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20 Things You’ll Regret Every Time After Doing

20 Things You’ll Regret Every Time After Doing

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” – John Barrymore. Regrets are a part of life, but they don’t have to be a major part of it. Sometimes, doing certain things affects you in a way that you won’t consciously realize. Especially with the items that have an effect on the way others see you. If you knew what your boss thought of your political rant, you’d possibly regret it! Look over this list and try and avoid situations where regrets might be the only conclusion.

1. You’ll regret every time taking a job solely for money

If you have taken jobs for money and you felt unhappy, ending up getting fired or quitting, you may not have realized the feeling of regret. I mean, who doesn’t like money? But, the effect of jobs that aren’t right, that don’t motivate you and that don’t teach you anything are missed opportunities. Do what you love and don’t feel guilty about it. The money will follow.

2. You’ll regret every time not taking an opportunity

Whether it’s to learn something about your career field or an opportunity to learn anything, you should take it. Barring things that literally kill you, experience is what life is all about.

3. You’ll regret every time sending an email/text when you’re angry

I’ve learned to quell the desire to return fire in an electronic form of communication. Something about accessibility and the ability to quickly communicate makes us think we should act…without thinking. At times, I’ve sent things in anger that I didn’t mean because I misinterpreted the situation. Plain and simple, let your emotions settle and take the soot to compose a thought-out letter after the initial anger subsides.

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4. You’ll regret every time cheating on partner

If you honestly don’t feel guilty or ashamed after cheating on your partner then you’re possible a sociopath. If a relationship isn’t working out, have the intestinal fortitude to admit it. Life goes by rapidly, but never so fast that you don’t have time to decide which lover you want to be with at any one moment. If you’re drunk at a bar or horny on a cruise, follow the same advice as emailing angry–and wait. Hurting other people selfishly is one of the biggest reasons to feel guilty. If you are moving on from one relationship with a person you met through cheating, will you truly trust that person not to cheat on you?

5. You’ll regret every time telling off your boss upon quitting

One of my coworkers used to joke about putting in his resignation by putting a pile of poop in an expensive store product. We would laugh and commiserate, but no one ever expected he would do it–and he never did. When you work for someone or some place, you have a responsibility to act as a professional. Even if your boss is the world’s biggest jerk, you don’t fix another person’s attitude by acting like a bigger ass. So, if you feel like you need to “settle the score,” when leaving a job, think over what you’re most upset about. Write it out in a nasty letter, but don’t send it! Wait a day or two. If you still feel the need to confront a former employer, do so with tact and without emotion.

6. You’ll regret every time putting off a passion/an interest

Author Russell Blake recently published a rant about running into a friend who acknowledged Blake’s career as a writer by saying he wanted to write a book too, but didn’t have the time. I loved this post because it proved to me once again that doing what one loves–especially when it’s in the arts–is not about a hobby. Passions are nature’s way of encouraging us silly humans. While your passion may be medicine or law, others thrive on painting or writing. The work one must put into a passion means time. If you put off the things you feel most strongly about, you will regret it. You won’t find time to start a poem let alone a book if you wait until the kids are grown or you can retire. Same thing for playing an instrument or learning to paint. Invest the time when the passion strikes.

7. You’ll regret every time not spending time with loved ones

Maybe you don’t see eye-to-eye with your dad, and maybe your dog really is your best friend, but I guarantee that you will feel more stressed and less productive when you don’t spend enough time with those you love. Don’t push too hard to impress the boss and get a promotion at the expense of a yearly family vacation. Kids want more than anything to spend time with their parents, so I promise you they will be more impressed with a weekend camping trip than with an expensive token.

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8. You’ll regret every time staying at a dead-end job

Look around the office. If you know you aren’t moving up unless someone dies, then maybe you should look for a job where you can prove yourself and be rewarded for your contributions. Money is important when it comes to paying the mortgage and keeping food on the table, but life is too short to waste it chasing the almighty dollar. If you work to live, you’ve got it backwards and you should think about how you can make a living pursuing things that mean more to you. Your spirit will thank you for it even if you have moments where dinner has to be charged to a credit card.

