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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘difference’

Do You Communicate Or Connect – What’s The Difference?

Monday, October 31st, 2016

According to experts, we are bombarded with thirty-five thousand messages a day. Everywhere we go, everywhere we look, someone is trying to get our attention. Every politician, advertiser, journalist, family member, and acquaintance has something to say to us. Every day we are faced with e-mails, text messages, billboards, television, movies, radio, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. Add to these newspapers, magazines, and books. Our world is cluttered with words. How do we choose which messages to tune in and which ones to tune out?

At the same time, we also have messages we want to get across to others. I’ve read that, on average, most people speak about sixteen thousand words a day. If you transcribed those words, they’d fill a three-hundred-page book every week. At the end of a year, you would have an entire bookcase full of words. In a lifetime, you’d fill a library. But how many of your words would matter? How many would make a difference? How many would get through to others?

The above excerpt is from leadership expert John C. Maxwell’s book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What The Most Effective People Do Differently, in which he explains that connecting with others is the key to success. In addition, he lays out some ground rules for powerful communication that ensures you connect with those around you.

Why is connecting so important? As Maxwell points out, we spend so much of our days communicating with other people. If we simply talk, write, and type all day, but no one truly hears what we are saying, then that’s a whole lotta wasted words! So, what are some of the skills we can learn in order to communicate and connect?


Connecting Is Hard Work

It’s easy to communicate with people, but harder to connect. Maxwell explains that there are four communication “sins:” Being unprepared, uncommitted, uninteresting, or uncomfortable. These four problems all indicate a lack of effort on your part. Instead, be prepared to engage in a conversation, learn about the person you are speaking to. Make him or her feel comfortable by appearing confident yourself, but also by being able to laugh at your own mistakes. Show interest in what other people have to say and enthusiasm within the conversation. Convey respect through your words and actions.

If you enter a conversation, whether it is one-on-one, in a group, or in front of an audience and you are unprepared, uncommitted, uninteresting, or uncomfortable, most people will pick up on this right away. Then, no matter what words of wisdom or kindness you say, the people you are speaking to will have already dismissed you. Therefore, put in the effort before the communication to ensure that when you do communicate, you will connect with those around you.


Common Ground

Maxwell writes, “If I had to pick a first rule of communication – the practice above all others that opens the door to connection with others – it would be to look for common ground. That rule applies whether you’re resolving conflict with your spouse, teaching a child, negotiating a deal, selling a product, writing a book, leading a meeting, or communicating to an audience. It’s difficult to find common ground with others when the only person you’re focused on is yourself!”

We all know that people connect with others when they feel that they share something: a philosophy, routine, or practice. Listen to what those around you are saying. If you pay attention and ask good questions, you will understand where others are coming from and then be able to let them know how you think and feel. As Maxwell writes, “Connection always requires both parties to engage and be open.”

Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling. Don’t exhibit arrogance through the belief that you are more important than the other person. And don’t worry about losing control by looking weak because you are actually paying attention to what other people are saying or feeling.

The truth is, if people like you, they will listen to you. Likewise, if they know that you care about them and share their experiences, they will listen as well. This is something I teach in all of my social skills courses. When children develop the art of listening, they are able to not only do better in their schoolwork, but connect with their classmates as well.


Follow Through

Many of the tips in Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently are ones that we intuitively know, but don’t always understand how they connect to other areas of our lives. The final note that the author leaves us with is the connectors must “live what they communicate.” In other words, connectors must practice what they preach if they hope for their message to be heard and connected with. Therefore, if you would like to connect with others, ensure that in addition to being prepared, committed, interesting, comfortable, and finding common ground, be sure to deliver results before you deliver your message. If we want people to listen to us, we must first follow through ourselves.

One of the main things to remember is that connecting is a skill that you can learn. It is not imprinted in your DNA, rather you can cultivate and grow your ability to connect. And, when you do, you’ll make sure that your every word counts!


Register now for a Social Thinking workshop by Michelle Garcia Winner on November 16. Please call Mrs. Schonfeld at 718-382-5437 for more information.

Rifka Schonfeld

We Can Make A Difference

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Editor’s Note: Rebbetzin Jungreis, a”h, is no longer with us in a physical sense, but her message is eternal and The Jewish Press will continue to present the columns that for more than half a century have inspired countless readers around the world.


* * * * *

During the past few weeks we probed our souls, asked profound questions, and tried to determine what our lives are all about. We made resolutions – each in our own personal way – and committed to being better Jews.

We promised to be better ambassadors of Hashem, more meticulous with mitzvot, more devoted and zealous in doing chesed – acts of loving-kindness – and to deepen our dedication to our Torah.

And now comes the big question: Are we still determined to make that change? Are we controlling our anger or are we indulging our moods, making others miserable? Are we exercising discipline in our speech or are we back to the pitfalls of lashon hara? How many of our promises are still throbbing in our hearts and how many have been put away with our Yom Kippur machzorim until next year?

Was it only yesterday that we made those wistful commitments to become different? Can it be that our old habits have once again taken a grip on our lives?

To be sure, it’s not easy. We live in a consumer society that values everything “pricey” – name-brand items, fine jewelry, spectacular homes, etc. But acts of chesed – a smile to someone who is downcast, a visit to the sick, a word of encouragement to the hopeless, an embrace for the lonely – are of no consequence in our culture.

Acts of chesed cannot be translated into dollars and cents; consequently, we consider them to be of no value. We cherish luxuries and are obsessed with accumulating things but – ironically – the more we have, the more we desire and the less content we become. We are the generation that possesses more than any previous generation could have imagined, yet we are also the generation that is the unhappiest.

There is nothing surprising about this. King Solomon and many of our sages taught this truth, but it has been blown away by the winds of materialism and we no longer understand it.

To be sure, we have other problems as well. Our yetzer hara – that little voice in our minds and hearts – is relentless, ever on the attack. Insidiously, it whispers, “Those resolutions, those promises you made…they made sense in the isolation of the synagogue, but in the real world it just won’t work. All those mitzvos and acts of chesed Jews are called upon to do are simply not practical. As it is, it’s difficult enough for you to manage your time. You cannot possibly undertake more.”

But our Yiddishe neshamos are so powerful that they will not let us go. They remind us that we are wasting our days and years investing our energy in that which has no substance or lasting value. We need only speak to individuals who have confronted or are battling terminal illness. They will never say they regret not having spent more time at the workplace or not having made more money. Nor will they tell us they regret not having pursued more pleasure. But they will all confide that they feel remorseful for not having been more connected with their Jewish roots, for not having made an effort to know G-d.

The most devastating experience a neshamah can have is to arrive in the Next World and behold what it could have accomplished and then contrast that portrait with what it actually became.

But while we are here we can still chart a new path. We need only bear in mind that life is not about accumulating things but about elevating ourselves. It’s not about acquiring more but about being more.

Every day, at the conclusion of our morning prayers, we beseech the Almighty to help us so that “our labors may not have been in vain and our lives may not have been lived for naught.” How tragic it is that so few of us are familiar with those words and even those among us who pray repeat them mindlessly and fail to absorb their deeper meaning.

But how do we realize such lofty goals? It is simpler than we realize. G-d has actually provided us with wings, available to all, with which to soar and rise above the morass of this world. We need only seize them.

Our Torah is not only our road map for life, it is the voice of G-d, directing us, speaking to us, telling us who we really are. Our mitzvos are not just random rituals and laws but life-transforming experiences that render us more generous, loving, and kind.

When we do chesed, it is we who benefit; when we give of ourselves, it is we who become enriched and elevated. The formula is there; we need only take hold of it.

It sounds so simple – but is it?

The answer to that is an emphatic yes.

G-d promised us that if we take one step toward Him, He will take two steps towards us. He is ready to help us and will place in our hands spiritual riches we thought beyond our reach. We need only will it and it will be.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rich Get Richer: Germany Saves $55 Billion on Crisis

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Germany is profiting from the debt crisis that’s debilitating most of their neighbors to the south and south-east, by saving more than 40 billion euros in interest on its government debt. Meanwhile, German treasury bonds doing fabulously well due to strong demand from investors seeking a safe haven, Spigel reported.

According to the German Finance Ministry, Germany will save a total of €40.9 billion (roughly $55 billion) in interest payments in the years 2010 to 2014, because of the difference between actual and budgeted interest payments.

On average, the interest rate on all new federal government bond issues fell by almost a full percentage point in the 2010 to 2014 period, according to the report, and Germany is a considered a very safe creditor in investors’ circles.

The rule of when it rains it pours seems to be working in Germany’s favor as well: it is seeing unprecedented high tax revenues from its robust economy, which has also led to a decline in new borrowing.

Between 2010 and 2012, the German government issued €73 billion (about $97 billion) less in new debt than it had planned.

On the other side of things, according to the Finance Ministry, the costs of the euro crisis for Germany have so far added up to €599 million, Spiegel reported.

This should be good news to all of us paranoids who fear a reawakening of the sleeping German militaristic giant who would try once more to conquer the world. Who needs to conquer the world when you can buy it for so much less?

Yori Yanover

Arab Donald Duck Tweets for Israel to be ‘Demolished’

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

An Egyptian radio host who identifies himself as the official voice of Donald Duck on Disney Middle East called on Twitter for Israel to be “demolished.”

The discussion that began Sunday on the Twitter feed of Wael Mansour continued on Tuesday.

“I truly wish #Israel is demolished, I hate Zionism, I have so much hate inside me with every single child they murder or land they seize!” Mansour tweeted Sunday. The tweet followed one that read: “I saw a video of Israeli soldiers brutally arresting a palestinian woman in front of her 3 children coz they seized her home & she objects!” which could explain his Twitter outburst.

Mansour responded to some critics by tweeting: “I don’t know why insulting #Israel & #Zionism is “Anti-Semitic”?! They are just a bunch of Polish/ Ethiopian immigrants roughly 70 years old” and “There are Jews who hate Zionism; does it make them Jews Anti-Jews?! Of course NO! We respect Jews & disrespect Zionism, there’s a difference.”

The Algemeiner called on Disney chairman Bob Iger, who is Jewish, to respond to the controversy. Disney owns the rights to Donald Duck.

Contacted directly via Twitter by the Algemeiner, Mansour told the paper, “The Zionist entity is a racist entity by definition, performing crimes of hate by the power of its criminal law. I stand firm by what I said.”

Mansour said Egypt “dictates an overwhelming Islamic sentiment that happened normally. On the other hand, the Zionist entity is a bunch of immigrants stealing lands and creating a state based on a racist difference.”


What the Benghazi Leaks Mean, and what Difference Would it Have Made?

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Imaging this: it was well-known that in 2011 the United States was facilitating the weapons supply to Syrian rebels. The weapons were paid for by Qatar and Saudi Arabia and delivered through Turkey.

We have known for more than a year about this traffic. There were two big UN Reports on this traffic.( By the way this meant that the United States was arming Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist groups.)

What wasn’t known was a simple detail: the United States was also collecting and shipping the weapons.

That’s it! This is what was being concealed. After all, it was openly known previously that the Libyan rebels against Qadhafi were armed by the United States.

The whole mess was unnecessary!

If it were known that the CIA guys in Turkey weren’t just watching the weapons supply but delivering it, to quote Clinton, what difference would it have made?

Would Congress have stopped the weapons’ traffic? No, they wouldn’t even do anything about the arms to Mexican drug gangs that killed Americans?

Would Americans rise in revolt? No.

Would it have cost one percent of the votes in the election? No.

Sure, some bloggers would have talked about parallels to Iran-Contra and a handful of members of Congress would have complained but the massive media machine would have ignored it and the majority of Republicans would have snored.

Did President Obama have to lie in a UN speech saying the ambassador was just there to supervise a hospital and a school? No.

Did a video have to be blamed so as to blame Americans and Islamophobia for the attack? No.

Was the cover-up necessary even to defend the administration’s “perfect” record against terrorist attacks on Americans”? No.

The expose of this arms’ supply channel would have bothered few and changed nothing. But since we knew already that the administration was helping arm anti-American, antisemitic, anti-Christian, and homophobic, and anti-women Islamist terrorists I don’t think the difference was huge.

Did the cover-up have to lead to the refusal to defend properly American personnel to prevent what they were doing from leaking out? No.

In short this program of lies and deception and cover up wasn’t even necessary. Those Americans may have been rescued and those lies might have been avoided with no harm to the administration.

I think that tells a lot about how the Obama Administration treats and manipulates the American people. And it also tells about its very profound incompetence and ignorance.

Barry Rubin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/what-the-benghazi-leaks-mean-and-what-difference-would-it-have-made/2013/08/05/

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