Daily Archives: March 30, 2015

Girls Compete With Each Other, Women Empower One Another


I hope you will read this with an open mind and a gentle receiving heart, the same as it is from the one posting it. May it enlighten you to more about life, other women, and yourself. May it encourage you to make changes that will make you feel better about yourself and may it inspire you to be that mentor to younger women struggling to make their way in this troubled world.

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she has to take a close look at herself. Not at her circumstance, not at what she did, not how unfair life is or not at who made you do it. She has to just look at herself in all her glory and imperfection.

For many women, this is a scary thing because often times they don’t want to know the truth about themselves. Virtuous women know what I mean.

As women, we have a tendency to water one another down. Maybe it makes us feel good or look better than the next woman. Or maybe we just don’t know how to tell that woman how we admire her.

In reality, we really WANT to look at ourselves and the pain we project towards other women.

Have you ever admired a woman who has been through changes in her life? Or have you made up in your mind that she is just messed up.

Before you make this mistake, take a close look.

The women who have endured the most abuse, mistreatment and/or pain in life are the chosen by God filled of wisdom. Someone who has been chosen by God to go through so that others may be enlightened is a role model for the afflicted.

Think of all the great women in the bible, Mary Magdalene, Ruth and Naomi, The woman with an issue of blood, and Esther, to name a few. Mary was a very uneasy woman.

By the time God was done with her, she was His closest follower. Esther was unfortunate in marrying an abusive man.

By the time God was done with her, she married one of the wealthiest men in the land.

Have you ever admired the strength of a single mother? Or have you made up your mind that it’s too bad she had children on her own.

A single mother knows no bounds when it comes to her children. She is strong and durable. Single mothers are strong, not because she has to be, but because it comes naturally for her to protect the extensions of her very being.

Her love for her children is like that of fuel to a car. Most mothers keep their tanks full because they understand that, if it runs low, you could jeopardize the car and have problems in the long run.

Other women only fill it when it is needed. Their cars usually break down.

Have you ever wondered why some women are not approachable? Or have you made up your mind that she is just mean.

A quiet woman is a smart woman. She is valuable.

She doesn’t go off half-cocked and she won’t be the one to argue with you over nothing. She just may even let you go on “setting her straight” and politely back out without a fight. She doesn’t let many in her world.

After all, she has probably been through the fire and had to rebuild. So why let just anyone in? This is usually the woman that only has “small talk” and knows her place, which is away from all the unnecessary things in life.

Have you ever wondered why that woman is so loud? Well, hey she has a lot to say. These are usually our younger women who have to learn refrain.

They are eager and unsettled. They talk before they think, and they do not think before they talk. They just go.

Have you ever wondered about that woman who appears to have everything, yet is still very unhappy? Well, she doesn’t have everything. She doesn’t have personal validation.

This is something that cannot be bought. This is something developed over many mistakes and challenges that have taught lessons of the unbearable.

Women are so quick to beat the next one down instead of trying to hold her up. Before you wonder, “What’s up with her?” ask yourself, “What’s up with me?” Why do I beat down another woman to build myself up?

That woman could be my mother, sister, aunt, in-law, stepmother, niece, grandmother, great-grandmother, neighbor, friend, co-worker, etc. That woman could just be me.

Women are the carrier of life, not the channel of death. Let’s build and encourage each other, as did Ruth and Naomi.

Encourage and Love, Forgive and Forget, trust that the woman that receives this will be touched in some way.

Peace and Love To You All

~You reign over the unspoken word, once you speak and release it, the unspoken word reigns over you so choose wisely.

“He who is wise will keep an open mind until he has fairly tested the various proofs that are available to him”

To be persuasive, one must be believable;

To be believable, one must be credible;

To be credible, one must be truthful.

