Communication skills

All posts in the Communication skills category

Summer Vacation

Published June 28, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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We are off for the next two weeks and will be back with more summer break mindful moments when we return … until then … stay safe and keep working on your leadership skills!

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“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

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The Path to Grace

Published June 23, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Another Summer Break Mindful Moment

Many wise elders suggest that the source of grace already dwells within our own consciousness. In other words, we needn’t to go out and search for it. What is merely required is the ability to change our view.

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For today’s mindful moment, as an exercise to help shift negative energy into a more positive one, let’s focus our thoughts on what we are thankful for. This exercise can be used to help shift our awareness in how we view a negative situation, or approach others whose actions are the result of negative input. With this different perspective and positive input, we can rediscover the grace that already resides within and use that to help us make more compassionate choices in our lives.

Well, that’s it for this week. Until next time … keep working on ways to effect positive changes in your life.

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“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.”

 ― Maya Angelou

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The Branson Philosophy

Published April 14, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

richard-branson

Sir Richard Branson is an exemplary illustration of an entrepreneur and an esteemed business leader. He is also a humanitarian that is proactive in politics. His innovative and groundbreaking ventures demonstrate a fearless maverick style that supports risk taking. His many successful achievements include founding the Virgin Group Company with branches that extend into the media; airlines and rail; wine and mobile phone services; and a trustee of several charities including the Virgin Healthcare Foundation and Virgin Unite. In December of 1999, The Queen of England honored him with a knighthood for his services to entrepreneurship. Not afraid of adventure or failure, this internationally renowned explorer has been involved in numerous world record breaking attempts, including the first hot-air balloon to cross the Atlantic. Consistent with his lively ambitious and expansionist attitude, Sir Richard’s latest enterprise is Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company that will take passengers into suborbital space (Entrepreneur, adventurer and businessman Richard Branson challenges financial profesionals to have a ‘planetary point of view’, 2006).

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Virgin Galactic

Branson is also one of the most respected entrepreneurs in the world. His philosophy, “Oh, screw it, let’s do it” (Branson, 2011, p. 14), drives his ambitious spirit as the locomotive to his success. He recommends four simple principles that can help us achieve higher levels of success:

  1.  Live in the moment – In the world of business, quick decisive actions can have big pay offs.
  2.  Have fun – Chances for success is much greater when you do what you love and are joyful doing it.
  3. Give back – Show good stewardship and help others even if it is minimal and do so with gratitude and appreciation.
  4. Never give up – The word defeat is anathema in any endeavor (What I learned about entrepreneurship from Richard Branson, 2011).

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The Branson Centre

He also opened the Branson Centre, a facility in the Caribbean committed to developing entrepreneurship. The Centre offers a mentorship program to help budding entrepreneurs with networking and exposure, and also assists with the coaching and financing aspects of their needs. Jamaicans lacked technical support, adhered to a complicated tax structure, and were in need of additional capital. The Centre offers an arena that helped them launch new entrepreneurial businesses to stimulate job creation and provide opportunities for the locals in the region as well as improve their communities and fuel their economy (Branson Centre, 2011).

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To sum up, Branson’s humanitarian endeavors and his concerns for environmental impact are inspirational leadership qualities in an entrepreneur. For example, another one of his companies is called Seascape Caribbean. It is focused on the restoration of the coral reefs in the coastal region and another, Leanne Talbot of Island Cycle, is dedicated to recycling waste into usable products (Branson Centre, 2011). Sir Richard’s innovative ideas and contributions help enable economic freedom for the employers of the future that support the creation of new jobs. In conclusion, as the founder of many successful business ventures that continue to create opportunities with environmental consciousness, Sir Richard Branson still remains relevant as one of the most commendable visionary entrepreneurs and humanitarians of the modern era.

Well that’s it for this week … until next time … keep honing your management skills!

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“We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds… Claim and consciously use your power.” ― Louise L. Hay

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

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References

Entrepreneur, adventurer and businessman Richard Branson challenges financial profesionals to have a ‘planetary point of view’. (2006, October 15). Retrieved February 14, 2013, from ProQuest: http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/447141732?accountid=32521

Branson Centre. (2011, September 13). Retrieved February 14, 2013, from ProQuest Central: http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/888611281?accountid=32521

What I learned about entrepreneurship from Richard Branson. (2011, November 22). Retrieved February 14, 2013, from ProQuest Central: http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/1030937503?accountid=32521

Branson, R. (2011). Losing my virginity: How I survived, had fun, and made a fortune doing business my way (Updated ed., p. 14). London, UK: Crown Publishing Group.

