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Leadership Development

6 communications skills you need to succeed

By | Leadership Development, Personal Development

The ability to communicate effectively and thoughtfully empowers each of us with skills for greater happiness and success. While communication can be learned and refined over time, it is important to remember that we have been picking up communication experience from the beginning of our lives, when we moved around and kicked in the womb—as if to announce, “I’m here!”

Born to communicate

Ask any woman who has ever been pregnant, and she will immediately recall her delight at the sensation of receiving that first message from her unborn child. When we are born, we cry. Our first verbal communication with the world says, “It’s cold, and the lights are too bright!”

From our first breath, we are trying to communicate: I am here. I exist. These are the same fundamental desires we all carry with us throughout our entire lifetimes. As we grow, our caregivers help us refine the way we ask for things, and hopefully, teach us how to communicate clearly, speak and listen effectively, and learn to balance the needs and wants of ourselves with the needs and wants of others.

Going from so-so to dynamic

While trying to learn effective skills to communicate, we succeed and stumble along the way. As kids, we demand and react. As teenagers, we push boundaries and act out, and higher thinking and advanced communication skills come into play as we learn to negotiate with our parents and teachers.

Over time, our communication style becomes influenced by our friends, bosses, intimate relationships and co-workers. As an adult, you have probably settled on a communication style you are comfortable with. Now, I want to encourage even more growth and suggest that you go from good to great—from being a reasonably effective communicator to a dynamic communicator! (Take this quiz to find out what kind of communicator you are.)

Dynamic communication is an ever-evolving art and is the ability to consciously interact and react thoughtfully. Once you get past the baseline of basic talking, everything else can be learned, practiced and improved throughout your life. If you practice these skills enough, they will become part of who you are. Dynamic communicators are more thoughtful; they have very little conflict in their lives, and they get more of what they want out of every situation and relationship because they’ve mastered how to get it! Now, doesn’t that sound appealing?

The skills you need:

  • • Recognize that how you communicate sets the tone for how the world sees you and treats you.
  • • Learn to respond consciously. Think before you react.
  • • Listen to your grown-up voice, logic and rationale and refuse to allow your past history to influence your present behavior.
  • • Keep yourself—and others—in check. Apologize, walk away and take the higher road for good.
  • • Don’t bring up 20 things that happened in the past—with anyone. Focus on the here and now, and move forward.
  • • Care more about the long-term outcome than you do about the immediate gratification of being right.

Gifts of the dynamic communicator

Life, unfortunately, is full of intense, high-drama situations where even the best communicators are put to the test—not to mention the small day-to-day annoyances such as rude waiters, indifferent salespeople and sarcastic co-workers. As dynamic communicators, we must be alert to the red flags in ourselves and others that might lead us down the road to a bad experience.

What I’ve noticed in years of counseling clients is that a common hindrance to dynamic interaction is the need to be right. You have to care more about the long-term outcome than you do about the immediate gratification of being heard, being louder, winning, getting the last word or being right.

A dynamic communicator lets go of the need to win. The real winning comes from a successful relationship, not scoring points. You want to win the war, not fight endless battles. Ultimately, dynamic interaction leaves both people walking away feeling satisfied or happy. One or both may have compromised during the process, but neither is walking away upset, hurt or feeling that he got short shrift.

A dynamic communicator knows when the time has come for that long overdue talk or when to walk away and cut communications altogether or which tool to employ along the way so it doesn’t come to either of those extremes. If you don’t know which tool to use, you can certainly say, “I need to think about this.” Then talk to friends, reflect, get advice and then get back to the person you want to speak with.

Better communication means closer relationships

In the end, when you have worked on becoming a dynamic communicator, learning to interact thoughtfully and effectively with others, you will find that the road to happiness is smoother and easier to find. And, as an added bonus,you’ll have relationships and dialogues that are deeper, more meaningful and significantly more satisfying.

From the April 2014 issue of Live Happy magazine.

Look for the good in life

By | Leadership Development, Personal Development

“Gratitude is many things to many people,” writes Sonja Lyubomirsky in “The How of Happiness.” “It is wondering; it is appreciation; it is looking at the bright side of a setback; it is fathoming abundance; it is thanking someone in your life; it is thanking God; it is ‘counting blessings.’ It is savoring; it is not taking things for granted; it is coping; it is present-oriented.”

