Listening Skills

Hi,

We are about to conclude for now our Communication blog so we can go on to other valuable information.  There is so much that comprises having a happy life, it is not just one particular thing such as having good social skills, good manners and of course being able to communicate effectively with other people, both socially and in business.  In life we don’t have one roll, we have many and certainly some of them very stressful.

Okay, let’s go on to good Listening Skills.  I remind you that if you notice there are a few you are lacking, try applying one at a time so you can integrate it easily into your daily life. I always say that having the interest to be the best you can be is like having a diamond in the rough, then slowly it gets polished and it becomes a precious stone.

Listening & Communication Skills

  • Listen do not just Hear.
  • Do not interrupt the speaker while they are expressing their thoughts.
  • Do not get distracted by other things. (phones, papers, etc.)
  • Do not get ahead of the speaker to comment on what they just said, wait until they are finished.
  • Do not think about your answer while the speaker is talking, you may miss something important. Listen carefully to what they are saying.
  • Do not raise your voice, when it is your turn to speak.
  • Be observant of the tone of voice you use when you reply.
  • Do not use slang when you reply to the speaker.
  • Do not appear restless (Remember body language speaks loudly).
  • Control your facial expressions.
  • When in doubt about something the speaker has said, repeat it back to them. For example: “You said the sale was not successful because of our company’s negligence?  Is that correct?  When you repeat back to the speaker what they said they may well correct themselves. i.e. “Well, I did not exactly mean….)  Or you may want them to repeat it because you missed something or you might have misunderstood something.   It is okay to take notes while they speak the subject that you may want to be clarified.
  • Do not rush to answer, you may want to think for a minute about what you just heard so you can better express your side.

Keep in mind we have two ears. The only way we know the other persons’ point of view or argument is if we listen, not only what they say, how they, their body language, the tone of voice and their vocabulary.

Getting ahead of the speaker is one of the greatest problems in communication if you can control the impulse to get a word in you might surprise yourself, you may learn something you never knew (Like a slip of the tongue by the speaker, or a lie, try it.)

 

 

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

__Hello friends:

 As I promised from the very beginning I will try to provide you tools to make your life easier.  Of course, that is a tall order because it is not just one thing we need to do to have a good balance in our lives and make that journey to happiness easier, however, I will try.

The last blog we covered attitudes which requires a lot of soul-searching and admit you have not only a relationship problem, you have a “chip on your shoulder” and you certainly have serious communication problems.  So let’s see what I can do to shed some light to better those situations.

This information will be shared in segments primarily so it can be internalized and applied to your daily life.  This is one of the Seminars I offered to Fortune 500 companies to increase productivity and communication. I hope you benefit from it.

Part I

COMMUNICATING SUCCESSFULLY

Understand the four ways people express themselves.

Understand the 4 ways people listen to each other,

ASSUMPTIONS

Assumptions can lead to mistakes, misunderstandings, and strained relationships when treated like facts.

  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Focusing on intentions
  • Thinking you know best
  • Stereotyping                                                                  

Instead:

  • Treat everyone as an individual
  • Listen first
  • Avoid generalizations
  • Communicate first act second
  • Assume the other person means well

THERE ARE FOUR APPROACHES TO SPEAKING AND LISTENING

 

SPEAKING

  • Aggressive Speaking
  • Non-assertive Speaking
  • Passive-Aggressive Speaking
  • Assertive Speaking-     Direct, positive, confident. Point is clear a

                                                     and you maintain respect for others.

LISTENING

  • Passive Listening
  • Selective Listening
  • Attentive Listening
  • Active Listening- Non-verbal and verbal feedback allowed

                                           Express that you understand the message

                                           Demonstrate that you understand the message

 

HOW DO  YOU FEEL WHEN SOMEONE REALLY LISTENS TO Y0U?

This we will discuss in our next blog….stay tuned. If you want a free copy of script please let me know I will send it to you, free of charge of course.  Won’t you share this training with someone who can benefit from it?  Thanks.

Ann

 

 

 

 

 

GOALS & SUCCESS

Hello friends:

Hope you are enjoying this hot, hot, summer.  Oh boy, and has it been hot here in NC, we’ve had some nasty weather as well.  Great weather to stay inside and chill out.

