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10 Ways To Greatly Improve Your Attitude

10 Ways To Greatly Improve Your Attitude

Our attitude plays a big part in our everyday lives and can affect how our life may turn out in the future. If you decide to live with a negative attitude, always expecting the worst and never enjoying what you already have in your life, you’ll find that your inner choices will reflect on the outside. However, if you have a good attitude, you’ll be the kind of person who works hard, is a believer in the fact that life is for living, and you will live the kind of life many would aspire to.

Attitude comes down to choice, you can choose whether to have a good or a bad attitude and whether external things can affect it or not. With this in mind I’ve come up with a few ways to help improve your attitude when you are struggling to turn a bad day into a good one.

1. Take action and then let it go.

If you have something you need to get done, and you’ve been putting it off because the result could go either way, the best thing for you to do to improve your attitude is to take the appropriate action required and then let it go. Holding on, worrying and wasting precious time fretting will only put a downer on your attitude. If you remember that life is for living, and what will be will be, then you can’t go far wrong. Worrying is a complete waste of your time—if it’s going to happen, it will happen anyway, whether you worry about it or not!

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2. Spend time with those who share your positive attitude.

This is a must if you want to improve your attitude. The people you surround yourself with most of the time will reflect upon you and how you live your life. So always make sure that these people share your positive vibe, and lift you rather than bring you down. We are, after all, only human, so there will be times when we get a bit down on our luck, which makes it even more important to have good, positive people on hand to encourage, support and inspire us.

3. Remember to forgive easily the limitations of others.

So often we get disappointed by other people’s actions or non-action. Instead of getting angry or retaliating, the best way to improve the situation and to improve your attitude is to forgive. Most people don’t understand why they do the things they do or say the things they say. It is through your forgiveness (which is not about letting them off the hook, but rather letting yourself off the hook) that you will improve your attitude. Holding on to grudges will only cause you more harm than good because most people don’t realize how their limitations affect others anyway!

4. Always act with a purpose.

When you take action, always take steps to act with a purpose, so that your actions are in line with your values and who you are. Many people walk through life blindly, with no real reason for what they do and why they do it. Instead, live with a sense of purpose, so that you go through life knowing the effect you have on those around you and why you do the things you do. For an example, Walt Disney’s main purpose was to “make people happy,” so next time you act, think of your purpose and improve your attitude whilst doing so!

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5. Always say, “Please,” and, “Thank you.”

Being polite when given help or asking for it isn’t a hard thing to do, yet so often we forget these simple words, especially with those closest to us. If you want to improve your attitude use, “Please,” and, “Thank you,” every single time you are given the opportunity. Why? Because what you give out you get back, so when you are nice to someone who is helping you out or when you need some assistance, you’ll find that you’ll get more than you bargained for—in a good way, of course!

6. Don’t compare yourself to others.

If you want to improve your attitude to life and to those around you, quit comparing yourself to others. It’s human to compare our lives with others, but when we do it too often we can drag ourselves down and start to think that life isn’t going the way it’s supposed to go. When we compare, we think someone else’s life looks better than ours. It’s important to remember that we are observing the external view, and things may look different behind closed doors. So spare yourself the worry and stop comparing, only focus on your own life and attitude to it and you’ll be much happier in the process.

7. Expect the best out of every situation instead of the worst.

How many times do you focus on the bad stuff that might happen in your life, rather than the good? Do you hear yourself saying things like, “Oh, I knew that would happen,” or, “I really hope this doesn’t cost too much,” and, “I don’t want to be late”?

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When life is hectic and you feel that you don’t have time to do what you want because of what other people want from you, it’s no wonder you can get so down and disgruntled about life. We tend to focus on what could go wrong in our lives rather than focusing on what could go right. In some respects we like to have a moan, and it seems complaining has become such second nature to us that we don’t even realize we are doing it.

So how about trying something different? Try not to complain for seven days and instead replace any negative thoughts with a positive one. Expect the very best out of every situation and see the improvement in your attitude, you won’t be disappointed!

8. Wake up early every day.

I am a real advocate of early rising. For me it brings me closer to the feeling of starting afresh, just in case yesterday didn’t go quite as planned. I usually get up at around 4 a.m., although that kind of time is pretty extreme to most people. However, when you plan to wake up early and intend to make each day a good one, you’ll find your attitude will change. It’s like you are taking the day by the horns and making sure you get every last bit out of it and on your own terms. You’ll feel in control of your life rather than just going through life in a blur.

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Just try it, even if you only get up 20 minutes earlier than normal.

9. Live in the present moment.

As you read this you will probably have 101 things on your mind. Errands to run, things you should be doing and things that have happened that are worrying you. All too often we spend our days lost in thoughts about the past or the future and never really living in this very moment. When we live like this, we are never really comfortable with ourselves because our inner peace is constantly at odds, which affects our mood and our attitude.

Instead of rushing about, try to spend time watching your thoughts and becoming more mindful of what you are saying to yourself. If you are worrying about something, you are not in the present moment because you are thinking about something that could happen in the future. Anxiety, stress and worry are all signs you are not living in the now. When you have too much of this going on it can lead to health issues later on in life. To improve your attitude, learn how to take a break, to sit and be quiet even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. Your body and mind will thank you for it, and so will your friends!

10. Be grateful for everything you have.

This always seems to come up whenever I write because gratefulness is one of the most powerful attitudes to have in life. If you want a better life, give thanks for all that you have each and every day. When you rise early, practice grace before you do anything. This kind of practice will set your day off nicely, your attitude will improve and you’ll find you will receive more things to be grateful about!

So how’s your attitude today, does it need a little fine tuning?

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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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