about the layer down under that experience....
looking within: thoughts & thinking
looking within: am i an abuser or abusive?
looking within: are you the one who abandons others?
consistency.... learn about it & use it
about suicide..... it's a shame...
coping mechanisms
communication continued
temperment & personality
family dysfunction

Communication... learn all you can about it....
Communication AT WORK...

Communication Breakdown: Five Mistakes at Work

By Robert Half International


read my personal blog about living with emotional feelings!
and you can help support me in my writing ventures by visiting my health and happiness column for the Dayton, Ohio area by clicking here! Even though you don't live in the Dayton area you can get some great health and happiness ideas by reading my column and then looking for something similar in your area!
I do appreciate you so much!


Communicating Your Business in 60 Seconds - by Kirstin Carey

It took me 8 months before I finally got my first lead from this networking group,” a woman (we’ll call her… Megan) said at one of my networking meetings. I was shocked. 8 months! My first sale had come in the first meeting and nearly every meeting after that. What were we doing differently?

Megan has been a member of our networking group for about 4 years. My membership began about 6 months ago. After recovering from Megan’s shocking statement, I realized that though I met Megan at my first meeting and everyone had a chance to give a “60 Second Commercial” at each meeting to explain his or her business, I had no idea what Megan did.

What do you do,” I asked her.

Oh, everyone knows what I do,” she said. “I’m in computers.” Oh. Well that cleared it up.

I eventually found out that Megan was a headhunter and place technically savvy people (a.k.a. “Techies”) in corporate IT positions. She was looking to meet Techies and corporate human resource persons who were looking to hire Techies. Aaahhh.

That made more sense, didn’t it? Megan made a classic mistake when she attended our networking meetings.

She never clearly explained what she did or who she was trying to network to meet and simply assumed that because she continued to show up at meetings – even participate on The Board of the organization – that she would get business.

That’s simply not the way networking works. If no one knows what you do, then no one is going to give you business. Most networking groups allow their members to give a “60 Second Commercial” to introduce themselves and explain what they do.

Following are some quick tips to help you use generate as much business as you can out of that 60 seconds at your next networking meeting.


What has to be included in that 60 seconds? There are 5 pieces to an effective networking commercial. Double-check your commercial to make sure you have them all.

1. ATTENTION GETTING DEVICE: This is a way to get people to perk up and listen to what you have to say. Questions, quick quotes and startling statistics are great ways to start 30-60 second “networking commercials.”


  • “Do you want to make more money? I can help you do that!”

  • Who here does NOT have cash flow problems? No one?!?! Well, our company can help your cash flow like a river with our wonderful payment programs.”

  • Public speaking is the #1 fear of Americans. Further down the list of most feared items is death. That means at a funeral most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy! For those of you who understand why people would rather die than give a speech or you simply want to learn how to be a dynamic speaker, then we’re the company for you.”

2. WHO YOU ARE -Your name and Company name (You’d be surprised how many people forget this part!)


  • Make this as simple as possible

  • “We are headhunters for ‘techies’ or technically savvy people.”

  • “Our company specializes in graphic design and visual business communications such as logos, flyers, postcards and other image setting marketing pieces.”

  • “We're marketing consultants that magically make your business grow!”

Never assume that someone knows or understands what you do because they’ve met you before.

Be consistent with what you do.

Avoid saying things like: 

  •  “I wear several hats.” (We all do, but you have to make it easy for someone to understand what you do in a few moments. This type of statement confuses people.)

  • “My company does lots of things.”

  • “It’s hard to explain what we do.” (If you can’t explain it, how is someone supposed to know what they can buy from you?) Now that you’ve gotten their attention and explained WHAT you do, you should also include WHO you do it for. WHO YOU DO IT FOR

Explain very simply who you're talking/marketing to

  • Identify your “perfect client.” It'll increase the number of “appropriate” people you have responding to your networking efforts because they’ll know to whom you're addressing.

Who is your “target audience?”

Who buys your product or service?

  • Small businesses

  • Corporations

  • Women/Men

  • High income/Low income

  • Business professionals

  • Etc. 


  • We specialize in web development for companies under 100 employees.”

  • We have programs to specifically help Seniors get their balance back and stay agile as they grow older.”

  • We use meditation techniques to help golfers stay focused and take strokes off their game.” 

Is this group your direct target or is it people they may know? If it’s the people they know, then say that.

For example, if you're a pharmaceutical salesperson and are at a meeting of physicians, the doctors themselves wouldn’t be your target audience, but their patients are. “Our new Sneeznomore pill will help millions of people - people like your patients - control their allergies.”

Give a “call-to-action” (a simple reason for people to talk to you later)

See me after the meeting to schedule your 20-minute complimentary coaching session.”

Be sure to give me your business card to receive our quarterly newsletter full of marketing and communications ideas for your business.

Get 15% off our new book Marketing Your Small or Growing Business on a Shoestring Budget if you buy it at today’s meeting.”

If you help us place an ‘Executive Business Program’ at one of our Dominican Republic locations, you're entitled to an all expenses paid trip for 2 to our resort.” (SIGN ME UP!) HOW TO SAY IT

Stand to gain control and respect 

Move to a spot so that no one (or nearly no one) is staring at your back. 

Use “open” gestures (wide open arms, not folded across chest




Speak loud enough for all to hear (especially when there's noise from the kitchen or restaurant)

Speak slowly (especially when giving company name & “call-to-action”) 

Sound passionate about what you're talking about. If you aren’t excited by what you do, why would anyone else be interested in working with you?


Use memory tricks so people remember name.

Similes: “My name is Mardi Maraschino – like the cherry.” (from Grease movie)

Acronyms: “We are BABB Insurance Co. BABB stands for ‘Biggest And Best Brokers.’”

Monikers: “I’m a professional business humorist, better known as ‘Mr. Business-Lite.’” 

Professionalism – do you reflect the type of client you want to attract?


Colors – wear unusual or noticeable colors – especially colors which reflect your company colors. (Like ORANGE for example. Since orange is one of my company colors, I use it in all my marketing materials & am sure to always have the color around me. During the colder months I wore a brilliant burnt orange scarf. Now I carry a wonderful burnt orange purse. I also have orange earrings & several orange blouses. Not a meeting goes by where someone doesn't mention one of my orange items.)

Accessories – wear unusual or noticeable accessories such as a dramatic hat, a beautiful lapel pin, a wild tie, a wonderful flower in your lapel, a fabulous scarf, crazy earrings, or an outstanding handbag.

Try to be consistent with your wild accessory so it gets remembered. I encouraged Megan to more clearly explain what she did during her 60 second commercial. She started off by saying,

Someone here told me that they didn’t know what I do and that I should explain it better. I match up computer programmers and other “techies” with employers who are looking to hire technologically savvy people.

Most of you wouldn’t fit into the type of person I’m looking for, but you may know a family member, friend, or client who is a “techie” or is looking to hire one. My cards are on the display table in the back. Please take one and contact me or forward my name to anyone who fits the description of the people I'm looking for.”

People began nodding their heads as if to say, “Oh! THAT’s what you do!” Megan left the meeting with several leads that day. Now that you know what to say, how to say it, who to say it to and how to get remembered at networking meetings, you should be able to close the gap on your next networking sale.

