Monday 3 April 2023
Monday 6 June 2022
When you disagree with someone, likely, you don't want to waste your time listening to their viewpoints. Although listening to something you disagree with isn't always fun, it is important to your future for several reasons.
You Will Learn Something New
When you take the time to listen to someone else and their viewpoints, you are exposed to thoughts that don't exist in your mind and perspectives you may not have considered before. And even though you may not like what you are hearing, you often learn new things by listening to others. This also helps expand your mind to be more accepting of new thoughts, which could help you be more successful in the future.
Listening Helps You Develop Patience
As previously mentioned, being able to sit there and listen to someone you don’t agree with is difficult. You will have to have patience. And if you haven’t already developed the necessary patience for this task, just the practice of listening to others more often will help you to develop it. If you find you are struggling with the task, try to remember you are listening to learn something new. You can also listen with the intent to ask questions. This will help you focus on the words the other person is saying more carefully.
You Expand Your Network
People love when others listen to what they have to say, it makes them feel important. When you take the time to listen to someone else, even though you may not agree with what they are saying, you make that person feel better about themselves. And this can help you make a new friend or connection. This can help you on your path to success in the future as you never know when you may need to know someone in a certain field or area of study. And hey, expanding your network is always a good idea.
Overall, listening to someone else who has an opposing viewpoint from yourself will never be an easy task. But when you resolve to listen to someone else, this helps teach you new things and further develops your patience. Not only that, but it also helps you to grow your network which could provide unmeasured value to you in your future. Thus, it's time to learn how to listen to others sooner rather than later if you want to succeed in life.
If you want to become a good listener there are certain traits and skills you will need to learn. Listening is a great skill to develop and it can improve all areas of your life. People love to talk and are always looking for someone to listen to them.
- When listening to someone your goal should be to understand their point of view. Listen to everything they say before forming your own opinion, and remember that you do not necessarily have to agree with them. Everyone deserves, and should form, their own opinions on various topics.
- Paying attention is the next trait. If you don’t pay attention you will miss out on important information. Always be aware of what is going on with the person who is speaking, and don’t forget to pay attention to your surroundings.
- The action of making eye contact with the person who is speaking, shows them that you are paying attention. If you start looking around you, you are giving them the impression that you are not interested, or have become bored.
- Try to look at their point of view and ask yourself if they might be the person who is right.
- Allow the person to finish talking. This often takes a little patience, but it can be helpful for both sides. First the person talking can vent their opinions or frustrations. Secondly it helps the listener to fully understand the issue at hand.
A good listener will also think before responding back. Again they often ask what if this person is correct in their way of thinking. People have the bad trait of speaking before thinking and this can lead to all kinds of awkward or difficult situations.
It is perfectly normal for your brain to want to respond quickly, stop yourself and think before you speak!
Sometimes it can be hard to stay focused on a person, it is normal to want to look away. If you find yourself doing this try nodding to the person or making direct eye contact with them. This signals to them that you are paying attention. If you really need to look away for a second, then muffle a cough behind your hand!
Other tips that you might want to use to show that you are paying attention include:
- Saying the person’s name now and again
- Using facial expressions
- Using body language
If you make an effort to put these five traits into play consistently, you will become a much better listener for it.
Saturday 4 June 2022
Thursday 5 May 2022
If you plan on getting in the best shape of your life, then what do you need to do to make that happen?
Answer: it’s all about your mindset. It’s all about the way you approach a goal and go after your training.
Millions of people make the decision to get into great shape every year but 99% of those will fail to get the abs and the biceps they want. You know this to be true: perhaps you’ve been in that number yourself at some point.
What happens next is that those people look for a reason for their failure – for something to blame. Very often, this will mean blaming the training program they were following, or perhaps accusing their genetics. But it’s not about that. It’s about mindset.
How Your Mindset Changes the Game
The reality is that you can have the worst genetics in the world and be following the worst training program, but if you are vigilant and you stick at it then you should still see results. Even if all you are doing is a bunch of press ups every night, then you should still find that you tone up and lose some weight.
The single key factor is that you are sticking with it.
And to do that, you need to get into the right mindset.
The Biggest Mistake People Make
So how do you change your mind precisely? What is this big mistake that so many people make?
One of the biggest problems is that many of us want results too fast. We want to see a change in our physique now and thus we adopt an extreme diet or a training program fit for a Navy Seal.
Of course, all this does is to make us incredibly exhausted and stressed and to prevent us from enjoying our food. It’s unsustainable.
And then what happens is that we give up. Eventually we give up at least because the plan is simply unsustainable. Most of us will quit faster than that though. If you’re eating nothing but plain bread every morning, noon and night then there’s a good chance you’ll give up within a few weeks. If you’re trying to run 10km a day, you might not make it to day two.
