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10 Tips to help you become a better team player!

This past weekend was the annual Jack-N-Jill Teen Summit at SUNY Westbury. It was a nice and I was grateful for the opportunity to present the teens with ways to develop a healthy relationship before they get married.

The main topic of the discussion  was centered around sports. We talked about what makes teams excel and how the acts of one individual can destroy a team.  The teens were a little confused at first, but things soon became clear when I explained that relationships are just a team of 2, instead of 5, 9, or 11.

Do you think of your marriage/relationship as a team?

If you do, and you want to maximize your opportunity to win the Marriage Game, here are some tips to a cohesive team.

  1. Demonstrate Reliability – A reliable team member gets work done and does their fair share to work hard and meet commitments. Consistency is key. You can count on him or her to be there for you allcouplesports#4 the time, not just some of the time.
  2. Communicates Constructively -This two-person team need both parties to speak up and express their thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly, and with respect for other person on the team.
  3. Listens Actively – Good team players are active participants. They come prepared for team meetings and listen and speak up in discussions. They’re fully engaged in the work of the team and do not sit passively on the sidelines.Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help make things happen, and they volunteer for assignments. Their whole approach is can-do: “What contribution can I make to help the team achieve success?”
  4. Functions as an Active Participant – Good team players are active participants. They come prepared for family meetings and listen and speak up in discussions. They’re fully engaged in the work of the team and do not sit passively on the sidelines.Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help make things happen, and they volunteer for assignments. Their whole approach is can-do: “What contribution can I make to help the team achieve success?”
  5. Shares openly and willingly – Good team players share. They’re willing to share information, knowledge, and experience. They take the initiative to keep other team members informed. Good team players are good at informal sharing. They keep other team members in the loop with information and advice that helps get the job done and prevents surprises.couples sports#2
  6. Cooperates and pitches in to help. – Cooperation is the act of working with others and acting together to accomplish a job. Effective team players work this way by second nature. Good team players, despite differences they may have with other team members concerning style and perspective, figure out ways to work together to solve problems and get work done. They respond to requests for assistance and take the initiative to offer help.
  7. Exhibits flexibility – Teams often deal with changing conditions — and often create changes themselves. Good team players roll with the punches; they adapt to ever-changing situations. They don’t complain or get stressed out because the other team member wants to train something new is being tried or some new direction is being set.In addition, a flexible team member can consider different points of views and compromise when needed. He or she doesn’t hold rigidly to a point of view and argue it to death, especially when the team needs to move forward to make a decision or get something done. Strong team players are firm in their thoughts yet open to what others have to offer — flexibility at its best.Larg1_14_2011couples-yoga
  8. Shows committment to the team – Strong team players care about their work, the team, and the team’s work. They show up every day with this care and commitment up front. They want to give a good effort, and they want other team members to do the same.
  9. Works as a problem solver – Good team players are willing to deal with all kinds of problems in a solutions-oriented manner. They’re problem-solvers, not problem-dwellers, problem-blamers, or problem-avoiders. They don’t simply rehash a problem the way problem-dwellers do. They don’t look for others to fault, as the blamers do. And they don’t put off dealing with issues, the way avoiders do.Team players get problems out in the open for discussion and then collaborate with others to find solutions and form action plans.
  10. Treat others in a respectful supportive manner -Team players treat fellow team members with courtesy and consideration — not just some of the time but consistently. In addition, they show understanding and the appropriate support of other team members to help get the job done. They don’t place conditions on when they’ll provide assistance, when they’ll choose to listen, and when they’ll share information. Good team players also have a sense of humor and know how to have fun (and all teams can use a bit of both), but they don’t have fun at someone else’s expense. Quite simply, effective team players deal with their other teammates in a loving manner.

I would like to hear how you are doing as a team player? What changes do you need to implement so your couple-team will be more effective?

Have a great day everyone and remember to #iLoveStrong

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Remove the Scrooge! 5 reasons why you should give the gift of Gratitude this holiday season!

Welcome back Strivers. I know it has been awhile since my  last post. I have been developing a lot of new an innovative things due to an exciting 12-week entrepreneur class I attended called the Community Business Academy given by an organization called Rising Tide Capital.  I also happen to work there, but it’s a totally different thing when you focus on  your own business. So in the year 2013, expect some exciting changes in relation to this blog.

One of things I was working is an empowerment call for couples that happens once a month, called ILOVESTRONG. The topic for the month of December was giving the gift of gratitude.

scrooge

What is gratitude?  – It’s the quality of being thankful;readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Having gratitude means respecting its value and treasuring how unique and beautiful or indispensable it is.

Here are five reasons why you should give the gift of Gratitude this holiday season!

