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5 Things that you will learn When You Stop Using All Social Media

5 Things that you will learn When You Stop Using All Social Media

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    For many, the thought of being cut off from their beloved social media sites may seem like a clip from a horror movie; anxiety may begin to settle in, fear of the “you-aren’t-connected” monster may be felt, and serious withdrawal symptoms may be experienced. Is it possible to live without knowing what your best friend ate for breakfast? What will you do when you go to the bathroom and there aren’t any “updates” to browse through? And how in the world will you be reminded of the millions of birthdays that you are now aware of? Some of which belong to people that you haven’t talked with in years, but that you somehow feel compelled to wish a “happy birthday” to.

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    What if, just for once in your life, you could experience and savor the quietness of your mind? Have time to gather your thoughts before letting others’ thoughts take hold of your own? What if you did have the courage to live without being “connected” and still feel that you are a part of something greater? You can.

    I left the “social media scene” in 2011 and was on sabbatical for three years. Really, no Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or any other social media for me for three whole years (except for perhaps Pinterest because of the amazing cooking recipes). Here is what I learned from that social media hiatus:

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    1. You miss it for a few weeks and then you move on

    Yes, you will feel withdrawals; you will experience separation anxiety; you will feel out of place; and you will get over it. Like any breakup, it hurts, you miss it, but you move on. The great thing about this breakup is that you have the upper-hand because you ended the relationship. Sure, Facebook will send you a million e-mails telling you to rethink the relationship, and then in a moment of bitterness it will coldly remind you that your account will be closed forever if you don’t log in within a certain period of time; and maybe you will feel compelled to go back. But don’t. Going back with an ex after a breakup is never a good idea anyway.

    2. You feel proud and excited of the newly found free time

    What will you do with all this extra time on your hands? Oh, the possibilities are endless. You can actually pick up the phone, call friends and “catch-up” like the world has done for thousands of years; through verbal communication. You can read a book and not someone else’s thoughts on it. You can wake up in the middle of the night and actually count sheep instead of obsessively refreshing your screen to see if anyone commented on your new profile picture. You will learn that the sky is the limit for your newly found free time.

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    3. You learn that the problem with your lack of time is not social media

    I don’t know how to put this kindly so I will just put it: it’s not the social media – it’s you. You don’t have time to do anything; you haven’t studied for finals, worked on your end-of-year report; written that book you’ve though about writing for the past five years; and you certainly haven’t had the time to sit quietly and be thankful for your blessings. The lack of drive for actually accomplishing what you want to do is the reason for your lack of time, not the amount of time spent on social media. The truth is that if you are busy living life to the fullest, you will know when it is time to shutdown the computer or the phone and focus on what matters without “disconnecting” yourself for good.

    4. You never over-share ever again

    After being “disconnected” for a while, plugging yourself back into the social media world can come as a shock. All of the sudden pictures that you may have been OK posting in the past seem too much for the world to see. The love and hate confessions that you once felt compelled to share with the world are definitely not something that you ever want to recreate again. You come back and are shocked to see how little vulnerability is worth these days. Somehow, during your “disconnection” time, you become wiser. You now know there is no need to over-share, you can just simply “share.”

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    5. You incorporate the word balance into your life

    Extremes are never good. Sometimes our society tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of place and the thought of balance may feel like an uphill battle. Disconnecting yourself from social media will teach you that the most fulfilling life is not one that shuts off the world or one that over-shares everything with the world. Instead, it is one where you are free to be yourself, think your thoughts, and know when to say “that’s enough for today.”

    Featured photo credit: Free for commercial use / No attribution required via pixabay.com

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    Sarita King

    motivational warrior!

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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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