Entrepreneurship

Published April 12, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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When you hear the term entrepreneur, an image emerges of someone who organizes and operates a business which involves taking certain risks. One of the most successful examples of entrepreneurs in the modern age is Sir Richard Branson. As a charismatic visionary, he makes running a business seem effortless and fun. Furthermore, he displays a disciplined work ethic that is focus-driven, illustrates his adventurous spirit, and demonstrates his passion and devotion to the business process that is unwavering. Although he takes many risks that can fail, Sir Richard is recognized as one of the highest achievers in the world of entrepreneurs.

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To be a successful entrepreneur in today’s marketplace requires more than just luck and diligence. It requires an ability to create something of value in a demanding environment of high uncertainty and risk which necessitates flexibility and the capability of learning from failure. In addition, an entrepreneur brings to the arena a host of components that include resources, labor, and other various skills and materials. The most renowned entrepreneurs, like Sir Richard, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates, are driven by an internal force with an inherent need to make a difference in the world while escaping the confinements of bureaucracy (Ries, 2011).

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In his book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries (2011) defines entrepreneurship as the process of creating something new of value by devoting time and effort in the venture.  Entrepreneurs pursue their business endeavors with passion and enthusiasm. This drives the engine that attracts success and monetary rewards. He outlines the following four behavioral characteristics that identify the entrepreneurial spirit: 1) creating a vision; 2) organizing and steering economic structures and social networks; 3) combining resources in innovative ways; and 4) accelerating with the acceptance of uncertainty, setbacks, and failure (Ries, 2011).

In our next post we conclude our discussion and take a close look at the successful formula Branson incorporates to reach his goals .

Until then … keep working on your leadership skills!

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A completely integrated person is one who has learned to meet everything as it comes along and makes the best of it!

Ernest Holmes, Science of the Mind

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

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Resources:

Ries, E. (2011). The lean startup: How today’s entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.

Building a Brand

Published April 5, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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This week’s posts are centered on building a brand image. There are many components that define a corporate image to help it stand apart from a corporate brand name.  For example, in the past, many international travelers jokingly referred to the BA acronym of British Airways to mean Bloody Awful.  This was a reflection of the negative corporate image they developed due to the onslaught of consumer complaints that surfaced with respect to the incompetent manner in which the airlines operated and treated their customers. Our research provides a brief analysis on the topics of corporate images, their brand names, and the significant components that differentiate them.  In addition, our study will disclose how they are related and provide further examples to help illustrate these concepts.  The findings of our research concluded that even though brands names are assigned to goods or services, there are many components that make them stand apart from a corporate image and that ultimately, the unification of these two components, serve to effectively communicate what the company represents to help shape the attitude of their shareholders.

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Corporate Image

One of the most significant components of a corporate image is that it communicates the benefits of a company’s goods and services that appeal to consumer emotions.  Ross (2010) explains that a corporate image should represent the following three components: (a) the company’s story, (b) their core purpose, and (c) the promises they make to consumers.  In short, a corporate image reflects the organization’s reputation that will ultimately live on in the memories of consumers.  To put it another way, a corporate image is what consumers say about a company, not about what a company says about themselves.  In addition, a corporate image can help shape and influence the decisions consumers make and the actions they take (Ross, 2010).  For instance, when many individuals think of a company like Denny’s, images immediately flood their head including tasty food, a welcoming atmosphere, and heartwarming family gatherings.  These images reflect positive experiences with the restaurant chain.  Positive emotions translate to feelings of joy and comfort which in turn produces loyal consumers.  Successful companies like Denny’s, Honda, and Nike provide excellent illustrations of companies that have established strong corporate images.  In fact, they have experienced unprecedented success because they all incorporate a mission as part of their corporate image.  These identify what the company stands for and are usually revealed in the tag lines of their ads to support the company image or brand.

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Simply explained, a corporate image summarizes what the company stands for and the feelings they emote from their customers.  In addition, Vincent (2012) purports that equally important to a company’s image or brand, is that they keep the promises they make and deliver a powerful experience (Vincent, 2012).  For example, when people think of the Disney Company, many images and feelings are evoked depending on a person’s experience with the company or their family offshoots, like the Disney theme parks, or the many Disney movies that may have had a profound impact on them.  This is yet another example of how a memorable experience with an organization can influence consumer emotions in both positive and negative ways.  What an individual feels after their experience interacting with a company, whether happy, more confident, or embarrassment and defeat, are all components that help shape a company’s corporate image.  Companies that display consistent behavior, communicate clear messages, and keep their promises, can guide investments and grow substantially regardless of budget constraints or time crunches whether they are a startup, a nonprofit, or a big conglomerate like a Nike or Disney.

