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10 Reasons Why People’s Approval Shouldn’t Matter

10 Reasons Why People’s Approval Shouldn’t Matter

If you want to live a life that is inspiring, fun, adventurous and meaningful, it’s going to entail letting go of your need for approval from others.

Here are 10 reasons why others’ approval shouldn’t matter to your life:

1. It’s Not Their Life

It’s as simple as that. This is your life to live. At the end of the day you are the only person who needs to approve of your choices. Besides, it’s not their life. They have their own things to focus on and worry about. You can even remind them to mind their own business and concentrate on their own life, while you focus on yours.

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2. They Don’t Know What’s Best For You

Nobody will ever be as invested in your life as you. Only you know what is best for you, and that entails learning from your own choices. The only way you will ever truly learn is through making your own decisions, taking full responsibility for them, and that way if you do fail, at least you can learn from it wholeheartedly, as opposed to blame-shifting it onto somebody else. If you want to live a meaningful and fulfilled life, you have to own your choices and learn from them. This will build your character and help you grow.

3. What’s Right For Someone Else May Be Completely Wrong For You

It’s important to recognize that someone’s opinion is often based on what they would do. This alone is the problem. What is best for somebody else, can be the worst thing for you. What one person considers garbage can be another person’s treasure. We are all so unique, thus, only you know what is right for you.

4. Be Independent Of The Good Opinions of Others

Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra writes:

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“If you’re really spiritual, then you should be totally independent of the good and the bad opinions of the world…you should have faith in yourself.”

This is one of the wisest teachings I know. You see, often the people who give you their opinions (and even commands!) love you and have your best interest at heart. They are telling you what they believe is best for you. They have good intentions and thus their opinion is essentially good, since they are telling you what they believe is right. However, even if their opinions are coming from a good place, you still need to be independent of them. Inside all of us is a deep intuitive knowing that gives us solid information on what is best for us. When you listen to that deep knowing, you will feel a sense of joy, expansion, and deep peace (even if the choice is a little scary and out of your comfort zone). The wise teacher is inside of you. At the end of the day, you must choose what is right for you—even when others’ well-intended opinions differ from your own.

5. You’re The One Stuck With The End Result

In life, you are the one stuck with the consequences of your decisions. For example, if someone suggests you buy some stocks, but you just don’t feel like it’s the right choice, you are the only one who will live the consequences. If the stock falls and you lose a lot of money, you are the one that will have to live with the fact that you didn’t follow your inner call. When people give you their suggestions or even orders, there is no risk for them. They don’t have to live with your choices—but you do.

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6. Your Inner Guidance Matters

When you listen to the call from within—your deep desires, yearnings, and dreams—you end up living a fulfilling life. As Joseph Campbell famously teaches: “follow your bliss” as this always takes you to the place you are supposed to be. And only you know what that inner call is. It is better to live a fulfilling life that you can approve of than living a life for somebody else.

7. Trust Your Ability To Make Decisions

It’s common to want and seek the approval of others, however this can leave us in a terrible position where we lose trust in ourselves. The more you seek approval of others, the less confidence you will have in your ability to make your own decisions. Making decisions by yourself is akin to working a muscle. The more you make your own decisions, the easier it becomes, and the stronger you become inside leading to greater confidence in your choices. Conversely, every time you give your power away,  and rely on others to make decisions for you, you weaken the muscle of confidence and decision making. Start strengthening your decision muscles today by relying on yourself to make your own decisions.

8.  Live With Integrity

When you live life by your terms and with your approval you are living an authentic life. Alternatively, when you live searching for others’ approval, you end up living a lie since it is not the life you truly desire. Living with integrity means acting in alignment with what you feel is right. When you live by others’ standards you are not living a true life, nor is this a life of integrity.

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9. Others Don’t Care As Much As You Think

If you find yourself worried about what others think of you, chances are they are not thinking about you as much as you believe. We all have complex lives to attend to, and whatever approval you are seeking from another, chances are they don’t care as much as you worry about. Therefore, the best thing you can do for yourself is take the energy you put into worrying over others’ approval, and transform that energy into evaluating what you truly approve of. Make sure you approve of what you do—that’s what matters!

10. The Hard Truth: It’s Impossible To Please Everybody

The fact is some people just won’t like you, and some people will never approve of what you do. So you might as well get on with what you feel is right. Whether it’s regarding what you are wearing, a business decision, or career decision, not everyone you know—from family to clients and co-workers—will approve of what you choose. It’s just the hard truth. But that’s part of the saving grace in all of this. Simply knowing this gives us the freedom to act honestly in our lives. At the very least, you’ll be able to sleep at night with peace, knowing that you approve of and are pleased with your choices.

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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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