Finding the Fun at Work!

Finding the Fun at Work! Let’s face it, we’re at our best when we’re having fun.  Fun makes us feel happy and engaged with others, and lets the best version of ourselves shine through.  There are opportunities to have fun in everything we do - we just have to be open for it.  And that includes in our work.  When we have fun together, we feel better connected to our colleagues and organization, trust builds, and productivity increases. Fun + connections + trust = productivity. Here are 5 suggestions about how to increase your fun, or create opportunities to have fun, while at work: 1.  Host a corporate retreat. Invest in your people and they will give back.  Implement team-building exercises that bring laughter and enjoyment and really make people feel connected. 2.  Want to take the work out of ‘networking’ and have fun with conversation! Listen proactively to the people with whom you have conversations in order to learn as much as you can about them.  Find out about their interests, travels, favourite restaurants, etc.  Keep the stuffy “work conversation” out of the conversation - at least to start.  Build a rapport - discover the person’s ...

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Live Your Greatness!

September 12, 2018  |   Advice for Students,Blogs,Business Etiquette   |     |   0 Comment

Live Your Greatness! What is your definition of success? For me, I feel successful when I know I am living up to my potential, being my greatest self and living my best life. Some days are great, others challenging. I have a birthday coming up, which causes me to pause, reflect on my past year and visualize my year ahead. A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to attend a three-day Personal Mastery Academy conference in Toronto, given by global leadership consultant and coach, Robin Sharma. I was first introduced to his work through his book, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” It was a game changer. Attending one of Robin’s conferences and having the opportunity to work directly with him was a dream and vision of mine when I started BloomStra Consulting. That dream and vision is now a reality. After the conference, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my experience, implementing the tools I learned, studying the copious notes I took, and practicing many of Robin’s teachings about self mastery, leadership and living the grandest vision of my best life.  I'm still working on them and - and ...

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Bring Your Manners to Work Day

September 06, 2018  |   Advice for Students,Blogs,Business Etiquette,Protocol   |     |   0 Comment

Bring Your Manners to Work Day To encourage more cohesive and collaborative working relationships as well as enhancing the overall level of respect and camaraderie at work, the Protocol School of Washington, of which I am an Alumni, encourages career persons throughout the world to take note of its annual “Bring Your Manners to Work Day” to be recognized on Friday, September 7. One of the most important soft skills that anyone can adapt, especially in the workplace, is the use of manners. The following are some tips, created as a guide by the PSOW to bring your manners to work this day—and every day—to make sure your professional life is the best it can be. Friendliness: Most any part of a worker’s day can improve when a colleague offers up a smile, a caring word or a friendly face. We all face stress, deadlines and pressure on the job, but when someone takes the time to be friendly, it promotes a more collaborative and open environment for long-term success. Reliability: Being reliable makes you a very valuable asset in today’s workforce. From meeting deadlines to actual execution of what you said you were going to do, reliability not only ...

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Networking: How to Make a Powerful Entrance and Your Presence Known

Networking: How to Make a Powerful Entrance and Your Presence Known When you attend a networking event, are you noticed when you enter a room?  Do you want to be noticed? Have you evaluated the kind of entrance that you make? Do you feel comfortable approaching new people and having conversations with them? Many people believe that all they have to do is “show up” at a networking event and their presence will be noticed. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “80% of success is showing up.”  What this means to me is that there is 20% of hard work on my part to effectively and successfully make my presence known.  Otherwise, what’s the sense in showing up? It’s just a waste of time. One of the most important features in showing up at any networking event IS the entrance you make.  This is simply because everyone watches the entrance to a room.  Humans are curious creatures.  It is therefore important that you give serious thought to evaluating the entrance you make given the fact that you WILL be noticed when you enter a room, whether you like it or not! Here are eight tips to help you make a powerful entrance at ...

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How to Improve your People Skills and Small Talk Ability

How to Improve your People Skills and Small Talk Ability Soft skills are very important to your professional success. Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.  It also refers to one’s people skills, which includes your character, personality and competence. Small talk is a very important people skill. According to the Encarta World Dictionary, small talk is polite conversation about matters of little importance, especially between people who do not know each other well.  I just love this definition because it captures the meaning beautifully.  Small talk helps to establish a connection between two people.  The conversation does not have to be original or profound.  It provides people with a way to create an “ice-breaker” that leads to an easy-going conversation and helps to put another person at ease. Small talk is simply what we say to one another to be polite. It requires focus and practice to build your small talk ability.  Just because you are an extrovert does not mean that you possess strong people skills; and if you are an introvert does not mean that you lack strong people skills.  It is a honed skill as most of us are ...

