Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Not on Twitter, that's okay, you are invited too.
Amber Recker of Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana was talking on Twitter recently about getting together with other non-profits and pretty soon a Fort Wayne Tweet Up was planned.
In Fort Wayne we have a pretty active Social Media Community. Here's a chance to meet some of your fellow Social Media folks.
Details are from the CSNI page:
WFWA PBS39 has been broadcasting since 1975 to the Fort Wayne area, and since 1985 as an independent, community-owned and operated PBS station, the only one of its kind serving northeast Indiana. Each day, we offer 'round the clock non-commercial educational programming across four digital channels: PBS39HD/Channel 39-1; Kids39/Channel 39-2; Create TV/Channel 39-3 and 39-4you/Channel 39-4. PBS39 is proud to offer equal access to the highest quality televisions programs available to everyone within reach of our signal, every day.
Follow on Twitter: PBS39FtWayne
Posted: 23 Mar 2011 10:33 PM PDT
Getting a raise is one of the quickest ways to improve upon your financial picture.. A few minutes of conversation can lead to a pay increase that you will enjoy year after year.
Most of us think that getting a raise is about asking at the right time or framing the question in a certain way. We worry about coming across as ungrateful or overbearing, and we don't want to run the risk of creating a bad situation and upsetting our boss. However, the truth is that most raises are won long before we ever bring up the question.
The five steps below will help you prove that you are worthy of a raise, so that next time you can ask for one with confidence.
- Realize that experience does not equal value
Simply "putting in your time" does not make you worthy of a raise, a promotion, or even a job. Many of us make the mistake of assuming that experience merits higher pay. In reality, higher value merits higher pay.
This is a good thing. It means that there is something you can do to earn more money regardless of your situation or experience. It means that you can take action and "earn" a raise, rather than sitting around "hoping" to get one.
You can start this process by being honest with yourself. How much value do you provide at your job right now? How much responsibility do you hold compared to your peers? Let's say you went to a new job; do you provide more value than the person that would replace you? These questions are not meant to discourage you, but rather to help you realize where you currently stand as an employee in your manager's eyes. It's easier to move up the ladder if you know what rung you are starting on.
- Determine new ways to create value
Once you have an idea of where you stand, you can begin looking for ways to increase your value. This is a pretty straightforward process. More valuable employees have more responsibility and generate more results. Let's turn back the clock and look at a very wealthy man as an example.
Andrew Carnegie was one of the most successful -- and wealthy -- businessmen in all of history.
When he was a teenager, Carnegie began working for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He did extra projects whenever he could, took on additional responsibilities as soon as he could handle them, and showed enthusiasm for getting results. In reference to his time at the company, Carnegie said:
"I could not resist the temptation to plunge in, take responsibility, give train orders, and set matters going."
Carnegie made the practice of doing extra work a habit long before he had his own company and built his fortune in the steel industry. As a result, he earned promotion after promotion and raise after raise. He took honor and pride in the work that he did and showed a desire to go beyond the standard expectations.
Do you perform duties outside of your regular department? Do you "plunge in" and "take responsibility" like Carnegie? If not, how can you start doing so?
Make a list of additional projects, committees, and responsibilities you can take on at work. Has there been a project that has just been waiting to be finished, but no one has stepped up to work on yet? Is there an upcoming conference or meeting that you can help plan? In many cases, there will be some obvious tasks that you can help out on right away.
- Ask for suggestions
Employees that earn raises are often taking initiative. You can start by having a brief conversation with your boss.
Tell your boss that you're looking to take on additional responsibilities and ask him if there are any suggestions for what you can do. If he asks why, tell him that you have career goals and improving your skills and increasing your responsibilities is part of that.
If your boss gives you some suggestions, then you know what you should work on next. In many cases, however, your boss will put off the conversation and tell you that he'll "get back to you."
That's fine. This is where you begin to stand out from the crowd.
- Follow up
Give your boss about a week and then follow up with him.
This time, however, come with your own list of additional projects and tasks in hand. Show him that you have taken the time to seriously think about how you can create an impact and increase your responsibilities. Very few employees make an active effort like this and your actions will begin the process of setting you apart from your co-workers.
This is an important step because it shows your boss that you are serious about providing additional value to the company.
When you finish this follow up conversation, you should have at least one way that you can make a bigger impact. Join a committee. Take on an extra assignment. Become the go-to guy or gal in your office. There is always something you can do.
