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10 Signs You Have The Best Older Brother Ever

10 Signs You Have The Best Older Brother Ever

There is nothing that can replace an older brother in your life. They are the ones that showed us how to fight, patiently explained the rules of baseball and were always there for us when we needed someone to lean on. Here are ten more reasons they are immeasurable in our daily lives.

1. He showed you how to be strong

One of the most important life lessons you learned from your older brother was the necessity of developing tough skin and fighting your own battles. From playground disputes to middle school drama, he was always there to show you the importance of standing up for yourself. Even as grown-ups he continues to encourage you to be strong, whether it is standing up to your boss or getting rid of a toxic friend.

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2. He taught you the importance of healthy competition

Having an older brother as a mentor showed you that it’s important to be the best version of yourself in every task that you undertake, whether it’s securing a spot on the varsity soccer team in high school or getting your dream job. As adults, he continues to help you achieve your goals and calls you out when he thinks you can do better.

3. He highly influences your taste in music

One of the benefits of having an older brother is being able to discover great music through his impeccable taste. You might have not acknowledged it when you were younger, but now you fully appreciate having someone to recommend songs you should download for a stellar playlist that will brighten up your commute or your daily errands.

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4. He taught you about the world

Having an older brother who had already had his fair share of life lessons is beneficial for you when you are seeking life advice. Whether you want to learn how to drive a car or need a different perspective on something, you know he will always be there for you when you need him. You know that you can always call him late at night, when you need someone else’s perspective on a problem.

5. He will defend you to the end of the world and back

Whether you needed someone to side with you while you were fending off the mean girls in middle school or needed an ex to take hike, he was always at the ready to be by your side and fight for your honor. Even now that you are older, he still takes the role of older protective brother quite seriously and always will.

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6. He knows how to make you laugh

When you are having a bad day you know that calling him will be the perfect remedy to make you feel better. Your repertoire of inside jokes that you share with him is the ideal cure that you need when you are feeling blue. He also has always told you to not take yourself too seriously and that it is important to laugh at missteps that you have had that do not seem like a big deal in retrospect.

7. He knows how to really listen

Likewise, when you need someone to just to lend their ears and listen to your problems, you know he will always be there. When you were younger he always was there when you were having a bad day, knowing exactly what to say. You know he will always be on the other end of the line, while you vent about a fight that you had with your mom or a job interview that went south.

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8. He patiently explains sports terms to you

When it seems like football is another language, he is always there to take the time to teach you the ins-and-outs of his favorite sport. After he is done explaining the rules, he is more than willing to demonstrate how it’s done through a game of catch or shooting some hoops.

9. He gives you an ideal example of what to look for in a partner

When you are in a romantic relationship, you always hold all the men you date to high standards due to always comparing them to your older brother. He taught you from an early age that it’s important to find a mate that respects women, one of the most valuable life lessons you have learned. You respect yourself when it comes to men because of him.

10. He tells you the truth

If something does not feel right he will let you know. Whether it’s a career choice or a personal decision you have made, it’s this level of honesty that allowed you to gain a large amount of respect for him as a person. You trust his advice because although it is hard to hear the truth at first, you know he is always right and that he comes from a place of love.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.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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