The Art of Being Present

What is the advantage in being Present? How do you achieve the state of Presence? In moving along your path in life, when should you strive for “being fully in the Moment?”

Have you ever had the telephone conversation or the face to face meeting with another person who was clearly “somewhere else” and not tracking your communication? In our busy world, this happens all the time. You have to repeat yourself or you feel insecure that you were not fully heard or understood. You have to question your communication partner to “check in” and to know that they were not so distracted that they did not receive your important communication. People clearly have a great deal on their mind and they are being torn away by the invasion of of text messages or other manifestations of interrupting technology. We are so “plugged in” that it is difficult to invest fully in the conversation with the person in front of you or on the other end of the telephone. A client may not feel fully connected with you if you are lost in another thought and this may cause a transaction to go poorly. Your friend or family member may get frustrated with your lack of focus and may lash out at you in frustration. These situations happen all to frequently. Many people do not have the awareness, and then the control, to be able to quiet the distractions and really focus on the present moment and this is sad.

Missing the moment that will never come again is a loss that you can not ever recover!  There are times when you can multi-task but human interaction is very important and should not be short changed by your distracted and disrespectful pursuit of multiple thoughts or activities. Remember when this happened to you and how you felt this lack of respect and consideration! If for no other reason, you will miss out on the most joyful and satisfying moments in life if you are not present!

Achieving the state of “Presence” requires that you reduce internal and, if possible, external distractions. Begin by NOT thinking of your answer or response before your communication partner finishes their statement. Listen! Listen with ALL of your senses. If you require clarification, ask supportive “open ended questions.” Make eye contact. It is rude to not focus your vision upon the person who is speaking. If possible, feel the emotion of what is being said. Use your intuition to read “between the lines.” There are many times when you may need to clear your mind and relax your body to reduce internal distractions and this may benefit from learning how to meditate and to find yourself in the present moment. If you can be present, you will be happier and healthier. Your relationships can improve. You can find interpersonal success more easily.

Being fully present can become more a positive habit if you practice and learn more about what is distracting to you, AND, learn to let this go. Remember, that the respect you show in listening and interacting can be beneficial for personal learning and will improve your relationships. It will even SAVE YOU TIME in the long run. Try it and see for yourself.

If you manage other people or want positive outcomes with your family, learning to be fully present is a mandatory skill and life enhancing experience.

Blessings to you on your path and watch most carefully each foot step on your journey toward consciousness.

More information and support can be found at: www.mastersofthejourney.com and our Facebook page www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney

Art of Listening

Is Communication Important?
Is Connection important?
Is Listening important to relationships?

Is there an art to effective communication?

At the core of good communication are two essential skills:
The art of offering a clear communication
The art of Receiving a communication

In this Blog, we focus of the Art of Listening:

Good Listening can involve:
Hearing what is being communicated but also of importance to receiving an interpersonal communication is the use of other primary senses. I will explain why, seeing helps hearing. Also why, feeling helps hearing. Even smelling and tasting can play a role in experiencing a communication.

There is a philosophy which believes that we have two ears and one mouth because we are supposed to listen twice as much.

Hearing is much more than just registering the speaker’s words. It can also include: tone of voice, volume, choice of wording, pace of speaking, pauses and silences, and the unspoken content or what is left out of the communication.

Seeing: Non-verbal cues: gestures, body language, facial expressions, breathing patterns, the speakers presentation are things which we “see” consciously or unconsciously. Very essential to good communication is encouraging eye contact and attention. Being focused and “present” without distracting thoughts in the witness/listner will allow for better connection and comprehension of the communication.

Feeling: Will include listening between the words and feeling the impact of the words which are used. Interpreting the hearing and the visuals that are presented. If physical contact is a part of the communication, feeling your partner’s intent through pressure or movement can be a feeling which communicates volumes.

Humans use less of the sensations of smell and taste in communication but these subtle cues can also add to the experience of the communication. Consider how perfume or body oder add to the experience. Or, how the smells of the environment can enhance or detract from communication like baking bread or the pungent smell of antiseptic in a hospital room. And, what does the taste of a shared meal do to add to a communication.

