Become a Great Communicator

Every living being communicates. Dogs bark, birds sing, and primates use hand gestures and noises akin to speech. Effective communication is needed in all areas of life. Paul Meyer describes communication best when he says, “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal career success.” While basic communication skills are inherent, advanced skills that lead one to becoming a great communicator takes practice.

Effective communication begins with listening. Too many times, people are either thinking about their responses or about something else entirely, and they fail to completely listen to the other person. By doing this, you lose focus on the conversation and may find out, in embarrassment, that your response is completely off base. When you are not listening, you are creating a one-sided conversation that shows others that you really do not care about what they have to say. Showing a genuine interest in learning what others think and feel about any matter they find worth discussing will place you in a position to be the one they go to for encouragement and to brainstorm solutions to difficult problems – because what you say in response will all of a sudden matter, too.

Focusing on your interactions shows respect. Checking emails, texting, or engaging in social media while in a conversation is rude. Great communicators respect those they are with by putting away or turning off their electronic devices when engaged in conversation. One-on-one conversations are becoming a lost art because of the ease of technology. Eliminate the distractions and hone in your listening skills.

When communicating to anyone be specific. Make your message clear. Doing so ensures that you are heard and understood in the way you intended. If giving instructions, provide details in order to avoid confusion and ensure better outcomes. When setting up appointments, be specific about your availability and give details about the time, location, who else will be in attendance. Frustration occurs when specific details are not shared and people have to go back and do something that could have easily been done correctly the first time.

While being specific is very important, it is also important to simplify your message. Make certain that what you are communicating is understandable. If the thought is confused in your mind, it will most certainly be confusing to the person you are communicating with. Take the time to think through what you need to convey. Pauses should not be feared, especially if that pause helps you communicate your point clearly and more effectively.

Finally, ask questions. Great communicators ask questions and they are not afraid to get specific. Taking a genuine interest in learning more about people and what they think, feel, and experience helps keep the conversation going and shows that you are engaged. People appreciate it when someone wants to get to know them better and the knowledge gained through great interactions can help you further yourself both personally and professionally.

Effective communication is a great skill for everyone to have. It is also a necessary skill in order to get along successfully in the world around you. It is a lost art by many that can be easily revived by practicing your listening skills, being specific, and asking questions.

Dallas School District is Seeking Public Input on the Naming of Two Facilities

Oakdale Heights Multi-Purpose Room

Name after: Ian Tawney

Ian Tawney grew up in Dallas and attended Oakdale, and graduated from DHS in 2003. He enlisted in the Marines, and served honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan until his death in combat on October 16, 2010.

Community member Request: Our kids deserve heroes. I believe it would be most fitting to provide present and future Oakdale students with the chance to become better acquainted with Ian. They need to learn about people who spend their life giving more than they take. People that make themselves better by lifting up the people around them. They need to understand that true courage is not the lack of fear, but in doing what must be done even when you are afraid.

Please send your input by March 29th to michelle.johnstone@dsd2.org

 

Dallas High School Track

Name after: Paul and Judee Ward

Community member request: The Ward’s have made a noteworthiness and significant contribution to DHS athletics. Paul has been a two-time DHS Head track and field coach and long-time assistant coach whose career spanned nearly sixty years. Paul’s dedication to Dallas High School athletics is legendary with his influence going beyond just coaching. It includes imparting his knowledge on to several other coaches over the years, and keeping kids involved no matter what their particular life situations happen to be. Paul was a major advocate for student athletes going through difficult life changes and seeing to it that they had the same opportunity to participate as others. Both the Wards have made tremendous impact on all athletic programs by donating funding, building materials, equipment, and literally thousands of hours toward facility improvements at time when the district lacked the funding and personnel to put toward maintaining aging facilities. Paul and Judee Ward have held a high level dedication for the track program year in and out for several decades.

Please send your input by March 29th to Tim.Larson@dsd2.or

8 Ways to Get More Out of Your Chamber of Commerce Membership

There are many reasons to join your local Chamber of Commerce. Some of the obvious ones are networking opportunities, community involvement, political advocacy, and the trust that Chamber affiliation builds with your customers. Of course, there are many more benefits you receive from becoming a Chamber member, but many people don’t fully enjoy them. They wrongly assume that by simply paying their annual membership dues lots of new business and friends will automatically show up. Without understanding how to make their Chamber experience work for them they give up on the Chamber in frustration.

If all you do is pay your membership fee you will get a welcome letter and a nice sticker to put on your front door. However, if you invest in building trusting, professional relationships with others through the Chamber the rewards in leads, sales, and friendships are potentially game changing for your business. Here are several ways to get more out of the Chamber by investing in other members.

