A Touch of Excellence!

10 things to avoid to be happy!!!!

1. Having too many expectations
When we have too many expectations, we are not going to be able to work with others, because it will often cause conflict with others, and that will only give us more trouble than a peace of mind.

2. Comparing ourselves with others
The truth is, there is no end to the comparison game. No matter who we compare ourselves to, there will always be someone out there who are better at doing what we did. Comparison puts our focus on the wrong thing and person.

3. Toxic people

Negative people are good at telling us what we are not capable of becoming, while influencing us to believe that what they say is true. They will not only drag our energy down, but also crush our dream by constantly reminding us of how impossible it is to get to where we want to be. Surrounding ourselves with these people will sabotage our happiness.

We can always choose who we want to spend our time with. We can spend our time with positive people who talks about ideas, who are willing to exchange information and who can provide us with useful knowledge.

4. Holding grudges
People often carry on grudges while having moral battles with the one who has done them wrong, casting themselves as the righteous and the other person in the wrong.

What they don’t realize is that they waste too much energy on it, and eventually put themselves into a darker side of the situation.

Whatever damage that the person causes cannot be undone, therefore holding on to it is only going to gradually damage you..

5. Self importance
Self importance is a product of fear. People who believe in self importance are afraid of losing their ego over anything else. They view themselves as an extremely important person, and expect everyone around them to put them as a priority in any situation. These behaviors will eventually damage their relationship with the people around them, and leads to an isolated life.

If we all learn to have gratitude towards the people around us, we will learn that what and who we are today are somewhat influenced by them.

6. Suppressing emotions
Holding back on our emotions might lead to depression. We might think that showing our emotions would make us vulnerable, but the truth is, a truly strong person is able to show all their emotions because they are not afraid to acknowledge that they are only human, and that is is absolutely okay to feel.

When we are open to our emotions, and are honest about them, we are setting ourselves free from the heavy emotional burden that are otherwise buried inside of us.

7. Worrying too much over the future
There are many other ways to secure our future than to be worrying over it. It is so important to value each moment of our lives since we only live once.

To worry over the future takes away our precious moments, because we are too distracted to enjoy living the here and now.

We can set goals and be productive to secure our future.

8. Putting others down
Some people think that putting others down will boost themselves up. There is a saying that blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter.

People criticize and put others down so they can have the feeling of superiority, so they can hide their own insecurities. Strong people don’t put others down, instead they lift them up.

9. Blaming
To blame our faults on someone else is a fairly convenient way to get away from trouble. But what we don’t know, is that when we put the responsibility on someone else, we are actually putting ourselves at risk of not having the control over our situation. We become the victim of our circumstances.

When we stop blaming others, we begin to discover who we truly are. We will find peace within ourselves when we realize that our happiness is entirely our own responsibility.

10. Rushing
It is important to know that we are the ones who create the time pressure for ourselves. It might seem like we are often running out of time, but the truth is, if we manage our time efficiently, there is always enough time in the day.

What we can do is to set priority to things that matter more over things that are less important to us. We can’t have all the time in the world, and we can’t do everything we want to do at the same time. But we can manage our time, set priorities, and try to get the other things done when we have the time and opportunity to do them.

Five reasons why your progress may have stalled

1. You have people on board who aren’t pulling their weight.

If you’ve ever ridden on a bicycle built for two with someone who isn’t doing much pedaling, then you know what it’s like to try and move forward with someone who isn’t pulling their weight. It’s exhausting! Take a look around your organization and do an honest assessment. Who is peddling hard and who is coasting? Then make a commitment to remove those people who aren’t doing much of anything. Now try moving forward again and notice the difference.
2. You’ve failed to invest in your firm or your people.

It’s easy to complain how things are falling apart, yet you haven’t made any investments in your company or your people in years. People are not going to become stronger managers and develop better relationships with your customers by osmosis. These are skills that need to be built and continually reinforced. Loosen your belt and start investing in your people. It shouldn’t be too long before you begin seeing changes.
3. You have a hard time delegating.

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to move your business forward when you are still in the middle of daily operations. You hired people to help you, right? Then let them do just that, and notice how much time you now have available to grow your business!
4. You really have no idea where you are going.

I experienced this myself when my husband and I were driving through Tuscany. Yes, the scenery was wonderful, but after driving past the same church three times within a two-hour span, it was obvious to me that we needed a destination, even if it was just a gelateria! You will never get to a specific place in your business if you don’t have a destination in mind. It’s a good idea to look at your business every six months or so. This will allow you ample time to make course corrections so you don’t find yourself circling back to the place where you started.
5. You don’t implement recommendations.

You surround yourself with smart people and you ask for their recommendations. Sometimes you even pay for this advice. Yet you never implement any of these recommendations. Is it any wonder that nothing has changed?

I understand that change is hard and that sometimes you’ll experience even more pain before things get better. But in the end, isn’t it better to have tried something than to have done nothing at all?

TOP 10 QUALITIES OF GOOD LEADERSHIP

Honesty
The foundation of any relationship, both personal and professional, is honesty. People want to work for a leader they can trust−a leader that has morals, values, and integrity.  They want to work for a company that offers a great product or service they can believe in, and that has an honorable reputation. “Honest Abe,” or Abraham Lincoln, is said to have been one of the greatest Presidents to ever lead our country, and he didn’t achieve his success or earn that nickname by being dishonest. Your workers want to feel good about their jobs−it’s important to establish core values for both the business and yourself as a leader, and to then live and lead by those values as an example to your employees.

Communication
Without clear communication, your employees won’t understand your mission, goals, and vision. Employees want to work toward something they believe in, so it’s important they understand that they are working toward the same goals you are. Communication should also be consistent in establishing work expectations, giving constructive feedback, and in training new employees.  With great communication, your employees will know exactly what they are working for, will rely on you, and will give their best effort for you.

Confidence
When things go wrong, employees look to you for the answers and judge the situation based upon your reaction. Even if the company is experiencing a major downturn, it’s important to always be confident, calm, and set a good example. If you aren’t confident with the organization in a situation, then be confident in your own leadership skills. Your job is to maintain the happy work environment, and continue leading the team in their daily work.

Inspiration
Whether you’re starting a new business, or you’re leading a team in a business that’s already been established, it’s important to get employees invested in the vision and future of the company. You must be inspired and invested in the company in order to inspire others, like Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. The product of their own inspiration has inspired millions of others across the world, and has significantly impacted the world we live in today. Though inspiration often looks forward to the future, it’s also important for the present; it gives employees a reason to work, to succeed, and to do their best in everything they do. Make them feel invested in the company through inspiration and they’ll be loyal, hard-working employees.

Positivity
Regardless of the situation, always stay positive. Positivity is essential to productivity, employee happiness, and work environment. When mistakes are made- even if they are serious, it’s important to look at the bright side of things. You are setting the tone for the work day, and your attitude directly affects those under your leadership. Bringing snacks, giving compliments, and even showing an appropriate interest in an employee’s personal life can have a significant impact on their work day.

Delegation
If there is a highly-important project, it can be difficult to trust employees without micromanaging. Trusting them to do their best possible work is a sign of strength in your leadership, and will encourage them to live up to your expectations. When it comes to delegation, the idea is to decide what strengths each employee possesses, and to assign them tasks that best fit those strengths. The ability to delegate successfully will lead to higher quality work and productivity.

Commitment
Nothing shows commitment and humility like getting your hands dirty with the rest of the workers. Showing your commitment sets the example for others to follow, and leads to greater loyalty and respect for you as a leader. Always be committed in whatever you do, whether it is a promise to have a holiday party, a day off, or a meeting time. You are in the spotlight as a leader, and you will be judged harder for your actions than others will be. Set the tone of commitment, and others will follow suit.

Humor
Although not a requirement, a sense of humor goes a long way in leadership. It helps create a positive work environment and enhances the feeling of camaraderie. Warren Buffett, for example, once said, “I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.” Your unique personality and sense of humor shows your employees that you are more than a leader, and that you aren’t a machine, which encourages them to feel comfortable around you.

Creativity
Some decisions have to be made quickly, and catch us by surprise. In times like these, it’s up to you to think outside the box to find a solution. Your team will be looking to you in these situations for guidance, so a quick decision must also be a good decision. Henry Ford faced a situation like this when demand for his vehicles was so high he couldn’t possibly keep up. Instead of making the obvious decision to hire more people, he thought with creativity and developed the assembly line. You may even brainstorm with your team to build upon some of your ideas. When your employees are involved in a decision or idea, they often feel more invested, respected, and important. When you are in a situation where creativity is necessary, your creativity level and experience can either gain your employees’ loyalty and respect, or damage it.

Intuition
Sometimes we are presented with situations that aren’t in the textbooks, and for which you might not be prepared as a leader. The first decision isn’t always the best one, and taking your time to come up with a unique solution can be in the best interest of your workers and organization. Sometimes, leaders have to draw upon their instincts, past experiences, and mentors for help in these complicated situations

9 Telephone Conversation Skills

1. Speak clearly. A picture paints a thousand words but the caller on the other end of the phone can only hear you. They cannot see your face or body language. Therefore, taking the time to speak clearly, slowly and in a cheerful, professional voice is very important.

2. Use your normal tone of voice when answering a call. If you have a tendency to speak loud or shout, avoid doing so on the telephone.

3. Do not eat or drink while you are on telephone duty. Only eat or drink during your coffee break or lunch break.

4. Do not use slang words or Poor Language. Respond clearly with “yes” or “no” when speaking. Never use swear words.

5. Address the Caller Properly by his or her title. (i.e. Good morning Mr. Brown, Good afternoon Ms. Sanders). Never address an unfamiliar caller by his or her first name.

6. Listen to the Caller and what they have to say. The ability to listen is a problem in general but it is very important to listen to what the caller has to say. It is always a good habit to repeat the information back to the client when you are taking a message. Verify that you have heard and transcribed the message accurately.

7. Be patient and helpful. If a caller is irate or upset, listen to what they have to say and then refer them to the appropriate resource. Never snap back or act rude to the caller.

8. Always ask if you can put the caller on hold. If you are responsible for answering multiple calls at once, always ask the caller politely if you may put them on hold. Remember that the caller could have already waited several minutes before getting connected to you and may not take lightly to being put on hold. Never leave the person on hold for more than a few seconds or they may become upset and hang up.

9. Always focus on the call. Try not to get distracted by people around you. If someone tries to interrupt you while you are on a call, politely remind them that you are on a customer call and that you will be with them as soon as you are finished.

9 Things That Motivate Employees More Than Money

The ability to motivate employees is one of the greatest skills an entrepreneur can possess.

Here are nine things that motivate employees:

  1. Be generous with praise. Everyone wants it and it’s one of the easiest things to give. Plus, praise from the CEO goes a lot farther than you might think. Praise every improvement that you see your team members make. Once you’re comfortable delivering praise one-on-one to an employee, try praising them in front of others.  
  2. Get rid of the managers. Projects without project managers? That doesn’t seem right! Try it. Removing the project lead or supervisor and empowering your staff to work together as a team rather then everyone reporting to one individual can do wonders. Think about it. What’s worse than letting your supervisor down? Letting your team down! Allowing people to work together as a team, on an equal level with their co-workers, will often produce better projects faster. People will come in early, stay late, and devote more of their energy to solving problems.  
  3. Make your ideas theirs. People hate being told what to do. Instead of telling people what you want done; ask them in a way that will make them feel like they came up with the idea. “I’d like you to do it this way” turns into “Do you think it’s a good idea if we do it this way?”  
  4. Never criticize or correct. No one, and I mean no one, wants to hear that they did something wrong. If you’re looking for a de-motivator, this is it. Try an indirect approach to get people to improve, learn from their mistakes, and fix them. Ask, “Was that the best way to approach the problem? Why not? Have any ideas on what you could have done differently?” Then you’re having a conversation and talking through solutions, not pointing a finger.  
  5. Make everyone a leader. Highlight your top performers’ strengths and let them know that because of their excellence, you want them to be the example for others. You’ll set the bar high and they’ll be motivated to live up to their reputation as a leader.  
  6. Take an employee to lunch once a week. Surprise them. Don’t make an announcement that you’re establishing a new policy. Literally walk up to one of your employees, and invite them to lunch with you. It’s an easy way to remind them that you notice and appreciate their work.  
  7. Give recognition and small rewards. These two things come in many forms: Give a shout out to someone in a company meeting for what she has accomplished. Run contests or internal games and keep track of the results on a whiteboard that everyone can see. Tangible awards that don’t break the bank can work too. Try things like dinner, trophies, spa services, and plaques. 
  8. Throw company parties. Doing things as a group can go a long way. Have a company picnic. Organize birthday parties. Hold a happy hour. Don’t just wait until the holidays to do a company activity; organize events throughout the year to remind your staff that you’re all in it together. 
  9. Share the rewards—and the pain. When your company does well, celebrate. This is the best time to let everyone know that you’re thankful for their hard work. Go out of your way to show how far you will go when people help your company succeed. If there are disappointments, share those too. If you expect high performance, your team deserves to know where the company stands. Be honest and transparent. 

10 ESSENTIAL OFFICE ETTIQUETTE TIPS

Here are a few tips for good office etiquette:

1. Dress Appropriately

If the dress code is business casual, make sure you clarify what is and isn’t appropriate. Business casual has become the norm for many employers, but many people are still unclear on what this means. For some, it means khakis and polo shirts, casual pants, casual dresses, and so on. Some companies have a business casual policy that excludes jeans or open-toed shoes.

Some companies have one dress code when you’re working in the office and another when you’re meeting with clients. The generally accepted rule is to dress like the client or one step above, but double-check with your supervisor.

One of my first managers always told me to “dress for the job you want.” This is good advice and has been helpful throughout my career. If you’re dressing like your manager or the people in the next hierarchical level of the company, you’re probably appropriate for the workplace.

2. ‘Please’ And ‘Thank You’ Are Still Magic Words

When we were children, “please” and “thank you” were referred to as “magic words” that were to be used when we were asking for something and then, in turn, receiving something. Although we’ve all outgrown the reminders from our parents, these words have certainly not lost their enchantment. In fact, these words are so important almost every language has some equivalent with similar meaning.