Perhaps the most important skill in the Art of Listening is to be “Present.” This is easier said than done. Being “Present” involves using your focus to minimize your internal distractions. Avoid extraneous thoughts or the habit of finding an answer to what you hear until it is your turn to add to the conversation. Even if you get defensive, it is better to hear the speaker out and ask clarifying question to make sure you fully understand what is being said so you can answer most effectively. Emotions can cause “knee-jerk” reactions which often cause more harm than good in a possibly tense conversation. It would be better, in most situations, if you treat your communication partners as if they were a very important figure like: the Pope, or the President, or even God. With this intended reverence in listening to your speaker, you have the best chance of “Hearing” at all levels to get the very most from the communication. In other words, listen to your communication partner as well or better than you would want to be heard.

To sum up, the Art of Listening is more than registering the words you may hear. Read between the lines and feel what is really being communicated. Use every one of your 5 physical senses and your intuition (or gut feelings) to take in the full communication. And finally, in the Art of Listening give the greatest gift of respect which one person can offer another by being fully focused and present with the love and appreciation that comes from the deepest honor the “Sharing” that you are being gifted to receive.

Coaching and training are available at the Stress Education Center, www.dstress.com.

Key to Communication: Really Listening!

Successful communication in interpersonal relationships can be very important in business and in one’s personal life. This is not difficult to realize as a concept but it can be difficult to achieve. There are many variables that help a communication or make communication go terribly wrong. Some of these variables you can control and some you can not. An example, you may be very focus and clear regarding an important topic of conversation you may have with a client but you can not control the client’s focus or state of mind. They may be busy on “other” things and can not “engage” or focus on what you are saying.

So let’s discuss some of the variables that you can understand and control. Two of the most important ones in interpersonal communication are Timing and Listening. There are many other variables which we will discuss in other articles but let’s start with these two variables.

Timing is key in every aspect of relationships. If one side is distracted or unavailable, it is not fortuitous for the success of a communication. Scheduling the time and getting an agreement regarding this appointment are essential when your communication is critical. If you can not create an environment that is relatively undistracted and conducive to an appropriate exchange then your important message may be missed. Find the best time and space for you to communicate. At the beginning of the conversation, it may be best to ask again if this is a “good time” to talk, knowing that just because your partner has shown up at the appointment it does not mean that they are ready and undistracted. So, checkin. Make sure the table is clear and they are ready to participate. If not, and your communication is of critical value, you may have to reschedule or risk the failure of the process.

Perhaps even more importantly, is the skill to listen! It is easier said than done, but an essential key to great communication is not speaking but listening to your partner. If you interrupt, or think ahead, or find an emotional tangent to distract you, or simply lose your focus, your partner will sense your lack of “presence” and be distracted in a way which may make the meeting destined to failure. Use all of your senses to focus and to listen to what your communication partner is saying. Make eye contact. Relax your breathing to encourage your partner to relax. Respect your partners words and their opinion even if you may disagree. Do not interrupt! Keep your mouth closed until you can assist your partner by asking and “open ended question” to help clarify what they are communicating. Restate what you have heard to make sure you are very clear about what they are attempting to convey to you. Only after restatement and permission to response, is it a good time to find your appropriate answer. Show some gratitude to your partner. As a reminder, shouting someone else down does show intelligence, maturity or respect for a positive outcome.

Hint, for the best possible communication: Listen to your communication partner as if you respected this relationship so much it would be as if you were listening to the most honored elder or even, as if you were sitting in the presence of God. (Some people believe that you can find the perfect spirit of the divine in everyone, if you look for it.)

It has been said that we were given two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much. This is critical in personal relationships, friendships, family, and in business. Timing and listening. You are going to be more successful if you remember these keys to better communication.

We will have more to share regarding communication. This is a start. Please respond and try these two concepts in your next “important” communication.

Coaching and training are available at the Stress Education Center, www.dstress.com.

Getting Out Your Own Way: Find Success

World class athletes are using sports psychology to improve their performance. The stress of high level competitions can create situations where an equally matched opponent may win an event because the stress may block the best performance by his closest competition. A small amount of muscle tension may reduce the speed of a track sprinter by 1 hundredth of a second and make this person come in second. 70% of the training time of these high level athletes is spent in the mental preparation of preparing for the stress of competition. The combination of controlling the impact of stress and practicing positive mental visualization has been proven to enhance performance for athletes, musicians, and people in business.

