Talk To Someone, It Always Helps (A Mental Health Advice)

In life, you experience a lot of messy stuff that could hurt you physically, mentally, and emotionally. There is the pressure at school or work; there are societal standards on life decision-making; there are relationship problems, and so on. There is no exemption to those negativities. Sometimes, you get too fed up with all of it that you feel like locking yourself in your room and be alone. Understandably, you want to get over the stress caused by the unfortunate events in your life. That is why you chose isolation. Because at some point, you see that move as a better resolution to your emotional and mental dilemma. But considering the effects of sadness and loneliness, why not express your thoughts? Why don’t you try communicating with others and tell them how you feel?

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Are You Scared Of Judgments?

Perhaps one of the reasons you somehow choose to stay silent with what you are going through is that you are scared of other people’s judgments. You believe that they will blame you for the bad things in your life. It somehow makes you feel like they are picturing you as an incapable individual who can’t make better decisions, even for your own benefit. Honestly, that is normal. When people see you struggling, the majority of them will not help. Instead, they will validate your behavior and personality to associate it with a state of mental incapacity. All of which are based on other people’s approval levels.

With this unfortunate possibility of judgments from people you may or may not know, it is okay to feel scared. It is normal to feel disappointed because you somehow lose all the confidence you have. But what is not acceptable is you keep on proving them right. Yes, the majority of people you know won’t care about you. But that does not mean all of them are. So instead of keeping yourself locked up in a box, reach out to someone who knows you better than everyone else. Talk to that person about what you are going through. Do not hesitate or be afraid to bare it all. Because when you know that you are with the right individual, you will never feel alone.

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Don’t Be Too Harsh On Yourself

There are always people like you who never want to show weakness. Maybe because you don’t want others to take advantage of your situation and use your instability against you, that is fine. The more you can confidently handle yourself, the less you will bring life stressors seriously. However, there is still a drawback to that strategy. That is because when you keep showing people your strong side, they will never consider your needs. All of them will end up thinking that because you are capable of almost anything, especially in handling your thoughts and feelings, these individuals will assume that you are better off alone. Sadly, that is the reality of it.

In that case, where people are not looking deeply into you, you should consider letting go of the idea that you are always strong and capable. You know you are not, and you understand that you need help as well. Stop convincing people that you don’t need them because there is no way you can make it alone. Do not be hard on yourself and let someone hear your pain. Talk about how you genuinely feel. Because, again, when you are with the right circle, things can get a little better.

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You Are Not Alone

It is okay to feel hurt, disappointed, sad, and frustrated considering all the negative things happening in your life right now. You don’t need to authenticate your feelings to other people just because you want their attention. Go burst into tears or just sit-down and not give a damn about everything if you have to. You entirely do not need to explain yourself because there is no point in doing so. People will judge you anyway. Whether you do good or bad things, they also have a lot of something to say that can make you feel stressed, anxious, and even depressed.

Given all of these possible scenarios, never think that you are alone. Millions of people out in the world also experience the same thing you are dealing with right now. Yes, some portions of it may not be as precise as yours, but it is guaranteed that the level of mental and emotional pain is more likely equal.

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Takeaway

Honestly, you just got to have someone in your life who will tell you not to underestimate yourself. Cherish this person because even if you show or say a different story to the world, only this person can understand and know you better. This particular person will stand by your side no matter what. So consider talking to him because it will help.

How To Strengthen Communication Within The Family

One of the main reasons why a family relationship often fails is due to a lack of communication. But note, it is not just about the difficulty of expressing someone’s feelings towards a family member. Communication issues within the family have a lot of contributing factors. It is important that you determine those elements first before trying to make any possible adjustments. It would also be helpful to seek support from online counseling platforms like BetterHelp to gain professional advice. Many families benefit from these online resources when it comes to gaining a better understanding of each individual.

With that, here are some of the significant things you should understand to strengthen communication within the family.

