The Self-Awareness Guy

emotional intelligence

101 Effective Communication Tips

101 Effective Communication Tips

Effective communication skills are vital for building a well-functioning workplace yet many of us interact with each other using a style we learned at home or through our friends or co-workers. Here are 101 effective communication tips to help you build a healthier, happier workplace:

1. Listen to your employees.
2. Don’t interrupt.
3. Don’t offer advice.
4. Refrain from trying to fix things.
5. Don’t give your opinion if not solicited.
6. Stop yourself from jumping in.
7. Don’t react or get upset.
8. Listen for key terms.
9. Set basic ground rules.
10. Repeat information back to the person.
11. Paraphrase what the person has said.
12. Ask the person open-ended questions.
13. Talk in a quiet environment.
14. Talk at a time that isn’t busy.
15. Be friendly.
16. Be courteous.
17. Don’t sit behind a desk.
18. Set up a comfortable atmosphere.
19. Let the other person lead the conversation.
20. No retribution for anything said.
21. Keep confidentiality.
22. Work with the person to find solutions.
23. Be open to more conversations.
24. Be gentle.
25. Talk at the other person’s pace.
26. Be kind.
27. Be caring.
28. Act like you’re interested.
29. Face the person.
30. Look at the person.
31. Nod and say “uh huh.”
32. Invite the person to keep talking.
33. It’s OK to have silences.
34. Try not to guide the conversation.
35. Let the other person set the agenda.
36. Meet at a time the other person determines.
37. Be open to ideas.
38. Be open to changing your mind.
39. Don’t react out of emotion, especially anger.
40. Empathize with the other person.
41. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
42. Be helpful.
43. Act like the other person matters.
44. Allow enough time for the conversation.
45. Leave your ego at the door.
46. Leave personal beefs behind.
47. Leave negative opinions out of the meeting.
48. Talk only when the other person asks you to do so.
49. Let the other person talk most of the time.
50. Resist the temptation to rebut.
51. This isn’t the time to be right.
52. Don’t try to prove a point.
53. No arguing allowed.
54. No convincing the other person of your point of view.
55. Don’t cross your arms.
56. Thank the person for meeting with you.
57. Don’t pull rank.
58. Don’t mention policies or procedures.
59. Don’t reference the employee manual.
60. This isn’t the time to punish.
61. Encourage the other person’s thoughts.
62. Build rapport.
63. Show an interest in the other person.
64. Learn about the other person.
65. Appreciate the information they are giving you.
66. Focus on the other person.
67. Don’t think of the next thing you want to say.
68. Smile.
69. Try not to crack jokes at the other person’s expense.
70. Don’t diminish or minimize what the person is saying.
71. Don’t negate what the other person is saying.
72. This isn’t about right and wrong, it’s about talking.
73. Don’t teach.
74. Don’t try to dominate.
75. Don’t try to control the situation.
76. Turn your phone off.
77. All ideas are welcome.
78. One person talks at a time.
79. Act like a grownup.
80. Avoid confrontation.
81. Don’t take things personally.
82. The other person’s opinion is incredibly valuable.
83. Think in terms of building a relationship.
84. Use conversation to build a stronger team.
85. Let people find their own answers.
86. Answer questions only when asked.
87. Treat the other person like a human being.
88. The other person isn’t an enemy.
89. Treat the other person like an ally.
90. This isn’t a competition, it’s a conversation.
91. Encourage different points of view.
92. Praise the other person.
93. Try not to predict what the other person will say.
94. Don’t work out your family stuff at this time.
95. Speak clearly.
96. Speak openly.
97. Speak in a calm tone.
98. Don’t raise your voice.
99. Be positive.
100. Ask for help if you need it.
101. Be courageous.

Effective communication doesn’t just happen, it takes practice over time. Many people get discouraged because it takes time and energy to become an expert communicator. The good news is that anyone can do it if they commit to practicing over time. Effective communication is about techniques but also about our mindset, you can create amazing, dynamic and caring workplaces if you decide to interact positively with others.

Cheers,
Guy



Self-Awareness Reduces Anger

Self-Awareness Reduces Anger

One of the biggest benefits of building self-awareness is that it reduces anger. If you wake up each day and don't pursue your dreams, go to a job you hate, hang out with people who don't value the real you, stuff your feelings, or pretend you're fulfilled, you're very likely to be upset. Living this way leads to anger because you're just not happy. Here are some ideas on how you can use self-awareness to improve the situation:

  • Agree with yourself to move in a new direction.
  • Get to know who you are deep inside.
  • Understand your strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Choose one thing to work on.
  • Take action each day to create movement in your life.
  • Praise yourself each time you notice a positive change.
  • Repeat the process.

People feel unsettled and upset when they're not living authentically or doing things they find meaningful. What will you do to be less angry?

