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10 Reasons Why You Should Date A Martial Artist

10 Reasons Why You Should Date A Martial Artist

Martial arts aren’t all about breaking boards and breaking arms; martial artists have also been known to break their own fair share of hearts. But don’t let that stop you, because men and women who practice martial arts offer a ton of great benefits to potential partners. Want to find out more about why your next lover should be a black belt, or at least halfway there?

1. They have high confidence levels.

People who engage in regular martial arts often carry themselves a little differently. Look at guys like Steven Seagal, Bruce Lee, or pretty much any current UFC champ and you will realize something right away: these guys are oozing with confidence. Whether you are a female or a male, there are few things more attractive than being with a person who is supremely confident that they can take care of themselves and protect those that they care about.

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2. They have small or nonexistent egos.

Arrogance is actually the result of low self-confidence and insecurity. Sure, the wanna-be tough guy walking around flexing at the gym looks “tough,” but he is probably just a scared little boy inside of a balloon suit. When a person is unsure of who they are and lacks self-confidence, they often walk around puffing out their chest, criticizing others, and acting tough in order to project an image of confidence. Someone with confidence is attractive, but someone with an ego twice the size of Texas is just about as annoying as a rock in your shoe. Ego is the false projection of confidence, and it almost always leads to bad things.

3. They are fit.

People involved in the martial arts are almost always physically fit. I know from being a competitor at some of the largest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions in the world that most of the people walking around are sporting six-packs and bulging biceps. Personally, I trained up to 6 hours a day at times, and with that much working out, you are bound to get fit in the process. Martial artists often treat their bodies like a temple and avoid things that will detract from their health. They are always active in some way or another.

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4. They are better lovers.

Not only do martial artists have better stamina from being in great shape, but people in the martial arts are often much more in touch with their bodies, more balanced, more flexible, and more in tune with the bodies and reactions of others. I am going to keep this article PG, so I will let your imagination run wild with that one for moment.

5. They have more discipline.

Martial artists not only discipline their bodies through drilling, hard exercise, and physical conditioning, but they also learn to control their minds as well. Martial artists must develop the power to force themselves to do things that are uncomfortable. They must continue to train even when they are tired, sore, or getting beaten. A true warrior of the martial way has to learn to be in control of themselves at all times, and it helps them to develop tremendous personal discipline. Are you bad with diet, budget, or setting goals? Find a martial artist. They can probably teach you a thing or two.

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6. They are better listeners.

Martial arts require a high degree of concentration and focus in order to excel at practice or competition. The same powers of concentration that allow a warrior to seize an arrow out of the air or dodge a punch will allow your new partner to listen to your problems, offer solutions, and be a shoulder to lean on in tough times.

7. They are happier people.

Have you ever wanted someone who just rolls with the punches, passes through life, and encourages you to smile all the time? A martial artist is a person who often takes things lightly, learns to exist within the flow of life, and finds joy in the small and passing moments that many of us take for granted. Who doesn’t want to date someone who is happy? More confidence, less ego, less anger, and a quiet dedication to the body and the mind: all these things make a martial artist a happier person.

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8. They are gentle and slow to anger.

The martial way is not one of violence and bloodshed, but rather one of patience, virtue, and peace. A true warrior doesn’t go around provoking fights or arguments, but avoids confrontation and fighting when possible. I don’t know about all martial artists, but I know my instructor won’t even kill a spider that walks out onto the mat, and I am the same way. I am not saying that a martial artist is someone to walk on, just that they probably are the last person that will start screaming in your face.

9. They are honest.

The martial way is one of humility, respect, and honesty. Martial artists often dedicate their lives to cultivation of their spirits, bodies, and minds, and along with these pursuits, they must learn to develop strong core values and beliefs. A person with integrity—a clear focus on what they believe and value—is much more likely to be honest than a person who has no purpose in life.

10. They are dedicated, faithful, and loyal.

Martial artists often devote their lives to those closest to them. Along with their strong values comes a strong sense of belonging and responsibility for and towards those they love and care about. A martial artist sees him or herself as a tool to protect honesty, integrity, wisdom, truth, and all things good in the world. If a lifelong practitioner of the martial arts tells you they want to be with you forever, you better believe they mean it. They will probably stick with you through fights, adversity, challenges, temptations, and anything else life can throw your way.

Featured photo credit: Fighter Portrait by Jorge Gonzalez via flickr.com

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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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