Category Archives: Uncategorized

May I Understand You?

images-18Research shows that most humans yearn to be understood. Perhaps today you can spend time understanding those around you. At the very least, your efforts may translate into better communication, increased understanding, and ultimately, improved relationships.

Can bilingualism make people more aware of their own and others love languages? I believe so.

So that we can understand and love each other better, Dr Gary Chapman created the model of the 5 love languages: Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts.

Most of us grow up learning the languages of our parents, which becomes our native tongue. We later learn additional languages, but with slightly more effort. For those of us who are born bilingual and become polyglots or multilingual, it may be easier to understand others culturally because our brains are used to making an effort to interpret what others are saying and doing.

Our emotional love language and that of others may be as different as Mandarin from English – no matter how hard you try to express yourself in English to someone who only understands Mandarin, you need to use a huge amount of energy to get the message across. Don’t forget that body language (55%) and tone of voice (38%) also have culture specific meaning.

It’s rare for husbands and wives, friends, and colleagues to have the same primary love language. Unless we learn how to alter our own communication, we tend to speak our own primary love language and become confused when others don’t understand what we’re communicating. Once you identify and learn to speak another persons love language, you’ll have discovered the key to a long-lasting, loving friendship, partnership, marriage.

Just with any model, the 5 love languages are meant to guide us and bring us one step closer. We all appreciate all 5 languages, however we usually prefer 1 or 2 over others if we have to choose.  Another way to discover your love language, is to think about how you naturally show love to others, as we often give what we like to receive. We often hear the expression, “treat others the way you would like to be treated”. I think we need to re assess and “treat others the way THEY would like to be treated”.

I had a partner a few years back who thought Chapman’s book was silly. I explained it to him in short, and said to him that I thought his love language was physical touch and words of affirmation. I went on to explain that our lack of connection could be because I did not grow up with words of affirmation and it is something I am learning (I believe I have become genuinely good at it now, especially as a mentor). In addition, because my primary language is acts of service, I would get incredibly hurt when he told me he was going to do something and then didn’t. To me, this showed a lack of love, to him, it was not at all meant to be a disrespect of love, he just didn’t think it was that important to me. Clearly, because we could’t agree to love each others in the other persons language, we had to end it and move on, yet we are still close friends today.

Men, don’t cop out and assume your language is physical touch just because your brain is wired to think so. It might even be worth taking physical touch out of the test until you fully understand how you prefer to give and receive love. Dr. Chapman says, “We’re not talking comfort. We’re talking love. Love is something we do for someone else. So often people love one another but they aren’t connecting. They are sincere, but sincerity isn’t enough.”

Although you may score certain love languages more highly that others, don’t dismiss the other languages. Friends, family and colleagues may express love in those ways, and it will be beneficial for you to understand this about them. In the same way, it will benefit people around you to know your love language so they can express their affection for you in ways that you interpret as love.

Take the test here, and have a relaxing Sunday filled with love and understanding.

My results are:

1. Acts of Service (includes doing work together and small gestures)

2. Quality Time (focussed, fun, experience, not necessarily quantity)

3. Words of Affirmation (I love poetry, what you do means more to me than what you say)

4. Physical Touch (I’m very ‘touchy feely’, I find it hard to be physical if I don’t feel loved)

5. Receiving Gifts (I still appreciate gifts, I’d just rather have the gift of love)

Learn more about Dr Gary Chapman and the 5 love languages here. 

With this backdrop, do you understand why your customers buy? (next article…)


How to mend a broken heart

By Sophia Demetriades


Anger kills… every day… through an ocean of infirmity such as depression, stress, broken relationships, strokes and heart disease. Yet its victims often never know what hit them.

I’ve heard anger to be a more comfortable feeling for men, whilst it makes women cry, the suffering none the less does not differ between men and women. Either way, the most painful anger is self anger, which leads to anguish and despair, which again lead us to do the most hurtful things to others, and to ourselves.

