Effective Interviewing Begins With a Good Resume

My clients often ask me how they can become better interviewers and wish they sounded more confidant when they answered the questions asked them. They often think that if they were better at “interviewing techniques” like how to sit up properly, how to have effective eye contact or which color of clothing will help them appear to be the most viable candidate.

This is of course a silly approach to effective interviewing. That is not to say that the “interviewing techniques” are not valuable and worth noting. They certainly are, but they are not what is most important. What is most important to effective interviewing is having a deep connection and very clear understanding to their resume.

Writing An Effective Resume

In order to write an effective resume you have to begin with some sort of reflective exercise that challenges you to think about, reflect upon and write down all of the various aspects of all your significant past jobs; even though all of the past job may not be listed on the final version. This reflective process reconnects us to all that we have done professionally and assists us in clearly understanding the various directions our career has taken. When this is done, we are able to communicate about our career objectives based not only on which direction we want our career to go, but also from where these directive decisions came from. The best way to show a prospective employer that you are a viable candidate for a job is to establish a clear sense of how you benefited your previous employers and how that experience will carry over into the new job.

It is just as valuable to express why you chose a career path and where you hope that career will go as it is to state what you did at your past jobs. In fact, having a deep connection or in other words, a passionate zeal about your career intentions is the most important element of the interviewing process. When this occurs, a natural confidence and motivation is expressed by the interviewee that always is appealing to the interviewer. It is impossible to teach someone how to be motivated or confident because these are conditions of the “inner-workings” of our total self. What I can teach someone is how to cause these byproducts to occur frequently. We can cause these outcomes by determining to never give up on a career path, to acknowledge the authenticity of our career needs and by establishing a vision of what our career will be long-term.

Resume Tips

Key Concepts for Powerful, Effective Resumes.

1. Your resume is YOUR marketing tool, not a personnel document.
2. It is about YOU the job hunter, not just about the jobs you’ve held.
3. It focuses on your future, not your past.
4. It emphasizes your accomplishments, not your past job duties or job descriptions.
5. It documents skills you enjoy using, not skills you used just because you had to.
10 Steps in Creating a Valuable Resume

1. Choose a target job (also called a “job objective”). An actual job title & company name works best.
2. Find out what skills, knowledge, and experience are needed to do that target job.
3. Make a list of your 2, 3, or 4 strongest skills or abilities or knowledge that make you a good candidate for the target job.
4. For each key skill, think of several accomplishments from your past work history that illustrate that skill.
5. Describe each accomplishment in a simple, powerful, action statement that emphasizes the results that benefited your employer.
6. Make a list of the primary jobs you’ve held, in chronological order. Include any unpaid work that fills a gap or that shows you have the skills for the job.
7. Make a list of your training and education that’s related to the new job you want.
8. Choose a resume format that fits your situation–either chronological or functional. Functional works best if you’re changing fields; chronological works well if you’re moving up in the same field.]
9. Arrange your action statements according to the format you choose.
10. Summarize your key points at the top of your resume.

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Understanding the Chakra System

The human body is composed of various physical elements (i.e. heart, lungs, limbs, etc.) that enable it to function properly. If any of these elements or aspect of the human body are injured or broken, it effects the overall functionality of the human body in general. For example, a person with lung disease will have difficulty running effectively. The impaired lungs affects the ability of the legs and heart or cardio-vascular system to function at their maximum ability during running. Each of the physical parts of the human body affects the other and are thus interconnected with each other in profound ways. Let’s call this the physical system of our “total self.”

There is also a non-physical system in the form of energy fields that are connected to the physical body and affects the functionality of the “total self” also. It’s called the Chakra System that is generally viewed as having seven major elements, as well as uncountable minor ones that are of equal value. We will focus on the seven major chakras here.

7 Major Chakra System

The best way to view the chakras is as energy processing centers that enable us to connect to the non-physical elements that surround us. Many would call these non-physical elements our “spiritual essence,” but I prefer to refer to them as our non-physical essences. There are too many associations, in my opinion, that are attached to the word “spiritual” that could cause us to view this “un-seen” essence as somehow separate from us. When in actuality, they are as connected to us as our hand is to our forearm. This energy system flows throughout our body just as our blood flows throughout our circulatory system. This non-physical system enables every aspect of our “total self” (our physical, emotional, mental and intuitional bodies) to function effectively. Each chakra has its own character that relates to a unique aspect of our being. They are patterns of energy whos shape can be described as funnel-like or whirlpool-like, and each one corresponds to parts of the Central Nervous System. Their vortices lie inside the body, along the spinal chord and up into the head.

