7 Ways To Set Goals You Will Actually Keep: Part 1

It is resolution season! According to Wikipedia, a New Year's Resolution is a promise to either start doing something good or stop doing something bad beginning the first of the year

A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study's participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends. source

So how can you bet the odds and actually keep your resolutions? In this two part blog post series, you'll get practical advice that works!


Introverts: 4 Things You Need To Know About Them

I write weekly for the Asmithblog.com. Here is a post I hope you will find helpful.

I didn't know I was married to an introvert. How do you communicate with an introvert if you are not one? It is simple. It starts with respect.

DISCLAIMER: This is not meant to be an exhaustive look at the communication practices of introverts.They are studies about that. Rather, this is designed to give you practical knowledge into how to connect with the introverts in your life.

Before we dive into the meat and potatoes, let's whet our appetite with some definitions and clarity.

Introversion is a psychological term used to classify personality.  Attributed to Carl Jung, introversion's technical definition, as made famous by the Myers-Brigg personality assessment, simply means one focuses on the inner world stimulation versus the outer world.

"People who are introverted tend to be inward turning, or focused more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation." Introverts get their energy and are recharged from spending time with their thoughts." (1)

In the early years of my marriage I didn't know my husband was introverted. The signs were there; I just didn't see them. I thought because he was popular, outspoken, and got along with just about everyone, he was naturally an extrovert like me. But, the real differences came to light every Friday night.

Read the full post here


6 Communication Skills You Need To Get Promoted

I contribute weekly to the Asmithblog.com. Here is a post that I am sure you'll enjoy.

Frank was a hard worker at this company. A new position opened up and Frank thought he'd be perfect for the job. He'd been with the company for 15 years. He constantly met and exceeding his job expectations. He'd won numerous performance awards. He was assertive and efficient. He thought he had a good shot at getting promoted.

He applied. He waited. Finally the announcement for the new manager was made and Frank's name was not called.

Frank was furious. He was certain his record was better than all the candidates. After work, with his supervisor who was also his friend, Frank decided to be bold and ask why didn't he get the job. His friend slumped his shoulders and said, "Honestly, Frank you do a great job. But your people skills suck! You would be horrible as a leader. You serve us best doing exactly what you are doing."

You can be really good at doing your job but that does not mean you will be promoted. When companies are looking for leaders they need people who are can rally people, lead people, and solve problems caused by people.

Read the full post here.


Why We Don't Give Compliments

I write weekly for Asmithblog. Here is a post I hope you'll find helpful.

Good communicators know the value of being generous with their compliments of others. The word compliment is a noun with four definitions, all of which indicate we need to be giving away more of them:

*An expression of praise, commendation, or admiration.

*A formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard.

*A courteous greeting; good wishes; regards.

*A gift; present.

A few myths may be standing in our way.

Myth:  Recipients will get big heads.

Truth: Their egos are already inflated.

We fear that telling someone how good they are at something will somehow turn him or her into an egomaniac. In truth, if someone is an egomaniac, he or she probably got there without your help. Good communicators practice what is right regardless of the circumstances. In fact, withholding a well-deserved compliment is a sign of egomania. We need to change focus. Complimenting others reduces the risk that the giver will become self-centered. If someone is an egomaniac, does that negate the fact that he or she did something right or possesses other admirable skills and qualities?

Read the full post here


The Most Important Skill You Are NOT Using!

I write weekly for asmithblog.com. Here is a post I hope you'll find helpful.

  • Less than 2% of the world’s population has ever had any formal training in this skill.
  • 64% of workplaces offer training in this skill because they find their employees are sufficiently lacking it.
  • It has been identified as the top skill employers seek in entry level candidates and for promotability.
  • Even though students spend most of their day doing it, this skill training is not required in university education.
  • 77% of doctors do it incorrectly.

So what is this skill that so many of us are paying no attention to?


What can we do about it?

Read the full post here


List Your Triumphs Before You List Your Resolutions

photo credit: seeveeaar via photopin cc

It is the end of the season, and resolution time will soon be upon us. As we look to the next year, we want to be successful.

But the one thing that irks me about resolution time?

We make resolution based on our past failures. We didn't do something we should have last year so we resolve to do better next year. We enter the new season full of guilt. Guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed about a failure.

Well no wonder most people fail in their resolutions! It is depressing.

I am going to challenge you with the same assignment I give clients, which I am also going to do myself.


What A Conversation About My Butt Taught Me About Communicating With Family

I blog a lot about the ways we can improve our communication at work, because frankly, most of my clients come to me for work related issues. But I am just as effective in family and friend related issue too. 

