Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why People Don't Listen... and Some Fun Things You Can Do About It

It's frustrating when your co-workers, audience members, teenager or even your dog (!) won't listen. While you can't control how they receive what you say, you can control how you send it. Here are a few tips on why people don't listen and what you can do to change it.

1. Short Attention Spans

When asked to guess the average adult attention span, most people say around thirty minutes. According to statistics, however, the average adult attention span is actually only seven seconds. That's right! Every seven seconds you go away somewhere. You think about something else. In fact, you could actually be taking a mental break right now! It is a normal part of how the brain integrates external stimuli like when your computer starts defragging for a moment while you type. It helps to pause from time to time when you speak. This allows people to integrate your information or ask a clarifying question. Also, include examples to anchor your concepts. For example (see--I'm doing it now!), a concept without an example is like tree without roots, a house without a Foundation, or Sonny without Cher. It just doesn't have as much staying power.

2. Too Many Distractions

I was in a meeting the other day and five people coughed, four people side talked, three cell phones rang, two people went to the restroom, and a partridge did email on his PDA. Distractions are a big part of modern life. Your best bet is to acknowledge the distractions in a playful way such as a manager who recently led a meeting I attended. When a cell phone rang, he grabbed for it and said, Oh, that's for me.my mother likes to check in on me from time to time. That prompted everyone to turn off their phones.

3. Lack of Training

Few of us were formally taught how to listen. While you probably took Reading 8, Writing 11, did you ever take Listening 10? It's little wonder listening is challenging. Quite accidentally, I learned how to listen by practicing meditation. After a five-day retreat, I felt very light-hearted and so went to visit my aging father who was hard of hearing. My habit was to sit vacantly for hours while he complained about his arthritis, the error on his bank statement, and how hard it is to find good slippers. After this retreat, I surprised myself by totally paying attention to him with patience and compassion. After about ten minutes of complaining he suddenly changed tracks and started telling me fascinating and funny stories about his childhood. Then he cranked up his hearing aid and asked about me! Learn how to be present with people, give them your full, undivided attention and be ready for some pleasant surprises.

4. Language Barriers

It is no secret that the world of business is fast becoming a multicultural world. Although English is the default language of commerce, many people in your audience may speak English as a second language. Last month I was addressing a large insurance company where most attendees turned out to be new immigrants from China. I used the expression getting jiggy with it, and I saw people rifling through their dictionaries. This prompted me to say I'm sorry, that went way over your head, and a number of people looked up at the ceiling! If your listeners are ESL or have a more basic educational background, you need to simplify your language. Use much more literal descriptions rather than cultural expressions. Use facial and body language to express humor, and fewer words.

5. Unchecked Assumptions

Back in the 70s, Gilda Radner a comedienne who regularly performed on Saturday Night Live was well known for her popular character Emily Litella, a social activist with a hearing problem. Her causes included such important issues as violins on television, soviet jewelry and endangered feces. Believe it or not, those Emily Litella types can be found in your audiences. For example, I once told a story about my mother who was a secretary for the British Civil Service in WWII. She spent most of her time daydreaming that her boss would burst into the room and ask her to spy against the Germans. She could leave the nasty paperwork behind, don a disguise and become the next Mata Hari. Needless to say, one day her boss did burst into the room but instead he fired her for daydreaming all the time. A woman approached me after this story and told me that she used to be a Hari Krishna, too. One way to clear up false assumptions is to state your point in many different ways.

6. No Reason to Listen

Finally, the main reason people don't listen is because you haven't answered their favorite question: What's in it for me? Before you start a long-winded monologue, tell your listener why you need their attention and make sure they understand how it will be benefit them. For example, I'd like to tell you about this free software that will block all the spam before it gets to your Inbox interested? That will give you much better results than When I was a youngster and I sat down in front of my first computer, I asked myself how can I make this machine work for me In general, put yourself in your listener's shoes before you talk and their ears tend to perk up.

And just remember the greatest of all wisdom--no one ever listened himself out of a new friendship.

Carla Rieger
Copyright 2005 Yes Education Systems

Carla Rieger is an expert on the artistry of change. You can reach her at http://www.carlarieger.com or at 1-866-294-2988. Carla uses proven secrets from the world of artistry to help your organization becoming a leader of innovation. She has been a professional speaker, trainer, facilitator and performance storyteller since the mid-80s. She is the director of Yes Education Systems, a creative communications and creative consulting firm since 1991. She has written three critically acclaimed manuals, Managing Change with a sense of humor, Speaking on the Funny Side of the Brain and The Heart of Presenting, in addition to many articles in trade journals and magazines. She has taught thousands to unlock the funny side of their brains, and to mine negativity both within and without for the key innovative solutions. Her work has been featured on radio, TV and many publications. She founded several theatre groups including Mad Cow Productions, Vancouver Playback Theatre and Mythic Cafe. She also wrote, produced and performed a one-woman show, Dancing Between Worlds.

