Active Listening the Key to Engagement

Being able to communicate effectively is an essential skill to have, especially conversations with people that are engaging and that can create a sense of trust and friendship. 

The best advice to become a more engaging person to talk to is to become an active listener. This means giving a person your full attention, letting them finish their thought, display behaviors that show you are listening (like nodding your head or providing verbal feedback), being actually interested, asking questions, and clarifying (Ishak, 2016).  

I remember a recent conversation with a friend who wanted to vent about his current relationship. The conversation was mostly one way as he didn’t allow me to become interested in it by not letting me finish sentences that were designed to ask questions and clarify. I quickly lost interest in the conversation as it started to become an announcement or instead of a conversation. 

My friend could have improved our conversation if he had only shown the same interest in listening to his story as he did with my feedback. However, because I felt it was not a conversation, I quickly lost interest and only provided faux feedback so that he could finish his story and I can move on with my day.  

The idea of active listening is a two-way street. Both parties need to engage in each other’s stories so that neither party loses interest in the other. Once interest is lost, it’s pretty much a waste of time because the quality of information that is being transferred or created is sub-par. 

Reference:

Ishak R. (2016 July 29). 11 ways to be more engaging in your conversations & make friends. Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/articles/169621-11-ways-to-be-more-engaging-in-your-conversations-make-more-friends

Grit = Delayed Gratification + Consistency

What drives a person to achieve their goals despite the challenges and obstacles that confront them? Upon doing some research, I came across this word: grit. After reading dozens of articles, I found that grit is collectively defined as a personality trait that people have, that is demonstrated by the passion and perseverance towards achieving goals despite the challenges and obstacles that may arise (Neutrino, 2012).   

I believe that there are two characteristics of grit: delayed gratification and consistency. 

Delayed Gratification

Delayed gratification means to manage one’s needs to be satisfied at the moment in order to be satisfied in the future, usually done in order to achieve a bigger reward in the future  (Cherry, 2018). When I think about my achievements and career, I think about the struggle and hardships I had to go through to achieve them. Then I think about the awards and benefits they have provided me. For example, when I in college I was working full time in retail, working nights and weekends. I had to learn to balance work, school, and life. There were many times where I missed out on social events because I knew, the benefits of an education and good work ethics would pay off in the future. Today, I no longer work weekends, I go into the “office” 4 days a week, and love my career so much that it doesn’t feel like work. My delayed gratification paid off well as the instant gratification of my past is nothing compared to the gratification I am receiving now. 

Consistency

Consistency means to adhere to the same principles, procedures, and process. It takes something and turns it into a habit, which is second nature, thus developing momentum. When a person develops positive and consistent habits, they are able to stick to their values and beliefs (principles), become efficient at what they do (procedure), and achieve their overall goals (the process). In fact, going to school and working is my consistency.  It is something that I just do without difficult thought or second-guessing. It has kept me busy, interested, and moving forward both personally and professionally. I value good work ethics and believe that people should be life-long learners. These principles have helped me excel in my profession and in my self-awareness.  

Conclusion

Knowing what grit is, which is the passion and perseverance towards a goal despite obstacles, while embracing its two main characteristics, delayed gratification and consistency, can help you better focus on things that will help achieve your goals. Knowing that a better reward is deferred in the future will help overcome the momentary satisfaction that arises in the present that may delay your achievements. Being consistent with your principles, procedures, and processes will provide you with the momentum you need to achieve your goals. But don’t let the idea of grit create an illusion. One still needs action in order to make anything happen. 

References:

Cherry, K. (2018, March 21). The importance of impulse control and delayed gratification. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/delayed-gratification-why-wait-for-what-you-want-2795429

Cohen, S.  (2017, December 26). The benefits of delaying gratification. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/201712/the-benefits-delaying-gratification

Neutrino, (2012, April 25). What is Grit? Retrieved from https://www.gostrengths.com/what-is-grit/

What’s Your Personality Type?​

By Dru Macasieb

I am a firm believer in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test and the insights it has to offer. Knowing your own personality type can help you understand your thoughts and behaviors, and how you interact with others and the outside world. This can translate to a better understanding of yourself, others, and the ability to manage your behaviors in a way that works towards your advantage.

You can take the official MBTI personality test for $49.95 or you can take similar ones online for free.  If you’d like to take a free online test, I do recommend 16 Personalities, it takes about 10 minutes to complete and provides a pretty comprehensive introduction to your personality type.

To get started let me introduce to you with the letters in the MBTI personality test mean. Below are excerpts from MBTI® Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®

Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).

Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

I’ve taken the MBTI personality test at 16 Personalities, and my personality type is an ENFP. Over the next few days, I’ll be exploring my personality type and I’ll be sharing on how I’ve implemented the test’s insights into my own personal endeavors. Take the free personality test now and share your results in the comments below.

My Information Diet

By Dru Macasieb

Originally Written: February 3rd, 2018

This year, especially this year, I am taking EXTREME ownership of my professional development in a multitude of ways.  One of the ways I am taking extreme ownership is by going on an information diet. Information diet is the idea that people should be conscious and selective of the information they consume (Johnson, 2015).  This year, my information diet consist of reading 2-3 books a month, watching YouTube videos that will add value and enhance my life, listening to more educational programming, and participating in professional development courses.

This month I am reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. I have also subscribed to Ted Talks and a couple of different YouTube channels such as Practical Psychology and Information Pill, both are about self-development. I have begun to listen to Bloomberg News as well as subscribed to a Podcast called the Law of Attraction. For professional development courses, I have enrolled in an edX class, Understanding Classroom Interaction.

Information diet is not only about what you let into your mind, but what you also keep out and minimize. I don’t watch movies and shows as much and have decreased listening to music in my car in favor of listening to TedTalks. It’s important to note that I do not completely eliminate leisure media, rather I toned it down for more meaningful media.

I believe that through this professional development plan, I can gain knowledge and success that I can share with those around me, especially my students.

References:

Johnson, C. (2015). The Information diet: A Case for conscious consumption. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media.

Ted Talk Review: Brene Brown

By Dru Macasieb
January 11, 2017

https://embed.ted.com/talks/lang/en/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Brene Brown gives an awesome Ted Talk regarding the power of vulnerability. In her research on human connections (love).

She found that the difference between people who have a strong sense of worthiness and those that do not is simply the belief that they are worthy of it (deserving). She discuss how these type of people have certain traits:

  • the courage to be imperfect
  • the compassion to be kind to oneself first
  • and the ability to create connections as a result of authenticity (being truthful to who you really are).

She dubbed these people with a strong sense of worthiness as “Whole-Hearted.” These people fully embrace vulnerability, and believe that we makes them vulnerable made them beautiful.

Those who were felt unworthy, struggled with fear and shame. By making their vulnerabilities come to light, they become shameful, and that shame gives them a sense of unworthy of connection. So what happens, is that they begin to fear anything that makes them shameful, in a sense, they fear being imperfect.

“To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts even though there’s no guarantee… to practice gratitude and joy, in those moments of terror… is to believe that we’re enough (worthy of being loved despite being imperfect). Because when we work from a place that says “I’m enough” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and to ourselves.”