Category Archives: Personal Development

Tips to improve your writing and communication skills

Communication and writing Skills
One way to accelerate your career or business is with good writing and communication. In any business today, good writing and communication skills are required in a myriad of ways, including email, advertising copy, and presentations. A deficiency in writing and communication skills can hold you back and even damage your career ambitions.

By using simple, clear, precise language–and following a few other basic writing rules–you can become a better communicator. Whether you are finance guru, web developer who dreams in code, a secretary, or front desk receptionist, good writing and communication skills is required for the success of the business.

Most business professionals have little or no experience or training when it comes to writing. Those with business degrees probably did a bit of writing in school, however writing is rarely stressed in business programs. To be a good communicator your need to use simple, clear, precise language and follow a few basic rules.

Here are few tips to improve your writing and communication skills:

  • Less is more
  • Avoid using metaphors
  • Use simple clear language
  • Insert a call for action
  • Delete all those needless words
  • Focus on lucidity or clarity
  • Always write and use active verbs
  • Make sure you answer all questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?
  • Save a copy of successful templates for future prototypes
  • Pay special attention to names, titles, and genders
  • Understand the difference between “affect” vs. “effect
  • Use English and avoid all forms of jargon
  • Properly insert your periods when using a quotation.
  • Avoid exclamation points
  • Confirm whenever possible and respond to emails with a confirmation.
  • Short sentences are best
  • Sign off in a professional way
  • Match your subject to your pronoun and verb
  • Use correct grammatical structure and complete sentences
  • Try avoid using too many adverbs
  • Use your spell check
  • Proofread your work
  • Read it out loud
  • Write once, check twice

Good writing and communication skills may require a talent that few of us have, but effective writing and communication is a skill that can be mastered with training or short course. If your business writing isn’t up to snuff, follow the tips above and see if you can’t improve it.


Body language blunders and mistakes to avoid

Body language communication

Our body language determines how others perceive us. Apart from verbal communication, our body has a language of its own, and in some instances not always kind. Our body language form an integral part of who we are and in most instances we never think about it. To avoid sabotaging our careers or socially, it i important to take note of our body language.

Those of us who have excellent nonverbal communications skills tells others that you are confident, energetic, an honest. While poor nonverbal skills may give the impression that you have allow self-esteem and lack interest.

Both socially and in the business world,it is critical to be aware of your body language. Nonverbal communication and gestures can make or break relationships and have a significant impact on your success.

Here are few of the most common body language mistakes that we make and emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid.

Poor posture and slouching are signs of disrespect. It shows that you are bored and have no interest to be where you are. Bad posture is due to bad backs, fatigue, lack of confidence, or general disregard.

Mirror and not being in sync with others. When you are interested and like someone, it is natural to match and mirror their voice, tone, tempo, body posture , and movements.

Avoid fidgeting and exaggerating gestures. Over exaggerating gestures and fidgeting implies that you are stretching the truth and lack confidence. Avoid fidgeting and big hand movements. Small gestures show leadership and confidence.

Looking at your watch is a clear sign of disrespect. Avoid looking at the time on your phone or watch because this is a clear sign of disrespect, impatience, and an inflated ego. It is a tell-tale sign that you have better things to do and want to leave.

Never turn away from others. Turning away from others or not leaning into the conversation only shows that you are unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable, and perhaps even distrustful of the person speaking.

Avoid crossing your arms and legs. When you cross your legs or arms is a sign that you closed off from what the other person is saying. Even if you are smiling and engaged in conversation,the other party to the conversation might feel that you are disinterested and closed off to what they are saying.

Always give physical feedback and / or facial expressions. Avoid feedback and blank facial expressions shows that you have no empathy or interest in what the other person is saying. Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression causes people to sense that something isn’t right and that you might be trying to deceive them.

Don’t overdo your nodding. Over exaggerating your nodding is a clear signal of anxiety.People might think you are agreeing with them or understand, ut you actually don’t.

Never fidget or play with your hair. This is clear sign that you are anxious, over-energized, self-conscious, and distracted.

Avoid leaning back in your chair. Leaning back is a clear sign of indifference and lack of interest in the opposite person. Lean forward but never on the age of your chair.

Always keep good eye contact. Eye contact is one of the main components of nonverbal communication. Avoiding eye contact shows that you have something to hide and arouses suspicion. It also is a sign of lack of confidence and interest.

