Listen Up! by Darren Hardy

Contrary to what many might think (and many practice), the most important job of a leader is not to speak, preach, direct or advise….

The most important job of a leader is to listen.

In a recent interview I did with management guru Tom Peters, he revealed the four most important words in business leadership are “What do you think?”

Tom said listening should be a leader’s full-time profession. They should be the professional gatherer of input, ideas, feedback, opinion, perspective and personal experience in order to make informed, well-thought-through leadership decisions.

Richard Branson once said to me, “If you are a good leader, you are a good listener.”

This is true for everyone in every aspect of life, but it’s one of the most neglected skills I observe every day. I am always fascinated by how poorly people listen. There are many ways people invalidate and hurt their relations with others by their lack of listening skill.

Here are a few…

The Offenders. These people are the worst. They make it clear you are so unimportant or they are so bored by your conversation that they look at something else while you talk (BlackBerry, e-mail, brochure, someone else over your shoulder, anywhere else but directly in your eyes).

It is well-known that one of Bill Clinton’s most compelling traits is his ability to listen deeply to whoever is speaking to him, no matter who else or how many other people are in the room. It is said that if he is talking with someone, he won’t even break eye contact to reach for his glass of water. He will feel his way to it, but he will never, ever break eye contact. He treats you and makes you feel like the most important person on the planet when you are talking. We all should strive to be that influential.

The Intruders. These are people who can’t be bothered to let you finish your sentence before cutting you off, figuring out (falsely) what you were going to say, and giving your their interrupted opinion.

The Blockheads. They spend the conversation thinking about what to say rather than listening at all. They will scan the conversation, lock onto a point they want to make and shut off hearing you at all so they don’t lose their mental point—making it obvious with their facial expressions and body language that they are impatiently waiting for you to (finally) take a breath or end your (dang) sentence. They then respond, and you realize they didn’t listen to you and missed the point completely.

The Egoists. Instead of listening to you and caring about your story, your feelings and experience, they “me-ize” your comments and respond with their similar experience, problem or yarn.

These are the most fun to watch (and most common), as people will volley from person to person changing the conversation to them rather than listening and engaging the original storyteller.

Recognize anyone in the above? Friends, colleagues, family members—yourself?

Jim Collins said this of his mentor, one of the most respected leadership authorities and the father of modern management theory, Peter F. Drucker:
“He was driven not by the desire to say something, but by the desire to learn something from every student he met—and that is why he became one of the most influential teachers most of us have ever known.”

If you want to be a person of great influence, if you want to teach people, motivate them, inspire them and lead them, then learn to listen.

My advice:
1. Talk less. Listen more.
2. Make fewer statements. Ask more questions.

Start with Tom’s suggestion: “What do you think?”
I challenge you to ask that question at least a dozen times before the week is out.

You might also follow that up with a couple of other questions, like:
“How do you mean?”
“Why do you say that?”
“How do you feel about that?”

Oh, and then really LISTEN UP! Don’t be an Offender, Intruder, Blockhead or Egoist. Listen so intently that the other person feels they are the most important person in the world while they are speaking.

Where Are Your Habits Leading You? by Jack Canfield

You are an accumulation of your habits. From how you get out of bed to how you shower; how you dress; how you walk, sit and talk; how you respond to the world; how you act in front of others; and how you think, you are living out your habits. Habits are necessary. They free up your mind so that you can concentrate on how to survive every day. You don’t have to think about how to drive your car so you can be on the lookout for danger while you are driving. You don’t have to think about how to walk so you can concentrate on where you are going.

Unfortunately, habits can also keep you locked in self-destructive patterns, which will limit your success. To become successful, you will need to drop bad habits and develop new ones that are in line with the life you want to live. People do not suddenly appear in the life they want to live—habits determine their outcome! What are the habits you have that are keeping you from achieving your goals? Are you always running late? Do you return phone calls within 24 hours? Do you get enough sleep? Do you speak clearly and look people directly in their eyes? Do you eat healthy meals? Ask others what they observe about you and make a list of all the behaviors that keep you from success.

Imagine what your life would be like if all those habits were their productive counterparts. What would your life be like if you ate healthy meals, exercised and got enough sleep? What would your life be like if you saved money, stopped using credit cards and paid cash for everything? What would your life be like if you stopped procrastinating, overcame your fears and began networking with people in your field? Write down the more productive habits and visualize your life as it would be if they were your habits right now.

Decide to develop four of your new habits each year, one for each quarter. Create a method that will support your new habit. What will keep you motivated? How will you remind yourself of your new habit? You could write it down on a card that you keep with you and read over several times a day. You could make it a part of your daily visualization. You could enlist the help of an accountability partner who also has habits to change. Be specific about the steps that you are willing to take in order to drop an old habit and adopt a new one. Do not be vague about how you will change your habits. Spell it out for yourself so that you can recognize situations that call for you to act out your new habit.

Once you have picked your habit for that quarter, make a 100 percent commitment to stick to it. Do not tempt yourself by making it optional every time a situation arises. If your new habit is to go to bed by 10 p.m., then go to bed at 10 p.m., even if you are not feeling tired. Just go there and relax, read a book, visualize or meditate, but don’t compromise on your new habit. If you make an exception once, you are more likely to make an exception the next time, and soon you will be back to your old habits.