I get a chance to interact with a lot of interesting people and I have observed when I ask someone, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” they brain dead.  They have no idea. 

To best comment on this answer, I will quote a statement made by *Anthony Robbins, as you know he is a motivational speaker and management consultant.  I find his statement is well stated.

“Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives.  They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction.  The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow.  Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals.  that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.”*

Goals give you direction and it gives you the opportunity to follow up on your success and make any adjustments you feel are necessary.  Don’t forget the power of visualization and affirmation as you through the process.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about setting goals, but I’ll just touch on the steps for the benefit of those that do not know.

First, the goals must be realistic, attainable.  You should have a clear idea of exactly it is you want to achieve. What inspired you to succeed in reaching this goal? Be knowledgeable about your idea.  Your plan on how to attain your goal.  A time frame for each step of the way, indicating what you want to achieve by “x” period of time. On this journey, you can make adjustments since you might run into situations you did not anticipate. Always moving forward.  You will find that as you reach your goals, you find yourself creating new ones and that is great.  Reward yourself as you reach step.  Above all do not give up.  Open yourself to new interests as well since the source of inspiration may come from an unexpected place.  Remember determination is important if you have that you are half way to reaching our goals.

Should you find you are not moving forward identify the situation, but do not stand still, success might be just around the corner.  If for whatever reason you cannot reach the goal, identify the reasons why, and learn from the experience, and move forward.

SUCCESS

For some success is measured by wealth. For others, it’s the impact they have on others. For others, it’s a change of attitude. For others, achievements, and/or perhaps, a Legacy.

Whatever your answer is to “What is Success to You?”  remember that success breeds success. People want to be involved with successful people and with people that are moving forward.

When you think you have arrived, you will find you have a new journey ahead of you.

Would you like to share your story? They will inspire others to move forward. Send me an email:  ann@journeyfor-a-betterlife.com    I would love to hear from you.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.  Keep the pets safe and cool, please.

Hugs.

Ann

 

 

 

 

LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

Hello again:

I hope you are enjoying this warm weather (a little bit too much at times) we did have a very wet spell a few weeks ago and now everything seems to be drying up. Let’s make the best of it and keep your pets cool and protected from the heat.

Love is in the air.  People getting married, engaged, moving to their dream house, new babies and I thought I touch the “love” relationship.

Love is not selective, however, the intensity can vary. You may know someone that you have a special feeling for, and the feeling is reciprocated, that is when we say we are in a love relationship.

True communication is essential, communication is a communion, it oneness which it is love. Your relationship cannot flourish if you are not free of your ego and you are a good listener, being non-judgmental. If you allow these things to take place at a difficult moment your relationship can turn into a destructive love. 

We are living at a time where humanity is in crisis. Relationships are affected by economics, political and social structures are nearing collapse.  So they continue the relationship in a “Pain” mode where there is only a “beneficial” arrangement. Dysfunctional relationships which continue for those “benefits.”  These benefits can be financial, for the sake of the children, fear of being alone, fear of the unknown or it could well be the enjoyment of drama, at a conscious or unconscious level.

Some people prefer being in denial and then they remain trapped in the relationship for years, which can remain the same or deteriorate even more. I know of couples that have this lifestyle all their lives, again for the benefits or perhaps the denial.

Giving space to yourself and to others is essential. Love cannot flourish without it. There is yet another important destructive behavior  Accusing, attacking, and all those things that a person does to defend their ego or just to have your needs met.  As I said, you must give space to your partner to express themselves without criticism, without being judgemental.

The absence of love in a relationship, women fell it more, and in that pain, she will attack, trying to defend herself, make wrong and so on, this can also lead to physical violence which of course a “no-no” ever.  Then, he attacks, and counterattacks.  If this man just listens without judging he will be able to see her pain, he should be the silent partner until things quiet down.  Excuse yourself and take a walk. Eventually, try to analyze her claims without being on the defensive and being judgmental and see with an open mind understand how she feels and what things you can do to have her needs fulfilled.

It takes consciousness to observe the functionality of your relationship. If you don’t you will go on from one relationship into another, “happiness to pain,”  over and over again.  Remember you cannot take back time, as you can take back words, so keep control over your emotions at difficult moments.

