Five Essential Tips to Nail A First Impression

The human brain processes non-verbal information much faster than verbal communication. Within a couple seconds of meeting someone for the first time, the brain has already assessed a long list of factors about that person (for better or for worse) such as gender, age range, physical attributes, general hygiene,  how the individual is dressed, and the level of confidence they display through body posture and facial expression. This information then immediately creates a filter through which the brain will initially process verbal communication coming from that person. You truly only have one chance to make a great first impression!

Now that we are aware of how the brain formulates first impressions, it’s time we up our game in this critical area of communication. So, let’s take a look at some tangible action steps we can take to nail that first impression whether we are speaking in front of a crowd, being introduced to an executive from work, or perhaps meeting that special someone for the first time.

Contine Reading

The Best Time Is Now

A new year is upon us! Will this new year just wash over you with whatever it happens to bring, or will your intentional decisions be the force that changes the outcome of the year? What key decisions do you need to make in your life this coming year? Better yet, what is the one significant step you need to take in your life right now to make the new year memorable? If you know the answer, is it something big enough and bold enough that it significantly challenges you? Have you been waiting for the right time, the right opportunity, or even someone else to step in and take action for you on your big idea? I am here to challenge both you and me to make this the year where we take significant intentional action in our lives.

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Increase Your Influence

Are you a proactive influencer, or are you more likely to react to your surroundings?

Have you ever used binoculars or a telescope to see something clearly that was actually out of the reach of your naked eye? In order to use these instruments correctly, you have to sometimes adjust the focus depending on how far away the object is you are trying to observe. Becoming an influencer requires us to focus in on the things we can control, and consciously push the things we cannot control out to our peripheral.

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Time Management Part 4: Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

“Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in the short term, but underestimate what they can accomplish over the long term” – Author Unknown

One of the most difficult areas of time management is strategic planning. Generally speaking, most companies have at a minimum a three-year rolling plan in motion at all times. This helps ensure accountability and that business and financial targets are met over the long hall. The question is, how can you introduce strategic planning into your personal life so that your big goals are realized over time, just like companies do? The answer is to start at the finish line and work your way back to now!

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Time Management Part 3: The Short List

List

It was a hot Saturday afternoon and I was feeling good. One by one I was proudly checking off the long list of household to-do items on the whiteboard in the front hallway. With each checkmark, I would stand back and admire my excellent time management skills based on the progress I was making. Later that day when I came back into the house to check off yet another heroic accomplishment, I stopped in dismay. Someone had erased all of the finished tasks which had checkmarks, only leaving the unfinished ones. I suddenly only had evidence of what I had yet to do, with no proof of my accomplishment to-date

If you are like me, this is how it can feel at work most days. Somewhere between the flood of emails, instant message requests from the boss and meetings as far as the eye can see, we have “real” work to accomplish. There was a time when the multiple streams of work and distractions stressed me out as I watched my day slip by without any tangible progress against deliverables. Not anymore! The answer to time management problems at work is The Short List.

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Time Management Part 2: Love Your Commute

Daily Commute

Last week I worked out of the Jersey City, NJ office where you look directly across the Hudson River at mighty lower Manhattan. As I met various teammates that I do not normally see in person, I asked them about their daily commute to the office. Without exception, I was greeted with painful stories of riding the trains and subways for up to 90 minutes each way to and from work. Not one of my teammates had a positive spin on this required chore or a thoughtful time management approach on how to make this time work in their favor. Why is it that no one likes their work commute? I for one love my daily commute to and from work!

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Time Management Part 1: Morning Routines

Time

While listening to one of my mentor’s podcasts today, I heard the statement to be successful we need fewer cheerleaders in our lives and more coaches. A cheerleader (say your mom for example) is going to cheer you on no matter what the quality of your output is. A coach (or mentor) on the other hand, is going to give you the tough love feedback needed to get to the next level. Today’s time management discussion likely falls into the tough love category for the 50% or so of the population who do not consider themselves a morning person, because it deals with actively creating and managing morning routines. Let’s get started.

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Dress for Business Success

Man in business atire

Business success rarely surprises those who achieve it, they show up every day expecting it!

If you work in a professional office setting you have likely been introduced to the “business casual” approach to modern-day workplace dress. The concept of dressing for business success is quickly fading in many work settings. There appears to be no baseline for what appropriate workplace dress should look like anymore. What was once casual Fridays has now become the norm five days a week. While I am all in favor of loosening (or losing) the stiff necktie look, workplace dress is still an area where you can set yourself apart from the crowd in subtle ways with a little planning!

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Key to Business Success

Fork

I dove into breakfast the other day only to be surprised by the unpleasant sensation of a fork with one prong that was bent and out of line with the other three. You might not think this would be a big deal but it definitely detracted from an otherwise great breakfast. With every bite, I was repeatedly reminded of the bent prong as it rubbed against my mouth. Many people I observe, and in the past even admired lead lives that are like a bent fork prong. They are known for their amazing leadership skills, entrepreneurial spirit, and overall business successes. But if you look a little closer, you realize something is out of balance.

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