Interpersonal Skills: 10 Ways to Improve at Work
Are you interested in improving your work ethic? Do you feel that your interpersonal skills could use fine-tuning, but are not sure where to start or how to reap effective changes in your professional habits?
Building and maintaining a solid repertoire of interpersonal skills are essential for a working professional of any level to succeed and grow within their respective field. If you are unsure what such habits even are, wonder why they are so important and want to know 10 practical ways to improve your interpersonal skills at work, look no further.
What Are Interpersonal Skills?
Whether you are dealing with one person or a group setting, you need to have solid interpersonal skills under your belt to interact effectively. Interpersonal skills give you the ability to get on with co-workers in a professional, courteous, and productive way. An important first aspect of these skills is engaging in successful communication. This includes having adept written, oral, and nonverbal communication abilities.
You also need to be a good listener who can examine a situation before offering a response. It is imperative to be a strong communicator in the workplace to deal with any disagreements, enhance business goals, and transmit information effectively to co-workers and clients alike.
Another important element of solid interpersonal skills is positivity. If you remain positive, even in difficult situations, it reveals a lot about your mettle as a professional and the way you view your responsibilities.
Smiling and maintaining a friendly manner to anyone you come across, showing gratitude for the hard work of others, and facing difficult tasks with a bright spirit is key to fostering positivity in the workplace.
nd accept the ideas of others.
Disagreements can happen in the workplace. A key component of interpersonal skills is the ability to hone in on the right approach to resolve these disagreements productively.
You must be able to pinpoint the root of the conflict, review potential solutions, and create a plan of action for ending the division. To be an effective problem solver, you must also carry your plan to completion and play your part in facilitating a final resolution.
The ability to make decisions and stick by them is a crucial aspect of interpersonal skills. If you have an idea, you need to maintain your stance, defend your thought process, and communicate a course of action to colleagues.
It is important to balance decisiveness with sensitivity, to not appear combative. If handled the right way, having a decisive manner while still being open to the ideas and opinions of others will carry you far in the workplace.
This may seem like an obvious point, but part of having good interpersonal skills is maintaining good manners. Take extra care to be sensitive to others and engage respectfully in all business dealings, however small or great they may be.
To have solid interpersonal skills, you need to have a sense of social perception. You must be able to recognize other people’s thoughts, opinions, and feelings. For instance, this can mean having the ability to recognize that a colleague is struggling and needs help, even if they do not verbalize their problems.
Being able to read social cues and subtleties will carry you far in your professional career, making you both an astute and caring colleague that others will turn to for guidance and leadership.
You need to have self-control to have good interpersonal skills. There are many annoyances and frustrations that arise in the business world, some of which could make even the most patient of people lose their temper.
Despite this, you must be able to control your anger or emotions to maintain a sense of professionalism and stay productive. If you cannot handle yourself in a controlled way, you will be ineffectual and sink under the weight of workplace stress.
Part of being a mature professional with fine-tuned interpersonal skills is being willing to remain accountable to others and maintain responsibility for your actions. You can and will make mistakes during your career.
This is a normal part of the learning process. What is important is to accept when you need guidance, learn from your mistakes, and move forward to achieve better things.
One final essential element of interpersonal skills is team-mindedness. You need to play well with others at work, no matter what your differences may be. If your team does not work as a unit, this will lessen your productivity, your efforts will be far less effectual, and the company can suffer because of it.
Whether you are working in an entry-level role or soaring through the fast track to management, if you cannot work well with a team, you will find many roadblocks in your way to success.
Why Are They Important?
They Grow Colleague Relationships
Interpersonal skills are so important because they help you grow relationships with your colleagues. Whether you keep things strictly professional or grow deep friendships at work is not the point.
If you cannot work in a respectful, cohesive way with your colleagues, your greatest efforts will miss the mark. By building a friendly, positive environment and getting along with your team members, your workplace will be more enjoyable and your clients will reap the results.
They Enhance Productivity
It is difficult to be productive if you do not have good interpersonal skills. Being able to listen well, speak effectively, write succinctly, assess non-verbal communication, and respond in kind are the fibers of any successful business.
They Enable You to Reconcile Differences
These skills are also essential to being able to resolve conflict in the workplace. Conflict is a fact of life. No matter how much you try to avoid it or get along with others, the day will come when it will cross your path at work. If you know how to communicate effectively, you will have the tools to find a solution to the conflict and work towards an amiable resolution.
10 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills at Work
The good news is, improving your interpersonal skills at worHaving excellent interpersonal skills means furthering a sense of open-mindedness. It is crucial to be open to a range of approaches in your work setting, engage in cohesive teamwork with your colleagues, ak is not rocket science. It may require alteration to your habits, some forethought, and effort, but it is well worth it. The first thing you can do to improve these skills at work is to maintain an attitude of positivity.
When you have a good attitude, not only does the work and environment seem lighter, but others will be drawn to this energy. Show respect to others, for your work, and for the business you are employed by. Things as simple as a cheerful smile, a friendly manner when engaging with others, and encouraging colleagues for a job well done are all easy ways to get started with having a more positive attitude at work.
