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5 Tips For Dating An Introvert

5 Tips For Dating An Introvert

You may have never stopped and considered the temperament of the people around you. And if you’re an outgoing extrovert, it may be especially challenging to rationalize with the softly spoken, quiet relative of extroversion. Introversion is not simply shyness; it’s a more complex set of preferences in which the individual tends to extract more reward from intimate social interactions and small groups. Dating an introvert is simple, as long as you’re aware of the characteristics of your introverted partner.

1. Forget about the social stigma surrounding introversion.

Many people tend to think that introversion is a negative quality; it’s often associated with quiet, hard-to-talk-to individuals. This is incredibly inaccurate. Introverts are very easy people to talk to, especially in the proper setting. In fact, people are often drawn towards introverts to have conversations about personal experiences and events they’ve experienced. This is because introverts are typically great listeners. The point here is to forget about introversion as a defining characteristic with a negative connotation. Introverts can do very extroverted things, sometimes better than extroverts. The difference is, the introverted person may need time to recharge.

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2. Find a balance between your need for socializing and your partner’s need for solitude.

One of the largest challenges that an introvert-extrovert couple can have is striking a balance between socializing and alone time. This is especially true if your introverted partner works a job that is mentally demanding and requires a significant amount of socializing with clients and customers during the workday. If the demand for mental capacity to socialize exists at work and at home, five or six days a week, your partner can never find the time to recharge.

Appreciate the fact that your partner may not have the energy and desire to entertain and socialize constantly with friends and family. Recognize that this is not anti-social behavior. The need for intimacy or human interaction is present in both personality types. It has been found by psychologists that people who tend to value intimacy highly are people with a smaller circle of friends who prefer sincerity as opposed to parties.

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3. Do activities that value the traits and capabilities of your introverted partner.

This can really be anything; however, a few activities come to mind immediately. Introverts are extremely good listeners and can offer advice that is genuine and sincere. This becomes apparent in a smaller gathering or one-on-one sessions. Instead of a massive, once-a-month dinner party, perhaps more frequent, smaller gatherings would help ease the pressure.

Reading is also a great activity that couples can do together on a Sunday afternoon. You can explore the endless realm of books and imagination in your own minds, but also enjoy the warmth of your partner simultaneously.

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4. Experiment with conflict resolution.

In conflict resolution, many introverts try to minimize aggression, while extroverts typically raise their voice as they become more engaged in finding a resolution. The more the extrovert raises his/her voice, the more the introvert is likely to retreat in an attempt to minimize aggression. I think this cycle is understandable because no one likes to feel dominated, but at the same time, the extrovert doesn’t want to feel disrespected because it appears his/her partner doesn’t seem to care about the conflict. The solution: Perhaps the extrovert needs to approach the conflict with calmness and a mild manner, whereas the introvert needs to become comfortable with disharmony.

5. Read the non-fiction book Quiet by Susan Cain.

You and your partner should read Quiet. It’s an excellent read that is full of actionable advice for couples and people of both personality types. Prior to reading, watch the TED Talk given by Susan Cain, which provides a good idea of the subjects covered in the book: Susan Cain: The power of introverts.

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Are you in an introvert-extrovert relationship? Feel free to share your tips for making it work in the comments below.

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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.

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Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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