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Sylvia Becker-Hill

Do you know why you vote the way you do?
October 2012

In this newsletter, Halloween, marital bliss, the presidential election and your brain-determined vote will be covered!

Sylvia Halloween 2012

It’s Halloween here in Michigan and with two young boys, we celebrate it in many different ways. We decorate the house, buy costumes and visit haunted houses and scary tunnels. We also go to several Halloween parties and trick-or-treat events with the kids. It’s a time to celebrate the transition from long days lived outside to long evenings enjoyed inside.

Today’s newsletter is a special one for me because it’s the first in which I have a guest author for my main article: my husband Peter! Two weeks ago, we spent four days alone in Arizona, escaping the unseasonably cold temperatures in Michigan. We recommend this to every couple. It is important to get away at least once a year to have time to reflect on, refine and reinvent your future together! We always choose either business conferences or spiritual retreats to help us do that.

Fired up by the presidential candidates’ second debate, we discussed the upcoming election during our flights and drives. Out of this came the idea to share some interesting research into our voting habits which you will hear about in the featured article below. We hope that this inspires you to read, to reflect and, most importantly, to go out and vote!

This Month's Featured Article

By Peter Hill

Happy Democracy Day!

“With the US presidential election coming up, I've being thinking a lot about voting. Well, not about my actual vote, as I am not a US citizen and therefore can't vote anyway. I occupy myself with trying to figure out why other people vote for the candidates they do.  

Are our political beliefs really our own? Or are we all following a deeply embedded mental script of some sort? Why do we often think the other candidate is “an idiot,” and the one we support is “always right?” Why are some people Republicans, some Democrats and some undecided? Is this nature, nurture, logic, morality, or neuroscience?

It doesn't take long in conversation with most people to determine their political lean. In fact, human brains are very good at determining intuitively, with remarkably little conscious thought, where others lie on the political spectrum.  Often just a few words or sentences can reveal someone’s beliefs.

In Jonathan Haidt's fantastic book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, he dives right into this issue. The core of Haidt’s argument is that we are all “intuitive politicians” with our beliefs governed more by the moral standards of our upbringing than by our ability to reason.

Moreover, we often use reason simply to justify what we feel about the issue at hand.  We use logic not to decide what we should believe based on facts, but to bring our mind in line with our moral sense of rightness.

This is probably why I’m a liberal, having grown up with parents whose entire careers were in public service, dedicated to supplying services that benefitted society at no financial profit to themselves. But I also have centrist-capitalist tendencies, having seen the downside of the socialistic state, where the freedom to excel is constricted by an overbearing sense of fairness for all. I also saw both the financial gain and social pain when a country decided to dismantle “big government” and reform society into a more open economy.  

Haidt also explains very clearly the moral basis of the political parties we have in the United States. He observes that in terms of moral persuasion, the Republican moral argument has a broader variety of moral positions (liberty, loyalty, authority and sanctity) to draw on than that of the Democrats (care and social fairness).  

Haidt’s book is a gripping read if you really want to understand why you vote the way you do, and why you can't understand why on earth all those “other people” can't seem to ever see things your way. If you want to make this election special, read the book before you vote.

The main thing is to get out and exercise your right to vote. That's the most important part of living in the amazing, complicated, freedom-loving democracy that we do. Happy Democracy Day on Nov 6.”

What's New

Even though coaching has been a part of the market for twenty years and has had established definitions, codes of ethics and core competencies for ten years, people still have many very practical questions. Years ago, I started to collect and answer those questions. I update them as I coach and as the profession evolves.

If you have questions like, “What is coaching?” or “How does it work?” or “How do I know that I need coaching?” please check out the Question and Answer section here:

What is Sylvia doing this month?

November is a month filled with writing retreats, long VIP days, traveling to clients outside Michigan and private trips. If you contact me this month, please expect a delay in receiving an answer from me. If it is urgent, please contact my client care manager Kristi Pavlik at support@sylviabeckerhill.com.

I wish you all pleasant transitions into winter and a blissful Thanksgiving Day!

Final Words

Welcome, all new followers! I am confident that you will enjoy the information and resources available to you through this newsletter and my website. I encourage you to leave comments on my blog and to share my newsletter with others who you think might benefit from it. Be sure to remind them that they will get two free e-books upon subscribing!





In This Issue

Personal Note from Sylvia

Featured Article

What's New

What is Sylvia doing this month?

Final Words


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Sylvia Becker-Hill

www.sylviabeckerhill.com sylvia@becker-hill.com

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About Sylvia

Sylvia Becker-Hill, Dipl. Verw., MA Phil, PCC
Own Your Brain. Own Your Life.™

Under this motto Sylvia works as an Executive Change Strategist helping corporate leaders to become change champions while gaining more control, efficiency and productivity with less stress.

Combining her years of experience as a corporate coach with cutting edge techniques in change management, neuroscience, emotional intelligence and Pro-EFT Sylvia expertly guides her clients to achieve quickly deep, lasting, life changing transformations that they report as nothing short of magical.



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