Focus on Problem Solving
If you want to improve your interpersonal skills, you need to focus on becoming a good problem solver. If a conflict arises, think of methods to resolve it. Next, take your plan and incorporate it into a course of action to resolve the matter.
Identify goals and carry out the steps needed to achieve them. Once you have completed a plan, check to make sure it worked effectively and that the issue is truly resolved.
Hone Your Communication Abilities
You must hone your communication skills (written, oral, and nonverbal) to improve your interpersonal abilities. Your communication must transmit whatever message you require without inciting confusion or upheaval.
Honing your communication abilities starts with being a good listener. To speak and convey your thoughts, you need to listen to others and acknowledge their own ideas and perceptions. Whether you are communicating via spoken words, written content, or using nonverbal cues like smiling, eye contact, and posture to engage, all mediums of communication are essential.
Being inclusive means fostering a team environment where listening and idea sharing is welcomed. A team can always accomplish more than the individual if functioning as a cohesive unit.
Acquire Management Skills
If you want to fine-tune your interpersonal capabilities, acquire management skills. This means having the ability to hold it together during a stressful day or when a co-worker gets on your nerves, purposefully or not. If you cannot control yourself, that negativity will spread outward and affect your entire work environment, stopping healthy communication dead in its tracks.
You need to be accountable. To grow yourself as a professional and enhance your productivity, you must be ready and willing to take responsibility for your actions and be accountable to others along the way. This will not only engender trust and respect with your colleagues, but it will allow you to better learn from any mistakes you make.
Mind Your Manners
If you want to improve your interpersonal skills, a simple way to start is to mind your manners. Simple though it may seem, thoughtful gestures and attention to etiquette will go far in any business environment.
Be Socially Sensitive
Being socially sensitive means being able to recognize social cues and chances for professional growth. For instance, if you are trying to complete a particular task, social awareness will enable you to recognize negative colleagues that could inhibit your productivity, alerting you to stay away from them until the job is done.
Being socially aware also means being willing to listen to others and ask for help if you recognize expertise greater than your own. Be ready to ask questions and enhance your knowledge base so you can grow in your chosen career path.
If you struggle with complaining or whining at the office, you must stop that behavior immediately. Nothing brings down a work environment or undermines teamwork so quickly as a negative, complaining spirit. Instead, focus on positivity and gratitude. Try to smile more. Reach out to other colleagues and express your thanks for the hard work they are doing.
Along the same lines, our final tip is to foster an attitude of gratitude. Let others know you see their efforts and appreciate them. Help your colleagues if you see they need guidance and accept input from others with a spirit of teachability.
Interpersonal skills are the essential fibers of communication that enable us to speak and engage with each other. Your ability to interact effectively at work will define you as a professional. By changing your outlook and attitude, you can play a key role in affecting comprehensive change in the workplace through a fluid, cohesive communication approach.
Lack Of Motivation: Helpful Tips On How To Overcome Them
Are your goals being sidelined because of your lack of motivation? Nothing can be more frustrating than knowing you have the potential inside of you to do something great, but you can’t muster up the energy to push yourself.
Your first instinct may be to beat yourself up and try to push yourself even harder. You’ve probably already realized that this doesn’t work—or, if it does, it only works temporarily. If you truly want to address your lack of motivation, you will have to take a different approach.
What Causes A Lack Of Motivation?
Every situation is different, so your lack of motivation could be caused by many different things. However, one pattern is nearly universal: If you have a lack of motivation, then this means that one part of you is resisting another part of you. Your inner-self has reached a deadlock, and you can’t move forward.
You have not reached a clear decision about what you will do next. Maybe your conscious mind wants to move forward with a plan, but your subconscious mind disagrees. You may not even realize that this is happening.
For instance, perhaps you want to go on a diet and, consciously, this seems like a great idea to you. You may even make meticulous plans for how you will stick to your diet. In the back of your mind, though, you’re worried that you will fail, that you will be too hungry, that it will be too hard, and so on. This will cause a lack of motivation.
At War With Yourself
Lack of motivation is just inner resistance most of the time. There could be a variety of reasons for it:
Lack of motivation comes from having split yourself in half. All the parts of yourself are not working seamlessly, and this is slowing you down. You can’t force all the different sides of you to agree, though. You may not be able to push past something as deep-seated as a fear of failure, for example. It's like trying to push against a wall.
Instead, you must take a more intelligent approach. You must discover and acknowledge all the sources of resistance before you can let them go.
Lack Of Motivation Is An Important Sign
Lack of motivation isn’t always a bad thing. It can be an important signal from your subconscious mind saying you shouldn’t be doing something! Rather than ignoring those signs and seeing them as a source of weakness, it may be a good idea to look within and try to figure out what your brain is trying to warn you about.
Sometimes, it will turn out you were approaching a goal for the wrong reasons, and you may need to let it go. Other times, you might discover that you’re facing an irrational fear, which you will have to conquer to reach the goal.
