1-Minute Playbook: How To Connect With Someone Instantly

You might know that a touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. But did you know that by touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40 of a second creates a human bond?

Handshake communicationAt work, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition. And this commonly used form of contact makes a lasting and positive impression. A study on handshakes by the Income Center for Trade Shows showed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. The trade show researchers also found that people react to those with whom they shake hands by being more open and friendly. So, to connect with someone instantly – shake hands.

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Successful Communication: How To Master the Art of Listening

Are you a good listener? Have you ever experienced that you might have missed crucial information simply because you were not paying attention to what was being said? How do you feel when you are talking to someone and you notice that they do not listen attentively?

Successful communication consists of a yin and yang of listening and speaking. Most individuals are really good at one of them, either listening or speaking. By improving your skills in both listening and speaking you will significantly increase your capability to successfully communicate, especially in conflict situations.

“Speaking is silver, silence is gold.” – Swedish proverb

As beings, a fundamental need and desire of ours is being understood. However, in order for others to understand you, you first need to learn how to listen and understand them. In fact, when building relationships with others, the way that you listen – how – is just as important as what you have to say.

Listen to understand. If you want other people to understand you, you first need to truly listen to what they are communicating.

How you listen is key. To encourage communication and build meaningful connections, listen from other people’s perspectives. And remember, sometimes good listening is done with your eyes as well as your ears.

Learn to manage distractions. Articulate when you need to regain your focus (just say it!), jot down thoughts so that you won’t be distracted trying to remember them later, and if you are too exhausted to muster the energy to truly engage, postpone and reschedule.

Improve your listening. Give yourself credit for your current listening skills and be honest about the areas where you can improve – then set up a plan to work on those areas.

Good listening is definitely a win-win. Not only does good listening make others feel heard and understood, but it also gives you a deeper connection with people.

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15 Rules for Happy Living

couple-692708_1280When I woke up early this morning I was experiencing such intense gratitude and happiness for all that I have in my life, that I started laughing – I simply love when that happens.

It made me reflect on what easy-to-implement habits we can develop to make our lives easier and more joyful. Here’s 15 simple tips for a happy living:

  1. Count your BLESSINGS, not your troubles.
  2. Live ONE DAY at the TIME.
  3. Say “I love you” OFTEN.
  4. Be a GIVER, not a taker.
  5. Seek for GOOD in EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.
  6. Pray EVERYDAY.
  7. Do at least one GOOD DEED a day.
  8. Learn to count (keep PRIORITIES in line).
  9. Let NO little and/or imaginary things bother you.
  10. Practice a “DO IT NOW” habit.
  11. Fill your LIFE with GOOD.
  12. Learn to LAUGH and to CRY.
  13. SMILE and the world will smile with you.
  14. Fear NOTHING and no one.
  15. Let go and let GOD take over.

What are some of your favourite habits for a happy life? We’d love to hear all about them!
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Are You Really a Compassionate Leader?

There’s a great deal of focus in my life on personal and professional growth right now. It consumes me – in the most positive way – and I find it absolutely great, fun and so very inspirational. Anyway, I was talking with a friend today about my thoughts on the importance of a leader being compassionate – personally and professionally.

I firmly believe that no successful leader or individual can lack compassion as to me that equals being unaware of your true essence as a being. A compassionate individual sees things in people – they see their strengths and weaknesses as well as their passions and fears. They see what makes others special and they work to draw that out. A great leader recognize that compassion begins from within. And that it is only when you can forgive and love yourself, as you can give that forgiveness and love to others.

Fall, to rise again

However it seems that it is not until one individual, at one point or another in his/hers life, truly has fallen down that (s)he fully develop – and practise – compassion as it should be practised. This might not be so strange though considering that it usually is in the process of getting up from such “fall down” that you discover who you really are, what you truly care about and how you want to live the rest of your life. You learn so much more on the way up than you possibly can do at the top.

“Maybe it is true that it’s only when you have nothing, that you can learn what is truly meaningful to you!” – Ulrika @GustoLifeGroup

A great compassionate leader has done this journey, personally – spiritually – and professionally. And it’s through that journey – those challenges – that they have come to recognize that each and every one of us have something special within us. Such aware leader, or individual, also knows that it’s only through developing a meaningful relationship with another person that you can draw the gift of genuine compassion out in the open.

