How To Use Out of Office To Keep #CustomerRelationships Healthy

I hope you get to enjoy your well-deserved rest and relaxation this summer. Remember though that our out-of-office messages can help build good relationships with service users and make our life simpler.

Here are 3 lessons I’ve learnt over time, that have helped keep contacts updated (the ideas expand on themes in the video above). It is important to:

  • Identify who will engage with incoming messages, so contacts can stay connected
  • Make sure that colleague has the capacity to manage incoming email
  • Say who will manage email, in the absence of the alternative contact

Making time to manage our contacts in this way should help simplify our life and keep our relationships healthy.

Feel free to Like, Share and Comment if this reminder is useful (and Subscribe to the YouTube channel for more ideas to simplify your life)!

3 Tips For Improving Your Next Zoom or Teams Call

Joining A Zoom Or Teams Call – Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA: via http://www.pexels.com

Like it, or not, the Covid pandemic has changed the way we communicate. I mean, how many of us had regularly used Zoom or Teams before 2020?

We learnt a lot about videoconferencing software can do (and what its limitations are, especially for users with disabilities).

However, one of my main take-aways is pretty simple, it involves being camera-aware.

No one is saying we should all be as skilled as a television presenter, but now and again you see people being interviewed and blunting their message, due to their camera technique.

Here are my 3 favourite tips:

  • Make use of daylight – ideally use morning or late afternoon rather harsh noon light
  • Speak at eye level – this is a natural way to engage and to avoid up the nostril shots
  • Avoid the built-in Microphone – A clip on microphone, or one attached to earphones will cut down unwanted sounds from the surroundings.

What is your video call secret?

What’s My 20th Anniversary Takeaway From #TheWire ?

Photo by kat wilcox: at Pexels.com

Let’s celebrate the 20th anniversary of a complex portrait of a city and its Black, Latino, White and other citizens, in the version of Baltimore where ‘The Wire’ was set.

The show had so much to say about the places in the new century where:

Police stretched the law, as far as they could.

Politicians helped themselves and sometimes their constituents.

Journalists made choices about which stories needed telling.

Teachers tried to educate the young, in underfunded schools.

Blue Collar Workers struggled to do the right thing.

While Dealers and Users crossed paths / took responsibility / showed leadership.

Fast forward 20 years. In our time ‘Leaders’ routinely lie to their followers, avoid accountability and speak in 3 word slogans.

Back then, a TV show about a changing city, and every type of citizen, left us with a simple message:

A Man Must Have A Code,

3 Steps Toward Personal #Success

Picture by Otto Rascon on Pexels.com

One day I want to be as wise as James Earl Jones (he provides the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars saga).

Or maybe as creative as Clint Eastwood (a film director and musician).

I might even settle for a touch of William Shatner’s curiosity (well known space explorer).

Although these gents are now in their nineties their wisdom, creativity and curiosity were always present.

Having said that, our own unique talents can sometimes lie below the surface of our everyday armour. We can be scared to show others just how talented we are whether we are fifteen, or fifty. We have to decide we can be vulnerable, then get and hold other people’s attention.

So we need to get out of our own way and actively chase after personal success. If we are doing this, our life goals should include:

  • Working to increase the amount of happiness we get from our day
  • Promoting others’ well being
  • Building an intriguing set of memories for others to remember us by

How does that sound to you?

An Award Winner Talks About Anger Management

Photo by Gezer Amorim at Pexels.com:

Sir Sidney Poitier was a thoughtful, charismatic actor and Academy Award winner.

He was also an activist. He marched on Washington in 1963, as part of the call for equality spearheaded by Dr Martin Luther King.

He could see that channelling his righteous anger could influence millions of people around the world.

His life was celebrated during this year’s Oscars ceremony, alongside others in the entertainment industry who passed away in last twelve months.

The ‘slap that was heard around the World’ might have eclipsed that segment.

I think the only slap which people will remember Mr Poitier giving was the one his character, Virgil Tibbs, gave the racist character Endicott ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ (1967).

