Tags: women, listening, relationships, personal growth, women’s history

"Like their personal lives,women’s history is fragmented, interrupted; a shadow of history of human beings whose existence has been shaped by the efforts and the demands of others." ~Elizabeth Janeway

This is Women’s History Month…and like so many other months it seems like it has gone unnoticed!

Sure, women have been mentioned in the media, here and there, with the First Lady acknowledging National Women’s Day…and yet…THIS IS WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH!

There’s more coverage with Martin Luther King’s birthday, Black History Month, St. Patrick’s Day,
Cinco de Mayo, than WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH! What’s up with that? Am I missing something?
NO! unfortunately…we "sisters-of all races, creed and colors" have not raised enough "hell" to get
this month recognized consistently and effectively as we know how to do.

If men don’t want to “tick” women off, don’t ignore H U R!

H = (to be) Heard
U = (to be) Understood
R = (to be) Respected

OK! So now it’s H U R turn! This is not “news” and…it is information that is essential to a successful and continuously satisfying relationship with women. Studies have indicated that women score very high on the verbal index on exams. When I was a young child, very bright and precocious, I would bring home my report card with 95% A’s academically and “F” in behavior. How come? I “talked” too much. Well after many “F’s” and time-outs, I discovered that when people took the time to let me know I had been heard, I didn’t have the “need/drive” to talk so much.

This discovery “being heard” was used in selecting the boys/men I would date and who would “make-it” with me. The men who listened and let me know they “heard” me were the ones who were successful in relationship with me. So fellows–a word to the wise–”shut up and listen!” Let her know she’s been heard.

DO NOT use the careless statement “I hear you.” Instead, say “I want to make sure I heard you” then repeat what you think you heard. This will begin to provide a solid foundation for a successful two-way conversation.

H=(to be) Heard : pay attention to; be aware of the existence of.

Women have been socialized (the 20th century female) to be seen and “not heard”. Studies have indicated that in a mixed gender group, men with women, women tend to be less vocal and assertive with their ideas and opinions.

When a woman has the experience of being paid attention to and the listener, male or female is aware, values and considers what she has to say, she experiences “being heard.”

During my workshop called the POW (Possibility of Woman), there is an exercise called “the Angel Chair.” During this exercise the participant spends 20-25 minutes “being heard.”

The consistent

feedback from women who participate in this exercise is that they have the experience of

“being heard” which allowed them to free themselves from past communication blocks, stress and tension. They have expressed a sense of calm, trust and well-being once they’ve “been heard.”

U=(to be)Understood: (past tense of understand) – perceived the significance, explanation, cause and intended meaning of the words of the speaker.

There is a “myth” that to “understand” a woman is to “agree” with a woman. Simply stated, understand the significance/importance to her by what she means by what she’s saying.

Too often, so-called listeners, rush in to re-interpret, fill in and finish the sentence; make up what she means, instead of asking what she means by a certain word, phrase or concept.

Asking a woman what she means from a place of clarity, instead of a place of having to defend herself increases her comfort in communicating

and contributing her ideas freely. Instead of saying “what do you mean by that?”–ask “for my clarity, what does that mean to you?” I promise, you’ll receive a more open and honest response instead of a reaction.

R=(to be) Respected: a high or special regard; esteemed–the quality or state of being esteemed.

Women enjoy having the experience of being respected without having to “go into combat” or have to “fight” to have their opinions, perspectives respected. Her point of view is an important factor in how she “relates” to her environment.

The female gender knows herself “best” through relationship. Respecting how she perceives something is also a part of how she perceives/relates to herself. I

have conducted over 500+ workshops for women and what’s been expressed by women is the importance of respect for who they are and how they do things without having to “fix” who they are.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T- (thanks Aretha!) spells support and safety.

Thank you for listening!

Dedicated to the peaceful "listeners" in Wisconsin, February 20, 2011

tags: revolution, listening, democracy, communication

I say, the central issue in American political life today is "listening". At stake is the loss of the moral basis in American democracy. You are either "listening to your opinion" about "how" democracy should be conducted in America or you are "listening to the facts" of the individual issues: assaults on unions, public employees, women’s rights, the environment, voting rights, pensions, education, and on and on.

This is the time for "listening"! With the events being played on the world stage, in case you didn’t notice, revolution, is the current theme. When people are not "heard", then "revolt" happens! It is not necessary to look at the world stage. Look at your own professional/personal life. Where is "revolt" happening in your life because you’re not "listening"? Daily, in my coaching practice, I repeatedly hear from clients, "Yeah, yeah, I know I should listen….but"…and then they "wonder" how come events, situations, meetings, in their life fall short of their expectations.

Duh! Keep It Simple Sweetheart – LISTEN!

With the Middle East "waiting to be heard", it is critical that we, as world citizens, take responsibility to grow up and "listen" in order to create a worldwide civilized society. With the advent of the FaceBook, Twitter, and other social media, we are no longer isolated from the rest of the planet. We are part of the "worldwide community" in a way that is unprecedented. When you don’t "listen" you are part of the dynamic that engenders the seed of revolt.

