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“Opposites attract” is a law of attraction, at least where electromagnetism is concerned. But are there laws about attraction between two people? “In a world that is full of strangers” as a line in a famous song of the 1980’s goes, is there a clear set of rules that allows two people to fall for each other?

Is attraction a matter of chemistry?

Maybe. According to scientists, the attraction between animals of the opposite sex is all about chemicals called pheromones. The effect of pheromones in behavior of insects is the most studied to date. It has been observed, at least in some experiments, that pheromones are responsible for communication among same species and colony of ants. The horrible odor released by skunks to ward off enemies is said to be a kind of pheromone. Some species of apes rub pheromone-containing urine on the feet of potential mates to attract them. Some scientists believe that animals (usually the females) such as insects and mammals send out these chemical signals to tell the male of their species that their genes are different from theirs. This gene diversity is important in producing offspring with better chances of survival. The perfume industry has capitalized on pheromones as a means to increase one’s sexual attractiveness to the opposite sex. Animals such as the whale and the musk deer were hunted down for these chemicals.

Lately, scientists are looking into the existence of human pheromones and its role in mate selection. There are many conflicting views in the realm of biology, chemistry, genetics, and psychology. Most scientists would assert that these do not exist, or if they do, do not play a role in sexual attraction between a man and a woman. But new researches such as that conducted by Swiss researchers from the University of Bern led by Klaus Wedekind are slowly making these scientists rethink their stand. Their experiment involved women sniffing the cotton shirts of different men during their ovulation period. It was found out that women prefer the smell of men’s shirts that were genetically different, but also shared similarities with the women’s genes. This, like in the case of insects and other mammals, was to ensure better and healthier characteristics for their future children. But researchers also cautioned that preference for a male odor is affected by the women’s ovulation period, the food that men eat, perfumes and other scented body products, and the use of contraceptive pills.

Does personality figure in sexual attraction?

Yes, but so does your perception of a potential mate’s personality. According to a research conducted by Klohnen, E.C., & S. Luo in 2003 on interpersonal attraction and personality, a person’s sense of self-security and at least the person’s perception of his/her partner were found to be strong determinants of attraction in hypothetical situations. What does this tell us? We prefer a certain personality type, which attracts you to a person. But aside from the actual personality of the person, which can only be verified through close interaction through time, it is your perception of your potential partner that attracts you to him/her, whether the person of your affection truly has that kind of personality or not. This could probably account for a statement commonly heard from men and women on their failed relationships: “I thought he/she was this kind of person.”

So how does attraction figure in business relationships?

You have probably heard that attraction is a prelude, or a factor towards a business relationship. Most probably, at least in the beginning; but attraction alone cannot make a Business relationship work. It is that attraction that makes you notice a person, but once you get to know the person more, attraction is just one consideration or opinon. Shared values, working on projects, and passions become more significant in long-term business relationships.

So should I stop trying to become attractive?

More than trying to become physically attractive, work on all aspects of your health: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Physical attraction is still a precursor. Looking good is always a plus but remember that attraction can wear  off and what do you have left the emotional state of attraction. Where your emotions are concerned, just ask this to yourself: would you want to spend time with a person who feels insecure about him/herself, bad business ethics, emotionally unstable? Probably not! There is wisdom in knowing yourself: who you are, your beliefs, values, and integrity. And do not pretend to be someone you are not. Fooling another person by making him/her think that you share the same values and beliefs is only going to cause you both disappointments. When you are healthy in all aspects, attractiveness becomes a consequence and not an end. Attraction becomes from the core person you are and will attract others that want to be associated with. As mentioned in the Klohnen and Luo’s research, a person’s sense of self-security matters, perhaps even beyond attraction. But remember: do these things for yourself and not for other people. Only then can you truly harness your attractiveness as a person which will attract others.

Relationships of all kinds are often perceived as very delicate things, that require extra effort to maintain. However, a relationship can also be something that can provide security and can also be long lasting despite many trials.

Building an effective and lasting relationships is a necessity for several reasons. For example in a group or organization, the well being of the people depends on how efficient and effective that group or organization works.

The group or organization is also dependent on how the members work well with the management.

An ineffective group or organization can really be very frustrating.  An effective group or organization can also ask so much on their members, that sometimes the members would be having no life outside the walls of the area where they work or sacrifice the other aspects of their life just to meet deadlines. For an organization or group with this kind of scenario, relationships can be stressed or suffer from breakdown.

People or other entities who depend on these groups or organization also suffer.

Society is defined as a web of relationships, which requires all parties to work and contribute their share in order to achieve  a common goal. Having a relationship that is good, where cooperation and respect are manifested, can make society work better. In this way each member works for the good of the whole and towards achieving a common goal. This can only be attained with effective and efficient relationships.

Understanding the other parties’ feeling and position creates an effective and efficient relationship. The easiest method to understand what is important to another party is to ask them what they want and listen to what they have to say. When the other party realizes this, they would feel the importance given to them

Effective and efficient relationships require parties to openly express their feelings and positions on all matters pertinent on the relationship. Assuming that the other party understands our needs and give us when we need it without asking for it is not a good practice.

Respect is the key to relationship. In order to create a more effective relationship, parties should treat each other with respect.  We can show respect just by listening to the other party and by trying sincerely to understand how they function. You can also show respect to other parties by confirming that they are doing everything they can.

The opposite of respect is quick forming of judgments based on unfounded facts and prejudice.

Respect is the very foundation for a great relationship. This also means respecting yourself and respecting others.

Another key area in forming an effective relationship is to tackle differences of the other party directly. Differences between parties or people are quite interesting. For example in a conversation where each party listens to the other party, you may observe that each is having two different perspectives.

Work towards a win-win solution for both parties.

This can be done when at least one party acknowledges that the relationship is important. That party would then exert more time, effort and energy to understand the other party’s needs and deal with it to get it out of the way. Should they fail, it is comforting for that party to know that they tried.

Effectively listening and no pre-judging. This is important if parties are to understand each other.

Informal discussions are conducive for parties. They bring out issues and concerns comfortably. They also feel more relaxed making them think more clearly.

Developing an atmosphere where the other party can express their feelings when they need to.

When parties fail to express whatever is on their mind or their feelings, it can get in the way of building an effective relationship.

Parties should be aware that certain things exist naturally but should be controlled in any dealings in any relationship.  Human nature is one. Some of these things found in a relationship also include a history of stereotyping or mistrust, blaming the other person or party for a strained relationship, excluding the other party’s feelings when focusing on a task, no clear and defined objectives, roles and expectations of each party in a relationship is also unclear.

Relationships are important to anyone, addressing issues and problems right away is a must to further improve the relationship. As they say ‘No man is an Island’.

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. Ernest Hemingway

45 year old Judy revealed in an anger management class that she was constantly angry at her husband.  When asked why, she revealed that the fact that she has a home based business that she is building has always conflicted with her on whether to spend time with her husband or to create a better quality of  life for the family.

She loved her husband but she also enjoyed what she was doing to contribute to the family. She felt he was create a better quality of life, more money and more time. However she resented her husband becoming more demanding and upset when she spent needed time with her business instead of being with him.

Judy revealed that she dealt with the situation by ignoring her husband when he expressed displeasure – with disastrous results. These included constant bickering and tension in the home as well as emotional distance from each other.

How much better the outcome would have been had Judy used basic skills of assertive communication.

What is assertive communication?

It is a way to communicate to your friends, your team and to your family your rights, feelings and needs- but in a good way. It is a method of letting peopel know where you stand on things and what your limits and boundaries are.

Assertive communication allows you to clarify communication and stand up for yourself without making things worse or getting a negative result or response from your team and loved ones.

