We all want to be happy. Yet, many people in most countries are not happy. A survey of happiness quotient revealed people in these countries are leading stressful life. It is a worthy exercise, therefore, to examine where hides the problem. Which are the gateways of gloom in our lives? I have identified 7 major common causes, which I like to share. Besides, there could be personal reasons but often these common causes pose a major hurdle to happiness. These, 7, are:
Gate to Hell, number One- Inability to define the significance of life:
It’s necessary to understand one. We have to be self-aware. We must have some goals which we should try to achieve. Understanding one’s duty is critical. Besides, it’s good to have one’s own dream. Unless there is a dream, there won’t be any effort to achieve it. The life’s significance lies in consistently reviewing these aspects. Once we do it, we find that life full of meaning and significance.
2. Gate to Hell number Two- Not performing your duty to maintain good health:
In the competitive world of today, maintaining good health is not easy. Often there is imbalance between work and family life. In turn, it leads to an unwarranted stress. You start worrying. Unhealthy metal stability leads to poor physical health. There could be many other causes like improper food, lack of exercise, eating too much, or too little, inadequate sleep etc. The importance of maintaining good health by making necessary corrections in our habits should not be undermined.
3. Gate to Hell number Three – Not realising that life can be lived with positive attitude
Clinging to the past failures or even happy moments lead to developing a negative attitude. At the same time worrying about the future, instead of planning and acting, contributes to further enhance this malady. Due to small difficulties or challenges, one starts feeling that he/she is not efficient, adding further to the negative attitude. Without doubt, negative attitude of anyone becomes the biggest gateway to gloom.
4. Gate to Hell number Four – Not understanding that taking calculated risk is necessary for success:
If you don’t take even a calculated risk your success is hampered. As they say: no risk, no gains. This attitude also leads to cowardice. There is nothing to look forward to and life becomes mundane and dull. If you want to be happy, you have to be nimble and vibrant. Don’t hesitate to take calculated risks. Complacency should have no place in life.
5. Gate to Hell number Five – Ignoring the simple principle that comparison is Odious:
Many a time one starts comparing one with others. Initially it may lead to envy. But later it becomes jealousy. Other negative emotions like suspicion and losing faith in God and Justice, reckoning oneself as a victim also creep in. Collectively, these become a cause of constant discontentment which in turn leads to unhappiness. It is necessary to keep these negative emotions out of one’s bound.
6. Gate to Hell number Six – Not understanding that patience is prime requirement to live in Peace:
A man in a hurry (for that matter a woman) invariably feels that they are left behind. Impatience also leads to poor/bad decisions. The results become are annoying. Often times because of impatience we lose opportunities. Realization of the lost opportunity adds to the personal agony. Impatience is more of a habit which is difficult to change, but with consistent efforts, it can be changed. And it should be.
Gate to Hell number Seven – Not realising that self-esteem should be kept of foremost importance:
If you don’t love yourself, nobody else will. It’s necessary to consider one as a worthy person capable of putting in desired efforts and bringing about good results. Self-esteem is necessary to generate initiative. This can only bring in creativity. This can only enable you to produce innovation- innovative product or service etc.
As said earlier there could be many other reasons for one’s unhappiness. I have detailed above as per my knowledge and experience. Life is a journey. The journey has to be enjoyed. If you feel that after reaching a destination you will be happy, you are following a mirage. It will never happen.
“It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past”- Carl von Clausewitz”
The fear of facing a lot of consequences can lead to hesitation and uneasiness. When you are expecting something, nervousness and anxiety can occur due to over analyzing of the situations. This way, it can make you go into depression, get angry, develop an eating disorder and whatnot. Over thinking a situation is bad for the mind and health alike.
Here are a few pointers to keep hesitation and uneasiness at bay:
Tip number One: Learn to relax
It may sound clichéd, but relaxation has its own value. You can keep your mind extremely busy so that the current uncertainty of events does not bother you. Having a hobby, reading a book, taking brisk evening walks, exercising, or watching TV can help you relax in a positive way. Being nervous about something will not lead to anything positive, so it will be better if you make use of the free time that you have until you get busy.
Tip number Two: Ask yourself a few questions
One of them is, ‘What is the worst that can happen?’ By analyzing the consequences of the situation, it can help you relax and quit being nervous altogether. You can even ask yourself, ‘why am I over thinking this?’ Once you ask such a question, you will realize that it will lead to nothing but sadness and depression. So, quit being hesitant and challenge you own mind for the better.
