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10 Things We Can Learn From Wes Anderson’s Movies

10 Things We Can Learn From Wes Anderson’s Movies

Wes Anderson is one of the greatest directors making movies right now and he has become renowned for his style and artistic interpretation throughout his career, but what are some of the greatest things we can learn from Wes Anderson and his movies?

1. It’s okay to take time to figure things out (Moonrise Kingdom)
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    Look, let’s face it, you’re probably a much more intelligent person than I am. In fact, I guarantee it. But even smart kids stick their finger in electrical sockets sometimes. It takes time to figure things out. It’s been proven by history. All mankind makes mistakes. It’s our job to try to protect you from making the dangerous ones, if we can.

    Sometimes we can’t plan how things are going to work out and we may feel completely lost without any sense of direction. Make some mistakes, learn from them and let it all figure itself out over time.

    2. Stick together with those who are closest to you (The Royal Tenenbaums)

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      All memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums had been erased by two decades of betrayal, failure and disaster.

      Yes, the Tenebauns are a dysfunctional family and this tarnished their ‘legacy’. Everyone has their problems, but by sticking together with your family and friends things will get better. It’s important to respect those close to you and be there for them like you hope they’d be there for you too. The Royal Tenenbaums showed that whilst family can be the source of some problems, it can also be the solution.

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      3. Be proactive (Fantastic Mr. Fox)

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        Honey, I am seven fox years old. My father died at seven and a half. I don’t want to live in a hole anymore, and I’m going to do something about it.

        Life is short (even if you’re not a fox) so make the most out of it and be in charge of your own destiny. If there’s something you don’t like, be proactive and change it.

        4. Be true to yourself (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou)

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          Well, I was a little upset at first. I mean, obviously people are going to think I’m a showboat, and a little bit of a prick. But then I thought… that’s me. I said those things, I did those things. I can live with that.

          At the end of the day, people are going to think what they want to think. As long as you are able to stay true to yourself, and what you believe in then what everybody else thinks should soon enough become irrelevant to you.

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          5. Honesty is the best policy (Bottle Rocket)

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            One morning, over at Elizabeth’s beach house, she asked me if I’d rather go water-skiing or lay out. And I realized that not only did I not want to answer THAT question, but I never wanted to answer another water-sports question, or see any of these people again for the rest of my life.

            Truth hurts, but sometimes being honest with yourself and to those around you means you can move on with your life and life the life you want to live. Plus, you won’t have to answer another water-sports question again.

            6. Money can’t buy everything (Rushmore)

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              You guys have it real easy. I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country: Rushmore. Now, for some of you it doesn’t matter. You were born rich and you’re going to stay rich. But here’s my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can’t buy backbone. Don’t let them forget it. Thank you.

              Having money is not the be-all and end-all of everything. Whilst you might be able to buy expensive, luxurious things with money you can’t buy life experience and you definitely can’t buy ‘backbone’. Earn your right to be rich in life experience and ambition.

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              7. Never miss out an opportunity to show love (The Darjeeling Limited)

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                You’re the two most important people in the world to me. I’ve never said that before, but it’s true, and I want you both to know it. I love you, Peter.

                If you like someone, make it clear and tell them just how much they mean to you. You never know when the day might come that you won’t get the chance to tell them this again, and it’s always a nice feeling when someone realizes how much they’re appreciated.

                8. Show affection (Moonrise Kingdom)

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                  Wait. Just in case this is a suicide or they capture us and we never see each other again anymore, I just want to say: Thank you for marrying me. I’m glad I got to know you, Suzy.

                  Sam’s old-fashioned way of showing his affection for Suzy is a lesson we can all learn from. By complimenting and taking an interest in Suzy, we see that true love can conquer all.

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                  9. Being rude is a way of expressing fear (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

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                    Rudeness is merely an expression of fear. People fear they won’t get what they want. The most dreadful and unattractive person only needs to be loved, and they will open up like a flower.

                    It’s fair to say that anyone with a rude or mean attitude is just openly expressing their fear or anger at not getting what they want. By showing respect and being respectful, you can not only set a good example but also make sure you don’t let it slip that you’re scared.

                    10. It’s alright to feel good about yourself (Fantastic Mr. Fox)

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                      I think I have this thing where everybody has to think I’m the greatest, the quote unquote ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, and if they aren’t completely knocked out and dazzled and slightly intimidated by me, I don’t feel good about myself.

                      We all have our own goals we want to achieve and an idea of what perceptions we want people to have of us. It’s not a bad thing to want to exceed what people already think of you and to aim high. It’s also totally fine to be able to feel good and believe in yourself. Knowing you can do something, as opposed to doubting yourself, might be the difference between being able to get it done or not.

                      Featured photo credit: Lucius Kwok 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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