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20 Amazing Things Only Big Sisters Would Understand

20 Amazing Things Only Big Sisters Would Understand

Do you have a big sister? There really is no friendship like it; she had your back before you even had hair, she is pretty much your oldest best friend, and your life is much better for her being a part of it.

Check out 20 amazing things you’ll only understand if you had a big sister, or if you are a big sister.

1. You Were Her Taxi Driver

Let’s face it; it made your little sister feel much cooler when you drove her to school, rather than when your parents did it. You were also the only person who she could rely on to pick her up drunk at 3 a.m. without a long lecture.

2. She Was Your Guinea Pig

No matter how old your sister was,  you used them to try out everything; new games you’d created, your makeup and clothes, and even the dubious ‘meals’ you made. It was a lot of fun for you – and hopefully character building for her.

3. You Taught Her Strength

Literally – anything you could find in your house could (and would) be used as a weapon of war against your younger sister. After that, playground bullies were nothing to your sister; you’d already taught her to stick up for herself.

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4. You Are Her Life Guru

You have been giving your little sister sound advice since she was a toddler, and she trusts you to know what’s up. Whether she needs help with a promotion or choosing what to eat for lunch, you always know the right answer – mainly because you both know each other so well.

5. You Always Chose The Game

Being the eldest meant you got to decide what game you and your sister were going to play – which also meant you got to be the coolest character. You loved playing the teacher, the doctor or the shop owner, while your sister eventually got used to playing the student, the patient and the customer.

6. You Helped Shape Your Younger Sister’s Music Taste

Your younger sister shares a love of the same music as you – mainly because she grew up listening to your CDs.  She may have groaned at the time, but now you both love to listen to the songs and reminisce together.

7. You Were Semi Cool – Which Benefited Your Little Sister

You seemed so cool to your little sister – mainly because you went to secondary school first and had ID. Before she was old enough, you would buy her beers whenever she asked (well, begged.) Ditto to lending her clothes or money for any cool parties she was invited to. In fact, you’re pretty sure you  helped shape her social life, which you’re fine with. After all, what else are big sisters for?

8. You Always Got In More Trouble Than Your Younger Sister

If you and your little sister were pulling off a prank, you were always a little more worried – because you knew if you were discovered, you’d end up in much more trouble than your younger, equally mischievous sister. Sigh.

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9. You Will Always Be Honest

Even when the truth hurts, you will always be totally honest with your little sister, and you’re pretty certain she is glad you are. From relationship advice to career advice, you will always tell her what she needs to hear, rather than what she wants to hear.

10. You Keep Her Secrets

No matter what is going on in your younger sister’s life, she knows that she can always talk to you and trust you to keep her secrets. You still haven’t told anyone the secrets she told you when she was five.

11. You Share Some Of Your Best Memories With Your Younger Sister

From family vacations to getting drunk together, some of your fondest memories are with each other.

12. You Prepared Your Parents For Your Sister

Most parents go through seeing their teenager drunkenly throwing up for the first time, and it’s normally pretty horrible for both parties. However, you did all of that first, saving your younger sister from unlimited guilt at the hands of your parents.

13. You Share A Unique Sense Of Humor

Your sister has known you her whole life, so it isn’t surprising that you share a sense of humor that makes no sense to anyone else. You have endless inside jokes with each other, and they can make you laugh like no-one else.

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14. You Know You Can Fight And Still Be Friends

There is no one in the world you fight with more than your little sister – but there is no one you love more, either. And somehow, it is reassuring that no matter how much you fight, you will always make up.

15. You Will Always Be There For Your Younger Sister

From tough break ups to having a hard day, your door is always open to your little sister.

16. You Helped Make Family Parties Fun

Family events can be particularly boring when you’re a child, but you tried to make every family party fun for your sister. While the adults drank wine and discussed renovating the kitchen, you and your sister would sneak off to play house in the bedroom – which was much more fun.

17. Your Sister Borrowed/Stole Everything You Owned

Clothes, food, money, makeup; anything your sister could get her hands on, she would take. It was pretty annoying at the time, but it taught you to be more relaxed and reasonable later in life.

18. You Taught Your Younger Sister About Sex

Well, not all of it – but your sister could always come to you to learn about the more squeamish stuff your parents tended to skim over.

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19. You Always Have Their Back

Even though you and your sister can (and regularly do) openly insult each other, no-one else can. You all feel grateful for having a supportive ally no matter what – especially when you’re happy to tell your little sister if she is making a bad decision.

20. You Are One Of Their Best Friends

You’ve been through it all together; emotional break-ups, family parties, groundings, and general life struggles. You share more experiences with your sister than any of your other friends, and those experiences have made you inseparable.

Can you think of any more amazing things only big sisters would understand? Comment your ideas below!

Featured photo credit: sisters make a wish via shutterstock.com

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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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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