When there is a blockage or other energetic dysfunction in a chakra, it usually causes disorders in the physical, mental and intuitive bodies. A defect in the energy flow of a chakra will disrupt the necessary amount of energy that flows to its corresponding element in the physical body, just as a blocked artery negatively affects the ability of the heart’s system to function properly. Even though these energy patterns don’t exist as physical elements, there are specific locations in the body where the energy patterns exist; five along the spine, and two on the head. Each chakra also has a certain color associated with it. Because the chakras are non-physical entities, it is impossible to convey a complete explanation of the nature of each chakra in words alone, but the table below will provide an introduction to the nature of each.

7 — Crown of Head/Totality of Beingness — Non-physical Perfection — Violet
6 — Forehead (3rd Eye) — Visualization/Intuition — Indigo
5 — Pit of Throat — Communication/Creative Expression — Blue
4 — Heart/Universal Love — Compassion and Empathy — Green
3 — Solar Plexus/Creation of Self — Perception and Projection of Self — Yellow
2 — Sacral (Pubic) — Desire & Sexual Energy — Orange
1 — Base of Spine Physical/Vitality — Survival — Red

Chakra Details

“Each chakra has a dominant (usually) front component, and a less dominant (usually) rear component that are intimately related. The seventh and first chakras, though, are usually represented and thought of as having only the one dominant component, as it is far, far more significant than the weaker component in these two chakras. The seventh chakra extends vertically upwards above the head. The first chakra extends forwards from the base of the spine, and downwards, at roughly a 45 degree angle, although its exact position will vary from person to person. The other five chakras, spaced between the first and seventh, have at their appropriate locations a front component extending out the front of the body and a rear component extending out the rear of the body. Aside from the entry of energy into the body through the seven major chakras, there is also an upward flow of energy in the body, from the lower to higher energy centers. The lower chakras are simpler-functioning, but as one ascends upwards there is a greater degree of sophisticated and more spiritual functioning, intimately related to the life experience and state of being of the individual,” (www.chioshealing.com).


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Trusting Your Daimon or “Inner Voice”

Everyone has a primary struggle or obstacle in their quest to accomplish their goals. Of course, there are many struggles and obstacles in this process from discovering what your goals are to figuring out how to achieve them to gathering the internal courage and determination to see them through. Yet, each of these aspects are secondary to the primary obstacle, which is to knowing if the choices that are made will produce the most favorable results.

During difficult times, individuals seek advice and guidance from friends, family members, professionals, support groups and the like. Yet, all of these “voices” are external to the individual and so speculative. I say speculative because the advice and knowledge are based on another person’s personal and professional experience, which can never match our own experiences and wisdom. There is certainly nothing wrong with seeking guidance, but looking for someone else to tell you what the best answer is can be problematic. It is problematic for the person giving the advice because in doing so he/she must also then take on the burden of the consequences; favorable or not. Plus, when someone tries to think for another, they rob that individual of the opportunity to deepen their faith in their ability to make their own choices and so crippling them on the deepest of levels. Each person has a divine inner-voice or Daimon that is all knowing and who has the “right” answers regardless if that information makes logical sense. It is a distant voice from deep within our core that the Greeks called “Daimon!” It is impossible to trust that divine voice if we make choices based on an outside “voice.”