Even four new habits a year will dramatically shift your life to be more in line with your vision. And the more in line it becomes, the easier the other habits are to replace because your perspective is shifting and you see more clearly how your old habits are not serving you anymore. You can do it!

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Chase Your Passion (Not Your Pension)! by Denis Waitley

When our youngest daughter, Lisa, earned her master’s degree, I doubt she was more excited about her graduation than her parents were. As we entered the stadium for the commencement services, it dawned on me that after putting seven children through college and graduate studies, I’d finally be able to fund my retirement plan.

It was very hot in the concrete arena. A midday sun beat squarely in our faces. I suspected that the exercises would be long and merciless. As the graduates filed in, I was amused to see slogans taped to their tasseled caps. “Will work for food!” “Get my room ready, Mom!” Our daughter’s read, “Thanks Mom and Pop.” Some wore bathing suits beneath their gowns. Some blew bubbles with a pipe and soap. Most were ecstatic about finally leaving school, visibly impatient for that night’s parties and for freedom and the opportunity to earn.

As the warm-up speakers droned on about politically correct issues, I wondered whether any time would remain for the main speaker. In fact, his address lasted barely ten minutes, which may have set a national record for brevity. (Winston Churchill holds the international record: thirty seconds to repeat “Never give up!” nine times.)

The main speaker was Edward James Olmos, the actor-activist who played Jaime Escalante in an inspiring movie about inner-city students called Stand and Deliver. Olmos stood up, removed his cap, and regarded the graduates. “So we’re ready to party?” he asked. “Yeah, let’s party!” they answered in unison. “I know, thank God it’s Friday,” he resumed. “But commencement means to begin, not finish. You’ve had a four-year sabbatical from life, and now you’re ready to go out there and earn. You’re only beginning Real World 101 in your education.

“One more thing before we leave,” he continued. “Please never, ever work for money. Please don’t just get a job. A job is something that many of you had while you worked your way through college. A job is something you do for money. But a career is something you do because you’re inspired to do it. You want to do it, you love doing it, you’re excited when you do it. And you’d do it even if you were paid nothing beyond food and the basics. You’d do it because it’s your life.”

What he was saying, which I have tried to recall and interpret in my own words, is that many of you will go out and try to get the highest-paying job possible, regardless of the industry, regardless of the opportunity, regardless of the service or product the company may provide. If you chase money, it may catch you—and if it catches you, you’ll forever be its slave.

By letting money pursue you but never catch you, you’ll always be its master. By always doing what you love, loving what you do, delivering more than you promise, you’ll always be underpaid—which is how it always should be.

For if you’re paid more than you’re worth, you may be restructured, reengineered, replaced, fired, declared obsolete, disposed of. Overpaid people are overdrawn in their knowledge bank account. People who are underpaid for the level and quality of the service they provide are always in demand and always ahead of the money in their knowledge and contribution. So money and opportunity are always chasing them. This is what I got out of the commencement speech that day.

Olmos concluded with a charged voice and moist eyes. “Chase your passion, not your pension! Be inspired to learn as much as you can, to find a cause that benefits humankind, and you’ll be sought after for your quality of service and dedication to excellence. This passion will make you oblivious of quitting time and to the length of your workday. You’ll awake every morning with the passion of pursuit, but not the pursuit of money….

“Those who do more than they’re paid for are always sought for their services. Their name and work outlive them and always command the highest price. Chase your passion, not your pension!”

The graduates were stunned. Many cried with joy. I was speechless, which is rare indeed. Olmos was no actor speaking for an honorarium. He was all passion, pure and simple. “Maybe we should have taught that in a class,” I heard a faculty member say.

Starting Small

By: Brian Tracy

How and why you can start your own business with little or no money by using sweat equity.

Everyone Starts Off Broke
I used to feel sorry for myself because I came from a limited background and I had no money. Then I found that nobody has any money. Everyone starts off broke. In fact, most successful people go broke or nearly broke several times during their lives. Don’t let this hold you back.

Practice, Practice, Practice
Transformational leaders empower others by keeping them “in the know,” by keeping them fully informed on everything that effects their jobs. People want and need to feel that they are “insiders,” that they are aware of everything that is going on. There is nothing so demoralizing to a staff member than to be kept in the dark about their work and what is going on in the company.

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But if you are willing to put in the time to learn, remember about 95 percent of the working population in America have the ability to start and build their own businesses if they would only do it. Multi-level marketing is an excellent second income opportunity where you can learn vital business skills at low cost. Especially selling, organizing, making presentations, accounting, team building, negotiating, persuading, and communicating. 85 percent of what you need to learn to be successful in business you can learn from running a successful multi-level marketing business.

Roll Up Your Sleeves
Remember this, though. Leaders are always willing to do what is called dog work. They’re willing to render humble service. They’re willing to roll up their sleeves and plunge in. They never think of themselves as being too good for a job. There are an enormous number of people who are presented with second income opportunities who turn them down because they think that they’re too good to do something like that. But the people who are thinking that they are too good are the people who retire poor. You’ll find that leaders of all organizations are always willing to roll up their sleeves and to get in there.