The myth that many people hold is that "listening" means I agree with you! NO! When one truly listens, "Listening" means I have "heard" your message/point of view and even though I have a different perspective, I am "open’ to working out a mutually beneficial resolution to the situation.

Globally, citizens are flooding the streets to be "heard". What is the message? That democracy is about caring, social responsibility and of excellence; where prosperity is shared by all.

"Listen! There’s A World Waiting To Be Heard.", my book, is timely and appropriate for you to purchase and gift to your friends, colleagues, family members, significant others and as a reminder to YOU to "Listen! There’s A World Waiting To Be Heard."

Go to this link: listeningprofitsunow.com/drmccallsbooklisten.html

"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.
…..when we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and
expand." ~Karl Menninger- 1893-1990

Did you know that November 26 is the National Day of Listening according to NPR’s Story Corps? Well, what better day to "practice" listening thanwith your seldom-seen family members, long-time-no-see-friends and your uncle’s 3rd cousin on your grand-father’s side?
When you listen unconditionally you may be able to hear the silences and the spaces between the words.

How about celebrating Thanksgiving Day by listening as described by Diane Ackerman, in her book
A Slender Thread (which deals with the developmentally challenged), which eloquently describes what "empowered listening" is:

"…it [listening] requires an athletic commitment with one’s whole attention. Listening is like auditory Braille that works like echolocation, a small
reconnoitering sound is sent out, a question perhaps-and one waits to hear what shape and form where it echoes back…Listening is not passive
the way one does during a lecture…Listening is not being distracted by personal thoughts, as one is in "normal" conversations, listening while
thinking about what to say next, to relate perhaps one’s own experiences.

Listening authentically, with one’s whole attention, one hears the words, the signs, the sniffling, the loud exhalations,
the one-beat-longer-than-normal pause before a difficult taboo subject or word, the distant recess of loneliness…as well as the many inanimate
things-ice tinkling in a glass, the television on in a nearby room, the traffic outside the window.

Perhaps it seems odd to be touching the lives of others and understanding their condition/story through sound…listening in this way
is what animals do; communicating over distances: whales, frogs, wolves, birds. Just as doctors auscultate by pressing their ear
to the patient’s chest…we press an ear…and listen for the heartbeat beneath the words.

The words are the surface of an ocean…they may sound like a squall, a doldrums, a typhoon…listen for the hidden currents below."

…And… maybe you’ll learn something! Happy ThanksListening!

ON LISTENING, RELATIONSHIPS AND OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS!
(My Vision: 200 Million Masterful Listeners by the year 2020)

” It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”
~Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

In support of good health, a long life and loving relationships, it is essential to learn how to listen.
There is a distinction between listening and hearing.

The Webster definition, hearing is to perceive or apprehend by the ear; to gain information by hearing. I have met numerous, talented people who claim “to listen” while they are doing other things; texting, balancing checkbooks, talking on the phone, writing a report due in the next few minutes…and are able to repeat verbatim what you just said. And you know what, they take great pride in referring to themselves as “good/great listeners”. So what’s my point? These individuals are hearing.

Listening “requires” the listener to yield to the moment as a whole authentic person…and what does that mean? It means the listener commits him/herself to the conversation going on NOW. It (listening) “requires” the listener to focus on what the speaker is saying without judgment, opinion or being superficially cooperative. This type of listening is supported by a law in physics, which states “no two things can occupy the same space at the same time.” I have challenge hundreds of people to “focus” on two things AT THE SAME TIME. Illusionist need not apply. Do it and let me know how it works out.

Studies stress the importance of listening. A typical study points out that many of us spend 70 to 80 percent of our waking hours in some form of communication. Of that time, 9 percent is writing, 16 percent is reading, 30 percent is speaking and 45 percent is listening. Studies also confirm that most of us are poor and ineffective listeners. (Lee and Hatesohl-Univ. Of Missouri- 2009)

If we don’t learn how to effectively listen, over time we will become at the effect of our own frustrations, panic, illnesses, depression and rage, thus shortening our lifespan significantly. Through listening, we can learn to reduce the speed of our thinking and insert a reliable gauge in our mind.

We think much faster than we speak. Most people speak at the rate of 125 wpm…and…have the mental ability to understand someone speaking at 400 wpm. Now here’s the catch, most people use 25 percent of their mental ability and “make up” the other 75 percent of what the speaker is saying and/or what the speaker’s message means. What does this type (75%) of “listening” do to relationships? It causes mostly “mischief” (m.s.u. sm = making stuff up), miscommunication, drama, grudges, prejudice and challenges in cooperation, team building, personal professional and financial success.

Listening is an effective and powerful skill that dramatically slows down and clears the mind of both the speaker and listener. Focused listening allows thoughts to travel slowly, leisurely, efficiently and patiently. When we don’t focus on the speaker, we are quickly distracted by other thoughts.

