Category Archives: The Human Family Crash Course Series With Empress2Inspire & DiosRaw {5} ~ Communication

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {10} ~ The Impact Of Social Media On Conversation

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

Social media has impacted various facets of modern life and it has a profound influence in interpersonal communication. The present day is characterized by acute lack of time for individuals and families due to the need for husband and wife to be employed for meeting the needs of a satisfactory lifestyle. Time has become the most precious resource, and people are finding means of saving time because of their fast paced lifestyle. People need interaction for fulfilling their social needs and social media has become a preferred medium for communication with the proliferation of digital and mobile technologies. Digitalization has reduced the face to face interaction of human beings whether it is for marketing or promoting a product or a personal communication. The mobile phone has created a social situation whereby people are getting used to avoidance of person to person communication by switching over to mobile. The present day lifestyles and lack of time have made the usage of mobiles and other communication aids more useful for social contact.

It is hard to contain or restrict youngsters from using social media platforms, which offer a variety of conveniences. Social media has changed the way in which people communicate – the face to face interactions have reduced. The reasons may be many, but the reality is the same! In a society which is on the run and is hard pressed for time, short and easy communications will replace the long drawn written communications. This is a natural development. What we need to understand is whether this has created positive or negative consequences. Basically because of the need for people to be socially associated and social interactions are needed; but due to paucity of time in the current environment social media has taken the center stage.

A review of Literature has shown that social media has shown significant growth as the preferred medium of communication. Facebook and What’s App have captured the fancy of youngsters and together they have conquered 80-90% of the social media usage. The benefits offered by this media is instant contact anywhere in the world and easy accessibility as communications become faster and faster the world seems to shrink. This medium offers the advantage of contacting several people at the same time through groups and if needed messages can be dispersed to a large number of people, as is done by Advertisement and Promotion of various products and services. One of the great advantages is that smaller size companies can reach out to a large number of customers at a reasonable budget for promoting their wares. The impact of the new social media is tremendous. More and more companies are finding newer means of reaching out to people through this medium.

There are positive and negative impacts due to the proliferation of this medium. While social media has definitely helped marketing and marketers, it has brought along with it a new perspective about how things get done and has impressed the youngsters in the impressionable age group. While appreciating the speed of disseminating information, the consequences of such actions to making the youngsters more lackadaisical and lazy has to be considered. Youngsters seem to prefer isolation and they seem to be in their own imaginary world rather than the real life friends and interaction with neighbors and elders in the family. Lack of respect towards elders in the family and friends circle is a development which needs to be taken with caution! But progress cannot be stopped. It has to stand the test of times!

Information overload and lack of privacy are two major issues in social media. There is no control over the information that you will get through social media for example through WhatsApp. Getting more information before people are ready to receive and process the same for useful consumption makes them confused. The continuous bombarding of messages through hand held devices leaves no time for reflection and analysis and leads to some kind of addiction and resignation to the situation. This leads progressively to avoidance of face to face communication. There is difficulty in separating virtual reality from reality and loss of privacy. Since massive information is spread through social media, there is no room for privacy – everybody knows everything about the other person. This is a dangerous situation leading to herd mentality and the individual loses his discretion. Humans are progressively made into robots processing commands. And these commands can originate from anti-social elements including terrorists!

We must remember that social media is really only a decade old. That’s very young in the history of communication technology, it has been influential, but it hasn’t really settled into a routine yet. As social media becomes more normalized, we’ll stop seeing it as changing things and start seeing it as the way things are. As a society we’ll be OK—we’ve always adjusted to new technology. So whether it’s wearable communication media, such as Google glasses, or more cloud computing, we’ll change and adapt. Communication is constantly evolving. Some people are as used to seeing their friends’ online avatar as they are their face. People increasingly prefer quick and frequent engagement with instant updates on news rather than a prolonged chat and are also finding new ways to catch up with friends from the comfort of their sofa ( can we call them couch potatoes!)

At the end of the day, nothing can replace face-to-face conversation and interactions. Despite the explosion of online endorsements and social media dialogue between individuals and brands, researchers have found word-of- mouth exchanges and in-depth conversation are still most influential.

~Garima {Empress2Inspire}

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {9} ~ How Ego Reflects In Our Communication

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?” ~ Shannon L. Alder

Sometimes it can feel as we are in an ego minefield, a battle of the egos bouncing off of each other with beliefs and subconscious traumas reflecting off of eachother’s self-created identities.

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

What Is Ego?

