Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Jesse Sullivan Novel--Now Available on Preorder

Worth Dying For is now open for Amazon preorders.

I'm happy to announce that Amazon has accepted our preorder and the book is now available in the Kindle store. The official release date is May 2, 2016, with the audiobook to follow in July.

If you're not a kindle user, no worries! The book will soon be available on Smashwords, iTunes, Barnes and Noble's Nook, and Kobo as well. More on this soon.

For the kindle-using Jesse fans, get your preorder here.

Monday, February 22, 2016

#Mondayblogs: Cover Reveal #indiesbeseen

Original cover
New cover

Behold! The prettiness! 

As you can see, my awesome designer friend John K. Addis has given Dying for a Living a facelift. I love it. The colors are great and it adds a bit of pizzazz that the first cover was missing. I think it also jives better with the other covers in the series. 

What do you think?

Friday, February 19, 2016

#Read a #poem Friday: Song of Myself

Song of Myself by Walt Whitman


I celebrate myself, and sing myself, 
And what I assume you shall assume, 
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. 

I loafe and invite my soul, 
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. 

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air, 
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their 
parents the same, 
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin, 
Hoping to cease not till death. 

Creeds and schools in abeyance, 
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten, 
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard, 
Nature without check with original energy. 


Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with 
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it, 
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it. 

The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the 
distillation, it is odorless, 
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it, 
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked, 
I am mad for it to be in contact with me. 

The smoke of my own breath, 
Echoes, ripples, buzz'd whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine, 
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing 
of blood and air through my lungs, 
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and 
dark-color'd sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn, 

The sound of the belch'd words of my voice loos'd to the eddies of 
the wind, 
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms, 
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag, 
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields 
and hill-sides, 
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising 
from bed and meeting the sun. 

Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the earth much? 
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read? 
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems? 

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of 
all poems, 
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions 
of suns left,) 
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through 
the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books, 
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, 
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self. 

...read the rest of this awesome poem here.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

There's A Reason Why Elephants Have Big Ears

....you guessed it! Because they're great listeners. :D

Now, I know you're thinking: wait, Kory...I thought it was "an elephant never forgets" and you'd be right. 

But you know who else doesn't forget? Good listeners.

If you want to make someone feel like you REALLY listened to them, then show off your awesome memory.

How special did you feel when you had a good conversation with a friend/partner/family member, and the next time you saw said person (s)he said, "Oh how is <insert important and specific thing we talked about last time>?"  (i.e. How is that tough project at your work going? How's Abby's broken elbow?"

Follow up reestablishes the great connection made in a previous conversation and suggests that what they said previously mattered to you enough for further consideration.

How can you show someone you remember? Here's 3 ways:

*Follow up inquiries (mostly in the form of questions)
*relevant gifts (i.e. my fiancee lamented
                  over her deteriorating work bag and I got her a new
                  one for V-day)
*acts of service (i.e. I know you're on a deadline this week, so I was wondering if you wanted me to take your kids off your hands tomorrow--maybe dinner and a movie--so you can have uninterrupted work time)

How do you show off your good memory/listening?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

3 Ways to Be More Attentive #BetheChange

There is a direct correlation between attentiveness and good listening. The more attentive you can be toward the person speaking to you, the better listener you will be.

But how exactly can one "be attentive"?

I've been going on and on about body language lately, so no surprise I start here, but the first way you can show your (listening) partner than you're attentive is with your body. Make eye contact, keep your posture open and inviting, use small movements like head nods or tilt to encourage them. Never turn your body (or even point your toes!) in a different direction. Don't look over your shoulder. Don't pull out the phone. 

Be absolutely, 100% physically present with them in the moment. No darting off. No interruptions. Stay. Put.

Since I've sprained the ankle, I haven't been to yoga in a few weeks. But I know when I finally do get to go back, one of the first things they'll say at the start of class will be "bring yourself to the mat; you've brought your body, now bring your mind". 

Attentiveness is about being present. Having the correct intention. So when you start thinking about all the things you need to do (work, money, kids, chores, etc.) or other distractions tug at your mind, you have to let all that go and return your attention to the person speaking to you. 

Remaining mentally focused on the speaker makes a difference between clear communication and missed important information. And if you've found that you've wandered, or missed something, politely ask them to repeat themselves: "Oh that is really interesting. Let me make sure I understand that..."

There is a difference between empathy and sympathy. Be an empathic listener (understanding). Not a sympathetic one (patronizing). Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes, adopting their stance and facial features to see how they feel. Don't superimpose your experience on them in any way. No "if I was them/if I was you..." Don't come to the conversation with an attitude like "whew as soon as she shuts up about her problems, I'm going to tell her all about mine." No topping. No advice giving. Just be present and feel what they feel, sharing the moment.  Try to leave your own feelings and prejudices out of it.

Easier said than done, I know! :D


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ask Don't Assume #BetheChange

So after I read all about listening with my ears, and watched all these TedTalks, I moved right into listening my eyes, or learning the subtle art of reading body language and emotions. Two books have been helping with that, Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman and What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro.

Both of these authors/researchers believe that while NOTICING the emotion or the unconscious signs are essential to getting a good read on people, or "hearing" what they are "telling" you, it is even MORE important to do follow up.

So don't just see someone hunch their shoulders and assume, "they are feeling uncomfortable!" when it could be any number of things: a stomach ache, cold or other physical discomfort. They could feel threatened or vulnerable. Or sad. Or in a position of weakness, etc.

Back to Julian Treasure's RASA technique, this pertains to #3--S-- as in "So...."

Imagine that you are at a get together and you see your friend across the room. Her brow is furrowed, Her shoulders are almost up to her ears. You assume at first the she's stressed, and clearly not having a good time. So you go talk to her. After the initial pleasantries you get to the meat of the conversation and she admits...

A: "I feel so out of control. I just don't know what I'm doing with my life anymore."
B: "In what ways particulary do you feel out of control?"

A: "I don't know just everything. Like work. They ask way too much from me and I just can't work 100 hours a week! I barely have any time to sleep and eat and bathe."
B: "So...you need a different job that allows you more freedom to enjoy your life?"
A: "Yeah...or..."

and so on. If you hadn't talked to your friend at all, but saw the symptoms of stress you would ASSUME that she just hated the party, wanted to be somewhere else, was stressed but about home life, a fight with her sweetie, conflict with another friend...possibly even guessing correctly that it was work bringing her down. But you wouldn't know for sure unless you asked.

Listen. Ask. Listen. Repeat.

Monday, February 15, 2016

#Mondayblogs: Learning How to Listen from the Deaf

So many of you know, that in addition to my exciting life as an author, I also teach writing to college students. 

This semester I have a member of the deaf community in my classroom, and as is my college's policy, there are two interpreters in the room who assist him during our lessons. 

Now this is not my first semester working with a deaf student, but I've got a lot to learn. (Interesting side note: One semester I had a deaf student and a blind student in the same class and that REALLY challenged my teaching techniques, let me tell you!)

So in the spirit of learning and with this month's theme of listening, I pay attention. I pay attention to my students when they speak to me, to each other and not at all--watching the way they speak with their bodies instead. But in particular, I've been paying attention with how my deaf student LISTENS to me, to his interpreters, and his classmates and it's teaching me a lot about how to be a good listener.

And here are a few things I've learned from my deaf student.

1) It's important to look at the person talking to you.

2) It's important to give the person talking to you, your undivided attention.
3) It's important not to interrupt.
4) It's important to know that "hearing" is an act of interpretation, and clarification is key.

Now all of these ideas are already touched upon "how to be a good listener" research for those with the priviledge of working ears. However, I found that it was true, even if you don't have the ability to hear someone! And furthermore, because of their constraints in the physical sense, the deaf community must FULLY engage, CONSCIOUSLY engage when they want to listen to someone.

And that is what I'm taking away from this. If I want to hear someone, to connect with them, I must fully and consciously engage--and what a challenge in our age of distractions!

Friday, February 12, 2016

#Read a #poem #Friday

I knew something of conversation, or so I thought 
until I listened to another.
Knew something of the talk, the sounds the chatter, 
But to listen and to speak when moments call, 
that is far greater.
Of conversations past, I no longer can remember, 
Since the day I silent kept- and listened to another, 
There opened up a life which had ‘til then
been merely shadow
At first the life it seemed another’s, but when I was caught 
and by the mirror
The face had changed, it told me of another.
Since the day I silent kept- and listened to another.

by Jonathan Drane

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Say It With Your Body #amlistening #bethechange

Because listening means keeping your mouth shut, you'll need to use your body to tell people that you're listening. I came across this acryomn for how to do just that:


SOLER describes what you should be doing with your body to show that you're listening:

S-squarely face the speaker
O- open up the posture. Don't cross your arms or slump.
L- Lean toward the speaker to suggest engagement and attention.
E- Eye contact is important. Use it but don't abuse it. No stank eyes or evil eye curses, folks.
R- Relax. If you appear relaxed and comfortable with the conversation, your speaker will mirror that, also feeling relaxed and comfortable. This could increase the chances that they open up and share even more.

