Courage in the “Ah-Ha” Moment

The moment when your mind opens, a new idea resonates with you at an emotional frequency you didn’t know you possessed; this is the “A-HA” moment.

Dismissing an idea that doesn’t open your mind, that doesn’t resonate with you at any emotional frequency, actively rejecting the effort of the other party to convince or persuade you; this is a form of hiding.

Chasing the moment when the idea opens your mind, chasing that moment of resonance above all other moments in an interpersonal interaction with a situation you didn’t previously understand; this is a form of hiding.

The people who chase the “A-HA” moment blindly (the dopamine high) or the people who reject the idea that might lead to the “A-HA” moment (the resistance) both need to worry less about thrashing around with dopamine or resistance, and move their emotional energy to courage.

Courage to be open.

Courage to be honest.

Courage to be clear.

Courage to know the “A-HA” moment is there, but not needing the moment to manifest immediately—or desperately.

This courage is in short supply. But it always has been.

HIT Piece 10.18.2016

Transparency means different things to different people.

Some people believe that transparency means establishing, maintaining, and growing connection to another person.

Some people believe that transparency means collaboration with another person or with a group of people.

Some people believe that transparency means authenticity, a species of “being real” or “keeping it real” in language, attitude, approach to an issues, tone or topic.

Some people believe that transparency means honesty and integrity—all of the time rather than some of the time.

Some people believe that transparency means refusing to “groom” a social appearance for the sake of other people, the crowd, or the audience.

Some people believe that transparency means being responsible and accountable—particularly when no one else in the group, the team, or the organization, will be.

Some people believe that transparency means acting with faith and hope in a future that could be, rather than complaining about the present that is.

The question on transparency is not one of who sees transparency through what lens, instead the question on transparency focuses around whether or not transparency matters—and in what context.

The Truth in All of Us

Honesty is such an ugly word, everyone is so untrue.

Honesty II

Except that while people may be untrue, they are often also unreliable, full of mixed motives and notoriously prone to following their own emotions and senses, rather than inclined provide the truth.

How do we provide the truth to others in love?

Well, there’s no easy way to tell the truth in love.

Major philosophies, major religious figures and even major political and social leaders have gone to their deaths either from telling the hard truth in love, or from not telling the truth at all.

Maybe the real key is to focus less on our struggles against what we think resides in other people’s heads and hearts, and to instead begin focusing on our own internal struggles with our own stuff.

And, the truth, once crushed to earth, will rise again.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT:


Many people around the world and in different cultural and societal contexts value honesty. 
Honesty is a great thing: It allows us to talk openly about issues and concerns that have meaning for us and should have meaning for others. 
It should not be confused with “being nice,” or even “telling white lies.” Both of those traits inhabit the shady space between manipulation and outright deceit.
Honesty is a positive communication trait, along with truth telling, patience, silence, self-awareness, clarity, relaxation and forgiveness.
However, sometimes there comes a point in every confrontation communication when even honestycan be used as a weapon.
This point arrives when one party’s desire to be “candid” overrides their good sense.
When employed as weapon, honesty can slice through a party’s self-esteem, robbing them of the very tools, growth and autonomy in a conflict communication that the sender is seeking to implant. 
Compassion is the most important part of honesty. Because the “truth,” given honestly, can set a person free. 
But given without empathy, compassion and self-awareness, honesty becomes just another dirty word.
Developing compassionate honesty doesn’t happen overnight. And Billy Joel may not be there for you when the moment arrives to be honest.
But take some time this month and meet our conflict engagement consultant, Jesan Sorrells.
Map your leadership style and sign up for the February 19th HSCT Seminar, Developing the Leader Within, held at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County for only $89.99!
Follow the link here  for more information and to register!
We would love to see you there!
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT:

Collaborative Values

The values of the abundance economy are as follows:

  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Clarity
  • Motivation
  • Courage
  • Self-Awareness
  • Focus
  • Discipline
How many of those are you in conflict with yourself over?
How many of those did you just read and think “I have trouble with that one, that one, that one?”
Or, did you think happy unicorn thoughts?
In a collaborative, abundant economy, where everyone has access and is giving everything away for free, where trust, generosity and collaboration matter more than scarcity, hoarding and a “Lone Ranger” attitude, those values aren’t that hard to exemplify.
There is nothing on this list that people from the Founding Fathers to Zig Ziglar didn’t talk about.
There is nothing on this list that leaders from Jesus to Mandela didn’t exhort their followers to have.
So, really, in an economy where the barriers of access keep getting lower and lower, what’s stopping you from collaborating with others using those values?
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT:

Creativity Flows

6:30 am: The alarm goes off announcing the beginning of a new day. I roll over and hit “dismiss” and try to gain a few more winks. But I’m winking in vain.

