn conversation with a good friend named Bryan, who also happens to be a member of Latimer’s Board of Advisors. Bryan had read a recent blog post of ours about the language mistakes some women make in the workplace. And Bryan’s request and challenge to me was now to write… Continue Reading

What Happens When “The Plan” Falls Through?

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson People love to plan. Everyone has a plan. You can’t do anything in today’s world without a plan. But having a plan is only part of the equation… and I would say it is the easy part. The harder part of… Continue Reading

Authenticity, Confidence, and Executive Presence

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. By now you have probably seen the hilarious BBC news clip of the Political Science Professor being interrupted during a live television interview. His children barged into his office—the smiling toddler in yellow, followed by an enthusiastic baby in a walker.… Continue Reading

How to Discuss Politics – or Anything – Respectfully (Yes, It CAN Be Done!)

Earlier this week, my wife and I, along with some good friends, attended our first political “town hall” event, hosted by Chris Murphy, the junior senator from Connecticut and a Democrat. We obviously are living in a highly-charged and emotional political climate in the United States, and these kind of town hall events are becoming… Continue Reading

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