So get out there and make the most out of your 60 seconds!


Tips for Effective Communication - By Eric Kaufmann

Many social scientists believe that humans are different from animals because we developed language and communication and that these are the hallmark of Human development. As language and communication advanced our ancestors were able to combine their ideas and experiences with one another and this nurtured the evolution of culture, religion and science.

Although speaking and communicating is innately human it's often mysterious. In fact, our historic predecessors believed that language and communication were awesome gifts from the gods; the Greek god Hermes, the Egyptian Thoth and the Roman god Mercury were considered to be the givers of speech, language and communications.

Communication deserves to be understood as more than a mysterious gift from the gods. We need to answer the question 'what is communication?'

Communication stems from a Latin root communicare ‘to make common’. Essentially, communication means transferring ideas, thoughts, desires, etc. from the privacy of ones mind to a common place where other people can share them.

But communication is more than speaking. Linguists claim that spoken words are only 7% of communication and that body language, facial expressions, tonality and style constitute the rest of the 93%.

To account for the 93% of nonverbal communication and to successfully communicate, motivate and educate we will be greatly helped by focusing on these 3 points:

  • Be clear about the purpose of the communication. By knowing your goal you'll organize your thoughts and align your body language and tonality to support your words.

  • Be aware of your audience. Keep your attention on the audience and on what you hear, see and feel from them. Effective communication is a sharing, an exchange that flows back and forth. If you're too internally involved you're perhaps speaking, but not communicating.

  • Be flexible. By attending to your audience you may discover that they're misinterpreting or misunderstanding your words and ideas. Keep adjusting your communication until you are convinced that they're hearing what you're intending.

Additionally, effective communicators use the following guidelines:

  • Communicate to your listening audience. Understand your listener, get inside their head. To ensure that your message is heard, communicate by expressing your message from the point of view of the other party.

  • Communication is most successful when you can abandon your ideas of ‘the proper way’ and look at the world from the eyes of the person with whom you're communicating. Your audience will listen and absorb your information when you present it in their terms.

  • Communicate to your audience using their goals, interests, experiences and background as your references.

Finally, powerful communicators consistently implement skills that build rapport and respect and ensure clarity. They develop and practice:

Listening skills. Many people in a conversation aren’t really listening. Person B is already preparing responses to person A while person A is still talking. Listening is requisite for an exchange of ideas.

Paying attention. They know how to focus on the other person, notice their speech, their body movement, their inflection and volume.

Eye contact. Keeping eye contact with the other person will help keep your attention on them. It also stops your mind from wandering.

Mirroring. Mirroring is a method of creating similarity, building rapport; a sense of liking. You become a mirror reflecting the body language, speech style and vocabulary of the other person. DON’T BE OBVIOUS. This is a subtle reflection.

Remember, when you communicate your whole body and minds are delivering a message, not just your words.

Communicate to your listener. Develop listening and rapport building skills and be alert, aware and improving yourself through practice and study.


Communication, Communication, Communication - By Paul & Layne Cutright

You know the old adage for success in real estate. Location, location, location. Well, a similar adage could apply to success in relationships. Only, it would be communication, communication, communication!

Nothing is more important than your relationships, because your relationships affect every part of your life. We think you’ll agree it's in your relationships that your deepest feelings arise. Your relationships can take you from the depths of hurt, disappointment, rage & grief to the heights of joy, love, anticipation & ecstasy - sometimes all in the same day & all within one relationship!

There's no question that relating with our fellow human beings can sometimes be heartwarming & magical & at other times tedious & agonizing. The fact is most problems in relationships are born of misunderstanding & miscommunication.

As individuals we live on our own solitary islands of reality, absorbed in & fascinated by our own points of view. Frequently we reach out to one another seeking to understand or be understood. The bridge between our separate realities is communication. Communication is what joins us with others. To communicate is to relate; without communication of some kind there's no relationship.

To a very large degree the quality of your relationships depends upon the quality of your communication. And it's the breakdowns in communication that often generate the heartbreak & disappointment of unfulfilled dreams, visions & goals. The most treasured moments in our lives occur when we as individuals connect from the heart with the soul of someone else. Most people experience this rarely, if ever.

What we've discovered is that these moments of true connection can be deliberately created. There are principles & processes that you can learn to help you develop the skill to fill your life with these kinds of moments. When you do this, you'll be reawakened to your capacity to connect deeply with the people you care about most in an upwelling of compassion.

What's one of the biggest challenges you have in your relationships?” we often ask participants in our teleclasses & workshops. What we hear over & over again is, “Communication!”

Most people have a lot of frustration & confusion associated with communication. They recognize that they need to talk about some difficult issues but often don’t know how to bring them up. Nor do they trust their ability to navigate all the way thru the rough spots to honest, heartfelt resolution for everyone concerned.

Some people talk incessantly, as if in a desperate attempt to be heard & validated, but instead end up driving people away. Others are very closed & secretive, as if they're afraid of being found out somehow. Still others seem to blame everything wrong in their lives on others, then wonder why they feel isolated & alone. Some people never seem to listen, but are always quick either to talk about themselves or to offer unsolicited advice.

Do you do any of these things in your relationships? Do you know anyone who does? When someone is speaking to you, are you so busy thinking about what you want to say that sometimes you don’t even hear the other person?

Do you feel safe letting people know when you're afraid or insecure, or do you think you're supposed to appear strong & in control to be loved or respected? Can you talk freely about the things that are truly important to you, as well as the things that bother you, or are you afraid of appearing vulnerable & foolish?

What if you felt totally at ease & comfortable being your true, authentic self in your relationships with others?

What do you think would happen if you felt safe enough to tell the truth about your thoughts & feelings all the time in your relationships?

What if others felt safe enough to tell you the truth about their thoughts & feelings?

How do you think you would feel about each other?

Our experience with our students & clients has shown over & over again that they end up feeling closer & more trusting with each other. There's a direct correlation between honesty, intimacy & trust. Have you ever told someone you care about that you want to have a “heart-to-heart talk”?

For most people, having a heart to heart implies there's some truth or feeling to share. It could be any of a number of things: an expression of love & acknowledgment, a request for (or offer of) advice or counsel on a sensitive matter, or, just as easily, a problem or an upset.

In all cases a request for a heart-to-heart talk implies value to the relationship & a certain level of existing trust.

Outside the context of such conversations, however, problems arise all too frequently in relationships because of miscommunication & misunderstanding. Feelings get hurt; there's anger, sadness & defensiveness. The walls go up & usually there's no further discussion.

Over time love becomes more of a concept than a feeling. (“Why, of course I love you. Don't be silly!”) Trust diminishes & real intimacy is lost.

Usually when people are having problems & misunderstandings, they tend to think there's something wrong with them, or the other person, or both. The more disappointments you have over time, the more this attitude is reinforced.

We have a different point of view, however. What we've discovered is that people have problems & misunderstandings in their relationships not because there's something wrong with them, but rather because they lack education in the fundamental principles & practices of successful relationships.

