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What the Heart Knows

by Joseph McGuire on 24th February 2019 Comments Off on What the Heart Knows

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In my work I observe faces, in particular using the ancient Chinese practice of Mien Shiang to read personality traits, behaviour styles and a great deal more. Our life history, or more accurately our responses to life’s challenges are revealed in our facial features if we know how to look. The key features are the eyes. Whether or not they are the ‘windows to the soul’ they certainly reveal most about who we are, have been and may become. It might indeed be most accurate to refer to ourselves as human becomings.

Experience, both personal and in terms of what I’ve observed over many years tells me that life is both a learning and an unlearning process. As we unlearn and unravel the conditioning of parental and societal expectations and conditioning we can learn to open to who and what we are truly capable of being. In opening we begin to realize that deep within us is an infinitely powerful source of vitality and creativity.

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For several centuries in the West we have been largely governed by the Cartesian philosophy where logic and rational thinking have been widely regarded as superior. Emotions have often been seen as inconvenient intrusions. (Note: I have long been fascinated by the at times vicious emotional arguments among eminent rational scientists e.g. Heisenberg and Schrodinger.) We now unfortunately have ever increasing rates of depression, suicide and other conditions related to deep stress. While there is no one cause of any of this it seems reasonable to state that we have gravely neglected to nurture our emotional wellbeing at great cost.

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The heart has traditionally been seen in literature, poetry and music as the seat of our emotions. More recently neuroscientists have demonstrated the Heart has a brain of its own and that there is two-way communication between it and the Cranial brain. The Heart Math Institute in particular is showing and measuring the impact of this two-way communication on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. When stressed for any sustained period the impact on our physiology is considerable.

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Many of us in both our professional and personal lives are experiencing a wide range of at times widely and wildly fluctuating sensations and emotions as we deal with the ever increasing busyness of modern life. In the past year the many of the conversations I’ve had with conservative business professionals have centred on the importance of mental and emotional wellbeing in the workplace. There is growing awareness – and increasing evidence – that emotional intelligence plays a major role in greater employee engagement, satisfaction and performance.

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More recently I came to realize I had built a business persona and online profile that neglected a key element of my own nature vital to my own fulfilment. That element is joy! I do what I do because I love to share tools to enable people to connect more deeply, more powerfully, more lastingly and more profitably. For me that combines fun and practicality, and the responses I get from clients fuel my joy. We have seen the devastating social and cultural impact of the uber-macho culture in the workplace – Lehman Brothers, Salomon Brothers, Enron et al – and those impacts have been global. Conversely we have seen the ripples of joy and sustainable growth spread by visionaries such as Muhammad Yunus with microfinance which has had massive positive impact on communities. This is not to critique one commercial approach vis-a-vis another; rather it is to note the positive effects of engaging the Heart and the Head in our thinking and actions.

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As the Heart awakens we begin to experience our internal world differently, and by extension we behave differently in the world around us. There may be a period of feeling unsettled, with moments of clarity interspersed with tears, confusion and feeling of being distinctly out of balance. Gradually however as we learn to relax we notice clear physical benefits. The quality of our sleep improves; our digestion is easier; headaches and muscle pain decrease; our overall energy begins to increase. We become less hurried and harried, more conscious of the myriad wonders of daily life, and joy becomes a much more regular companion. In short, as we open ourselves we begin to experience the world around us through the Heart. We begin to engage with life with a lighter and more joyful commitment. Judgements become fewer and less relevant, and previously un-thought of opportunities for deeper connection and collaboration present with greater frequency.

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Will we still experience sadness, frustration and maybe even despair? Probably yes on occasion. The big difference is that in experiencing life through the Heart and remembering to return there we no longer attach to these debilitating states. We can let them be and let them go. The Heart calls, and as we answer life becomes more flowing and wondrous.

If you’d like to learn more my contact details are below.