In my Executive Coaching practice, I am often asked to use tools from sports psychology to help develop the skills that lead to success. For example, I was working with an Executive Vice President of a large financial organization and he found that the tools help him to relax and focus better so he could could get his 8 hours of work done in 6.5 hours so he could accomplish more in less time. He found his productivity went way up. Then he found that his ability to communicate, and to delegate, was enhanced. This lead him to be acknowledged as a better leader for his division. Profits were up. Mistakes/accidents were down. His people’s morale was elevated. All of these good results and success were attributed, in his view, by the coaching and use of sports psychology. It required about 20 minutes a day of his time and it saved him time, energy, and increased profits.

This is not a secret but it does require motivation. It is not difficult, but it does require a new way of thinking and behaving. Business leaders are using these techniques more now than ever before and showing the cost benefits, not only for themselves, but for their organizations.

The secret is learning how to “Get Out of Your Own Way.” There are articles related to this at the Stress Education Center’s website at www.dstress.com (on the “articles” page and within earlier postings of this blog.) You can also go to the website for more information on Executive Coaching and Organization Development.

Building the Team: Creating a Positive Environment at Work

We spend a lot of our time engaged in work. For many of us, our work includes regular, perhaps daily, interactions with co-workers. Relationships form with the people who we work with and who we see many days of the week. These relationships can make the work environment positive and productive or, to the contrary, negative and even destructive. Good managers encourage good relationships at work, in most situations. The supportive relationships can assist the work of the organization to move forward. As people get to “know” one another, deeper understanding and tolerance can grow which can lead to better professional relationships and enhanced productivity. Building a team in your work group or, within your immediate organization, allows people to connect in positive supportive ways. This is especially true in businesses which require communication amongst personnel to accomplish the end product or service. Technology companies, healthcare providers, most financial organizations, education, and most governmental organizations can benefit from the enhanced communication which good team building helps to create.

Team building is not a waste of time, because when it is done correctly, it saves time, increases productivity, reduces accidents and mistakes, and encourages good problem solving to overcome obstacles and time pressures. There is almost no downside to team building. It does require time to get started and to help maintain but the positive attitudes in the workforce will offer a positive return on investment. Good or great managers rely on the benefits of their efforts to build productive teams. Creating “buy-in” and the emotional connection of the key personnel will increase loyalty and productivity while reducing sabotage and increase retention. Team building can be a key ingredient for many of the most important “players.”

Consider that not all team building activities work as expected. Sometimes it can go sideways, or worse. Some planning is required and the tailoring of a team building program can have greater positive results. A good manager might want to get some assistance in developing and executing a great team building activity. Please do some research to determine the best program for you and your organization. Getting input from your team will enhance “buy-in” even before the event, so consider interactions with participants as you develop your program.

For additional coaching regarding your team building requirements or for program development consider contacting the Stress Education Center at www.dstress.com for input and support.

Achieving Nirvana

Do you know your purpose in life? Are you living your life with the intention of getting to Heaven or reaching the highest form of consciousness labeled “Nirvana” in the Buddhist tradition? The Buddhists believe that achieving enlightenment is the goal of living and they believe that we live and are reborn to learn the lessons that will lead to enlightenment. The concept of rebirth and reincarnation is known as “Samsara.”

In researching this concept I came across the following definition in Wikipedia:
“Samsara is uncontrollably recurring rebirth, filled with suffering and problems (according to Kalacakra tantra as explained by Dr. A. Berzin). In this sense, Samsara may be translated as ‘Wheel of Suffering.’ The Buddha taught that there are six realms that one can go to through this cycle of Samsara, though Buddhists differ as to whether the realms are actual places or figurative states of mind. Many believe that when one goes through the process of rebirth that they are the exact same person when they are reborn, but this however is not true according to the teachings of Buddha. Beings bear many similarities with their former selves but they are not the same person: this is why many Buddhists use the term rebirth instead of reincarnation. The term reincarnation implies that there is a transfer of one’s soul to the new life, but Buddhists believe this is not the case in Samsara, rebirth is generally considered to be a stream of evolving consciousness. A good example to better understand the transfer of consciousness is like a billiard ball hitting another billiard ball. While nothing physical transfers, the speed and direction of the second ball relate directly to the first. This explains how the previous life has a direct impact on the next life”

So, where are you in your evolution of higher consciousness? Are you living your life in preparation for achieving Nirvana? If this is your life’s purpose, how are you going about this?