  1. Sign up for their newsletters or updates.
    A great way to learn more about your peers at the Chamber and how you can support their business is to sign up for their company newsletter, directory, or weekly email.
  2. Support them online.
    Support other Chamber members through any of the social media outlets they use and tell your network about them as well. Have you experienced their service or product first hand? Show your support by writing positive product reviews online. 
  3. Submit their news to other groups you are part of.
    Be sure to share your Chamber peers’ news with other groups you may be part of. Think about professional, LinkedIn, or civic groups for example. 
  4. Invite them to be part of your seminars.
    Invite fellow Chamber members to come speak at your company functions or the business seminars you are hosting. They will appreciate the opportunity to showcase their area of expertise and you will enhance your event with guest speakers. 
  5. Share or trade skills and expertise.
    We are all experts at something. What is your “something”? Share that something with someone else at the Chamber. If you are good at writing ad copy and someone else is good at printing sales flyers then offer to share skills. You will probably help each attract more business this way. 
  6. Introduce them to your friends.
    Be the first person to approach new Chamber members when they arrive. Be friendly and introduce them to others in the group. Your gesture will be remembered and appreciated forever. 
  7. Bring them to other functions.
    Perhaps you are member of other organizations in addition to the Chamber. Invite one or two of your Chamber peers to attend other functions with you as your guest. Introduce them to your other associates. This will increase their circle of connections and you will look like a master networker. 
  8. Use their business first.
    Support your fellow Chamber members by giving them preference when you shop. For example, if you need replacement windows for your home and one of the window companies is a Chamber member, give that company your business. Even if they cost a little more, the goodwill your business generates can be invaluable.

Break Away From the Masses

One of the biggest challenges at work is to maintain your integrity and to remain consistent with not only who you are, but who you strive to be. The drive to succeed, especially early in your tenure, can influence your thoughts and actions. This drive can lead to a strong desire to be completely accepted by your peers at work. Most people understandably want to be amiable and like by the other people in their office. They will do what is necessary to ensure that interactions through the day are as smooth as possible. However, it is exceedingly difficult to avoid finding yourself In the middle of office politics, as a result being socially compliant.

Office politics not only affects productivity and depresses morale, but it can be damaging to your career. It is important to learn how to avoid getting distracted by the drama and instead focus each day into being productive in your work. Learning how to navigate around the interpersonal chaos will be your best overall career move.

Cliques are not exclusive to school. They also exist in the workplace. It is very easy to want to be included within the “in crowd” at work. They seem to enjoy their day, have some laughs, be friends, and may even socialize outside of work. But these groups can have a negative effect on the work culture, productivity, and morale. The best way to rise above the desire to be included within these cliques is to foster relationships with a variety of colleagues, sometimes working in different departments with differing job duties, who can help you grow within your position and beyond.

Jealousy and resentment are the most common work distractions that people face. It is very easy to get emotionally wound up about the one who is asked to lunch with management or assigned to that high profile project. Managers are not immune to the effects of jealous staff and can often get dragged into the middle of a conflict between staff members. Competition is human nature, but it takes strength to let it go and realize that even though life does not seem fair at times, those with integrity, focus, and drive will be recognized – especially by those managers whose time you save by not forcing them to contend with negativity. Developing a “tough skin”, or objectivity is the best way to handle issues of jealousy. By having a tough skin and maintaining focus in your work, you will find that you simply do not care anymore about the surrounding jealousy or in being jealous yourself. The petty thoughts and emotions will eventually fall to the way side, as will the petty personnel, while the important tasks of the day sit in front of you ready to be successfully completed.

Building relationships both in and outside of your company is a great way to hone your leadership skills. Influence is a great leadership skill to develop, but not everyone takes the time to do so. Gaining experiences and meeting a variety of people in the community (outside of work) who handle negativity in different, positive ways will help you learn how to foster authentic and honest relationships with many different people, regardless of their ability to directly help you. Through these relationships, you will become adept at recognizing an office politician and immediately neutralizing their effect on you.

Rising above office politics can be achieved if you remain true to yourself. Even though it can be difficult to see yourself through the day-to day negativity, surrounding yourself with those at work in your community who are positive influences to your integrity and quality of work will allow you to see yourself and your potential quite easily and clearly. As a result, others will begin to seek you out as the voice of reason and regard you as a positive influence upon them as well.

Harvest CrossFit

What is CrossFit? CrossFit is high intensity, constantly varied, functional movements. The foundation is nutrition and we believe it to be an elegant solution to the world’s most vexing problem – chronic disease. Devin and MacLarin Jones, and their team of coaches work hard to create a welcoming environment in which to reach your fitness goals!

At Harvest CrossFit you can expect a general warm up and stretching, ample instruction, the scored portion of your workout, and a brief cool down. The workouts are programmed for you. They make sure everyone understands how to scale and load the movements. Their athletes just show up, follow instructions, and work hard. Harvest CrossFit does all the thinking!

