Tag Archives: listening

The Classic Pamela Positive: Start By Listening

 

“My goal is to extract a design that emerges from the essence of the music rather than to decorate its story…   This process usually takes two to three months of immersing myself in the opera by listening to it 200 to 300 times.”

– Jun Kaneko

 

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Master designer Jun Kaneko provides the design for the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Magic Flute…and what a powerful way he envisages how to create this vision for us all. It’s synergistic, based on pulling all elements together and starting with one of the most important qualities… listening.

 

couple drinking coffee inside coffee shop

 

No matter your profession, you can be a good listener today. You might listen to the preschool kids you manage. You might listen to your elderly dog that would like a nice tummy rub. You might listen to your neighbor who asked you to trim the tree so it doesn’t hang over his property. Or you might create an amazing work of art such as Jun Kaneko through The Magic Flute. While his work seems supra-important, every person’s effort to listen is just as important.  

 

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If we listened and did this for hours like Jun, everyone would be happy. Relationships with people would be lovely.

The World Can Be Lovely If We Will Just Listen,

Pamela


Jun Kaneko is a Japanese-American visual artist, with sculptures and other artwork in more than 50 museums. He has previously worked on opera productions for Madama Butterfly and Fidelio. His works in clay explore the effects of repeated abstract surface motifs. He was the Production Designer for the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, which opened in June 2012.

Kaneko is married to sculptor Ree Kaneko who is also an American artist, arts administrator, and art consultant from Omaha, Nebraska. The couple first met when Ree attended a workshop on Ceramic Sculpture with Tony Hepburn, held June 8–14, 1981, at the Omaha Brickworks. They have two daughters, Susan Schonlau and Troia Schonlau, from a prior marriage. Both daughters work at the Kankeo Studio

Bio Source: Wikipedia  Fig¹. Photo by Scott Drickey on ipa  Fig². Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash  Fig³. Photo by  Juri Gianfrancesco on Unsplash

Global Business: Build Your Global Business By Listening

 

So you are building a business. That’s wonderful!

One of the most important things we can do when we build, is to Listen. Listening helps us understand what our clients need. It tells us what we can produce that is of value. And it shows that we care.

This is even more important when we are working with people all over the world. 

 

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Respect the person, the culture, and their local community. To do so is to honor the unique wisdom and presence they bring to the world. You will then build the best product, and build the best team, for the world. 

 

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In addition, Listening, and striving to understand other people, is the right thing to do. When you honor people and their local customs, they will want to work with you. And, you will love working with them!  Listening is mirrored in Respect, which is a type of “business bliss.”

Of course, this opens your business up to new opportunities.

 

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So it’s not just another day at work today. Look forward to positive work because you are a good leader, a good listener, and care about listening carefully each moment.

 

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Then, it’s not work, but;

meaningful communication,

a meaningful product,

a meaningful team,

a meaningful life,

moment by moment.

Listen to attain your business bliss!

 

Woman Sitting on Gray Chair

 

Listening Is Bliss,

Pamela

 


Fig¹. Photo by fauxels on Pexels  Fig². Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels  Fig³. Photo by Lucas on Pexels  Fig⁴. Photo by bruce mars on Pexels  Fig⁵. Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels

The Classic Pamela Positive: “What’s Important To You Is Important To Me”

 

“What’s important to you is important to me.”

 

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This is one of my favorite statements. It helps me understand and sincerely care about others. When we truly listen to our family, friends, partners, team mates, improv players, then we can really hear…what’s important.

Sometimes it might be a clean kitchen. For others, it might be taking the dog for a walk or getting the car cleaned. Or it might be that you showed up at your daughter’s gymnastics recital. And sometimes, sitting down and listening to your boyfriend, while not multitasking and cleaning the dishes at the same time, maybe the biggest sign of attention. It can even be as small as keeping your desk clean at work because you know it inspires your manager.

 

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The point is, we all fall into habits. These habits are what are most comfortable, and convenient, for us. They are our priorities. But they are not necessarily important to others. Instead, we need to take a look at what motivates others.