Four Steps to Assertive Communication:

Step 1- Send clear messages

Turns out Judy had never clearly told her husband how she felt when he put pressure on her to spend time with him instead of her buisness. When she did discuss it, she hemmed, hawed and stammered with almost no eye contact.

As a result her husband was not getting a clear message. To communicate clearly, look at your posture and your facial expressions, as well as your hand and arm movements. Pay special attention to your tone of voice which can say volumes beyond your words. Research shows that Only 7% is conveyed in the words we use. 38% is conveyed in the voice, it’s quality, use of tone and inflections and 55% of communication is conveyed by the body language we use, i.e.; Use of eye contact, gestures and facial expressions.

Step 2 – Learn how to listen

Assertive people have developed their listening skills. While hearing is done with your ears, true listening is done with your heart. To be a better communicator, start by becoming a better listener. God has created us with one mouth but 2 ears and 2 eyes. That is what i calla clue! it is better to listen and see then it is to talk. Listen with your heart feel the emotions of others.

Much silence makes a powerful noise. proverb

Step 3 – Start the conversation with “I feel” rather than “you should.”

Words have tremendous power to determine how other people experience us, and how they respond to an issue. For this reason, people with good assertive communication skills focus on the problem behavior (and not the character of the person), stick to the point, don’t use labels, and make “I” statements rather than “you” statements.

Judy tried this with her husband and it worked very well.  Here is what she said: “Honey, I love you and want to be with you, but I also want to work to help contribute to the family. Could you get along without me for a hour or two a night? I’ll try to always be done by 8:30 PM.”

The best time to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust. Josh Billings

Step 4 – Acknowledge your part in the conflict or issue

Anger is often an escalating process, involving two people who create a negative feeling in each other, sometimes instantly and sometimes over a long period of time.

It is natural to blame another family member entirely for the problem, especially when we are angry or in a defensive mode.

But, once we return to normal, the assertive communicator is able to accept some of the responsibility for the conflict. This acceptance and acknowledgement of your contribution to the problem is an indication of emotional maturity and can create an entirely different atmosphere between conflicting issues.

Try saying the following things to promote communication:

– My reactions were too extreme. I’m sorry. – Even though I still feel I was right about the issue, my reaction wasn’t right and I apologize. – I never thought of things that way. – Let me start again in a different way. – I can see my part in all this.

To Judy’s delight, when she practiced saying some of these things to her husband in a loving way, he began changing too. Almost immediately, he became less demanding, more understanding, and more aligned with her so both of them could work the buisness together.

Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals. J. Isham

Success is more than economic gains, titles, and degrees. Planning for success is about mapping out all the aspects of your life. Similar to a map, you need to define the following details: origin, destination, vehicle, backpack, landmarks, and route.

Origin:  Who you are

A map has a starting point. Your origin is who you are right now. Most people when asked to introduce themselves would say, “Hi, I’m Jean and I am a 17-year old, senior highschool student.” It does not tell you about who Jean is; it only tells you her present preoccupation. To gain insights about yourself, you need to look closely at your beliefs, values, and principles aside from your economic, professional, cultural, and civil status. Moreover, you can also reflect on your experiences to give you insights on your good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses. Upon introspection, Jean realized that she was highly motivated, generous, service-oriented, but impatient. Her inclination was in the biological-medical field. Furthermore, she believed that life must serve a purpose, and that wars were destructive to human dignity.

Destination: A vision of who you want to be

“Who do want to be?” this is your vision. Now it is important that you know yourself so that you would have a clearer idea of who you want to be; and the things you want to change whether they are attitudes, habits, or points of view. If you hardly know yourself, then your vision and targets for the future would also be unclear. Your destination should cover all the aspects of your being: the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Continuing Jean’s story, after she defined her beliefs, values, and principles in life, she decided that she wanted to have a life dedicated in serving her fellowmen.