The ego is the mind’s identity of our own making, an identity that is false.
We are more than just the mind and the ego. Taking all the beliefs of what we are, beliefs about our personality, talents, and abilities, we have the structure of our ego. These talents, abilities, and portions of our personality will be attributes of our skills, but the mental construct of our “self” is artificial. This description might seem as if the ego is a static thing, yet it is an active and dynamic part of our personalities, playing a dominating role in creating emotional plays and dramas in the movie of our lives.

When we have thoughts about our self that we agree with we construct a self-image within our self-awareness. The kinds of thoughts that contribute to the structure are ~

~”I’m not good at making friends.”
~”I am intelligent.”
~”My mother thinks I am a failure.”
~”Nobody likes me.”
~”I am more aware than you.”
~”I have longer meditation sessions therefore I am more awake than you.”

The ego hides behind the “I” and “me” in those thoughts and statements about our identity. The ego can get in the way of having clear dialogue with others, it can ~

~Push people away from you
~Stop you from growing.
~Block love from coming into your life.
~Kill your happiness.
~Make you critical and irrational.

Gaining control of your ego is the best thing that you can do for yourself or else it will continue getting in the way of your relationships, your career, and your life.

How To Gain Awareness Of The Ego

It can be hard to see, because the ego shadows behind opinions that appear true, our attachment to the descriptions of our identity, and because we haven’t practiced looking.

You can get a glimpse of the ego by being aware of certain thoughts, similar to those listed above. The easier way to spot the ego is by the track of emotional reactions it leaves behind: Anger at a loved one, a need to be right, a feeling of insecurity in certain situations, feelings of jealousy that are unexplained, the need to impress someone, and so on. These emotions can be attributed to the false beliefs that comprise the ego. When first beginning to spot the ego, it is easier to see the symptoms of emotions and drama, rather than the ego that caused it.

Letting Go of the Ego

Because of its multitude of aspects, it’s not practical to think that you can dissolve all of the ego at once. Much like a field that is overgrown, you don’t just lift the debris and throw it away – you cut off manageable pieces as you go along. The same approach is effective with letting go of the false beliefs that make up the ego. You begin by detaching from individual thoughts that reinforce it, then let go of beliefs, separating yourself from the false identity of your ego. There are many websites, YouTube channels and spiritual practices you can involve yourself in to learn more about this by taking a browse through cyberspace.

Feel free to let us know your thoughts on the ego and how it reflects in our communication below..

~Amber {DiosRaw}

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {8} ~ How To Stop Your Emotional Brain Taking Over

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

Within one’s lives, the individuals belonging to various age groups, categories and backgrounds experience positive as well as negative emotions. Happiness is regarded as a positive emotion, whereas, the psychological problems of anger, frustration, stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, and pride are regarded as negative emotions. When these feelings impose barriers within the course of implementation of communication processes, it is regarded as positive emotional barriers and negative emotional barriers. The positive emotional barriers are happiness and negative emotional barriers are anger, frustration, stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, and pride. The individuals need to be well-aware in terms of methods, approaches and strategies, which are necessary in overcoming emotional barriers. When the individuals are pursuing higher education or training programs or are engaged in employment opportunities in reputed organizations, they are well-aware that when they need to communicate with their instructors, supervisors, or employers, they need to depict decency and exercise control on emotional barriers. On the other hand, when communication takes place in an informal manner among fellow students or colleagues, then in some cases, emotional barriers may take place. But the individuals need to ensure that they communicate with each other happily and should not let the psychological problems of anger, frustration, stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, and pride impede the communication processes.

It is of utmost significance for the individuals to overcome emotional barriers in effective communication. The reason being, when they will generate awareness in terms of measures, which are necessary in overcoming emotional barriers to effective communication, they will carry out this task in a well-organized manner. It is necessary for the individuals to augment their understanding in terms of ways to keep a healthy mind-set. When the mind-sets of the individuals are healthy, they are able to overcome emotional barriers as well as carry out their tasks and functions in a satisfactory manner. The measures to overcome emotional barriers in effective communication and in implementing one’s tasks and activities in an appropriate manner are stated as follows:

~ Develop Positive Thinking

Development of positive thinking is regarded as one of the important ways of augmenting one’s communication skills and forming sociable terms and relationships with others. When the individuals develop positive thinking, they will be able to alleviate the emotional barriers to effective communication. When the individuals are dedicated towards the pursuance of career goals, they need to develop positive thinking in terms of the individuals as well as the working environmental conditions. This will enable the individuals to develop motivation and interest towards the implementation of their job duties as well as in promoting effective communication with others. Therefore, it can be stated, development of positive thinking is one of the crucial measures of overcoming emotional barriers to effective communication.