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Alongside my work in profiling, interviews and negotiations I work with groups and individuals who wish to bring joy to the forefront of their daily lives, both professional and personal. I’m available for presentations and consultations both in person and online. I’m also the author of ‘Face Facts: The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’, available through my website. Contact me on: +353-(0)87-246 1853 or at joseph@clearsightcommunications.com

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Joseph McGuireWhat the Heart Knows

Learning to Network – from Stress to Pleasure

by Joseph McGuire on 29th November 2018 Comments Off on Learning to Network – from Stress to Pleasure

coffee break

All successful networking is dependent on two key things: reciprocity and curiosity.”
Phyllis Weiss Haserot

Unlike many people I enjoy networking, but it certainly wasn’t always the case. Now I’m happy to go into a room to meet people whether I know them beforehand or not. When I first began networking I found the experience particularly daunting. Generally I coped by helping set up the room, hanging around with someone I knew, standing silently in a group and frequent visits to the bathroom to calm my nerves.

After a while I began to learn the value of listening. Appearing at least to be interested rather than trying to be interesting served me better. I even went as far as compiling a list of stock open-ended questions to use at events so that people would talk to me, avoid dead air and ensure I didn’t look like Billy-No-Mates! Being willing to ask questions also had another benefit. It made me more approachable as people saw that I was willing to engage and listen. It also transpired that I was sometimes asking questions which others wanted to but felt too awkward to ask. It saved them from appearing foolish as they saw it. For me it meant I learnt something new and my often naïve questions often prompted fresh reflection on the part of the speaker.

It began to dawn on me that many others were also uncomfortable in the situation. As I paid more attention to listening and observing it became apparent that quite a few individuals in virtually every gathering were making small talk to fill the silence rather than speaking to connect. Many will also gravitate towards those they already know. If those individuals are speaking to someone new it presents the opportunity of a fresh introduction. Otherwise why not introduce yourself to someone you haven’t met and learn about them? You may be able to help them directly or indirectly which will benefit them and make you look good.

In preparing myself to enter a room I have several key points to remember:

  • It’s often a good idea if you’re new to arrive early and help the organizers setup. It makes you look good and provides you with immediate introductions.
  • If possible get a list of registered attendees beforehand and target specific people to meet. Bear in mind you’re not looking initially to sell anything but to arrange a meeting.
  • Make sure to follow up on all such introductions within 48 hours at most.
  • Bring a buddy if you’re nervous and speak to other attendees about each other. Promoting the interests of someone else may be easier than speaking about oneself.
  • Keep your questions concise but open and demonstrate that you are listening.
  • Stand tall when entering the room, make eye contact and smile – always remember to smile!
  • Know why you’re there, move around, meet the people you want to meet and learn to effectively and politely disengage!

If you like this article feel free to share it.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the recently published book  Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’. Now available:

https://clearsightcommunications.com/face-facts-book

Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group training and presentations, private functions and conferences. Contact: joseph@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuireLearning to Network – from Stress to Pleasure

You May Be Listening But Are You Hearing?

by Joseph McGuire on 11th November 2018 Comments Off on You May Be Listening But Are You Hearing?
Listen To The Listening Bronze To Listen Sculpture

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Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” – Jim Rohn

Listening is a key component of successful and effective communication between any two or more humans. How often do we hear ‘debates’ on radio or TV where there is an almost total absence of listening. So often these exchanges are marked and fuelled by an apparent compulsion by participants to talk, often to the extent of going completely off topic.

I’ll leave it to psychologists to analyse the reasons why this phenomenon is so prevalent. My focus here is on the positive benefits of learning to listen. Doing so enables us to hear not just what is being said but also the tone and intent behind them. We can also learn to listen for what is being omitted, whether intentionally or otherwise.

But behaviour in the human being is sometimes a defence, a way of concealing motives and thoughts, as language can be a way of hiding your thoughts and preventing communication.”Abraham Maslow

Albert Mehrabians oft misquoted study refers to the percentages of understanding and congruency in conversations with a strong emotional content. His breakdown of 38%, 55% and 7% relates to tone and syntax, body language, and the words themselves. Too often we focus our attention on the words and allow ourselves to be distracted and even misdirected. It then becomes easy to miss the incongruencies in the mix of body language etc, especially if the speaker is eloquent, or more technologically competent than we are.