- Make sure you have proof
Take advantage of your increased responsibilities by doing an amazing job. You should make sure that your new project is your best work.
As you finish your new projects -- and as you go about your regular job -- be sure to collect clear proof and evidence of your value. Did a customer give you an over-the-top compliment for the job you did? Get it in writing if you can. Did your co-workers find the presentation you gave to be very beneficial? Save those slides for later reference.
If you can, try to quantify your impact with exact numbers. Did you lead a new training seminar for your peers? How many people attended? How many new skills did they learn? Did you save the company time or money? How much? Using numbers makes it easier for your boss to see your value.
Using proof is the strongest tool in your toolbox. Keep track of what you do so that you can prove why you deserve a higher paycheck. It is much easier to get a raise when you have clear, specific proof of why you should get it.
You earn your raise before you ask for it.
After a few months -- or maybe even a few weeks -- you will have settled into your new responsibilities and you'll have proof of the value you provide. Now that you are armed with these tools, you can confidently ask for a raise. Your additional work will put you ahead of the standard employee and show that your value is worth rewarding.
Yes, it's extra work, but compare the cost of a few months of additional projects to the payoff that you get from earning more year after year. Asking for a raise is something that most employees always want to talk about, but "never get around to it" because they know they haven't proven their worth.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Posted: 20 Feb 2011 08:42 AM PST
No matter how talented or smart you are, if you can’t communicate effectively with others it will be difficult to get a job, retain clients, and have productive relationships. It's a delicate process. Communication can be a hectic two-way street with messages coming and going between sender and receiver. If you aren't paying attention, you'll miss a queue and in turn, send a response that isn't ideal.
Listen, some people are born with that 'gift'. They can pick up on something and jump into any conversation whenever they want. Most people aren't built that way. Let's dive in and look at a few ways to improve. The goal is not to be the Anthony Robbins of your office, but perhaps with some work, you can take your game up a notch.
Here’s how to make professional connections.
Focus on first impressions and non-verbal behavior
Communication is both verbal and nonverbal. We don’t only send messages with words, but also with our behavior, expressions, and tone of voice. When making a first impression, be sure to have good posture, shake hands firmly, use a clear and confident tone of voice, and make eye contact.
Nonverbal communication is the real key to gauging what someone is thinking and how they are feeling, so make sure you’re sending the right message from the get go.
Adapt to match their behavior and emotions
To make a connection with someone, be aware of their state of mind and personality. Matching and mirroring others characteristic no-verbal behavior is a wonderful way to build rapport. When some mirrors our expressions, such the way we sit and move, it can feel like they’re similar and relate to us.
This offers a feeling of comfort and safety, where it becomes easier for the other person to open-up and act natural.
In general, gauge how the other person is feeling from their expression, posture, or tone of voice, and try to connect on their level.
For instance, have you ever been extremely tired and someone with boundless energy comes around talking a mile per minute? It can be irritating and obnoxious.
We simply like people who we connect with and who are like us. Building rapport through non-verbal behavior is a key to building trust and getting positive results from others.
Mutual Respect is Crucial
Learning to be assertive is very important for healthy relationships. Assertiveness is a way of communicating with mutual respect. We show respect to others while at the same time not compromising self-respect. Don’t get aggressive and belittle others, and similarly don’t be a passive pushover and accept disrespectful treatment.
Here’s how to get our needs meet while still respecting the needs of others.
- Learning how to organize assertive statements
- Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements
- Be willing to listen and stay calm
- State the facts and focus on the problem
- Express personal thoughts, feeling, and opinions reflecting ownership
- Use clear direct requests or commands when you want others to do something rather than being vague or indirect.
We all have a personal bubble
Understand people have different boundaries. Everybody has a comfort level of how close they are willing to get to others emotionally and physically. Some people have more rigid boundaries and are not open to getting close to people they don’t know. Someone with rigid boundaries may be difficult to get to know or seem uninterested, but in the long-run these can be very loyal friends and colleagues.
Other people have very open boundaries and are willing to get close and be more personal. These people have no problem being open and expressing their personal feelings.
Understanding these differences can be helpful in dealing with people in professional situations. If you have very open boundaries be careful not to offend others. You may want to test the waters and be a little more reserved at first.
Similarly, if you’re a little closed off, you may need to work on being more assertive and staking your claim if you desire to network and expand your influence.