Tip number Three: Create a schedule and stick to it
Hesitation and uneasiness occurs due to not making any actual contributions when there was time. Hence, being nervous at the last moment will only make you erratic and dysfunctional. By sticking to a schedule, you can avoid the last minute jitters and overcome uneasiness.
Tip number Four: Check to find out is it fear or just discomfort
When you ask yourself whether it is fear of the consequences or just that you are uncomfortable about the situation that is happening will help you analyze your behavior pattern. Do you get nervous very easily? Or is this something you face rarely? Hence, this will make your mind clearer about the ideas in your head. This way, you will be able to build your thoughts rationally and avoid becoming anxious or stressed over the issue.
Tip number Five: You are a winner wether it’s a success or a learning (failure teaches you more than anyone else)
Humans are bound to fear from failures, but in real life scenarios, a term called failure does not exist. It is either success or learning, nothing besides that. So, if the term failure is out of your dictionary, the feeling of fear will not come into your mind. Start a project with a clear prospect of learning, then 99 out of 100 chances you will experience a success as the end result. Remember a wise man said, “I have not failed 100 times, I discovered 100 ways which cannot take me to the goal.” The motive of this statement is clear that in case you are not able to achieve success, at the least you will know that there are a few alterations needed in the way you followed to fulfil a particular goal.
Tip number Six: Keep plan B ready
Remember, you will never hesitate if you have a backup plan in place. An example for this can be taken from our school period. When we are used to attending the school parents’ meeting, then most of us are hesitant to meet the subject teacher which we never studied, though we knew our parents must have a backup plan for us so that we can excel in that subject. That is why we took them to the subject teacher to discover our mistake and help us with a solution. In a similar way, there should always be a Plan B ready, whenever you sense failure can be an outcome, so that in case you fail, you can go ahead with the plan B.Tip number Seven: Be patient & ready to Persevere
Goals are never achieved overnight, they are always achieved with a particular plan. An unplanned lead has more of a chance of failure, then a well-planned and organized way of doing something. The biggest advantage of planning is that it gives you an idea of the time, money and other aspects related to the goal, hence the uneasiness is eradicated completely.
Even if –at any given time–your choices of action are limited, your choices regarding your attitude are not. Always choose a positive attitude.
A positive attitude makes you happier and more resilient, it improves your relationships, and it even increases your chances of success in any endeavor. In addition, having a positive attitude makes you more creative and it can help you to make better decisions. To top it all off, there are studies that show that people with a positive attitude live longer than their sourpuss counterparts.
There are people who seem perpetually perky and whose good nature appears as innate as their eye color. But attitude is not a fixed state. Whether you are 15 years old or 50, your outlook toward life is always under construction. It’s never too late to change it. If your attitude is deflating you, here’s how to pump it up.
What if there was a way you could easily expand your mind and see greater possibilities in life? What if you could develop better skills naturally?
When people think of having a positive attitude, they probably think it’s little more than plastering a smile on their face and trying to think happy thoughts.
But it’s more than that.
A positive attitude is something that goes deeper and has an effect beyond surface cheer. Negative attitudes promote fear, and a narrowing of focus and the mind, while positive attitudes do the opposite. No one should live in a constant state of “fight or flight”, but negative attitudes create exactly that scenario.
Studies have also shown that having a true positive attitude makes your view of life seem broad, full of possibilities. That view leads to actually living your life in a way that makes it natural to be exposed to and acquire new skills.
1. Evaluate your current attitude.
This is the hardest step in the process. You need to detach from yourself and take a hard look at how you respond to situations.
Identify your problem feelings. What attitudes make you feel most negative about yourself?
Identify your problem behaviors. What actions create conflict between you and others?
Identify your problem thinking. What thoughts cloud or control your mind?
2. Write a statement of your purpose.
If your biggest flaw is impatience with others, for example, vow to take a deep breath, listen to them more carefully and develop empathy—an ability to see situations through other people’s eyes. If your downfall is complaining, learn to smile, speak positive words, or if all else fails, silence yourself entirely.
3. Change these words that you use often
If you were trying to motivate other people, you’d pump them up, wouldn’t you? You’d offer words of support, encouragement and inspiration.
