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How To Develop Your Full Potential: Bias And Strategies

How To Develop Your Full Potential: Bias And Strategies

Life presents limitless possibilities and we are all filled with exciting potential. Exploring your fullest potential will lead you on a path towards the greatest fulfillment life can offer. Yet, it is never easily achieved and, in many cases, not pursued at all.

The first challenge you must face is realizing where your true potential lies. Once discovered, you must cultivate your skills using effective strategies. For those setting out on this path of self-discovery, the following guidance will serve you well.

Discovering Where Your True Potential Lies

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    First and foremost, you’ve got uncover exactly where your potential lies. It’s going to be a deeply personal search and you must be completely honest with yourself.

    It doesn’t necessarily have to align with your current skills or qualifications, but it must resonate with you. Watch out for these 3 common potential blockers!

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    Convention And Social Proof

    You shouldn’t allow others to influence your search, and social-proof tendency may force you to play it safe. But simply following the mainstream may cut you off from your true area of potential.

    As an example, let’s say your potential lies in writing. You feel energized as your thoughts transform into words and sentences. Yet, if you were persuaded into an unrelated (and uninteresting) career, it’s likely your writing potential would be left to starve.

    Comfort Zones And Exploration

    Don’t let your comfort zone stop you from exploring. A nagging curiosity could be the whisper of your potential. Remember: the more things you try, the closer you’ll be to finding your true calling.

    As a potential writer, you might need to take a leap of faith. It could be a financial risk to pursue your interests. Yet, sticking with what you know could be holding you back from an astonishing writing career!

    Inconsistency And Distractions

    In order to develop full potential, it must be cultivated consistently. Misalignment with your mind or actions will hinder or halt progress. If your potential is neglected for too long, you may lose sight of it completely.

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    As a budding writer, working a demanding job could zap you of the physical and creative energy needed to pursue your true potential. If the other job always takes priority, you may eventually stop writing altogether.

    Develop Full Potential Through Effective Strategies

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      Even with true potential uncovered, simply setting goals does not guarantee it will reach maturity. Lack of action, smart planning, and negative environments are the most common pitfalls.

      These two powerful strategies will support you in developing your full potential.

      Aligning Goals With Dreams

      If you can see yourself inching towards your dream, you’ll be compelled to continue through hardship. Setting achievable goals keeps us motivated and moving in the right direction.

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      Developing your full potential certainly won’t happen overnight, so you’ll need smart goals to keep you on track.

      As a writer, your dream could be to write for a famous publication or earn a fortune from your words. This may seem ambitious, but look at how aligning actionable goals can quickly grow your potential:

      1. Launch a personal blog and write about subjects that interest you.
      2. Publish articles at least 3 articles per week.
      3. Contact websites you admire and offer to write for free.
      4. Build a portfolio of your writing experience.
      5. Negotiate terms for paid writing jobs.

      Continue with the following milestones:

      • Earn X amount of money monthly from writing
      • Contact X number of prospects

      As you work through this list, you will feel the momentum building and potential awakening. You can easily create a similar list to help you develop full potential in any field you choose.

      Building a Supportive Network

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        Surrounding yourself with individuals that energize, inspire, and encourage you works wonders. Similarly, cutting negative influences from your life allows you to develop full potential unhindered.

        It’s amazing how much faster you can explore your potential in a positive environment. Choose the right people and you will receive support, motivation, and guidance.

        Interacting with those you aspire to be is rocket fuel to your potential. Most importantly, it compels you to take real action.

        As a growing writer, meeting with other professional writers could be an excellent experience. There’s so much to gain: tips for honing your style, advice on landing clients, and possibly invitations to exciting opportunities.

        Here’s a great strategy for building yourself a supportive community:

        1. Cut out negative influences, possibly including social media.
        2. Register and become active in relevant online communities.
        3. Attend scheduled meet-ups and network with other attendees.
        4. Find an accountability partner with whom to share progress and reflect ideas.
        5. Build a following or mentor someone starting out.

        Remember, you only live once. There’s no greater duty you have to yourself than exploring and developing your full potential!

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        Last Updated on January 15, 2019

        What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

        What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

        When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

        Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

        It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

        While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

        Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

        What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

        How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

        It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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        People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

        “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

        In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

        Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

        As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

        When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

        It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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        What are Interpersonal Skills?

        Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

        In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

        From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

        For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

        Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

        How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

        There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

        There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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        Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

        I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

        Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

        “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

        Don’t overlook introspection.

        While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

        Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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        When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

        Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

        “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

        The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

        The Bottom Line

        You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

        Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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