Category Archives: communicate

The 3 P’s

There are many things that can make us successful in our lives. Personally, I feel that there are three keys to success and those are to: Predict, Plan and Prepare. These three “P’s” are essential in all aspects of our lives. They can be valuable in both your business and social arenas.

It is important that when you wake up in the morning, you predict how your day is going to be starting when you leave your house. This can help you remedy any situations that might arise. While I brush my teeth, I predict what people are going to need from me at work, this way I can be proactive and help these people before they come to me.

Before you talk to someone, you can “predict” what they are going to say and “plan” what you might say back to them and “prepare” for their reaction (whether it is bad or good). Making predictions on how people are going to be in meetings, classes (if you teach), etc. these predictions will help you not be caught off guard and ready for any type of event.

Planning is also another great tool to have in your bag of tricks. I plan throughout my day, although it can be time consuming, it is quite beneficial. Especially, if you are a teacher. I plan for how I am going to handle volatile situations if they outbreak at my job everyday, maybe even every hour.

Making plans with people, students, friends, family members is good way to help those that might have anxiety be able to de-escalate their situations. I have learned that sitting down with my friends, students and colleagues and predicting what might happen and creating a plan has been EXTREMELY helpful. Sometimes brainstorming with a friend all possible outcomes and planning for those can be very helpful. I know that sometimes it’s better to go through it all (bad and good outcomes), that way, if it happens- there is no surprise. It is always good to bounce ideas off of a good friend, especially one that will not “sugar coat” things.

And last but definitely not least, preparing. When I say preparing, I mean being prepared for work and life. Be prepared for your meetings, don’t be that “guy/girl” that shows up without paper and a pen. If you go to an interview, be prepared bring about a dozen resumes, cover letters and recommendations (if you have them). If you are a teacher (like myself), make sure that you ALWAYS have academic work for your students, and make sure you have another one ready if they finish early. It is imperative that you are prepared and looked prepared at work. Think of someone you work with that is always prepared. What do you think of that person? I think, responsible and respectable; that person has their “shit” together. Furthermore, when you are prepared, you are really making your life and those around  you easier.

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What’s Your Priority?

Priorities. They are what we value more than anything and drives us.

It seems that sometimes, people get so consumed in their own worlds that they do not take a step out of them to reflect on how the people that co-exist in their world are affected.

Personally, I feel that relationships with those you care about should be at the top of your list. Money, power, jobs, etc. that can all be gone in a flash (especially in this economy) but what does remain steadfast are our relationships.

If you are not “performing” in these relationships, the loss is much greater. You end up losing your support system and irreplaceable relationships.

It is imperative to have your walk match your talk. If you are telling someone that they are a priority, well then SHOW  them it. Do not continue with your routine of taking care of your needs first. Take time out of your schedule to do the small simple things that show that your thoughts are with them. Be thoughtful in your actions. Remember, sometimes it is the little things that matter. This can include just jotting down a note or sending a text.  Showing someone that they matter to you does not cost money, just your time. It seems that many people feel that they do not have the money to spend on “showing” that they care. Really, if you ask the other person in the relationship, they would just like reminders that they are special to you and you appreciate them.

Assume= Ass outta U and ME

Never assume anything.

The old saying, when you assume something you make an ass out of you and me, is quite true. It is extremely hard to not assume, especially when someone is not communicating to you but how are you helping a person to learn to communicate if you are always finishing their sentences/thoughts based on your assumptions.

An assumption is really your spin or interpretation of someone else. I liken it to the game that we played as kids, “telephone”. We get information that is told from the perspective of someone else, not from the direct source. Not only is this assumed information skewed, but in most cases, we believe it to be the truth and react to tainted information. We have to feel justified and know WHY someone is doing something, so we assume we know the answer. Why is it so hard to instead of assuming, ask the person what they mean? Why do we run away from getting clear information from the source?

