Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Communicating Your "Best Self"!

Are you communicating your best self? Can you answer that question quickly or do you need to give it some thought? If  you have to take some time to think about it, you probably aren’t making your mark. It takes just five seconds to make an impression. 

Many people have trouble communicating (i.e. whether it’s asking for a raise or saying you’re “sorry” and really meaning it. Your communication skills are always in flux. Many people don’t really pay attention. There’s the rub. Communication is invisible and happens in an eye-blink. Words can cut to the quick. It’s important to pay attention to how you’re coming across and here are 5 strategies to change your communication image.

1.       Find a mentor. A mentor is someone who inspires you and is a role model. The best role models convey dignity and respect for others. Through their dignity and respect comes effective communication. John F. Kennedy and Oprah Winfrey are people who conveyed intelligence, compassion and a great sense of spirit.

2.      Find a friend for feedback. The best feedback comes from someone you trust; who can tell the truth (and do it in a way that doesn’t put you on the defense). Ask a friend for honest feedback. How does your communication come across? Does it need work? IN what ways (i.e. vocabulary building, listening better, etc.)? Opening up a conversation for this feedback can get you to understand what is happening under the surface. Without constructive criticism, you don’t know what skills to keep, and which ones to throw out?

3.      Check out your strengths and weaknesses. (This comes after your friend’s feedback.) There are moments when your communication shines, and moments when it falls flat. A quick way to see yourself is to make two columns – one for strengths, the other for weaknesses. Do a thorough check on what you do well (i.e. listening to others, conveying empathy), and what you don’t (i.e. interrupting others, overuse of slang, etc.). Now, challenge yourself to work on making your weaknesses a communication strength. Some traits might take a while to overcome. The objective is to face what isn’t working and making a conscious effort to change it. Focus on the words conscious and effort. Many people don’t. If you don’t pay attention, you can’t change the impression you’re making.

4.      Get a theme song! Yes, you read that right. Find a song that empowers you! We all have artists that we like and admire. Many times, songs “speak: to us. It can be Irene Cara’s Flashdance –What A Feeling to Steve Winwood’s While You See a Chance (Take It). Find a song that makes you feel good about yourself and gives you confidence. Now play it when you’re faced with a situation that warrants you to face your fear(s), and challenges you to step out of your comfort zone.

5.      Face your fear(s). Fear is a constant for any new situation (i.e. asking for a rasiee, saying “I’m sorry” to someone you’ve hurt.) You can’t get away from it. A good way to face fear is to break it into small parts. Analyze the “whole” situation and determine your strategy. Break things down into small parts. What can you handle first and foremost? Now, do it! Afterwards, assess your performance and move on. Bit by bit, you’ll get better.
It takes just five seconds to make an impression. These five steps will point you in the direction for communicating “your best self.”

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Good Idea!

Do you get anxious when you meet someone new? Does going to a party make you nervous?
Here’s a great way to change that. Ask a question. When you ask a question, it conveys that you want to get to know a person. Where did you get that tie? How did you make that recipe? Questions get people to REVEAL who they are. They are GREAT ice-breakers (and a great way to flirt)!

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trust = Commitment

Trust equals commitment and if there is not trust, the relationship won’t evolve. Trust is a slow process that happens over time. When there’s a betrayal of trust, it threatens the relationship. Research shows that it takes up to five times to gain a new customer, then to sell an existing one.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A "Youthful" Appearance

I believe we ALL have a voice and we can ALL make a difference. I was privy to this a couple of months ago when I saw the daughter of my Zumba teacher come up and lead the class to a song by Shakira. A brief history is needed.  My zumba teacher began as a student. She stayed in the back of the class. She was there BUT no one knew her because she was so shy. She didn’t talk to many people. That changed when the Zumba teacher we had, saw her potential and encouraged her to become certified. She did and just experienced her 4 yr. anniversary. This teacher recognized her shy and introverted limitations. She walked into her spotlight. She made her class, her OWN. She recognized the benefits she attained and wanted them for her daughter. Her daughter had potential but was the shy wallflower in the background. The mom wanted her daughter to “taste” the spotlight and encouraged her to come to class and dance.

Many times, the daughter came up and danced with her mom. One day, that changed. The mom played the Shakira song. The daughter stepped alongside of her and took (what she thought) was her rightful place. The mom danced and the girl followed. The mom stepped into the class and left the daughter alone in the spotlight.

The daughter recognized the moment and OWNED it. She danced and was TRANSFORMED. Her body took on a persona like I’ve never seen. She EXUDED confidence. She was in her EMPOWERMENT. I don’t think the daughter recognized the MAGNITUDE in how she commanded the audience. When the song was over, the ENTIRE class broke out in applause to support the girl and her efforts.

After class, I spoke with both of them. I told the daughter how she did something PHENOMENAL for herself and others. The mom revealed that she didn’t want her daughter to be in the background but to be a beacon of light (my words) for others to witness.
Sometimes, we HAVE to push someone into the spotlight because they have the potential. It’s just that no one has ever done anything about it. It’s one thing to speak and encourage. It’s another thing to create circumstances or situations where the person in question walks into an unknowing spotlight where the light is so bright, it BLINDS you.

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Focus: Potential, Inspiration, Empowerment

Question For You: 1) Are you manifesting your potential or are you content to watch the grass grow? 2) Where is your potential and/or gifts (i.e. art, music, etc.)? Are you using them? 3) What steps can you take to make your potential grow?