Relationships take work.  Make sure you learn fully what your partner’s needs are, so you can do your best to meet his(hers) emotional needs.  Don’t ever go to bed angry, or separate for the day angry. Do what is right and do not retaliate, find the right time and place to speak in peace. Make time to share with him and listen to him every day after a hard days work, Always take care of your appearance.  Do your best to keep the communication lines open with your partner. Listen and don’t be judgemental.

Take care, smile and be kind.

Ann

Soon we will have great information on how to manage your life when there is a child with special needs in the family.  Such as Autism which is on the rise.

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INCREASING YOUR SELF-ESTEEM

Greetings friends:

Having low self-esteem can really bring us down and affect our relationships but ourselves, our health, our happiness. 

There is one great antidote for low self-esteem, any idea? Kindness. When you do something for someone, it really makes you feel good. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, it can be something as simple as picking up something a person has dropped and you picked it up and gave it to them.  Reaching for a high shelf at the supermarket that someone is struggling to reach.

Low self-esteem can also create other conditions, like jealousy, because jealousy is indicative of insecurity, not thinking very well of yourself and lack of confidence.

You may be asking yourself, “How do I get out of this situation?”- “How can I change and better myself.  Besides, I don’t have time to do anything. I barely have time to do my makeup or my hair in the mornings.”Try to do 4 or 5 things below. Go easy on yourself it takes time to make adjustments as well and decision and perseverance.

 

THINGS YOU CAN DO:

  • Concentrate on your good qualities.  Write them down.

  • Value your good qualities.

  • Realize your abilities and their potential.

  • Stop putting yourself down.

  • Stop the self-criticism. 

  • Don’t be a people pleaser.

  • Learn to control your thoughts – You may want to read my blog on this matter.,

  • When you respond to others be conscious in the matter in which you do it.

  • Keep a journal.

  • List what things you are grateful for in that particular day that made you feel good or joyful.

  • List any kindness act you did that day and how it may you feel.

  • Read a motivational book.  There are many books on the subject.,

  • When you feel down take a break, if you have a pet go for a walk, call a friend. or even have a beverage.

  • Practice Self-Love. It can be with simple things, but things that make you feel good.

We all have the same 24 hours, taking 5 or 10 minutes to just sit maybe and read a magazine or a book.  You deserve a break plan on it just as if you were having a doctors appointment.

We need to love ourselves (it does not mean being selfish.) When you feel you are satisfying even just one of your needs it makes you feel good and/or happy and when that happens everyone around you will also perceive it.

We only have one life, live it as happy as you can. Remember happiness is a choice.

Take care of Number 1.  Yourself.

 

Hugs and Enjoy the summer.

 

Ann

 

 

 

 

 

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NEGATIVITY

Hello again:

I apologize for not getting this out last week, it was a technical issue and I just realized it had not been processed.

Only each one of us is responsible for clearing up the pollution inside each of us. Doing that we will also cease to create outer pollution.  We need to recognize the pain within us and refuse to carry it any longer, we need to let it go.  True, some are very difficult to let go and we can only let them go, by acceptance, such as in the parting of a dear one. Others by recognizing you don’t want to suffer anymore.

We need to be grateful for what we have now in the present, you should take a few minutes each day to talk to yourself and take inventory of how many things are in your life that you are grateful for all you have. Don’t spend your time waiting to feel happy when you “get the new job,” when your next vacation comes about when you make more money when you have a meaningful relationship. Don’t spend your life waiting instead of living positively in the present.  There is nothing wrong with having goals but it is negative to substitute your present waiting for what may never come.

These behaviors are overlooked because they are part of our the normal discontent in people.  Whatever feelings come up, be anger, resentment, irritation, it’s okay, recognize them and be aware you have the choice between having peace or conflict and acting upon them.  Accept them and avoid getting into an inner conflict of denial. You then are in total control of your negative emotions.   It takes practice and awareness, but it feels oh so good when you are in control of your behavior, one more step towards happiness.

Do your best to eliminate all negative expressions and behaviors, count your blessings and live in love and kindness and with forgiveness and without resentments.

Awareness of our emotions and conduct will make our life so much easier and pleasant, our relationships cordial.  No one can do this for you it is your choice to try to understand a bit our human makeup and or emotions because then we can better understand ourselves better and our fellowmen as well.

