Impact Learning Systems


HEART for the Holidays Vasudha Deming

Never is it more impor­tant to have a set of guid­ing prin­ci­ples than dur­ing the year-end hol­i­day sea­son. For most of us, there's an added dose of stress this month (whether it's due to anx­i­ety to please fam­ily and friends, pres­sure to com­plete busi­ness projects, added finan­cial bur­dens, or any­thing else), mak­ing it all too easy to lose focus, com­po­sure, or some­times both.

These five sim­ple but effec­tive prin­ci­ples can help you to main­tain strength and san­ity regard­less of the sit­u­a­tions you face. So, in the spirit of hol­i­day cheer, here's a primer for using Impact's HEART Model to get through the hol­i­day season…

Hear and under­stand
Hol­i­days inevitably involve plenty of inter­per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and one of the best ways to ensure a suc­cess­ful two-way con­ver­sa­tion is to hear and under­stand the other per­son. This requires you to actively lis­ten and to sin­cerely try to appre­ci­ate the per­spec­tives of other peo­ple. This sim­ple mea­sure builds rap­port, increases empa­thy, and edi­fies your own learning.

One of the best (and least expen­sive) gifts you can give some­one is your undi­vided attention.

Expect the best
Expect­ing the best dur­ing the hol­i­days means main­tain­ing a pos­i­tive, open atti­tude toward your respon­si­bil­i­ties, activ­i­ties, and social sit­u­a­tions (even the dreaded ones).

When deal­ing with col­leagues, friends and fam­ily, take an opti­mistic approach and expect that each encounter will be pleas­ant and fruit­ful. Just by apply­ing this sim­ple prin­ci­ple, you influ­ence peo­ple and sit­u­a­tions in a con­struc­tive way.

The prin­ci­ple of "expect the best" may not be 100% fool­proof for every hol­i­day sit­u­a­tion, but it's a lot more fun than the alternative!

Act with integrity
Only you know what integrity means to you. It's a unique syn­the­sis of the val­ues of your soci­ety, your upbring­ing, and your own belief sys­tem. By act­ing with integrity in all your inter­ac­tions and respon­si­bil­i­ties (even dur­ing times of high stress), you'll be able to main­tain poise and self-respect regard­less of the out­come. You'll also inspire other peo­ple to do the same.

Respect diver­sity
This is a time of year when most peo­ple observe some form of reli­gious or cul­tural cel­e­bra­tion. By respect­ing the diver­sity of oth­ers' observances—or even just the var­ied, har­ried ways they deal with the hol­i­day season—you'll enrich your­self and broaden your own knowledge.

Tran­scend your­self
The dawn of a new year is a great time to set some real­is­tic goals and to chal­lenge your­self to attain them. Lit­tle else gives as much sat­is­fac­tion as chal­leng­ing your­self to improve in some mean­ing­ful way. To put this prin­ci­ple into action, take a look at your per­sonal and pro­fes­sional lives over the course of the last year and decide what changes you want to make for 2010.

Fol­low­ing are a few tips for success:

  • Focus on one or two goals at a time so that you don't over­whelm your­self and become dis­cour­aged. Once you've achieved these aims, you can move on to some new ones.
  • Don't dis­count the impor­tance of tran­scend­ing your­self in small ways. From the minis­cule (resist­ing unhealthy hol­i­day temp­ta­tions) to the momen­tous (con­quer­ing a char­ac­ter flaw), the pur­suit of self-transcendence is always rewarding. 
  • Have fun with it. Tran­scend­ing your­self is just a way to con­tin­u­ously "play" at the game of life. 
  • Be sure to cel­e­brate your suc­cess. Only then can you assim­i­late the feel­ing of accom­plish­ment and main­tain your moti­va­tion to tran­scend your­self even further.

To all Impact's clients, friends, and fol­low­ers: Best wishes for a healthy, happy, and HEART-filled new year!

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  • Ed Gagnon

    Good and mean­ing­ful val­ues that are estab­lished in child­hood and held true as an adult are the keys to pre­vent­ing the many social and polit­i­cal ills of society.


    Five-Time Author Teaches Us We Can Each Make a Dif­fer­ence – The Choice is Ours.
    The Value of Val­ues edu­cates us on how to estab­lish a cul­ture that will ensure har­mony for gen­er­a­tions to come and dimin­ish the aggres­sive ways of the powerful…just by teach­ing our chil­dren values.

    Did you know that an individual’s val­ues are estab­lished in child­hood and serve as fil­ters when deter­min­ing right from wrong through­out the person’s life? In today’s soci­ety, this process of estab­lish­ing val­ues within our chil­dren is given lit­tle con­cern. How are our chil­dren sup­posed to grow up to be adults with val­ues if we’re not teach­ing them val­ues from the beginning?

    The respon­si­bil­i­ties of par­ent­ing have become a reac­tionary process whereby each par­ent is doing what­ever he or she must do in order to just get through life. By default, we are teach­ing our chil­dren that val­ues such as integrity, respect for life, courage of con­vic­tion, pur­pose­ful­ness and gen­eros­ity are sec­ondary to mak­ing a liv­ing. In truth, there is absolutely noth­ing stop­ping us from being true to good and mean­ing­ful val­ues except ourselves.

    The Value of Val­ues teaches us the required actions and rea­sons this impor­tant tran­si­tion is needed. This book iden­ti­fies what it will take from each of us to sus­tain the drive to pass our val­ues onto our children.

    Publisher’s Web site:
    ISBN: 978−1−60860−381−7 / SKU: 1608603814

    About the Author:
    Ed Gagnon is a vice pres­i­dent at a man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany in North Attle­boro, Mass­a­chu­setts. The Value of Val­ues is his fifth pub­lished book, and he has more in the works.

    For media inquiries, appear­ances, or other pub­lic­ity — please con­tact:
    Ellen Green —

  • Peggy

    Thanks for your com­ment, Ed. One of the things we find inter­est­ing is that peo­ple really take to our HEART Model. Those who were taught these types of val­ues grow­ing up appre­ci­ate the way they're applied to deal­ing with cus­tomers and fel­low employ­ees, and those who missed out on them grow­ing up see the value of putting the HEART Model into prac­tice in their per­sonal lives as well as on the job. It always makes us happy to inspire peo­ple with these val­ues, and sad when we find out that it's the first time some peo­ple have thought of them.

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