Action Exercises
Now, here are two things you can do to put these ideas into action immediately:

First, remember that buying and selling things is the essence of all business. Look for opportunities to buy and sell things on your own account. Visit garage sales or hold a garage sale of your own. Visit swap meets and negotiate with people with things for sale. Make it a game to learn these skills.

Second, start in a small business of some kind. Look for a second income or multi level marketing opportunity where you can buy and sell on a small scale. Many people become wealthy starting off with virtually nothing in this way.

Mastering the Earning Game

by Jack Canfield

Master the Game of EarningWhen faced with a challenge, some people freeze. They stop taking action.  They drift or coast, hoping that the problem will disappear. They blame, complain, whine, or moan about their circumstances.

You have another option: Take 100 percent responsibility. In an unreliable economy, pointing your finger at the president, oil producers, mortgage lenders, Wall Street, or your boss takes your attention away from the inspired actions that will improve your financial well-being.

Starting today, move into action.

The things that you do during the next few months will dramatically affect your earning power and financial resilience for years to come.

Focus on Your Core Genius

Socrates said it best: “Know thyself.” Those two words offer timeless wisdom about attracting wealth.

Inside you is a core genius—something that you love to do, something that’s effortless and fun. When engaged in this activity, you feel fully alive. Time disappears, and you disappear into a pure state of flow.

This activity is your core genius. It might be teaching, coaching, writing, painting, acting, selling, computing, or accounting.

Whatever it is, discover it. Connect it to a demand in the economy. Then make this activity the cornerstone of your career.

Dan Sullivan, a successful strategic coach, describes entrepreneurs as con artists. They get people to pay them for doing something that they love to do—and would otherwise do for free.

“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy,” said Malcolm Forbes, former publisher of Fortune magazine.  And as a multimillionaire, Forbes knew something about attracting wealth.

Delegate the Rest

The flip side of doing what you love is letting go of the rest. Successful people focus on their core genius—and delegate everything else.

You can use the same strategy. Perhaps your core genius is sales. Then ask your manager to let someone else process paperwork, make photocopies, and schedule meetings. If your core genius is training, then find someone else to call prospective clients and process seminar registrations.
If it can be done faster, better, and more cheaply by someone else, then let it go— once and for all.

Create More Value

When customers are hard to find and revenues decline, people often rivet their attention on the bottom line. The dominant question becomes: What can we do right now to make more money? Actually, there’s a more powerful question to ask first: What can we do right now to create more value? This shines a spotlight on the only reason that anyone makes money over the long term in the first place—by selling a product or delivering a service that creates value.

Mike Milliorn used to work as an Avery Label salesman. Some of his customers were restaurant managers who needed labels for food containers. The problem was that conventional labels dropped off containers when they sat for days in a refrigerator. Mike saw the need for a new kind of label, preprinted with the days of the week and an adhesive that survived refrigeration. He knew this would create extraordinary value.

Mike suggested this idea to Avery, but the company wasn’t interested. So Mike started producing the new line of labels on his own. Working out of his garage, he started a company called Daydots—which he sold for millions of dollars. He attracted that wealth simply by taking action on a simple idea to create more value.

Deliver What You Promise—and More

Even in tough times, successful people deliver what they promise. Then they add extra value by delivering a product before it’s due, by adding new services, or by offering a competitive price.

Adding extra value could call for more action on your part. You may need to gain special skills, make new contacts, or put in some more hours at work for a while. That’s a small price to pay for attracting new levels of wealth.

Make it a habit to exceed expectations. You’ll get noticed. You’ll get repeat business. And you’ll attract new opportunities in every area of your life.

Remember the True Meaning of Attraction

A limo driver once asked me how to achieve financial success. I told him to save 10 percent of everything he earns, invest it, and keep reinvesting the dividends. By the look on his face I could tell he was disappointed. Like so many other people he was looking for a get-rich-quick scheme.

The desire for such schemes is one reason for the global mortgage meltdown. Too many individuals and organizations believed that they could live well beyond their means. They piled on debt without creating value. The consequences are affecting all of us.

Attracting wealth is not the same as pretending to be wealthy. Rather, the Law of Attraction is about raising the vibrational level of your intentions and actions. When you do, the results unfold in a way that enriches you—and the rest of us.

© 2010 Jack Canfield

Boosting the Customer’s Self-Esteem

By: Brian Tracy

Listening Builds Self-Esteem
It has been said that, “Rapt attention is the highest form of flattery.” When you listen intently to another person and it is clear that you genuinely care about what that other person is saying, his or her self-esteem goes up. His or her feeling of personal value increases. He or she feels more worthwhile and important as a human being. You can actually make another person feel terrific about himself or herself by listening in a warm, genuine, caring way to everything he or she has to say.

When a man and a woman go out for the first time, they spend an inordinate amount of time talking and listening to each other. They look into each other’s eyes and hang on every word. They are each fascinated by the personality of the other. The more each listens to the other, the more positive and happy each of them feel and the stronger becomes the bonds of affection between them.

