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7 Reasons Generous People Are More Likely To Be Successful

7 Reasons Generous People Are More Likely To Be Successful

Who doesn’t love a generous person?  Many of us have been blessed by a person who has help us in a time of need, given us advice when we were confused of was just kind when kindness was needed.  Where being generous is great for those who are around such people, the habit of generosity does a great deal for the person who practices it as well.

Truly generous people are often successful in life.  Not just at work or in the community, but in their personal lives as well.  The wonderful thing about generosity is that anyone can become a generous person no matter what station you are in life, how much you have or what you hope to have.  Here are seven reasons why success often fills the lives of generous people.

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1. Generous People are Happy People

You will be hard pressed to find a generous person who is grumpy and unhappy.  People who are willing to share of their time, possessions, and talents are often some of the happiest people there are.  They have a great sense of contributing to the world they live in.  All of us seek to have meaning in life and to feel that we matter to the world.  For generous people, happiness comes from giving more than from taking.

2. Generous People are More Relaxed

There is no greater stress than feeling that you are in need or that you have to get more in life.  Greed as well as a sense of poverty drive people to constantly worry about what they do not have and at times will cause then to make bad choices to try and remedy the problem.  Generosity is a state of mind.  It is not based on how much money or possessions you have.  Generous people can in fact have very little, however, what they do have they are willing to share and are not in bondage to their possessions.  There is a great calm and peace that comes when we always sense that we can give of whatever we have.

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3. Generous People are willing to Work Hard

A common trait of generous people is that they are willing and happy to work hard for what they have.  Success comes through hard work.  There is not short cuts or easy paths to take.  Generous people realize this and will do what it takes to achieve their goals and dreams in life.  Since they tend to be others-focused rather than self-focused they see their own success as a benefit for all, not just for them.

4. Generous People are Kind People

Just as you will not find a generous person who is unhappy, you will not find one who is not kind.  Generosity is all about kindness.  It is giving of yourself to others to help them in a time of need or to advance them on their journey to success.  When you are kind to others you will find that others will be kind to you.  A key to achieving success is knowing that what you give you will receive back.  Zig Ziglar had it right when he said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

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5. Generous People are Free People

The strongest prisons in the universe are those built on greed, want and selfishness.  They are chains that hold you down from achieving real success in life and limit all you hope to do.  The only thing that breaks these chains is generosity.  Generous people are free to do what they wish, and have what they want because their happiness and success is not dependent on what they keep, but more on what they give away.  Have you ever noticed that generous people seem to have more than they need of all of life’s treasures?  That is because you will always receive in the same proportion as what you give.

6. Generous People Have Better Relationships

It is just a fact, happy, kind and generous people have more friends, better friends and stronger personal relationships.  It is not because others know they can get something from these people, in fact, what they have or do not have has nothing to do with it.  Generous people are faithful and loyal and these qualities strengthen all the relationships they have.

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7. Generous People are Confident People

When you are not the center of your universe, you will find that you not only feel better about others, you feel better about yourself.  Generous people do not get their self-worth from what they give, but by their freedom to give it.  The insecurity that comes with greed, want and selfishness is not there to hinder them.  They know they can be and do whatever their heart desires.

Featured photo credit: Feeding Birds/ Diego Cambiaso via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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