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The negative feelings many people had about British Airlines, for instance, mentioned at the beginning of this post, presents another excellent case of the impact a tarnished corporate image can have on an organization as well as create new opportunities.  For example, this situational challenge in the airline industry was the catalyst that motivated The Virgin Company’s entrepreneurial giant, Richard Branson, to take action.  Out of frustration from his own travel experiences and banking on the stellar corporate image of the Virgin brand, Branson developed an offshoot company and launched Virgin Airlines.  He was able to recognize a problem that existed that many airlines did not want to address at the time: quality service.

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Driven by fierce determination to tackle these issues, Virgin Airlines went on to become a huge success in the aviation industry.  In the meantime, Hatch and Schultz (2008) explain that British Airways used the negative publicity as incentive to make changes and by the 1990s, BA’s conditions improved significantly.  With the strategic help of marketing experts they were able to change those negative perceptions to reposition BA and turn their reputation around.  One of the strategies incorporated to achieve this goal was the development of a new tagline that focused on positive concepts that professed the company had become “the world’s favorite airline.”  Emphasizing the word favorite helped them devise a new corporate image and created a symbol that attracted consumers which helped put BA back in a dominant position in their industry (Hatch & Schultz, 2008).  By developing a new strategy BA was effectively able to communicate a new attitude that won back trust from consumers.

That’s it for today’s discussion. On Thursday’s post we will take a closer look at building a brand name. Until then … keep enhancing your leadership skills!

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“Each one has to find his peace from within.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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2 organizational management business skills publications nov 2014

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

 Mayr’s Author’s Page

References:

 

Hatch, M., & Schultz, M. (2008). Taking brand initiative. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishing.

Ross, M. (2010). Branding basics for small business: How to create an irresistible brand on any budget. Bedford, IN, USA: NorLightsPress.com.

Vincent, L. (2012). Brand real: How smart companies live the

Using E.Q. to Resolve Conflicts

Published March 31, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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This week we began a discussion on how to resolve conflicts using our emotional intelligence. Today’s post continues that discussion by taking a closer look at the role that self-motivation and balance play in the development of our emotional intelligence.

In my eBook, Ethics in the Real World, my research work helped me comprehend that self-motivation is an important factor in defining emotional intelligence. It reveals strength and/or weaknesses of a person’s character in their ability to persist even after they fail. In fact, I realized that it is a key element which helps determine whether a person will succeed or fail in achieving their goals. There are many times, for example, when self-motivation plays a key role in the decision making process. Without the influence of a team, supervisor, or mentor to assist in the motivation process, reaching goals may be difficult to attain. Self-sufficient individuals, on the other hand, rely heavily on discipline techniques like time management and goal-setting strategies to keep on track. They incorporate activities that are inspiring and uplifting. This strategy helps energize new levels of enthusiasm and focus. They also serve to help strengthen an individual’s: (a) self-concept, (b) self-esteem, (c) self-efficacy, (d) self-monitoring, and (e) emotional intelligence. People with lesser degrees of E.Q. however, tend to lack focus, discipline, and have not incorporated self-management practices. As a result, they tend to experience reduced life coping skills, and may even have difficulty functioning effectively in social settings (Berry, 2013).

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My research work also revealed that leaders in the workplace that fail to identify the source and level of a conflict, are more than likely to experience productivity reduction and motivational issues which can further impede worker participation. Recognizing the level of conflict is a good starting place to begin at. For instance, when an organizational leader faces a situation where they feel everything around them is falling apart, it is imperative they acknowledge the critical and immediate need to address the outcomes of the firm’s failures. In other words, the driving force behind this leader’s actions would require an urgent short term response with focused attention on developing a plan that will address and resolve the failed outcome issues as well as come up with better long term solutions. Furthermore, conflict in a work arena can also prevent workers from experiencing job satisfaction.

In his book, Conflict Resolution, Daniel Dana (2003) purports that good decision-making helps prevent conflict (Dana 2003). In other words, leaders who can identify the source and level of a conflict, are in a better position to use this information to address problematic issues effectively and successfully to avoid consequences like employees who lack motivation, the slowing of productivity, and most important, damaging relationships which can ultimately lead to the dissolution of an organization.