What is the core component in communication that is most appreciated in relationship? Listening.
How many times have you heard the statement, “the one thing I appreciated the most about him/her during our conversation, was that they listened.” That statement is generally made from the experience that the speaker had that his/her thoughts, feelings and intentions were understood and accepted from their point of view.

Let’s be clear. I don’t mean that understanding and accepting means I agree. Not by any means. It does mean, however, that as a listener, being open, flexible and receptive to someone else’s reality is the opportunity to form powerful, productive, mutually fulfilling relationships professionally, financially and personally.

Here’s an exercise to practice developing masterful listening.

  1. Listen to the speaker for something that rings true for you, that you learned and/or that was of value.
  2. Give feedback to the speaker using this statement: “Thank you (person’s name). I appreciate what you said about (the truth, what you learned, and/or what was of value to you). What that means to me is (let the speaker know what YOU did with the information that was significant to you)”
  3. Example: “Thank you, Joyce. I appreciate what you said about the challenges in listening. What that means to me is that I noticed you used the word “challenge” instead of the word “hard”. When I use the word “hard”, I don’t make as much of an effort. When I use the word “challenge”, I take “it” on, whatever the “it” is. Thank you! I had not been aware of that before.”

What you may discover is that when you listen for truth, value and possibility, you’re available to universal awareness which is beyond opining, criticism, judgment or being superficially cooperative with distractions.

About Carol McCall
For almost five decades, Carol McCall Ph.D., M.C.C. has been teaching/training people on how to listen and communicate better. This educator, edutainer, therapist, business executive and entrepreneur has reached over 2 million people through her public workshops, corporate clients and performance coaching practice. She is the author of Listen! There’s A World Waiting to Be Heard., e-book and MP3 series.
Contact: Dr. Carol McCall 1-888-966-8339
drcarolmccall@listeningprofitsu.com
www.listeningprofitsu.com

How Social Networking is Single-Handedly Destroying Communication
by
Carol McCall, Ph. D., M.C.C

You post on Facebook and tweet on Twitter. Are you truly connecting? Everyone wants to be heard, yet is anybody truly listening? There is a huge difference between “hearing” and “listening”. I have spent almost five decades “listening” to people. What’s the difference then between “hearing” and “listening”?
It’s Impossible to Listen and Multi task
Well, for one thing , the Webster definition, hearing is to perceive or apprehend by the ear; to gain information by hearing. I have met numerous, talented people who “claim” to listen while they are doing other things; texting, balancing checkbooks, talking on the phone, writing a report due in the next few minutes…and are able to repeat verbatim what you just said. And you know what, they take great pride in referring to themselves as “good/great listeners”. So what’s my point? These individuals are hearing. Listening “requires” the listener to yield to the moment as a whole authentic person. So what is that suppose to mean? It means the listener commits him/herself to the conversation going on NOW. It (listening) “requires” the listener to focus on what the speaker is saying without judgment, opinion or being superficially cooperative. This type of listening is supported by a law in physics, which states “no two things can occupy the same space at the same time.” I have challenge hundreds of people to “focus” on two things AT THE SAME TIME. Illusionist need not apply. Do it and let me know how it works out!

The Egocentric Downsides of Social Media

OK! so back to Facebook et al. Are you truly “listening/focused” when you’re tweeting, texting or doing something else? K.I.S.S.=Keep It Simple Sweetheart. The “right” answer is NO! As a matter of fact, tweeting, texting, doing anything else except listening to the speaker is one of the most disrespectful, dismissive behaviors a person can do while someone is speaking to them. What this behavior communicates is “I’m not interested in you, only in ME and what’s on my agenda at this time which is more important than you”. If this is your intention, then the message is covertly and sometimes not so covertly received and people’s reactions/responses begin to change and not necessarily in your favor. Yeah, yeah, I know “but everybody is doing it”…and…studies are indicating that more and more individuals are becoming increasingly “indifferent” to the mishaps of every day life, as evidenced by the group of youth that witnessed a brutal rape as passive bystanders. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that kids today are 40 percent lower in empathy than their counterparts 10 or 20 years ago. As one researcher put it, “The ease of having “friends” online might make people more likely to tune out when they don’t feel like responding to others’ problems. A recent study laid out in the New York Times revealed “feelings of hurt, jealousy and competition are widespread” among children of parents who obsess over cellphones, instant messaging and Twitter at the expense of familial engagement. Is that the result of using social media? Think about it! Social media was designed to provide efficiency, effectiveness and connection. It was designed to “augment” our ability to be in touch with each other. It was NOT designed to replace the individual and it was designed to have us as individuals flow more fluidly. However, Social Media has devolved to using “sound bites” for “communication”, that’s passivity and egocentricity. Texting uses abbreviated words like “omg, btw and other shorthand. How is this “communication”? I had to ask my 15yr old granddaughter what was “omg” and “btw”. She was “gracious” enough to bring me up to speed…and not over the internet. We had a person-to-person call.

