Identify Your Best Personal Strength

Don’t wait for a job interview, do it now.

Can you name it – quickly?

What is your best personal strength?

Honest

Loyal

Fair

Hardworking

Inclusive

Positive

Sensitive

Good listener

Generous

Continue this list until you’ve added more personal strengths and then identify the one that best describes you.

Without trying to turn yourself into something you are not, you may just find out that you’re pretty impressive as is – if you can just identify your best personal strength.

Listing some of the others won’t hurt either.

Remind yourself once a day of your best personal strength because no one can ever take it away from you unless YOU forget it.

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The Unfriendly Skies of United Airlines

What kind of a screwed-up world do we live in where passengers pay to get mistreated by airlines?

The man who wouldn’t give up his spot on a United Airlines flight recently was dragged off the plane, his face bloodied and glasses hanging off his face.

All this because the crew said the flight was oversold and couldn’t get volunteers to give up their seats, so this abused man was forced to give his up.

United’s CEO fumbled two attempts at an apology.  The first, luke-warm, the second where he accused the assaulted passenger of being “disruptive and belligerent” and finally in his third try, admitting that customers should be treated better.

He also admitted the flight in question was not oversold after all.

When you apologize, make it sincere.

Don’t point an accusing finger at another unless you can recognize the three you have pointing back at you.

Compassion cost nothing.

An airline or anyone who treats another person this way should seriously seek help.

The world is a rough place, but if this is the way a company treats its customers, they don’t deserve to be in business.

Customers should be treated as if they are our loved ones and then you can never go wrong.

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Recognize Something Positive Every Day

It’s hard to even get out of the house in the morning without our moods being ruined with news, email and texts and leftover anxieties from the day before.

Be on the lookout for good.

Good people.

I had a dear friend who always used to say to me, “JD, you’re a good man”.  How could you not want to hear that?  How could he say it without feeling good about finding something positive in me and sharing it with me?

Marriage counselors would go out of business if we could tell our spouses something positive about them every day because, sadly, most couples stop doing what worked so well when they met.

Our children are too easily praised for showing up (i.e., the soccer mom syndrome).

Here’s an effective alternative:  Catch them doing something right and tell them what it was (i.e., “it was good of you to include Bethany in the game”).

Praise plus evidence.

Even an employer or boss that we don’t like can hear something positive from us if we look hard enough (“…that was very fair”).  Not liking someone’s management style is one thing but not being able to find anything positive in another person – even a boss – means we have some work to do.  That may be on us.

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Fear of Losing

In economics, the theory of loss aversion describes our tendency to prefer avoiding losses to acquire equal gains.

Some consider losses twice as powerful in our minds as gains that explains why people hate to give up something even if they could get something equal and better.

It is why people stay in bad relationships for fear of losing what they have no matter how bad even in the hope of getting something better with someone else.

Some argue that replacing the current health care law falls into this category – fear of losing what they have even if it is far from perfect rather than the expectation of something better gained.

Overcoming the fear of losing makes you special.

An achiever because you are willing to take a prudent risk to get something better.

A new job in a different field out of your comfort zone may be better than another one like the other one in your present field.

Sitting in the first row at a meeting or event where you might ordinarily sit near the back that shows you are willing to temporarily lose your anonymity to get closer to the speaker, participate more or become actively involved.

The helpful rule that applies to the fear of losing anything is …

Do the thing you fear to do and the fear will go away from you.

What a way to build genuine self-focused confidence.

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Apple’s Actually Great Answer to Too Much Email

Steve Jobs started all the digital living we are enjoying and that sometimes also makes us miserable.

But Jobs, the inventor of iPhone, iPad and instant mobile communication, had one rule that he strictly enforced in his family.

Steve Jobs limited the amount of screen time his children could have.  Yes, the leader of the digital movement enforced balance.

Then the other day an Apple employee at the Cherry Hill, NJ store told me that store employees were not allowed to conduct business email after closing time.

You’ve heard me mention that France passed a law forbidding companies from requiring employees to do business emails after they leave work.

Almost everyone except those so lost in cyberspace that they can’t see they are ruining their lives are coming to realize that they must find a way to limit connectivity, email, texting and particularly social media to be able to enjoy their lives.

A 20-something Millennial in New York told me just a week ago that she is working very hard to come back to now and not just live on the digital devices.

Millennials are getting it, but believe it or not, many older adults and even parents are willing to let things get out of hand.

Here’s the most effective order of communication among people:

  1. Face to face, in person, 100% present and not talking about yourself.
  2.  A phone call, Skype or FaceTime with the same conditions above.
  3. An email or text to schedule the above not conduct a relationship.
  4. Social media use limited to staying in touch not a level of obsession that requires constant checking.

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