~Get Engaged in Physical Activities

Getting in various types of physical activities is regarded as one of the indispensable ways of alleviating stress as well as other psychological problems of anxiety, depression, anger and frustration. The various types of physical activities that the individuals get engaged in are, walking, running, cycling, and so forth. It is recommended that for about 20 to 30 minutes, at least thrice a week, one should get engaged in physical activities. This measure will not only enable the individuals to maintain good health, but they are also able to alleviate psychological problems and promote effective communication with others. Therefore, it can be stated, getting engaged in physical activities is one of the important measures of overcoming emotional barriers to effective communication.

~ Consume Healthy and Nutritious Diet

Consumption of a healthy and nutritious diet is regarded to be of utmost significance for the individuals to stay healthy physically as well as psychologically. It is comprehensively understood that the diet that the individuals consume renders a significant contribution in framing their mind-sets. When the individuals consume a healthy and nutritious diet, they are not only able to maintain good health, but also are able to enhance their concentration on various tasks and activities. When they concentrate on tasks and functions, they will be able to overcome barriers to effective communication. Therefore, it can be stated, consuming a healthy and nutritious diet is one of the vital measures of overcoming emotional barriers to effective communication.

~ Mediate

In recent years, the technique of meditation has acquired significance to a major extent. This technique is prevalent since ancient times and it is comprehensively understood that when individuals put into operation this technique, they will develop a calm mind-set and learn to exercise control on psychological problems. Research has indicated, when the individuals are engaged in jobs, which are demanding and tedious, they in some cases feel work pressure, stress and anxiety, but when they practice meditation, they are not only able to alleviate the feelings of stress and anxiety, but also are able to promote healthy mind-sets. Therefore, it can be stated, meditating is regarded as one of the indispensable measures of overcoming emotional barriers to effective communication.

~ Maintain High Levels of Mental Activity

The individuals, belonging to various age groups, categories and backgrounds need to maintain high levels of mental activity. Maintaining high levels of mental activity is referred to having active mind-sets. In order to accomplish this purpose, the individuals need to get engaged in tasks and activities, which promotes active mind-sets and well-being. The individuals need to get engaged in tasks and activities, which would help them to stay healthy and active. When the individuals maintain high levels of mental activity, they are able to overcome the psychological problems of anger, frustration, stress, depression, anxiety, trauma and eliminate emotional barriers to effective communication. Therefore, maintaining high levels of mental activity is one of the crucial measures of overcoming emotional barriers to effective communication.

~ Do Brain Training

Brain training is referred to participating in tasks and activities, which enable the individuals to bring about improvements in analytical and problem solving skills (Roche, 2014). When the individuals are pursuing educational programs or are engaged in employment opportunities in organizations, they need to develop analytical and problem solving skills. When the individuals experience problems and are unable to provide solutions to them, they feel stressed and anxious. Hence, brain training will render a significant contribution in providing solutions to problems as well as in honing one’s analytical and problem solving skills. This will also contribute in overcoming emotional barriers to effective communication. Therefore, doing brain training is regarded as one of the fundamental measures of overcoming emotional barriers to effective communication.

The measures to overcome emotional barriers in effective communication and in implementing one’s tasks and activities in an appropriate manner are, get engaged in physical activities, consume healthy and nutritious diet, maintain good terms and relationships, develop positive thinking, acquire education and training, conduct research on regular basis, mediate, acquire healthcare and medical treatment, maintain high levels of mental activity and do brain training. Finally, it can be stated, when the individuals will put into operation the measures in a satisfactory manner, they will not only carry out communication in an appropriate manner, but also render a significant contribution in enriching their overall quality of lives.

~Garima {Empress2Inspire}

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {7} ~ How To Have Conversations With Your Family During Lockdown

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

The great Ram Dass said, “if you think you are enlightened, go spend a week with your family.”

For many of us our spiritual work, positive affirmations and zen-like state can quickly be disrupted by our family members. Sound familiar?

There are a few reasons for this~

~ Issues within our family often run on a deep, subconscious level; sometimes the issues run so deep that it is difficult to even comprehend where it all began. Being amongst family can easily trigger past memories or past events that can stir things up within the subconscious mind.

~ Family is ultimately there to teach us about unconditional love. Due to society and our egos, the blocks surrounding love that most of us carry around can be easily projected onto those we are nearest to. This often occurs in families and can manifest as feeling like you are never good enough or that certain family members have expectations for you that can never seem to be met.