Men Listen Differently from Women and You Better Know The Difference

“The Face book” was started by Mark Zukerberg on February 4, 2004 while a student at Harvard University.
The intention was to have Ivy League students easily identify and network with each other. While the idea may have been for “communication”, maybe the “cry” to connect however the practice of using Facebook has quickly devolved into a superficial indulgence in what’s going on in my life and now let me “sell-you-something” because I’ve shared something personal”. Face book and Twitter have become collector boutiques. I have heard and read people stating they have thousands of “friends” and “followers”. Unless you are a celebrity who has thousands even millions of “fans”, ( even Britney Spears doesn’t call her fans “friends” she calls them “tweet hearts”) how do you “listen” to thousands of “friends”? Ashton Kutcher promoted a “contest” to attract 1 million people to follow him on Twitter. That’s a collector’s action. When I was told I was “followed” by Jane X, I inquired, “what is she “following” me for and what do I tweet now?” Back to Social Networking; are you a collector’s item? Are you a “bottom-line-it”? Men “listen for” how-to-fix, provide, produce, perform, the bottom line. Women “listen for” how-to-relate, take care of, nourish, advocate, include. While both genders exhibit some behaviors from either side, I consistently hear the number one complaint from women about men is that “men don’t listen”. The male gender is “information wired”. I assert that Mark Zuckerberg’s interest was not in “listening” and interested in the “free flow of information. In all fairness, the number one complaint from men about women is “she wants to change me, she doesn’t accept all of me.” What’s my point? Well, is Social Media set up for “listening”? I say NO! Social Media is set-up for information through sound bites. Yes! I recognize there are discussion forums on many of the Social Media sites…and… are you “heard”? Do you come away from those forums with the satisfaction that YOU have been “heard” and your message has made a difference in your life and the lives of others?
The Nine Tools of Empowered Listening
Over the past five decades, I have found nine tools that dramatically impact the quality of communication, especially one’s ability to listen. The simple practice of three of them literally transforms one’s ability to effectively communicate. It is possible to discover the “lid/filters” that color our listening and communication and how come we only hear 25% of the message and “make-up” the remaining 75%. The nine tools are: brevity, acknowledgement, empowered listening, being heard, boldness, intuition, 99:1/MSUsm , completion and stop-the-drama. Listening is the “core” of communication. When you really listen, you don’t have to “worry” about your lines, you’ll know what to say because you’ve been “listening”!

About Carol McCall
For almost five decades, Carol McCall Ph.D., M.C.C. has been teaching people how to communicate better. This educator, edutainer, therapist, business executive and entrepreneur has reached over 2 million people through her public workshops, corporate clients and performance coaching practice. She is the author of Listen! There’s A World Waiting to Be Heard., e-book and MP3 series.

Contact: Dr. Carol McCall (415) 992-8089 (CA) or 1-888-966-8339
drcarolmccall
www.listeningprofitsu.com

“Like their personal lives, women’s history is fragmented, interrupted; a shadow of history
of human beings whose existence has been shaped by the efforts and the demands of
others” ~Elizabeth Janeway

The Essence Magazine article Three Days That Changed Our Lives! that follows…
speaks to that fragmentation and how the past does NOT have to be repeated today.
The article is still as relevant today as it was 9 yrs ago.
Read, Reflect, Rejoice!
You have now found another opportunity to UPDATE your growth!
For Your Inspiration!
Dr. Mac

[Copied with permission from the January 2001 issue of Essence magazine, pg.106.]

Three Days That Changed Our Lives

By Tamara Jeffries

“This is going to change your life I guarantee it,” declares the woman calling me from the Possibility of Woman course. I have never heard anyone so enthusiastic about a workshop before, but this isn’t just any gathering. This is the “course” an international empowerment event started by motivational speaker Carol McCall. After three days, I am told, no woman walks away the same.

I can always use a little more personal power, but I am not sure my life needs changing. I have recently taken an exciting job as the health editor at ESSENCE. I have a cozy apartment, a cluster of supportive friends, a loving family and a steady relationship with a nice guy. On the other hand, my finances are limited, I am still without children and my sweet relationship is going really, really slowly. Just beneath my skin, I have a nagging sense that a lot more is possible for me that somehow, at age 36, I haven’t quite lived up to my potential.

Unlike me, my younger sister couldn’t be more eager for change. Six months ago Kerri, her husband and their two toddlers moved six hundred miles from Indianapolis to Syracuse, New York only to have their duplex totaled in a fire a few months later. They were safe, but they took one look at the charred remains of their home and said, “Let’s go.” They then moved another six hundred miles south to Virginia to live temporarily with our parents. Then there’s Kerri’s job situation: After three years as a full time mom, Kerri just started working outside her home. But jobs are scarce, and she and her husband, both college educated, are stuck in just above minimum wage positions. So when I call to ask Kerri if she’ll join me for a weekend course that can “change your life,” she agrees.