The Importance Of Motivation
Motivation will wax and wane throughout any task. It’s unreasonable to expect the same level of motivation throughout your journey. However, it’s important to have enough motivation to keep moving forward, even if it’s just one inch at a time.
This is why it’s important to take preventative measures. If you feel your motivation dropping, address it before it gets too low. Acknowledge that you're unmotivated and try to figure out the reasons. This will:
The version of you that decided to work on a goal differs from the hundreds of versions of you that will actually work on the goal. Keeping your motivation up is what will bridge the gap between that initially over-confident self and the many selves that are slaving away on your project.
Tips For Overcoming Lack Of Motivation
Overcoming a lack of motivation is not always easy because it takes motivation to get over having no motivation! It’s kind of a catch-22, but there are ways to navigate this maze. Here are some important tips:
1. Pick The Right Goal
Nothing will cause a lack of motivation more than setting uninteresting goals. When you think about achieving what you set out to do, how do you feel? Does it make you excited or are you falling asleep just thinking about it?
It may seem silly to set boring goals, but most of us do it all the time. For example, you might say: “My goal is to have a stable job.” Maybe for some people, that’s exciting, but for most of us it’s more like a “requirement” than an achievement—and the reward is just more work. You will feel unmotivated.
Instead, focus on goals you know have a chance of fulfilling you. Maybe you can set a goal to find fulfilling work instead of steady work or to build an interesting business instead of one that makes a certain dollar amount per year. Focus on how the goal makes you feel for a moment, and not on the literal results. If it makes you feel nothing, it’s the wrong goal!
2. Have The Right Reasons
Another thing that will cause a lack of motivation is doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. External reasons come and go, but it’s only the internal motivation that will stay with you in the end.
For example, maybe you decided that you want to have a lucrative career because you secretly think this will help you finally look “successful” in the eyes of your overly critical mother. This is a recipe for disaster. Your brain knows your reasons are flimsy and based on neurosis, and this can lead to resistance.
If you suspect that this may be the case, try to trace your reasons for choosing a specific goal. If the reasons turn out to be silly or based on a need to soothe your wounded ego, then you may need to find a better reason.
3. Break Things Down And Don’t Worry About The Future
It seems counterintuitive to tell you not to think about the future when you’re aiming for a goal, but your goal will be achieved one day at a time, one moment at a time. Sometimes thinking too far ahead is what causes your lack of motivation.
Don’t worry too much about what you will do tomorrow. Just muster up the motivation to move forward today. You really can’t predict what kind of state you will be in a day from now or even an hour from now. Forget about it. Focus on the now. Do just one thing at a time to move your goal forward. These small actions accumulate.
4. Look At How Far You’ve Come
Let’s say you’ve been working on your goal for a while, and now you’re losing steam. It can help to look at how far you’ve come. Sometimes when we feel stuck, we forget about how much progress we’ve made. Things may move slowly, but remember that they are moving. As long as you keep your forward momentum, you will get there.
5. Build Social Support
One of the most important things that will keep you motivated even when you’re ready to quit is your social network. What kind of friends do you have? Are they supportive, indifferent, or downright discouraging?
If your social network isn’t lightly pushing you toward your goals, you might need to think about adding some new friends to your circle. If you suspect that the friends you have are toxic, you may need to cut people out of your life.
Try to find local groups of people who are into the same things you are. For example, if you’re trying to exercise more, you could join a running group. If you’re trying to start a business, your city might have some mastermind groups that could help you out.
Never underestimate the power of your social group!
A lack of motivation isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes it can be your subconscious telling you that something is awry and you need to take a pause. Other times, a lack of motivation can be troublesome--like when you're reaching for a goal. It can even become a cycle where the lack of motivation itself spirals and makes you lose even more motivation.
Luckily, this is usually temporary. If you’ve chosen the right goal for you and are striving for the right reasons, there should be enough internal motivation to help push you forward when you get stuck. Filling your life with motivating people can also go a long way.
No matter what, always remember that you will inch towards your goal one day at a time. Just keep moving, and eventually, you will get there.
5 Ways to Leverage Twitter For Your Next Event
Twitter can make your event more productive.
Recent statistics show that 66% of Twitter users have discovered a new small or medium-scale enterprise or business on Twitter, 94% plan to purchase from the SMEs they follow and about 69% have purchased from an SME because of something they saw on twitter.
Twitter is a global space where people log on to so that they catch up on what is happening in the world now. A lot of event planners do not take advantage of this opportunity and this is why their event and whatever they seek to tell the world isn’t reaching the roof of the halls. Twitter can be used to build and gain your audience as well as create viable connections with people of value.
Event planners can use twitter as a resource for education, awareness, engagement for those who are in attendance along and those who are not. Twitter is a global space where people want to get short updates, be informed, engage with others.
