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20 Small Things To Do To Be Mentally Stronger In 2016

20 Small Things To Do To Be Mentally Stronger In 2016

Join the elite group of people who challenge themselves every day to be Mentally stronger. By managing your emotions, thoughts, diet and outlook on life you are on the right path for a successful and happy life.

Here are 20 small things you can do to be mentally stronger in 2016.

1. Read an inspirational book at least once a month

Reading about how other people overcame obstacles in their lives can give you great inspiration in your outlook on life.

2. Start the day with a coffee

By starting the day with a coffee, you are activating the brain from the moment you step out the door.

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3. Do the Sunday crossword

There is nothing better than a lazy Sunday morning enjoying a late brunch and giving your brain a good work out. Why not up the game a little and tackle a cryptic crossword.

4. Talk a walk in the park

The brain is an organ that needs a rest every now and again. By taking a brisk walk in the park, or anywhere away from noise and disturbances, you will be more alert to tackle the most strenuous mental challenge.

5. Take up meditation

Meditation is a wonderful tool to get you mentally strong. Meditation is a powerful tool that can transform your very being, it can take you to the peaks of bliss and ecstasy.

6. Eat breakfast

Do not leave the house without having a breakfast. The brain needs fuel for it to function effectively. If you are someone who does not enjoy breakfast a simple banana on the train or in the car on the way to work is enough fuel for an hour or so.

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7. Ensure a good nights sleep

Mental toughness needs rest. When you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity occurring when you are awake.

8. Play chess

Not only is it a great game that you will enjoy, but your brain also loves the challenge chess gives to it without putting a strain on it.

9. Ask questions

For many mentally strong people, the one thing they most remember that has changed their lives has been the answers to questions they asked. Asking questions do not make you look stupid or weak but show an eagerness to learn and explore more possibilities.

10. Eat lunch away from your desk

Creativity improves when you move away from your desk at lunchtime.

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11. Walk straight and tall for 5 minutes a day

Standing tall and proud for at least 5 minutes a day opens up your perspective and feel confident and in control.

12. Take a power nap

Research has shown that all it takes is 10 minutes of sleep to really boost your concentration, performance and improve mood.

13. Be thankful for one thing every day, even if it is your morning coffee!

Powerful people embrace what they have to be thankful for and tend not to dwell on what they do not have.

14. Do something different at least once a week.

Mental toughness is about your habits, not your motivation.

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15. Learn to say “no” more often

The more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress. Mentally tough people know that saying no is healthy.

16. Be without your phone for 30 minutes each day

Okay, I know, I am not going to get you to give up your phone for one day a week so I made this task simpler. Once you realise that the world will not end if you do not have your phone, or that your friends can wait 30 minutes before you return a call, you will feel an incredible feeling of release.

17. Have one less alcoholic drink a week

Alcohol affects cells in the body, and the most immediate impacts are seen on the brain. Alcohol is a depressant that affects the brain by causing the brain to slow down.

18. Smile to a stranger once a day

Smiling leads to a decrease in the stress-induced hormones that negatively affect your physical and mental health. Smiling to a stranger makes this ever more potent.

19. Sing in the shower

Singing in the shower boosts your mood by releasing endorphins and oxytocin in the brain, hormones that bring pleasure and relaxation.

20. Take 1 hour a week out for YOU

By taking time out for yourself you are being productive. It is important to be content with being alone and not feeling the need to be constantly with people. Solitude can be highly beneficial to your mental health, creativity, 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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