My sister and I don’t know exactly what to expect from the seminar, but as we pack for our three day retreat, we’re both game. The brochure promises that we’ll discover “the catalytic power of listening to understand and to heal” and improve our “unbalanced, disjointed and unfulfilled lives.” After packing a bathing suit, warm socks and plenty of water and filling out pages of forms and disclaimers we’re on our way. What we don’t know is that we’re stepping into three days that will enlighten and surprise us and transform our lives.

Why We Don’t Listen

Kerri and I walk into an ordinary hotel conference room in Durham, North Carolina. The tables are arranged in a U shape, with 40 chairs squeezed along the perimeter, ready for the women, most of whom are perhaps feeling as nervous as Kerri and I are. Cheery workshop assistants bustle around. “Do you think we have enough Kleenex?” one asks another. I whisper to Kerri: “We’re not going to cry on the first day, are we?” But even before the introductions are done, we’re dabbing our eyes.

Facilitator Carol McCall appears. Draped in rich purple, she explains one of the main purposes of the course learning to listen. She says our relationships with others and our ability to achieve our goals hinge on how well we communicate and especially on how well we hear. “While others speak, we often listen to our own internal
dialogue,” she says. She explains that while others are talking, we tend to think, l know exactly what she’s about to say or When he has said his piece, I’m going to come back with this. Then we reply to what we assume the person has said.

Carol says the same “internal dialogue” that interrupts us also informs our choices. The problem is, that voice doesn’t always tell us the truth and can even “make things up.” Carol believes that as children we each subconsciously make an “early life decision” – one of five myths a person creates about herself before age 5. For women, the myths are “I’m not good enough,” “I’m worthless,” “I’m not worthy,” “I’m not

enough” or “I’m not important.” Then many of us make decisions for our entire lives based on the myth we’ve chosen for ourselves.
I realize that my myth is “I’m not important.” I manifest the classic symptoms a shrinking violet’s disposition, a hard to hear voice and a tendency to dismiss my accomplishments. My sister later tells me that her myth is “I’m not good enough.” She sees herself as both a bad girl and a perfectionist one who is blind to her own gifts.

As Carol outlines these myths, something clicks for me. Suddenly, I can scroll through my life and see how often I’ve deferred to others and assumed someone else knew best. How I haven’t sought to get my writing published because, after all, who would care about what I have to say? I recall all the times I’ve felt invisible, unheard, misunderstood at home, at work, in relationships.

We learn that our personal myths are deeply ingrained, but they can be altered. The first step is to recognize what they are, then to realize how these negative thoughts are undermining our efforts. Only then can we start to move beyond the myths and keep them from sabotaging our happiness and success. Again, the key is listening. “There’s a way you want to be, a way you want to present yourself to others,” Carol says. “That’s your higher dialogue. When you stop listening to your [negative] internal dialogue, you can listen to and follow your excellence and that changes your whole way of being.”

But how do we tune in to that “higher dialogue?”
How do we replace our personal myths with new beliefs about ourselves? Over the next three days several of us will get one on one guidance from Carol when she calls us to The Angel Chair.

The Chair Up There

Each day during the course, Carol selects a woman from the group to sit in a big easy chair at the front of the room. The rest of us are instructed not to say a word; our job

is to listen and when the session with that “angel” is over, to say what we have learned about ourselves from the woman’s experience in the chair.

Each woman selected settles nervously into the chair, pulls her box of tissues close and draws in a deep breath. Carol aims a laser of questions right at the woman’s most personal issue: “Tell me about this man you’re seeing,” she says, “and let’s talk about the baby you’re about to have.” Or “Why are you so angry?” Or “Why haven’t you done the thing you dream of doing?” Though Carol has had little or no individual contact with these women during the weekend, she seems to hit her target each time and, with probing questions, urges each woman to “go there” to talk openly about her fears, hopes and concerns and uncover ideas and behaviors she has used to sabotage herself.

For me, just the thought of sitting in that chair is emotionally wrenching. The suspense alone nearly kills me: No one knows who will be the next “angel” until the moment the woman is chosen. Each hot seat session goes on for what seems like hours, and I hold my breath and pray, for the woman in the chair as Carol carries her deep into the well of herself. I cry with women whose names I don’t know White women, grandmothers, people with whom I thought I had nothing in common. “Let it out, sister,” I whisper as one woman sobs, another rebels and still another laughs and is set free in that chair.

And then it’s Kerri’s turn. On the afternoon of the third day Carol summons my sister to the front, and she and I exchange a wide eyed look that says, “Yikes!” “Take notes for me,” she whispers as she rises slowly and heads to the front. “I got your back,” I promise. I am nervous for Kerri, but happy too: She might be able to finally work through what is blocking her career. But Carol’s first question is not about my sister’s job search; it’s about Kerri’s relationship with me.

In that chair my only sibling admits that she has always resented me. She says that over the years, she has found ways to play to my insecurities. This was her way of

compensating for what she had made up about me that I was the smarter sister, the together one, the one my parents liked best. Carol asks me to stand. “Tamara, what have you made up about Kerri?” she asks.

Feeling like a 5 year old, I admit that I’ve always been jealous of her. “She was always the pretty one,” I say through tears. “She was the funny one, the one my parents always liked better.”

“See what happens when we make things up?” Carol says. She encourages Kerri to stop giving me advice the method she has used to keep me insecure and free me to make my own decisions. That, in turn, would allow me to work through some of my “not important” stuff. Not so bad, I think as I take my seat again. At least I didn’t actually get called to sit in the chair.

When Carol turns her attention to Kerri’s marriage, I am stunned by my sister’s revelation. Kerri and her husband, Kenyatta, college sweethearts, are approaching their sixth anniversary and are among the most solid couples I know. But Carol gets my sister to admit that she is weary of her marriage. She is emotionally detached from her husband, unsure of their future together and nearly beyond caring. Though we’d talked intimately about her married life, Kerri had never admitted any of this to me.

Looking at her now, I can see that she is telling the barest truth and that she is afraid of where that honesty will lead. Carol asks the women around the table to raise their
hands if they have ever been sick of marriage and everyone who has ever worn a wedding ring lifts her hand.

“See?” Carol says. “You’re not the only one who has felt this way. Besides, you love his dirty drawers, don’t you?” Kerri smiles and nods, wiping away tears. Carol insists that my sister needs to open her heart to her husband. Even if she has divorced him emotionally, Carol says, she can secretly remarry him. In the end Kerri promises to have a long talk with Kenyatta and to take a long vacation alone to replenish herself.

When Carol is done with Kerri, each woman in the room says what she has learned from my sister. I may have escaped the chair, but I can’t escape the truth: I discover that Kerri and I don’t know each other so well after all. We have a lot of listening to do. After all 40 of us have spoken, we stand and give Kerri long, loud applause.

Will the Changes Last?

When we finally leave the course on that last day, Kerri and I are emotionally drained but euphoric, amazed by what we’ve learned. On the road trip to our parents’ home in Virginia, we talk about all that we realized about ourselves and each other and whether we’ll really be able to make changes that stick.

Twilight is falling as we pull up at our parents’ house; Kerri’s little ones come running, clamoring for hugs and kisses. As my sister and I look around at our parents and her husband and children, tears fill our eyes.

“What’s wrong with y’all?” someone asks. Without answering, we put our arms around each other and let the tears fall. We have no words for the love and empathy we feel for each other and the hope we feel for ourselves. “This will last about three days,” Kerri’s husband jokes.

In about a week, the high does wear off. My sister takes a job as an administrative assistant and finds that she is bored and unappreciated. To make matters worse,
what she thought would be a two month stay with our parents is dragging into six months. Kerri is feeling stuck.

Meanwhile, my three year relationship stagnates. I become more dissatisfied with my life, and depression settles in. I pick up the phone and call Carol McCall. Trying to be diplomatic, I ask her: Is this what that woman at the course meant when she said my life would change?

“It’s called detox,” Carol says matter-of factly. Like physical toxins, poisonous behaviors must pass through your system in order to get out, she explains. After an intense honesty session such as the one at the course, one often feels worse before feeling better.

After the workshop, Carol says, women realize that their old habits don’t work. “Then they convert to telling their truth,” she says, “and that stirs up a hornet’s nest.” When a woman begins to be honest with herself, the lies she has told herself about the quality of her relationships, her interest in a chosen career or her hidden desires surface. Carol explains that although it may not be pretty, telling the truth ultimately brings you healing.

But what do you do while the hornets are swarming? “People are hard on themselves when they’re in a funk,” she says. “When a friend is in a funk, we get in there and work with her, support her, comfort her. We need to give ourselves the same compassion that we give others. Don’t kick yourself when you’re down.” And no matter how difficult it becomes, she adds, you keep telling yourself the truth and then you slowly begin to act on that truth.

Telling herself the truth gives Kerri the nerve to tell her husband that she thinks they ought to separate. A fiery argument follows which is exactly what they need to break the silence between them and admit to each other that neither of them really wants out. Little by little they start communicating again and working together toward
their goals. They locate an apartment, he finds a new job and she lands a better paying position as an administrator for a nonprofit educational organization.

As for me, I initiate some intimate conversations with my parents, listening to a side of them I have never noticed. My guy and I decide to make changes in our stagnant relationship by putting some distance between us. I need to spend time getting to know myself before I can commit to a relationship. I am asking for what I want, saying no to what I don’t and paying attention to negative habits. And while life isn’t perfect

or even close, I have a stronger sense of myself and my desires. I guess you could say I’m seeing the possibilities of this woman.
Tamara Jeffries former senior editor for health at ESSENCE.