Respecting Our Daimon

Spiritual emancipation, enlightenment, entrance into the kingdom of God, ultimate happiness and the like are things each of us strive for in our own way. There are those who say that we have to accept ourselves for who we are regardless of what we have or what we achieve, which is of course sound advice. Yet, in the grand scope of things we each have a responsibility to follow our dreams and never give up on those dreams. Never, ever, ever; NEVER! Remember, I did not say “achieve” those dreams. I said follow them and never give up on them. Otherwise, ideas like, “if it was meant to be it will be,” or “what ever happens happens,” can be misunderstood and cause an individual to miss the point. Yes, it is true that we cannot predict an outcome absolutely and so “if it was meant to be it will be.” However, that does not relieve us of our responsibility to continue towards our mission or calling. Make no mistake, each of us has a divine mission and purpose in this life that demands our commitment and focus. And that mission is expressed by our Daimon in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. The challenge with following our Daimon is that it will always urge us in the direction of our fears as the only means of overcoming them. That quiet little voice that exists down into our core will gently coax and lean us towards letting go of what is familiar or what we know to be true so that we can experience our power. A person who fears heights cannot overcome that fear without experiencing heights The notion of relieving a fear without living that fear, at least momentarily, is really the avoidance of that fear. Period.

Trusting our own internally divine companion is the source of our greatest joy, but also the source of our greatest discomfort because such trust can only be achieved by passing through our fear experientially. The Daimon can also be viewed as an individual’s greatest potential that cannot be altered by human tinkering and which is not dependent on our physical or social laws. It’s essence allows for mystery and the “darkness” of possibilities that cannot be known by what is familiar to us intellectually or emotionally. James Hillman, in his book, The Soul’s Code, discusses what he calls the Acorn Theory, which understands that there is a reason that an individual life is here on the planet. Each individual has an innate image of what it must create in the physical world with one’s life and is answerable to that innate image. We are all held accountable to our Soul’s purpose in this life, and if we ignore it, then the result is nothing short of unnecessary suffering. Hillman says that in order to uncover that image or mission, we must set aside the psychological frames that we are used to, those ideas of right and wrong, of what makes “sense” and what doesn’t and step into the imaginative mist that engulfs each of us. We must delve into what Quantum Physics has discovered and labeled the sub-atomic particles that equal pure potentiality and are the source of all creation. Once we get past the social conditioning of our intelligence and enter into the mysteriousness, we can then tap our imagination via those sub-atomic particles and instantly create any person, place or thing. The challenge is that we cannot tap the sub-atomic realm with a doubtful mind and fearful heart. And so the journey of uncovering our destiny that is written into our Acorn is one of continually deepening our faith in that which seems impossible! As I previously said, never stop moving towards your dreams, for it is only in that quest that one can break down the limitations of a dull or limited mind.
The Glory of Dreaming Big!

Dreaming big is necessary for your soul to survive and for you to stay connected to your it. There is no better drug or greater high on the planet than having a dream come true. The more you dream and challenge yourself to stay on course with those dreams the healthier you will become. For those who say that they don’t know what they want to do or that they don’t have any dreams I tell them that they are mistaken. They do know, but from a different place, from their source, Daimon, or soul. All a person needs to do is listen, really listen, and work towards the outcome they seek, and they will discover over time a new found vitality, happiness and energy. And God forbid that someone let’s go of a dream, they must face the harsh reality that they have just committed suicide to a part of themselves. Dreaming of a better life and “going for it” is a requirement of happiness. You cannot be truly happy without it. You might be able to establish a level of contentment, but that is not happiness.

It is important to remember that when you dream big and challenge yourself to overcome your fears and doubts, your life will go through a period of hardship. Be wise and understand that this is part of the process. Just like when someone begins exercising for the first time in years. He/she decided to exercise to feel better, but because the individual was out of shape they had to go through a period of feeling bad before they could feel good. Muscles that are not used to exercise scream out in pain when they are first challenged to become healthy. Yet, it is a scientific fact that if the individual stays the course and keeps exercising, their muscles will get stronger, healthier, and ultimately feel better. The same holds true when you challenge yourself to get out of your “rut” job and open up your own business so that you can become a millionaire instead of a part of the “salaried herd” who make good money but will never achieve wealth where they are in their job.

Please understand that as you break out of the mold, you will find that individuals will try to sabotage you saying that you cannot do it and that you are crazy or something like that. All they are really saying is, “I don’t want you to succeed because if you do, I have to look at my own level of unhappiness.” And many people are too afraid to do that, so they try and bring you back down to their level. Don’t let sour criticism spoil your dream. Hold onto it, and do the best you can to make it come true. Hold onto your dreams even during those the long lonely nights it takes to get where you want to go–and notice each small step of success as you get there. Nurture your dream. Nurture yourself. If you do that, your success is guaranteed. Truly! It is guaranteed if you do that.

