4 cornerstones for how to speak so people will listen

How to speak so people will listenHow to speak so people will listen is a common challenge many of us face on a daily basis.

There’s an old saying that states that; it’s not just what you say but the way that you say it.

And it’s very true, how something is said is as important as the words being spoken.

Now just think about that for a second. We can use exactly the same words in different ways and we will deliver completely different messages.

How something is said also has an impact on whether people listen to us or not. We’ve all met engaging people who capture our attention and we’ve all met a few boring people too, I’m sure.

In the video included here, Julian Treasure offers some excellent insight into how to speak so people will listen to you.

His underlying message in the video is that we must learn to speak with power to get our messages across to other people.

Julian Treasure suggests that there are a number of habits we must avoid if we are to speak with power.

He says in his view there are Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking, albeit he does note that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. His deadly seven are as follows:-

  1. Gossip: Speaking in an unkind way about other people.
  2. Judging: People are unlikely to listen if they feel they’re being judged.
  3. Negativity: It’s hard to listen to people with a negative attitude.
  4. Complaining: It’s hard to listen to a moaner too.
  5. Excuses: You won’t be taken seriously if blame is always elsewhere.
  6. Exaggeration: This can border on lying and who listens to a liar?
  7. Dogmatism: Where facts are confused with opinions.

So, can we change if we suffer from all or some of these deadly sins?

Yes, of course, but it does take a little work and a better understanding of how improvements can be achieved.

How to speak so people will listen:

In the video, Julian explains that there are four cornerstones to powerful speech. He uses the mnemonic HAIL to explain these as follows:-

  1. Honesty: Being clear and straight
  2. Authenticity: Being real and being yourself
  3. Integrity: Being true to your word
  4. Love: Wishing people well. And we all like to be appreciated, surely?

However understanding these cornerstones is only the beginning of the process because, as stated earlier, how you say what you’ve got to say is important too.

Julian then discusses aspects of speaking such as Register; Timbre; Prosody; Pace; Pitch; Volume; and the use of Silence. To address many of these issues you may need the help of a voice coach of course but knowing about them is a good start.

Julian also suggests some simple voice warm-up exercises for you to use before you give a speech. They’re so easy you can use them immediately.

Being a TEDTalk you’d expect this video to be both interesting and useful and it doesn’t disappoint. I found Julian Treasure’s ideas fascinating and if you’re someone who regularly speaks in front of an audience, large or small, then I am confident that you’ll find this video helpful.

This video has had over 22 million views on YouTube so clearly, Julian Treasure’s ideas have resonated with a significant audience already.

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A Motivational A – Z Guide to Success

Guide to SuccessLooking for a guide to success?

We could all use one, right?

Well here is a concise A- Z guide of the things you will need to bear in mind.

Perhaps it’s a little over-simplified if I’m honest, but it does cover all the bases, of that I’m quite sure.

If you need a guide to success then print this list and pin it above your desk and refer to it constantly.

And please pass it on.

A – Z Guide to Success:

  • (A) Achieve your dreams. Avoid negative people, things and places.
  • (B) Believe in yourself and in what you can do.
  • (C) Consider every angle and look at things from both sides.
  • (D) Don’t give up and never give in.
  • (E) Enjoy. Motivation happens when you’re happy with life.
  • (F) Family and Friends. Never, ever lose sight of them.
  • (G) Give more than what you believe is enough.
  • (H) Hold on to your dreams. These should drive you onward and upward.
  • (I) Ignore those who belittle your ambition. If you believe you can, what they think is irrelevant.
  • (J) Just be you. The key to failure is trying to please everyone.
  • (K) Keep trying no matter how hard life may seem.
  • (L) Learn to love yourself. You’re as good as anyone.
  • (M) Make things happen. The harder you work the luckier you’ll get.
  • (N) Never lie, cheat or steal. Always play a fair game.
  • (O) Open your eyes. Be aware of what’s going on around you.
  • (P) Practice makes perfect. Be a student of your craft and work towards mastery.
  • (Q) Quitters never win and winners never quit. Be a winner, not a quitter.
  • (R) Ready yourself. Be prepared and be ready when opportunity strikes.
  • (S) Stop procrastinating. Get on with it. It’s later than you think.
  • (T) Take control of your life. Discipline and self-control are key to success.
  • (U) Understand others. Seek first to understand and then to be understood.
  • (V) Visualize it. What will success look like to you? How will you recognize it?
  • (W) Want it more than anything. It must matter to you if you’re to keep going when it gets hard.
  • (X) X-Factor is that little bit of magic that makes you different from all the other wannabes. When you’re truly motivated, you’ll deliver that extra something that will help you shine like a star. Shine like a star and you’ll get noticed. Get noticed and you’re on the way to achieving success.
  • (Y) You are unique. You have special qualities no one else has. So work to your strengths and do the things that only you can do.  That way you will begin to shine like a star.
  • (Z) Zero in on your dreams and just go for it. Don’t stop until you get to where you want to be.

