Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Networking skills EMPOWER you!


Whether you're looking to find your first job, or change the one you have, you need to network. Effective networking skills are skills that empower you. They enable you to access and share information, resources and support, in a manner that achieves goals and purposes. How are your people skills? Check the statements that apply to you:
  • I'm not easily intimidated.
  • I can express myself easily.
  • I ask for help when I need it.
  • I look for the "good" in people.
  • When I talk, people listen.
  • People don't think I'm boring.
  • I strike up conversations with people.
  • I listen to others' viewpoints.
  • I have skills that are valuable.
How did you do? Did you check off many statements or did you look at them and think, "I need to work on that."

Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, December 28, 2009

How it's "heard"

A man went to work out at the health club.  As he entered the locker room, he noticed the janitor was washing the floor. The janitor could not see the potential danger; the man could.

The man went through his routine and gave thought to addressing this with the manager. He had negative experiences with the club, so he did not believe it was worth it.

His  conscience won out. He asked the manager if there was a set time to wash the floor. The manager asked "why?" The man reported what he saw. The manager replied, "this is our down time." The man brought up the possibility  of an injury and subsequent lawsuit. The manager replied, "I'll have to tell him to use less water."

The man left frustrated. Although he recognized the importance of addressing the situation, he also recognized how the manager "heard" him. What can you learn from this? Effective listening precedes effective communication.

Just 1 Page . . .

Friday, December 25, 2009

Listening and Filters


Two people may hear information and process it differently. One may be emotionally involved; another may be unmoved. One may  make a decision to support a point; a second may decide against it. Both emotional and intellectual functioning depend on a listener’s previous experiences. People build up a background of information; likes and dislikes, beliefs, biases, and prejudices that act as filters through which impressions are processed. As a result, each person approaches human interaction with a unique mental filter that affects the way he or she handles messages. 

Therefore, a part of listening should focus on identification of likes, biases, and ignorances that have an impact on listening reactions: “Why do I react in the way that I do? Does my reaction take into account everything I know about the situation? Under what conditions am I open to new ideas?”

A perceptive listener senses when others  feel comfortable, tense, angry, or anxious. They know when someone is crying to speak if their presence has been ignored. Sensitivity to verbal and nonverbal messages is the essence of good listening since feelings are expressed through body language and vocal intonations.

John Gray, in his book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, discusses that this skill requires practice. It gets easier with time. Some days will be better than others.

Trust your instincts! If your intuition says pursue the discussion more than once, do it. A favorable resolution rests with what you perceive on a verbal and nonverbal level.  Remember to “talk out the details.”

Just 1 Page . . .

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have You Heard "It?"

An essential skill for communication is listening. It is a part of nonverbal communication. As an employer, you may be faced with conflict management issues or staff who need guidance. Being the “boss” and exerting authority is not enough. The flip side is submission, or knowing you don’t have all the answers. In many situations, if an employer can sit back and “listen,” things are resolved. Let’s say that you want to have a better relationship with your spouse or your friends. You want to be a better friend or partner. You hear comments that you don’t know how to listen. Well, in order to accomplish this, your listening skills need to change.

There is a catch. It’s not easy. It takes practice, and it doesn’t happen overnight. In the long run, mastering it will provide enhanced understanding and empathy. But before we get into the process; it’s important to explain the process of hearing. Your hearing involves nerves and muscles.


On the other hand, listening is learned. It is a mental process that involves hearing, attending, discriminating, understanding and remembering information. It can be described as passive, but actually involves deeper thinking and interpretation. Some people may have difficulty due to the following: 1) Short attention span -- they may be unable to remember anything within a short duration of time. 2) Auditory vs. visual learner -- they may learn better through seeing rather than hearing information. 3) Shutting down -- they may be unable to hear sounds, accents, dialects and shut down. 4) Unable to relate to feelings -- For many, a person’s feelings need identification or verification before a difficult situation can be resolved. 

In addition, listening occurs in a variety of ways. One does not always listen for knowledge but may listen because it is pleasing to hear. Think of the first time you heard a foreign speaker. Were you caught off guard? If you were, you may have lost the communication intent. Once you understood their pronunciation patterns, you would be apt to understand more. Foreign or dialectical speakers are prime  examples of how we may lose our ability to listen when we are engaged in hearing them talk. As a result, people try to listen but not understand. They may miss sound  differences or listen without evaluating what they hear.

Listening involves a variety of skills and levels. People should be aware of various listening levels: 1) Becoming aware that sound is present. 2) Sequencing and organizing what is heard. 3) Responding to what is said.

For listeners to process messages, they must be able to receive the multitude of sense impressions that are basic components of it. They must be able to hear the sounds of the language, and see images that are part of body language. Impressions received, must be processed and thought about. The listeners must go on to:
  • comprehend the factual content; in short, get the facts straight;
  • think of other points and ideas not mentioned but related to what was said;
  • determine how the speaker feels about the facts;
  • formulate a personal opinion on the topic and develop reasons to support the opinion;
  • evaluate aspects of communication, specifically the facts and ideas. 
Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, December 21, 2009

5 Tips on Being Assertive

Tips on being self-assertive:

  1. Take responsibility for what you want.
  2. Don't apologize when you need help.
  3. Offer help when you see a need.
  4. Don't compare yourself to others.
  5. Always look your best (It breeds confidence!).
Just  1 Page . . .

Friday, December 18, 2009

3 Tips on Asking Questions

A good network comes from asking good questions. When you ask good questions, you're searching for people and the information to meet your needs. Many people don't get what they need, because they don't ask the right questions. Here are 3 tips:

  • Formulate your questions ahead of time.
  • Open ended questions that use the words "How" or "Why"  get to the heart of things and keep conversations going.
  • Questions that use the words, "Who, when, where and what" get you more direct and factual information.
Just 1 Page . . .

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5 Tips for Listening

More than seventy five percent of networking requires you to listen for information and the answers related to it. This is called "active listening." It requires you to be in the moment, and to listen  to the total person. Tips for listening:

  • "Commit" to listen and concentrate on the speaker.
  • Observe body language for emotions and unspoken meanings.
  • Keep your mind "open"  to what is said.
  • Listen for topics that are of mutual interest.
  • Give feedback  through smiling, eye-contact and asking questions.
Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Show" Your Knowledge!

Being viewed as skillful or proficient in  certain areas is important for your self-esteem. Having special skills and knowledge goes along with it, is attractive, and empowers people. This helps you to develop and maintain your network (and includes the network of others). Others will want that you have.


Tips on "showing" knowledge and skills:
  • Identify a skill you want to be better at
  • Make a plan for strengthening it
  • Share this knowledge with others
Just 1 Page . . .

Friday, December 11, 2009

Network and Empowerment!

An effective networker empowers others. When you empower, you display a genuine interest and a helpful attitude. When you empower others, you multiply their efforts and lead them.

Tips on empowering:

  • People want to be valued. When you see something of value, tell the person.
  • When you listen, you communicate value. 
Just 1 Page . . .

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Matter of Trust!


Delegation of authority requires a tremendous amount of trust. Maybe that is why there are so many confused employees, because there are so many fearful people at the top! When leaders operate from a base of fear, they can't delegate. A leader who does not delegate will end up with a group of yes people. Leaders must share information. When they can do this, they empower other people!

Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ethical Shortcuts


People with integrity have firm footing. Taking a "short cut" in life (or business) is not always the best way to approach situations. The shortest distance to a goal is not a straight line. Don't be tempted to cut corners in order to speed things up. Ethical shortcuts will always come back to bother you.

Just 1 Page . . .

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's About Success!


Successful people have a common trait: personal discipline. They are willing
to do things that other people don't want to do. They master their self-discipline in the following ways:
  • They live by their commitments.
  • They watch their words.
  • They restrain their reactions.
  • They stick to a schedule.
Can you relate?

Just 1 Page . . .

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stop the Excuses!


Does this sound familiar? "I'll start  early next time." "I've got to start this project soon." "There is still time to do it."

Procrastination does damage to yourself and colleagues. It causes pressure and
problems. It wastes time, energy and money.

Stop making excuses! Whatever you need to get done, do it now!

Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, November 30, 2009

Just Change The Channel!

When you block a thought out of your mind, you drive it deeper into your memory. By resisting it, you reinforce it. This is true for temptation. You don't defeat temptation by fighting its feeling. The more you fight the feeling, the more it consumes and controls you. You strengthen it every time you think it.


Any situation begins with a thought, and the quickest way to extinguish it is to turn your attention to something else. Don't fight the thought, just change the channel of your mind and get interested in something else.

Just 1 Page . . .

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's About Partnership!

We go through our day and forget that there is a HIGHER FORCE working through us. If that FORCE was not present, we could not do many of the things we actually get done. Here's something I read and thought was relevant.

Dear Holy Spirit, 

I now recognize that every miracle is Your doing. Therefore, I apologize for how often in the past I have ignored or misunderstood Your guidance. I have often sidelined You and depersonalized Your role in my life. I have delegated the work You do to "professionals" and spiritual leaders. I have highly valued human solutions where only a supernatural act on Your part could bring Heaven's solutions. I've done my best not to need You -- not to live in partnership with You.

I'm sorry, How could I be so foolish? Please forgive me. Now I know the truth, and I want to change.

I precommit to cooperating with You and following Your guidance every day, especially in every miracle opportunity You bring my way. I open my mind and heart to You, and ask You to teach me in the days ahead how to partner with You in practical, joyful, and effective ways that bring Heaven to others, and joy and honor to God. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen.

Just 1 Page . . .

You Were Born For This --7 Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles
Bruce Wilkinson
Multnomah Books 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60142-182-1

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just Move Forward!

When you're intimated by something and you're feeling overwhelmed, remember these 3 steps:

  1. Go: get your "groove on" with baby steps.
  2. Don't quit: stick with things. Keep moving forward.
  3. Return: give it one more day and one more try. Those 1 day at a time attempts add up to the finish line!
Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, November 23, 2009

Temptation and Power


The power of suggestion works within your mind. We move toward those thoughts that get our attention. The more you think about something, the stronger it takes hold of you.

Temptation begins by getting your attention and then playing with your emotions. When that happens, your emotions activate your behavior, and you act on what you feel. The more you focus on not wanting to do something, the stronger the temptation.

Ignoring a temptation is more effective than fighting it. Once your mind switches to something else, the temptation has lost its power!

Just 1 Page . . .

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Sticking Point

A  woman worked in a library. She did her job, and was well liked. For the most part, she was an enigma. She kept quiet and didn't mix with other people.

Her co-workers and patrons found it difficult to "read her." Her inability  to maintain eye-contact was a sticking point and left many to believe that she was hiding something.

Ten years passed and the woman died. A memorial mass was held. People attended and were encouraged to talk about their experiences with her. Many did.

Gradually, the woman's life was revealed. She came from a culture and environment where eye-contact was not stressed. She was in an abusive marriage. When she made eye-contact with her enraged spouse, it provoked more abuse. Consequently, every time she tried to maintain eye-contact, she was pulled back into old behavioral patterns more powerful that she was able to handle. What can you learn from this? Eye-contact is an integral part to nonverbal communication.

Just 1 Page . . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's in Your Eyes


The eyes reveal the soul. This is a powerful statement. Once you understand the importance of eye-contact in communication; it will provide clarity in every situation. You WILL understand why the "eyes" have it.

We judge others by whether they look us in the eye or not. Eye-contact is at the top of the list of nonverbal communication --  its importance shouldn't be overlooked. If you've ever spent time  with someone who doesn't speak English and you didn't speak his language, you know that it is possible to communicate with a smile and eye-contact.

The eyes are used to perform many of the same functions as other behaviors of the body, including expressing interpersonal attitudes or emotions, regulating interactions, signaling attention, and  producing anxiety or arousal. Eye behavior has a special function -- gathering information from others. In some cases, the absence of it also speaks volumes. Some cultures and ethnic groups see eye-contact as a form of disrespect or rebellion. That is why it is important to address, and understand it.

If you just look at a person without trying to read what is behind the eyes, you are not even beginning to establish a connection or a meeting of the minds. When you communicate, your eyes and brain must do more than "click" like an unfocused camera. You need to observe the person unobtrusively and consciously.

If you learn to use your eyes not simply as a camera-like lens, but as the gateway to further investigation of a person's character, it will lead to a better understanding of the communication.

With practice, you can become adept at studying and diagnosing a face by focusing on a person's eyes. In the process, you will gain valuable insight into others -- as well as yourself.

Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Too close"

A man immigrated to the United States to take a teaching position. He yearned to work with children and believed that he had a lot to offer. His first assignment was team teaching learning disabled children. His co-worker was female and a new graduate.

It took the children a while to adjust to the two of them. After a while, they gravitated toward him. His use of touch and personal space had a calming effect. Consequently, they were more attentive and excited about learning.

This was not the case with the co-teacher. Although she loved her job, she didn't make use of personal space in this way. She intently watched him. She believed he was a better teacher, and had a sensitive approach. The students liked him. She grew envious and made comments that he was getting "too close."

One day, he was called to the office. The principal, superintendent and some parents were there. He was puzzled. The superintendent and principal wanted an explanation for his behavior. He was ordered to change or face suspension.

His cultural upbringing and socioeconomic status did not prepare him for these differences; consequently, what was meant as a compassionate interaction, was misconstrued as sexual misconduct.
What can you learn from this? Personal power is rooted in your personal space.

Just 1 Page . . .

Friday, November 13, 2009

Your personal space

Personal distance is an invisible and adjustable bubble that surrounds you. It expands and contracts. Your personal space can be defined in terms of territories or zones:
  1. Intimate zone (zero to 6 inches): Identified as the distance utilized for love making, wrestling, comforting and protecting. In this range you can feel another person's breath, smell body odors, perhaps sense or feel body heat.
  2. Personal zone (1 to 2 feet): Commonly used with family and friends. Holding hands is done in this zone.
  3. Social zone (4 to 7 feet): Touching is not possible here. This distance is reserved for activities ranging from social conversations to business transactions.
  4. Public zone (12 to 25 feet): This distance is typical between speakers and their audience.
The outlined zones can increase your  awareness but there are other factors to look at, namely; sexual, cultural and social class differences.

There are marked gender differences in how women communicate. They make use of a closer face to face contact. Men are not used to a close speaking range.

Cultural differences are also important. The way people position themselves may cause misunderstandings, particularly when they are of different cultural groups. What may seem an appropriate distance for one group, may be too close for another. Put members of different cultural groups together, and misunderstandings may arise. The insistence of close proximity from one cultural group might be interpreted as hostile or pushy, by another group.

Lastly, social class differences affect the use of personal space. People  from lower socioeconomic backgrounds have a tendency for closer distances than people from middle or high socioeconomic backgrounds.

Just 1 Page . . .

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Visual Trumps Vocal!

A woman worked at a nursing home. She came at a critical time. The facility had code violations that were not addressed.

She "dressed for success." She wore power suits and made sure the staff knew she was the "boss." Many employees were submissive and feared her. She saw the effect and believed her power. She believed it so  much, that she ignored the warnings of the state.

One day, there was a surprise visit. Representatives  came to check. She was not prepared; consequently, she was not in control. The visitors confronted her.

As she spoke, her body language changed. Since the visit was spontaneous, she wasn't in control. She said the violations were addressed but her body language conveyed something else. The state saw the charade, imposed a fine and put the facility on probation. What can you learn from this? In order to understand emotional information, visual cues provide more information than vocal cues.

Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, November 9, 2009

Your Body Language!

Communication works when your verbal and nonverbal language(s) work together! That's right. You have 2 languages when you speak; what you say, and what you project with your body. In order for your messages to be received, both work together. You can believe that an expensive wardrobe or an Ivy League education will be a passport to good communication, but if there is a deeper part of you that is uncertain, THAT part will speak louder. This is known as body language. There are  two types: voluntary and involuntary.

Voluntary movements are within our control. We can turn them on and off. Smiling, nodding and touching are examples.

Involuntary movements are different. We can't control them. Eye blinks and pupil dilation are involuntary. You can't keep your eyes open indefinately. They have to blink. That's the way we're made. This holds true for pupil dilation. They dilate when they need to.

Let's look at some scenarios. You have an insensitive boss. You greet him with a smile because it makes life easier. It is a controlling, voluntary movement. You want to project something positive yet your feelings aren't. The smile is a mask. A nod falls into the same category. You don't want to do something, yet you nod in agreement. Once again, a mask. You encounter someone who has hurt you. You chat to be "nice," yet your eye-contact is absent. The eye-contact is not in agreement. In all these cases, the body language is inconsistent.

The agreement of body language with verbal language is crucial. When they agree, problems are minimal. When they don't, messages are misinterpreted.

Just 1 Page . . .

Friday, November 6, 2009

Are you a chameleon?

A principal worked in an elementary school. It was located in a low socioeconomic area. Many of the children were bilingual or used a dialect.

A new teacher was assigned to her building. He came from an environment unlike the school. He watched the principal interact. She was always polished and poised. He found it interesting that she was African-American, yet didn't exhibit a dialect. If anyone spoke with her on the phone, they would never be able to identify her race.

One day, there was trouble on the bus. Two children were fighting and one was hurt. The principal needed to discipline. She took the students aside and spoke to them in her dialect. Fear over came them. They cried and were dismissed. The principal went to her office as if nothing happened.

The teacher was a witness and wanted to understand it. He approached her and asked her about her dialect. Her explanation was simple. She encountered many situations where her communiction skills needed adjustment.

At times, she was formal; at other times, informal. She assessed each situation on an individual basis. She was a chameleon. She used the dialect when it was warranted, and dismissed it when it wasn't. She needed the students to see  her differently. The dialect was her passport. What can you learn from this? Your awareness of cultural differences can be extremely important to successful communication.

Just 1 Page . . .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Do You "Get" Dialects?


If someone asked you if you used proper English, how would you respond? Do you speak properly all the time? If you are bilingual or use a dialect, is this standard for today?

Standard English is the form of speech described in old fashioned grammar books. It is actually spoken by few people, but it is a form of speech usually expected. It has come to be identified as the speech of middle-class Americans. It is important to remember that even when educated, middle-class Americans talk, they often make grammatical errors. The difference between the everyday mistakes, and a dialect variation is that ordinary errors are likely to be individual, random and inconsistent; whereas, a dialect is comprised of consistent and predictable variation of standard English. Several factors are related to dialectical differences:
  1. Geography: Dialects are usually associated with a particular group of people who have something in common besides the way that they talk. Dialects are most often associated with geographical areas.
  2. Socioeconomic levels: Relates to social class, educational and occupational levels.
  3. Race and ethnicity: By choice, racial and ethnic minorities may become  isolated and a particular dialectical variation may evolve.
  4. Situation/context: All speakers alter their language in response to situational variables. These variations are called registers. The selection of the register depends on the speaker's perception of the situation and the participant's attitude toward knowledge of the topic.
  5. Peer group: Teenagers frequently use a variation of language that the elderly do not understand.
  6. First or second language learning: Speakers with a different native language often retain parts  of that language. They may code-switch. Code-switching is another way of saying that the native speaker uses grammar patterns common to the native language, but used in the second language (English). In the process, one language may interfere with another. The speaker's age, education and social situation influence the code-switching.
Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, November 2, 2009

Minnie Mouse

A young woman worked as a bank receptionist. She was the first person people encountered. She was told she had a high-pitched, tinny voice. She thought it was cute. Her family members found it endearing.

