"The Commonality of Being Human"


Have you ever noticed that it’s easy to judge someone if you really don’t know who that person is? Ironically, you work with people you think you know, but honestly, do you understand why they behave the way they do?

Would it make a difference if you did?

Absolutely. When co-workers understand what makes each other tick–when they have insight into each other’s life stories–they become more compassionate and open-hearted.

It’s in our DNA to relate to a story

From the moment we’re born we connect through story. Our parents read them to us. Our teachers use them to educate us. We learn our most valuable insights through story.

The same is true at work, as in life

Encouraging co-workers and team members to share their personal stories breeds empathy, making them more likely to support one another. Creating work relationships with depth leads to stronger teams, more productivity, and ultimately a profitable company.

A Human (Work) Story

I illustrate this point in my talk, “The Commonality of Being Human” in which I share how the unlikely team of a single mom-writer in Utah (me) and a Federal prisoner in Georgia (David C. Taylor) work together to produce the groundbreaking book, “Jacumba Connection.”

After listening to David’s story, it was easy for me to be compassionate to David as an author (even though he’d never professionally written anything before), which in turn provided the foundation of trust he needed to be painfully honest when writing his story.

Sharing personal stories unites us, whether you’re a single mom in Utah, an inmate in Federal prison, or a corporate team-player charged with creating an app that changes everything. It levels the playing field and breeds compassion in a world that desperately needs to understand the commonality of being human…at home or at work.

And yes, I admit, there’s a fine line between being anonymous at the office and sharing too much personal information with your co-workers. But that’s where I come in. I’ll help your audience strike the right balance when it comes to being strategic about being personal.

Speech length: 45 minutes (a 20-minute version is also available)

An Unbelievable Outcome

David’s book JACUMBA CONNECTION triumphantly came to fruition and was published in June of 2016 by E-Magination Publishing. It is steadily selling in bookstores and on

A feature film based on David’s book is also in preproduction.

Follow David’s blog: Postcards From Prison.