Instead, you need to see this as a lifestyle change. If you are on a diet, that means you are likely to come off a diet. So focus on making it fun and sustainable!
We have many opportunities to demonstrate our confidence or otherwise, but perhaps the most obvious example is when we are talking to an individual or a group.
Those who have low self-esteem or confidence are likely to mutter, to stutter and to avoid eye contact. Those who are highly confident and sure of themselves will speak loudly and proudly.
So with that in mind, how do you go about communicating as confidently as possible and helping to ensure your message comes across well while also making you look sure of yourself and of what you’re saying?
The first tip is to talk more slowly. When we are nervous, we will often speak more quickly without even realizing it. This is a result of neurotransmitters being released which slow our perception of time and which encourage rushing.
Simply slowing down then will greatly increase your sense of calm and authority. Not only that, but by giving people longer to hang on to what you’re saying will let your words have more impact and drama. This also suggests a trust in what you’re saying – it shows you aren’t worried people will stop listening – whereas rushing makes us seem like we’re worried people are just going to move on!
Watch any big celebrity talk on TV and you’ll notice they tell lots of stories and they always build suspense and use rhetorical questions. They’ll use repetition and leave big gaps. This takes huge confidence, but if you can pull it off, then you’ll have an audience eating from your hands!
Make Eye Contact
One of the most important things you can do to demonstrate confidence as you speak is to maintain eye contact. This is true if you’re speaking with just one person and it shows that you aren’t afraid to meet their gaze and to speak to them as equals. It’s also true if you’re speaking to a crowd however, in which case you need to look at everyone and to ensure they are all following and included.
Finally, remember that communication is only somewhat verbal. More of what we mean is conveyed through body language and this is why it’s so important that your body language reflects what you’re saying. Be passionate and let your arms do the talking along with the words you’re saying. You’ll appear more honest, more confident and far more engaging!
If you have chronically low self-esteem, then there’s a good chance that this came from other people.
The nasty thing about insecurity, jealousy and low esteem is that they are contagious. If you aren’t confident in yourself, then it will often cause you to become destructive and mean. You might put other people down in order to feel better about yourself and you might try to prevent others from fulfilling their potential because you don’t want to be left behind – even if this is happening in an unconscious way.
At the same time, low self-esteem can mean you talk other people out of taking chances or following their dreams. This is not out of malice: in this case it simply comes down to the fact that you don’t have much faith in the ability that anyone has to change their fate.
Chances are that you’ll know people like this in your life and that they could be the reason for your low self-esteem and confidence. Most upsettingly, there is a better-than-average chance that this came from your parents.
The number one way to raise a happy and confident child is to love them unconditionally and to believe in them 100% and support them 100%. You need to be confident in yourself to do this.
So, what do you do now if you’re trying to fix your low esteem but you’re surrounded by people who are dragging you down?
The Best Advice
The tip you’ll often read is that you should simply cut off contact with toxic or destructive people.
I’ll say that you should take this advice if anyone is being purposefully cruel or belittling. You don’t have time in your life for malicious people.
But if someone is doing it unintentionally, you shouldn’t just write them off: chances are they simply need help.
What you do in the meantime is to surround yourself with more people who are positive, supportive and who do love you unconditionally. And you always remember to view what the toxic, negative people say through a lens of logic and reason. If they are putting you down, is it because they have a genuine point? Or is it because they themselves have low esteem?
Finally, try to build them up too. That means you should ask them why they feel the way they do and do everything to support them. You can pull each other out of this funk, that is what friends are for after all!
If you struggle with low confidence and esteem, then you should see a therapist such as a cognitive behavioral therapist. They will be able to talk you through the deep-seated issues that are causing you to feel low in esteem and will build you back up.
This is the most fundamental and effective way to address what is really a very serious mental health issue. But in the meantime, that isn’t to say that there aren’t smaller and easier changes you can make to boost your esteem.
And sometimes, this means focussing on the external aspects. It means looking at surface level aspects of your self that you might not be happy in.
The bottom line? Transforming your physique can offer a massive confidence boost. That’s because it will impact on the way that other people react to you, it will fill your system with more positive hormones and neurotransmitters to make you feel good about yourself and it will mean you can take care of yourself physically.
So how do you do it?
The Best Physique
In order to get the kind of physique that will make you feel highly confident, you need to focus on an aesthetic physique. Whether you are a man or a woman, you want a body that you can feel good about and that will make itself known even through clothes.
For guys, that means focussing on the inverted triangle physique. That means wide shoulders, big arms and a narrow waist. This makes you look physically intimidating and it is a shape that women are naturally inclined to find attractive.
For women, it means developing the hip to waist ratio. This suggests strong genetic material. They should also try to develop a tone physique, so that they are proportionate while slim.
