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Embrace Your Little Faults. They Are What Defines You.

Embrace Your Little Faults. They Are What Defines You.

How much of our lives have we dedicated to perfection? The straight A’s, the beach bodies, the perfect scores; the list goes on. Striving towards perfection and then not achieving it can lead to depression, unhealthy mood swings, and self-deprecating doubt. These frustrations pile on, and eventually, a perfectionist may find themselves struggling to accept themselves.

If a person can’t accept who they are, they lose sight of their selves, and then, seek out ways to sculpt who they are supposed to be. I am a straight A student. I am a size zero. I achieved one-hundred percent. Underneath all those titles expressed through accomplishments, who is the person who achieved all those things? They couldn’t have possibly made it through without having made some mistakes and being imperfect in other things. Faults and flaws are what make individuals different from each other.

How Is Perfection Defined

Being a straight A student or wearing a size zero in jeans is by no means an absolute definition of perfection. If those things are considered your goals, then great! Go for it. Work hard to get what you want because there’s nothing wrong with that. But make certain that you are doing it for genuine reasons. It has to be what you want. Not what everyone wants for you and everyone else. Having B’s or C’s or wearing whatever size you wear does not dictate how close or far away you are from perfection. You dictate who you are. Perfection does not define you, and you are not defined by perfection.

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The dictionary defines perfection as “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.” The dictionary defines flaw as “a mistake or shortcoming in a plan, theory, or legal document that causes it to fail or reduces its effectiveness.” Was having a B in World History a shortcoming in your plans? Does it reduce your effectiveness as a person? Will you not be able to perform your duties in your daily work and personal lives if you do not nail an A in that class? Maybe it does if you plan to study History in college and you plan to become a professor or a scholar in the field. If so, congratulations! You have a goal! But you will have to make mistakes along the way in order to learn what not to do. That B in World History informed you of what it was that you didn’t know. You’ve made mistakes, leaving you the opportunity to learn.

This is how you grow. Growth is defined as “the process of developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually.” By not being perfect, there is always room to grow. Striving and achieving perfection would infer that there is no more growth needed. You have peaked physically, mentally and spiritually. There is nothing else to satisfy. Nothing to learn. Nothing to do.

Perfection sounds a little boring, doesn’t it?

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Don’t Strive For Perfection. Strive For Balance

Ever gone on an interview and been asked, “Tell us your strengths?” You’d might answer:

  • “I’m great at analyzing!”
  • “I work hard at what I do!”
  • “I’m a kind, loving person!”

These skills are wonderful assets to have. For what the employer is looking for, these could be the keys to getting in the door. But then, the interviewer asks you, “well, what are your weaknesses?”

You stumble. You aren’t sure what to say. You haven’t thought about it much, or you couldn’t come up with anything before the interview. The reality is that what makes us strong can also make us weak.

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  • “I analyze too much and I forget to listen to my instincts, thus second-guessing my conclusions.”
  • “I work too hard. Last year, I was in the hospital because I was stressed and malnourished, and my doctor told me I had to take a week off.”
  • “I’m really nice. I’m so nice that I let people take advantage of me and I don’t say anything because I don’t want to hurt their feelings.”

And that’s okay. While you were trying to become better at problem-solving, elevating your work ethic, and sustaining your virtues, you might not have realized that trying to do too much of one thing can be a bad thing. It’s important to work towards becoming better at those things, but it’s also important to accept that you are human and that your strengths aren’t always going to be consistent. Don’t strive for perfection, strive for balance, and you may find peace within yourself.

Accept that you could be better at something, but where you are now is where you’re supposed to be. Trust yourself, believe in yourself, and allow yourself to be you. Forcing yourself to be something more can be disastrous for your personal and work life, and your health.

If Someone Was Perfect, They’d Be A Robot

Ideas of perfection, whether they be of our intangible attributes or our bodies, are social constructs that dictate expectations and standards. Comparisons are often drawn to categorize people. That’s what our minds do: organize the chaos. But if everyone was expected to look or behave a certain way, we’d all look and behave the same. As obvious of a statement as that may seem, it’s not so widely conceded.

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People come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They hold their own beliefs and morals, aspirations and fears. Their experiences are their own, and no one ever experiences precisely the same life as the other. Everyone makes mistakes and have blemishes and faults. These elements cannot be manufactured. As a result, the standards dictated by social constructs are irrelevant. Everyone is different, and that is okay.

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Kyle Hiller

Author, Writer

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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

Possessing effective communication skills is a powerful tool to have. Effective communication skills are essential to success in many aspects and areas of your life. There are a lot of jobs that require you to be a good communicator.

