Empathy is the ability to feel and relate to another being. It's natural to experience this towards our friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers. When we empathize with someone, our good intentions often get lost in translation when we communicate.
Oftentimes, when we try to comfort the other person, we are quick to give unsolicited advice and offer solutions to try and fix their problems when what they really need is someone who will listen with no judgments or commentary.
To build a habit of daily writing, try to get three pages of writing done every day. It can be about anything and it’s important that you write all without editing or censoring.
Daily writing can be used to clear your mind, think out loud and troubleshoot problems, thoughts and anxieties. But before you start, figure out why you personally want to write more often as this will help push you forward when things are tough.
Come up with trackable goals like a number of words or pages per day. The specificity is important because being able to measure it allows you to keep track of your progress and better change your behavior.
Keeping track of streaks is a very powerful tactic for developing any new habit. Knowing that you have consistently succeeded for a number of days helps you push through the days who are unmotivated.
Other ways to foster regularity: writing in a different style or genre, and doing your writing first thing in the morning.
If you have a friend who’s also a writer you can challenge each other to write in different styles and with writing prompts. He can also help you as an accountability partner.
Keep a notebook of writing prompts in case you run out of ideas or want to leave something for later.
It will take you forever to write 750 words if you worry about format and editing while doing the creative stuff too. Most people recommend separating the two actions.
Get comfortable with having tons of typos and your writing being mostly nonsense. You have the option to edit it later.
... for establishing what and how you will write:
Think about how people read. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip - the long paragraphs that have more to do with what you want to say than what the reader needs to hear. Always keep your reader in mind.
And if you can’t write an email that’s less than half a page long, then email isn’t the best way to communicate this information.
If your reader has to use Google or a dictionary to decipher what you’re trying to say, they’re going to feel annoyed.
Avoid jargon - it makes you sound pretentious, and it can further alienate your reader. Instead, write the way you talk. Keep it natural and direct.
They are direct, bold and more interesting than passive ones. In an active sentence, the subject performs the action of the verb. In a passive sentence, the subject is letting the action happen to them.
Example: The golfer hit the ball Vs. The ball was hit by the golfer. The first sentence is written in the active voice. The second sentence is passive.
Be authentic and to let your voice shine through in your writing, but also keep it professional. A good way to check the appropriateness of your content is to ask: “Would I be comfortable with this if it was on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow morning?” If this makes you cringe, do some editing.
Don’t leave it up to your reader to figure out what you want them to do with this information. Spell it out, and be specific. For example:
Pro Tip: If you need immediate action on something, talk to the recipient in person.
Use your email subject line appropriately. It is the headline for your email. And a headline’s job is to make sure the body gets read. For this, it needs to be short, direct, powerful, and specific.
Example: “Will you be attending this Monday’s 2 pm meeting? EOM.”
Focusing on one topic per email gives your reader time to process what you’re saying and respond directly. It also helps them organize their emails more efficiently and find archived emails faster.
Never use email to deliver bad news.
If you need to lay off someone on your team, or provide feedback, do it in person. It’s easy for misunderstandings to occur through email. In person, you can communicate with compassion and empathy, and you can use your body language and vocal tone to further convey your sincerity and intentions.
Once you’re finished writing, proofread it immediately. If possible, put it away and read it again a few hours (or a few days) later. Giving yourself some distance from the writing will help you spot mistakes you might have missed on the first read-through.
While trying to get hired, moving up the organization, or impressing clients, first impressions really become the last ones. However, many people who apparently make a great first impression on a date, meeting or party complain about being ‘ghosted’.
The devil is in the details here, as there are many small cues, the little things that create a lasting impression or make the other person create a negative impression of someone.
First impressions are now increasingly the Google/Facebook/Instagram search results. Our Linkedin profile, for instance, is a place hundreds of would-be recruiters make snap judgements, even before meeting us.
Their own preset notions and expectations cloud their decision, and our online profiles become the place where we have to be extremely careful.
A mundane, I’m Fine, Thank you! Isn’t going to be a great thing to say on a date, as it sounds superficial, artificial and robotic. A deep, interesting person will add something natural and creative to any conversation.
One can also start with a deeper question to form a real connection, like instead of asking the standard “How are you?”, one can say, “How are you, really?”
Typical, standard interactions put anyone to sleep. It is good to be a ‘purple cow’, and stand out from the crowd. Even while being interviewed virtually, you can say something polite that stands out from the rest of the crowd saying the same old things.
While talking to colleagues, insert a fun joke in meeting invites, or have a little contest with a small prize. Just don’t be boring!
Most of us know that we should not frown or keep our arms crossed on a first date (or pick our nose, for that matter), but there are other things that help in non-verbal communication on a Zoom call:
There are two ways you can write down your speech:
When you've written it down it's going to take more than several times to figure out what you're trying to say and this is the sculpting process where you edit, add, or delete parts of your speech to make it sound better.
Now that you've written your speech down and practiced it more than a hundred times, you're about to go on stage to perform.
Remember the chunks you've written down and place your attention mostly on the things you want to say, because the how of the delivery will simple come out however you've practiced it most
Is used to simplify discussions between many parties and is designed to allow every party to voice its opinion, but still arrive at a consensus quickly.
Instead of repeating stated positions, each party is encouraged to speak personally and state their “red lines,” which are thresholds that they don’t want to cross. But while telling others their hard limits, they are also asked to provide solutions to find a common ground
Research shows that even the best listeners of the world, professional listeners like teachers, therapists, counsellors, coaches, listen only for about 11 seconds at a time.
Humans expect and even crave for people who will not interrupt them, and listen to them attentively when they speak, no matter how long they speak. Humans long for undivided attention from the other person, but it is hard to find anyone who will not interrupt a person speaking, or will be a gentle, active and patient listener.
Interruption is a destructive and violent act, and no matter what value the interrupter thinks that may be added by the very act of hedging one’s words in between, the speaker who is interrupted will never heal from the diminishing of his or her thoughts.
Constant interruption creates polarization among individuals and even inside us, and not interrupting may be the very glue that can keep society together.
Interrupting humans were already doing a great job, but now the act is multifold, with the digital devices turning people into loud zombies who sometimes are impossible to talk to.
As if to add salt to a wound, we have, for the past decade or so, the ultimate distraction and interruption device in our pockets, keeping us soaked in junk info, and making our minds relentlessly numb.
The root cause of Polarization is interruption, and this has to be cut down by a full determination to understand each other and promise to:
If we are able to follow this, we can change the world.
Like in a computer hard disk, information that is retained for long periods of time is in our long-term memory and is not easy to recall reflexively, as it is outside our conscious awareness.
Our short-term memory (also called working memory or active memory) is smaller in size and recalls information in an instant.
Introverts seem to favour long-term memory over short-term memory.
Due to the way their brains are wired, introverts make great writers, able to express themselves in a more comfortable and relaxed manner, as they take their own time to build a great story or narrative.
Many introverts prefer text messages or email over phone calls, and are great at journaling and blogging.
Stress, anxiety and any sort of pressure to divulge, recall or remember certain information can be a mental lock, interfering with memory.
When your mind goes blank, one can try the following: