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4 Countries To Visit If You’re In Asia

4 Countries To Visit If You’re In Asia

Being on a plane or on a train, they will always bring upon new memories and interesting adventures. For a traveler it feels like being on a constant treasure hunt. Despite the mainstream reasons of self-discovery and liberation, travelling encompasses even more.

Being half Asian and half African gave me a chance to enjoy various cultures plus growing up in Malaysia, I was in the center point for all Asian countries. From a very young age I was constantly exposed to travelling and different cultures hence change never surprised me.

However, I recently realized the difference in opinions and skepticism regarding travelling to other continents. It was surprising hence I thought I would shed some light to one of my favorite continents regarding a few countries one should visit.

Its summer and if you’re looking for a cheap getaway then this is it.

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1.Japan- Land of Food, Culture and Nature.

Japan has been a country famous for its outrageous style, beautiful nature, freshest of fish and anime’s. That nation has been an example for hard work, perseverance and success throughout history. Tokyo, the capital of this wonderland is the home for the new generation of fashion and style while also becoming the nation’s capital for food and culture.

Fugu one of the most delicate cuisine is served by the highly qualified chefs of Japan. These Chefs are from the highest class and belong to the 35% of those who passed. Fugu being the most dangerous yet sought after dish in the world is among the arrays of Japanese cuisine and fishes. If you’re a fan of fish, food and people this is one place to visit and if you happen to pass by the Harajuku train station make sure to visit the Michelin Star sushi restaurant, even if you don’t get to enjoy the meal at least you can watch him preparing one.

Sakura’s or Cherry Blossoms have been the highlight of Japanese culture for years, we see them in brochures, advertisements, movies and anime’s. It’s been embedded in our souls that Japanese is surrounded by this beautiful romantic flowers and this has aided to the large Japanese wedding industry.  Every Spring has become an attraction for people from all around the world to have their dream kimono wedding beneath the sea of Sakura’s. Hence, even if it’s too late to watch the Sakura’s be sure to catch the beautiful view from Mount Fuji and all the scenic nature.

So if you’re planning to head to Japan this year, make sure to enjoy your adventures with a fine glass of Sake.

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2.Taiwan – The Bridge Between Wild Night and Wild Life.

Individuality depends on one’s perspective, it defines us and defines our principals, likes and dislikes. This same concept defines our preferred vacation and what we would like to see. When you speak of Asia, you’ll find a huge bridge between the young and the old. You’ll notice the wild souls of the young doesn’t match the calm and centered souls of the old.

In a world where taboos are the dividend within culture, Taiwan has surpassed all the odds and bridged both the old and new together. Taipei the nation’s capital has become the hub spot of the latest night life and entertainment. It allows the young to enjoy a cultural form of night life and fun. Therefore, becoming the colorful neon city we have all known it for.

On the other side, for those nature enthusiasts there are amazing rainforest and beautiful mountains to take upon a hiking challenge. Among the countries national treasures are its amazing flora and fauna as well as its beautiful temples. For many this temple becomes a meditation spot and a place of self-discovery.

Therefore, if you’re heading to Taiwan make sure to indulge in the street cuisine before heading for a wild adventure.

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3.India – An Alice in Wonderland.

Alice’s Wonderland is the perfect description for India. For those who are planning to travel to India, then the time between April till the end of August is a terrible idea for a visit.as the heat and humidity will make your travel a nightmare. So always plan your trip to India a year ahead.

However, despite the heat and humidity and its imperfections, India has one of the most welcoming population in the world. From its Kumbha Mela in Varanasi where you get to see all form of holy processions till it’s beautiful mountain tops, India will definitely guarantee you an adventure. However, one must always remember India offers different experience in each state, the states in the North offer a more quiet, mature and historic experience while the states in the South from Kerala to Chennai offer a variety of colors, music, spiciness and intuitive adventure.

You’ll find women tying sari’s cook the most divine food and street cuisine as equivalent as a 5 Star meal. Hence if you’re heading to India, make sure to enjoy the spicy food as much as you enjoy an adventure. As you reach the end of your trip, you might have just been part of a whole new wonderland.

4.Bhutan- Being Calm Is a Way of Life.

Our lives are filled with hassle and stress, despite various articles suggesting otherwise, the truth is we are all stressed to a certain extent. We all want to achieve certain things in life and motivational quotes makes us push harder and faster. We never stop to catch a breath until we are absolutely forced to take one.

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If that’s the case, then Bhutan is the place to be. Bhutan is a land locked country with around 700000 to 800000 inhabitants. It’s a country is small in size but huge in character and beliefs towards calmness and balance of the universe. Interestingly, they are also the biggest followers of the Phallic religion, which features the male genitalia. It represents fertility, growth and prosperity hence if you’re lucky you might catch the once in a life time parade.

Apart from that, you’ll also be able to enjoy beautiful nature and interesting cuisines, that represent their culture and heritage. However, do keep in mind to always respect their traditions and beliefs as it’s the core of their lives.

Asia is an amazing continent, full of surprises, good food and various culture hence this places are a handful of names from my experience. However, if you would prefer to visit other parts of Asia there are various channels that could offer you great help.

Travelling is an amazing feeling, do experience it to the fullest.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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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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