Building Vocabulary Through Activities

Studies show that people learn words best by engaging as many of the five senses as possible. Associating a new word with a smell, touch, taste, or sound helps us recall the word for later use. So in addition to reading on a daily basis and listening to speakers who use a different vocabulary than you do, you can add words to your working vocabulary list by exploring new activities.

The following suggested activities will boost your vocabulary by engaging more of your senses and putting you into word-rich environments.

1. Take a class, any class. Learn a new skill. The skill could be knitting or sport fishing, cooking or carpentry, dancing or playing an instrument. Choose something you are interested in and which requires you to use your hands. Each craft or skill will have its own vocabulary. There will be words to describe the equipment, the processes, and the materials. Since you will be doing something with your hands (and maybe more parts of your body as in dancing), you will trigger more activity in your brain than if you just read the words on a page. The increased activity will create more connections in your brain. Not only will you see the word, you will have an experience to tie to it. You will have paired the word with a motor memory (a physical process you have learned to do like knitting) and sensory memories about the material and tools you work with (like the feel of the knitting needles and yarn in your hands). The greater number of connections your brain is able to make with the word, the more likely it is that the word will become part of your working vocabulary.

2. Visit a museum. Childrens museums are a great choice because they often feature interactive displays. Another good option is a living museum where you can talk with a docent who can answer your questions about the exhibits. Many living museums (Colonial Williamsburg would be one example) have programs where you get to participate. Youll learn the words associated with the focus of the museum. Your brain will link the experience of the museum, the items you touched, the activities you participated in, and everything else your senses will record about the trip.

3. Go to the zoo. Youll find interesting animals with exotic names which originate from many different languages depending on where the animal normally lives. English is a living language which adopts foreign words to name things. The word yak, for instance, is from the Tibetan word gyak. You will also learn about each animals food and habitat requirements. Many zoos now present shows where a trainer works with an animal and explains about that animals particular needs and capabilities. Who can resist a cuddly koala supping on eucalyptus leaves? Once again, your mind will be absorbing the new words along with plenty of additional sensory information to link to the word memory.

4. Garden. The lexicon of gardening is rich with Latin-based words describing plants their names, the parts of the plant, and their life cycles. Latin provides the roots to many English words in the areas of law, science, and religion. The word vegetable for example originated in the Latin word vegetare meaning to enliven, bring to life, or quicken. The word flower came from the Latin word flos or floris meaning surprise! a flower. Understanding the Latin portions (prefixes, suffixes, and roots) of words can help you deduce the meaning of other words that are new to you. In addition to adding lovely flowers to your hall table or fresh vegetables to your kitchen table, gardening will add valuable words to your vocabulary.

Learning new words can be easier, more enjoyable, and result in better retention if you can use multiple senses in the word-learning process. So add a new activity to your life and youll soon master a whole new group of words!

Celia Webb is an author, illustrator, and company executive. She and her husband, Mack H. Webb, Jr., founded Pilinut Press, Inc., publishing advanced readers for children and ESL students. Their website http://www.pilinutpress.com offers more free articles on developing reading-related skills, word games and puzzles, and activity sheets for their entertaining and educational books.

Do You Know What Triggers You?

Do you ever wonder why you're able to get along so well with some people, while others send you up the wall? Why is it that one of your children seems to make parenting seem easy, while the other child seems to be a constant challenge in your life? Do you ever wonder why at one moment you so adore your partner, and the next moment you're questioning why you ever got into the relationship? Let's take a closer look at what causes these triggers in our lives.

The people, things, and ideas in the world that we have a strong reaction to, that we reject, hate or judge, represent parts of ourselves that we have disowned or rejected. Sigmund Freud referred to this as the repressed side of us and Carl Jung called this our shadow side. In any case, many in the field of psychology or personal growth arena look at these "button pushers" as our teachers, bringing us gifts. The gifts are the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, increase our self-awareness597 and become more balanced and at peace in our present lives and in the world.

Think of all of the people who upset you or "push your buttons". Do they have similar traits or aspects to their personalities or do they fall within a few categories like selfish or self-centered or perhaps know-it-alls or whiners or super achievers? Could this be because you've never allowed yourself to be selfish? Has you role always been to be selfless? Have you lacked the ability to express what you know with confidence and self-assurance? Have you received the message that it's never okay for you to whine? Have you not been able to become that superachiever you've always wanted to be?

As long as a trait or aspect of ourselves is denied or disowned, we will continue to attract people into our lives that carry that trait and "push our buttons"...if not a partner, child or friend it might be your boss, subordinate or the waiter at your favorite restaurant. Once we embrace a disowned part, or at the very least, learn to accept that part within ourselves, it will no longer wield the same power over us, triggering us the way it once did.

