#049 – The Road to Success [Podcast]

Depending on whom you ask, the road to success means different things. If you were to ask me, I’d say it means having a career that revolves around my real life. If you were to ask my cat, she’d say it involves finding a way to catch, immobilize and destroy her own tail. The first step in achieving success is often deciding what it means to you.

Road to Success

Road to Success

 

Chances are your answer is similar to mine. But whatever your version of success, people who want to be successful should mimic the behaviors of the great ones who came before them. 

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#048 – Cultivating Your Passion [Podcast]

Cultivating your passion requires a dedication to unstructured exploration. You have to leave large swathes of free time in your schedule, and fill this time with the exploration of things that might be interesting. Of equal importance, when something catches your attention you must leverage your free time to aggressively follow up.

Cultivating Your Passion

Cultivating Your Passion

 

Faced with the task of identifying their “passion,” most people have one of two reactions:

The first is a frantic search of their lives with the aim of uncovering some magical pursuit that unmistakably sings to their soul. As a writer of student advice, for example, I frequently receive e-mails from young people that begin: “I’m trying to decide what my passion should be…”  (If only it were that easy.)

The second reaction is paralysis: faced with the life-changing importance of this discovery, many people freeze — hoping for a sign from above that will make things clear. (Spoiler: This can be a long wait.)

Neither of these approaches succeed, as passion is not something that can be forcefully identified, and though it sometimes bubbles up serendipitously, this is not something you can count on happening any time soon.  So what’s a passion-seeking minimalist to do?

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#047 – Essential Assertiveness Skills (Assertiveness Pt 18) [Podcast]

Wow … 17 episodes on assertiveness!!  As we finish up this series on assertiveness, I thought it would be good to summarize what we have discussed for 17 episodes.  This episode is a bit longer than other episodes (one hour and 21 minutes, so be forewarned!).

Essential Assertiveness Skills

Essential Assertiveness Skills

In this episode, we first go through a brief summary of the entire book … chapter by chapter.  Then, I dug up a rare, old interview with the author of the book.

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#046 – Constructive Confrontation (Assertiveness Pt 17) [Podcast]

How good are you at confronting someone? Do you, like most people, prefer to avoid confrontations? It turns out that the majority of people are pretty bad at confrontations and opt to dodge them whenever possible. The prospect stresses them out, and they’re even more anxious in the encounter. It’s not uncommon for people who dislike confrontation to feel their heart racing during these episodes.

Constructive Confrontation

Constructive Confrontation

People can get very creative when it comes to protecting their self-image – but when doing so gets in the way of your agenda, you have to confront them about it. At the same time, confrontation can prove deleterious. Tensions may rise and your adversary’s psychological defenses may come up. As the objective is to move things forward productively, what’s essential is not confrontation per se, but constructive confrontation.

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#045 – Confrontation Countdown (Assertiveness Pt 16) [Podcast]

Confrontation countdown … A former colleague holds complete conversations in his head with people with whom he is angry. He rarely speaks directly with the other person. This anger in his mind continues to build because of his frustration, yet he never lets the other person know that he is frustrated and subsequently angry.

Confrontation Countdown

Confrontation Countdown

His conflict avoidance almost cost him his marriage because he didn’t let his wife into the conversations he was having with her; but by himself. It was almost too late by the time he did bring her into the real conversation. His need to avoid confrontation is so strong that he has a safe confrontation in his mind and feels that he has dealt with the issue. As you can imagine, this doesn’t work – especially for the other person involved. Are you guilty of holding mental conflicts and confrontations?

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#044 – Making Requests (Assertiveness Pt 15) [Podcast]

Making requests … getting what you want isn’t always easy, and, for many, neither is the asking. Even so, we have learned that assertiveness is not about getting your way in the first place.  Yet, the ability in making requests that are clear and concise is a hallmark of those who achieve what they want in life, to include personal success and great relationships.

Making Requests

Making Requests

If you read this and are thinking, “but I am making requests,” “I do ask,” “it falls on deaf ears,” or “nothing works,” etc., think again.  It’s not uncommon for people to think they are making requests when instead they’re merely venting, complaining, or repeating a well-worn mini-lecture.

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#043 – Assertive No (Assertiveness Pt 14) [Podcast]

Do you have difficulty saying “no”? Not sure you know the difference between an “aggressive no” and an “assertive no”?  Are you always trying to be nice to others at the expense of yourself? Well, you’re not alone. In the past, I was not good at saying “no”, because I didn’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.

Assertive No

Assertive No

I have realized all these times of not saying “no” (when I should) were not helping me at all. I was spending a lot of time and energy for other people and not spending nearly as much time for myself. It was frustrating especially since I brought it upon myself. I slowly realized if I wanted personal time, I needed to learn to say “no”.

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We, as human beings, think that through social networks, we’ve somehow become more social creatures.

The problem with this theory is, the more we “connect” online, the less actual human interactions we have, making us actually fairly unsocial.

A new video breaks down exactly how the social aspects of human beings have evolved and transformed, showing how we’ve regressed from a social standpoint.

Shimi Cohen shows exactly what’s wrong with our social structure now, and how we manipulate how we want to be presented to peers, family members, and potential mates on social media, rather than having vulnerable and genuine conversations in real time.

Check out this video above, and take a moment to truly assess how you conduct yourself, both online and in person.

#042 – Constructive Feedback (Assertiveness Pt 13) [Podcast]

Constructive feedback is an essential element for everyone in an organization’s workforce. Giving constructive feedback is a task you perform again and again as a manager or supervisor, letting people know where they are and where to go next in terms of expectations and goals – yours, their own, and the organizations.

Constructive Feedback

Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback is a useful tool for indicating when things are going in the right direction or for redirecting problem performance. Your objective in giving constructive feedback is to provide guidance by supplying information in a useful manner, either to support effective behavior, or to guide someone back on track toward successful performance.

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#041 – Handling Criticism (Assertiveness Pt 12) [Podcast]

I have a very tough time handling criticism … being criticized, corrected, or accused – of even the smallest mistakes – and I react very angrily. I’ve wrestled this instinct under control in a professional context, more or less, but I have more trouble with it at home. All it takes is for my daughter to make a mild comment such as, “You forgot to remind me to bring my library book,” to set me off. “What do you mean…it’s not my responsibility…I didn’t know Wednesday was Library Day…” etc., etc.

Handling Criticism

Handling Criticism

More and more, I see the connection between perfectionism, control, and anger. Zoikes, how I struggle to keep my sense of humor and light-heartedness! Here are some of the strategies that I try to use in handling criticism. If I manage to use them, they never fail me, but I don’t always manage to put them to work.

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