Monday, July 30, 2007

Why We Need Communication Skills?

Here is the easy way to learn about Communication skills without going through a 300+ pages book which, one can forget about before he finishes it.

Always start with an Intention:

Anything we start, including communication skills, usually has reason and a starting point. While we become conscious about this fact for the obvious things like brushing our teeth to avoid tooth decay, we forget to give the same importance to our communication. We start talking, go through all the niceties and then some how stumble upon the reason for conversation or make it up by that time.

The problem with this approach is that the message looses its power. If you keep doing this often, you loose the power to bring it to work when needed. As a soldier polishes and keeps his guns fit even during peacetime, we have to keep our arsenal of communication skills handy to use, when required.

Develop flexibility in language and in approach:

Most people will think being flexible means using all the words in the Dictionary. Having a good vocabulary does not mean that people have to run for a dictionary every time you speak. Instead, a good vocabulary means that you have created enough choices and variety in your language to suit the listening or reading requirements of many people.

Here is quick exercise to learn how to modulate your voice. Practice speaking a Para in a British accent. Do your best to be British. If you find it hard watch BBC and imitate them. Next, try sounding American and then French or Chinese (speaking in English).

Once you have done at least 4 accents, switch between them as often as possible, in practice. After you do this for a while, notice how you naturally are modulating your voice and how you find it easy to choose from different tones and tonality. More about this, on my website.

One Caution: Please do not measure any new skill by the initial response you get because, all new skills need to be naturalized before it becomes effective. As you develop flexibility, you will find yourself more comfortable to live with and then others will also find you comfortable to be with.

Forget techniques and learn the principles:

A lot of managers are fond of using something called a Sandwich technique. It is situation where you slip in a negative comment or feedback layered in between two positive comments. It is a good technique no doubt. But if you repeat it to the same old staff for 2 years, it means you are not capable of innovating. People get conditioned to any one particular behavior over time and so the technique looses its impact.

We all have a favorite way of reacting to situations. We gather these techniques by experience and by learning from others. What we eventually forget is that they are just techniques, and are replaceable. Something like software programs which almost always gets replaced by a better version. But since it works so well to us, we get possessive about it and find our selves bound by it. It becomes difficult to break that mould. A person in a mould is like a frog in the well. He has limited reach and limited awareness.

Using techniques is like giving a fish to the hungry man while understanding the principles is like teaching him fishing. So, instead of getting all cluttered up with techniques understand the principles driving them.

So to be the survivor of the fittest in the field of communication skills, always start with an intention in your mind. Once you master this, your level of influence will increase rapidly. Take away your focus on techniques and learn the principles. This way you tap the source of power itself rather than a branch. The last and most importantly, develop flexibility in your language and approach. It will maximize your capacity to reach your audience and thus your power.

Focus to be the best

Unfortunately the majority of people on our lavish little green planet are not happy with their 'lot' in life. They are living lives of quiet desperation, unsatisfied with their relationships, careers or finances.

What is the main reason for this dissatisfaction? The main reason I believe this is so is due to a lack of understanding about the nature of our universe which can be directly linked to our belief conditioning from childhood.

As a child we begin to replicate the conditioning of our parents. A person's beliefs and values are often passed from generation to generation until someone down the generations either has a life-changing experience or consciously reorganises or changes their belief system.

Your beliefs and values determine your focus and a key point I make in all my writings on personal development is the simple truth that "your focus determines your reality". Focus sets in motion the Law of Attraction. (See Wealth Beyond Reason for instructions on using the law of attraction.)

The internal dialogue and imaginings of your mind are guided by your focus and your focus is reflected in your thinking. Your thinking becomes automatic and therefore this becomes your automatic creation system.

If you are not currently living a life that is in correspondence with your desires it is due to your internal automatic creation system being out of alignment with your goals. Simply put this means: Your focus is on what you do not want instead of what you want!

Let's say you have bills piling up everywhere and no way of paying them. When you receive post through the mail what is your first thought? I bet it goes something like this, "oh no not more bills". Where is your focus directed?

Why do the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Well a rich man has money and he knows it. He sees wealth all around him. The poor person sees lack and concentrates on it. Can you see the difference in focus?

Now there are there are two basic ways to redirect your focus. The first is to change your beliefs so that your focus becomes more automatic in the direction that you wish it to go. The second way is to consciously redirect your attention to situations, people or events that correspond to a new belief.

This, however, is often easier said than done. For example examine the beliefs of a racist who thinks that he is superior to another person due to his heritage, skin colour, or ethnic origins. Now any right thinking person knows that these beliefs have no foundation in reality (subjective or otherwise). So in order to change these beliefs, at a core level, the racist would need to have some contact with other racial groups that have equal or better results in areas of their lives than he does. If he believes he is more intelligent then he would need to see that there are highly intelligent people of all races. If he believes that he is more prone to being successful because of his genetics then he would need to see that there are people of all races who achieve success with ease. If he believes that he is more equipped to overcome obstacles than members of another race then he would need to know that people from all walks of life and different cultures have achieved against seemingly insurmountable odds at great hardship to themselves and so on!

The problem with this is FOCUS! In most cases the racist does not want to see these things. He focuses on the situations, people and events that correspond and reinforce his beliefs! In extreme circumstances such a person will not even be in the company, correspond with, or listen about members of the group he is racist against.

You and I do exactly the same thing everyday. If your life is similar today to yesterday, last week or last year it is primarily because your focus has remained the same. Your thoughts yesterday where the same as last week and if your thoughts and focus are the same today then you can expect tomorrow to bring the same results!

If your beliefs are challenged by what you see, hear or experience many times you simply disregard the information and continue 'blindly' believing what you chose to believe. We filter our reality so that is reinforces our beliefs. We need to break free from this self-imposed brain-washing and redirect our focus on the things that will reinforce a new belief until we actually come to belief it.

For example take a couple in a 'bad' relationship. They come home from work and just know that they are going to have an argument with their spouse. Sure enough they arrive home and argue about who is taking the dog for a walk, what to watch on TV or why they argue so much! Where is the focus in this relationship?

Let's say they decide to try an experiment in beliefs and focus. They look at what IS working in the relationship. They recall the reasons why they first became a couple and begin to reinforce the things they have in common. Their focus is beginning to shift. Although they will probably fall back into some old routines of arguing again if they keep their focus on their shared interests and the things in their relationship that are working what do you think the effect will be?

Try this little experiment yourself. Choose a person who annoys you in some way and that you can't avoid but would if the choice where yours. A work colleague is a good example. Can you think of one? OK, what are you focusing on about that person? I bet it is all the things they do that annoy you. Try to think of something they do that you admire of that you like. This can be sometimes difficult but remember that every person has good and bad qualities so try not to become too polarised about people thinking them either good or bad - they are just human beings.

Now for a few days try your best to focus on the things you like or admire about them and watch what happens.

After you have tried this little experiment try other small ones in other areas of your life that you wish to improve.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Memorized With Mnemonics

Forgot something lately? You probably want to rev up on your memorization approach. There are a lot of memorization methods available today and all you have to do is just choose what you think suits you best. Consider trying more than one memorization technique on your pursuit to improving and enhancing your memorization skill and you’ll surely feel a lot better after putting the technique to practice.

Mnemonics is a memorization tool which teaches you how to keep up with the important things that you need to remember or the errands that you need to do. You’ll notice that learning memorization technique such as peg method, loci or journey system and even the linkword technique; just a few to mention the different classifications of mnemonics, could noticeably change the way you’re able to retain information.

But even then, there is no perfect way to maximum memorization skills. It takes a lot of time, effort, motivation and interest for a person to be able to achieve something. And with memorization, the mentioned four are all important. This doesn’t even include yet the special skills like creativity and imagination. If you try to think about it, all of the factors mentioned here, especially the memorization skills are all part of the big picture – enhancing memorization.

Even experts suggests that in order for a person to remember better is for him to take initiative in reading, reflecting about what he has read, reciting it out loud and reviewing it afterwards to complete the process of remembering efficiently. Prior to that, a general view of what you need to memorize (e.i a law book) then backing it up with questions you could possibly ask along the way helps establish an even concrete studying goal.

After this stage, you can then choose a mnemonic technique you desire to help you create a connection of what you have just absorbed according to your own familiarities. You may perceive this to be a lot of work but with constant practice, you’d be picking out important names, words and dates out of your head in no time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Eliminate your Stress now!

How can we eliminate stress? That is one of the most common questions asked in the twenty first century with one of the most elusive answers!

Well, in order to eliminate stress we should first realise what it is and where it comes from.

A typical dictionary definition explains stress as: "a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part."