Do you do the same for yourself? So many people I’ve met—people with tremendous potential—shortchange themselves with a self-defeating internal voice. I can’t. I doubt. I don’t think. I don’t have the time. I’m afraid. I don’t believe.
This self-doubt darkens our attitudes, limits our success and casts a shadow over our lives. The fix is easy: Change the language. I can. I expect the best. I know. I’ll make the time. I am confident. I believe.
4. Modify your thought patterns.
Our feelings come from our thoughts. We can change them by changing our thought patterns.
It’s our thoughts, not our circumstances, that determine our happiness. Often, people are convinced they will be happy when they attain a certain goal. When they do, they are surprised and disappointed to discover that they don’t feel fulfilled. What they don’t realize is the act of filling one’s mind with good thoughts every day, regardless of what’s going on in their lives, will bring more overall satisfaction than the one-time high of a job well done.
5. Develop productive habits.
An attitude is nothing more than a habit of thought. Habits aren’t instincts; they’re acquired actions. They don’t just happen; they are caused. Many people allow their habits to control them. That’s good if the habits enhance our quality of life. If not, well, life becomes cloudy indeed. You can change your habits. Here’s how:
List your bad habits.
Determine the root cause(s) behind them.
Determine a positive habit to replace a bad one.
Take action to develop that.
Act upon this new habit daily.
Reward yourself by noting one of the benefits of this new habit.
I see habit change as a process, so don’t dismay if you don’t see results overnight. The early stages will be the hardest. Those bad habits want to remain in control. In the middle stages, you’re on the proverbial fence, deciding whether to step fully onto the other side or tumble back into your old ways. In the late stage, you’ve successfully corrected a flaw and are enjoying the attitudinal shift that comes with it. But beware: Complacency is the enemy. Just ask anyone who has lost weight only to gain it back.
Back to that Gatorade commercial, where tennis great Serena Williams looks dead-on at the camera, steely-eyed. Her secret to victory was being “on the wrong side in the biggest upset of your sport,” a reference to her stunning fall in the 2015 U.S. Open to Roberta Vinci, an unseeded player from Italy.
Two years later, she became the only tennis player, man or woman, to win 23 singles Grand Slam titles in the Open era.
“I’ve had to learn to fight all my life—got to learn to keep smiling,” she says. “If you smile, things will work out.”
a) As a first step, it is necessary to know yourself. How do we do that? Identify your strengths and know your weaknesses clearly. It’s better to prepare a document giving details, why you say, what you say. This will give you a reasonable understanding of your personality as for now. P People usually say that self awareness is the key to success in life. That means all know the fact, but we do not follow it. This is due to lack of understanding of Self Awareness.
b) Before knowing anything else, you need to know yourself first. You need to know your weaknesses, strengths, beliefs and desires in life. Keeping in touch with your emotions means, you have to be self-aware.
c) Being self-aware and understanding how you are perceived by others are important components of personal growth and developing your potential. Some might ask, what is the importance of self-awareness? Well, self-awareness will help you improve yourself, establish your own identity and will help you have a harmonious relationship.
d) The most important characteristic of a leader is self-awareness, the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and reactions. Learning how to be aware of yourself might not be easy, but if you can master this skill, it will help you become a much more effective leader. Many of us are not fond of spending much time on self-reflection. And even though personal feedback is presented, people are not always open to it because honest feedback isn’t always flattering. Thus, many people indeed have low level of self-awareness.
e) However, self-awareness can help you identify opportunities for professional development and personal growth. If you want to improve your self-awareness and develop your potential, I listed down 12 tips that might help you.
1.How strengths are helping you and how weaknesses are pulling you back? Knowing your strengths and coping with your weaknesses, will help you improve self-awareness. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses that compose of who we are and this will help you shape how to reach your goals. Your weaknesses hold you back from achieving many great things while your strengths are something that comes very easily for you to take. You should take ownership in assessing yourself because it is for your own personal development. We should know to we are using our strengths. For example, we may have Intelligence and Knowledge to find out solution to the challenge we are facing, but if we apply our mind, if we do not spend time required to contemplate on the challenge; we are only wasting our potential. According to me, the strengths need to be fully utilized. Then you should try your best to enhance your strengths. If you follow these simple steps these then success of being self aware is not far away.
