Memorial Day and Changing Behavior

Today we in the United States remember and pay tribute to the men and women in the Armed Forces who have sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms over the years. Other military personnel have given up healthy bodies and psyches in service to country. In their honor this Memorial Day and in respect to their unique bravery, we offer you links to organizations that provide assistance to soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and their families. You can make a difference by supporting their work.

Joining Forces is a national initiative that provides members of the Armed Services and their families opportunities and support.

 United We Serve can help you search for volunteer opportunities to help military families in your community.

TAPS, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, provides comfort and healing for those who have lost a loved one in service to America. Their motto, “Remember the Love, Celebrate the Life, Share the Journey,” aptly reflects their mission.

The mission of The Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded soldiers with a variety of programs to strengthen Mind, Body, Economic Empowerment and Engagement, including PTSD evaluation.

Fisher House gives families the chance to be close to their military loved ones who are hospitalized and provides scholarships to support programs improving the quality of life for military families.

The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial support for injured and critically ill Marines and their families.

As we remember today, with love and respect, the sacrifice of these men and women, we can also reflect on the ideals of service, courage, and camaraderie they embody. They can be role models that we seek to emulate.

But making a decision to act differently is just the first step to actually changing your behavior.  A new book we received addresses how to begin making some of these changes in your relationships, focusing on strategies that lead to greater closeness and understanding. Dr. Georgianna Donadio has written Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy-to-Learn, Proven Communication Skills to share some of her tips for having fulfilling, lasting relationships.

Here’s just a brief look at Dr. Donadio’s answers to some of our questions about changing and improving your communication techniques:

NFR: Change is never easy, especially for people who are used to behaving or communicating a certain way for years. How does your book make change achievable?

Georgianna: It makes change possible by identifying the specific needs people have in communication exchanges. These needs and the steps to create effective and fulfilling communication have been researched for over 30 years.

NFR: A central part of your Changing Behavior is the concept of Behavioral Engagement. What exactly is Behavioral Engagement?

Georgiannia: Behavioral Engagement is the name of the set of communication skills that were developed. The name describes what the skills are about – how specific behavior engages others to create positive outcomes in communication.

NFR: What are your 12 steps for more effective communication?

Georgianna: The 12 steps are extensive to describe but here are the first few steps in summary:

Enter into your communications with a focus on the person and conversation you are having in that moment and not being distracted by other thoughts, concerns or most importantly with an agenda for the conversation or exchange you are having. Many of us are sitting with another person not really listening or being present, but rather just waiting to interject our thoughts rather than take in what the other person is sharing with us.

Sit in a comfortable, relaxed position that will allow you to be open (without crossed arms and legs) and receptive. Avoiding distracting movements such as playing with your hair, your eyeglasses, jewelry you may be wearing, etc. signals to the other person that you are actually paying attention to them and listening.

Maintain soft, non-judgmental eye contact. This creates openness and also stimulates oxytocin, which is a hormone/neurotransmitter that produces feelings of trust and love.

To get more of a flavor of her book, you can download a complimentary excerpt on Dr. Donadio’s website.

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