Improve Communication Skills: Become An Engaged Listener

by: Tracey Fieber (reading – 4.1. - 10.1.)

At the outset, it seems so simple. Speak your mind. Let others know what you think. There is no room for misinterpretation or miscommunication. But the reality couldn't be more different. More often than not, what we want to convey is lost in translation. It results in us being misunderstood, a lot of frustration and unwanted negative energy. Therefore, effective communication is crucial, be it with your spouse, friends or colleagues. The good news is that almost anyone can improve their communication skills. There are various ways to do it but the most important of all is by becoming an engaged listener.

Why become an engaged listener?

For most people, communication is all about speaking. Not many realize that listening to the speaker is as important in forming an effective communication chain. There is a sea of a difference between a simple listener and an engaged listener. The former merely receives the words, information and context of the speaker; whereas the latter also takes into account the emotional value they are trying to communicate. An engaged listener can detect the slight variations in the speaker's voice and the intonations that underline his emotional state. This allows him to understand the true meaning of what the speaker is trying to communicate. This in turn can help you empathize and relate to the speaker in a better way, which will definitely set the right tone in your relationship.

So how do you become an engaged listener?

If you are genuinely interested in what a person is trying to say or you deeply care about the person in one way or the other, listening in an engaged manner comes naturally to you. For those of us with a fleeting attention span or who can't seem to get to the bottom of the speaker's minds, the below tips can go a long way in helping them be an engaged listener.

· Pay undivided attention to the speaker: You need to give your complete attention to the speaker; the words he speak, his subtle intonations, hand gestures, body language, his eyes and anything about him that is trying to convey one thing or the other. Chances are that if you take it all in carefully, you will find yourself falling in sync with the speaker very soon. If he is speaking too fast or is disoriented, try repeating the messages over in your head and put it all together to draw a logical conclusion.

· No interruptions: Most people have the unhealthy habit of interrupting a speaker and trying to narrate a similar experience they had. This not only breaks the speaker's rhythm, it will also check the natural flow of thought. The moment your mind starts going down memory lane in search of similar memories, it shows on your face and the speaker feels you are not interested in what he is saying.

· Display interest: Make sure you verbally and non-verbally egg on the speaker just to let him know you follow his train of thought. A simple smile or a facial expression every now and then can do the trick.

· Provide feedback: If you feel like you are losing the speaker, gently paraphrase what you have understood just to make sure both of you are on the right page. This will not only strengthen the trust he has on you, but also lets the speaker be more free and confident with you.

These above tips allow you to harness the power of engaged listening, thereby adding a new dimension to your relationships.

About The Author

Tracey Fieber

Article Source: www.EzineArticles.com/9208791

Simple Ways To Improve Memory

by: Alexanes Leeny (reading – 11.1. - 17.1.)

Are you seeking ways to Improve Memory? The human mind is undoubtedly a wonderful tool but memory is a skill that can only be cultivated with some practice and a lot of patience. Anyone wanting to improve memory can learn memory sharpening skills and problem solving techniques with only a little effort.

No one actually has "bad" memory. The problem is that people unknowingly end up developing bad memory habits as early as infancy itself. Because of bad recall habits, people often face problems during examinations, interviews and other circumstances that require efficient memory.

Many people believe that they possess a poor capacity to remember facts, information and experiences in life. However, many ways and techniques, which can be applied at any age, aid in memory improvement. In fact, improving memory is just a method of modulating certain personal habits in order to practice skills that can help in strengthening recall power.

If you are also looking for ways you can improve your memory then the best way to start is by visiting the improvememoryhub.com. By visiting this website, you will be able to draw the maximum advantage of the free memory improvements articles, videos and resources. The website features interactive and skilled audio techniques that can help those suffering with problems of memory loss.

Who would not like to sharpen his/her cognitive function and improve their ability to retain information? Memory improvement techniques are endless and it is very important to effectively navigate through these techniques so that life becomes even easier thereby increasing brainpower.

All of us know that neither memory loss nor the ability to improve memory is dependent on age. Regardless of your age, you can successfully improve your memory. Below are a few ways that can help you to improve your memory.

Proper Diet and Sleep

It is very important to have a highly nutritious diet that is rich in minerals and vitamins. Following a proper diet and adequate sleep is also extremely important. Both these things help to optimize learning abilities and keep the body healthy. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been proven to improve brain activity.

Stay Organized

Staying organized helps in reducing stress and simplifying life. Staying clutter free will help you get rid of trivial matters. You will be able to channel your mental energy and focus on things that are more important. Staying organized will also increase your ability to retain more information.

Exercise Your Brain

In order to function at a high level, our brain needs adequate exercise. It is extremely important to keep the brain active and give it enough opportunities to grow. You can involve yourself in crossword puzzles, Sudoku and in playing strategy games such as chess or checkers.

Use Brain Foods

According to studies, certain food items help in improving memory. Some of these items are grapes, apples, blueberries, onions, whole-grain puffed rice, spinach, curry, orange juice, nuts, dark leafy vegetables, fish and caffeine.