5 Ways to Leverage Twitter For Your Next Event
The following tips would help increase your chances of reaching them:
1. Reach Out to Influencers.
Social media influencers work as boom speakers. They say a thing and your target audience are all informed or are made inquisitive about the event. Perhaps you аlrеаdу hаvе gооd rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ wіth оріnіоn leaders but іf уоu don’t, gеttіng thеm іnvоlvеd wіth уоur event іѕ a grеаt way tо introduce уоurѕеlf and gіvе уоur еvеnt extra clout. They keep the conversation about your event alive. Just a mention of them can create even more exposure to the event or spread some key information.
2. Live Strеаmіng and Live Tweeting. If people cannot attend your event, you should take your event to them by live streaming and
If people cannot attend your event, you should take your event to them by live streaming and tweeting on Twitter. Vіdео іѕ thе bіggеѕt grоwіng trеnd оn Twіttеr, you can use youtube live, Facebooklive and other streaming platforms to include ѕоmе live ѕtrеаmіng in уоur lіvе twееtіng fоr guаrаntееd аddеd engagement. This makes your followers feel carried along, gives them an overview of what is going on and makes the next event a MUST ATTEND.
3. Oріnіоn Polls.
Involve people and attendees frоm thе bеgіnnіng by utіlіѕіng Twitter’s opinion роllѕ as a wау of hearing what they hаvе to ѕау аbоut the еvеnt оr make ѕuggеѕtіоnѕ. They соuld vоtе on аnуthіng frоm thе thеmе to thе tоріс оf thе keynote prior to the event to providing content for discussion based on the audience’s answers. Nоt оnlу will this еnсоurаgе уоur tаrgеt audience tо еngаgе with уоur event, it makes it more personal. Making the content more personal will еѕtаblіѕh a deeper соnnесtіоn. They will feel part оf thе рrосеѕѕ and the event will create a longer lasting impression because of how the content from the event impacts them personally.
4. Create your own HASHTAG.
Choose a hashtag fоr уоur еvеnt right at thе start оf thе рrосеѕѕ аnd ѕtісk wіth it. Keep іt ѕhоrt and be sure іt’ѕ unique. You will then be able to track your tweets with a search on Twіttеr. A hashtag search will only ѕhоw twееtѕ about уоur еvеnt. It allows people to get more information from a search and for you to track tweets. Promote your hashtag by іnсluding it on аll рrоmоtіоnаl mаtеrіаlѕ аnd encourage реорlе tо uѕе it іn your mеѕѕаgіng.
5. Hоѕt Cоmреtіtіоnѕ.
Crеаtіng a few competitions prior tо уоur еvеnt and during the event іѕ a great wау to kеер people іntеrеѕtеd аnd еxсіtеd. Offеrіng реорlе a chance tо wіn frее rеgіѕtrаtіоn оr VIP access оr рrіzеѕ оn Twіttеr wіll nаturаllу rеѕult іn engagement. One great competition that keeps people posting throughout the event is to provide a great prize for the person who tweets the most each day of the event and for the entire event. People love competitions and prizes, and it is a great promotional tool for you and your event.
Twitter offers a sphere of opportunities to those who can use it well and these tips will put your event on the edge of discovery. Use them effectively and build your audiences, promote important content, and gain valuable insights from your participants. With today’s social media environment and the easy access tools and resources, there is no reason not to engage your audience in valuable social media such as twitter.
5 Writing Skills for Effective E-mail Marketing
If you own a business or if you’re planning to promote an organization of some kind, then you may be wondering how you can improve your email marketing skills so that more people are exposed to you. If you’re in this situation, then look no further because we have some of the very best tips so that you can develop some effective email writing skills.
Don’t Use Names in subject lines
You might be surprised because most customers want to know that they’re cared about and that they’re valued; therefore, a personalized email seems best, doesn’t it? Wrong.
Nowadays, people are becoming increasingly wary about their online security. If you include their names in an email, people may immediately disregard your email as being fishy and they’ll be less likely to visit your page, store, etc.
When people see their name in the subject line they know it is from an automated source because no-one actually dos this when sending an email except those automated programs. They want to feel like you are writing to and engaging them directly. We will give you some alternatives in the article to grab their attention.
This is a big deal and touches a bit on your writing skills. We’ve all received that Email that is way too long. Most often, we delete it the moment it enters our inbox in fear of it being a scam or someone asking for money. They even have their spam filters set to pull out the common subject fields that automated email marketers are using. Watch out for special characters as they trigger spam filters too.
Remember, the average human now has an attention span of 7 seconds, that is one second less than a goldfish. Short titles will get their attention. They either attract or repel.
Avoid having subject lines that are between 60 to 70 characters. Ideally, make your subject lines under forty-nine characters. Adestra conducted a study that demonstrated that subjects which had less than ten characters had an open rate of 58%. That is good since the industry average according to Mailchimp is around 21% depending on company size and industry. In the UK it is 24.88 says Smart Insights. This means that there is a correlation between shorter subject lines and the number of emails that are opened.