If you approach relationship challenges with the attitude there's something to learn - & you can learn it - as opposed to the attitude that there's something wrong with you that needs fixing, then your chances of producing successful relationships are greatly increased.
One of the most important skills to learn & practice in relationships is the art of successful communication. When you practice effective, satisfying communication you're rewarded with relationships filled with more love, intimacy, understanding & trust.

Excerpted and adapted from Straight From the Heart - And Essential Guide for Developing, Deepening & Renewing Your Relationships by Paul & Layne Cutright -


Communication Keys for Success - By Jeffrey W. Drake, Ph.D.

Whether you're a manager, supervisor, or frontline employee, there are always opportunities to improve communication. Often, communication problems occur when people don’t pay attention to the basics.

Here are 5 keys to better communication.

Focus on the Situation or Behavior
When communicating, focus on the situation or the behavior occurring, not the person. This allows you to better communicate with the other person, rather than to seemingly pick on them. People tend to be more open to discussing the situation they're in or their behavior. When it gets personal, there is less willingness to change.

Focus on the Positive
Focus on the positive aspects of the other person to build the other person’s self-esteem. By looking at something positive about the other person, you can better deal with areas needed for improvement.

Look for "Win-Win" Opportunities
Look for opportunities where both you & the other person benefit - "win-win" situations where both of you can develop. In today’s rapidly changing world, managers, supervisors & frontline employees can always learn from each other.

Strive for Open Communication
Strive for open & direct communication with others. A manager or supervisor can speak in a direct & clear manner & still show respect for the other person. Clear expectations provide direction for a job well done.

Share Information
Share appropriate information with others. Organizations are realizing that they are all on the same team. Better sharing of information means that managers, supervisors & frontline employees are better informed & can provide improved customer service.

Jeffrey W. Drake, Ph.D., is a professional speaker & consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars & consulting services. Jeff has made presentations ranging from leadership to empowered teams & project management to communication styles for a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare & manufacturing. He can be reached at 800-886-2MAX or by visiting


Learn 5 Strategies to Communicate Like a Pro - By Donna Arnett, M.S.C., CCC

© Copyright, 2003 Donna Arnett. Permission granted to reproduce this article, providing you use the article in its entirety, including the author’s information, all links and references within.

The power of successful communication is unlimited. In today's business world, what you say, how you say it & how others hear it can make or break your career. Words alone are cheap. Being a great communicator in today's business environment takes knowing how to get your point across quickly, effectively & with impact.

Communicating with success encompasses a wide array of skills & strategies. Power comes from clear concise communication that inspires & motivates others. The art of communication involves not only the words you say; it involves the sound of your voice, body language, eye communication & passion. Getting really good at this set of skills can be your fastest way to the top.

Communicating with power... Let's take Bill Gates of Microsoft. Microsoft has faced many tough business & legal challenges recently. The economic environment has been relatively dismal as substantiated by Alan Greenspan. Yet, Bill Gates has been able to keep his company profitable.

How has Bill done this? Among others talents, Bill is considered to be an excellent communicator within his company, in the public spotlight & in front of the legal & political community. Communication is the most powerful way to lead people thru tough times, to face challenges & changes as well as to build respect for yourself & your company.

Do you think Bill broke from the gate with these well-honed communication skills? Probably not.

The Myth of "the natural communicator"...
Yes, some people may appear to be "natural communicators". These people are often seen as naturally having the ability to

  • mesmerize their listeners
  • communicate their ideas easily & effectively
  • persuade others to accept their points of view
  • reveal no fear of public speaking
  • speak confidently in a pleasant, commanding voice
  • eagerly speak at every opportunity
  • etc.

Behind every great speaker & communicator, there's a professional who knows the value of communication excellence & has worked to achieve it. Speaking & communicating is a skill like any other. Like any skill, it can be learned & always enhanced, built upon & tweaked.

Good communicators are rarely satisfied with their status quo. They continue to strive to improve their speaking & communication successes.

Analogy... If you participate in a sport, enjoy it & take it seriously, you likely have similarities with other players. Let’s take the sports of tennis or golf. If you think of yourself as a serious tennis player or golfer, you'll likely analyze your game regularly, identify areas ripe for improvement & practice to increase your skills.

You'll do this because it's important to you & you want to "be at the top of your game." If you aren't a serious player, you'll likely hit some balls around, see where they land & shrug you shoulders.

Start Today - Mastering the Art of Communication

5 Powerful Tips for Communicating Success...

1. Focus your business critical message on what your listeners need to hear not what you want to tell them. This is critical for managers, sales professionals, team leaders, CEO's & Leaders.

There's an important, yet subtle difference between “here’s my agenda...” & "this is all about you...". If you want to get your listener’s attention & move them to action, you must tell them what’s in it for them.

2. Get the Stress out of your Voice. Powerful communicators have learned to present their ideas in a cool, calm, concise manner that conveys personal control & builds confidence in their listeners. Analyze your speaking style when you'
re under stress.

Here are a few common vocal & body language changes that will undermine your effectiveness...

  • Talking too fast
  • Vocal pitch level goes up (This can be problematic for women.)
  • Body movements become too rapid
  • Typically good eye communication can become rapid & ineffective
  • Poor word choice may prevail

Don’t let your stress show through in your voice or body language. Listeners always trust what they see and hear in your voice and body language before they believe your words.

3. Create energy and enthusiasm in the minds of your listeners with your voice. Variety is the spice of a great communicator. Use your voice to communicate meaning by varying your pitch, melody, tempo, phrasing, and tone of voice. Use your voice to capture your listener's attention and highlight your important points. Flat, boring voices are like a sleeping pill for your listeners.

4. Be direct, sincere and honest in all of your business communication. People will respect you and develop trust and confidence in you professionally. Many communicators face the pitfall of "using too many pillows".

“Pillows” are the ways you “beat around the bush”. Using hedge words such as “kind of, sort of, just a little” dilute your message and your effectiveness as a communicator. The phenomenon of “too many pillows” typically occurs when you are communicating a difficult message i.e. confronting an employee, delegating tasks, providing constructive criticism.

Don't let your listener walk away without understanding your point of view. Misunderstandings begin here. Use direct language and be aware of your tone of voice and body language. Your tone of voice and body language must support your words. People most assuredly will believe your tone and body language. When you are uncertain if you have communicated your point well, ask for confirmation from your listener. It’s better to clear up any misunderstanding up front.

5. Feedback is your friend. In order to improve your communication power you must first understand your communication style and delivery. Use a tape recorder, ask a friend for feedback, seek out professional self-help materials and tapes, and work with a coach.

Communication is powerful. Doing it well will pay you back hundreds of times over the years to come. It's a journey...Enjoy it.


Effective Communication/Networking - By Janice Smallwood-McKenzie

Networking & A Personal Touch
(“What I Do ‘Is Not’ Who I Am”)

Ah, the personal touch that continues to make a big difference, for the better in our lives and the lives of those, who have an opportunity to experience a personal touch from us.

If networking and effective communication are centered on other people, can we effectively network or communicate without the help of other people?

For the sake of argument, let us define networking as:

finding out what another individual wants or needs and then fulfilling the want or need of the other person.

People want to know that their existence makes a difference.

