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Posts Tagged ‘communication

Tips on how to make a small talk from Keith Ferrazi

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I came to know Keith through Michael, and my encounter with Keith, an Italian American somehow reminded me on an experience when an Italian teacher of mine unexpectedly saw me in a professional conference in US, was so happy and rushed to kiss my cheek. Well, as an Asian, I was not used to such a very warm of greeting, but I do appreciate his warmth and caring attitude.

My Italian teacher is a famous professor in his field of expertise, and he remembers me because I am one of his weaker students. I asked him more questions, so like it or not, he ended up remembering me (at least my face). But I guess I have a good attribute too though I am not among his smartest students, it is never give up.

I am grateful to Keith for sharing a lot of useful advice. Herein, I share tips that I learned from Keith Ferrazi on how to make a small talk. They are particularly useful to me because I want to expand my network of friends and acquaintance for my new endeavor next year.

"Friendship si created out of the quality spent between people, not the quantity."

How to make small talks?
1. First, give a person a hearty smile. It says "I’m approachable"
2. Start a conversation, keep it going, create a bond. Be proactive (as Stephen Covey advices).
3. Relax. Unfold your arms.
4. Be yourself. Your uniqueness is your power.
5. Maintain a good balance of eye contact. Unblinking stare 100% of time = leering (scary!). Eye contact less than 70% of time = disinterested and rude.
6. Nod your head and lean in (without invading duifang space).
7. Be sincere, without pride nor insecurity. Do not be an eye darter.
8. Share your passion (e.g. food, cooking, writing, reading stories for children), but do not preach it.
9. Vulnerability is one of the most under-appreciated assets in business today.
10. Adjust your Johari window.
11. Learn to listen.
12. If all else fails, "You’re wonderful. Tell me more."

See also
email "Keith Ferrazi"

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Written by blueroselady

October 28, 2013 at 6:49 am

How to use quotes to better your life? 4 empowering tips

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Do you love quotes?
Do you have a collection of quotes that you love?
Would you please share one or few with me those that you love most (in comment below)?

When I was a high school student, like other boarders, I was assigned to a particular class room for 7-10 pm self-study every Sundays to Fridays, and Saturdays too when it was near the exam period!

I was fortunate that the class room where I was assigned to had inspiring quote written on the black board.
坚其志,苦其心,劳其力,事无大小,必有所成。

Since then, I started to collect my own quotes.

I also learned that by including quotes in my essays, I can improve the quality of my writings, and received higher marks. So, I started to memorize some useful quotes.

Agreeing with my friend Passuello of Litemind, quotes can instantly transform our moods, feelings & emotions, like a keyboard shortcut. Being short & succinct, quotes act faster than books, music & movies.

Toni Robbins highlights the importance of being able to instantly switch our mood, it is a relief to realize that quotes can be one of our arsenals.

We may have already known about the idea that a particular quote expresses, but sometimes we may have forgotten about it. The quote can serve as our reminder.

Sometimes, we may subscribe to popular ideas, but not everything popular is always right. Quotes of different (if not opposing) ideas can challenge our perspectives.

Sometimes, we have an idea on particular issues, but we are struggling to find the right words to express it. Herein, quotes come as a shortcut & springboard for explaining our ideas / established views / formed perspectives to others.

To summarize,
1. quotes are useful to instantly transform our emotions.
2. quotes can make us happy and hopeful.
3. quotes challenge our perspectives.
4. quotes enable us to communicate (write, speak, talk) effectively.

Bonus:
# Quote of the day:
Do our Best
Let God do the Rest
# Quotes at the end of my email

Written by blueroselady

September 9, 2013 at 10:56 am

Exercises to hone public speaking skills inspired from Toastmasters

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Once, I had the opportunity to attend a sample club meeting of a Toastmasters Club.
Although I found such a meeting provides a platform to develop & hone our public speaking skills, I decided not to join immediately because I had other priorities at that moment.

However, whenever we have the opportunity (time & audience) to give a speech (e.g. to an audience of strangers), we should cherish it.

Below are some exercises to improve our communication skills, especially for giving public speeches / talks.

# Storytelling : You can tell a story to your (younger) family member, this activity nurtures companionship & communication. A friend’s Dad used to tell stories to her until the age of 10 – that is when her father died due to lung cancer, but to her, who chooses to believe in every cloud has a silver lining, her father lives forever in her heart.

I have also been telling stories to my baby from the lovely books written by others, but how I wish I could tell him more on personal stories, something related to him, his family members, the place where he was conceived & born. To many of us, the most meaningful stories are those that are personal or those that we can relate to personally.