Similarly you check out problems which are caused by your weaknesses. I will ask you some some questions; Have you suffered due to weaknesses in the past or not? If you have suffered then what did you do to tackle the problem? If you did not tackle the problem then why did you not do it? The moment you start asking these questions you are bound to realize what big mistake you are making and how important Self Awareness is for humans. Asking these questions day in and day out will surely compel you to practice Self Awareness
2.Feedback is a free aid which should not be wasted
Feedback is necessary for the development as everyone do not know there weaknesses. People usually feel shy to accept there weaknesses. It is there misconceptions. I feel that taking feedback from people is not at all wrong .the people who give you genuine criticism are actualy your friends and there opinion must be respected.
This might not be easy, especially if you are close minded and defensive to people who give critiques to you. Remember that without correction, your weaknesses would limit how far you could take yourself. Asking feedback can be as hurtful as it can be empowering. Although no one enjoys it, but we should try to view criticism as a useful feedback to improve ourselves. It will help you learn more about the traits that you need to develop, personally and professionally.
3.Develop intuitive decision making skills
Decision making is generally difficult. It even more difficult for people who are not self aware. If we continue to take decisions without over – pondering, we will develop intuitive skills, which is also known as deciding by the gut feeling.
Intuition plays a significant role in developing your self-awareness. This can be the source of significant errors in the course of decision making. Your intuition will help you navigate faster yet, this can also be misled if too many of your facts are wrong. Moreover, this will help you even more, this is an effective way to feed your subconscious mind.
4. Identify what makes you emotionally weak.
Self awareness teaches many things regarding your emotional self. Identifying what exactly emotionally triggers you can be challenging but getting to know and understanding it, can help you improve yourself. The key to cope with it, is to catch yourself reacting when your emotions are triggered. As long as you noticed that you are emotionally reacting, you just have to shift your emotional state in order to think through it.
5. It’s necessary to understand your boundaries
Everyone has some limitations. It is true for physical work. It is also true for your mental efforts. Keeping your boundaries firmly will help you maintain the integrity of your goals and the work you put in it. Setting your boundaries and sustaining it, is a skill. However, it is a skill that many people don’t learn. Recognizing it means knowing and understanding your limits. Also, it takes courage and support but is a skill you can master that will help you develop yourself.
6. Discipline has no equal so far your life is concerned
The importance of discipline can never be exaggerated.In every area of your life, you need to practice self-discipline. It is a trait that provides you with the enduring focus necessary for you. If you want to control your desires and impulses to stay focused on what you think needs to get done to successfully achieve that goal, you need to practice self-discipline. This will also help you develop your potential and improve yourself awareness, since self-discipline help you form habits to attain your goals in life.
7. Prejudice has no place in life.
One of the most difficult things to practice is to keep an open mind. Understanding someone’s point of view even if you disagree can change and free your mind. Change the way you think and don’t get stuck in a mindset that makes you frustrated or helpless. This is one of the best tools in order to simplify life. Try to comprehend every situation on your path and it will help you improve your self-awareness and develop own potential.
8. stretch yourself to explore new ideas
Exploring new things will teach you a thing about yourself. This is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying to do something you’ve never done before. Unfamiliar things will help you respond in different ways that you never thought is possible. Travelling alone is also another way to discover things about yourself.
9. Enthusiasm is the food for motivation
Whatever has to be done, is always your choice. Sometimes you might feel heavy as you rise and it is hard to get going. Keep in mind the importance of enthusiasm. Feeling less motivated too often is Motivating yourself and viewing life in a positive side will help you develop your potential and self awareness. In addition, awareness of your psychological needs can increase your motivation by helping you understand and seek out the reward that you desire.
10. contemplate and talk to yourself every morning.
Meditation is a practice of improving your moment-by-moment awareness. Meditation usually begins with appreciating of, focusing on, inhaling and exhaling. However, this doesn’t need to be formal or ritualistic. Just simply find a few seconds to focus on your breathing , often before sleep. Also, meditation can be helpful if you ask yourself set of questions like “what can I do to change?”, “what am I trying to achieve?”, or “How am I going to cope with my fears?”
Being self-aware and understanding how you are perceived by others are important components of personal growth and developing your potential. Some might ask, what is the importance of self-awareness? Well, self-awareness will help you improve yourself, establish your own identity and will help you have a harmonious relationship.
