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The Little Things That Matter In Every Relationship

The Little Things That Matter In Every Relationship

In this self-centered world, it’s hard to keep a romantic relationship going strong. Break-ups happen often for no reason at all, or a reason that could have been overcome if only there was a will to do so. Sometimes, it’s the small things that keeps a couple together for a long time.  Here are 10 little things that matter in every relationship.

Say it!

We mean the “I love you” sentence.  If you feel it, say it.  Take your significant other by the hands, look them deep into their eyes, and say it.  A smile is sure to appear on their face.  Three little words that can light up both your days and remind them of how much they are loved.

Watch a romantic movie.

Simple but effective. There are plenty of romantic movies out there to see, but personally, I’d suggest you skip Hollywood movies and focus on European ones. Why? They are not Cinderella like, they have real-life situations and they can be pretty interesting. My favorites are these two.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I4S4n2Meh4

Be silly together

Letting your inhibitions go and being childlike is something that can easily be forgotten when you’re an adult and especially when you’re a couple.  Being silly together shows that you are comfortable with each other, that you have embraced one another and could be a great reminder why you fell for each other in the first place.  A couple who can laugh and play together is a happy one.

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Say thank you 

It’s not hard to say thank you.

But we don’t mean the default “thank you” such as when someone brings you a cup of coffee. We mean a “thank you” for the things that really matter.  When they hold your hand through a crisis, when they lift you up when you fall, when they stay by your side when you’re ill. In those situations gratitude is rarely expressed with words, but can go a long way to make the other person feel special and cared for.

Compliments

Compliments are wonderful. It’s an instant lift when someone acknowledges you in a positive light, especially when it’s coming from someone you love.  It shows that you’re noticed, appreciated and admired.  Complimenting your partner on their looks, their personality, their positive spirit or whatever else you admire or love about them is something you can’t do too much of.  It’s a small gesture that can make a huge, positive impact on your relationship.

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Do what the significant other enjoy

If he likes to watch sports, watch with him and cheer on his favorite team.  Listen and take interest in what your partner likes to do, even if it’s not your personal favorite.  In turn, when you want to do an activity that you enjoy, they’ll be open and willing to do it with you as well.  Going outside of your comfort zone and sitting through an opera or ballet for the simple fact that she enjoys it, speaks volumes to your significant other.  It’s a small gesture that shows you want to be with them and that you go out of your way to see them happy in their element.

Travel together

Did you know that some couples don’t travel together before their honeymoon? It may come as a big surprise to realize that you’re not comfortable traveling with each other after years and years of relationship, and that’s normal, but there’s a cure.

Start now. When you find yourself far away from the place you live in, you have only each other to rely on, you will spend more time together- just the two of you, and you will create memories.  If you can’t afford a big vacation, try doing a ‘staycation’ and explore cities and sights around you that are nearby.  Whether or not it turns out to be a great vacation, it will give you both a shared experience and something to talk about that will bring you closer.

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A little present goes a long way

It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, in fact, it can be the simple act of getting them their favorite ice cream on the way home because you know they had a long, hard day at work.  It’s not the present but the gesture and the thought that went into it that will be appreciated more so than the actual ‘thing’ you got them.  Have they been talking about getting a certain book or waiting to see a certain movie?  Buy that book when it comes out or make a date for the day the movie opens, not only will they be happy but they’ll know that you listen to them and you care.

Cuddle

Cuddling is the best way to show that you love someone. Cuddling has this wonderful ability to soothe away the pain and calm you down.  It works both ways. Not only will your partner feel relaxed, but you will shake off some of that everyday stress. And when it’s cold, you could keep each other warm.

Take their side in an argument

This is more important than you think. You should always back your partner up when they are having a brawl, even if you think that they are not in the right. You must never leave them standing on their own in an argument. At the very least, you should try and bring the argument to an end. That way they will know that you have their back, that they can rely on you and that you love them. This is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.

Some of these advice you know already. Some of these are new to you, but trust us, they come from years of experience, and they really work. Let us know your thoughts.

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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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