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Archive for August 25th, 2008

        It may just be a bit presumptious to say so…but, i think that there are so many people who are dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic parties that we are going to see something that i tagged as a DemoPublican.  That is to say, that people’s value systems lie somewhere in the middle of these two parties that have become so out of touch with their constituents.  Alot of conversations that take a political turn tend to reflect the consensus that people are unhappy with the choices.  The reasons for that statement are varied.  Some don’t like the personality, or the past mistakes, or the perceived lack of experience…on and on.  That is not new to this particular election..that is always the case to a certain degree; people pick the person with who they consider will do the country the least amount of harm and promote the most positive changes possible.

         In this particularily historic Presidential election; people have  been trying to come to terms with issues that have plagued our country and tried to find the alignment within the party that they most closely associate themselves with.  That has become harder and harder to do with the economic reality that faces our nation; not to mention, constantly changing boundaries relating to levels of personal privacy as it has been invaded on the pretext of safeguarding our country in matters of national security.  Add into that mish-mash the polarization of voters applying personal religious belief systems towards determining which candidate to vote for.  Many people are conflicted on that issue; which candidate’s actions most closely reflect their own belief systems. 

          There are so many issues that have not even begun to be addressed by the candidates that it is a little worrisome.  Issues that demand addressing include things such as joblessness, homelessness, health care, education reform, addressing issues that impact the banking systems, transportation systems, homeland security, terrorism, how to provide and manage energy costs and concerns, etc.  These are the issues that people care about and base their votes on…not which celebrity gives them a personal endorsement or what music the candidate listens to; come on…get real and deal with the things that matter!

         Underneath those issues, runs a very heated debate about who should have been the Democratic nominee; experience or the lack of is important.  When Florida and Michigan delegate votes were discounted…this changed the course of the competition between Sen. Barack Obama.  There has been a strong battle between supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.  The split has been protracted and continues today…going into the Democratic National Convention this weekend.  Even some of the speakers have privately expressed unhappiness with the process; such as Bill Clinton, former President of the United States.  He says after the election he will speak his piece; of that, i have no doubt.  Sen. Hillary Clinton…now, I can’t even imagine how much pressure she is under.  She wanted to be in the place that Sen. Barack Obama is now standing; barring that…she, i am sure would have been happy to be his running mate…that did not happen. 

           How difficult it must be to stand up there and promote unity in the party when i am sure….that has to be the last thing she wants to do is encourage support for Mr. Obama.  Add into the drama, all of the “celebrity” endorsements that Sen. Obama is getting and it is turning into a bit of a 3 ring circus.  Today there was a report on a CNN research poll that said since picking Sen. Joe Biden… the run for the Presidency has become tied at 47% between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama…compared to percentages that showed Sen. Obama in the lead with 51%, just last month.

         Everyone has an opinion on how this will play out.  Some attempts have been made calling for unity in the Democratic party…but, there is great unhappiness still under the surface.  Those that thought Sen. Hillary Clinton should have been the front runner, then fully expected Sen. Barack Obama should give her due consideration for the position of his running mate.  When it became obvious that she was passed over; and, he chose Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate those who felt slighted have pledged to vote for Sen. Obama’s competitor Sen. John McCain. 

           The Republican party has to get out their position on the issues as well.  We dont need to see a few months of showboating by either of the candidates…we need to get down to the nitty gritty and quit wasting everyone’s time on surface nonsense.

          There is much work to do on both the Republican and the Democratic side to convince voters that the person that they choose to cast their vote for is deserving and capable.  In the meantime, DemoPublicans are going to be the deciding factor in this election…God help us all to make the correct choice, without compromising the things that are most important.

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        There has been alot of rumors and pre-season buzz about who is going to be on Dancing With The Stars this season…however, this morning the actual “stars” were announced on Good Morning America.  This season has an unprecedented 13 dancing hopefuls.

         The announcement included, Susan Lucci from soap opera All My Children, Warren Sapp a former foot ball player, comedian Jeffrey Ross, Maurice Greene an sprinter, singer Lance Bass, Rocco Dispirito a chef, Kim Kardashian celebrity daughter of Kris and Bruce Jenner (former Olympian), singer Toni Braxton, Cody Linley from Hannah Montanna, Cloris Leachman an actress, Ted McGinley an actor, Brooke Burke an actress, and Misty May Treanor a professional volley ball player.

          It should be an interesting season as always!  The 3 night season opener begins on September 22 at 8 pm.  Happy Watching!

