Archive for December, 2017


By Vernalee

How do we influence others?
Advice, Counseling, and Coaching are the three magic words that are the key methods.
Let’s take a look at each.
1. Advice –
A. Directive in nature.
B. Quick and to the point.
C. May be welcomed (or not).
D. Aimed at producing results.
E. Not always effective in changing long term behavior.
2. Counseling –
A. Directive and corrective.
B. Involves citing facts and evidence.
C. Generally, not desired.
D. Aimed at re-aligning behavior.
E. May be effective in changing long term behavior.
F. Conversation often one way.
3. Coaching –
A. Socratic, collaborative in nature.
B. Involves asking questions and sharing perspectives.
C. Needs to be desired in order to be effective.
D. Aimed at helping the receiver see alternative actions.
E. Conversations must be two way.
We parents probably have used all three of the methods to influence our children at some time or another.
“To influence others you must go beyond general expectations and reach for limits above the norm. You must also have total confidence in yourself and what you are attempting to achieve as you provide words, wisdom, and prosperity. Understanding your impact as you show others what they can achieve is paramount.”
Method 1 – Influencing Colleagues
A. Boost confidence.
B. Gain knowledge and do research.
C. Know the person you are trying to influence.
D. Ensure honesty by being genuine and absolute.
Method 2 – Influencing Adversaries
A. Know your opponent’s side.
B. Prove your dedication and commitment.
C. Show that you are an expert and have total belief.
Method 3 – Achieving Influence In Sales
A. Grasp the power of persuasion.
B. Use conformity and social impact.
C. Believe that what you are selling, your product is truly the best.
Influence is powerful.
Use it to your advantage and to the benefit of others!
Photo credit:; Source:; www.vladinerbotsvadze.files.wordpress


By Vernalee

A “role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.”
We know them and have seen a few or two. They are easily recognizable by their actions and they possess the following attributes.
1.“Demonstrate confidence and leadership.
A good role model is someone who is generally positive, calm, and confident in themselves. Happy with their achievements, they continue to strive for bigger and better objectives.
2.Are not afraid to be unique.
They are proud of the person they’ve become. Role models won’t pretend to be someone they are not, and won’t be fake just to suit other people.
3.Communicate and interact with everyone.
Good communication means listening as well as talking. People are energized by leaders who explain why and where they are going. Great role models know they have to have a consistent message.
4.Show respect and concern for others.
Driven, successful, and smart, role models show respect and gratitude. No one should be taken for granted or stepped on to get ahead.
5.Are knowledgeable and well rounded.
Great role models aren’t just “teachers.” They are constant learners, challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zones, and surround themselves with smarter people. When team members see that their role model can be many things, they will learn to stretch themselves in order to be successful.
6.Have humility and willingness to admit mistakes.
Nobody is perfect. When you make a bad decision, let those who are watching and learning from you know that you made a mistake and how you plan to correct it. By apologizing, accepting accountability, and correcting course, you will be demonstrating an often overlooked part of being a role model.
7.Do good things.
They find time for good causes such as raising money for charity, saving lives, and helping people in need get extra credit. Commitment to a good cause is key.
True role models are those who possess the qualities that we would like to have, and those who have affected us in a way that makes us want to be better people.”
Being a role model is a huge task. If you have children, remember they watch every move you make.
It’s a tall order!
There is constant spotlight on you from everyone.
Sure, the way you live your life and the things that you do/say stay on constant display.
Yet, the people that your conduct helps and influences is worth every step you take.
As a role model, the rewards are great and the impact – to all the lives that you touch is immeasurable.
Besides … Staying on course helps us to stay out of trouble!
Photo credit; www.; Source:


