Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sophisticated Debates

Of course it is always best to avoid arguing and debate whenever possible as usually nothing good comes out of it. However, it is still important to build skills for effectively expressing your viewpoint in a manner that shows respect and thus minimizes the likelihood of an argument or fight. Below are 5 basic tips for expressing your viewpoint in an effective manner. After that there are links below for additional relavent information and activities related to this topic- 

Build your viewpoint on facts – Anyone can have an opinion, however if you can base your views on credible facts and information it will be a lot more solid. Think of expressing your viewpoint like building a wall with each fact like a brick in the wall. The more bricks you have the more sturdy the wall. Building fact upon fact can be even more effective than scattering a bunch of information randomly

Nonverbal communication – Your volume, your tone, eye contact, posture and hand gestures can help make your opinion easier to follow and more persuasive if used correctly. Try to exhibit poise. (Poise - a dignified, self-confident manner: composure, stability)

Avoid absolutes – Words like “never” or always” can ruin the credibility of the point you may be trying to make. It is good to be specific rather than make sweeping generalizations

Respect – Avoid being offensive or insulting. Usually once you insult the person you are expressing yourself too that usually shuts down any hope of coming to an understanding.

Focus on building up rather than only tearing down – It can be useful to point out some reasons why you disagree with a belief or viewpoint. However, if all that you can bring to the table are reasons why you feel that other viewpoints are wrong but you cannot make a positive case as to what is good about your viewpoint then you really don’t have a leg to stand on. For example if you were in a discussion about why you thought one sports team was better than the other you need to be able to explain why you believe your team is good instead of only bringing out why you think the other team stinks.


Friday, October 5, 2018

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

At first, this saying may seem corny to some, especially those who remember that the saying “I love it when a plan comes together” originates with an old 1980’s TV show. Putting the television show aside, the actual phrase: “I love it when a plan comes together” is really very meaningful in day to day life. The saying itself is in contrast to Murphy’s Law, which states “If something can go wrong, it will”.

In spite of Murphy’s Law, things often do go just fine according to plan. The problem is that we may just tend to notice it more when things go wrong which makes it seem like if something can go wrong, it will. This is likely because of the strong emotions often tied to frustrating situations that tend to stand out thus giving the illusion that nothing ever seems to go right. If you have ever found yourself in a difficult situation saying to yourself something like: “I can’t believe this- this always happens to me” you can understand.

However, when we really take the time to focus on the positive that goes on day to day in life, it becomes evident that quite often when we face various challenges, we make a plan to address those circumstances, and our plan does work out effectively. If we take the time to really appreciate it when things do come together it can really help to cultivate a grateful attitude. Sometimes the timing of things is in our favor and other times the right person comes along and saves the day and sometimes we are in the right place at the right time. It often takes a grateful attitude to be able to appreciate that Murphy’s Law does not always turn out to be true. Rather, if we remain alert to and appreciative of the little things in life, we will start to notice those times when we can sit back, take a satisfying breath, and look back at what we’ve accomplished and say “I love it when a plan comes together”

Group Activity - Everyone in this room has personal examples of things that they do each day to make things come together as planned just the right way on a regular basis. This group activity is about focusing on the positives in life with a grateful viewpoint to recognize and really pay attention to and appreciate it when things go work out for the best.

Directions: Try to come up with at least one or more example in your own life when things worked out just the way you needed it too for each of the following topic areas. Some examples are provided to help get everyone started

Example 1 – (Work) “I was unemployed and going broke and couldn’t find a job anywhere when suddenly one day my Uncle called me and told me about an opening at his work and he could put a good word in for me. I took him up on the offer, got hired and I’ve been working there ever since!”

Example 2 – (Health) “I thought my life was never going to be the same again because of the health problems I was experiencing that no doctor could seem to help me with. Then one day I met someone at the bus stop and we started talking and she told me about a doctor who I started a new treatment with and I now I finally have been feeling so much better”

Now come up with your own personal examples as a group, where you can:






Health (Physical)

Health (Mental/Emotional)

Bad Habits/Addiction