Her voice prompted different reactions. Some smirked, even giggled after she spoke. At first, she thought it was in her mind but then things changed. The smirks and snickers made the woman self-conscious.

One day she was  watching a talk show. She heard the host describe her guest as "Minnie Mouse on helium." Initially, she laughed. The description was comical. She watched the guest interact. She noticed that when the guest spoke seriously, the audience laughed. It was frustrating since the guest was promoting a serious topic; yet, wasn't getting a serious reaction.

As the guest continued, the woman saw some familiar behaviors. She turned off the program and watched some family videos. As she did, her eyes welled up. She noticed how family members treated her. They treated her the way her patrons  did. They didn't treat her with respect, but as the "little girl" conveyed through her voice. What can you learn from this? If you take your voice seriously, it demands a major expression.

Just 1 Page . . .

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ya Can't Please 'Em!


Do you worry about what other people think? Do you waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what people want you to be? Then, stop it NOW! It's wasted energy and it's not getting you ANYWHERE!

Worrying about what other people think is dangerous, because it puts you in a position to "cave."

Face these facts:
  • You cannot please everybody
  • It's not necessary to please everybody
  • Rejection will not ruin your life
Remember: NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU FEEL  BAD UNLESS YOU GIVE THEM PERMISSION!

Just 1 Page . . .

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Look for the Feathers"

“Look for the Feathers”

We are all works in progress. Whether you believe it or not, you’re here to accomplish some things. And, if you don’t learn or accomplish them, they are bound to repeat themselves.

When I’m out of sorts, I meditate. I’m always amazed at the result of a “conscious meditation.” A conscious meditation is one where you have an issue or a question that needs an answer. You get quiet and go within. You ask the question and usually, you get an answer -- sometimes not what you wanted to hear and sometimes cryptic. In this case, my answer was both -- something I didn’t want to address, mixed with something I didn’t understand. I don’t remember what the exact issue was. What I do remember is how I was led to an enlightening moment...

When I went into this meditation, I saw violence all around me -- meteors, explosions and crashes. When I asked my spiritual guide about the significance, I was told it represented anger in that I wasn’t balanced and if I continued in the direction I was headed, that my stress level would get out of control. Before I came out of the meditation, I heard “Look for the feathers.” I thought this was odd but knew that a meditation message is cryptic for a reason.

After the meditation, I went out to clear my head. I visited an area that had a waterfall and ducks. It was relaxing. I walked along the grass and just as I was about to leave I looked down and saw a feather. “Hmm” I thought, “Look for the feathers” was my message. What could that mean? I looked around and saw another feather and then another. Those feathers formed a trail that led me down a path into the forest preserves. I continued following this path until I reached a brick wall. The wall was part of a dam. I couldn’t go any further so I turned around. I was amazed to find an illuminated path. The sun was positioned in a way that it illuminated the path that I had just traveled. There were some parts that were very bright and clear. There were  parts that were shaded and dark.

What was I led to see? The illuminated parts represented my strengths or the things that I needed to appreciate.

The dark parts represented my dark side and what I needed to heal and let go of.

“Look for the Feathers”

It’s taken me years to heal those “dark sided” issues. It’s been a struggle but now I’m over it.

What dark side needs healing -- addiction, infidelity, cheating? How committed are you to changing it?

Each of us has issues that need to be released and healed. But they only become illuminated when you look for them!

“Look for The Feathers”

Begin your psychological and spiritual healing today!

Just 1 Page . . .

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Your Voice!

Ever hear a voice on the radio and then see the person connected to it? It can be mind boggling. Does your voice match the person you want to be?

Your voice is a powerful channel for communicating ideas and feelings. You communicate your personal needs and patterns through intonational patterns.

The prosody of your voice is flexible. It varies with your moods, thoughts and feelings. You have 3 elements to your voice 1) pitch, 2) loudness and 3) quality. Your pitch is the highness or lowness of a sound. It is a psychological entity and rests with the size and shape of your vocal cords.

Loudness can be described in two ways. One is the overall loudness level. You may talk louder to another person. This may happen when you're excited or angry. In these cases, your voice is loud in relation to the level of loudness in a conversation. At other times, a loud level is selected for a message. Here, loudness is varied within a phrase or a sentence. It is identified as the stress. We may stress certain words by pronouncing them louder or softer than the words surrounding them.

The quality can be defined as the permanent background of the voice. Some descriptors would be breathy: a whispering tone where breath noticeably escapes. It is soft and does not carry well. The listener strains to hear and communication suffers.  Harsh: characterized as hard or raspy.  Nasal: a whiny quality identified as "talking through the nose." Denasal: a stuffy quality where the voice sounds bottled up, commonly known as "the cold in the nose."

The BEST way to communicate is to use your voice!

Just 1 Page . . .

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Master of Disguise

A woman grew up in a large home. She was the youngest. It had ramifications, especially when she spoke to her parents. Multiple siblings interrupted her communication time. As a result, she blurted, or waited for the others. Both had consequences. When she was "first," her rate was excessive. When she was "last," her  rate was slow. As a result, she developed an unnatural speaking rhythm.

Her family did not discuss personal issues; consequently, her speaking rate was never addressed. It was ingrained. Her nature was to hide or divert attention from it.

She became a master of disguise. She persued  jobs that didn't require communication, and avoided social situations.

One day, she was watching a talk show. "Change your life," was the topic. It spoke to her. She realized her coping measures weren't appropriate. It was time to change. She read books, took speech classes, and joined a support group. What can you learn from this? Your speaking rate calls attention to itself when there is a break in the natural flow or rhythm of it.

Just 1 Page . . .

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How Do You Rate?

To speed up or to slow down? Where do you fit? If you are cautious and speak slowly, or fast, when you are rushed; you will undoubtedly cause a communication breakdown.

Everyone has trouble understanding an impatient waiter or a rushed store clerk. We tend to feel  uneasy around them. They fail to transmit information at an understandable rate and may be so concerned with moving on, that word repetitions result. People are used to hearing communication at an even pace. When a "hurry-up" personality exhibits word repetitions, it can be a frustrating experience.

Let's look at the flip side -- the slow speaker. They can prolong words or hesitate before speaking. They can be labeled as dull or uninteresting.  In actuality, they are neither. They may be troubled by a lack of confidence, and their slow response time may be the result of feeling unworthy, fear of being wrong, or feeling intellectually inadequate. Unfortunately, they seldom realize the frustration of this speaking rate, and people may avoid them.

Granted, a simple speed  change can improve your rate provided you improve your personal awareness, practice, and commit yourself.

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Your Language Skills!

A woman  worked on an assembly line for a chemical company. By nature, she was a loner. She was uncomfortable mixing with others. She spent coffee and lunch breaks reading her soap opera magazines.

One day, the corporate structure changed. The company merged and the woman's department was downsized. Since she had seniority, she was moved to the last available job -- the company receptionist. While she was glad to stay with the company, she was apprehensive about the new position. Her new responsibilities involved answering the phone and greeting new clients. In essence, she was the first person that people encountered.

Her workday drastically changed. She went from a quiet to a chaotic environment. The phone constantly rang. Clients were in and out. She misunderstood their questions, and was unable to pronounce many of the product names. As a result, she made many inappropriate department referrals and clients hung up in frustration due to her language skills. The company lost many clients.  What can you learn from this? Language is like a dress. Vary it to suit the occasion.

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Not Just a Bunch of Words!

Take a look at your language! It's not just a bunch of words thrown together. It is your passport to communication and it is a result of your past and present life experience.

Your language is connected to content, form  and use.

Content is the underlying meaning of what you want to say. Form is your vocabulary or the grammar. Use is your purpose or context. All three are interconnected.

Your  content is ineffective when you are unable to follow directions because they are detailed and complicated, or unable to express your thoughts because you don't have a handle on your vocabulary.

Your form is ineffective when your sentences are grammatically incorrect.

Your use is ineffective when you can't use vocabulary for certain situations or can't maintain a conversation.

Pay attention to your language and how it comes across!

Just  1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Value Each Encounter

A woman grew up and lived in a low socioeconomic area. Many people from her neighborhood weren't conscious of how they spoke. The woman realized environmental influence on communication, and wanted to better herself. She took a couple of night classes. Unfortunately, none of them delved into the complexities of communication.

Her minister asked her to do a reading for the congregation. She agreed. She practiced and the day came. As she spoke, she noticed the peoples' reactions. She could hear them snicker and luagh. She left the church, sat in her car and wept. She did not understand her articulation patterns. As a result, when she had an audience, she misarticulated, and people laughed. What can you learn from this? The more you value your articulation, the more you will want to express it. Value each encounter as an expression.

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Distinct Speech

Distinct speech is often a reliable indication of your mental and physical alertness. When speech is not distinct, it can be attributed to personality or emotional disturbances, problems with your health, your hearing. Your environment and social conditioning have a great deal to do with it.

Sometimes, people articulate carelessly. Yes, their message is sloppy. You could probably name a couple of people who have careless speech.

What are some of the patterns you need to look for? There are some people that omit sounds. They "mumble." As a result, give me comes out as gimme; thinking becomes thinkin; going to changes into gonna; and recognize and understand turn into rekuhnize and unnerstan. This pattern  is a serious one since people make use of the sounds to verify your communication intent. If you omit them to save time, you do a disservice to yourself and listener, since they have to fill in the blanks with the sounds that you leave out.

Sometimes, people substitute sounds. They exchange one sound for another. Usually, an incorrect sound is substituted for the correct one: these, them, those are heard as deze, dem, doze.

They can also distort sounds. Barbara  Walters distorts her "r" sounds.

Do you want distinct speech? Then pay attention to your articulation!

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Your history!

A teacher loved his job. He enjoyed his students for their spontaneity, fun and the challenges they brought. He enjoyed the age group and felt comfortable with them.

A local university needed him to teach a class. He jumped at the offer and prepared for it. The day arrived. As he drove to the university, he reflected on his experiences -- where he grew up and where he was educated. He reflected on his parents and their experiences. He became uncomfortable with what he saw.

He started to panic. He thought he wasn't articulate, or knowledgeable enough to communicate with older people. He recognized why he taught younger students. His grade level choice gave him an advantage due to his age. This new teaching assignment would give him an opportunity to see another part of himself. As he spoke for the first time, he noticed the students' reactions. They posed questions. They laughed at his jokes. They were participating! This went on for months and with the completion of the semester, came the students' course evaluations. As he opened them, he saw what an exceptional job he did.

It was after a semester of teaching that he realized his environment did shape his communication. He was so concerned with what he thought was a negative history, that he neglected his past experiences, as preparation for such a great opportunity and career move. What can you learn from this? Your environment shapes your ability to communicate. Look at your history to see how you got there!

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Your Experiences!

How have your experiences shaped your communication skills? Can you answer that question? If you've never thought about it, maybe it's time you did! Your experiences and environment shape how you communicate. There are 2 types of communication systems -- open and closed. If you grew up in an open system, it was characterized by "open and honest." In that system, you operated as a whole. The actions of one person affected the actions of others. Decisions and discussions were a joint effort. All family members were encouraged to share their ideas and feedback was positive.

If you grew up in an environment where you "were seen but not heard," your communication skills were part of a closed system. You may find situations that challenge you to "speak up," yet you are frozen with fear. If you are unable to recognize that your experiences and environment undermine communication, you will not understand why you are fearful. You don't have a map to follow that will point you in the direction of change. When you are "closed,"  you are operating as an individual and you have a prescribed status. Authority figures (parents) make the decisions  for you. Negativity and criticism are a part of this model.

FYI -- more people are familiar with a closed model of communication.

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Going "Inside"

A businessman sought a speech consultation. His colleagues and spouse told him he didn't communicate well. Past clients no longer sought his business services.

He arrived for the consultation and the consultant described the assessment. A part of it involved a history. The history was important, for it explained the man's past, and served as a framework for changing his skills.

The assessment began with easy questions but they shifted. As they did, the man became agitated. Though the questions were essential, and were needed as a plan for future consultations; they placed him within his intrinsicness, prompting frustration and uncertainty. The man recognized this. He had not developed the inner checks and balance system essential to monitoring his behavior. He had never gone inside to really understand himself. What can you learn from this? Going inside helps you to monitor your communication. Listening to that inner voice, helps you see how others see you.