By Vernalee
To be obvious or unusual form the basis for Standing Out From The Crowd.
Our actions, behavior, leadership … determine where we stand.
Certainly, our attitude and aptitude determine the altitude to how high we rise. If you want to be more than the average bear, mediocrity has no place in your world.
As Susan Gale says, ” Normalcy is what makes you part of the crowd. Character is what makes you stand out from the crowd. But principle is what makes you rise above the crowd.”
Entrepreneurs in particular must pave their way through the maze. In this process, there are 5 secrets to stand out and rise above the crowd.
1. Take Initiative.
2. Have a positive mental attitude (PMA).
3. Have Goals.
4. Be open to take risks and keep an open mind.
5. Be a Go Getter.
We have to stay “charged up,” stay motivated, take the challenge, execute, deliver, and display positivity in our actions and leadership.
As entrepreneurs, we are watched and judged. We must deliver the best and don’t short-step on quality!
We must be our best and do our best …standing or sitting!
Photo credit:; Source: Kenneth Cloutier, Get Motivated for Success.


By Vernalee
Zzzz! Do I hear someone snoring? It’s not me, but I am struggling to keep my eyes open! Whether in our personal or professional lives, being with a person who is completely boring is challenging. Have you ever been in a meeting with one? Oh my!
You probably know just as many boring people as I do. Stop counting! That’s not nice! Try to stay awake. They can put you to sleep; can’t they?
Without fail, here are some of their habits:
1. “Boring people have unbalanced conversations.
Instead of finding a rhythm between talking and listening, boring people are on either conversational extreme.
Either they are – all listening and no talking, or all talking and no listening.
2. Boring people can’t tell if people are engaged in the conversation.
If you’re emphatically boring, you’re probably missing the other person’s body language.
What makes a person boring is the “continual blathering and ignoring of signals and body language that say (perhaps not loudly enough) ‘I’m not interested in what you’re saying, but am nodding every few seconds only to be polite.'”
3. Boring people can’t make people laugh.
Humor shows “cognitive flexibility”: the ability to assess an idea or an event from a variety of perspectives, and then, naturally, make light of it. Boring people lack it.
4. Boring people always do the same thing.
What makes a person boring is living a sedentary life without variety. Diverse experiences improve one’s conversation. You actually have something to talk about.
5. Boring people never have anything to say in conversations.
A “boor” is somebody who’s loud and insensitive to the social situation, but a boring person can also be overly circumspect.
Where the loud bore believes they are the most interesting person there is, the quiet bore believes it’s best to never say anything because who would want to listen to them? These are the ones that reply to every inquiry with some variant of ‘I dunno, sort of, I guess.'”
6. Boring people don’t have their own opinions.
If you haven’t thought critically about what it is you think, you’re not going to have much to offer in conversation.
People that do not see past what they were taught to believe are the boring ones. These people can only offer their very localized view on a variety of topics.
7. Boring people don’t know how to tell a good story.
To interest someone and to truly engage others, you have to be able to tell a story. And you have to care about that story. You also have to solicit stories out of others. And you have to care about those stories.
8. Boring people can’t see things from other people’s perspectives.
Boring people are usually those who can’t (or won’t) understand how the conversation is experienced from the other person’s perspective. The ability to place oneself in another person’s shoes makes someone interesting to talk to. Emotional intelligence is key to conversation.
9. Boring people don’t have anything new to add.
Research reveals that we’re basically hard-wired to seek novelty. The conversational takeaway: If you don’t provide anything new to the listener, they’re not going to be stimulated.
A boring person is someone from whom we cannot learn anything new. Many boring people give out cues pretty early in a relationship.
10. Boring people don’t include anybody in the conversation.
What makes someone boring is the inability to include the others with interest into the conversation which is usually what happens when the ‘boring’ person just wants their point to be told with too much detail that isn’t relevant.
This goes along with the empathy thing: If you can’t figure out that someone in the circle of conversation is feeling left out, you’re boring.”
Stop adding the people to your list who fit that mold. You don’t have enough space. Shut up! Why? You couldn’t make up the things that they (the boring folks) say or do even if you tried. Well that’s my explanation of boring people. Now, I’m bored stiff! Please wake me up at the end of this article. I became so bored writing about boring people that I fell asleep!
Photo credit:; Source:


By Vernalee

When I left my Mississippi home in my twenties to explore career opportunities, I excitedly eloped from the cotton fields and the country landscape to the skyscrapers, bright lights / big city surroundings. My résumé was figuratively glued to my hand; ready to be presented in a jack flash minute. I was as thrilled about the geographical change as I was about the career opportunities. As I pondered what position would be worthy of my talents, I couldn’t wait to establish roots.

