Robbie Miller Kaplan's Blog – January 2009 Archive (6)

When to ask for help

It’s really tough to ask friends for help since it feels like we can’t handle our affairs. And yet we all face experiences that are so difficult, it is impossible to cope by ourselves. Some folks know the right things to do but others will look to you for guidance. Here are some things you might ask for when facing a tough time:

1. Ask to have a lunch or dinner order picked up at a favorite food outlet. I did this with a friend, leaving a lunch order over her voicemail,…


Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 30, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

Timing your condolence notes

When we learn there’s a death, we think it’s essential to respond immediately. Some folks rise to the occasion and quickly craft a heartfelt message. But if you need some time to do the job justice, take it. The bereaved get most attention in the early days and weeks, while they’re in shock and processing the loss, and most likely won’t remember much. It’s in the weeks and months ahead, when mourning takes place, that they might most appreciate a note from you. Here are five…


Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 23, 2009 at 7:30am — No Comments

Simple things make a difference

When someone is going through a difficult time, communications and actions need not be elaborate to make a difference. Choose one or more of these five simple steps to offer your support:

  1. Send a note to share your sadness, feelings, or memories and let the recipient know they are in your thoughts and prayers.
  2. Bring a meal, food item, or gift card for a favorite carry-out restaurant.
  3. Make contact before…

Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 15, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

Six more distractions that hamper listening

When someone trusts you enough to share their thoughts and feelings, they're asking for just one thing – they'd like you to listen. They're not looking to you for answers and they don't want you to judge. They just want to voice their experience.

It's not easy to be a listener; it takes lots of energy and hard work to actively listen. You'll listen more effectively if you avoid these six additional distractions:

  1. Don't…

Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 12, 2009 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

When loss hits the workplace

It’s one thing to support a family member or friend dealing with loss but harder to know what to say and do with relationships that lack intimacy. It may seem safe to do nothing when you’re uncertain how best to proceed but it’s the small kindnesses that mean a lot and go a long way in providing comfort. Here are some suggestions from real-life queries:

Q: How can you support a colleague that has experienced a painful loss? My supervisor is really an acquaintance and…


Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 8, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Six distractions that hamper listening

Despite your best intentions, it can be hard to listen intently to someone dealing with pain and loss. Our personal communication experience is one of interactive dialogue but if you are to truly help someone processing a loss, the dialogue should be one way.

Distractions are barriers to effective listening. Here are six you can easily avoid:

  1. Don't multi-task such as folding laundry, sorting mail, or unloading the dishwasher. Even if you're on the…

Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 5, 2009 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

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