"To succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improve as well." - Isaac Asimov
No matter what your goal is in life, be it a professional secretary or the leader of an important association; a creative arts designer, or the owner of a large corporation, as a total person, you must always strive for improvement. For greater career or business enrichment, there are two aspirations that are worthy of attaining. One is effective communication; the other is a positive self-image.
I. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
Being able to communicate with others effectively, makes for better human relationships--and builds your self-esteem. Throughout your business and social communications, always be considerate and polite. As often as possible and reasonable, avoid distractions by giving the person you are speaking with your undivided attention.
During a conversation, no matter how important a certain point is, there will be times when the other person is not fully attentive. A good way to hold the listener's attention is to keep eye contact. And speak slowly. Don't assume that others can absorb information as quickly as it is spoken. Some are slow to react, so have a little patience.
Always make clear, complete statements. A good choice of words leads to less confusion and misunderstanding. When your listener expresses a frown or looks puzzled, ask whether they have a question, or repeat your point.
Before speaking it is wise to identify your listener. When possible always consider their age range: teenager, college student, or a senior citizen. Other obvious characteristics may include the hearing or sight impaired person. This prevents the mistake of talking down to them or over their head.
Avoid negative impressions. For example: try not to make a habit of telling others your problems. Everyone has problems, some worse than your own. Your opinions are just that - yours only. Don't impose them on others unless you are willing to listen to theirs, too.
Speak in a positive manner. Put yourself in the other person's place. If you exaggerate most people can usually tell, and will doubt your reliability. If you sound insincere, people won't trust you. And as you talk, remember to speak up, but don't shout. A voice that is too loud is upsetting and even painful. Speak clearly, but not too soft, or too low - you will lose your listener.
Always have your facts together. Remember, the other person's time is valuable, too. So know when to stop talking When it is your turn to listen, be alert to what is being said. Give the speaker time to finish a statement. And if you show enthusiasm and interest, you can be certain your speaker will not only be impressed, but will remember you favorably. Do try to listen for the speaker's feeling behind the message.
Remember, effective communication is a two-way game. Play according to the rules of courtesy, clarity, and credibility and you'll always be a winner.
II. A POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE
The mental picture you carry, the way you think, and the way you feel about yourself is your self-image. Creating and maintaining a positive self-image serves a useful purpose. Each of us at one time or another dreams of being successful in our chosen field or business. Yet, there are many others who aren't too sure of their goals or even too sure of themselves.
Have you already made your career choice? Do you already own your own business? Is it the best choice for you? Are you utilizing all of your creative, positive, and effective leadership skills? Do you have an active plan for reaching your career or business goals?
Questions like these are meant to challenge your thinking, lend inspiration, and direct your personal or business growth. After being in the hard, cold, and sometimes lonely business world for any length of time - be it a year, or a decade - every now and then each of us could use a bit of real positive inspiration and - aspiration.
It may help to periodically review or identify your needs, skills, and goals. And as soon as you condition your mind to develop positive, mental and spiritual energy, you won't have any problem creating good feelings about yourself or your life's goal or purpose. With positive, mental and spiritual energy, you'll have a strong cushion of faith to fall back on when life hands you a challenge.
Being able to look inward for the strength and energy necessary in stressful situations is vital for positive thinking, feeling and acting. Building a positive self-image that will help you handle the many hassles in both your business and personal life may include these essential qualities:
> Learn to accept your faults, imperfections, and mistakes by constantly focusing on your good points.
> Eliminate worry, fear, and negative thinking.
> Turn impossibilities into realities by visualizing what you want to happen, then acting to make it come true - or, see yourself already there and your goal already accomplished.
> Keep thinking: "You can get whatever it is you want, if you believe that you can."
> Improve your physical, mental, and emotional strengths by not dwelling on your weaknesses.
> Give you subconscious mind positive goals and successful images to work with.
> Try not to hold resentments toward anyone or anything.
> Learn to see the other person's view.
Get to know yourself and maximize your strengths, remember your successes and the times you have done well.
> Remember to thank God for all that you have and all that is to come.
Do you know everything there is to know about your business or special field of interest? Continue to acquire and develop your knowledge. How high is your positive energy level? Did you know that people burn physical energy three times faster with negative thinking then with positive thinking?
Success can only be achieved by what you accomplish. Plan to saturate your thoughts and your life with positive energy. Success comes from self-discovery, self-improvement, and a positive self-image.
What are your aspirations worth?
Gerri D Smith is publisher and host of multiple Gatways to inspiration, motivation, and support for individuals, women business owners, and entrepreneurs. Gerri's internet resource offers ways to unlock the doors to your personal and business empowerment. Now is a perfect time to own your own business and discover some of the best ways to market a product. One is by letting your customers see it before they buy it. This concept is a sharing of information and is made available by the Internet. Best of all it's delivered right to your email doorstep. Why not invest in your future, now. To help you reach more of your personal and business goals, subscribe to Gerri's Free bi-monthly inspirational newsletter.