I love talking to people about what they really want to change, and the obstacles they have in going from good to great. Today in a presentation, a woman was working on an assignment in a concurrent I was presenting and she had me repeat the objectives four times. She said she was sorry but couldn’t “focus” on what she needed to do.

Personally, I don’t think it is focus at all – it is listening skill. And the problem many people have in hearing the information initially. They choose to be all tied up in their own thoughts and don’t care to listen.

Listening well is hard, but like most other skills, it is learned. Train yourself to focus on the information being transferred, and dump the emotional issues. Leave behind your judgment and concentrate on the needs of the situation. You will be amazed how focused you become!!
Cheers, Marsha


I love receiving your emails and always enjoy reading them and responding when I can. It is interesting that many people suffer from what I have so it gives me great pleasure to share my experiences with them. A recent example is mental hypochondria. It saddens me that so many people allow their negative self-talk to interrupt their success.

Oh yes, I have been there many times and must catch myself when I go back to the ugly place in my thinking. My husband, Al, thinks it is nuts. Do people question your lack of confidence? He says, “You are doing so well, and have the world by the tail. I don’t understand why you allow yourself a trip to that ugly place in your mind?”

Privileged Paris suffering from Moral Amnesia

Twenty-six year old Paris Hilton is suffering an infectious malady; moral amnesia. The sad story behind her behavior has been spread by her mother, Kathy Hilton. Did you know that one of the early lessons mom shared with her daughter was, “Be a star or marry rich”? She encouraged Paris to wallow in selfishness and narcissism, and supported her decisions to go to clubs and party as a young adult. The personal responsibility lessons that should have been taught by her parents and teachers somehow came up missing.


Many people are attracted to the stories of Rosie O’Donnell and her abusive behavior because they have a “Rosie” in their life. The viewers of the media coverage may be searching for one drop of analysis that may help them deal with the difficult people in their work place or even at home.

Business Week Magazine has said that one in three working people say they have been yelled at and discouraged by their boss or peers.

Because I study difficult behavior and solutions relentlessly, I think each person faced with a Rosie behavior needs to take personal responsibility for the outcome they desire.

Kids and Conflict

Now I’m not a parent (only by marriage) so I am certainly coming at this from a different perspective. Within the last two days, I have been asked by two “Mom’s” how they can make there kid better interact with conflict.

These kids are adult women, who have great jobs (one is an attorney) and obviously well educated. The mom’s want to tell them what to do. My suggestion was to ask their child what kind of outcome they want – the good, bad or ugly. Then to figure out to whom they are talking (communication style) and the approach they have seen work from other people — because obviously their approach is not working.

Time to be nice

When we deal with people, difficult or not, I think just being plain old nice is a real bonus. Simple notes of appreciation are deposits into anybody’s emotional bank account. Here is what just happened to me…

My stepson, Al Sue IV, (pictured with his sister Karen) is not a difficult person but he reminded me on Mother’s Day how important it is to let people know how you really feel. Fifteen years ago, I named myself the ESM (Evil Step Mother) which I TRY really hard NOT to be.

Here is the email he sent me:

Difficult people and customer service

I really am tired of people being just plain nasty. Difficult people can ruin an otherwise great day. My patience was tried once again when trying to communicate to “web support” at US Airways. I simply asked if she were the customer, would her answer be satisfactory? Sarcastically she said, “No, but that’s the way it is.” Not too bad, until she completed her thought out loud with, “You’ll have to do it my way.” Yikes, I almost came through the phone. When will businesses realize that clients and customers vote with their feet?

Do you wee anything in the future wave of customer service training that may help? What do you do when someone really angers you? Marsha

An employees responsibility

I am amazed at people that email me with work problems where they choose to take NO responsibility for finding out more, or clarifying a situation. Do they just expect leaders and their company to read their mind?

In this age of computers, email and voice mail, we have lost the focus of personal responsibility and I personally am tired of it. Whether you are a leader or an employee, learn how to communicate well, ask questions and listen to the input. Check out my web site under articles for more on listening Email me at and I’ll send you some great ideas on how to instantly be a better communicator.

Train yourself to take responsibility for getting the new information that will guide you to successful outcomes. Help others do the same. Oh I know many of you do this already, so try to do a little more without driving yourself completely nuts! What do you think?

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