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A Bone-chilling Yet Meaningful Ad Everyone Should Watch

A Bone-chilling Yet Meaningful Ad Everyone Should Watch

Domestic violence is an epidemic. You may not hear the kind of hype about it as you did with the ebola virus or the false alarm of snowmagddeon weather predictions. Nor will you read headlines of it the way you do about ISIS. But the impact it carries in our culture is far deeper, and much more direct than either of these other real or imagined threats. Domestic violence is a form of terrorism created in the home by those who the victim often relies upon for their very survival. Yet there is no Department of Homeland Security to protect most victims of it, no debates in the halls of Congress designing a campaign of action to combat it, even though the numbers of people, mostly women, who have died from domestic abuse related incidents since 2001 are far greater than the deaths that happened during the terrorist attacks of September 11th, plus the US casualties from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. As you can see in this bone chilling yet meaningful ad everyone should watch titled No More, the nuances of this threat, as well as any chance of protection from police, are intricately woven in a psychological tapestry that often traps the person when they need help the most.


How do we change this?
As the great psychologist Carl Jung once said: “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” It is through a growing awareness and ongoing social commitment to keep shining the light on this issue that will eventually bring about lasting positive change. The video No More is just one example of how focusing our awareness as a society on the disturbing blight of domestic violence can eventually heal this wound both for individuals and society at large . It is through education, awareness and empowerment that we can evolve our society to reduce and minimize the epidemic of domestic violence.

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Educating yourself and others is the first step.
If you still are unsure that this issue actually is an epidemic, begin the educational process by examining the facts as laid out in this article on the Huffington Post. Know as well that there are a number of positive programs aimed at educating how to prevent domestic violence before that deadly cycle ever begins. Tony Porter’s organization A Call To Men educates and empowers men, who may not necessarily see themselves as part of the problem of domestic violence, to get involved. Many urban areas also have outreach and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence through education and early intervention. REACH Beyond Domestic Violence is a program in the greater Boston area that has trained over 5,000 youth and 5,000 adults on issues related to domestic violence and dating violence. Most urban areas have domestic violence resources that can be found with a simple Google search. And if you need, or know someone who needs help, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

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Increased awareness
about the psychological dynamics of domestic abuse also helps to combat this epidemic. In many domestic violent situations the fear of getting help paralyzes those who are being beaten and violently abused from getting the care and protection they need. Also, it is important to recognize that the deeper issue is about power and control. Being subject to ongoing abuse and violence destroys a person’s self esteem, making it even harder for them to get free from this potentially deadly cycle. Domestic violence is not limited by race, gender, or sexual preference. It effects all aspects of society. If you think you, or someone you know, is in an abusive situation that involves, or might lead to, domestic violence, read this link at Helpguide.org about signs of abuse and abusive relationships.

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Empowerment is the key. Some recent studies suggest that one avenue of recovery for survivors of domestic violence is being financially literate. Having the tools to support oneself empowers an individual to be able to leave relationships that are otherwise unhealthy and potentially dangerous. Here is more interesting information about this on President Obama’s WhiteHouse.gov website.

It may take many years for society to totally unravel the ingrained root causes of domestic violence, but there is hope. Many societal norms which caused citizens to be silent or look the other way in the past are now being challenged. Airing the video No More, during the 2015 Superbowl, bravely sends a wave of education, awareness and empowerment deeper into the American psyche about the need to bring an end to this dangerous and deadly epidemic.

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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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