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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Showing Some Appreciation


In a previous post, we've talked about the benefits of Giving Honest and Sincere Appreciation. In this post, i will be showing my appreciation to bloggers that have enriched my life in some way or another.

To start of, i would like to show my appreciation to Monica Borden from mysignsoflife. Her post on "Blogs that Rock - Week 2" really touched me very much.

As a blogger, we all might wonder at one point or another about whether does anybody actually read our blogs? Well, her kind words about my blog really made my day. The catchphrase on her blog reads "Did anybody tell you they loved you today?" I find this phase extremely meaningful indeed.

The next blog whom i'd like to highlight is Communication Exchange by Patricia Rockwell. As a former communications teacher, Patricia makes comprehensive posts about a wide range of communication related issues. I particularly enjoyed her post about Sarcasm Experiments.

In addition, i would also like to take this opportunity to thank Patricia for her long support of this blog with her support and insightful comments!!!

Here are other blogs which have made a difference in my life.

- I'd like to thank CK from A Singaporean in London. He has regularly shared his thoughts on my posts. His blog is filled with interesting insights from a Singaporean living in London.

- Michael Aulia from Michael Aulia - Technology & Reviews has interesting post about technology. I read his blog regularly and get updates on the latest tech news.

- Turnip of Power is another blog which i regularly tune into. It is an influential blog which offers an objective no-holds barred take on social networking issues such as developments in the entrecard world etc...

Thanks for everything and till next week...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Four Objectives of Communication Part 2

In my last post, i introduced The Fundamental Purpose of Communication. In this post, we will be discussing upon the next two intentions of communication.

To recap, the four objectives of communication are:

1. To Be Understood
2. To Be Accepted
3. To Get Something Done
4. To Understand Others

Now, let us start by considering the second objective of communication. To Be Accepted.

What does it mean by "To be accepted?"

It means to get people to agree with you, or at least to listen to you seriously.

This might surprise some of you, but actually getting your message accepted does not happen as often as you might think. Many things block acceptance.

These things may include distrust, lack of empathy or even an upset state of mind.

The third objective of communication is To Get Something Done.

Let us consider a common example.

You have something that must be done quickly, and you need to ask someone whom you can trust to do it for you. You think John is the one.

You are under a lot of pressure and cannot possibly do it. So, you ask John for his help.

You are surprised when he shows that he does not want to help you out.

What happened? A situation like this might have taken place.

What you said...

"John, I'm using my machine to finish this job that i'm a little late with. My supervisor gave me this other job to finish today! I will never finish. I already have to work late just to finish the first job. Can you help me out by doing it on your machine for me?"

What John might have 'heard'

"John, here is a dirty job that my boss gave me. I don't want to be bothered by it. Your machine can do it. Your plans for the day don't count to me. Just help me out by doing my work for me."

Your tone may have made John feel that he was being used by you. Perhaps something that you asked him to do in the past had left him feeling resentful, or he may have personal problems which weigh heavily on his mind

In any case, he didn't "hear" so much with his brain as with his feelings. And since he didn't "hear" you correctly, he didn't accept you.

Getting action involves more than simply "asking" or "telling". When we use a machine, all we have to do is to push a button. With people, you will generally need to explain, to convince and to follow up.

In my next post, we will be looking at the last communication objective, which is "To Understand Others," and also look at how we can overcome these communication roadblocks which are present in each and every one of our lives.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Four Objectives of Communication

Communication is important in our lives.

In a way, communications is something like breathing. You can't live very long without breathing and you cannot survive very long without communicating. Communication is the thread by which you tie yourself to the world and the world to you.

Let us first consider the role of communication in your job for example.

As an employee, you never work in a vacuum. You always work with and around people. Day to day actions such as passing information and making reports all involve communication in some way or another.

So... how well you communicate will affect how well you succeed.

So, now that we've established that communication affects success (the importance of communication), let us now examine the four objectives of communication.

1. To Be Understood
2. To Be Accepted
3. To Get Something Done
4. To Understand Others

Firstly, let us start by considering the fundamental objective of communication. To be understood.

We communicate so as to let other people know about something.

The primary purpose in communication is to communicate something across to someone else so that he or she knows exactly what you mean. This could be facts, intentions or even feelings.

However, even this simple act may have its problems.

