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This site was created by Nicholl McGuire, Inspirational Speaker and Author. Feel free to comment, share links and subscribe. If you have a business or would like to guest post feel free to contact. Check out topics on this blog and select what interests you. They are found at the bottom of this page. Peace and Love.

Monday

The Problem with So-Called Constructive Criticism Coming From Our People


Some black folks just don't know how to give it or get it -- constructive criticism! When it comes to providing feedback or receiving it, we don't know how to do it! Blame momma and 'em with their sharp tongue, sassy hand on the hip attitude, eye rolling, heavy sighing, or loud voice. Must we have a negative disposition when talking to the offender or an over-the-top, "I will kick your a** temperament?" Some of us won't say anything at all; rather we go home and dump our issues on family and friends, "He is lucky I am a Christian because if I wasn't I would have...I don't know who that b*tch was talking to she better be glad I don't hit women."

The sad part is most of us are in the wrong and we know it, but we just won't accept it. When the truth comes out what do we do? Whether on the job, online or offline, we look for something negative we can dig up on people then throw their faults back up in their faces. This happens all too frequently in our intimate relationships too. You may have told your man weeks ago about how he didn't do something right, then weeks later he is talking about "remember that time when you..." because he is still fuming about how you didn't like a certain something that he did or didn't do. We think by taking on this attitude of "what can I find on you" it will somehow make us feel better maybe temporarily, but not for long. The truth is as an old wise woman once told me, "You are hurting yourself. Don't no man or woman want someone telling them what they are doing wrong all the time!" But what if you are dishing feedback out or receiving it in limited doses and you or the person still has an attitude? Get ready to play the "blame game." Someone will be lying, exaggerating or covering up faults to take the sting out of the feedback. For example, I say to you, "I would appreciate it if you could arrive earlier when we attend different events; rather than showing up late." What is the typical response? "Well you know the last time, what had happened was...anyway you was late that one time remember last year and I didn't say nothing to you...you always getting on me about being late!" See how our people can be?

Some of us will never accept criticism from our partners no matter how gentle, polite, or careful we are about giving it! Simply because we or our partners don't know how to give positive feedback on a good day. For example, from how we look to what we do to maintain house, our partner may say nothing or comment positively few and far in between. It is assumed you and I know we did a good job or we look nice. What is the excuse we give? "Well I didn't want to say anything because he might get all cocky..." or "she already think she cute, she don't need me to say anything!" How can you trust someone giving you so-called constructive criticism when you don't bother to provide them with any positive compliments? I would be more likely to accept one's constructive criticism if they were going to say something positive too. This teaching is easily accepted in Management Training 101 it should also be readily used in Intimate Communication 101 -- start with a positive before talking about the negative.

In many of our relationships with others, some of us are starving for a compliment. Some black folks won't part their lips to say anything good to save their lives! "She lucky I told her thank you, I'll be d*mned I tell her much else so she can get full of herself!" one might comment. Some of us have a serious problem giving good or bad feedback, but here are some things we can do to put our "attitude" in check before someone else checks us.

Change your outlook. We falsely assume the negative criticism will affect our relationship with the one giving the feedback as a whole and for the long-term. This only happens when you know this person doesn't mean you well from the start of the relationship. However, those who say they love you and sincerely care abut you don't want to do or say anything to keep you away. Those people on your job who value you will only say the things that will make their life easier. It doesn't always mean he or she wants to get rid of you! So change your outlook on what you "think" they are trying to do with their criticism and stick to fact. If the facts show this person has a long list of disrespect, being mean spirited and so on, take what he or she says and let it go in one ear and out the other!

Don't immediately obligate yourself to make changes.
Anything that affects your career, family, dreams, etc. should be wisely considered. Allow your emotions for but a moment to move you, but don't stay emotional for long, move on to other things that need to be done and come back to that negative comment when you are ready to deal with it. Once you come down from the shock and/or anger, ask yourself why does what they say bother me so much? It may not be constructive feedback, but a deliberate comment to make you feel bad, because they didn't like what you said. You will need to also examine the person giving you the feedback, does he or she have something to personally gain? Does this person actually care about you? Do you have something that he or she wants? Delaying change will keep you from making potential mistakes and will allow you the time to orchestrate your own plan for change. The kind that will make a positive difference in you or what you do with this person.

Stand up for yourself. When you feel like one's comments are not justified, kind, polite or anything that helps you, speak up when necessary. Sometimes there will be times when it's best just to "lay low" or be quiet. However, if you believe you must speak up then by all means do it in a professional way being careful not to name-call or threaten.

Nicholl McGuire is the creator of this blog and has received all sorts of negative (and positive) comments on other websites from being called the N word to having her life threatened, but it doesn't keep her down. She does what she must because there is a higher calling on her life that man nor woman couldn't fully understand. Be blessed!

Tuesday

10 Mistakes Hip Hop Artists Make On Twitter

Twitter has emerged as one of the most powerful social networking tools. Twitter is the home for many hip hop artists around the word. Even though Twitter is fairly new, there are already hip hop artists such as Sean ‘diddy’ Combs who had success with marketing on twitter. However, there as also been quite a few people who have made some mistakes when it comes to branding themselves on twitter.

I have compiled a list of the 10 most frequent mistakes hip hop artists make while using twitter:

1. Adding too many people at one time. So you want to brand yourself, yet you’ve got 50 people following you, while you’re following 2,001? How does that really portray you? If not only makes you look extremely desperate but it also shows that you’re not on twitter to build relationships with people, only to gain a vast amount of followers in order to spam them with your links. Take it slow, let the follows come naturally.

