Never Love Anyone Who Treats You Like You’re Ordinary – Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde would have been wasting his time preaching those words to me in my youth. I never listened to anyone and fell in love with the wrong people time and again – people who didn’t treat me well. But I didn’t care as long as I got the one I wanted.
As I matured I slowly learned that to be treated well, not only would I have to demand respect but I would also have to become more selective in finding a partner – and that’s when it got tricky, but it wasn’t such a bad thing.
Here’s why the struggle to fall in love when you’re older isn’t that bad after all.
1. You Love Yourself
As we mature and put bad life experiences behind us, many of us learn that to move on in a positive way we must learn to love ourselves.Advertising
When we love ourselves we put ourselves first and this really is a good thing. Sure, we may need to give to others but we can’t do that without looking after ourselves first.
But when it comes to love, many people shy away from a partner who is only attentive to themselves – and these are the kind of partners you want to avoid.
You want to attract a partner who appreciates your worth and admires your ability to put yourself first. While it may take time, this makes it easier to sift through the pile of potential love interests, getting to the best ones on the top.
2. You Have a Full Life
If you have been single for a while you have probably filled your life with very interesting things. Fun activities, family visits, holidays and work all take up your time.
You may even have children from a previous relationship and it can be hard to fit a date into the middle of all of this. Isn’t it wonderful to have such a full life and so much choice available to you.Advertising
You can re-prioritize if that is your wish. You can juggle some things around to fit in a prospective partner and see how it goes. It is entirely up to you how much time you wish to devote to a significant other. Make it work for you.
3. You’re Self Protective
Many of us have been seriously hurt by someone we held dear and these wounds take a long time to heal. We can become weary of meeting someone new and put up our guard. Being self protective is not innately a bad thing.
If anything, this is the intelligent thing to do. Why would anyone rush back into another relationship for the same thing to happen again? When we’re self protective we are cautious about who we let into our lives.
The more careful we are the less likely we are to fall in love with a loser or a user.
4. You Enjoy Your Space
It is a lovely thing to be able to enjoy your own space. During times of solitude – be it a weekend alone on a break or a night in by the fire – we allow for self-development and introspection.Advertising
This is very healthy and helps us to become more well rounded people. Sometimes, however, while we want a companion in life we don’t necessarily want to share all of that space with them.
This is perfectly understandable and anyone worth their salt will respect that and give you your space. If they are happy to give you your space you will know you are on the right track.
5. You Don’t Suffer Fools
Over the years you’ve learned not to entertain people who seem highly likely to waste your time. Through experience you’ve figured out who these people are likely to be and you don’t take long in releasing them from your life.
This is truly wonderful. Wisdom is a great reward. The path to meeting someone who is truly right for you is clear because of this gift.
6. You Have Your Independence
You learn to look after yourself in every way when you are single. You work so you have your own money and you have your friends and family for company. There comes a point when you can survive easily if you never met someone.Advertising
The choice is ours when we reach this point. We can do as we wish – we have no need to meet someone unless we really do want to fall in love.
7. You Want A Meaningful Relationship
As we grow older we want a relationship that will be rewarding and meaningful. We want to be on the same page as our new date. We want to have a lot in common, be able to talk together and have that physical attraction at the same time.
It’s not good enough anymore to simply hook up with the first person we feel attracted to and hope for the best; as mature people we want more.
Experience and wisdom are fantastic assets when it comes to falling in love.
Falling in love gets harder as you get older but is it really love that we find in our youth– or infatuation? Real love is what we look for as we mature and while that may be harder to find it is longer lasting and far more rewarding.
So take your time, at least you know when you find them they will be a good fit for a long time.
Featured photo credit: Stephan Blomberg Photography via static.flickr.com
Last Updated on April 11, 2019
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.
Table of Contents
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- How to Work with Different Communication Styles in the Office
- 13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships
Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com