First, you must write down your goals in clear specific language. Then Start with not only visualizing but also seeing your goals as clearly as you have written down. For example, if your goal is to go to Italy and visit Venice, activate your imagination and see that you are in a boat in Venice. Likewise, if you want to buy a specific expensive car say BMW, you should imagine or see yourself riding the BMW. You have to figure out that the sense of believing that you have already achieved the goal is to start looking at it.
2. Be ready to face any obstacles.
Next, you need to understand the obstacles. If all things were very easy then nobody would need to create goals, write goals or work hard to achieve them. Things are not easy and they will never be easy. Once you see yourself achieving your specific goal, then you sit down and work out what are the kind of obstacles you might face. There will definitely be some obstacles, which you can visualize. And one more important thing to remember is that as you move forward towards achieving your goal, some unexpected obstacle will also come which you will have to conquer. It is only your determination, your decision and your perseverance that you will some way or the other help achieve the goal that you have already imagined.
3. How to conquer obstacles?
Create a mental picture that the obstacles are coming and you are conquering all the obstacles. Imagine that there is an athlete who is running an obstacle race, while he is running fast; he is also crossing the obstacles. Likewise, now that you know what kind of obstacles will come, you imagine crossing those obstacles, picture yourself conquering those obstacles and still carrying on with your mission.
4. Doubts damage your plans.
Many doubts can arise in your mind. It is normal. However, clear all the doubts, clear your mind of all doubts which often come, which are quite natural. You say to yourself, nothing doing, no such doubts will stop me from achieving my goal. I have a clear picture of achieving my goal, I am determined and I have created a mental picture of conquering my obstacles. Therefore, there is no doubt that I can do it. The goal itself is a challenge. And all the obstacles that you face while pursuing the goal, will also be kind of smaller challenges. Embrace the challenge. It is an opportunity which will definitely enhance your courage, which will give you more will power to pursue and to be successful. Stay on track. Keep up on the track following the same thing, which you have defined and seeing yourself achieving it. There should be no diversion. Staying on track will definitely make it easier for you to overcome the obstacles and reach your goal. Eventually show the world you can do it. As I say, SUCCESS stands for,
S See your goal
U Understand the obstacles
C Create positive mental pictures
C Clear your mind of self-doubts
E Embrace the challenges
S Stay on track
S Show the world you can do it.
When the goal is a big project, define it and write it down. Then have a very strong desire for it. That is the kind of motivation, which is necessary to follow the steps that I have already mentioned.
5. Schedule action slicing it down to the daily tasks.
Believe in yourself; that you can do it and then you will do it. If it is an arduous task and a big project, split it up. Split it into smaller goals and then give a time line to those smaller goals. You must review these every day. You have to review what you have done. You have to check if you have come up to your expectations or not. This step is extremely important. Schedule it, add a timeline to all smaller goals and then do it.
Recently, we had a very useful discussion regarding managing CHANGE in life. The subject was how to inculcate good habits and how to ward off, the bad ones. Each participant was advised to identify 10 good habits of their friends, colleagues or of family members which each wanted to imbibe in their own personality. At the same time they were also asked to identify 5 bad habits of their own which each wanted to give up. Besides, what efforts have been made so far to give up the bad habits were also to be explained? Since it was a Speech Training Session, the participants were supposed to detail clearly each point with examples. These examples could be chosen from their own lives or those of others known to them.
A heartwarming open and interesting discussion led to a number of conclusions. First of all it’s necessary to understand how habits work. A habit is a kind of repetitive behavior for which you don’t think. You don’t have to apply your mind to check up anything before you take action. Let’s examine with some examples. If you wake up at a particular time, you don’t need any alarm to remind you. Taking bath and getting ready is also done as a matter of habit. If you were to check the time you take for getting ready everyday it will be more or less the same. Taking your breakfast fast is also a habit which need consistent efforts to bring about the desired change.
Does it mean that we cannot change our habit/habits which we want to change? No, it doesn’t. We certainly can with required will and efforts. However some habits can be changed by once own efforts, where as some others require professional help. But in both the situations one needs to adopt a systematic approach. First of all we must state clearly what new habit we want to adopt.
