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15 Simple Traits Of A Truly Good Person

15 Simple Traits Of A Truly Good Person

Being a good person is not hard, but it doesn’t just happen. As much as anything else, you have to want to be a good person and make choices that correspond with your beliefs. No matter where you are in your life, you can make the choice to change. Here are 15 simple traits of a truly good person.

1. They are honest in relationships.

Relationships can put an amazing amount of stress and stain on a person, especially when things are going wrong. A nice person may try to stay in a relationship for too long, attempting to force something that isn’t there. But a truly good person will be honest in their relationship and move it forward when things are going well and end it when the time comes. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to live up to your lofty potential when your relationship is dragging you down. Be honest about how you feel and stay loyal when you’ve committed.

2. They compliment others when deserved.

Good people understand that others need praise. Complimenting is not only a good thing to do, but a sign that you can be excited for other people’s triumphs. A truly good person will compliment when deserved and offer constructive criticism when warranted.

3. They call their parents regularly.

It’s simple, but being respectful and grateful for your parents is a truly great thing. It’s easy to get to busy and let life get in your way, but truly good people find time to make sure they check in with mom and dad regularly.

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4. They are polite.

Good people are polite. They show respect and mind their manners. It’s not to be a showoff or to seem better; they just truly respect individuals and want to treat them how they want to be treated. You don’t have to be formal or walk on eggshells to be polite. It’s more a function of ensuring you act in a way that is fitting for your present location.

5. They are kind to everyone.

A good person doesn’t have to like everyone, but they are at least kind. They look at people for the person they can be and can look past the present to see the person’s positives.

6. They are generous with their belongings.

While you don’t physically have to give the shirt off your back, a truly good person is be willing to be generous. A good person understands that the things we collect and the money we accumulate are not worth anything without people to share it with. You don’t have to be a bleeding heart, giving away your life fortune; rather, be open and generous to those less fortunate in a time of need.

7. They remember their manners.

Whether it’s waiting until everyone has their food to eat or opening the door when others walk through, proper manners are definitely not out of style. Truly good people understand the importance of their actions and always remember their manners.

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8. They think of others.

It’s easy to be selfish and do what’s best for yourself. Yet, truly good people consider others in their decisions. They understand that what’s good for them may not always be the best for others. They don’t have to cater exclusively to others; rather, they understand and take into consideration how their actions will affect others and are comfortable with the decision to move forward.

9. They go the extra mile.

A truly good person makes sure the task gets done and always goes the extra mile. Whether it’s staying to help clean up after an event or spending their own time ensuring things get done properly, a good person understands the importance of finishing what they start.

10. They are kind to loved ones.

Sometimes you can be great to others but treat the ones who love you the most the worst. A truly good person doesn’t take out their problems on their loved ones and is as pleasant at home as in the public eye.

11. They smile.

A smile can light up a room, and truly good people smile often—not just when things are going well.

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12. They make the best out of every situation.

In every situation, there are positives and negatives. A truly good person will find and focus the positives. That’s not to say they don’t take the negatives; rather, they find ways to improve and become better because of the bad things.

13. They make friends easily.

A truly good person is one who people want to be around. People are drawn to them. By being positive and finding the best in others, they can make and keep friends easily.

14. They don’t take things for granted.

Being a truly good person is an ongoing pursuit. They understand that what they’ve done in the past doesn’t ensure results in the future.

15. They are consistent.

A first impression is a lasting impression. By being consistent in what they do, a truly good person will ensure they always put their best foot forward and treat every person and situation the same.

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Being a good person isn’t hard, but it does take a consistent approach. By using the traits above, you too can be a truly good person.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Hawk via flickr.com

More by this author

Kyle Robbins

Kyle is the founder of Branding Beard. He writes about communication tips on Lifehack.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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