That was a bold, justified, and revolutionary act. It is a long way from what happened on film in the sixties to last weekend at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.

Apologies have been offered since then.

Learning is underway too.

Meanwhile, to close here’s a quote from Mr Poitier which puts all that into context:

I have learned that I must find positive outlets for anger, or it will destroy me.

Sidney Poitier: The Measure Of A Man A Spiritual Autobiography

It’s #Timetotalk

Men talking – Picture credit Pexels.com

The hardest part about living with a mental health challenge?

Others can’t see it.

Broken limb?

We wear a plaster cast.

Feeling broken down?

We need to start talking.

Being vulnerable.

Opening up about the hurt.

Inviting someone to support us.

In person, or online.

In confidence.

In our own interests (and for the sake of our loved ones).

It is always a good time to talk.

Merry #Christmas And A Happier New Year

At the end of 2020 I got my wires crossed when answering a friend’s text. She had asked how I was feeling, and she felt my answer didn’t say enough (I wondered if, maybe she was going through something herself).

Anyway, I let her know I was doing okay and would catch up with her after Christmas. I reckoned there would be a break in the lockdown in 2021 and we could meet for a drink or something.  

That didn’t happen.

I don’t know whether my friend was feeling unwell in December 2020 when she texted, but she died with Covid mid-January 2021.

I felt numb when I got the news. Then I cried, because her death was so unfair, given her age.

This Christmas I’m thinking about her family and everyone else who has lost someone in 2021 (due to Covid or not).

I hope they are doing okay this Christmas.

I hope they will find the right words to celebrate their loved one’s life, even though they are absent from the table.

I hope they / we all have a happier new year.

( Photo by Any Lane from Pexels )

#Workplacenightmares (And Some Wellbeing Strategies)

Workplaces Should Be Nightmare Free – (Image by Pixabay at Pexels.Com)

We can’t always be liked or respected by colleagues. Bad atmospheres can give us sleepless nights. Do you have a workplace nightmare story, that one that still makes you cringe years later?  

Here’s mine.

The 1990s Were Different

Back to the 1990s there was no anti-discrimination legislation in the workplace covering people perceived to be LGBTQ+ (whether we actually belonged to one of those communities, or maybe were an equality ally).

From what I remember, being seen as not one-of-the-lads (or necessarily straight) had consequences:

  • Being subject to discriminatory rumours

(Strategy. If there’s a whispering campaign against you, find out who started it and ask them to stop, because no one wants to be harassed).

  • Facing unwelcome questions – “Hey, mind if I ask you…”?

(Strategy. You have no obligation to share your truth, if you don’t want to. Maybe there is a staff representative group or union you can be supported by).

  • Being excluded from some parts of office-based social life

(Strategy. Realistically it is time to find new friends, since no one wants to socialise with a judgemental set of people).

Some People Are Privileged

It is a privilege to be in the majority. The status of majority-member is a powerful one. You get to chose how well you treat others.

Back in the 1990s privilege meant excluding anyone who couldn’t say they were a zero on the Kinsey scale (a lot of us can’t).

The lads leading that strategy in the 1990s will be in men in their fifties now. These days law and good management practice limit the space for the kind of open discrimination. I hope they have learnt the right lessons over those twenty years.

I also hope the strategies above help improve the atmosphere where you work (you can always reply to this post to suggest your recipe to wake up from your workplace nightmare).

Making Change Happen – Personal #Goals In 2021

What Needs To Change? (Picture credit SHVETS Productions via Pexels.com)

So, what has September felt like to you? 

Post-pandemic is it business as usual, once again?  

Or, is it more like something from a science fiction film, complete with rapid testing and face coverings? 

Happiness involves choice.

Making change happen starts with moving towards a goal.

Everyone choosing to follow a different path after lockdown has had to plan their way forward. Maybe that is something you want to do? If so there’s plenty of information in the posts here to get you started.

Check out the download section too, if you want some ideas on where to focus your attention.

The first step is to ask yourself, what do I want to change by the end of next month?

Then figure out what your next step looks like. 

Then take it.

Leave a reply and let everyone know how you get on!