The Lost Art of Good Conversation

“BEGINNING A CONVERSATION is an act of bravery . . . Feeling vulnerable is an act of gentleness. Bravery is an act of fearlessness. Without these two, conversation will never be initiated.” Once we learn how to string words together the world takes on a new meaning. Sakyong Mipham wrote THE LOST ART OF GOOD CONVERSATION: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life to remind us how much power we have in and with our words.

Everyone knows that words have the power of life or death. But how often do we truly and intentionally exercise the power of the spoken word when we are engaged in a conversation. The author used his Hinayana Buddhism background to write about his insights into the topic. The common theme throughout the book is to rediscover the many ways you can be gentle with our conversations and interactions with one another. Let your conversations develop organically, stop trying to anticipate what the person is trying to say . . . just be still (ooh that is so hard at times).

In reading this book, I realized there was more I had forgotten about having a good conversation and more that I remembered about having a bad conversation. Mr. Mipham wrote, “The danger is that while we are more connected now to the whole world than we ever have been before, we are less connected to people in our everyday life.” If you are or feel disconnected, socially awkward, or just shy this book will remind you how less complicated it is to take that first step. At its core it is about the type of connectivity you choose to have with others. “Our identity is a web of interactions. We are so interconnected that our relationships define us.” Be brave and continue to redefine who you are!

THOUGHTS For Your SOUL:

  • “Identifying strongly with our thoughts and emotions, we mistake them for a solid “me,” and then defend that apparition against the world.”
  • “Conversation is a practice of nowness . . . Ultimately, nowness cannot be expressed; it must be experienced . . . and recommends these three things
    1. Nowness is nonnegotiable
    2. Nowness requires appreciation
    3. Being free of attachment – you need to be daring and delightful
  • “Conversation becomes an art when it transports us from self-absorption to being aware of the thoughts and feelings of others.”

THE LOST ART OF CONVERSATION is an easy, thoughtful book. It will leave you feeling inspired and glad that you read it. In this crowded arena of self-help books it is refreshing to find a book that you can use immediately. The title would make you think that it is a heavy, deeply intuitive book. Quite the opposite. Although we should know the difference between good and bad conversations. At the end of the day, a conversation is just that . . . Communication between two or more people who choose to make it as simple or complex as they choose. “Remember, [good conversation is] a compliment, [as well as] a gift; to accept it with grace has the effect of pleasing the giver.” Turn off the television, put down your smart phone, take a break from your solitude, and enjoy someone’s company with a good conversation.

Let’s BOND over BOOKS:

  • Recommends reading and/or sharing this book
  • Rates THE LOST ART OF GOOD CONVERSATION: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pages) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages!

 

Disclaimer: BONDing over Books received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

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The Power of Broke

powerofbrokeWHEN YOU START from a place of nothing much at all, when you’re hungry and laser-focused on succeeding at whatever it is you’re out to do, when you’re flat-out determined to get where you’re going no matter what . . .because when you are operating with limited resources – financial or otherwise – you’re forced to find creative ways to get the most bang out of every buck.” That’s what Daymond John writes about in THE POWER OF BROKE: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage.”

In 2014, 275 of the wealthiest Americans on the Forbes 400 list were self-made entrepreneurs.” Daymond John shares some of the advice that propelled him to unparalleled heights with his FUBU clothing line and further heightened his “brand” through the Shark Tank reality show. He uses his expertise, unique perspective and ability to align himself with people who want to learn and grow from him, as well as run their businesses more efficiently. If you’re thinking about starting a new business or revamping an existing business, THE POWER OF BROKE should be on your bookshelf.

  1. Set a Goal – Set it all down on paper. 2. Homework, Do Yours – There are no new ideas – only new ways to execute those ideas. 3. Adore What You Do – Own it, love it, live it . . . and you can find a way to make it work. 3. Remember, You Are the Brand – It all starts with how you carry yourself. 4. Keep Swimming – You have to be relentless, nimble, moving ever forward. These are the five key SHARK points that will help guide you.

Each chapter showcases individuals who relentlessly struggled to follow their dreams. From a college student, Christopher Gray, who developed an app named “Scholly” to help students navigate the clutter and confusion of college scholarships” (By the way, he earned 1.3 million in scholarships). To middle school student, Moziah Bridges who started his line of handcrafted bow ties, named “MO’s Bows,” as well as Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of under Armour activewear clothing line.