In both cases, the best way to accomplish this is with a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular training. And that can even mean combining the two in a manner that is known as concurrent training.
The point is, you shouldn’t focus simply on one or the other. Men who only focus on weights will risk looking strong while still carrying a gut. Women who focus only on CV will find they actually don’t burn fat as quickly as they would if they combined it with weights. And in fact, women who squat are so well proportioned that it has become a meme!
Have you ever seen someone walk into a room and immediately demand attention and respect? This is a truly quite amazing thing to witness and it demonstrates an incredible amount of confidence and poise to be able to pull off.
Partly, this comes down to the way we walk. Even this seemingly innocuous activity can drastically change the ‘vibes’ that we give off, and so it’s important to recognize what kinds of signals we’re putting out.
Walking with confidence is something that isn’t easy but you can develop it over time if you know how.
Walking with confidence does not mean swaggering your shoulders like those kids that want to be gangsters. It doesn’t mean being aggressive and it doesn’t even necessarily mean walking quickly or walking with ‘purpose’.
What it means, is walking as someone who is very confident and very happy and comfortable with who they are.
And as is so often the case with body language, this often comes down to the direction you’re looking and just how much space you take up. Walk with your chest pointing upwards and your chin slightly raised and you will beam happiness and confidence.
Walk in a hunched manner with a shuffle and you will find you look naturally shy and retiring.
Often what is recommended is that you imagine a ray of light is bursting out your chest as you walk – which can transform your entire stance.
One more important tip? Smile as you walk. Smiling is one of the signs of confidence.
The Hard Part
Simple. Done and done!
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. Because I imagine you’ve been walking for a long time. Probably since you were about 1…
Which means some habits will be deeply ingrained and they can be hard to shake.
And remembering to do these things is very hard indeed. It comes down to mindfulness and of being a little bit aware of how you act and what you do.
One way to instil this new behavior then is to look for a trigger or a prompt. A good one is passing through thresholds and doorways. In other words, every time you walk into a new room, remember the chest trick!
Another way is to practice mindfulness in general. This is a powerful and very useful skill that makes us more aware of ourselves in a non-judgement way.
There are many different things that will both influence your confidence and also be influenced by your confidence. Confidence is often a somewhat circular subject matter and this can often make it hard to know where to start.
This is the case with body language. Being confident gives you better body language. But having better body language also makes you more confident!
What Does Confident Body Language Look Like?
Confident body language basically involves looking relaxed and calm. Many of us assume that confident body language will necessarily involve looking menacing or intimidating, but the reality is that this makes us look defensive.
Likewise, attempting to look aloof or cool will simply make you look like a try hard. Remember the kids at school who smoked in their leather jackets and were just kind of tragic?
Being truly confident means you have nothing to prove, it means you aren’t overly concerned what other people think and it means you’re able to relax because you feel unthreatened.
For instance, while some people might think that having their arms crossed makes them seem aloof and indifferent, the reality is that it makes them look guarded and uncertain.
In contrast, if you have your arms apart and your legs apart, you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable. This instantly makes you seem far more confident because you aren’t concerned about threat from others and because you’re allowing yourself to take up lots of space!
Look comfy and you look calm. Look calm and you appear confident!
More Signs of Confidence
There are other signs that you are confident that go beyond comfort of course. One example is the subtle indication of ownership. There are many ways you can subtly imply ownership but the most common is touching. If you learn against a doorway, or if you put your arm across the back of the sofa, it creates the impression that you feel almost as though you own that thing.
That’s why leaning on a wall or doorframe is a surefire way to communicate a lot of self-confidence.
The same actually goes for touching people. And this is why touching someone on the shoulder can make you seem much more confident – especially if it is done in an encouraging and non-threatening way.
Remember though: body language is best read as a whole. It’s not so much a matter of each individual aspect of your body language that will convey a sentiment as it is the entire package.
Tuesday 3 May 2022
Learning to read body language is a skill that takes years to master. The good news is, you can start at any time, and with a few simple tips, you can start the process. Below are five examples of body language and what they mean so you can start learning to read body language.
1. Arms Crossed Across the Chest
Crossed arms are perhaps the most common form of body language you will come across, and most people have at least a slight indication of what it means. Standing with your arms crossed is typically interpreted as defensive or closed off to new experiences. It usually means someone doesn't want to converse with you. Be careful, however, as occasionally it can mean someone is just cold.
2. Tapping Fingers on a Surface
Another common body language is the tapping of fingers on a surface. You probably see this while you are at work, or maybe at a coffee shop. The tapping of the fingers indicates impatience and usually means that the person is waiting for someone. Knowing this could help you strike up a conversation next time you are also waiting for something.
3. Tilting the Head to One Side
Have you ever been talking to someone when they suddenly start tilting their head to the side? It is a good sign, as this particular aspect of body language means the individual is listening and interested in what you are saying. It can also be a sign of concentration, but either way, it means you have someone's attention.
