Posted by: stbideas | October 30, 2009

Four ways to make people listen

Flipping through the pages of the November 2009 O Magazine earlier today, I found this piece interesting, and thought I should share it.

To get others to listen to you, John Gray, PhD says it all starts with noticing how others are reacting to you. The magazine highlighted four talking points summarized below.  (the original article can be found on pg 137.)

  1. People may stop listening to your ideas because your advice always sounds like criticism. When making suggestion, you should ask questions like “would you like to know what I think?” Or “I have a different perspective – would you like to hear it?”
  2. You may be loosing your audience to a discrepancy in communication styles. Point is, when communicating, try to match the speed of the person you are communicating with. If you talk too slowly to a fast-paced communicator, his mind may wander; if you talk too rapidly to a slower-paced person, he may feel flustered and tune out.
  3. Next time your friends are drifting off while you’re pouring your heart out, let them know that you don’t expect them to say anything or do anything but that they should just listen because often times we share our feelings to reduce stress. This is especially true when it involves a female pouring out her heart to a male friend.
  4. Lastly, if you want to be heard, if you want people to listen to you, you can’t go wrong by showing interest in what other people have to say and making them feel important. In other words, the better you listen, the more you’ll be listened to.
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Posted by: stbideas | October 28, 2009

Nigeria Ranks 158th in the 2009 Human Development Report

The UNDP released its 2009 edition of the Human Development Report recently with Nigeria ranked 158th out of 182 countries below Uganda and Lesotho and ahead of Togo, Malawi and Niger.

Norway was ranked no. 1 on the list for the 7th time.

The Statistics for Nigeria are below:

  1. Ranked 147th in Life Expectancy – 47.7years. Nigeria was just ahead of Congo DR, Guinea Bissau and Afghanistan.
  2. Ranked 112th in Adult Literacy Rate – 70%. Ahead of Mali and Madagascar.
  3. Ranked 114th in Human Poverty Index – 36.2 ahead of Mauritania and Burundi.
  4. Ranked 8th in remittances with average of $US9,221 million representing 6.7% of GDP  (an indication that we have many Nigerians in ‘greener pastures’). 42.9%  and 39.5% of the total remittances are from Europe and Northern America respectively.
  5. Ranked 141st in GDP Per Capita ($1969)

Nigeria, along with Angola, Uganda, and Lesotho left the ‘low’ category and are now categorised as ‘medium human development’ group.

my Point of View: If Nigeria’s aspiration is to be among the first 20 economies in 11 years from now, then our ranking here needs a paradigm shift. If our aspiration is based on current statistics, we may as well be dreaming. It would take a whole lot of efforts on the part of our leaders for this feat to be achieved. Efforts must be made immediately to improve basic statistics that affects living conditions today, this will guarantee our move towards achieving our desired state, at least.

About the HDI: The human development index (HDI) is a summary measure of a country’s human development. It measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions:

  1. a long and healthy life, as measured by life expectancy at birth;
  2. access to knowledge, as measured by the adult literacy rate and the combined gross enrolment ratio in education; and
  3. a decent standard of living, as measured by GDP per capita in purchasing power parity (PPP) US dollars.
Posted by: stbideas | October 20, 2009

Chimamanda Adichie warns of the danger of a single story

Found this on TED.

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

my Point of View: While we may not need to understand all the cultures of the world to get by in this world, it is important that we rid ourselves of the belief that our story is the only story and as such the only way to see the world. (This also applies to our personal lives) Knowing that we do not exist alone, is the very reason why we should be tolerant of other people’s culture/story. Doing this, I belief, would make for a better and richer world. Watch the Video below.

Chimamanda Adichie is making Nigerians proud. Go girl!

Posted by: stbideas | October 19, 2009

4 Quick tips in Microsoft Office Word 2003

1. Convert Text to Table in MS Word – Assuming you had some bulleted texts with the words separated with commas on each line, e.g

Seun, Tolade, July 21
Dotun, Daniel, July 16
Coleman, King, July 7
Joseph, Aparati, March 26
James, Talmond, October 7

To convert the following series of text to table: select the entire text > click on table on the Menu bar > selectConvertText to Table (see result below).

Seun Tolade July 21
Dotun Daniel July 16
Coleman King July 7
Joseph Aparati March 26
James Talmond October 7

2.  Performing calculations in MS Word: Assuming you had a table in Word with figures, you do not need to go to MS Excel to perform simple calculations or even apparently difficult ones. Amazingly, the way you type your formula syntax is the same in Word and Excel.

To work with formulas, click on the Table menu > select Formulas and there you go!

Ayo 50
Dan 75
Chid 81
206

3. In the same vein, you can create Charts in MS Word

Select your data > click on InsertPictureChart

You have all charts classification as in Excel.

4.  AutoCorrect: If there is a word / sentence you use often, and you don’t want to go through the pain of retyping the text whenever you need it, let’s say your initials to be replaced with your name, you can add it to your AutoComplete selection.

To do that, go to Insert menu > AutoTextAutoTextType your entry in the space provided > click on Addbutton.

Next time you start typing the word, MS word gives you the option to automatically complete the entry. Simply press the Enter key or F3 on the keyboard.

An Easy Way to Print Envelopes in MS Word

Printing envelopes can be pretty easy in MS Word. I imagine that you would find this tip useful when you don’t have your addresses typed into MS Word /Address Book or when you are just creating single envelopes (for mass mailing, it is advisable to use mail merge – this would be discussed in my future posts). Printing addresses on envelopes gives that professional touch to your work and ensures that you don’t waste your ‘limited’ time writing delivery addresses.

Here’s how to print Envelopes in MS Word.

I assume that MS Word is already opened.

Step 1: Go to Tools on the main menu > Letters and Mailing > Envelopes and Labels

(this action opens the Envelopes and Labels dialog box)

WINDOWS SHORTCUT KEY is ALT + T + E + E
Step 2: If the focus is not on the Envelopes tab, click the Envelopes tab

(Please note, the dialog box has two tabs, one for envelopes and the other for labels. By default, the Envelopes tab is active when you open the dialog box)

Step 3: Type your address in the text box beneath ‘Delivery Address’

(If you already have your address in a document, you could just select the address before opening the dialog box, this action automatically includes the selected address in the text box)

Step 4a: If your printing and envelopes options are correct, click on Print to print your address on the envelopes.
Step 4b: If your printing and envelopes options are wrong, click on Options.(This opens the Options dialog box. The dialog box has two tabs, one for Envelopes Options and the other for Printing Options – See diagram below)
envelopes-Penvelopes-E
Step 5: On the Envelopes Options select the appropriate Envelope size; accept the default settings for the Delivery and Return Address.
Step 6: Click the Printing Options tab, select the appropriate Feed method (the way the envelope is placed in the printer);
Step 7: Click Ok to exit the Options dialog box
Step 8: Click on Print on the Envelopes and Labels dialog box.

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