Not allowing ourselves to follow our dreams, or even to just dream, can eat away at us, and cause us to become bitter, angry, and self-loathing. But following our dreams brings us a motivation and peacefulness that cannot be fathomed by those who are running from their Daimon’s image. Even when it’s hard, fearful and everything in us wants to give up and we can’t think how we’re going to get there, there is still always something that feels right to us. Deep down at our core, our souls are whispering to our hearts to never give up, forcing us to feel truly and absolutely alive!

Here are some steps to bringing yourself closer to your dreams. Follow these steps and you too can be following your dreams:

1. Claim your dreams. This may take awhile, but don’t rush and have patience.Take time out everyday to listen to your Daimon or “inner-voice.” Listen inside yourself for what you really want, and claim it as a possibility at least. Even if you don’t believe that it can come true, let it live in the realm of possibility and you will find that it will show itself to you

2. Become clear to your negative beliefs that are preventing you from your dreams. Is a part of you afraid of succeeding or becoming really happy? It’s possible that you don’t even think you deserve to have wonderful things happen to you or that people will think you are stupid or unrealistic. Or does the dream seem too grand, too huge, or above your capabilities to handle? All of these thinking habits are illusions that you have to fight through and reprogram within your mind.

3. Writing Out The Steps. Write down your goals and some basic steps that you need to take for them to happen. Don’t worry if the steps are right or the best ones that should be taken, just start taking action. You will find that things will wiggle their way in the right direction.

4. Taking Baby Steps. It’s not necessary to jump into the abyss with your eyes closed. Just begin taking some action, even if it is just one or two things per week. If you commit to these one or two things consistently over time you will find that opportunities will come to you that will require you to do more. You don’t have to figure everything out before hand. Just begin!

6. Stay Clear and Focused. Don’t keep changing your mind! Gandhi talked a lot about the importance of making a vow. That being said, it is possible that what your dreams look like might morph into something that you didn’t expect. For example, you may have had the goal of becoming a high school teacher and during that process was offered a private tutoring job that you loved. Not only did you love it, but the money was better with less work hours. In the end, you were still teaching. Teaching is what you needed to make a vow about.

This newsletter was assisted by the following links:

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Defensive Routines

Last month we made clear the distinction between dialogue and debate. Simply, debate has as its foundation the need to be right versus establishing what is true. We also discussed how a better understanding of our thinking habits can enhance our quality of communication. One of the most common thinking habits that occurs, in my assessment, is known as defensive routines or defensiveness. When individuals debate, they are usually engaging in unconscious and irrational defensiveness, which occurs when individuals want to protect themselves from anxiety. This protection is established through diversionary and intimidation tactics or by distorting reality. Defensive communication can lead to one-sided conversations, where individuals only want to prove their point versus wanting to also understand the point of view of those that they communicate with.

These unconscious psychological defensive mechanisms include repression, rationalization, projection, reaction formation, displacement, identification, regression, fantasy formation, intellectualization/isolation, and denial. Most individuals who are overly defensive are trying to protect themselves from a threat that does not really exist. Before I breakdown the various types of defensive routines, it should be known that everyone uses defense mechanisms and that it is quite normal to do so. Problems arise when they are overly or habitually used.

Types of Defensive Routines

Repression: The primary ego defense that give life to all other defensive routines. Its prime function is to prevent anxiety and helps individuals deal with everyday problems. It often occurs in response to conflict and pain from one’s past history, whether that conflict actually exists or not. Repressed memories can drain our creative energy, cause stiffness of character and lead to more serious psychological challenges. It is important to know that repressed memories don’t ever go away and that the goal is to create a better understanding of the negative feelings associated with that memory. Such identification allows us to associate more positive feelings with the old memory. The difficulty with this is that the only way to associate a new feeling with an old memory. is to actually feel the repressed pain associated with it. Trained professionals can help individuals through that process. It is through the darkness (pain) that we find the light (something other than pain).