The Adestra study also showed that emails are skimmed based on the subject line so if you’re looking for people to be more aware of the subject you’re sharing, then you should go with shorter more impactful subject lines.
Here is writing skills list on how to improve your headlines:
1. Curiosity :
Make people want to know more about what the contents of the email are. Use words to draw attention.
- Exciting development in weight loss
- Dramatically increase reading speed
- The experts are wrong
- Once in a lifetime
People what to know what is in it for them before thy even open it.
- Free Gift
- Outstanding results
- Money back guarantee
If they feel like they are missing out, it can create a sense of urgency for them to see what it is. Combine these statements with other curiosity and benefits and see what happens to your open rate.
- only 2 days left
- limited offer
- only 3 spaces remain
- Add a number:
Adding a number gives specificity to the email. It gives it a credibility from a psychological perspective. Adding a number like this can make it seem simple, easy to understand, fast to implement.
- 10 Productivity Hacks
- 3 steps to a thinner waist
Improve your subject lines and you will improve your results. Michael Materson says “80% of the success of a sales letter is determined by the headline and lead.”
Give, give, give
Giving is one of the most important parts of effective email writing and effective email marketing. Everyone loves to get something for free. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but if you send an email with the promise of free samples or free products, then you’ll find that your clicks will be soaring in no-time.
If, for example, you own a blogging platform, then you may want to send out emails that will offer a free template for your customers to use and customize. You could even make contests that will have one winner who gains a big prize.
Give them educational content. There is a concept called reciprocity. When people learn something, receive a gift, or sample something, they feel compelled to do something for you in return such as make a purchase or make a referral.
What are ways you can give?
Know When to Send Your Emails
One way how to improve your mail opening is to know when the optimal time for you to send your emails is. Studies show that from the hours of eight at night to midnight is the best time for you to send out an email and gain exposure.
These tips are a great start to show you how to improve email marketing and writing skills? Effective email campaigns take work. It is not a one and done process. Marketing is also about testing to find the best response from your target market. Set up some test groups and find out which subjects, timing, and benefits will attract your customers. Before you know it, you will get plenty of your potential customers clicking!
Interview Dr. Tom Duncan | Self-Talk
Hi it’s Penny Zenker your host of Take Charge of Your Productivity.
Here we explore your greatest potential by tapping into the ten core elements of time and energy management. Today we are talking language. Language is one of the four elements that make up our psychology. In my experience, language is the most important of the ten critical elements that make up Take Charge of your Productivity. I have come to realize that language dictates the quality of life because its centered around the communication we have with ourselves. To simplify how all of these elements come together, I came up as a windmill as a metaphor for productivity. The windmill has a gear mechanism that works from within, the smoother the blades turn the more productive you tend to be. In taking charge of your productivity there are three segments that are critical. They are psychology, strategy and sustainability. Without all three of these, your productivity windmill is underpowered. It turns but is not turning optimally. There are ten core elements that make up these three blades.
Today you will learn the influence that self-talk has on our mindset. How you can use positive self-talk to better physical health. And how to shift our language to a more productive mindset.
We are joined by Tom Duncan Md. He is a family physician. A master neurostrategist. Since becoming one, he has reduced the number of antidepressants that he prescribes to his patients by over 85%. Wow. He knows how to get to the root cause of his patient’s problems. Often eliminating the need for prescribed drugs. He now shares these practices and principles with audiences around the world through his energetic speaking engagements. His book is due out next year. His book will be available in 2014 is called Eliminating Ants, Cants and But’s Breaking through the Pattern of Depression. He is creating amazing results with his patients and audience and he is also a dear friend of mine. How fun to have you here Dr. Tom.
Dr: I am so honored to be here with you today. I am thrilled to share these insights that I have come across the past twenty years.
P: I know you as a man with an incredible passion for healing people. Can you share with our listeners what motivated you to become a medical doctor?
Dr: I wanted to help people. It was that simple. I saw the compassion that the people gave my father when he was suffering from lung cancer. I was in the army program ROTC. I went on active duty and worked with amazing physicians and physicians assistants. I noticed there the difference they make in people’s lives. After going to medical school, and the time I spent in school, learning western medicine, what I noticed was and not making it right or wrong, I saw myself treating the symptoms and not the root cause of what was going on. Now I wanted to take a look at that. How can I help people heal themselves? That is what really motivated me to step up.
P: It’s so important to get to the root cause of the problem. I am so impressed with an 85% reduction in antidepressants. How is that possible?
