How To Be a Wise Communicator

1. Deal with issues as they occur so that they don’t pile up and form resentments.
2. Agree that you will use the sports time-out signal when you need a break just to cool down. That will tell the other person that you are safe and will return once you have dealt with negative emotions and are ready to talk again.
3. Choose a quiet time without distractions to have conversations about serious topics. Discussions during a final football game or when other people are in the room are not appropriate.
4. Talk and act in a respectful way. Use your manners. Is your behaviour and attitude the same as it would be if there was a small grandchild present? Model the behaviour that you expect from others.
5. Separate the person and the problem. It never helps to attack a person’s character when dealing with a specific issue.
6. If you don’t understand, then gently ask questions. Remember the old television program “Colombo”? The star would begin gathering information by saying something like “I’m confused”. State this and then ask the other person to tell you about what they are going through, feeling or hoping for.
7. When you are angry ask yourself “What am I afraid of?” “What is being threatened that makes me feel like I need to protect myself?”
8. If you have an attitude of being in a competition where you feel that you need to win – you lose.
9. Even if you are right, remember that being stubborn or nagging won’t really change things. In fact, it just make you look like you are the problem.
10. Think about how you might talk or do things differently if you knew that you or the other person was going to die tonight.
11. Consider your tone. It’s not the words you say but the music you play.
12. Answer questions in positive terms. Don’t tell the other person what you want them to stop doing. Tell them what you would like them to do instead.
13. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Does s/he feel respected, cherished and cared about?
14. Be honest about your own weaknesses. If you are hearing the same thing or experiencing the same problem with more than one person, perhaps you are the problem.
15. Beware of listening to the advice of “shadow people”. They are individuals who will tell you what to do but do not experience any of the consequences if you actually follow their advice.
16. Recognize that you cannot change other people. Others only change when life isn’t working for them no matter what you think or do.
17. Admit your faults and ask forgiveness.
18. Work on improving yourself.
19. Be realistic. Arguing about the same thing over and over again does not solve anything. In fact, over time, it negatively affects the health and relationship for both of you.
20. Get professional help. Learning how to deal with your emotions or gaining assertiveness skills can lead to positive change and better results than what you have been experiencing.

Why You Still Need Freedom On Your Friendship

I must be getting older. It feels like the world I knew is changing right before my eyes. I imagine that is how every generation feels as they age. There have been both good and bad changes. Some have been necessary but some have come with decline.

I graduated from college in 2002 without a computer. I actually typed my papers. When I began my professional career in 2004, secretaries were still typing to dictation for a few of the old-timers at work. That same year, we got laptops. In 2007, we went online for reporting. In 2011, machines were brought in that we had to learn to use. By 2014, I was struggling to keep up.

I had to learn texting, social media and new gadgets. I recently found out that CDs are old. Since when? Now I have to upload my music! What happened to when we just answered a real phone and hand wrote a letter?

Customer service even seems to be a bygone. I went to a bead store that charged to wait on you. I walked right back out. Tips used to be for exceptional service. Now, they are expected.

Today, you can talk to someone but it may cost you. Granted, some counseling services are vital but now, people are charging big bucks for spiritual direction, life coaching and therapy. How many of these people know you inside and out or even care once the session is over or you cannot pay them?

Your best resource are your friends if they are good ones. You only need one. You’re blessed if you have more.

Chances are, your childhood or long-term friends know you as well as they know themselves. They would never charge a fee to talk or listen. They don’t judge, only give advice if they see you in harm’s way and love you in spite of your flaws. You do the same for them.

I’ve loved watching God at work in the lives of both my childhood friend and myself. Each time we talk, it is confirmed. Neither of us are perfect but we get more out of our conversations than any fee from a stranger could provide.

I’ve been trained in reflective listening and understand the purpose but I personally hate it when it is being used on me. I recognize it the second I hear it. I would much rather be with a friend who totally gets it.

One of the best out pours of love from a young woman at church once was when she showed up at my door with a huge basket of chocolate. She said, “I know you and this is a chocolate moment.” I said, “Oh, you’re good!”. That’s what I’m talking about.

Tips to Choose Friends Wisely

We all need friends that we can talk to, someone who we can vent our hardships in life. Or we just might want a friend who we can have fun with. Finding the right friend who can meet your expectations can be challenging. You want a friend who you share the same values a friend who can encourage you, congratulate you after accomplishing something, respects you and also a friend who does not take advantage of you.

By choosing the right friends you will avoid disappointments, stress or even depression.

You should look for a friend who has your best interest in their hearts. There can be such people who look like they care about your life but in reality they are just interested in getting something from you for their own selfish gain and they will do anything without caring about you, even if you are friendly to them.

Before you know how to choose your friends you need to “study everyone” know their weakness and strength, try to understand them. This will give you an understanding in choosing your friends and also becoming a leader.

The Following Are Steps That I use to help me select the Right Friends.

1. Choose a Friend with the Same Values as You.

Everyone has their own values and it is a must for a person who is your friend not to go against these values.

Let’s say you are very respectful about your possessions and you would hate someone who would treat your possessions with no respect. Then you should look for a friend who has your best interest in their hearts and not a friend who is willing to please people without caring about your boundaries. This is a person who can easily betray you especially if it is a person trying to be cool so that he or she can fit in another social group.

2. Choose a Friend who encourages you.

A Friend that encourages you is almost the best friend. This is a person who is interested in your life, your goals and what you want to accomplish without manipulating you for their own selfish gain. A friend who encourages you will not put you in a spot where you are envious. A person who makes you envious and is pretending to be your friend does not really care about you.

Such a person will almost all the time talk about their biggest accomplishments or their next big projects that will make them successful. Avoid these people because their actions will make you envious which will lead to stress and later depression, they can easily destroy your life and will not even care what happened to you.

3. Choose a Friend that share similar interest.

These are the fun friends and are the best friends to be around with when you are feeling down. You could share interests like music, sports, arts or adventure.

4. Choose a friend that can celebrate your Success.

A friend that can celebrate your success is very rare to find. If you find one make sure you keep them close. This is a true friend because such a person is interested about you, he/she will push you to accomplish your goals and celebrate every milestone.

5. Avoid people who are manipulative.

People who are manipulative are clever. They can easily trick you into becoming their friends. This is how such people trick you into becoming their friends;

  • They will tell you some truth about their life so that they can create trust with you (you will in turn think that this is a person who sees you as a good friend and you will not want to disappoint them.)
  • They will start to help you when you need assistance even when you have not asked for it.
  • They will then notice your interests and will come up with something that will make you envious.
  • They will ask about your goals and accomplishments in life for their own selfish gain and they will not encourage you to attain them.

If you suspect that someone is manipulating you for their own selfish gain make sure you terminate the friendship.

6. Avoid people who love to gossip.

Gossiping is childish; you should look for a friend who likes to mind their own business. Do not be quick in choosing your friends. People who love to gossip and are your friends can easily destroy your reputation, even if it means to save their own skin.

If you have a friend and you are suspecting he/she is gossiping you make sure you carefully confront them, because if you don’t do it this will make your friendship awkward and you will eventually become enemies.

7. Choose a friend with common goals.

If you have a goal in life to own a certain business and you come across a person with the same dream, you should make sure that you become friends. When selecting such friends (this is not the case with all situations as it depends on the people working together) make sure that you do not have the same skills as this can lead to competition and instead of working together you will be rivals.

8. Choose friends who always want to gain more knowledge.

Knowledge is the key in life, having friends who can help you learn something new from them is great. They can give you information that will help you in your life.

Strategy For Success

My greatest joy, as a teacher is to help my students discover their abilities and work towards their goals.

Many years ago, I received a call from a mother of a high school student. She said, “My husband’s employer recommended you as a violin teacher for my son. I would prefer a man to teach him, but will give you a try. My son is lazy and stupid.”

I replied, “Please do not talk that way about your son in front of him or to others.”

I agreed to teach this young man, provided that she would be encouraging to her son.

A young man with multi colored hair, an earring, and strange looking clothes walked in to his first violin lesson. His head was down, and he looked depressed.

We began working on scales, an etude, a solo piece, and the orchestra audition materials for the state orchestra auditions. He was a very talented young man and I told him so during our first lesson and all the lessons that followed. The honest sincere words that I spoke to him inspired and motivated him to do his best.

When it was time for the next lesson, a completely different young man walked eagerly up my walkway. He was neatly dressed, had his head up and wore a big smile. He took pride in his work and in himself. Each week I saw a transformation in him.

It was our fifth week of lessons, our final lesson before the state orchestra auditions. I told him how beautiful his playing was and what a good job he would do on the audition. Preparation makes all the difference! The honest sincere words that I spoke to him made him blossom like a flower.

He called me a few days after the audition and said with great pride, “I am the Concertmaster of the orchestra. There were over 40 people trying out and I won first place.” He said this with a smile on his face over the phone.

I told him how proud of him I was and that I knew he would win because of his hard work and determination. His Mother called and said, “Even though you are a woman, you did a good job with him!”

