Goals to Inspire Others

Choose to be a light of inspiration for all those who you encounter throughout the day. In how you communicate, what you do, and what you have to say, you have the ability to positively impact someone’s day. How you interact can cause a domino effect to affect others for better or worse. By resolving to raise your personal standard of etiquette, respect, and kindness, you will notice your relationships improve. Noticing an improvement with yourself, you will also see a significant change in how others interact with you. Living this way as a good example, others will also notice and re-evaluate how they are speaking and acting. You can be an example to others in the way you speech and act. Practicing good etiquette will add the dynamic components of respect, value, and human dignity to your relationships. Change the world! Inspire a culture of kindness and respect.


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Goals for Kindness

We often think of kindness as a random act of kindness done for another person or a donating time to a volunteer effort. Kindness comes in many other forms that you can do by yourself everyday. Smile, stand up for someone in defense, give a compliment, smile more, ask someone how you can help them, send a kind note, offer to help someone who is sick or has trouble with mobility, or send up an extra prayer.

Make a commitment to kindness as one of your goals for this year. Plan to set aside a day once a month to volunteer. Help someone by yourself or serve as part of a volunteer team. On a daily basis, make a commitment to try to be kind to one person a day, in a big or small way. In November we shared a video on How-To Make a Kindness Journal. If you haven’t started one, you might consider getting a journal or calendar and begin a journey of kindness this year. Notice all of the ways you make a difference over the course of the next 12 months. Kindness multiples, as one life affects another.


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Books
HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act At a Time
by Brad Aronson

Radical Kindness: The Life-Changing Power of Giving and Receiving
by Angela Santomero and Deepak Chopra

 

 




Movie Review: Jexi

Intro
JEXI is a thought-provoking movie making a call on the need for a balance between human relationships and dependency on technology for everyday existence. Jexi brings to the forefront the question of defining what a relationship is in today’s 21st century world as we move toward further integrated advancements such as artificial intelligence. What is the limit and what is on the line when it comes to technology replacing in-person human relationships.

Movie Review: Jexi
In a world where we are becoming more dependent on our cell phones for companionship, the movie Jexi raises the question of how human relationships have changed in the 21st century as a result of technology. In this movie, Phil (Adam Devine), is excited to buy a new cell phone. Loaded with all the latest apps and technology, including artificial intelligence, the cell phone seems to be the best on the market and even comes with a personal assistant to help organize Phil’s life. Jexi, with the personality of a single female tries to lure Phil into a relationship with her while helping him with all of his daily decisions. She offers Phil advice as an answer to all of his needs. He falls in love with here as she quickly begins to overtake his life. Phil must learn how to transition from the awkwardness he has with in-person interactions and being engrossed with technology, to making a conscious decision that people come first and risks are meant to be taken in person.


JEXI Movie

Buy or Rent Jexi
Starring: Adam Devine, Alexandra Shipp, Michael Peña and Rose Byrne
Directed by: Jon Lucas

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Books
How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life
by Catherine Price 

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You
by Tony Reinke and John Piper

Cell Phones
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Cell Phones for Seniors
Great Call for Seniors. Stay connected, safe and healthy.


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Tips for Preparing for a Good Presentation

Whether you are the team lead on a project standing up in front of a group for the first time, or the CEO giving a presentation at a conference with thousands of attendees, it helps to be prepared. Polishing your shoes as well as your words and delivery, all help in making a lasting impression on your audience.

Here are some tips to polish up your presentation. The first step is to create an outline. This will help organize your ideas as you brainstorm what you want to talk about. Consider what questions your audience is hoping to find answers from in what you are speaking about and research valuable information to provide to them. The most important aspect of any presentation is the content which is provided. Some ideas include:

  • Using relevant stories is a great way to share information
  • Add humor
  • Plan for the audience to interact as part of the presentation
  • Be sensitive to avoid using words or content which might offend your audience
  • Use language which the audience understands
  • Provide new information and “take-aways”
  • Be simple and clear
    Relax and have fun!


Having a visual aid such as a slide presentation to show on a larger screen will help listeners stay focused and serve as a guide for yourself as you speak. Design a slide presentation using your creativity. Add in interesting images, video clips, web links, and animation. Provide a printed copy of the outline for the audience to use during the presentation and to take with them. This added visual element will keep the audience engaged as you speak and help them pay attention to what you have to say. Practice your delivery.

