What can you do to help people understand the strengths of others? How can you help them learn how to use different strengths as lenses to see things from different points of view? Here’s one fabulous technique, adapted from Michelle C. Louis to enable people to do just that. At the same time, it strengthens relationships.
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Most of us don’t realize that we have a few central narratives running through our lives because the stories we tell ourselves are so familiar that we don’t even realize they are stories. In my work with clients, I’ve found that it’s often not the events of life that allow or prevent success in love, work, and happiness. It’s the stories we tell ourselves — and we can change our stories.
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In the Yearbook Study, the genuineness of women students’ smiles in their college yearbook photos predicted, 30 years later, whether they were married and scored highly on life satisfaction, good relationships, and managing stress. One of the limitations of this research is, obviously, that its participants are all female. Yesterday I accidentally came across a little snippet of new research that suggests that male and female smiles don’t mean the same thing.
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Don’t worry when people tell you it will be hard to find a job. What the doom-and-gloom folks don’t understand is that they have something as contagious as the H1N1 virus– anxiety. Like the flu, they are probably “carriers” without even realizing it. You can innoculate yourself.