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Listen Attentively – This is a no brainer. It is important that when communicating, you listen attentively. You need to realize that all people want to be heard because their ideas also matter. So it is essential that you entirely listen to what your loved ones are saying rather than focusing yourself on formulating a response. If the conversation has something to do with fixing an issue, never multitask. It would be very disrespectful when you show your loved ones that you have divided attention. Face your family members when talking to them and pay close attention to your gestures and facial expressions.

Make Eye Contact – A critical factor of communication is eye contact. It serves as a tool that makes you and your family members connected while talking about any issues. Eye contact is vital when having a meaningful conversation because it represents honesty, enthusiasm, and understanding. It also helps you to stay focus on a conversation by making you less distracted on other things. So next time, when you have a discussion with your family, avoid looking elsewhere as it will make you look less interested in spending time with your loved ones.

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Show Appreciation And Respect – Appreciation and respect for others can go a long way. It can make your loved ones more open to communicating with you because they will receive the desired respect for their thoughts and ideas. Giving them respect will make them feel comfortable discussing things with you no matter how sensitive the topics can get. And if ever the conversation is about the discussion of different opinions, showing respect will allow your family members to appreciate your communication skills and attitude as well.

Ask Questions – It might seem too obvious, but asking questions can help strengthen communication. It is one of the best approaches to show family members that you are genuinely interested in what they are trying to say. It opens up a conversation and helps in maintaining the discussion. It also signals that you want to hear and understand your loved ones, regardless of how complicated a situation may be.  You have to remember that you are continually communicating, even if you are not saying anything. But note, never to ask a stupid question, if you do not want to get a sarcastic answer.

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Be Brief But Specific – When having a meaningful conversation with family members, it is essential to be specific. You need to provide enough information to your loved ones to understand what you are trying to say. Also, always remember never to jump in and give out comments, not unless you have an idea of the topic. Try to learn not to ramble and take the time to think about your responses. Ensure that your words will cause a better understanding rather than an emotional impact.

Watch Your Tone – Improving communication skills is useless if you can’t watch your tone. Yes, you can be assertive at times. But you can only consider that if your goal is to necessarily make a point. Avoid being aggressive. Remind yourself that there is a fine line between aggression and assertion. A rude tone is not going to lead a productive conversation. Instead, it will only cater to misunderstandings and conflicts. So try to avoid using a combating tone and use a confident and calm voice instead. Always ensure a positive attitude when talking to your loved ones so that they will respond positively.

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Validate Thoughts And Feelings – When members of the family express themselves differently, allow it. They feel that way for a reason. It is essential to acknowledge the emotions your loved ones put through within the discussion. But also remind yourself that you don’t have to agree with them if you entirely do not have to even if that is to validate their feelings. Despite disagreeing with them, you can still make them feel important by accepting their perspective. You can express your thoughts while ensuring that you care about whatever it is that they tell you.

Effective communication is one of the essential life skills that you can have. Whether you want to experience a good relationship with people, or you want others to appreciate your ideas, communicating is the best way to do that. It is important that you practice these critical things so that it can help improve your communication skills.

How To Stay In Touch Effectively With Your Loved Ones During Quarantine

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It has been a few months since the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world in its clutches. We’re living in a new normal where we need to put a physical distance with one another. While this is essential in flattening the curve, it also led some of us to distance ourselves socially. This self-isolation can take a toll on our mental and emotional state. Online platforms like BetterHelp provides a support system that can help us get through this trying time. Seeking professional psychological help is one of the best ways for us to navigate this pandemic.

“Even though we are forced to be physically separated from one another, it doesn’t mean we have to lose our sense of connection,” says Nicholas Epley, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Even during quarantine, there is a myriad of ways to stay in touch with your loved ones. These ways can help make your self-isolation feel a bit less lonely.

Here are some tips on how you can make keeping in touch extra fun and creative.