Make sure your handshake is firm. A handshake should be firm but not overbearing. Weak handshakes signal that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination.

Be aware of the level of your laughter. Laughter is indicative of the level of comfort between people. Too much or fake daughter could imply that your are being deceptive. Too little is a sign of lack communication and interest.

Never roll you eyes. Rolling of your eyes only shows and communicates your lack of respect.

Avoid touching your face. Try keeping your hands away from your face because touching of your nose is a sign of deception while covering your mouth is a sign that you are lying.

Try not to narrow your eyes. Narrowing your is difficult to avoid because we do this when we think. However it is also a sign of anger.

Avoid unhappy expressions. Scowling or having a generally unhappy expression indicates that you are upset with those around you and will turn people away with a feeling of being judged. A happy facial expression suggest that you are open, confident, and friendly.

Never tap your fingers or foot. Tapping your fingers or feet when talking to someone. this is a clear sign that your are bored and not interested in what the other person has to say.

Don’t clench your fist. Much like crossing your arms and legs, clenching you fist is a clear sign that you are not open to other’s opinions or thoughts. It could also perceive that you are argumentative and defensive.

Be aware of the personal space of others. Never stand too close to someone because it is a sign of no respect for or understanding of personal space.

Leave your cellphone off the table. Avoid placing your cellphone between yourself and the person you are talking to. It will symbolize that your cellphone is more important the person.

In conclusion, be aware and avoiding these body language and nonverbal blunders will help you forge song relationships both personally and professionally.


Habits and behaviors of likable people

Likable habits and behavior
It is a mistaken belief that being a likable person comes from natural, unteachable traits that are only reserved for the lucky few – the good-looking, extremely sociable, and talented people. The truth is that being likable is actually up to you and something you can control. It’s all about emotional intelligence.

Have you ever been among a group of people who are talking about certain person and all you hear are this person being described as positive, respectable, and genuine. The reality about likable people is that they have certain habits. It is these habits that most of us strive for and try emulate.

It is easy to brand ourselves though social media to  boost our professional network, however there is no substitute for a charismatic personality. Let’s face it, everyone wants to be liked.

Here are few example of key behaviors and habits that emotionally intelligent people engage in that makes them so likable.

  • They listen and ask questions to show they are interested.
  • They put away their phones away and focus all of their energy on the conversation
  • They are genuine and honest people.
  • They always have a positive mental attitude.
  • They are patient people  and mange their time wisely.
  • They are always praising others in a genuine way.
  • They are always performing at least one good deed a day.
  • They never pass judgement and are open-mined making them more approachable and interesting.
  • They don’t have extroverted personalities and never seek attention.
  • They are reliable and consistent in the way they treat people.
  • They acknowledge failure and the lesson to be learned from it.
  • They are cognizant of their gestures, expressions, and tone of voice; and always use positive body language.
  • If something needs to be done, they don’t ask for help. They just do it.
  • They when it is time to talk and when it is time to listen.
  • They are always aware of how they converse with others and speak in a carefully disciplined and friendly tone.
  • They always leave a good first impression.
  • They always address people by their name whenever they see them.
  • They make sure to pay close attention to others in a conversation.
  • They always have smile on their face and make others feel good.
  • They have a good sense about when to open up and get personal with their problems and confessions.
  • They have the ability to maintain their composure under any circumstance.
  • They know how to balance their lives between passion and having fun.

Habits to improve your interpersonal skills

people skillsOne of the most common and ignored job descriptions today is that you need to work well with others. Little do you know, this is not a request, rather a critical part of any job and non-negotiable. In other words, if you don’t work well with others, consider yourself fired. This will happen over and over, no matter where you work until you find yourself in a lonely job working alone.

If you, however, learn and develop your interpersonal habits when it comes to working in a team or with others, then this could lead to leadership opportunities, higher salary, and a far more rewarding job description.

Listed below are some habits that if implemented correctly will ultimately result in success for individuals and teams. Some might seem silly and obvious but then this will mean that everyone can do them and get them right. I can guarantee from the list below,you know someone who will get some of them wrong.

There are many ways and habits that will enhance working relationships and teamwork. Some habit don’t take much effort to do and adopt but offer the largest benefits. Some of the habits in the list might seem trivial. But if you start to get  a few of them wrong or right, this might mean the difference between getting fired or keeping your job. Or even a promotion.

