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Showing posts from 2018

How to Craft a Good Story to Tell Yourself When Times Get Tough

The world and its pressures can get to be too much for every one of us at times.  Regardless of how we try to stay positive, there are issues that will cloud our thinking and our mood at some point.  The mind triggers psychological, physical, and emotional pain.  The power of the mind is often underestimated, and because we don't always know how to control it, we lose the battle to stay up.  But there are ways.  Rather than bemoan our issues, we can and should encourage ourselves.  We can't depend on anybody else to do it because everyone is dogged by their own individual challenges.  People don't generally have a lot of reserved energy to give to someone else so how do we do it for ourselves?  It starts with the stories we create and tell in our own hearing.  We're really good at telling the horror stories, but what about the stories of triumph?  Since you create them, they can be whatever you want.       Like any great storyteller, the elements should have a beginnin…

The Power of Silence in a World of Distractions

He Said, She Said

It seems like everywhere we turn today in the news, there are accusations being made between men and women.  Those accusations are of a serious nature and are costing people on both sides in life-altering ways.  Sexual misconduct and abuse, physical abuse, and gender bias are among the many claims being made mostly by women against men.  These men are usually in positions of power.  Therefore, they are in a prime position to commit the crimes and bad behavior they are accused of without a lot of resistance initially from their victims.
     But something has happened lately.  What was once too shameful to speak about out loud is now front and center for all the world to see.  What was perpetrated behind closed doors has now been shoved out in the open by a chorus of voices saying it happened to #MeToo.  One of the difficult angles in these revelations is how the rest of us receives these stories.  Many people without hesitation take sides with the women who are accusing the men.…

Taming the Tongue

I was studying the Bible today because part of my life is spent as a Bible student and Sunday School teacher.  I enjoy reading it because of the many life lessons it holds.  Today's scripture has everything to do with communications.  And since this is a communications blog, I will refer to the verses I read in it just like I would in any book where I find something worth repeating.  In the book of James, chapter three, James is talking about talking--specifically cursing, lying, gossiping, boasting, and a bunch of other things we say that we shouldn't.  These behaviors are born out of one small part of our bodies that we all lose control of along with our brains at varying points in our lives.  But when we lose control, we amass large amounts of grief for ourselves and others.






     Beginning at verse three, he describes this failure of ours.  "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. …

What Your Face is Saying About Your Attitude

I once coached a front office person on the importance of customer service excellence.  She was the greeter of new and established clients when they walked through the front door.  Bottom line, she was not suited for that portion of the job.  Though she was organized, diligent, detail-oriented, and punctual, she lacked skills on the people side of her job.  She struggled with making clients feel warm and welcome in the business.  Her phone skills were also lacking because the tone of her voice, though calm, was not pleasant.  I talked to her about the simple act of smiling.  Of course it shows up on the face, but it's also heard in the voice.  With a blank look and absolutely no inflection in her voice, she said, "But I am smiling."  Insert emoji with the surprised look here.      I thought she was joking at first, but she was serious--about smiling.  One of her greatest challenges was that of so many of us--a lack of self-awareness.  She had no idea what she looke…

WARNING: Emotional Intelligence Not in Use

This past week we've heard revelations of some pretty harsh language being used in reference to people of other countries not being allowed into this country.  That language apparently came from the top leader of the most powerful country in the world.  Whether true or not is unclear.  Some in the meeting where it allegedly occurred say they heard the comments clearly.  Others say they don't recall hearing them.  Some refused to comment.  And the accused--the President of the United States--denies it.  Regardless, people were hurt when the claims were made.  People from those countries were distressed upon hearing them, some even brought to tears.  The rejection and denigration cut like a hacksaw.  Many from our own country were appalled and angry.      Recognizing how words impact others calls for the use of emotional intelligence.  This means being smart and intuitive about other people's feelings, especially in sensitive matters.  We do this by getting outside of …

Words That Heal (Especially After That Big Loss Last Night)

If you stayed up late last night to experience the end of the big College National Championship game, you saw a nail biter and a fantastic finish.  For those of us who didn't have a team in the fight, it was pure entertainment.  But for the Georgia students who fought in that battle and lost, it was a bitter pill to swallow.  They likely woke up this morning feeling like they were having a hangover.        Any sports fanatic will tell you that a loss to the team is also a loss for them personally.  They feel similar (not necessarily the same) pain as the players even though they haven't stepped a foot out, in or on the field, court, track or pool.  It stings pretty badly.  Even though Alabama won this time, they know all too well what it feels like since they experienced the same defeat last year against Clemson.      So how do you get  past the pain?  What can you say to assuage those melancholy feelings that stick around for the next few days and even months?  These qu…