Reprise: What NOT to say to a grieving client

This post is part of our Weekly-ish Tips series.


I know quite a few clients who are dealing with loss right now, so I’m reprising a Tip I wrote in 2015 that was inspired by then-Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg at the end of her first 30 days of mourning for her late husband. On the last day of sheloshim, which marks the completion of religious mourning for a spouse, she shared a compelling and beautifully written post on … well, Facebook, of course.

Among other things, Sheryl’s essay includes extraordinary lessons for anyone struggling to find the best or right way to acknowledge another person’s grief.

Seven ways to lead with trust when the you-know-what hits the fan

This post is part of our Weekly-ish Tips series.


At the top of a recent Mastery workshop, it became clear that I needed to drop my training plan and help the group address some tough issues. The you-know-what had hit the fan in their organization since the last time we convened as difficult business circumstances unexpectedly unfolded. My group of senior leaders was dealing with their own reactions while also sorting out how best to show up as trustworthy leaders to their teams and their clients. So, we paused to make a starter list of how to build and keep trust in tough times. Today’s tip features an amended version of that list, including some additions that struck me after we adjourned.

Why being good at friendship matters for professionals

This post is part of our Weekly-ish Tips series.


A salient comment from a VP-level participant in one of our recent programs got me thinking about a tip I wrote nearly seven years ago, so I’m reprising it now. The comment basically drew a clear connection between establishing trust with a business colleague and building trust with a friend. It stuck a chord with me because I’ve come to believe that friendship skills play a critical role in business, and particularly in sales.

The case for calling a possible client you’ve never met on a Sunday

This post is part of our Weekly-ish Tips series.

I did something unconventional a couple of weeks ago: I called Dave, who I’ll characterize as “possible client” for simplicity, in the middle of the day on a Sunday. We’ve never met and haven’t exchanged more than a couple of emails in the last couple of years. Dave was so struck by my reach-out that he dared me to write about it*. So here I am.

A dramatically different resolution to improve your relationships in the new year

This post is part of our Weekly-ish Tips series.

We’re two weeks into a new year, which means that any resolutions resolutely declared are within days of faltering—at least according to psychologists who say we typically do well for the first two weeks and then backslide by February. I’ve suggested before that buddying up can be a helpful antidote. This year I’m suggesting we all try something a little different—either in addition to, or maybe just plain instead of, finding a partner to support us with our efforts. Brace yourself for a dramatic and woo-woo sounding strategy.

Ready?