Not everyone chooses to follow Buddhism or to meditate daily. Can we all connect with a deeper spirit of consciousness on whatever path we choose? We can learn to trust our intuition and do “right” by others with the highest level of tolerance and without the fear death. We can practice acceptance and offer unconditional love, with no strings attached, to other people struggling to learn the lessons of life. We can choose to volunteer and look for the good in others rather than, through fear and distrust, looking for the things that may divide us. How prepared are you to accept the ultimate transition that we must all face of death (and then face the possible return to learn more lessons in a future life?)

My sister asked me to read a book, The Instruction by Ainsley Macleod. He offers an interesting perspective on living your purpose and developing higher consciousness. It is a basic guide with information and exercises that can assist in the process of spiritual development without subscribing to religious dogma.

No matter how you choose to find and embody your life’s purpose, I support your efforts. Along the way, I encourage you to reach out and assist others in their quest for awakening as we may all reach the end point together. My wish for you is that you may bask in the light of unconditional love and acceptance. Here’s to knowing you in Nirvana!

My colleague and I are founding a new community of support for all who seek higher consciousness through non-denominational spiritual development. We have chosen the name “Masters of the Journey” because we are all Masters with insights to share and experiences that can be valuable learning tools for others on this Journey. This is a Transformational Community welcoming the participation of open-minded members who wish to share wisdom and unconditional love. Please share this blog and join us if you wish the support of this community on YOUR Journey.

Support from Friends

When times are “difficult” emotionally, it can be great to get a supportive visit or call from a “healthy” friend. From recent personal experience, I can celebrate some recent visits and supportive contacts with some of my good friends. I hope that you have “good” and “healthy” friends in your life who can show up when life events turn difficult.

Good friends can be a loving distraction from distressing situations and, when timed properly, can be useful for getting perspective on difficult decisions. When you do not have to figure things out alone, in a “vacuum,” your best path toward solution can be more complete or simply a better one. When you have someone who you trust to share an emotional burden with then you can benefit in decision making and in support. When you are lucky enough to have “healthy” and caring people in your life, you can feel less alone and reduce the anxiety of your decision making.

There are times when your family may not be the best place to turn when you have a difficult decision to make especially when your family may be involved in the problem/challenge/concern/issue. There are times and certain family members that might be trustworthy or “healthy” and may not have your interests in mind when asked to help make a difficult decision. For example, if you are thinking about the “end of life” planning, family may have very personal reasons to not allow you to take the best path.

There are professional coaches or therapists or even clergy who you can go to for assistance in making decisions but sometimes finding the “right” professional to assist you can take as much time and energy as solving the challenge. The downside to confiding in friends is that you may have to be available, as a “healthy” friend when they need support which is different than when you hire a professional. Personally, I love the opportunity of giving back so support from good friends is not an emotional debt that concerns me.

The trick can be allowing yourself to be available to receive needed support. Many of us can give energy to others but find it difficult to be on the receiving side of the friendship equation. In my experience, moms and dads can be good at giving to their families but not good at getting the support when it can be returned. For perspective, I have found myself saying, “You are giving a great gift by allowing other people to give back to you.” And, this is true… People (friends) need to be allowed to “settle” their emotional debts and when NOT allowed to settle these “debts” can find themselves uncomfortable with allowing their relationship to continue, ’cause they do not want to continue the one way street of receiving…. (If they are “healthy” the debt can take its toll.)

I am blessed with having people in my life who can support me and offer perspective to me when I must make difficult decisions. I am blessed to have “healthy” people in my life who do not cloud a difficult situation with their own emotional baggage, as is possible. I have worked hard to connect with “healthy” people and I enjoy their friendship and, when possible, their company as I travel through my life. I work to maintain the important relationships because I like these people and want to be there for them and have them be there for me, when necessary. We are not all the type of people who can live happily isolated in a cave of life. So, celebrate your good, “healthy” relationships. Do the work to find and maintain these positive relationships. If you find yourself needing support when trustworthy friends who are unavailable, do not be too proud to reach out for “good” professional support.

In this light, visit or call or connect somehow with your network of healthy friends. Support them and allow them to support you. We must all reach out and walk through life as we move through our life’s lessons and it can expedite these lessons to have perspective from your healthy friends. We must all assist each other in developing the highest possible levels of consciousness.

AND, thank you to my good friends and family for being available for me as I work my way through my current challenges. I wish all readers to be as blessed as I am when it comes to supportive friends. It is worth the work of building and maintaining these relationships…

One last thing… We are never alone! We just have to become open to developing the connections with healthy, positive consciousness and to the source of our own souls.

