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Rejection Is No Longer Painful If We Look at It Differently

Rejection Is No Longer Painful If We Look at It Differently

‘You are great. But…’

Perhaps it’s a typical rejection line we hear from time to time. Whenever we hear the word ‘but’, we know that the result is going to disappoint us.

There’re too many occasions we might be rejected: when you ask someone you love out, when you apply for the job you have been dreaming of, or just simply when you ask your friends if they want to spend the holiday with you.

A simple answer, one word, two letters, ‘NO’, would already make us think a lot. Did I do something wrong? Am I not good enough? Sometimes this powerful word even causes us pain.

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Being rejected is indeed awful. But it’s something would inevitably happen from time to time. This gives us a good reason to learn how to deal with it.

We feel sad because we don’t truly know what rejection means

Think of the last time you were rejected. How did you react to it?

The most immediate reaction after being rejected is often feeling upset and frustrated. People tend to take it personally and think they’re not good enough. Self-doubt often arises and thus the lowering of self-esteem.

This has no use in helping them get back to the right track. And this also clearly shows people don’t truly understand what rejection means.

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Rejection can mean mismatch of values

Sometimes rejection comes when you don’t share the same values, belief or personality with your date or your dream job. An introverted boy is likely to be rejected by an outgoing girl if she is looking for someone like her to be her partner. And it might not be surprising to see a social media editor being rejected by a traditional newspaper publisher. It’s just simply because you don’t share the same belief.

Rejection can mean a lack of understanding

It takes some time to really know a person. But in an interview, the interviewer only has a limited time to get to know you. How can you really understand a person within just 30 minutes? So he/she can only tell if you’re a suitable candidate with your self-created perception. If you’re too nervous or not being natural, you can’t truly show who you really are. So sometimes what they reject is not the real you, but your self-created image under stress.

Rejection isn’t only about you, but also the rejecter

An interview is not like an examination. Sometimes being rejected doesn’t mean you’re not at the top of the list. Perhaps it’s because you’re too good to be taken. The date or the interviewer may feel insecure to accept you. A small company might not hire someone who has a doctorate degree to be a receptionist. Your date might indeed feel that he/she doesn’t deserve you. Rejection is not only about you, and also about the one who rejects.

Rejection can be a blessing in disguise

People are rejected not because they’re not good enough to reach the standard. It’s about suitability. Every time when you’re rejected, this tells you that the job, the date, or anything you have longed for is not suitable for you. This actually helps you to filter out what doesn’t suit you. And the options you haven’t considered may surprisingly match your interest and need.Being rejected can be a process helping you to find your best fit.

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When we realize that there’re so many possibilities in rejection, we wouldn’t take rejection too personally. But what still bothers us is how to get rid of the negative loop. And here’s what you can do:

Divert the attention from rejection

You can’t be really happy when you’re rejected. So the first step is to deal with the immediate aftermath. The frustration you feel is awful but like the other time when you feel upset, try to give yourself a cool down period. Divert your attention from rejection by doing something you like or simply taking a rest: go for a walk, take a nap, or have a nice meal. This helps to recharge yourself physically and mentally.

Reframe the rejection

The cool down period helps clear your mind and see things more objectively. And now, it’s time for you to reframe the rejection. Don’t focus on the fact that you’re rejected but instead, see it in another perspective. If you ask someone on a date and he/she say no, instead of saying ‘he/she rejected me’, say ‘he/she said no’. If you apply for a position and fail, say ‘I didn’t get the job’ instead of ‘they rejected my application’. See? Avoid saying the word ‘reject’. This way you are framing the rejection as something not personal.

Learn from the rejection

Rejection is always helpful in the sense that it helps you identify what is more suitable for you. When you’re rejected, this means you might not be suitable for whatever you want. If you find what you pursued before might not be the best option for you, you should look for alternatives.

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But if you insist that’s the best option, no matter it’s your date or your job, then you should learn from the experience. If your date says no, try to ask why. Perhaps you have said something wrong, or you have bored him/her. Then you can make adjustments according to the feedback. Even if you don’t know why he/she says no, you can still do it in a different way next time because you know the old trick doesn’t work.

Rejection doesn’t always mean you’re not good enough. If you realize that rejection is a way to help you find what truly fits you, someday you’ll find what is perfect for you and be accepted.

Featured photo credit: Dawn Kim via ideas.ted.com

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Sheba Leung

Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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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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