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The "Inside"

Intrinsicness is essential for communication. You may never have heard the word, but it is always working and always a part of you. You may choose to identify it as your intuition or an "inner" tool available for your use, whenever you need it. It guides you to stand up and walk, and it will guide you  when you want to communicate.

Think of it as an inner gauge directing your acquisition of communicating. Through practice and discovery, you will demonstrate the creativity that you want. However, in order for it to work, three behaviors need to be present: 1) there needs to be a readiness, 2) you have to want to practice, and  finally 3) you have to trust the process.

The readiness factor is easiest to explain -- it involves your body and your brain. Are you over 18? Then, your body and brain are ready! What may need work is your readiness for new communication situations. For some, this may be overwhelming, since you would challenge your comfort zone. Are you ready to see another part of yourself?

Now, let's take a look at practicing. Let's say you've taken a class on public speaking, and your church has asked you to be a speaker. It's a small forum and a good start. You know that there is a readiness; it's now time to put your knowledge to the test. You get up in front of the group and start your presentation. As you speak, you notice some of your points have not been understood. You see that revisions are necessary and this is essential to meeting the needs of your audience. Think of this behavior as a "checks and balance" system. You try out a new behavior and will revise it. This is based on your reactions, and the reactions from your listeners.

Last, but not least, is the trust factor. This is important for those that want a "quick fix." If you think you'll get better overnight, think again. Any type of change occurs over time. You have to take a leap of faith that when you are ready, the right situations will materialize for practice.

Your intrinsicness is the "inside." That's where ALL communication begins!

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

LQQK At Your Communication!

A mother recognized it was time to get back to work. Her children no longer needed her and she grew bored with things in the house.  She looked at the want ads and sent out resumes. As she waited for the phone to ring, she "role-played" potential interviews. She believed that this would be helpful. Her friends helped. One day, the phone rang. It was a company that was interested in her and her skills. An interview was scheduled. The day arrived. As she drove to the destination, doubt crept in.

Though doubt was present, she believed that she was prepared. She wanted to land this new job. Throughout the interview, she noticed the employer's style. He was polished and poised. This style was something that was foreign to her. As she spoke, she grew self-conscious and her body language conveyed her fears. She left the interview and felt that she had failed. She did not trust her communication skills. What can you learn from this?

Your communication is based on your perceptions and experiences. When you change your experience, it changes your perceptions and thus changes the way you communicate.

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's About Judgements

Oprah Winfrey has started a video blog about her latest book selection: Say You're One Of Them by Uwem Akpan. One of the stories is entitled ExMas-Feast and is about prostitutes. Oprah reveals in her video blog that she never thought about it, but maybe she judged prostitutes (without realizing it).

That got me thinking about "judgements" and how we all judge -- sometimes consciously, sometimes not.

How many of us judge people by the way they speak? It could be a foreign or dialectical speaker  that tries to tell us something but we "flip them off" because we just don't have the time?

How many of us go to parties and laugh or poke fun at people who dress differently?

How many of us only socialize with people  who are at our educational level? You know the types -- Ivy League graduates.

How many of us can only interact with  "Donald Trump" types?

How many of us "judge" without knowing?

How many of us are willing to turn over a new leaf and get to know someone for who they are, and what is in their heart(s)?

How many of us will start today?

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Communication Memories

Suze Orman (The Courage To Be Rich), discusses "money memories" and how they shape your views on finance. I've heard her speak and read her book. I will admit, I was skeptical. I couldn't see the "connection" between my past and how I viewed money. I did the "money memory" exercise and it became clear how my past shaped my present . . about money.

Your communication skills can change in the same way. Trace your "communication memory" to see where it leads. Look at the situations that  shaped it. You will find positive and negative forces which are responsible. Your challenge is to focus on the positive and chip away at the negative.

When you do, your communication will change, and it will be profound!

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Worry

Worry is something you learned to do. Who taught you "worry?" Mom? Dad?

Newsflash! You weren't born that way but you did get it from a source:
  1. You learned it from experience. After many years of mistakes, you discovered that things don't always turn out. Out of these experiences, you formed your "worry."
  2. You learned it from examples. Look at your "worry model." Studies show that children pick up their parent's "worry model." If you are a nervous parent, you will project that unto your kids.
Since worry is learned, it can be unlearned!

How do you get over it? Realize that it is useless. It doesn't help you to worry. Worry has never changed anything. It can't change the past or the future. It makes you miserable and compromises your spirit.

Worry uses up your spiritual gas!

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Into The Air!

A men's locker room can teach you a lot about communication.

Recently, I heard two men discussing baseball teams and their placement in the World Series. This conversation went on for 10 minutes. Ten minutes of statistics and probabilities. Which team would make the playoffs?

I stood there and thought, "This is stuff into the air. What are they dancing around? What do they really want to say?" (I know this is consistent with men, but women "dance" too!) You know what I'm saying -- "talking" to someone BUT not talking or saying what you really want to say.

That locker room chat lasted 10 minutes with nothing really being said, filling time with words floating "into the air."

What conversation have you danced around?

Don't have your words just "float" into the air! Make them count for something!


Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The next time you negotiate

I was told by my personal banker that I communicate clearly and that it is a "gift" when it is given.

No one ever complimented me in that way, so it got me to thinking of how I got so "clear."

I traced my beginnings and recognized that it came from all the years I worked with children.

Think about how a child communicates . . . they ask questions when they don't understand, they tell you the truth, and they make their needs simple.

THAT is the process of negotiating . . . asking questions, telling the truth and keeping it simple.

If you can remember that the next time you negotiate, it WILL be quick and easy.

And you will give a great "gift" in return!

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Symptom of Hurt, Fear or Frustration

Most people express their anger in destructive ways. Many of us are still using the "anger strategies" that we learned from our parents. When anger is expressed inappropriately, it doesn't bring a positive result.  (Pay attention to the word inappropriately.) If you blow up at people, it doesn't produce any lasting changes. In fact, it produces more anger.

Anger is never really the root of the problem. It is usually a symptom of hurt, fear or frustration. These are three things that make us angry. If you feel your "anger" button pushed, and you are gonna "blow," take a step back and ask, "Am I hurt, frustrated or afraid?" Give yourself some time to walk away, and get some distance. Address the issue when you have a clearer head.

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Monday, September 14, 2009

An Audience of ONE!

Should and shame based statements ("Johnny, you should watch out for your sister." "You should go to church on Sunday." "Shame on you for doing that.") chip away at a person's spirit. There are many people who try to please others and follow a formula of how they are to behave or adapt to situations. They lose sight of what needs to be done within.