My passion for life has always been fueled through serving the needs of others by helping others achieve their dreams. I have found that by helping others I receive paychecks of the heart that money cannot replace, the joy I see on a mothers face when she no longer struggles to feed her family is truly priceless. The relief I see in a woman’s eyes who no longer has that tired look of not knowing how her day was going to end because her future was in the hands of her abuser is what I thrive on because I too was once her. The excitement I hear in a woman’s voice because she has a successful business earning a six-figure income when she remembers a time when she did not know how she was going to pay the rent is simply a blessing. The respect I see in husbands’ eyes for his wife who has grown from a timid girl into a strong, independent, and successful woman is a sight to behold. I have been all of these women. I want this for all of you!

As you come to know me better my hope is that you will feel the pride that I have lived with in my Cherokee heritage. I am active in the Cherokee nation, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary. I specialize in teaching others to become Independent, not co-dependent. I wish to think that my specialty is not as a teacher but as an example.

I choose to live by example and follow a great leader rather than lead by ignorance.

~Lisa Christiansen

The Art Of Listening


Listening to hear and be heard

Dr. Nichols is professor of psychology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. He is author of The Lost Art of Listening (Guilford Press, New York, 1995), from which this article is adapted.

“Why won’t he even listen to my idea?” “Why am I cut off before I provide the whole story?” How many times have you been frustrated by someone not listening to what you have to say? How many times have you frustrated others by not listening to them?

We tend to think that listening is the same as hearing; listening is being fully present and alert to those situations in which the person you’re with needs to be understood. Listening problems can be serious at work and listening is love with family and friends.

Many times we jump in to say what’s on our minds before we’ve even acknowledged what the other person has said, short circuiting the possibility of mutual understanding. Speaking without listening, hearing without understanding is like snipping an electrical cord in two, then plugging it in anyway, hoping somehow that something will light up.

Most of the time we don’t deliberately set out to break the connection. In fact, we’re often baffled and dismayed by a feeling of being left sitting around in the dark.

Good Leaders are Good Listeners

Leaders are expected to lead and direct the people. More often than not people are promoted because they were good at the jobs they were doing, not because they’ve proven themselves as Leaders.

In fact, according to the Peter Principle, people tend to advance until they reach their level of incompetence. As a result, many executives and leaders pay more attention to the product than to the people producing it to the detriment of both. Effective Leaders are Proactive Listeners.

They don’t wait for members of their staff to come to them; they make an active effort to find out what people think and feel by asking them. The leader who meets frequently with staff members keeps informed and, even more important, communicates interest in the people themselves are the most successful because they know what others desire and are humble enough to serve and fulfill the needs of others even above their own..

An open-door policy allows complete access; it doesn’t substitute for an active campaign of reaching out and listening to people. The leader who doesn’t ask questions communicates that he or she doesn’t care.

And if he or she doesn’t listen, the message is “I’m not there for you.” Even if a leader decides not to follow another’s suggestion, listening with sincere interest conveys respect and makes others feel appreciated, respected and valuable.

Communicating by memo, text or email however witty or informal–doesn’t substitute for personal contact because it closes off the chance to listen. Simply going through the motions of meeting with people doesn’t work either.

The fake listener doesn’t fool anyone.

Poor eye contact, shuffling feet, busy hands, and meaningless replies, like “That’s interesting” and “Is that right?” give them away.

The insincere listener’s lack of interest in the conversation betrays a larger problem: lack of interest in the person with whom the listener is communicating.

Even at work, where performance takes priority over relationships, listening carefully. Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

To understand the other person’s point of view, before you even think about replying, is the key to productive communication.

It’s important to realize that failure to listen isn’t necessarily a product of meanness or insensitivity.

Anxiety, preoccupation, and pressure can undermine the skills of even a good listener.

The point is, really, that at work, as in every other arena of life, listening is important and may require a little effort.

Effective Leaders develop a routine in which communication time is an integral part of the job. They meet with their staff and ask questions. They don’t react, they gather all of the facts and find an appropriate response and resolve. If they don’t know what their people are thinking and feeling, they ask and they listen.