As a presenter, you have the front of the audience as your stage. You might choose to stay in one place or you might choose to walk around the room. Realize that body language, using your hands to gesture, using tonal variation of your voice, using the proper volume, and being animated and alive will drive enthusiasm to those you are delivering your speech to. Ask the audience questions to engage them in your topic. Be open to questions and decide ahead of time if you wish to extend an invitation for questions to be asked during your talk or if they should held until the end. Be sure to practice your speech in advance. It will help you anticipate for what you might be leaving out. Your presentation will be more polished as you become more familiar with it with practice. If you can get access to the room you will be speaking in, see if you can practice there. Put together a checklist of items you may need taken care of before your presentation such as a key to the room, having all of the equipment set up and materials printed, knowledge of how to work a slide projector, a glass of water, and a planned schedule to arrive early. Not having to worry about these on the day of your presentation will help you be more relaxed and ready to speak!

If you find you would like to become a better speaker and refine your communication and presentation skills for 2020, there are local chapters of Toastmasters which can help with talking in front of others. You also can video tape yourself and take notes on what you need to work on. Look your best, come prepared, and don’t worry if you make a mistake! Your audience will appreciate that you’ve given them useful information. Having a polished and prepared presentation will show that you are professional and trusted source for information.


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Goals for Speech

What can you say? What are you saying? Setting goals for good etiquette also applies to using slang, profanity, and not being sensitive. Do you realize how easy it is to use abbreviated ways of speaking and choosing grammar which is not correct? While it may be understandable, it may be sending off signals that you lack education, culture and can’t speak or write correctly. Here are some examples:

  • “I be tired”
  • “I is not talking right”
  • “I ain’t doin’ that”
  • “I am not doin’ that”
  • “I got five cents”
  • “I asked did he do it?”
  • “I don’t got none
  • “and then she says that she is going to the store”
  • “She ugly. Something is wrong with the way that person looks”
  • Frequently apologizing to start a sentenceI am sorry. Can you tell me…”
  • Dropping words out of the sentence: they customers”, “he the man
  • Using the wrong tense of a verb: “He have drunk that soda before.”
  • Calling people by inappropriate monikers, racial monikers, or physical monikers: “not had”, “fatso”, “chink”, “spec”, “retard”
  • Double negative: “I don’t got none”
  • Use of the word “like” and overuse of the word “like”: “Like you know?”
  • “Dis” instead of “this”
  • Speaking about sensitive or taboo topics which might make conversation uncomfortable for the others listening
  • Pointing out what you perceive as mistakes in others
  • Mocking other people in sounds or words
  • Ebonics and ‘talkin’ Texan’ should not be an excuse to use poor grammar
  • Confrontational speech with attitude tone and being resistant to almost anything
  • Not speaking to the level of the other person with use of unequal vocabulary, speed, proper tone of voice, language, or holding multiple conversations within the same conversation if they cannot understand or respond
  • Forgetting to use “please”, “thank you”, and “I am sorry”

Style your character. Use proper speech.


Look for these helpful resources on Amazon! Shop and buy…

Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies
by Diana Senechal

How to Say It, Third Edition:
Choice Words, Phrases, Sentences, and Paragraphs for Every Situation

by Rosalie Maggio

30 Days to Taming Your Tongue:
What You Say (and Don’t Say) Will Improve Your Relationships

by Deborah Smith Pegues

Successful Women Speak Differently:
9 Habits That Build Confidence, Courage, and Influence

by Valorie Burton


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Cultivation of Empathy

In a world where we seem to be separating from each other with our ‘me-ism’, never in the history of mankind has there been a greater need for empathy and understanding of other people. Technology helps us connect, making it is easier than ever to communicate. Yet, despite this, we seem to be more focused on ourselves and our individual opinions than being genuinely concerned with the lives of other people. We can easily remain detached from each other, severing the connection at any time by turning off the switch to the device we are using or closing an app. On the other hand, technology can give us instant insights as to what another person is doing and how they are feeling within moments shared during their day. What is loss in technology is the invaluable human emotions which can only be seen and felt in person. The human relationship that exists with a face-to-face, real-time interaction, is where we connect on a human level, experiencing the joys, the sorrows, the presence of human souls in their existence, and in the way which humans were meant to connect. While technology is one way to extend empathy and connect, making time in person with people is where empathy is truly cultivated best.

