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People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths

People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths

The expression “the truth hurts” is one we are very familiar with. We resist telling the truth to ourselves and to others because it is painful to face a reality that is different from the comfortable worlds we create for ourselves. Eventually, these worlds will fall away as reality intrudes. Don’t be afraid of reality. Use it to your advantage. Here are nine harsh truths that will allow you to see the world more clearly and offer you the opportunity to live more powerful and authentic lives:

1. You are not the center of the universe

We tend to think people care about us and our needs as much as we do. They don’t. They care about themselves and their needs.

Opportunity: Use this to your advantage. Dale Carnegie in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” said “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” Ziz Ziglar puts it even more plainly when he said “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.”

2. Achieving your goals will be harder than you imagined

It always is. Whether it’s losing weight, starting a new business, writing a blog, raising a family, you will encounter this truth.

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Opportunity: I once heard this advice about exercising that will change the way you approach life difficulties: “When you think you can’t do another rep, or take another step, go a little further. It is those little extra steps that make all the difference.” When you feel like quitting, go a little further. This is where breakthrough lives.

3. The things that matter most in life are spiritual, not physical

It’s easy to accumulate things in order to feel like you have accomplished something. Most rich people (the honest ones) will tell you that it only makes a difference in the short term. It’s harder to grasp the spiritual, or immaterial. They cannot be collected, hoarded, bought, or sold. These are love, respect, passion, morality and empathy. These things are all about relationships. In the end, relationships are all that matter.

Opportunity: Learn to appreciate this truth and you will be freed from materialism. You will be happy when you have a lot and when you have a little. You will learn to cherish the important relationships in your lives.

4. You will always have critics

You could be the nicest person on earth, someone out there will not like you for who you are, what you do, or what you stand for. You simply cannot be all things to all people.

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Opportunity: Stop trying to be all things to all people. Focus on your natural strengths. The people who appreciate these will form a strong tribe around you. Caveat, the number of your critics will increase but this will be a sign of success.

5. If you are not failing, you are not living

We tend to like to play it safe. We don’t like to fail. We don’t like being vulnerable to rejection. The most successful, happiest people have failed multiple times. The harsh truth is that you cannot achieve the tangible and intangible signs of success if you are not willing to fail.

Opportunity: Don’t be afraid of failure. Consider every setback as a step toward success. You will be released from the invisible chains that keep people from trying new things or daring to pursue a dream.

6. In order to receive, you must give

One of the quickest paths to unhappiness is hoarding. It is hard to give away the things we value. But if we hoard, the thing we cherish will lose its value and will instead become a burden.

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Opportunity: Lighten your load. Give of your resources, time, and self. You will be cured of your spiritual obesity.

7. People will hurt you

It may happen intentionally or unintentionally. It still hurts. They may say something unkind, steal from you, lie to you, spread rumors about you, be difficult coworkers or bosses, etc.

Opportunity: Don’t be tempted to strike back. Show grace to this person. Forgive them. Your example will give them an opportunity to transform their lives. You will also experience more peace in difficult situations.

8. You do not control every part of your reality

Things often do not go the way we expect. There are always unanticipated problems or blind spots you just could not anticipate.

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Opportunity: Become more flexible and nimble. This will keep you from getting stuck.

9. You will die.

We all know it but nobody says it quite that bluntly. We pretend that we have all the time in the world. You don’t. Every second is a precious, limited resource. Not only that, for most of us, we do not know when death will come. When it does, it will likely be a painful experience.

Opportunity: Stop procrastinating. Live. Learn. Love. Know that suffering and pain are a part of life. You will become more resilient and even joyful in the face of suffering. The unimportant will be stripped away. It will sharpen your focus on what matters most.

May these truths be a starting point for a life that is authentic, loving, rich, and fearless.

May they “set you free.”

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

More by this author

Cylon George

A spiritual chaplain and blogger who writes about practical spiritual tips for busy people.

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths 5 Warning Signs That You’re A People Pleaser (And How To Fix It) 34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success 15 Signs You Are Too Busy And Should Stop

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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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