So even if we can live with a messy desk, if we know the manager is inspired to see an ordered workspace, then we can try to rise to that new standard. If it bothers our companion that we’re doing something else while he’s talking about a serious issue, then we need to stop and sit down, and give our undivided attention. If it makes a difference to our mom that we check the stove one more time before we leave the kitchen, then we make her feel cared for, and can do it again.

 

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These are the small and important ways that we can let someone know they are important to us.

It’s the Substance of what builds or breaks down any relationship.

Many of us have felt that overwhelmingly warm feeling when someone does something for us… It specifically hits our hearts. “Ah…how grateful I am that they took out the recycling! I love an ordered home…” It’s something that puts you at peace. And that positive energy allows you to give more.

 

brown wooden panel with white heart

 

“What’s Important to You is Important to Me.”

What a beautiful way to live…


Fig¹. Aman Shrivastava on Unsplash  Fig². Brooke Cagle on Unsplash  Fig³. Michael Browning on Unsplash  Fig⁴. Jamez Picard on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: What’s in a Conversation…Who Will You “Turn Towards” Today?

 

The word to conversehas morphed to mean using words or talking.

But what it meant at inception was to “turn towards one another.”

 

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First, it was designed to delve more deeply into a truth of some sort. To learn more, explore, care. It was also to find commonalities amongst people.

Yet even more importantly, it means we turn to one another with our full attention. With care, with sincere interest, even a them-onlyfocus. To converse, then, is actually one of the greatest signs of respect we can provide someone.

 

Two Woman Doing Exercise

 

Who will you turn towardstoday?

Turning Towards You,

Pamela


Fig¹. Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash  Fig². Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels

The Classic Pamela Positive: What Motivates?

 

I had an hour and a half long conversation with a Dukie the other day, who pushed me to answer new questions! I love those conversations as they are so real and help us become better people, teachers, and learners.

Sinclair’s question was,

 

“You have a certain energy that inspires and drives people to action. How do you cultivate it, and how do you maintain it?”

 

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I don’t think there’s any surefire answer here. But here’s what I said:

“Dear Sinclair,

What a lovely question to ask, and one that is important for all of us. First, I will say that I find you equally motivating. It’s just that we have different personalities. For example, I might be more enthusiastically inspired, but you are more quietly and grounded inspired. Thus we are drawn together, as I might bring a higher energy and you bring a special stillness. Does that make sense?”

Sinclair, there are many different types of leadership. Just because someone seems more extroverted and external with it, doesn’t mean that’s the only type of leadership. Leadership can be about quietness, about listening, and even about knowing when to pause. To be a great leader, you need to master all communication skills, which include when to speak, how to speak, what the tone is, and when not to speak. It also includes body language, and most importantly, it includes your inner values and soul.

“So how then do you stay authentic with who you are?”

The words authenticity and transparency comes up a lot these days, and I appreciate it. As we become more oriented around machines, computers, iPads, phones, and the social media explosion of Vine, no Vine, Instagram, Snapchat—it disappears, Pinterest—Facebook—Twitter—former Friendster; it becomes very confusing. Our identities need to be aligned. So here’s what I do, and it’s a constant quest every day. Leadership isn’t something you attain and let go. Leadership is something you believe in, live, and maintain. That’s what makes life so exciting!

Remember these tips are only from me. You might find that other people have a different view. In order to stay authentic, I keep my priorities very clear. I know that my life calling is to be the best Pamela Hawley I can be, not just to deliver the best UniversalGiving®. Therefore, I have to take a higher view than just my profession, my job, or even a calling. Even with a calling, you still have to put your identity and your values first. So how do I do that? First, you need to know that UniversalGiving® comes third in my life. Yes, that’s right. As much as I love it, as much as it is my calling and not a job, it comes third in my life. So I’m going to be pretty naked here, and let you know how my life works.

