Welcome to HOTY – a blog dedicated to ways to Hold On To Yourself to stay cool in conflict. This blog is inspired by the book I co-wrote with therapist Judy Zehr, also called Hold On To Yourself, where we explore how conflict and stress are connected and how to create more self-regulation to co-regulate. The blog is intended to provide insights, advice, and practical tips to help leaders develop the mindset and skills needed to create healthy work environments for all. HOTY arrives every full moon, bringing you topics to strengthen your resiliency in conflict. At each dark moon, you also receive a second newsletter, more directly dealing with conflict and leadership. This second newsletter is in partnership with the On Conflict Leadership Institute and is entitled “On Conflict”.  Enjoy both and please look around the blog – there’s plenty to explore & discover!

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What’s at the Centre of Your Wheel?

What’s at the Centre of Your Wheel?

It's been remarkable these last few months to teach three teams the ​How to Have Difficult Conversations​ model. Individuals on these teams have created their own relationship with the material as they worked to make the tools and skills their own. One such person...

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What Part Are You?

What Part Are You?

Last month, I spoke about the importance of being able to see multiple perspectives. In an era of information and misinformation, it’s become futile to convince someone of your point of view. There’s just too much data and it can be massaged in various ways to make it...

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Are You the Leader We Need?

Are You the Leader We Need?

Recently, I decided to do a small experiment. I wanted to take what I know to be true about conflict management and how to have difficult conversations and see how it fits into what exemplary leaders do. Kouzes & Posner have studied exemplary leadership for over...

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Let’s All Calm Down

Let’s All Calm Down

“We have thought of peace as the passive and war as the active way of living. The opposite is true. War is not the most strenuous life. It is a kind of rest-cure compared to the task of reconciling our differences.” … Mary Parker Follett As I catch snippets and shards...

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Shed Tears of Joy With Me

Shed Tears of Joy With Me

A short news story caught my attention recently. President Biden was seen on his way to Camp David peace talks with Bill Ury’s newest book “Possible” under his arm. ​ Bill Ury is a big name in my world. He co-wrote the book “Getting to Yes” - the primer for...

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Do We Need Each Other?

Do We Need Each Other?

Recently, one of my favourite kind of leaders, the savvy kind, decided he wanted to invest in his team by doing my Difficult Conversations course. They talked about doing it together, over a series of weeks, with my support to help with integration and application. As...

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How to Apply Creativity to Conflict

How to Apply Creativity to Conflict

When I was about 20 years old, I hand-crafted a business card and wrote the words “Creative Solutions” as a dream business I would own one day. I had no idea what that vision would look like. At the time, I was working for a theatre company that would go on to produce...

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I am Mammal

I am Mammal

Who do you want to BE in conflict? When someone else does something that hits you as wrong, or challenging, threatening – how do you want to be in response? Do you want to be: Defended? Assertive? Aggressive? Do you want to be: Kind? Forgiving? Accommodating? In the...

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Should You Rock the Boat?

Should You Rock the Boat?

My colleague Gordon White and I had a fascinating conversation recently with a leader we really admire. This leader has a collaborative style of communicating. There isn’t anything you can’t explore with this person: they are accepting, encouraging, listen well and...

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Can you say: “That’s Incredible!”

Can you say: “That’s Incredible!”

Over the last month, I've been teaching about resiliency in two different contexts. Last week, I taught a two-day course on Resiliency for Leaders. Last month, I taught a similar course, based on my book Hold On To Yourself, to a group of employees. I'm saturating in...

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Conversations as an Art Form

Conversations as an Art Form

What’s become obvious to me as I coach many high-powered, heart-centered leaders and teams, is there are some fundamentals that, once mastered, take difficult conversations from stressful and destructive to flowing and constructive. ​ That is, there is an art to...

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Cultivate A “Yes!” Brain

Cultivate A “Yes!” Brain

Today I finished teaching a course based on Hold On To Yourself, the book I co-authored with Emotional Brain Training Master trainer and therapist Judy Zehr. The course was offered online weekly over three weeks to interested employees at a large organization....

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Cultivate Your Being to Change

Cultivate Your Being to Change

I recently attended a very stimulating conference, participating digitally while it was going on simultaneously in-person in Stockholm, Sweden. It was called Connecting the Dots – From inner growth to outer change. ​ The conference was put on by a collective which...

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Strengthening the Pause

Strengthening the Pause

This is the second full moon where HEN has dropped its identity: my old newsletter based on 3 topics every month: Health, the Environment and Negotiation. Instead I am looking to build my voice for you in the area of Health and Conflict. That’s still fairly broad,...

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Befriend Your Duck

Befriend Your Duck

Welcome to the first issue of HOTY and the 21st year of my newsletter. Today is the first edition of the new focus but really I’ve been writing about Health, the Environment and Negotiation every full moon for 21 years. Today simply marks the day that I focus more...

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From HEN to HOTY

From HEN to HOTY

Starting the next full moon, September 29, the “H” in HEN: Health, will become the centerpiece and will be called HOTY. HOTY is the acronym for the book Judy and I co-wrote: ​Hold On To Yourself: How to Stay Cool in Hot Conversations​. The theme remains the same:...

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Have a Line in the Sand

Have a Line in the Sand

I have been reviewing one moral guideline each month from the 6 moral guidelines from this article. In March, I finished the 6th guideline and decided to start them all over again.  One moral precept a month. I want to remind myself and each of us, what to...

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Havening With Your Hands

Havening With Your Hands

Keeping calm when we are triggered is such a key leadership skill and a key skill when navigating difficult conversations.  A new technique I’ve come across recently is something called Havening It’s a simple tool that you can do in the moment, as soon as you...

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Cultivate Radical Hope

Cultivate Radical Hope

Over the last 7 months, I have been reviewing one moral guideline each month from the 6 moral guidelines from this article. In March, I finished the 6th precept.  I decided to start them all over again. One moral precept a month. I want to remind myself and...

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I am Creating Joy in my Life

I am Creating Joy in my Life

Last month, I wrote about the importance of getting clear on our “why” - the “why” of why we do things. What’s our higher purpose or reasons for doing what we are doing? What is our mission? What outcome do we envision? This exploration is something I’ve been on of...

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Think with a Big WHY

Think with a Big WHY

A few weeks ago, I did a 4 day zoom live workshop with Tony Robbins. Yes, THE Tony Robbins. Like many others, I’d read his books, listened to some of his cassette tapes, seen him on videos. The man is ubiquitous! But I’d not had the chance to “feel” him – in a more...

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Break Open in Case of Conflict

Break Open in Case of Conflict

Mediator in a Box is a product I am absolutely in love with. Recently, a leader who took my short workshop that gives you an experience using the Box, sent this picture together with this comment: "My Mediator in a Box is mounted on the wall next to the fire...

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Amygdala Hijacks!

Amygdala Hijacks!

When you feel like the stakes are high for you and you combine that with a feeling of threat from someone towards that which you care about, relationship can get impacted and damaged in a nanosecond. That’s often when someone like me gets called in to help, in the...

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Act for the Future

Act for the Future

For the last five months, I’ve been referencing an articleabout 6 moral precepts from the field of bio-ethics.  The article suggested we hold on to some ways of being together as we enter these times of environmental collapse.  The 6 suggested moral...

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Who are your Saboteurs?

Who are your Saboteurs?

Lately, I’ve come across a few ways of describing that part of ourselves which seems to want to stop us from having fun, from thriving, from achieving our dreams and goals. Internal Family Systems talk about parts of ourselves which are protectors, distorted in the...

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