We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men...We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things..........from the 13th ARTICLE OF FAITH


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From the following list, please click on the article that you are interested in:

1. How to deal with difficult people

2. How to handle public display of rudeness

3. Want stronger connections? True listening makes all the differences

4. Listen Up! Enrich Your Relationships Through Active Listening

5. Ten ways to improve your interpersonal skills

6. Seven attitudes to dissolve conflicts

7. The top ten questions to ask yourself about your communication

8. Playful Communication Skills: Strengthen and Repair Relationships

9. How To Communicate: Improve Your Relationships With Effective Communication Skills

10. How To Learn Assertive Communication In Five Simple Steps

11.Communication Skills - the 4 Powerful Secrets that Win People Over

12. Make a good impression at a party



How To Deal With Difficult People

A bully at work is difficult for you to face.  He is demanding you do part of his job without pay or credit.  How do you handle it?  A relative is very judgemental about how you discipline your children.  She constantly criticizes your parenting skills and points out what she thinks you should do.  How do you deal with her?

Difficult situations are part of everyone's life.  If you ignore these situations, they almost always get worse.   Most people's approach is to wait, worry and hope it will get better on its own.  Not gonna happen.

You might end up losing your patience and verbally attacking the difficult person, but this gives you a bad name, makes people afraid of you and reduces honest communication.  Bad game plan.  Disconnecting from the problem or from the person is not always wise or practical either.  Losing employees, supporters and friends because you needlessly disassociate from them may reduce your stress, but you might also become lonely and poor.  It's time to learn to confront and handle the issue.

When you face and resolve the problem yourself, you feel wonderful.  You are in control of your life.  You not only conquer the opposition, you conquer your fear.  Few accomplishments are more satisfying than confronting someone who is difficult to face and handling the conflict.  By getting organized and working out a plan of action, confronting and handling people becomes much easier.  The key is preparation. Follow these seven steps to prepare yourself and you'll finally be ready to deal with that Difficult Dave or Frustrating Fran.

1.  Make the decision to face up to the person directly and by yourself.

2.  Write down the exact problem you need to handle and your goal for the confrontation.  

An example of the problem needing to be addressed might be:

"Joe is refusing to pay me despite our agreement." 

"Chris is hurting family morale and causing me stress with her continual complaining and gossiping at family functions."

An example of goals or objectives you might want as a result of a confrontation: 

"Joe pays me in full."

"Christ stops complaining/gossiping at family gatherings."

3.  Write down a plan or list of points you need to make to support your goal.  This includes facts, reasons and explanations you may need the other person to understand.  List the points in order of priority or importance.  For example, to get Joe to understand why he must pay you, you might make these points:

A.  Joe requested the service.

B.  Joe signed an agreement to pay for the service.

C.  You provided the service as promised.

D.  Joe was happy with the service.

E.  Etc.

4.  Write down objections, reactions or disagreements the other person may have.  Include everything you are afraid might happen during the meeting.  Putting specific concerns and fears in writing reduces their impact on you.

5.  Organize your notes and gather supportive documents.

6.  Arrange the meeting where you will not be disturbed, preferably in a space you control.

7.  Start the meeting.

A.  Look the person directly in the eye.

B.  Explain the specific problem you want to resolve as you noted in Step 2.

C.  Go over your first point on the list from Step 3.

D.  Listen carefully to the other person and make certain they feel understood.

E.  Hold a position on your points.

F.  Use your solutions to their reactions as you worked out in Step 4.

G.  Continue describing your points and listening to the person's side.

H.  Do not give up.  Communicate and persist for as long as it takes to reach your goal. 

The more frequently you confront and handle difficult people, the easier it becomes.  The amount of time it takes to prepare for a confrontation decreases.  You become strong and tough. When you confront and handle everyone around you, people respect you for your courage, your honesty and your control.  Your associates, employees or coworkers follow your example and become more productive.  Your enemies either become harmless or become friends.

Taking positive organized action, despite fear, is the kind of courage all successful people must have to succeed.  You now have an action plan. Now go get started and get your life back. 

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.

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How To Handle Public Displays of Rudeness

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?  The diner at the table next to you is talking loudly into his cell phone.  Your boss is reading her e-mail - or maybe checking stock prices - instead of listening to your presentation.  The guy sitting in front of you at the theater is sending text messages throughout the movie.  Your brother-in-law forwards you chain e-mails every day.  Your kids are mesmerized by their handheld video games - during dinner

We're talking about how our new technologies (cell phones, MP3 players, computers, digital camera, etc) are creating more and more public displays of insensitivity.  Do you encounter this kind of behavior and not know what to do?  If so, you're not alone. The company VitalSmarts conducted a recent study which revealed that 91% of people frequently encounter these kinds of public displays of insensitivity, yet only one in ten people say they speak up!

Want to know what to do?  Follow these simple suggestions from VitalSmarts and you'll be good to go!

Defensiveness is your enemy.  Your dirty looks, harrumphs, and head shaking are weak messages that usually provoke defensiveness and annoyance.  Your goal is to get the offenders to reflect on how their behavior is obnoxious - not how YOU are obnoxious.

Talk softly.  Softer voices are less provocative, require the offenders to tune in to listen, and offer them privacy - salvaging their pride. 

Be gracious and ask permission.  When people are publicly insensitive, it's generally because they are attending solely to their own needs.  Start by apologizing for the inconvenience and then ask for their permission to share your request.  "I don't mean to put you out, but could I make a request?"

