Showing posts with label Communication Skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communication Skills. Show all posts

Tuesday 7 May 2024

5 Tips for Increased Productivity While Working Remotely


Different studies indicate that remote workers are highly productive. What makes them get more done sitting at home, the diner, or the library? They understand that being productive outside of the typical office environment requires proactive steps. They don’t have their manager physically checking in to ensure they are getting their work done.

 

If you can work offsite, such as at home, you will quickly learn that staying productive is hard. You will have distractions around you, like that stack of dirty dishes from last night that is still sitting in the sink.

 

How You Can Increase Your Productivity While Working Remotely

 

All the productivity hacks in the world will not work if you don’t implement them. Here are five action steps you can take to not only maintain your productivity but also increase it: 

 

Establish Priorities: Start by discussing things with your manager. You might believe completing a specific responsibility is the most important, but your boss thinks differently. Once you know what is expected, then you can be sure to accomplish it.

 

Determine Your Best Work Time: This goes with the night-owl versus morning person premise. Working remotely means you have greater flexibility. If you focus better at 8 PM when your toddler is in bed, do it. It is the same idea for morning lovers. You don’t have to wait until 9 AM to get started. The goal is to find large blocks of quiet time for those projects that require concentration.

 

Set a Timer and Do Deep Work: It will be much easier if you set a timer for 45 minutes and focus on one task. After the timer goes off, get up and walk around the house, grab some water, and stretch for 15 minutes. 

 

Set Boundaries: If you have others in the house when you work, you will continually get interrupted. Start by setting physical boundaries, such as working from a different room or putting up a room partition around your desk area. Next, talk with your partner and family about how important it is not to disrupt you when you are “at work.”

 

Overcommunicate: It may seem counter-intuitive to spend extra time communicating when sending both emails and Slack messages, but the text can be misconstrued. This causes frustration and may slow the progress of a project. Ensure you continually communicate with your team and set up video calls to clear up any miscommunication.

 

Wow your teammates and your manager when you take productivity to a new level. Soon, you will be the star of the show and enjoy all the perks of working remotely.

 


Tuesday 19 March 2024

How To Use Your Years Of Wisdom For A Better You


Becoming wise takes years of experience. Through our falls and triumphs, we slowly acquire this innate sense of what to do and when.

 

With wisdom, you learn how to learn from your mistakes, rather than be ashamed of them. You become better at knowing when to ask for help and understand that it doesn’t mean you’re weak or helpless.

 

In addition, you evolve into someone more interested in showing compassion and empathy rather than taking a self-centered approach. As a result, you begin to influence others simply by setting a good example.

 

One of the best things about wisdom is that it’s a skill that can be developed at any age. More importantly, is that we can put it to good use in our lives, for example, when we make decisions, build relationships, and nurture success.

 

So, how can you use your years of wisdom for a better you? That’s what we’re here today to find out!

 

Is Wisdom the Same as Knowledge?

 

No, they’re not the same. Wisdom encompasses a lot of things, including knowledge, experience, pattern recognition, empathy, engagement, and more.

 

Hence, without knowledge, you can’t gain wisdom.

 

Here’s why:

 

Knowledge is knowing certain pieces of information regarding specific topics. It acts as the foundation on which we can build our experiences from learning and failing.

 

Wisdom, on the other hand, is the ability to apply and put this information to good use. It can’t be claimed until we can learn and accept our mistakes and accomplishments.

 

Only then can you begin to improve your understanding of the world and make good decisions in almost every situation.

 

At its core, wisdom is realizing that life isn’t knowing all the right answers, but it’s knowing the right questions to ask.

 

How To Make The Most Of Your Wisdom

 

According to numerous studies, researchers discovered that a healthy gut microbiome is typically characterized by phylogenetic diversity and richness. Yet, what was even more fascinating is that they found that these healthy microbiomes were almost always associated with higher levels of wisdom and compassion.

 

Being able to empathize and see things from other people’s vantage points is one of the tenets of being wise. It also allows you to hone in on the needs, motivations, and fears of others.

 

Feel Less Isolated

 

Other studies found that wisdom is often correlated with fewer bouts of loneliness. This probably comes from the fact that wise people are often more tuned in with their emotional needs.

 

They’re also more willing to try new things and meet new people because they know it’s a great way to expand their horizons and open the door to a new learning experience.

 

Establish Personal Boundaries

 

Wisdom also brings with it just the right balance between your personal boundaries and those of others. So, you’re able to make contributions at home, work, and in your community without feeling the burnout that usually comes with taking on more than you can handle.

 

This ability to effectively navigate through life could be one of the factors that wisdom is linked to lower levels of anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues.