My Mother was eager for me to be a productive contributor to my life’s expenses as well. Encouraging me to explore the secular world, she gave me stimulating, unforgettable admonition on another front. “Make sure that you join church up there. Everybody needs their name on a church’s roll.”

After I became a productive member of the work force, she routinely reminded me of her spiritual advice. “If you can get up and go to your workplace five days a week, it would be sinful to sleep in on Sundays. Get up and go into the house of the Lord. Child, I don’t want to get to Heaven and not see you there!”

Thank you Momma for annoying me! You definitely made me a better person in so many areas. I joined church in Cleveland, Ohio and I am there (God willing) every Sunday just like you taught me.

Unbeknownst to me, I found myself providing the same admonition to my children. Distinctively in 2002, before returning to Cleveland, I remember telling my daughter when I dropped her off at college in Atlanta, “Remember what I taught you. Do the same things here that you did at home. You went to church at home, do the same here.” My daughter joined church in Atlanta; she attended religiously. Recognizably similar, those were the same words that my Mother told me; just uttered differently. Wow! We do become our Mothers, don’t we?
Happy Sunday!

Photo Reprint: Bethlehem No. 2 MB Church, Shaw, Mississippi; Photographer – Tom Rankin.


By Vernalee
Ladies –
How big is your purse and how much should you daily carry are fascinating questions with answers as numerous as the sky is blue. It’s an individual choice for sure, but allow me to share an interesting concept about purse sizes and its contents. After years of deliberation, I was converted to carrying a smaller purse and not my traditional large sized purse that resembled a small piece of luggage.
Here are some of the great benefits to carrying less in your purse.
* A smaller purse with fewer contents will not physically weigh you down.
* Carrying less means less to lose by theft, or accidentally leaving your purse behind.
* You don’t have to search for your car keys in a small purse.
* If your cell phone is ringing, from your purse, you can turn it off or answer the call with less distraction.
* You will feel lighter when you’re not responsible for carrying around everything that you think you might need.
So, back to the original question – how big is your purse? How much does it weigh?
After watching a Today Show episode, the question regarding the weight of a woman’s purse stirred curiosity. So the hosts brought out a scale. Hoda Kotb’s purse weighed 11 pounds; while Kathie Lee’s weighed 2 lbs. and some change. Carrying around 11 pounds is tantamount to walking with a 10 lb. plus bag of sugar on your shoulder. Ouch! There have been correlations to the weight of purses to shoulder, neck, and back pain. I know that fact to be true! Oh my aching back! Thus, we should try to carry only basic essentials. You may not believe this but that determination was not easy! It was difficult for me to decide what I needed. So I came up with a workable solution. I can be a genius occasionally! I scaled back on the size of my purse. The smaller the purse; the less it contains; the less it weighs! Clever; right?
I realized that the purse’s content was no joke when my friend couldn’t find her keys last week and emptied her purse. Inside, she had a makeup bag that was as big as a small purse; her cell phone, it’s charger, and earphones; a journal; hair utensils; her wallet; a coupon case; nail polish; tissues; a huge pack of gum; a large bag of peppermint and Hall’s cough drops; a bottle of aspirins; a sewing kit; her sunglasses; and a few other miscellaneous items; so much that I lost count. No wonder she couldn’t find her keys! Oh by the way for those inquiring minds, her keys were in her jacket pocket. She probably put them there because there was no room in her purse. Go figure!
So if you have everything but the kitchen sink in your purse, start unpacking. That’s my thought!
Photo credit:; Source:


