Category Archives: communication skills

3E: Be a great communicator

You can do anything, and be anything if someone helps you!

Being a great communicator is directly related to the concept of “Need,” and what we call the “Needs Hierarchy.” If we feel the need to succeed, it will drive us to succeed. Furthermore, psychologists have proven that human beings are motivated by need.

Need has the effect of causing Tension or stress. For example, if you are hungry, you need food. Hunger leads to Action, an effort to get food. If the appropriate action is taken and you eat, it leads to Relief from the stress/hunger. Therefore, it is important to remember that if someone does not need to know the information, or they are distracted by their own needs, they will not listen. Should you call a meeting with people who do not need the information that you are presenting? Typically no. In most cases, you are wasting their time.

In addition, it is important to remember the following basic facts about being a good communicator:

  • Short, concise, and repeat yourself. People in the 21st century are distracted, 95 percent of the time their pockets, briefcases, backpacks, or purses are buzzing.
  • Because people are distracted, they only hear 1 out of 4 words spoken to them. In other words, people only hear 25% of what is said to them. Therefore if you want them to listen to you, be precise, and repeat yourself.
  • People will not accurately remember 75 percent of what they hear within three weeks. Most people place everything into their short-term memory. Have you ever stood listening to someone, and then you cannot hear a word that they said? You are not the only one.
  • Communication problems account for as much as 80 percent of work, and personal problems. Have you ever had an argument with someone, and then afterwards say, “Ohhh, that is what you meant?” Again, you are not the only one.
  • Everyone comes with what can be called a “Baggage Box.” Every person has an ego, biases, prejudices, and preconceived notions. That is baggage. Baggage can, and will, impact the way they hear things, or perceive an event.

When you are in a job interview, everyone will ask about your communications skills. By studying this list, and the information in the Plan for Your Success workbook, you can become a great communicator.

COMPLETE p. 66 of the workbook, then proceed to p. 67: Create a 21st century cover letter and resume

copyright 2015, 2016, 2017

CONCLUSION: Break the cycle of failure

You can do anything, and be anything if someone helps you!

Failure. Failure is something that we have all experienced. Many of my failures came from a lack of knowledge. There are so many things that I wish I had known when I was 18. However, I did not have that luxury. Over the years I have met thousands of students who were in the same boat as me, and no one should have to suffer.

First, find a mentor. Having a someone who knows the ropes can save you a lot of time, and stress. Second, if a person is not getting enough sleep, their brains are suffering, and it makes it more difficult to succeed. Modern research has concluded that lack of sleep can cause between a 20-50% decrease in brain function. Many of my students admitted that they do not get enough sleep. However, in addition to not getting enough sleep, several of my students admitted to having failed at school, or a relationship, due to a mental health, or substance abuse issue.

Third, Most Americans do not realize it, but mental and emotional health issues permeate American culture and society. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one out of four adults is suffering from a diagnosed mental disorder in a given year. As a result, more and more Americans are taking antidepressants. According to the Harvard Medical School, one in ten Americans above the age of 12 is taking antidepressants, and among women in their 40-50’s the number skyrockets to one in four: More Americans on antidepressants.

According to Dr. Ramin Mojtabai who was quoted in the New York Times in August 2013, it is not serious medical issues, or traumatic events that are the source of the problem. Instead, it is the “Feelings of sadness, the stresses of daily life and relationship problems.” The daily stress of life are the primary reason that Americans are asking their doctors for antidepressants: Everyday problems cause depression. In addition to antidepressants, many Americans “self-medicate” by abusing alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs.

Many people falsely believe that they have the right to “get high,” or drunk at home, in their private time, and then come to work “straight” the following day. But that is not the case. For example, if you get arrested for a DUI, drinking under the influence, and it gets into the public paper, you might get fired. Why? Because as stated in Step 5, you an an “Employee at will,” and if your boss does not like what you did, you can get fired for it. That is not fair, but that is reality.

One of my students asked, “What if I go to Colorado, or Amsterdam, and get high legally and then come back to the USA and get tested at work? I did not break the law, am I protected?” The answer is, “no,” the courts do not protect those who abuse alcohol, drugs, even if they are legal prescription drugs, in their private time. Because substance abuse often leads to crime, businesses have a number of rights. For example, employers have the right to search employee “packages, files, desks and cars in order to prevent theft and control operations.” It is also important to note that more and more employers, and potential employers are also checking credit reports.

Potential employers check credit reports, in part, because some “think” it might be a way to detect substance abuse. Substance abuse is expensive, and if a job applicants’ credit report shows that he, or she, has difficulty in maintaining or managing their finances, that potential employer could infer that the applicant has a larger issue such as substance abuse. Consequently, if someone does have a substance abuse problem, the best thing to do is to take action, and get help because you are not alone. In summary, take care of your health, guard your credit score with your life, and if you have a problem with your credit, ask the credit rating company to allow you to explain it. If a future employer reads your official explanation, it could be helpful to you.


Keep in mind that no child is born with a negative inner voice. It is 100 percent unnatural to see yourself in a negative way. Negative self-perception is a learned behavior, and it can keep you from success. Unlearn it. Be like a child, be “born again,” so to speak. Train your brain to see yourself in positive light. Take baby steps, think positive, and you will succeed.

COMPLETE p. 71 of the workbook, and best of luck to you from TAPS Academics.

copyright 2015, 2016, 2017