The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

This extreme concept has reason for examination, even today…

“I’m sure you’ve read this quote before: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates said that at his trial for heresy. He was on trial for encouraging his students to challenge the accepted beliefs of the time and think for themselves. The sentence was death but Socrates had the option of suggesting an alternative punishment. He could have chosen life in prison or exile, and would likely have avoided death. But Socrates believed that these alternatives would rob him of the only thing that made life useful: Examining the world around him and discussing how to make the world a better place. Without his “examined life” there was no point in living. So he suggested that Athens reward him for his service to society. The result, of course, is that they had no alternative and were forced to vote for a punishment of death.”
Quote from an article by Karl W. Palachuk

But what does this say about YOUR life?… Do you plod through your existence with your eyes focused only on your work or present task, or do you focus on a larger perspective of examining your place in a large frame of reference? Do you question what you hear on the TV or on the internet or in the newspapers or even from your teachers or ministers? Do you spend time and energy adjusting your life’s direction to create better opportunities to serve? Do you challenge yourself to learn new things, no matter what your age or circumstance? Do you risk the fear and anxiety of discovering the deeper secrets of your own existence? Would you confront a found flaw or weakness within yourself to help to make a better YOU? Do you ask for feedback from counselors who do not let you take the easy path through life? Finally, do you place yourself in new experiences to test yourself so that you can “stretch” and to grow emotionally and intellectually?

Many people just give up. They think that they already know everything that they need to know about themselves and their world. They are lazy. They are too scared to risk change. They may be too frightened to challenge themselves and their beliefs with new perspectives. They risk being bad role models for the next generation by not living on the edge and continuing to self-examine and to grow. It is safer and easier to live with old ways of thinking and long held values, but the world, and consciousness, is changing too fast to tolerate, and reward, this anachronistic way of being/thinking. In fact, if you are not thinking FOR YOURSELF someone else’s thought will guide your life and these may not be a good fit for your lifestyle. It takes courage to find, and develop, your own path. It takes courage to stand out and to speak out for your own personal truth. But it is worth it!

In my opinion, there was a war on education (and thinking) in the United States of America which begin in the early 1980’s. We now suffer from a populace which does not no where to find information and perspective. We trust the “media” and are often too lazy to think for ourselves. Stupidity is not an excuse that our electorate can tolerate without our country becoming a second rate power/country. Believing the “media” without fact checking and really thinking is a recipe for disaster. The self-examination includes the difficult view of ourselves and whether we are too lazy to learn or at least checking the “facts” before forming our decisions.

Keep moving forward or risk dying… Challenge yourself! Never fall into the trap of thinking that you are too old to learn or too old to change.

I would love your thoughts and your feedback. Please contact me through our website at the Stress Education Center at www.dstress.com.

Are Relationships Stressful?

Most relationships require time and attention and this can prove stressful. For relationships to work, they require maintenance and energy. If these are in short supply then you can experience stress. The very nature of forming a good and healthy relationship is different for every person and every relationship. A secret that many people have to learn is about timing. An attractive relationship will not get off the ground unless the timing of attraction is good. As an example, think about any relationship you have pursued. If it worked out, both sides were available and ready. This is good timing. If only one side of the attraction is available, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, for it to work out.

Relationships have a wide range of possibilities. They can be romantic relationships or friendship relationships or business relationships or therapeutic relationships or possibly all of these. Most people require relationships at some point in their lives. Many people are raised without positive role models of healthy relationships and no matter how many TV shows or movies, or even books you read, you may not come across good relationship examples. Sometimes you have to use trial and error to figure this out and it is greatly complicated by the complex personalities of the people we attempt to have relationships with. By the way, relationships continue to evolve and change as the participants learn and grow. Your strong, but flexible, motivation may be a useful tool in maintaining relationships.

Some people are very traditional and have very strong inflexible values. Unless they hook up with the “right” situation in the first place, their relationship may prove difficult or fall apart over time. So knowing about yourself and your values can be a great start to developing stronger relationships. Controlling your expectations of changing your partner is a very useful consideration. If you do not like (and accept) the person in front of you but you see “real potential” then you may be doomed to the pain of watching their “unfilled potential” as they veer in a different than expected direction. “Expectations screw things up!” It is good to have a list of important qualities that you are seeking in a potential relationship before you begin to pursue the challenge of finding and then developing a relationship, especially if this is an important relationship for you. Ask yourself what you really need and do not accept less. What you want, may offer some flexibility.

