active listening

The Force of Positive Connection

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flower
Photo by Sonyo Estavillo shot on Canon T5i at the South Coast Botanical Gardens

Early this morning on my way to the gym, I saw a disheveled homeless man convincingly arguing with a phantom antagonist. He was waving his hands in the air to emphasize an imperative point.

We call people like this homeless man crazy, but I wonder how much of his insanity stems from isolation and the need for positive connection. I wonder how many of us dog lovers have better conversations with our four-legged friends than with humans. I wonder if like this homeless man, we are all craving a little conversation and are willing to argue with ourselves just to feel the rise of human emotion, reminding us we’re still alive. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Importance of Listening: Tap into the Journalist inside You

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attentive-listeningI realized that after experiencing both the good and the bad, the one universal desire that everyone has in common— people want to be understood and heard. Every time we open ourselves up to the world, we welcome in criticism, judgment, and every day reality that makes us flawed and human. So, most of us are grateful when we meet nonjudgmental people.

Some people are more introverted than others, but everyone to some degree enjoys having the opportunity to be heard. And unfortunately we’ve all been a little guilty of interrupting others only to insert our own experiences, stories, perspective, and opinion. Extroverted individuals are often guilty of selling themselves a little too much. Personally, I have always experienced social anxiety. Most people wouldn’t know it because I appear quite talkative, energetic, and openly friendly to any stranger I meet. Though, inside, I am aware of nervous energy and social anxiety that have always been with me. Read the rest of this entry »

Tap Into Your Inner Salesman: Improving Personal & Professional Relationships

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Pushy SalesmanWhether you wear a uniform to work or not, most people regardless of their professions can blend in a crowd when off the clock. But no one can disguise a salesman. You can’t tell if someone is a doctor or a lawyer when wearing everyday gear, but put a salesman in a room and you can spot him in an instant. He’s likely the all-teeth grinning, TGIFriday-peppy, Type-A personality jabber who’s dominating the attention of the group surrounding him.

How does he do it? He remembers the details of the people he meets. This is necessary in order to establish a relationship with them because ultimately everything comes down to locking in a sale. This often involves long lunch meetings, dinners or cocktails after work at some snazzy, overpriced joint. Regardless, what ever it takes to close a sale that is what will be executed. Read the rest of this entry »