It’s always better to write in your journal in clear terms. For example, if you have wanted to go for a morning walk but habitually you get up late, you can change this habit. After writing in your journal about your decision to start doing for a morning walk regularly you must fix up the date for starting. The first few days you may have to use the alarm which will wake you up at a particular time. It’s necessary not to laze around after the alarm. Just get ready and go for a walk. It is said that it is normally take 21 days to form a habit.
Now I give another example. If you suffer from stage fright and you cannot speak to a group by standing up, you need a professional help. You also require a firm determination that you will overcome the stage fright because it is impeding your progress. Further, you must carefully select the professional. It is like going to the right doctor for getting the ailment eliminated. With appropriate efforts and continuous practice one can definitely overcome the bane of stage fright. In today’s environment, it is necessary. In colleges you have to give presentations, and wherever you work, once you are in a senior position, you need to give presentations to your bosses.
Even if you are an entrepreneur and doing your own business, you need to motivate your staff and for this also you need great confidence. Besides, you must not have any fear of facing the people. But remember always speak to express and never to impress others.Don’t ever fake, your true self is the best you, your true personality which people will appreciate.
What is communication? How can we define it? First of all let’s understand it’s origin and it’s meaning. Communication is derived from the Latin word “communis” meaning to share something or hold in common. Communication can be defined in following ways:
Communication is the process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, speech, signals, writing or behavior.
First, let’s try to answer the most pertinent management question. What is important in motivating people, forming a successful team, getting all your work done? Answer is simple. Successful communication skills! It demands efforts, it needs motivation. Motivational speaker, Tony Robin stated that for effective communication we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive. So we must respect each other’s perspective, then only we would lead to a successful communication.
Arguing is not communication. It is noise. But responding without understanding is also not communication. We all have our own choice to say yes or no. That choice is the medium of communication. If you express that answer politely then only you can have an effective communication. “You should know how to present your point in front of others. There should be no chance of confusion with you.”
Winston Churchill said “it is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip”. If you qualify telling even rude words in such a way that they turn to as good words for the listener than you are the master of communication. This is how communication impacts the world.
In today’s fast going world one needs to understand the importance of connecting with others and the ways to do so. Most of us take the meaning of word communication as verbal conversation. Does it mean only verbal communication? No, it’s half the statement.
Communication can be verbal, nonverbal or the body language. It simply states that in today’s world what is said is important but what is not said is equally important, Even the hidden objective is taken into consideration. Communication skills are of more importance than anything else, as it holds the personality of a person.
As the old saying goes “there is a large difference in the word ‘having something to say and having to say something’.” They look similar but meaning of both is different.
Content, being the king in communication, plays a major role in changing the whole personality. Here again who takes the hold of audience or the listeners? More patient the audience more is your benefit. But understanding audience is critical. They can understand even what you have not spoken. You might be thinking what is the difference? Difference is as clear as the crystal which needs lot of practice.
The one who understands what you have not spoken is living in the present. He is there with his mind and soul in what you are doing. Your communication skills including verbal, nonverbal and your body language play a vital role here. So if the listener is impressed by your communication skills then only he will be active in the process and further interaction or communication is possible.
It’s not one way process. It is open and two way path. It can be either the speaker affects the listeners by asking questions, seeing to his body language or understanding him/her, can be the other way round also. Again a question arises on the lifestyle which you are living. Are you satisfied with it? Is your concentration level upto the mark to meet the present day requirement? Or you are still in some dreams while a lecture or another topic has started?
Today’s requirement demands near 100% accuracy and concentration for a wonderful and beneficial communication. The famous Management Consultant, Peter Drucker has stated that most important thing in communication does, understand what is not said. Observing this way, you can understand the full concept of what is being spoken. Hence communication is not defined by its effectiveness but the response of effectiveness. Audience plays a major role no matter it is one or many. Until and unless communication serves the purpose of the listeners, it is of no use.
A well said quote will completely set your minds to it. “Communication is dream more – compare less, listen more – talk less, love more – argue less, hope more – fear less, relax more – worry less, believe more – complain less, play more – work less.”
These quotes can be taken as the steps to a successful communication. Author of the book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey has well said that often people have character strength but they lack communication skills. And that affects the quality of relationships. Generation gap is the best example to support the above statement.
Communication must not be complicated. It may not use very extensive vocabulary, it may be as simple but as clear as possible. If ideas are not drawn into action, they just turn to be simple paper work. Only with the help of communication skills ideas can turn the dreams to a reality.
