Monday, February 19, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

Active listening is really an extension of the Golden Rule. To know how to listen to someone else, think about how you would want to be listened to. While the ideas are largely intuitive, it might take some practice to develop (or re-develop) the skills. Here’s what good listeners know – and you should, too:

1. Face the speaker. Sit up straight or lean forward slightly to show your attentiveness through body language.

2. Maintain eye contact, to the degree that you and the speaker remain comfortable.

3. Minimize external distractions. Turn off the TV. Put down your book or magazine, and ask the speaker and other listeners to do the same.

4. Respond appropriately to show that you understand. Murmur (“uh-huh” and “um-hmm”) and nod. Raise your eyebrows. Say words such as “Really,” “Interesting,” as well as more direct prompts: “What did you do then?” and “What did she say?”

5. Focus solely on what the speaker is saying. Try not to think about what you are going to say next. The conversation will follow a logical flow after the speaker makes her point.

6. Minimize internal distractions. If your own thoughts keep horning in, simply let them go and continuously re-focus your attention on the speaker, much as you would during meditation.

7. Keep an open mind. Wait until the speaker is finished before deciding that you disagree. Try not to make assumptions about what the speaker is thinking.

8. Avoid letting the speaker know how you handled a similar situation. Unless she specifically asks for advice, assume she just needs to talk it out.

9. Even if the speaker is launching a complaint against you, wait until she finishes to defend yourself. The speaker will feel as though her point had been made. She won’t feel the need to repeat it, and you’ll know the whole argument before you respond. Research shows that, on average, we can hear four times faster than we can talk, so we have the ability to sort ideas as they come in…and be ready for more.

10. Engage yourself. Ask questions for clarification, but, once again, wait until the speaker has finished. That way, you won’t interrupt her train of thought. After you ask questions, paraphrase her point to make sure you didn’t misunderstand. Start with: “So you’re saying…” As you work on improving your listening skills, you may feel a bit panicky when there is a natural pause in the conversation. What should you say next? Learn to settle into the silence and use it to better understand all points of view.

Susie Cortright is the founder of and Momscape's Online Organic and Natural Living Magazine. She is also the creator of, featuring free, quality articles for your website, ezine, newsletter, or blog.

3 Great Ways to Lose Those Extra Pounds Without Exercise

Irrespective of how much weight you may desire to lose, you have likely ran into the same confusing events everybody else does. That is, should you reduce your calories? Should you reduce your fat? Should you cut back or do away with your carbohydrate consumption? Many of us get so mixed-up by all the contrasting information accessible out there, we desire to know if it would be easier to just stop eating.

If you don't previously know this, not eating can hurt you. Sure you can technically get all the nutrition you require simply by the consumption of juices or consuming vitamins, but your health will decline. Especially if you do this for long intervals of time. The trouble is not really that there are so many ideas on weight loss, the problem is that all of these ideas work. Starting a juice fast will help you lose weight. But like I mentioned before, your well-being will suffer. In some instances it could suffer seriously.


Decreasing your calorie intake likewise will work. The body uses a certain number of calories in any day, so consuming less than you are using will make you drop some weight. The trouble many individuals face with this plan regrettably though, is they are hungry day in and day out. Today foods do not keep many of us full and stuffed for very long, but they hold quite a lot of calories. So eating 3 simple meals that have 500 calories each will give us a total of 1500 calories for the day. This is rather low for many men and women, but it will help you lose weight. Alas the three meals you select to eat might not gratify you, so you wind up more hungry than not.

You could eat 5 meals with just 300 calories each and that will help quite a bit. You are not waiting so long between meals, resulting in not feeling quite as famished in the process. Be cautious with your meal selections when doing this route because as I have said, our current meals are not really low in calories. In reality, most quick refreshments are near 250 calories all by themselves.


Let's forget the calorie intake and cut the fat. Well, many still think this is the most beneficial way to use, and many do discover weight loss when they eliminate fat from their diets. The negative side though, is that eating foods with little or no fat will make you hungrier than eating foods just on calorie totals.

Eating fat helps fill you up and keeps that feeling of being satisfied for a longer period. Even worse than that, foods lacking fat tends to have more fillers like sugar and starch. Sugars and starches are handled by your body promptly, so you are more hungry again faster. Most folks make the error of believing as long as they are not eating fat, they can consume non-fat foods anytime they would like. In actuality, they are filling up on too many calories and too much non-healthy foods.

Having said that, of course there are fats you should control in your diet. They are regarded to be the dreadful fats, and are known as saturated fat or trans fats. consuming too many of these kinds of fat can bring about health problems and weight problems.