Rationalization: In order to cope with anxiety, our ego uses reason to “explain them away.” This reasonableness is often seen in dishonest explanations for various acts, or justifying those acts with complete disregard to how hurtful those acts may have been. This rationale is often clouded in delusion, which results in an over sense of superiority. The bottom line is that those who overly use their rational faculties to justify their acts are really implementing impaired judgment.

Projection: In this case, individuals transfer their own personality traits onto other people, places or even things. It is the unconscious act of labeling or attributing to others one’s own feelings, thoughts or intentions.This actually happens a great deal and is one of the highest forms of delusion. An example might be when someone accuses another person of being a coward and too afraid to achieve something, when in actuality they are talking about themselves. How do we know if we are projecting to others? Simply, every time we assume to know the intentions of another person without asking them about what they are doing with an “ear” of respectful acknowledgment of that persons capabilities.

Reaction Formation: This is used by the ego to primarily control the expression of “forbidden” impulses by repressing them consciously. This repression is justified by making that impulse (i.e. sexual lust, seeking wealth, only doing a job you love, etc.) unworthy or unjust, regardless of whether or not those impulses are valuable. One becomes the crusader against the forbidden urge, often resulting in compulsiveness, exaggeration and an all or nothing attitude.

Displacement: This occurs when an instinctual impulse is redirected from a more threatening activity, person or object to a less threatening one. For example, you might yell at your dog because you are too afraid to yell at your significant other. Injustice is what describes this defensive routine best; the innocent becomes the victim.

Identification: In this case, individuals take on the characteristics of someone admired or considered successful; hero-worship. In doing so, they are able to bolster their sense of self-worth by protecting themselves through the illusion that they are giving themselves an identity, albeit a false one. If used too often, it results in feelings of inauthenticity and a sense of separation from others.

Regression: Reverting to an earlier child-like stage of development, which one views as a more secure period. Individuals act as if they are very tired or fatigued, ill and often will throw tantrums.

Fantasy Formation: Individuals gratify frustrated desires by thinking of imaginary achievements and satisfactions; thinking that they are something that they are not. This allows the individual to transport themselves away from real problems. It can be difficult to communicate with people who display this defensive routine.

Intellectualization/Isolation: Unpleasant emotions are suppressed by engaging in detached analyses of threatening problems. Feelings of anxiety are ignored and not allowed to reach one’s conscious awareness. Becoming a third party to issues to prevent them from emotionally attaching to the feelings associated with the issues. Obviously, these individuals have difficulty with intimacy.

Denial: The ego refuses to acknowledge the existence of threatening events by refusing to believe in them. It can assist an individual in getting through difficult times and can be very valuable if they are willing to address the issue at a later date.

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Speak Your Perfect Job Into Existence

To know what your ideal job involves, you need to review what you have enjoyed in your previous jobs and what you would like to avoid. Make a list of all the types of work you have done before, and categorize them (by job title, boss, location, time, etc). Make two lists of what you liked and what you did not like about each job. Prioritize these items to identify what you wish to have or to avoid in your next job. Remember, specificity of choice is an absolute requirement to manifesting or creating the lifestyle you want.  Challenge yourself to see your environment as malleable, and that malleability is directly linked to your thoughts or thought process.  For example, if you think it will be difficult to get the exact job you desire then it will be difficult. Why not think about your perfect job coming to you with ease. If you do, you’ll be amazed. I remember when my wife and I had our first son Addison, I told her she needed to go back to Social Work. You see, she is an aspiring TV actor and was a bartender at the time. That job didn’t allow enough money to meet the cost of the needs of a baby. We needed to both have secure jobs. Well, she was worried that she would have to give up her dream of becoming a TV actor. I suggested that she put out the possibility of getting a Social Worker job that fully supported her acting career. One that had a flexible schedule so she could go on auditions and take a day or two off now and then to shoot the guest star roles that she would often book. Well, she listened to my suggestion and got exactly what she put out to the Universe; she “spoke the perfect job into existence.” Now, of course she still had to take action by applying to jobs, going on interviews and other actions necessary to getting a job. But it only took about four months for her to get this job that offered her a competitive salary, benefits, vacation days etc. You can do the same if you challenge yourself as I have suggested. Good luck and have fun!