ARE YOU AT YOUR BEST ?
Dr.Carol McCall, international motivational speaker and founder of Possibility of Woman, says her workshop can help women move beyond their limitations and live with “magnificence.” Here, she offers a peek into the guidance she gives:
·On making your thoughts more positive: McCall says if your gossipy friend or your hard to please parent feeds you nothing but negativity, you must find something else to listen to. “Hang out with people who support your work, and disassociate with anyone who doesn’t support your desire to live up to your highest standards.”
·On getting out of a funk: People often blame themselves for the hard times they face or try to ignore their blues. Instead, McCall says you should just accept what you’re feeling. Doing so releases the depression’s hold on you. Continue to work through what you feel, but tell yourself, “This is where I am and I’m going to treat myself well through the process.”
·On speaking the truth to others: “Tell the truth with compassion and love,” McCall says. You don’t have to curse anyone out or turn on the tears just state the facts. “It’s like telling someone, `You’re standing on my foot,’ ” she explains. Usually that statement is enough to make the person move, but if he or she doesn’t, that’s your cue to move away from that person.

·On being true to yourself: “Many people are miserable because they know that they’re living a life that isn’t truly theirs,” McCall says. “I call it internal betrayal. They’re not living up to their true values, their true excellence.” That’s why you shouldn’t take a job or get into a relationship that doesn’t feel right for you.

·On real generosity: “When you take care of yourself, you do so much for others,” McCall says. “The reason people dishonor others is because they’ve dishonored themselves.” The better you treat yourself, the more benevolent you’ll feel toward those around you. T.J.

RETREAT FOR CHANGE

Feeling a dip in your personal power? A women’s only empowerment retreat might be what you need to uncover your potential and find or remember your true purpose. Consider this course!

Possibility of Woman

Who: Dr.Carol McCall’s Institute For Global Listening and Communication.
What: Talks and workshops on the power of listening, finding balance, refocusing your life and recovering authenticity.
Where: Cities around the country; also at Caribbean and other international sites.
When: Three day retreats year round. Cost: $500
Contact: drcarolmccall@listening profitsu.com or 1-888-966-8339

2010 The Institute for Global Listening and Communication. All rights reserved

If men don’t want to “tick” women off, don’t ignore H U R!
H = (to be) Heard
U = (to be) Understood
R = (to be) Respected

OK! So now it’s H U R turn! This is not “news” and…it is information that is essential to a successful and continuously satisfying relationship with women. Studies have indicated that women score very high on the verbal index on exams. When I was a young child, very bright and precocious, I would bring home my report card with 95% A’s academically and “F” in behavior. How come? I “talked” too much. Well after many “F’s” and time-outs, I discovered that when people took the time to let me know I had been heard, I didn’t have the “need/drive” to talk so much.

This discovery “being heard” was used in selecting the boys/men I would date and who would “make-it” with me. The men who listened and let me know they “heard” me were the ones who were successful in relationship with me. So fellows–a word to the wise–“shut up and listen!” Let her know she’s been heard. DO NOT use the careless statement “I hear you.”  Instead, say “I want to make sure I heard you” then repeat what you think you heard.  This will begin to provide a solid foundation for a successful two-way conversation.

H=(to be) Heard : pay attention to; be aware of the existence of.

Women have been socialized (the 20th century female) to be seen and “not heard”. Studies have indicated that in a mixed gender group, men with women, women tend to be less vocal and assertive with their ideas and opinions. When a woman has the experience of being paid attention to and the listener, male or female is aware, values and considers what she has to say, she experiences “being heard.”

During my workshop called the POW (Possibility of Woman), there is an exercise called “the Angel Chair.” During this exercise the participant spends 20-25 minutes “being heard.”  The consistent feedback from women who participate in this exercise is that they have the experience of
“being heard” which allowed them to free themselves from past communication blocks, stress and tension. They have expressed a sense of calm, trust and well-being once they’ve “been heard.”

U=(to be)Understood: (past tense of understand) – perceived the significance, explanation, cause and intended meaning of the words of the speaker.

There is a “myth” that to “understand” a woman is to “agree” with a woman. Simply stated, understand the significance/importance to her by what she means by what she’s saying. Too often, so-called listeners, rush in to re-interpret, fill in and finish the sentence;  make up what she means, instead of asking what she means by a certain word, phrase or concept. Asking a woman what she means from a place of clarity, instead of a place of having to defend herself increases her comfort in communicating
and contributing her ideas freely. Instead of saying “what do you mean by that?”–ask “for my clarity, what does that mean to you?” I promise, you’ll receive a more open and honest response instead of a reaction.

R=(to be) Respected: a high or special regard; esteemed–the quality or state of being esteemed.

Women enjoy having the experience of being respected without having to “go into combat” or have to “fight” to have their opinions, perspectives respected. Her point of view is an important factor in how she “relates” to her environment. The female gender knows herself “best” through relationship. Respecting how she perceives something is also a part of how she perceives/relates to herself. I have conducted over 500+ workshops for women and what’s been expressed by women is the importance of respect for who they are and how they do things without having to “fix” who they are. R-E-S-P-E-C-T- (thanks Aretha!) spells support and safety.