The article that I shared earlier this week also has this to say about receptive body language: 

"Certain body postures and movements are culturally interpreted with specific meanings. The crossing of arms and legs is perceived to mean a closing of the mind and attention. The nodding of the head vertically is interpreted as agreement or assent. (It is worth noting that nonverbal clues such as these vary from culture to culture just as the spoken language does.) If seated, the leaning forward with the upper body communicates attention. Standing or seated, the maintenance of an appropriate distance is important. Too close and we appear to be pushy or aggressive and too far and we are seen as cold."

So the next time you find yourself in a conversation, remember, you can say a lot without saying anything at all! :)

Thanks for listening! :D


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

7 Things NOT to do when #listening #bethechange

As I continue to explore what it means to be a good listener, I find as with most new endeavors, it's easier to identify what *NOT* to do than what to do. So here's some things NOT to do when trying to listen:

1) Search for the exit.
Sometimes listening is painful. You'd rather stick your finger up your nose, dig out a booger and flick it into the speaker's face than have them say another word. So you distract yourself. Either with technology (break out the phone or tablet!) or the picture show of your mind (this is the perfect time to rehash the intricacies of last night's episode of <insert fav TV show>. But resist this urge. If you are distracted, you aren't listening. Commit to the moment and give the person your full attention.

2) Make it about you.

No one likes a topper. I could make a joke about bottoms right now, but let's not get distracted (Rule #1!). When you trying to convey something awesome to a person, only to have them break in with their own experiences, interpretations, or god forbid, offer advice, it's clear that they think they are the most important part of the conversation. Reversely, (it's a word!), if you want the other person to feel like they are important, just listen without breaking in to superimpose yourself in the conversation. You're basically saying Me! Me! Me! which is pretty damn annoying...

3) Look for a problem.

People who listen only to find problems are half-listeners. They hear most of what you say, but they are really only searching for those triggers that suggest there is a problem they can solve. As with "make it about you", this is when the ego is active in the conversation. The person is trying to feel helpful and important but it's seriously limiting their listening skills.


S: "I've been searching for apartments and...
L: "Oh yeah, apartment searching is wretched. You know what you should do? Get on craigslist and..."


S: I keep getting these headaches. I think I'm drinking too much caffeine. Maybe I should cut back for a week and see if that helps. Have you ever done that? Did it work?
L: You know what you should do? Lavender oil! I love that shit. I rub it on everything. I bet it will help caffeine headaches too.

In both cases, the listener only took away a small portion what was said and in fact, were less helpful than if they had been actually listening.

4)  Interrupt them while they're speaking.
Interrupting is another way of saying you couldn't care less and are definitely not listening. You might as well just say "so you're boring the hell out of me right now and I've just been thinking about other stuff to entertain myself and I want to talk about that stuff instead." K! Thanks! 


And definitely not listening.

5) Become defensive.

Sometimes in conversation, criticism happens. And while no one likes to be criticized, it's important to note that our default reaction is to become defensive and argue on our behalf. However, you can't listen AND defend. So if at all possible, try to detach emotionally and listen to the criticism. It helps me to pretend they are criticizing someone else--not me. That way, even if it is being poorly delivered, if there is something valuable and constructive in the remarks I can take that away from the conversation. 

6) Listen--only to form counterarguments.
If we hear something we don't like or agree with, immediately want to refute the claim. This may not be about us (as in example 5) but about broader ideas, topics, events, etc. And so when people express opinions different than our own, we are very quick to try and prove why they are wrong to believe so. However, the moment you begin to reject their ideas and form your counterargument is the moment you stop listening. This means you might miss whole sections (very important sections of their argument) and launch a disagreement that wasn't even necessary.

7) Become a zealot.
I'm going to tell you straight up, I'm guilty of this. Every time I discover some awesome new thing, I tend to sing its praises from the mountain tops. Listening has been no different. Thankfully, I have not yet grabbed any of my friends, shaken them, and declared them to be bad listeners (yet), but the urge is strong!

The problem is that the more I study listening, the more I practice listening, the more I realize how absolutely terrible people are at it, which automatically provokes a strong reaction in certain contexts.

But hopefully, I'll *let go* (last month's power still hard at work! ;) of this impulse and see the value of observing rather than correcting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#Listening, #Leadership & #Success #BetheChange

A lot of the "how to be a good listener" reading that I'm coming across also seems to intersect with the idea of leadership. Now, like me, you may only be interested in one or the other (I don't have a particular interest in leading people, for example.) And while I do not want to lead people, I do want to be successful. And *people* for better or worse, seem to be part of my journey to success.

