We can all improve our communication!


  • Is it Thoughtful?
  • Is it Helpful?
  • Is it Intelligent?
  • Is it Necessary?
  • Is it Kind?

and what is the connection and the mindset of the person you are communicating with via text or email, phone or in person? When is the best time to complain to your spouse, co-worker, family member or friend? Thinking about the timing of your complaints can make your communication more effective.


Complaints need to be written down and discussed when you can both be in the proper frame of mind, like an identified problem solving session. Why does it matter? A poorly timed complaint only will get an ineffective response from someone who is emotionally and physically depleted. People under stress are not neurologically able to bring the best answer back to you. You complain, they complain back, the circle of ineffective negativity does not solve the problem, it highlights all the other problems. Texting and emailing is a vehicle to pass along necessary information quickly, it does not really communicate the whole picture. Unless you are talking to someone you do not know how your message will be received. If you want to be effective T.H.I. N. K., if you want to fight, just blabber out your latest irritation placing the need for that expression to be more important than the effectiveness of the message or the relationship.


Some people do not have the ability to connect with the feelings of others .If you have trouble with empathy or EQ then it is always best to buffer your statements with sentences, that indicate your desire to discuss an issue in the future, otherwise, you are likely to appear as a self-righteous, dictatorial person who perceives the recipient as having no value. Relationships are built on trust and mutual respect, until you can begin to affirm each other in that way, then registering complaints will be one battle after another.


As always, the real question we must ask ourselves is if we want to be right or do we really want to communicate. Motivation creeps in to communication whether we want it to or not.  How do you handle communication from those closest to you? Solicitors? And those who wish to connect with you, who you do not wish to connect with currently?


All of us have a preferred method of communication. If you express yourself better in writing, then spend some time on your words if you care about the recipients response. Would you want your message to be read by someone who just received terrible or life threatening news? Why not write it down and then meet with the person and let them read it in your presence.You probably would not want to hit someone at their lowest ebb or maybe you do. Relationships require ongoing time and attention and communication is the number one reason relationships fail.


There are valid reasons to have procedural policies in the workforce for communication and to prevent a hostile work environment. A good team affirms each other, talks about their concerns and plans for how to resolve problems. Good teams also plan for how they will follow through  and follow-up as they communicate. If you want to have a purely functional business relationship, then pull out that smile and warmth you give your barista for your morning coffee and keep it light.




A few days a go a friend of over forty years died suddenly.

Her children asked me to give her eulogy.Naturally, since we had known each other since we were single in our twenties there was some necessary filtering. As I thought about what to say and wrote and rewrote it struck me how I had nothing to say about how “successful” she was. Everyone there knew she had her Doctorate and most knew she was Chairman of her Department. Her accomplishments had little to do with her passion for life, her amazing resilience in the face of tough times and her generosity toward all people.As we live in a culture where we can speak with pride of “accomplishments,”  it is interesting that I had no thoughts of how that made her important. Wit and wisdom, love and generosity,faith, hope and charity these are the items that came into my head. Her love of her children,family and friends, her refusal to be boxed in by her roles, her willingness to laugh at herself and with me about a long list of bizarre life experiences was noteworthy, but not her success.




I had never given a eulogy and I was concerned about following the minister who had done this sort of thing many times and he had the Bible to lean on for extra lines. I had my knowledge and experience with my friend. After writing and staying up practically all night, I just let it go and the words flowed with love and light in a way I feel good about. I feel happy that I was able to honor my friend and I will miss her all my days, but it was a reminder that it is who we are in relationship that really matters, not what our resume or external packaging says.




What makes someone important to us is their capacity to love and their willingness to share who they are. What set my friend apart from many was her ability to spring back from loss and injury. Death of a fiance’, hit by a drunk driver and put in a wheelchair for the last twenty-five years of her life, divorce, and numerous health battles that came all in one fateful night. She believed in making the best of a bad situation, giving people the benefit of the doubt and she reveled in the love of her children and her friends. How much more successful can a person be?



What do I do?

Needed....Elevator speech!

Needed….Elevator speech!

In our country, the first question people often ask is what do you do? Often people are so anxious to get to this question that they do not remember your name.

Our culture enjoys the quick route to evaluating people. This has often been a hard question for me to answer. When my business partner and I started our company our focus was on Pension Consulting, which involved meeting the ERISA stated criteria of having an independent third-party to evaluate pension plans; that was a relatively new field, less than twenty years old and typically required some explanation.


Every marketing and sales training book suggests that you have “an elevator” speech that defines what you do in sixty seconds are less; this is difficult to do without limiting one’s usefulness. My business partner at Mabry-Calvin and I have evolved over the past 25 years, honing our skills in sniffing out B***S*** to help our clients avoid common pitfalls, moved our focus to families and developed investment programs for qualified and non qualified investors with complete liquidity and transparency by using what we have learned from ” the best and the brightest.”. We have spent thousands of hours on reports people do not wish to read to realize that they really want us to just do the work and occasionally show them the statistics. We have learned and continue to learn as any good professional should.Our investment programs keep us easily in the top quartile of performance, but we do not seem to do much marketing. I believe that we know that the truth is that no one is bullet proof and bragging about your numbers is often a good way to take the elevator to the basement in the fluid world of finance.We are constantly competing for business in a world of oversimplication of the investment process and a sense that a big advertising budget guarantees safety. Few people will ever evaluate the numbers.


My “elevator speech” does not exist. I continue to evolve with Mabry-Calvin, but have also started Worth Healing to help people with their financial behavior. So although it is an uphill marketing climb as I participate in a field that is 10 years old ( Behavioral Finance or Financial Therapy) a pigeon-hole answer sounds limiting. I have over thirty years in helping people with their finances and over forty years in helping them with their behavior.  Money and behavior both have huge emotional components. Psychology and Finance offer us tools, but not all of the tools we need.