You can carry should and shame throughout your life. And, if you're not careful, this toxicity can kill you. We're so concerned with what others think. BUT, we don't have to be everything for others. We play to different audiences in an effort to get validated. Actually, there is only one audience that you have to be accountable to, and that audience (of one) is God.

What your life boils down to is listening for, and following, the voice (inside) that is God. He created you in HIS goodness and only wants the best for you! At the end of your life (performance) you will only have one force to please, and that will be God.

What can you do today, to please that audience of one?

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Doubt means Don't

If you are a follower of The Oprah Winfrey Show you've probably heard Oprah's philosophy that "doubt means don't."

She believes that when you are faced with any decision and have doubts, that means "don't do this right now." Her explanation is simple -- we all have an inner compass that guides us. Some people call it intuition, others may call it a gut feeling. Some may label it guidance from God or the Holy Spirit.

However you label it, it is available to you at a moment's notice. The trick is to get quiet and listen to it. Because, when you do, your life is easier.

Sometimes, waiting for something brings you information that makes the situation better. It's only when you wait, that things become clearer.

That clarity doesn't come when you are rushed. It comes when you step back, listen and  act!

Just 1 Page . . . to empower and communicate.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Intention and choice

An intention has an aim or a purpose.

"I need to paint this year." The aim or purpose involves going to the store, buying the paint, the brushes -- anything else that's needed. Once the items are bought, the next action involves the plan in how to carry it out and finish the intention. An integral part of the intention is choice.

You can go to the store for all the paint and the supplies, but you eventually have to paint the house. You can decide "I'm  too tired, I'll do it later." Another choice is "I have the energy, I'll paint the house now." With both, you've made a choice.

Changing the way you communicate also involves an intention -- to be better or clearer. That is the aim or purpose. You make the choice to move in a positive direction or just "sit" and do nothing.

Change occurs through intention and choice.

Just 1 page . . . to empower and communicate.

Monday, September 7, 2009

No fear, no prejudice

Children are the best type of teachers! Until they understand fear, they just jump in and do it. It's only when they get hurt, do they understand not to repeat anything negative.

I've worn many hats in my career; the one I favor is teaching. Something about working with kids just "gets me." I continue to learn from them.

Many years ago, I was teaching a bunch of pre-schoolers. I had them watch a videotape as part of a lesson. I was amazed at what I saw.

Two four year old boys innocently watched the video. Initially, they held hands and eventually had their arms over each other's shoulders.

They showed no fear . . . of prejudice, bias, stereotypes.

Your communication can be just like that!

Just one page . . . to empower and communicate.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Just 5 seconds . . .

1-2-3-4-5!

Just 5 seconds. The time it takes to make an impression.

Whether you're in front of an audience, on the phone, interviewing for that job. Your communication skills are an asset.

When you take steps to change your communication, you have to be ready. I won't kid you, bad and good will happen. The bad includes looking at deep-rooted patterns that you may have ignored or never noticed. When you change the bad, you have to incorporate a grief period. You are letting go of something that doesn't work.

But the good outways the bad. The good includes: positive self-esteem, values, confidence, better relationships and a permanent smile. All this happens when you get into a groove and work on yourself. And you know what?

You and others will feel it!

Just one page . . . to empower and communicate

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Self Confidence and Communication

About ten years ago, I was interviewing for a job. The process was intense. Every half hour I interviewed with another staff member. The final team member was a doctor. We talked for half and hour and he was in awe of my skills. Though he liked what he saw on paper, he thought I "didn't have what they were looking for."

I stopped him cold, and asked if he had, what they wanted, when he interviewed. He grew silent and said "no." I made a point that whatever job you take, you need to be trained. People at McDonald's need training on how to cook a burger.

He saw my point and I was glad I made it. I was able to turn a negative situation around with my quick thinking and communication skills.

And you can do the same, once you have self-confidence and communication skills that works for you!

Just one page . . . to empower and communicate.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Empathy on Your Side

It takes five seconds to make an impression. That's it! You walk into a room, remain silent and you've made your mark. Think about what happens when you talk! It can make or break any networking, business, or sales opportunity.

When you have empathy  on your side, you increase your chances of success. Empathy helps you accurately understand the other person's thoughts and feelings. The word "accurate" is the key because if you're not accurate, you respond the wrong way.

And empathy leads to honesty which is tied to action. It has a ripple effect because your "actions speak louder than words." In turn, those five seconds change. They're now jam packed because you now have something more to add to the impression.

Remember that  the next time you walk into a room.

Just one page . . . to empower and communicate.

Friday, August 28, 2009

It gets "deep"

A couple of years ago, I was interviewed by a local paper about my "beginnings." At the end of the piece I was asked for final thoughts. Without a thought, I said, "I come from a background where I had no voice. I've been channeled into a profession where I help people find and use their voice." The interviewer asked, "Are you sure you want it that deep?" "Yes." I replied. "that deep."

When you empower people, it gets personal, emotional, scary . . . and deep. You're dealing with feelings and issues. And many times, it's the first time - - for them (and you), to acknowledge and talk about a feeling and the pain/joy it brings.

When your communication "empowers" someone, it brings value and respect. It also brings encouragement, support and depth. It has a domino effect.

Because when you empower, you inspire and challenge someone to be their best, no matter what.

And in the process, it gets "deep."

Just one page . . . to empower and communicate.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Win-Win!

Stephen Covey has a central theme to his books -- "win-win" and work from the inside-out. The 2 ideas go hand-in-hand. It's an easy concept, but very hard to put into practice. The hardest part is making the commitment to dig deep and understand your stuff!

When you communicate, you have to understand what drives you -- why do you act in the way that you do. In many cases, fear is present and creates an obstacle. When you are involved in any type of communication situation, you have to take a risk. Without risk, there is no movement. That risk may be asking your boss for a raise or confronting an employee or colleague, or just being vulnerable. The bottom line is you will never know the outcome until you try!

When you understand the inside, the outside comes naturally.

And when the inside matches the outside, you are in a win-win situation . . . everytime!

Just one page . . . to empower and communicate!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Do you hear what I hear?

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!

Just one page . . . to empower and communicate.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Tech-speak"

There are some people who are so enmeshed in their job, that they resort to "tech-speak." There is no formal definition in the dictionary, so I'll present mine.

Tech-speak: to use terms that only you and your colleagues understand. When asked to "dumb it down," they can't. Unable to use simple terms for complex ideas. Examples include: doctors who use medical jargon when they present a diagnosis; computer people who use terms like "giga-byte, cache and cookies," lawyers who speak as though "common folk" are beneath them.

For some, the above examples are comical, or in some instances, frustrating. Think of a woman facing breast cancer and a doctor who can't explain things in the simplest of terms, so that she understands her choices.

When you're in "tech-speak" situations, be proactive. Personally, I stop the person and say, "I have no idea what you've said. Can you please dumb-it-down and talk to me as if I'm 5. I won't be offended."

That stops them DEAD in their tracks. Some get the clue and change their language. Many don't. If they can't change their "tech-speak" by the third time, I walk away.

Pay attention to your "tech-speak." It stays in the office.

If someone gets a glazed look -- they probably hear "Wha, wha, wha." -- NOT good.
If they say, "dumb it down," believe them and DO IT!
If you hear, "What did you say?" -- red flag!

When you rely on "tech-speak" because you can't say it "nice and easy," you've lost the chance to talk to someone on equal ground.

Just 1 page . . . to empower and communicate.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The "eyes" have it . . .

Eye contact is essential for communication. Information gets reinforced.

Have you ever really looked into a person's eyes?

"the eyes have it"

I have blue eyes and my friends tell me that the shade changes with my moods. I hear that when I'm happiest, my eye-color transcends a blue that is not in the crayon box. I'll never see that color because that "happy moment" is for others to see.

"the eyes have it"

Did you know that in some cultures, eye-contact is not reinforced? In Spanish and Indian cultures, the eyes look downward in a conversation. It's a form of respect. That can be confusing since one may think, "Why don't they look at me? What are they hiding?"

"the eyes have it"

Recently, I heard a pastor speak about his experiences in Rwanda. He looked at so many people and noticed an emptiness. During his preaching, he broke down, because he saw so many that were "dead inside."

"the eyes have it"

Look into a person's eyes and imagine their world:
-- happy, confident, brilliant
-- confused and distant
-- empty and dead inside

Do your eyes have "it?"

Just one page . . . to empower and communicate.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Your "time machine"

I remember when my voice was never heard.
Many listened but they never heard the words.

We all have “inner tapes” that either drive us on, or take us down.
Which “tapes” do you need to keep? Which “tapes” need to be thrown away?

In my mind, I can travel back in time. Relive the memories that kept my faith alive. If you believe in your memory...

You only have today to live your life. You could be dead tomorrow! As depressing as that is, it is the truth. Why not take today and do a “time machine” inventory? Look at some situations that made you shine and ask yourself, “What nugget can I remember for the future?” Write it down in a journal and start to collect the “nuggets” that define you in a positive light. Are you generous? Does your “kindness” stand out? Are you a loyal friend?

Many people immediately go to the negative when they talk about themselves, “I’m fat.” “I really am not good at that.” “You think that I’m attractive?” It’s better to stay in the positive, especially if you’ve reached your “ceiling” and said “enough is enough.”

Looking back on all the changes I have made, I may have stumbled but I never lost my way.

Going within (to make the changes you need) takes time and patience. You can’t think that if you read 1 self-help book, that you are going to be your best. Your “best” takes time. Don’t give up on yourself, especially if you KNOW that the track you’re on, is the right one!

Now that your eyes are open, you can explore each moment, for you are the only one that knows where your life should lead . . .

In every heart, there’s a time machine.

Take this moment to explore yours . . . and what’s inside!


Just one page . . . to empower and communicate.

Time Machine, Emotion by Barbra Streisand
lyrics: Maurice White, Martin Page, Brian Fairweather


Thursday, August 13, 2009

The small things . . .

Why are you grateful? Is it because you have a home, a good job, children that love you?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Maybe it is time that you did!

You can go through your day and miss all the small things that add to being "grateful." There is a book called "Simple Abundance" that talks about looking at the small things. When I saw the author interviewed on The Oprah Winfrey Show, I thought, "Am I grateful for the small things?" I wasn't sure but I was up for the challenge. I started a "Things I'm thankful for" journal. Every night I reflect back on my day ... all the little things that happened that brought a smile to my face --- the friends that made me laugh, the bargains I got at the store, the moments when I told someone "thank you."

I did it for a year and I was amazed at all the small things that really were miraculous.

Want to do something great? Do this task. Start it today. It doesn't have to be in a pretty, expensive notebook, get something affordable and try it. Look back at what you're grateful for in a month, in 3 months and finally in a year. You will see that "the small things" really make a difference and DO enhance your life!

Just one page . . . to empower and communicate!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Your "Theme" Song

What kind of music inspires you? Do you like jazz, classical, pop? Start thinking about the music or the songs that make you happy and ask yourself, "Can I use THIS song to uplift and empower me?"

Many years ago there was a television show called "Ally McBeal." Calista Flockheart played the title role. Her character was looking to make her place in the world and find love etc. She met with a therapist that suggested that she get herself a "theme" song and to play it when she needed a lift. Ally did her "homework" and started to play with different songs. She listened to the words and watched her reactions. Was she happy when she listened to the words? What changed when she listened to her "song" over and over again?

What was so cool about this episode was that I could relate to it. My "theme" song was "While You See A Chance (Take It)" by Steve Winwood. There is a lyric that is so powerful ... "When there's no one left to leave you. Even you don't quite believe you. That's when nothing can deceive you. While you see a chance, take it!" That lyric characterized my life so long ago. It doesn't now. BUT, when I am at a crossroads and am feeling uncertain about a risk that I need to take, THAT song will materialize as a "signal" from the Universe, from God ... that tells me, "you see this chance, take it!"

That song has followed me for over 25 years and EVERY TIME, I hear it, it makes me happy and uplifts me.

Get yourself a "theme" song and let it wash over you. You will be amazed at how the words will speak to you and get you to accomplish things that you never thought you could ever do.

"While you see a chance, take it!"

Just one page ... to empower and communicate.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Having a Mentor

In order to be the best that you can be, you need to have someone that you respect and look up to. Think about it. Who do you admire? Is it an author, writer, actress or actor? All the greats have had mentors -- one that comes to mind is Oprah Winfrey. Some of her mentors are Maya Angelou and Sidney Poitier. When she first entered journalism, her mentor was Barbara Walters. My point is that when you can follow someone that you admire, you absorb some of their qualities. And in doing so, your communication becomes more powerful. You start moving in a powerful direction.

This is just one page ... to empower and communicate.