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Saturday, March 15, 2008

LET OTHERS SEE THE REAL YOU



DO you know anybody that you feel is particularly engaging and lively? Take a moment to picture that person in your mind. What is it about that person that you find most attractive? He or she may have a charming voice and a great laugh, but it is also very likely that you find their face very expressive.

A face that never shows any emotion, and never smile is not very appealing. No matter how attractive or how plain a person's facial features may be, a great smile can make that person look beautiful to others.

When you smile at other people, they will assume that you are in a good mood and that you are happy to see them. This will make other people more likely to want to spend time with you and to know you better.

Allowing our face to show emotions is actually an advantage in developing relationships. Other people are constantly trying to read and respond to our body language and facial expressions, often on a subconscious level. They are trying to sense whether we really care about them or not, whether we are concerned with what is going on in their lives.

If you are a person who is very emotionally sensitive, this sensitivity can be an asset in forming relation¬ships. Use your sensitivity to show empathy for other people.

Don't suppress your emotions, trying to be "cool". Don't waste your sensitive nature being sensitive only to yourself and your own emotions. Imagine being in the shoes of the person you are talking with, and let yourself feel the sadness, happiness, excitement or pride that is present in the story they are telling you.

If we repress all our emotions from showing on our face, people will feel frustrated trying to get a sense of who we really are. When we let our emotions show up on our face, sharing in our conversation partner's joys and sorrows, worries and frustrations, as well as their hope and excitement, both of us feel less alone. Both people will feel more connected to each other.

Sometimes we worry about our facial expressions. We may sense that our smile looks forced, or makes us look nervous. We may worry that we don't smile enough, or that we frown too much.

One way you can check on your facial expressions is to have yourself videotaped in conversation with another person. When you review the tape, does your smile looks forced, or natural? Do you look extremely serious? Are you able to portray a feeling of fun and light-heartedness?

If you are not able to analyse the tape effectively by yourself, have someone else you trust give you some feedback. If you think your facial expressiveness could be improved, you can practice in front of a mirror.

Watch your face as you imagine yourself feeling various positive and negative emotions. Imagine yourself hearing a very funny joke or winning the lottery or receiving a nice compliment; meeting your neighbour; getting a present; having a secret.

Also imagine yourself experienc¬ing negative situations and watch your facial expressions in the mirror. Exaggerate them. Switch back to imagining positive emotions. Are you normally this expressive? Do you let other people see the real you? Or do you try to hide yourself from everyone?

Your smiles and other facial expressions will be more natural and more appealing when you are relaxed, rather than tense. If you get nervous when you are talking with others, you may find it helpful to practice body relaxation techniques until you can easily relax at will. Consciously tell all the muscles in your body to relax, even if you have to give instructions mentally to each part of your body, one section at a time.

When you are with other people, let your mental focus be on enjoying the situation you are in, rather than imagining what others are thinking about you, or worrying what you will say next.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO YOU?



Knowing the answer will help you plan the route to attain it

D0 YOU often look at successful people with a longing eye and wish you were like them? In her book If Success is a Game, These are the Rules, Dr Cherie Carter-Scott shares 10 simple rules to guide you to achieve the success that you desire.

1. Each person has his/her own definition of success

Success can be many things — it can be a concept, an experience, a dream or something that you are trying to grasp at. However, the true essence of success is feeling satisfied and fulfilled internally. It is not judged by external benchmarks. Consider a person, who volunteers at the hospital to read to children with cancer. Is he any less of a success than the business tycoon who masterminds corporate buyouts?

Some might equate success with financial freedom, or to changing the status quo, or even being able to raise their children well — what is important is that you set your own standard and know what success means to you.

2. Wanting success is the first step towards attaining it

Your ownership of the desire for success is the initial thrust that will start you on your quest. By harnessing the intensity, drive and causality. you can make things happen. No soccer team would win their championship if they just said "it would be nice if ..." Team members must have an intense desire to win that will propel them to success.