Well when we experience stress in our lives it often feels as though an external (or sometimes internal) force is pressing against our lives. This causes a great deal of anguish and frustration to the person suffering which mainly comes from unwanted harassing thoughts and negative emotions. These thoughts and emotions cause imbalance, to a greater or lesser degree, within the mind, which if persisted in will eventually cause an imbalance in the body!

So when connected to people we can give a clearer definition of 'Stress' as "a state of heightened emotional and mental imbalance caused by internal or external forces in one's life".

So what internal or external forces can cause this emotional and mental imbalance in one's life?

At first this appears to be an almost impossible question to answer. There can be numerous causes of stress. They range from the more trivial - having a bad day at work - to the more serious - dreading an impending catastrophic event. However, if we look at all the apparent causes of stress closely we can see the root cause, which is always the same! What is it? Well it's very simple.

Stress is caused when we want things, situations or people to be different from they are! Basically, it's when we want things to be the way we want them to be but they just don't change. Remember the dictionary definition of stress - "a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part." We are desiring things to be different and when they stay the same (regardless of our actions) we experience stress. Our force of 'will' i.e. our 'wanting' the situation to change is exerting force on the situation. However, the situation remains the same and you know what happens when two forces in opposite directions collide - the stronger force wins! In such situations it is our desire that becomes compressed or twisted.

Ok, now we know that stress has its roots in 'desire' it becomes much easier to find a way to eliminate it.

Many mystical and religious traditions have told us that in order to achieve enlightenment or attain our fondest dreams we need merely achieve a desire-less state! Unfortunately not many tell us how to do this! Many tell us that in order to have something we must first stop wanting it!

This seems a strange concept but it does have solid foundations. If we desire something to the point of stressing ourselves about it, then our behaviour becomes grasping and we have little or no chance of gaining that which we desire.

Fortunately though, there is a simple effective way of eliminating such grasping desires from your life called 'releasing'. This technique is not new but it is highly effective and little known in the western world.

Let us look again at our new definition of stress and how we can use it to eliminate stress on the spot in any situation. Our definition states that stress is "a state of heightened emotional and mental imbalance caused by internal or external forces in one's life". So how do we use this? Well firstly, the next time you experience a feeling of stress (try to pick a time when you are only slightly uptight until you get the hang of this), stop what you are doing for a moment and ask yourself "what do I want to be different in this situation/person/event?" - you are identifying your thoughts behind the stress.

Then, once you have identified these thoughts, ask yourself "how does that make me feel?" - you are identifying the emotions behind the thoughts.

Let's take an example. You are at work and the boss wants you to get all your work finished by 5 o' clock but you know that this is impossible but feel a mounting pressure to succeed at the task. You find yourself rushing around doing ten things at once all the time feeling more and more stressful. So, you ask the first question - "what do I want to be different in this situation/person/event?" The answer may be, "I want my boss to stop putting me under pressure". - You have identified some the thoughts behind the stress.

Next you ask "how does that make me feel?" The answer to this may be "I feel unappreciated!" - You have identified one of the feelings behind your thoughts.

Now for one moment stop trying to suppress that emotion and fully feel it. Allow yourself to delve into that feeling and experience it and then 'let it go'. Imagine it is a spent force escaping through your stomach. Do this several times, as it takes seconds to perform. Within a few repetitions you will start to feel your stress ease away effortlessly. Keep asking the questions as there may be several reasons behind your stress or you may need to 'release' a particularly deep-seated emotion a few times before it is gone. Try it, you may just be surprised at the results!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Must dare to FAIL!

"I'm a failure" "I'll never make it." That's the kind of affirmation we hear people say. To overcome this feeling of worthlessness you need to make 3 little steps that will help you discover the genius within you.

1. You need to motivate yourself.

First of all, remember that great people learned a basic and essential quality you need to acquire: persistence. Very successful people failed many times, like most of us. But they get up right away and they begin again and again until they eventually succeed.

We can motivate ourselves by seeing the result in our mind as if it has already occurred. Feel what you would feel if you have better grades. Name this feeling. Amplify this feeling until it becomes very pleasant. Now, you are going to add some new feelings upon this first feeling. Do you remember a time when you were really excited about something? When you have this excitemant in you, add it to the first very pleasant feeling as if you put a coat of excitement over the coat of 'very pleasant state'. Let this feeling of excitement diffuse in you and notice how you feel.