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10 Etiquette Tips to Help you Shine at Business Cocktail Receptions

10 Etiquette Tips to Help you Shine at Business Cocktail Receptions In business, many important events take place after traditional work hours.  After-hours business cocktail receptions are a valuable venue for networking and provide the opportunity to connect with new people and build relationships. The key to your success is knowing how to work the event! When attending a business cocktail reception, the messages you project through your professional image and presence should indicate that doing business with you is a pleasure. Here are ten etiquette tips for making a positive first impression upon the people you meet and opening the doors to relationship building: 1. Dress for success.  Communication experts believe that 55% of the total message presented by a person during a first meeting consists of that person’s personal appearance. Like it or not, how we dress has an impact on people’s perception of us; and their perception is influenced by their first impression of us.  It only takes 5 seconds to form first impression, so make your image work for you. Your image is your visual resume. Wear appropriate business attire. By making a positive first impression through your physical appearance, it will open the door to people wanting ...

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2018 National Etiquette Week

2018 National Etiquette Week "Good manners reflect something from inside--an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self."  -  Emily Post It’s National Etiquette Week (NEW).  As a graduate and alumni of the Protocol School of Washington, I value the opportunity to promote this week and encourage a daily observation to the importance of etiquette! NEW was established in 1997 by Sandra Morisset, a Protocol School of Washington children's etiquette consultant.  It recognizes etiquette and protocol in all areas of one’s life including business, social, dining, travel, technology, wedding and international protocol. The purpose of the week is to raise awareness of all people to act with courtesy, civility, kindness, respect and good manners in their everyday lives as well as the need for proper business etiquette to compete in the growing global marketplace. It’s the little things that count.  Our actions have a huge impact upon others. Why not choose to act in a way that makes another human being feel special, valued and respected? Acting with kindness, consideration and good manners helps to nurture friendships, foster meaningful connections with colleagues and clients, and create a much happier and healthier environment for us ...

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How to Let Your People Skills Shine at Networking Events

April 23, 2018  |   Advice for Students,Blogs,Business Etiquette   |     |   0 Comment

How to Let Your People Skills Shine at Networking Events As opposed to popular belief, networking is not about selling yourself.  It is about engagement with others and making purposeful and meaningful connections - some of which will turn into prosperous business opportunities and relationships.  The key ingredient to networking success is to focus more other others and less on yourself. Networking is an excellent opportunity that enables you to demonstrate your people skills.  No one will tell you explicitly, but its important to know that you will be judged by how well you handle yourself and others.  Your people skills play a huge part in helping you reach your professional goals, and that includes your networking goals A study done by Harvard University, The Carnegie Foundation, and the Stanford Research Institute supports this very fact.  The study found that technical skills and knowledge account for 15% of the reason you get a job, keep a job or advance in a job.  85% of your job success is connected to your people skills. An important people skill, which we all do at one level or another, is small talk.  Small talk is defined as polite conversation about matters of little importance, especially ...

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The Importance of Civility in Life and the Workplace

The Importance of Civility in Life and the Workplace Civility is cultivated by using basic manners and treating others with consideration, respect, understanding and honesty.  In her book, “Rude Awakenings: Overcoming the Civility Crisis in the Workplace,” Dr. Giovinella Gonthier defines civility as “being mindful of the dignity of the human being in your sphere at all times.  Civility is not so much about nice-ties as it is about the way we live our lives overall and the way we treat other people.”  At the heart of civility lies what we all know as the “Golden Rule” -  do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  This is the key principle of civility which should guide our behaviour towards others, both in life and the workplace. Civility is important to demonstrate in all aspects of our life if we are to live and work in harmony with grace, kindness and dignity with those around us because it impacts who we are and our relationship with others.  It does so in the following seven ways: 1.  Civility Fosters Respect:  every human being wants to be treated with respect by others.  Showing courtesy to others is the simplest form ...

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10 Ways to Make a Positive First Impression

10 Ways to Make a Positive First Impression It only takes five seconds to make a first impression. The people we meet quickly determine through their perception of us whether they like us, trust us, and want to do business with us. Implementing the following 10 tips in business situations when you are meeting someone for the first time will help you to make a positive first impression:   1. Manage Your Image.  Communication experts believe that 55% of the total message presented by a person during a first meeting consists of their personal appearance. How we dress does have an impact on people’s perception of us. People respond to and give more respect to those who are dressed professionally. 2. Project a Strong Professional Presence.  Professional presence is a necessary life, business and leadership skill. It broadcasts who you are and determines how you are seen, heard and respected by others. It impacts other first impressions of you and opens the door to allow others to discover and appreciate your innate skills. 3. Be Aware of Your Posture. Good posture instantly creates an impression of confidence and for others to see you as such! 4. Smile. The best way to make ...

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