If you have any questions drop me a line and let me know how you enjoyed this topic and if there are any other topics you would like to learn about.

We are currently working on sharing information on an illness that is growing and whose symptoms are so hard to detect unless you are aware of them.  Our first topic will on autism? It is being prepared by my friend Natalie who just finished her masters’ studies specializing on the subject in Argentina and is currently doing another in Colombia. This topic I find interesting because the behavior may seem like someone unsociable or even rude. When in fact they have this condition,

I look forward to this experience.

Be well, be happy and smile.

Please share

Ann

 

HEALTH HAZZARD & YOUR OWN ATTITUDE

I hope this finds you well:

A few weeks ago and before my “Effective Communication” blog. I wrote about the “attitude” of people, more applied to a business setting and how a bad attitude can be of great detriment to your life as well.(As a good attitude can add years to your life).

 I’m going to ask you to withdraw yourself from your duties and obligations and think for one moment what has created this negative attitude in you.  Frustration, anger, worry, exhaustion, overwhelmed?    I suggest you do this because this condition can have very bad consequences.

Without getting into medical statistics, I will share with you that it has been found that having a bad hostile, argumentative, negative attitude can affect your heart and you can develop heart disease. There are so many illnesses that are brought about because of this dysfunction.  These are countless illnesses that are psychosomatic. This not counting how a bad attitude damages relationships.

Positive changes in health attitudes and behaviors. Scientists have discovered … help relieve stress, treat heart disease, and alleviate other conditions.

A negative attitude about aging appears to be associated with a higher likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease.

A study in the journal Psychology and Aging examined healthy, dementia-free subjects from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, the nation’s longest-running scientific study of aging.

A study highlighted attitudes toward aging. The study found those with greater negative attitudes had more beta-amyloid … tangles, both hallmarks of the Alzheimers. It is still unclear …(Harvard Medical School  Pub. Feb. 

I imagine by now you “got it”  negative attitudes can be extremely damaging to your health, your relationships, and your well being in general.  Consequently, your journey in life will not be a very happy one. I really hope this is a wake-up call for someone. Please share.

Smile, be happy and hugs,

Ann

Effective Communication-Part 2

Hello friends:

I hope you’re maintaining your spirits up and enjoying the warm weather we are having.

My sincere appreciation for the great reception to this free training that I am offering to everyone.  It really is of great value for human relations and certainly will make for better relationships.  

Now down to business:

You don’t have to agree with everything you hear, however, we must show empathy, not sympathy.

Objectively listen to the person speaking. Concentrate on what is being said, don’t get ahead of yourself thinking of an answer, just listen to the entire message, not just part of the message.

Example:

In a business setting it would go something like this:

Empathy:

“What I hear is that you have lost several sales this month because you could not give the buyers a price on specs they wanted to buy?  Is that what you are saying”?

VS. Sympathy:

“Don’t feel down, we’ve all lost sales.  Please, don’t feel bad about it, it really is not your fault”.

 There are other styles os empathetic listening, if you want more examples, please drop me a line at my email: ann@journey-for-a-betterlife.com or fill out the form below.

These are Critic Mode, Defensive, Interrogator and the Diagnostic Mode. (Speaker)

We will end this session with some listening tips that you can start using immediately.

Listening Tips:

  • Eliminate distraction. Such as shuffling through papers, appearing distracted by something, (looking blank) writing or reading notes, answering the phone, making a phone call. 

  • Eliminate physical barriers if possible. The distance in which most people feel comfortable is around 3 feet. Never closer unless of course, the person is in your personal circle.

The information I am making available to you may be known to you already so this will help as a “brush up” on these skills.   If you are new to this type of training I suggest you apply one thing at a time. Once you master the one that interested you go the next.  I suggest you don’t try to remember all of them at once.

This is a great tool for those that deal with clients and a great tool to improve communication with your family and social circle.o

Next blog we will talk about using body language effectively (a separate blog on body language will be done at a later date. Please let me know below, if you would like more examples for better understanding or if you have any comments or would like to be on our email list. Please share with your friends and keep coming back for more. Thanks!

Keep well and be happy,

Ann