Friday, December 30, 2011

3 Social Tips

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Communication is an invisible medium and can be hard to navigate. Here are 3 social tips to get you motivated:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

5 Great Insights!

1) You never outgrow the limits you set, you only set new ones for which to live.
2) Positive self-image comes from what you tell yourself.
3) Build your dreams on a strong foundation.
4) Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
5) Meet your deadlines.


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Desire and Change!

Desire must precede change. The desire to change must be internally motivated and intensely personal. External pressure rarely leads to long-lasting change. Often, it leads to failure, followed by disappointment and guilt, because we feel we let someone else down.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Your Client's Personality!

Clients who walk into your office are seeking your services to meet their needs. The key to establishing, and building a relationship with prospects, and turning them into customers, is effective communication.

Although people differ from one another, their behavior generally is consistent, according to their personality  type. Personality traits don't change with age, but people may be less prone to patience, and less accepting of poor quality service and products.

Understanding a client's personality, can make it easier to communicate with them, and to convince them of the value of a product or service.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Your Values!

Your values are your guiding principles and beliefs in what's most important to you. They represent the core of who you are, and what you stand for, and believe in.  Living a life of integrity means behaving in accordance with your values.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How Do YOU Listen?

We "listen" on four levels:

  1. ignoring -- not listening at all
  2. pretending -- saying "uh-huh" or "right"
  3. selective listening -- hearing only parts of the conversation
  4. attentive listening -- listening and actively paying attention to the person
But many don't "emphatically" listen.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One Language To Another

Speakers with a different native language often retain parts of that language. They may code-switch from one language to another. 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 efficacy of code-switching.

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(Excerpt from Communicating Your Way: Transforming Yourself -- Personally and Professionally, Bob Roza >> available through  Integrative Speech, Inc.)

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Company Video!

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I BELIEVE THAT ALL OF US ARE DESTINED FOR GREATNESS! This clip sets the tone for our company and what we believe (and do) for ALL of our clients!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Setting Goals for Your Team

When you set a goal, you give your team a focus. They know where they're going and where you're taking them. Setting a goal avoids "surprises." Setting goals for a team gives them a chance to understand your expectations for them.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

5 Tips To Being Assertive!

Here are 5 tips to assert yourself:
  • Take responsibility for what you want
  • Don't apologize when you need help
  • Offer help when you see the need
  • Don't compare yourself to others
  • Always look your best
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Elevator Speeches

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Are you looking for a job but keep spinning your wheels? Here's a strategy that will give you more options!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Knowledge IS Power!

Being viewed as skillful or proficient in certain areas is important for your self-esteem. Having special skills and knowledge that goes along with it, is attractive and empowers people. This helps you to develop and maintain your own network (and includes the network of others). Others will want what 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
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Take Short Cuts!

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.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Work Can Be FUN!

How you perceive and function in your workplace is "key" to creating a cheerful, positive attitude in every area of your life. Yes, jobs can be boring OR they can be exciting and fulfilling. It depends on your attitude. Your attitude makes the difference. Take each of your work tasks and do each of them well. With a positive attitude, your "work" will become fun!

In the process, you'll feel good about yourself, your co-workers and your company!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Company Jargon!

Company jargon should stay in your company! Using it with callers or with people outside the office causes mistakes and confusion. You are far more familiar with these terms than people outside of "work." You won't impress anyone with knowledge that they don't understand. In fact, you will annoy and frustrate them.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Accents and Good Business

Call  it simple kindness or just common sense. Learning to deal with language accents can be "good business." More than one million  immigrants enter the United States each year. Most of them have something in common: English is their second language. These people represent a sizable market. Here are some points to remember  when dealing with a foreign speaker:

1) Don't pretend  to understand: If you don't understand a foreign speaker, tell them. Ask them to slow down so that you can understand what they are saying.

2) Don't rush: Take your time with them. Listen to their speech patterns and try to pick up key words. They will appreciate it.

3) Don't shout: People who have an accent, speak two languages. It takes them longer to process information.

4) Don't be rude: Patience is key here.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Test Your Intuitiveness!