Some people call it an attitude, some call it an action, and some call it an emotion. Regardless of the terms used to describe it, gratitude is a person’s choice to look for the good in life. It is also one of the easiest happiness practices to add to your life, because there is always something for which to be grateful. It’s an easy habit to adopt, because it offers an immediate physical and emotional reward. Think about it. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to feel discouraged and grateful at the same time. When you notice the good in the world, you immediately feel better.

For those for whom gratitude is a way of life, the benefits are even greater. Studies have revealed that grateful people experience improved immunity, better sleep and lower blood pressure. They are also better equipped to overcome mild to moderate depression and improve their relationships.

Although saying thank you is a good start, becoming a grateful person — one whom Robert Emmons describes as a person who receives and accepts all of life as a gift — doesn’t happen overnight. It does, indeed, require practice. Emmons, who is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology and a psychology professor at the University of California-Davis, explains that the practice of gratitude comprises two key components: affirming the goodness in the world around you and recognizing that the source of this goodness is something outside yourself.

 

Happy Act: Count Your Blessings

Make a list—right now—of at least five things or people for whom you are grateful.

 

Tap Into the Power of Gratitude

Whether you are dealing with a major life-shattering event, experiencing a small bump in the road, or interested in improving your relationships, gratitude can help.

“When we become more grateful, and acknowledge what we have through a lens of appreciation, it helps us focus on what is important to us,” explains Louis Alloro, a senior fellow at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. “We are conditioned to focus on what’s not working rather than to look at what is working. Gratitude changes what we look at and how we see it. It’s an essential ingredient for a life well-lived.”

Many people emphasize the importance of “being” grateful, but Louis teaches it’s important to take it a step further and “feel” gratitude. “It is key to feel it in your heart instead of keeping it in your mind,” he says. “When you say you’re grateful for something, it’s very often something that happened in the past — even if it was earlier that day. So I encourage people to not just say why they’re grateful, but to take a moment to remember how they felt when that was happening.”

Taking time to feel that appreciation again releases dopamine and allows you to re-enact the experience emotionally, generating healing positive feelings. “The payoff is huge,” Louis says. “It takes a little more time and more effort, but you’ll see such a difference in the way it affects you.”

 

Happy Act: Take a Gratitude Walk

Go for a walk with your spouse, child, parent or friend. Take turns noting things you’re grateful for.

 

Five Ways to Get Started

Keep a gratitude journal. Once a week or once a day, make notes about the people, things or circumstances for which you are grateful. Your notes don’t have to be long — a sentence or two is enough to remind you of the gifts you’ve recently experienced.

Use words that acknowledge the external source of goodness. Grateful people use words like “gifts,” “givers,” “blessings,” “blessed,” “good fortune,” “fortunate” and “abundance.” “In gratitude, you should not focus on how inherently good you are, but rather on the inherently good things that others have done on your behalf.”

Encourage gratitude. Ask your child, grandchild or a friend, “What was the best part of your day today?”

Write a gratitude letter. Send or hand-deliver a note of thanks to someone who has made a difference in your life.

Relive the feeling of gratitude. Go beyond identifying a positive experience and mentally relive it. Focus on how the experience made you feel. Savor that feeling.

Excerpted from Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy by Deborah K. Heisz and the editors of Live Happy magazine.

Embracing change is essential for growth

By | Leadership Development, Personal Development

Let’s get one thing straight: Change is inevitable.

I remember eight-track tape players. I remember when they all got stolen out of my 1964 Plymouth Valient, too. I remember when we changed to cassettes, then CDs and mP3 players. Now you stream everything.

Everything changes. And it’s not just products that change. It’s your life that changes. Things that happen in your life change.

You have to be adaptable. Because, while change is inevitable, growth is optional.

Change can be something you initiate or it can be forced upon you. No matter how much you might like those eight-track tapes, it’s nearly impossible to find a car that will play them these days.

Growth, however, is something you choose. Growth is a decision you make.

Growth and change are both uncomfortable. You’re waving goodbye to a comfort zone – saying goodbye to this place in life that you’ve settled into. Everyone – no matter their position in life – builds up comfort zones. People build a comfort zone making $1 million a year. People build a comfort zone making $15,000 a year. People build a comfort zone having three kids. People build a comfort zone having zero kids.

You always have a comfort zone. However, when you’re starting your own, independent business, you’re making the decision to step out of your comfort zone.

And it’s not just your comfort zone you’re messing with. You’re disrupting the mindsets of the people around you. You’re disrupting the image of you they had in their mind, and you’re disrupting how they have their life laid out in front of them.