The goal is to be balanced. First learn to understand your own boundaries and know what you feel comfortable with. Then approach others with their personal bubble in mind.
Find similarities and know people’s interests
Find what you have in common with people in order to build rapport and establish a relationship. This helps to navigate the numerous social interactions we have each day, and helps to stand out as someone who considers and pays attention to others.
For instance, by remembering peoples’ interests you’ll know that:
Pam is the music lady, Rob loves talking about astrology, and Frank is always focused on sports.
You get the point. By knowing what others are interested in, you can make it about them and get them to open-up and start connecting. Everyone enjoys talking about themselves and their interests, so make it about others.
Don’t forget to be real
It’s never advised to try and be someone you’re not, however at times we must adapt and utilize our social intelligence in order to build relationships and manage conflict.
When incorporating the above ideas don’t forget to be authentic. If you seem unnatural, all the focus will be drawn to your awkward behavior instead of making a natural connection. Start practicing the tips and little by little they will become more natural.
Similarly, it’s important to actually care about talking to others and have a positive attitude in process. Take a sincere interest in others, show respect, and act natural, and you’ll be making connections and networking in no time.
|Written on 2/20/2011 by Joe Wilner. Joe is an entrepreneur and career coach who runs the personal and professional development website Shake off the Grind. Subscribe to his blog via RSS.||Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon|
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Probably the most common use of the internet.
I have several email addresses, and you should have at least 2.
If you have an employer who gives you an email address for work, don't use it for personal stuff.
If your home internet service provider, (such as Comcast or Verizon) gives you an email address, don't use it.
One day you may switch jobs. You may switch internet services. And you really don't want to have to notify everyone of your new email address.
Use one of the free services from Google, Microsoft or Yahoo.
Actually the only one I still recommend is Gmail from Google. Click here to sign up.
Monday, March 21, 2011
From Harvey Mackay:
The road to millions is paved with hard work
By Harvey Mackay
The game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is a suspenseful half-hour that offers contestants the opportunity to dramatically improve their financial picture. Answer a dozen or so questions correctly, with help on a few if necessary, and watch the bank account mushroom.
If it were really that simple, anyone could become wealthy overnight. But it doesn't work that way. Achieving financial success isn't a game -- it's a way of life.
Some will object to the notion that making a lot of money is the same as achieving success. I understand that argument, and I agree that success comes in many ways besides just a bigger payday.
But I will submit that most of us expect our financial situation to improve as we become ever more successful at what we do. There is no shame in being rewarded appropriately for our hard work. Ambition combined with our best efforts should have positive results.
As Oprah Winfrey so eloquently put it, "Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." If anyone would know what it takes to be a self-made millionaire (actually billionaire), Oprah is a very reliable source.
Here are some secrets shared by self-made millionaires:
- Educate yourself about money. Even if you don't have your sights set on becoming the next Warren Buffett, a good understanding of finance will help you set priorities and make decisions about spending, investments and savings. Knowledge is power.
- Set some clear goals. You have to dream big if you want to succeed on a large scale. Don't be afraid of your ambitions. Start with a list of what you want to achieve this year, and then select the one goal that would have the greatest positive impact on your life, something you feel real passion for. Then get busy.
- Serve other people. Structure your goals so they're not just about you. You'll earn support from the people whose help you need by showing them how your achievements will benefit them -- and you'll feel better about yourself than you would if you concentrate only on what's in it for you.
- Learn to sell yourself. Whatever you create, you have to sell to someone else. You'll need to understand sales and marketing no matter what industry you're in. But at the same time, you have to sell others on your abilities. Be honest and reliable so employers, customers, investors or other important stakeholders know they can trust you to take care of them.
- Think of yourself as your own CEO. Whether you work for a boss or for yourself, view your career and success as your own. That means taking full responsibility for what happens to you -- your decisions, failures and triumphs. Put all your energy into your goals. Motivational guru Brian Tracy advises taking the "40+" approach: You work 40 hours a week for survival. Every minute you devote past that 40 hours is devoted to your success.
The scene repeated itself daily for a week. Her curiosity got the best of her, and she persuaded her husband to follow him one morning to see what he was doing.
So the couple took a walk early the next day. Just beyond the trees, they found a very long and deep trench, rough and uneven at one end but neat and straight at the other. The young man arrived during their inspection, and the couple peppered him with questions. "Why dig here, in this rocky ground? Why dig at all? And what is in that case?"
