3 Ways To Deal With an Adult Bully

Written by Salina Jivani

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I was bullied as an adult. And no, I’m not talking about the playground kind of bullying where I was called names or made to feel left out of a group or laughed at, but it was very close.

 

I worked for a bank for nearly a decade. Nearly because right as I was closing in on my decade mark, I had the unfortunate luck of going through one of the most difficult periods of my life during which my niece, who was in my care a lot, was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of four. And during that period, to make matters worse, was my boss—a senior executive who hated anyone and everyone.

 

And this lady made my days at work. Absolutely. Miserable.

 

We’ve all had that one horrible manager. You know what I’m talking about. Mine used to scream in a high-pitched voice, break out into a crying fit, bellow and breathe in short, huffy spurts like the big bad wolf, making me fear that she’d either pass out or pop a blood vessel—and then sue me for it. It’s by far the worst experience I’ve ever had working for anyone. I remember days eating and sleeping at the hospital, running around with my laptop and sneaking into deserted hallways to take meetings. Till this day it still surprises me that this woman is a senior executive at a globally known bank. Everyone despises her.  In fact, in my mind, I’d secretly dubbed her Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada. I eventually quit my job for several reasons—and she was definitely the cherry on top of my sundae of excuses.

 

Now, nearly a year later, I can stay calm enough to share with you my story and to offer some tidbits of advice to help you along if you ever face an adult bully. They’re worse than the kids on the playground, because their tactics aren’t as apparent but equally if not more hurtful to you not only emotionally but also mentally. So if you ever have the misfortune of coming across an adult bully, take a deep breath, calm down and follow these steps.

 

Realize that it’s not about you

Often times, bullies are bullies not because there’s something wrong with you—but rather because there’s something lacking in their lives. Take for example my former manager, who we’ll call Miranda. She was going through a divorce when I joined the team, and I attributed this to her rough behavior at work. However, after speaking to some coworkers who she’d brought to tears on more than one occasion, I realized that perhaps her behavior wasn’t a result of the divorce, rather her divorce was a result of her unacceptable behavior. Meaning something had likely happened earlier on in her life to shape her deplorable attitude.

 

Because like Miranda have larger issues within themselves, they turn to bullying to exploit others and turn attention from their own pains and insecurities.

 

When you’re confronted by a bully, sometimes it can help you feel better or more tolerable toward their jibes if you understand the root of their insecurities or aggression.  If it’s a manager, perhaps he is insecure about the progress you’re making in your career path and are miserable and stagnant in their own job. If it’s an acquaintance, maybe she is jealous of the relationship you share with your husband, or maybe a friend is envious of your financial stature because he is suffering through money woes.

 

There’s always a driver behind bully behavior. Sometimes understanding why the bullying is happening can help you better choose to ignore it or do something about it. For example, if you know that someone went through a life-altering event, like losing a child, that changed their behavior and outlook on life, you may choose to ignore their obnoxious jibes.

 

But if you can’t put a finger to the root cause, and the behavior is impacting you and your life in a strong way, it’s probably time to take action.

 

Stop being a victim

Bullies often have a radar for the perfect targets. If you’re someone who is easy to pick on, quiet, passive or too nice (which is often perceived as a weakness by bullies), you might be making yourself an easy target for the bully. Also, you have to know that bullies like getting a rise out of people. They like feeling authoritative and love the ability to make others feel powerless in their company. If you give into this power play, you’re likely to continue being an effective target for the bully, but if you learn to ignore him and not give him the satisfaction of knowing that he’s had any kind of impact on you, it’s possible you’ll be let off the hook. Try your best to keep your cool. Laugh with them when they laugh at your expense, shrug at their jabs, and ignore them when possible. Reacting unexpectedly and rolling with the punches might yield you better results than to let them see how their words have impacted you.

 

Stand up for yourself

When all else fails and the bully is still the last one standing, it’s definitely time to step up. Sometimes passiveness and ignorance may encourage the bully to pick on you more rather than to give up. If this happens, you have to fight back—because the one thing that can give a bully pause is someone who won’t take his punches sitting.

 

The best way to confront a bully is to remain matter of fact and calm. Don’t let emotions rule, rather state the facts and tell the bully how her actions have made you feel. Try to be as mature as you can. Bullying is a childish tendency, so it’s tough not to respond in a childish way, but remember that by being mature and calm and not starting a screaming match, you’ll increase your chances of getting through to the bully and hopefully resolve the bullying once and for all.