2. Bad photo. Using photos of inanimate objects on your avatar
or profile picture, even worse-not using any profile photo at all. People feel more comfortable interacting with people online when they know that they are communicating with a real person.

3. Posting nothing but totally random drivel daily. While this could work if you are only using the network to connect with family and friends, if you are using Twitter for business then you should post meaningful messages that can help you grow your brand. You can post promos, updates, and links to articles that provide value to people within your network. You can also post humorous tweets and other more personal tweets just make sure that they are interesting.

4. Using the default twitter layout. If you are a professional and want to be seen as so, take a few minutes to either create information packed twitter background, or at least something with some style. Who knows, you might even get featured in an article about twitter layouts and end up gaining a lot of subscribers because of it.

5. Carrying on long conversations between two users. The temptation to use Twitter like an IM service is there, but to fill a timeline with replies to a single person in a short span of time is aggravating enough to make other followers reach for the unfollow button. If you sense your convo will drag on, use direct messages, or better yet, just call the person the phone.

6. Not making regular Twitter updates. If you want to gain followers on Twitter, you need to post updates or tweets at least once a day. You can’t expect people to follow you if they see that the last message on your feed was posted a month or two ago.

7. Failing to add yourself to twitter directories. You want to gain followers but you don’t add yourself to places to be found. Directories such as Blacktwitters.com and Hiphopontwitter.com or powerful places to add yourself and be found by twitter users. Blacktwitters is a twitter directory for African American twitters.

8. Tweeting famous people. Nothing looks more obscured then to see unknown hip hop artists tweeting things to Jim Jones like “I sent you my mixtape but you didn’t respond.” This makes you look bad to your network and it's unprofessional.

9. Selling in your tweets. You want to tell people about your brand? Do it in your bio. Put your URL there and leave it at that. Focus your time and creating quality filled tweets. If they like you, they’ll look into what you do because they enjoy what you’re saying and believe you are a valuable source, not just someone who spams the twitter world with random “buy the hot song” tweets.

10. Dissing other hip hop artists. Internet beef are super weak. Beefing with other hip artists on twitter is just dumb.

By: JesseFop

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Monday

Who That is? Nostalgic for the Ghetto

Have you ever sat amongst a group of people and you are the only ink spot, so you start looking around hoping to find another ink spot like you? Have you ever sat back and laughed aloud with corny non-blacks only to hear a quiet voice whisper inside your mind, "Now you know that ain't funny?" Have you ever had a taste for some greens and cornbread (or any other soul food dish) while taking your fork poking at something that has some kind of French or Mexican name? Alright, if this hasn't happened to you then please do keep it moving, but if you "feel me" sit back and relax because I am about to take you on a ride -- to my old hood that is!

I was nostalgic for my old hood back in 2008. A hood of black folks who always "don't have no money" and "I will pay you when I get my check next week." I had spent so much time in an Asian community for the past four years (job related) that I started dreaming about Asian people. You know its bad when you start looking at people who you once thought all looked alike to now saying, "He's fine...She looks different than the other woman that helped me..."

I was in search of someone, anyone who looked or acted a little bit like my east coast self out here in So-Cal (Southern California.) When I would see my kind of people, or who I assumed were my kind of people, I would smile and try to make small talk, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. Looking at me with "I don't know you," some of these people just didn't know how to speak! So I started running my mouth to my man about, "Where is the black folks? I mean I got love for everybody, but where is the black folks?" He took the blinders off his eyes too, (a black man who spent the majority of his life around every kind of folk) and asked me the same question as if he just now realized this after years of living out here. So I prayed and Oh Lord, why did I do that? God was going to teach my "Where are the black people at" preaching self a lesson! The next thing I know my man and I are talking about me going back to my old hood "...since you miss it so much!" and the next thing I know I am smiling and on the plane in 2009, "Peace!" I said. That's right I was seriously nostalgic for the black folks and left my man and children to go back to my old childhood stomping grounds for a move that later turned into a long vacation (a much needed break and another story!)

When I got to the old hood, it just wasn't the same! Man, I was mad! Then I was sad. I kept talking to everyone I saw, "What happened? It's not like the way it was back in the day? Why is it so ghetto?" With eyes glazed over, some brothas and sistahs high and some not, black folk I knew and didn't know, all said the same thing, "It was that crack! Police ran up into 'dem houses and they been like dat ever since!" All I could say at the time, "Daaammmn! Any plans to knock them down?" According to the local newsletter, (at least that was still around) they were going to do it, but when only God knows!

Do you know what that feels like, your old hood that wasn't really all that bad to begin with, yet gets worse with age, drugs, and gun slinging fools!? So I visited another hood and I guess I was out of touch. My mother was talking to me while we walked and I couldn't hear her, because I was too busy watching everyone. I wasn't smiling, I wasn't talking to any strangers, everybody I met was suspect. So I had to check myself what happened since I left? What happened to me? No one ran up in my house and scared me half the death, so why am I nervous? Because I felt an element of danger, okay? The kind that didn't exist in my palm tree-lined Chinese community with patrol cars strolling through looking at black a little closer than the rest, if you know what I mean. (However, those weird feelings showed up when I returned home and less than a year later, I heard some girl got murdered in our local park, "daammnnn!")

So there I was on a long vacation back in my east coast hood and I think I had all the black folk I could stand! We was still talking "bout folks, still askin' for 5 dollas, and still talkin' bout whose a**..." we would have to check! Yeah, it was time to get up out da hood 'cause someone was fixin' to go to jail and it ain't goin' ta be me, feel me?"

Nicholl McGuire is the creator of this blog.

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