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The Opposite of Listening is Ignoring
You always listen to that which you most value. You always ignore that which you devalue. The fastest way to turn a person off, to hurt their feelings and make them feel slighted and angry is to simply ignore what they are saying or interrupt them in the middle of a thought. Ignoring or interrupting is the equivalent of an emotional slap in the face. Men especially have to be careful about their natural desire to make a remark or an observation in the middle of a conversation. This can often cause the sales conversation to come to a grinding halt.

Action Exercises
Now, here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, take every opportunity to make the other person feel important by listening attentively to what he or she says.

Second, avoid interrupting the other person by slowing down and pausing for a few moments after he or she has stopped speaking.

Top 10 Sales Coaching Myths Exposed So You Can Hire a Sales Coach and Win More Clients Now – By Jeremy J. Ulmer

As I was doing research on the sales coaching industry, I discovered there is a great deal of garbage about sales coaching on the internet. People who are posing as sales experts are infiltrating minds with myths that are absolutely false! And, that’s exactly why I’ve written this article… To make some waves in my industry by debunking 10 of these myths right now.

Sales Coaching Myth #1: “Successful sales professionals and sales leaders do not need coaches.”

Sales Coaching Fact: Professionals have coaches and amateurs do not. Coaching helps the best get better, the good to become great, and the struggling to breakthrough.

Sales Coaching Myth #2: “I can coach myself for free or talk to my peers or sales manager.”

Sales Coaching Fact: Yes, you can and should talk to these people, but you will not get the same results you get from working with a professional sales coach. Your managers, peers, and friends will all have their own agenda, not be professionally trained in coaching skills, will be biased, and will not provide the same accountability or partnership that you receive from an external coach.

Sales Coaching Myth #3: “I get all the sales information I can possibly use right now from sales books, sales articles, and my sales manager.”

Sales Coaching Fact: Information and knowledge is helpful only if you can translate it into action. Coaching will help translate your knowledge, ideas, goals, and intentions into reality.

Sales Coaching Myth #4: “A sales coach is the same as a sales mentor.”

Sales Coaching Fact: Mentoring is important, but it is typically informal, open-ended, and the mentor is not professionally trained to best support you. Sales coaching provides clearly-defined goals that are created with you, learning, actions, professional support, motivation, focus, and on-going accountability.

Sales Coaching Myth #5: “Coaching is like going to therapy.”

Sales Coaching Fact: Therapy deals with the past and present. Coaches work with the present and future.

A coach’s role is to turbo charge your results, maximize your productivity and effectiveness. Coaching is based on partnership, goals, plans, and the alliance designed by the coach and client together. In therapy, the “treatment plan” is largely designed by the therapist.

Sales Coaching Myth #6: “Coaching fosters an unhealthy dependency on others.”

Sales Coaching Fact: Coaching helps clients to better self manage themselves, grow, and feel empowered, not dependent.

Sales Coaching Myth #7: “We do not need on-going sales coaching, we have a sales training program.”

Sales Coaching Fact: Most sales training has a very short-term effect on performance and less than 15% of the information is retained and implemented. Sales Coaching provides on-going support, on-going results, growth, changes in behavior, attitude, implementation of new skills, new actions, accountability, improved productivity, and a customized approach.

Sales Coaching Myth #8: “Coaching should only be a short-term solution.”

Sales Coaching Fact: A long-term partnership with the right sales coach will continue to add value for many years.

Sales Coaching Myth #9: “Sales Coaching focuses strictly on your sales career and professional life only.”

Sales Coaching Fact: The success in your professional life and personal life are all connected. The more balanced you are, the more energy you have, the more fulfillment you have in all areas, the more success you will experience. A good sales coach should be trained to support you holistically and ready to support you in all ways.

Sales Coaching Myth #10: “I need to be more organized or more successful before I hire a coach.”

Sales Coaching Fact: Coaching will help you get more organized and achieve more success faster than you can ever create on your own.

If all of these myths were true, sales coaching would have failed a long time ago. The fact is, the industry is expanding rapidly as individuals and organizations are looking for new ways to create more sales success, faster. Sales coaching from a top level sales coach has proven to deliver remarkable sales results and my hope is that by debunking these myths, you can find the right sales coach for yourself or your organization.

** To comment on this article or to read comments about this article, go here.
About the Author:

Sales Coaching Expert, Jeremy Ulmer, has helped hundreds of sales professionals, sales leaders, and business owners just like you overcome sales challenges to increase productivity and win more clients faster. For 100’s of unbeatable, sure-fire ways to increasing your sales results, subscribe for your free sales tips or request a free sales coaching consultation at http://www.SalesCoachingHabits.com.

洋葱 Onion

目前甲流在世界各地肆虐,美国已经宣布进入紧急状态,加拿大在全国免费注射疫苗,中国也有

5万多人感染了病毒。

上周我有两个午餐会不得不取消,本周也是难以确定好几个午餐会是否要举行,因为很多人生病

(不一定是甲流)。这次的流感的确给人们的生活带来很多麻烦和困扰。

一个加拿大朋友把下面这封邮件发给我和一些朋友。我把它翻译出来送给大家,希望对你有所

帮助,希望大家健康平安不要生病。其中的一些东西与我们中医和中华饮食有关联。

In 1919. When the flu killed 40 million people, there was this doctor that visited the many farmers

to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it,

and many died.

