Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How to be Emotionally Intelligent -Part 1

by Lester Rennard

For the next several postings, I will be sharing my thoughts and information on the subject of emotional intelligence. I have been fascinated by the concept and in my exploration of the meaning, application and the positive difference it makes when incorporated into ones philosophy and way of life, I've discovered some insights that are enlightening.

In this segment, I will only introduce the concept and will venture into more details as the series continues. I was first introduced to the concept of emotional intelligence by someone I met while we both were participating in an instructional training program for teaching negotiation at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He had chosen the subject of emotional intelligence as the focus of his dissertation for the completion of his doctoral studies.

At times between lectures and at lunch, we would discuss his journey into his research, understanding and application of this concept that when personally applied can positively transform ones self-awareness and relationships. As a life-long student of relationship improvement ideas, techniques and skills, I was hooked. I have since read much on the subject including one of the best books available, "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Coleman.

What is emotional intelligence about? It is about mastering the art of managing the emotional aspects of relationships in such ways as to achieve positive outcomes. It includes relationships of all kinds such as intimate, family, social, professional and business. It starts with developing ones own awareness and management of self. It then leads to the development of skills that will allow one to gain an insight and awareness of the emotions that influence the behaviors of others and how to manage those emotions to improve relationships, engender cooperation and enhance productivity.

I invite you to take this journey with me that I promise will lead to the destination of a better understanding of yourself and others and improvements in all your relationships.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to the Heart to Heart Communication blog. My sabbatical has ended and I intend to resume regular postings. A year has certainly gone by very quickly and I hope for you that it was a very successful one.

I will start by introducing a series on one of my favorite subjects - "Emotional Intelligence".

The first posting on the series will be on March 25. I trust you will find it as fascinating as I do.

Yours for a successful 2008 - Lester Rennard

Monday, January 29, 2007


Please take notice that I will be taking a sabbatical from this blog from February 2007 to February 2008. I will resume sometime in March 2008. This is a long sabbatical but a year will go by very quickly.

I trust that all readers will have a very successful year. I'll see you in 2008!

Lester Rennard

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Benefits And Value Of Spirituality

by Lester Rennard

As the business of living becomes more complex, uncertain and unpredictable, there is an increasing interest being shown in the benefits of pursuing and adopting spiritual values. Even among those who do not profess a commitment to any particular religious way of life, many are beginning to investigate the benefits of spirituality.

The threat posed by global terrorism, global warming, uncertain economic conditions, dwindling natural resources, population explosion among the poor, civil unrest, war, diseases, atrocities and other problems for which there are very few solutions, creates a state of insecurity that reminds us that we are humanly incapable of solving the problems of our present world without some form of supernatural intervention. It has become obvious that if these conditions continue the way they are without any change, we may end up destroying ourselves by our failure to take care of the health of this planet we call home.

Feeling helpless and vulnerable, many people who otherwise would give no credence to spirituality are coming to grips with the need for a power greater than themselves. They are looking for peace and a sense of security in knowing that the Creator and Designer of this planet has not abandoned us to our own self-destructive ways. By pursuing a spiritual path, one may develop confidence in knowing that the God of the universe is actively engaged in the affairs of our lives. This confidence produces hope and hope removes the paralyzing fear that steals our joy and robs us of that inner peace that is so essential for our sense of being.

When we build our lives on a solid foundation to include an acknowledgment of the reality of the spiritual dimension, we reserve for ourselves the benefit of obtaining direction for our lives. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we must admit that deep down within us is a 'spiritual vacuum' that can not be filled with anything other than that which connects us with God. We may acquire all the material things our hearts desire and have access to all the pleasures around us, but will always end up feeling empty, unfulfilled and alone if we neglect to address the spiritual vacuum within us.

Another important value of engaging ourselves spiritually is that it helps to remove us from our natural self-centered way of life. We are naturally inclined to thinking only of ourselves and to make our self-interest the center of just about everything we do. When we engage ourselves spiritually, we are able to see the bigger picture and to recognize that it is indeed bigger than 'me'. We are enlightened to see ourselves, individually, as a very minute but nonetheless significant part of the great cosmos in which we each have a purpose for being. We are endowed with resources of talents, gifts and uniqueness that are designed to be employed for the advancement and blessing of humanity and not just for personal gain and accomplishments.

To the extent that we engage ourselves in serving the great cause of humanity and endeavoring to leaving the world a better place than we found it, is the extent to which we find true fulfillment and joy in living. It is only as we subscribe to the practice of thinking and doing beyond ourselves, influenced by connecting to our spiritual Source, that we will understand the value of this philosophical and practical way of conducting the affairs of our lives.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

How to Cope With The Negative Forces Around You

by Lester Rennard

If you live in the real world, as I believe you do, you are constantly bombarded by negative forces in the form of circumstances, individuals and even your own conscious and subconscious thoughts that seek to rob you of your sense of peace, hope and security. You may be a very positive person by nature but if you continue to expose yourself long enough to the onslaught of these negative forces, you may find sooner than later that you yourself may become infected by this deadly virus and start becoming a carrier.