Host A Virtual Netflix Party

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Nowadays, you can binge-watch movies together with your friends or family even when apart. While you cannot plop on the floor or the couch together, you can still stream movies together. You can do this by installing the Netflix Party Chrome extension on your desktop.

After setting it up, send the link to your loved one to sync the movie with a built-in chat interface. You can now enjoy an episode or a series or a movie together in real-time.

Play A Game Together While In Isolation

Bring the party to your respective houses with Houseparty. The app is full of features that you can use to start your party. It has a chat feature that allows you to catch up with each other. You can also play games as a group, such as Heads Up and Pictionary. Furthermore, you can record your party’s highlight to keep as a memory through the facemail feature. 

The app is an excellent way for a group of friends to stay in touch, creatively.

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Video Call And Teleconference

There are various video calling and teleconference apps that you can download to stay in touch with your loved ones. Some of these are Google Hangouts, Zoom, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc. You can also play around with stickers and fun backgrounds to make each call more fun. No matter where both of you live, you can call your friends and family with just a few clicks.

Create And Listen To A Spotify Playlist Together

Back in the day, recording a song playlist on cassette tape was a huge trend. Now, you can do this through an app with just a few clicks. If you’re a music lover, you must be keeping up with the latest album releases. You can create a playlist with your significant other or friends through Spotify’s Collaborative Playlist. You can also have fun lining up the titles to send a message.

To make this, you need to create a playlist and click the Collaborative Playlist option. Send the link to your loved one, and then they’ll have access to adding tracks to the playlist with their accounts.

Join A Book Club

Meanwhile, if you and your friends love reading, you can still discuss your favorite books while in quarantine. List down a selection of books and assign a book for each week and then set a date for discussion. You can use various apps to read ebooks, or you can also order a hard copy for delivery.

Send A Snail Mail

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If you want to connect the old school way, this is the perfect time to write on real paper and get creative. Writing a handwritten letter or greeting cards to your friends and family never goes out of style. Moreover, you can input helpful tips from YouTube that can help boost their mental and emotional state.

It is also helpful for you as you will get to produce a creative output and distract yourself for some time. This gesture will surely be a beautiful surprise for the recipient, as sending snail mails are not as common now. By starting this, you can even create a domino effect as you send snail letters back and forth.

Stay In Touch!

This uncertain situation that we’re facing due to the coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly taxing. It is affecting all of us, emotionally and mentally. That is why it is crucial to stay virtually connected with your loved ones. Don’t forget to take a break from time-to-time and schedule a time to connect with your friends and family. Stay in touch and check in with your loved ones now!

How To Communicate With Your Kids About The COVID-19 Pandemic

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These months have been extremely daunting for all of us. The lack of assurance about our safety and livelihood amidst the ongoing crisis can lead to frustration and anxiety. As the news of the pandemic rules the television and social media conversations, your kids may be experiencing much stress as well. And they can worry more if you continue keeping them in the dark. Therefore, you have to communicate the news of COVID-19 in the best way possible.

According to child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, Jamie Howard, Ph.D., “Kids feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe.” Relaying to them valuable and factual information allows your kids to have a sense of direction and lessen their worries in these trying times. But how do you talk to them without adding fuel to their fears and frustrations? Here are some of the tips you can follow.

Level With Your Kids Knowledge

Depending on your kids’ age level, ask questions fitted to their current capacities. Construct your questions in a natural and calming manner. For example, ask them what they have heard lately about the new sickness, or their thoughts about people wearing masks. You can also ask them their reasoning on why they have to stay at home for a while. In this way, you can get to know how much your children understand about the pandemic.

With many media outlets available to us in this day of age, you have to be mindful of your kids’ source of news. You can discuss this with them so that they will have reliable information. Since you’re the one relaying the details, you have the power to filter the news appropriate to your kids’ age level as well. Avoiding the conversation can make them worry more.

Provide Sincere And Honest Answers To Their Questions

You shouldn’t provide more information than what your kids would like to know. Instead, try to answer your children’s questions with honesty and clarity. It’s okay if you can’t answer all of them, the important thing is to show them you’re available in talking with them. Only get information to credible organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Kids can easily pick up fears from their parents. Therefore, you have to talk to them calmly and reassuringly. As much as you have anxiety as well, allowing your kids to panic won’t do any good to your family. Don’t get upset and use a calm voice. Be emotionally available to your children’s emotions and questions.

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Help Them Feel In Control

Young kids do need assurance that there are ways to prevent getting sick. Remind them that getting lots of sleep and washing their hands will help them to remain healthy. Explain to your kids as well that proper hygiene, social distancing, and protective wear prevent the spread of diseases to other people. With this, be a good role model and show your kids that you are following proper guidelines during this crisis too.

Do also tell your kids that people are assisting and saving people’s lives. It may give them comfort to know that doctors are treating infected people, and scientists are working to produce a vaccine. If they know that things can go back to normal, they will feel hopeful for the future.

Children also have tendencies to worry more about their loved ones than themselves. Allowing them to talk with relatives and friends online can affirm them that they’re safe. Having constant communication with the people closest to them also helps them cope with the changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let Your Kids Express Their Emotions

Supporting your kids to express their emotions can build their resilience. Silencing them will only create panic and anxiety. Listen to their stories, and tell them that their feelings are valid. Let your kids know and understand that feeling stressed is part of life and is relatively reasonable. Children can share with you more if you recognize their problems and feelings.

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Keep Your Kids Updated

Check on your kids regarding their feelings and the information they heard or read. Offer regular updates so that they can learn more about the COVID-19 pandemic. Let them understand the precautions the family needs to take too. It allows them to know that the line of communication in the family remains open.

As we continue to live through the hardships the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, let’s not also forget how kids perceive these alterations. Proper communication is needed when situations demand us to be united. Pay attention to your emotions and the people around you. We will need each other to get through this!

The Art Of Communicating Better

Do you believe that you have what it takes to communicate with others effectively? Do you understand that there are processes and specific methods that you have to do when conversing with others? Do you have an idea on how you can get better communication? If you already know the answers, then you might want to skip this article. But if you are unsure about your communication abilities, then proceed in reading.

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The Proper Gesture

“Just like our feelings give us information about our needs, so do our bodies through physiological feedback,” says Eliza Chamblin, LCSW. A lot of people do not seem to notice their involuntary gestures when they are talking to someone. Do you know that a simple tap in the hands can mean a thing? Well, the truth is, people, lose their interest in talking with a person because of an inappropriate gesture. These can include sitting inappropriately such as legs are wide open or feet in front of someone’s face. But that is just too extreme. One common is not looking directly in someone’s eyes when conversing. Yes, there are times that it is not a big deal for some people. However, when we discuss strong communication skills in terms of gesture, eye contact is the best approach that strengths that.

Voice Toning

“Harsh words are just as damaging whether they come from someone else or whether they come from you,” says licensed psychologist Cindy T. Graham, PhD. If you want to establish your point, improve your arguments instead of raising your voice. A louder voice does not represent a better communication strategy. Doing this will only make you look a stupid, uneducated, and disrespectful piece of an individual. So if you aim to create a better communication environment, start with toning your voice. Allow yourself to manage better deliverance of sounds that will not provoke anything that you will soon regret. Give yourself time to think through an appropriate response and never let your emotions take control. Keep in mind that your target is to make people understand you, and not agree with your ideas only because they are afraid.

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The Ability To Listen

When talking to someone, the goal is always to initiate. It is where you focus on your desire of making someone understand your thoughts and emotions. It is as if the only thing that will matter in a conversation is your point. However, better communication does not stick to that particular bullshit. Yes, you can say whatever you want. Though, when you understand what communication is, you listen. You do not just input ideas into someone’s head and leave without listening to what he thinks about it. You need to prepare yourself for disapprovals and not bitch about it after.