How intuitive are you? Answer the following questions to see where you stand:

1) I believe in E.S.P.  [Yes/No]
2) I sometimes know exactly what will happen. [Yes/No]
3) I trust my instincts (the first time). [Yes/No]
4) I have flashes of insight about things that are important.  [Yes/No]
5) Many of my decisions are based on my "gut." [Yes/No]
6) I sense problems before anyone tells me about them. [Yes/No]
7) I have days that go well, because I feel lucky. [Yes/No]
8) I have psychic experiences. [Yes/No]
9) I can sometimes dream the answer to a problem. [Yes/No]
10) If data supported one opinion, but my intuition disagreed with it, I would follow my intuition. [Yes/No]

Five or more YES answers indicate a high reliance on your intuition.
Five or more NO answers show a low reliance on intuition.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are You A Creative Thinker?

Call it a hunch or a gut feeling: thousands of managers and executives make business deals based on their intuition. Have you ever had a hunch that you should or should not be doing something? We all have hunches, but many of us ignore or distrust them as being useless. Creative thinkers tend to pay more attention to their feelings including their "inner voice."

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Authenticity and Communication

With 20/20 vision or hindsight, you could probably recall dozens of occasions when you knew something, but ignored it. Doubt or fear, spoke louder than your inner wisdom. Some call it a sixth sense, hunch, instinct, feeling in your bones, gut instinct or vibes. And, that leads to a waste of your time.

The more you listen to this wisdom, the stronger your authenticity becomes. Strong authenticity equals strong communication.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pay Attention!

It can be hard to listen to your "gut," but, guidance is always available. It's about paying attention. If you just slow down and check in with your feelings, you can notice that helpful, inner messages, come to you ALL the time. They can be through physical sensations, flashes of insight, or intuitive feelings. And when you use this information to adjust your course; you tune in to your inner state, and interact (better) with others.

This guidance shows itself in  different ways -- the signals of "danger," to the subtler sense that shows a ballplayer where to move for a catch. All of us have it. You just have to recognize it and make it conscious.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This Way or That?

Whether this guidance comes through your body as "gut instincts," or through your mind as intuition, a vision, a voice or a dream; it is smarter than your rational mind. The reason? It's coming from a deeper part of you. Tuning in to it, is one of the best ways to access the "artist" who lives in you. When you follow your gut, you're receiving guidance from a master. That master is you. You know better than anyone else what is best for you. The trick? Just get quiet and listen.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Follow Your Gut!

We all have personality parts that are wise and mature. We also have parts that base decisions on childhood fears. Working with intuition gives you a choice to see what information comes from your wise self vs. a part that hasn't grown up.

When you get a hunch about something major, it's good to ask yourself, "Is this grounded in reality?"

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Four Lessons!

Here are four lessons to live by:
  1. Maturity is the result of time and the mistakes you made
  2. Mistakes are not as important as what you learned from them, and how  you made your life BETTER
  3. Good living is not measured by accomplishments
  4. When you encourage someone, you change their life 
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Your Truth!

When you speak your truth, you stand in the center of your personal power.  Saying "no" when you mean it is one example. Another example, is asking for what you want and not worrying about what others think.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

The Cautious Personality

The cautious personality relies on facts, logic and quality. They tend to be sensitive and careful. They are usually doctors, accountants, research analysts, or computer-related professionals. They most likely will ask technical questions and want you to tell them "point blank" what needs to be done. They pay close attention to detail.

These type of clients represent 10-15 percent of the population. Make a point of providing these clients with a lot of information, especially when it comes to finances. They will read and research options.

Work to establish a plan in objective terms. Clients who exhibit a cautious personality are interested in credentials and will ask questions about your training and education. They have a strong need for logic and are concerned with quality. It is important that your plan of action focuses on detail and exceptional service.

The better you are at communicating (regardless of the personality types they show), the more likely they will accept and trust your services. This type of client treatment will increase your potential for referrals.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Steady Personality

The steady personality type is patient and has good listening skills. Half of Americans have this personality type. They often work  in administrative positions.

The key to communicating with them is gaining their trust. Build rapport and create a  comfortable atmosphere with them. The more you make them feel at home; the sooner you will gain their trust. These clients believe communication is a two-way street and will listen carefully. They expect you will listen to their comments and concerns. Their biggest fear is loss of security. Many of these personality types are uncomfortable making a final decision so you will have to be patient. Don't overwhelm them with unnecessary facts and information. Speak directly to them.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

The Influencing Personality

The influencing personality type represents about twenty five percent of the population. Their occupations often relate to sales, public relations, marketing and advertising. Typically, these clients are out-going, articulate, enthusiastic and entertaining. They are most likely the ones who enjoy socializing.

They love to impress others. What they wear is as important to them as what they say or do. Popularity, social recognition and freedom of expression are important values to them.

In order to be effective  with this client, you almost have to become an influencing personality yourself. Be sociable and friendly. Give them the VIP treatment.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Dominant Personality

The dominant personality lives in an environment of power and authority. They are free from controls and supervision. People in this category represent about 15 percent of Americans and often are/were CEO's, presidents or managers.

Clients with this dominant personality type are direct and sometimes impatient. They can be intimidating. They want immediate results and don't want to be misled.

The best way to deal with them is to be business-like and straight forward. Present pros, cons and risks to this type of client. They need to have the "options" laid out.

People in this category have an acute sense of business. It's important to present data in a prepared and well-organized manner. Let them feel they are in control and allow them to "speak their mind." Once you present the options, let them know that the final decision is theirs.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Personality Types

People can be categorized into 4 classic personality types: 1) dominant: leader and achiever, 2) influencing: image conscious, concerned about social acceptance, 3) steady: loyal, patient, team player, 4) cautious: perfectionist, eager to be correct.

The personality trait that is the strongest, will drive the person's decision-making process. Tailoring your communication techniques to "mirror" or speak directly to the strongest trait, will improve the process of discussing client needs.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Are You Involved?

The chance to win people over to your point of view is an art. Do you have what it takes?

Whether you have to pitch a presentation to colleagues, explain a new program to sales rep's, announce a policy change, or relate an idea to your teenager; the ability to win others to your point of view, will take you where you want to go. Small improvements can make a huge difference for a presentation.

Begin with involvement. You want your presentation to be give and take. Bringing participants into your presentation adds value (and you won't be stuck doing all the giving). Human nature drives people, and involvement generates a better outcome. You take a BIG risk when you don't involve your audience.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Research, Research!

BEFORE you do any presentation, you must research your topic or idea! Your research can be organized into three areas: mental, physical and electronic. Mental includes the ideas, stories, examples, jokes and ice breakers you commit to memory. Physical involves articles from the newspapers and magazines. It also includes photographs and videotapes. Electronic involves slides or articles from your computer or CD.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

"Presentation" As Art!

When you have a public speaking opportunity, you have to be creative! It's like doing stand-up. You need to be able to read your audience and know how to shift gears. One of the questions you have to ask yourself  is "Why am I here and what can I give to my audience?" The most powerful thing you can do, is convince your audience why they should do what you suggest, or believe what you say.

People need to know what's in it for them. They need to see the benefits to what you're suggesting. Hearing the "why" doesn't always bring a "yes" but it opens the door to your ideas. When people understand your rationale, they listen with an open mind.

If your subject matter is controversial or likely to generate an emotional reaction, it is important that the "whys" be tested in advance.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Stage Fright: It's a REALITY!

Stage fright is common during presentations. There is no immunity to it. The unknown is a given for any type of presentation. Fear can impose itself on you in many ways -- nervousness, poor voice delivery, negative body language, and the inability to respond to audience feedback.

"Seasoned" speakers are vulnerable to the unknown. Turning the unknown into the "known," eliminates nervousness about controllable factors. Managing anxiety gives you the chance to focus on your audience, instead of worrying how things will go. In a word -- rehearse and/or prepare.

Know your audience. When you know them, you reach them.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

3 Points to a "Crafty" Presentation

Follow these three points to "craft" your presentation -- 1) Meet their needs: include information appropriate to what they want; 2) Reduce tension: when you acknowledge a need, tension goes down; 3) Mistakes: when you're clear about their needs, you can steer clear of hot buttons. Be tailored. When listeners get bored, they miss your objective(s). To maintain the job, be flexible.  Some "red flags" to watch for -- clock watching, foot-tapping, and cat-napping. Some questions to ask (yourself): "Should I pick up the pace?" "Is it too warm in here?" "Do we need to take a break?"

Plan B: This technique comes when plan A doesn't go as smoothly as you thought. Plan B might include extra jokes, flip charts, a back up Power Point or pre-designed break-out exercises.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Your Audience!