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The next step is to see if your current career matches your list and if it doesn’t, locate careers that do! Look out for overlaps in your Skills, Values, and Interests list. Are there any job titles that fit these overlaps? Pass copies of your list to friends and family and ask for their opinion on jobs from different areas where your skills are valuable. Find out what skills are required for specific careers. A professional Career Consultant can provide support like:

1. Helping to evaluate and prioritize your skills, values, and interests.

2. Matching your Skills, Values and Interests with job titles.

3. Helping you to focus on potential careers.

4. Finding job openings in your fields of interest.

5. Grooming you for interviews.

6. Helping you polish documents like cover letters, resumes, and applications.

Career counseling can be instrumental in this early stage of your job search. A counselor would evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, recognize overlaps in your SVI list, and suggest potential career areas. Counselors will also help you identify your goals and look out for potential offers that satisfy your needs.

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Distinguishing Between Skills, Values & Interests

The easiest ways to determine your skills, values, and interests is to make a list of them and describe how you have used each skill in your life, whether professionally or in other areas. Remember, this exercise is only valuable if you connect the skills, values, and interests from your lists to your life by describing when you have actually used or done them in the past or present. If you are having trouble determining your skills, the information below can help you get started.

1. Skills are things you can do well. Identify 20-40 skills that you have and be sure to note specific technical skills like Word skills, Excel skills, and the like.

Examples of Skills: Analytical, Budgeting, Communication, Computing, Counseling, Debating/Language, Excel, Writing, Word, Technical, Teamwork, Team Management, Project Management, Programming, Planning, Organizational, Negotiation, Leadership, Interpersonal, Internet, Staff Hiring.

2. Values are principles you find important or motivating. Note the values that are most important to you. These can help you narrow your search during job selection. High salary, recognition, prestige, travel opportunities, etc. are some examples of values. Write down around 10-15.

Examples of Values: Adventure, Aesthetics, Altruism, Belonging, Challenges, Commitment, Creativity, Ethics, Family, Fairness, Honesty, Independence, Love, Prestige, Recognition, Respect, Responsibility, Salary, Security, Self-esteem, Travel opportunity, Trust, Vacation, Variety.

3. Interests are things you like doing. Ask yourself what you enjoy. Examine both your personal and professional interests, such as writing, socializing, programming, etc. Some people are willing to pay you to do what you love doing. Write down at least 30-40 things you enjoy doing.

Examples of Interests: Arts, Organizing or Participating in Conferences, Dancing, Designing, Dressmaking, Entertainment, Exercising, Gardening, Internet, Jewelry making, Painting, Piloting, Racing, Sculpting, Singing, Socializing, Table games, Team games, Traveling, Water sports, Woodworking, Writing.

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Idealist Themes

This theme has four personality types associated with it: Foreseer Developer, Harmonizer Clarifier, Envisioner Mentor, & Discoverer Advocate.

Foreseer Developer: These individuals consider a worthy life as a process towards their own and others’ personal growth. If something does not create personal growth, then it is not worth engaging in. When something does generate personal growth, then all the efforts necessary to make that growth happen are worthwhile. They find it pleasurable to engage in problem solving in order to maintain the vision of what is possible and who we can become. Their lives are devoted to honoring the personal strengths of others, helping them discover what those strengths are and how to develop them. It is essential for them to explore all relevant issues and to navigate through all the emotions that are associate with those issues. Finding the most meaningful and creative approach to life gives them the inner-strength to allow others the space to be themselves and make their own choices. The difficulty comes when others don’t want to hear all the insights that they can give. Their senses of purpose is so profound, that they can be seen as overly task-oriented that can conflict with their more idealistic side. This often causes them a lot of stress, which can result in them withdrawing from others to seek some sort of relief and revitalization.

Harmonizer Clarifier: These individuals like to uncover the mysteries of life, personal values, and meaning in general. Learning about people and why they do things is pleasurable for this personality type, as is relating to others on a deep level and resolving issues with them. If they are to feel comfortable with their relationships, they need to understand what people’s intentions are. They find it fascinating to delve into what is right or wrong, the battle between good and evil, and what it means to have a sense of congruence with one’s own values. Facilitating listening and knowing the meaning behind what people say is their strong suite, as is their ability to help others enjoy who they are, accept and believe in themselves. At times, it is difficult for them to turn of the deep listening. They are constantly living in paradoxes and balancing opposites, while juggling the playful and serious sides of their personality. By relating to others through stories and metaphors they are able to connect differences, provide soft encouragement, and tap into the world without words that is the source of wisdom.

