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15 Things to Remember If You Love A Workaholic

15 Things to Remember If You Love A Workaholic

“I’m the true definition of a workaholic.” – Kim Kardashian

If you love a workaholic, there is little point in going into a sulk or making life even more difficult for your loved one. You know that a workaholic is more likely to have health and work-life balance problems, so there is no need to stress over it. Here are 15 things to remember about workaholics.

1. They are addicted to work.

The problem for the typical workaholic is that they are totally convinced that unless they are super productive, their sense of self-worth plummets. The cure is worse than the disease. It is often difficult to pinpoint what constitutes workaholism. But it is described as an addiction.

2. They thrive on work.

They know that they are risking health problems but the buzz they get from juggling multiple projects is like nothing else on earth. When they are away from their desk they feel uneasy and fidgety.

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“I’m a bit of a workaholic. When I feel like I’m not doing something, it drives me insane.” – Ashley Greene.

3. They panic about holidays.

The idea of leaving for a holiday throws them into a panic. Separation from work could lead to a breakdown, rather than a complete rest, they feel.

4. They believe in the work ethic.

The work ethic is as strong as ever. What people fail to realize is that modern technology has made it even more difficult to devalue this. Unplugging from work is now almost impossible because of smartphones and other hi-tech gadgets which help the workaholic feed his habit relentlessly.

5. They have no plans to retire.

While most of us dream of doing nothing and getting up late when we retire, the workaholic never even entertains the idea of retiring from work. They feel there is no compelling reason to go into retirement unless actually forced to do so for health reasons.

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6. They do not want to be nagged about attending social events.

Yes, the workaholic does feel guilt at times about neglecting family and social events. They really appreciate not being nagged about these because they just cannot establish the boundaries between home and work

7. They often have valid reasons for overworking.

Have you ever thought how inefficient and lazy colleagues can often force a person into being a workaholic? This is often ignored because most experts argue that the workaholic is making life difficult for everybody. They rarely think of the flipside.

8. They have powerful motivation.

How many people do you know who have a passion for their job? Workaholics always do and while it may be a substitution for negative emotions in their personal life, their dedication, motivation and passion for the job often goes unrecognized.

9. They are perfectionists.

Psychologists now tell us that perfectionism is the driving force most workaholics possess. They are constantly striving to bridge the gap between their wild expectations and their self-evaluation of how they actually performed. This is what propels them forward.

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10. They have a different concept of relaxation.

If you ask a workaholic what his or her idea of relaxation is, you might be surprised at the answer. They will tell you that they love multi taking but above all, the fact of accomplishing a task and having 10 others lined up in the next few hours is their idea of relaxation.

11. Their views on money and happiness are skewed.

The workaholic is convinced that success and money will make their family happier. If they think this, they are mistaken. They probably have not read about research that shows families who make $5million a year are not any happier than those who earn $75,000.

12. They cannot text back.

As a loved one, you feel neglected. You think, why can’t she or he text back? The reality of the workaholic’s life is that they have meetings with clients or that they have 10 meetings back to back for the rest of the day. Lunch is skipped again and there no time even between meetings because they are talking to their boss.

13. They may be compensating for something else.

Work, ambition, motivation, promotion, and success. These are the recipes that drive them. But often, these are just symptoms of a deeper uneasiness in their emotional lives or maybe just a bad coping mechanism for dissatisfaction with their lives. Could you be the reason? It might be no harm to reflect on this.

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14. They can benefit from working under pressure.

It is true that the longer you work, the less productive you become. But some workaholics thrive on stress as they find it gets the adrenaline flowing and that is at least a positive benefit. The ideal situation is to manage time better in order to make work more productive and satisfying.

15. They need total control.

It should be no surprise that the workaholic rarely delegates and when he or she does, they go through agony about whether it will be done properly. Another aspect of the desire for total control is that their smartphone will never leave their side. Yes, they take it to bed too!

Now that you know what a makes a workaholic tick, you can just sit back and wait until he or she realizes that work is just one part of life.

Featured photo credit: Hands Typing On Laptop With Smartphone And Coffee via stokpic.com

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More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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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!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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