One of the challenges for people is that they look at past experiences to predict future results. That’s a mistake in this. The only way you are going to get the same result is if you do the same thing. But if you look at your past experiences and decide to do things differently, you’ll have different results.

One of the greatest things about change is that you get to embrace new experiences. Life is all about experiences. Life is about moments. People get in this business to make their dreams come true. But it’s a process. And in the process of making your dreams come true, you become a better person, a better parent, a better friend and a better employee. And if you’re in business with Nerium, you begin to place value on the culture we have of being happy, of showing goodwill, being joyful and showing gratitude.

People want to be their best selves. People want to give their best self to their family and their friends. But they’re battling their history and everything that tells them that they can’t do this – that they can’t be successful running a business for themselves. It’s scary to step out of their comfort zone. People want to know that, if they change, there is a bright, successful future waiting for them.

You have an opportunity to go out into the world and to inspire your children to be better than you, to have more than you. Don’t live life in a La-Z-Boy. Don’t live life in front of a TV set or a computer screen. Don’t spend your life watching the Travel Channel.

Travel. See the world. Live your dreams.

My promise is this: Your willingness to change will be your message to yourself that you’re willing to grow. And your message to yourself that you’re willing to grow will give you belief and hope. And that hope will put you right in contact with what’s on your dreamboard.

Jimmy Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to reach my destination.”

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

Aana Camp shares tips to grow your business

By | Leadership Development, Promotions

Calling all Nerium leaders!

There’s still time to qualify and join Nerium International’s top field leaders and executives at this year’s Global Leadership Retreat in Grand Cayman.

International Marketing Director Aana Camp, a veteran of Nerium’s Global Leadership Retreat, shared her tips to help Brand Partners qualify for the trip:

What tips can you share to help Brand Partners experience growth in their business?

Stay focused on WHY you started this business and help others do the same. Model by example and stay 10 Core no matter who follows you and who doesn’t. Your team is following YOU, so be the person you want them to be.

What daily/weekly goals did you follow to achieve the Global Leadership Retreat?

Consistently make those 2 connections every day. I recommend 5 per day for anyone who wants to experience faster growth. Tracking and consistent follow-ups are musts.

What can you share with others that feel this is impossible to attain?

Make simple, clear goals that focus on growth instead of the impossible BIG goals. We win by winning.

What experiences did you take away from the Global Leadership Retreat?

Comradery with others that share the same vision. I felt valued and recognized as a strong leader, and I received feedback and opinions that matter to Nerium. The pampering, R&R and fun definitely contributed to the amazing experience.

Must-read books to help you build your business

By | Leadership Development

“A man is known by the company his mind keeps.”

These words by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, a longtime editor of The Atlantic Monthly, are so simple but unbelievably important. The most successful people in life never stop learning and never stop reading.

If you’re truly committed to growth, here are four books I recommend to help you on the climb.

“The Traveler’s Gift – Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success”

Andy Andrews

This might be a work of fiction, but important life lessons are imparted through time-traveling encounters with historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Anne Frank. This is such an uplifting book with great messages about approaching life with kindness, confidence and wisdom. I come back to this book time and again to remind myself about what’s truly important when making decisions.

“Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”

Simon Sinek

Martin Luther King. Steve Jobs. The Wright Brothers. What do they all have in common? They all started with finding their why. Determining your why is vital, and will always be your guide – especially when times are tough. You might think that it’s a waste of time when you’re asked to sit down and seriously consider your why, but now you know that you’re in good company!

“The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success & Happiness”

Jeff Olson

You don’t have to make big changes in your life. You just have to make little behavioral changes and big things will happen. This book teaches you how to effectively put every other self-help tool into action so you see powerful results in every area of your life. Nerium has the great benefit of having a true visionary leading our company. Luckily, he’s willing to share his secret to success. And it’s so simple! Jeff shows us all in this book that anything is attainable if you stick with it.

“The Magic of Thinking Big”

Dr. David Schwartz

This is a great book to end with. Because after the others, you’ll have already started thinking beyond where you ever have before. And now you’ll have the tools to make big things happen! So go for it! See farther than you have traditionally in the past. Who you were and who you are is nothing compared to who you are becoming!

Nerium Chief Sales Officer Bo Short has spoken around the globe in 34 countries to more than 1 million people. Through his past syndicated radio program, in his books and speeches, or during media interviews, Bo’s message is clear: “Dare to step out, dare to achieve, and dare to do something great with your life. Life is too short and too precious to settle for second best. Live your life to win!”