After all, no one I know is living in a bubble. Navigating the world with even the smallest amount of ambition requires a person to able to manuever others in order to reach their own objectives (and the objectives of others-- assume you're benevolent!). And if the late President Truman is to believed, then "In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still." No progress can be just as terrible for economies, societies, and individuals--(the whole power project is all about progress!) 

But if your main objective in learning how to listen is to help you learn how to live more powerfully, it might be important to consider the following:

*You can't lead people if you don't know what they want
*You can't know what they want if you don't listen to them

It's that simple. And yet good leadership motivates, inspires, and directs others--all very active intentions. So it seems out of sync with something as seemingly passive as "listening". So for those of you out there that think there is little to no value in listening, that ain't nobody got time for that, the research suggests otherwise. 

Listening is crucial to success.

Instead of doing more, being more, working harder, pushing yourself, and striving, maybe what you need to do is just shut up and listen.

After all, if you shut up and pay attention, aren't you more likely to hear about the opportunities around you? Won't you be in a better position to help those who can later help you?

Bet your bottom dollar.

For those of your particularly interested in the intersection of business, leadership, aid/service, success, and listening, you could watch this awesome Ted Talk:


or if you prefer articles, or would like to supplement the video, you can read this :


Monday, February 8, 2016

#Mondayblogs: 3 Challenges in #Listening #BetheChange

So my first week of listening has been a success. I've been actively working on absorbing more information than I put out, I've been practicing RASA, I've worked on my nonverbal communication (both in sending and receiving) and when I found I was being a poor listener, I try to adjust accordingly.

In just this short time, I have discovered several challenges to listening however. In addition to the fact that listening is a very active (exhausting) task, there are other problems:

1) It is difficult to listen because the WHOLE world is talking.
The media. The internet. Advertisements. Radio. Television, etc--not just people themselves. So much information is coming at me from all directions that it can be extremely difficult to focus on one person/idea at a time worth listening to.

Possible solution(?): Minimize distractions. Turn off the radio, the TV, the phone--the outside world. If talking one-on-one with someone, simply ask: "It's really important to me that I hear what you're saying. I really want to give you my full attention but it's pretty hard in this space. Do you mind if we move somewhere a little quieter?

2) Everyone wants to talk. No one wants to have a conversation.

This might seem obvious since I took on this February challenge for the purpose of improving my own listening. Yet, what seems to have happened is that as I listen more, I'm becoming aware of just how often people talk at me rather than with me. I am not sure if it is because of my introversion, or the sheer volume of people I encounter and speak to everyday (at least 30--yes I counted). But listening has quickly become very tiresome. No one enjoys being talked *at* for lengthy periods of time and I am no exception. But in the spirit of practicing, I've become the perfect sound board for people dumping their opinions, fears/concerns, etc on me. 

Possible solution: I don't have one yet. So, to be developed? If you have an idea, I'm all ears! :D

3) Listening can be a very lonely, one way street.
This is different from #2 for a reason. It's no so much that listeners are dumping grounds, it's that the whole point of talking  and listening (or so I thought) was about connecting, feeling understood, conveying experiences, emotions and ideas and having them resonate with others.

However, if you are having a conversation with someone who isn't listening, who is only waiting for their turn to talk, or who wants to give you advice rather than listen, or who wants to top you with their own tales, it creates this sense of disconnect. It can leave the speaker feeling disconnected and "outside" rather than connected.

Possible solution: Understand that when people are talking to me (sometimes) they want to make that connection. If I reciprocate well (using RASA), then I might be able to give them that satisfying connection they deserve.

So in conclusion, it seems I need to develop a few tools for controlling conversations (and making them less negative and one-sided) and to somehow be a good listener but also conserve my energy. I'm not there yet, but hopefully as my research and practice continues, the answers will come.

I'm still running the giveaway for my Jesse Sullivan audiobooks here. And what better way to celebrate the power of listening than by listening to an audiobook?! ;)

Friday, February 5, 2016

#amreading a #poem; #poetry #Friday

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs? 

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. 

Maya Angelou

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dying Light #Audible and #ebook #Giveaway

Hi everyone!

I'm taking a mini-break from my 2016 Power Project #BetheChange campaign to make a Jesse Sullivan service announcement.

The fourth novel in the series, Dying Light is now available on audiobook. I know! It's so awesome. Hollie was amazing as always and I can't wait to put it in your hands.

In celebration of the release, I'm hosting a giveaway. So interact with the rafflecopter below for your chance to win! :) If you simply cannot wait, or have audible credits to burn, you can find the book here.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

#BetheChange February #Resolutions

So, as is keeping with the 2016 Power Project, I need to have a few resolutions to guide me through my exploration of The Power of Listening.