Dr: What is amazing in my practice is it’s a spectrum of suffering people. They come in from a complete range of suicidal to we all deal with our humanity. Struggling with finances, relationships and everyone is struggling with that. What I noticed was a pattern of behavior that is taking place and I was wondering if I could share a personal story with you. It was several years ago and I was struggling with who I was, what I wanted to be and just what is it that was my calling. I was a practicing physician in the army. It was going well but my personal life was in shambles. I was developing symptoms of depression and anxiety and I went to my colleagues for help. I was given medication to help with depression. Then other symptoms happen and then more prescriptions. Pretty soon I was on a cocktail of medication. My health wasn’t very good. I was extremely overweight. Just not having a very healthy lifestyle. Then I was struggling with a marriage going through a divorce. Then the pinnacle of all of this Penny, was I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. How am I gonna take care of this? All I could think of was having a neurosurgeon going through my mouth and to my brain to take out this tumor out of my pituitary. I thought there has to be a better way. That is when I started seeing these patterns. Not only in myself, but in all of the other people coming to me. I don’t think it’s genetic. What is turning those genes on and off has got to be in the environment. That is where I saw the power of self-talk. Our self-talk is so important and I believe it triggers those environmental effects within our genetic code that can cause the genetic or the chemical imbalance within our brain that gives us symptoms of depression. To get back to the question, how have I been able to reduce prescription is by showing people that they have a choice. They are not at the consequence of everything around them. They have control of two things in their life Penny. Those two things: 1. We get to control our inner talk. 2. The things that we put into our body. I know you have Dr. Isaac Jones coming up who is amazing. He is going to talk about cellular health and detox. Today, I am going to talk about the effects of self-talk on healthy cells and how it generates overall health and vitality. By addressing the self-talk and they are actually in charge where they can build an emotional muscle over time to become emotionally fit. Where I talk with people in my clinic, I ask them if they can work out once and be fit for life. And they say no, of course not. It’s the same thing as becoming emotionally fit. You have to build and believe and become associated with it. You build that muscle over time. It’s absolutely amazing to see people step into their own selves and own it. They see that yes, they can do it.
P: What’s great there is this is the number one important element out of Take Charge of Productivity, simply focusing on that muscle of language, you have been able to help these people to reduce their antidepressants. That is incredible. Tell us about your upcoming book. Eliminating Ants Cant’s and Buts: breaking depression. What does that title mean?
Dr: I love keeping it simple. Many of your listeners or yourself are familiar with what not to wear. Have you heard of that show? What amazes me is watching how they take somebody who is doing beautiful things in their life as far as their vocation, but the exterior doesn’t quite match that. They take them through a process and at the end they come out transformed. They have beautiful hair and makeup and clothes that fit their body. What’s amazing with that is that their self-talk makes shift as well to support their new self-image. How that shows up with them is just truly amazing. With my book, I help people take that journey from where they are at with their current self-image, and they build the little nuggets to where they want to take that. They transform themselves.
P: I love that. That program shows us that our beliefs are created through our self-talk. Many people think they can’t change who they are. If you take off what you are wearing and put on something else, you can believe what you want to believe. It’s true. Think about the way you feel differently when you are wearing sweat pants versus a suit. Or you are dress in a tuxedo. You get a completely different feeling. I think that is a great metaphor for people to think about. It’s as simple as changing clothes.
Dr: I agree.
P: I am excited for your book to come out. I wanted to ask you about the concept of hierarchy of communication. How self-talk impacts everything that we do. Tell us specifically in your book how language plays a role.
Dr: It’s simply how language creates our inner feelings, emotions and our self-talk. We are either growing or we are dying. So it’s the struggle I see with people. Faith versus fear type of thing. When people use language like I am a failure and I can’t succeed, that creates the fear factor. It creates a protective effect within our body and we shut down the overall growth factor but we become into that fight or flight response. We talked about this before, when emotions run high, intellect goes low. Then it shuts down our immune system. Then it releases the cortisol from our adrenal system. It’s just in the protective mode. So there is no energy created during that process. If you are going with more of a process where I am controlling the meaning to make it empowering meaning I am able to transform that energy and continue with those positive thoughts.
P: Through your book, you are teaching people how to achieve this. Yes?
Dr: You know what is amazing. It’s as simple as driving a car with a stick shift. The first time you get in and put it in first gear. You let off the clutch perfectly and you drove smoothly. Ha ha ha….No I actually went over a two-foot embankment and almost ran over a truck. My father made me get back in and drive it immediately, what a great gift. The thing is now, over time as I exercise that emotional muscle, it’s just become who I am. How I am able to show up. Again, we all start where we are. There is a beautiful place to be. Just continue to visualize where you want to go. Live with solutions and measure results and keep building that muscle. It is an easy thing to do when you look at it as a fun playful process. You can think, I am just changing my shirt here. The reticular activating system, once we become aware of it consciously, our conscious mind helps us scan that. Focusing on what you want plays a huge role. On the flip side, I will joke around and say to my clients, whatever you do, we are going to get series, I will put on my serious face: Don’t think of a blue monkey. They look at me like I am crazy. I said, don’t you think about it. They laughed because they did. My point was to show them that even though I told them not to think about it, they went ahead and did it anyway. I tell people about the pattern. Saying I don’t want this and I don’t want that….you will get what you don’t want. If you don’t have an idea of where you are going any road will get you there.
P: It’s time to take a break. Stay tuned as we get into more depth of language.
Hi everybody. I am Coach Penny Zenker and we are speaking about the power of self-talk with Dr. Tom Dunkin. Author of Eliminating Ants, Cant’s and Buts: Breaking the Patterns of Depression.