 

Foster Emotional Awareness

 

Knowing how to be aware of your feelings and emotions can help you take action when you start feeling things becoming too much to handle. Also, when you’re guided by wisdom, you tend to think before you act.

 

Embrace Change

 

Allowing wisdom to guide you allows you to have a more positive mindset. This makes accepting change and dealing with hard times more effortless.

 

Having an open-minded and hopeful approach to life is also a great way to see things more clearly, which leads to better decision-making.

 

Conclusion

 

Learning how to use your years of wisdom is critical for living a life of fulfillment and success. We listed several practical ways to put your wisdom to good use. Now, it’s up to you to apply them to everyday life.

 

Each one may not be easy to do at first. However, the time and effort you put in to reap the benefits of applying your wisdom will certainly be worth it in the long run.

 


Friday 15 March 2024

6 Tips For Transitioning Into Retirement


It’s no secret that experiencing change can be a challenge. You’ll find this is true even when the transition you’re going through entails something long desired. The reason is, by and large, people are creatures of habit. So, when life’s rhythms get altered the upheaval can be immense.

 

The decision to bring your career to a close is one that invariably brings many feelings to the surface. Some of these feelings will be positive, and others, not so much.

 

A little bit of planning can help you through this process in as seamless and painless a fashion as possible. The following six tips for transitioning into retirement will help you on your path.

 

1.     Mitigate Financial Risks

 

Recent studies1 have shown there are five major financial risks facing retirees: policy risk, market risk, health risk, longevity risk, and family risk.  Of these, the risks that most consistently become a problem for people are longevity risk (outliving resources) and health risk (medical bills/long-term care).  

 

The good news is that these are risks you can mitigate in many ways. For example, you can take care not to underestimate how long you will live, be realistic about the expenses involved in healthcare, and acknowledge the possibility of needing assistance later in life. 

 

In addition, if you take good care of yourself (physically, mentally, and emotionally) now, you will increase the likelihood of aging with grace and potentially reduce your medical needs and overhead later.

 

2.    Be Realistic About Spending

 

Paying close attention to what you spend each month before you retire will give you a sense of your monetary needs.  If you find that they are too high, begin paring down your expenses and reducing your overhead: the fewer places you hemorrhage money, the better.  Even if you have ample resources, it’s wise to pay attention to your spending to avoid unwanted surprises down the road. 

 

3.    Practice Prevention 

 

Your health and wellbeing should have been your priority throughout your life, but as you age, it’s untenable for them not to be. The difference between enjoying your retirement, or suffering the experience, can easily come down to lifestyle choices.  

 

So, if you haven’t already, make physical activity a part of each day, aim to eat a rainbow of food, cultivate sources of creativity and joy in your life, and spend time with people you love. Doing these things could lengthen your life, prevent illness and injury, and simply help to make your life better.

 

4.    Have A Plan

 

Work consumes a great deal of time. If you head into retirement without considering what those suddenly vacant hours will look like, you could leave yourself feeling unmoored. Creating a schedule for yourself that incorporates healthy habits into your daily routine can be a game changer.

 

According to a study for Psychology of Aging, “the retirement transition is multi-dimensional. The transition involves two developmental challenges: adjustment to the loss of the work role and the social ties of work, and the development of a satisfactory postretirement lifestyle.”2  

 

Anticipating these impacts in advance, and consciously facing them through planning and preparation, increases your chances for a happy retirement.

 

5.    Learn To Relax 

 

Learning to relax may sound silly, but many people are so conditioned to be busy that suddenly having free time can lead to an identity crisis. To counter this possibility, consider beginning a mindfulness practice such as meditation. Learning to sit, be still, and reflect inward will confer myriad health benefits and help ease you into retirement.

 

6.    Don’t Wait To Enjoy

 

Life is better when lived fully. Waiting for a future date to truly savor your existence can be a monumental waste of precious time. Life offers few guarantees, so if you want to avoid regrets, then make today matter. Once retirement begins, double down.  

 

Fill your moments with things you’ve long wanted to try. Vie to expand, rather than contract, as you age. Stay engaged, keep moving, and consciously cultivate your vitality. Doing this will help you transition smoothly into retirement and, what’s more, will foster a life worth living.

 

References:

 

  1. ​​Hou, W. (n.d.). How Well Do Retirees Assess The Risks They Face in Retirement? Center for Retirement Research. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/IB_22-10.pdf
  2. van Solinge, H., & Henkens, K. (2008). Adjustment to and satisfaction with retirement: two of a kind?. Psychology and aging, 23(2), 422–434. https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.23.2.422

 


Tuesday 12 March 2024

6 Tips For Living With Integrity


Integrity is one of those things that’s difficult to put into words, but we still recognize it when we see it.

 

Still, many dictionaries try to describe it, like the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which defines it as ‘honesty; honor; uprightness of character or action’.

 

Another definition is a ‘sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.’ While this definition often refers to the condition of something tangible like the ‘structural integrity’ of a ship, aircraft, or vehicle.

 

This meaning has some relevance to the type of moral integrity we want to discuss in this post. This refers to how goodness is like a moral compass that must be sound and rational.

 

In addition, integrity shouldn’t be impaired by external pressures or difficult circumstances while still being true to clear and constant principles. This is when you can say for certain that your inner and outer lives have come together and merged in unity. Not surprisingly, the word integrity stems from the Latin word for bringing together or making whole, integritas.

 

Your sense of virtue should be unwavering regardless of the situation. This is the type of integrity that earns a good reputation.

 

Here are six tips for living with integrity.

 

Value Fairness

 

Justice and fairness are two vital pillars of integrity. They define how you treat others in your family, community, and workplace.

 

Everyone you meet will have a different perspective than you. And it’s important that you provide them with a safe space to voice their ideas without judgment or criticism.


Unfortunately, not everyone values fairness as much as you. So, it’s difficult to expect the same from others. But by asserting your sense of virtue, you’ll likely inspire others to imitate your positive behavior.

 

Define Your Core Values

 

Knowing where you stand on various topics can help you determine your values and principles. Do you value compassion and forgiveness? Or do you prefer to stand up for injustices no matter the situation?

 

Most times, we’re trained to do as we’re told and follow the teachings of those who came before us. However, you can do a bit of soul-searching to find out what your instinctual values are, and what you believe in your heart to be right and wrong even if no one comes right out and tells you.

 

Surround Yourself with the Right People

 

We all have people in our lives who don’t follow a virtuous path. Their moral compass seems to be off course and they’re fine with it.

 

These are the ones you should limit contact with as much as you can. Rather, surround yourself with people that you trust and respect and who value honesty and fairness like you.

 

And when you’re not sure what to do, ask them for help. They’ll help you see things from a different perspective so that you can make sound decisions that have a positive effect on your life for years to come.

 

Speak Your Truth

 

Over time, living with false beliefs will make you lose your true identity. In situations like this, you’re not just lying to yourself; you’re also lying to the people closest to you.


Being true to who you are and speaking your truth is the first step to living with integrity. It means that you’ve managed to integrate your core values with your actions. And, when it’s time to make a decision, whether big or small, your moral compass will easily guide you in the right direction.

 

Avoid Shortcuts

 

In this busy day and age, it’s getting easier and easier for people to get things done by cutting corners. Yet just because no one is looking doesn’t mean it’s right.

 

Living with integrity means being accountable for the work you do. This means not just getting the task done but doing it to the best of your ability without cheating by using shortcuts or cutting corners.

 

Find Your Purpose

 

Be willing to recognize that being alive means you have the ability to choose how you want certain aspects to turn out. This includes realizing your passions through exploration and discovery.

 

Even if one path ends up taking you off-course, that’s fine. Start a new path and enjoy where it takes you, making mistakes and learning along the way.

 

One way to find your purpose is to ask yourself these questions:

 

  • What do I want to achieve in life?
  • What do I need to do to reach my full potential?
  • What makes me happy?
  • What are my skill sets and how can I use them to help others?

 


Monday 24 July 2023

5 Signs You Are Way Too Guarded


All of us have run into times when we were hurt or felt like someone took advantage of us. And everyone has a bit of a guard up as they get older, forcing them to be more selective about the people they talk with and the information they share. This can give us some protection, but at some point, we can become too guarded and refuse to let anyone into our lives again. 

 

When you are way too guarded and have put too many walls up around you, it can be almost impossible for you to let someone in again. You may be open to love and want to find someone to spend your life with, but every time someone gets close, you shut them down and push them away. How can you tell that you are too guarded and that this problem is causing a big issue in your life?