3. Self-trust is essential

Knowing and trusting yourself leads you to the path that is uniquely yours. This self-trust can be tapped only after you truly know your purpose in life — what do you want your life to be about? What matters to you? Stop being a passive participant in your life — are you the driver or passenger?

4. Goals are the stepping stones on your path

When you drive from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, you know you are nearing the city by distance markers along the way.

Likewise, goals are the mileposts to motivate you to reach the finish line.

How often have you put off making goals because you were afraid of failure? Sure, it might seem unsettling, because of the possibility of disappointment, but missing goals does not equate to failing. You can revise deadlines and re-evaluate them.

5. Your actions affect your outcomes

What you say, do or think directly affects the results you produce, and this puts the power of making your goals happen in your
hands.

Focus on what you want to do, not how you are going to do it. Knowing specifically what you want moves you into action steps you can take. -

For example, Erlina wanted to start a gourmet ice-cream store. She began by mapping out
her action plan: She listed down the things that she needed to do —research on other ice-cream joints, find out more about franchises available, register the company and so on.

Since the first item seemed to be least threatening, she began with that and was inspired to pick another "to do" item on her list.

All that is required to move into action is that you venture forth. What is most important is to take the first step.

6. Opportunities will present themselves

Opportunities in life may be glaringly obvious or hidden, and you will be faced with many decisions throughout your life.

Assess the opportunities with your head, heart and gut, and trust your intuition. Do a cost/benefit analysis to establish whether the opportunity is worth taking . Risk -taking might be unsettling, but it might lead to the most exhilarating moment of your life!

7. Each setback provides valuable lessons

Setbacks build character and perseverance, if you do not give up. Determination was what kept star basketball player Michael Jordan practising and improving his game after he was cut from his high school team!

If you are to succeed, however, learn how to deal with disappointments that come your way. Acknowledge that there will be obsta¬cles and things might not always go as you want them to.

8. Managing your resources maximises your efforts

Time, energy, relationships and finances are elements that can impede success or enhance it. Make them work for instead of against you.

Organise your time to give you the freedom to create, think clear thoughts and live life effectively, as opposed to being weighed down by tasks. time constraints and chaos.

Maintain your energy by finding a balance in your life. spending it wisely, and recharging when necessary.

9. Every level of success brings new challenges

Attaining some form of success does not mean the end of the game. A promotion might mean added responsibility and pressure, but if you are prepared to deal with changes and stay humble, you can keep your perspective and maintain your integrity.

10. Success is a process that never ends

There is no magic door labeled "Destination: Success" that you can enter permanently. It turns, bends and curves, and can place you at a vantage point that enables you to see a whole new world of opportunities and challenges.

Being successful is a process that never ends because our definitions of success are constantly changing and evolving. Live fully for the moment and enjoy the journey!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

SUCCESS COMES WITH A PRICE



... but do not let that stop you from living up to your potential.

AS STRANGE as it sounds, many people actually fear success. And this fear holds them back from achieving their goals and dreams.

But how could anyone possibly fear such a wonderfully positive thing as success? It may sound more reasonable to fear failure, so what is this all about?

Here are some reasons why people fear success:

1. Change itself is scary

It is easier to maintain status quo and go along unthinkingly. Life is easier when you can live it on autopilot. Change brings you into the unknown with its mix of exciting adventure and scary possibilities.

2. People will expect you to succeed again

There is a new pressure to perform to a level you did not have to before. You are aware of people watching and waiting for you to repeat your good performance.

3. The bar has been raised on your perfor¬mance levels

Your old habits and processes will not work. You have to change familiar and comfortable ways of doing things for the new.

4. You will get more attention from people

If you are a private person. or are not used to having an audience, being in the limelight will take some adjusting to.

