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It May Not Be Easy to Love An Old Soul, But It’s Life Changing

It May Not Be Easy to Love An Old Soul, But It’s Life Changing

There is a special type of person in this world who is often misunderstood. They tend to be the loner, the free spirit, the wide-eyed innocent lover. They see the world for all it can — and should be — though the world rarely sees them. They are the old souls, the dreamers, the people so in-tune with life, so intuitive of emotion, that they scare us. Not because of who they are, but because of who we aren’t, what we lack.

Old souls reach depths we cannot possibly comprehend. They have a connection with God, with the universe, with nature, and that’s why they’re the people who will change the world. We often feel inferior, like we have to work extra hard to be remotely close to their level, to be deserving of their love.

It takes a confident person to love an old soul. But man is it worth it. It will change your life.

1. They are romantic.

They are the Audrey Hepburns and Grace Kellys, the Gregory Pecks and Frank Sinatras of this world, who cherish our hearts and do it with style: with picnics and candles and elements of surprise. Old souls have a flair for fun, for passion and adventure, that they’ll reveal to those they love.

2. They’re loyal.

Give an old soul love, respect, passion, and they’ll be faithful to you forever. Old souls aren’t after superficial friendships, or one-night-stands. They value depth. Truth. Authenticity. And if you meet that need, the love they have for you will never die.

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They’ll be there for you when dreams shatter, when life gets tough, in joy and sorrow.

3. They help us grow.

Old souls have inquisitive minds. They’re easily inspired and desire to learn as much as they can about the world and those around them. They don’t fear change or adventure. They’re open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. They desire to grow as people (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) so they inspire us to grow and change as well.

One can’t live by fear when loving an old soul.

4. They’re not materialistic.

Old souls care more about experiences, about spending quality time together than they’ll ever care about expensive jewelry and flowers or what money buys. They value you, the wonderful person you are, the person they fell in love with.

And if you invest your time and energy into loving an old soul, if you make time for them — beach strolls, dinners out, chilling on the couch watching Netflix, etc. — they’ll be fulfilled and so will you.

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5. They understand the deep connections of life.

Old souls can seem withdrawn at times, almost burdened down with the stress of the world around them. They often reflect about love and pain and worry. Their minds are hard at work trying to solve the problems of the world and the problems of their soul. They do this because of a strong desire to heal the world. To help others and help themselves.

So, appreciate their rich, magical emotions that run deep. Accept their desire to write and draw and paint. Encourage them. Cherish the depths of their soul. Then let them fly so they may share their open heart with the broken.

6. They’re thankful.

Because what’s good in this world can seem few and far between, old souls seek out and appreciate beauty. Whether it’s a radiant sunset or an act of kindness from a stranger, old souls recognize that the clouds do roll in, that people don’t have to be kind. So when someone goes out of their way, old souls take notice and give thanks. Old souls look for the best in people, for the beauty in their surroundings, for the blessings in life. And they often find it. Which makes old souls a light to be around.

7. They model bravery.

To live life misunderstood, to be unappreciated, taken for-granted, the group outcast — and still survive — WOW. Old souls are the bravest, most courageous people I know. They walk a painful road few in this life are chosen to walk, and yet they somehow muster the strength to smile. To be selfless. To support others.

Maybe not all the time. Not every day. But old souls know the trenches of pain and instead of being bitter, they make the world a better place.

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8. They’re authentic.

Old souls are not fake. They don’t play games. And they won’t tell you what you want to hear when they don’t believe in it. So the good news: You get the truth–whether you like it or not. And yes, while sometimes the truth can hurt, at least it’s real.

And yes, when an old soul is sad, they can’t hide it. Which can be a painful process to watch when you love them. But remember, anyone can be fake.

Old souls are who they are and that’s why we love them.

9. They have faith in us.

They see the good in us when we fail to see it ourselves. We can be the biggest idiots, the most selfish, ungrateful people, and an old soul won’t give up on us.They push us to be better, stronger, more authentic people. They remind us of what’s beautiful in this world. They inspire us to follow our heart and pursue our dreams.

They’re the kind of people we need in our lives because they they see the potential we have yet to see.

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10. They love us.

To be loved by an old soul is to feel the vast expanses of oceans and heavens and stars collide into one. The love of an old soul is a deep, genuine, fire burning love that ignites the depravity within our own souls. It is intense and powerful, selfless and unfailing. To love and be loved by an old soul heals us, changes us, and molds us into more caring, more passionate people.

Old souls are the sun. They’re the spark. They’re all the colors of a rainbow, and the depths of the earth. They may be misunderstood, but they’re love is real, their hearts pure.

Fall in love with an old soul and you’ll never fall in love again.

Featured photo credit: Girl Chasing Seagulls on Beach/Anton Petukhov 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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