~ We are highly connected to our families spiritually and energetically. In spirit form we all chose our family and agreed to work with the issues and dynamics that were destined to present themselves on our life path. Often families are souls that you have strong connections with from past lives and this adds to the weight and effect of their energy during times spent together and in general.

Here are some tips to make conversations between family members easier ~

~ Prepare yourself beforehand so you are spiritually and emotionally secure. If there is a certain family member that always push your buttons, or just being around your family seems to cause you stress, it may help to recite mantras and cleanse your aura or energy with sage. Anything you can do to raise your vibration and keep your energy positive and light will aid you. It may also be beneficial to visualise ahead of time your family gathering going smoothly and beautifully and putting good vibes out there before the event.

~Mantras. You may want to create a little plan or have a mantra ready to go if you find yourself confronted or triggered by a certain family member.

~Family issues run so deep that sometimes it is better to just let them go. While some analysis and reflection is good, eventually you have to learn to accept things just as they are. Sometimes it is really through accepting and unconditionally loving your family that true healing and awareness can start and you can begin feeling at peace in their presence.

~Some people don’t want to understand and can’t understand and that is ok. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. This doesn’t mean that you need to lie or hide who you are behind a mask, but leaving out certain details with family members who you know are not going to understand or be understanding can help keep things peaceful and can make things feel less stressful and agitated.

~It may also be helpful to remember that everyone is just doing the best they can at their level of consciousness.

~Know yourself. If you find yourself getting triggered or upset with comments made by a family member, try your best to stay neutral and keep your vibration positive and loving. Don’t be tempted to then fight back or get angry, you know in your heart what is true and you don’t need to affirm yourself to others. You know yourself.

~Take a deep breath. Focus on either changing or leaving the conversation altogether. If you do feel the need to put your foot down, try to assert yourself with calmness and without being defensive.

~Judgments. When you judge others for their judgements or respond with aggressive energy, you are further deepening the trigger points. Even if you can’t respond with loving kindness completely, the intention to try can make a profound difference.

Feel free to let us know below any ways you deal with conversations within your family..

~Amber {DiosRaw}

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {6} ~ How To Stay Focused During Video Conferences

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

Remember a time when zoom calls were new. We used to get so excited about logging on, seeing people and having these work conversations over the internet. And three months later, well, they suck. I think most of my days are taken up by video conferencing. We are still working from home and for me sometimes there are 5-6 video conferencing calls a day back to back. It’s tough so I have recently spent a lot of time figuring out how I can survive these long conference calls.

Here’s how you can stay focused on engaging through these calls. I hope these tips can be helpful for all of you:

Tip 1: Make it easy to stay focused
Tip 2: Show the other person that you are focused. This will help you stay focused.
Tip 3: Be prepared for the challenging calls.

Tip 1: Make it easy to stay focused
I have realised that focus for me is a very big issue on days when I am tired or when I have too many calls back to back. So I started thinking about why this is happening and I realised that one of the first reasons was there were too many distractions. So obviously for me the first solution was to remove all of these distractions. I put my phone out of sight so that I can’t see that. I removed the clutter from my desk. I cleaned up my digital desktop. This might come handy especially when you are sharing your screen with people, it’s nice to have your desktop clean. Have only tabs which are relevant for the meeting opened in your browser. Position the documents which you are referring to or reading from in the centre so that it seems you are looking at your camera when you are talking. Sometimes when I am talking and I need to look at my notes, I move my notes on the top centre of my screen so that it looks like I am looking at the camera while I am also looking at the notes at the same time. Even if your environment is very quiet, having your earphones on while you are working can help you focus on your work. It can specially come handy when there are more than one people working out of the same home, just a wall apart. Always have a glass of water available with you and mute yourself on calls when you are trying to drink. Also pro-tip have a lid on that glass of water unless you want to spill water on your laptop. Trust me I am speaking from experience. Avoid drinking any carbonated soda or spring water on calls because those bubbles will come back in the form of a burp on the call. If you notice your eyes are getting tired, play around with different steups and brightness on your laptop.