Harvest CrossFit has classes that fit everyone wherever they are in their fitness journey. Classes range from beginners to advance. Harvest Basics is required for all new athletes and consists of four one-on-one, or small group, sessions that introduce athletes to the foundational movements. Harvest CrossFits open gym programming allows you to refine your goals or learn a skill that doesn’t show up in the class program as much as you like.

To join the Harvest CrossFit community, it is as easy as giving us a call or sending an email from their website. Devin or MacLarin Jones will discuss with you your next steps!

http://www.harvestcrossfit.com/

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Community Awards Banquet

Save the date for Community Awards Banquet 2019! This year marks the 62nd Anniversary of the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce hosting the Annual Community Awards Banquet. This event is a time for us to come together as a community to recognize, honor, and thank those individuals and businesses that have made an impact on our community!

These are individuals that have earned their recognition through volunteerism and by dedicating their lives, and businesses to the betterment of Dallas and all of its citizens. We are honored to be able to join with other citizens in our community to recognize and thank these wonderful, and special individuals.

The Ceremony will be held Friday, February 22nd at the Majestic in downtown Dallas beginning at 6 pm for a cocktail hour, sponsored by MAK Metals. We look forward to celebrating Dallas’ generosity and collaboration with you.

This Year’s Award Winners

  • Business of the Year – Grandma’s Attic
  • Young Professional of the Year – Britneigh Hammill
  • Junior First Citizen – Aubrey Miller
  • Outstanding Organization – Kindness Club
  • First Citizen – Pete McDowell
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Jim Fairchild

Purchase your tickets today, and we are look forward to seeing you there! https://dallasoregon.org/awards/

A special thank you to our sponsors:

Award Sponsors

Cocktail Hour Sponsor

Catering Sponsor

Decorating Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Sweepstakes Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor
Willamette Valley Fiber

Table Sponsor
Chemeketa Community College
The City of Dallas
Oregon State Credit Union

Music Sponsor
Grand Hotel

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How To Combat Burnout

Even if you love your job, it’s common to feel burnt out from time to time. Perhaps you just wrapped up a big project and are having trouble mustering motivation for the next one. It could be that your home life is taking up more of your energy than usual. Or maybe, you’re just bored.

Burnout – the mental and physical exhaustion you experience when the demands of your work consistently exceed the amount of energy you have available – has been called the epidemic of the modern workplace. So you need to find ways to “put gas back in your tank.” Here are some ideas for how to do that:

  1. Take breaks during the workday. Take a walk or go for a run. Have lunch away from your desk. But take your breaks at the right time. When our energy is highest – often in the morning – you should focus on work and maximize your productivity. Tackle your toughest challenges at those times, then step away for a rest.
  2. Put away your digital devices. Place your smartphone in a basket or drawer when you arrive home so you’re not tempted to pick it up and check your email; or you might devise a rule for yourself about turning it off past 8 pm.
  3. Do something interesting. Instead of concentrating on limiting or avoiding work in your off-hours, do an activity you find interesting. Even if that activity is taxing, like a sport, it is better for you than simply relaxing.
  4. Take long weekends. The break does not need to be a two-week vacation, it could be as simple as a three, or four day weekend. While you’re away, though, don’t call the office, or check your email.
  5. Focus on meaning. If your job responsibilities preclude immediate time off try focusing on why the work matters to you. Connecting your current assignment to a larger personal goal will help you fight the temptation to slack off. However, this may provide only temporary relief.

Make sure it’s really burnout. If none of these strategies work, you could be dealing with something more serious. If you’re listless and fatigued but still feel effective on the whole, then it’s probably just burnout. However, if you feel as though you’re not making progress and that the work you do doesn’t seem to matter, it’s a different problem

World Cup Avicii Mac Miller Stan Lee “Black Panther” Meghan Markle AnthonyBourdain Stephen Hawking

Levens Street House

Polk Community Development Corporation is a non-profit affordable housing developer that has made the City of Dallas their home for nearly 30 years. They have built such housing developments in Dallas as Woodbridge Meadow Apartments, Rickreall Creek Townhomes, and the Jen’s Place Complex on Ellendale among other miscellaneous housing developments for Dallas residents with special needs many of whom have grown up in this wonderful community.

Currently they are preparing to open their newest house, the Levens Street House for Veterans. They have partnered with many local service providers and community members who have offered to help veterans currently experiencing homelessness rebuild their lives.

Each veteran will have their own bedroom and storage area, share a bathroom with another veteran, have use of the common areas with personal storage space in the kitchen for their cooking and eating ware, and dry food. They will share a refrigerator and freezer. Almost everything inside of Levens Street House was donated by the community of Dallas.

There are a total of five rooms to rent, one of them home to the overseer, that have been sponsored by local families. Each family has decorated, and provided basic essentials to help these veterans embark on this new stage of their lives. Most of the families that have sponsored a room have lost someone in battle and have a heart to give back to those that have served our country.