 

When we are guarded, we will take normal situations and overthink them or assume that there is something wrong with having them in our relationship. There are several signs that you are acting way too guarded and it is starting to harm your relationships. These signs include:

 

  • You swallow all your emotions: You decide to push all of your emotions down and never bring them up because you are desperate for things to be different from the last time. While this may sound like a great idea, pushing the emotions down will just make them explode worse than before.
  • You have trouble with intimacy: When someone tries to be intimate with you, you decide to play it off as a joke. You may do this to try and protect yourself, but it ends up hurting the other person, which is not a good thing either. You may notice that feelings overall are going to make you uncomfortable. This can include all types of emotions, from having them, talking about them, and seeing others on screen displaying them.
  • You are very critical: You are critical and try to play things off as cool to not talk about your emotions. You may feel that this keeps people at a distance, and it does. They will sense your attitude and run for the hills, especially if they would like a commitment.
  • Your personality is intense: Those who have their guard up quite a bit are going to play a part, trying to show off how amazing they are, even when they feel down in the dumps. This can often be overdone, and most people can see right through it. You need to be your true self, not someone else.
  • You see commitment as an ultimatum: If the other person wants you to commit, it can feel like a bad thing, even though most would see it as a good thing. People who are guarded see this as a big ultimatum, rather than a great milestone that should be next in a relationship. You may feel like your partner is trying to ruin a good thing by pushing it forward, rather than just letting things be. Your emotions can get the best of you, and it can lead to a fight that will end the relationship. 

 

When you exhibit several of these signs or more, it is a red flag that you are pushing people away and need to look at a new approach. If you have been hurt in the past, it is normal to put these walls up to provide yourself with some protection, but it is time to recognize the signs and bring them down if you want to experience true love again. 



5 Tips To Become A Better Listener


Most of us are good at talking and telling our stories, but when we want to make a lasting connection with other people, we need to take the time to become good listeners. We can learn so much about other people and how they interact with us if we can stop and listen to what they are saying and pay attention to some of their nonverbal cues as well. 

 

According to Harvard Business Review, listening well is a skill that can help you through many areas of your life. By learning how to become a better listener, you will be able to interact with anyone and make lasting connections that will help you succeed. Some of the tips that you can use to become a better listener include:

 

Pay Attention to Nonverbal Cues

 

Active listening means that you need to pay attention not just to the verbal cues that the person is saying out loud, but also to the nonverbal cues. This will tell you so much more than the words from the other person. There are a ton of nonverbal cues that you can consider listening for including body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. You will be amazed at what this can tell you. 

 

Repeat Back

 

This one can feel a bit unnatural at first, but you will find that it helps you to process what the other person is saying and shows them that you are paying attention. You don’t need to repeat everything but repeat the last few words back when they are done talking. It can keep you on track, helps the other person feel important, and gives you a few seconds to gather your thoughts. There is no reason to put it into your own words; repeat the words exactly as they were said. 

 

Ask Questions

 

You should ask more questions than you think is necessary. This will help the other person feel like you are listening to them and trying to understand what they tell you. And it is a great way to make sure that you are not overlooking the details. It is unlikely that you will ask too many questions at any time, so keep asking them to show that you are paying attention. 

 

Minimize the Distractions

 

It is really hard to pay attention to the other person if there are a ton of distractions going on around you. if you can’t focus in the room, maybe consider asking the other person to go to a new location so you can give them your full attention. Avoid interruptions, noise, and even your phone to make sure that you can give the other person as much attention as possible. 

 

Don’t Rehearse What You Will Say

 

One of the biggest mistakes that people will make when it comes to listening is that they spend more time rehearsing what they will say, rather than just listening. They want to sound witty or get their important information out there and they end up missing out on key details that would help them get along with the other person better. This is something that you need to avoid. 

 

Instead of rehearsing your responses, you should simply take a brief pause when the other person is done to compose your thoughts. You can think four times faster than the other person talks, so you will need to slow things down and learn to pay attention. Use that brainpower to stay focused so that you can take in as much information as possible, rather than focusing on something other than the person in the conversation. 

 


Monday 17 July 2023

Friendly Persuasion: How To Get The Things You Want And Need


Life is made up of wants and needs. Whether we get our hands on those wants and needs depends on how good we are at convincing others to give them to us. But no one gives out anything without a convincing reason. That’s where your powers of friendly persuasion come in.

 

People generally gravitate towards friendly people. So, if you learn how to come across as nice and trustworthy, then you’ll be able to win over even the most difficult of people.

 

Yet, remember that persuasion is a skill that needs to be honed and perfected. To help you get started, we rounded up five persuasive strategies you can use to get the things you want and need.

 

Be Confident

 

When you talk with poise, you give off the message that you’re convinced of your idea and know that you’re going to get your way. This subconsciously influences the other party to just give you what you want.

 

According to a study done by the University of Leicester, ‘the single significant behavioral difference between persuaders and persuadees was in the expression of confidence.’


In other words, your ability to persuade people starts with your level of assertiveness. In other words, the more confidence you exude, the more powerful your appeal will be.

 

The great thing about confidence is that it’s easy to fake. If you just act confident, the person in front of you won’t be able to tell whether it’s real or made up. So, take a deep breath, stick out your chin, and show them what you’ve got!

