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30 Simple Things You Don’t Realize You Do That Impress Everyone Around You

30 Simple Things You Don’t Realize You Do That Impress Everyone Around You

One the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to impress someone is that they assume people only pay attention to the important or “big” things they do. But the reality is that the little things are what matter most. It’s the little things we do or don’t do every day that shape us in to who we are. The little things determine how we respond when big things come in to our lives.

The kind of image you present to the world is determined by your actions, comments, attitude, behavior and even appearance. These things can be noticed within the first few seconds of meeting someone. So, how do you let people know who you really are? How do you impress everyone around you without big gestures or a lot of time? These 30 things might be simple, but they have a big impact. Their effects are lasting. People will remember the little things you do and that can make the difference you’re looking for.

1. Dress the part

Your appearance is the thing people see first. They look at your clothes, hair, shoes, etc. They make assumptions about you before you even open your mouth. If you want to impress people, dress for the occasion. Take time to get ready in the morning.

2. Be on time

If you’re late for something, you’re giving someone the opportunity to judge you without you even being there. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, then be there at that time. Waiting for someone when they should already be there is frustrating and annoying.

3. Don’t break your promises

There are too many people out there making promises they know they can’t keep. They promise something because it makes the other person feel better in that moment. The problem with that is that down the road, when you don’t follow through, the comfort that person felt turns into discouragement, frustration and even anger. If you can’t keep a promise, don’t make it. If you do make a promise, do everything you can to keep it.

4. Respect others

This includes your elders, minors, co-workers, family members, etc. This can be hard when you have to be around someone who has differing opinions than you, or who acts in a way you don’t approve of. But you can still be civil. If you look for attributes you respect in people, you will find them.

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5. Be involved

If you support going green, then go green in your life. If you support your local government, then attend community meetings. Be a part of the things that matter to you.

6. Say, “Please,” and, “Thank you,” often

These are small words, but they go a long way. Expressing your gratitude to people, even for the smallest acts of kindness, shows that you see the good in people; it shows that you pay attention to the things people around you are doing and saying.

7. Smile often

Smiles are contagious. If a stranger walks past you at the store and smiles, it is a natural response to smile back. Seeing someone smile can remind others that there are things to be grateful for, that life is fun and exciting.

8. Don’t be constantly using your phone

When you are with someone, be with them. Phones are an amazing piece of technology. But they are also a distraction. Use your phone when it’s appropriate. You don’t need it out every second of every day.

9. Be faithful to your partner

We hear story after story about divorces and infidelity. It’s everywhere. By being honest and true with your partner, you are showing that you know where your priorities are. You understand what it means to be in a healthy relationship.

10. Support your children

Take time to be involved in your kids’ lives. Know what they’re interested in. Go their games, recitals, competitions, parent-teacher conferences, etc. Listen when they talk to you. Be the kind of parent they know they can go to when they have questions.

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11. Personal hygiene isn’t an option, it’s a requirement

Have breath mints handy. Wear deodorant. Brush your teeth. Wear clean clothes. These are things that should be common sense, but some people really struggle with them. Talking to someone with bad breath is gross. It’s distracting. All you can think about is that you want to give them a mint. Take care of your personal hygiene and people will be more focused on what you’re saying and doing instead of how you smell.

12. Speak clearly and make eye contact

Let the person you’re talking to know that you are engaged in the conversation and that you care about what you’re discussing. Don’t mumble or look around, keep your focus on them.

13. Don’t chew gum

This can depend on the type of situation you’re in. If you’re with family hanging out or with close friends at the movies, gum is fine. But in a professional situation, gum is distracting.

14. Use humor

This can lighten the mood and bring people down from a tense state. Just make sure you’re using this at appropriate times.

15. Greet people with a handshake or hug

Determine what type of situation you’re in. You probably don’t want to go in to an interview and hug your potential boss, but you should offer them a firm handshake. With close friends and family members a hug shows a level of intimacy. It shows that you love and care about them and gives you a way to physically express that.

16. Be true to yourself

Know what you want out of life and do everything you can to achieve it.

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17. Listen to others

When someone is talking to you, listen to what they are saying. Don’t be thinking of a response while they are still talking.

18. Perform acts of kindness

Open the door for someone, collect your neighbor’s mail when they go out town, make dinner for someone who just had a baby.

19. Be organized

Have a schedule and know what you have going on. Know where things are in your house, at work, in your car, etc.

20. Compliment people

Look for the good in people around you and take the time to let them know you noticed. Compliment them on their clothes, their work, their attitude, anything you can think of.

21. Share knowledge and information with others

When you have a skill or talent, share it. Teach others and share what you know and have learned.

22. Be positive and focus on the good

This can be hard when times are tough, but it’s possible. Look for the solution instead of focusing on the problem. Stay positive.

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23. Help others

Help when and where you can. In most cases, chances to serve aren’t always at the most opportune times, but sacrificing your time to help someone in need says a lot about you.

24. Keep a clean car

Take your car through the car wash every so often. Clean out the inside. Don’t let garbage pile up. You never know when you’re going to have to give someone a ride.

25. Care about people

Don’t build up a wall to “protect” your feelings. Let yourself feel, let yourself care for people.

26. Don’t take offense

Things will be said and people will do things, purposefully or accidentally, that could hurt you. You can choose to be offended or to move past it.

27. Own up to your mistakes

When you make a mistake, admit it, own up to it, do what you can to fix it and move on.

28. Take advantage of experiences life has to offer

If you get the opportunity to go somewhere new, learn a new talent or try something new, do it! Enjoy life.

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29. Know what’s going on in the world

Be up to date on recent news, both local and global. Be informed.

30.  Travel

The world is a big place. Take the time to go out and meet new people, learn new cultures and make new memories.

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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

Reference

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