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.