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10 Things Your Older Sister Never Told You

10 Things Your Older Sister Never Told You

When you are the younger child in a family you have to listen not only to your parents, but to older siblings as well. A younger sister will often complain about being treated like a baby, or being bossed around by her much older sister when they were younger, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for big sis either. There are a bunch of things that your older sister never really complained about or feel the need to tell you about, knowing that you will come to understand such things when you get older.

1. She spent years as a single child and lived under stricter rules

When your parents had her they didn’t really know what they were doing and they felt incredibly protective, so your sister ended up living under very strict rules. By the time you came along, they had already learned to be a bit more lenient. Your sister essentially paved the way for you, and there were times when she wished you appreciated that fact a bit more.

2. She was put up to higher standards because she was the older one

Not only did she have to take the full brunt of your parents’ attention before you came along, but she was actually held accountable later on, because she was the older one who needs to know better. She’d take a bullet for you from time to time, and while it was frustrating it helped her become a more mature and responsible person, and having a successful older sibling can be beneficial for you as well.

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3. More often than not, she’d find herself trying to be a good role model

Since your older sister was forced to act a lot more mature than other kids her age, she’d end up thinking about her choices and actions, because she knew full well that you looked up to her. Although she might have wanted to be a bit irresponsible and have fun, at times she had to use self-control and try to set a good example.

4. She made things easier for you by giving you her hard-earned bits of wisdom

When she went through rough times, got in fights with mom and dad, had trouble in school – she had to figure it all out for herself. She had to take a few hard falls in order to get back up stronger, but she was more than happy to give you all the little tips, tricks and gems of wisdom that she learned the hard way. The advice might have seemed as nagging at times, but she just didn’t want you to go through all the troubled that she did.  

5. She knew you’d have to make some of the same mistakes, but couldn’t talk you out of it

While she did her best to give you some pointers and guidelines, some things you just have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate. There were times when she watched you make mistakes, and she knew that you wouldn’t listen, but she was still there to comfort you afterwards.

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6. She also gave your parents tips and helped them deal with you

Of course, it is inevitable to have a few stern talks with your parents and get punished, but what you didn’t appreciate when you were younger was the fact that your older sister gave parents some insight into how you felt and helped them find the best way to approach you in that situation. She took up the role of mediator when it was necessary, and even sided with you when you were clearly in the wrong.

7. It both excited and frightened her when you became old enough to start dating

When you have a much older sister you are always the baby in the family, but as you grow older there comes a point where you can speak to each other as friends as well. It’s usually about the time you start dating. She gives you tips on how to deal with the confusing mess that is the teenage girl’s psyche, and you can also learn some useful tips on makeup and what to expect from boys.

Talking with your parents about sex is a weird experience, but your older sister can provide some much-needed guidance without you feel too uncomfortable. On one hand your sister was glad that she will be able to share such things with you, but on the other hand she was worried that you might get your heart broken.

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8. When she critiqued you or teased you, it was so that you would become a better person

Sometimes your older sister would seem mean, like she didn’t care about your problems or like she just wanted to tease you for the fun of it. However, a lot of the time it was used as a means of motivating you to do better or to toughen up – wanting to prove someone wrong or “show them” is the best source of motivation. If things go a little too far, it’s easy to make a sincere apology and make up, so this tough love tends to become a common strategy.

9. She had to act as teacher, caretaker and bodyguard, and she didn’t always know what she was doing

An older sister will stand up for you, help you out with bullies, feed you, help you out with homework and teach you valuable skills. The thing is, she didn’t receive any formal training and she didn’t really know what she was doing a lot of the time. However, that didn’t stop her from trying her best to keep you safe and help you out with anything you needed. An older sister’s boyfriend is also a great influence and can have “the talk” with your new boyfriend.

10. She knew that she’d be the first one you call in an emergency and was ready for anything

An older sister has to be ready for literally anything. Driving you home wasted from a party, helping you sober up and cleaning up the mess so the parents don’t find out? Check. Taking you shopping? Check. Borrowing you cash so you can go to a concert you’ve been waiting for? Check. Your sister used to get into all kinds of trouble herself and understand that she has to be ready to help you out with similar problems, and perhaps even some unique ones that she never came across. It’s not a big surprise to her when you come to her in a panic, but she will make sure that you know how big of a favor she is doing for you.

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These are just some of the things that a much older sister went through, but never really wanted to mention. At the end of the day, she loves you like no one else in the whole world, and while she did help make you into the person you are today, she is aware that you, in turn, had a big positive effect on her life as well.

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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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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