Envisioner Mentor: This personality type considers life’s meaning to be about succeeding at relationships to foster mutual growth. The creative process brings them joy, allowing them to bring a bright view and enthusiasm to the projects that they work on. Realizing their own dreams and helping other to the same is what sparks them to get up each day; a life without the process of manifesting one’s dreams is deemed worthless. Interpersonal relationships are fostered through logical explanations that can lead to development and a purposeful life. They are well aware of the occasional painful experience that comes with focusing so much attention on interpersonal relationships. In order to help people find their life vision, they use a thought process entailing integrative and global thinking. It is tremendously important to heed the call to one’s life mission and they are always available to help others’ discover their own. Their ease in connecting with others can become a hindrance to their own well-being as they can lose sight of their own identity by focusing to much on another person’s life. This can also make it difficult for them to live in the moment, as they spend much of their thinking energy on futuristic planning.

Discoverer Advocate: These individuals view life as a process of inspiring and assisting others, enabling them to reach their highest potential. They are able to look “into” a person’s core, see their unspoken goodness and help him/her discover their higher purpose. Exploring different perceptions and sharing deep emotional content is enjoyable for this personality type. It is essential that they develop ideal relationships where they are able to “connect” deeply. Their thought processes seem random, but in reality they are very connective and relational. Mediating differences and conflict comes easy to them and they have an uncanny knack for keeping communication channels open. They are able to make things happen without always knowing how they do it, which makes them seem “magical” as they respond courageously to their insights. It is easy for them to put their own needs and wants on hold when they are helping others. When they first meet someone, they either like that person or they don’t. Discovering a definitive direction for themselves is essential, and they can find themselves restless if the “magical” moment does not last.

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Getting Through the Work Day Struggles

People sometimes get stuck in a job due to a lack of education or because of a bad economy, but that doesn’t mean that their work day needs to be a painful experience. With a little innovation and imagination, it is easy to make the best of a “bad” job. Here are some ideas that may help.

• Work on your job skills. Imagining yourself in your dream job, you might see yourself as an excellent leader – highly confident and supremely organized. Why not work on these skills in your present job?

• Develop your own project. Take on a project that can motivate you and give you a sense of control. Start small, such as organizing a work-related celebration, before moving on to larger goals. Working on something you care about can boost your confidence.

• Stay busy. Having too much free time may leave you with too much time to think about what’s wrong with your job.

Stay Positive

Change the way you view your job by challenging your thinking to be positive. Changing your attitude about work doesn’t happen overnight. But if you remain alert to ways your view of work brings you down, you may eventually replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. Here are a few techniques:

• Stop negative thoughts. Pay attention to the messages you give yourself. When you catch yourself thinking your job is terrible, stop the thought in its tracks. Awareness is the first step to this step and is achieved by learning how to “read” your thoughts like you would a book. Learning to view the content of your thinking is very valuable.

• Put things in perspective. Remember, everyone encounters good days and bad days on the job. That doesn’t mean that you should pretend to be excited that you are having a bad day. It just means that you choose to accept it as part of the professional experience. If everything was always good, then we wouldn’t know it because we wouldn’t have anything to compare it to. Experiencing a bad day will make a good one that much better.

• Look for the silver lining. “Reframing” can help you find the good in a bad situation. For example, you receive a less than perfect performance appraisal and your boss warns you to improve or move to another job. Instead of taking it personally or looking for another job right away, look for the silver lining. Depending on where you work, the silver lining may be attending continuing education classes, working closely with a performance coach and having the satisfaction of showing your boss you’re capable of change. Being proactive means that we are in control of our destiny, versus being a victim to it.

• Learn from your mistakes. Failure is one of the greatest learning tools, but many people let failure defeat them. When you make a mistake at work, learn from it and try again. The reality is, we fail as much, if not more, than we succeed.