Take action to be a more effective influencer

By | Leadership Development

Are you a Master Influencer? Influence is about changing minds, changing hearts and changing behaviors to produce meaningful and sustainable results. As we begin a new year, many of us are considering how to make positive changes in our own behaviors to attain new results in 2018. Consider using the change framework presented in the book, “Influencer: The Power to Change Anything,” by Kerry Patterson and others to help you achieve more of your goals this year.

Identify Your Desired Results
First, get very clear on what results you want to achieve. Is your goal to lose 10 pounds by the time you go on the next Nerium incentive trip? Is it to earn twice as much in commissions this year compared to last year? Is it to be a better mother or father for your children? Whatever your goal is, state your desired result in just one sentence. Next, determine what measures you will use to track your progress. How will you know whether you are succeeding and making progress? Is it something you can measure weekly? Daily? Third, consider who is involved in your efforts to achieve these results. Is your family involved? Your Nerium team? Others in your community?

Find and Clarify Your Vital Behaviors
It is crucial to identify the few key behaviors that make the biggest difference in the outcome you desire. Which behaviors most affect success or failure? Next, identify the crucial moments – that point in time where the right behavior leads to the results you want. As they say, “success leaves clues.” What have you done or what have others done in those crucial moments that leads to success? If your goal is to share the Nerium products with more people this year, perhaps a vital behavior for you is to remind yourself to smile when you look at a stranger, because that makes starting a conversation more likely. If your goal is to lose weight, perhaps a vital behavior is to keep healthy snacks in your car so you don’t get hungry and stop for fast food on your way home. In the crucial moments you have identified, what actions need to be taken in order to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome?

Change How You Change Minds
Rather than relying on just one source of influence, explore how you can use the six different sources of influence to better stack things in your favor.

Source 1: Personal Motivation. In those crucial moments, how can you or others take more satisfaction in the right behaviors and develop an aversion to the wrong behaviors? Remembering your why, or your motivation for the goal, is an important influencer. If the desired behavior is tough or boring, try to add some element of fun, competition or excitement to the activity to keep the right behavior engaging.

Source 2: Personal Ability. Do you or others have all the skills and knowledge to perform what is required in those crucial moments? If not, how can the skills be developed? Can you break the challenge into mini goals in order to build up the ability to ultimately reach your desired outcome?

Source 3: Social Motivation. Are the people around you in those crucial moments encouraging the right behavior and discouraging the wrong behavior? Make sure you gain support and alignment from the people who are closely involved so that you can harness peer pressure to encourage, teach and praise people into adopting the desired behaviors. This is similar to Jeff Olson’s advice to get a “workout partner” as part of the “10 Core Commitments” to success, so that you have someone else keeping you accountable in those times when you are pushed.

Source 4: Social Ability. Do you or others provide the information, resources and help required at those crucial moments? Find ways to make the information or help available just in time for those key moments.

Source 5: Structural Motivation. Are there rewards for you or others for doing the right behavior? If so, are those short-term rewards aligned with the long-term results and outcomes you desire?

Source 6: Structural Ability. Are there enough cues and reminders around you in those crucial moments to help you stay on course, and make the right behavior easy and convenient? How can you keep your goal visible in those critical moments? What might you need to re-organize to make the old and less desirable behaviors difficult to continue, but the new and desired behaviors easier, more convenient, and almost unavoidable?

In conclusion, leveraging multiple sources of influence is key to turning things in your favor. Instead of relying on just your own willpower to make positive changes this year, look for multiple ways you can use personal sources, social sources, and structural sources of influence to achieve your goals in 2018 and to become a Master Influencer!

How to get unstuck at work

By | Leadership Development, Personal Development

No matter how organized and productive people may seem, we all feel overwhelmed at times. As a “solopreneur,” Senia handles big-picture, strategic initiatives as well as detail work. In the past six months, her detail work became overwhelming, with up to 50 items on her daily to-do list.

Senia reached out to three executive coaches who are productivity experts. She spoke with her friends. She enlisted virtual assistants and focused on streamlining her work. Yet her daily to-do list was still unwieldy. She felt stuck.

How can we get the advice we need?

Executive coaches are like personal trainers, but for work and life. Here’s the problem: We gravitate to that which is comfortable. A new TEDx Talk, “Strategies to Widen Your Social Universe,” by Tanya Menon, Ph.D., of Ohio State University, says we need to create more accidental bumps in our lives: We should go eat lunch at a different place, take a different route to work, go to the gym at a different time and meet different people.