Like their personal lives, womens history is fragmented, interrupted; a shadow of history of human beings whose existence has been shaped by the efforts and the demands of others.” ~ Elizabeth Janeway

Thank you for listening!
Dr. Mac

LISTEN! Make every day count.
LISTEN! Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for this moment will never come again.
LISTEN! Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually “listen” to them.
LISTEN! Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high.
LISTEN! Hold your head up high, it’s your birthright.
LISTEN! Tell yourself you are a great person.
LISTEN! Listen to yourself, for if YOU don’t listen to you, you will train others to not “listen” to you.
LISTEN! Listen, create, love your life…then go out and listen and live it!

Thank you for listening!
Dr. Carol McCall

RELATIONSHIP TIPS

By Carol McCall Ph. D., M.C.C

WHAT ARE THE 3 A’s FOR A SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP?

  1. Acknowledgement
  2. Appreciation
  3. Acceptance

The 3A’s work particularly well when done consistently (daily) in all cases, between partners.
This article addresses the relationship between women and men. While the 3A’s apply equally as
well to men relating to women, the focus of this article relates to the program, The Possibility of Woman (POW sm)

I ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: recognition of the existence or the truth of something:

Many women neglect to say “thank you” for the numerous things that the men in their lives do for them. Whether he’s a life partner, son, father, brother or male relative, men enjoy being acknowledged for thoughtfulness. It’s important to acknowledge the actions taken by men to support any activity that women are engaged in. A simple “thank you”, given consistently, goes a long way!

According to Dr. David Wexler, founder of The Relationship Training Institute in San Diego, California, “women don’t realize how much power they have in men’s lives. Many women don’t understand how their level of approval or disapproval, their look of love or disgust can deeply affect a man’s sense of well-being, connection and value.” A “thank you for your thoughtfulness” can increase and strengthen the value men are looking for in relationships.

II APPRECIATION: an expression of admiration or approval; an increase in value:

Women often fall into criticizing a man’s effort by telling him he’s not doing enough and/or ignoring what he does do. After hearing this criticism over a period of time, he will stop doing much of anything. Dr. Wexler calls this a “buzz kill” (a turn-off, discouragement) that prevents the man from becoming the man a woman wants him to be. Pay attention to the things that he does “right” and give him feedback. Say “I really appreciate how you helped me at dinner tonight” or “I appreciate how you spoke to the children about their school work.” Appreciation increases a man’s self-esteem (value)

III ACCEPTANCE: a recognition, respect either expressly or by conduct to an act or offer:

First, let the men in women’s lives KNOW what’s important to them (the women). This is NOT asking “permission”-as in “daddy-may-I”, it’s giving information. The information is to be clear, honest,
brief (no stories/no past histories) and non-defensive.
Second, keep it simple. Explain what about the topic or situation is important – without drama-and what it means to women when men’s actions are consistent with what has been requested. Don’t “expect men to mind- read ”. Many women fall into the lazy habit of thinking “well if he loved me, he’d read my mind”. Men need to be accepted for what they do and who they are 99.9% of the time. When women want men to listen without solving their problems, then “ask” them to “listen for 5 minutes” without interruption…and…make sure they agree to the request BEFORE talking. STOP!!! after 5 minutes and then let them know it’s time to “accept” feedback, comments and/or input. By the way (in this context) acceptance DOES NOT mean agreement. In this context it means recognition and respect for another perspective. Accept what is said and let the men know their perspectives will be considered when choosing the best solution to a situation.

Third, make it worth his while! When a man is asked to be more romantic and he tells a woman she looks great in a particular outfit – ACCEPT- what he says by giving a positive response! Give them the information on “how to” relate to women (men are comfortable with operating instructions) and then acknowledge, appreciate and accept them on becoming “experts” on the “guidelines” that have been provided to them.

Carol McCall, Ph.D., M.C.C (Master Certified Coach) is a Social Psychologist with over 40+ yrs of outstanding experience as an entrepreneur, business executive, educator, author and therapist. She has reached more than two million people through her workshops, articles, TV appearances, corporate clients and perforamce coaching practice.

She is best known for her unique listening skills and her “laser” coaching ability that quickly moves people to turn their desires into commitment, action, results and profitability. She is the founder of The Institute for Global Listening and Communication, LLC; author of the book Listen! There’s A World Waiting To Be Heard; creator of the highly successful workshop POW sm The Possibility Of Woman and the Life Development Coach in Communication (LDCC sm)a coach training program in life development with an emphasis on listening skills. Dr. McCall manages an active national and international schedule of speaking engagements, teleseminars, webinars, professional development training sessions and a highly successful personal performance coaching practice.

To contact Dr. McCall: drcarolmccall
wigc4u
Phone: 1-888-966-8339 or
Phone: 1-415-992-8089
She can also be contacted on: twitter.com;facebook.com and plaxo.com

Dr. McCall On Twitter

  • @Support I no longer want to follow a large number of people on my list. How do I unfollow these people 4 months ago
  • Thought 4 the day: The next time you "hit a wall"...climb it! 4 years ago
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