Vehicle: Your Mission

A vehicle is the means by which you can reach your destination. It can be analogized to your mission or vocation in life. To a great extent, your mission would depend on what you know about yourself. Bases on Jean’s self-assessment, she decided that she was suited to become a doctor, and that she wanted to become one. Her chosen vocation was a medical doctor. Describing her vision-mission fully: it was to live a life dedicated to serving her fellowmen as a doctor in conflict-areas.

Travel Bag: Your knowledge, skills, and attitude

Food, drinks, medicines, and other travelling necessities are contained in a bag. Applying this concept to your life map, you also bring with you certain knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These determine your competence and help you in attaining your vision. Given such, there is a need for you to assess what knowledge, skills, and attitudes you have at present and what you need to gain along the way. This two-fold assessment will give you insights on your landmarks or measures of success. Jean realized that she needed to gain professional knowledge and skills on medicine so that she could become a doctor. She knew that she was a bit impatient with people so she realized that this was something she wanted to change.

Landmarks and Route: S.M.A.R.T. objectives

Landmarks confirm if you are on the right track while the route determines the travel time. Thus, in planning out your life, you also need to have landmarks and a route. These landmarks are your measures of success. These measures must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Thus you cannot set two major landmarks such as earning a master’s degree and a doctorate degree within a period of three years, since the minimum number of years to complete a master’s degree is two years. Going back to Jean as an example, she identified the following landmarks in her life map: completing a bachelor’s degree in biology by the age of 21; completing medicine by the age of 27; earning her specialization in infectious diseases by the age of 30; getting deployed in local public hospitals of their town by the age of 32; and serving as doctor in war-torn areas by the age of 35.

Anticipate Turns, Detours, and Potholes

The purpose of your life map is to minimize hasty and spur-of-the-moment decisions that can make you lose your way. But oftentimes our plans are modified along the way due to some inconveniences, delays, and other situations beyond our control. Like in any path, there are turns, detours, and potholes thus; we must anticipate them and adjust accordingly.

Now is the time to believe as we move forward into a new year of opportunity 2010

Everyone has that earnest aspiration to succeed as we move into the new year.  One’s ability to establish and accomplish goals will mold one’s happiness and success over and above any skill one can ever realize. One can not hit the target when he can not see it.

The foundation and point of origin of success is that when one decides exactly what he/she really and truly want, in all aspects of his or her life.

If every individual has that yearning for winning, and if success is accessible to everybody, why then, only a few succeed?  This is because only a few believe in their potentials, and most of all, only a few started by defining and acknowledging a goal, and truly believe in their spirit and minds that they can achieve that goal.

Just wishing for something is so much different from being able and prepared to accept it. Nobody is ever prepared to accept anything until they truly believe that they can obtain it.

The mind must first be in a state of believing and not just hoping or wishing for something. An open mind is important in believing and a closed mind never inspires courage, faith or the power to believe.

Almost everyone had gone through difficult life encounters and experiences. These experiences and encounters usually define one’s existence, becoming important educators on life’s course. However, the enemy, which is that negative force within often would recognize these difficult experiences as symbols of thyself that one is not “good enough” in order to succeed.  Simply put, this is fear from within.

Fear, according to psychologists is normal and a natural line of attack focused to life’s adjustments and changes. Fear is what prevents one from doing “crazy or stupid things”; but it may be carried to a great extent. When one fears nothing, one can be considered as “mad” and “foolish” but then again, fear of almost everything, specially fear to take risks one can be considered as plain cowards. The enemy inside of you will tell you that your fear is reasonable when it is transitory.

As the mind dictates your fear, it also dictates your thoughts and your actions.

When you believe in your mind that relationships are complicated and demand so much effort, you will indeed attract those individuals who will cause difficulty in the relationship or demand a lot of effort from you. More significantly, when you worry regarding something that you essentially believe in negative outcomes, then so the result to your actions will be.