Whenever you’re preparing a speech, it is necessary to know your audience thoroughly. After all, you deliver the speech to help your audience in one way or the other. It could be a speech to inform. It could be a speech to convince or influence your listeners. It could also be to entertain the audience. You cannot succeed unless you study the audience beforehand. We have chosen six most important parameters which will enable you to know your audience well enough. These are as follows:
How many people will attend?
You need to know approximately how many people you’re going to address. A speech which is meant to be delivered to a small group of 10 people may not be valid, for example, for 40 people. When the no. is small, you have to be personal. This is not possible or feasible if you are speaking to a large crowd. Even the language you may use will have to be different for different groups.
What is the gender composition of your audience?
It’s also necessary to know the gender composition of the audience. Treatment of your speech should be different for a group of male or female or both mixed males and females. Your message should crafted according the majority of the people you are going to address. The way you handle ladies only group may not be suitable if you’re addressing an all male crowd. Women and men react differently to various topics at most of the time.
What is the purpose of the speech? Why you have been invited to speak?
The general attitude of your listeners should be known to you. This is particularly so when your objective of speech is to convince or persuade. Application of mind on the issue will provide you sufficient information about the reaction of audience. For example if you are addressing an uninformed group, you will have to be more detailed and rather basic in expression. Further, if you expect your audience to be more apathetic or against the subject, you will have to modify your speech accordingly. Such knowledge beforehand will also help you to determine the language and the method of delivery of your speech.
What is the age group of the audience?
It’s equally necessary to know to which age group your audience belongs. Younger people will react in a certain way to a topic. It may be totally different from the response of elderly audience. If the crowd does not represent a particular age group and has both young and old, you have to write your speech accordingly.
What is the educational qualifications in general of your audience?
It may also be required to know the formal education of your audience, generally speaking. When the audience is highly educated, they will look for a trainer to speak in their language. Undoubtedly, this will be quite different from the language you will use to address a group of people who may be doing well in life but whose qualifications are much lower. The objective of the speech will not be served if the listeners don’t understand the implications of the message involved.
Is the audience composed of a specialised group? What is your qualification to address such specific group?
Whenever you are speaking to a group of people who specialize in one subject or the other you have to be sure of many things. Superficial knowledge of the subject will not work. Your definition of the topic should connect with the level of the specialized knowledge that this group may process. More of professional jargon may be expected from you, lest you appear to them too elementary. The language of the specialized group is best used as their own. All the parameters detailed above will come in handy for formulating an approach which would be most suitable for the audience you are going address.
1. Appreciation of others is a part of human relationship. It’s therefore necessary to understand and discuss about the art of appreciation. That will help to develop the art of appreciating others. You might ask- Art of Appreciation! Where is the need?
To this I say, the need was never as important as it is today. The need to build good relations with people who are concerned, who are connected with you, is critical. In the very competitive world, your progress, even your survival needs help of others. The art of appreciation is the sharpest tool that will be very handy in building good relations. So better acquire this art sooner than later.
2. Next question that might confuse you is: what to appreciate? Well, any accomplishment, a victory, big or small, completion of an important project, qualifying an exam are- all occasions where you require to appreciation. More than that, if you have received any help that deserves appreciation. It deserves recognition and saying ‘thank you’. Thank you is also an appreciation. The person concerned will be happy. And, of course, happiness given always returns often manifold. 3. When to appreciate? As soon as you get the good news, the sooner the better. The achiever will admire your speed. Be the first one. If you get the news late don’t think “now it’s too late’. Remember better late than never! Your reward will be warmer reciprocation. More importantly, you come closer, make a greater stronger bond. 4. Where to appreciate? Anywhere you meet your friend first time after the achievement. If it is your colleagues, you may do it in the office. If you want bigger celebration say it, and do it! Share the joy. 5. How to appreciate? Well, there is the rub. Say it with most appropriate words. Never overdo it. And you need not underplay. Identify the achievement; recognize the effort that would have gone in it. And talk about it. And when you get help, it’s your greater duty to thank the person. Say thank you, warmly. Send ‘Thanks’ message. When occasion deserves, Extend an invite. Achievements may also be congratulated with flowers. Keep on fine tuning your art as the fine notes of music, and keep on enjoying the results. Thanks