Saturday, February 12, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
In January 2008, I posted the following on this website. Most of these sites are still live, but what i found interesting was the priorities some of these sites had just 3 years ago. Click and explore:
I stumbled upon this page this morning. It's like an Internet Menu. It's like a a clickable Table of Contents, it's.... something
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I know someone who talks too much when you meet him. It's to the point where some people avoid starting a conversation with him.
Either extreme can be overcome. Here's some tips from the DLM Blog that you can start using this weekend:
Posted: 18 Jan 2011 07:55 AM PST
It happens to the best of us: we’re talking to someone we’ve just met, and the conversation is stalling. We don’t know where to take it, how to keep it going and the silence is making us feel awkward. Although in the grand scheme of things, these moments are meaningless, they can be quite a burden for you when they happen.
I think the biggest problem here is not that awkward feeling though, but the fact that not knowing good ways to keep a conversation going can make you lose the opportunity to get to know an otherwise great person.
It is common for conversations with new people to have bumps at the beginning. Get them over those bumps successfully, and you could find yourself building a beautiful relationship. Here are the best 5 ways I know to do this:
- Find what to say in your favorite topics.
We all have things we are passionate about: activities, hobbies, projects, goals, ideas or jobs. Take some time to make a short but relevant list with the things you are most passionate about, and would make easy conversational topics for you. Read that list a couple of times and get to know it well. Then, when you find yourself in a stalling conversation, think about the list and find a way to maneuver the conversation to one of the topics on it.
- Ask open ended questions.
One way to keep a conversation going is to get the other person talking. And the best way to do this is by addressing her open ended questions. These are questions which require more than simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, and offer the possibility of much richer answers. Question like ‘What do you think of this event?’ instead of ‘Do you like this event?’ These kinds of questions encourage people to talk and they can be a life saver in stalling conversations.
Often, we find it hard to keep a conversation going not because we can’t think of anything to say, but because we fear the other person won’t enjoy that particular subject, fact or opinion we have in mind. However, most of time, this fear is not anchored in reality. This is where blurting comes in. Blurting is a conversational technique which means saying whatever you’re thinking about in that moment, instead of censoring yourself. Give it a try, and you’ll discover that people are not that harsh and they can enjoy a lot of things in a conversation.
- Let the other person end the silence.
Most people are uncomfortable with silences in a conversation. When one occurs, they immediately try to fill it by finding something to say. You can use this to keep a conversation going. When for example, you’ve just met a person at a party, you’re talking and the conversation is stalling, do not leave that person and go find the peanuts or something like that. Instead, hang in there and let the silence work for you. Most of the time, the other person will eventually pick up the conversation and end the silence.
- Practice, practice, practice.
I know many people which had huge problems with keeping conversations going and now, they can do this even with the most shy or uncooperative person. How did they manage to get to this point? They’ve practiced. They consciously pushed themselves out of their comfort zones, to meet new people, to socialize and to apply techniques like the other 4 mentioned above. Do the same, and you’ll see the same kind of results with your conversational skills.
|Written on 1/18/2011 by Eduard Ezeanu. Eduard is a communication coach who teaches people how to start a conversation and other essential people skills. He also writes on his blog, People Skills Decoded.||Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon|
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Posted: 30 Dec 2010 07:57 AM PST
There are good jobs, bad jobs, and jobs that make you want to gouge your eyes out with a soup spoon. Most of us can take the good with the bad, but when things at work are continuously awful, it's time to start thinking about a change.
Listen, I get that we can't all be Lego assembly testers, video game reviewers, or rock stars, but come on...how how much misery should we take before we start planning a job move?
Having been in a job I'm unhappy with for 9 years, I can certainly speak from experience when it comes to knowing when enough is enough. I consider myself an expert when it comes to finding reasons to quit.
Here are 10 signs that you need to find a different job:
- You area miserable S.O.B.
Now, there are plenty of miserable people in this world and there could be a million different reasons for it. However, if your job is sucking all the joy from your life and is making your and your coworkers lives miserable, it's time to move on. Work won't always be a bed of roses and one needs to persevere, but there are limits.