Of course, it does not  occur every time that you think and believe negatively, because Although there is worry and apprehension inside you, there is still, in that little corner of your heart, of your mind, that you hope for a positive result, so then, that power prevents disaster from happening. Yet worrying through and through, without a small spark of hope, then beware, disaster is sure to come!

However there is so much more to faith and believing than simply creating beliefs.  Possessing “positive beliefs” in the mind is the initial step towards making a positive outlook, resulting to a successful life.

Believing, take note is something entirely different. For instance you have “positive beliefs” with regards to money; at the same time, you believe that many ways are offered in order to acquire money. Yet if, for any reason you do not believe you will be able to make money, then you will not make that certain amount or sum of money that you want.

Getting through the fear, developing how you believe:

1. Your belief should be superior, exceeding fear. It will entail a lot of effort, but as much as you can, try to closely observe and listen inside of you, look around and see what is functioning well in your personal or business life and what is not. Small or great, profess your successes. Believe that you can reach great things and as early as now, begin counting your blessings.

2. Only believe in you, in the things that you can do, and not in the circumstances. You have to believe in only yourself because there will be times when you will be tempted to put your belief into something else such as a job, a friend or a particular opportunity. Although this could be nice, note that people and circumstances are changeable. Your success should be created by only you, and you alone can decide whether to change it or not.

3. Keep in mind that success will take some time and if ever you do fail, take it as an opportunity to learn and reassess your beliefs and your goals.

The powers of believing are very strong and affect our decisions, feelings, and actions. And although you have been depending on a specific set of supposition regarding your life for so many years, those particular beliefs can be adjusted or changed.

Start changing it now and start your 2010 by already winning!

Your journey to unleashing your leadership potential begins with a great understanding of self. Discover your personality traits and how they relate to leadership.

An Exceptional Leader is one that recognizes the value of harnessing the qualities, skills and abilities of themselves and team members. When we know ourselves, we can maximize our positive traits, and become aware of our weaker areas, which help us to achieve our leadership potential. Once you understand and know yourself, next you must hone your skills. Only then can one lead their teams toward greatness.

Remember a leader is not a title and leadership is not something you are born into. Leadership is something you develop.

In order to be a great leader, one must possess various qualities, skills and abilities that will attract followers. The following qualities are just of few of the many qualities that are vital for effective leadership:

1. Charisma- charismatic leaders have the gift to touch people through their choice of words. Charismatic leaders are alluring, charming and can encourage followers to support a grand vision or idea.

2. Positive Attitude – A leader who has a positive attitude will influence his/her followers to carry that same attitude. A good example of a leader with a positive attitude could be a parent or teacher.

Mothers, fathers, or elementary teachers appear and are viewed as role models to the young children they are teaching and nurturing.

These role models are the first leaders they encounter in life. Children become very dependent of leaders because they are their vehicles to the outside world and provide much needed help and assistance.
If a parent is nurturing and loving to their child, they will thrive under this encouragement.

If a school teacher provides a positive learning experience to the child, they will succeed and that success will become contagious… In any circumstance, a leader’s positive attitude will have greater impact and influence on their followers.

3. Motivation – In an athletic world, a motivating leader could be a coach, trainer or even a fellow teammate. While the talent of players is a good determinant of a winning team, their coach is also an important factor.

If a coach can not produce a winning team, his job is at stake. A coach’s motivation involves infusing his players with high standards, and setting challenging but attainable goals as they perform well. Thus, his/her ability to motivate his players will enhance their performances.

Motivation also correlates with having a positive attitude. When a coach has a positive attitude and provides a positive environment for his players, then the team will most likely be motivated to move in his/her direction where ultimate success can be found.

4. Assertiveness – A leader has the responsibility to guide the direction of his or her company. When a leader is firm and assertive in delegating tasks to his subordinates, they will hold a greater respect to follow through on their assignments.

An assertive leader has the ability to convey enforcement without being too autocratic or threatening to their subordinates.

