You're Talking? Are They Listening?

Last week, I was contacted by Webucator, an online learning company, "that's all about teaching essential skills and finding ways to help people improve themselves and become more successful."
I was asked to be a part of their recent  campaign, "Most Marketable Skill" and share what I think is essential for success. I'd like to commend the Class of 2014, and I hope you find this information helpful as you continue your journey in the next phase of your personal and professional lives.

When considering what is essential, what came to my mind immediately is Effective Communication. We speak, on a daily basis, to a number of individuals regarding a number of topics; there are times when we effectively get our message across and there are times we don't. What happens when we don't get our message across or it is not received? There is usually a breakdown in communication. Non-verbal cues, body language, tone and pitch, as well as belief in what you speak about determines how effective your ability is to communicate.

Personally, I have learned that non-verbal cues play a major role in what is being said and how it is received. Facial expressions, body language, hand gestures, etc can be the difference between "When you have a moment, may I speak to you, please?"( warm smile, hands folded in front of you) as opposed to, "We need to talk!" (hands on hip, or hands swaying).

As a former preschool teacher, I learned the importance of effective communication with young children. If you yell and scream at children, eventually they learn to tune out the yelling and screaming because they come to expect you to behave that way. However, when you speak to children in a tone that is assertive, yet warm, they listen to understand exactly what it is you expect of them at that particular moment.

The same is true of individuals in managerial and leader roles; how an individual speaks to their staff will determine the productivity of their organization. I remember working with an individual who would boast and say, "I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand!" This statement could not be farther from the truth. The majority of communication involves understanding; thinking before you speak may be the difference in your message being received or blocked!

Here are a few questions to consider regarding Effective Communication:
Are you being clear when making a statement? Have you given thought to what you want to say, before saying it? Do you have all the information needed? Are you sending positive or negative messages? Are you listening to what the other individual has to say? Do you feel passionate about what you are speaking of?

Whether you're speaking in front of your classmates, reprimanding your children, speaking with your boss, participating in an interview, filing a complaint about bad customer service, or facilitating a meeting/workshop, you should always be mindful that the results you want (which are usually positive) cannot be attained without Effective Communication.

When you are passionate about what you speak of, it is clear and evident in your speech. When you are angry and looking for someone to direct your anger towards, it is clear and evident in your speech. When you are approachable and knowledgeable, it is clear and evident in your speech. When you are an excellent listener, you'll find yourself communicating with people from various backgrounds and walks of life. You will find yourself being patient and understanding with a goal of communicating instead of just "talking".

Take a moment now to reflect on an individual you recently heard speak in front of a crowd... what stood out most to you? Did you hear what they were saying? Were you intrigued? Were you engaged? Did they seem knowledgeable? Did they make you believe what they were saying? OR did they put you to sleep? Did they ramble? Was their body language slouchy? Did they seem passionate or just angry?

Now... ask yourself, "how do people walk away from a conversation or presentation from me?" Are they confused, perplexed, bewildered, put down, or are they informed, clear, knowledgeable, and respected?

I'd like to leave you with this thought:
"Speak when you are angry, and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret"~Laurence Peters

Would you like to know more about Webucator? Click HERE
Webucator also offers FREE ongoing self-paced Microsoft training! Click HERE for more details

Trying to Maintain

I'm still working out and eating healthy, but if I decide I want some fries, I have fries. I don't weigh myself everyday, but I might jump on the scale on a Sunday morning just to see what the numbers say. This morning I hopped on the scale and it said I'd lost four more pounds last week! 
So far, I've dropped a pant size, dropped a dress size, and I feel great! I'm okay with my weight going up and sometimes, but I'm so pleased with my ability to get back on track even when I find myself having an order of fries!
Right now, my main focus is my mid-section. While I can visibly see results everywhere, the mid-section is my stubborn area. 
Do any of you know any great remedies for belly fat?
By the way, I ordered this amazing clutch ( my second one) from Cortnie! She has AMAZING clutches that she hand makes. Looking for a clutch? You can find her on Twitter @stylustpages 

A Better Me, A Better Blog

 I recently signed up for a Blog Challenge with a group of wonderful ladies I am associated with; the BLM Girls! The purpose of the challenge is to build a better blog and increase my audience. As I attempt to tackle this challenge, your support would be greatly appreciated! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I hope I can keep this up! Wis me luck.

On another note, I have been working on a better ME! I have been making healthier food choices and exercising more. This has not been easy for me because I LOVE food. I began this challenge on April 9th and to date I have lost about 12 pounds. I'm proud of my 12 pounds because I gained 6 of the 12 pounds back, then lost them again.

Expecting to lose a great deal of weight in a short amount of time is unrealistic, I mean I didn't gain it in 90 days, right?! This also difficult because I still have to cook for my family. I wrote a post about that HERE While I find it challenging, I am determined to stay committed. I'm not on a diet, I'm on a path to a healthier lifestyle and while the weight loss has been slow and steady, I can definitely see the change.

It's Been a Minute Since...

It's been a minute since I posted anything! Blogging is a tricky thing; it takes persistence, dedication, and good content.
While I'd like to think of myself as an individual who is persistent, there are some things which take a back seat to life. My truth is that I am a full time working mom who wears several hats. There are times when I want to stop and write my thoughts down but I find so many other more pressing "things" to do. I mean the laundry doesn't wash itself, right?! Lol
There's so much that has occurred in my life over the past few months. I have plenty to write about, I just need to make time to write about them. I am determined to get started; I hope you'll stick around to read all about it!