Once we are angry with ourselves for being vulnerable, denying ourselves to be vulnerable again, we forget to remember that forgiveness is the solution to a broken heart, whether it belongs to you or someone else. No matter how deep you are hurt, there is a way to effectively reduce your anger, improve your mental and physical health and put you in charge of your life again. Forgive to live is not just a dream, its a way of life that can save your life. Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right, and if you want to take your life back and have the love you definitely deserve, you must believe that you have what it takes to forgive yourself and others for being human.

Forgive yourself for breaking someones heart. Forgive yourself for not completing something you started. Forgive yourself for choosing something else. Forgive yourself for what has been and move forward in belief. Forgive your friend for what’s probably a tiny mistake in the big picture of things. Forgive your parents for not being perfect. Forgive your colleagues for not understanding you. Forgive your brother for what has been and move forward in belief.

7 steps to forgiveness:

1. come to a new understanding of what has happened to you

2. discover what forgiveness does and doesn’t mean

3. take steps to reframe your grievance story

4. stop giving control of your life to the people from your past

5. stop controlling other people and events around you to the level of which you can’t let go

6. get your life, and maybe even your health, back

7. find a freedom, peace, and strength you’ve never had

Forgive. Whether its your or own someone else’s heart you hold in your hands today, own it.

Look forward and cherish it. It has someone’s dreams inside.

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What will the university look like in 10 years?

By Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl

A current emerging trend is the shift in western education where we are slowly moving away from the university (which is likely to collapse unless they collaborate more with industry) and towards personalised, customised education which increases engagement in candidates or students. And it’s being replaced my mentors and coaches.

Library is free, internet is almost free, courses are easily available online. What is not so available in the current university are good teachers, and I say that with the utmost respect for those few of my teachers that were excellent, good teachers are a scarcity in the university today because all they do is to sit inside the uni and read and write, and they no longer have industry experience, and so we are not closing the gap between education and industry, we are in fact widening it.

It’s not long ago that Chris Anderson explained the idea of teacher as mentor, teacher as coach, teacher as informant. Who the teacher is will also change. It mightn’t be an academic in the future, it could be someone from industry…

Then, we have internships, which have been very popular in parts of Europe and the US for decades with the intension of being a transition between study and work life. Yet now, because some people are incredibly skilled at taking advantage of others, and some very negative, and some don’t have the skills to make sure they are not taken advantage of, we are experiencing a somewhat bad name for internships. Not everywhere of course, there are some excellent internships out there, and I’d like to believe we offer them too. What I mean is the fear of internships lurking in the university halls and in media.

I’d like to take us back to the origin of the university, I’d like to walk you down the hall with Plato and Aristotle, I’d like to challenge you to ask them what the meaning of university is (learn how to think in a different way) and compare it to what we are doing today (conforming), and then answer this question:

Considering the emerging trend of personalised and customised education, which increases engagement and motivation in students. What will the university look like in 10 years?

Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520) School of Athens


What is fascinating about the fresco The School of Athens is the fact that many known philosophers, poets and mathematicians that lived in different periods of time are depicted together in the same room, as if they were contemporaries. Some say this is just a homage to great thinkers, but others say that the intention of Raphael was to pass on a message. What message would this be?

Read more at Suite101: Raphael – the Symbolism of The School of Athens | Suite101–the-symbolism-of-the-school-of-athens-a188908#ixzz2MtYNP38M
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A New Vision For Our Future

How do we facilitate change, and restore and empower the individual?

  • Once someone is happily employed and feel valued, they experience self-actualization.
  • Humans interpret the world based on their environment and experience.
  • Once negative experience in ones un-chosen environment is healed from human memory, and choice is restored, humans are able to live in the present and look towards the future.
  • This starts with an encouraging vision for the future.
  • We need to dream our future out loud and solidify our dreams.
  • Then we must believe in our own and others dreams, and create a reality based on our values and beliefs.
  • This way we deliver our future in a way we could only dream of.

“I hope I inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that a vast majority of people come home at the end of the day fulfilled and thus make better people. And when we are better people, driven by what fulfills us, there is a better chance we will care about each other and have more fun” (Demetriades 2011).