Now let us check the low carb issue. Many people think they should do away with carbs completely, but that's not a smart action either. Many of your healthy fruits and vegetables have at least a few carbs in them. So a better action is to restrict your carb intake instead of attempting to eradicate them completely.

In reality, you should attempt to select healthy good carbs in lieu of simple ones. You can still restrict the total number of carbs you take daily, make certain to eat those that are good for you like what you discover in vegetables or cheese.

This may sound strange, but a lot of people are able to eat as much food as they want as long as they are restricting their carbohydrate intake. In actuality, many people eat 3500 calories or more each and every day, but as long as they are limiting the carbs, they can still reduce their weight. The explanations are many but they are quite uncomplicated. Eliminating simple sugars, starches and carbs from your meals will control your body's insulin output. And it will pressure you to consume alternative foods, food which will fill you up better and longer.

Strange as it may seem, all of these usual attacks to to lose weight work together. And they work best when you eliminate the simple starches and sugars from your diet. Reducing your carbs to a low amount for just a couple days will stamp out your cravings for sweets, but it also cuts your appetite. Finally, you really eat much less calories totally, as you are not hungry much and you are not getting hit with sugar desires. So a low carb diet will convert to a low calorie diet over a period of time.

The same pertains to low fat diets. If done right, you could see yourself eating more fiber rich foods to aid you to feel full longer. Also foods which are naturally more superior in fiber are also naturally lower in carbohydrates and calories.

It all comes down to eating correctly. Select healthy fats and healthy carbs, plus get rid of simple starches and sugars, and you most likely will lose the extra weight. Just a suggestion, go one step further and get involved with an exercise program.

Jim's articles are from extensive research on each of his topics. You can learn more of weight loss by visiting: Weight Loss

15 Ways To Get Really Motivated

First, recognize that motivation is an inside job. The word motivate means to impel, inspire, hope, stimulate, incite, propel, spur, goad, move, induce, prompt, instigate, fire, provoke, actuate, cause, egg on, drive, excite, and to trigger. Don’t wait for someone to motivate you, here are 15 ways you can motivate yourself.

1. Set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and lifetime goals. A goal is a goal if it’s writing. Goals get you going in the direction that’s right for you.

2. Listen to a motivational tape. Record into a tape recorder your favorite quotes, anecdotes and personal success stories. Play back your tape frequently. Nothing is more motivating than the sound of your own voice. Try it!

3. Get motivated to make better telephone calls by buying Art Sobczak’s new book, “How To Sell More In Less Time With No Rejection.” To order call Art at 402-895-9399.

4. To overachieve every quota you are given take this advice. First write yourself a check dated for 12/31/05 payable to yourself and write how much you want to earn on the amount line. Make three laminated copies and put one in your briefcase, auto console, and home office. Second, always aim higher than the quota you are given. If you adjust your aim, the results will follow.

5. Buy an inspirational book of quotations and keep it in your car. Read three quotes daily. Remember - inspirational words usually inspire us.

6. Invest 15 minutes daily to read books and articles about the selling profession. This is gourmet food for your brain. Don’t skip a day.

7. Get a mentor, preferably one outside of your company. The truly successful people never go it alone.

8. To jack-up your sales performance, prepare your own laminated cue cards. Create cue cards for making appointments, your 12 best questions, for handling the price objection, and for asking for the order. Each cue card should be prepared word-for-word. Your performances will sky-rocket.

9. Buy a composition notebook for your car. Record your successes, failures, and daily observations about your selling environment.

10. Read the “The Ancient Scrolls” an inspiring book by Tim Connor. To order call 800-222-9070.

11. To get motivated about improving your personal financial situation, set a personal net worth goal and write it on a spread sheet, then review it monthly. Self worth increases proportionately with net worth.

12. Tell your family if you achieve 110% or more of your annual sales quota - you’ll take them anywhere they want to go on vacation.

13. Tell your family when you reach a new monthly sales record milestone, you’ll take them out to celebrate.

14. Select one song that really gets you moving and play it every morning as you back out of your driveway.

15. Make a dinner date with your spouse tonight then go some place special.

Every day is a great day, especially if you don’t see your name in the obituary section of the paper.

It's easy to make every day a masterpiece when you're motivated.

Jim Meisenheimer is the creator of No-Brainer Sales Training. His sales techniques and selling skills focus on practical ideas that get immediate results. You can discover all his secrets by contacting him at (800) 266-1268 or by visiting his website: