Fortify Your Relationships with Value and Authenticity

Whether you work remotely or in the office, the ability to connect well with others is an essential skill. When done effectively, creating authentic relationships allows business to run smoothly. There are a variety of methods to ensure this process is approached in a beneficial way for both parties.

Before meeting: Approach from a place of generosity. While it’s easy to seek out connections because of what the other person can do for you, it’s crucial to have the opposite mindset when building professional relationships. Find something of value you can bring to the other person. Do your due diligence and find their personal, professional, or philanthropic pursuits. Connect them to a potential client or someone who might help leverage their business. Everyone has special interests and it usually doesn’t require much digging to uncover.

While meeting: Instead of starting a conversation by asking for help, pitch an idea or summarize your work experience and lead by asking open-ended questions. Then, sit back and actively listen. Rather than talking about your own interests and what you want, the goal is to get to know the other person as much as possible. Demonstrate you are listening by contributing input when appropriate, but allow the other person to chat as much as they’d like.

We all have an innate ability to sense when someone is putting on a facade, slathering on compliments, or coming from a place of insecurity. When you are present, encouraging, and poised, the other person will feel comfortable as well. Take note of anything they speak about passionately and follow up with thoughtful questions. The conversation will be invigorating and memorable rather than draining or interminable.

After meeting: Follow up and follow through. Sending a handwritten thank you note is a highly effective way to build rapport. Reference something that stood out to you from the conversation; It’s a compliment to know your words stuck with someone. Remember, coming from a place of authenticity is one of the most important aspects of building relationships.

Become the type of person you’d like to meet. Deliver substance and add value as much as possible. Allow others to feel heard and convey appreciation. Being generous with your time, attention, and listening skills will go a long way in cultivating your relationships.

Acknowledge people’s efforts
Thank people
Forget about title and status
Create a foundation
Leverage your relationships with networking
Collaboration is contagious

Reignite the Passion for Your Job

Throughout your career, there will be times that will be exciting and fulfilling, and other times when you may feel you’ve lost your mojo. When you fall into a rut, it can become increasingly difficult to perform at your best. Here are some ways to shake things up and reignite the passion for your job.

Switching up even one aspect of your typical routine can do the trick. If you work remotely, try bringing your laptop somewhere different. Work outside for an hour, scope out a new cafe or utilize a new environment to spark creativity. If you work at an office, try a new route to work. Challenge yourself to notice three landmarks you’ve never noticed on your usual commute. If you dress to music every morning, get ready in silence or vice versa. There are countless ways to freshen up a stale routine and jump-start your creative thinking process.

Another way to shift your mindset is to improve your current perspective. Gratitude reignites the passion for anything in life. Even if it’s only five minutes, set time aside to focus on what you are most thankful for about your job. Put pen to paper, record a voice note or email yourself the aspects you appreciate most. When you’re feeling uninspired, this exercise can seem difficult but all the more reason to put a list together. Your job likely allows you many luxuries and, even if you aren’t enjoying a current assignment, adaptability will further your career.

We also suggest connecting with others who work in your field. If you’re not feeling inspired, seek inspiring people. From conferences and industry events to Facebook groups and meetups, there are many opportunities to unite with others. Plenty of options exist for creating contacts in person, online, or both. Whether you work in office or remotely, it’s beneficial to have a support system. Speaking to an impassioned associate in your field can be a reminder of why you started working in the first place.

The ten-time NCAA championship coach, John Wooden, used to say “Little things make big things happen.” These tips are simple yet powerful and the positive results will speak for themselves.

Morning Jolt: The Pros and Cons of Coffee Addiction

I love coffee. I can’t hide it. My daily obsession started back in college: staying up late, hammering out English papers up against pressing deadlines, trying to keep my eyes open as I studied for exams. For the longest time I hated the smell of it. Growing up I never understood my grandmother’s fondness for Folgers every morning and iced mocha drinks at Starbucks and the Border’s café.

Continue reading → Morning Jolt: The Pros and Cons of Coffee Addiction

Whistle While You Work

One of the most challenging obstacles in the working world is procrastination. Meeting deadlines and assisting co-workers with daily projects can normally help obliterate any spells of lassitude or laziness, but sometimes getting started on a project—or just knowing where to begin in the first place—can be the toughest part (three to five cups of coffee every morning can supply an extra dose of adrenalized motivation, or just an onslaught of heartburn). Establishing everyday routines and communication with colleagues are both useful ways of finding a diligent groove, but in my years of partaking in this great big nine-to-five experiment, I’ve found that the best expediter to those slow-moving, languid mornings is music.

Continue reading → Whistle While You Work

How to Effectively Work from Home Without Becoming a Hermit

“How do you get any work done?” and “Don’t you get lonely?” are the first questions I’m asked after telling anyone that I work remotely. Telecommuters actually tend to be 15-55% more productive according to Global Workplace Analytics. And, of course, there are many other benefits to working from home: my morning commute is 10 seconds, my work attire primarily consists of sweatshirts and yoga pants, and I have access to a fully stocked kitchen (my growing waistline suggests this may be a con). However, it’s not all freedom and guiltless snacking, it can be lonely and requires a lot of discipline. Not everyone is hardwired to do it.
Continue reading → How to Effectively Work from Home Without Becoming a Hermit