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Are You A Control Freak? Use It To Your Advantage

Are You A Control Freak? Use It To Your Advantage

There are many people who are considered as the controlling type. Everybody has met someone like this at some point in their life – Type A, OCD people or control freaks. On the other hand, there is a completely opposite group of people who just couldn’t care less about things. These labels usually have a negative connotation, as nobody likes being controlled or manipulated by someone else. However, being a control freak doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a bad person.

Think about it, there are many pleasant people out there, but does that make them good by default? Maybe, and maybe not… it depends. Every kind of personality has good and bad sides. It is important to know yourself and work on your bad sides, or to try and use the things which are “negative” to your advantage. Being controlling is undesirable in certain situations, but there are times when it may be mandatory. If you are a control freak, then you’ve come to the right place because today, we will talk about how you can use your personality to your advantage, both personally and professionally.

Use your readiness and creativity

Most control freaks think about everything. We are not just controlling about other people, but about ourselves as well. This is why we are always ready for the things that await us; prepared for all obstacles. Not only that we think about things that await us, but we take even further steps.

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Things like designing situations that might develop, thinking about them, planning your moves and taking all the necessary things in account are not uncommon to people who want to be in control. This quality of yours can give you a key advantage in your career, enabling you to prepare well for job interviews, give creative suggestions at work and never disappoint your boss by breaking deadlines.

Take control of your environment

You don’t enjoy messiness! Period. This is a valuable trait you should definitively look to nourish even further. Nobody loves messy people. Its OK while you are teenager, but as you get older, people will think you are an immature kid. When I was in my early 20s, I used to boss people around, telling them how they are messy and stuff, but on the other hand, I didn’t take care of my own living environment.

Not because I was too lazy to do it, but just because I liked to spend most of my time controlling everyone else, rather than myself. That’s why people despised me. Take that inner voice that demands perfection and use it on yourself to make your living or working space sparkle. However, you need to make sure that you are being smart and efficient about organizing your environment, so that you don’t spend a lot of time on making your office just right, instead of actually doing your job.

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Get the job done

As a control freak you don’t shy away from working hard. This is something you should look to take advantage of, as people are getting lazier and lazier. I personally used this excessive energy to progress in my career and work hard towards brand new promotions and better job positions. Employers love hard workers, and my devotion gave me a key advantage in the workplace, as most of my employers respected me for my hard work; and they rewarded me as well.

Let your tidiness and punctuality shine

Nobody schedules time better than control freaks, and nobody has a tidier office and home. Punctuality and tidiness will earn you quite a few bonus points with your employers and business associates, so feel free to let your controlling inner self shine. The compulsion to have everything just perfect will allow you to spend some time on tidying up, e.g. performing regular rug cleaning and maintenance and ironing your clothes every morning, and ensure that both you and your immediate surroundings look presentable.

Also, very few people are going to be at their desk exactly on time every single day, turning in projects ahead of schedule or paying incredible attention to detail, and this gives you an edge over the people you are competing against in the business world.

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Use your toughness to get what you want

I am a tough person by nature, and people know this. Why? Simply because I don’t let anything slide, I like to cover every case scenario and consider all possible roads ahead. This is something that can be annoying to others, since many people don’t think that much when arguing with someone, or they are influenced by emotion. Being assertive and confident can do you lot of good, both in your career and personal life, as you will be able to negotiate what you want and prove your dominance to others. It may sound harsh, but this is how life works. It’s every man for himself.

Make decisions that nobody else will

Focus and decisiveness is something all of “us” have and this helps us get to the bottom line of every issue. This is something that presents a problem to other people and that’s why they can’t make hard decisions that concern their life or career. Constantly staying in your comfort zone and not having the courage to do what has to be done never got anybody anywhere. Luckily, you have the potential to overcome these issues easily.

Your desire for leadership will give you progress

Why do people call us control freaks? Simply because we want to tell everybody what to do. Luckily, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as there is a constant need for quality leaders. For example, if you are planning on starting a business of your own, your desire to organize things the way you see them can be very useful. A business owner needs to be a leader who can quickly organize people and tell them what their next steps are. Furthermore, employees usually have greater respect if their superior is a confident business leader.

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These are the things you should look to use to your advantage, but be careful how you use them. There is a right place and a right time for each of them, and you should learn what they are in order to use them positively.

Featured photo credit: ARTZ5143 SCM HANDS MASTER/Juan Carlos Pachón via flickr.com

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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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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