The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” – Joseph Priestley

It requires confidence, awareness and willingness to listen with care. Whether in interviews, negotiations or sales processes the potential misdirections are plentiful. Extending our listening skills beyond our ears and intellect to ‘whole body listening’ helps greatly. Aligning all our faculties enables us to hear what is said, the intention behind it and what is left unsaid. Having a more complete picture allows us to give a much more informed response.

Start practicing by putting your feet on the ground and rest your hands on your thighs. Pay attention to your breath both in and out, and focus on the rhythm. Briefly scan your body from head to toe for any areas of tension. Gently roll/shake any such areas to begin a relaxation process – it won’t all happen at once but you’re making a start. Repeat daily for even 5 minutes at a time and you’ll see obvious benefits. Cultivating the awareness of your own body and its signals will increase your alertness for incongruencies in those you’re interviewing/negotiating with.

Relaxed alertness without straining facilitates a deeper level of understanding and is a means to differentiating between clear and hopeful decisions, leading to better deals!

If you like this article feel free to share it.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the recently published book  Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’. Now available:

https://clearsightcommunications.com/face-facts-book

Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group training and presentations, private functions and conferences. Contact: joseph@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuireYou May Be Listening But Are You Hearing?

My Journey to Becoming an Author

by Joseph McGuire on 13th September 2018 Comments Off on My Journey to Becoming an Author

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A book is not a book! Well it is to the reader, but to the author it represents two journeys. It is both the end point of one and the beginning of a new one. It’s the emergence into the light of a new day with a badge of achievement and a newly minted identity.

For some the journey to authorship may be smooth sailing, but for others it is like a Masters from the University of Blood, Sweat and Tears – thanks Dave Russell! My parents introduced me to the joys of reading via comics and library books at an early age. Whether it was fiction, comedy, social history, history, travel journals, biographies or even anthropology I became voracious in my reading habits. However alongside the joy it was an attempt to find keys to understanding a world that had me confused and bewildered, and left me floundering in my attempts to make sense of things.

Over time as a young man growing I developed a façade of toughness to hide behind. The confusion and sense of not belonging built and hardened the shell from the inside to a point of deep emotional incapacity and increased feelings of isolation. I was functioning but certainly not thriving. School results were fine until a point where they simply fell apart, and I had no idea why.

My English teacher up to Inter – now Junior – Certificate level, the late J.J. Murphy inspired in me a desire to write, and as I grew I developed a small network of pen pals around the globe. Our hand written letters allowed us to share our philosophical musings and provided a private refuge from the world. With the advent of the internet the letter writing dropped away, and email never offered the same degree of connection to one’s own inner processes.

Some years ago my then partner and I visited an astrologer together. As soon as we sat down he turned to her and asked “Has he written it yet?” On one level it was very affirming that someone else, however he did it, could connect to my love of and capacity to write. On another it triggered feelings of despair and absolute desolation. It brought back a multitude of memories from childhood of being told what I should do or be capable of doing, and the young me silently screaming “But I don’t know how! Please listen!” I was never beaten or abused, and it is not to compare my story with others. It’s simply that my abiding perception was of being abandoned by life and of being utterly ill equipped and uninformed.

Many years later we arrive at a book. There’s very little of my story in the book as it is not relevant in what is a practical communication manual. For me though, as the author, the book is not a book. It reflects a journey into belief, self-acceptance, deep self-confidence and a desire and capacity to engage and share with the world. So much of that is down to the façade of toughness crumbling as my life fell apart and a group of very special friends helped me rebuild and learn to truly value myself.  I’ve learned that in life timing is everything. I was faced with stark choices, and am beyond grateful for the rock-solid loving support I received, and for the fact that despite how I felt I was ready to receive.

So a book is not a book. For me it’s a rebirth and an emergence into the world with solid confidence and a new – and rapidly expanding – appreciation of the myriad joys that life offers.

If you like this article feel free to share it.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the soon to be published book ‘Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. Contact: joseph@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuireMy Journey to Becoming an Author