By Vernalee
Which are you?
Does it matter?
Sure it does.
Both have pros and cons.
If you are the driver, you control the speed, the stops, and the turns; who you pick up and who you put out.
When you are in the driver’s seat, it is imperative that you concentrate.
You have to watch your moves and those of the other drivers.
Is there less stress on the passenger than the driver?
It depends!
The passenger may be “a back seat driver”
telling the driver where to turn, etc. Since passengers are not behind the wheel, sure they can look out the windows, watch the scenery, but they can also see views and dangers that the driver can’t see.
Passengers can help the driver navigate, aid him/her, and in many cases help prevent accidents.
They can see things coming from the sides while the driver is watching the front and rear views.
As long as they are riding together, both the driver and passenger arrive at the same destination.
Basically, it boils down to who is at the wheel; who is in control.
The control element is that you don’t want to end up in a destination that is not for you.
Neither do you want to arrive at the wrong place.
Your goal is to arrive safely; drama free.
Sometimes as you travel, the road gets bumpy. The steering become more strenuous.
You might have to stop, get out of the car, ask your passenger to leave, or the passenger may request getting out.
The ride or destination may not be right.
You catch my drift?
It’s a wonderful thing, if and when the passenger and driver are in sync.
With similar views, they can help each other as they collectively navigate their course.
It can be a beautiful ride with minimal turbulence…and great outcomes!
Are we discussing who’s in the car or are we discussing relationships?
Regardless … the same principles apply.
Photo reprint:


By Vernalee
“Your time will come; you will eventually come into your own.”
Destiny, luck, training, education, generational wisdom, preparation, planning … in addition to a few other factors will determine where we land.
Eventually, everyone can succeed at something! That is what we optimists believe, think, and feel.
Sure, there will be those individuals who do not wish you well; those who are filled with envy, jealousy, and spite.
Relegate them to a place that is out of sight; out of mind.
Negative energies have no place in your life!
Since the days of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, we have heard the popular phrase, “Every dog has its day.”
Keep an open mind and with positive reinforcement, you may take hold of another saying, “Success bequeaths us all.”
You may eventually become the cat’s meow and you might be “cooler than the summer breeze,” but nothing barks louder than success!
It takes time, but remember this – “Every dog has its day and a good dog has two!”
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Don’t make yourself target practice for other people.
If danger lurks, get out of the way. Be cognizant of the signs. Watch your surroundings and associations.
Unfortunately, in some circumstances, we have to “be and stay on the lookout!” Though that is an uncomfortable position, it beats the alternative – walking around with a target on your back!
Bulls eye is not a friendly term if somone is aiming at you!
Stay out of their range!
Being a target and dodging attacks are not on most folk’s wish list; quite the contrary!
Survival and removal from controversy make up the optimal scenario. The bow and arrow can stay in its case!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee

Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Great leaders are decision makers.
Sometimes, we may tend to make decisions for others rather than empowering them to make their own. It’s easier and less time consuming – we think.
How many of you are guilty of that?
Good leaders and teachers help others
by engaging them in the process which will ultimately enable them to function without us.
Thus the goal is this – Give others decision-making tools rather than making the decisions for them.
Here’s how we can do it:
9 Ways you can help others make great decisions.
1. Connect them with people that have experience and expertise.
2. Help them identify the real problem/challenge. Ask what the problem is and then say it back to them.
3. Explore risk tolerance. Ask what they are willing to lose. (Realize people tend to be overly optimistic.)
4. Inspire them to lean toward doing something. Bolster their confidence.
5. Help them explore, examine and then express their values. Ask what makes you tick.
6. Encourage them to examine expected outcomes. Ask what if …
7. Clarify and then connect their life-purpose with anticipated outcomes. Ask how this decision takes them where they want to go.
8. Explore pros and cons for each available option. Ask what could go wrong and what could go right.
9. Allow the significance of each decision to determine the time allotted to make it and then set decision-deadlines. Ask when they can pull the trigger.
Simply stated: Teach rather than do.
You will grow; so will they!
Photo credit: www.pathdocs/shutterstoic; Source:

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