Be YOU. Be MOTIVATIONAL

I wont call this a controversial topic but I do think that some people have strong feelings about the idea of people who are in higher positions not appearing to have a personal life that is anything other than business polite. 

What do I mean you may ask…when some people look at the BOSSES of the company (CEO, VP, SVP, EVP) they believe that they are work all of the time and that they should be. People feel that they shouldn’t show anything other than the best image of themselves, being the boss 24/7. 

If you ask me I think that idea and notion of a person having to be white collar all of the time is ludicrus and quite frankly selfish. I fully support everyone in every position and walk of life having their own version of an enjoyable social and personal life. If they want to share that on social media I applaud them! 

We are humans and should have the right to be humans and be able to relax when we aren’t killing ourselves for our companies. Now there is a fine line where your antics become inappropriate. I personally do not believe if you have chosen to live your personal life on the wild side and possibly endeavour in illegal activities that should be publicly sharing that. 

I enjoy seeing my bosses being a human, knowing that they struggle and enjoy things just like I do. Seeing their life makes me want to work harder for them. I want my staff or colleagues to see that I can relate to them; that I myself have bad days, that I struggle with juggling life and work. How can I expect for my staff to push through it if they think that I can’t understand where they are and how they feel? 

Ask yourself this question. Would you work harder if you knew your boss was or is in the same shoes as you? 

When sharing your life publicly just be mindful that you are portraying good choices and a positive influence. 

Be happy and proud of the life you have and the struggles you are able to overcome because you just never know whose motiviation you are! 

** this post is of complete personal opinion and is NOT based upon any studies. Feel free to be social with me! ** 

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Email Etiquette

An email is not just an email, an email is a piece of writing that is a representation of yourself. With each word you type the sender is able to pick up what they believe you to be like, how they think you work, and they have put together a picture you. Their perception is probably completely wrong IF you haven’t taken the time to address your audience appropriately or if you don’t know how to address them appropriately.

EMAIL

Start from the top..

  1. If you have more than one email account setup on your email make sure that you are sending your email from the appropriate email account
  2. TO. Choose the correct people to send your message to
    1. Do not over add. There are people that need to have your message and there are people that it becomes going over and beyond and unnecessary
    2. Understanding is if someone is in the TO line they are expected to respond.
  3. CC. Copy anyone into the CC line that the information is a need to know or a nice to know but may not need to respond. More just wanting to keep them up to date.
    1. Some bosses would like to be copied on emails just to be kept in the loop and some people like to include themselves on the email so they have a record of sending the email in their inbox rather than in their sent box
  4. BC. Blind copy people that you don’t want others to know have received a copy of the email.
    1. Most people will use this when reprimanding staff and they want their boss to see that they have handled the situation or addressed the issue
    2. If their is a problem with another area of the company sometimes others who are involved can be added as informational but not able to address the group
    3. Do not over use blind copying people, most things don’t need to be a secret so don’t make them a secret.
  5. Subject. This is the first line that people will see when receiving your email so make sure it is a very short and quick summary of the issue or topic
    1. Try not to make it a novel
    2. Try to help tie it into an ongoing issue, if applicable
      1. This helps when people are going back and searching for a specific topic
    3. Don’t spell out the story in the subject, leave a little bit of mystery
    4. Make your subject something that people will want to open and read
      1. If your subject draws them in they are less likely to put you at the bottom of the stack
  6. Greeting. Know who you are emailing and salute them correctly.
    1. If you are just “meeting” them be more formal
    2. If you have an ongoing and casual relationship you can probably get away with a HEY
    3. A member of senior management stick to more professional
    4. You can always be safe with sticking in the middle with a Good Morning or Good Afternoon. This is clean and polite.
  7. Body of your message. Clear and to the point.
    1. Do not just keep talking to talk
    2. Stick to the points
    3. If you are explaining something that can be visualized add some visualization
    4. Do not ramble. People do not want to sit and read an email that is a novel in length when it really only needed to be a short story
    5. If delivering bad news try and spin it into a positive view instead of taking the whole situation as a negative.
      1. There is always a small silver lining, you just have to be willing and open to seeing it
  8. Closing. You want to end the message respecting their time, thanking them for reading your email, and hoping to continue business with them.
    1. Thank them. Thank them. Thank them.
      1. Self explanatory!
    2. Keep the door open for questions or comments
      1. This shows people you are a two way street and you are more than happy to help them out if they return the favor.
    3. Compliment them. Some people may want to hear how good they are or their business is so if it feels right throw in a compliment and you never know good things could come from those few words.
    4. Give your full name.
      1. If you are more casual in your relationship with someone it may be fine to close the email with a “J” or “Jane” but there is no harm in saying your full name.
        1. If someone was to forward the email they may not have that relationship with you
      2. Set up a signature
        1. A signature can be set to automatically add to every email so you won’t need to put forth any additional effort to close your email

When you are writing an email always remember that you never know whose computer your email will land on. In all of our industries messages get passed from person to person to help get the word spread or knowledge passed along to others. When you are sitting and typing those messages try and remember that because it could make a difference on how your message is perceived.

Your words and your typing is a direct reflection of yourself so make it count.

 

Keeping up with deadlines

The email traffic never slows down or has a real down time, one right after the other. So how do you keep up with impending deadlines when you have to get through your emails as well. 

Set priorities

For many people tackling their workload is handled very differently but it all needs managed and normally all at the same time. So how can you stay ontop of the emails coming through while still having the time to put in your hours on projects, fixes, or of course the list of meetings?

Time management. Easier said than done of course but you need to set out a plan. A plan that can be followed and then altered when needed. 

Come into work a couple minutes earlier each day and handle emails before the craziness begins. Block out your calendar for a day or a few hours and really deep dive on some of your work. Put in some extra hours in the evenings or weekends to get to a calm level ground. 

Believe that you can do it and you will. The mental game is harder than anything else with the work. If you truely believe that you can’t do than most likely you wont be able to, don’t give yourself that crutch. 

If the work load ever becomes too much than you need to have that conversation with your management. Opening the topic of not being able to keep up doesn’t have to be a negative image on yourself. You need to understand that admiting you can handle it but not at the current expectations of timing. You are not throwing in the towel but asking for a little more give on the deadlines. 

  • Prep
  • Time it out
  • Prepare
  • Ask for help
  • Breathe
  • Believe

Follow those 6 steps and you can achieve any obstacle or task. 

Why you are developing your staff incorrectly

Many of us are on the tail ends of wrapping up our budgets for the year and setting goals for our teams. With those goals many of us put development as a “measurable” metric and as bosses have to plan how we are going to develop our staff.

WRONG!
Development should be self sustained and management should assist when requested or during your weekly/bi-weekly/monthly one on ones with your staff. Many times I have heard of members of management telling their staff where their next steps for their career are or suggest areas for them to move to and it isn’t in the best interest of that person.

Just yesterday I was talking to a network connection of mine and in our discussion it was brought up that their boss had the conversation with them regarding their development for the year and where they thought it would track. Now to give you a little history of this person, they have been in their current role for double digit years, so very comfortable and happy but still producing. Their boss referred them to a position that not only was polar opposite of what they normal or have ever done but also a multi-level drop in role.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am in full support of people LEARNING new areas or new tasks BUT I do not think that means you have to step down to learn that information or take your career another direction. WE own our own careers and our own development so stop telling your staff where they should go and what they should do.

When discussing development and careers with your staff always remember to…

  1. Listen to what they want
  2. Look at their career history
  3. Ask them about their skills
  4. Ask them about their desires
  5. Provide suggestions based upon their responses

We all make the mistake of sometimes thinking of our staff or colleagues as us, realistically we have very different dreams and goals so we can’t have a one stop career shop. Every career path is different and tailored and altered for each person, so when having those discussions we need to do the same. TAILOR AND ALTER.

Career Path Maps: BAD IDEA, many companies have these maps where they show all positions and link them to where the next steps are to get to an end result. Why do I feel that these are bad and a waste of time? Because you can’t tell someone that they have to follow your exact mapping steps to get to their end dream. We all take different roads and learn different information to help us fill information desires for positions so to say that we have to follow a career map is nto going to get a company the people that they really want. Following that map would end all of your staff to be exactly the same.

Career and development should be a reoccurring topic of conversation that you are having with your staff because if you don’t have this conversation your staff will feel stuck or they may end up just leaving your company. Most employees leave because they aren’t being recognized or their hopes/dreams aren’t even on the table for discussion.

Remember that you yourself are hoping to fulfill development so don’t cut your staff off at their knees just so you can climb your career ladder.

Suggestions for staff..

  1. Find a role model
  2. Learn, learn, learn
  3. Take your career in your own hands and control it
  4. Don’t depend on someone else to get you a promotion
  5. Have someone that you can talk to about your career and work open and honestly
  6. Think about where you want to go
  7. Be open to change – your career goals may change as you move around in the workforce
  8. Don’t be afraid to be different
  9. Believe in yourself

” Your mind wasn’t made to match the person next to you so why would you follow their hopes and dreams, make your own and follow your own.” – Kaylee

 

 

Headshots

How to master a strong business headshot.

Don’t be fooled by the idea that a headshot isn’t needed or that it has no added benefit because you are wrong. When someone is looking at a public BUSINESS profile you want your photo to send your first impression because that is the first thing that people see when they are looking over your page. Headshots are simple enough but can also be a game changer with just a few out of place things. Make sure that when you sit down in that chair or stand up for that photo that you have followed a few key things.

  1. Do NOT choose an outfit that has bold patterns, animal print, or stripes.
  2. Do NOT wear too much jewelry or large pieces.
  3. Wear neutral but statement make up.
  4. Your clothing must fit properly; not too loose but not too tight.
  5. Get plenty of sleep before your photos so you look well rested.
  6. Don’t over indulge in alcohol prior to your photos.
  7. Show up on time.
  8. Pick a good photographer.
  9. Try different outfits.
  10. Choose colors that stand out but don’t over power you.
  11. Red and blues speak power.
When taking your photos you need to remember that even though you are paying someone for their time these photos or photo are your career that is on the line. Make sure you are comfortable, make sure that you are being heard in what you hope to accomplish from the shot.
Always, ALWAYS, my suggestion is get your headshots re-done every few years. You want to stay up to date with your changing image because nothing is worse than showing up and having false expectations because you were judging the wrong book.
Don’t hesitate including your headshot in with your resume when applying for a company. Adding in your photo might be the game changer because now they have a face to put in the seat of their new position when before they would have been painting the image of a person in their role based upon a sheet of words, make your face sell yourself.
Be confident and be proud, sell yourself!

 

Personal appointments during the workday? 

To take and make personal appointments during the workday and NOT make up the hours….

As I sit here in the doctor’s office lobby  I think about my work to do list and what all I have on my plate. It then crosses my mind that some people after their late afternoon appointments are going to have to go back into the office to make up for the time away or take personal time for the minutes or hour away from the office. 

What is the proper ettiquete for scheduling day time appointments? 

Should you schedule during the day appointments? 

It is suggested to schedule your appointments as early as possible or as late as possible. Employers know that when you work a Monday thr Friday 8-5 job that it is unrealistic to think that you can handle your personal business outside of normal working hours. Now with that in mind do not take advantage of your employer. 

If you have to take the time follow some of these suggested thing. 

  • Make sure to let people know ahead of time
  • Plan ahead, try not to do list minute appointments
  • As early or as late as possible
  • If it will be multiple hours then take personal time
  • Mark it on your calendar, that you will be out not your personal business
  • Check emails after hours or during your wait time

Always think of yourself in your boss or employer’s shoes. Give them the respect that you wish for them to give you. 

Now excuse me I must go and get my vaccinnations for my business trip! 

And p.s. I am checking emails while waiting, scheduled this appointment 2 weeks in advance, it is on my calendar, at the end of the day, and I will be working late! 

To work or not to work….on your birthday

That is a good question that most of us find ourselves asking every year..

There are some that hands down WILL not step foot into the office or read an email if our birthday lands on a day during the week. Is there any pros or cons to working on your birthday?

Before we jump into some of the pros and cons what do I think and what do I do? 99% of the time I work! If I have specific plans, which is very rare, I get up and start my day and work. I find that when it is my special day of birth I am smiling more and feel blessed to still be able to push and make a difference with the work I am doing so by all means I am stepping my toes into that office and pushing my work. Plus people say Happy Birthday and smile at you all day!! Who doesn’t like to be the center of a little bit of attention every once in awhile?! Don’t lie you totally do! 

What does the rest of the world think, because we all know that even though I think with a very open mind I have not covered EVERY thought out there.

Go to work and enjoy the festival of attention-seeking and gift-collection.

– The Gaurdian

Work on your birthday but thinks that it seems right that you get your birthday paid off.

– Bloomberg Business

PROS: 

  • Coworkers will say Happy Birthday all day
  • You may get a cake or cupcakes
  • You will get more attention than normal

CONS: 

  • You are at work on your birthday
  • Meetings, meetings, meetings
  • You may be slammed busy 
  • People may forget it is your birthday

There is no right or wrong choice it is all a matter of opinion. Enjoy the day and be happy that the day is YOUR day! Wake up with a smile and no matter where you are or what happens smile!