4. Crossing Your Legs
Many people don't realize that crossing your legs is also body language and typically not a good one, as it can indicate you are uncomfortable. Please pay close attention when someone crosses their legs, though, as crossing them at the ankle rather than the knee can also indicate that they are hiding something. The direction their knee points will also indicate who they may be uncomfortable around.
5. Pulling on the Ear
Have you ever discussed something with a friend or coworker and noticed them pulling their ear? This form of body language can mean the individual is trying to make a decision but hasn't yet decided. This aspect of body language can come in handy when trying to make a business deal with another company!
Overall, it will take lots of practice to learn to read all aspects of body language. But with these five examples, you will have a good head start as you learn what each motion means. So next time you are in a social situation, watch for these five forms of body language!
Nothing is more important than presenting the appropriate body language for communication. Body language is one of the first things people notice about you, especially when meeting for the first time.
If you want to ensure that you are relaying the right message, here are five ways you may want to practice body language.
1. Carry Yourself with Confidence
The way you carry yourself can convey to others how you feel about yourself or the conversation you are engaging in with them. The way to show confidence begins with your posture. When you stand with your back tall and shoulders relaxed, you can demonstrate to others that you have the confidence to carry on the conversation.
2. Lean In and Mirror
When you are sitting, lean your body slightly forward to show the other person that you are entirely interested in what they have to say. Additionally, mirroring the other person’s gestures occasionally can demonstrate that you are on the same page as they are. Both of these convey your level of attentiveness and can go a long way to the other person trusting in you.
3. Hand Movements and Other Gestures
Many studies have shown that using various gestures signifies accurate intelligence in people. Body language experts agree that using gestures and hand movements throughout a conversation can make or break a connection between the two people. Using a firm but not too firm handshake to using appropriate hand gestures while speaking can show the other person that you are confident and that you are credible.
4. Keep Your Eye Contact in Check
Most people know that making eye contact when having a conversation is one of the essential nonverbal skills you can demonstrate. People believe that the eyes tell a lot about a person’s credibility and character. While maintaining eye contact is crucial, it is also essential to remember that too much eye contact can be interpreted as awkward and even a bit creepy. Because of this, be sure to look away occasionally to keep this from happening.
5. Smiles, Nods, and Laughter
In most conversations, keep in mind that every person in the discussion is human, and because of this, some behaviors should come naturally. It is especially true for smiling, nodding, and even laughing. Smiling and laughing at appropriate times throughout the conversation can convey openness and a sense of humor that can make others feel at ease. Additionally, nodding on occasion shows the other person that you are not only listening but are also in the conversation with them.
Knowing ways to communicate with body language can make the difference between others feeling confident in you and what you have to say and think you are dishonest. Learning a few ways to convey your positive messages through body language can be the key to a successful conversation.
As if the idea of non-verbal communication was not already complicated enough, in comes the era of Zoom and other forms of virtual communication. When we are in person, we have the advantage of seeing a person's body language more broadly. Whereas when we are in virtual meetings, it is easy to misinterpret body language and other non-verbal communication. It is why you need to learn about these three on-screen body language tips that will help you send the right message when communicating virtually.
1. Keep Eye Contact
While this may be more challenging when you are on a Zoom meeting than in person, you need to be focused and present during the call. Many people mistake either looking at the other people on the video call or multitasking by having other tabs up, which can take your attention away and give off the impression that you are not present.
Most experts agree that while it is essential to look a person in the eye when face-to-face, this is entirely different when you are on a Zoom call. The person on the other side of the screen can only know you make eye contact when looking at the camera.
2. Be Mindful of the Position of Your Camera
For others on the Zoom call to see your body language and other non-verbal cues, you need to ensure that your camera is in the optimal position. This includes making sure that you do not have the camera too close to where all they see is your head. The best positioning allows other people to see your head and part of your torso so that you can use hand movements and gestures appropriately.
Since body language includes your body and not just your face and head, people must see the parts of your body that will help them interpret your thoughts and emotions during the video call.
3. Maintain a Good Posture
Since many of the Zoom calls are happening in the comfort of your home, you tend to be more relaxed by nature. This can become a problem during important video meetings because you can convey to others that you are distracted or bothered.
Maintaining good posture means sitting up tall but keeping your shoulders somewhat relaxed. If possible, make sure you are taking these Zoom calls at a table with a bit of a background and not sitting or lying on your couch. This will demonstrate to others that you are paying attention and are fully present with the conversation at hand.
All in all, following these three tips on on-screen body language can help you make a successful Zoom meeting rather than one that sends the wrong message to others. You want to exude a sense of professionalism while also showing you can be relaxed and present people must-see simultaneously during these important video meetings.