5. Your private life may suffer
Athletes and actors who make it big complain that they no longer have privacy, and that they must hire security personnel and worry about financial and personal safety issues.
6. You question if you can do it again

If you succeed the first time, and fail the next time, people will say it was a fluke. This puts added pressure on this second performance and takes away the value of the first perfor¬mance should you fail.
7. People expect you to “be" a certain way now

Famous stars in show business are expected to be big tippers or to sign autographs, and if they do not, are denigrated. People have a set of expectations about how you should behave in your new position.
8. It is harder to stay at the top than to get there

It was tough succeeding, but maintaining your success is usually even harder. It takes more time, more planning and with your new distractions and obligations, keeping focus is even more demanding.

9. You make enemies when you perform better than others

You may leave former peers behind, symbolically and literally. when you raise the bar. Many people may be happy for your success but some may feel slighted and envious.

10. Your time demands will change

You have less time now because maintaining new levels of performance brings new demands on your time and new experiences you have never had.

11. Being a success can limit you

When an actor makes it big in a role, he is forever remembered as that character - and if he does not manage his career well, he will become typecast.

When you do a great job on a project, you might be known as "the one" to do this job for eternity because you are "so good" at it.
12. Being a success changes your self-image

Perhaps you have always wondered if you could succeed at something. You may not have felt worthy of this success.

People may have told you. covertly or overtly, that you do not deserve success. You, at least, know your place as one who is average.

When you succeed, people will look to you for advice, leadership and as being a model of virtue, and it will forever change how you see yourself.


Do any of these reasons strike a chord with you? If you are afraid of being successful, think these points through, and seek the advice of a career coach or mentor who can help you resolve these issues.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

WINNING IN THE GAME OF LIFE



Take the cue from top sports personalities like Tiger Woods and apply the laws of winning in your personal and work life.

SPORTS champions know how to win and accomplish their dreams. They have learned the secrets of winning and success in sport. The mental game concepts that follow are familiar ones in the sports world. Examine these principles and laws of winning in sport and see how you can apply them in your daily life.

1. GO EXTRA MILE. Making that extra effort can make the difference between winning and just barely losing. It means going the extra mile — when you are tired, when victory is not a guarantee, when things look bleak. Champions routinely push themselves.

2. GET IT DONE. High achievers use this phrase constantly to display their commitment to the task at hand. They will do whatever it takes, against all odds, to succeed, once they have made the commitment to succeed.

3. THE KILLER INSTINCT. Champions know how to finish off a contest once a lead is established. They have no qualms about defeating the opponent. They keep their sights aimed at victory and are unrelenting as they forge ahead.

4. RAISING YOUR GAME. Performance levels must be ratcheted up at various stages of a contest. To seize an opportunity to win, the champion digs deep and pulls up from within the all-encompassing desire to succeed that takes him to the next level.

5. COMING FROM BEHIND. Champions know how to win even on a bad day. They hope for the best but also have plans for the worst. They are able to kick themselves out of the cellar and find a way to win, even if it is not pretty.

6. PLAYING TO WIN. Champions are not bashful or ashamed to say that they love winning. They play positively, confidently and play like they mean it. They take bold, yet reasoned chances and believe that they will succeed.

7. AVOID "PLAYING NOT TO LOSE”. Losers or also-rans play not to lose. They play scared, they worry about making errors, they are indecisive and they doubt themselves. When they get a lead, they protect it and are fearful of losing it. Champions hate to lose more than they love to win and will do everything in their power to make sure they win.

8. AVOID “PROTECTING A LEAD”. Champions do not attempt to protect leads. They seek to increase leads. Also-rans try to protect a lead and lose in the process. Champions step up to the plate and go for it even more because they allow that surge of confidence to take them over and go to the next level as they increase momentum.

9. DIGGING DEEP. Champions live or those make-it or break-it piv¬otal moments in a contest. They compete to taste those times when only a supreme, back-breaking effort will propel them to victory. They want to have a story to tell. They want to be in a contest that is meaningful and significant and that will be remembered for a long, long time. They reach deep down inside to find the magic needed to win.

