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25 Things to Do Before You Turn 25

25 Things to Do Before You Turn 25

1. Go to a Music Festival.

See your favourite bands play live; experience the atmosphere, the fashions and the micro-culture of life in a large field with a crowd of people all there to enjoy the experience.

2. Buy Dinner for Your Parents.

Your parents may have been been funding your life for years, so now you can experience the joy of repaying their kindness, love, and responsibility, and of developing an adult relationship with them. Taking them out for dinner, and picking up the bill, is one of the ways of doing this.

3. Travel to Another Continent

Travelling, with the exposure to different climes, cultures, and peoples, broadens the mind, helps develop life skills, and makes for more open attitudes and tolerance. However open-minded you are, there’s nothing like experiencing a different way of life firsthand. It also furnishes you with some great dinner party stories!

4. Try an Adrenaline Sport.

You could try sky diving, white water rafting or bungee jumping. Pushing your comfort zone and trying something like this may terrify you, but you’ll feel immensely proud of overcoming your fear.

5. Spend the Whole Weekend Partying.

Doing an “all weekender” can be more difficult as you get older and have more responsibilities—it’s a great experience to try!

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6. Have a Good Conversation with Someone of a Different Faith or Belief to Your Own.

Conversations like this helps us realise we’re not so different to other people, regardless of appearances.

7. Vote.

Have your say on how your home country is run. We really can’t complain if we have the democratic right to express our views, but don’t do so.

8. Dye Your Hair a Completely Different Colour.

Or change your hairstyle. One change that can make you feel like a different person.

9. Go to a Gay / Lesbian Club or Bar.

Or join in with a Pride parade/festival. If you’re gay, you could hang out at a straight bar.

10. Let Go of a Friendship.

Not all friendships are meant to last forever; some come into our lives and exist for different reasons at different times in our life. Holding on to a relationship that has run its course doesn’t do either of you any favours. Quality rather than quantity of friends is the important factor.

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11. Like Yourself.

The teen years are for exploring who you are, what you like, and how you tick. Now its time to embrace who you are: be proud of the unique self you have become.

12. Practice Being Charitable.

Giving is more rewarding than receiving. Consider volunteering at a home for the elderly, or donating a percentage of earnings to a charity that you feel is important. Something as simple as smiling more and being more friendly to the people in your life and strangers that you come across can make a big difference to both you and them.

13. Let the Grudge Go.

Holding resentment does more damage to you than anyone else. Let it go. Use your energy for more healthy pursuits.

14. Go on a Blind Date.

The excitement, the worry, the unknown outcome—who knows what may come of it? A blind date makes for a great story to tell friends, a learning experience and maybe even a great love.

15. Exercise.

Your body is not 18 anymore. All bodies age, and the punishment you might have applied to it in your teens and early twenties by excessive studying, partying, and having a chaotic lifestyle will not be so easy to recover from as you get older.

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16. Learn to Cook

Learning to cook, if you haven’t already, can be fun, good for your health, and your bank balance. Trying new recipes and developing a repertoire of easy, simple and healthy meals is a great start.

17. Learn to “Be”.

The Italians have a great word; “Asolare“. It means spending time in a meaningless but delightful way. Learn to just be, rather than always doing.

18. Save for Your Retirement.

The earlier we start, the greater the amount for your golden years. It may seem a long way off still, but the retired you will thank you for having started by now.

19. Camp Under the Stars.

Experience the wonder of our world, with just canvas separating you from mother nature. It puts everything back into perspective, especially when life gets clouded by all the trappings and complexities of the modern world.

20. Learn to Balance Your Finances.

Money can be an asset or a burden, but a lot depends on how you manage it. A few skills in the art of balancing your finances can have a big positive impact on your life.

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21. Wake up Somewhere Unfamiliar.

Enjoy the initial confusion, followed by the delighted feeling of having done something reckless, followed by the reality of “how do I get home?”.

22. Eat Exotic Food.

This is even better if it has an un-prounounceable name and is experienced in another country!

23. Buy a Ridiculously Expensive Item of Clothing.

Then leave it un-worn in the back of the closet. Keep it as an impulse buy; a reward to yourself; a “you deserve it” item you buy but never feel okay to wear but never get rid of because it cost so much.

24. Learn to Say No.

Learning to say “no”, is an important skill and one that can dramatically increase the quality of our lives.

25. Learn to Be Alone

Our relationship with ourselves is the most important one of our lives; we won’t spend as much time with anyone else! Learning to enjoy our own company and enjoy being alone is invaluable on so many levels.

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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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