1919年。当流感造成了四千万人死亡时,有一位医生到各地农场去探视,看是否可以帮助人们

战胜流感。很多农民和他们家庭感染了流感,很多人因此而死亡。

The doctor came upon this one farmer, and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy.

这位医生来到一家人家。出乎预料,这家的每一个人都非常健康。

When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different, the wife replied that she

had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home (probably only two rooms back then).

医生询问这家的做法与其他人家有何不同,这家的妻子说她在家里的每一个房间(那时大概也就

是两间吧)里放置了一颗没有剥皮的洋葱。

The doctor couldn’t believe it, and asked if he could have one of the onions, and place it under

the microscope.

医生无法置信,因此就问是否可以要一颗洋葱以便放在显微镜下观察观察。

She gave him one, and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion.

她给了他一颗。医生观察时真的在洋葱上发现了流感病菌。

It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore keeping the family healthy.

显然,洋葱吸收了病菌,因此让这家人保持健康。

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in Arizona .

如今,我从亚利桑那州我的理发师那里听到类似的故事。

She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so

were many of her customers.

她说几年前她的很多雇员感染流感,她的很多顾客也是如此。

The next year, she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop.  To her surprise, none of

her staff got sick.  It must work . . .

次年,她在她的理发店里放了几个果盘,里面放了一些洋葱。令她吃惊的是,她的员工没有

一个生病的。看来洋葱真的起作用

(And no, she is not in the onion business.)
(真的,她并不做洋葱的生意。)

The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home.

故事的核心是,买一些洋葱吧,把它们摆放在你的家里的果盘里。

If you work at a desk, place one or two in your office, or under your desk, or even on top somewhere.

如果你是坐办公室的,在你的办公室里,或者办公桌下面,或者在柜子顶部放置几颗洋葱吧。

Try it and see what happens.

试试看效果怎么样。

We did it last year, and we never got the flu.
我们去年做了,没有人得流感。

If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better.

如果这样做可以帮助你和你所爱的人不感冒,那就太好了。

If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild case.
如果你仍然得了感冒,也许会是比较轻微的症状。

Whatever, what have you to lose?

不管结果如何,你又会有什么损失呢?

Just a few bucks on onions!

除了几颗洋葱之外!

Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material

to me on health issues.

下面是后续。我把这个送给我在奥尔良的朋友,她经常给我一些健康方面的建议。

She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

她回复说了关于洋葱的最有趣的实验:

I don’t know about the farmer’s story, but I do know that I contracted pneumonia, and needless

to say I was very ill.

我不知道那个农民的故事,但是我知道我得了肺炎。无需说,我病的不轻。

I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion, put one end on a fork, and then

place the forked end into an empty jar, placing the jar next to the sick patient at night.

我读到一篇文章,建议把洋葱的两头切掉,插在叉子上,然后把叉子放在花瓶里,晚上放在

病人身旁。

It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs.

据说,洋葱会因为病菌而在次日清晨变黑。

Sure enough, it happened just like that.

果然,事情跟说的完全一样。

The onion was a mess, and I began to feel better.

洋葱看起来糟透了,但我却开始好起来。

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved

many from the black plague years ago.

那篇文章还谈到放在屋子里的洋葱和大蒜在多年前的黑死病中救了很多人的命。

They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

它有超强的抗菌能力消毒性能

“The Unconscious Hello,” or a Secret Technique for Gaining Instant Rapport! – By Connie Brannan

Today’s topic is unconscious communication. We all know about language. Words. TALKING. It’s part of how we “get our message across” when we’re communicating with someone. But it’s a very, very small part. There is so much more going on, information being sent, received, exchanged between minds on an unconscious level. Today I’ll present you with a quick method for enhancing unconscious communication, called “The Unconscious Hello.” It’s a powerful tool to build instant rapport and connection and good feelings with another person, both in you and in them. So easily! And that could be useful for making friends and influencing people, could it not?
First, you may ask: What IS the conscious mind? The unconscious mind? Picture a large, very dark room, like a warehouse. You have a flashlight in your hand which you turn on, and it creates a narrow beam and a small circle of light on the far wall. Everything else remains pitch dark. That bit of light is your conscious mind. It’s what you are aware of, what you can see now at this moment, and focus on. Everything else in the room is dark and unknown, that’s how much information your unconscious mind is processing at that moment.

Your conscious mind is the critical part of your mind, your thinking mind. It’s your aware and awake mind, analytical, logical, and sequential. It has a very limited focus. It’s deliberate. It directs outcomes. It can only handle 7 +/-2 bits of information at a time before it gets overwhelmed and goes “heeeelllp me!”

Your unconscious mind (or subconscious, as it’s also called) is unlimited, expansive. It’s active while sleeping and dreaming. It involves feeling, and intuition, and imagination. It’s responsible for involuntary movements and keeping your body alive, like your heart beating, your breathing, blood circulation, your immune system, healing, your growth, and so much more! It takes in billions of pieces of information at any given moment. Science estimates that it houses about 90% of your brain power.