Notice how feel very motivated, calm and confident. And for a moment, you know that you will succeed in school. But something holds you back. You need to make this second step....

2. You need to get rid of the beliefs that hold you back

Consider the law of belief: whatever you believe becomes your reality. Once you understand and appropriate this belief in yourself, you discover that you can do many things and especially have better grades.

Throughout your life you learn. It's a never-ending process. School is just the beginning of this process with its special rules and rewards, which can sometimes seem unfair.

You begin to change by being aware that you are a potential genius and that you CAN do better and you WILL. What do you learn from having bad grades? Consider that it is an opportunity to learn. And most important, it's a chance to learn that you're not the problem; it's only your strategies. That's why you need to take the last lesson... You need to learn how to learn

3. You need new strategies.

If something doesn't work, do something else. First, be aware of your learning style. Are you visual, auditory, kinesthetic? Remember that you have multiple intelligences and when you use them as much as possible you increase your chances of having better results.

Have the end in mind. Act as if you already had the solution. Now you only need to fill in the blanks. If you already know where to go, your brain will help you find the solutions. Use mind maps, movement and imagination. Learning how to learn is a necessity for children and adults to perform better in life.

These three steps are important to succeed in school. One step takes care of your beliefs, another of your emotions and the other one of your strategies to have better grades and to perform better in life.

Increase Creativity and Reduce Stess Using Alpha Meditation

In order to understand how alpha meditation can help improve your creativity, it is important to start by understanding what binaural beats and brainwave entrainment are.

Brainwave entrainment is the use of some external stimulus, usually different sounds that a person will hear with stereo headphones, to induce a certain level of brain wave activity. When a person's brainwave activity is artificially altered by these means, it will subtly shift their awareness and perception.

Using binaural beats is a common and effective method of brainwave entrainment. In order for the binaural beats to be effective, a person must be using stereo headphones so that they can hear a different sound in each ear.

Most of the time, the binaural beats will be embedded underneath the layers of tracks on a song, usually soothing ambient music or soundscapes, so that the person listening can focus on the music and not on the frequencies they are hearing. If you either find or create effective binaural beat audios to listen to in stereo heaphones, the frequencies should blend perfectly into the background, and you should not be able to consciously notice them unless you really try to isolate them.

Binaural beats are the most effective this way, when they are loud enough to still have an effect on your brainwave activity but quiet enough that you do not notice them. Depending on the difference between the two frequencies you decide to use, you can entrain any desired brainwave state and state of mind.

The ideal brainwave frequency for alpha meditation is about 9-10hz, so if we wanted to create a set of binaural beats that could be used to artificially induce this specific frequency, we could play 110hz in the left ear and 120hz in the right ear.

To any person who is hearing these different frequencies in each ear, their brain will act like a tuning fork and it will lock on to the difference between the two frequencies, which in this case would be 10hz.

'Alpha' is the name that we use for the range of brainwave frequencies from around 8hz-13hz. We go through the alpha brainwave state many times during a 24-hour period, and it is usually we are in a light sleep and are dreaming. You can also reach this state by listening to soothing soundscapes or chill-out music, preferably music with alpha binaural beat already embedded in the layers, and simply lying down and resting. When a person reaches this alpha state while they are still conscious, their imagination will be highly active and they can see very vivid imagery, like an intense dream.

After practicing this daily for a short while, even just a week or two, a person's intuitive creativity will naturally be higher and coming up with new ideas will seem easier.

Remaining in the intuitive alpha state for extended periods is the key to increasing your creativity, because this frequency stimulates the right-side creative portion of the human brain. After doing daily alpha meditation and staying in the alpha state for 30 minutes or more per day, your creative visualization capabilities will markedly increase, and it is this creative visualization that can help you achieve any outcome you desire.

If you are interested in pursuing alpha meditation, you can do a number of things. While it does not require music with alpha binaural beats, this is highly recommended because your brain will automatically lock on to the alpha frequency.

You can go to your local music store and look for CDs on 'alpha mediation' or 'alpha relaxation,' or you can also look online at places like iTunes. Or if you would like to have full control over your alpha meditation experience, you can embed any song of your choosing with binaural beats using special audio software.

Creating your own binaural beat audios will give you full control over your meditation experience, and you can experiment with different frequencies around the 7-10 hz area to see which ones give you the biggest boost in intuition and creativity.

Search anything else? Search over here