Cheers,

Guy



Self-Awareness and Seeing the Big Picture

Self-Awareness and Seeing the Big Picture

A lot of people think that working on their self-awareness is a selfish pursuit but they may be missing the point. When you deeply understand why you think or act the way you do, you move from being someone who lives unconsciously to someone who understands the implications surrounding their thoughts and behaviors. For example: If you get mad at friends or family all the time, you're behaving in a way that is specific and limited, whereas if you take the time to think about what you're doing and how you can move in a positive direction, you increase your ability to see things from a wider perspective.

You can choose to live life based only on what you think, feel and do in the moment but you'll be much happier and fulfilled if you pause and think about all the other options available to you. What will you do to use your self-awareness to see the big picture?

Take care

Guy



Tough Love Is a Horrible Concept

Tough Love Is a Horrible Concept

I think "tough love" is a horrible concept because it contaminates and corrupts the whole idea of love. A huge part of self-awareness is self-love and the ability to love others. When you are self-aware, you have the courage to work through your toughest issues and you eventually arrive at a place of peace, calm, hope, and love, not some awful scenario of violence and harshness.

The term "tough love" completely destroys the empathy, kindness, healing, softness, and caring that comes with real love. I wish that the people who use the term "tough love" would switch to some more accurate definition such as, "Trying to help someone by imposing punitive and harsh measures for what we say is there own good."

The problem with "tough love" is that it perpetuates the same hurt and pain that likely created the issue in the first place. Let's take a teenager acting out as an example: The teen is behaving a certain way (barring medical or psychological issues) because of their experiences in life. I have yet to meet a person who is acting negatively who comes from a wonderfully functional home. When we impose harsh measures on that person to try to correct their behavior, we're not loving them, we're hurting them more, which usually leads to more negative behaviors whether internal or external.

What if we decided to actually love people instead of getting tough with them? I don't know about you, but I've consistently noticed that people prefer to be treated kindly rather than punitively. So many teen (and adult) problems would go away if people would take time each day to simply listen to the person without interruptions or judgments, and commit to doing it long-term.

Punishment only adds hurt to hurt. I firmly believe we should get rid of this whole toughness thing and replace it with deep empathy and real love. People always fight me when I suggest that we can care for people, hug them, listen to them, show them they really matter, and let go of the need to control and dominate them. That's how far we've sunk, we can't even imagine a world where we treat each other with love.

I propose we establish a new pattern of love and unconditional regard instead of inflicting more pain. The only way we'll ever heal one person, or the world, is to believe and act from a place of true love. Yes, it will take considerable time and effort to make the change, but everything worthwhile requires commitment. I am deeply committed to love, how about you?

Cheers,

Guy

7 Signs You’re an Emotionally Intelligent Boss

7 Signs You’re an Emotionally Intelligent Boss

Our workplaces are often designed to extract as much as they can from employees without regard for the fact that they’re thinking, feeling beings. This leads to things like burnout, turnover, lack of morale, interpersonal conflict, hurt feelings, misunderstandings and reduced productivity. When a boss doesn’t understand his own or his employees’ emotions it ultimately affects the bottom line because he’ll put band aids on people instead of dealing with their major wounds.

Emotional intelligence, the ability to handle your own and your employees’ emotions positively, is a frequently-ignored workplace tool. Even when faced with compelling evidence that people function on emotions all the time, as with the boss who is constantly angry, worried or happy, we choose to pretend it’s not happening. Emotionally intelligent bosses understand that they’re working with people, even when there are deadlines and goals to meet, and they create workplaces where individuals are comfortable feeling what they feel. Here are seven signs that you’re a boss who possesses emotional intelligence:

  1. You empathize and understand what other people are experiencing.
  2. You don’t react or fly off the handle when others disagree with you.
  3. You’re in touch with your own emotions and behave in a balanced way regardless of the situation.
  4. You create a work atmosphere where people can feel what they feel.
  5. You don’t view emotions as a threat or problem, just a normal part of the workplace.
  6. You encourage people to talk about what’s going on inside them.
  7. You make decisions based on treating people well and being emotionally healthy.

If you already practice these behaviors on a regular basis you know that it creates a workplace where people express themselves genuinely and interact positively. They don’t have to bottle things up or pretend they aren’t happening because they are able to deal with them. Bosses who are comfortable with their own and others’ emotions are able to create workplaces where people can feel and be themselves. They also experience much less of the, “What just happened here,” syndrome that permeates workplaces that don’t understand emotions.

The key to practicing emotional intelligence is to decide that it’s important and then teach yourself and your employees how to express emotions in a healthy way. You’ll be happy when you don’t have to pretend you work with robots. What will you do to be an emotionally intelligent boss?

Cheers,

Guy