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Get Rid of These 3 Thoughts We All Have That Stunt Our Growth of Resilience.

Get Rid of These 3 Thoughts We All Have That Stunt Our Growth of Resilience.

Failures at work. Break ups. Loss of a loved one. Or a tough criticism. They are all a huge stepping stones on our way to self-discovery and personal growth.

We hope to grow, to become better versions of ourselves each new day, yet the situations like these trump our progress and take us one step back each time. However, if we take another look into the seemingly devastating effects a certain trauma, loss or a failure has had on our lives, we may discover that there is another way out of misery, a way that will help us recover much faster and build stronger resilience in the face of adversity.

As humans, we tend to fall into one of the two categories of dealing with grief and trauma. We either tend to grief for a short period of time, and then manage to quickly pick ourselves up and move on with life, or tend to get stuck in the grieving period for a very long time, struggling to recover.

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In order to find better ways of recovery for everyone, we first need to look closely into the causes of lessened resilience. This will help us to bounce not only back up, but even forward.    You’re Alright. Calm Down. There Is Always An Option B.

Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg has gone through tremendous grief after losing her husband. Her reaction and grieving process were similar to what most of us would feel and do given the circumstances. Overwhelmed with grief, she had a tough time even getting out of bed and taking care of her children.

Thanks to the help of her friend and a psychologist, Adam Grant, Sandberg managed to recover from loss and re-build her life again. She wrote about her struggle and the concrete steps she took towards building resilience in a life-changing book – Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

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As Sandberg discovered throughout her journey of overcoming loss and building resilience, first and foremost we need to escape the trap of the “three Ps” that a psychologist Martin Seligman termed as our response to great loss, failure, or any other life-shuttering experience.

The “three Ps” that stand in our way to recovery can be best described by a very common situation – a break up of a love relationship.

Personalization: “I Am the Worst Person on Earth”

The first P stands for Personalization. Once the terrible feeling of loss strikes, we tend to believe that we are at fault. No matter what the situation was, most of us would immediately blame ourselves for the failure of the relationship.

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When it comes to the first P,  we must stop blaming ourselves. For, example, in the break up situation, we need to realize that, in the end, it involves two people, and therefore, it can never be one person’s fault. It is always a good idea to talk to people close to us to help us gain a more unbiased perspective.

Pervasiveness: “My Life Is Screwed Up”

The second P is related to Pervasiveness. This is when a feeling of failure suddenly overcomes all aspects of our life, even though, in reality it is only our love life that is not going so well at the moment.

The approach is similar with Personalization. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and letting the negativity overshadow other aspects of our lives, we need to take a second look and start to find even the littlest things that we can appreciate about it. For example, if you have just gone through a terrible break up, you can be thankful for your friends and their great and honest support. This method will not only make you more resilient, but your friendships will get a new, more honest and supportive dimension.

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Permanence: “I Can Never Be Healed”

Finally, the third P stands for Permanence – the reason many of us have a feeling after each break up that we will never be happy again.

As for Permanence, even though it can be almost impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel, when your entire life you had planned is falling apart, you can overcome it as well, with a different frame of mind. In those moments that seem to last forever you need to remember that you have gone through a similar heart break before, and you have managed to move on and love and trust again. In the end, you have learned so much from each heartbreak and you soon realized the bigger picture and how those seemingly negative moments brought you to something amazing later on. Having a perspective in tough times doesn’t always come naturally, yet once you start practicing these and similar principles, you will be able to recover much faster each next time.

Don’t Avoid. Experience Each P. You Will Be Resilient.

Yes. These “Ps” happen naturally in our mind during adversities; but it is worth the effort to overcome them, as the awards bring about not only a quicker recovery, but an entirely new and more joyful perspective that we wouldn’t have realized otherwise.

As it is our thoughts and beliefs that create the “three Ps” and trap us into believing that we cannot overcome grief and sorrow, the only way to truly avoid this is to go through each of the Ps and find a counter thought that will make us see another perspective, and will ultimately help us build resilience.

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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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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