Share natural consequences.  Never make demands without explaining them.  People feel more obligated to oblige when your request appears reasonable.  "Would you kindly talk a bit more quietly on your cell phone?  I'm trying to read and am having a hard time focusing."

Keep your smile but hold your ground.  Maintain eye contact, stay silent, and let them respond.  Don't become aggressive.

Accept a "No" and move on with your life.  If they either fail to comply or quickly return to the obnoxious behavior, let it drop.  Unless the situation will continue for an extended prior of time or your safety is at risk, you're better off just moving on.

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.


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How many times have you been talking away, wrapped up in a conversation, sharing something important, meaningful or revealing about yourself only to see that the person you are talking with has drifted away and is obviously somewhere else?  And, if you tell the truth, haven't you done the very same thing yourself?  What does it take for us to really hear what someone else is saying to us about themselves?

Genuine connections begin with deep listening.  And satisfying communication requires us to be fully tuned-in and ready to hear what is being said to us.  For most of us, deep listening does not come naturally.  In fact, life experience often trains our natural deep listening abilities right out of us.

There are many ways that our ability to hear someone else becomes blocked.  Once we know about these blocks we have a much better chance of getting rid of them and learning more satisfying habits.  Here are three common communication blocks and how to overcome them. 

Communication Blocks and Solutions:

1. Block:  We listen for what needs fixing, changing or figuring out.  Many of us learned very early in life to look and listen for problems.  We are quick to notice what is not working and what is wrong.  We are busy analyzing and sorting out what isn't right.  Going into "fixing mode" right off the bat distorts our listening abilities and we stop truly listening.

Solution:  See others as whole and complete right from the start.  Know that everyone has a source of internal intelligence that they can get to for their own answers and guidance.  When a person begins talking about an issue they are obviously troubled about, immediately ask them "Would you like me to help you solve this problem or would you like me to simply listen?"  If they say "just listen", then your mind can relax and you can tune in completely to what they have to say.
2. Block: We listen for opportunities to share our own wisdom, knowledge and competence.  We are busy listening to the running commentary inside our own head while someone else is talking to us.

Solution:  Give up trying to impress others with your brilliance and be fully focused on them instead.  The fact that you know things and have gifts and talents is without question.  Everybody does.  If you want to create genuine connections with others, forget about yourself and get curious about them instead.

3. Block: We assume that we know what words and sentences are coming next.  Often we have moved on long before our partners' sharing is complete.  We have lost our curiosity about our partner's story and stop listening. We think we’ve heard everything they have to say a million times before.

Solution:  Be curious and approach each conversation - whether with someone you have just met or someone you've been married to for 30 years, with fresh eyes and wonder.  We change and so do our friends, children and partners.  When you think you already know everything there is to know about another person, the adventure of intimacy begins to fade.

You can do this by getting in close proximity of the person, have eye to eye contact and ask questions that show your interest vs looking away, continuing to do something else, not responding with any signs that you’re engaged in the conversation like “uh huh” or “tell me more”, etc.

Do any of these listening blocks sound like you?  The first step to positive change is first acknowledging your own behavior.  Practice these listening solutions over and over and they WILL become part of you.  Does it take practice, patience and effort?  Absolutely!  But I promise you, the loving feelings that will grow between you and those you care about will be priceless!

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.

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Make a Good Impression at a Party


It's the holiday season.  That means it's time to put yourself on display for your friends, family, coworkers, strangers, and just about everyone else to see.  The thought of this can make most anyone feel a bit uncomfortable from time to time.  So when you head out to your next holiday party, here are a few simple party pointers to gain instant likability and be a great guest.
When we're nervous, we often tell ourselves it'll be easier to arrive when the party's in full swing - but that's the worst thing you can do.  Being "fashionably late" will usually make you uncomfortable because people will already be engrossed in conversations and it may be harder to join in.  However, if you get there early, you'll meet a few people you can hang out with, and later they'll introduce you to their friends.  Next thing you know, you're talking to everybody.
PLAY THE HOST, EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT.  Introducing people to others is one of the best things you can do for the host, the other guests, and to make yourself feel more comfortable.  Another great way is to offer to pass out hors d'oeuvres or be the drink refiller.  It's easier to start a conversation that way, or break into one.  Plus your take-charge attitude will help you feel more in control, and the bonus is that when good conversations happen around you, people tend to see you as a good conversationalist. 
LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE.  Looking people in the eye when they're talking sends the message that you're sincere.  Shifting your eyes around makes people think you're not listening to them or you're bored.  If you have trouble maintaining eye contact, try concentrating on a person's eye color to stay focused.  By doing this, people will feel instantly connected to you.
DON'T HIDE YOUR WEAKNESSES.  Even the best party can be spoiled if we're constantly wishing we were the wittiest, best-looking person there.  Remember - it's not a competition, and a quick anecdote about one of your shortcomings actually makes people warm to you.  Are you horrible at directions or hopefless at cooking pasta?  Do you have an irrational fear of goldfish?  People like to meet others who display their vulnerability because doing that actually displays a degree of confidence and makes others feel more comfortable around you.
DROP A COMPLIMENT.  Genuine flattery always goes a long way, but avoid using generic compliments - make it specific towards the person you're talking to.  So instead of saying "cool shirt," say something like "The color of that shirt really compliments your eyes."  It will be hard for people not to like you after such a nice compliment!

MAKE A GOOD PARTING IMPRESSION.  The final secret to making a good impression is one we often forget - saying goodbye.  We're so concerned with starting a conversation that we often forget how to close it well.  A sincere "I really enjoyed meeting you," will leave just the right impact on someone new.

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.

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