 

Just make sure you don’t oversell it. You might come across as arrogant and cocky, which is a big turnoff for most people.

 

Start with a Logical Argument

 

Generally, people are persuaded by logic. Once they’re convinced that something is the right thing for them to do, then they’ll do it without question.

 

Say you’re trying to convince a co-worker to help you out with a pile of work. Their first reaction will be to resist and probably claim they have their own pile of endless files to deal with.

 

Nevertheless, if you use logical reasoning, you may be able to convince them that they’re the best person to help you.

 

You can also tell them that by working together, both of you will finish faster, which will make both of you earn points with the boss and help the company get projects done at a quicker rate.

 

Choose Your Words

 

It’s no secret that some words have more positive connotations than others. Those are the ones you want to use to win over your argument because they have a higher value than others.

 

They can go a long way in helping you persuade people to see your point of view and help you get what you want.

 

For example, ‘reasonable’ sounds much better than ‘okay,’ and a ‘lucrative’ deal makes it sound so much more exciting than simply a ‘good’ deal.

 

Now, we’re not suggesting you memorize a bunch of bulky words and stuff them in your conversation. All we’re merely saying is that you should put in a bit of effort to arrange your sentences for the best possible outcome.

 

For starters, you’ll come across as a skilled communicator. Not only that, but you’ll also sound more intelligent, coherent, and attentive—all of which make you more trustworthy and, ultimately, more persuasive.

 

That’s the power of rhetoric.

 

Highlight How the Other Person Can Benefit

 

Not only do people gravitate towards friendly people who make logical arguments, but they also need to benefit from whatever it is they’re doing.

 

Here’s another example:

 

Imagine that you’re trying to convince your friends to help you move. Of course, their first reaction would be to run for the hills. No one likes all the hassle and headache of moving.

 

But, if you tell them that you’ll have fun sorting through all your old stuff and that you’ll probably give some of your old things away, they may reconsider. You can also tell them that you’re getting pizza and drinks afterward, and they’ll be all in!

 

Use Subtle Flattery

 

You need to be savvy when using this tactic because it can be a bit tricky to master. Not enough flattery and the other party won’t have time to take it in.

 

On the other hand, too much flattery will come across as too blunt or pushy. Then, the other person will quickly catch on and they’ll feel like you’re bribing them with ill-appropriate remarks. Of course, this means you won’t get what you want.

 

Instead, give them sincere, well-thought-out compliments that boost their self-confidence and make them feel good about themselves. As a result, they’ll be more willing to listen to you and give you what you want.

 


Monday 10 July 2023

5 Steps to Effectively Communicate Your Feelings in Relationships


In relationships, there’s communication, and then there’s effective communication. Communication is something that takes a lot of work, and once you’ve successfully positioned yourself as a communicator, the next step is to crack the code at being an effective communicator. If you’re at that step, try these 5 mini steps to help you along with effectively communicating your feelings. 

 

1. Allow Yourself to Feel 

 

Going into a conversation with guilt or apprehension about your feelings? That won’t help you or your partner. You’re completely allowed to feel whatever you’re feeling, and you’re also allowed to talk about those feelings. 

 

2. Label your Feelings

 

You’re experiencing these feelings, but are you reading more into them? Are you labeling them and trying to put into context the essence of your emotions? It’s not easy to do, but it’s a really important exercise for you to do on your own before opening up and sharing with someone else. 

 

3. Start with Yourself

 

If you’re extroverted or you like talking about your feelings a lot, your first inclination may be to talk it out with your significant other. That’s a great thing to do, but it begins with you. You’ll have a hard time processing everything if you’re influenced by someone else’s insight or advice. Start with yourself, and then work your way up to a discussion with your partner. 

 

4. Remember How Much You Matter

 

You matter to your significant other; your feelings matter to your significant other.  Keep this in mind and try to negate the potential fear or hesitation you may be experiencing. Swap those feelings for feelings of confidence and security in the strength of your relationship. 

 

5. Swap “You” for “I”

 

Whenever you get close to saying “You made me feel” or “You did this,” swap it for a personal statement. A conversation is helpful for you to share your perspective – not for you to point fingers at your loved one. Think about how you feel, why you feel that way, and what has happened to contribute to those feelings. 

 

Above all, when you’re entering into a conversation with your significant other, be happy that you’re taking this step. It’s excellent for you and even better for your relationship. Give yourself (and your partner) a pat on the back for working through something difficult, and keep yourself reminded of the light at the end of the communication tunnel – a happy, healthy dynamic between you and your partner.