Practice these things and you’ll change lives for the better.

Bosses make our lives better or worse with the simplest of inconsequential acts. A “good job” can mean the world. A well-placed critique can change a career for the better. But a thoughtless comment will damage any relationship, never more so than when one person has the ability to terminate…


Five keys to unlocking better relationships and winning at life

Help. Few words are as loaded with meaning. Many of us think asking for help telegraphs weakness. We fear appearing needy or incompetent in part because we recoil from people who appear to us to be needy or incompetent.

Some think accepting help means we’re obligated to return the favor…


Declutter your mental space

Several years ago, I was assigned to work on an enormous, complicated project. To do my part, I had to spend most workdays in a windowless and cold basement with roaches clustered in the bathroom sinks. I hated being chilled and below ground.

But I couldn’t do a whole lot…


To fight the virus we need both physical distance AND mental togetherness

Examples of acts of kindness and community are cropping up in my social circle. For instance, a neighbor posted a note using the Nextdoor app to offer help to anyone with errands or groceries during this extraordinary time. A 78-year-old woman responded, saying she was okay for now, but wasn’t…


Some people are born optimists, the rest of us have to work at it.

When I was 22 and waiting for a friend in a local bar, an acquaintance shattered my ego and I’ve been the better for it ever since. …


In the end, it’s what we choose to believe that counts.

It began with a question. I sat on my bedroom floor, petting our elderly golden retriever, Ace. Jackson, age nine, perched on a chair nearby, working on a puzzle in the dining room with my husband.

“Mom,” Jackson asked, “Are you moving the elf at night?”

For those of you…


I scared myself silly climbing a mountain (and I’d do it again).

We bumped along a rutted dirt road in a rented SUV, parking a quarter mile from the trailhead leading to the summit of Mount Democrat. The four of us hoisted backpacks stuffed with water, food, dry socks, and extra clothes onto our backs. The thin, 38-degree air nipped at exposed…


Avoid these three things and your team will thank you.

Leaders with positional power have broad authority. Broad authority means consequences for bad behavior may be delayed or non-existent. If goals are being met, leaders may not feel the need to change negative behaviors. Even leaders with the best intentions can sometimes fall prey to small abuses of positional power…


Why we ask and answer the wrong questions

Questions without easy answers abound. But we humans hate that. Our brains like certainty. Tough, complex problems without clear solutions make us very unhappy indeed. In these situations, particularly where public pressure exists to find a fast and clean answer, we’re susceptible to a type of cognitive bias called substitution


She offered me the world in more ways than one.

My mother and I, she in her 70's and I in my 40's, recently returned from our first mother/daughter vacation. I grabbed her hand once at a rest stop on the autobahn somewhere outside Nuremberg, Germany. I hadn’t held her hand for at least 30 years. I asked her if…

Angela Noel Lawson

Drawing from life experience and a master’s in organizational leadership, I write about parenting, leading, relationships, and personal growth.

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