I have created a framework (new solution to old problem) that explores three disruptive industries; technology, education and human resources, affected by a fourth industry as entrepreneurship.

  1. Technology is changing the world

It goes without saying that technology is changing the way we do things. Information is becoming more accessible (to some) and we have moved from the industrial age to the knowledge worker age. What brought success in one economic age will not lead to it in the next, and we are now shifting the focus to release, transform and empower the people behind the business rather than focussing on transactions, machines and increased productivity. Whereas the most valuable asset in the 20th century was production equipment, the most valuable asset in the 21st century will be knowledge sharing, and knowledge workers and their productivity. Technology is the knowledge workers tool.

2. The Education industry is changing

The education industry has turned into big business over the last few decades, yet the coming generations seem to have new and more ethical ideas for business. Although the global landscape   has been quite rough with war, it might have softened behind the scenes and we are moving in the right direction, forward. Entrepreneurship is blooming and especially social entrepreneurship and alternative education institutions. The CEO’s of tomorrow will drive ‘the school as a business unit’ back to its core values of education. We may see that the university will return to its origin where small groups or student teacher relationships become the norm. Imagine the early days of Plato and Aristotle, walking through the university hall in Athens, depicting the true meaning of university, designed for advanced learning for people as part of ‘the whole’, or ‘the society’. You can have a degree without having an education, and you can have education without having a degree.

3. The Human Resources industry is changing

We are increasingly experiencing a more human form of the workplace. HR Managers are welcomed to the board, and HR departments are run by professionals and not by administrators and operations department as previously. Due to emerging technology, people are becoming increasingly aware of the ruthless recruitment industry which must be separated from the HR department. A recruiter works for a company who is the paying client. The recruiter needs to see as many and as suitable people as possible to fill the role, and let the rest back into the pool. That pool is a massive opportunity. Theres plenty of suitable fish in the sea, the question is for what? When you are out of work, the best thing you can do is to educate yourself, if you can afford it, and these days you can. If there is a will there is a way. As the world is over populating, we need to collectively fill gaps and find ways to be more efficient.

“My vision is a healthier and happier future workforce, where people do what they love and love what they do.”

 We dream, believe, create, and deliver – a  new vision for our future.

Network Your Way to Work

If you are an international student that is just entering the Australian job market and you want to make a big splash in your marketplace as fast as you can, and get people to headhunt you, this tip sheet is for you.

No more floundering around hoping to get a phone call from someone you don’t even know.

Instead, use this great networking technique to take your idea to a group of instant employers.

Read on to join the movement of creative people that get tons of job offers on minimal effort.

Continue reading

Don’t Get Stuck In The Thinking Hole

Good morning,

I have discovered a great explanation for something that I do a lot, but didn’t have a very good term for.

This is something that will help you get out of the problem-solving rut that many of us get into when we try and out-think something, our uni work, applying for jobs, does he like me, am I too sexy for my t-shirt? think think think, you name it.

Maybe you have a major problem with writing an assignment or putting together you resume.

Maybe you can’t get your housemate to pay their bills.

Maybe you are having trouble thinking of a new gift for your friend.

Whatever problem you may have, there are always a million, because that’s part of the beauty with living your life and mapping it out with great solutions.

There are no rules, and there is no manual.

Continue reading

Magnetism – stand out, be noticed and remembered

Here we are, on to another Monday… My legs are still sore from running a half marathon this weekend, luckily I don’t type with my toes…. ha ha ha.

Today’s Dream Internship Tip sheet is a sneaky little way to get noticed, even if you sometimes feel like you’re just one of the crowd.

If you are looking to get a job, and you want to get a head start on all the other applicants, then this is something for you!

Here goes:

One if the biggest issues with sending email resume applications to employers, is getting it read by the right person at the right time.

Continue reading

Gen Y Discrimination: a shame or a kick in the butt?

Gen Y is going through a discriminatory stage. You could say that the exception becomes the perception, because the few Gen Y individuals who are loud and obnoxious in the media make the public believe that these individuals are representatives of the whole group (generation). Clearly, you can find many Gen Y’s who are capable, intelligent and serious. We dont all host crazy parties on Facebook and trash our parents house!
This is both a shame and perhaps a kick in the but.

