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Be Lovely In The Audrey Hepburn Way

Be Lovely In The Audrey Hepburn Way

Most people know Audrey Hepburn for her works in classic films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Sabrina”, and “My Fair Lady”. Born in Belgium, Audrey spent most of her childhood in Belgium, England, and the Netherlands studying ballet. Audrey shot to stardom after landing a role in the Broadway play “Gigi”, which led to her first substantial film role in “Roman Holiday”. Audrey Hepburn received many awards throughout her career, and  is still one of the few stars to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. While her work in Hollywood is infamous, after age 40, Audrey appeared in fewer films and began working heavily with UNICEF. For the rest of her life, she worked in poor, developing areas of Africa, South America, and Asia. Audrey Hepburn proved that gorgeous women can be powerful and intellectual, which was particularly unique during the 1950’s to 1970’s. In addition to her career and humanitarian accomplishments, Audrey Hepburn spoke English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and German. Such a diverse and skilled woman truly lived her life in a way all of us can learn from. The following 15 quotes from Audrey Hepburn are sure to rouse you to be the best you can be.

1. Live Your Life

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”

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    In a world full of greed and power-hungry public figures, it’s refreshing to be reminded that life is simply meant to be lived.

    2. Don’t Forget About Others

    “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

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      This poignant way of looking at ourselves reminds us that somewhere out there someone else has it worse off than you. However, this quote also speaks to how important it is to take care of yourself in order to be in a position to help others.

      3. Solitude Can Be Healthy

      “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”

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        It’s rare to hear famous figures express the benefit of stepping away from attention. Though all of us want to achieve our goals in life and at work, everyone functions better when we’re properly rested and approaching life in a balanced way.

        4. Actions Define Us

        “You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.”

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          This succinct summary of how to approach other people is an elegant reminder that actions speak louder than words.

          5. The Journey Is What Matters

          “Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you’re exactly the same.”

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            Much like focusing on enjoying our life, this brilliant quote about success highlights the importance of enjoying the journey rather than obsessing over your destination.

            6. Too Much Attention Can Be Bad

            “There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion.”

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              Audrey was one of the few stars to approach their public life with a balanced perspective. This lovely quote reminds all of us that attention is temporary. Moreover, no one should sell out their character in order to seek approval.

              7. Be Selfless

              “It’s that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so ‘don’t fuss, dear; get on with it.’”

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                Increasingly, today’s world of social media drives us to be concerned with ourselves more than ever. This energizing quote reminds us that sometimes it is sincerely more important to consider the greater good.

                8. Happiness Is Simple

                “I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I’d invented it, because it is very true.”

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                  Similarly, this wonderful definition of happiness reminds us to appreciate the great things in our lives while we have them.

                  9. We’re All The Same Inside

                  “I’m half-Irish, half-Dutch, and I was born in Belgium. If I was a dog, I’d be in a hell of a mess!”

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                    In the era Audrey Hepburn lived, racism was largely acceptable, mainly institutionalized, and even falsely propped up by erroneous “science”. From someone perceived to be from one race, such a bold statement that each of us is simply a mix of humanity is truly a stirring approach to what can be an ugly, judgemental subject.

                    10. Appreciate The Moment

                    “Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.”

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                      This beautiful metaphor is another impressive way to think about our life’s journey. Especially in a world where we take pictures first and experience second, this electrifying reminder to live in the moment is one we should all remember more often.

                      11. Value Your Voice

                      “Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.”

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                        This motivating quote illustrates why you should celebrate your unique qualities. Each person has their own voice, and Audrey Hepburn understood that sticking to this inner compass is what really makes life work for you.

                        12. Seize Each Opportunity

                        “I’ve been lucky. Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.”

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                          Another impassioned approach to life, each of us should be unafraid to go after the things we want.

                          13. Never Give Up On Someone

                          “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”

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                            A powerful view of forgiveness, this encouraging reminder to treat people kindly and with understanding is more applicable today than ever.

                            14. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

                            “I don’t take my life seriously, but I do take what I do – in my life – seriously.”

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                              Another impressive reminder to enjoy life without becoming overly stressed out, this quote illustrates the difference between taking your goals seriously and becoming too critical of ourselves.

                              15. Aim High

                              “I tried always to do better: saw always a little further. I tried to stretch myself.”

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                                Ultimately, the path to success requires each of us to work harder and push further each and every day. If Audrey Hepburn’s life is any indication, there really is no limit to what you can achieve.

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                                Alicia Prince

                                A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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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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