# Prepare & practice : Remember the 10,000 hours of deliberate practice that the best in every field have diligently undertaken. When you practice more, your create new brain connections, you become smarter, stronger, & healthier.

# Count Ah : While you practice delivering your speech / giving a talk, record it. Then re-listen to your speech, count how many times you make the audible pauses such as "ah," "er," "um," "well," and "you know". Try to minimize it next time.

# Impromptu : Get a collection of common topics. Give a 1-2 minutes or 5 minute speech about it. This exercise trains your mind to think fast & clearly, to organize your thoughts well in a very short amout of time.

# Timer: Besides using timer to keep track and manage time while cooking, heating up food for your baby, you can also use timer to refine our speech, so that we do not over talk & give other people a chance to speak.

# Record & Review : You do not need an expensive gadget, you can simply use your mobile phone to make a video.

Bonus exercise:
# Listen to inspiring talks (e.g. TED talks, BBC documentaries), note down the main points, re-deliver the talk using your own words & illustrations (personal / local examples) & if you can, add your own reflections. Be innovative!

Written by blueroselady

August 29, 2013 at 8:13 am

How to deal with abusive spouse? 6 loving tips to survive

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A real life story:
I was surprised by what my friend X has done on the 4th Sunday of June 2013.
She reported her spouse to the police for making repetitive threats that he will kill her.
The couple appears loving to me.
They are kind, charming, polite, educated people.

X and her spouse are from a Christian family,
and I know many loving Christian families
who endure hardship and have long lasting marriages.
However,
as one of the priests (whom I had the fortune to listen to) mentioned,
the Church comprises saints and evils.
Instead of naively believing everyone is good (人心本善),
my view is that,
no matter a person believes in a religion or not,
a person can have the potential to be good or bad.
What matter is to discover the potential to be good, be good and do good.

X shared with me that her spouse has been abusive to her,
she does not know if she is supposed to continue tolerating his actions.

According to BabyCenter,
domestic violence doesn’t have to be physical: it can also be psychological, sexual or financial.

People often assume that women (girlfriends / wives) who are abused come from disadvantaged or deprived communities, but middle-class women (like X) are abused too.

X told me that although she was fearful for her husband’s job,
she has gathered all courage to face the consequences of reporting her husband’s threats.

According to her, her spouse:

# threatens to divorce X, knowing that X wants to hold the family together.
I asked X if he did so only when he was angry at X, but he also did that after they have reconciled,
hence giving X emotional stress.
(X seems to be the bedrock of the marriage.
It is not easy to be the bedrock of a family, a society, a nation.)

# threatens that he will kill X.

# makes X apologize for many times, even after X thinks that they have reconciled over a disagreement / dispute. X’s spouse would want X to kneel for even small matter, which X did to appease him.

# threatens to bully their child.

# seems to be 斤斤计较 / petty-minded / selfish.
X’s spouse was unhappy if X is using laptop or appears to X’s spouse taking care of their child less.
I believe that no matter how superwoman a mother is,
a mother deserves a break.

X mentioned that her spouse argued that if he did not see her taking care of their child,
then it would not be considered as taking care of their child.
Many times, X quietly does the house chores and child caring beyond what they agreed upon.
Then, I learned that
X and he grew up in different family backgrounds.
X was raised in high discipline and independent setting,
whereas he was pampered and spoiled by his mother,
who does not mind being scolded "stupid", "fat pig" by his son.
X does not accept this because to her,
she owes a life to parents.
Such a lack of respect attitude of X’s spouse is perhaps a factor of why X’s spouse is abusive.

Reflection: in my experience, I observe that people who are stingy tend to be 斤斤计较.
Although being stingy and frugal is different,
there is only a fine line between them.
It is important to be aware of the difference.
We strive to be frugal but not stingy.

# often blames X for consequences that are also due to his behavior / actions.

If I am his friend, I will likely to get another perspectives.
However, I am a friend of X,
so many of my sharing will be based on X’s standing point.

Here are loving tips for victims / survivors like X:
1. Love.
Love yourself.
If you do not love yourself,
it is hard to love your children.
Only when you love yourself,
you can genuinely love your children and spouse.
If you do not love yourself,
you cannot love your enemy.

In my opinion, X’s spouse suffers from low self-esteem.
He does not love himself enough,
so he unleashes his built-up anger, resentment, frustrations to his wife,
because he knows that his wife is always forgiving him.

