Thinking Out Loud

Looking Out for One Another

“Are you okay?” We all have asked this question many times to many people in our lives. Usually the answer is “I’m okay,” even when the person isn’t really okay. It is meant to reassure us on the one hand and on the other hand to stop the conversation from getting into too much depth. Read More


As a young child, my grandfather would often greet me with outstretched arms—a welcoming and warm expression of his love and acceptance. But before giving me a hug, his hands would cradle my jaw, one hand on each side, firmly holding my head. Then I would collapse into his legs where he would envelope me and say in his Armenian accent, “How is the Bob?”

I have done the same with my grandchildren. Yet, I wonder at what age this will feel uncomfortable to them. When will they outgrow this type of physical contact and feel too mature to accept it? I lament that we ever outgrow this kind of affection, for I still feel the impulse with my closest loved ones—my wife, our children, brothers, nephews, nieces, and in-laws. Read More

Adapting Your Communication Style

The foundation of your communication style is directly related to your inherent abilities—the way you are wired. Yet there is more to it. Relationships influence how we use our style. Read More