auntie-bossyLet her show you how Common Sense, Good Manners and Discipline can get you out of the mess you’re in.


A Little Self-Encouragement


Dear Aunt Bossy,


Last week I went to an event where I had the opportunity to meet all sorts of radio, print, digital and television press to talk about Aunt Bossy and how you need distribution.


I was a wreck. Now, Boss, you KNOW I have no problem talking to strangers and am generally good at expressing myself. However, I found myself in a zone so far from my comfort zone it was as if I were on the stage at the Met with an audience awaiting my aria, and we do know one of my little failings is the inability to carry a tune.


I couldn’t think, couldn’t get my ideas in order and was completely paranoid about the possibility of nerve-induced bad breath.


What was going on?


Your devoted slave,


(aka Aunt Bossy)




Dear Self,


How human of you! Welcome to the world your clients are in every time you get them in front of the room and the camera to practice their presentations.


You strolled in there like you owned the place and found out you were only renting. Be thrilled that you had the courage to do something so challenging to your usual confident self. Never forget that everyone is scared, and winners do it anyway.


Risk is a wonderful way to nurture humility and stay young, or at least as young as possible. Well, never mind.


Your job now is to follow up with the folks who were willing to give you an opportunity and to figure out what you can do to scare yourself next.


And, please stop the whining. It isn’t attractive.



Aunt Bossy



Common Sense: Challenge leads to growth.

Good Manners: Not taking things personally is very classy.

Discipline: Refusing to run takes some doing.




What’s In a Name?



Dear Aunt Bossy,


I am so good at my job, but can’t remember names. Help!


Happy in Houston.


Dear HIH,


“Can’t?” Don’t be silly. Of course you can train yourself to remember names. Focus. Repeat. Period.


Give yourself a break. You can always show interest by saying, “I can’t believe it, your name just slipped my mind.”


Help others out. When you see someone you know slightly, but haven’t seen for a while, say your name right after “Hi.” People appreciate that.


Never ever look at the name tag when the person is standing in front of you, especially if it is a guy with the name tag on his belt. (Why do they do that?) If you can’t get a glimpse from across the room, maintain eye contact and people will assume you know. “What are you up to these days?” will get you some identifying information, too.


Practice reaps great rewards with this simple discipline. Many writers on the subject recommend “hooks” – such as Rose has a “rosy” face – but I find that confusing. Focus does it.


Ok, Sweetheart? I mean Happy in Houston.




Common Sense: Focus works in all areas

Good Manners: There you are, paying attention to another.

Discipline: This is difficult. Do it.



Aunt Bossy is Susan Murphy, an internationally known Communication Skills Coach who adores spending every winter and spring in Beaufort.  Ask for advice @


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