Chinese Proverb

6:45 am: The legs swing off the bed and I wrap myself in a blanket and head to my prayer closet for an hour. Get The One perspective on the day before putting in any other perspectives.
7:30 am: The wife rolls over and wakes up. We talk for fifteen minutes about the day ahead, how much we love each other and then she jumps up to put the kid on the bus.
7:45 am: The shower is hot, the shaving razor’s cold and it stings. This is the time when the Android begins to shake, vibrate and blip at me with incoming messages. The world is waking up.
8:15 am: Go downstairs and start coffee. Have an apple while passing through the office to boot up the computer.
8:30 am: The coffee starts to make me vibrate as the email, texting, Tweeting, Facebooking, LinkedIn connecting and other nonsense starts in earnest on my end. I also begin my “to-do” list for the day.
9:45 am: Content creation, workshop preparation and research, speech writing begins. This will go in fits and starts, intermittently with checking email and responding to LinkedIn posts and comments, throughout the day.
11:45 am: Go to the radio and hit the POWER button. Start the talk radio going. It makes the day pass by and I get all these different perspectives from what I’m intermittently reading on Drudgereport.
1:45 pm: Lunch. And keep working on projects. Phone calls begin now. Always call in the afternoon because I hate to be bothered in the morning as a business owner and I project my neuroses on others. Monday and Wednesday, cold calling; Tuesday and Thursday, warm calling; Friday no calling.
3:45 pm: Kids start walking in the door. Whole day now enters “Swiss Cheese” mode, pockmarked by homework requests, TV requests, videogame requests, food/snack requests, wife requests, calls back from potential clients (if I’m lucky) or more work on content creation for the next day.
5:45 pm: Time to think about fixing dinner.
6:30 pm: Fix dinner because the two people under four feet tall are about to eat each other and the taller peoples above four feet tall are about to eat each other.
7:15 pm: Dinner hour. Welcome to the goat rodeo:  The one time of the day where I’m a conflict consultant, mediator, father, disciplinarian, husband, Tweeter, and cook’s helper (or, depending on the day, the cook) all at the same time. And at the dinner table.
8:00 pm: Bedtime for those under four feet tall. Let the wrangling into showers, pull-ups, pajamas, beds and cribs begin.
9:15 pm: Go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and maybe Fridays. Or, start to catch up on what was missed during the last two hours on social media, answer late emails, create content for tomorrow and talk to my wife as she sits next to me editing.
11:30 pm: Hit the sack. Set the alarm to do it all again tomorrow.
This is a summary of a day as a conflict consultant.
The days are also randomly broken up when there are meetings to go to, clients to meet, trainings, workshops or speaking engagements to run, deadlines to follow, or crises to address.
Backing up my wife and kids becomes the most important thing above everything and sometimes this leads to nights that stretch into 1am.
Also,  if there is a class, outside employment or another factor to be addressed during the day (for instance, I have to go to work at a retail store as an employee for 4, 6, or 8 hours of the day) then everything shifts back or up.
No day is the “same.”
No day is “normal.”
No day is “average.”
Creativity flows when there is no routine, but no routine.
As the principal conflict consultant here at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) I believe in picking yourself as a conflict professional first before a client picks you.
That way you can decide the best client to fit into your routine. Not the other way around.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT:
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Guest Blogger Diane Lange: Which Comes First: A Crisis of Trust or a Crisis of Leadership?

The Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) guest blogger for this week is Diane Lange.

Diane is the president and owner of Proclivity, LLC(

Proclivity, LLC., based in Binghamton, NY is a business leadership consulting firm, dedicated to the principle that “every person and every organization has a natural inclination to be the very best.”

Ms. Lange has over 20 years of experience in organizational development, consulting, addressing quality-of-life issues in the workplace, and assisting in the design and development of change initiatives in organizations.