For More Articles by Therapists on this and other Topics, go to http://www.therapylinx.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Secret of Breaking the Chains of Low Self-Esteem

Do you struggle every single day with low self-esteem issues? Is it difficult for you to believe good things about yourself? I'm going to give you the secret for breaking those chains of low self-esteem.

Here's the secret: Be nice to yourself.

Regardless of the underlying factor of your poor self-esteem, you have the power to change this yourself. In fact, you are the only person who can change it. You can't rely or depend on someone else to make you feel better.

The true secret and key to raising your esteem is to begin by believing in yourself.

Start by using positive affirmations every day. Stop the negative inner chatter with these uplifting personal statements.

Next, do something nice for yourself every now and then. Set a special date just to pamper yourself. Make a date with a friend for some one-on-one time. Do something extra special just for you.

It is important to keep in mind that this is not an overnight process. It took a long time for your esteem and self worth to be crushed, so you can't expect for it to be rebuilt in a short amount of time. However, diligence on your part will enable you to get back on your feet quicker.

Finally, enlist the help of trusted friends and family. Perhaps the most difficult habit to break is being nice to yo49Durself. Have your friends and family to kindly point out when you are being mean to yourself. Sometimes you'll do it without even realizing you're begin negative towards yourself.

You can break the chains of low self-esteem. Start today and be a happier person!

Read more about low self-esteem at http://www.nurturedsoul.com/

Do I Need This Self Improvement Stuff?

It was long time back when I was still in my MBBS years. One of my friend was reading '7 Habits of Highly Successful People'. He was quite impressed with the book and recommended that to me.

"I do not need all this improvement stuff", I replied, I am quite content with the way I am."

As the time passed I could not help at introspection. Slowly my ego humbled and I found the flaws with myself. I was arrogant. I was poor at time management. I was hesitant to start a conversation. I never scheduled my goals. I was more emotional than practical.

I was always a good student. I was best in my school days. I was competitive. I did strive to do the best.But the very best was always determined by my surroundings. It is a different when you perform at local school level in a countryside school.But it is different when you compete at national level to enter into medical college.

I failed first time.

It was the first failure that I had encountered.

I did make it second time. I needed to study more. I did.

The MBBS is 5 and 1/2 years long course.The goal of pursuing postgraduation comes at the end of the course. Nothing stops one from early goal setting. But I said I was not that practical. Another failure. Another push. I was into my post graduation.

Post graduation was totally different game. You are a doctor who is student at the same time. You need to interact a lot with the patients, colleagues, seniors, staffs, technicians.Suddenly you find that you need to improve upon yourself.

I looked for directions and help. I observed the successful & effective clinicians. I observed good and not so good surgeons and their habits.I imbibed and learnt5B4.

Of course everything can be learnt. You need only to stress that fact upon yourself.

I learnt a very important fact.

One needs to be open in order to improve.

It was a kind of irony. I was open to learn from the surroundings but I was not ready to accept that a self improvement book can help me. This kind of duality had always existed as I analysed myself retrospectively.I had always responded to my surroundings but always shut my eyes whenever I had a chance to look beyond. This needs to be resolved. This needs to solved.

Reluctantly I picked the book my friend recommended long time back. It was a good book.

It may sound ridiculous but as we grow up we start loving our weaknesses instead of mending them . We show our pride in them. Somehow we convince our minds that we are unique because of the qualities we possess. And when we say qualities we also mean our weaknesses.

But we hardly realize that.

How often have you heard these kind of statements-

I think with my heart.

I do not like to interact much. I am a kind of introvert . Who needs too much money.Why should I work more!

And so on

But somewhere in our minds each of us wants success. Each of us wants to get rich. Yet we keep on our denial because it does not match our personality we have created for ourselves. We want to achieve but we are not ready to follow the path success demands. I was blind as a goa5B1t when it comes to self improvement books.

I always believed nobody can teach you to become better. But at the same time I was learning from my available milieu. I was learning from somebody. Knowingly or unknowingly somebody was teaching me.

I was open to that idea but closed myself at the mention of the subject. Slowly I have killed that irrational pride. I am an open person now. One can learn from anywhere one wants. Same goes for self improvement stuff. Moreover it is not the stuff that teaches us. It is we who learn from that stuff.

The world of today demands a lot of interpersonal interaction. It is no more a place towered by eminence. The society today demands some basic qualities in order to achieve. Just one talent or quality cannot carry you for. You need to have a set of qualities.

Even if a reading can provoke single thought in our mind it is worth it.

Arun Pal Singh is an internet marketing consultant and web author who runs website http://www.homeforprofits.com to help online entrepreneurs with information and ready made products.

