The Sunday 7

Today, I'm surrounded by some of the best people. Friends. We are ringing in the New Year and welcoming 2018 with open arms. And boy does it feel good. I love all of this inspiration heading into the new year. Happy New Year's Eve, friends!

  1. This article about love and why we don't openly express love more often (written by a man I might add!) hit home. It makes me want to hug every person I know.
  2. I can't WAIT for this little beauty of a cook book to be released in April so I can make every recipe and eat every damn bite.
  3. Downloaded this app to begin expanding my language palette in 2018 (is that even I thing? Yep because I just made it up :P)
  4. Hands down, one of the best books I read last year, Chasing Slow. The powerful message resonated, especially after the year we've had, having a baby and wanting the right type of lifestyle for our new family of 3.
  5. Starting off my 2018 reading list by digging in to this little gem.
  6. What I love about all the New Years hype and celebration? All the glitz and glitter!
  7. This article has made me rethink my 2018 goals a bit differently - "Often it’s not what we start doing that makes a difference, but the thing we stop doing that creates the biggest shift."

Happy (early) 2018 :)

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Wise Words

I've had two experiences recently that have reminded me of the power of our language. With the click of most of our smartphone keyboards, our words are now auto-corrected and fixed for us. This has allowed us to "lazy up" on our language skills and need not worry about how to spell words, let alone check a dictionary to expand our vocabulary. We aren't choosing the most sophisticated words to reflect our thoughts and feelings anymore. 

To say our vocabulary as human beings is becoming quite basic in this social media, technology-driven age is an understatement. Its probably why I enjoy reading books as much as  I do. I love the lessons a good book can impart and the rich words that good writers use to tell a story.

When I started my career, I had a flip book in the top of my desk drawer. I would try and find a new word a week and write it in this flip book to learn and refer too as a way to expand my vocabulary and better my writing. It was a helpful exercise (that I have since stopped doing) but it was a great way to continue to learn and expand my personal dictionary of words. 

Recently, I engaged in a conversation on Twitter that I thought would be productive but it began with words from the other party that were quite abrupt to start off the conversation. These words didn't help to foster a productive conversation, or at least make me feel like we were going to have a positive experience and engage in meaningful dialogue.

It was a good reminder. If you want to have a productive conversation with someone, don't tell them their opinion is bad by using words that aren't conducive to the conversation. In order to have a conversation, people must go back and forth with words. The words you choose to use can alter the direction of a conversation quickly - both in a good direction and bad. 

[Tweet ""The words you choose to use can alter the direction of a conversation quickly." - The Passionate Voice"]

Productive conversations, regardless of where you stand on an issue, includes language that is inclusive, respectful and meaningful. Using words that insults a person, aren't respectful in nature, or aren't used in the right tone can turn someone off from having a conversation with you the next time.

The second example includes a night of playing scrabble with my family at our cottage.

I haven't played scrabble in years. Scratch that. I couldn't remember the first time I played scrabble. I must have been bad at it when I first played otherwise I would have remembered the experience vividly (#SoreLoserAnyone?!) Off topic, sorry...

While playing scrabble, it reminded me of that first experience earlier on Twitter and how an expanded vocabulary doesn't hurt anyone.s 

Playing a game like scrabble teaches you words you didn't realize you could even come up with let alone know the meaning for. Until you are asked to put together words with 7 of the most random letters of the alphabet and you have a killer instinct to want to WIN, it can be an exciting challenge for your brain. Scrabble made me think of words beyond the basic Twitter speak, smartphone auto-corrections and the latest acronyms like FOMO and YOLO (you only live once for those who have to google it like I first had to do!)

Examples of words from our game that you may be surprised to learn the meaning for, like I was....

Fid - a thick peg, wedge, or supporting pin.

Yucha variant of the word yuck..

Xi - the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet (and yes, it can be used in the game of scrabble!).

An expanded and robust vocabulary only helps you to better articulate your thoughts and feelings... oh, and wise words just makes you sound smarter. Go figure! I may just be pulling that flip book back out again to continue to add to my word bank. 

On a side note, the photo of the books above arranged by colour has totally inspired me to want to do the same with the zillions of books I've collected over the years. Problem is, I need to find wall/bookcase space in my house. On to my next project!

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The Reasons We Take Communication for Granted

The Reasons We Take Communication For Granted

Society takes communication for granted. Period. Of all the skills we have/learn as human beings, no one gives enough credit to "communication" as the fundamental skill we possess as humans. I truly believe it is the #1 skill we all have.

Communication is the reason why conflict exists or doesn't exist; why relationships, both personal or professional, are healthy and effective (or not); and why business gets done each day (efficiently or not). Really, communication is the reason why the world goes round (for the most part!).

People forget that just because you open your mouth,  does not mean you are a good communicator.

This got me thinking.... if communication is the most fundamental skill we possess, then why do we take it for granted?

Its free.

We do it everyday without having to think about the act of doing it. 

We don’t look at communication as a skill like we do other skills such as decision making, negotiating or taking a course on leadership.

We take communication for granted simply because its easy and comes naturally to us. But just because it comes easily to us, does not mean we’re good at it. We can think whatever we want, but if we can't articulate those thoughts in a way others can understand, then our thoughts are wasted. and we've been ineffective communicators.

[Tweet ""We can think whatever we want, but if we can't articulate those thoughts in a way others can understand, then our thoughts are wasted." - The Passionate Voice"]

Here are 5 reasons why communication shouldn't be taken for granted:

  1. It is the main vehicle we use to shape our views and articulate who we are and our thoughts, to others. Through communication, others get to see who we are as people.
  2. Not everyone has the same communication style – everyone’s communication style is different and so, each person needs to adjust accordingly.
  3. As the age old saying goes, “Assuming makes an Ass out of You and Me!” You can't assume anything when communicating but yet, we do. Hence, why conflict exists. We need to look at communication like a skill we have to work on each and everyday as we would in the same way we pay for expensive courses and training in skills like negotiating, leadership and decision making.
  4. Communication includes many platforms and these platforms impact how a person communicates. A person on social media may communicate ideas differently than someone who writes for a newspaper. We have to be cautious that different languages may be used based on what platform we’re using.
  5. Communication is not just verbal; it is all encompassing. It includes both verbal and non-verbal cues, body language being the most important. In fact, according to Psychology Today, body language accounts for 55% of communication, 38% is tone of voice and 7% is the actual words we say.

5 Reasons Why Communication Shouldn't Be Taken for Granted

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