Dr: Thank you so much for having me on your show.
P: My next question is: how do you define productivity and why?
Dr: Not only am I a family physician, I also am part owner of a business. It is near and dear to my heart. My definition is simply an equation of productivity equals your energy divided by the resistance. Energy equals the amount of time and effort it takes to accomplish a task verses the resistance of getting those tasks completed.
P: I like that. Based on that equation, what are the factors and elements that have the biggest impact on productivity?
Dr: What I truly see is the rapport within oneself. Again, self-talk. It’s the biggest takeaway from productivity. What I see is not only within myself, but other people. It’s a pattern of doubting of whether I can or can’t do it. We spend more time holding onto old patterns that no longer serve us and fight that blue monkey. Verses letting that go and focusing on what we do want. That is what I see. Its having that alignment. I talk about that in my book. How to align your conscious mind and unconscious mind. Your mission, your vision and to practice that with visualization. Then you can live that. You can measure the results.
P: Is that the energy part of the equation part?
Dr: No that is in the resistance part. Energy is completely separate. You have two ways to increase productivity. You can either increase the amount of energy or reduce the resistance. Reducing the resistance.
P: Ok, can you take a moment to talk about the energy side of things.
Dr: Energy when it relates to self-talk, is how we feel about ourselves. How do we actually see ourselves? That is going on through our values, beliefs, past experiences. When I talk about my vision I see myself as a healer. Someone who is passionate about helping people and helping them experience their dreams. When I say that, right now I have goosebumps from head to toe. That energizes me. That is the power. That is the energy I am talking about when you are looking at productivity. How do you see yourself? How your language creates that juice inside of you that makes you want to serve somebody. How can I become more? How can I grow and give back and make a difference in this world today.
P: I told the listeners that you are passionate. They are seeing it! Let’s go to the x factor. You talked about the equation and you talked about the different factors that have an impact. Is there one thing that you would say is the x factor?
Dr: Yes, it’s the resistant portion of that. Instead of adding more energy, it’s an option, and sometimes it’s easier to just let go of the things that no longer serve you. The obstacles that I have seen are the ones we place in our own minds.
P: Interesting concept. Letting go of the resistance seems to be the most challenging aspect.
Dr: The difference between faith and fear here. Even though we are not doing things that are serving us, it’s because it’s comfortable. We humans don’t want to let go of something that is known even though it is no longer serving us. If we focus in on our faith, that yes, there is something more, we can become more, I truly believe there will be a shift in our psyche that will support that. That is where you have to believe and let go of the baggage. One of my issues is with all of this energy and passion, sometimes I can be an emotional leader. So I used to fight don’t open the fridge, don’t open the fridge, when I was upset. I spend more time saying don’t open the fridge, instead of reaching in and grabbing food, I have a bottle of water at eye level. I grab the water and keep moving.
P: What a great strategy.
Dr: I have let go of the thing that doesn’t serve me. Instead of fighting against it, use it and make a healthier choice in the process.
P: You have created this strategy out of that and you know that is happening so you have taken your environment and set it up so that you have a better choice available. From your experiences as a family physician, how does language affect our health and physiology?
Dr: You hear the commercials that say we are what we eat. I am also a firm believer that we are what we think. We wouldn’t pour kerosene in the gas tank of our car and wonder why it doesn’t run well. We do that to our body sometimes I think what you see when you are not eating the right foods, sometimes your body will reflex that through disease. You can be overweight or high blood pressure. You really just don’t see the impact it has on the brain. We have a tendency to neglect it and say it must not be true if we can’t see it. But if you really truly think about it, the same thing that happens to us when we are eating unhealthy foods, the same thing is when we are not thinking healthy thoughts.
P: There is a direct correlation between our physical health and our mental health. If we talk about the communication as a piece of our mental health, right?
P: In my program, I talk about the quality of our life is determined by the quality of our communication. I don’t mean in the form of affirmations. Saying things over and over again. That won’t make it truer. But really generating positive self-talk and quality questions to generate energy that is going to have a huge impact on our outcome. From your experience as an MD, how much of our energy comes from language?
Dr: I think it is the hub of all of our energy. From my perspective, energy comes from 3 different sources. Instinctively from the food, we bring in and also from the activity we have. Physical activity will generate energy as well. Our mission of who we are and then from our autobiography of what are the events in our lives and that all feeds through our self-talk and self-image to create the spark in the morning that wants us to go out to make a difference. The strongest force in human psychology is how we define ourselves. Our self-image, our identity. So when you see yourself as someone who is passionate and energetic, you step in and you own that shirt or tuxedo and it becomes who you are.
P: We gain some valuable insight about our identity last week. Larry Ackerman. So for our listeners, if you didn’t listen to that program you will want to go back and listen to that. Tell us, in your practice, how do you see using language with your patients?