 

If the bully happens to be your manager and you’re afraid that something you say may be misconstrued or used against you, don’t be afraid to engage help from someone in your HR department or from your manager’s colleague, preferably someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Having a third party present to mediate can prevent false allegations and stop the confrontation from getting out of hand.

 

While it’s great to learn how to stand up to a bully, also remember that being a silent bystander when someone is being bullied is just as bad as doing the bullying yourself. Your silence will only serve to encourage the bully. Taking a stand when someone is being bullied will not only serve to throw the bully off his tracks, but also the person being bullied, and even other bystanders, will respect and admire you for your courage. Even better, it’s likely you’ll lessen your own chances of becoming a victim in the future.

Reasons Why Mobile Apps Are Necessary for your Business

Written by Matic Satler

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If you are a small or medium business owner and your profession does not have a mobile application, you need to think of one soon. Having a web presence alone is no longer sufficient, as online activity continues to shift to mobile. Smartphone apps have become very important as a marketing tool for small business owners.
Smartphone activity has been on a streak lately. Almost three-quarters of Americans check their cell phones at least once per hour, according to a Gallup survey. Almost all of that mobile-phone time is now devoted to using apps, analysis reveals. Americans now spend more time looking at their mobile phones than they do watching television.
This rise in mobile-phone usage means that smartphone apps have become a key marketing tool for companies of all sizes, including small businesses. Mobile apps increase engagement with customers. They boost repeat visits, and permit a wide variety of online transactions, including the deployment of loyalty cards, push promotions, and ecommerce transactions. Apps deliver coupons and send announcements that build your sales with customers. Apps also accelerate contact with your company, which enhances relationships with customers in a world where speedy responses are prized by buyers.

Smartphone icons even help build brands by providing a visual design that customers recognize.
Many small-business owners still think that getting an app is expensive and complicated. They are worried about the need to build different apps for the various platforms customers are on – iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry. They are unsure about building dynamic or static apps, and the difficulty of coming up with an app design. Moreover, most small-business owners don’t have the expertise to build apps themselves.
Your customers can benefit from being able to access your products/services anytime they want and while on the fly. This is especially true if you don’t have a help line that’s available 24/7. Your app can include a feature where they can contact you day or night, and without necessarily going to your website.
More than just an application, a mobile app can double as a valuable marketing tool. It can be easily integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media platforms. That means, with a single tap, customers can share with their network your app and or their experience with your company, which can then offer you free publicity. Plus, using push notification, you can quickly send upcoming promotions or special events to your customers and prospects.

Secrets to Achieving Success At Any Age

Written by Salina Jivani

Habits-of-Successful-People-1.jpgA while back, I read this interesting article on how people can make the most of themselves at any age by focusing on key aspects of life. I don’t recall exactly which magazine the article was in or what the exact examples were, but I do remember how well articulated it was and how I, as a young adult, found it to be helpful to me as someone who was ambitious to make the most of life. Now that I’m in my early thirties, I can look back through my own experiences share with you my hindsight, what worked, what didn’t and what I wished I’d done. So I pass these nuggets of wisdom onto you in the hope that you will take this as an opportunity to fulfill your own ambitions and live the fruitful, fulfilling life we all dream of.

 

The late teenage years

You’re super young and you’ve got a whole life full of opportunity ahead of you. This is probably a time that you’re going off to college or really deciding where you want to be in life.

 

When I was a teenager, most of us were busy taking the SATs and trying to map out the rest of our lives. And because we were so afraid to make the wrong decision, a lot of us relied on our parents for guidance.  Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen those very parents misguide their own kids into pursuing fields that paid top dollar—for no other reason than that they paid top dollar. My advice: Don’t go after a profession simply because it pays well!

 

I’ll give you a real-life example. A good majority of my friends attended top-tier colleges to study nursing and advance into other high-end professions.

 

Now, a decade later, two of those friends graduated nursing school and are full-time stay-at-home moms. They’re not practicing their profession in any capacity. Another one is a front desk receptionist and still two others who are actually making use of their degrees are earning the bare minimum as nurses AND still paying off college tuition while trying to get approved for homes—and they’re both in their early thirties. Of the bunch, maybe one is satisfied with her chosen career path. And it’s because the rest of them didn’t choose their careers for the right reasons. It was all about money…and unfortunately, not many of them are seeing any of it right now.