I can only build relationships by leading with my strengths. My top strength on virtually every scale I have taken is Empathy. My strong suit is that very often I can quite easily understand and empathize with the situation someone is in. People come to me to ease their pain, make themselves more effective at what they do, spill their guts in a safe non judgemental environment and talk about what brings them the most shame. You might be surprised at how often money is a part of these conversations. Money, the fear of letting others down or of appearing stupid are common themes of conversation.When life changes, people often become paralyzed, overwhelmed and just can’t think – then I am a “thinking partner.”


So for any of you out there who can come up with an elevator speech for me, please send it!


Murder in Williamson County




This morning I found carefully placed in front of my door a big fat red chipmunk. It was DEAD!

Immediately I thought of the horsehead scene in The Godfather. I was stunned! I was also letting four dogs out of that door and knew I needed to move fast to remove this poor critter before his corpse was disrespected by ‘The boys”. My dogs lust for squirrel and chipmunk. I looked around and knew this could only be the work of the best murderer in my house, Don. Don is a tuxedo cat, a good lookin fun loving guy with the heart of a skilled hunter. Murder is a game to him and this was no mouse or mole or vole this was a big chipmunk kill for an eight pound cat.




All I could do was grab the shovel by the door and fling this corpse over the fence to the turkey buzzards or one of the fox families as an offering to another species who could use him as food. Don appeared a little later with a swagger in his step. He came in ate, demanded fresh sink water and then arranged himself in a regal posture on the flannel sheets to lord this kill over Freddy the younger male cat.  Freddy is bigger, but not as fast, I suspect Freddy does not have the “killer instinct” of Don. I have often wanted to put a camera  on Don to see where he goes and what he does when he goes out. I do not think I would like to view “animal” snuff films from my cat. It is natural, but Don is a lap kitty and a people lover and it is hard to imagine this “killer” side of them. I realize this is a victory for him and some other animal has just had their lunch made, but still it is unsettling.



Today, I am grateful that domestic house cats are not  180 pounds or I might find George on the deck and that would be crossing an unacceptable boundary.

When what was is no longer!

It takes lots of heads to help the ones we loveQ

It takes lots of heads to help the ones we love !.


Life sometimes picks up the pace when the trajectory appears to be in reverse. 

Sometimes our brains wear out before our bodies and this is a terrible irony. Brilliant engineers, Phi Beta Kappas, Judges, Physicians and people who have vested much of their identity, life and work in their intellect begin to feel it fade, The struggle for words or what day it is starts innocently enough, but then picks up speed and the person we know and love seems to be disappearing before we can even say goodbye. The caregiver, sadly gets to see the day-to-day of these changes and suddenly their responsibilities are doubled. Fear, paranoia, confusion and the inability to recognize the familiar is observed by the primary caregiver in a thousand little heartbreaking and sometimes frustrating moments.



I can not stop the process of this disease, but I can help the caregiver adjust to the transition of making difficult decisions. The crushing weight of many big decisions fall on the caregiver just as they lose the person they have loved for many years. They must grieve what once was, as they head off the cliff of “what’s next?” . Well-intentioned people will ask the caregiver how they are doing and expect the typical answer of “fine.” I have not seen anyone be “fine” while watching their beloved’s personality and life evaporate.



Most of us have very little knowledge of brain chemistry and envision that  dementia will allow people to just be “buoyed up” like an angry 4-year-old. What really happens is a crushing amount of paperwork from agencies, the government, coordinating sitters, while finding places where a couple who has been married 50 years can still live together. People really do not want to talk  or hear about diapers, raging, swallowing problems, falls, obsessive delusional thinking, hitting of others and self and the loss of the person who is standing in front of you.



Life transitions that point us to the loss of a loved one often include hard financial choices. These diseases force us to watch the difficult reality of a progression that robs our loved one of their talent, their intellect, their knowledge of the world, their freedom and ultimately their life. These types of transitions are among the most difficult ones in life. What can be done?



Worth Healing is here to help people navigate life’s difficult transitions and to give people a safe place to say what they can not say anywhere else, to grieve while living a life that requires tremendous strength and to help clarify the process of making decisions. What is most important when life changes is not to suffer in silence, to give yourself the support and help you need, that’s why I created Worth Healing!


“Life Changes, money changes. Money changes, life changes!”

“When life changes, money changes. When money changes, life changes.” (Susan Bradley- Sudden Money Institute) Why do we act as we do when it comes to money? We view money in the manner we learned as children.


Bags Of Money Showing American Finances

People with very little money, people, with massive amounts of money and people with changing life circumstances most often fall back on their well established “default” behaviors. Decisions concerning money are often  “forced ” on people in periods of very intense stress. It is critical to understand how YOU use money in order to understand how to make it work for you rather than against you.




How can money work against you? Decisions involving money often throw people into a state of paralysis in their decision-making. Suddenly having money can find people with too many choices and too many well-meaning friends and family. Data will show that most NFL players are bankrupt 5 years after their professional football career ends. Money can become a crippling obsession, a badge of entitlement, a source of shame and it does not “fix” much at all.



Many people “believe” that only fools lose their money and that people who do not have much money are lazy and stupid. After 32 years in the financial business, I believe that anybody can make a bad decision or get lucky in spite of themselves.




How much money you have has very little to do with the quality of your life past your basic survival mode. So let’s put money in its place. Let’s find out what all the mind chatter surrounding money is about. Let’s get to the bottom of how you are affected by money and look at ways to use your behavior with money to your advantage. We are all Worth Healing!


When money changes, life changes. When life  changes, money changes.
When money changes, life changes. When life
changes, money changes.