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So what can leaders do to help staff members who seem to struggle with issues that prevent them from making effective decisions from a place of emotional intelligence? According to Holmes (2007) providing positive input is one strategy that can help. In fact, Holmes suggests that leaders can rely on the same methods and techniques they use in resolving their own conflicts. In other words, leaders are encouraged to use the same approach to help others as they do when they help themselves. For example, successful leaders will take positive action that will prove beneficial in their own lives and by doing so, they affirm their own self-worth. In other words, they acknowledge the positive effect that input or activity has in their life and affairs and recognize that when they in turn, extend positive energy to help others, they are affirming the same truth about that person. The same is true with respect to a group of people or specific situations (Holmes, 2007).

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In conclusion, an effective way for leaders to resolve conflicts is their ability to return to a place of harmony and balance. In other words, people who are able to resolve conflicts with intellectual strategies from a place of emotional intelligence will achieve the most successful outcomes. In his motivational programs, Deepak Chopra (2016) suggests that the ultimate goal is to achieve total balance in order to live a healthy life of abundance and fulfillment. He purports this cannot be achieved with struggle, worry, or fighting (Chopra, 2016). What this means, is that with mindful awareness, effort and discipline, conflict resolutions can be achieved more successfully when done so from a mental state of total balance.

Well that’s it for this week. Until next time … stay organized!

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“Making each moment count positively is all that life demands from you.” ― Edmond Mbiaka

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

 Mayr’s Author’s Page

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Chopra, D. (2016, March 27). Total balance is natural balance. Retrieved March 27, 2016, from Shedding weight 21 day meditation challenge: https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience#_=_

Dana, D. (2003). Conflict resolution. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Holmes, E. (2007). 365 science of mind. New York: Penguin.

Resolving Conflicts with Emotional Intelligence

Published March 29, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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We’re back from taking a little time off for some Spring cleaning and organization. Traditionally, Spring Break is that time of year when people plan activities to help break away from daily schedules. They look forward to enjoying some well earned rest and relaxation away from the long hours dedicated to careers and personal obligations. It is also a special time when friends and families gather to celebrate various springtime holidays like Easter, Passover, Pentecost, Beltane, and just schedule a little down time to recharge their inner batteries.

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However, in many places, spring break has been anything but a time of rest and relaxation. In fact, even the season of spring seems to have eluded many in parts of the country, while others face the conflict of devastation and destruction suffered by terrorist attacks. Then, there are those of us in America, who are faced with having to intellectually absorb and process the conflicts displayed by the front runners of the U.S. presidential campaigns that have plagued the transmissions of all media outlets.

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As a survivor of various conflicts, including domestic violence and abuse, my life situations have taught me that the best way to resolve any conflict requires engaging two significant components: I.Q. (intelligence) and E.Q (emotional intelligence – a person’s ability to adapt to change and environmental turbulence).

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My research work on Ethics at Ashford University, which was published in my eBook, Ethics in the Real World (2013) helped me understand that it is a person’s emotional intelligence that reflects their ability to detect and manage emotional cues and information. It can also play a significant role in helping an individual achieve successful outcomes.

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In his book, Organizational Behavior, Donald Bacck (2012) asserts that a person’s emotional intelligence helps predict their abilities as leaders. In addition, a person’s E.Q. can be a major asset or hindrance when working in jobs with high levels of social interaction.

Baack outlines five personality traits that define emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness – being aware personal feelings and emotions.
  2. Self-management – the ability to manage personal emotions and impulses.
  3. Self motivation or persistence – the ability to continue giving effort even after setbacks or failures.
  4. Empathy – the ability to sense the feelings of others.
  5. Social skills – the ability to cope with the emotions of others.

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According to Baack, these five personality traits have implications for more general outcomes as well, such is life satisfaction. He further emphasizes that unexamined self-concept, poor self-esteem, low self efficacy, the lack of self-monitoring, and lesser degrees of emotional intelligence tend to reduce one’s life coping skills, or inhibit a person’s ability to function effectively in social situations. Because of this factor, the most successful leaders will spend additional time working with employees who exhibit an inability to resolve conflicts due to emotional intelligence issues. (Baack, 2012).

Well, that’s a wrap for today. On Thursday’s post, we will conclude our discussion on resolving conflicts with emotional intelligence.

Until then … keep working on your organizational management skills!

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“The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a sound mind in a sound body.” ― Jostein Gaarder

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

 Mayr’s Author’s Page

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.