1. LISTEN ATTENTIVELY. Listening is probably the most important communication skill any of us can have. People don’t learn when they are talking about what they know or sharing their own opinions. They learn when they actively listen to what others have to say.


2. SET GOALS. If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there. That’s why it’s important to set a direction for yourself and stay on course. We all need to institute plans to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.


3. BE PERSISTENT. Never lose sight of your objectives and maintain your resolve to accomplish them. It is important to continually focus on routine and non-routine activities that will lead you along the path you have chosen.


4. EMPOWER OTHERS. Mentor those whose lives you touch. The most significant thing any of us can do is to help others on the personal journeys they have chosen. Words of encouragement and helpful advice provide the foundation for others to succeed.


5. OBSERVE NONVERBAL. You need to rely on all your senses to gather information. Most of the communication we do is not in the words we speak but in the inflection in our voices, the expressions on our faces, our gestures, the way we hold our bodies, the clothing we wear and a myriad of other cues that have nothing to do with spoken language.


6. REFINE COMMUNICATION. Make sure you are sending the message you want to be received. Communication is more than saying what is on your mind. It is saying it in a way that takes into consideration how the receiver of the message will interpret it.


7.GROW RELATIONSHIPS. Work with others to accomplish more than you can alone. Too many people today overlook the power of relationships. They operate under the premise that the lowest bid is king. Just watch. Over the long haul, the strongest relationships will out.


8. BUILD CHARACTER. Help yourself and others deal constructively with prosperity and adversity. Be a person who can look in the mirror and see the reflection of someone who is doing his or her best on all fronts. Never do things at the expense of others.


9. RECOGNIZE PERSPECTIVE. Demonstrate tolerance for the views of others. Show respect for opposing and complimentary viewpoints. Understand that others life experiences affect the way they view things. Take this into consideration when presenting issues.


10. FACILITATE COMPETITION. Competition is not simply a rivalry, which results in one side winning. It is a spirit that challenges everyone to excel. This ultimately leads to progress.


11. CULTIVATE HUMILITY. Be self-effacing in your interactions with others. Recognize that s uccess most often comes as a result of learning from and depending on others. People will notice what you accomplish. It is unbecoming to constantly tell others how good you are and sheds doubt on your ability.


12. ACKNOWLEDGE OTHERS. Provide sincere compliments when they are deserved. Give constructive criticism only when it is asked for and when doing so, try to be as diplomatic as possible.


13. SEEK UNDERSTANDING. Explore all possible meanings instead of jumping to conclusions. It is fine to expect others to respond to something the same way you would if you accept the fact that that will not always happen. People respond based on their own life experiences. These experiences may be quite different than yours.


14. SHAPE LANGUAGE. Take great care in articulating your thoughts. Choose words carefully and remember that it is often not what you say but how you say it that determines meaning.


15. PROCESS INFORMATION. Try to understand the perspective from which another has addressed you. If you filter everything though your own personal biases and experience, the messages you receive will be flawed. It is important to try to put yourself in the shoes of the sender in order to decipher the intended meaning.

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