As we are spend more time with our family and friends this time of the year, I wanted to give you a little #holidayhelp on communicating with close family and friends. 

I learned a very important lesson through a conversation about my butt. Don't worry this post is G rated. 


You Are Good At What You Do: That's Your Problem!

You are good at what you do. That is your biggest problem!

If you are an entrepreneur, a contractor, or go to authority on your job, being good at what you do could be your biggest communication problem.

Of course I am not advocating being incompetent. We should all strive to be good at our jobs; to improve our craft, art, or business. But we have to be cautious of one thing in doing so.


Being Busy: Is It Really A Brag Disguised As A Complaint?

As a blogger on communication skills that build leadership and deepen our connections with people, I want to deepen my relationship with you my blog readers. 

Therefore, I am going to try something new on the blog. It is called #BRAVETalk. It is a comment challenge where I ask a question, present a point of view, or share an idea and you tell me your thoughts on it. There are no right or wrong answers. I just want to stir up an intellectual conversation with my community. 

What's in it for you? In a word, practice.

Our #BraveTalk conversations are a perfect way for you to use and practice several transferable communication skills.

1. Writing. If you have a job, you are asked to write. Being able to clearly deliver your opinions in a organized fashion is a key leadership and communication skill.

2. Listening. Yes, you can practice listening online. Others will comment with their opinions. This is a great, non threatening way to practice reflective listening and paraphrasing skills.

3. Feedback. Feedback is part of life. These conversations will help you practice giving and receiving feedback. I encourage you to comment on others point of views.

4. Respect for others. Others may not have the same opinion and if you have ever been caught up in or witnessed an online argument where participants call each other names, curse, or defame one another, it can be enough to just stay silent. But that will not happen here. These conversations will not only help expand your understanding of others but enable you to show respect while still remaining true to yourself.

5. Community. We all desire to be in deep community with like minded individuals. Well how can I know your mind if you don't ever share it. You'll see you are not alone in your struggle or success. This awareness is a way to foster community here.

All of these benefits will help you become a better communicator and isn't that why I am here?

The topics or ideas will be ones that challenge a conventional way of thinking somehow. I want us to be BRAVE enough to engage in discussions that are based in respect of all opinions and encourage us to think about our responses to the status quo.

I will be using the hashtag #BRAVETalk on Facebook and Twitter to brand our discussions so you can find them. 

What's Your Responsibility?

Simple. Participate. Share. It is only good practice if we have points to read. We can't give feedback on silence so comment. Encourage others too as well. Just give your opinion.

Now that you know what's in it for you and what responsibility you have, let's get started!

1st #BraveTalk question:

Tim Kreider wrote a NY Times Blog opinion piece a while back called "The Busy Trap". In it, Kreider asserts that being busy is a self-imposed condition that we use in American society to prove our own importance. It is cleverly disguised as a complaint but in actuality we really are bragging. The author points out that being busy is essentially damaging our relationships and our contributions to the world. Being booked every minute of every day isn't good for our bodies, brains, or relationships, he says.

Have you ever been too busy to have coffee with a friend? Or does it take months of scheduling to get together with another? Has that phone call gone weeks without being returned? 

My question in our #BRAVETalk today is:

Are we addicted to being busy? Do we value being busy because it somehow proves we are important? How does being busy help or hurt our communication with others?

Leave a comment with your thoughts. And ask invite your friends to join the conversation.


5 Lies People Tell During The Holidays!

I admit I am a romantic Christmas movie junkie. The corny-ier the better. In my effort to offer you #HolidayHelp, today I talk about a common theme in many holiday movies: lying. In fact there are five lies people tell during the holidays...and after the holidays are over. 

Even if I can predict, which I usually can, every turn and twist, I still love romantic Christmas movies. My husband usually racks up major brownie points between Thanksgiving and New Year’s watching at least one a week with me. 

As a romantic Christmas movie connoisseur, I have noticed they all have similar themes:  

  • A single person makes a deal with another single person to pretend to be a couple during the holidays. 
  • A couple or family on the verge of irreversible destruction pretends to be a picture perfect couple just for the holiday.
  • Some character has a secret and keeping the secret has caused—or is causing—a rift in one or more relationships. 

It seems that people would rather lie than face the truth.

Are you one of them?

It makes for great television, but I can’t help but get emotionally drained as I watch these characters dig themselves in deeper holes as they try to cover their tracks. The plot always unravels as the characters forget the lies they told or try to live up to the lies and just can’t. 

5 Lies People Tell