Articles by Tom Esch

Happy Brave Thanksgiving

I challenge you to make space for a variety of perspectives and to modulate the tendency to fight, flee, freeze or appease. I invite you to engage and not let your reptilian brain run the show. How do you do that?
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Spotting a “no” disguised as a “yes”

When someone says “yes” that sounds like a “no” or a “maybe” I believe it is incumbent on the person making the request to gently press for their level of commitment to the request.  When they say a firm “no” it may be best to let go.
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Take The Risk to Engage

When you are at a meeting or a class and you are disengaged what is your usual response?
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How to Give Verbal Feedback When It Is Needed

Where in your life could you benefit from intervening where others are acting in ways that create difficult situations?  How can you do it more skillfully?
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How to Decrease Distractions and Increase Safety

One of things I have learned is that there is more to safety than simply doing what the manufacturer recommends.  Whatever tool you are using, following the safety guidelines is not enough anymore.
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Expensive Silence

When you know that you should say something and you don’t you may be inadvertently contributing to the problem at hand. Silence does not often help a situation that needs an interruption. And there are often costs associated with that lack of interruption. That is why it is expensive silence.
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The Gift of a True Apology

Sometimes apologies do not work. Sometimes they do. Here are some suggestions you can try on at this holiday time to ease the tension in your relationships at home or at work and achieve a relational breakthrough.
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When and how to talk about GUNS

Recently I attended an open forum on gun control. There were over 150 people in the room. It was really intense.
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Clergy Abuse Conversation

I recently moderated a conversation on clergy abuse with 64 people at a local Catholic university. Part of our vision was to begin to restore trust and safety for people within the Christian/Catholic community impacted by the particular pain that comes from the misuse of power which involves sexual abuse.
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Misuse of Power: Part 1

I used to be a Catholic priest. It was a good life in many ways. The work was meaningful and rewarding. The people I worked among were dedicated, kind and generous. And I received free tickets to world class college football games! I was living my dream. But the lifestyle—it turned out—was a poor match for me.
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Misuse of Power: Part 2

There are lots of ways in which power is misused. Sometimes it looks like unethical business decisions or sexual misconduct (as I wrote about in Misuse of Power—Part I) and other times it looks more benign—like a leader who is lost in their ego-self or taking up too much air space.
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