The term often used ‘dissed’ meaning an individual feels disrespected by another might seem petty to us but it is usually very real to the individual complaining.

An example, my friend Bill a Plummer who is financially set for many years to come doesn’t always get properly acknowledged. We all realize that there is nothing we can do without the help of other people. Yet, in Bill’s profession he is not always highly respected. This is because society has taught us to value the title of the individual and not the individual.

Let us take responsibility for going back to the basics and simply treating people like we ourselves would like to be treated. We will never know who can help us until that time comes.

Really, it doesn’t take much imagination for us to think of ways a Plummer can make us look good or bad and we know bad can be real ugly when it comes to our toilet and stopped up kitchen sink. All of a sudden Bill is Mr. Bill, sir.

Bill may not remember what you said to him, what you did to him, but Bill will remember how you made him feel. If you didn’t know that Bill Gates was Bill Gates of Microsoft, how would you treat Bill? Bill the Plummer today could easily be Bill the owner of a multi-billion dollar enterprise tomorrow! By the way, where is Bill? I think Bill was president of the United States for a while… he sure made people feel good. My guess, he’ll always have a position or venture of choice!

Janice Smallwood-McKenzie
The Networking Coach
Author, “The 101 Commandment of Networking:
Common Sense But Not Common Practice”

Ms. Smallwood-McKenzie is a Networking Coach and Speaker based in Los Angeles. She has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Sentinel, and Black Enterprise Magazine and other publications. Her book can be found at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Walden Books. Also, the book is on-line at, Barnes and Noble, and


Communicating Effectively in the Workplace - By Azriel Winnett

Ineffective communication is a major, yet avoidable, obstacle to business productivity. And yes, it can be avoided. Given the will, the bleakest of situations can be turned around for the better.

Management must face squarely the challenge of formulating strategies to encourage personnel to communicate effectively.

On the other hand, managers themselves have to set the example. They need to realize that successful communication is no one-way process.

On the contrary, repricocity is the essence of communication. This applies whether the process is conducted verbally or through the medium of the written word.

Managers are human beings involved with other human beings. They are far more than givers of information or instructions. Communication is as much a matter of human relationships as it as about transmitting facts.

To communicate successfully managers and supervisors have to understand the other person, and have to work hard to get the other person to understand them.

Before we go further, consider these two versions of an imaginary conversation between the CEO of a small company and his work supervisor. They will give us some insight into the pitfalls, and help us to avoid them.

he CEO, Mr Richardson, pages Mr Smith, the work supervisor, to come to his office. When Mr Smith walks in a minute or two later, the CEO is busy with what appears to be an unexpected but very important telephone conversation. In due course, he replaces the receiver, but his mind, clearly, is still very much on what he had just heard.

"Hi Mr Smith. Please sit down. This is why I called you: at the moment, we have an official lunch break lasting one hour. As from the first of next month, I want to reduce this lunch break to 30 minutes only, and bring the afternoon quitting time forward by a half-hour. No doubt, the staff will appreciate the opportunity to get home earlier. Will you please inform everyone concerned? Thanks for your time."

Mr Richardson begins to examine some papers on his desk and waves with his hand to indicate that he has nothing further to tell the supervisor.

The supervisor, in turn, opens his mouth as if starting to say something, but thinks better of it and all he utters is a weak "OK, Mr Richardson."

Mr Smith exits.

The CEO calls his supervisor into his office. He is on the telephone when Mr Smith arrives.

"Good morning Mr Smith" he whispers courteously, after excusing himself momentarily to the person on the line. "Take a seat, won't you? I shouldn't be long."

"Thanks for your patience," the CEO adds after putting down the phone a couple of minutes later. "That was our landlord. He dropped quite a bombshell. They have sold this building, which means we will have to be out of here in a few months. Oh, well. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise; we're rather cramped in these premises, aren't we?"

"Yes, Mr Richardson - but I hope we find another place in time."

"Hopefully, everything will work out. How are things by you? I hope no one is aggravating you too much. Now, this is why I called you: two or three people have come to me with the suggestion that we shorten the lunch break, so that everyone can knock off earlier. What do you think?"

"Well, personally I'd welcome the change, and I know that some of the office people would think the same way. On the other hand, many of our workers do a lot of shopping during the lunch hour at the big mall over the road. They might need a full hour for this, and after work might not be so convenient... Maybe I should canvass everybody and come back to you with a consensus.. We're pretty busy right now...Can I attend to it next week and come back to you?"

"Excellent. I know there's a lot of pressure now. Keep me in touch and let me know how I can ease matters...Oh, I almost forgot - Kate told me yesterday that your daughter has decided to tie the marital bond. Hearty congratulations! Who's the lucky guy?"

"Thanks. His name's Jeff Black. I think you play golf with his father."

"Sure do. A lovely family. My warmest wishes to them both..."

Doubtlessly, you feel that the Mr Richardson of Scenario One has quite a lot to learn.

Firstly, he has declined - to his peril - to give his full attention to the task at hand. Secondly, he is probably still under the subconscious influence of an educational system that expects the teacher or lecturer to pronounce, and expects the unfortunate students to listen or take notes. Now that he is in a management position, he has instinctively assumed the role of a teacher who knows just about everything, and expects others to passively imbibe his knowledge.

The vital four steps in effective communication might well help people like this Mr Richardson to correct this distorted view of the communication process. Some call them the four A's of communication. We can only discuss them very briefly here, although each of these four is worth an essay on its own.


Winning the attention of the person with whom we wish to communicate, is an obvious first step. In order to achieve this goal, we must first try to eliminate - as far as is humanly possible - what experts in this field call "noise". This includes everything that distracts, be it noise in the literal sense, physical or emotional discomfort, personal problems, negative attitudes, or distracting mannerisms or dress.

Respect for the other person is an important prerequisite for attention getting. The human greeting, or inquiry about the other person's health or personal circumstances, is an effective catalyst in this process. To be sure, if such introductions are false or stereotyped they might serve little purpose.

Real empathy on the other hand, all the more so in downward communication from superior to subordinate, leads quickly to the second step in the process.


Although this word usually carries the connotation of "fear", its primary meaning is "understanding". We have preferred the term "apprehension" here primarily to retain the mnemonic of "four A's" Its two meanings, however, are related; they are two sides of one coin. The task of the communicator is to change the aspect of "fear" into that of "understanding".

Achieving apprehension is a critical part of the communication process, but it is a very subtle one also. Managers sometimes defend their inability to communicate by asking, "Do you understand?" This is usually an unfair question, and even the somewhat improved "What do you understand?" is often perceived as a threat.

On the other hand, if there is the right relationship between the transmitter and the receiver of a message, indirect ways of establishing the degree of understanding will present themselves. As Version Two above illustrates, encouraging a free flow of input from the receiver is the best way of ensuring that understanding has been achieved.


As crucial as is the function of apprehension (in its positive sense as we defined it,) it is not enough. Often, a person has understood a message perfectly, but he or she has not accepted it. Alternatively, it is accepted in a half-hearted manner, without any conviction. Communication is still incomplete if he has not assimilated the information into his own being.