About The Author

For more information on how to improve memory, visit the site www.improvememoryhub.com . The website provides interactive and skilled audio techniques and memory articles that can help people of all ages sharpen their memory.

The author invites you to visit: www.improvememoryhub.com

Siena, Italy - Medieval Life and Horse Racing

by: Rick Chapo (reading – 18.1. - 24.1.)

Italy has many well-known travel destinations such as Rome. Less publicized destinations such as Siena are even better.


Located roughly an hour outside of Florence, Siena is one of my favorite places in Italy. When you think gothic architecture and medieval town, you think of Siena. Built as a fortified city behind large, thick walls on a small mountain, Siena oozes history. Cars are barred from much of the city, so you can meander down ancient brick alleyways below towering wall-to-wall residences.

In Siena, you'll find a relaxed way of life, two music schools and just a general feel of what Italy must have been like in the past. Head to the Piazza del Campo in the heart of the city and grab a seat in a café. As you gaze across the city, you can view the Duomo Cathedral that towers over the city. Unlike other cities, the cathedral does not contrast with the buildings around it. All of Siena retains the gothic medieval architectural style and you'll be hard pressed to find a better gothic example in Europe.

The best way to experience Siena is to simply stay there. Like wine, Siena improves the longer you stay. Daily explorations lead to surprising little shops, incredibly friendly people and a general feeling of peace.

Il Palio

If you prefer a little action on your trip, Siena has an event that rivals any in Europe. The Il Palio bareback horse race around the Piazza del Campo is a sight to be seen. The fun starts well before the race when various neighborhoods challenge each other. The challenge comes in the form of bands walking through "enemy" neighborhoods in the middle of the night and making an unholy racket. Eventually, each neighborhood produces a horse and rider for the day of the race. Bareback, the riders race for neighborhood pride among an absolutely screaming crowd of people. The running of the bulls has nothing on this event.

If you visit Florence while in Italy, take the time to spend a couple days in Siena. In fact, blow past Florence and go immediately to Siena.

About The Author

Rick Chapo

Rick Chapo is with www.nomadjournals.com - makers of writing journals. Travel journals are great travel accessories and travel gifts for student travel, family vacations and adventure travel. Visit www.nomadjournaltrips.com for more travel articles, travelogues and travel stories.

Free Attractions In Las Vegas

by: Andrea Ivey (reading – 25.1. - 31.1.)

Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the globe, has lots of free attractions for everyone. Famous for shopping, gambling, top notch restaurants, amusement and lively night life, Las Vegas is the 28th most densely populated city in the United States of America. You don't need to worry about your budget as the city offers lots of free things to do. You can enjoy lots of free attractions in Las Vegas that comprise great places, parks, museums, shows and much more.

The wide availability of free attractions in Las Vegas makes this superb, lively city a grand place to chill out without spending a fortune. If you are looking for free things to do in Las Vegas, this article will help you a lot. Some of top notch places to visit in Las Vegas for free or for a really cheap price are as follows:

Anderson Dairy

This grand place (Anderson Dairy) has been attracting tourists in addition to the city's inhabitants since 1907. At Anderson Dairy, you can enjoy guided trips of the plant without spending any money. In addition, you can also enjoy a delicious and yummy ice cream treat free of cost.

Marjorie Barrick Museum

Established in 1969, this antique repository offers opportunities to get familiar with the local cultures of the southwest US as well as Mesoamerica. From the survival arts of the Southern Paiute to the impressive and extravagant weaving of the Navajo and attractive monument of the Hopi, the displays aid the visitors to notify not only the charisma of objects but their individual and sacred importance.

Wetlands Park

This is an astonishing place for bird watching and leisure activities. The superb, astounding park is a home to numerous types of animals as well as birds. The Wetlands Park has on foot trails, secondary trails, ponds and bird seeing places.

Liberace Museum

Among free attraction in Las Vegas, Liberace Museum is one of the major attractions. This depositary demands a small entry charge. You can spend lots of time basking the surprises of this great place. The Museum has many things to exhibit comprising momentous pianos, traditional car compilation and exceptional antique works.

Circus Circus Casino

Enter the circus tent and get amused by free circus acts at Circus Circus Hotel and Casino. Beginning at 11:00 a.m. each day, you can enjoy some unmatched circus plays here. Performances consist of mid-air shows, swing performers and jocks. This is among one of the best free activities for kids in Las Vegas.

Arts District

Las Vegas's downtown Arts District is jam-packed with creative activities. This district has lots of artists' studios in addition to picture galleries. You need not pay any entry fee. It is open to everybody every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Apart from these attractions, Las Vegas has much more to offer for a budget friendly vacation.

About The Author

Andrea Ivey is a contributor on Shoestringspots.com, a website listing all free tourist spots, free things to do and see in your favorite cities in the US. Please visit www.shoestringspots.com and browse through hundreds of free attractions in US cities.

The author invites you to visit: www.shoestringspots.com