Let us consider a typical situation that occurs in many households. A husband and his wife have agreed to go for a holiday. However, the same word, "Holiday," may mean different things to different people.

For example, in our example between the husband and the wife, the wife may think of a holiday as a stay in a luxurious holiday resort while the husband may think of a holiday as a golfing or camping trip.

Words and ideas which seem so clear by themselves... can be understood in many different ways by different people.

Hence, it is important to be mindful about this fact, and take that extra effort to consider your audience and clarify your position if necessary.

In the next post, i will be discussing about the next 2 intentions of communications which are "To Be Accepted," as well as "To Get Something Done."

You might also be interested in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

To be on Speaking Terms with People

This may come as something of a shock, but...

The chances are that, sometimes you are not on speaking terms with people - not even your closest friends.

"That's ridiculous" you might say. "I have a good nature, I am a good person, and i get along well with people..."

"What do you mean... not on speaking terms?"

You see, we might already have a misunderstanding, even only after a couple of statements.

So let's do one of the important things you have to do in order to communicate successfully. Let us make sure that we're talking about the same thing!

By "being on speaking terms," we simply mean exchanging ideas, facts and feelings with other people so that they understand you as you want them to understand you (and also the other way around).


When you were a baby, you were probably the best communicator. A good, loud yell was all the "language" you needed for the simple ideas you wanted to communicate... and you had a good and attentive audience.

But as an adult, you live in a much more complicated world. A world of words that mean different things to different people, because their interests and backgrounds are different from your own.

For most people, effective communication does not come naturally. It is a skill to be practiced and learned like any other.

In my next post, i will be expanding further about the "Four Purposes of Communication", so watch out for that.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Power of a Smile

"Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu. When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too."
~~ Karen McLendon-Laumann

Smiling is indeed important in our everyday life, both in our personal lives as well as within the workplace.

Dale Carnegie notes that "the expression one wears on one's face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one's back."

This article about "The Power of a Smile" talks about the importance of a smile, gives tips on "How to smile, even when you don't feel like it", discusses on why is a smile is so infectious as well as touches upon the priceless value of giving a smile.

To begin, a smile is one of the most obvious and effective methods of non-verbal communication. It is one of the first things someone will notice about you. A smile, both physically as well as subconsciously, transmits the message, 'I'm glad you're here and that I'm happy to see you.'

Smiling has implications, both in our personal as well as our business relationships. Smiling overcomes barriers and open doors for people. A sincere smile is a message of goodwill, and is considered a sign of hospitality and confidence when dealing with a friend or a business associate.

So we know that a smile is well and good, but what happens if you don't feel like smiling? Well, emotions can be controlled to a certain extent, both physically as well as emotionally. As such, you can evoke a smile using these two methods.

How to Smile, Even when you don't feel like it

Physical Method

- The human body associates physical responses with the associated emotion. For example, if you slouch a lot, your body will naturally feel more sluggish as compared to a person who maintains a good posture.

- Similarly, even if you feel sad, you can still draw your lips together and lift up the ends to form a smile. You might find your mood improving naturally. This technique has helped me improve my mood countless of times.

- Smile with your eyes. This technique involves concentrating your smile on your eyes instead of your lips. Think of your eyes smiling, or twinkling. You will find that your entire face will have to lift itself to accomplish this. You will find your cheekbones lifting up and the tip of your lips lifting up to form a smile.

Emotional Method

- Our emotional state is all in our state of mind. As clique as it sounds, you've gotta want to be happy, in order to be happy. When you WANT to be happy, think happy thoughts. Think about a calm meadow, think about a loved one or a joke maybe.

- Remember, happiness is frequently a choice. Abraham Lincoln once noted that "most fokes are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." We can choose to be happy or miserable. Do choose happiness to fill your life.

There is the saying "Smile and the whole world smiles with you." Well, sayings like this are actually grounded in fact. When you smile, it does tend to trigger off smiles in others around you. Even in extremely stressful situations, a smile can easily brighten up everybody's mood.

The value of a smile is priceless. It can't be bought, begged or borrowed.

It costs nothing to give, but is the most sincere gift that one might be able to give to another. A smile brings rest to the weary, and is the best antidote for discouragement. It brings sunshine to the sad and hope to the hopeless.

A smile is infectious. Start infecting people and winning friends with your smile today.

If you like this article, you might also enjoy

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
1. Don't criticize, condemn or complain.
2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.