Strong communication skills help you enjoy better relationships with friends and family. Being an effective communicator will give you advantages in more ways than you can imagine.

Conversely, being poor at communicating will negatively impact your life.

Let’s take a look at how to master effective communication skills at work and home.

What is Effective Communication?

Probably a good place to start is to paint a picture of what clear communication is.

Effective communication is defined as verbal speech or other communication methods to get your point across. Sounds pretty simple, right? It does but there’s more to it than that.

It’s really about how all of us interact and communicate in every aspect of our lives. It’s the ability to say something at the right time; to be able to get multiple people on the same page in a group decision. It’s how that one friend of yours who plans most of the activities is able to get everyone to the same place at the same time.

Non-verbal communication is key to being effective as well. It’s the ability to have your body language say the right thing so the person you’re speaking to knows your listening.

Effective communicators don’t react to situations with high emotion. It means not having to say something all the time in every situation. You are even being an effective communicator when you show up to pick your daughter up from the mall when you say you will. You are communicating to her that she can rely on you.

Are You a Poor Communicator?

Before we get too deep into how to be a master communicator, let’s take a look at your communication skills.

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If you find yourself agreeing with a lot of these, you might want to sharpen your communication skills.

  • You’re constantly interrupting – Hey, I know, we all want to be listened to. We all want to get our point across. Most importantly, we want to be understood. If you find yourself interrupting all the time you aren’t listening enough.
  • Doing too much – Many of us are master multi-taskers. It’s not good if you are communicating with someone. When you try to do too much while speaking with someone, you aren’t paying attention to what they are saying. Lack of focus is bad.
  • Rambling – I know of several people I work with who do this constantly. I honestly dread having to speak to them. The worst part is even though a lot of words are coming out of their mouths, they really aren’t saying anything. I’m more confused after they answer my question.
  • Not being direct – Nothing wrong with emails or reports. However, if you can convey the same information quickly and directly to someone, it is much more effective. Why write a 2 paragraph email when you can pick up the phone and say the same information in 2 sentences?
  • Always talking about yourself – Everybody likes to relate things to their own experiences. It draws us together and helps us create a feeling of sharing and community. If you are always coloring someone else’s conversation with a similar situation in your life, people will think you are making everything about you. Don’t be that person!
  • Using a lot of qualifiers – Qualifiers are fine for the most part. When you use them as a crutch most of the time when you speak, it’s not helping your communication. Sometimes, we do this to makes things seem “softer”. Saying things like “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way but…” or “I know what you’re thinking but…” over and over doesn’t help you communicate.
  • Your ears don’t work – If you don’t listen well, you can’t answer someone correctly. In order to be an effective communicator, you have to understand what someone else is saying to you. If you don’t listen with purpose you will only have part of the picture.
  • Bad body language – The importance of body language is well documented. If you don’t look at someone when they are speaking, it appears that you don’t really care what’s being said. This makes people feel like you don’t care what they are saying and it’s not important to you. Other bad body language examples include always crossing your arms and not looking someone in the eyes.

What Effective Communication Can Do For You

Let’s take a look at how being able to effectively communicate can help you at work and in your personal relationships.

Work

  • Better client relationships – You certainly want a great communicator to be handling your client relationships. Strong communicators represent both the client and your company is the best manner.
  • Higher employee engagement – Pretty critical if you are a leader or a manager of people. An engaging and interactive communicator in a leadership position is wonderful for employees.
  • Getting better buy in from others – This is great whether you are a manager or individual contributor. Strong communicators tend to get people moving and working towards a common goal.
  • Helps mitigate conflict – Good communicators are able to help resolve conflicts quicker and easier. This helps smooth things over and keeps projects and initiatives moving forward.
  • Builds trust – You want to be able to trust who you work for and with. Effective communicators are good at establishing and building trust between people and groups.
  • Solves problems – Problems are solved by people with the ability to communicate clearly between groups and people. Those without good communication skills many times add to the confusion of a problem because they are unable to articulate their thoughts and ideas.

Personal relationships

  • Creates closeness – A good communicator is able to help foster a feeling of closeness with his or her partner.
  • Makes conflict okay – It’s actually better to fight with your partner from time to time instead of never fighting. We all have differences of opinion and points of view. When we don’t express these and bury it inside by not communicating, it just comes out later in a more negative form.
  • Provides support – It’s nice to know that someone cares about you and supports you. A strong communicator will ask how you’re doing and be a good sounding board for what you’re going through.
  • Expressing feelings – People who are not effective communicators tend to be not very good at expressing how they feel. This makes it tough to share your feelings with you partner.
  • Get the loving you want – In order to get the physical, mental, and emotional love you want and need, you have to be able to communicate clearly and appropriately with your spouse or partner. This is done through effective communication.
  • Eliminate mistrust, doubt, faithlessness, and insecurities – Many times these seeds are sown due to a lack of communication. If your partner rarely tells you where he or she is going, you will tend to start coming up with your own ideas. Often these aren’t true but how would you know if you aren’t told?