With that thought, we could suggest that Senia reach out to contacts she doesn’t typically work with, from LinkedIn or professional organizations, or urge her to research innovative productivity techniques. And so that’s what she did. Senia talked to colleagues she hadn’t talked to in months or years. She took steps she was unfamiliar with to delegate some of her work and make her workload more sustainable.

Here are a few other strategies to try:
1. Talk to someone who is one step ahead of you
Chances are you have at least one friend or colleague who has also been overwhelmed and yet figured out a solution. Daniel Gilbert, Ph.D., of Harvard University, advises in his book Stumbling on Happiness that if we don’t know how to make a decision, we should talk to someone who has just made that decision. If you’re thinking about becoming a parent, talk to parents who had kids a year ago and are still living through those sleepless nights.

2. Take tiny steps.
Look for the smallest step that could have the biggest positive impact or difference. We recommend this action in our book Profit From the Positive. The power is that it focuses us on what we can change—now.

3. Take a break.
Just when you think you can’t get up from your desk, that’s exactly what you need to do. Remove yourself from the work; it’ll still be there when you return. Go for a walk; being out in nature has been found to have a calming effect. Go to the gym. Meditate for five minutes. The point is to do something you enjoy. You will return to your desk feeling refreshed and ready to tackle that to-do list.
When you’re stuck, go to your edge of your comfort zone. Find those people whom you otherwise might not have reached out to. Look for those actions you might not have otherwise tried.

From the October 2017 issue of Live Happy magazine.

Stick to the Beat with Nerium Rhythm

By | International, Leadership Development | No Comments

You know, a lot of people have asked, “What has made Nerium International so successful?” I answer in many different ways but tend to talk a great deal about our commitment to being a company that’s REAL. After all, Nerium creates leading-edge products backed by REAL science and supported by clinically proven REAL results. Our commitment to being REAL is probably one of the top reasons we’re also attracting REAL people who want to create REAL lifestyles for themselves. Every day we charge ahead with optimism and a positive philosophy, and that’s where the Nerium Rhythm comes in.
What’s the Nerium Rhythm?

The Nerium Rhythm can help you reach for the stars. It’s as simple as that !! It’s not about quick fixes or taking giant leaps. Instead, it’s all about how to combine the power of the Slight Edge philosophy with Nerium’s 10 Core Commitments. The goal is to get all Nerium Brand Partners to apply the Nerium Rhythm in their everyday life and do business in the same way, no matter what community or country you’re in. It doesn’t really matter what culture, language, or even time zone you find yourself in. This one easy-to-follow suggestion – follow the Nerium Rhythm – is your stepping stone to the ultimate success, whether your goals are personal or professional.
Doing the Right Thing, Day In and Day Out

Brand Partners and corporate employees all share the same philosophy: to master the mundane. It’s the philosophy that drives the Nerium Rhythm. Remember, successful people actually do the “mundane” – 10 seemingly unimportant acts every day. Successful people do these mundane things over and over and over again until the compound effect kicks in and…success !! Are you curious about what “mundane things” I’m talking about? Well, it’s Nerium’s 10 Core Commitments, of course !! But, that’s not the end of it, my friends. Now you know about our 10 Core Commitments but what drives our 10 commitments?
See below: Nerium’s 10 Core Commitments work hand-in-hand with the Slight Edge philosophy to help you reach and maintain success as a Nerium Brand Partner.

Push Yourself To the Edge of Your Limits

The Slight Edge drives the 10 Core Values, and just like our 10 Core Commitments, doing the same few tasks day after day after day will help you reach your goals and shape the way you think, the way you act, and the way you see life. If you’re serious about changing your life for the better, my suggestion is The Slight Edge. Master the mundane by repeating our 10 Core Commitments – and do it consistently and persistently. Add to this a positive attitude and you’ll see the benefits very soon.

What this means for you is that you have the freedoms to work wherever and whenever you want. You can work locally and build your business nationally. You can work locally and build your business globally.

Our rhythm never changes. Around the world, Brand Partners share the same rhythm. Our rhythm is our lifeline and will be one of your biggest assets.

Want to learn more about Nerium International and the life-changing opportunity that awaits you at Nerium.com/opportunity. You’ll see information about the many benefits that come from being a Nerium Independent Brand Partner. Also, get to know some of our leaders who have found success and changed their lives – all by following the Nerium Rhythm.