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14 Things Phenomenally Successful People Do Differently

14 Things Phenomenally Successful People Do Differently

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure”-Bill Cosby

What quality do you think differentiates the winners from the losers? Why are some people so successful in reaching their goals while others can’t achieve them? Because of their mindset, beliefs, and habits. Your brain is the first keystone to success. The second is your everyday actions, your daily habits. This list consists of 14 habits and beliefs that characterize phenomenally successful people—14 things that can transform your life as soon as you put them in your arsenal. If you want to become successful, you should get some paper and start taking notes.

1. They Know That Time Is Their Most Valuable Asset

They don’t let others make them invest time in activities they consider boring and counter-productive to their self-development. You shouldn’t do that either. When you think that something is a waste of your time, don’t do it. Your time is an asset that IS NOT INFINITE. Nobody on this planet has unlimited time, yet people tend to spend their time like garbage. The first thing you MUST DO if you want to change your life, become more successful, and achieve your goals is to change your perception of time. Realize that your time is not infinite and that you should spend it wisely, because it doesn’t come back.

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2. They Step Out Of Their Comfort Zone

The only path to personal growth is doing things that make you feel awkward. When all you do is walk inside your comfort zone, you can’t grow as a person. You stay static because your activities can’t change you. If what you do doesn’t challenge you, if it’s not uncomfortable and difficult, then you should raise your standards and increase the game difficulty. You can’t build muscle if all you do is lift feathers. You have to lift heavy rocks.

3. They Create & Pursue Specific Goals

Most people don’t have goals at all. They don’t know what they want to do in their lives. They are just walking around like zombies. Would you ever take your car and start driving endlessly without knowing where you are going? Well, of course not. So why are you doing the same with your life? This is not a game, you don’t have 8 lives, only one. Setting up goals and having a destination is essential if you crave success. But that’s only the first step. The second step is to take these goals and make them specific. A goal like “I want to lose weight” isn’t specific. A goal like “I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 3 months” is what you should have in your mind.

4. They Focus on Small Continuous Improvements

Most people try to achieve overnight success. They want results instantly! Those who succeed in life know that things take time. How much time will it need? It takes as long as it takes. There is no certain period of work that guarantees success. Instead of trying to get rich in one month, you should focus on making little daily improvements. These improvements add up as the time passes, and after months or years of daily commitment, the progress is HUGE. That’s what every successful person does. Unfortunately, people can’t see the daily effort, as they only see the final outcome. Don’t ignore the progress. It might take some time, but it will be worth it. Focus on getting better every single day instead of trying to achieve a huge leap forward in just a week or so.

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5. They Dress to Impress

When you dress like a winner, people tend to respect you more. In psychology, this is known as The Halo Effect. In particular, people tend to make a perception of your whole character based on a single quality that you have shown them. If you look great and you take care of your appearance, then people assume that you are someone who deserves their respect—someone who is also successful, reliable, and kind. When Aristotle Onassis went to America, before becoming a millionaire, he spent all his money to buy clothes that would highlight his style and class. If Onassis gave such importance to his physical appearance, I don’t see any reason that you shouldn’t do the same.

6. They Maintain a Positive Mindset

Your thoughts are the brush that paints your destiny. Successful people think positive and don’t look at their disadvantages. They fight with what they have and always seek improvement. But this improvement can’t come if your mind is continuously occupied by negative thoughts and stress. Positive thinking has been found to reduce stress and, according to Mayo Clinic, it also offers benefits like:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

7. They Embrace Failures

Phenomenally successful people carry the belief that failures are the stepping stones to success. Each failure yields rewards bigger than a win because it can offer you an invaluable life lesson. Start seeing your failures as an opportunity to become better instead of letting them bring you down and disappoint you.

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8. They Surround Themselves With Winners

Jim Rohn has said that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” People with who you associate play a significant role in your life because they form your lifestyle and beliefs. If you are around people who are full of negativity, you won’t be able to maintain positive thoughts. On the other hand, if you are around people who write down their goals, focus on daily improvement, and dress to impress, you will be pushed to become the best version of yourself. Surround yourself only with like-minded people who have big dreams and are eager to take the necessary steps to achieve them. They will take you to the top with them.

9. They Don’t Seek The Perfect Moment, They Make a Random Moment Perfect

What are you waiting for? The right moment will never come. The circumstances will never be ideal, and if you wait for tomorrow to get started, it will never come. Tomorrow is just an excuse for inertia. There is no perfect moment. What matters is to get started as soon as possible and make the best out of what you have.

10. They Don’t Brag, They Listen

Successful people are ALWAYS eager to learn new things. They ask questions and they listen carefully to other people’s advice. They usually don’t talk too much because they are focused on listening and processing information. On the other hand, losers always speak about how much they know and how amazing their accomplishments are. They are so blinded by their need for acceptance that the only thing they care about is to brag about what they know. And in most cases, they just talk the talk. They don’t walk the walk.

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11. They Know That Education is a Constant Process.

Do you believe that you should stop learning when you finish school or college? If the answer is yes, then it’s crucial to change that belief before it’s too late. Education shouldn’t stop at school or college; you should learn new things every single day. It isn’t a coincidence that the most successful people are those who have read countless books and have spent a lifetime acquiring new skills.

12. They Help Other People

Success isn’t about caring for your selfish needs. It’s about caring for the needs of others. EVERY successful person accomplished his goals because what he did really helped others in some way. Mark Zuckerberg gave the world a tool that made it easy to connect with their friends. Larry Page and Sergey Brin gave world a system (Google) that made it easy to find unlimited information in milliseconds. Famous singers and actors help people by fulfilling their emotional needs. If you want to succeed in life, you shouldn’t focus on yourself, you should focus on how you can improve other people’s lives!

13. They Have The Courage to Say NO

This is actually a quality that really separates the winners from the losers.When you are not afraid to say no, you have already avoided the need to please everyone. Trying to please everybody is impossible and can only lead to disappointment. When you don’t want to do something, just say no without apologizing for your decision.

14. Successful People Take Ownership Of Their Actions

Most people make the mistake of pointing fingers to others for their faults. They never accept responsibility for their actions and always believe that someone else is responsible for their misery. Targeting others for your frustrations won’t help you achieve your goals, it can only hurt other people’s feelings or even create enemies. In fact, your actions or your inertia is what actually determines the quality of your life. Blaming others is just an excuse to avoid the hard work needed to change your life. Stop blaming others and take care of your future, because it depends only upon YOUR ACTIONS.

Featured photo credit: TechCrunch via flickr.com

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Damian "Pros" Prosalendis

Entrepreneur, Business Owner

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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