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Understanding Feelings

There is no more excellent way of communication than understanding how others feel about your words. If your goal is to express yourself, do it in a way that the other person will not feel intimidated or offended by it. Same as raising a point, make sure that your intentions are not in the form of directly insulting, degrading, or making fun of others. Keep in mind that better communication is the one that makes both parties understand and respect each other regardless of their different views and opinions. “You’ll love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.” Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. said.

Remember, communication is something that requires skills, effort, and understanding. If you want to improve in it, use these fundamentals wisely.

How A Family Should Communicate Effectively

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We can never tell where and when significant issues in the household will appear. We have no control over what is coming. And even if we expect things to happen, there is always a slight difference of result from the way we think of it. From there, we begin to have problems along with our unit. Sometimes, we feel misunderstood, not knowing that other members of the family also feel the same way. From there, we throw our concerns, complaints, and disappointments because we believe our mother, father, or children, are not listening at all. But you see, the whole point of the issue is not the difference of personality, nor opinions and individual character. It is the understanding of each member’s ability to communicate effectively.

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Allowing Everyone To Express Themselves

“Our society tells us that if you talk about your issues, express your feelings, or even verbalize you have a mental health disorder, you must be “weak.”.” Ryan Parks, M.Ed, LPCC said. But when we say allowing members of the family to express themselves, it means sharing thoughts and ideas in a way that the intention is to make others understand and not judge. No, not because someone in the family expresses himself, that does not give him the freedom to disrespect others opinions. It is not like that. It does not also mean that someone in the family gets a hall pass when he tries to enumerate the likes and whatnots. Allowing an expression is merely telling other members of the family how someone thinks and feels without expecting to receive a positive result. It is like kids can ask for permission to go out. But when parents do not allow it, it shouldn’t have to be a big deal. Parents can become way too overprotective. But when kids express their sorrow over it, parents should consider the comment as well. It is like that.

No Secrets (Even Small Ones)

Some people seem very open about everything to their family. Honestly, it is a good thing. That is because the family is one of the valuable sources we can get when we are not emotionally and mentally stable. Of course, that is aside from having friends outside. Each member serves a purpose in allowing our growth and development. So to be able to communicate with them effectively, we have to keep no secrets, even small ones. Yes, there are times that we feel uneasy telling our family things that bug us. But we have to ensure our safety in their hands. We have to trust our family and believe that they will be there for us no matter what. Sure, families are different from one to another. Some will not become as understanding or complicated as ours. But it does not matter. Our ability to communicate with them will bring us closer to the type of connection that will allow an overall development. “By building a list of people that you trust, with whom you can talk to in times of need, you allow yourself a strong sense of not being alone.” As David Klow, a licensed therapist emphasizes.

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Honestly, there is no proper or faulty way of communication in the family, depending on the type of relationship every individual have. As long as one member is happy, the others will also feel the same. Yes, there are misunderstandings along the way. But there is nothing communication cannot better handle. Because “Authentic happiness is relating to the entire universe. When someone relates and leaves nothing out, you can see it in the face and posture. There is a presence about a truly happy person, a look that says “Yes,” to oneself, to others, and to the world.” Andrea F. Polard, PsyD explains.

Causes Of Damaged Communication

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We all know that communication is one of the fundamentals that keep any relationship healthy. That includes business, work, family, friends, and romantic ones. It serves as the key to express one’s thoughts and emotions that allows others to understand an individual much better. It is a way of telling others our desire, our goal, and perception towards the world. But how should we be able to communicate better? Are there specific ways to do that? Let’s find out.

