Constructive Criticism


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Criticism is an expression that fills many people with anxiety, especially me.  However, when criticism is used in constructive ways it shows how to be better, to improve or to grow.  We all make mistakes, it is a part of life, but the way that criticism is used makes an enormous difference to the results.

When pointing out problems or faults it is important to say to the person how to improve. In no way must someone be criticised without knowing how to improve their situation. They need to be aware why something has to be done in a certain way so they know how to correct the problem.  Use wording such as ‘you should consider this…’ or ‘it would be better if you did this…’ and emphasise how easy it is to correct the mistakes.  Failing that, let them learn from their errors as they will understand why it has to be done and be aware of the consequences.  If a child is told not to swing on their chair.  You tell them not to do it and give the reason why, they will understand.  However if they choose to ignore you and they fall and hurt themselves, they have learned the hard way.

Compliment people on their strong qualities and areas that are working, say to them they make a strong contribution to that area.  Make them feel important by giving recognition and praise.  Encourage people by telling them you know they can do a certain task, explain the benefits and praise even the slightest improvement.  If they are unable to correct the mistake on their own, work together to achieve it.

Tell them your own mistakes and weaknesses and say how you corrected them.  Develop the areas where they are strong and minimise the criticism as much as possible and emphasise praise.

Following these few simple steps is more likely to give you the results you want.  You will more likely change attitudes and develop relationships with respect from the people around you.

Carnegie, Dale. How To Win Friends And Influence People, (Part Four). London: Vermilion, 2006. Print.

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The Art Of Wealth And Happiness


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We are all looking for something better out of life. Here are 7 strategies that will make it more productive and fulfilling.

We all need something to motivate us. Goals are very important for motivation. The more detailed our goals are, the more successful we will be and the more money we will earn. Our environment plays an important factor that affects our views of life. Our friends, the school we went to, our parents, where we live. Events in our life also play a role. Despite our different environments we have grown up in, we all have the same power to dream. We must define our future clearly or we will feel apprehensive about the future. The clearer our goals are defined, the harder we will work on achieving them. They are what motivates us. Have good goals.

We should seek knowledge in the area we want to be successful. If it is happiness, study happiness. If it is success, study success. We need to study the area first, then put it into practise and use a diary to gather ideas. If we study other people’s lives in the field we are interested, learn lessons from our failures, study the negatives in our life as well as the positives and learn from experience our knowledge will be increased greatly. Reading books and listening to CD’s will be a great influence as we are what we read. Feeding our minds with positive information, listening to the advice of successful people, observing what successful people do in managing their money and lifestyle and investing in our future by setting aside money each month to buy books will increase our knowledge.

Unless we change the way we are, we will never move forward and we will always have what we have got. Giving  value to the work we do makes the difference. Being productive and getting rid of limiting thoughts such as procrastination, blame and excuses. Facing our own failures and changing things if they do not please us will help us move towards our goals.

We should not spend more than we earn.  We need to manage our finances wisely and avoiding spending more than 70% of our income. Paying our taxes first is something that we all hate doing but taxes are essential for repairing our streets, paying for police, fire, hospitals, etc. Be a happy taxpayer.  We should use 70% after tax income for paying for our necessities and luxuries. Of the 30% that is left, we should give 10% to charity, 10% for buying our equipment and products for our business and the last 10% can be savings.

Time is precious so master time well. We need to keep our time structured, balanced and not waste time on insignificant tasks. On the other hand, not to become a workaholic. If we work at times when we are most energetic, if it is in the morning, doing our most taxing tasks then, will help us get most out of our time. Leaving our smaller projects for times when we feel not so energetic will help us to complete the most difficult tasks at the best times of the day. Using the telephone at our convenience and avoid answering calls when we are doing something important will help us manage our time. We should let the answering machine pick up the message and phone the caller back when we are available. Also we should avoid answering the telephone during family and leisure time. Calling people back later and using a calendar to track all our expenses, meetings, appointments and ‘to do’ lists will help us plan each and every day.

Surrounding ourselves with winners will  influence us greatly. We have to think if our major associates are positive and constructive or negative and destructive. We need to separate ourselves from destructive people. If we are unable to break away completely, limit the time we spend with them.

Finally, live well. We should spend time with the people we love and be happy with what we have while pursuing the things we want. If we are not happy today, we will never have the patience to be a better person. It is essential that we live our life in balance with love and friendship.

Jim Rohn, 2013. 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness: Power Ideas from America’s Foremost Business Philosopher. 2nd edition Edition. Harmony.

Point of View


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When dealing with people in business there are some basic principles in order to win them round.