Before you "present," ask your audience questions. It's impossible to know the level they are at, in terms of understanding the topic at hand. If you tailor the presentation for the audience "on the fly," it shows that YOU know your topic inside and out.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Anyone Can Do It!

Some people don't have a clue about what to discuss, or not discuss in front of an audience. In fact, many national polls reveal that people would rather die, than get up in front of an audience and speak. Many times, it's because they are self-conscious and aren't comfortable in front of big groups. What looks good on paper, may fall apart, when the "time to speak" comes. What's important is that anyone can speak in a public forum.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

A Closed System!

If you grew up in an environment where you were "seen but not heard," your communication skills are part of a closed system. You may find situations that challenge you to "speak up" and be heard, 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.

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(Excerpt from Communicating Your Way: Transforming Yourself . . Personally and Professionally Bob Roza)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Last Step To Listening!

The final step to successful listening is to choose an appropriate response. The speaker needs to know you listened, and that you understood what was said. Some responses in knowing you listened "well," might include: facial expressions, gestures, more questions and detailed comments.

Successful listening is not hard, but it does take concentration and practice. The more you practice, the more automatic your listening skills become.

John Gray, in his book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, says that you may feel that you're speaking in "different languages." As you learn to listen and interpret feelings correctly, your communication will get easier. It's an important skill to practice; but some days are better than others. If you're having a bad day, it may be hard to understand the intended meaning. When this happens, it's better to address the situation later, when you can focus!

Remember to trust your instincts! If your intuition tells you to try things  again (or differently), do it. Your chance to get favorable resolution not only rests with what you notice verbally, but nonverbally too!

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(Excerpt from Communication (is easy) from the Inside-Out. 7 Steps to Your Personal Power. Bob Roza)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Fourth Step To Listening

The fourth step for successful listening is to use your mind to help you understand and evaluate what is said. When someone talks, you need to clarify, interpret, and examine the message.

Clarification
Another word for clarification is to make clear. When you clarify, you make sure that you heard the speaker. At this stage of listening, you are getting the facts straight.

Interpretation
Another word for interpret is explain. Once you've heard the message, you may need further explanation. Don't assume you've got the interpretation the first time. People come  from all walks of life. Have you ever been in a group discussion, only to find out later that all people had a different understanding of what was said?

Examination
Once you understand what the speaker said, you may need to take a closer look at the message. You may need to think about whether you agree or disagree with it. The way or "process," that you use to examine information; is based on your use of filters. An unexamined "filter" will affect the way that you process what a speaker says to you.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Third Step To Listening

The third step to successful listening is to use your eyes. When someone speaks, they use more than their words. Their body language also "speaks." And ninety percent of language is nonverbal. So, it's important to check out their facial expressions, posture and gestures, to get a better idea of the underlying message. You can do this two ways: 1) ask questions when you don't understand something, and 2) put the message in your own words.

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(Excerpt from Communication (is easy) from the Inside-Out. 7 Steps to Your Personal Power -- Bob Roza)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Second Step To Listening

The second step to better listening is to listen carefully to what the speaker says and how they say it.

The Speaker's Words

When someone speaks to you; it's important to listen for word choice. You need to make sure you hear the words correctly within the context of the conversation. Words can take on different meanings depending on how the speaker uses them. This is especially tricky with the foreign speaker. You may not be listening for knowledge but because it's just nice to hear them speak. Think of the first time you heard a foreign speaker. Were you caught off guard with their speech patterns? If you did, you lost the communication intent. But, if you lost the intent from the beginning, it was hard to catch up; because the majority of the message (or conversation) was already shared.

Foreign or dialectical speakers are prime examples of how you can lose your chance to listen; since you just like hearing them talk. You may try to listen but not understand them. You may miss sound differences or listen without evaluating what you hear.

The Speaker's Tone of Voice

It's important  to notice the person's tone of voice. How a speaker says something can change the meaning of what they say. A person's tone of voice can tell you how they feel about something. When a person is intense, can you identify what emotion (anger, sadness, frustration) they project?

