Tag Archives: listening

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

Video: The 4 Skills of Great Communication

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Communication Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

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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

3 Simple Changes to Give Your Meetings Fresh Perspective

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. This week our team sat around a conference table with a consultant and after half an hour, he looked at us and said, “Maybe we should pause this discussion.” It was an unusual situation; typically we’re brought in as consultants and… 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

Want Stronger Communication? Eliminate Weak Language

This past weekend, I was at the breakfast table sharing coffee with my wife, and our seven-year old son. While we were sitting there, he asked me lots of questions (as always) about whatever was inside his head. Today, it was plants and how they grow. And I said something like, “All living things keep growing, all… Continue Reading

How Distracting is Your Speaking Style?

Have you ever listened to that person who says something like “um” over and over and over? After a while, all you hear are the “ums.” How about the person who says “like,” or “you know?” Hard to listen to that after a while. How about the person who qualifies everything they say with a… Continue Reading

How to Thrive in the New Communication Age

At The Latimer Group, we speak with our clients and colleagues about the “New Communication Age” we live in. Nowadays, communication is not just about having or controlling information. Years ago, in an era when not everyone had access to information, then the best communicators were, in fact, the ones who could access and disseminate… Continue Reading

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