Daymond John also writes about the value of the smart phone. “You don’t need a whole lot of resources to change your life. Sometimes everything you need is right there in the smart phone you hold in your hands.” He also writes about the value and importance of a mentor. In a “2012 survey by MicroMentoring.org showed that people who participated in a mentoring relationship saw their revenue increase by an average of $47,000 – or 106 percent! Those who did not participate saw their revenues go up only $6,600 – or 14 percent.”

THOUGHTS For Your SOUL:

  • “69 percent of successful entrepreneurs have worked over 10 years as employees at other companies.”
  • Find a way to grow your business without changing your business model, without alienating your core customers, without taking a big bite out of your advertising or promotional budgets . . . and you’ll find a way to win.”
  • The same way you’re never too broke to find a way around a roadblock in your business, you’re never too old to get past any digital roadblocks you might find in your path.”

A fool can learn from his own mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” – Mr. Magic. It is never easy to venture into the unknown, but if you succeed then the sacrifices were worth the risk. Daymond John sums things up quite well . . . “Being broke can actually be your greatest competitive advantage as an entrepreneur because starting a business from a place of broke – a place of desperation, hope, and hunger – forces you to think more creatively.” Now, more than any other time is the right time to take a chance, to take a risk,. “You need to bet on yourself, and you need to bet big – almost in an all-or-nothing sort of way” and make your business dream a reality. This was a book worth reading a couple of times, some really great points.

EDITORS CHOICE-PAID FORcanstockphoto6036875Let’s BOND over BOOKS  rates THE POWER OF BROKE  as  MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.

Find Your Extraordinary

findyourextraordinaryA LIFE “So full of passion, positivity, will, tenacity, and gratitude that can transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary” is within your grasp. To have it, you’ve got to want it! FIND YOUR EXTRAORDINARY: Dream Bigger, Live Happier, and Achieve Success on Your Own Terms by Jessica DiLullo Herrin is the story of a woman’s ordinary to extraordinary.

INSIDE MANY OF US is the longing or desire to do more with our life before it gets too late. In the pursuit of passion, we often stumble upon our purpose. Jessica DiLullo Herrin stumbled onto her path while on a treadmill in graduate school. The idea sparked an insatiable thirst that drove her to ultimately drop out and while she doesn’t encourage it, it worked for her. That idea was Della & James, which became WeddingChannel.com and was ultimately sold to The Knot (the online wedding planner website) for $90 million.

TIMING AND PREPARATION are everything. Her next business venture is Stella & Dot a direct marketing, e-commerce and social media company that sells jewelry and handbags through Trunk Shows given by independent contractors or entrepreneurs.  Stella & Dot grossed over $100 million last year

JESSICA DiLULLO HERRIN writes of her struggles, her tenacity, her perseverance, and her ‘normalness’, but she never let it minimize her dreams. Struggles are real and her’s is relatable. A $100 million company comes with its own struggles, although these “new” struggles were not the struggles of an ordinary person, we can still  learn from her story.

THOUGHTS For Your SOUL:

  • Don’t think about how your past limits your future, but instead about how your unique past has made you stronger.”
  • It’s not about who is more successful – it’s simply about whether you are happy with the trade-offs that come with your choices.”

ALONG THE WAY to her dream Jessica knew she “was going to pay some dues and work some jobs that were not altogether awesome.” What are you willing to sacrifice or give up to pay your dues? Taking a step back to move forward could be the best strategic move that gives you the additional perspective needed to propel forward.

FIND YOUR EXTRAORDINARY while inspirational on so many levels, cultivates and feeds the entrepreneurial spirit. Risk is not something to fear, risk reminds us that “Extraordinary exists only outside of your comfort zone. Fear will always be there, but if you push yourself to find it, your courage is there, too.” This is the kind of book you want to read multiple times or share with a friend.

WHEN YOU ARE BRAVE ENOUGH to “Develop the will to do things your way, without fear of failure or how your choices look to anybody except yourself” you can discover your extraordinary.

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates FIND YOUR EXTRAORDINARY as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pages) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.

Disclaimer: BONDing for BOOKS received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

The Art of People

ArtOfPeopleHOW WELL DO YOU UNDERSTAND PEOPLE, how well can you communicate with people, and how well can you get people to do what you want them to do?” At some point in your adult life, (whether personal or professional) one or all of these questions have crossed your mind. THE ART OF PEOPLE: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want  by Dave Kerpen gives you the road map to fine tune your people skills.

WE LIVE IN A WORLD where many people are starving for attention and connection. Bombarded daily with “man-made emergencies” and the need for “immediate answers,” it seems people have forgotten, don’t know how, or can’t communicate effectively. Today the stakes are higher and consequences of missed or lost opportunities long-lasting. We live in a self-centered society and have to find a way to stand apart from the crowd.

