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"Buh… buh… buh…" could be baby… bye-bye… banana… Blondie (the dog)... Bubbe… or something else...

What was that adorable 17-month-old saying?

Perhaps he thought it hysterical that the partial stick of butter on the table coincided nicely with my tagline 🧈

A lovely vacation last week visiting my son’s family reminded me of the importance of the 4-word communication strategy that has served me well for the 40+ years since I figured it out.

👉 👉 👉 Speak Precisely, Listen Forgivingly.

Speak Precisely (works exceptionally well with clients):

✅ Establish boundaries around communication methods, timeframes, and expectations.

✅ Get everything in writing to avoid confusion, finger-pointing, and misinterpretation.

✅ Err on the side of over-communicating.

✅ Use specialized language (e.g., buzzwords, jargon, acronyms) with care.

Listen Forgivingly (works exceptionally well with everyone, especially BABIES):

✅ Give the benefit of the doubt: assume an erroneous speaker is misinformed or lacking experience — as opposed to intentionally trying to mislead or cause trouble.

✅ Keep an open mind: avoid forming an opinion until the speaker is done speaking.

✅ Don’t make assumptions: none of us are mind-readers.

✅ Consider feelings: is the speaker bored, irritated, angry, frustrated, or confused?

✅ Don’t interrupt: a conversation is not a contest.

The next time you’re unsure what someone is saying… pause to ponder that “forgivingly” part.

P.S. I’m sure I heard “Bubbe” in at least some instances 🤣

The universe is always conspiring to support us. All we have to do is pay attention to the signs.

Part of the PT that keeps Audrey Hipburn feeling welcome in my life is walking every day.

My doc + therapists have me wearing a Fitbit, and there are target step counts as the weeks go on.

Early on, all of my daily walks were just on our street.

Finally, I was able to venture onto the path of a nearby park/trail series that starts up the block.

I’ve enjoyed exploring the path, and each day I go a couple hundred steps further before turning around to return home.

One day, I turned a corner to discover “Don’t Give Up.”

Inspired anew, I took a pic and turned around just at the sign to head home.

On the next day, I went past the sign, adding another 200 steps to the walk’s total before turning around.

Heading back, I saw another sign facing the other way: "Your Mistakes Do Not Define You."

Signs come in many formats, depending on how we choose to interpret them: a song on the radio… penny on the ground… rainbow…

Two days in a row, an actual sign made my day and has me starting the week on the right foot…

And with gratitude for the anonymous sign-posting conspirator, whose work I hope to encounter again soon 🙏

👉 👉 👉 What sign (real or loosely interpreted…) recently inspired you?

Always on the lookout for a sign...

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