Tip 2: Show the other person that you are focused. This will help you stay focused.
Eye contact is everything. Look into the camera when you are talking when you are being authoritative and when you want to make a point because that looks like you are looking at the other person. Make sure that your computer is actually lifted because if you are on a laptop. You want to make sure that your eye level is where the camera is and that’s why keeping few books under your laptop may be beneficial. Put a little sticky note at the top of your laptop near your camera with a smiley face so that it kind of reminds you to look at the person when you are looking there. Oftentimes when you watch people on the camera and they don’t really realise that you are watching them, the face changes look like something focused on beyond the screen and this makes a huge difference when it comes to communication. One of the things that we usually forget is that when we are on these calls, our heads are quite close to the cameras and so people can tell when you are looking over or looking at text messages on your phone. In real life you are never that close to people so can get away with a lot more. But when you are online, it is difficult to get away with it. The message it sends is that hey, I am not focusing on you so don’t have to focus on me and hence there is a disconnect. Think of the camera as a magnet and when you do look away and you will, like you are going to look at the clock to see what time it is or you are going to look down on your notes to refer something and that’s okay, just make an effort to keep going back at thee camera and to maintain your presence in the meeting. If you think your eyes and the camera have a magnetic connection then you will keep going back to that. Sometimes telling people why you are looking away is a way of being polite and letting them know that you are still a part of the conversation.

Tip 3: Be prepared for the challenging calls
We have all been in them. We have all survived to tell the tale. Not all our calls are created equal. Some are really challenging and some are a breeze. It is the way it is because you are interacting with different people on different topics in different scenarios all those kinds of things. It may be the way the person is speaking or maybe their internet connection is consistently bad and so it’s hard to hear them, whatever that is, you know while going in who those challenging counterparts are going to be. If you can anticipate that, that will help you lower your expectations and manage your stress better. Another way is to not forget your listening skills. I have some typical tips which might help like :

  • Set an intention. This means think about why you are listening and what the outcome might be for the conversation. What is the purpose of your listening. Are you listening to learn something new or you are listening to find out someone’s instructions, whatever it is, have that in mind.
  • Use confirmation language when you are listening. That is especially important in these calls because if you are on mute all the time, then people really do not know that you are listening. So unmute yourself, ask a question, use some reflective language, confirm something that they said just to let them know that you were listening.
  • Finally if you are totally distracted and someone is going on and on and on then practice shadowing. Shadowing is when you are listening to somebody and in your head you are repeating every single word they say. It’s like forced focus, you can’t think about anything else because you are using all of your energy to repeat what they said.

So those are three tips on how to stay focused during video conferencing. These endless video conference calls have to be made easy because it seems like we will be doing them for a long while now. Also don’t forget to give yourself breaks. Stand up, walk around the house, drink some water. Also remember that the other person on the call may be going through the same thing. They may also be tired of the calls one after the other. You can help them out by being focused and engaging.

If you have any additional tips on how to stay engaged, please do share in the comments section. We always love to hear from you. If there are any questions you would like us to address, please feel free to ask us and we will try to answer them as best as possible.

~Garima {Empress2Inspire}

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {5} ~ How To Say No Politely

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

~“Saying NO is an art, master it.” ~
Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma
~”Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” ~
Anna Taylor

Why do we find it hard to say “no”? Because we want people to like us and would like to appear kind. ‘No’ is counterintuitive to this notion, when we say ‘no’ we fear the repercussions. Humans crave social and emotional stimuli; attention, recognition and intimacy are critical for our emotional and physical survival. “No” can be perceived as a rejection, the very thing that humans are programmed to avoid. The fear of missing out is another reason why people struggle with ‘no’, as social beings, we unconsciously base our beliefs on the current values of society. The Chimp Paradox explains: “The need to belong to a group is so powerful that we will often compromise our lives and lifestyle to remain as part of the group.”

Here are some ways for you to say no politely ~

  1. Vague and effective ~ “Thank you for asking, but that isn’t going to work out for me.”
  2. It’s not personal ~ “Thank you for asking, but I’m not doing any interviews while I’m writing my book at the moment.”
  3. Ask me later ~ “I would like to do that, but I’m not available until July. Will you ask me again then please?”
  4. Let me hook you up ~ “I can’t do it, but I’ll bet Jasmine can. I’ll ask her for you.”
  5. Keep persisting ~ “None of those dates work for me, but I would love to see you. Send me some more dates.”
  6. Try me last minute ~ “I can’t put anything else on my calendar this month, but I’d love to do that with you sometime. Will you call me right before you go again?”
  7. Gratitude ~ “Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support! I’m sorry I’m not able to help you at this time.”
  8. Give the dad a chance ~ “Let’s ask Dad if he wants to help this year.”
  9. 5-minute favour ~ “I can’t speak at your event, but I will help you promote it on my blog.”
  10. Just No ~ “Thanks, I’ll have to pass on that.”
  11. Gracious ~ “I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed.”
  12. I’m Sorry ~ “I wish I could, but it’s just not going to work right now.”
  13. My family is the reason ~ “Thanks so much for the invite, that’s the day of my son’s soccer game, and I never miss those.”
  14. I know someone else ~ “I don’t have time right now, but let me recommend someone who may be able to help you.”
  15. I’m already booked ~ “I appreciate you thinking of me, but I’m afraid I’m already booked that day.”
  16. Setting boundaries ~ “Let me tell you what I can do..” Then limit the commitment to what will be comfortable for you.
  17. Not no, but not yes ~ “Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you.”
  18. I’m “maxed out” ~ We need a ‘safety word’ for saying no, an easy way to tell people that we can’t/won’t do the thing they are requesting, but that it’s not personal. You are asking them to respect that you’re taking care of yourself and that you also respect their need to take care of themselves.