Veterans will be assessed by ARCHES in Salem before placed in Levens Street House. These are veterans that scale 1 to 5 on SPAT, have no mobility concerns (for the time being), and have been experiencing homelessness for a year or less. They may be suffering from possible addictions, but well on the way to recovery. Levens House is hoping to place their first occupant by the beginning of next week.

Polk Community Development Corporation is planning to expand on the property by designing and building a small apartment complex of similar design to house more veterans. They will be submitting their application to develop about 9 units in the spring. There is also a full basement that they plan to renovate, and convert into a rec room with more possible rooms for Veterans to rent.

If you would like to donate, or assist these veterans they reach out to Rita Grady at Polk Community Development Corporation. If you know a veteran in need of resources or assistance then contact either Veterans Services in Dallas or ARCHES.

Community Awards Banquet

This year marks the 62nd Anniversary of the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce hosting the Annual Community Awards Banquet. This event is a time for us to come together as a community to recognize, honor, and thank those individuals and businesses that have made an impact on our community! Nominations are due by this Friday, January 11th.

The categories and requirements are as following;

First Citizen:

This award is given to an individual with wide-ranging, exceptional community service through volunteerism, a family legacy or long-standing dedication to the betterment of the community

Young Professional:

This award is given to an individual under the age of 35 displaying leadership and organization while highlighting our business community.

Outstanding Organization:

This award is given to a social service, civic, or community group located in or serving the Dallas Area that has rendered exceptional service to the community.

Business of the Year:

This award is given to a Dallas Area Business or organization of any size that is involved in the community and whose service has enhanced the quality of life or economic vitality of our area. This business may have demonstrated their qualification via community involvement, business location improvement or restructure in such a way that helps fill a business void in our community.

Junior First Citizen:

This award is given to an outstanding individual under the age 18. This person has made a commitment to helping Dallas and sets a good example for the youth in our community by demonstrating the ability to make good choices and inspire positive change.

Lifetime Achievement:

This award is given to an individual who has spent a minimum of 20 years making consistent and regular contributions to the Community of Dallas.

Know someone who embodies one of these categories? Get your nomination in today so we can have the opportunity to thank them for what they do to make Dallas the wonderful community we love. You can submit your nomination, and purchase your tickets by visiting our website or by clicking here.

The Ceremony will be held Friday, February 22nd beginning at 6 pm for cocktail hour, sponsored by MAK Metals. WE look forward to celebrating Dallas’ generosity and collaboration with you.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Award Sponsors

Cocktail Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Brixius Sweepstakes

Table Sponsor

  • Chemeketa Community College

Music Sponsor

  • The Grand Hotel

Start Today (Yesterday you said tomorrow)

The New Year is typically a notable milestone in time. It causes us to stop… and take inventory. We inventory our personal growth. We inventory our goals and aspirations, in contrast to what we have actually achieved.

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” – Benjamin Franklin

This quote is all about the present. Too many people, myself included, focus on the past or on the future. We can lament the past, and plan for the future, but we can only get things done in the present, today. This quote urges us to actually do something today, instead of waiting until tomorrow to get started.

Why is it important to not put things off? Besides the obvious answer of it won’t get done, it also creates a kind of momentum. Newton’s First Law says that “An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.” So there is momentum in sloth, delaying, procrastinating and all the other euphemisms for the act of not doing.

The opposite is just as important. Avalanches start when just the tiniest of pebbles or snowflakes bumps into just the right spot. All that pent up potential energy is released, and gathers speed, strength, and momentum. By putting off until tomorrow, you are robbing yourself of the “mighty momentum”.

Tony Robbins has a saying, “never leave the site of a decision without taking action.” Does that sound kind of like Benjamin Franklins’ quote? What Tony is trying to do is to get you to help yourself by taking a step, no matter how small, to start that momentum, to start your own avalanche.

What have you been putting off in your life? A project to do, something to start doing, something to stop doing, some habits that need to be modified?

Can you find a way to break it into a couple different steps? Can you break one of the easier steps into a few chunks? Find the tiniest chunk, and do it! Put that object in motion, and feel the thrill, the expectation and, at times, the terror of having started something. Then follow it up.

What I mean to say when I say follow it up is that one push alone won’t get it done. As an avalanche needs gravity to constantly pull on it, so your task will require your attention. Perhaps not as consistently as gravity, but you will need to continue to take steps toward finishing the task.

Friction exists in the real world, and it tries to slow the avalanche. Your task will face a similar counter-force. It may be apathy, being too busy with other “high priority” tasks, and distractions. By keeping after it, even in the smallest steps, you will eventually get there.

The New Year is here. You made your resolutions, now go.  Build that momentum, and see just what you are capable of.