We have our own social circles with family and friends where we find belonging. Belonging is one of the essential parts of human existence. Within these circles there are people who are accepted as part of them, and those who are not accepted. Developing a greater sense of empathy might be a consideration, for those groups or social circles which have an exclusive nature about them. Seeing people outside these circles as ‘outsiders’ and not acceptable, may be conquered with greater empathy, by understanding those who are different from us. It is easy to breed stereotypes and assumptions without truly getting to know others who are different. Finding common ground with ‘outsiders’, extends a hand of acceptance despite these differences. Rather than following assumptions, taking the opportunity to learn more about other beliefs first-hand or through research, is an opportunity to make a new friend rather than cause isolation. What better way to enrich a social circle than to use good etiquette and empathy toward other people and facets of life—and as an added benefit may learn from them as well.

What is interesting is that within some cultures, stereotypes and exclusiveness seem to be the quickest route to elitism. Cultures should find this appalling rather than applauding this. There is a special richness found when people of different backgrounds, each with their own stories, can contribute to circles with their individual qualities. Well-rounded people are those who have a rich portfolio of many kinds of friends and see human-value over differences. Typically those who travel the world are more likely to be accepting, as there is an appreciation for different cultures and beliefs. Those who work directly with people, such as caregivers also have a tendency to extend empathy easier because they see past medical and physical issues and are able to see the person. Young children also are naturally more empathetic in their innocence, blinded to the stereotypes which are formed even at an early age taught by their families and in social circles.

Additionally, media has an influence on cultivating empathy. Media can provide education in a unique way, where a person can learn about a situation first-hand by viewing it on screen or reading a description of it. Stories are a way to educate as they pull heart-strings and provide a chance to understand what it might be to “walk in another person’s shoes”. It may be easier for a person to find empathy with an actor who lives a situation within a movie, versus a stranger who we encounter in real life.

Empathy is a way to extend kindness to another person through understanding. It is with empathy that we find a path to growth. Cultivating empathy means finding opportunities to expanding our minds beyond ourselves to include another.

Article written for Zealousness publication
www.ineducationonline.org/e-magazine


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Cultivation of Empathy in the Classroom

How well can you relate to another person? Empathy is the understanding of another person and their situation. Within the classroom environment, there are a variety of learners each with individual learning abilities who come from different social classes. Students are at a disadvantage when they are seen as not meeting the ‘status quo’ of the class and are not accepted. A certain amount of empathy needs to come from teachers, parents, and classmates toward one another to unify the class and make it a positive learning environment.

There are several different categories for learning styles unique to each student. A student may be a kinesthetic learner, learning best working with their hands, while others might learn faster by listening, visually, or by reading. A teacher wanting her students to be successful, can be empathetic to the needs of the students by finding out which is easiest for them. By assessing the students at the beginning of the school year, and referring a student’s history from the previous year, the teacher can identify these needs. The teacher can then prepare lesson plans for diversified instruction to meet the needs of multiple learning styles. The teacher can consider what works best for each class and plan lesson plans accordingly. Additionally, students might learn best working individually, or they might be more social and enjoy group interaction. They might learn best depending on how the classroom is arranged such as having the desks in a circular setting, or several desks pushed together in groups, rather than in stark rows. Teachers can plan activities working in environments best suited to the class.

Teachers who notice frustrations and provide empathy to struggling students can make a difference in the life of the student. Learning is not just about achieving the highest grades, but learning how to stay motivated, having a good attitude, and working past hurdles. As a source of encouragements, teachers can make an impact on the life of the student on a personal level. Stepping out of the role of instruction-to grade book, teachers can extend a human heart to students who may not see past the next exam. In situations like this, teachers can leave a lasting impression to student, by offering additional assistance, reassurance, and encouragement—showing that he or she truly cares about them as an individual wanting them to be successful, beyond the grade book. Teachers can find the student a tutor, they can spend time explaining the material, or if it is a distraction which is affecting learning, a good teacher can dive in to get involved to find out more about the issue which is bothering the student.