Research suggests that when we precipitate a decision that allows us to change our minds later, we tend to be a lot less happy with the decisions that we make. Once we decline an invitation or say “no”, we need to make an effort to focus on the good that will come from saying no, not the regret or guilt we may feel. Perhaps we will be better rested because we didn’t go to a party, or we’ll feel less resentful because we let someone else help our friend out. Maybe saying no to something frees up time for another (more fulfilling) activity. Whatever the case may be, focus on the positive outcome of your effort to give a good “no”. Because saying no is really about allowing ourselves to really enjoy what we are doing in the moment, whatever that might be.

Feel free to let us know below how you set your boundaries and have learnt how to lovingly say no..

~Amber {DiosRaw}

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {4} ~ How To Win In A Virtual Workplace

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

Virtual workplaces, in which employees operate remotely from each other and from managers, are a reality, and will become even more common in the future. There are sound business reasons for establishing virtual workplaces, but their advantages may be offset by such factors as setup and maintenance costs, loss of cost efficiencies, cultural clashes, isolation, and lack of trust. Virtual teams and telework are examples of such arrangements, but they are not appropriate for all jobs, all employees, or all managers. To be most effective in these environments, managers need to do two things well:

~Shift from a focus on time to a focus on results
~Recognise that virtual workplaces, instead of needing fewer managers, require better supervisory skills among existing managers.

If you’re like most people today, you are facing a whole new set of challenges around how to manage your workload, share ideas and build relationships while working remotely. It’s not just about the work. You will also have to learn how to maximize socialization between your boss, colleagues and customers. Step up. This is your time to shine. Never ever in your life have your environment been so conducive for working. No travel time. No nagging work colleagues. Your own space. Access to unlimited food and drink, no one is judging how many times you made the trip to the coffee machine or snackbar. I mean what else do you want? Fully embrace this moment to make sure that you come out on the top. I mean what better time to surf when everyone else is coasting?

Here are a few ways to set the stage effectively and increase your impact ~

You need to be ready to work a little harder to communicate. Think of it like commuting. Back when we were going to the office, you had this commute time to prepare for things transitioning from your home life to your work life. Those boundaries are no longer there, I understand. So it is easy to feel like your home life and work life have kind of blended together. If you really want to fully take advantage of this moment here’s few tips:
~Make sure when you are talking in these virtual meetings, that you are being concise and powerful. You really want to make sure you are organised and you really don’t want to be that person who everybody wishes would just log off. In order to do this well, you have to plan ahead.
~Make attempts to connect with the people in your meeting after the call. Are you setting up coffee chats or are you setting up virtual happy hours. Doing this is very important to maintaining relationships with people in your meetings because you may not have that much time to talk to them during your meeting.
~When you are interacting with the team on zoom, keep your videos on, make sure your head and shoulders are visible on the calls. Also remember to smile often to let people know that you are still part of the conversation and not feel like they are speaking with an expressionless statue.

~Be responsive. When people can’t see you, they don’t know if you are working, and what you are working on so I think it’s more of the old “Out of sight and out of mind concept”. Nowadays, it’s not so much about what you are doing but who knows what you are doing. You have to be constantly interacting. I have noticed that people who I work with and have a high responsibility stake and the ones who are most responsive when I communicate with them. They know they need to be responsive. Sometimes it is more of an individual contributor who knows what they are doing and not so worried about their communication and takes them longer to get back. We need to remember that the higher we move up the more our jobs rely on communication. Here are a few tips :
~If you are going to be away from your seat, put an on break reply to the emails or messages you get. Let your team know you are taking a break.
~Send an email acknowledging someone’s request or email. It is good etiquette. This shows you are in the loop and you are responsive. As the tasks are being completed, let them know.