The young man smiled and explained, "I'm digging a trench. I'm actually learning how to dig a good trench, because the job I'm being interviewed for later today says that experience in doing that is essential -- so I'm getting the experience. And the case has my lunch in it."
There's no secret to success. It's just ambition + hard work + dedication.
Mackay's Moral: We do what we have to do so we can do what we want to do.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
from the DLM Blog:
Posted: 10 Mar 2011 05:22 PM PST
How can you kick junk food to the curb? Many of us have tried and failed, and tried and failed, and tried and ended up binging on Big Macs blended with ice cream, etc...
What we usually do is say, "After this bucket of KFC Chicken, I'm not eating this crap anymore!" Then we purge our house of all things sugary, we eat salads and whole wheat for about 3 days and then cave in the first time we drive past a Taco Bell. Where is the will power, the drive, the ambition you had a couple days ago?
That's because we try to stop eating junk food without thinking about it - without planning our escape. What we should do is worry about changing our habits. As Leo Babauta mentioned over at Zen Habits, forging new habits takes time and energy. If we want to kick our junk food habits we'll have to give both. That's why we're going to:
- only change one habit at a time
- give each change at least 2 weeks to become ingrained
I'm going to separate the tasks into kicking crap snacks, kicking fast food and kicking pop (soda to you philistines). Pick whichever will be easiest for you and do that first. A taste of success is incredibly motivating. Then do the one that will be hardest second while you're on an upswing.
Kick the Pop Habit
This one's probably the simplest. Not the easiest, but the simplest. You just keep downgrading every 2-4 weeks. Essentially switching terrible habits for bad and then switching bad for good.
- Regular -to- Diet: First switch from regular to diet pop and leave it at that for at least 2 weeks. I know that some people say diet is just as bad as regular but we don't want to be fighting our caffeine addiction at the same time we're fighting our sugar addiction. Remember we want to change habits in stages to have the highest chance of success.
- Diet -to- Caffeine Free Diet: If you do have a caffeine addiction this is where you'll find out. You're going to have about 3 days of feeling like a hangover mouth tastes while your body breaks the physical addiction. But stay on it for the full 2 weeks, we don't want to change too much too fast.
- Caffeine Free Diet -to- Flavored Water/Water: Now we're moving into healthy territory. If you can't stand drinking water I'm not going to lecture you. Just drink the flavored water with 0 calories they have now, it's just as good(if you don't mind paying for it). If you want you can use that as a jumping off point to regular water but either way you should be loosing weight and feeling better than when you were drinking pop.
How do we beat crack for the single male? Yes, that's how hooked people are on this. How about this:
- Start by saving all your fast food receipts for one week
- Now, place a jar by your bed
- Each night, empty your pants, wallet, or purse of all the fast food receipts.
Take that money and put it in a ziplock bag that you keep in your car. All your fast food will be paid for out of this fund, and when it dries up, that's it until next week. This will force you to ration and make choices.
Let it sink in for 2 weeks and don't forget to plan this out. Something has to replace all that fast food you're suddenly not eating. I suggest:
- Keep something in your car to eat on the way home from work, like an apple or some nuts - something filling and always ready.
- Have some frozen meals ready at home so you never wonder what you're going to eat tonight. If you can't make them yourself on the weekend, try those frozen skillets - something balanced and quick.
Kick Crap Snacks
The first step to kicking crappy snack foods is doing a food inventory. What do you have in your kitchen? Cookies, chips, candy? And what are you eating them for? Which are your comfort food? Stress foods?
Then we're going to make a chart of all these snacks and for each one list a replacement snack. For example instead of potato chips you could eat tortilla chips with salsa. Now you can switch a crappy snack for it's healthier replacement. But no more than one every two weeks (pacing). Make yourself eat the new food daily so it becomes a part of your lifestyle and remember to snack before you get hungry.
It's a pretty straight forward process but here's a few tips to make it go smoother:
- If you have a craving for a crap snack that you absolutely have to give in to, buy an individual portion or eat just enough to satisfy your craving and throw out the rest. Keeping it around is crap-snack sabotage.
- If you have a sweet tooth, proportion something into bites and eat them after a healthy snack. For example cut a snickers bar into 8ths and keep each individually wrapped in the freezer, then eat one after you've filled up on popcorn. That gives you that sweet taste without having to fill up that sweet crap.