Parents can also practice empathy toward teachers. While teachers need to meet expectations to teach, parents can also keep in mind that teachers have a classroom full of students and may be overwhelmed. This does not mean that parents should lower the bar in their expectation, but it may help with their communication as they speak their concerns to teachers. They can soften their demands by stating that they understand the teacher has large class sizes and even offer to see how they can assist the teacher.

Empathy can be taught by schools within classrooms for empathy between students. Students often face bullying in schools. Whether it is that “their hair looks funny”, “they can’t play ball” or “they are the slowest one in the class”, students need to learn to be more accepting of one another. These are life skills which are useful at any age and will help a student learn to work with people who may not be exactly like them.

By identifying cases where students might not fit in, teachers can proactively plan for ways to create a comfort level and safe environment for everyone in the classroom. Students in classes might need to adapt to classmates who are different from them. Empathy and welcomeness needs to be encouraged to help classes identify with students with physical disabilities, the special education student, an English language learner, a quick learner who is gifted, or maybe a student just transferred from another class, or one who is new to the school. Often times, addressing these students with a warm welcome from the teacher demonstrates acceptance. The teacher can also help answer questions which prevents gossip and isolation based on assumptions. By creating this sense of empathy and understanding, the class can accept the student with greater ease. For the student, the ability to be welcomed as an equal within the class and not stand out as an oddity is expedited, eliminating unnecessary attention drawn to them and subjecting them to a hostile environment.

Empathy is not necessarily acceptance. It is providing an understanding to a situation or finding a common ground in the case of differences. This understanding helps create community rather than create division. It is a positive way to build energy from which education and having healthy life-long skills of human relationships are cultivated.


Shop these books…

Teaching with Compassion
by Peter Kaufman, Janine Schipper

Hacking School Discipline: 9 Ways to Create a Culture of Empathy and Responsibility Using Restorative Justice (Hack Learning Series)
by Nathan Maynard and Brad Weinstein


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A Short Play on Etiquette: Goals for Etiquette and Manners in the Workplace

Scene 1:
In a conversation at work and there is another bomb being flung. Take smoking out of the workplace, and you still have the toxicity of profanity and gossip. Well it’s overtime to clean that up, but how, if the people in the workplace don’t find it important? Taking a quick look and checking the watch for the 4th time this hour, Sally still has not arrived at work or called to say she is going to be late. It may be because all last week the latest careless catch phrase was about her, and although it violated HR policies, no one seemed to care. Most people are hiding in their office and prefer to text interoffice rather than say hello and as a result team spirit is at its usual all-time low because no one knows each other, let alone cares to know each other. Cliques are common between small groups of 2-3 people and for associations that is about it. Co-workers love to talk. It’s safer to be an outsider. It shows potential for management or something…

Scene 2:
A customer walks into a business, “What a lovely day it is, maybe I will buy something.” Entering the store, she passes by an employee, and is ready to flash a quick smile hello, but then is puzzled by the insulting, sarcastic greeting which was said addressed to her. Ignoring it at first, what was said sets in and her eyes open wide in concern as it was about her. She continues through the store, grabs the items she came in for, and heads to the register. As she waits in line, the cashier is overheard spreading gossip to the person in front of her while checking out. Now, next in line, the cashier greets her with the standard, “How are you today?” The truth is, the sunshine has fallen considerably since she entered the store and now she is being attacked again at the register. Is the store really paying this employee? Are they this oblivious that this employee has their own agenda fed by the community to slander an individual? And to make matters worse, it is one of their customers? How on earth does this support the business? What would the CEO say? After filling out countless receipts at this store and other businesses, obviously the managers do not see it as a concern. These employees still manage to keep their jobs, while creating a discrimination issue that has caused significant loss not just with being publicly humiliated, but with her own employment search, and in many other facets of life including housing. Having communicated this to several, it seems to have no impact.