A lasting relationship requires your loyalty and trust. If the timing is not right, one side or the other may move in directions that are less loyal and trustworthy. (And, “mid-life crisis” type personal changes can wreck certain relationships.)

Remember to take GOOD care of yourself. Because if your “light goes out” you run the risk of losing the attraction you have to your partner. It sometimes feels selfish to take care of yourself but this is essential to your own well-being, on many levels, and to your relationship. Continue your self exploration and growth. A healthy relationship can weather the storm your personal change and development may bring.

For many people in relationships good communication is hard work but necessary. Honesty with yourself and your partner, from the beginning, builds the best foundations for long term success.

Relationships can be the most stressful thing that you experience but they can also be the most rewarding. Ask most parents about their children. Without connection, shared love, and the deep bonding of relationships, most of us would not have the depth of purpose that create the most important lesson we have to learn from in this life.
Learn on….

If you require an assessment to learn more about your style or your values or your attitudes contact the Stress Education Center at www.dstress.com to get the assessments and the coaching that can make you more successful. This can be used for personal relationships and is also very helpful with key teams and management groups.

Social Skills: Are They Necessary?

Social skills: are they necessary to get along in the society?

Are social skills really necessary in present-day society? Has the use of technology reduced our ability to function socially and to communicate effectively? How do you develop good social skills and use them most effectively?

I am sure that you have experienced people in this world who seem to lack even the most basic of social skills. They are socially awkward and they are lacking in interpersonal communication skills. There are many people in this world who march through the world as if they are the “bull in the china shop,” he socially. These people do not seem to recognize that other people exist and must function in the same world, or in the same space, as they do.

In social relationships, these people may seem awkward and difficult to communicate with. They may seem insensitive and sometimes disruptive. They do not seem to understand basic social interactions and so they seem to blunder through social experiences in often entertaining ways. (It is entertaining only if you have the right attitude and can identify the shortcomings of these people. When you are not in the right mood, these behaviors may be very irritating and annoying. And the sad thing is, that these people do not even realize that they have been annoying or that their behaviors have been lacking in good social skill.

In business, the lack of interpersonal social skills can be a real detriment to success and to long-term positive business relationships. There are many job descriptions where the lack of social skills is more accepted and perhaps even valued, however, it can create very difficult and awkward in situations in the higher functioning business activities. In social and business situations, you are often, but not always, given one chance to make a good impression and can be forgiven for a single social faux pas. Repeated social awkwardness can label you as unworthy for long-term business relationships. Depending on the business situation, there are behaviors, vocabulary, dress codes, and presentation skills that can either support or deter business relationships. If you do not know the appropriate behaviors, your blunders may really get in your way.

But where do you learn good social skills that can help you in interpersonal relationships and business situations? Many children, very early in their lives, learn by watching and interacting with the people in their lives. If their parents do not have social skills or if they are left too long with their young peers, they may find it difficult to get along in school, business, and interpersonal relationships. It can often be embarrassing and from this embarrassment a person can either choose the path towards greater self-awareness and development of social skills or they can continue to isolate themselves. All of us have had our socially awkward moments, but most of us who have gained success, have learned from our mistakes or awkwardness and have developed better interpersonal skills and effective ways of communicating and leading other people. There are even some leadership programs such as Toastmasters where people can develop better communication and leadership abilities. People who refuse to develop these skills can still be successful but may have a more difficult path to follow.

With the use of technologies, more young people do not have face-to-face contact and the opportunities to develop good verbal and nonverbal communication skills. This may cause social awkwardness in school, in business, and in developing important interpersonal relationships. Sometimes we have to quit text messaging and actually sit eyeball to eyeball with another person to learn the skills of both verbal and nonverbal communication. An important consideration is that we learn to trust our gut feelings in social situations and learn to read the people that we are interacting with. Again, there can be many times when we make mistakes and come across as “communication challenged.” We must learn from these important experiences.

Sometimes we need to find a mentor or a coach who can help us develop our own personal insights, awareness, and interpersonal skills. Since these skills are not always taught in school, even in college, we must honor the importance of these experiences and abilities and pursue them to be able to achieve our highest levels of success. I challenge you to find the best situations and mentors so that you can develop these social skills and find the success that you deserve. (Organizations like Toastmasters may be a good place to start.)

Please send any comments or questions to the Stress Education Center regarding these blogs. Please take good care of yourself.