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3 of life’s lessons learned that you really should know

Life's Lessons LearnedMany regular readers will be familiar with the three life’s lessons learned that I’ve included here today, but that won’t be true for everyone, of course. It all comes down to experience really, wouldn’t you agree?

Well dear reader, please don’t feel that you must make every mistake yourself in order to learn.

Learning directly from the mistakes of others is a perfectly valid strategy. You can also listen to and learn from lessons others have learned the hard way.

There’s no finer education than the University of Life, School of Hard Knocks.

So, allow me to offer you three of life’s lessons learned, that you’d do well to bear in mind.

1. Money can’t make you happy:

If you’re not happy without money then having money won’t change how you feel about yourself.

We experience happiness not through the things we purchase but through our personal philosophy, as well as our relationships with other people. Human beings are social animals, and we all need other people.

If you want to be happy you must never lose sight of the most important people in your life, i.e. family and friends.

Spend time with them and enjoy their company, especially your children. Make the most of every minute you have with your loved ones.

Yes, of course, go out there and make some money. I’m not suggesting money doesn’t matter because it does. It’s up there with oxygen for sustaining a life worth living.

So you must manage your money carefully and invest some of it too.

Enjoy some of your money, of course, and buy nice things occasionally too. Life’s too short not to enjoy at least some of your hard-earned cash from time to time.

However never focus on money and work, to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important but the people in your life are far more important.

You could have all the money in the world but without your friends and loved ones you’d have nothing at all.

2. Life is too short to do a job you hate:

You should never do anything for money alone.

Yes, you need an income and yes, it’s nice to have plenty of money in your pocket. Let’s face it we’d all like to have plenty of money, wouldn’t we? That’s human nature.

However, no amount of money will compensate you for the drudgery of doing a job you really hate.

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t do it well. And if you don’t do it well eventually you’ll come unstuck. It will all end in tears. Now is that really what you want, dear reader?

Remember this also; one day, you will die. You’re not going to live forever, nor would you want to.

What a shame it would be if on your deathbed you felt you’d completely wasted your life. Now, how bad would that be?

So find a job you enjoy.

That really is important. You’ll spend one-third of your life at work and that’s a long time to be doing something you really hate.

Yes, there will be aspects of every job that you might find tedious or frustrating. However, it’s important to find something that you mostly enjoy.

And if you haven’t found that job you love yet? Then just keep looking, until you find something you’d do for free if you couldn’t earn a living at it.

When it comes to a job, money shouldn’t be your primary focus. Find the right job; do it well; add real value, and the money will follow, all in good time.

3. Greed can lead to expensive mistakes:

There’s a classic telephone scam, which never fails to catch some people out.

The way it works is a salesman or woman working in a ‘boiler room’ somewhere offshore calls you with an offer for you to purchase an asset at a price which they’ll tell you will guarantee you an enormous profit.

It might be stocks and shares or it might be plots of land in some faraway place but the underlying message is always the same.

Essentially they’ll tell you that next to no one knows about the availability of this asset just yet but when they do the price of the asset will go through the roof and just keep on heading in an upward direction.

They’ll tell you that whatever they have to offer is a steal and that you have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and make an absolute killing but you have to buy today or you’ll miss out.

The salespeople always sound friendly, and very plausible and they’ll make it all sound very professional. They’ll even take a little time to make you feel that really they’re trustworthy.