Can You Improve Your Communication Skills?

The short answer is yes, of course you can improve your communication skills.

Improving or changing anything in your life takes some work and effort but it can be done. You have to keep in mind your starting point and your goal.

If you are not a very good communicator now and you want to be able to give a motivating speech to a large graduating class, you’d better get working.

On the other hand, if you get along fairly well in general but want to be able to improve your relationship with your boss or spouse by being able to master effective communication, you may just need some guidance and practice.

Either way, if you want to master effective communication skills at both work and home, it will take a little work and effort. Doing so will benefit you in many ways.

How to Master Effective Communication Skills

In general mastering effective communication skills will help you at both work and home. Let’s look at how to improve verbal, written, and body language communication skills. These will help you create better relationships everywhere you go!

1. Learn how to listen

Speaking is only half of the communication equation. Sharpen your listening skills so you are able to process what the other person is saying. You can then respond it a well-informed manner.

Check out these active listening guidelines to be a better listener.

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2. Make eye contact

Having regular eye contact with someone while you are having a conversation shows you care what they are saying. When you are looking at the floor or out the window it gives the impression that you aren’t paying attention.

Take a look at this advice on how to make engaging eye contact.

3. Ask questions

When you ask someone questions, you are able to clarify what they are saying to ensure you get the whole picture. If you don’t understand it fully, ask questions.

Do you know that it takes some skills to ask questions too? Here’s how to be good at asking questions.

4. Watch body language

Watch both yours and the other persons.

We all know if you have a conversation with your arms crossed the entire time, it gives off a bad vibe. Have open, engaging body language when speaking with someone.

On the flip side, if you see someone’s eyes glazing over while speaking to you, it’s probably a good idea to wrap it up.

Take a look at these top 20 body language indicators to learn more.

5. Speak confidently

Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you communicate in an open, direct, and clear manner, it subtly shows people that you are confident in what you are saying.

It doesn’t mean you always have to be right but delivering your thoughts with confidence helps your case.

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These tips will help you speak more confidently.

6. Keep it simple

You don’t always have to be succinct in your communication. There is a lot of value in being able to tell a great story.

That being said, there are many instances where keeping it simple is very helpful. This is especially true at work in both verbal conversations as well as written like emails.

7. Know your audience

You should have a certain style when communicating with your boss. Another style of communication is better with your spouse and probably others with your kids or friends.

Know your audience to help you communicate the most effectively.

8. Be empathetic and understanding

There is a massive amount of power in being empathetic. And I mean that in a very positive way.

Showing that you are empathetic and understanding to another person goes a long way to creating a great bond with that person. We all want to be understood. It’s that simple.

Think it’s a challenge for you? These 5 tips for empathetic listening will help you.

9. Pause before reacting

There have been a number of times when I’ve read an email that just came in and had an instant reaction to reading it. And I don’t mean a positive reaction. My less effective ways of dealing and communicating has been to send a scathing email back.

When I’ve communicated more appropriately, I’ve waited a while before I responded. This is true in verbal situations as well.

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10. Over communicate

You’d think if you tell someone something that should be the end of it, right? Done deal. Not so fast.

I’m not recommending you tell someone the same thing 10 times in a row. With as many distractions as we all have these days, it’s generally a good idea to follow up on something you’ve communicated a few times if it’s important.

Conclusion

Having effective communication skills at both work and home will help you immensely.

At work, it helps you in your career in many ways.

Communicating well with your boss leads to a solid, symbiotic working relationship. You’re able to clearly articulate what you need to do your job well. You can share your vision and strategy with your boss and others. Good communicators are needed in management roles and leading others. Fostering an environment of effective communication leads to a great work environment.

At home, having effective communication skills will help you achieve the type of relationship you want with your spouse.

You are able to speak freely and openly about your feelings. You can share your wants and needs in a manner that your spouse understands. Your spouse will feel understood and supported by you which is a wonderful feeling to have. And being able to have a disagreement and work through it due to strong communication skills is amazing.

Look at how you can master effective communication skills at work and home to help create more satisfying relationships in all phases of your life.

More Resources About Work Communication

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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