Welcome to The Pracademic!

Welcome to The Pracademic!

Welcome to The Pracademic, a blog/newsletter covering insights and best practices for communication. (Email newsletter sign up below). I’m a “pracademic” who loves connecting meaningful ideas with real-world challenges. Exploring issues in strategic, leadership, and collaborative communication—and a longtime interest in democracy—it’s a place for analysis, bits from articles and books underway, shout-outs to others’ work, and sources of inspiration…

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Practice Saying “It’s More Complicated Than That…”

“It’s more complicated than that.” Start saying this phrase a lot. Say it 10 times a day, even if only to yourself. Try it out and see how it impacts your own and others’ communication. I think you’ll be surprised at the results. I often wonder how many conflicts would be resolved, how many relationships might be restored, or how…

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Ask One Good Question in Every Conversation

“Nothing shapes our lives so much as the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never dream of asking.” —Sam Keen “Ask me anything about myself,” said our guest speaker, who sat in a pinstripe suit at the head of the conference room table. One of my colleagues muttered, “Do you like your job?” The speaker nodded his head, “Yes,”…

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What’s the Best Idea You’ve Heard about Communication?

Sometimes I’m asked, “what’s the best idea you’ve heard about communication?” Think for a moment about how you would answer this question. Whatever the insight, you could have learned it from anybody. A family member, mentor, even someone getting on the bus or putting gas in their car next to you. Go on, give it some thought and make a…

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Why the Difference Between Debate, Dialogue, and Deliberation Matters More than Ever

Long ago, I believed that communication was simple. “I communicate, you communicate, we all communicate” about summed up the subject. But then I took a class that went deep into all the ways that our communication whips up worlds into existence, from the “unwanted repetitive patterns” that trap families or colleagues in systems of their own making, to the hierarchy…

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How is Online Communication Changing Us?

Over a decade ago, I started getting interested in how new digital and social media have been changing human behavior. I’d hop onto Facebook and find myself getting into political conversations and observe others engaging and retreating in ways that seemed different than face-to-face discussions. As time passed, I even found myself pulling back from discussions as my number of…

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What is a “Pracademic”? (Part One)

Since this blog bears this name and my answer to the question may be different than you expect, let’s break this down a bit. Among the many roles we always play in life (e.g. sibling, student, friend, coach, fundraiser, administrator, etc.) and no matter what you do, I invite you to start adding the identity of “pracademic” to your mix….

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