  1. Provides incentive by reciprocation. According to Amie Gordon, a psychologist from U.C. Berkeley, couples who had ongoing reciprocal appreciation were less likely to break up in the next nine months and even reported being more committed at the end of that time. The researchers concluded that a nourishing cycle of encouragement and appreciation provides extra incentive to maintain our relationships. In other words, when we appreciate our partners, we develop trust and respect. When we feel appreciated, we feel needed and encouraged.
  2. Deepens your communication skills. In the second Gordon’s study, researchers observed how couples of all ages—from 18 to 60—communicated appreciation. The team noticed that “highly appreciative” pairs tended to use body language and response skills to show that they valued their spouses. When their partner spoke, appreciative spouses leaned in, made eye contact, and responded thoughtfully to what they were saying. They made it clear that they were listening to and digesting what their spouse said, thereby showing that they valued their spouse’s opinion. Appreciative couples also used touch and physical encouragement such as handholding or an encouraging pat on the leg.
  3. It show’s your partner that he/she matters. Whether they know it or not, your partner likely notices what things give you joy. If they do little things for you on a daily basis and you stop paying attention, and acknowledging the action, they’re likely to stop doing them for you. This might not be a conscious decision they make, but if they’re doing something solely to please you and it doesn’t seem to be working, why should they continue?
  4. The gift of gratitude can lead to a greater level of marriage intimacy.  If you have read my Intimacy Series, you know I feel it’s very important foundational piece to a strong marriage. Gratitude can enhance your intimacy with your spouse if you need to have a conversation with them about something you’re unhappy about, starting by telling them all the things you appreciate is likely going to get you much further than beginning by telling them the things you want to see changed. It’s simply common sense that if someone feels nothing they ever do is good enough, they won’t be doing much for long.
  5. Gratitude can jumpstart your marriage. The key to sparking healthy relationships with gratitude is to take the initiative: Instead of just waiting for the other person to make you feel good, you can jumpstart that cycle and take it into your own hands by focusing on what’s good in your relationship,” says Dr. Gordon.

Don’t wait for the other person. Jumpstart your marriage and remove the Scrooge!

What simple things can you do today to show gratitude toward your spouse?

Happy Holidays everyone!

Keith Dent

Gratitude is a skill that you cultivate—nurture it in yourself, and soon your will see positivity radiate back at you.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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To find Love takes Mastery!

A couple of weeks ago a female friend of mine on Facebook mentioned, “I just want to be loved by somebody that loves me.” There were several people who echoed her sentiments so I got to thinking how does love find some people, but allude others? Is there a way to master the art of Love?

Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Mastery of Love, starts out by saying mastery of anything takes practice> In order to master love, you have to practice, therefore you have to take action.

In order to Master Love, we must first tackle our minds. We have a strong instinct to love, but we are plagued by a fear of getting hurt. This fear brings out any emotions that deal with suffering like sadness, anger or hate .

To protect ourselves from this fear we put on a mask. The mask serves as a mechanism to keep people away, but it also restricts you from revealing your true self.

Imagine if you lived in a world where you could remove the mask and be who you are. How would this help you move towards Love Mastery?

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Mastery of Love

 

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Better Sex involves getting hold of your senses!

I decided not to add this topic in my last post because I felt it needed its own category. Usually sex, or good sex is synonymous with orgasmic pleasure. As a man, you have reached your goal when you achieve orgasm. That could either take a few minutes, or hours depending on several variables.  In the art of lovemaking, you can really achieve you goal if your partner also achieves orgasm and the ultimate prize is when you both do it simultaneously.

One thought, do you ever consider what other parts of the body feel good when they are touched by your partner. Not really! Why would you when most of the time you reach our goal. Men, wouldn’t be nice and you would feel like the true champion in the bedroom; achieving the ultimate goal every time you had sex with your spouse.

One way to do that is what therapists call Sensate Focusing. Studied by William Masters and Virginia Johnson, sensate focusing is the art of using nonintercourse, nongenital pleasuring exercises to help improve your sex life.  The purpose is twofold: to keep you focused on sensuality and touching in your physical relationship, and to help you learn to communicate openly and naturally about what you like and don’t like in lovemaking.

As a man, I know you are wondering, why would I need to stray from what’s working. After several months of scheduling a night to have sex with my wife, I can go to sleep and wait for the next few months when I will get to do it over again. Fellas, you know that after you have had sex, you want to continue having it more often.  There are several benefits to trying this exercise:

SENSATE FOCUSING REMOVES THE PRESSURE TO PERFORM

You know having infrequent sex doesn’t improve your stamina in the bedroom. By focusing on something besides doing it right, sex can become more enjoyable. And you don’t have to worry about your wife giving that sarcastic grin while telling you, “Maybe next month.”  The idea is to pleasure your mate through full body touch, massage, stroking and caressing. I am sure your wife will enjoy that because the night is relaxed, tender.