“Compassion is a verb.” – Ulrika @GustoLifeGroup

It’s not enough to just feel it though. Compassion is worthless unless you in fact do something with it! And this is why humility is the precursor to compassion. Humility is what opens you up in a way that enables compassion to “flow in” and become real.

A compassionate relationship

In a compassionate relationship you pull another person in by genuinely listening and asking questions. There’s a valuable lesson for you to learn from every individual and situation you encounter. As a compassionate leader you constantly need to ask yourself,
– Do I make people feel better about themselves?
– Do I make them feel like they are capable of achieving more than they ever thought they could do?
– Am I courageous enough to enpower others or does my fear cause me to micro-manage/want to control instead?
– What can I learn from this individual and this situation?

“Great leaders dare to be vulnerable” – Ulrika @GustoLifeGroup

That’s what compassion is all about – letting go of fear, daring to be vulnerable and be encouraging, caring, sharing, listening and loving towards others! And it’s amazing, it can be as easy as just listening or saying a kind word to a loved one, a stranger or a fellow employee.

True compassion

In his book An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life, Dalai Lama writes that true compassion “has the intensity and spontaneity of a loving mother caring for her suffering baby. Throughout the day, such a mother’s concern for her child affects all her thoughts and actions. This is the attitude we are working to cultivate with each and every being. When we experience this, we have generated great compassion.” Simple. And beautiful!

“A man is walking along a beach and comes across a boy picking something up off the sand and gently throwing it into the ocean. Curious, the man asked, ‘What are you doing?’

‘I am throwing starfish into the ocean,’ the boy answered. ‘The sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them in, they will die.’

The man said, ‘Well, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference.’

The little boy bent down and he picked up another starfish and threw it into the surf. He smiled at the man and said, ‘But I made a difference to that one.’ ” – The Star Thrower

Trusting what is – Patience

One of the  greatest thing I’ve had to work with, for myself, has been patience. I have always been a very impatient person – even when it did not serve me well.

Courageous individuals – leaders – trust. They trust that everything’s exactly as it is supposed to be – they let go. They do not try to control things, events or people. Nor do they force their own ways – swim upstream. They go with the flow – with trust – and find pleasure in it. Trust lies at the core of all our relationships – without, theres is no foundation for growth.

“It’s fine to want things to happen in a proper and timely way. But what if you need to hang in there for several months in your current job before you can move on to a better one.  Now what?

Patience means handling delay, difficulty, or discomfort without getting aggravated. Circumstances are what they are, but patience protects you from their impact like a shock absorber. In contrast, impatience interprets circumstances as you being hindered or mistreated, so you feel frustrated, let down, or annoyed. imagesO6B4MEWVThen insistence comes in: “This must change!” But by definition you can’t fulfill that commandment (otherwise, there’d be nothing to get impatient about). Impatience combines all three ingredients of toxic stress: unpleasant experiences, pressure or urgency, and lack of control.

Impatience with others contains implicit criticism and irritation – and people want to get away from both of these. Just recall how you feel when someone is impatient with you. Or consider how others react when you are impatient with them. Impatience is dissatisfaction; it is resistance to the way it is. Patience senses a fundamental alrightness, the doorway to contentment. Impatience is angry; patience is peaceful. Impatience narrows down onto what’s “wrong,” while patience keeps you wide open to the big picture.

Impatience can’t stand unpleasant feelings; patience helps you tolerate physical and emotional discomfort. Impatience wants rewards now; patience helps you tolerate delayed gratification, which fosters increased success and sense of worth. Patience may seem like a superficial virtue, but actually it embodies a deep insight into the nature of things: they’re intertwining, messy, imperfectible, and usually not about you. Patience also contains a wonderful teaching about desire: wish for something, sure, but be at peace when you can’t have it. Patience knows you can’t make the river flow any faster.

“When you are tempted to lose patience with someone, remember how patient God is with you – all the time.”

Friday’s Wisdom: Awareness

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Saturday’s Wisdom: There’s no room for a queen on the team

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Saturday’s Wisdom: Swedish Communication

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Tuesday’s Wisdom: It’s Not About You

Leadership is not about You. Your special talents and gifts are not about You. Your Life is not about You nor is it for You. Your life and your purpose is to be serving other beings – sharing of all your talents – for a greater good. It’s all about service.

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Saturday’s Wisdom: Be True To Yourself

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