 

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        Have you ever been in a situation where you were won over to another person’s opinion…allowing them to convince you to their way of thinking?  Maybe your original opinion was wrong in the first place; but if not, how were they able to change your mind; have you ever wondered?

         Of course, most of us have an opinion about the things that go  on around us.  Have you ever found yourself in the position of having catapulted over to another person’s way of doing things; when you really wanted to do them differently in the first place?  Why did you allow their will to trump your own?  Was their way of doing things better…or were they just more persuasive?

          It is an interesting thing to think about.  Did you give more value to their opinion than your own?  What convinced you that they were right, and your thoughts or opinions were less right?  Often it is persistent persuasion, combined with perceived superior credibility.  You know your own faults and mistakes…but, you do not know those of the other person quite as readily; giving them the advantage of a certain level of confidence, that you do not automatically give your own opinion. 

          If you are a person that often feels resentment because others seem to get their way; and, your way is often not the chosen path; you need to think about why that happens.  Do you express yourself well?  Do you listen to all of the facts respectfully and then verbalize your opinion in a fair way, with a pleasant tone of voice?  Are you easily led by the firm voice of others, into doubting your own opinion?  These are issues that are important to the daily bump and grind in life, business, families and organizations. 

         If you tend to err on the side of giving more weight to the opinions of others, you need to evaluate where that comes from.   Knowing what you think and believe; and understanding why you hold those opinions, is key.  If you firmly believe that you are in the right, your opinion can be backed up with facts or figures; and, you learn how to present your voice in a confident and respectful way…others will listen.  Present the large and small picture, put things in perspective, use examples that re-inforce your beliefs, validate your opinion with evidence or a precedence that will apply to the situation.

         Sometimes it is important to find common ground where both sides of a discussion or issue can be met.  From that point on, listening is very important.  Listen to the other side of the issue or discussion before stating your opinion.   When you do express yourself, do it in a manner that is open to some give and take; or, compromise.  People who become entrenched in getting their own way, simply for the sake of getting their own way…often don’t. 

         If common ground can be achieved and there are degrees to which an issue can be decided…you have a better chance of convincing others to agree to your way of thinking.  If you can convince one or two other people to agree with you…often, you will start to see a shift in the direction of a group.  Persuading another person or two, begins to show validity to your way of thinking.  Some people may still personally hold a different opinion privately; but, what starts to happen is, that they are persuaded to hold an opinion that is influenced by the majority opinion.  This is effective impact.

         Often, you will see an organization or business use a celebrity or a powerful person who already has credibility in a certain area to give a testimony.  This is also called social proof…that is, harnessing that person’s value as a spokesperson because their opinion has valuable impact that can influence others.  If a group, business, or organization gets a famous person who shares their passionate message to endorse them…they are more likely to persade others or inspire them to their believe their message. 

         That is powerful, and that is why you see advertisers using the most famous powerful person that they can get on their public relations team; you even see it in politics.  Think about recent developments with Sen. Barack Obama…whether you believe in his ability to lead or not…you certainly have seen the star power that has been attached to his campaign.  There have been many celebrities who have given their “testimony” about their belief that he should be President…in fact, media analysts have given mention in the news to the Oprah factor regarding his campaign.  Oprah’s opinions carry alot of weight with some voters…she brings alot of persuasion to the table.

         Influencing a group in this way, needs to be done in a way that is ethical and honest.  Forcing others to your way of thinking can backfire and cause great harm if you are malicious minded.  Think of those who use gossip or rumor to negatively affect persons, or groups of people.  No one wins in that situation and bad feelings are created; leaving everyone involved with a negative impression.

         If you use the process of persuasion…and you are doing it in an ethical way…you will start to find that people will gravitate towards supporting your business, issue, or organization.  Being persistent in stating your opinion or issue is important to getting others to support that issue.  The more people who are pursuaded or convinced, the more that word of mouth spreads the opinion, it becomes viral; and, it becomes more credible to those who have not heard it, or been previously convinced. 

          If your goal of persuasion is to get people to take action…then effective persuasion is a must.  Ken McArthur’s Impact Boot Camp Action Team has spent the weekend learning how to use their impact to get people to take action and to be effective in their collective powers of persuasion.  These team members include people like Jeff Wellman who made a splash in the internet marketing world in the last year or so.  They were exposed to experts in many areas of impact such as publishing, media, social networking and so on.  Author Brendon Burchard, who also gives inspiring advice to businesses and non-profit organizations, was present. 

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