Ms. Lange is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management Professionals (SHRM) and the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

She is thoroughly committed to developing excellence in others and in their organizations.

Ms. Lange can be reached via email to answer inquiries or to make and appointment at

We here at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) admire her work and believe that cross-over from what we specialize in (conflict engagement consulting with small businesses, churches and higher education organizations) with what Ms. Lange and Proclivity, LLC., specializes in, can spur growth, attract new customers and clients and lead to a better, more collaborative future for everyone.

Happy Employees
Listen up bosses; according to a study published by the Harvard Business Review in 2009, a majority of people reported that they trust a stranger more than they trust their boss.  If you’re like me, you had to read that twice. Worse yet, Michelle McQuaid, a world leader in positive psychology conducted a survey of 1000 American executives and found that a staggering 35 percent of Americans are happy at their job while the other 65 percent said they would rather have a better boss than a pay raise. And you thought the almighty dollar ruled.
Given these statistics, it is no wonder that people leave their jobs. As the old adage says, “people leave managers, not organizations” and according to Gallup the number one reason people leave organizations is because of bad managers and leaders. Managers may be bad for a variety of reasons and one of the reasons is failing to establish a trusting relationship with their staff.  Essential work relationships can be marred or destroyed by a leader’s actions that cross boundaries, break rules, or demonstrate arrogant attitudes that reflect a belief that the rules don’t apply to them. Unfortunately, every time we hear news stories that leaders do something illegal, immoral, or unethical it further erodes what little trust we have left.

But the actions that ruin trust don’t need to be as big as all that; they can be as subtle as ‘little white lies’. I worked for a boss who told me and my team an explanation that we all knew to be untrue. Though we liked the boss, once the lie was said we were very disappointed; we felt betrayed, we kept our distance and we thought twice about what information we would share. Once the distrust was established something intangible yet very important was lost – respect. Communication would never be the same and we would never again feel safe.

My example isn’t unique. Forbes reports that 82% of those surveyed didn’t think their bosses tell them truth.  Sadly, now I join that 82%.  And there is more disturbing information. Edelman’s Trust Barometer for 2013 – one of the largest surveys of its kind to date – recently released results from 31,000 international participants and reported that only 18% of the respondents trust that business leaders tell the truth.

All of this has an obvious effect on our businesses and organizations; employees are stressed and disengaged and Gallup polls tell us that poorly managed teams are, on average, 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than well-managed teams. The negative impact of distrust, poor relationships and poor management in the workplace has ripple effects that go wide and deep. Good leaders understand that positive relationships and trust are not just HR ‘niceties’, but are essentials for improved moral, better team work, fewer sick days, superior performance, decreased turnover and increased profitability.

Many have said this situation points to a crisis in leadership, and if leadership is in crisis then so too are their followers. The truth is that leadership implies followers, and without followers, we are fooling ourselves if we think we’re a leader. If we do have followers, are they staying because they want to be or because they have to be? In some arenas followers are there by choice, but in most organizations, staff has little choice about following a leader unless they vote with their feet and leave the organization in favor of another leader.

But, if our followers stay and are stressed, disengaged, distrustful and miserable how effective is our leadership?  Chris Hitch, Program Director at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School deftly summarizes it when he said, “Unfortunately, many senior leaders cannot seem to shake the top-down model of management that adheres to the notion that authority creates trust. In reality, trust creates authority.”
Can a person be a leader if he or she is not trustworthy? Our experiences tell us ‘no’ and so too do the surveys that abound. Anyone can have a leadership title, but that doesn’t make one an effective, trust-worthy leader. Trust is a by-product of one’s actions and behaviors in the relationships they have with those around them, especially with their direct reports. Trust cannot be mandated or bought; it can only be earned one interaction, one word, and one day at a time.

So how does one go about building trust? The answer is simple, but not necessarily easy. Look inside; who do you trust? What do they do? Who don’t you trust? What do they do?

              Probably the people who earn your trust are good communicators who tell the truth, follow through on promises, act with a high degree of integrity, and value positive relationships with whom they live and work. Those who practice these actions will not only be trusted but will also be looked upon as leaders, because people will voluntarily follow them. If one hasn’t built and earned trust, people will never voluntarily follow and that is a crisis in both trust and leadership.
Article Citations
© Proclivity LLC 2013
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Mediator/Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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