Here are the few I've chosen so far, and why I think they'll help me be a better listener:

Listen more than I speak. If I am going to be a better listener, it should probably start with me keeping my mouth shut more. I considered taking a vow of silence to help support the developing of my listening skills, but I realized that my students probably wouldn't like having their writing classes delivered via mime.

Meditate every day. This connects with the idea of listening to myself. But I also think the practice of mindfulness will lead to developed listening skills too. After all, by practicing being present in the moment, I'm more likely to remain present during conversations as well, making me a better listener. Ditto for recognizing when I'm distracted and how to return my focus and attention to the person in front of me.

Practice RASA. This comes from Julian Treasure's TedTalk, but I've also seen the same concepts expressed in several listening articles from the .edu sites I've been trolling. RASA stands for: Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask. He explains it more in the video, and I've seen the same ideas expressed over and over again in the articles, but it's basically a guideline on how to conduct oneself in a conversation.

3 minutes of silence a day. To recalibrate my hearing. This will probably be best enacted when I switch places (from work to home, home to work, etc). But a conscious recalibration is the idea.

Savor sounds. To form a deep appreciation for what I hear, the priviledge of hearing, and all the power this ability affords me. I suspect I will begin to hear sounds I never even noticed before. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Power of Listening, A TedTalk Playlist #BeTheChange

For those of you who want to begin your quest into the world of listening, here is a fun playlist:

Listen Up 9 Talks to Help You Be a Better Listener

It's hosted by Ted and it's very good.

If you don't just have hours to sit around watching videos today, I suggest that you just watch the first one. It's already got me thinking a great deal about listening, as a biological function and also as a powerful tool.

For example, consultant Julian Treasure mentions our "filters":


all of which guide and govern our perception of what we hear. He goes on to say profound things about how listening shapes our reality and dictates our experience with the flow of time.

By the time he mentions how the importance of good listening has declined through the ages, I'm already thinking about Homer and oral storytelling--which is a way to say this is very stimulating talk and I think you'll enjoy it a great deal.

Thank you for listening to me today!

Monday, February 1, 2016

#Mondayblogs: #New Month, New Challenge #BetheChange

So it's February and in keeping with my 2016 Power Project, it's time for a new challenge. This month's focus will be The Power of Listening. Again you might be thinking, "Kory, you just did the Power of Letting Go, why another passive power? Where's the ass kicking?!?"

Well, my ankle is still sprained little padawan, so the ass kicking hasn't commenced yet. Okay? OKAY? But really, if you don't see the value in listening and still think that living powerfully is all about the knives and black belts, then this Power Project is for you!

You may want to start with the Power of Letting Go though, as it seems like you might still have some assumptions about what power truly is.

So back to listening and why I'm dedicating a whole month to it.

First of all, as people we are pretty terrible listeners. We only hear about 25% of what is said to us and as you can imagine this leads to a lot of problems. More interestingly, a lot of people believe that listening is very important, but also suffer from the delusion that they don't need to improve their own hearing because they are so awesome.

I am not one of those people. While I've been told I'm a good listener, I think I can be a lot better, so I've decided to dedicate February to learning how to listen to people. 

As you can imagine there are a lot of benefits to listening well:

*Great listeners make great leaders (power!)
*Great listeners are better at resolving conflict in a way that benefits all those involved (power!)
*Great listening fosters cohesive bonds, commitment, and trust. It makes you a better friend and partner. And is an aid in forming lasting alliances. (power!)
*Listening more than you speak puts you in a powerful position. (power!)
*Listening really well helps you to understand people and their motivations, giving you the upperhand in many situations. (power!)

Now I know those last two in particular seem a little malevolent, but I'm only advocating that we use our powers for good, padawan! So for this month, I intend to do a lot of reading of articles, books and watching of TedTalks to get a sense of listening techniques--and of course PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! 

Since I have 85 students that I talk to five days a week, a partner, and a circulating group of friends, I will have PLENTY of opportunities to practice.

But I'm not focusing on verbal listening as well.

I also intend to throw visual listening into the mix. That's right! I want to also learn how to be a good "listener" (reader) of body language and nonverbal cues. In this regard, I'm starting with two Paul Ekman books, Emotions Revealed and Telling Lies. 

And there's a third component too, behind listening to others' words and "listening" to others' bodies--I also want to explore listening to one's self.

People can be as dismissive of their own voices as they are other people's. So I'm hoping that as I learn to listen to others better, I also get a little better at listening to myself.

This seems like a very ambitious challenge for the shortest month of the year, but I think it's absolutely important to The Power Project.

So let's get started!