4 Ingredients of Social Success

Have you ever met somebody and wonder ‘How do they do that’? Many people strive to make socializing, networking and relationship building as positive an experience as possible. While on the surface it may seem easy to communicate with others and ‘just be you’, there is a lot that goes into determining social success. social success
First and foremost, it is important to know that although communication and social situations may not seem to come as easily to you as it does to others, you are still a good person with important thoughts and opinions that people want to hear. Knowing this will help you understand how specific interpersonal skills can impact your social relationships.
According to social scientists, Hatch and Gardner, there are four components of these interpersonal skills that, when practiced and developed, will help you become the communicator you want to be and make certain social situations, such as in the work place or at networking events, easier. Here are the four interpersonal skills you can work on to achieve more success on a social level.

1. Organizing Groups

This involves bringing together a group of people and having everyone focus on one common goal or purpose. Why is this so important? The person who is able to effectively reach an entire group of varying opinions, personalities and character traits and pulls them together to work cohesively on one project is someone that people immediately feel that they can trust and relate to. In the work place this is an important trait and one that can give you the ability to stand apart from the crowd and position yourself as a leader.

 If there is an important project that your team is working on, by bringing a group together and commanding respect from a room full of people, you can show your boss and your colleagues that you have the ability to relate to a number of people with varying personality traits. This will put you in the position for social success in the office and may help you get promoted.

2. Negotiating Situations

Conflict is a necessary evil to solving problems and finding solutions that will help propel people forward. But managing this conflict is not always done as effectively as some people would like. For many, conflict can cause a person to get defensive, go into attack mode, or cower away and give in to demands from the opposing party. But for skilled negotiators, mediating any situation and finding a resolution that makes everybody happy is a strong trait that people respect.

At work this is particularly true. In order for a negotiation to take place successfully both parties must walk away from the situation with confidence that they got what they wanted out of a partnership or deal. If someone walks away disappointed or feeling that they got the short end of the stick, there are significant problems that could arise down the road. Strong negotiators can stand apart in the workplace just by honing their skills.

3. Personal Connections

It is human to have emotion and to feel empathy or care for other people. Still, this tends to come easier to some people rather than others. At work, personal connections are of the utmost priority when it comes to networking in particular. Networking can take place in the office, by talking with colleagues and getting connections within an organization to help get promoted, or outside the office by working with a number of partners or people.
When you have the ability to relate well to people and show them that you value their thoughts and opinions, you can open them up to be more positive toward you and about the work relationship you have which can open new doors professionally.

4. Social Analysis

Personal connections are shown on the surface but being able to analyze your approach and determine how people are detecting your connection is equally important. This final interpersonal skill will help you navigate relationships socially and professionally and help feel people out in terms of what they are thinking and feeling in a situation. In the office this is particularly important. If you are interviewing a potential investor, you need to know how they are feeling about your presentation.

With strong social analysis skills you can determine what makes them tick and what gets them excited and focus your presentation and all presentations thereafter on targeting this particular feature. This will help you close more deals and thrive professionally. By working on your interpersonal skills, you can develop not only as a person but also as a professional making you more valuable to a corporation and improving your chances at getting a raise or promotion.

About the Author

Jane Bongato is part of the team behind Open Colleges, Australia’s provider of child care and counseling courses. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and she regularly writes about child care, parenting and counseling related topics. (Find her on Google+ )

Creating Successful Relationships Through Proven Communication Skills

This is guest post by Dr. Georgianna Donadio, the author of Changing Behavior

Nothing is more critical to our health than our relationships and nothing is more critical to our relationships than how we communicate. How often have you had a difficult discussion with someone that didn't go as you intended or left a meeting with an important person in your life unsatisfied?

To change these experiences, the answer lies in having the right communication skills and tools that enable us to respond appropriately in a way that is positive for both us, and the other person. These same tools can transform how we behave in relationships and have been shown to lead to more successful and more fulfilling relationships.
A study at Brigham Young University factoring in 148 studies involving over 300,000 subjects concluded that friends and social relationships, in addition to enhancing our health also appear to enhance our longevity.

Behavior change can seem scary or complicated. If the payoff however, is big enough in terms of your own personal health and your loved ones overall well-being, wouldn't the time and energy you put into changing your behavior be worth the reward?

 The subject of how to successfully change our behaviors is something that has been widely studied and researched for decades. Most of the resulting models of behavior change, however, have not been successful in creating lasting change. Until now. A bestselling, award winning book, Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy to Learn, Proven Communication Skills, by medical educator and researcher, Dr. Georgianna Donadio, focuses provides easy to learn and proven skills that any of us can apply to all types of relationships to create more successful outcomes.

Dr Donadio’s book offers 12 steps to immediately changing how you relate to others and how they relate to you. Step one begins with recognizing that 50% of the time 90% of us are not focused or paying attention to the conversations – according to a recent Harvard study. When we are with another person our full attention should be on them and not on their inner dialogue about what they are thinking or what they want to say next. Closed body language, looking at our watch, playing with our hair and so forth, send the message that we are not paying attention and that we not interested in what the other person has to say.

As we all want to be valued and know what it feels like to have someone not pay attention to us, when we shift our focus from ourselves to paying attention to the person we are with, the conversation and relationship flourish. Step Two is understanding that holding soft, non-judgmental eye contact with someone communicates that you are fully present to them and also stimulates the limbic portion of the brain to produce oxytocin, the neurotransmitter hormone connected to trust and love.