• Be grateful. Gratitude can help you focus on what’s positive about your job. Ask yourself, “What am I grateful for at work today?” If it’s only that you’re having lunch with a trusted co-worker, that’s OK. But find at least one thing you’re grateful for and cherish it. When all is said and done, a positive experience begins with a heartfelt appreciation for what we have and what we are doing.

Posted in Balance & Flow, Being Fully Engaged, Career and Job, Fulfillment, Job Satisfaction, Managing Stress, Motivation, Struggle | Leave a comment

Transference and Projection

Let’s continue our discussion on effective communication by addressing two very interesting concepts: Transference and Projection. These are two concepts that exist in the realm of psychology or psychotherapy, but I will address them as essential to creating effective communication. Let’s begin with a clear explanation of both Transference and Projection. Following these explanations, I will discuss how these concepts can negatively effect communication and how to create harmonious dialogue when they occur.

Transference occurs when an individual associates something that is said or done with a past experience and so relives the emotions of that past experience in the present. When this happens, an adult may relive an emotional trauma from childhood within a situation that does not resemble the childhood situation at all. Let’s use an extreme example for clarity purposes. Let’s say someone had been sexually molested as a child and had blocked most of the experience from their memory. If someone looked at this person in a similar way that they were looked at during the childhood molestation, it could trigger the same emotions from childhood. And so, this person would be having an emotional experience of being molested while having a conversation at a cocktail party. The emotions of the past have been transferred to the present. This can all be a conscious or unconscious experience. If it is an unconscious experience, then the adults may act out in an adult way to protect themselves from being molested even though they are in no danger at all. If conscious, then the adults can allow themselves to feel the traumatic feelings and make new healthier choices, which enable them to heal the emotional trauma.

Now let’s get a better understanding of what Projection means. In this case, a person projects his/her own feelings, emotions or motivations onto another person without realizing that their reaction is really more about them than it is about the other person. For example, a person may have had a history of lying and deceiving their past romantic partner and had never forgiven themselves for doing it. In their current relationship, they would often insinuate that the person they are currently dating is always deceiving them. This accusation isn’t real but is projected onto the “other” to create a perceived equal footing. If their partner lies also, then they feel less guilty about the deceptions of their past. The projection part has to do with the fact that the person doing the pointing does not acknowledge that they feel bad about their past deception. Another example would be if a person who desperately wants to have a meaningful romantic relationship decides that they are going to spend the rest of their life with someone they just met without taking the time to really get to know them. Again, a profound initial romantic connection may have in fact occurred, but to project the result they are seeking (committed romantic partner) right away is projecting the qualities they seek in a romantic partner onto someone that they don’t even know. There is no interest in getting to know another human being, but to shape them to preconceived ideas that they want them to be. Needless to say, this is a very controlling and delusional way of going about things!

Okay, so now we need to understand how these two concepts are related to effective communication. First of all, if individuals are caught in one of these two situations then they will be engaging in the communication of false truths as I explained above. This will naturally result in conflict between the two individuals as each try to defend their point of view. The best way to manage this type of situation is to connect to your feelings when it is happening rather than just trying to prove your point. By connecting to one’s feelings during the transference situation a person will be able to make the distinction that even though they are feeling “attacked,” it is obvious that there is no real threat going on at the cocktail party. Without connecting to and identifying one’s feeling, they will simply be reactive to them and unable to clearly distinguish between the feelings of their past trauma and their current adult reality. The same holds true with the projection scenario. By connecting and identifying the feelings that are being felt, the person doing the projecting will be able to realize that they still feel guilty about what they did in the past and begin the process of forgiving themselves for it. The communicative technique is to begin the dialogue with, “I am feeling…” versus “you are doing…” “I am feeling” connects the person to themselves versus focusing on the other person with the “you are doing” comment. When this happens, they will, over time, be able to distinguish between blaming someone else and taking ownership of something they are doing. A final communicative note. If you find that you are totally angry or frustrated at something someone is doing, then that means that it is something that you tend to do. Total anger or frustration equates to a lack of empathy and compassion. And it is with empathy and compassion that individuals can create a harmonious dialogue. Remember, when you find yourself being overly critical and judgment of another then you are unconsciously masking a tendency that you yourself do! The ego behaves in this way, while our humanity would never be so negative.

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