~Do what you say you will do. In our virtual workplaces it may be a little bit easier to drop the ball on things because you are not seeing your coworkers walk by your desk, things may not be front and centre, there are a lot of other things on our mind these days. So it’s a lot easier to hide. We need to make sure that we are really on it. I think some workplaces have a lot of pressure even when we are working from home, the intensity and urgency is pervasive. But for important but not urgent tasks, you need to create that sense of urgency yourself so that you do not become lazy about it. So here’s a tip~
~Know where your action item list is. We all have our things to do but do you know where yours is? Put it on your calendar. Do not have multiple to do lists. Get that piece figured out.
~Set up regular meetings with colleagues and stakeholders and people who help you stay accountable and stay on track.
~Keep your promises. If you tend to promise too much, maybe make an effort to manage expectations.

It takes a little hard work to be successful. So don’t coast. Remember the universe is bending in your favour. It is time to reach up and grab the opportunity. We are all going to come out of these cocoons like perfect communication butterflies successfully navigating the future of our crazy world. We would love to know about your communication and workplace hacks for succeeding in this virtual world. Please share.

~Garima {Empress2Inspire}

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {3} ~ How To Explain Complex Ideas Simply

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius says, even Leonardo Da Vinci said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” So what do these two people mean? Have you ever struggled to put complex ideas into simple concepts? Our lives are ruled by complex concepts and learning, which only seem to complicate and expand the closer we examine them.

Here are some tips for you to explain complex ideas simply ~

~Use little technical language. Try not to use too much technical language, if you do, make sure it is absolutely necessary in order to help the audience understand or appreciate your point – and ensure that you explain the word or term immediately afterwards.
Remember that there is a difference between using language that is simple (easy to understand), and simplistic (treating the problem as if it is not actually very complex at all). Keep your words simple and clear, and use real-life examples and illustrations where possible. But don’t patronise your audience by pretending that something is not as complicated as it really is.

~ Mirror effect. Good body language is crucial to keeping an audience engaged and interested. If you look alert but relaxed, your audience will mirror this and feel the same way. Stand up straight, but relax any tension or stiffness in your body with breathing techniques. It’s a good idea to gesture with your hands in such a way that helps to make clear what you are explaining – but only do this if it feels natural, waving your arms around unnecessarily may distract people from their focus.

Use imagery. They say that a picture paints a thousand words, and that’s true for the images we create through words. If you can get an audience to really ‘see’ what you’re trying to explain, they will not only be able to understand it better, but they will also remember it. Analogies and metaphors work well, a good metaphor for a complex topic will stay in people’s minds forever.

Break your concept down into manageable parts. Think of your talk as a series of stepping stones, and imagine yourself hopping easily from one stone to another. If one stone becomes wobbly or is washed away, you can simply jump forwards, sideways, or even backwards. Your journey to the other side will remain intact. If you can think of your talk as a series of self-contained mini-talks, then if one part goes wrong, gets forgotten, or simply doesn’t feel like it’s working on the day, you can go back to other section to bridge the gap.

~Dissect the information to understand and explain it simply. Link parts of information with other parts to find connections and reasoning. How do the concepts link?

~Identify the topic and conduct research. Gather as much information as you can find on your particular topic and write down what you aim to discover. What is the aim for converting your idea from complex to simple form?

~Clarify. Ask for feedback from the person or people you are conveying the concept or idea to, what did they gather from what you are saying? It is okay to repeat your words again until they are understood, sometimes knowledge takes time to digest and sink in.

We hope this helped give you some insights into simplifying your communication to convey concepts. If you have any ideas on how to form simple concepts from complex ideas feel free to leave your comments below.

~Amber {DiosRaw}

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {2} ~ How To Get Out Of An Uncomfortable Situation

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

I really can’t handle conversations sometimes. I find myself in situations where I am stuck talking to someone and I really just want to go. How do you get yourself out of such situations?

First of all, you may need to access your context. Are you in an airplane, stuck next to somebody in your seat. Damn hopefully not. Well if that is the case and you cannot get out of your situation, try to use some body language to help that person realise that you really want to talk anymore so sitting on an airplane might mean utting some headphones on, putting your nose in a book. Say if you are at a party, or maybe at a starbucks having a conversation, try using a body language to show that you are going in another direction or turn your body away from the person.

Sometimes when I try to do that, people just don’t get the hint. What should we do in such cases? Now clearly, such people are not master communicators or maybe do not even understand the concept of healthy boundaries because they are not recognising the overt body language that you are suggesting. So what you need to do is take matters in your own hands and try to end the conversation. I think the best way to end a conversation is to not add fuel to the fire. If you are talking to somebody and they make a comment and you can’t help yourself but to reply to the comment, that adds fuel to the fire and they may comment again and again and again and it is going to go on forever.

