Tuesday, February 20, 2018

ViewPoint: Hearing vs. Listening


Do you hear what I hear? is a classic Christmas carol. If you really listen you’ll understand its message.

Your day can get crowded with information – talking on the phone, making appointments, taking people to lunch. You can start off listening but as the day progresses, fatigue enters and now you’re  just hearing.

When you step back and listen, you gain something – understanding. Listening brings understanding and the chance to see something that you didn’t see (or hear), before. It’s a second chance to get it “right” and make things better.

The next time you get frustrated with someone, step back and ask, What did I miss?
When you go back, you’ll “get” what you missed – the understanding, and the opportunity to make things better!


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Don't settle . . . NEGOTIATE!

Compromise can make work a better place. Negotiation is a life skill and process.
One of the most challenging places to handle conflict is at work. Conflict at work can create deep resentment and poor productivity. And if it continues for months (even years), it can affect your health.

As a manager, you need to look at your efforts. You may have to give a lot and get back only a little in return. If you don’t “budge,” you remain stuck without a resolution.
There is a way out – negotiate, negotiate, negotiate ( or compromise).
It can be very effective at work (and can relieve a lot of your stress), but it takes some commitment and you can do (and survive), it.

The following steps can lead you to being a great negotiator.

1.       Be aware: Why are you there – to change a company policy or ask for a raise? You need an awareness of the situation. You also need to know your strengths and weaknesses. What do you do well? What do you need to work on?

2.      Be prepared: Don’t walk into a situation without doing your homework. It will be a disaster if you don’t! You need to research your “topic” before you negotiate or compromise anything.

3.      Talk to the right person: Make sure you’re talking to the right “decision makers” or authority figures. Don’t waste time talking to people who can’t help you resolve the problem.

4.      Don’t assume: This may be your first time. Take it seriously and treat everyone with respect. Don’t take things for granted.

5.      Be flexible: Nothing kills compromise (or negotiations) more than being rigid. You want to make sure that you “hear” all sides. Looking at all the pieces to the puzzle will create a better negotiation and will make you a better negotiator.

6.      Don’t be competitive: This isn’t the Olympics (or a race). You’re not competing for a gold medal or a prize. Competition equals rigidity and if you think the rest of the team can’t sense “competition,” you’re dead wrong. People sense rigidity. It comes through in your body language.

7.      Listen: Very important! Focus on what is said so that you understand all the parts of the situation, and take all views into consideration.

8.     Don’t be critical: Are you a whiner or a perfectionist?  Guess what? This type of person(ality) kills compromise almost immediately. If you walk in being critical or showing a “my way or the highway” mentality, you will turn off a lot of people and make the negotiation harder and tougher.

9.      Work as a Team: Remember, everyone has a viewpoint and ideas that are important. You can learn from anyone! Listening to a different side can give you energy and the chance to settle something quickly, and painlessly.

10.  Think “simple”: Have you ever watched three and four year olds play? They know how to share without a lot of fuss. They put things in perspective. They’re not inhibited. They know what they want and feel. They “simplify” cause they’re little. Learn from them. If things get hard and confusing, make it easier and simplify it.

11.   Take a breather: Negotiating takes time. Sometimes it takes longer than you think. When you’ve reached a dead end or brick wall, take a “breather” to regroup. Go for a short walk, call a friend; whatever you need to change gears. When you’re stuck or blocked, you can’t do more, so why push things further? Taking a break gives you the chance to get things in perspective for the next round.

12.  Get it on paper: You’ve spent a lot of time with this negotiation and you’ve agreed to the details. Get it on paper to make sure both sides agree. Think of this step as a contract. Whenever you are doing something “formal” (making a credit card purchase, opening a bank account), you’re asked for signature. Your signature acts as closure to the business deal. This is a business deal and needs the same kind of closure.

13.  Shut up: Have you reached the end? Are both sides happy? Then, you’re done! When you’ve covered all your points and both sides are happy, shut up, close shop and leave.
Just follow the steps. You’ll get there. Remember, small steps are better than none. You build from small steps and learn from them. Negotiation takes time and is a process. There is no doubt about it!


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Monday, February 5, 2018

Being "Seen!"

Was that O.K.?

Those three words reflected the guests of The Oprah Show early on in its heyday. They were asking Oprah if what they said was quality. Inevitably, it was a YES, but those three words stuck in Oprah’s head. It was what was under the surface, that led her to understand, that her skills as a talk show host would show us all, the importance of validation.

As her show evolved, she recognized that ALL of her guests were secretly saying, Did you see me? Did you hear me? Did what I just say, matter?  The theme was universal. For Oprah, it became apparent  that ALL people need to be validated and acknowledged for who they are. Every show she did exemplified VALIDATION. One of the many reasons she landed  exclusives was because her guests knew that whatever their situation, she would bring validation to them and to others.

It’s amazing how when things  (i.e. home, job, etc.) are taken away, or you face mortality, things become crystal clear. You long for quality and validation with others.

I’ve been in counseling for over a year now and I’m redefining myself. I’m taking steps to “speak my mind” with, and without, filters. The first time you speak your mind, it wakes people up! It doesn’t matter if it’s family or friends. Speaking up and telling people your viewpoints, leads to Did you see me? Did you hear me? Did what I just tell you, matter?  In turn, it leads to a catharsis that is unprecedented for self-discovery and emotional healing. Why? Because, many times we want to be liked. We don’t want to rock the boat, or piss people off. Inevitably (when we don’t speak up), we squash our authenticity. This  leads to a squashed spirit. Nothing is sadder than keeping your mouth shut; especially  if it leads to a change or validation. I URGE you to find your voice and speak up. You might piss people off and inevitably lose them in your personal/professional life but you’ll gain something more important – an opportunity to own your voice and show people who you really are!

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Focus: Validation, Self-esteem, Self-confidence


Questions for you: 1) What issues require you to speak up? 2) Are you addressing them or not? Why? 3) What’s the worst thing that can happen if you show others who you are?

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Prayer Process

The Prayer Process is that it grows as we grow. It can be used as a starting point for beginners, those first trying to forge the habit of prayer in their lives. But it can also be used by those most advanced in their spiritual life. Its structure is such that it celebrates where you are in your journey.

The Prayer Process

Gratitude: begin by thanking God in a personal dialogue for whatever you are most grateful for today.

Awareness: Revisit the times in the past twenty-four hours when you were and were not the-best-version-of-yourself. Talk to God about these situations and what you learned from them.

Significant Moments: Identify something you experienced today and explore what God might be trying to say to you through that event (or person).

Peace: Ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have committed (against yourself, another person, or him) and to fill you with a deep abiding peace.

Freedom: Speak with God about how he is inviting you to change your life, so that you can experience the freedom to be the-best-version-of-yourself.

Others: Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them.

Finish by praying the Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

From: Rediscover Jesus, An Invitation  (Matthew Kelly)


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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Listening IS Important!

You spend about 80% of your day communicating. Of that time. 45% is spent listening, 30% speaking, 16% reading and 9% writing. A manager may spend up to 60% of the day listening to people.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

A Good Idea

Build up your self-image by making a list of your positive qualities. Ask your friends to list things they like about you.

IT’S JUST A GOOD IDEA!  
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Actions And Words!

You know the phrase, “actions speak louder than words?” Well, in order for people to trust you, they have to trust your actions. What you say is connected to how you follow up. And every time you say something (and don’t follow up), you waste time and energy!


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