SENSATE FOCUSING HELPS YOU FIND OUT WHAT ELSE ON YOUR BODY FEELS GOOD.

You may discover for the first time in your life what real emotional, intimate erotic connection feels like.

SENSATE FOCUSING IS A GREAT FORM OF CONNECTION

You get to truly connect with your partner without sex. Your problems in the bedroom is that your partner is having sex with you, but doesn’t feel connected. By switching the focus, the act of sex can be healing and very powerful.

SENSATE FOCUSING PROVIDES EDUCATION

There might have been things you wanted to tell your partner about her lovemaking, but never did because it might disrupt  you from achieving your goal, orgasm. With this exercise, she will get the opportunity to learn your likes and dislikes and vice versa.

SENSATE FOCUSING SLOWS YOU DOWN

When you do, you may find out that your wife is that tiger in the bedroom that you have been waiting to see, but you just never took the time to find out.

Here’s how it works:

  • With your partner, you will determine who will be the giver and who will be the receiver. As the receiver you will let your partner touch/massage you in areas besides your genital region where it feels good. You will give either verbal, or hand guided feedback on where that is.  Verbal feedback will consist of where you like to be touched, the intensity of your touch and where to go next.
  • As the giver, your role is to provide the pleasure, and be attentive on how your partner reacts to your touch. It’s very important to ask for feedback as often as possible. The goal of this exercise is to give what your partner wants, you what you feel he/she needs.
  • Then you will switch roles.
  • Over time as you continue to use this technique, it will become easier to communicate openly about your feelings about sex. By working together and touching together you will enjoy reaching the Ultimate Goal.

Men, STRIVE for that Ultimate Goal.

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Healthy Sex is about Connection!

If you have been married a few years, you get into a routine. It establishes a sense of normalcy, but oftentimes sex isn’t always a part of the routine.

According to some polls out there, here are some feedback on how much sex isn’t included in daily life of our married couples.

  • Married couples say they have sex an average of 68.5 times a year. That’s slightly more than once a week. — Newsweek 
  • Married people have 6.9 more sexual encounters per year than people who have never been married. — Newsweek 
  • 15 to 20 percent of couples have sex no more than 10 times a year, which experts define as a sexless marriage. — Newsweek
  • 20 to 30 percent of men and 30 to 50 percent of women say they have little or no sex drive. — USA Today 
  • 25 percent of all Americans (a third of women and a fifth of men) suffer from a condition known as hypoactive sexual desire (HSD), which is defined as a persistent or recurring deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies or thoughts, or a lack of interest in sex or being sexual. —Psychology Today
In reality, when we are dating, we aren’t having sex all the time with our partners. It just seems like it because our energy is channelled into the chunk of time we spend together, the weekend. Also if the sex, becomes infrequent for either partner, they move onto someone else and the process begins all over again. 
If you look up intercourse in Webster’s Dictionary you find these definitions’ (1) connection or dealings between persons or groups, (2) exchange especially of thoughts or feelings (3) physical sexual contact between individuals that involves genitalia of at least one person.”
So Strivers, if healthy sex is about connection, why can’t we follow a simple definition?
 
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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Healthy Sex Life

 

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Are you a connection blocker? (Part 2)

I know you had a sigh of relief, when you read Connection Blockers – Part 1, and realized your action hadn’t created a wedge between you and your partner! From my last post, a connection blocker is someone who doesn’t really want to know and understand their partner.

Here are the final 7 connection blockers. Which one are you?

  1. You use shutdown statements and behaviors. – When you are mad or hurt, these statements bring communication to a halt.
    • Fine” or “Everything’s fine” (when it’s not fine).
    • “Doesn’t matter or Whatever
    • Give your partner the silent treatment.
  2. You shift the blame. – It’s your basic cause and effect argument. When your partners feelings are hurt, you react by saying it’s because of them. By choosing to use a counterattack on your partner shuts down any chance at connection.
  3. You use Sarcasm – Not only does it shut down the connection..It hurts.
  4. You use “You Always or “You Never” – these statements are general statements, but are not usually based on reality. Phrases like “You never listen to me” or “You always cut me off ” cause your partner to be confused. These statements tend help describe a feeling, but not the problem.
  5. You jump to your own experiences and don’t validate your partner’s issue. –  Instead of just listening to your partner’s issues, you try to minimize the damage by bringing up your own. This connection blocker hangs your partner out to dry.
  6. You try to fix it. – Sometimes just listening is the fix.
  7. You use the “I’m just no good” statement. – this will cut off any chance at connecting with your partner. By playing the victim, your partner will almost always save you from your victim stance otherwise they admit to themselves they made a bad choice. Therefore, they negate their unresolved feelings.

Now that you understand connection blockers, look out for them. If you see they exist, it’s ok. Work with your partner to identify when either of you use these blockers so you can remove them and deepen your relationship.

Coach Keith

 

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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