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Always remember to put your phone away.
  • Take the time to spend time with co-workers.
  • Never interrupt others when they are talking just to get your ideas out.
  • Always do things with a win-win in mind and not at the detriment of others.
  • Never forget to brush your teeth and be aware of bad breath.
  • Reply to emails immediately even to say that you received the email and will respond in more detail later.
  • Be aware how you say things, Be honest and tactful in your communication.
  • Always respond to all emails you receive. When you receive a response, don’t forget to say thank you.
  • Be aware of your body language when you are around others.
  • Before you click the send button, double-check what you have written and make sure you are sending the email to the correct person and included all attachments.
  • Be aware of the noise level you are making when, for example, you are listening to music.
  • Make sure you are always punctual and on time for every appointment.
  • Always share the credit with your co-workers.
  • Stay positive and be happy. Positive people are generally successful and help others to succeed.
  • Always try to keep smiling. It’s a sign of happiness and will lead to success.
  • If you want to make friends, then never forget their names.
  • If you see trash on the floor, pick it up. Don’t say it’s someone else job.
  • Look at your co-workers when they are talking to you.
  • Never quit on yourself and think you cannot be friendly. Always strive to improve yourself.
  • Always look a the positive in others and assume the best.
  • Make sure you put deodorant before coming to the office.
  • Plan your day and review what did at the end of the day.
  • Stand up and take responsibility if you make a mistake or something goes wrong.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no or disagree. Nothing worse than working with someone who always agrees with you.
  • Make sure you exercise and take care of your health.
  • Avoid all forms of profanity and swearing.
  • Keep an open mind even if you think you might be 100% right. There is always that remote chance that you are actually wrong.
  • When someone does a favor for you, make sure to thank them sincerely and make sure they know you appreciate it.

Have fun and enjoy. Tell your friends and co-workers.


Body Language Mistakes to Avoid

body language

Maybe you can lie with a straight face or have a good poker face. Perhaps you can stifle an ill-timed laugh or change a blank stare into a period of deep thought. Research has shown that we all rely on body language more that facial expressions to identify emotions.

Body language is a nonverbal form of communication, where thoughts, intentions, or feelings are expressed by physical behaviors, such as facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of space.

From eye contact to posture to the way you fix your hair, avoid these physical slip-ups when talking to a client, team member or on a job interview.  Here are a few body language techniques to be aware of to avoid sabotaging a job interview or sales pitch.

Be aware of the direction your feet are pointed – Don’t only focus on the on your facial expression and upper body, but take note of how you point your feet. You might be looking and facing a person but when you feet are facing another direction, all it means is that you have checked out of the conversation.

Be aware of your posture – Leaning back is a sign of laziness and arrogance. while leaning forward is a sure sign of aggression. Try taking on a neutral position.

Avoid crossing your legs, arms, or feet – When you do this, all it means is that have mentally closed off to the conversation. Crossing your arms only shows that your are either distant, insecure , defensive, or stubbornness. When you talk to a person or group of people you must try signal open communication and participation.

Never break eye contact – Most people feel uncomfortable holding eye contact once a connection has been created. Avoid staring but hold eye contact.

Never forget to nod – Nodding your head is a universally accepted sign of encouragements and acceptance and improve collaboration. This is especially true when trying to ask a shy person to take part. Positive mirroring gestures and body language are sure signs of increased creativity and problem solving.

Stop fidgeting – Fidgeting is sure sign of nervous energy and will distract from the conversation.

Don’t shift your eyes – When you look upwards can be sure sign that you are lying or not confident and sure about what you are talking about. Look directly into the eyes and show you are confident.

Refrain from a power poses – Stretching out your limbs or chest to make yourself seem larger is the perfect way to pump yourself up before an interview or public speaking event. However don’t do this in public. Power posing can stifle participation. Rather lean in towards others while speaking to signal that you are interested in the conversation.

Avoid looking uninterested or too intensely – It is fairly obvious that ignoring someone will make that person feel ignored. Don’t read an email while talking to someone or view messages on your cellphone during a conversation. All this will say to the other person is that you basically ignoring and unstressed in them and what they have to say. Put done your laptop or phone and make eye contact.