Your unconscious mind, during a communication, picks up so much more information than you can consciously perceive. And that’s a large part of how we understand each other. Some of those unconscious communications include “body language,” hand gestures, body gestures such as shrugging, foot tapping, facial expressions such as a smile or frown, tone of voice, movement of the eyes, level of eye dilation and changes, tilt of the head, lift of an eyebrow, speed of speech, breathing patterns, volume of speech… As you can see, there’s a lot more than just words going on in the communication. Take a simple utterance such as “I believe you.” Depending on all the unconscious variables, it could mean anything from “I believe you” to “liar.”

In the “unconscious hello,” here’s what happens. When you first meet or notice another human being for the first time, whether it’s face to face or across a crowded room, you unconsciously and automatically communicate and acknowledge that noticing. Something happens, something is communicated. It may be a smile or a nod. It may be a word or two. It may be a wave, or up close, a handshake. Your unconscious picks up every nuance, every drop of meaning of which your conscious mind may be blithely unaware. You just know, “Hey, I LIKE this person.” “She looks nice.” “I wonder what his problem is.” And so on. You have garnered meaning from the communication which filters into your consciousness.

By consciously acting on this “unconscious hello” communication, you can direct the outcome, the meaning of your communication, the feeling the other person gets from you in a positive way for yourself. Good feelings, friendly feelings, warmth and rapport. It’s a two way street, you feel it, too. And it’s so simple to do. Here’s how!

In that moment of first noticing another person, you observe how they notice YOU first, and then you feed it back to them. If they nod and smile, you nod and smile in precisely the same way. If they say “hello,” you say “hello” in precisely the same tone of voice and volume. If they tilt their head while speaking, you tilt your head to the same angle. You match whatever it is that they present to you. THEN, on an unconscious level, they feel a positive connection with you. “This person really understands me.” “This person seems like MY kind of people.” “I like this person.” “You are like me.” The implications for the dating world, or the sales world, or any interpersonal setting are powerful! You’re WAYYY more likely to close the deal or make the sale or get the girl’s phone number if she feels this rapport with you. Or, as a friend of mine likes to apply this, a free cup of coffee from the Starbuck’s barista! Magically, you also feel the connection, as well.

Here’s another tip. If you can observe the person saying hello to someone else first, take those noticings of voice and face and body and etc. and feed them upon greeting to the person even before they acknowledge you. Try it! Discover for yourself the power of the “unconscious hello!” to generate positive feelings of connection. And that’s what life is all about, is it not?

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About the Author:

Connie Brannan, CHt, is a Neuro-Linguistic Hypnotherapist, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Licensed Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming™, and Certified Professional Conversational Hypnotherapist. Additional certifications earned include Design Human Engineer™, Persuasion Engineer™, Timeline Coach & Regression Specialist, Neuro-Linguistic Life Coach, Usui Reiki Master Teacher, Matrix Energetics Level 1 & 2 practitioner. She is a published author and creator of several hypnosis self-help audio cd products. She conducts a series of self-hypnosis workshops and teaches hypnosis for adult continuing education programs in the Seattle area, as well as training NLP with her husband, Michael Brannan, through the Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming™.

To learn more about unconscious communication, tools for your life and success, visit: http://www.seattlenlptraining.com. Connie Brannan is a Licensed Trainer of NLP ™ and clinical hypnotherapist.

NLP, Mirror and Matching; the basis of Modeling

By John James Santangelo C.Ht.,
On Tuesday, June 12, 2007 – 16:35
Rapport is the foundation for any meaningful interaction between two or more people – rapport is about establishing an environment of trust and understanding, to respect and honor the other person’s world. Which gives a person the freedom to fully express their ideas and concerns and to know that they will be respected by the other person(s). Rapport creates the space for the person to feel listened to, and heard and it doesn’t mean that they have to agree with what the other person says or does. Each person appreciates the other’s viewpoint and respects their model of the world. When you are in rapport with another person, you have the opportunity to enter their world and see things from their perspective, feel the way they do, get a better understanding of where they are coming from; and as a result, enhance the whole relationship.

A 1970 study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania by Dr. Ray Birdwhistle concluded that 93% of our communication transpires non-verbally and unconscious. NLP rapport skills teach us how to communicate at that unconscious level. Mirroring, matching, pacing and leading skills will enable you to become “like” the other person. Anthony Robbins stated: “People who like each other tend to be like each other.” NLP teaches how to mirror and match physiology, tonality and predicates (process words).

Researchers at the Boston University Medical School studied films of people having conversations. The researchers noticed that the people talking began (unconsciously) to co-ordinate their movements (including finger movements, eye blinks and head nods.) When they were monitored using electroencephalographs, it was found that some of their brain waves were spiking at the same moment too. As the conversations progressed, these people were getting into rapport with each other.

