All ‘General’ Posts

27 jun

Is Your Company Depressed?

Kerrigan2Of all the business problems companies have, I think they become more magnified when the chief executive officers lose sight that their organization is made up of people.

In my experience, when things go wrong, the focus is primarily on finance or strategy, or both: but, not on people.

This is a big mistake—to ignore the people who will actually implement any new strategy, especially if they feel disconnected and overwhelmed by your last plan.

I’ve written about marketing from the inside out and the importance of inclusion over coercion. But, is the C-suite listening?

When your employees feel disconnected and that no one cares, they begin to shut down. Unhappy employees are unproductive employees, and this loss of interest affects every area of your business, particularly your customers.

It may be time to come down to ground level and ask:

Is my company depressed?

Here are some signs of which to be aware:

—Low energy and self esteem (Projects often seem to lose direction)

—Poor concentration (Costly errors are escalating)

—Difficulty making decisions (Deadlines are missed)

—Feelings of hopelessness (Recurring thoughts of layoffs)

—Social withdrawal (More conflict, less collaboration)

—Excessive negative thinking (Quality suffers. After all—why bother?)

—Loss of interest in jobs your employees used to enjoy (Productivity slows down or comes to a halt)

If your business is not accomplishing its goals, take a good look within, and invest some time focused on your greatest asset—people.

Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan

Michelle Kerrigan is an expert in workplace confidence and performance who advises clients how to become stronger and more successful. From growing businesses and exceptional leaders to enhancing careers, Michelle develops the 3 keys you need to succeed. More at www.michellekerriganinc.com and www.workplaceconfidence.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Michelle Kerrigan on June 27th, 2014 in Career, General, Global/Social Change, Health | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,

07 jun

3 Purchases that Have Actually Improved My Life!

JennaSmithBeing a 20-something working girl, I lead a busy life–stress is part of the deal. Recently, I’ve been trying to work on my work-life balance by incorporating healthy techniques. I started maintaining a healthy diet and getting eight hours of sleep.

These changes were really beneficial. Regular exercise and stretching gave me an added boost too–but of all the changes I have made, there are 3 purchases I’m obsessed with and honestly could not live without:

1. Coffee Machine

I used to spend so much money and time in coffee shops it’s not even funny. Standing in line, frantically waiting for my overpriced latte while trying not to be late for work, was taking its toll on me.

So I decided to take the plunge and get a coffee maker and start making coffee at home. You would not believe how much this change has simplified my life, both monetarily and psychologically. Instead of forking over $5+ dollars, I simply pop in a cup and presto! My coffee is done within minutes. I do not have to wait in long lines and, because it’s so quick, I don’t have to worry about chatty customers making me late for work.

Since making the switch, I enjoy my coffee time at home and I don’t think I could ever go back to coffee shops for my morning java. My favorite perk of brewing coffee at home is that I do not add in all the unnecessary sugars and syrups that coffee shops use. Less calories and less money equals a win for me!

2. Massages

Working in the hospitality industry is a fast paced gig, which can be tough on my bones and joints. Most nights I come home totally exhausted and sore. Even though I started getting about eight hours of sleep a night, I would still wake up not feeling my best.

To better manage this problem, I started getting regular massages and this helped tremendously. That is, until I saw the bill. Keeping up with routine massages was incredibly expensive, so I opted for the next best thing: I looked up portable massage tables and bought one of my own. Getting my own massage table has allowed me to relax in the comfort of my own home.

3. E-Reader

After conversing and interacting with tons of people day in and day out, I need time to unwind and decompress. I have always had a love for reading and I try to get in a good book when I can.

To save on space in my apartment, I opted to get an e-reader. I checked out a bunch of options and decided to go with a Nook. I love my e-reader because it is specifically for reading. When I am on my day off or when I have a moment to myself, I plop down on my couch and read for hours. It helps me detox from my hectic schedule and restores my peace of mind. I can download books very quickly and I do not ever have to worry about having a million of books in my place. Plus, the battery life is great so I can get lost in books for a good period of time without having to worry about my device suddenly dying and interrupting my narrative flow.

I love my busy, on-the-go lifestyle. For me, it is fun keeping up with the hustle and bustle of my everyday life. With that being said, I know that I have to maintain my health both mentally and physically. Relieving the stress of depending on a coffee shop has helped me significantly both financially and emotionally.

No longer am I standing in long lines, yay! My portable massage table is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love to relieve all of the pressure that work and being on my feet brings. My stress level is at an all time low because of it too. Curling up on my couch with a good e-read is another favorite after-work activity of mine. These three purchases have changed my life for the better and are items that I surely do not want to live without.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on June 7th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness, General, Personal Stories | No comments

30 may

Compassion at Work: Helping Grieving Colleagues Cope

Kerrigan2No one likes to talk about death. It makes people feel uncomfortable and awkward. It’s the ultimate change—the one thing that cannot be fixed or undone. Even the word “death” creates anxiety because it’s mysterious and emotional.

Death shakes our confidence. We are vulnerable in its presence. It’s the one thing we cannot control. We can only control how we think about it and react to it. There is no magic formula in the grieving process.

So, the suggestions I offer are from my own experiences in helping co-workers and clients cope. Hopefully, they provide some guidance and comfort.

Offer support to meet your colleague’s needs, not your own. Often, they need someone to listen. Sometimes, they need advice, or help with errands. Sometimes, they need the rest of the team to carry their load for a while. Sometimes, they need privacy. And, sometimes, they just need a place or a time to cry. If they haven’t expressed what they need, then ask. The best gift you can give is you: the comfort of your presence and the help from your attention.

Try not to judge or teach. Don’t feel as though you have to have the answer to death—no one does. Now is also not the time to pull out the “5 Stages of the Grieving Process” or to tell them what they “should” be doing. Your job is to be there for support.

Be genuine. Avoid sympathy-card sayings such as, “Your loved one is in a better place,” or “Everything happens for a reason.” It’s fake, forced and annoying. You can do better than that. Just be yourself. This is your teammate after all. Think: What would you want to hear?

Be patient. Mourning takes time. If a colleague needs to cry, let her. Don’t push her and think you can shortcut the process—you can’t. Know that each person grieves differently and at their own pace.

Assume nothing. You really don’t know how they feel. And, if you’re anxious about what to say or do, it’s easy to project your own anxiety onto the very person you wish to comfort. Never assume anyone feels the same way you do. This can be very dangerous if you’re wrong, so don’t go there.

Know that work is often a wonderful respite from grief. So, don’t be surprised if a grieving colleague returns to work sooner than expected. Activity is one of the greatest antidotes to depression. It grounds us, especially when we’re caught in a whirlwind of painful emotions. Work provides focus and meaning, and teamwork diminishes the sense of alone-ness.

In the end, grieving is about loss, change, acceptance, and moving forward. Your role is to support your colleague through their journey.

Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan

Michelle Kerrigan is an expert in workplace confidence and performance who has been helping businesses and professionals grow stronger and more successful for over three decades. More at www.michellekerriganinc.com and www.workplaceconfidence.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Michelle Kerrigan on May 30th, 2014 in Career, Family, General, Global/Social Change | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

18 apr

Shoes Made from What?

RobertCordraySince early man first strapped cowhide to his feet with leather strings 8,000 years ago, the design of shoes has been evolving. As men and women have changed, so, too have the materials of which their shoes are made. Now, you can find shoes made from almost anything: animal parts, computer components, plastic grocery bags, even grass. But, that doesn’t mean you’re going to wear them.

Taxidermy for the Feet

Just as the early shoemakers began with the leather hides of animals, designer, Iris Schieferstein decided to see what kind of shoes she could design using more of the animal’s parts. Using taxidermy methods, she creates shoes made of entire doves and snakes. These shoes are both interesting and a little unsettling. They are not very popular since most people find them impractical or object on the basis of animal cruelty. Her most attention-getting shoes have been ones using horse’s hooves. These strange “Centaur-like” boots are reported to be uncomfortable and can only be worn for a very short time.

Go-Go Gadget Shoes

With today’s obsession with all things electronic and technologically advanced, it is no surprise that shoe designers have entered into the virtual world. Shoes with the capability to hold small portable devices in the shoe’s heel, such as an MP3 player or cell phone, are now on the market. These designs may seem practical, for all intents and purposes, but can also mean taking the chance of losing your device. It could also be damaged during daily wear, getting wet or becoming lodged with dirt.

“Smart shoe” technology can be seen at its most creative with Google’s “Shoogle,” an Adidas athletic shoe that incorporates “smart phone” technology. This shoe is able to track the wearer’s physical activity, voice 250 phrases of encouragement and information and talk to the contact list in the wearer’s cell phone, now that is good user experience. Unfortunately, these shoes were created by Google as an example of their capabilities and not for sale to the general public so the users won’t be able to have the experience.

Eco-Friendly Attempts

As the cry for reduce, reuse, recycle becomes louder by environmentalists everywhere, the quest to create shoes from eco-friendly products continues. Using recycled corrugated cardboard beer cartons, designer and sculptor, Mark O’Brien, creates men’s athletic and dress shoes. Although these shoes are exact replicas of designer shoes, they are intended to be used as art pieces and are impractical for wearing. Other designers are using recycled paper to make shoes, but with little luck in making ones that are durable enough for daily wear.

The “Sod Sandals” created by Yashu Kusa take going green to a new level. These flip flops include a sod insole that grows actual grass. Although you get the comfort of walking on a fresh lawn, if you’re not a plant person, take heed. They require regular plant maintenance.

Probably one of the best ideas in recycled footwear comes from Emily Bergin, who takes plastic grocery bags and creates “plarn,” plastic yarn. She uses the plarn to crochet sandals. But, although an inventive use for grocery bags, these sandals do not provide much support.

Wire shoes are also being tried by inventive footwear designers. Polly Vertity uses galvanized wire to create ladies shoes. The shoes are lightweight, but are reported to be very uncomfortable.

Fabric Seemed Like a Good Idea

With the interest in shoes such as TOMS, using fabric for shoemaking has gotten increasingly popular. The staple fabric for shoemaking has been heavy canvas, which is strong enough to withstand wear. But, there are designers trying their hand at making shoes of felt and fleece fabric. The trouble with these softer, more pliable fabrics is they cannot stand the everyday wear and tear shoes get. Fleece also makes the feet hot and stretches with wear. Primarily used for infant and baby shoes, when it comes to adult footwear, fleece is a flop.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on April 18th, 2014 in General, New Directions, Technology | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

03 apr

5 Things You Need to Do When Starting a New Job

Kerrigan2So—you’ve gotten through all the interviews and you’ve landed a new job! Congratulations!

Now, you show up on your first day. Here are 5 things to do once you arrive:

#1. Touch base with your new boss. Hopefully, by now, you’ve had a conversation or two with your new boss about what is required of you, and you have a meeting scheduled for your first day. This is important not only for the obvious reasons, but also for the fact that things change fairly rapidly today. It’s important to touch base on a regular basis because the landscape can shift quite quickly, and you’ll need to adapt.

#2. Introduce yourself. Make it a point to meet as many co-workers as possible. I have spoken at colleges, and students always ask me “What’s one of the first things I should do?” This is it.

Reach out your hand, make eye contact, and say “Hi, I’m [insert your name], it’s a pleasure to meet you.” It’s that simple. There’s no better way to get to know your new team, and for them to get to know you.

#3. Ask what people do, and how you’ll be working together. First—it demonstrates interest. Second, it helps you get your bearings–the people and processes around you. Most of all, it builds your confidence because you are doing one the most important things you will ever need to do throughout your career: Ask questions.

#4. Listen—actively! People love to talk about themselves and their expertise—let them. In fact, encourage them. Listening actively means you’re focused the other person, and are validating what they are saying by making sure you understand them. Using phrases such as, “Let me see if I have this straight in my mind,” helps the process.

Often we’re so busy thinking about the next thing we’re going to say that we miss important information. By actively listening, you not only show respect, you learn. And, you begin to build important working relationships and knowledge that improve your confidence and performance.

And finally…

#5. Be sure you understand the main purpose of your company. It’s odd how often businesses and employees miss this, and yet, it’s so important because it impacts everything you do. You need to know the promises your company makes in order to understand your part in keeping them. It connects you to something higher than just “a job,” and gives your new position meaning. It all falls into place when you understand the goal.

Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan

Michelle Kerrigan is an expert in workplace confidence and performance who has been helping businesses and professionals grow strong and successful for over three decades. More at www.michellekerriganinc.com and www.workplaceconfidence.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Michelle Kerrigan on April 3rd, 2014 in Career, General, Global/Social Change, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,

07 mar

Fun Hobbies That Can End Up Making You Some Good Money!

RobertCordrayHow many times has someone told you that you are so good at your favorite hobby that you should turn it into your career? You may have laughed off the idea when it was brought up, but you should give it some serious thought. There are several hobbies that, if done with passion and dedication, could wind up making you money.

Wood Pen Making

Woodworking experts always find unique ways to express themselves through their art. Wood pen making is a hobby that could bring you orders from business professionals, companies, and people looking for the perfect gift for the executive in their lives. Bullet pens make handy little gifts that people can give on holidays, birthdays, or to commemorate a special occasion.

Photography

Thanks to the many advances in technology, more people are starting to be able to take pictures like professionals. If you love taking pictures, and you get compliments for your work all of the time, then offer your services for weddings and special occasions.

You can also take the kinds of pictures that you like and sell them online to customers all over the world. If you really want to get into the world of photography, then look into setting up a booth at your local arts and crafts show to sell your work to the people who pass by.

Car Restoration

You spend your weekends restoring old cars and you have become very good at it. You can use that hobby to make a lot of money in two different ways. One way is to sell the cars that you restore. Just be sure that you do some research on their value and get a fair price each time.

Your other source of income can come from restoring cars for other people. You would be surprised at how many people in your area have classic cars that they would pay handsomely to have restored.

Music

If you are a musician and you love to play your instrument and sing for friends and family members, then you have all that you need to make some good money on the side. You can go out as a one-man show and play for dinner crowds all over the area, or you can get involved with a group and play clubs on the weekends.

You can also join the local musician’s union and get work in the live theater productions that come through your area. If you can read music, then you can make a lot of money playing those part-time gigs.

Putting Together Computers

A technically inclined person who spends his spare time building computers for his own use can use that skill to make good money. Let your friends and family members know that you build computers and quote a fair price based on the needs of the customer. After a while, you will start to get referrals to make computers for people all over the area.

When you enjoy a hobby, you never really think about its financial possibilities. But if you are good at a service that people will pay for, then you should think about using your hobby to make good money.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.


Posted by Robert Cordray on March 7th, 2014 in Career, General, House and Home | No comments

27 feb

More Than “Just Friends”: Using Content Marketing to Take Your Customer Relationships to the Next Level

RobertCordrayCustomers are the lifeblood of any business. Whether you’re offering a product or a service, whether you’re the head of an international mega-corporation, or the single employee of a company that you run out of your garage, without customers, your business is really nothing more than an expensive hobby. As such, if you want to be successful, you need to know how to take your relationship with your customers to the next level. Gone are the days in which a few television commercials, newspaper ads, direct mailers, and a bit of space in the phonebook were all that you’d need to get a customer’s attention. The modern consumer tends to instinctively recognize and distrust any sales pitch that they can identify. So, in a world in which DVR allows customers to skip commercials, and years of training have turned most internet users into quick-draw experts when it comes to closing advertisement pop-ups, how is a modern business supposed to connect with the people on whom it depends? Well, the answer is a simple one: content marketing.

Today’s customers are more interested in discovering information for themselves, than in trusting a faceless corporation to supply them with the relevant facts that they need in order to make a decision. So, if you want to succeed in today’s market, you need to know how to help your customers help themselves. In the process, you’ll find that your relationships with your customers improve as well. Here are a few tips on how you can use content marketing to take your customer relationships to the next level.

1. Do your homework

If you want to improve your customer relationship, you first need to get to know the customer as an individual. What do you know about their interests, or about the kind of internet sites that they are most likely to visit? Do they have any particular questions that they want answered? What are their ages, social backgrounds, ethnicities, and incomes? What about personal beliefs? The truth is that any piece of information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can be used to help you get a better idea of who your consumer is. Of course, acquiring and keeping track of all of this raw data can be difficult, so know what kind of tools you’ll need to get everything started. According to a survey of B2B marketers by TechValidate, 47% of companies said that case studies were very effective or most effective in acquiring new leads and customers. Likewise, a company like Salesforce has CRM tools that will help you organize and analyze your data, so that it will be available to you when you need it.

2. Give them what they want

Once you’ve taken care of the hard part of getting to know your customer, next you’ll need to put that knowledge to good use. That means that you need to start creating content that they will find useful. How do you go about doing that? Well, if you can answer that question for yourself, your content marketing problems will be as good as solved. Unfortunately, the only way to master this step is by seeing what works for you, but for starters you can check out successful company blogs and see how they handle the situation. For example, home automation company Vivint uses its blog to provide useful tips, ideas, and facts for homeowners on everything from security to decorating, and does so without overtly promoting its own brand. By focusing on giving helpful advice, rather than just another sales pitch, they manage to draw more interest from potential customers. Don’t discount the impact of social media and blog sites, as these reach 8 out of 10 of all U.S. Internet users and account for 23% of all time spent online.

3. Make it shareable

Hey, speaking of which, what’s the best way to promote your new content across social media sites? The answer is don’t. Instead, make your content useful, relevant, and interesting, and your readers will take care of promotion for you. Once readers who are not affiliated with your company start to share your content, then the mistrust associated with marketing and organizations becomes a non-issue. After all, it’s not some salesman interrupting a conversation between friends to push a product; it’s the friends themselves who are discussing the product. Half of all social media users under age 35 follow their online friends’ recommendations, which means that if you can get those friends to recommend you, you’ll be on the fast-track to success.

4. Focus on existing customers

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other is gold.” This is a rhyme that many of us encountered in our formative years. However, by the time we reach adulthood and begin to deal in business relationships, we often forget this simple truth. Yes, we should be trying to find new customers, but not at the expense of the ones that we already have. It costs between six and seven times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to keep a current one. So, make sure that your future content is directed back towards those who have already shown an interest.

5. Don’t be afraid to take a chance

As we’ve already pointed out, there isn’t any mathematical formula that you can use to achieve content marketing success. The upside to this is that it gives you the freedom to try anything that comes to mind. So, go for it! Try to think outside the box, and come up with content that really touches your target audience. And don’t worry, with a bit of perseverance, creativity, and a little luck, you’ll be able to take your customer relationship to the next level, and beyond.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on February 27th, 2014 in Career, General | No comments

17 jan

5 Key Areas that Should Be Better in Your Sales Company

RobertCordraySales is a tough business to be involved in. The whole purpose of your business is, more or less, to directly compete with those around you and come out on top. This can leave very little room for mistakes or complacency, but it also encourages those in sales to keep improving and changing things for the better in their business. However, there are still a lot of sales companies who could use a little bit of extra help, especially when it comes to pushing their business techniques to fit the 21st century. Here are a few key areas that should probably be better in your sales company.

Customer Service

The whole landscape of customer service is completely changing, and it is due in large part to the rise of social media. The beauty of social media is that it has given people, what they feel is, a more direct channel to the companies and services that they use. As a result, when they have a question, a comment, a complaint, or even some praise, customers are now, more than ever, turning to social outlets to voice them. This gives the consumer the feeling that, rather than talking to some nobody on the end of a helpline, they are actually talking to someone who really matters, even if in reality they are probably talking to the same person. Regardless, social media is of great benefit to sales, and the smartest companies will use it.

Online Marketing
And while we are on the topic of the world wide web, let’s talk about online marketing. While many sales companies are still sticking to tried and tested techniques of door-to-door sales, cold calling and other similar methods, it is foolish to ignore the powerful resource that the internet provides. Whether you hire a digital marketing expert, or simply ramp up your social media efforts, it will make a huge difference to your results, and give you a much cheaper alternative to traditional methods.

Management

In any company, good employees and proper management are absolutely crucial. But in a sales company, they are arguably the most important feature. In order for sales to be successful, you need good, competent, employees who will be the face of the company each time they interact with customers. Thus, you need strong and equally competent managers who can see where there is a need or space for improvement, and act quickly.

Customer Relationship Management
And extension of that is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This is an important aspect of any sales business, and a good CRM system could make or break a new startup. Luckily, technology is also helping us out in this area. Salesforce CRM allows businesses to track important figures, speed up the sales process, and most importantly allows you to see what your customers want and need.

Online Sales
You may have noticed a trend in this advice, but in case you haven’t figured it out yet, here it is: The internet is an essential part of any modern sales company. If you expect to be able to keep up or surpass your competition, you need to have an efficient website that facilitates online sales. It is no longer a bonus feature, but required by customers who hope to use your services.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on January 17th, 2014 in General, Technology | No comments

01 sep

6 Habits of Bad Managers

RobertCordrayMoving into a management position is often the next step on a career path, but many employees find that they are not naturally disposed to the new responsibilities a management position requires. Being a good manager requires wearing many different hats and maintaining a balance between pleasing bosses and pleasing subordinates. Often the added pressure will cause managers to develop some bad habits that lead to ineffective leadership and a negative work environment.

1. Hiring Second-Rate Employees

Managers need to be skilled in the field they work in, but many managers make the mistake of thinking that they need to be smarter than everyone they work over. This can often stem from pride or a sense of insecurity. These managers tend to quash their employeesí creativity and ingenuity and may insist on being right even though the best decision for the company goes against their own ideas.

Over time, these managers will tend to hire employees who will be subordinate to their ideas and donít threaten to show the manager up. The problem with this is self explanatory: the company will be left with mediocre teams that rely solely on the ideas of one person. Instead, managers should seek out the most skilled employees possible and draw on the expertise from everyone to get the best business results.

2. Being a Bully

While occasionally a workplace will see a single manager that bullies his or her subordinates, bullying tends to be part of a wider company culture that is either prevalent or tolerated. Many managers will become a bully that abuses employees verbally or even physically when they have too much pressure placed on themselves from their own managers. This type of negative culture leaves all employees in a state of fear because even if one employee hasnít been yelled at, they are left wondering when it will happen to them. Staff that live in fear cannot put forth their best effort and be creative nor can they trust their managers enough to come to them with a problem.

3. Focusing on Numbers not People

Managers have to wear many different hats, and often that means carefully managing a budget and getting certain productivity numbers. Since these numbers are often used to evaluate managers by their own boss, some managers will forget to manage their people and sit and crunch numbers all day. The problem is subordinates are rarely motivated by getting a certain number set each week, and if all they hear from their manager every week is a numbers report, they will quickly check out of their job or get frustrated from the lack of direction.

4. Not Giving Credit

It can be easy for managers to take all of the credit for the success of a project at meetings, but failing to acknowledge the contributions of subordinates makes you look dishonest and weak. Failing to express employee appreciation for outstanding accomplishments will quickly lead to discouragement and mediocre employees who feel there is no reason to put in an extra effort. The same goes for only criticizing employees or placing all of the blame on them when a project goes south.

5. Not Delegating

Whether they are unwilling to trust a subordinate with an important task, or simply cling to responsibilities to communicate their importance, some bosses will simply not let their employees do their job, which is to do what the boss no longer has time for. Delegating tasks doesnít diminish your importance, rather it simply shows you have a lot of important things to do. Nit picking and micro managing is merely taking the fast road to discontent and is likely to backfire in the end.

6. Not Setting the Example

If a manager wants employees to show up on time and have a good attitude at work, they need to start by doing that themselves. Staff will follow the lead of their manager, so if they see their manager skirting the rules or not upholding company values, they are not going to take those values seriously or seek to uphold them themselves.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on September 1st, 2013 in General, Relationships | No comments Read related posts in , ,

17 jul

How to Live a Cultured College Life

JennaSmithMy college experience was full of social adventures, both on and off campus. These memorable times usually stemmed from my frustration with books. While I appreciate the knowledge that was given to me, book learning is certainly not where I had the most fun. The truth is that I enjoyed hanging out at the house social events, the quads and the places where people gathered to share ideas.

You don’t have to be a social butterfly to be a popular person; it’s just a matter of putting yourself in the right place with something interesting to say. There is no age group for approval, emerging into a college ecosystem takes considerable effort.

Read on for tips on how you can become the social connoisseur of your college journey.

Clubs

Sororities and fraternities offer a kind of bond that lasts well into adulthood but you can go beyond those organizations and delve into on-campus clubs. Most campuses have a multitude of clubs to choose from and depending on your previous background, you could discover commonalities with the current members of each club. Some clubs are very diverse and you might find christian graduate program students hanging out with Ph.D candidates in the same club or start your own!

Joining these clubs will help you find more people that you can talk to about the things you are interested in. Interest and social merging come from connections, finding those connection grows your social web, to become comfortable and involved.

Collaborate with your new friends on starting your own club. Speak to the admissions office or dean’s office in relation to starting your own brand. You can expand on the current English or Film societies, by offering to host after events for meet and greets. You can create a subreddit dedicated to your club on the social bookmarking site “Reddit,” then take your membership and mission statement to campus administration and secure a physical meeting spot.

On Campus Events

My college hosts concerts once a year where artists of all types come to perform for the student body. Lots of booths spring up with fun games, prizes, and people generally hang out in the sun while they listen to music.

A site like Eventbrite might feature ticketed events you can visit on campus. Campus newsletters can keep you abreast of social events, such as receptions and gatherings. A site like Meetup.com can help you find off campus events in your area where you can meet other students outside the pressures of school life. You may be feeling a bit homesick, and Meetup can connect you with people from your hometown in your new college home. This incorporation of events allows you to merge into the student body with a desire to want to learn more by connecting more.

Talk to Professors

Students often form bonds with professors, and they may refer you to a study group that shares your interest in the specific subject. Take advantage of office hours and discuss meaningful ideas with your professor. If your professor maintains a discussion group, inquire about the subjects and ask for an invitation to learn more. College is as much about networking as it is about learning, so keep the lines of communication open with your professors.

Not only will a professor be pleased with your ability to become involved, but it could lead to an offering of a student teacher, assistance, recommendation letter or heading a study group. Doing so brings admiration from your peers, while bringing a sense of experience for academia and business processing.

Visit the Library

According to The Digital Reader, 76 percent of U.S. libraries offer eBook lending. This permits you to review and catch up on books via your mobile devices. The library is more than just that place you go to study in silence. There are tons of books about topics you may not have considered without the exposure. There is interesting work and reading on subjects like quantum theory, or anthropological studies of African tribal societies.

Challenge yourself to check out a new book on a topic that interests you and you’ll be amazed at how much you will learn by stepping out of your comfort zone. You may discover a hidden talent or passion that comes full circle once you expand beyond what you know. You might even pick up a valuable job skill in the process. Visit your campus library website to check out new exhibits or talks posted there too.

Soak in the Vibe

Campus life is about exchanging ideas and learning new things. It’s also about escaping the stress of the classroom, so make your time outside more cultured by trying out new things. Join local clubs, attend on campus events, talk to your professors and visit the library – your college life will be one to remember.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on July 17th, 2013 in General, Personal Stories, Teens | No comments