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9 Creative Gift Ideas to Surprise Your Partner

9 Creative Gift Ideas to Surprise Your Partner

If you want to show your partner how much you care, the best way to do that is to make a gift that will mean a lot them. Put some effort into it, for Christ’s sake. Show them that they are special. Even if you have a gift in mind that you already bought, there are ways to present it in a creative manner.

1. Create your own love story book or comic with pictures and drawings

This is the most creative gift you can give your partner, and you’ll both end up shedding tears of joy. In order to make this gift, you need a nice blank notebook or just papers that you can bind together with nice hard covers, as well as pictures of you and a few different pens.

The point of this gift is to tell your life story, and include some humorous situations, as well as romantic ones. You can write a story, and add pictures, or just write some of your quotes related to the picture. It may be hard to picture the love story book at first, but you’ll get a hang of it when you start making it.

If your partner is a comic book fan, and you know how to draw, you can make a comic book of your love story. It can also be just the first chapter, and if your partner is addicted to a particular comic book, you can make it in that style.

Start with the beginning of your relationship, and continue to the very moment you gave them the book. You can just name it “The First Chapter”, so it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in a relationship. You can even use the last page to propose, if you are at that stage of the relationship. If not, the First Chapter of your love story will be enough to take your partner’s breath away.

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As this gift is made by you, except for being romantic, it will probably be the best gift your partner has ever gotten.

2. Rainbow roses go with every gift

If you know what your partner will love, but you want to make your gift more creative and personal, you can make rainbow roses. You’ll need water soluble colors, a scalpel or sharp blade and white roses.

Take different colors, and make sure they make a high contrast in order to achieve the desired effect. When coloring the first rose, take just one color to practice, and for the second try with four different colors. Split the stem of the rose and then make another cut almost 6 inches, so you have four equal segments.

Put the colors in different cups, and take four parts and put them in each cup. To make the magic happen, you’ll need to leave them for 24 hours.

3. Handmade brass or copper necklace

You cannot make this gift by yourself, unless you know how to make jewelry. However, there are many brass and copper jewelry makers, who can make you a custom and highly original necklace. You can easily find people who make them on Facebook, and Etsy.

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Make sure the page isn’t a scam, and consult with some female friends. When you contact the maker, tell them about the style of your partner, what kind of jewelry they wear, and if there is something special they like such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or just some others such as dragonfly, rose, butterfly, etc. They can make almost anything from copper and brass, and even put some crystal or other stones.

When making it, they can engrave it to make the gift more personal. This isn’t an expensive gift, but is creative, original and shows how much effort you put into making something special for your special person.

4. Bracelet with pendants describing your love story

If you saw the film “If Only” you know how this bracelet should look like. Basically, you should buy chain link bracelet, on which you can put different pendants. These pendants should represent important moments in your relationship, and tell your love story from the beginning.

This gift is completely original, as it describes your story, so you’ll need to go through a lot of pendants to find perfect ones. If you just put on nice pendants, then it isn’t creative or unique. Put a pendant that describes your first date, and others for some life events. For example, if you met in a bar, then use a pendant representing a beer glass; or if you went to Paris together, then put the Eiffel tower.

5. DIY pillow case

If your partner and you spend a lot of time watching films and TV shows, then one DIY quote pillow is the perfect gift for your partner. You can write whatever you want, and even put a picture on it. In order to make it unique, quote your partner or use a movie quote, but make sure that it’s something you both laughed about for days.

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To make this, you’ll need a pillow, a pillow case, letter stencils, fabric marker, ruler, pencil, scissors, and tape. Measure length of words, then tape the stencils to the pillow case. Measure the rows, as well as the height, so they are evenly spaced. Then use marker, stuff the pillow and your gift is ready.

6. Personalized snow globe

Snow globes are perfect gifts, and are mostly popular during winter as Christmas gifts. However, you can make a snow globe for your partner and instead of a Christmas tree and a deer put something that has a lot of meaning for both of you. For this DIY snow globe you need a small baby food jar, tiny object of whatever you want, Styrofoam, glitter, fake snow, fake snow or confetti, a ribbon and craft glue.

Start with painting the jar lid any color you want. Then, cut a piece of Styrofoam so it can fit the lid, and glue it in the center of the lid. Put it on the surface of the Styrofoam craft glue, and put little item or items. Put in the jar fake snow, confetti, and glitter, and when the items are glued to the jar lids, just close the jar carefully. Put the ribbon and your gift is done.

7. Survival kit in a basket

Working from 9 to 5 is stressful, and weekends are something we look forward to starting with Monday. Surprise your partner with a work survival kit in a basket. Buy a nice basket or just a box, made of wood, and put their favorite chocolates, drinks, some spa soaps, scented candles and some massage vouchers  inside.

For this one, you need to think what your partner loves, and put everything inside. For example, your partner might be saying they need to buy comfy slippers or sleep masks. So, make sure it is in the basket or a box.

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This doesn’t need to be a classic basket with skincare products and the like. If your partner loves video games, you can buy some and put them in with some beer and chips, or anything other they like. If you can afford and if it is a special occasion, surprise your partner by putting some flight tickets in the basket or some road trip plan. If you opt for this one, then plan the whole trip, don’t just suggest it.

8. Mug with meme

Mugs and cups are always a good choice, since your partner will always think about you whenever they drink coffee. Buy a white mug, and by using acrylic paint you can draw whatever you want, if you are skillful. However, mug with meme is also great gift for your partner. You can buy 6 mugs to tell your love story from the beginning, or just put on them memes of your partner and you.

This is also perfect if your partner said something very funny, and the next day you want to surprise them. You can make your own meme or a picture in Photoshop, and they’ll print it on the mug.

On the other hand, if you aren’t good at it, you can find people online who draw and make pictures for mugs, and then print them.

9. Scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is always a great and creative way to give someone any gift. Puppies and kittens are always a great gift for people who love animals and would like to have one. Before you decide to give your partner a puppy or a kitten, make sure they can take care of them. Many people love animals, but don’t have a pet, because they don’t have enough time to take care of them. Also, think whether you’ll adopt one or not, and if your partner and you have children, then think about good family dog breeds. It’s always better to adopt a cat or a dog, but there is nothing wrong with giving a dog or a cat that your partner always wanted to have.

Puppies and kittens have always been one of the best gifts ever, and a scavenger hunt is the best way to give this gift. Plan the whole hunt, and make it interesting. You’ll need some time to plan all the clues, but it will be worth it.

Make a special gift for your partner or find the most creative way to give a gift in order to show them how much you care.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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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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