I bit my tongue, but thanked her for the compliment.

This young man changed his attitude and worked hard because of the “honest sincere praise” I gave him at every lesson. He went on to college after he graduated at the top of his high school class.

Do you remember a teacher, coach, friend or family member who complimented you? That compliment inspired and motivated you to work harder to do your best!

Have you ever mentored or coached someone and watched him or her succeed? How did you feel when they were successful?

I bet you felt proud and happy for their success and you walked a little taller that day!

Zig Ziglar, motivational expert and mentor in his book, ” See You at the Top” read the following story as a young salesman. It “made a lasting impression” on him. A young woman had sung since she was a young girl. She “made her musical debt in a church cantata. She had a beautiful voice and a great career was predicted for her. As she grew older,” she sang more concerts at local functions. Her family recognized her need for “professional voice training”.

Her family found a well-known singing teacher who told her every little thing she did wrong. As time passed the young women grew to admire her teacher and married him. Fewer and fewer concerts came her way as she had lost confidence in her gift of singing. Her teacher and husband had broken her confidence. When he passed away she was no longer singing at all.

Several years later she began to date a salesman and she would sometimes hum a tune while she was with him. He said, “Sing some more, Honey. You have the most beautiful voice in all the world”.

The salesman was not an expert, but he knew what he liked and gave her “honest sincere compliments.” She gained confidence from the salesman’s “honest appreciative words” and felt her joy of singing return to her. She was asked to sing in a few concerts. Once again with her confidence in hand, she resumed her career and married her salesman.

Zig Ziglar said, “She married the “good finder” and went on to a successful career. The salesman’s praise for her was totally honest, sincere, and much needed. In fact a sincere compliment is one of the most effective teaching and motivating methods in existence.”

Do you remember a teacher, coach, friend or family member who complimented you? Do you remember the compliment?

Coach John Wooden in his book, “Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success Playbook” tells the following story: “When I was a young boy, I was at a gravel pit with my father and a young man. They had a team of horses and were attempting to pull a load up a steep road. The young man driving the horses was loud and abusive. In response, the animals were agitated, worked against each other and couldn’t pull the load. With a gentle voice and gentler touch, my Dad calmed the horses and walked them forward with a load.”

Coach Wooden “learned two important lessons that day.”

1) “Gentleness is a better method of getting cooperation than harshness.”

2) “A team can accomplish much more when it works together than individuals can when they work alone.”

Like all living creatures, the horses needed kindness and gentleness and honest sincere appreciation to move the heavy load. Remember this when you are developing others and when you are working on your own self-development!

Zig Ziglar shared the following story about a “beggar selling pencils” in New York. A “businessman dropped a dollar into the cup” of the beggar and rushed to board “the subway train”. The businessman suddenly turned back, before entering the train, and went back to the beggar selling the pencils. He “took several pencils from the cup”. The businessman apologized and “explained that in his haste he had neglected to pick up his pencils and hoped the man wouldn’t be upset with him”. He said, “You are a businessman just like me. You have merchandise to sell and it’s fairly priced.” The businessman then went to catch “the next train”.

A salesman “neatly dressed” came to a social function and introduced himself to “the businessman”. The salesman said, “You probably don’t remember me and I don’t know your name, but I will never forget you. You are the man who gave me back my self-respect. I was a ‘beggar’ selling pencils until you came along and told me I was a businessman.”

Zig Ziglar said, ” The greatest good we can do for anyone is not to share our wealth with them, but rather to reveal their own wealth to them. It’s astonishing how much talent and ability rests inside a human being.” Help others to discover their abilities.

When you mentor or coach others and they become successful how do you feel?

Doesn’t it make you happy and proud that you helped them become successful?

What are 3 ways you can empower others and yourself to be successful?

1) Each morning begin with a positive attitude, smile, and start your day by saying positive motivational things to yourself.

2) Give an “honest sincere compliment” to inspire, motivate, and encourage someone else each day!

Be like the businessman who told the “beggar selling pencils”, “You are a businessman just like me. You have merchandise to sell and it’s fairly priced.” Encouraging words changed the way the beggar saw himself.

Zig Ziglar said, “A sincere compliment is one of the most effective teaching and motivating methods in existence.”

3) John Maxwell says, ” Make people development your priority.” Help others to discover their abilities and you will discover yours too! Building confidence in the student and the singer’s abilities made all the difference in the world to them. Their futures changed for the better.

Start your holiday season right by doing two things: 1) begin your day with a positive attitude, smile, and say positive motivational things to yourself. 2) Then give an “honest sincere compliment” to inspire, motivate, and encourage someone else each day!