The key to establishing rapport is an ability to enter another person’s world by assuming a similar state of mind. The first thing to do is to become more like the other person by matching and mirroring the person’s behaviors — body language, voice, words etc. Matching and mirroring is a powerful way of getting an appreciation of how the other person is seeing/experiencing the world

For words, match predicates. If your partner is using mainly visual words, you should also use mainly visual words and similarly for auditory, kinesthetic and auditory digital words. To the extent possible, you should also use the same words as the other person. For example, I may say something is ‘awesome’. In your model of the world, you may interpret ‘awesome’ as ‘outstanding’ and use this word when speaking to me. For me ‘outstanding’ may have a different meaning or evoke a different feeling than ‘awesome’. In this case, you would not be matching but mismatching my words.

Some people find the idea of matching another person uncomfortable and they feel that they are trying to fool or take advantage of the other person. To overcome this uneasiness, realize that matching is a natural part of the rapport building process and that you are doing it unconsciously every day with your close family and friends. Each day gradually increase your conscious use of matching at a pace that is comfortable and ethical for you. Matching done with integrity and respect creates positive feelings and responses in you and others. Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make him feel you understand him, and that there is a strong connection between the two of you.

The purpose of the following exercises is to provide some experience with the basic processes and procedures of modeling. They primarily focus on the information gathering phase of the modeling process, and cover a range of modeling skills, including “implicit” and “explicit” modeling formats, and the use of multiple perceptual positions to gather different types and levels of information about a particular performance.

Mirroring Exercise
Mirroring is a method of building a strong “second position” with someone else. It is a fundamental skill for modeling another person and for developing intuitions about the person’s internal experience. To get a sense of the influence and effects of mirroring, try out the following exercise.
1. Choose a partner, or person to converse with. Do not tell the person initially that you will be mirroring him or her during the conversation.
2. Enter into a conversation with the person, asking for his or her opinions about various subjects.
3. As you are conversing, begin to subtly mirror the other person’s physiology (including voice tone and tempo). [Hint: This can be most easily done in the context of 'active listening'; that is, reflecting back statements the person has made, by commenting, "So what you are saying is....", and then stating your understanding of the person's opinion.]
4. When you are fully mirroring, you will be sitting in the same posture, using the same types of gestures, speaking at a similar speed and volume, and in a similar voice tone range, as the other person. If you are completely mirroring the other person, you will even be breathing at the same rate and in the same part of the chest cavity as the other. Notice what it feels like when you have reached this level of rapport.
5. One way to test your degree of rapport is by “second guessing” the other person’s opinion on a couple of subjects that you have not yet discussed. Often mirroring will give you access to information that is being unconsciously communicated and received, and you will “pick up” information about the other person without being consciously aware of how you got it. This is why mirroring is such a powerful tool for modeling.
6. To get another sense of the influence of mirroring on your interaction, you can try out what it is like to abruptly mismatch the other person in posture, gestures, voice tone and breathing. Both you and your partner should experience quite a jolt if you do this, and feel as if your quality of rapport has changed dramatically.
7. Before concluding your conversation and letting your partner in on what you were doing, make sure you have reestablished rapport by once again physically mirroring your partner.
One way to help rapport to develop is to mirror the micro-behaviors of those we wish to influence. Any observable behavior can be mirrored, for example:

Body posture
Spinal alignment
Hand gestures
Head tilt
Blink rate
Facial expression
Energy level
Breathing rate
Vocal qualities (volume, tonality, rhythm)
Key phrases

Anything else that you can observe…

Exercise 1
Practice mirroring the micro-behaviors of people on television (chat shows & interviews are ideal.) You may be surprised at how quickly you can become comfortable as you subtly mirror the behaviors of others.
Pacing and leading is one of the keys to influencing people. It refers to meeting them at their map of the world (pacing) and then taking them where you want them to go (leading.) Rapport is a basic, behavioral signal that you have met someone at their map of the world. The simplest, most effective test for rapport is “if you lead, they follow.”
Exercise 2
Choose a safe situation to practice mirroring an element of someone else’s behavior. When you have mirrored them for a while, and think you are in rapport with the person, scratch your nose. If they lift their hand to their face within the next minute or so, congratulate yourself – you have led their behavior!
Skilled communicators have a wide range of behaviors they can mirror to build rapport. You can find a way to mirror virtually anything you can observe.
Exercise 3
Increase the range of behaviors that you can mirror, and introduce deliberate rapport-building into situations where it will benefit you and others (nb. Use your common sense and choose low-risk situations to practice in.)
Many people (especially in the area of sales) are familiar with rapport-building techniques and are particularly aware of body posture mirroring. Cross-over matching involves matching another person’s behavior with a different behavior of your own (eg. matching their breathing rate to your head tilt, or their eye blinks to your foot-taps.) This is a way of building rapport that is very difficult to detect, and still highly effective.
Exercise 4
During a conversation with another person; choose one of their behaviors (eg. breathing rate) to cross-over match with one of your behaviors (eg. speaking rate.) Notice how quickly the sense of connection develops!