10. IN THE ZONE. High achievers Inn how to climb into that optimal performance zone and ride the wave of success. They know how to get in the flow and allow things to happen. They do not get in their own way and block them¬selves. They soar with success.

11. GETTING THE MOMENTUM. Peak performers understand and use momentum to their advantage. Every "contest" has momentum and the secret is to identify it and tap into it. The champion increases momentum and the chances of success by ramping up energy and by taking more risks. No mind games A true champion does not need to play mind games. He is aware of all potential mind games that various opponents may indulge in and is ready for them. The champion counters all mind games and maintains true integrity.


Champions are a different breed. Are they born this way or do they develop the attributes of winners? Whatever it is, you can learn from them, be inspired by them, use them as benchmarks and view them as role models. Just as they win the mental game of sport, you can win the mental game of life.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

TRUST ME, I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING


Even if you do not know how to fix a problem, it is important to think of ways to handle it, instead of looking on helplessly

COMPETENCE goes beyond hav­ing a specific expertise. It cer­tainly means being knowledge­able and skilful in your field. But it also means possessing a problem-solving ability that goes beyond your own speciality.

Even if you do not know an answer or how to fix a problem, you will know how to go about getting some­one who does — if you have compe­tence.

Competence means having a can-do attitude and knowing how to fol­low through a problem.

You know incompetence when you see it. I speak a lot in public, and once in a while. I run into a situation where the person handling the tech­nical aspects of the event — the audio-visuals - does not know what to do when something goes wrong.

For example, there is feedback in the microphone or the projector is showing the slides crooked, and the person — who obviously has not had the right training for the job — looks on helplessly.

Some of them actually look at me to see if I know how to fix it!

I am happy to say that, the great majority of the time, I work with peo­ple who are truly competent at what they do.

When something goes wrong —like a buzz in the public address sys­tem, for instance — they may not know exactly where it is coming from, but they know how to trou­bleshoot to find it.

They check one piece of equip­ment, and then another, and then another, until they find the problem.

Exhibiting competence in knowing what you are doing, or knowing how to get something done, is communi­cated to others in a variety of ways.

There is the obvious level of actu­ally being able to do what you say you can do.

Your "non-verbals" — how you look, the sound of your voice — go a long way towards conveying compe­tence.

So does the style of behaviour you choose — whether you come across as a very casual person, or as some­one who is a professional and takes yourself seriously. Notice I said, "the style of behaviour you choose", because you do have a choice.

That is my tip on competence: You can choose to behave in a way that exudes competence, or you can choose to undercut what skills you do have by looking and acting as if you are not sure of yourself.

Your ability to gain influence with other people is dependent on how they see you, whether they judge you to be trustworthy, and whether they think you really know what you are talking about or can manage the tasks you claim you can.

You will go a long way towards gaining that trust when you are able to impress them with your compe­tence.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

THE ART OF NEGOTIATION



Have you ever had a discussion with yourself about when to go to bed? The word "negotiation" may conjure thoughts of hostage standoffs and high-stakes labour disputes, but there's a more quotidian brand of conflict resolution that enters daily life at nearly every turn. Negotiation, in fact, doesn't necessarily even require another person.

Mary P. Rowe, an ombudsman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge), encourages people to think of negotiation as "all interactions between two or more points of view: it's possible to negotiate with yourself."

Negotiations crop up on the way to decisions big and small-when to fill the gas tank, how to spend money, who picks up the kids, when to have sex, whether to get married.

Granted, forging a compromise over which DVD to watch isn't the same as signing the Camp David Accords, but regular human beings can benefit from the same skills world leaders use to solve problems. And best of all, getting better at reaching agreement is pretty painless.

Principled negotiation is a strategy that seeks to move both parties away from polarising and usually entrenched positions, and into the realm of interests. It asks how both parties can get their interests satisfied while keeping their relationship strong. Negotiating well means neither party need feel cheated, manipulated, or taken advantage of.

