Top financier Jerry Colonna writes the forward for her book, The Empathy Factor, and endorsements include former FORTUNE magazine Publisher Jim Hayes. It has been translated into French, German, Dutch and Chinese.
She is a CrossKnowledge faculty member, Strategy of Mind advisor, and president of Elucity Network, Inc., a consulting and training firm that supports people, organizations, and communities to do their best thinking together. She designs conversation processes focused on everything from problem solving and developing their preferred “Bright Future” together to conflict resolution and innovation development.
Guiding organizations and leaders for decades, and using her field-tested Integrated Clarity® approach, Marie transforms workplaces bottom up to top down. People make the leap from mistrust, missed opportunities and “power plays” to the higher ground of shared purpose and mutual respect with uncommonly high satisfaction ratings and long-term positive results. Marie’s Connect-Think-Do model of collaboration, communication and change has helped hundreds of client teams in business, universities, government agencies and nonprofits.
The highly regarded nonviolent communication process developed by Marie’s teacher Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. helps individuals develop basic and higher forms of empathic connection; Integrated Clarity® builds on Dr. Rosenberg’s work by bringing these concepts to teams and organizations.
Marie holds a degree in communication studies from Northwestern University and she has studied with noted organization development consultants like Sam Kaner, Ph.D., of the international consulting firm Community at Work, and Dr. Steven H. Cady, Director of the Masters in Organization Development program at Bowling Green State University where she has mentored students. She is accredited by the New York-based Public Relations Society of America and is also certified in planning by the International Association for Public Participation.
Marie was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii into an Okinawan-American family where feelings were acknowledged and her voice was heard. She saw empathy at home from a young age and began a lifelong curiosity about how people connect. She considers herself a student of empathy as much as an expert.
“Marie designs and delivers world-class interactive keynote presentations and workshops. The depth of her understanding of organizations and people combined with her ability to find constructive and creative solutions is amazing. She exceeded our audience expectations in Paris, London, Madrid, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Toronto, Montreal and Santiago by teaching game changer skills and inspiring personal transformation. We were engaged!”
– Roselyne Lecuyer, Learning Director – L’Oréal, Paris, France
Fun Facts About Marie
1. I was a summertime pineapple inspector at the Dole Pineapple Cannery when I was 15 years old. Apparently, inspecting pineapple was a sought after job for teenagers and my mother pulled some strings to get this first job for me in Honolulu, where I was born and raised. Who knew that before pineapples headed to their final resting place inside different sized cans, they needed to be checked for blemishes, color, and the size of the core. There were different styles from pineapple chunks to rings and different grades of pineapple. For three summers I worked there starting with the “graveyard” shift and then got promoted to swing shift. After my third summer, I did not want to eat or smell a pineapple for five years. Now, I love it!
2. I can sleep standing up. I am blessed to be a very good sleeper. Once, while studying on my junior year abroad in Tours, France, I caught a train from Paris to Nice in the south to meet a friend. Being a student on a budget, I had the cheap ticket and when there were no seats remaining, I stood instead, leaning against a corner wall. Zzzzzz. I fell sound asleep. A few hours later, I woke up refreshed and still standing.
3. I was a backup singer for a singer/songwriter a long, long time ago in a land far, far away —Hawaii. My big gig was…singing at the local shopping mall stage. I got this chance less because of talent and more because I worked for free. It was a fun, short-lived hobby. It was super enjoyable pretending to be a very minor, minor role for a, well – minor, minor singer/songwriter. In high school and university, I sang in the choir and an a cappella group. I love singing and at one point took voice lessons from a well known voice teacher. I would not say I am a singer, just someone who loves to sing. But it did teach me how to be more comfortable on stage.
4. I love, love, love to play golf. I love walking and being in nature and communing with the grass, ground and wind to calculate the right shot. It’s a moving meditation to focus on the little white ball flying in the air toward the 4.25-inch (10.8 cm) hole more than 400 yards (365 meters) away. Bobby Jones, a famous American golfer said that there are two kinds of golf: golf and tournament golf. I love both. I love competing against my own best self. I am not the best ball striker, putter or anything. But when I am tuned into the joy of playing, the ball just goes towards the hole and three eagles and three hole-in-ones later, I surprise myself.The first time I qualified for a USGA national championship, I could hardly believe it. Then, two more came and I envision the fourth one already happening. Thank you to the Scots for inventing such an engaging game.
5. I speak several languages…sort of. American English is my first language. But I was raised in a bilingual home. My maternal grandmother, who lived with us, spoke only Japanese and Okinawan. My sister and I grew up loving foreign languages. After eight years of French in high school and university and spending part of my junior year in the Loire Valley, I was thrilled to be invited a few years ago by a French company to discuss how to bring empathy into their customer loyalty program. I brushed up on my French for my first meeting with them. I practiced and practiced. I felt so proud to greet them and say a few opening words in French. They smiled politely and responded…in English. Now, that we have been working together for a few years and my visits to Paris and with them are more frequent, they finally respond in French…at least for the first few sentences. The Japanese do respond to me in Japanese. But alas, I think it is mostly because they do not speak English and not so much because of my Japanese. People do appreciate the effort, however. So, I will keep attempting a few thoughts in French or Japanese to show my respect for these beautiful languages. When I work in various countries, I learn to say three things: Good Morning, Thank You and Please. It goes a long way.
- October 2011 – The Empathy Factor – Your Competitive Advantage for Personal, Team and Business Success
- March 2007 – Chapter in The Change Handbook – The Definitive Resource for Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems
STRATEGIC CLARITY & CHANGE CONSULTANT
- More than 30 years with corporate, nonprofit and government agency clients
- Certified in planning – International Association for Public Participation
- Accredited Counselor – Public Relations Society of America