The book goes on to discuss all 20 dimension and 12 steps to creating fulfilling and successful relationships for yourself and the individuals you communicate with. For more information you can visit www.changingbehavior.org for a free download excerpt from the book.

Dealing With Disappointment - Why We Get Disappointed!

We disappoint ourselves
Others disappoint us

Various outcomes which we have no control of disappoint us.
Even our pet dog can disappoint us!

There really is no escape. We have all been hit by various disappointments in this journey of life.

Since of late I’ve been looking into my recent disappointments and wondered why I was so disappointed in those situations.
This made me realize that I was disappointed because what I expected didn’t happen. I wrote about, Expectations: Is It A human Weakness? before, and this may be an echo of that post.

Why We Get Disappointed

So basically we disappointed when things don’t to live up to our expectations.
Disappointment is our emotional reaction to not getting what we want or expect.

Does that mean we should give up on expectations? I don’t think there is any excitement in life if we don’t expect anything.

For example, if you study well for an exam you expect a better grade.
If you are continuously performing well in your job, you expect a promotion.

No matter who you are or where you live, disappointment will always find you – it’s a shared human experience. But we don’t all respond to disappointment in the same way.
I am not here to tell you what others have already said..
“One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments.”
- Henry Ward Beecher

“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire, the size of your dream, and how you handle disappointment along the way.” Robert Kiyosaki

A disappointment is a good thing
Everything happens for a reason
God has a plan for you

As far as I can see there is no way to shield ourselves from future disappointment.
Disappointment is like emotional quicksand that drags you down and tried to bury you!

What matters is how you pick yourself up after that happens.

I would like to hear your opinion on this. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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Hallmark Moments Of 2011: December Comes Then Disappears- Faster & Faster Every Year

The heading above is part of the song, I Need A Silent Night by Amy Grant. How true.. December comes then disappears- faster & faster every year!

I started writing this blog way back in 2006. Back then, blogging was just writing and publishing. While that hasn’t changed much, there’s a lot more than just writing and publishing now! Social Media, blog marketing, video, SEO etc takes so much of time and really takes time out of what I love doing, writing! Hopefully, one day, I would be in a position to outsource all the things that I don’t want to do and just concentrate on writing. Until then, it’s a difficult juggle.

Blogging wise, this year has been huge for me. While things were fairly silent on this blog I was concentrating more on my niche blogs. It was difficult because I also have my day job. Like many people, I like to escape from my cubical nation and be my own boss thus gradually laying the foundation now in small micro steps!

Every year, I sort of have something similar to the Oscars, for blog posts. Have a look at the past years.

This year, it's not quite as grand as it used to be :-) but nevertheless I hope you enjoy...

Thank You

Questions, feedback, post ideas, product inquiries etc I've got many emails this year from various readers. Amongst those were some really heart warming emails. People sharing stories, telling me how certain posts I've written have helped them. Reading those emails makes me realize that the effort that goes into this blog is so... worth it!
Thank you very much.. my dear readers.

Whenever I get inspired and have a few minutes to spare, I will keep blogging here. I hope you are still with me and continue to stay subscribed to Enhance Life RSS through the coming year too.

All the best for the year 2012!

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Proven Tips To Get People To Reply Your Email!

Note: I recently started a new blog and all my spare time has been allocated to writing posts for this new blog. Sorry for the lack of posting here.
If you are looking for some thoughtful, actionable blogging tips with a spoonful of wit check out my other blog, Better Blogging Ways

Anyways, I was inspired to write this post because I overheard a conversation where one person was complaining about not getting replies to his emails. The usual tendency is to think “they are not interested in my email” or “they are ignoring me.”
Often, that’s not necessarily the case. The lack of reply may have nothing to do with you, more so it has to do with them! Yes, it’s not me it’s you! ;-)

Common reasons why people don’t reply email

• Waiting on someone else to get more information and then reply
• Too busy to reply
• Forgetting to reply the mail
• Can’t be bothered to reply
• The mail you sent went to their junk email so didn't get them.
• If there’s more than one person in the email TO line, each person might assume that the other might reply
• Doesn’t know the other person is waiting for a reply

So, it’s important to keep these in mind when writing your email.

Here are some email tips I have used over the last few years to get my emails replied to.

Write a good subject line

Be clear on what the email is about. Depending on the person I am sending the email to, I sometimes add a small tag [need your input] or [Action required] to the subject line. This way even without reading the email message, the person knows that I am waiting for reply.

Write short, scan-able emails!

Imagine if you received hundreds or thousands of emails per day. Everyday…. How would you get over the email overwhelm?
* If possible use one email to convey one message
* Use bullet points, group related details into headings
* Make the email scan-able by highlighting areas that you want the person to read!

Notice what I have done above ;-)

End the email with a question

This way the other person knows that you are waiting for a reply. Here are some examples,
What’s your opinion on this?
Do you think …… ?

If there’s more than one person in the email TO line, add a name of the person you are waiting a reply for.
e.g Mark: Can you confirm this is correct?

Write down a deadline

A deadline creates a sense of urgency, and most people hate to miss deadlines!
e.g I need a reply before … so that I can ….

Remind the person to reply you mail

If all of the above tactics fail to get you a reply, you can politely remind the person to reply to your mail.
Here are a few sentences I use,
* I am waiting for your reply. Please let me know about this when you get a chance.
* I was wondering if you have had a chance to look at the e-mail below yet?
* Quick reminder… I am waiting for your reply

What do you normally say? What’s a good way to remind someone to reply to your email without sounding too annoying?

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