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Last Updated on October 29, 2018

9 Ways To Be A Better Person

9 Ways To Be A Better Person

Everyone wants to become a better person, but some people just don’t know how.

At the end of each day, I like to reflect and see what I can do to become a better person. Not only that, but I have a goal of leaving an imprint on the world for doing great things. By setting aside some time each day to reflect on what behaviors were good and bad, I have the opportunity to grow.

Growing up, I wasn’t the nicest kid. I would make fun of others, I was selfish, and I thought the world revolved around me. Fast-forward a few years and I’ve grown tremendously. I’m no longer the annoying child I was because I have grown and learned what it means to be a better person.

After learning what it means to be a better person, I’ve been able to develop my persona into someone I don’t mind being. I am a lot happier with who I am and I would have no problem telling my future kids the type of person I am.

Here are 9 ways to be a better person through self-development:

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1. Be Willing To Change

In order to become a better person, you have to be willing to change.

Change is the only way to grow and progress into the person you want to become. Many people are against change, which can make it very hard to grow.

When you keep an open mind and are willing to change, you are able to grow into the person you want to become.

2. Stop Making Excuses

When I first started my company in high school, I made excuses every time something went wrong. I would blame others, blame the customer, or anyone else involved. However, I would never blame myself for things that went wrong.

Instead, I learned that taking accountability for your own mistakes is extremely important. I stopped making excuses, took the blame when it was truly my fault, and was able to achieve so much more. By understanding that I made a mistake, I was able to use my mistakes to learn which in turn helped me become a better person.

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If you find it difficult to stop making excuses for yourself, it’s time to tune your motivation. Here’s how:

What Motivates You And How to Always Stay Motivated

3. Stop Being Angry

Many people let anger and rage alter their decision-making skills. I used to be an angry person growing up, but I only saw it damage relationships with people and increase my blood pressure.

Controlling anger is an extremely difficult skill to master, but it is very beneficial. Instead of getting angry, I decided to find a way to change my negative emotion. Staying angry doesn’t help me or solve any problems, it only creates more of them. Find some way of relaxing your nerves when you’re angry, a stress ball was very helpful for me.

4. Be A Role Model

Sometimes you need to be a role model to someone to really get your act together. Once I became an entrepreneur and people started to look up to me, I became a lot more cautious about the way I behaved. I didn’t want to disappoint people by showing them I was immature or a bad role model.

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You can start small and be a “big brother” to someone, coach a kids’ team, or be a role model to your children. No matter what you choose to do, always make decisions that the person looking up to you will respect.

5. Forgive Someone

Forgiving someone who hurt you is very difficult to do. When I got upset at someone for doing something, I could never forgive them. Even if it was a petty thing, I would hold it against them for the rest of their lives which was not healthy.

I quickly learned that humans are prone to making mistakes. Instead of holding mistakes against them for life, try to forgive someone. To become a better person, go through your past and forgive someone that did something to hurt you.

6. Listen To People

People are extremely busy with their careers, families, and lives. Everyone is in a rush, but people rarely ever have time to listen to what others have to say. I learned that listening to people and giving everyone a voice is one of the greatest things you can do.

I got to meet some of the most amazing people, close some of the biggest deals, and develop connections that will last me a lifetime all because I took time to listen to people. Being a good listener can change your life in a positive manner.

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7. Be Honest

Honest people are hard to come by nowadays. However, honesty is the best remedy for any situation. Promise yourself that you won’t tell any lies for a month straight.

Challenge yourself to be honest by developing good habits. If you’re a compulsive liar, start small by trying to be honest for 1 day. After you accomplish a smaller goal, increase the goal by 2 or 3.

8. Do Something You Don’t Want To

Keeping an open mind and trying things that you wouldn’t normally do is a very easy way to become a better person. Take a risk and challenge yourself to try something you’ve always been scared to do.

You’ll only live your best life once you step out — here’s why.

Growing up, I was terrified of roller coasters. However, I eventually gave in as a teenager and had the time of my life. I would have never experienced roller coasters unless I had been willing to get over my fear and give it a shot. That one experience has led me to try numerous other new things.

9. Surprise Someone Special

Do you have a loved one in your life? Whether it’s your spouse/romantic partner, your children, or a family member, plan a special surprise for them. If you know someone who deserves a nice vacation or a new gift, go buy it for them.

One of the most rewarding feelings in the world are knowing that you made someone smile. Surprise the special someone in your life by doing something out of the ordinary for them!

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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