By Daneen Skube RAISE YOUR HAND if you wish you could get a Costco card that would improve your relation- ships at work and at home. Here are six power tools that can make an immediate difference.
1. Be influential. Next ime you’re in a frustrating conversation, stop talking and start listening to what he other person wants and feels. Next, stop presenting your point of view and repeat back in your own words the other person’s point of view. Will Rogers observed, “In order to be qualified to change my opinion, you must first demonstrate you understand it.”
2. Change word choice. Never again use the word “you” at the beginning of a sentence; instead, substitute the word “I.” People will cease to feel blamed by your language and become interested in helping you solve your problem. If others believe you see them as the problem, you won’t be able to get the help you deserve.
3. Get grumpy. Keep an anger journal for a week. Include every little thing that irritates you. Examine the themes of what makes you grumpy. Pay attention to what you end up doing repeat- edly that works out badly for you. You have the right to stop behaviors that get you into frustrat- ing situations, but you have to see them first.
4. Be specific. How often have you had to listen to your spouse or co-worker give you criti- cal, yet vague, feedback—e.g., they think you are controlling, insensitive or rude. But what exact behavior do they want? Ask them to give you an example of what they want and skip the com- plaining. And when you give feedback, make sure you skip the complaints and do the same.
5. Get uncomfortable. The best-kept secret on the planet is the nuclear power of using dis- comfort to get you to change. Next time you are anxious, hurt or mad, internally dive into the sen- sation of the negative emotions. As you feel uncomfortable, notice how these emotions can fuel creative thinking about your problem. If you are willing to feel negative emotions, you will see solutions to habitual problems.
6. Redefine selfishness. There’s a place inside you that has the wisdom to know what is in your best interest. I call this place “deep selfish- ness.” You could also call it your highest good, gut instinct or inner coach. Life is not a game where for me to win you have to lose. Listen to the voice in you that is deeply selfish and you might dis- cover the best course of action for you is also the most beneficial for everyone around you. Whoever said, “Those who think money can’t buy happiness just don’t know where to shop,” must have known about these interper- sonal tools. Put your new tools in your Costco cart and enjoy! C Daneen Skube, Ph.D., is the director of Inter- personal Edge (
www.interpersonaledge.com), an executive coaching, training and counseling firm. She welcomes readers questions on how to get control of “pesky people problems.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The interpersonal edge
BACK to basics
“STRETCHSITTING” is a
way to undo the damage
caused by years of hunching in a chair. Developed
by Esther Gokhale, author
8 Steps to a Pain-Free
com), stretchsitting lengthens the spine, decompressing discs and allows them
to heal. It can also improve
circulation and nerve function around the spine.
■ Attach a cushion to
your chair so that it hits
mid-back, below the
■ Scoot your bottom all the
■ Lean forward from the
hips, and tilt your ribcage
forward, like you are doing
■ Hold the chair armrests
and, while still tilted forward, press against them
to get a gentle stretch in
your lower back.
■ Keeping the stretch, lean
back from your hips and
stick your mid-back on to
■ Come out of the mini-crunch and relax completely,
letting the cushion keep
you in mild traction.
■ Roll each shoulder back
and rest your hands close
in to your body.
THE THYROID IS a small butterfly-shaped gland in
the neck, located just above the collarbone and in front
of the trachea (windpipe). It produces two hormones
that regulate the body’s metabolism, controlling how
the body breaks down food—for energy use now or
stored for later use. These hormones tell organs how
fast or slow they should work, and also regulate the
consumption of oxygen and the production of heat.
■ Angle your chin down
slightly, lengthening the
back of your neck.
—T. Foster Jones
Common thyroid disorders
According to the American Association of
Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), an estimated 27
million Americans are experiencing a thyroid disorder, with more than half of those undiagnosed.
Hyperthyroidism results from an overactive thyroid gland producing too much thyroid hormone,
which speeds up one’s metabolism. Symptoms can
NOVEMBER 2010 ;e Costco Connection 67 JANUARY 1
include excessive sweating, nervousness, rapid heart
rate, weight loss, decreased concentration, fatigue and
hot temperature intolerance.
This hormone imbalance occurs in about 1 percent
of all women, who get hyperthyroidism more often
than men. Radioactive iodine is the most widely recommended permanent treatment.
Hypothyroidism results from an underactive
thyroid gland producing too little thyroid hormone.
The body’s metabolism slows, consumes less oxygen
and produces less body heat. Symptoms can include
weight gain, hair loss, irritability, muscle cramps,
memory loss and cold temperature intolerance.
It is more common in women than men, and its
incidence increases with age. Treatment most often
involves thyroid hormone replacement medications.
Thyroid nodules are small lumps in the thyroid
gland. These are common; almost half of the population will have tiny thyroid nodules at some point
in their lives. Most nodules are not cancerous, but
people who have them should seek medical attention to rule out cancer.
Other thyroid problems include cancer, thyroiditis
(swelling of the thyroid gland) and goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland.
To find out more about thyroid disorders, go to