It is often the self-talk that goes through our heads that determines how we behave in different situations. Let’s say you had an experience in your early career where you were heavily, criticized by your boss in his office. Now every time you are summoned to your boss’s office, your brain re-plays the earlier experience. Your self-talk takes you back to the earlier incident and you deal with it in the same way. Only by training yourself to change the old self-talk can you break out of this cycle.

“We have learned during our upbringing how to protect ourselves from danger, rejection, ridicule, disgust and other undesirable responses to our behaviour. We have developed a “socially acceptable” way of being. Sometimes we call this good manners, or politeness, or conformity, or being inhibited, all of which serve to keep us safe. But learning is about adventure. It is about lowering the barriers and allowing ourselves the freedom to be different from how we might normally be. Unless we are able to do this, our learning will be limited and narrow and has to fit who we have become rather than who we are.”


The sure-fire way to kill a new friendship dead is to take opposite sides on a controversial topic. If the conversation turns to a controversial issue, don’t take a stand until you hear the other person’s point of view. In reply, put both sides of the case and you’ll sound fair and wise. Later on, when they know you better, you can share your own point of view.

It is one of the facts of life that the more confident you are in social situations, the more successful you will be in making new friends and contacts. But this should never be over-confidence.


The best conversation openers are those which open up a flow of information. They should not be too open that people don’t know how to reply: eg “How’s things?”; not too difficult for an easy reply: eg “What are you hoping to gain from this course, then?”. If someone is willing to keep a conversation going with you, you’ll get some free information from them that you should pick up on. For example,

You: “I see from your name tag that you work for a charity. Are you based here?”

Them: “No, I’m based in London. But I’m abroad a lot.”

You: “That must be interesting. What countries?”


If you want to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know, perhaps at a social function, the best starting point is to talk about their number one subject, them. Your first question should not be too open that they don’t know where to start, nor too closed that you don’t get much free information in their reply. A good format to use is the statement- plus-question format, as in “You look new here. Can I help you?”


The difference between leaders and managers is a difference in emphasis. While managers work with resources, leaders work with people. Resources are computable, but people need to be understood. Resources do what they’re told, people respond to you as an individual and your ability to inspire and motivate.

Be Specific, not Generalized

Sweeping statements are another category of communication that we often use but which are factually incorrect, as in “You’re always late”. Instead, think before you speak and use honest and accurate communication, as in “That’s the second time you’ve been late this month”.

If Cellphones Disappeared

three women standing near man holding smartphones

Photo by on


  1. Every person would save at least $50 a month on an average, on this planet.
  2. We would start looking at each other face to face once again.
  3. We would not have regular neck pain.
  4. We would start following actual people around.
  5. We would watch more our family grow up.
  6. We would get more sleep at night.
  7. We would be safe from much unsolicited stuff.
  8. We would prefer reading actual paper books and newspaper.
  9. We would see people’s real faces with wrinkles and scars instead of filtered ones.
  10. We would witness our memories getting stronger by memorizing phone numbers.



  1. We would lose our social life.
  2. We would have to travel more just to meet people to convey our message in real.
  3. We would have less friends.
  4. We would be less informed.
  5. We would have to use our computers more than ever to fulfill the gap.
  6. We would be less involved in the issues of larger worldly interest.
  7. We would have to memorize phone numbers.
  8. Our voice would reach a smaller audience so we would be less famous or maybe completely unknown to the world in some cases.
  9. It would hit Apple and Samsung the worst. World’s two biggest tech companies will probably collapse.
  10. We would need a massive mapquest to improve the navigation in our memories.

And the list goes on. You can add up to your experience and understanding.