 

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Priorities:

#1. God, Love, and/or Nature

I believe in a governing force of good for our universe. That means our universe is run based on certain principles that are loving, kind, and filled with integrity. Some people call that God, some people call it Love (it’s not just human love), and some people may relate to it as nature. The point is that there is a law of options going on in the universe that allows for the greatest good to occur. It’s our job to hook into it, work with it, and accelerate as much good as we can in our lifetimes. That will then pass onto others and reflect the true goodness that exists in this universe.

 

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Our foundation of the world and ourselves is based on goodness, and we need to pay more attention to that, rather than all of the nuisances, annoyances, negative suggestions, negative thoughts, and challenging interactions we have with personalities. You can make that a huge part of reality or you can go back to your view of a loving universe, and make that your focus. So you have to train your mind and heart, in God or Love, every day, every moment.

 

#2. Family (…and Friends)

Family is absolutely essential. It’s where we attain a sense of peace, grounding, and comfort. I know for myself, I grew up with a mom who baked me chocolate chip cookies, sat with me after school in second grade, and listened to me. We did workbooks together, we talked about life, and I felt she was always there for me. To this day, if I call her, ninety percent of the time she picks up the phone; she’s present. She’s family, and she’s my grounding, as are many other members of my family.

 

family of five standing near trees during daytime

 

Family extends into many areas. For example, with my nephews and nieces, I was fortunate enough to take care of them many Saturday nights when they were growing up. I got them at the “meltdown” phase at around 3 o’clock and spent the night. I learned a lot! I bonded with them in ways I cannot even imagine. Today? I just called Connor, my 17-year-old nephew, to congratulate him on his soccer game. Maybe not so many teenagers would pick up their aunt’s call, but he does, and we have a conversation even if he’s in the middle of building a creative project for school. We just have that connection.

I really don’t see the point in life of being this major “success” if you don’t have that family to share it with. A family to inspire you, a family that you inspire. And with that, there’s a sense of peace. You know where you come from, you know what your values are, and when the world gets too heavy, you can go home to that values, whether that’s in a physical structure, or in your heart. It’s irreplaceable.

 

man and woman holding their daughter

 

Equally important are friends. Those friends are absolutely a part of your family network. I have friends with whom I have standing weekly or monthly meetings. For example, my “second moms” are women who were a very important part of my life growing up. I have monthly or quarterly lunches set up with them. I don’t want to take them for granted and just see them at the holiday party. I want to know how they are, hear how they are, and support them as they have supported me. It’s a true, ongoing relationship rather than a once-a-year fond remembrance.

 

photo of woman beside another woman at seashore

 

#3. UniversalGiving®

I don’t have a job—I have a calling! Every day I get up, I love what I do. I love being a social entrepreneur, and I love serving the world. I love volunteering, and I love helping scale the fact that thousands of other people can volunteer. So for me, it’s just a constant flow of doing good for the world, and helping my team do that, as well as reach their best. In summary, UniversalGiving helps people donate and volunteer in hundreds of countries across the world.

 

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Within that, I also rope in my volunteer events. I’m a consistent volunteer at City Impact, helping in the Tenderloin with everything from passing out food, doing apartment visits, to preparing Thanksgiving meals. I’m also a C.A.S.A., a Court-Appointed Special Advocate, which is a legal advocate for foster care youth who are often on the street. You work with them on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis to make sure they have food, housing, a listening ear, eyeglasses, job training, and whatever they might need. Many of them have had little or no training or modeling their entire life, so a lot of what you do also works on just helping them with social skills, and teaching them how to survive in the world.

 

#4. Improv

How I love improv! And you might think, “Well, how does this tie into the rest?” Improv is an incredible joy. It allows you to connect with your fellow actors on stage, and to be a true partner.

 

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It requires great creativity and quick thinking. It equally requires great listening and taking the back seat. It’s about sharing.

It’s about building. It’s about creating a scene from nothing. And in order to do that, you have to have absolute trust with your partner.