To mirror another person, merely select the behavior or quality you wish to mirror, and then do that behavior. If you choose to mirror head tilt, when the person moves their head, wait a few moments, then move yours to the same angle. The effect should be as though the other person is looking in a mirror. When this is done elegantly, it is out of consciousness for the other person. However, a few notes of caution are appropriate:
Mirroring is not the same as mimicry. It should be subtle and respectful.
Mirroring can lead to you sharing the other person’s experience. Avoid mirroring people who are in distress or who have severe mental issues. Mirroring can build a deep sense of trust quickly, a responsibility to use it ethically.

Mirroring is as if you were looking into a mirror. To mirror a person who has raised his right hand, you would raise your left hand (i.e. mirror image). To match this same person, you would raise your right-hand (doing exactly the same as the other person). Some practitioners see a time difference between mirroring and matching. For example, if someone makes hand gestures while they are speaking, you would wait until it was your turn to speak before making similar (matching) hand gestures.

The fact that you’ve read this far means that you can see the benefits of increasing your rapport skills. Reading is sadly not enough – practice is the key to building skill, so do the exercises. When you first start the practice of mirroring, you may have to pay some conscious attention to what you’re doing. After a while, however, you will start to catch yourself doing it unconsciously. This is where you really begin to build rapport elegantly!

And at times when a gesture is idiosyncratic to that person or otherwise to obvious, you can do crossover matching. Meaning, if they adjust their glasses, and you don’t wear any, then just move your foot. When you crossover match/mirror, you match/mirror a portion of the other person’s body, with a different portion of your own body. This is best to do when you are matching someone’s rate of breathing. You can use your finger to pace the rhythm of their breath. When matching or mirroring someone’s voice, do that with their tonality, volume, and the rate at which they speak. And remember you don’t have to do all of these things, just one or two will be enough to create rapport in most cases.

Practice
You may wish to start with family members and begin to match different aspects of their posture, gestures, voice and words. Have fun with it and see if they notice what you are doing. At work or socially, start by matching one specific behavior and once you are comfortable doing that, and then match another. For friends with whom you really feel comfortable, notice how often you naturally match their postures, gestures tone of voice or words. Matching comes naturally, what you need to do is learn how to do it with everyone, then matching will become automatic whenever you wish to deepen your rapport with someone.

Backtracking is another excellent skill to learn in order to maintain and deepen rapport. When you are in conversation with another person whether it is business or personal take the opportunity to give back to the person the information you are receiving. This lets the person know that you were listening and that you understand without judgment. It also gives you a chance to ensure your own understanding and/or ask for clarification. If you were matching posture, breathing, key words and gestures, voice characteristics and did not attempt to backtrack your rapport would eventually slip through the cracks. The backtrack is the thread that tightens the rapport. Backtracking is saying back the essence, not verbatim, of what the person had just said. There are times when you backtrack and the other person adds on or corrects you. Being corrected can strengthen rapport because then you backtrack again and the person really feels you understand. There is also the possibility that being corrected will cause you to lose rapport. However losing rapport is like losing your balance. You fall, recover, and get back up again. When you lose rapport you have to find a way to regain it. Some of the ways to regain rapport are to backtrack accurately, mirror posture, breathing, key words and gestures and voice characteristics. There may be times that you want to be “out” of rapport with someone. For example if it isn’t healthy for you to be around certain people, you are held hostage at a cocktail party or you are doing it for effect. Typically people think the way to break rapport is to be demeaning or disagree. Although that may work I recommend mismatching. This means intentionally mismatch posture, breathing, key words/gestures, and voice quality. Rely on mismatching the nonverbal communication and you will be out of rapport. For those of you who like experiments try this: Disagree strongly and maintain rapport. Agree completely while breaking rapport. All experimenting should be done in a non-critical environment.

The key element within establishing, building, deepening and maintaining rapport is the ability to pay attention to the responses you are getting. The response will let you know if you are in or out of rapport. When you are “in” continue doing your mirroring and backtracking skills. When you are “out” utilize your flexibility and change what you are doing until you are back on track.

Behind any technique there must be an authenticity of caring and real concern for the other person. (See “Technicians Need Not Apply,”Anchor Point 1987.) Rapport is such a people oriented process yet I am describing practical techniques to establish, maintain and deepen rapport. It can and does feel mechanical! However after a while they become streamlined in your behavior. If you practice these skills and have no real interest in the other person the rapport will not develop. If you don’t pay attention to the other person it doesn’t matter how proficient you become in your NLP techniques. It is the responses that you get and your own flexibility that hold the ultimate power in establishing, maintaining and deepening rapport.

Author’s Bio
John James Santangelo C.Ht., nationally acclaimed speaker, author, seminar leader, and success coach, has been a guiding force in empowering individuals, businesses, and corporations to excel at peak performance. John is a foremost authority in success principles and expert in the field of communication, an NLP master trainer, and clinical hypnotherapist. He has worked with companies such as The Learning Annex, Mary Kay Inc, Well-Point, Xerox, RE/MAX Realtors, the Teamsters Union, and the US Army counter-intelligence team. Whether you’re looking to fulfill short/long term goals, increase your sales performance, or conduct corporate sales/communication trainings, John can help you achieve the next level of success! For more information on Success Life Coaching visit http://www.JohnSantangelo.com or call (888) NLP-COACH

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