In honor of completing my first month as Director of Professional Development at The Gottman Institute, I am finally answering some questions, via a few video clips, about my wonderful new gig.
Although I still have much to learn and probably will be in heavy-duty absorption mode for at least another 6 months, I already know that I have found the place where I hope to spend the remainder of my career. The differences between Microsoft and the Gottman Institute are immense. At Microsoft, crisis mode seemed to be the norm and projects were cranked through with project management perfection and precision but with little regard for personal satisfaction or positive interpersonal communication. At the Gottman Institute everything is about strong, supportive relationships and positive, effective communication, both philosophically as an institute, because this is the focus of John’s research, and in our offices on an hour-to-hour, day-to-day basis.
So who is this Gottman guy, you ask? Here’s a flavor of who he is as a person, what his research has found, and the theories and practices he’s built around that research.
Pretty cool, eh? Total common sense… backed by tons of research.
You should know, too, that like many successful men John is buoyed by a strong, supportive, intelligent, and organized woman behind the scenes – in this case his wonderful wife, Julie, who is an amazing therapist in her own right and is the Institute’s Clinical Director (and whom I adore!).
Although Julie’s as involved in the workshops and trainings as John is (and she devises much of their content), she isn’t as well-known as John so there aren’t as many video clips focusing on her, but I love the way she presents material, both to the couples who come for the Art and Science of Love workshops and to our clinical trainings (“my” department). Here’s a little snippet of Julie (unfortunately just her voice), talking to therapists:
So John started out kinda like my friend Grover here, just asking some questions about marriage…
… and look where he is now!
Which kinda gets the marketer side of my brain all excited! I can just SEE John and Julie on Sesame Street, talking to kids (and Muppets) about the importance of being friends, showing appreciation, resolving conflict with gentleness, and developing a positive perspective toward one another. Lots of parents watch Sesame Street with their kids at just the time in the life of the family when these lessons become more and more important – for everyone!
And then we’ll get John and Julie into the work/office environment, where maybe they could address some of the toxicity often found there. Now THAT would totally rock, dontcha think?!