Also, you should avoid phrases like “Oh, that’s interesting!” or “Where did you hear that”. It’s all about doing the opposite of what keeps the conversation going. Try to kill the conversation by dousing it with water. Basically don’t add new information and usually let the other person’s comment stand. It might be really hard for you to maintain that silence but oftentimes silence can be the best cure.

Let’s look at some exit phrases. Say you are at a networking event, if it really easy for you to excuse yourself to go talk to other people. So the best thing to go to end a conversation would be to stick out your hand and say “Hey, it was really nice meeting you”. Another technique you can use is saying the word “Thank you.” as simple as that. Everyone likes to be thanked and so “Thank you so much for talking to me, enjoy the rest of the evening. I really need to go and talk to some other people now.” Giving an example or reason of why you are ending a conversation is a great way to get out of an uncomfortable conversation. Perhaps it could also be like “I’m going to get some more coffee” or “Looks like they brought out some more pizza.” etc. Bringing out an excuse like this is a good way because then you are not commenting on other people’s lack of good communication skills.

Hope this helps. Happy Conversations!

~Garima {Empress2Inspire}

The Human Family Crash Course Series {5} ~ Communication {1} ~ Developing A Communication Mindset

Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!

Here are some tips to aid you on your journey of developing a communication mindset ~

~Listening. We all have a tendency to forget that communication is a two-way process of connecting. We fall into the trap of ‘broadcasting’, where we just issue a message, and fail to listen to the response. Quite a lot of the time, we are not really listening to others in conversation, but thinking about what we plan to say next. Listening is not the same as hearing. Learning to listen means not only paying attention to the words being spoken but also how they are being spoken and the non-verbal messages sent with them. It means giving your full attention to the person speaking, and genuinely concentrating on what they are saying, also what they are not saying. Good listeners use the techniques of clarification and reflection to confirm what the other person has said and avoid any confusion. These techniques also demonstrate very clearly that you are listening – active listening.

~ Much of a message is communicated non-verbally. Some estimates from scientific studies suggest that as much as 80% of communication is non-verbal. Non-verbal communication is often thought of as body language, but it actually covers far more; it includes, for example, tone and pitch of the voice, body movement, eye contact, posture, facial expression, and even physiological changes such as sweating. You can therefore understand other people better by paying close attention to their non-verbal communication. You can also ensure that your message is conveyed more clearly by ensuring that your words and body language are in sync with each other.

~ Emotional Intelligence. Communication is awareness of our own and other people’s emotions, and an ability to manage those emotions. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everything should be logical, and that emotion has no place. However, we are human beings at our core and therefore messy and emotional. There is considerable evidence saying that it is far more important for succeeding in life by developing our emotional awareness than what we might call ‘intellectual intelligence’. Emotional intelligence covers a wide range of skills, usually divided into personal skills and social skills. The personal skills include self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation. The social skills include empathy and social skills. Each one of these is broken down into more skills departments. For example: Self-awareness consists of emotional awareness, accurate self-assessment and self-confidence. Empathy is the ability to ‘feel with’ others, to share their emotions and understanding them.

~ Using Humour. Laughing releases endorphins that can help relieve stress and anxiety. Most people like to laugh and will feel drawn, like a moth to a flame, to somebody who can make them laugh. Don’t be afraid to be funny or clever, but do ensure your humour is appropriate to the situation. Use your sense of humour to break the ice, to lower barriers and gain the affection of others. By using appropriate humour you will be perceived as more charismatic.

~ Treat People Equally. Aim to communicate on an equal basis and avoid patronising people. Do not talk about others behind their backs and try not to develop favourites; by treating people as your equal and also equal to each other, you will build trust and respect. If confidentiality is a prominent issue, make sure boundaries are known and ensure its maintenance.

~ Questioning. Questioning is a vital skill to ensure that you have understood someone’s message correctly. It is also a very good way of obtaining more information about a particular topic, or simply starting a conversation and keeping it going. Those with good questioning skills are often also seen as very good listeners, because they tend to spend far more time drawing information out from others than divulging their own opinions.

~ Think about how your message might be received by the other person. Tailor your message to fit. By communicating clearly and simply, you can help avoid misunderstandings and potential conflict with others. You can check that they have understood by asking them to reflect or summarise what they have heard and understood. It can also be helpful to pay attention to differences in culture, past experiences, attitudes and abilities when conveying your message.

Let us leave you with this quotation to ponder..
“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” ~ Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Let us know below how you are developing a communication mindset, we look forward to reading your words.

~Amber {DiosRaw}