And isn’t that what life is? Sometimes you have to respond immediately, you always have to listen, and you need to be a great friend or partner in life—whether that’s in business, a marriage, or a friendship. So it actually synergizes. But even if it doesn’t, it’s so much fun! You should have things like that in your life, that seem opposite to everything else you do. As my oma, one of the greatest flutists in our generation, and the first woman at Juilliard for flute said, “You need to get out there and kick up your heels once in awhile!” She was an extremely hard-worker and helped support her family during the depression. Her point was, get out there and dance. Get out there and have fun. Work hard and yet, live a little.

 

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So, Sinclair, I’m not sure this fully answered your question, but this is how I try to maintain my true self and identity in life. Thank you for asking such an important question, and I hope this helps you in your journey!


Fig¹.  Photo by Ben White on Unsplash  Fig². Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash  Fig³. Photo by Mark Koch on Unsplash Fig⁴. Photo by Blake Barlow on Unsplash Fig⁵. Photo by Jeniffer Araújo on Unsplash  Fig⁶. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash  Fig⁹. Photo by Andrew Rice on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: Give Your Mom a Smile

 

I am very fortunate to have the most wonderful mother.

She is a devoted wife, a loving mother, a supreme grandmother, and beloved by all.

Mom and I often have our “catch-up time” on the family room couch, just to talk about life. We sit with our sweet labrador dog (at that time sleepy-sweet and ready to go to bed).

 

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It’s one of my favorite things to simply listen to and share with my mom. Often we go over positives, a funny incident, or something that needs praying.

My mom is incredibly understanding. She has a loving heart, a listening heart. Ever-present for her children and her family, it’s her number one call in life. And that’s despite being an amazing, successful musician. She has it all — but in a balanced way. I find it a model for myself and how I would like to live.

So I’ve got something I am working on that I can give to my mom. I’d like to Give My Mom a Smile.

 

smiling couple kissing during daytime

 

When people are very understanding we have a tendency to open up to them…they are compassionate, present and listening. Which means it’s an easy thing to do!

Families are beautiful in how they give to each other. They cheer you on and help you when you are down. There’s nothing wrong with that, as family should be there for us as we are for them. Still, I’d like to be thoughtful about sharing the challenges. 

Here’s the reason why. My mother has done so much for me, and I want to give her that gift back. And one of the best ways to do that, is to give her joy.

 

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Your mother loves you and wants the best for you. Moms are ready to help their children with anything they need and that includes a listening ear. But they also want you to be happy.

And they are happy when you are happy.

 

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So what can you do to increase your mom’s happiness?

The next time you have a challenge, could you approach it a different way? Why not find another source?

Could you…

…quiet your mind

…go to a movie

…get a massage

…take a nap

…reason through the positives

…pray

…meditate?

What could you do to rest your heart and come back to

Give Your Mom A Smile?

Our mothers have done so much for us. One way we can do something for them is to show them we are happy. Let’s work on this today, Give Your Mother A Smile.


Fig¹. Photo by Mitchell Griest on Unsplash  Fig². Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash  Fig³. Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash  Fig⁴. Photo by Thiago Cerqueira on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: Build Your Global Business by Listening

 

So you are building a business. That’s wonderful!

One of the most important things we can do when we build, is to Listen. Listening helps us understand what our clients need. It tells us what we can produce that is of value. And it shows that we care.

This is even more important when we are working with people all over the world. When getting involved internationally, it’s even more important to listen to others. Respect the person, the culture, and their local community. To do so is to honor the unique wisdom and presence they bring to the world. You will then build the best product, and build the best team, for the world. 

 

People Having Meeting

 

In addition, Listening, and striving to understand other people, is the right thing to do. When you honor people and their local customs, they will want to work with you. And, you will love working with them!  Listening is mirrored in Respect, which is a type of “business bliss.”

Of course, this opens your business up to new opportunities.

So it’s not just another day at work today. Look forward to positive work because you are a good leader, a good listener, and care about doing so each moment. Then, it’s not work, but meaningful communication, a meaningful product, a meaningful team, a meaningful life, moment by moment.  Listen to attain your business bliss!

 

Woman Sitting on Gray Chair

 

Listening Is Living,

Pamela

 


Fig¹.Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels

Fig².  Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels