Situation Management Systems is a company that endeavors to better how people get things done and build their relationships between colleagues and associates from all over the world. It's no surprise that President and co-owner Sherri Malouf focuses on the importance of establishing a good rapport with those whom she interacts with on a daily basis. Between her busy schedule working on her Ph.D. in Human Development and leading a company, Malouf sat down to talk with us about her background, experiences and how she came to find herself interested in the human psyche at a molecular level.

Malouf took great care to formulate her answers, pausing to think not only about the question posed to her, but also about how she wanted to convey her message. After all, she knows the power of influence and how being present in the given moment, free from distractions, will help foster strong relationships.

Passion from the very beginning
As a child growing up in "the heady days of the 1960s and '70s," and the daughter of a trainer and coach, Malouf found herself interested in human interactions, the conscious, the subconscious and a slew of other philosophical prospects right from the get go. Her passion for the interconnected nature of people did not wane as she moved on to begin her studies in economics and law at the University of Plymouth in Great Britain.

Not feeling quite sated on the academic front, she got back to her roots and obtained her Master's of Philosophy from the University of Bath in Management Research. While in the United Kingdom, it appears that Malouf began her life-long quest to unearth the science behind how people relate to one another and why these connections are so important in business and in one's everyday life.

A doctor in the making
Now Malouf attends Fielding Graduate University, where she hones her passion for human development and will focus on the social cognitive neurobiology of what really makes us tick. With her new degree, Malouf intends to build upon the success of the Positive Power and Influence ® Program  that's been in practice for over 40 years and reinvigorate the company with new approaches to management training.

"I want to keep the program relevant and current for our clients and customers," Malouf noted. 

And Malouf knows something about the changing times.

"We used to offer four- and five-day training seminars, but now we have half-day up to three-day courses," she claimed. Why the change? "Everyone's very busy and distracted therefore it's harder to get people to attend longer programs."

People lose focus when they are distracted by external stimulus.People lose focus when they are distracted by external stimulus.

Of course, these are not the only challenges that Malouf faces in the field.

"People want to be able to get it in five minutes. They want the cure-all pill to fix their problems," she continued. And it's true. Trainers and consultants see that people want to change but are challenged because of the demands on their time between family and work.

"We wish other people would change," she went on to explain. "But we need to take responsibility and be accountable for changing our own behavior first in order to handle the situation more productively."

Looking forward
But Malouf knows that Situation Management Systems' programs are successful, even in their shortened form, and will continue to juggle her life between training, schooling and writing. And she offered up a piece of wisdom that we all should take to heart: "We are all weirdos to somebody else."

We need to learn to accept that "everybody brings their own experiences to the table," and we should not expect them to conform to our preferences. However, we can learn to work with our differences to meet our objectives and build meaningful relationships in the process.