As a human being, we all have moments where we struggled. I know I've been in situations where things feels out of control and frustration usually arises. Transitioning as a young adult into different career endeavors, projects and relationships, I found my life wasn't equipped or prepared as I thought I would have being a certain age. There was a disconnect between aware of what's going on to having the skillsets to assess and implement a strategy to overcome challenges.
Learning these skillsets and applying as often as I could shown to positively influence my interactions in a professional level as well as personal relationships with friends, family and partner. Of course, there are plenty of other skills that may also impact our lives, but I am going to stick with a few that was life changing.
Communicate Effectively - Be clear, Not Ambiguous
As a person who struggled with communication, it's not always what you say, but how you say it. I have many times shared my thoughts in the hopes of getting a point across. So I did. I said what I wanted to say, but failed to realize what the purpose of communicating those ideas were. It's not about making noise, but rather communicating effectively.
Most of the time these frustrations in miscommunications come from our own unclear thoughts and ambiguous language that can be interpreted in many ways. Especially in the digital world where we don't have enough context on others' tonalities and intentions. What I found helpful in the professional world when asking or replying to tasks, is to lessen beyond a reasonable doubt, overly complicated thoughts. To get from A to B, we need to execute C and D within a certain amount of time. However, there is no perfect world, hence ending with the openness to ask questions and clarify anything eases the tension between getting things done.
Another tool I found that is great for communication is summarize what they said in your own words of the action plan. This is more important during projects that requires multiple steps and people attending to the same thing. Again, it's being clear and non-ambiguous with what we are doing, how we are doing it and the expectations that come along with that.
Proactive - Take Initiative
We live in a time where there's so much going on we become more reactive and also afraid of doing things wrong. At the same time, we are also increasing our expectation of output more than we input. Specifically with work, it's not just doing the basic, but being able to deliver above standard quality/quantity. There were definitely times where expectation of compensation came first rather than providing quantifiable reasons.
Taking initiative is controlling your own development and growth rather than waiting for the chances. Instead, you are the one creating opportunities. And like it's said, results happen better when preparation meets them. I begin to train my mind to think about what value I put out there to substantiate the gains. It gives back the control of what I can do to change the circumstance and not leaving it up to chance.
Some of things I ask myself is "Do I qualify?"...for a raise, for a new position, for whatever I am doing." Then if not, am I taking actions towards that? It was a scary thought at first to tell myself I'm not good enough and need to work better, but at the same token, it enlightened me to be more proactive with my endeavors. And when you did all that you can, it's okay to re-evaluate the situation, adjust and change course.
Empathy - Patience and Compassion
This is another doozy for me. The thoughts of "You should understand me" and "You don't know how I feel" comes to mind. In extension to communication, it's not just saying how you feel, but also having that emotional capacity of knowing how others may feel. Not just about being aware of your own thoughts, wants and needs, but also the perception of others'.
With life, nothing is always a straight line and perfect picture with everything colored in the lines. When it does get a little messy, have a radar to detect and adjust how you approach the situation builds on that effective communication skill. One of the key things to adjust in my mind is that I don't understand everything. This is not to say I am incompetent, but with how others may feel. And this lends to the point where we then have to take initiative to figure out and learn.
We all have different needs and we work better when those are fulfilled. Having empathy and understanding helps to communicate your points and recognizing if they may need more support, feedback, positive reinforcement or a mixture of them. In addition, I think this helps with having a heighten sensitivity to non-verbal cues and ultimately resulting in a better and productive work space. Not everyone will be as apparent, so being patient and compassionate can make a difference in the outcome.
These are just some of the skillsets that I found useful and beneficial in the work place but also in our personal lives. I am by no mean an expert or have mastered these skills. It takes time, experience and practice to make it into a tool that can be used to build the foundation of your career or stronger relationship.
Continue to grow and learn because life has so much to offer! Cheers!