Visit http://www.homeforprofits.com to find how his information can provide the leverage that your business needs to grow and expand.2AA

The Top 10 Things to Help You Get More Self Confidence

Self confidence is a topic that's very important to many people. Typically, the more confidence you have in yourself, the happier you are and the more things work out for you.

So what can help you get self confidence? Here are the top ten things that can help you improve your confidence starting today.

1) Reading Personal Development books with an emphasis on getting self confidence.

2) Listening to Audio CD's of successful men/ women teaching confidence building information.

3) Watch television and movies that inspire you to live with more confidence.

4) Change the way you perceive yourself. See yourself having more confidence and live into that image.

5) Positive self-talk is a great way to get self confidence. Positive affirmations can make the difference between success and failure.

6) Act as if- behave in a manor that suggest confidence during times when you would most be afraid.

7) Stay away from negative people who enjoy keeping you down.

8) Get a hero- Learn from the experiences of others at times when they were confident.

9) Make a BIG deal about little progress. Congratulate and reward yourself for each confidence building step.

10) Remove time from the equatio556n. The key is to improve your self confidence. It doesn't need to be done by midnight tomorrow. As with all of life, getting more self confidence is a process that will take time.

This list is definitely a great place to begin. I believe the easiest action step is to simply go to Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com, purchase and read one or several books that specifically help to increase your confidence

Demond Jackson is an authority on Self Confidence and Self Empowerment. For a ton of useful self confidence information, visit Demond's Self Confidence website today.

Self Esteem - Dissociation - Becoming the Observer

Let me ask you a question. If you feel bad about something why to you repeat it? Feeling upset or down once I would believe is enough. Self Esteem deals with our thoughts, feeling and attitudes about our "self."

You want to create a better situation in your life. You are going to set some type of personal goal dealing with your self esteem. Let us take something as simple as being overweight. Well you can accept it and feel bad about it or you can change the experience by dissociating yourself.

Our problems always lie with our thinking. We remember or recount an unpleasant experience. We feel those feelings that we experienced as if they were happening in the present. We need to acknowledge some things here. One thing that we need to remember is our mind will pull together that experience faster than the speed of light. Though we have control of what we think about, anything brought back that is unpleasant or pleasant will appear very quickly and with the impact of the original experience.

To deal with this we need to relax and take charge of our thoughts, feelings and actions. In NLP dissociated processes takes this into consideration. I know that when we recall an experience or we are trying to change something about our self image, all the good and all the bad come to mind. We seem not to have a choice.

Choices we do have in that we can select the experience we don't want and dissociate from5B4 it. Paradigms are embedded in any of our self esteem issues. In order to move forward we must defuse the paradigm. Let us say you are trying to lose weight, you acknowledge that you can stand to lose a few pounds. The first order is to bring up the picture of the way you are now. You should start a process to dissociate yourself from the picture that brings about the bad feelings. In a relax state, take a look at that picture, place yourself outside your body. In the position of an observer, you can watch yourself run the movie. The movie is that which gives you the bad feelings.

As an observer of your own experience, you are outside your body. Now while you are watching that which makes you feel poorly about yourself, start to change your experience of that movie, remember your sitting on the outside not the inside. Start messing with the movie, speed it up and run it backwards, place yourself in when you are not experiencing that upset, and take yourself out when that event starts to occur. Play around making the movie of slow motion and make it a slide show. You can make the movie small and float away or blow it up.

Watching yourself viewing the movie will distance you from that show. That experience will start to go away at least will not have the same impact. Let us say you have failed many times on different weight loss programs, play each one, and come out a winner. Set yourself up for that body that you do want, m5B4ake that the center of attention and then associate yourself in that movie.

In simple terms we are playing with our memories. We are altering the facts and removing the feelings of anything unpleasant about it. There is nothing wrong with feeling bad about something. That is a signal for us to change. The problem is that every time your run the movie, the same feelings come back with it. That is simply reinforcing the feelings we did not like.

This takes some work since we will have to isolate each of those incidents that come up and when they do, handle them. That is why it is great to have a journal or some paper and pen with you at all times. When you start feeling bad about something, don't write about it, just a quick "hint like" note on a pad and then later when you have time go run the movie and handle that effect.

Our self esteem can be fragile, but that is caused by our own view of us, it has nothing to do with the outside world. Even the outside world can not cause anyone to think badly of themselves unless they allow it. Dissociation is one of the best tools to use to help enhance our own self esteem. It all starts with what you think about and it is there where the fun begins. Think happy thoughts!

John Tebar Certified Life Coach, Author and Entrepreneur sign up for future Tele-Seminars and mail39Cing list at http://www.holisticlifeplanningandresearch.com

Contact email john@holisticlifeplanningandresearch.com

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