Telling Something With Implications

There are a lot of definitions that try to explain communication. However, the most common thing we do is telling or indirectly saying things. There are cases that instead of directly pointing out what is inside our heads, we create a different expression that represents a different meaning. It is sometimes a good thing to do because it allows other people to understand us deeply. It gives them time and effort to think through the conveyed meaning. However, the problem with this indirect expression is that not all individuals are mentally capable of unraveling mysterious and indirect messages. And when these people honestly do not have a clue on what we are trying to say, we get pissed off. But is that their fault? Of course, it is not. Our habit to always point out unuseful hints only makes the process of communication vaguer than ever. “Research shows that how you think about yourself can have a powerful effect on how you feel. Practice using words that promote feelings of self-worth and personal power. Give yourself a positive pep-talk.” Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist suggests.

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Expressing With The Intention Of Hurting

It is genuinely okay that we find time to express ourselves. We need it to prepare our emotional and mental stability for the worse case scenarios. However, communicating to hurt others is different. “Harsh words are just as damaging whether they come from someone else or whether they come from you,” says licensed psychologist Cindy T. Graham, PhD. Yes, we sometimes cannot control the situation, and that is understandable. However, what does not deserve an excuse is the consistency of hurting someone’s feelings and personality by trying to use the expression as a leeway. It becomes inappropriate to communicate only to make someone feel bad about themselves or defame them due to their ideas that do not fit ours. That is unacceptable. However, the sad part of this is that nobody can identify if the expression is trying to hurt someone or not. Because sometimes, even if people know they are a target, and the whole communication is trying to ruin their emotional and mental state, they prefer to master the art of not giving a single concern.

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Listening By Judging

Some people do not always intend to listen. Most of the times, their goal is only to express themselves no matter what the situation is. Perhaps, we can say that it is part of communication. However, they are not only the ones guilty of using communication in a damaging way. Some people listen only to prove their judgment. These individuals are more likely to identify gossip as their truth and look at lies as their facts. It becomes a reason to hate communication because of these people who believe they are listening, but in reality, they are not trying to make a sense out of their judgment. The sad part, we can never control it. Even if we shove the truth in their faces, they will still believe the things they already put inside their heads. So with that, “Mindfulness is a helpful skill to learn because it lets you observe these “uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and physical sensations without judgment.” Jeremy Savage, MA, LPC said.

Given these things, have you ever thought about how you contribute to damaging communication too?

Why Listening Is Important In Communication

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Expressing one’s thoughts is the fundamental of communication. It allows an individual to let the other person know his thoughts and feelings. It becomes a gateway to let someone make contact with different opinions and views. However, expressing one’s ideas is just a piece of the process. That is because communication requires attentive listening and understanding. Therefore, telling someone about something is not enough if the other person is not listening at all.

The Science Of Listening

Listening is a mental process that focuses on the extraction of meaning from sound. Usually, it goes along with pattern recognition. It means there is a pattern of distinguishing signals from noise. From that specific function, an individual will be able to travel his mental state into a place where thoughts form together and become an idea. Then there is the buildup of comprehension which will open the realm of emotional response. The whole process of listening will then allow a person to understand opinion, segregate information that is not needed, and make a better conclusion after the given expression.

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Communication Without Listening

Communication is not as effective as it seems when one person is not listening. Although the thought of two individuals talking with each other may represent a conversation, there is no guarantee that one person or the other fully commit to communication. Some signs may tell if someone is listening or not. Well, there are times it is visible, and there are times it is not. The point is when two individuals only focus on expressing themselves without the audacity to listen to the other, then that is not the right form of communication. It is merely a representation of individuals trying to impose their thoughts and ideas to each other without the consideration of listening to one other.

Why Need To Listen?

An individual can be great at expressing himself. However, when that individual doesn’t try to listen, his expressions become pointless. The words that come out from his mouth are merely a combination of scrambled letters that will not represent a thing. So why need to listen? Well, listening is crucial because it is where communication begins. It is where someone gets a response from picturing out ideas and expressions in their heads. It is not only on one particular side but on both angles for the matter. It is where a conversation becomes a place for knowledge and information. It is where the whole of communication becomes a window for emotional and mental growth.

If you think your listening skills are lacking, you can get professional advice from platforms like BetterHelp. Furthermore, they have social media extensions, including Instagram, which can provide you better access.

