Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development
The speech that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King made on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial never fails to inspire me as he fought for equal rights during a difficult time. He eloquently expressed some deep truths and values for every precious member of the human race. One sentence that always stands out is, “I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Regardless of the color of your skin, your physical traits, your education level, your income bracket or any accomplishment you may have to your credit, the one thing that will help you sleep at night – or keep you tossing and turning – is the content of your character.
Have you thought about the character traits that are shown in your life? Would people describe you as mostly honest or dishonest? Hardworking or lazy? Generous or stingy? Brave or cowardly? Positive or negative?...
When it comes to relationships, let’s be clear – the last thing you want to do is trust someone who is not trustworthy. In fact, it’s foolish to trust a person whose behavior is characterized by lies and broken promises.
But one of the biggest challenges in many relationships is the difficulty some people have with being able or willing to trust someone who is truly trustworthy. These are often men or women who have been hurt or taken advantage of by important people in their lives, resulting in a conditioned response of suspicion and fear. Sadly, this virtually guarantees that intimacy will suffer significantly. The absence of both trust and intimacy can often give way to a vicious cycle of conflict, abuse and isolation.
If your capacity to trust others is limited because of the insecurity and vulnerability created by abuse, keep in mind that there is hope. The trauma of abuse frequently triggers the development of irrational beliefs...
In a recent coaching session, a client asked if I could help him break the habit of interrupting. He told me that several team members had confronted him about frequently talking over them – interrupting. They were honest enough to tell him just how much it had become a consistent source of frustration for them. In collaboration with my client, we came up with several strategies that ultimately helped him to virtually eliminate his “communication destroyer” habit.
One of the quickest ways to shut down communication is to interrupt. When someone repeatedly interrupts others it not only derails communication, but it also diminishes the trust and respect people have for them.
If your relationships are compromised due to a habit of interrupting I encourage you to read and practice the 10 Tips to Help You Stop Interrupting below.
Live, Work and Relate Well!
1. Write your thoughts down so you...
Building and maintaining a strong and loving family in today's culture takes a determined will and a conscious and sustained effort on the part of every family member. With so many things competing for our time and attention it is easy to lose sight of the value and significance of the close, loving relationships our families can provide.
It's often been said that when a person comes to the end of their life they realize that the only things that really matter are the loving relationships that were established and cultivated throughout the years - especially those with family.
If you want to build a firm foundation of love and support for your family that will stand the test of time and weather the storms of difficult life circumstances, we encourage you to embrace these ten resolutions for building a strong family.
As a family, we commit to...
Some people have the “gift” of gift-giving. They have a knack for knowing what will make someone happy and finding it. They never get tired of hearing, “It’s perfect! How did you know I wanted that?” Most of us aren’t quite that gifted, so we turn to other people or even the Internet for ideas.
A recent browse on the GiftAdvisor.com website revealed hundreds of ideas. For example, the plant-lovers in your life might like the Avocado Tree Starter Kit or the Redwood Bonsai Forest. Campers would appreciate the Jerky of the Month Club and your favorite thrill-seekers would be ecstatic to receive the Shotgun Ride-Along in a Stock Car. Your Irish friends might like to own a tiny plot in their homeland for only $29.99 and for those who appreciate the finer things in life you can buy a membership to the Lobster of the Month Club – but be aware that you can buy 11 acres of land on Mars for about the same price!
At this highly consumer-driven time of...
Knowing how to engage in constructive dialogue with your teenager is one of the most important skills a parent can possess, but it is also one of the most challenging things to pull off well. Generally speaking, teens are not always eager to participate in a “serious” conversation with their parent(s). Nevertheless, by understanding how to effectively talk with your kids you can decrease the occurrence of destructive conflict and increase the likelihood of sending the message to your child that they have been heard and that they are valued and respected.
Your teens face important issues every day. Their ability to make good decisions about drugs and alcohol, sex, friendships and school performance is significantly enhanced by open, honest and direct communication about these issues with you. The stakes are high – one bad decision can literally affect a teenager for the rest of his or her life. When you have constructive dialogue with your teen you are also modeling...
For many of us, few things are as irritating as having a road you frequently travel come under construction. You often have to deal with dust, delays, bumps and detours for many months. The upside to having to endure the challenges of construction is that if the job is well done it will make your future travel much easier and enjoyable – the same is true for relationships under construction.
Like roadwork, successful relationships, whether at home or work, require a process of assessment, planning, and construction. Whether you are building a new relationship or attempting to improve an existing one, if you fail to adequately prepare and build you will not be able to effectively meet the demands that come your way.
Building or improving a relationship begins where you are right now. What values need to be in place? Is your foundation set on honesty and trust?
Talking about shared interests and things you have in common can draw you closer to someone....
Relationships… we were created to desire, seek and be enriched by them. When they thrive, the joy is intense. When they break, the pain is devastating. But as difficult as it is, there are steps you can take to get over – and get through – a broken friendship.
Let me introduce you to Cindy and Lisa, who met each other at work and soon began developing a very close friendship. They spent time together on the telephone, hiking, taking their children on outings, and playing tennis. They encouraged, advised and comforted each other and trusted one another with their greatest hopes, dreams and fears.
Five years into the friendship, Cindy sensed that Lisa was beginning to pull away. The telephone calls decreased, invitations to dinner became infrequent and the usual warm greeting exchanged in the office began to feel awkward and forced.
At first, Cindy shrugged it off by telling herself that Lisa was just busy with her family and other commitments....
Every day we are bombarded with television, radio, internet and newspaper headlines and stories that draw our attention to bad news. We hear and read about natural disasters, economic uncertainty, wars and other tragedies that serve to trigger distress and worry in many people.
Did you know that 53.4% of the news on television alone depicts violence, conflict and suffering? The worse the report, the more likely it is to be the lead story because humans are naturally attracted to bad news.
Humans exhibit this attraction to bad news thanks in large part to what is called the negativity bias. This bias refers to a psychological phenomenon by which humans pay more attention to and give more weight to negative rather than positive experiences. Researchers found that bad news…
Attracts the pessimistic side of humans
Distracts us from boredom
Reminds us that we could have it worse
Reminds us to be careful and cautious
Often motivates us to take...
Finding the perfect position is only the beginning of job satisfaction. Have you ever heard someone say, "I’d like my job if it weren’t for the people I work with"? One of the greatest challenges in the workplace is getting along with other people. It hardly matters if someone is the best and brightest at what he does if he creates dissension in the office. Regardless of whether someone is hired to lead or be part of the team, it is the ability to establish functional and healthy workplace relationships that can make or break their success and job satisfaction.
A supervisor has a particular responsibility to create a satisfying and productive atmosphere that encourages others to reach their full potential. To inspire confidence and loyalty from others, he must lead by example. If he values punctuality, he should be punctual. If he insists on respectful behavior, he should demonstrate it in his treatment of others. If he wants to...