Please and thank you still have a prominent place in the business world and you should use them at every opportunity.

By using common courtesies, you demonstrate you respect the people with whom you’re dealing. Even if you don’t work in a customer service job, keep an attitude of customer service. Your colleagues and, more importantly, your superiors will begin to realize you’re a go-to person if you’re almost always pleasant.

3. Be A Team Player

In many workplaces and career fields, there is an expectation you will work with other people on projects during the course of your employment. It’s sometimes tough to get along with varying personalities and that’s precisely why clear communication is so important. Part of office etiquette is working well with others and communicating effectively. Take time to listen to other people’s points of view. You may not always agree, but it’s likely you can learn something new by being open to other perspectives and respectful of other people’s opinions.

Here are a few additional office etiquette tips to encourage positive working relationships:

  • Be friendly and encouraging to co-workers.
  • Be responsible – if you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you’re unable to complete a task for some reason, make sure information is communicated to all team members who would be impacted.
  • If you share an office, be considerate. Find out how your office mate works and be respectful. For example, some people need to work in complete silence, while others enjoy background music. Make sure you’re not inadvertently making your office mate crazy with your personal habits.
  • Understand people are unique and dwell on their positive qualities, not their negative qualities. It’s acceptable to not be friends with everyone, but try to at least be professional and cordial in your interactions.
  • Rise above office gossip. No one wants to earn the reputation of being the office busybody.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Your co-workers are not mind readers, so make sure you’re communicating with them and your manager on a regular basis.

Proper office etiquette isn’t hard to learn, but it’s a skill you should constantly practice and improve upon throughout your entire career.

30 Coolest Office Gadgets You Must Have

30 Coolest Office Gadgets You Must Have

coolest office gadgets

Working as an office guy is far from interesting. On the contrary, many, including me, find the usual repetitive tasks to be boring and stressful. Just exactly the kind where you are longing to go somewhere else to escape from the drudgery, only to find that the five o’clock off is almost light years away.

Well, there are many ways to fight office boredom. You can clean up your desk and keep things organized as possible. If you want games on the other hand, you can play tetris or some boring game to fight boredom with boredom. This however has never been taken seriously by most office employees. I have however tried it once as per suggestion of my buddy, and found that it was surprisingly cool.

By the way, one of the proven ways so far in breaking office monotony is the introduction of some nerdy items to the workplace, and that is what we will be sharing with you here. In this article, you will find not only cool office gadgets but useful tools that you can enjoy in your workplace as well. We are talking here about creatively designed products and outrageously hilarious devices, if that is how you see them,  that can make your office a better place to work in. Also if you are a geek, you should also see this article about 30 Coolest Products Geeks Will Love. We are inviting you to go over these items and share this article to your friends in any way possible. If you are also interested in the coolest business website templates for you company then check out the impressive theme collection. Enjoy!

 

Nappak- inflatable sleeping cube

Nappak- inflatable sleeping cube

Tired in the office? Now you can take a nap with this inflatable sleeping cube. You surely deserve a brief rest after all hustle in the office. Just arrange it with your boss prior to setting up camp so that he will give you time to take your break in the comfort of your cool napping gear. And yeah, never mind if your co-workers would call you lazy, unless you admit that you really are. What’s important after all is, you give yourself time to recharge so that you stay productive for the rest of the day.

USB Cup Warmer

USB Cup Warmer

Why is it that a really good cuppa always seems to cool at 10 times the normal rate when you’re working at your computer? It’s really very annoying. At last, there’s a solution with this easy-to-use USB Cup Warmer. Simply plug the little gadget into your USB port, pop your cuppa onto the hot plate, and it’ll extend your drinking time by up to 30 minutes. Think you have all the computer essentials you need? You will soon come to realize that this is a real essential. You won’t be able to manage without one of these on your desk. Make working at your computer cosy with a hot cup of warming comfort beside you. Continue reading

Life Hacks…Part 1

What are life hacks?you may ask. In the simplest of words, these are simple methods of making our life activities more efficient using what is available around us. Below are some 50 life hacks everyone out there should try. Your life won’t be the same again!

 

1.

use-paper-clips-to-organize-your-cables-life-hack

 

 

2.

life hacks how to make your life easier (16)

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Going Green when printing

going greenWe all want to reduce wastage of printing paper in our offices. This not only saves us money, but it also helps conserve the environment. Below are some of the strategies that can be used to achieve this: Continue reading

Managing Waste in the Workplace

Did you know? Effective waste management can reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill by up to 50%. The important thing to remember is to reduce, reuse and recycle…
There are four steps necessary to properly manage waste: Continue reading