The worst part about assuming, is that we assume that people view the world in the same way that WE DO. We do not take into account their life experiences, their journey or who/what makes up the person. Moreover, we do not think about the other person’s feelings. That person’s value is immediately taken away the second you make an assumption about them. Lastly, when we do this, we are still left sitting with disinformation.

Next time you would like to know something, ask the person. Communication is key in any relationship. The more you get clear cut information from the source, the stronger that relationship will grow. Get rid of the spiderwebs (assumptions) and  the healthier your relationships will be in the future.

“It’s not you… it’s me”

its-not-u-its-me

The new movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, got me thinking and reflecting on relationships and communication. What have I done that I regret and wish I could do over? And this infamous line came to me instantaneously…

“It’s not you… it’s me”

One of the most well known lines out there in the world. I wonder who was the genius to come up with it.  It is the ultimate cliche and sadly, I have used it several times when they deserved a real answer . This line, is the mother of all lines. It is used in movies, books, basically anywhere and everywhere. Worst of all, when you are a victim of the line, immediately you know that it is a poor excuse and that there are other things going on that you are not privy to know or will ever find out. Of course, there are times when it is true but I going to divulge on the times when it is used due to not wanting to hurt the person’s feelings. There are times in our lives, when we are going through things and are not ready to be in a relationship.

I know why I used it. I was too much of a coward to tell l the person, “hey I am just not into you anymore” or “you really annoy me”. Instead, I used a cliche line that left someone feeling lousy about themselves and nothing to help get over what just happened, getting dumped. I am sure that if I said in some cases, “your breath smells all the time like stale milk”, ” you call too many times in one day”, or “your pants are so tapered you look like a cheese wedge”, then maybe things would be different.

I am not sure why we think that we can use this line and that this will help the person feel better or soften the blow. I think it makes us feel better, we do not need to deal with the reaction of the other person, instead we think we are letting them off “easy”. Really, I mean really, think about it, does using this line soften the blow? Wouldn’t you rather know the truth? Doesn’t the truth set you free?

As I have gotten older and possibly a tad wiser, I have become more direct in the way I communicate with people. Gone are the days where I would just throw a line at someone and  hope that they took the bait. Most people do not like to confront and therefore do not expect it. Personally, I have grown to just be open and honest in my relationships, even if it gets “sticky”. I am a firm believer that if you do not like the way someone is treating you, you should let the person know so that they may be aware of their actions and grow. If you allow someone to treat you in a way that you do not like and do not say a thing, you are silently telling them it’s OK . When you do not point out what is wrong, you are leaving someone in the dark without a flashlight to help themselves get out. This person can not reflect on how they are affecting others. People need to know if they have things to work on, I know I like to know if I have areas to improve. Don’t you? That is how I look at it, we are all here to make improvements on ourselves. When we inform others of how we truly feel about them, it helps them on their journey in life, they can take the information you gave them and do what they like with it.

So, when you say “It’s not you… it’s me”, you are not really letting them down easy, you are really stunting their just personal growth.

Feelings…. why such an issue?

I find it so fascinating that feelings are such a hard topic. The ability to tell people how you feel. It seems like some people just fantasize that everyone is a walking mind reader.

What sets humans a part from other species (besides the opposable thumb) is the ability to talk and communicate. Now, I know that every life form does in fact communicate with each other but humans are born with a function in their brain to understand language and talk. That is to say, that when you are born you are destined to be able to communicate and learn a language, whether you are taught or you model your surroundings. It is fascinating. It is one of  our survival instincts, a way to ensure that we will be able to come into this world and not be lost, thanks to our genetic make up.

Talking is one of the easiest things to do and the hardest. Some people like to talk to just hear themselves and others make you wish you could just hit a mute button. But some people refuse to talk about their feelings. It is as if they talk about it and let the words escape their heart, they will be lost for ever and no longer controlled by the owner. The owner, never seeing that these words of their feelings can build up and be used to help create a strong foundation for the relationship. The more words, the stronger the foundation. Likewise, less words equates to a weaker foundation and we all know… you can’t build anything on a cracked foundation.