Scene 3:
“Praise God!” Isn’t that what church is about? Now it is like walking on eggshells. Going into any church, any verbal hate bombs can be heard at any time by random people, entire rows of people, those who strategically choose to intentionally sit right behind where you are, those serving, and leaders. Within an entire area of church communities and religions this hate, gossip and name-calling has become acceptable—and shunning for good values, not even bad ones. Is this the new trend for Church… Suddenly, the ‘Body of Christ’ takes on an entire different meaning. Since when was going to church about chanting sexual loyalty and requirements rather than about worshiping God? All parts of the Body of Christ [people] are important as part of the body although different. While there is a degree of acceptance within church communities, you have to think what people are really coming for and who is reading and living it and who is whipping it out differently with other agendas. Looking at the cross, it was the same for Him wasn’t it? People don’t seem to have changed much in 2000 years.

Scene 4:
“Whahahahahahahahha”, she twirls around the pencil in her hand as she debates her next hurl of words with the next guest, disposing unwanted information. With the front desk as her stage to be able to say anything, the books are a back seat for horror and murder. The fellow co-worker shelves it as a means to pass the time. They should be booked but for some reason this is the way customer service even at local libraries is now-a-days and is acceptable to stay employed.

Scene 5:
“Well good morning!”, greeting the co-worker with a big smile. “Thank you for letting me know the editorial is running a little bit behind schedule so we can plan to adjust the workload to meet deadlines. This will affect everyone on the team and  I know they will all appreciate the update.”

“Does anyone want to go to lunch today? I think we should celebrate that we were able to get that last project out the door despite all the hurdles and it turned out great too!”. 

“We will be sure to copy everyone who needs to be included on this project.”

“I am happy to assist you today. Please take your time and let me know if you have any questions.”

“Yes, ma’am. Thank you for shopping here today. We look forward to seeing you again soon!”

The company’s mission and motto are priority but politeness, consideration, and respect makes the team successful. Everyone is a winner because each brings unique skills to the table to contribute with. As a result, customers enjoy the business, and it breeds loyalty naturally as a good business, simply because it doesn’t foster gossip but is one that radiates positivity and customer service.

Watch this film online about 1950’s office etiquette!
Office Etiquette (1950): Courtesy & Manners in the Workplace Film


Enjoy plays? Want to learn more about office etiquette? Click to view more…

Books
Toxicity in the Workplace: Coping with Difficult People on the Job
by
Shonda Lackey PhD

 

Goals for Etiquette and Manners

Whether you are attending a social or business gathering, in line at the grocery store, or on the cell phone, it is important to remember to use good etiquette and have good manners. Do you catch yourself interrupting people? Using profanity? Speaking negatively? Destroying hope? Gossiping? Making remarks or nickname-calling which could be insulting and hurtful to another? Does the cell phone take priority over the person in front of you? These are just some ways which may be ideas to incorporate into your goals for 2020.

You might think to yourself you don’t do any of these that often, or that it isn’t that important. Take a tally of how often you do these and see which ones score the highest which you could set a goal for. Watch your relationships approve socially and professionally by practicing good etiquette and becoming more conscientious of being respectful.


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2020 Accountability

A New Year and a fresh start! Most people have spent a few minutes reflecting on what they plan to achieve in the coming year. This chance for a new beginning brings a burst of energy to goals and projects. Although ambition is high, it is inevitable that human nature and schedules eventually win over against new resolutions. It is easy to not be as committed as priorities change and interest is lost. To stay on track, track your progress and re-evaluate your goals if need be to what is attainable.

When you make a list of goals for 2020, consider sharing your goals with another person who you can check-in with incrementally throughout the year. Brainstorm a list of rewards for yourself to keep you going by setting rewards for milestone achievements along the way. You can also keep track of your progress using a diary. Be sure to include the date, what you completed, rank of how it went, and what you hope to accomplish as the next step. Do you share a goal with another person? See if he or she would be interested in spending time on your common goal together. Working out is probably the #1 goal for New Year’s resolutions. If this is one of your goals, find a workout-buddy who you can go to the gym with on a regular basis and keep each other motivated and challenged. Add an element of fun to your goals and see your success skyrocket!

Have you considered setting goals for a higher standard for respect, etiquette, and kindness? Set goals for improved etiquette & manners, speech, kindness, and inspiring others! Everyone has areas to improve on. Set one goal or several! Your life will change for the better—you can count on it!


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