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(Excerpt from Communication (is easy) from the Inside-Out. 7 Steps to Your Personal Power. Bob Roza)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The First Step To Listening

The first step to being a better listener is to get rid of the obstacles that keep you from hearing the "message." Here's something to think about:

Poor Reception

If you can't hear clearly, you won't be able to listen. Make sure you are close enough to hear what the person is saying, and the speaker is not talking so loud, that others are staring.

Outside Distractions

It's very hard to listen when things are around you that take your attention from the speaker. In order to give your "full attention," do the following:
  • find a place that's quiet
  • eliminate the distractions
  • ignore the distractions and focus on what you're hearing

Inside Distractions

It's hard to listen to someone when you have "chatter" in your head. In order to give the speaker your full attention, you may need to:
  • put the thoughts out of your mind
  • suggest that the conversation take place at another time (when you can focus better)

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(Excerpt from Communication (is easy) from The Inside-Out. 7 Steps to Your Personal Power) Bob Roza

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Language and YOU!

Language in any form, is never innocent. The second you speak; the words you use with others and yourself, leave an impression. Every word you say, leaves a mark. Be careful about what you think and say.

You talk to yourself all day. Do you speak positively: creating or cheering yourself on; or negatively: focusing on the mistakes you've made? You ALWAYS have a choice.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Learn From A Mentor

If you're not open to feedback, you're not going to learn. You won't grow and develop. It is important to accept criticism. Go out and find someone you trust, someone with skills and experiences you can learn from. Ask that person to be your mentor.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ethnic "Eye-Contact"

Did you know that Hispanic, Asian and Middle - Eastern people are raised in environments where eye-contact is considered rebellious? That's right! Children are raised to respect authority figures without eye-contact. (This behavior is taught when they are small and carries over to adulthood.)  Generally, eye-contact is a must in communication. The eyes reveal so much, and if there is a lack of eye-contact, there is a lack of credibility within that person. These same ethnic groups demonstrate a "soft spoken" voice. When you're soft-spoken, you run the risk of being taken advantage of, because the voice doesn't convey the power that you want it to.

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(Excerpt from Communication (is easy) from the Inside-Out. 7 Steps to Your Personal Power, Bob Roza)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Are You HAPPY?

Two things happen with "self-talk." 1) Random thoughts float in and out of your head. There is no stopping them. You can't control them, but the more positive you become, the more productive and creative they become. 2) The opposite of random thoughts is active thinking. This is something you can control. Once you notice the words you're using, you can ask yourself whether your language and words are moving you forward. Is your self-discussion bringing you what you want?

Your results are your measuring stick. Are you happy in the here and now? Your life is the culmination of your thoughts and words. You create your life by the way you think. At any moment, you can choose to think . . . and communicate differently.

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(Excerpt from Language Is Not Innocent -- Improving Your Communication, Bob Roza)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's In Your Head!

Your self-talk influences your self-esteem. Pay attention to what you're saying "in your head." When you walk into a room full of strangers, what do you think about yourself? Are the thoughts positive or negative? Improve your confidence (and your communication), by rethinking what is "in your head."

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

What's Your Plan?

Planning for tomorrow is a good thing but worrying about tomorrow is wasted energy. Sometimes, it's hard to tell the difference. When you "plan," think about your goals and the steps you will take to achieve them. Planning helps alleviate worry. People who worry are consumed by fear. It is hard for them to trust God or a Universal Plan.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Watch Your Words!

Communication is vital for every business deal. If the message received is different from the message sent, there will be a break down. Choose your words well and avoid reacting, until you clearly understand what the other person means.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Commit To Learning!

How much do you want to learn about yourself? If you don't want to learn, years in school will not do the trick. BUT, if you are committed to learning, you can learn a LOT! This includes being willing to accept discipline and correction and to learn from other people. A person who refuses constructive criticism has a problem with pride. A "prideful" person will not learn very much.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Do you have tunnel-vision?

People with "tunnel-vision" are locked into one way of thinking. They can only see one way, and have closed minds to other options. All of us need to enlarge our perspective(s). Seek out the advice of people you trust, and who have a wealth of experience (and integrity)! Build a network of advisors. Be open to new ideas. When you do, your plans will be MORE likely to succeed!

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mistakes and Wisdom!

When you make a mistake, you learn not to repeat something. The consequence of a mistake teaches you a "life lesson" PROVIDED you pay attention. People who learn from their mistakes  develop wisdom.

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