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10 Reasons A Long-Distance Relationship Will Work

10 Reasons A Long-Distance Relationship Will Work

While relatively high divorce rates and evolving family values appear to be marginalizing the concept of marriage, romance and chivalry remain prominent in contemporary society. A recent story on BBC News underlined this fact, by revealing that a couple have recently begun a relationship after their guide dogs ‘fell in love’ during a training camp in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK.

Research conducted by London-based events company Chillisauce also suggested that today’s generation of men have a keen understanding about the importance of romance, despite the influence of technology and the numerous obstacles that can stand in the way of love. This should offer hope for cynics out there, who remain skeptical about the idea of love and traditional romantic values.

One of the main obstacles that can alter the course of love is distance, as it can be extremely difficult for individuals to enjoy a relationship when they are separated by cities, oceans or continents. It is not impossible to maintain a long-distance relationship, however, so long as each party retains an open mind and keeps the following points in mind:

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1. Maintain Open Lines of Communication

A successful relationship requires the investment of time and attention, whether a couple lives together in the same home, or are separated by geographical barriers. It is therefore crucial that you adopt a proactive approach and strive to keep the lines of communication at all times, initially by scheduling regular telephone calls and communicating through emails and live chat resources. Simply by making a concerted effort and interacting regularly with your partner, a long-distance relationship can thrive for as long as necessary.

2. Embrace Technological Advancements

On a similar note, technological advancement has created an innovative range of affordable, real-time communication methods. Resources such as Skype have subsequently made it easier and cheaper than ever to make international or long-distance calls, meaning that couples can remain in constant contact, regardless of their location. By embracing these developments, there is no reason why your relationship cannot remain strong over time.

3. Maintain a Level Head and Work on Resolving Trust Issues

While communicating regularly with your partner will fortify your long-distance relationship, you will also need to maintain a level head during periods where you are not in contact. Absence can create serious feelings of insecurity and paranoia, especially if your partner has relocated for work purposes and is socializing with new friends and colleagues. You therefore need to confront any trust issues as they arise, and resolve these through honest and direct communication with your partner.

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4. Remember the Reason Why You Formed a Relationship with Your Partner

When dealing with trust issues, you will also need to remain focused on your relationship and the reasons why you engaged romantically with your partner in the first instance. By remembering their unique qualities and the feelings of love that underpin your relationship, you can quickly put your mind at ease and negate any doubt that may exist in your mind. Ultimately, it is important to keep in mind that distance does not automatically alter feelings or an individual’s personal characteristics.

5. Make the Most of Any Time Spent Together

Depending on the precise circumstances of your relationship and the distance involved, the chances are that you will at least get to spend a minimal amount of time with your partner. This must be optimized if your union is to succeed, as it serves as a physical reminder of the nature of your love and the true depths of your feelings. So strive to plan activities in advance, and ensure that you make the most of every single moment together.

6. Keep the Spark of Physical Attraction Alive

Adapting to any transition in your relationship can be difficult, especially if it involves relocation or a lack of time spent together. This can cause genuine feelings of sadness and depression, which in turn can cause you to neglect your personal appearance and develop a negative approach to life. It is important that you remain motivated and energized for the good of the relationship, however, and ensure that the sparks of physical and romantic attraction remain omni-present at all times.

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7. Understand your Romantic and Professional Goals

Succeeding in a long-distance relationship demands a keen sense of assurance and security, as otherwise you will constantly question the union and the long-term intentions of your partner. Ultimately, you must have a clear understanding of your romantic and professional goals, while also taking the time to comprehend those of your partner. This ensures that your relationship will have the best possible chance of survival, while it also confirms that you and your partner share similar goals in life and in love.

8. Consider the Benefits of Time Apart

Often, conducting a long-term relationship relies on your ability to think positively and make the best from a less than ideal situation. If you approach your relationship with an open and forward-thinking mind, for example, it is possible to recognize the benefits of spending time apart from a loved one and use this realization to strengthen the bonds of love and fondness. This takes time, however, so you must also be patient and allow yourself to adapt to your newly enforced circumstances.

9. Be Spontaneous When Possible

While routine and scheduled visits are crucial to the longevity of long-distance relationships, there is always room for spontaneity and adventure in any union. This can help to keep your relationship fresh and exciting, while it also underlines your motivation not to take your partner for granted. So when possible, commit to making surprise and unannounced visits to your partner’s new location, and do not be afraid to send gifts such as flowers and chocolates. On a fundamental level, this should help both you and your partner to adapt to your new circumstances.

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10. Maintain an Active Social Life

You partner may have been the epicenter of your social life, but this does not mean that you have to become a recluse who spends their time waiting by the telephone once they have relocated. In fact, it is important to remain active and commit to enjoying a rich and busy social life even after your partner has moved. This will aid the transition process enormously, while it also helps you to maintain perspective and remain positive about your situation.

Featured photo credit: Young girl on train station says goodbye before catching her via shutterstock.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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