This scam plays on our greed and our gullibility.

We believe what we’re being told because we want to believe it. We just love the idea that we might get something for nothing too.

However, if you part with your money, when presented with such an offer, that‘s the last you’ll see of it.

The asset will be worthless or even non-existent. You’ll have been scammed.

Furthermore, if you’re foolish enough to buy, you’ll also be put on a ‘sucker list’ which means you’ll get inundated with similar calls from other high-pressure salespeople offering similar ‘deals‘.

In reality, any deal that sounds too good to be true will always prove to be too good to be true.

There’s no easy money to be had anywhere. Take that from someone who’s spent a lot of time looking.

And anyway, think about it, if it was that good a deal why would they be telling you?

If there really was a killing to be made, they’d simply invest their own money and bag the ‘profit’ for themselves, surely?

Never allow yourself to fall for it.

And never, ever allow yourself to be bounced into buying anything just because they tell you that this deal is only available today.

In sales language that’s known as a ‘call to action‘. It’s the oldest sales trick in the sales handbook.

The idea is to bounce you into making a purchasing decision before you have time to think it all through properly.

Don’t be a mug and don’t be foolish enough to line other peoples’ pockets at your own expense. As the old saying goes, invest in haste, repent at leisure.

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How to find the right job for you: Simply Explained

How to find the right job for youDo you enjoy your work, dear reader? Do you have a job you love? Do you wake up each morning filled with enthusiasm for the day ahead?

Alternatively, maybe you just feel your job allows you to earn an income but beyond that, you can’t wait until 5 pm when the working day is over? Perhaps you’re constantly asking the question, “how to find the right job for you?”

If that’s you then you’re not alone.

The Lottery Question:

The acid test when you’re not sure is to ask yourself what I call the lottery question.

What does that mean? If means you ask yourself this, “If I won millions on the lottery and money ceased to be an issue; would I continue to do the work I’m doing now or would I try something else?

Yes of course if you won the lottery you’d have a little fun with the money first, but eventually your life would need a sense of purpose and routine again.

So how would you fill your time then?

Never work a day in your life:

If you enjoy what you do, and you’re recognized as being very good at it, then you’ll do your job well and you’ll be successful at what you do. And if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Now, how good would that be?

So if you’re not happy with your job right now, the next question to ask yourself is, “What do I really want to be?

To answer that question, you really need to consider two things:-

      1. What are you good at?
      2. What do you enjoy doing?

These are quite different things but if you can find the sweet spot between them then you have the basis for finding a job you’ll love.

So the steps to job heaven are as follows:-

STEP 1: What are you good at?

How to find the right jobNot merely competent but really good at?

Think about that question carefully and be honest with yourself.

What activities are intuitive to you? Things you can do easily and readily without having to give them too much thought?

Ask friends and colleagues for their views, and ask them to be really honest with you. Ask people you work with about the tasks for which they consider you to be the absolutely, first choice ‘go-to’ person.

Gather together this information and make a list.

STEP 2: What do you enjoy doing?

Then make a list of all the things you really enjoy doing.

Which activities really give you a buzz?

What activities get you so absorbed that you really lose track of time?

What activities would you do for free or as a hobby, if you couldn’t make a living at them?

Paul McCartney once said that if he couldn’t have made a living out of writing songs and playing music, he’d have done it as a hobby, simply because he loved it so much. In fact, it was his hobby before it was the way he earned a living.

What activities make you feel the same way? Make that list and don’t be reasonable.

All this requires time for reflection and careful thought, as well as feedback from other people. So do give it the time it deserves.

Don’t jump to conclusions. You do want to ensure you get it right, don’t you?

STEP 3: Which items are common to both lists?

When you have your two lists ready, the final step is to identify the common ground between them, the point at which the two lists intersect.

If you find an item that is contained on both lists then you have found the Holy Grail.

Finding something you’re genuinely good at and have a real talent for, and which is also something you really enjoy, will give you the greatest chance of success in life.

It is essential you find the common ground between your lists because:-

      1. If you really enjoy it, you’ll stick with it.
      2. If you’re really good at it, someone will notice

And if you get it right, sometimes people will sprinkle fairy dust on you too. And then a magical career beckons.