The initiator has achieved an ideal result if the recipient has assimilated the message to the extent that he becomes one with the sender, as it were. Assimilation of a concept presented by management, or by another worker, goes a long way towards ensuring active participation, and harmonious cooperation, in the workplace.


This is the final step in our communication process. It is that ingredient which propels abstract or theoretical knowledge into the world of reality. So often a good idea in business (no less than in other spheres) meets with facile acceptance or agreement, but is not translated into action.

If assimilation has indeed taken place, action on the part of the receiver should follow inevitably. But what we have said about the two-sided nature of communication applies here as well. The originator of the message must play his part, too, with abundant support and encouragement.


Clearing a Path for Communication - By Lea Brandenburg, Communication Coach

Communication fulfills a primary human need:

the need to connect with other humans.

In prisons, solitary confinement is used as a form of punishment because it deprives inmates of the opportunity to meet this basic need. It is considered a hardship, because by nature humans are social beings and must have a connection to other humans.

In order to satisfy this fundamental need, it is important to clear a path during the communication process. The first thing is to recognize that communication is a two-way process. It is an activity, not a one-time event.

Communication is not complete until the listener has heard you, understood you and responded to you. True communication is never a monologue; it is always dialogue where the listener's role is as central to the process as the role of the speaker.

Here are a few suggestions to help you clear a path as you communicate:

Create a space for communication to occur. As a speaker, become aware of what your barriers and filters are. We all have opinions, personal history, expectations and ideas. Learn how these affect you when you speak with others. As a listener, identify your red flag words, triggers and hot button topics. Being aware of them will help you avoid distorting the speaker's message, becoming defensive or shutting down as he or she speaks.

Shift your focus to the other person as you converse. Place your emphasis on trying to understand, rather than be understood. People can (and will) have other ideas, thoughts and feelings. Don't try to convert them to your way. Let go of pushing to prove yourself right. Ask yourself is being right more important than authentic communication?

Be responsible for yourself and the situation. Make a commitment to speak authentically and make the effort to listen and understand what's being said. Ask for feedback. Try asking: "What do you hear me saying?" As a listener, try asking: "Have I understood you correctly? Will you correct me if I don't really get what you've said?" Listen and then reflect back what you've heard.

Make sure your actions and words match. Communication happens both verbally and non-verbally. Your body and face speak volumes. Does your facial expression support the words? Does your vocal tone and inflexions match the words you are saying? Do your movements support the message or are they in conflict with the message you are giving? Be aware and coordinate your verbal and non-verbal messages. When they match, the listener perceives you to be genuine because you are sending one message, not two.

Accept that conflict is part of being in relationship to others. Agree that when conflict develops it will be addressed. Don't settle for false harmony. False harmony occurs when two people pretend a conflict doesn't exist and will go to any length to avoid it. Commit to paying attention to it and to resolving it in a mutually beneficial way. Conflict is part of life, acknowledge it, expect it, anticipate it and develop ways to move through it. Albert Einstein summed it up beautifully: "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Be willing to take risks and participate in the dance of communication.

Clearing a path, just like communication itself, is a process. You can start the process by making these simple adjustments.

Over 400 years ago John Donne, an English poet, wrote: No man is an island, entire of itself; Everyman is a piece of the continent. Communication is the bridge between our individual islands. It is the glue that brings us together. So, clear a path for yourself.


Do You Make These Common Mistakes When Talking to People? - By Peter Murphy

Many Moons ago. Talking to people was something I avoided where possible.

At the time, I didn'ot know I was unconsciously setting myself up for failure. I kept making the same mistakes without even noticing what I was doing wrong.

You may be doing the same thing.

Here are 3 common mistakes together with tips on how to deal with them:

1. Judging Your Performance Against Unrealistic Standards

Be honest with yourself.

Accept that where you are now in terms of your communication skills is only your starting point - not your finishing point.

And assess your performance and your progress against your typical level of effectiveness. Not against some desired state of perfection or ultimate goal.

Goals are very important as a destination to aim for but don't use long term goals as a standard to judge your current performance against - that's a recipe for disillusionment and massive frustration.

I know. Because I tried it!

2. The Failure To Learn Each Day

As people we can be lazy. This means that a lack of follow thru on our goals can go unnoticed. After all we can always catch up some other day.

This attitude will kill your dreams faster than you can spell failure.

When I started to make massive improvements in how I related to people I dedicated myself to becoming excellent.

Once I had proven strategies the rest was easy. I just applied the material each day. I improved each day because I made it a priority and because I committed to applying the material.


I also know people who learned the same peak performance strategies I learned. Today they are no farther ahead than they were years ago.

How did they pull that off?

By putting it off until another day and by neglecting to use what they had learned. Implementation is crucial.

Use what I send you in this newsletter. Revisit my book and make a point of using at least one lesson each day. Notice I said USE the material not Read it!

If you do this your progress is a certainty.

3. Attempting To Be Original

Many years ago I put myself under huge pressure by expecting myself to be original with each person I met.

This is a sure-fire strategy for failure and a great way to get stressed out for no reason.

Guess what I later discovered?

There's no need to be original. You can have the same conversation all day long with different people and nobody will suspect a thing!

People are happy to talk about mundane topics because there's no effort involved.

I've lived or worked in several countries including Ireland, England, Germany, Holland, Spain and the U.S.

And everywhere I've been people are happy to talk all day about:

- the weather
- their children
- the new movie
- the family pet
- the boss
- the traffic

You get the idea!

Check out this website for more information concerning communication skills! Click here to go there now!

body language

The importance of body language - By Frank van Marwijk

People can't live without each other, we're social beings. As soon as we're in contact with others we're communicating. For this we can make use of spoken and written language. In these ways we make the content of a message clear to each other. However we can also communicate without words.

This kind of communication tells us something about the relationship between people. Often this is more important than getting the content of the message across.

The communication about this non spoken communication, which tells us something about the relationship between people, is called Meta-Communication.

Communicating about communication!

Words are inadequate

When we connect with a person, we also have to make it clear to each other how the content of a spoken message needs to be interpreted. How we do this says something about the relationship we have with the other person, or think we have anyway.

Often words are inadequate for this purpose. For instance we don't tell each other that easily how we feel about each other, or how the words of a message need to be interpreted. To make the meaning of our words clear we use body language.

Body language is a language without spoken words and is therefore called non verbal communication. We use body language all the time, i.e., looking someone in the eyes means something different than not looking someone in the eyes.

In contact with others it's just not possible to be not communicating something.


Usually body language occurs unconsciously. Yet the body language we use decides to a large extent the quality of our communication. It follows that therefore it would be good to become conscious of our own and others' body language. We can learn to use our body language for a purpose.

As well as learn to understand and interpret body language of others. It's important to note that body language has different meanings in different cultures. How we can interpret body language depends on the situation, the culture, the relationship we have with the person as well as the gender of the other.

This means that there isn't one signal that has the same meaning all over the world. If you don't take this into account you may get yourself in some serious trouble! Body language is also interlinked with spoken language and a whole pattern of behavior from a person.

As well as that, various body language signs can complement each other to make a particular meaning crystal clear or strengthen the meaning of what we communicate. Some groups have developed a whole specific body language which can be very explicit in its meaning and is used to communicate where the use of words may otherwise be difficult or dangerous.

Examples of this are mostly groups, such as gay people, people in slavery, prisoners, etc. who have a history of prejudice against them from the dominant culture. on.

Used to express feelings

Body language is used especially to express feelings. For instance if we don't like someone, it's often difficult to say that directly to the person. However we can make it clear either intentionally or unintentionally through body language. The opposite is also true.

We may say that we ARE angry through words yet our body language may be saying loud and clear that we're NOT. This can be very confusing for the receiver. This is usually described as giving out double messages - one message in words and an opposite message in body language.

It's also difficult to lie or cover up our feelings thru body language. People may give their true feelings away by not being aware of their body language. Research has shown that most people pay more attention to and believe more readily, their impression of how a person acts through body language than what's said through words.

As a consequence we tend to doubt, or put a question mark behind, the spoken words if they don't correspond with the language of the body .

The importance of knowing how we communicate

How we come across to someone is decided only for a small part by the words we speak. To leave a good impression behind, say at a job interview, it's important that we know and to a certain extent and control, our body language.

The person on the receiving end of our body language will have a feeling or impression that's often difficult to describe - difficult to put into words or difficult to prove what actually was communicated.

Haven't we all said at times: 'I have a feeling he/she likes me', or something like: 'I doubt if what he/she is saying is really the truth'.

This type of feeling is called intuition. Body language plays a big role in intuition as it gives us messages about the other person that we can interpret at an intuitive level. It's therefore necessary to get to know our own body language first.

We should learn about it so that we can recognize it in others as well as in ourselves. For this purpose, all the different aspects of body language that we can learn something from will be described next.

More on this topic you can find at:

Frank van Marwijk
Bodycom Lichaamscommunicatie (Body Communication)
The Netherlands

Top 10 Body Language Tips - By Robert Phipps

Top 10 Tips:

Eye contact is one of the most important aspects of dealing with others, especially people we've just met. Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest in what they have to say. Here in the UK we tend to keep eye contact around 60-70% of the time. (However, there are wide cultural differences, so be careful in other countries)

By doing this you won't make the other people feel self conscious, like they've got a bit of vegetable stuck between their teeth or a dew drop hanging from the nose. .

Instead, it'll give them a feeling of comfort and genuine warmth in your company, any more eye contact than this and you can be too intense, any less and you give off a signal that you're lacking interest in them or their conversation.

Posture is the next thing to master, get your posture right and you'll automatically start feeling better, as it makes you feel good almost instantly.

Next time you notice you're feeling a bit down, take a look at how your standing or sitting. Chances are you'll be slouched over with your shoulders drooping down and inward. This collapses the chest and inhibits good breathing, which in turn can help make you feel nervous or uncomfortable.

Head position is a great one to play around with, with yourself and others. When you want to feel confident and self assured keep your head level both horizontally and vertically. You can also use this straight head position when you want to be authoritative and what you're saying to be taken seriously.

Conversely, when you want to be friendly and in the listening, receptive mode, tilt your head just a little to one side or other. You can shift the tilt from left to right at different points in the conversation.

Arms give away the clues as to how open and receptive we are to everyone we meet and interact with, so keep your arms out to the side of your body or behind your back. This shows you aren't scared to take on whatever comes your way and you meet things "full frontal."

In general terms the more outgoing you are as a person, the more you tend to use your arms with big movements. The quieter you are the less you move your arms away from your body. So, try to strike a natural balance and keep your arm movements midway.

When you want to come across in the best possible light, crossing the arms is a no, no in front of others. Obviously if someone says something that gets your goat, then by all means show your disapproval by crossing them!

Legs are the furthest point away from the brain, consequently they're the hardest bits of our bodies to consciously control. They tend move around a lot more than normal when we're nervous, stressed or being deceptive.

So best to keep them as still as possible in most situations, especially at interviews or work meetings. Be careful too in the way you cross your legs. Do you cross at the knees, ankles or bring your leg up to rest on the knee of the other?

This is more a question of comfort than anything else. Just be aware that the last position mentioned is known as the "Figure Four" and is generally perceived as the most defensive leg cross, especially if it happens as someone tells a you something that might be of a slightly dubious nature, or moments after. (As always, look for a sequence)

Angle of the body in relation to others gives an indication of our attitudes and feelings towards them. We angle toward people we find attractive, friendly and interesting and angle ourselves away from those we don't, it's that simple!

Angles includes leaning in or away from people, as we often just tilt from the pelvis and lean sideways to someone to share a bit of conversation. For example, we aren't in complete control of our angle at the cinema because of the seating nor at a concert when we stand shoulder to shoulder and are packed in like sardines.

In these situations we tend to lean over towards the other person.

Hand gestures are so numerous it's hard to give a brief guide but here goes. Palms slightly up and outward is seen as open and friendly. Palm down gestures are generally seen as dominant, emphasizing and possibly aggressive, especially when there's no movement or bending between the wrist and the forearm.

This palm up, palm down is very important when it comes to handshaking and where appropriate we suggest you always offer a handshake upright and vertical, which should convey equality.

Distance from others is crucial if you want to give off the right signals. Stand too close and you'll be marked as "Pushy" or "In your face". Stand or sit too far away and you'll be "Keeping your distance" or "Stand offish".

Neither are what we want, so observe if in a group situation how close are all the other people to each other. Also notice if you move closer to someone and they back away, you're probably just a tiny bit too much in their personal space, their comfort zone.

"You've overstepped the mark" and should pull back a little.

Ears, yes your ears play a vital role in communication with others, even though general terms most people can't move them much, if at all. However, you've got two ears and only one mouth, so try to use them in that order. If you listen twice as much as you talk you come across as a good communicator who knows how to strike up a balanced a conversation without being me, me, me or the wallflower.

Mouth movements can give away all sorts of clues. We purse our lips and sometimes twist them to the side when we're thinking. Another occasion we might use this movement is to hold back an angry comment we don't wish to reveal.

Nevertheless, it'll probably be spotted by other people and although they may not know the comment, they'll get a feeling you weren't to pleased. There are also different types of smiles and each gives off a corresponding feeling to its recipient which we'll cover next time.

More info at or

Everyday Body Language - By Sherri Schaefer

We start forming impressions of people we meet from the moment we set eyes on them. A large part of the initial impression that you create comes from your body language. Your posture, facial expression, eye contact & gestures speak louder than the words you say. We all interpret body language all the time on a subconscious level.

1. Face

The face is the most expressive part of the body. If you're feeling anxious then your facial expression may lead you to appear aloof, disapproving, or disinterested. You can break this misrepresentation by making a conscious effort to smile. Your smile is one of the strongest tools you have in meeting new people. It'll help you appear warm, open, friendly & confident.

2. Eyes

Our eyes give clues to our emotions. A direct stare implies intensity. It may also mean romantic interest, aggression, or fear. Making very little eye contact can either convey shyness or submissiveness. The middle ground of a gaze says that you're interested, secure & at ease.

3. Hands

Your hands are also very expressive. Open gestures tend to make you appear open & honest. By pointing your finger, or moving your hands closer together, you can draw emphasis to what you're saying. Used in moderation, hand gestures can make you seem enthusiastic & committed to your topic. Making too many gestures can make you appear nervous & uncontrolled. Wringing your hands or touching your sleeves, face, etc. can make you appear tense, nervous & sometimes dishonest.

4. Posture

The way you hold yourself, your posture, makes a big contribution to your body language & conveys your level of self confidence. By orienting your body towards someone, you show attentiveness. By falling away from them or leaning back, you show a lack of interest & some level of reserve.

When we're feeling low in confidence & want to hide away, we hunch our shoulders & keep our heads down. When we're feeling aggressive or are trying to defend our space, we puff ourselves up. A relaxed body posture will help you to appear & feel more relaxed & confident.

Your posture gives signals about your interest in something, your openness & attentiveness. It also gives clues as to your status within a group.

In summary, our face, eyes, hands (gestures) & posture express what's going on inside of us. They give clues to others & to us as to whether the words we say are consistent with what we're really feeling.

Being aware of our body language can allow us to send a consistent message. Smiling, making eye contact, using open gestures & using good posture can bring up our level of self confidence.

Using Body Language to create Believable Characters - By Lisa Hood

Have you ever had a “Gut” feeling about someone? You meet someone and a little voice says: "I like him” or “I don’t trust her”. Have you ever wondered why you formed that immediate opinion?

Body language plays a big role in intuition as it gives us messages about the other person that we can interpret at an intuitive level. We are always communicating verbally and nonverbally.

To make a good impression, it's important to understand that you're always communicating through body language, whether it's intentional or not. Studies done in the field indicate that:

•55% of the communication consists of body language,
•38% is expressed through tone of voice (para-language) and
•7% is communicated through words. (1)

As a writer, you can use the body language of your character to convey a great deal of information.

There are 4 types of body language to be aware of: facial expression, including eye contact, gestures, posture and space relationship.

1. Facial Expressions including eye contact - “Darwin believed that facial expressions of emotion are similar among humans, regardless of culture.”

However, researchers now believe “our non verbal language is partly instinctive, partly taught and partly imitative.” (1) There are some universal facial expressions; a smile, a frown, a scowl, however, there are many more nonverbal messages that are learned and may be unique to specific cultures.

Eye contact is direct and powerful. The eyes are always talking. A poet and writer of 19th-century France wrote, ‘Eyes are so transparent, that through them, one sees the soul.’ Nothing builds trust and rapport as effectively as eye contact. (2)

The use of eye contact varies significantly from culture to culture. In some regions, direct eye contact may be considered insulting or challenging. In the United States, direct eye contact is often considered a sign of trustworthiness.

So, if your character is American, regular, attentive eye contact would convey honesty, straight forwardness and/or approachability. However, a hard, unblinking stare will send a much different message.

2. Gestures - can be used purposefully to emphasis meaning. Fidgeting shows boredom and restlessness. Pressing fingers together to form a steeple shows interests, assertiveness and determination. Touching the nose or rubbing eyes indicates discomfort, or it may even be a signal that your character isn't being completely honest. A hand to the back of the neck may indicate withdrawal from a conversation.

3. Posture - The way people hold themselves gives important information. Body posture can be closed or open. Interested people always pay attention and lean forward. Leaning backwards demonstrates aloofness or rejection.

A firm handshake will give the impression of assertiveness or honesty, too firm can seem arrogant or challenging. Folding arms across your chest or body is protective and will give the impression of a character who’s closed, guarded and defensive.

People with arms folded, legs crossed and bodies turned away are signaling that they're rejecting messages. People showing open hands, both feet planted on the ground are accepting. A head held straight up signals a neutral attitude. A head tilted to the side indicates interest. A head down is negative and judgmental.

4. Space - Dr. Edward T Hall, a professor of anthropology at Northwestern University, coined the phrase “Proxemics” to describe his theories about zones and territory and how we use them.

There are four distinct zones in which most people operate, including: intimate distance, personal distance, social distance and public distance. The cultural influence on spatial relationships is significant. “How we guard our zones and how we aggress to other zones is an integral part of how we relate to other people.” (1)

The orientation of speakers and listeners: face-to-face, side to side, or back-to-back, can send powerful non-verbal messages. In a group situation, when the leader faces the group and turns toward the one who is speaking, this conveys strong attention.

When two people are communicating, competitors are more likely to sit facing each other while collaborators are more likely to sit side-by-side. If one stands while the other is sitting, the standing person may be sending dominance signals, which can stifle free exchange of ideas.” (2)

You now understand different types of body language and you may be able to incorporate body language into your writing to make your characters come alive on the page.

(1)Dick Mooney, Often, actions really do speak louder than words. Knoxville, TN: ACA Communicator, 2002
(2)Debbie O'Halloran, How to use Body Language in an Interview. The Irish Jobs Column, 2002

Body language during a job interview - By Frank van Marwijk

Letter, interview and body language

The rules as regards applying for jobs have been subject to enormous changes lately. In the past, people preferred a hand-written application letter. It's becoming more and more common these days to find a vacancy on the Internet and to apply for it via the Internet as well.

Quite often it's sufficient to place your C.V. on the web. Because of this, the application procedure often goes quicker and now you can find yourself invited for a job interview before you know it. You can find information on the Internet about how to apply for jobs.

Information can be found about how to write your application letter, the clothes that you should wear and how to carry out the interview itself. The importance of body language is often mentioned, but doesn't always get the attention it deserves. After all, before a word has even been spoken, your body language will have already given people their first impression of you.

What type of person are you?

By using words you can explain what type of education you have received and what experience you have gained since then. You can also show through words that you know what you're talking about and you can answer questions to clarify matters.

At the same time however, your body language will also give out a lot more information. Based on your body language it can be seen if you come across as insecure or self-assured.

It can also show if you're a busy or a quiet type and it helps give an impression of whether you're speaking truthfully or not. Body language can show if you aren't prone to stress. It can show how enthusiastic you are and if you're a nice person, someone who'll take his work serious, but also someone who has a sense of humor and can enjoy a joke from time to time.

The members of the application committee will ask you questions, but your answers won't only be oral. The committee will not only pay attention to what you say, but also to how you say it! Body language will determine first if it 'clicks' and sometimes all it takes is just a few seconds.

Everybody uses body language, but it takes place mostly at a subconscious level. Through becoming more aware of your own body language, but also through recognizing the body language of others, you can definitely increase your chances of getting the job.

Pay attention to time!

It might be a cliché to talk about arriving in time for a job interview, but I think it's still important to bring it to your attention anew. Your attitude or attention to time will also send out non-verbal messages. An interview for a job is seen as a very important appointment and showing up too late for your appointment is therefore absolutely unacceptable.

Missing the bus or getting stuck in a traffic jam are pretty lame excuses. After all, for an important appointment like this you should have taken that into account. It's much better to arrive way too early than even a little too late!

If you're too early for your appointment you don't have to go in immediately. Sometimes it's better to walk around a little in the neighborhood, because waiting for a long time in a hallway or a 'sweatbox' will not do your nerves any good.

If it's very cold outside, it might be wise to go back inside about 10 minutes before your appointment because it can be very unpleasant to have to shake an ice-cold hand.

The first meeting

After you have announced yourself at the reception or to an employee of the company, you'll often be asked to take a seat. After a while someone will come to lead you to the interview area. Don't jump up immediately and offer this person a handshake.

It's better to let the other person takes the initiative. Shake hands firmly, but not too powerfully and look straight at the other person. After this you'll be introduced to the (other) members of the application committee.

During this introduction it's better to walk around the table to shake hands with the committee members, instead of leaning over the table. With each greeting look directly at the other person and say your name. Except for an internal application, don't assume that the other people know your name.

Choosing the right seat

After the initial introduction you'll usually be directed to take a seat. If you're left to choose a place yourself, choose a place from where you can clearly see all the interview participants and from where they can also see you. If someone is sitting half behind you and you can't really see him, he may not get such a good impression of you because of this.

Tune your body posture

During your job interview try to adopt a posture that shows interest but still comes across as being relaxed. You can do this by sitting up straight in your chair at the beginning of the interview, with your back against the back of the chair. If you slouch or hang sideways in your chair, it might give the impression that you aren't that interested in the job.

However, sitting on the edge of your chair can come across as being a little tense and might give the impression that you feel uncomfortable.

You can change your body posture a little during the interview. For example, when someone says something it's good to turn a little with your shoulders towards this person and to lean forward a little. This shows an interest in what the other person is saying.

You can emphasize this by tilting your head a little. It's also important to pay attention to the posture of your interview partners. In some cases you can achieve mutual tuning by adopting the same posture as the other person.

What to do with your hands?

Just the same as when you're giving a presentation, many people often regard their hands as obstacles during a job interview rather than a useful means of communication. That's why people often ask what to do with their hands.

In a difficult situation we are often inclined to fold our arms across our body. This helps to give us a more secure feeling. During a job interview it's better not to do this, because folding your arms can be interpreted as a defensive move. It's better to let your hands lie loosely on your lap or place them on the armrests of your chair.

From these positions it's also easy to support your words with hand gestures.

Movements: a dynamic interview?

Nodding your head while speaking is a good way of supporting your words or adding meaning to them. Hand movements can also help to liven up the interview. The fact that you dare to make movements with your hands during an interview might indicate that you feel at ease quickly.

In most cases it's better not to make too many hand movements at the start of the interview but add them slowly throughout the interview. As regards this, pay attention to your interview partners as well: if they use their hands a lot to make things clear, you can definitely do this as well.

When they don't make many movements, it's better if you don't either. Just the same as with body posture, it's important to tune your movements to those of the other person. Also pay attention to inadvertent movements that you may make sometimes due to nervousness.

For example, shuffling with your feet or kicking against the leg of a table can be very irritating for other people. Drumming with your fingers or clicking with a pen also won't be a great contribution to the interview. So pay attention!

When should you look at whom?

During the job interview it's important to look at all the interview partners to an equal extent. By looking directly at the other person we're giving them a sign of trust.

By looking directly at people we are also in control of the conversation. Looking directly at somebody or looking away actually serves as the dots and commas in our spoken sentences. When one of the committee members explains something or poses a question, keep looking at this person for as long as he or she is speaking.

This shows that you're listening. While he's speaking he may also look at the other people, but every time he wants to emphasize something he will look at you again. You can then nod to encourage him to continue talking. At the end of his question, he will keep looking at you and then tilt his head up a little to invite you to give an answer.

When you answer a question, you'll look first at the person who posed the question, but while you answer you should take turns looking at the other interview partners as well. You should direct yourself again to the person who posed the question when you want to emphasize something and at the end of your answer.

Also pay attention to the body language of your interview partners

Apart from paying attention to your own body language, it's also important to see how your interview partners are behaving.

The postures and movements of other people can give you an impression of how you're coming across to them. This can serve as a warning at an early stage that you might be doing something wrong that you aren't being aware of.

For example, when the committee members are of the opinion that you hold the floor for too long or you annoy them with your interruptions, they'll show their irritation at first through their body language.

When the committee members shake their heads, sigh or fold their arms and lean back, you can take this as a sign of displeasure. Usually it isn't yet too late to change this. You see, it also applies to your interview partners that their body language takes place subconsciously. However, don't wait too long because then their irritation will transfer to their consciousness.

Don't worry too much about tension

Knowledge of body language can help you improve the mutual tuning during the interview. You can use this knowledge to hide your nervousness a little, but actually this is something you shouldn't worry about too much. Many applicants are nervous during an interview and of course they would much prefer not to let this nervousness show. However, it's not such a bad thing to be nervous. The committee members will understand this.

Your nervousness may even show that you feel this job is important to you. If you weren't nervous and therefore sit a little nonchalant, it might indicate that you aren't that interested.

Also realize that the job interview is more than just a means for the employer to determine which of the candidates is most suitable for the job. The job interview especially is a moment of mutual acquaintance. It's a first meeting with people that you might soon work together with. Therefore the boss should actually be just as nervous as you!

Frank van Marwijk

Bodycom Lichaamscommunicatie (Body Communication)
The Netherlands

3 Ways to Communicate About Children in a Marriage

1. Communication is Vital

Communication is paramount to having a successful relationship. The same is true about raising children. Parents must communicate with each other in order to reap the benefits of child rearing. Learning how to effectively communicate is mostly a task of learning how to listen. Active listening skills will help anyone communicate effectively and empathetically in a relationship and reduces the risk of not being heard. Typically one of the major areas of importance in a marriage is children. Unfortunately more often than not, one parent does a majority of the communication with the child while the other parent is an innocent bystander.

2. Know Your Child

Children grow and change so quickly, and being a parent is being part of this growth process. Staying updated on what is happening in a child's life should be a major point of interest for both parents. The parents should know what the child is doing in school, his interests, friends, enemies as well as emotional, psychological and physical well being. Often in a marriage, one parent works more than the other, or both parents work quite frequently. It is crucial to stay in contact with people who interact with your child on a daily basis, like the other spouse, a teacher, a day-care worker or a babysitter. Take some time each night to discuss your child's life with your spouse. It will foster open communication about child rearing and help you make more informed decisions based on your child's needs.

3. Share the Parental Responsibilities

Varying responsibilities of child rearing often get delegated to specific parents. For example, one parent will be in charge of tending to the child's schooling, while the other will be in charge of the his health. This kind of polarized parenting creates communication gaps and can result in marital conflict. Learn how to switch roles in the parenting process; it can be invaluable not only in sharing the responsibility of raising the child, but also in showing the child that both parents care equally about his health and well being. Don't polarize the parenting relationship and work together on making decisions regarding your child. Stay active in all aspects of the child's life regardless of whose traditional role it is. This kind of separation of parental roles only seeks to foster negative role playing; mom always goes to school plays, dad always plays basketball. It would be better for the child if he thought dad cared about the school plays and mom could shoot hoops. It's okay to wear both hats in parenting, and it is often a sign of an open and communicative household.

Sterlin Mosley holds a bachelors degree in English writing and is currently pursuing masters degree in human relations where he focuses on counseling psychology. His research interests include personality psychology and mental health pathology. Sterlin's hobbies include working out five days a week, and he has received 20 hours of personal trainer certification coursework.

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