Dr: I had this unique gentleman, who is 69 years old. Just the sweetest greatest guy in the world. He comes in with his wife. She is in tears. His kidneys were shutting down from his diabetes. His blood sugar was 250. When I was talking with him, it was kind of like, he wasn’t owning it. The bottom line, I said you had to get your diabetes under control. He said, well, we will see. I said we’ll see? That is not good enough. You deserve better. What is it about yourself from the past when you had to face a challenge, would you have said, we’ll see? Do you really think with “the we’ll” see the approach you will actually do that? He said, no, I guess not. I said how can you own this right now because not only do you deserve better, your bride deserves you as well. What was amazing was to see that shift when his eyes lit up and he said, that’s right I own this and can do this. I saw him just the other day and to have him walk in, he was lit up. You could tell as a man, he owned himself. His wife was just beaming at him. You could feel the love that they were sharing. He said I have got this. We checked his blood sugar, it went from over 250 down to 150 in seven weeks, Penny.
P: And did you prescribe any medication?
Dr: No! And actually the medication he was on, he has goals to start to get off.
P: I have heard people say they can’t change who they are. I know that people change all of the time, on a dime. Just like this man you are referring to. Often, it can be from an event, or it can be from simple questions at the right place at the right time. Do you have any experience with asking the right question at the right time?
Dr: I had a man come in. Blue-collar, salt of the earth, kind of guy. He came in telling me he didn’t want any of my medications. He said he was depressed and hated his job and life. I said, wow, well welcome. So what I found out was that he built guard rails for the state and so he was out working every day and really making a difference. The love of his life was his two twin girls and to watch him talk about his beautiful girls, he would light up like a Christmas tree. I go oh, so what is it that you do? I build guard rails, it’s a dead-end job. I asked how are you serving people? Through a series of questions, I got to the point of helping him realize that he was saving lives. To watch him shift into that new thought process of how he sees himself. I said, so not only do you save lives so other parents can go home be with their families, what else does it allow you to do. After a few questions, he realized he is able to pay his mortgage for his own so that his daughters have a safe, loving place to grow up in.
P: Perhaps you could share a story where it’s made a difference in your life.
Dr: It was a day that I was talking with you. As a busy physician, I see 25 patients a day with mountains of paperwork. In the past, I used to label my paperwork as drudgery, and difficult and something I didn’t like. You asked me a question. You said, how is it that you can continue to serve your clients? I went oh my gosh, you are right. The light bulb went on. I went I am continuing to serve my clients by doing this charting. From that shift Penny, I have been able to work less because I get my work done on Thursday night before I leave. I have time now to do other things that I enjoy.
P: Could you share what was the strategy to that?
Dr: Within our charts, we have a picture of our client. So, I would become interactive with my client and it became easier to for me to go deeper into each patient.
P: Time for our final break.
Welcome back to the last segment of this week’s Take Charge of your Productivity.
I am joined today by Dr. Tom Duncan.
P: Tom, this has been an incredible show today. I know they have walked away with a lot of value. Where can we learn more information about you, your book and your programs?
Dr: Thank you. My website is under construction DrThomasDuncan.com
P: I know you are releasing a new online healing program. Could you share more about that?
Dr: Yes, I was suffering from a brain tumor in my pituitary gland. Through the process of visualizing the positive and turning off the negative. I was able to absolutely heal myself. I am creating visual programs that help deal with headaches, fatigue, sleep issues, stomach issues, etc. It will allow people the ability to empower themselves so they too can heal themselves just as I did.
P: What an incredible resource. I can’t wait for that to come out. I also understand that you are focusing more time on public speaking. You are taking it on the road. What are the topics that are available to speak on? What audiences do you speak to?
Dr: My audience is very diverse. I see people on the entire spectrum from those who are suicidal to people who just want to become more.
P: Go back and listen to this program again because I love that equation that you brought up in the beginning. You said it so eloquently. The equation of productivity was a combination of energy and resistance.
Dr: The combination of energy divided by resistance.
P: I wanted people to hear that again. It is so powerful. To summarize today’s program. Language is a key driver in energy management and directly affects the results we get or create. If we ask ourselves and others quality questions, we get quality answers. It is as simple as it sounds. By changing your self-talk, you can change the quality of your life. In my webinar membership program, I go into more detail on the hierarchy of communication. How you can change that to optimize your confidence. Regulate your emotions. Feeling good about what you are achieving and your results which are ultimately how you measure your productivity. You have heard here from Dr. Tom Duncan. He provides amazing resources. His site is DrThomasDuncan.com to get some amazing resources around the language component. Please send us a message on Facebook, tweet on twitter, text us and really let us know what you think. Go to my site www.facebook.com/PennyZperspective and on Twitter you can reach me on www.twitter.com/pennyzenker If you have any questions, please post them or send me an email. Join us next as we talk to Dr. Jones, CEO of Designer Health Centers and the world-leading detoxification expert. He will share with us common mistakes people make and damage their overall health. Until next week, this is Penny Zenker reminder to Take Charge of Your Time and Energy. It’s a choice you can feel good about.