Forgiving is a virtue, but forgiving without loving yourself is not forgiving.
Loving yourself here does not mean being selfish.
Loving yourself means respecting yourself.
A mentor said,
although
(i) Matthew 5:43-48 writes
"Don’t resist violence! If you are slapped on one cheek, turn the other too."
(ii) "No, not seven times," answered Jesus, "but seventy times seven." Matthew 18: 21-22.
but if you cannot be (physically / emotionally) alive after being slapped (inclusive of being abused),
and you have the responsibility to be alive
for the sake of your aging parents and young children,
you are being selfish to them
for upholding what you believe in "false sense of forgiving".
Moreover,
although you aspire to be like your role models (e.g. Saints),
you are just a human being.

2. Pray.
Pray in the morning when you wake up and at night before your sleep.
Daily prayers really help.
Praying is a form of believing,
the law of belief works.

The family that prays together stays together
.
Praying together allows you to communicate with each other.

3. Seek family help.
X told me that she has been informing her spouse’ parents on the repetitive threats,
but they told X that he was joking.
Some jokes are not funny.
His family seems to tolerate his abusive behaviors to X.

On a side note,
X feels sorry for her parents in law,
because they are among the nicest to X.
They love to offer buying her food,
but perhaps very kind parents who do everything for their children,
may result in children who take things (including people) for granted.
X is wise enough not to blame her parents in law,
because we are all victims of victims.
X shared with me that her mother in law lost her father in her early childhood,
so she showered all his love to X’s spouse.

Indeed, according to BabyCenter,
it is not true that all men who are violent have grown up in violent homes.
Honestly, I want to have parents in-law like X’s parents-in law, but not a spouse like X’s spouse.

4. Seek spiritual / religious supports.
Personally,
I believe in God and a religion,
so it helps me in my daily life.
A friend who had a severe accident (she ended up wheelchair bound) also found serenity in religion.

Marriage is a major event in human life,
so when one’s marriage is shaken,
it is natural to feel insecure.
But,
human beings have the capacity to harness our inner security / inner peace.

In the case of X,
X told me that she had tried to seek religious helps.
She went to counseling at church,
but he refused to go.

Before their marriage,
X told me that they attended Marriage Preparation Course,
and things seemed OK at that time.
Both proceeds to the marriage at their own free will.

There are also other spiritual supports.
Louise Hay suggests us to repeat,
"All my relationships are harmonious."

X was a migrant from a developing country,
who struggled since her early life,
although she has evolved into an educated woman,
I sense that she still have some traces of feelings of unworthiness / a belief that she is unlovable,
that’s why she attracted her abusive spouse.

Fortunately, X is aware of it and is working hard to change herself.
She is indeed lovable.
She recalled her spouse asked why she wants to get married with him,
given her good qualities.

The good news is
when we change ourselves (change our habits / beliefs / behaviors),
the other person will change or
he will leave our lives.

5. Seek legal supports.
This is what X did by reporting her abusive husband to the police.

If there is an immediate threat to your life, call 999.
Otherwise, a police report can be lodged at any Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC).

In family violence cases, the Police is concerned with the following:
(i). The safety of the victim / any physical injuries?
(ii). With the consent of the victims, the Police will also refer them to the relevant Family Service Centres or Crisis Shelters for assistance.
(iii). If they wish to seek further legal protection, they will be advised to apply for a Personal Protection Order from the Family Court.
(iv). Where warranted, the Police will take action to prosecute the perpetrator.

6. Seek social supports.
A social worker told me,
after listening to many problems of people,
if you put your problem into a pile where others also put their problems,
and you have to take a problem,
you will definitely choose to take yours back and not others.

However, if your life is being threatened,
you must take actions to protect yourself and your children.

You can call / visit the Family Service Centre near your home if you need help or advice, or if you just need to talk to someone.

If you find my post useful to you, please donate to me. Thank you!
If you are a victim of domestic violence,
I pray for you to regain harmonious relationships.

Written by blueroselady

June 24, 2013 at 10:40 am

How to teach baby to communicate faster? 1. Sign language

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Hello readers!
你好!

I used to serve as a volunteer who teach hearing disabled children maths. It happened that the skill is also useful for mothers and babies, especially if babies cannot talk so well yet.

Being able to communicate is an essential form of survival skill and can make babies HAPPY.

A testimonial from Bennett & Melissa Z., CA: “Sarah learned her first 10 signs at six month and it made our lives much easier. Instead of screaming, she could tell us when she was hungry, thirsty, or tired. She learned another 50 signs by nine months and that was a blast. Now she is talking much earlier than the other children in her preschool and we think it is because of her signing.”

I learned how to sign Dad, Mom, Eat, Milk from www.babysignlanguage.com/basics/#first_five_signs
Dad / Daddy / 爸爸
Mom / Mommy / 妈妈
Milk / 母奶

WORDs that I think as important to learn to sign for:
pain / HURT
ITCH / 痒

hungry : use MILK / EAT sign.