HAVING SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE SKILLS means that you take learning or honing these skills seriously. To get started Mr. Kerpen recommends you take the Enneagram (similar to the DiSC assessment or Myers-Briggs) provided in Appendix A of the book. The more you know about who you are, the easier it is to communicate with others. The Enneagram identifies four personality types: People-Pleaser, People-Leader, People-Guru, People-Persuader. Once identified you can work on enhancing your strengths and improving your weaknesses.

THOUGHTS for your SOUL:

  • Always accept the glass of water . . . Even if you’re not thirsty, take the drink.” – Tip 13
  • Don’t let one unkind word destroy years of praise . . . Praise is powerful, contagious, and totally inspirational.” – Tip 48
  • Make Time Your Friend . . . You can prioritize only a limited number of relationships in your life at work and at home.” – Tip 30

ELEVEN PEOPLE SKILLS and 53 simple, yet effective tips (techniques) provide the outline. Dave Kerpen weaves stories from his personal and business experiences to narrate in this clear, practical, easy-to-read book. Whether you are shy or a social butterfly there is a techniques/tip for you.

THE ART OF PEOPLE will challenge you to think beyond your circumstance; to move and act on what you have read. Implementing these tips will get you out of your comfort zone. Communication is the key that unlocks the secrets of networking. After all, “You can’t achieve happiness or success in a vacuum; it all hinges on the bonds you build with the people around you.” Any one or all of these tips could be the game-changer.

editor's choiceLet’s BOND over BOOKS  rates  THE ART OF PEOPLE  as  MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . just the right mixture of content and pages.

Disclaimer: BONDing over BOOKS received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Little Black Book of Connections (revisited)

Little Black Book low resWHO CAN YOU COUNT ON? And who’s counting on you? Who would call you at two in the morning? Is anybody home?” If the number to the first question is bigger than the last, then you’ve got some work to do. LITTLE BLACK BOOK of CONNECTIONS : 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to RICH Relationships by Jeffrey Gitomer is waiting to “connect” with you!

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, who you know or as the author states “Who knows you?” Who do you know? What do you want? What do you do? How do you connect?  Why should these questions be important to you? And why is it important for you to connect and be known by someone? There are many reasons, but one thing is clear.  To be successful, somebody has to know who you are, what you do and how you can help them get what they want.

 HAVE YOU EVER HEARD, “They really know how to work a room?” People talk about the power of networking as if networking is the easiest thing to do . . . Like any skill you have to practice, consistently.  Jeffrey Gitomer, does an excellent job explaining the deliberate and strategic art of networking or connecting, as well as the difference between going to a social event to network and going to a social networking event. There is a reason, a place and a purpose for every aspect of networking or connecting and he explains how to do it with confidence and ease. “The purpose of networking is to achieve engagement that leads to an appointment . . . it is the lifeblood of connecting, and the nurturing of relationships.”

LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF CONNECTIONS discusses the importance of effective networking and building relationships by sharing a critical factor – connection. “If you make yourself valuable, and memorable, others will want to make you part of their network.” It is the “connection” that makes it work. “Once you have connected, you then have the challenge to provide a reason or value for the other person to stay connected with you.”

THOUGHTS for your SOUL:

  • “You do business between 9 and 5. You build business before and after “regular” business hours. Ten hours a month of intelligent, selective networking can have a doubling effect on your business growth in just a few months.”
  • Your name is the last thing people want to hear, and the last thing they’ll remember. If you want someone to remember your name, don’t say it, just give them your business card.”

NOW IS THE TIME to work smarter not harder and not knowing is no longer an option or a valid excuse.  Because you can’t see the value of building an effective connection today, doesn’t mean that tomorrow won’t give you another opportunity. “Many people try to do everything on their own. Either they feel uncomfortable using their connections, or they don’t know them well enough to ask for the favor. BIG MISTAKE!” Take the chance, take the risk, make the connection!!!

THIS IS NOT A BOOK JUST FOR SALESPEOPLE. This book is for everyone, a great conversation starter and addition to your professional development library. This small, yet powerful book is packed with clear, easy to implement tips and suggestions.

EDITORS CHOICE-PAID FORcanstockphoto6036875Let’s BOND over BOOKS  rates LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF CONNECTIONS as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs.) . . . just the right mixture of content and pages.

Source: Permission was granted by the author, Jeffrey Gitomer.