9. You’ll regret every time let fear dictate decisions

Just like staying in a dead-end job because you fear unemployment or think you cannot survive without another paycheck, when fear guides your decisions you make mistakes. You do things out of fear–or rather you don’t do things because of fear. Many of the items on this list play into the idea of taking calculated risks and making the most of every day.

10. You’ll regret dropping out of school for no good reason.

Though life often “gets in the way,” remember that LIFE is what you make of it. Often, people drop out of school and think they can always go back later. This isn’t always the case and if you are pursuing a dream that requires a formal education (like being a doctor or nurse), then try not to give it up. If you need to take a leave of absense for personal reasons, do so, but try and get back at it.

11. You’ll regret every time not telling loved ones how you feel

As with making sure you spend enough time with those you love, making sure you are open and honest with your feelings is just as important. Holding hurt feelings back often leads to resentment, which can lead to infidelity in a marriage. Worse yet is when we race through life too busy to say “I love you,” and the unthinkable happens. It takes mere seconds to hug and kiss your loved ones so do it often and don’t hold back when you feel an emotion–unless it’s anger, in which case you should calm down and communicate rationally to move forward.

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12. You’ll regret every time letting friends slip away

Okay, I admit this is another of those that you may not experience regret from every time. If you choose to move on from a stagnant or negative relationship, that is different than forgetting to invest the time to be a friend to keep a friend. It’s not always about what you want to talk about; call a friend and make sure he or she doesn’t need an ear.

13. You’ll regret every time yelling at your kids

This one probably hits close to home for most parents–at least, it does for me. I’m guilty of letting the stress get to me and yelling at the kids. In my defense, they seem to purposefully infuriate me. The way my 3-year-old stares me down–understanding exactly what I am saying not to do, and then doing it–ruffles my feathers in unimaginable ways. I’ve never hit either of my kids (my youngest is now 18 months old), but I feel guilty every time I yell at them because I know that yelling doesn’t accomplish anything. Other than to scare them into wandering into traffic, yelling just makes stress worse.

14. You’ll regret every time stress eating

Eh, you won’t regret stress eating every time, and sometimes comfort food is a good way to indulge in life’s finer things. But, the truth is that stress eating in and of itself is unhealthy because the act of fulfilling a nutritional need with junk food is like a junkie using drugs. Make conscious choices to indulge in fine chocolate or calorie laden dessert every once in a while and don’t let stress be your guide.

15. You’ll regret every time drunken posting on social media

This should go without saying, but obviously many of us post drunk. We shouldn’t. Just like with holding emotions until we can “see clearly,” holding off on saying anything social can wait until we’re sober.

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16. You’ll regret every time ranting on social media

This is again one of those things that you may not consciously realize you regret, but your over-the-top political posts and rants about how much you hate your service providers causes others to perceive you in ways you’d regret if you knew better. Just because a status or profile is set to “private” doesn’t guarantee the wrong person won’t see it. Rant with caution because even if you don’t immediately see the error of your ways, you will with enough distance. Some things simply aren’t worth it.

17. Sharing a secret someone told you in confidence

When you betray your friends’ trust you prove yourself to be an unworthy friend. Even if the person isn’t someone you’d classify as a “friend,” betraying confidence will only make others perceive you as a gossip at best.

18. You’ll regret every time succumbing to peer pressure

Just like when you take a job for money or stay in a dead-end job out of fear, when you succumb to peer pressure you project an image of being a follower. You want to be a brave leader in life. Taking calculated risks and losing is better than always agreeing to do what everyone else is doing just because that may be easier.

19. You’ll regret every time belittling someone else

A huge, fat line of difference exists between constructive criticism and belittling. Most of us know what it feels like to be wrongly judged too quickly, but we should all appreciate the opportunity to grow from feedback. When you belittle someone, you will regret it because belittling others makes you nothing more than a bully.

20. You’ll regret every time listening to Nickelback

Ha ha, I’m kidding, not belittling Nickelback’s music. The controversy and “peer pressure” to hate something is a perfect point that supports many of the things on my list. Before you decide to join your friends in a laugh at the expense of any artist or individual, take the time to make your own decision. Nickelback isn’t so bad. Overrated by some and bashed brutally by others, but as with anything in life, you’ll regret what you do without thinking first.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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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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