It is a truism that misery likes company and those who are missionaries of everything that is negative take delight in infecting everyone around them who allow themselves to be swept away by their specious and well crafted venom. Since they do not have any appetite for anything positive, those who engage themselves in such attitudes are constantly on the prowl in search of new victims to infect with their deadly poison. Like wolves in sheep's clothing, these individuals may be found with their traps set at the water cooler on the job, in the locker room at the gym, at the other end of the telephone, in the pew next to you at your place of worship and even behind the closed door of that sanctuary you call home.

As difficult as it may be when you might be the kind of person who tries to avoid hurting someone else's feelings, it is imperative, to save yourself from becoming a victim, that you stop the negative person in his or her track when their radar is trained on you. Like the serpent in Eden that deceived Eve, those who are purveyors of negativity such as the ones who delight in assassinating the characters of others in an effort to undermine, are usually crafty in their approach. They will use winsome charm and charisma to disarm you and to make you think that they have arrived to cater to your interest and wellbeing. Their next move when you have bitten on their bait is to work at desensitizing you to their true intent and when you have finally relaxed your guard, they will slowly but surely introduce their venom into your system while you remain pervious to its deadly effect.

Be kind but firm in your resolve to put such individuals on notice that you will not allow yourself to become a receptor of that which they are offering. Explain the fact that you have chosen to dwell on those things that are positive and of good report. Demonstrate your right not to listen to that which is not uplifting or ennobling. Do your diligence to appeal to something more virtuous in such individuals and direct their attention to a higher value. By taking this approach, you may not become popular but you will retain your sense of peace, joy and self-respect.

If the negative bombardments you face are in the form of the circumstances and vicissitudes of your life, an effective way of coping while retaining your joy and peace is to seek for ways to transform these circumstances into that which can be to your benefit. While it is easier said than done, we may all learn valuable lessons from the negative circumstances of our lives if we alter our attitudes and expectations and seek to discover these moments of learning among the rubble that our lives may appear to be. As the saying goes, when life hands you a lemon you can always choose to turn it into lemonade - and who does not enjoy a refreshing drink of lemonade!

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Greatest Gift A Boy Desires From His Father

by Lester Rennard

What boy growing up with a loving, caring, dependable and responsible dad does not want to grow up to be just like his dad? For such a lad, dad is the symbol of strength and security and the one who can do anything and can do no wrong. In fact, this perception of dad also influences the youngster's perception of God since dad is his 'father on earth' and God is his 'Father in Heaven'.

For the dad who is unknown, absent or who exists in name only, the experience for a young boy without the positive influence of a father can be disconcerting. A boy has a natural desire to speak proudly of his dad. He wants his peers to know that his dad is better than their dads, makes more money than their dads, can do anything better than their dads and can even fight with their dads and win. When others are boasting about their dads and he does not have one to brag about, this experience is crushing for a young boy.

A boy growing up with his father gets his lessons on what it means to be a man from his dad. Whatever example his father models before him will have far reaching implications for what he becomes as a man. His sense of identity is carved from what he perceives of his dad and during the formative years of his life when he is very impressionable, a boy learns to absorb the lessons of manhood that his father models before him.

If the experience with his father is positive and uplifting, a lad will have a solid foundation upon which to build his life and identity as a man. The love, respect and caring attitude that he observes displayed toward his mother will establish a positive frame of reference for him in later years in his relationships with women and eventually how he treats the one female that he chooses as his life's partner. If a father is uncaring, irresponsible, abusive and disloyal, he is actually reinforcing within the impressionable subconsciousness of his son that to be a man, these are the qualities he must adopt.

A boy who grows up in a home where his father abandons the family or is an absentee dad will have a difficult time relating positively to God as a caring Father as he grows up to become an adult. Without the role model of a father, he is predisposed to growing up and becoming himself an absentee father who may abandon his own offspring. He may only be spared from continuing the cycle of his own childhood experience by intentionally making choices to not repeat the sins of his father.

With the influences that a dad has on his son so crucial for how he may turn out to be as an adult male, it is imperative that a father be consciously mindful of his own example that he models before his boy. Since a boy looks to his father as the source for his identity as a man, the greatest gift that he desires from his father is for him to model by example what it means to be a strong, compassionate and responsible man; a caring, dependable and available father and a loving, kind and faithful husband.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

by Lester Rennard

No doubt you have heard these words, 'Happy New Year!' many times over since the stroke of midnight for most or at sunset Sunday evening for a few others. To all those who regularly read these postings and those who occasionally stumble across it, I wish you a successful and prosperous 2007 as you venture out in faith to accomplish your goals and purpose.

For those for whom 2006 was extremely challenging, I encourage you to learn the valuable lessons it brought and without lingering too long to dwell on all the negative experiences that tried your souls, move on to greater heights of victories and success as you move forward with each new day of 2007. Sure, there will be challenges to encounter and victories to win but they are part of the ingredients of which life is made and should be confronted with grace.

With a positive attitude, wise planning, good opportunities, right choices, action and perseverance , there is every prospect that your plans will be successful. I expect this year to be the best ever. I trust that you too may share this sentiment.