What if Someone Doesn’t Listen?

If at this point we were to leave the subject of listening in the workplace, we would have fallen into the easy habit of reducing a complex subject to a simple formula: thoughtful Leaders listen to what others have to say. Where does that leave those who don’t get listened to at work? Feeling sorry for themselves?

When we don’t feel heard by our superiors, few of us give up right away. We write memos, we ask to meet with them, we try to communicate our needs and convey our points of view. Then we give up. Frequently, we complain to our others including our family and friends.

Venting feelings of frustration with third parties rather than addressing conflicts at their source can take on epidemic proportions. Sometimes it takes on the form of gossip, running down someone who’s not present.

Letting off steam by complaining to sympathetic listeners about other people is a perfectly human thing to do. The problem is that habitual complaining about superiors locks us into passivity, helplessness, and mean-spiritedness.

We may have given up trying to get through to them, we certainly don’t mind saying what we think of them as long as they aren’t within earshot.

I once worked in a clinic with six other psychotherapists, where everyone except the director went out for lunch together. Guess what the main topic of conversation was? The director and guess what the group did about it? Complained regularly among themselves, as though they were a resistible force and he were an immovable object.

Some of you might be thinking, my “someone” really is insensitive! I’ve tried to talk to him and he just doesn’t listen. I don’t doubt it. People aren’t promoted because they’re good listeners.

They get promoted because they’re good workers, or maybe good talkers.

Moreover, positions of authority encourage the directive side of human nature, often at the expense of receptivity.

The mistake people make in trying to get through to unreceptive superiors is the same mistake most of us make in dealing with the difficult people in our lives: We try to change them. And when that doesn’t work, we give up.

Instead, start by examining your own expectations. What do you want, and how are you programmed to go about getting it? Are you expecting to have your personal needs met? Do you work hard and wait patiently for “someone” to tell you that you’re doing a great job, like a good little boy or girl?

Have you learned to attempt getting responded to by being clever rather than competent, or by being pleasing rather than productive?

Be Careful

Listening is important because it enables people to understand each other, get along, and get things done. don’t get too personal. Don’t let your compassion (or desire to be appreciated) allow someone to let talking about their personal problems interfere with your outcome. Listening objectively allows you to hear their language and speak it in a way that serves everyone involved.

A good leader keeps channels of communication open and keeps them focused on the outcome by asking for frequent feedbacks about how things are going.

“What do you like and dislike so far?”

“Is there anything you think we should change to make things more productive?”

“How do you feel about…?”

Remember that it can be intimidating for others to give criticism or make suggestions. If you want them to feel safe enough to open up, reassure them that you respect their opinion and appreciate their ideas.

“I’m glad you spoke up.”

“Thanks for letting me know.”

“I didn’t realize…I’m glad you told me.”

Listening to the people isn’t the same as becoming friends with them. Many people worry that if we allow ourselves to get personal, things might get sticky.

Those who think that effective teamwork isn’t about listening (it’s about getting things done) are wrong. Without being heard we are diminished as people.

In any group, especially one with important responsibilities, you may disagree with someone’s point. Should you just keep quiet, or should you speak up? How should you speak up? The answer is always with respect and appreciation.

Keep in mind the difference between dissent and defiance.

Defiance means attacking the other person’s position and making him wrong.

Dissent meant having the courage to stand up for what you think and feel. It’s the difference between saying “You’re wrong” and “This is how I feel.”

Clearly, a dissenting message is much easier to hear than a defiant one. The listener is more willing and interested in hearing a dissenter’s objection.

Someone who hears a defiant objection will tend to either ignore the comment or rudely be counter-defiant. This is a common problem that tends to increase barriers between people, something you don’t want.

Careful listening is difficult and takes practice to improve. Learn to understand the other person’s perspective. That takes an expression of caring enough to listen.

Listening is not a need we have; it is a gift we give.

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