- You dread going into work.
Most people, if they had the choice, would opt not to go to work everyday. That's completely normal and reasonable. If you're anything like me, you probably try to think of as many ways you can get out of work as possible. How to you feel when that alarm clock goes off in the morning? Tired is fine; full of fear and stress is not.
- It's affecting your health.
If you work with asbestos or in a coal mine, your job IS affecting your health. However, if you're a desk jockey and are not subjected to carcinogens all day long, that doesn't mean your health won't be compromised. Chronic stress has some serious adverse health effects.
- It's stealing your dreams.
If you find yourself settling for a job you hate, it's time to wake up. Maybe you're too lazy to try to find another one. Maybe you're worried about job market conditions. Maybe you don't have the confidence to go out and make it happen for yourself. Whatever it is, change it. Do not give up on your dreams, EVER! I am not saying to quit and then look. I am saying that you should at least allocate some time to looking for another job and then making a move when the timing is right for your family, finances, etc.
- There is no room for growth.
We all strive to better ourselves, or at least we should. Personal growth is something that every individual should experience. If it's being stifled by your job, it's time to pack it in. If you feel that regardless of your efforts and results that your current position is destined to be your only position, consider moving.
- You know it's the wrong job.
When you were in high school and working at Wendy's or KFC, you knew it was temporary. However, when we're in the real world, we work for a living. We spend 40+ hours each week in our jobs. If we have chosen one that we know is not the right one for us, we must take action. It may take us 15 years to find the right job, but we need to find what makes us happy.
- It's not aligned with your values.
Working at a job you don't like just for a paycheck is one thing. However, when you're in a job that is not at all in line with your values or morals, that's a real problem. For example, I work in the financial services industry. From what I've seen over the last 9 years, the primary theme is greed. It's amazing how prevalent greed is in this business and it makes me sick. I don't consider myself greedy, so being around money hungry sharks every day is a real problem for me. If your company stands for something that you don't believe in, it's time to get that resume out.
- It's a complete waste of your time.
Time is the most valuable commodity on earth. Yes, we all have to work for a living and that takes up our time. But, when the job we are working in is nothing more than a means to an end, it's a waste. Go find something meaningful that will do the world some good. Be different, be bold, make a difference!
Go find something you love to do!
|Written on 12/30/2010 by Steve Roy. Steve is the owner of EndingTheGrind.com, a blog about escaping the daily grind of a 9 to 5 job, building an online business, and living your passions. You can also find him on Twitter at @EndGrind.||Photo Credit: RLHyde|
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Worried about security?
You should be. MakeUseOf.com has this tip:
If you’re an avid Facebook user then there’s one new feature you’ll probably want to enable straight away – the option to login, browse and do all your social networking worry-free, using a secure HTTPS connection to the server.
Facebook previously used HTTPS to handle logins, but from then on the site reverted to a non-secure version. Using the new setting found in the Account Security area under Account Settings (look for Secure Browsing) the whole session will be encrypted and less vulnerable to hijacking.
Users considered to be most at risk are those who regularly login from public access computers and unsecured wireless hot spots. If you do regularly use Facebook from any public places then we’d recommend changing to the HTTPS option as soon as you can.
As a consequence of the secure connection, pages may take longer to load than usual. There are also a large number of applications that are not yet compatible with the HTTPS.
In a blog post, Facebook’s Alex Rice said: “Some Facebook features, including many third-party applications, are not currently supported in HTTPS.
“We’ll be working hard to resolve these remaining issues. We are rolling this out slowly over the next few weeks, but you will be able to turn this feature on in your Account Settings soon. We hope to offer HTTPS as a default whenever you are using Facebook sometime in the future.”