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Takeaway

Honestly, starting a conversation and believing it to be communication is something that a lot of people do. But what they do not understand is the importance of understanding what the other person is trying to say. Yes, someone can say everything they want and believe that the whole thing is all about expression. However, it seems pretty challenging to listen right through it. That is because everybody wants to express themselves without the consideration of letting others do the same. And that is a fact.

Why Communication Is Important For Leaders: Guide From A Therapist

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We all have that specific person who comes to mind whenever we think about great leaders. Whether it is a political figure, someone from your personal life, or a colleague, and regardless of who they are or where they stand in life, they all exhibit specific traits that set them apart from each other. It’s one thing to lead, but yet another to be a leader who knows how to communicate well. Here are some things to remember about being a leader who knows how to communicate effectively according to every therapist.

Get Personal

Some leaders don’t believe in getting personal with their colleagues. They tend to act highly and build a wall between them and their team members to maintain a specific power or impression that leaders are too high of a person. For you to be an effective communicator, you must stop issuing corporate communications. Stop sounding too bossy. Begin to have an organizational conversation because the more personal and engaging the conversation is, the more effective it will be for your subordinates.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This quote has been with many great leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt, John Maxwell, and many more. It is true that people, especially in workplaces, don’t care about how much you know or you much you have achieved. They are more conscious of how you genuinely care. “You have to get really clear with yourself first about what’s motivating you when you agree to do someone else a favor.” A reminder from Erika Martinez, PsyD

Getting personal with people does not necessarily mean you have to build friendship instantly, especially in the workplace. It is just one way of showing to your subordinates you care about what they feel, and your intentions are real. If leaders fail to develop meaningful relationships with their people, they will never know what is truly in their mind, which may lead to complications within their team.

Authenticity Counts

Authenticity is very hard to determine, but we immediately know it when we see and hear it. We can usually tell instantly when a person is authentic or not. According to some research, leaders who have genuine intentions tend to be more emphatic, trusted, and believable.

Empathic communicators display a level of authenticity and transparency, which is not present with leaders who choose to communicate using a well-crafted façade to appear tough. Being authentic is what helps turn anger to admiration, and hesitation to trust. You may seem to show a tough exterior, and you can be the strict type of boss, but if you are an authentic leader who knows how to get real with people, then there is not much of a problem.

According to Susan Tardanico, founder and CEO of the Authentic Leadership Alliance, “People want real. People respect real. “People follow real.”

Listen

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“Nothing ruins self-esteem like surrounding yourself with people who abuse or neglect you,” says therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW. To listen is something that seems like an easy thing to do. It is not. Communication is a two-way street, listening, and talking. It sounds pretty basic, but people forget we should need to be a good listener before we can communicate well. How are you able to say the things your audience wants or needs to hear if you don’t know how to listen?

A leader who knows how to listen well holds a precious gift. Imagine a subordinate talking to his or her leader about burnout. It is a concern every leader needs to address and be aware of because they don’t want any of their team members to feel tired and lost. What if during the conversation, the particular team member took notice his or her leader is not listening? They will lose confidence in whatever they are trying to say.

People only reveal juicy bits whenever they are in their comfort zone. So if you are the kind of leader who wants to know what goes down in their team, know how to listen well.

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Remember, anyone can take charge, but not everyone can listen genuinely. When communicating with others, most of the time, we focus on what we should say. However, effective communication is more about listening. Listening very carefully does not only mean we should understand the words or the information shared to us. Listening is also following the emotions the speaker is trying to convey.

“Bring the right people into your life.” Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D said. Effective leaders must motivate a team, and this would not be possible without a proper way of communication. They should communicate genuinely with good intentions, and their objectives must be clearly defined. They should also know when to stop and listen to their subordinate’s concerns.

A successful leader may have a natural talent, but he or she has to be able to convey all of this through positive and effective communication. Great leaders must be great communicators.