Psychologist Daniel L Shapiro, associate director of the Harvard Negotiation Project, has trained Palestinian and Israeli negotiators. He taught members of the Serbian parliament how to negotiate.

When Shapiro was dating his wife, Mia, a painful imbroglio erupted after he asked her to watch his apartment while he was away. He returned to discover she had redecorated. Gone was his "cool" construction lantern. The card table he ate on had a new flowered tablecloth.

"In truth, it looked better," but Shapiro was incensed. The trouble, he recognised later, was that Mia had inadvertently trampled his autonomy. That turns out to be one of five "core concerns" his research identifies as critical in creating disputes and finding resolution.

The other core concerns are appreciation, or having actions acknowledged: affiliation, being treated as a colleague: status, feeling that others respect one's standing: and having roles and activities that are fulfilling. Cross one of the needs and conflict arises. Respect them, and com¬promise is around the corner.

The most important element of effective negotiation, says Rowe, is preparation, preparation, preparation. She recommends drafting a letter that includes an objective statement of the facts, explains how those facts were injurious, and outlines what the writer thinks should happen

Even if the letter is never sent, writing it can help clarify what is needed to repair any damage.

If there is not enough time for a letter, even a 10-minute break from a highly charged situation allows murky issues to be thought through and real needs to come to light.

'There's a saying among negotiators that whoever talks the most during a negotiation loses," says Bobby Covic, author of Everything's Negotiable! How to Bargain Better to Get What You Want (Pendulum Press, 2004). Being the first one to listen is crucial to building trust. Just getting the listening part of a negotiation right can satisfy many of the core concerns Shapiro cites.

However, listening - really paying attention to what the other person has to say - is hard. Gregorio Billikopf, a negotiator for the University of California system, offers several good lis¬tening practice:
SIT DOWN. This signals to the other person that time will be spent to hear their side. Never ask someone to talk if there isn't enough time to listen.

FIND COMMON GROUND. Approach the other person by talking about a neutral topic of mutual interest, say, baseball or knitting. It helps both parties relax and starts the flow of conversation. Transition to the problem by saying, "I want to talk about an issue important to me, but first I want to hear what you have to say about it."

MOVE IN LEARNING. Learning in to the conversation indicates interest. Head nods also help in letting the other side know their thoughts are being followed. But constant nodding or saying "right" over and over will seem insincere.

KEEP YOUR COOL. Experts agree on ground rules for communicating problems -no yelling and no walking away.

BE BRIEF. Don't go on and on, says Billikopf. He also suggests avoiding words such as "we disagree", a phrase that throws a person on the defensive.

FORGET NEUTRALITY. Trying to control your emotions usually backfires, says Shapiro. The other person can read anger and frustration, and negative emotions ruin negotiations. Instead, mine the situation to find whatever positive emotions can be brought to the table - like letting a spouse who's fallen behind on his end of the chores know that his hard work is admirable and the extra money he's earning is appreciated.
AVOID EMPTY THREATS. Intimidation can be powerful -but use it sparingly. Empty threats will diminish the other person's respect for you.

DON'T YIELD. Caving on important issues may seem noble, says Billikopf, but it ruins a relationship. "You're not asking the other person to consider your point of view," he says. Instead, look for compromises. Compromise is like stretching. Stop doing it and pretty soon there's no way to bend at all.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

BECOMING A TEAM PLAYER



TEAM players are usually people known for sacrifice, sharing and hard work. Many strive to be a team player at the workplace, but it takes more than just having a desire - it takes hard work. Being a team player often involves doing the right thing by not always having your self-benefit in mind.

Building confident, cohesive, well-functioning teams is an ongoing focus for leaders of corporations where specific and similar tasks are being performed. There are many pathways to building confident work teams. Whether you are working with a new work team or fitting into an established team, the guidelines here can support you in building and taking part in an even stronger and more cohesive team.