I need DIAPER change / though I usually can smell & hear baby farting!

I need burping : try to use the sign for WIND, inspired from 肚子进风.

I am COLD / HOT.

I need HUG 抱抱.
Dually useful to mothers, the sign for HUG is useful to stop breast milk from leaking.

MORE : for I am still hungry
ALL DONE / finished : for I am full (do not over feed me).

Please
Sorry
Thank you
It is almost like you are blowing a kiss out, to thank the person – but the sign is a bit lower.
The thank you sign is also a great way to remind older kids to be polite when out in public without being overbearing or embarrassing them.

Yes
Think of the lucky cat (招财猫).
No
Seriously, no is a wonderful way for a baby to avoid frustration by enabling them to communicate when they object to something. You can teach no whenever you ask questions to give your baby an option. Say you offer your baby their pacifier and she does not take it. You can then say, “No – you don’t want the pacifier.”

Parents can also name the emotions that babies experience.
e.g.
HAPPY
Sad : The sad sign looks like you are making tears fall down your face. Take both hands with fingers outstretched, and pull them from above your eyes down to about chest level.

Angry : Teaching more complex emotions signs like angry is a for more advanced babies. It is a useful sign, because it helps you identify and acknowledge an emotion that a child is feeling.

Sleep : To sign sleep, start with fingers extended and spread apart. Beginning with your hand over your face, move your fingers down to end with your hand below your chin and your fingers touching your thumb.

Bed

More resources:
# Wordsbythehandful
# I also love the illustrated books by Mimi Brian Vance, a U.S. Diplomat for nearly a decade.
Hopefully, your and my babies learn to be diplomatic as well!

Besides sign language, how to promote speech development in our children?
2. Talk to them until we are blue in the face.
3. Read aloud to them from books (e.g. story books, poems, idioms).
4. Sing to and with them.
5. Engage with them in conversations, even when they aren’t yet talking.
6. Respond when they try to get your attention. My first son cries when he is ignored, while he was 2 months old, he wants a chatting mate in the middle of night, a challenging baby!
7. Reward their efforts.
8. I also use a pre-recorded voicenotes / lectures / prayers.

I started teaching my baby sign language when he is 1 month plus.
It is never too early to learn.
Bye-bye & Good luck!

If you find my writings are helpful to you, please donate to me by clicking here.

Written by blueroselady

March 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm

It is better not to give criticism and non-positive comments

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When I was pregnant and near to delivery, my younger brother remarked that I had gained weight. He just came back from visiting our parents and had not seen me for perhaps over 2 months. I was not angry at all, and accepted his comment as an objective assessment. That means my baby was growing and would arrive soon.

However, I will be unhappy if it was my man who made the remark. Even though I gain weight, my man is not supposed to say that, he is supposed to think and (explicitly and implicitly) say that "no matter that you are getting rounder, you are beautiful" to him.

I was also not so happy when my man’s colleague EY said that I am getting fatter. Perhaps it was because he said it in front of my man, and my man said nothing that assured me. For example, "Yes, my wife is getting rounder because our baby is growing, but she is very beautiful and radiant, right?"

So, the differences in our relationship with the person we want to give comments to do matter greatly.
It is a big NO NO for a man to criticize his woman.

To be safe, it is better not to give non-positive comments.
Say more kind (yet honest) words.
Say no hurtful words.

Written by blueroselady

February 23, 2013 at 5:55 am

Posted in family, pyschology

Tagged with , , ,

Human relationships are complex yet I want to build relationships using my simplicity and sincerity

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A successful friend (77), once told me that the most difficult thing is human relationship. In the end of March 2012, due to miscommunication, I realize that my friend is perhaps right.

People of different background are involved in this communication, from the English, the French, the Indian, to the Chinese, so it is hard for me to tone my communication to suit someone, as it involved people of diverse background.
I sent suggestions as my help was requested, but the person feel insulted.
I want to help others.
I have tried to limit myself not to help others, if they do not request my help.
Even so, I still make the other person unhappy.

A piece of advice from the mentor SH:
I think you should have a talk with him to clarify things.
All guys have ego, like your brother, I think it is of similar situation.

Lessons:
1. To tailor make my communication to different individuals.
2. Accept the fact that I cannot make everyone happy.

Another example for sharing:
A close friend of mine (a male) once accidentally asked his former colleague GM if she likes him.
The problem was she knew that he was in a relationship with a girl who is their mutual friend.
With the personality of his former colleague, my close friend made her lose face.
Since then, she refused my close friend to contact her.

Written by blueroselady

December 24, 2012 at 9:38 am