Everyone has the right to their own opinion.  It does not matter how much you disagree, they will likely have the same opinion even if you win the argument. Winning an argument rarely gives a gratifying feeling as you hurt the pride of the loser and the more you argue and disagree, the more stubborn you are both likely to become so it is best to avoid them altogether.

The best way to avoid an argument is to be able to recognise when there is a disagreement.  Listen to what your opponent has to say and let them talk.  When we debate it raises barriers so we need to build the bridges in order that we understand one another.  Keep calm and control your temper.  Look for areas where you both agree and be brave enough to admit when you have made an error and apologise.  Think over each others ideas and find a solution.

Understanding the differences in opinion is essential to coming to a conclusion. Show respect and understand why they are arguing in favour of that particular opinion. Ridicule and abuse does not make people agree so be diplomatic and keep it friendly. When you admit your mistakes it protects you as well as the other person.  They are not able to gloat over the chance to criticise and it does not wound you and their pride, this way you can come to a solution.  It must be handled in a kind, friendly way which is far more likely to win the other persons approval.

When handling complaints, don’t interrupt and remember to listen to their problems. Gather their ideas and look at things from their point of view.  Compliment and praise on work they have done and above all, be understanding and sympathetic towards their feelings.

Carnegie, Dale. How To Win Friends And Influence People, (Part Three). London: Vermilion, 2006. Print.

Building Relationships


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I ask myself, what are the building blocks to any business, career or situation?  I have found the most important components are relationships. People are naturally interested in themselves.  We generally like people who admire us so there are ways we can improve in order to create better relationships with people around us.

To genuinely admire something in a person gives them a great feeling of importance. When we put ourselves out for others in different ways that are thoughtful, unselfish as well as something that uses up time and energy, we create a bond with that person.  An example is if you have a friendship with someone from Spain, you can learn some simple greetings in Spanish.

A simple smile can go a long way.  It creates a feeling of happiness around you and will change attitudes.  A smile shows the person you are addressing that you are glad to see them.  Even smiling when talking on the phone will transform the phone call, not only for the person listening on the other end but for the person doing the talking.  It changes their attitudes towards each other.  People who smile usually have a better outlook on life, make better teachers and tend to raise happier children.  Our thoughts are paramount and a good mental attitude is having the ability to treat people in a cheerful manner.

Remembering a persons name makes them feel comfortable and creates an impression. Say their name in your head and memorise so you can use it when interacting with them. Ask about their family as well as addressing them by their name, this makes them feel important as you have taken the time to remember them.

Be a good listener.  Listening to what a person is saying is a great compliment, it also encourages them to talk about themselves.  Stop what you are doing at that moment in time and listen to them as this lets the speaker see you are interested in what they are saying.

Talk about their interests, what pleases them and what they treasure most.  If they are interested in Golf as an example, ask them about it, how often they play, the rules.  You don’t have to have a great knowledge of what they are interested in, it is about showing an interest in them.  We have to think about what we want people to give us, in other words treat people how you want to be treated.  Show them respect by being polite, “could you”, “thank you” and “please” will go a long way in building a relationship.

Carnegie, Dale. How To Win Friends And Influence People, (Part Two). London: Vermilion, 2006. Print.

The Power Of Appreciation


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Criticism is an expression with destructive consequences.  It damages our relationships with friends, family and colleagues.  It damages pride, sense of importance and in the end it increases feelings of resentment the injured party has towards us.

It is human nature when an individual has a problem or does something wrong, they blame others for their failure.  We all have to learn to speak good of the people around us and not to judge, ridicule and insult.  We all have good points and bad points, so we need to be recognized for our good qualities.  A sign of good character and self-control is to be understanding and forgiving.

All humans have basic needs: their health, food, sleep, money, life after death, sexual gratification, welfare of our children, desire to be great, important and to be appreciated. Humans acquire their feelings of importance in different ways.  Some in positive ways through acts of kindness such as building a hospital, helping the poor, charity work and others in negative ways such as crime and so on.

We need to start understanding people and figure out why they behave in the ways that they do.  It is far more rewarding to do this rather than condemning, and it creates a sense of sympathy, tolerance and kindness between us all.  People are more likely to follow and respect if they are rewarded and they learn more rapidly and retain the information they are given.  We have to be able to arouse enthusiasm, encouragement and find something in that person to praise by looking for their good points and what they do good in their work.  We have to think in terms of other peoples point of view because how they express themselves is an essential attribute of human nature.

Carnegie, Dale. How To Win Friends And Influence People, (Part One). London: Vermilion, 2006. Print.