Monday, February 07, 2011
Here's some help from from the DLM Blog:
Posted: 03 Feb 2011 01:01 PM PST
Recently, I attended TEDxSF, a communal, multidisciplinary event (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) whose goal is to bring thinkers together to share ideas they’re passionate about. While there, I had the pleasure of watching nearly a dozen different speakers talk to a packed auditorium. Each person had his or her own unique tactic for engaging the audience and holding us captive. A few had rehearsed presentations backed by visual aids, while others seemed to be just making it up as they went, using a lot of self-deprecating humor along the way. Some were better than others, but on the whole, everyone was confident and quite effective in grabbing the audience’s attention.
One speaker, however—a man who was reciting some poetry that he had written himself—was visibly petrified. At first, he tried to read from memory, but he repeatedly failed to remember the words. Again and again, he would apologize, then start over. When he finally broke down and pulled his notes from his pocket, his hands were shaking wildly and his voice stuttered as he struggled every second to just get through to the end of his presentation. It was painful to see him suffer. I just wanted to yell to him, “It’s going to be okay. You’re doing fine.” When he finished, a palpable sense of calm washed over the whole auditorium. Everyone was relieved it was over—for him.
Recognize a Common Fear
Before you embark upon on a self-taught path to becoming a more able presenter, it may be helpful to know that fear of public speaking is not uncommon. According to a 2001 Gallup Poll, 40 percent of Americans admit to being afraid to speak in front of an audience; in fact, this fear ranks second only to fear of snakes. Gavin de Becker, a renowned expert on the prediction and management of violence, believes that fear of public speaking is really about being afraid of losing one’s identity. If we fail to successfully deliver a speech at a wedding or a presentation in a boardroom, we’re at risk of humiliating ourselves and losing our identity. This fear can be debilitating.
Take It from the Experts
Enter Toastmasters International, a nonprofit organization with a stated mission of “helping people become more competent and comfortable in front of an audience.” At Toastmasters' events, members meet for a few hours and hone their communication skills by role-playing and giving either planned or impromptu speeches in front of other members. On November 5, 2007, NPR reported on filmmaker Keva Rosenfeld’s experience when he joined his local Toastmasters club to overcome his fear of public speaking. Rosenfeld came to the conclusion that public-speaking ability is not something we are born with, but rather something everyone can learn by following the Toastmasters’ proven techniques:
1. Know your material. Pick a topic you’re interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories, and conversational language—that way, you won’t easily forget what to say.
2. Practice, practice, practice! Rehearse out loud with all the equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; practice, pause, and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for the unexpected.
3. Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than it is to speak to strangers.
4. Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area, and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
5. Relax. Begin by addressing the audience. It buys you time and calms your nerves. Pause, smile, and count to three before saying anything. (One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand. Pause. Begin.) Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.
6. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear, and confident. Visualize the audience clapping—it will boost your confidence.
7. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative, and entertaining. They’re rooting for you.
8. Don’t apologize for any nervousness or problem—the audience probably never noticed it.
9. Concentrate on the message, not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience.
Aside from Toastmasters, the late writer-lecturer Dale Carnegie is another longtime, trusted resource in the public-speaking arena. A few of his more popular books on the art include The Art of Public Speaking and The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking.
Unwind Your Mind
Even when you believe you’ve thoroughly prepared yourself for a public-speaking engagement, it never hurts to tap into your mind-body connection for extra courage. From a medical perspective, Livestrong.com suggests massage, yoga, and meditation to calm frayed nerves before heading into a stressful situation.
* Get a massage. Getting a massage (especially with lavender essential oil)can help improve your focus and reduce anxiety.
* Practice savasana (corpse pose). Lie flat on your back, extend your arms away from your body with your palms facing upward, and separate and extend your legs. Breathe. Stay in this position for at least five to ten minutes.
* Meditate. Sit in a quiet place and focus only on your breath. Practicing meditation will reduce anxiety and give you the ability to think more clearly and articulate your thoughts better.
Just as it can be distressing to watch someone struggle through a presentation, it can also be positively inspiring to watch someone nail one. No discussion of effective public speaking would be complete without mentioning Barack Obama. Arguably one the most impactful speakers of our day, Obama not only possesses exceptional linguistic skills but also knows how to present himself and get people’s attention—and can leave an audience of thousands wondering what hit them. (Granted, he has an entire team of speech writers working for him, but still …) So the next time you find yourself standing beleaguered and besieged in front of a merciless crowd, remember that the words you use can be effective and meaningful, but the real strength lies in their delivery.
|Written on 2/03/2011 by DivineCaroline. DivineCaroline a place where people come together to learn from experts in the fields of health, spending, and parenting. Come discover, read, learn, laugh, and connect at DivineCaroline.com.||Photo Credit: eschipul|
Sunday, February 06, 2011
How happy are your employees?
Are they working for you because they want to, or because they haven't found a better job yet?
Harvey Mackay has advice for you:
Good bosses improve good employees
By Harvey Mackay
With so much focus on finding or keeping jobs in this economy, one significant employment factor seems to get moved down the pros and cons chart: What kind of boss will my next supervisor be?
Interviewing with a human relations specialist.... Meeting folks up and down the line... Putting your best foot forward while they are all doing the same... The process may not present a completely accurate picture of the day-to-day environment.
Bosses know the importance of a good hire. Assuming the best candidate has accepted the offer, and has shown up on time for a few weeks, does the boss realize how critical retaining that new employee is? Does the boss know how to be a good boss?
In short, will the boss be a buddy or a bully?
The late great basketball Coach John Wooden shared his coaching philosophy that works just as well in business when it comes to mentoring employees: "A coach's primary function should not be to make better players but to make better people. Lift others even with your critical analysis. This is still the best method to get the best out of someone because pride is a better motivator than fear. I never wanted to teach through fear, punishment, or intimidation."
Bosses have tremendous power over those they supervise. Whether the owner of the company or a middle manager, employees understand that the person they report to can be their biggest cheerleader or their worst nightmare.
I prefer to think that the people I have hired put me in the first category. Having made a significant investment of time in hiring them in the first place, I must have recognized the sort of talent, personality and energy that would improve our company.
I want the folks I hire to love their jobs enough to come back raring to go after a lousy day, because everybody has a lousy day once in a while. I want them to look to me for inspiration. I want them to respect my work ethic. I want them to want to get better at what they do. I want them to know that I will help them get better. I want them to learn from my example, even when I am not directly mentoring them.
Of course, none of that happens unless I know how to come back revved up after a miserable day, demonstrate a stellar work ethic, and keep improving myself. What goes around comes around.
Study after study has concluded that the most important factor in job satisfaction is a positive work environment. Praise is vital, and salary is important, but nothing ranks as high as loving what you do. Location matters, but people are willing to go great distances for a job that makes them happy. Titles aren't even near the top of the list.
The determining factor is often closely related to the boss. A truly great boss will engender loyalty before any of those other factors will. A committed boss works hardest at positive leadership and a professional environment. A perceptive boss remembers her own early challenges and draws on those experiences. A responsible boss understands that mentoring his staff and helping them develop skills reflects positively on him.
Some months back, I wrote a column about the TV program "Undercover Boss." I admire the bosses who concealed their identities and went to work on the front lines for some "real-world" lessons about their companies. They were quite courageous to expose their own weaknesses on national television. But the exercise resulted in enhanced awareness of the importance of every single employee.
If you dare, try that experiment in your organization. You likely cannot be anonymous, but working side-by-side with staff, reinforcing that you won't ask them to do anything that you wouldn't ask of yourself, demonstrates your understanding of their challenges.
If all this sounds too overwhelming, step back and examine your motives. Are you ready to let someone else have a share in the glory? Are you willing to listen to options? Are you threatened by others' successes? Can you take responsibility for failure?
Many bosses get promoted without any formal leadership training. A good boss learns quickly from employees that Coach Wooden's advice will serve them better than a superior attitude.
Now here's the most important piece of boss advice I will ever give you: Your employees don't really work for you. They work for your customers. Customers are their real bosses. And yours too.
Mackay's Moral: Be a mentor, not a tormentor.