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The Art of Authentic Communication

by | Nov 8, 2022 | 2 comments

Linda Lakin + me ◼︎ March, 2022

This post is in memoriam to my courageous, strong, smart, feisty and fabulous friend & colleague, Linda Lakin. She has a lot to teach us.

Here’s an excerpt of a conversation she shared with me during one of her many chemo infusions:

“How are you?”, asks Derrick, the hospital tech, on auto pilot.

Linda answers, “Do you really want to know”?

He stops short and replies, “Tell me how you really are and I’ll tell you what’s going on with me.”

“Fair enough. I don’t feel well and it sucks to be back in treatment getting more chemo. Your turn.” She’s wondering … what could be so challenging for this healthy 22-year old guy?

“I work at this hospital full time and I’m going to nursing school full time and I’m drained, tired and burned out.”

Their conversation goes on. Linda listens and gives some great advice. Derrick listens and sees how he might manage his load without crashing. Linda’s load is lightened by this exchange.

You’ve just witnessed an honest conversation.

Sometimes you want to get to this deeper Linda/Derrick level – but sometimes you don’t… for all kinds of valid reasons.

As leaders in your various industries you have to figure out when to do a deep dive and when to remain in “Gracious Superficial Mode”.

IF you do delve – here are your ground rules:
◼︎ Listen more than you talk.
◼︎ Empathize.
◼︎ Be present.
◼︎ Ask questions.
◼︎ Be nonjudgmental.
◼︎ Don’t be wedded to a specific outcome.
◼︎ Make observational suggestions if asked.

Authentic conversations take time. Hard to do in your crazy busy world, but well worth the effort.

Linda always went for the authentic conversations. And we all learned from her.

❤️ Linda Lakin ❤️ 12.1.58 – 11.5.22 ❤️

#AuthenticCommunication #FightOvarianCancer #LindaLakin


  1. Tom Moore

    Thanks, she was on my most favorite list. I have had these conversations with you and Linda. I am just so fortunate. Bless you and our great memories of such a great woman.

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Tom – I wish I could tell Linda about your comment here. I know she’d appreciate it. You and I were/are fortunate to have had Linda as a friend and a colleague. I’m thankful for AADP – American Academy of Dental Practice – for bringing us all together across the years.
      Warmly, Karen

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