Most people aren’t surprised to hear that our team is full of avid readers given that we wrote and promote The ONE Thing along with this companion blog. We’re continuously scouring the Internet for interesting, insightful articles that can improve the way we live and work.
Recently we found three articles that each hit on an area of life we’re always trying to improve – relationships, work and health. They all offer solutions by answering the Focusing Question: “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” and were so good we just had to share them we our readers.
“How to Not Fight With Your Spouse When You Get Home From Work”
Harvard Business Review
Author: Ed Batista
Sometimes it’s difficult to let go of work stress when you get home. It’s easy for the day’s burdens to trickle into your personal relationships, which can cause all sorts of problems. According to Stanford Graduate School of Business instructor Ed Batista, the first 15 minutes of interaction with your spouse can set the tone for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, if you’re stressed out, this initial interaction usually won’t go so well.
In the article “How to Not Fight With Your Spouse When You Get Home From Work”
Mr. Batista outlines three key reasons for the disconnection that causes fights between working couples. He also offers suggestions on how to make the initial interaction more positive. Improving this ONE Thing could make your relationship more supportive rather than combative.
“Listening to People”
Harvard Business Review
Authors: Ralph G. Nichols and Leonard A. Stevens
Listening is a skill we aren’t really taught in school like we are reading and writing – it’s something that we’re just expected to do. That’s the main line of thought in Ralph G. Nichols and Leonard A. Stevens’ bluntly titled article “Listening to People”. It’s a wonderful in-depth look at why people miss so much information while they’re listening and the negative impact it has on effective communication.
The authors discuss assumptions that keep listening skills off the classroom curriculum. They believe lack of training and focus in this skill sets students up for failure when they’re out in the real world processing information through verbal communication.
“Listening to People” also highlights the fact that without effective communication your business is at a serious disadvantage. About half of this article is dedicated to explaining how poor listening skills are impacting businesses. The concept of upward communication alone makes this article a great read.
Even if you’re long past your school days you can still improve your listening skills. Nichols and Stevens note that more schools, universities and businesses are beginning to utilize courses in listening training. They also provide a list of ways people can improve their ability to listen and retain the information they hear. The emphasis is put on correcting bad habits that wrongly encourage hearing instead of truly listening.
“Be Kind Unwind: How Helping Others Can Help Keep Stress in Check”
National Public Radio (NPR)
Author: Vanessa Rancano
We’ve discussed the health risks of stress before, but it’s a topic that bears repeating. Stress can cause a dangerous domino effect that triggers a host of physical, mental and emotional problems. And it can happen anytime, anywhere – at work, at home or even on vacation.
Unlike some other health issues, stress is something that we do have a degree of control over. One very effective way of keeping stress in check is to help others. That’s the gist of “Be Kind Unwind: How Helping Others Can Help Keep Stress in Check”. Earlier this month we talked about ways you can get involved in your community. As author Vanessa Rancano points out it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
As more research is conducted to help dissect stress and ways to manage it, doing good deeds continuously ranks as one of the most effective solutions. Rancano highlights some of the latest studies as well as how altruism can reduce stress in both the short-term and long-term. Humans have a natural inclination to care for others, and experts now believe those psychological factors are influential in the physiology of stress.
It’s worth noting that new research on childhood stress is causing concern among health experts. Studies show children internalize their parent’s stress more than previously realized, and stress in childhood makes kids more susceptible to chronic diseases as an adult. It’s time we start minimizing stress for our own health and for the people around us.
Have you read any interesting articles lately? Tell us about them in the comments section or share them on Facebook.