Motivating Gen Y on Radio Adelaide

By Tim Molineux and Sophia Demetriades




8 Steps to Happiness

By Dream Internship (Ref Grant & Leigh 2011)

1. Goals and Values

2. Altruism and Kindness

3. Mindfulness

4. Stengths and Solutions

5. Gratitude

6. Forgiveness

7. Social Networks

8. Reflect, renew, review

HR & Education Industry Starving for Mentoring Programs

The education landscape is rapidly moving towards a renaissance of program delivery. People are increasingly interested in personalised and customised programs suited to the individual of the 21st century.

An important idea in the definition of a university is the notion of academic freedom. Interestingly however, academic freedom is no longer the reality of today’s university practice. If academic freedom refers to the freedom of inquiry by students and faculty members as essential to the mission of the academy, it is long lost. No field is generalised and standardised and limited by beurocracy more so than the university.  Continue reading

Talk to the Why – Simon Sinek


“I inspire others to do what inspires them”, Simon Sinek says in his famous TED talks and world wide presentations. Simons model, the golden circle, teaches organisations to speak to the why, rather than explain just what they do. If you do however wonder what Simon does, he conducts leadership training for organisations, and also teaches leadership at Columbia University in New York. You can read more about Simon here. This week, I had the pleasure of meeting Simon in person at BusinessChicks in Sydney. BusinessChicks is a women’s network headed by Emma Isaacs, and they often host fantastic events with top notch speakers Australia wide.

Simon really inspires me. Not because of what he does, but because of what he says. You can read his blog here, and you will quickly understand that Simon has learnt to speak to the why.

Buried within the cerebrum the limbic system, often referred to as the “emotional brain”, support and control our emotions, our behaviour, and our long term memory (Campellone 2011). The limbic brain also controls our decision making, and visionaries and leaders who inspire action, are often people who speak to the limbic brain (Sinek 2010). Driven by cause, purpose and belief, some entrepreneurs who speak to the ‘why’ and thus inspire people who believe the same as what they believe. According to Sinek (2010), this ability is what sets companies and people such as Steve Jobs and Apple, Richard Branson and Virgin, Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, apart from others. They create a vision and image based on their own passion.

With this backdrop, I would like to share my vision with you. I believe that what people want the most, is for their dreams to come true. Too often however, fear of failure or success hold people back from realising their dreams. Another inspiration to me, Sir Ken Robinson, explain that the reason for this is because people grow up being taught what not to do or to conform rather than to do what makes them happy. This he says, stifles creativity. Similar to myself Robinson battles the unsexy stigma of education as an occupation. We fight beliefs such as ‘academia is for people who cant do’ or ‘education is for people who don’t know’. None the less, when people are asked about their education, they are sensitive, either stating how good it is, or excusing how limited it is. But education does not come from academia. There is a learning experience in everything you do. It’s just that we rarely stop to contemplate what we actually learn from the situations we put ourselves in. And then of course, you always come across those who never learn. I know thats not you.

We all however let our personalities shape at least one area of our life where we never learn, or should I say never change. However most of use are ready for change. Most of us are changing and working towards something bigger and better. That is the human in us, that is biology leading us in the right direction. We all know what we are dreaming about. We all know where we want to go. What we don’t know, is how to get there. And for that reason, we let ourselves scare. If only we dreamt out loud, if only we told people what we really honestly wanted, and then went to go for it, we would have our dreams come true. And this is why Robinson and Sinek both inspire me so much. Because they have taught me to feel comfortable about my dreams. Because when I found them I realised there are people out in the world who believe exactly what I believe. Because I have learnt to dream out loud, by believing in myself, and by stepping up to the challenge when things become uncomfortable.

So, if you don’t know it already, if you don’t know what it is that I dream about, here goes:

“My vision is to offer the most innovative and engaging education programs available – in the eyes of my stakeholders, communities and individuals”.

As a result, through DIA’s programs and services, I will add to life’s enjoyment by helping people develop to the best of their abilities which will help me develop to the best of my abilities.

This will testimony my leadership in offering education programs that enable and transform the way people and business find, manage, interact and communicate with one another, and thus make me part of a company that understands and satisfies the education, entertainment and self-actualization needs of our stakeholders.

In short, my dreams are realized through yours. Why? Because it makes me feel happy, balanced, and important. I love helping others.

And so when I met with Simon this week and asked him about his why, he said out loud the dreams I have inside. He believes what I believe, and spoke to me and my why:

“I inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that a vast majority of people come home at the end of the day fulfilled by the work they do. The ultimate goal is world peace. People who love what they do come home fulfilled and make better husbands, wives, moms, dads, children, neighbors and friends. And when we’re better people, driven by what fulfills us, there’s a better chance we’ll care about each other.”

So that I can get to know you better, what is your why?

Networking your way to success

We’ve all heard it before; ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ or, ‘it’s not what you know it’s what you do with it’, or ‘it’s not who you know, its how you manage who you know’. No mater the quote, the message is clear; its definitely not what you know and you need to make an effort to manage those you know, because future business is born through networks!

Unfortunately, many of us are not efficient networkers. Excusitis claims reasons such as: “I ‘m too shy”, “it hasn’t worked in the past”, “I don’t have time” etc etc. But can you really afford not to network when its the number one reason for business success? and when the number one reason people will leave your business is because they think you don’t care about them? Can you really afford not to show someone you care? Continue reading

Relationship Strategy with 87.4% Success Rate!

You can predict success and failure in business and personal relationships with 87.4% accuracy, right from the start!



Learning from relationship researcher and marriage expert Gottman’s (2012) formula to predict marital stability and divorce in couples, we can predict with 87.4% accuracy if a marriage will last in only 4 minutes, and we can apply this to all our relationships.

Here are the 4 major relationships killers:

1. Avoidance 

The first and most often employed tactic in destroying relationships is avoiding conflict or people. When you avoid conflict – either because you are unaware of your own feelings or afraid of arguing – a situation can escalate. Rather than confronting the issue with your partner, you disengage the conversation, and when this happens repeatedly, the problems tend to accumulate.

Solution: open communication and constructive feedback

2. Criticism (blame)

Different from having an opinion or complaint, criticizing others is a form of attack that chips away at their confidence and self-esteem. A complaint would go like this: “You’re an hour late, I was starting to get worried – can you call me next time you’re running late?” This is criticism: “You’re late again. I was worried! You never think about how your behavior affects other people. Would it kill you to think about someone other than yourself for once?”

Solution: constructive feedback focussing on the situation and not the person

3. Defensiveness (excuses)

It’s natural to be defensive when you feel like you’re being accused of something. However, defensive communication generally creates more tension. When you excuse your behavior rather than take responsibility, and say things such as ‘I was busy at work/the bus ran late/My training ran over’ instead of taking ownership as to why you’ve not done what you promised, you reinforce that your reason (work/traffic/gym) is more important than them.

Solution: know what/who is important and value time management to avoid fire

4. Contempt

It’s a direct disrespect to others to believe you are more important than them. We often use unhelpful body language such as eye-rolling, or use sarcasm or ridicule un knowingly. This can make others feel worthless and unloved, and rarely moves the conversation forward in a positive way.

Solution: gain awareness of your body language by asking for feedback

Awareness of general mistakes means that you can avoid them and transform your relationships. Having a clear understanding of how others perceive you as genuine thus provide a scientific strategy for the success of your personal and professional relationships.

A long term strategy in short; self-awareness and self-observance can save relationship breakdowns in any area of your life.

A Game Changing insight!


Relationship Manager

A relationship Manager is a professional who works to improve relationships. Relationship Management is generally divided into three fields including businesses relationship management (BRM), customers relationship management (CRM), and between individuals  as interpersonal relationship management (IRM). The latter describing a modern practice combining human resource management, coaching and mentoring, and public relations. All three fields share the common goal of facilitating effective relationships such that the business or individual  maximizes the value of their relationships and maintain a good reputation over all.

Relationships have traditionally been regarded as an intangible aspect of business that was inherently difficult to assess or manage. Relationship Managers are part of a movement that seeks to use a scientific approach to gain greater control over business and personal relationships. Relationship Managers seek to define, quantify and analyze relationships so that they are not left u up to chance.

In 2010, Sophia Demetriades released a white paper that helps people understand, solve and decide upon common issues in the sphere of business to business marketing, business to customer marketing, internal stakeholder relations and interpersonal relationship building. The paper is based on interviews with more than 300 entrepreneurs, SMB owners, employees, interns and students and surveys of her mentees and clients over the last 7 years.

More recently, Demetriades (2012) has published several articles and papers on how these issues interact across three fields and which she believes will merge over the coming 10. With the backdrop of this research, she predicts a future landscape where entrepreneurship, human resources and public relations together shape a new trend for education of the individuals of the 21st century. Please note that she has chosen to define public relations also on scandinavian terms. Thus, the definitions must be understood in context prior to embarking upon her interpretations, which came to life during a study of small business communications.

Demetriades believe that current HR practitioners will move away from their recruitment offices and become coaches and mentors – and thus replace, or at the very least reduce, the presence of the university in our current society. After all, due to technology and the internet, western societies have  greater access to knowledge and may not need the university on the same level as previously. We may see that the university will return to its origin where small groups or student teacher relationships become the norm. Imagine the early days of Plato and Aristotle, walking through the university hall in Athens, depicting the true meaning of university, designed for advanced learning for people as part of ‘the whole’, or ‘the society’.

The merging and emerging fields of human resources, public relations and entrepreneurship

The recent changes in the landscape of relationship management has been suggested as a result of three over arching factors (Demetriades 2010). The factor include; the last decades evolvement of Human Resource Management (HRM), the last 50 years development of the Public Relations (PR) field (including socialist interpretation of PR), and the increased global increase in entrepreneurial ventures. Together with the development and availability of technology and the internet, these three fields are affected by and affect public education. Using communications and management theories to interlink the three fields, we can look towards a future trend shaping the education landscape. More specifically, examining how management and communications theory introduces relationship theory as they become the practical solution to our existence.  Continue reading

Ode to Sydney

Living in Sydney is like being head over heals in love with a beautiful person. On a good day, you can spend hours admiring their beauty, gazing into their eyes, dreaming about their wonderfulness. On the weekend, you can explore their mysterious lane ways and buy them flowers and jam at the saturday markets. Amazing time will pass by.

On a grey day, you can’t help but pick at their flaws, look for mistakes and feel frustrated that one and the same can be so incredibly beautiful and yet so incredibly annoying. You know inside that its not Sydney’s fault, yet you cast blame for all your own incapabilities. You don’t want to blame, its not Sydney’s fault, and blaming is not nice. You just can’t help needing to project your own dark side onto the city that kicks you when you are down, even though you know that it’s yourself thats kicking. You never leave because it embraces you when you are high. When you are away, your heart will carry the memories.

It can be so shallow, and it can be the most profound, the deepest love. So deep that it stabs you on the inside. Out loud, you say that you are completely platonic in your admiration. Purely spiritual, free from sensual desire. Everybody knows the truth, that you have fallen, head over heals. How can you not, when it’s licked your naked body in public, making you soar above its high rising buildings, between its dark warehouses, under its rich offices.

It has the ability to make you feel like a sophisticated socialite drinking champagne in the harbor on Fridays, a foxy lady in KX on Saturdays, or like a coffee drinking Boheme in Surry Hills on Sundays. A secret is not a secret if it is shared. That is the only thing that sets your relationship with Sydney apart from any other. You can share a secret, and it’s exciting, and it’s right in front of you, you’re living in it. And the theme music changes every day, depending on the the street your on. I thought I would never say anything as ridiculous as this: whilst it ruthlessly rips me apart, Sydney completes me.  Image

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