The following key principles are involved to become a team player:

  • Look at the team you are on and define the team goals. Often these goals will differ from your personal goals. Be sure to keep the team's goals first on your list of priorities. Once you identify the team goals, think about the best way you can contribute to the team by reaching these goals. Try to think about reaching goals as an absolute destination, rather than just a possibility. That is to say, look at meeting team goals as something that will happen, not something that can happen. With this attitude, becoming a team player will become a reality. There has to be provision, a vehicle, for team building. At fixed intervals of time (for example, monthly staff meetings or annual retreats), allow some time for members in your team to bond and connect with one another. Listen to others - their con¬cerns and frustrations - to the extent to empower them to provide their solutions to their problems.
  • Team players must recognise their individual strengths to provide the team with something useful. If you have a great ability to work with numbers, nominate yourself the maths person and try to work on all aspects of the project that deals with maths. Ef¬fective teams have a clear leader, with a clear role. Consistently communicate and play your part on the team. Proac¬tively address potential concerns and issues. Build a collaborative environ¬ment where every member's strengths are utilised and appreciated
  • Always try to help others in need within your team. Often times team members will be so engulfed in their assignments that they fail to realise others are struggling. If one has the attitude that they will only do what they're being paid to do, then they may only achieve so much for the team. If one applies the attitude of helping a brother or sister in need, the team can build and succeed upon such efforts.
Teams can only be effective if there is a clear mission. Bereft of this mission the team becomes a boat without rudder. The resultant feeling of aimlessness leads to lack of clarity and fuel for productivity. Expectations for individual responsibilities waiver and remain unclear if not linked to the broader picture of team roles. And naturally, as there is no team understanding, you have to lay out the objectives and provide the team with direction and purpose.

The old cliché that teams are only as strong as their weakest member holds true in today's work environ¬ment. Remember that a team is a group of players expected to work together to achieve a mission. By defining goals, recognising strengths and helping others, you will give your team a better opportunity of having no weak members.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

I DON’T HAVE THE TIME



Did you ever notice how there is never enough time to do everything, or so it seems? But there is always enough time to do the important things. I am always amused how some busy business people can never take time out for personal development or leisure time convinced that if they were not there "the place would fall apart". And so, they are always there, before everyone arrives and after everyone leaves, never taking time to do the important things they want to do.

Yet, that same person, who could never take off three days for a personal development seminar, gets a surprise phone call one afternoon. Their mother has just passed away unexpectedly. Three hours later, they are on a plane flying to attend to the funeral and family, dropping everything at work.

When they return, a few days later, is there anything to come back to? You bet. Sure, some things get fouled up, but they are corrected and life goes on. "The graveyards filled with indispensable people."

Why does it take a death, a heart attack or some other personal emergency to convince people to do what they know they she be doing in the first place? It is a choice. Life is a constant series of choices. We choose to work. We choose our relationships. We choose how we spend every hour (or we allow others to).

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

BUILD RESISTANCE THROUGH HEALTHFUL HABITS



Caffeine, sugar, tobacco, alcohol and drugs are the well-known bad guys. You know what you have to do. Cut down or cut them out altogether.

Poor nutrition is a common problem. At work, avoid doughnuts, candy bars and other sugar-laden snacks, eat well-balanced meals (including breakfast), and avoid greasy, heavy restaurant foods.

If you feel you can't function without numerous cups of coffee, try filling your cup with half regular and half decaffeinated coffee. Gradually reduce the amount of regular coffee (and sugar) until you've reached a more reasonable level.

EXERCISE

To improve cardiovascular fitness to the levels needed to combat stress, about three times a week each of us needs to elevate the pulse to around 130 beats per minute and maintain that pace for 20-30 minutes.

If your job is competitive and goal-oriented, you would be wise to choose a non-competitive, goal¬less activity like walking, swimming or jumping rope.

Often the need to exercise arises on the job, when we're least able to do anything about it. Try some of these ideas when you can't exercise.

Get up and walk. Walk on your lunch hour or to someone's office. If you're tense and ready to explode, walking from one end of the building to the other can be helpful.

If you can't take time to walk, stretch. Systematically stretch your entire body. Roll your neck, rotate and stretch your arms, fingers, legs, toes, and waist.

If you are tied to a chair in a meeting, try isometrics. Tighten the muscles in your legs, arms, abdomen, feet and hands. Hold each for a count of 10 and release.

RELAX

Few of us can take 20 minutes for relaxation breaks during the day. Instead, you may want to try periodic deep breathing. Breathing is the easiest physiological system to control. It can temporarily lower high blood pressure and results in sense of readiness to concentrate fully on the next task.

TALK WITH A PEER WHO WILL UNDERSTAND AND LISTEN.

Research shows talking with a spouse is not as effective in reducing job-related stress.) Choose someone who will maintain confidentiality and be non-judgmental and empathic. Sharing your feelings is a proven, effective release.

BUILD AND MAINTAIN HIGH-QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS

Numerous studies have underscored the importance of maintaining solid, interpersonal relationships on the job to continue good health in the face of prolonged high levels of stress.

COMPARTMENTALIZE WORK LIFEAND HOME LIFE

Don't let one spill over into the other.

DELEGATE SITUATIONS THAT CAN BE HANDLED BY OTHERS

Make priorities in your work, including the typical crises, problems and complaints. Choose a qualified individual to train to handle as many of these situations as possible. incorporate a few practice drill in your training so you and your subordinate will be ready when the time comes.

WATCH THE WAY YOU TALK TO YOURSELF

During periods of high stress, we frequently lose perspective. Ask yourself, "One year from now, as I look on this crucial emergency, how important will it seem?" This technique will help you think more rationally.

FINALLY, MAKE A CONTRACT WITH YOURSELF


Start small. Choose one technique that your would like to try and practice each change rigorously for 21 days. (Studies show it takes at least 21 days of practicing a new behavior to change an old pattern.) Then decide whether you wan to continue the stress management technique you’ve chosen. The important thing is to pick one and start one.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

HOW MOTIVATES ARE YOU?



What motivate us to get up in the morning and go out to work… every day? What determines whether we take an optimistic or a pessimistic view on things? What really makes us successful? Motivation is a fascinating subject, which has intrigued researchers for decades. Motivation is a state of mind which is influenced by our environment, by those around us and of course by us.

Everyone is motivated….to do something, whether that something is to put in full day’s work and achieve a task or whether it I to do as little as possible and hopefully not be noticed. The behaviours of managers and co-worker will influence our internal state of mind, just as successful salespeople with stimulate a motivation to prescribe in the minds of their customers.

“Whether you believe that you can or whether you believe that you can’t…you’ll be absolutely right!” – Henry Ford

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will” – Vincent T Lombardi

So what is motivation?

In 1938, Henry Murray developed a list of human psychological needs that lead to particular personality traits. These needs, summarized below, led to further studies of motivation by others.

1. Achievement:
A person operating from this need strives to accomplish difficult tasks or to compete with others.

2. Affiliation
This person seeks to develop close relationships with others. Loyalty and friendships are important and this person enjoys working as part of a team.

3. Aggression
This need results in a tendency to attack, injure or punish others. He/She will win forcefully and will enjoy making others look bad.

4. Autonomy
Some people need to be able to independently. They to he in control of their job and will take full responsibility for results.

5. Deference
Deferential people tend to admire and support their superiors and other authority figures. They support and respect traditions.

6. Dominance
These people will seek to control their environment through attempting to influence others to accept their views and opinions. They will manipulate others to their own advantage.

7. Exhibition
The goal of this type of person is to be noticed and to elicit a reaction from others - the life and soul of the party.

8. Nurturance
Nurturing people find satisfaction in helping others who are more needy or disadvantaged than them.

9. Order
This person is highly organized, clean, neat and precise.

10. Power
A high need for power results in an attempt to control other people and resources and to seek high status in society.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

The key to success in life



Good management of one's emotions is the key to greater success in one's career and life.