Furthermore, an assertive leader should not make his subordinates feel like they’re in a hostile environment. Instead, an assertive leader should respect his people, and require proper accountability at the same time. A leader’s assertiveness and confidence earns respect. With that respect, people are much more likely to follow, help, and emulate their leader to achieve success.

5. Communication –
This is  not limited to your public speaking skills either. This includes your writing style and your body language. Your ability to communicate effectively enhances your ability to improve interpersonal relationships.

6. Teaching and learning behaviors – This important skill is to learn how to learn. Examine different teaching methods and learning styles to identify how you and those you may lead learn best. This skill will greatly enhance your ability to make decisions and give clear instructions.

7. Self-improvement – Constent self-improvement is part of being a great leader. Self improvement and success go hand in hand to being a great leader. One must constantly strive to improve themselves and teach others to do the same. The reality is that throughout our lives we are all constantly growing and developing. Circumstances make us grow and develop, even if we do not make the conscious decision to do so.  I have never met someone with great wealth or great leadership that did not have some type of outstanding library in self-development.

Some believe that if only they had more money they could have whatever they want and be on their way to self improvement.  The reality is unless you are ready for leadership and great wealth you will not be able to handled it. A great example of this is looking at everyone that has won the lottery. All of them have acquired great wealth by chance  however over 90% of them are dead broke and have claimed bankruptcy.

If we are to learn anything from experience this is at the top of the list “Self Improvement” Teach your team the importance of self-improvement and how important it is to there success.

I believe that the qualities, skills and abilities above are a must to be a great “Do It First Leader“.

So I want to end with this, a quote which i believe says it all. This quote is by Dr. Ken Blanchard, from his book “The Heart of A Leader” ;

“If you want to know why your people are not performing well, step up to the mirror and take a peek.”

“A man is not hurt so much by what happens, as by his opinion of what happens.”
– Michael Eyquem De Montaigne

On my way home from a meeting I came across a very playful dog and his owner. The dog’s tail was wagging and he was jumping up and down with excitement. He was excited to meet the strangers around him and was running around without a worry in the world. The owner was excited to play with him and he was smiling and laughing as the dog jumped up and down to show his affection.

 In the everyday world, there are people trapped in an environment of ‘stinking thinking’; living life based on their negative attitude. As I sat there watching this happy dog run around I could not help but think about how a person’s attitude controls their actions and their outlook on life. There are two sides of attitude: the negative and positive sides. Most people choose to live in the negative. Why is this? Why is that people choose to live in that mindset? Is it because they don’t know better? I don’t think so.

 The reason I ask these questions is because the dog I was watching had only 3 legs, yet it played like it had four. So many times I’ve come across people who place so much blame on the world or society around them that they live their lives in the ‘poor me’ mindset, or the negative side of attitude.

 As I sat there contemplating this, I began to realize that dogs do not let things affect them, no matter what happens. I have never seen a dog down on life, have you? I’m sure that dogs that are mistreated may fear people but, even then, they still will be loyal to their master and when they meet nice people they’re excited and happy. Of course dogs have different moods, sickness, laziness, and are protective just as humans are but they never let life get them down, no matter what. This dog did not look at his handicap as a negative outcome.

I believe one of the reasons they’re never affected by the negative of society is because they don’t know any better; no choice, no problem. They don’t know they have the choice. They associate life as happy and fun. They don’t realize they can be negative or mad at the world. Even if nature has played a cruel trick on them, they just go with it. Just like this dog.

So I ask you, why can’t we live like this dog? Even though it’s a doggy dog world out there, we don’t need to live in the negativity of blame and it should not control our attitude or stop us from getting the most out of life.

Our attitude is not determined by circumstances, but by how we respond to the circumstances. Our mind determines our attitude. We control our mind. We have a choice to either respond positively or negatively. Your life is not determined by what life brings you but how you bring your attitude to life. Like the dog, it is how we react to everything around us that determines our attitude. No matter how bad it may seem, there is always a better side to a negative attitude.