Finding your perfect job is never about luck.

Find the right work for you:

If you’re doing something you enjoy doing and you’re doing it well, you’ll stick with it long enough to get someone’s attention. And when you get their attention, you’ll dazzle them because you’re doing it well.

That’s not luck; it’s hard work, perseverance and timing.

Once you’ve identified what you want, the next question is, “How do you get it?” That’s another challenge, entirely.

Have you managed to find the perfect job for you?

If so, you’re lucky indeed. Enjoy every moment. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking;

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The debate about identity politics and how we get beyond it

Identity PoliticsThe debate about identity politics has dominated much of the news in recent months. Surely we must find a way to get beyond it? In that, I refer to getting beyond the problems associated with identity, rather than the debate itself.

We’re all human beings first:

Whether we think of ourselves as Black, White, Christian, Muslim, Jew or some other form of ethnic or religious identity, in reality, we’re all just members of the human race, surely?

In my opinion, we’re human beings first and other forms of identity second. We’re all just people.

We all want the same things:

As people, we all want the same things if you think about it.

Ideally, we all want a peaceful, prosperous life and a better world for our children?

We want a roof over our heads and the ability to put bread and food on the table.

Equally, we all want to feel secure.

We all want our lives to have a sense of purpose and a reason for us to get out of bed each day.

And, of course, we all want to enjoy some leisure time with family and friends, occasionally.

Life’s too short:

Life’s too short to worry about anything else, surely?

As human beings, we have much more in common than we’re often able or willing to recognize and those things that apparently separate us are often more imagined than real. Well, I think so anyway.

In my experience, there are good people everywhere you go in this world.

And yet, as human beings, we often fear people simply because they are not a reflection of ourselves.

We fear what we don’t understand.

If only we could just see others as human beings first. They’re people just like us, with hopes, dreams and a desire to be loved, accepted and respected by others.

Respect people and get to know them:

If only we could just treat people with respect, regardless of whatever sense of identity they present to the world. If only we could respect others just for being themselves.

I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work in many parts of the world and I’ve learned that if you make the effort to get to know people, whoever they are, you begin to see them in a different way, regardless of their origin, ethnicity or creed.

If you try to understand them and their lives, suddenly you realize that they’re actually just like you, or not so very different at least.

Wherever you go, people are just people. We laugh, we cry, we eat, we sleep and we all have to go to the bathroom occasionally.

Yes, there are a few bad ones of course but most people are honest and decent and if you treat them with respect, you will get their respect in return. In my experience, wherever you go people just want to be treated fairly.

Avoid making assumptions about people:

Identity Politics When you meet people from a culture which is different to your own, it’s easy to make assumptions about them. However, how can you be sure you’re right unless you get to know them?

Judging is easy but it’s hard to know what someone else’s life is really like. Unless you’ve actually walked a mile in their shoes, you couldn’t possibly know what their life is really like or what challenges they face on a daily basis.

So you can’t judge anyone unless you make the effort to get to know them.

And for me, that’s the underlying problem for all humanity.

We judge people first without making the effort to get to know people. We make assumptions and judge on perceived stereotypes rather than treating people as individuals.

For instance, it would be easy to assume that all Muslims have the same extreme views as those fundamentalists making media headlines fighting for the establishment of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS.

I have lived and worked in the Middle East for many years and I know that this is not true. Some of the finest people I’ve ever met are Muslims.

I have many Muslim friends for whom I have the greatest respect. I’ve also known many Christians, Jews, Buddhists and more for whom I could make a similar comment.

Seek first to understand:

I’ve learned to treat people as I find them and not as others tell me I should find them.

I concern myself only with the content of their character. I try to treat others with respect and I find that generally if I do, I get their respect in return.

If only we could all treat others in the way that we’d prefer them to treat us then I think the world would be a better place. And surely our aim should be to make this world a better place?

In the words of Stephen R. Covey, we must Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

Identity politics:

Identity politics has the potential to divide us all in a way that could be detrimental to everyone, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We can get along with each other if we respect people for who they are and what they are and judge them only by the content of their character.

Look beyond obvious differences to the person within. It’s what’s on the inside of people that matters most. Well, that’s my opinion, dear reader.

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