Senior chartered psychologist and computer scientist from Oxford University Dr Shaun Zeng said the ability to manage such emotions depended on the health of one's emotional intelligence.

Self-discovery: Participants will learn to use their emotional intelligence at the EQ workshop on Jan 26.
He said work problems, like finding it difficult to work with others or leading co-workers as well as finding it overly challenging to meet one's work targets thus resulting in constant change of jobs, were usually symptoms of underlying emotional issues.

“If you feel unmotivated towards self-improvement or if you are generally unhappy with life and with people around you, you need to start looking into your emotional intelligence. You may find that once you can manage your emotions, you can manage anything in life,” he said.

Emotional intelligence or quotient (EQ), he explained, is a person's “emotional quality”. A person with a high EQ can handle his own emotions well and will be able to manage life well.

“Today, most people take the term EQ to mean one's social popularity or aptness. In actual fact, EQ incorporates a multitude of human capabilities.

“Under the rubric of EQ lies the complexity of a person's competencies to demonstrate intelligent use of emotions for self-management and social integration. People with a positive and high emotional quality are usually popular and are generally happy,” he added.

Another important quality necessary for attaining personal life goals is the ability to suppress the desire for immediate gratifications, an aspect of EQ, stressed Dr Zeng.
He cites author J.K. Rowling who wrote Harry Potter as an example:

“She was divorced, lived with her daughter under public assistance in a tiny apartment and her first book was rejected by 10 publishers. Despite the setbacks, her persistence in pursuing her goal led her to become the best selling author in literary history,”

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

SEVERAL WAYS TO MANAGE STRESS ON THE JOB



If you have too much to do and too little time in which to do it; find that the demands of others for your time are in conflict; or spend much of your time fighting "fires," you are probably experiencing excessive stress.

Managers ranked these three situations as the top job-related stressful situations across the country in a study conducted by John Adams, a Washington, D.C., consultant specializing in stress.

The right amount of stress can be a productive source of energy for getting things done, but finding

the right balance is often difficult.

Stress can cause us to "burn out" in a high-pressure job, but "rusting out" in a boring, stagnant one can be just as stressful.

According to some recent research, the stress we experience daily can have a more disastrous, cumulative effect on our health and productivity than an occasional but extremely stressful situation like a death in the family or losing your job.

"But I don't have time to manage stress!" "My stress comes from factors I can't control, so there's nothing I can do about it!"

Sound familiar? It's not surprising.

Most people think that stress management has to involve a large scale lifestyle or job change. (Indeed, in some cases it may be necessary.) But there are little things ail of us can do to relieve the daily stress we must live with.

Managers studied by Adams and others, who have successfully managed their own stress levels, have found several coping strategies that work for them. None of the following techniques takes a great deal of time, but they all require a strong, personal commitment. Decide for yourself.

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Motivation & Spirituality And Success



Motivation is a word used to refer to the reason or reasons for engaging in a particular behavior, especially human behavior as studied in psychology and neuropsychology. These reasons may include basic needs such as food or a desired object, goal, state of being, or ideal. The motivation for a behavior may also be attributed to less-apparent reasons such as altruism or morality. According to Geen, motivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of human behavior.

So what motivates you? Certainly, you need some intelligence, knowledge base, study skills, and time management skills, but if you don't have motivation, you won't get far.

Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. Spiritual matters are those involving humankind's ultimate nature, not merely as material biological organisms, but as spirits with a connected relationship to that which is beyond both time and the material world. As such the spiritual has traditionally been contrasted with the physical and the earthly. A perceived sense of connection forms a central defining characteristic of spirituality — connection to a metaphysical reality greater than oneself, which may include an emotional experience of religious awe and reverence, or such states as satori or Nirvana. Equally importantly, spirituality relates to matters of sanity and of psychological health. Spirituality is the personal, subjective dimension of religion, particularly that which pertains to liberation or salvation

Combined the Motivation & Spirituality and go to unlimited success.............

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