 

Me? I ended up becoming a writer, just like I’d dreamed. Even though I’m sure plenty of people scoffed at my decision, I’m earning a good amount of money—probably two to three times what most people think writers make. Plus, I work from the comfort of my home, where I’m able to drop my kids off to school in the morning and spend time with them when they come home. And the only debt I have is my house—because even though I initially made less than those who went into professions that made the big bucks, I earned numerous promotions, recognitions and crazy pay bumps. And don’t get me wrong. It’s not because I’m super smart or lucky. It’s because I LOVE what I do, and so I spent a lot of time and effort into making sure I do it well. Writing has never felt like work to me, and I was always eager to improve because I was proud of my skill. When you have a passion for what you do, the money will almost always follow. And it’s much more fulfilling to be happy in your career and live a comfortable life than run after money and end up being miserable. 

 

So the key lesson for those who are in their early years is to always follow your dreams and pursue your passion. Because where lies passion, lies opportunity and, therein, success.

Your twenties

Ahh, the beauty of being in your twenties. If there were a perfect period of life, this would be it. You’re still young but not young enough to where maybe you’re financially dependent on your parents, but not old enough that if you make a career mistake—or heck, any mistake in life decisions—it can’t be fixed. The best part about your twenties is that it’s a time where you can venture beyond the confines of college and really grab life by the horns, as they say. This is a time to grow by leaps and bounds in your career. Be bold, speak up, get noticed. In the corporate world, leaders love this kind of vivaciousness in young talent, and I promise if you jump wholeheartedly in your dreams, you’ll be paving a very strong pathway for your future.

 

I was twenty-four when I set foot in corporate America of the banking industry, and I hated that people never took me seriously because I was so young. But instead of letting that discourage me, I became eager to prove myself. As a result, I moved through three different positions within seven years with pay increases that amounted to $60,000 more than what I started out making. My point? It CAN be done. All it takes is a good helping of ambition and a strong pinch of passion. Don’t be afraid to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, network and meet new people.

 

Also at some point in your twenties, make your first investment—even if it’s in your late twenties.

 

The stronger the foundation you set at this point in your life, the more you’ll be able to build upon it later and live comfortably.

Your thirties

Nowadays, many people put off marriage and starting a family till they’re in their early to mid thirties, which is why I recommend you focus on the career aspect of your life in your twenties. Because in your thirties you want to be able to shift that focus to maintaining or advancing a relationship or possibly starting a family.

 

Aside from this, your thirties are also an age for growth. By now, you should have firm footing  in your career or business. Hopefully you’ve also made a major investment in something big that can serve as a quasi safety net for the future, whether that be a home, a small property or even stocks.

 

Also consider investing in a 401K—particularly taking advantage if your company does a match. And if you have any assets or a family, be sure you have a will and life insurance.

 

Your thirties can be a comfortable period in which you cherish time with loved ones, take exotic vacations and continue growing in your career. If you’re settled, there may even be some opportunity to splurge a little on your indulgences every now and then.  

Every phase of life is beautiful and opportune in its own way. And if you focus on your goals and ambitions early on and—better yet—make sure you are happy in what you do, you’ll be sure to light way for a successful future that will not only benefit you, but also those who love and depend on you.

 

3 Lessons Every Adult Can Learn From The Movie “Finding Dory”

Written by Salina Jivani

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I’m honestly not big into children’s animations. To be completely frank, I’m not a movie person at all—I just can’t sit still long enough to enjoy a movie. But I do on occasion give into the whims and pleads of my two girls who are enamored by anything that plays on a flat screen. Which explains why I got sucked into watching Finding Dory while agonizingly tapping my toes, stifling my yawns and smiling brightly each time one of them looked at me to make sure I was still there. Although I can’t say I was completely successful in my efforts to pay attention, I will admit that I’m happy that the television time was well worth the great life lessons that this movie taught—lessons that even we adults can use a healthy reminder of.  

Never give up

For those of you who are planning on watching the movie but haven’t seen it yet, I’ll try not to include any spoilers, so, in the vaguest way possible, one of the main things that this movie teaches us is that we should never give up. No matter what challenges lay ahead, no matter how seemingly difficult or impossible a task appears, no matter what your personal limitations, follow your dreams and charge on ahead. If you’re persistent enough, you’ll get exactly what you want. 

Respect everyone

Dory has memory challenges, but this doesn’t stop some of his dearest friends from sticking by him no matter how frustrating it gets to keep refreshing his memory. Those friends are with him till the end and they don’t belittle him, treat him differently or make him feel stupid for his challenges. And the good news is, people like that truly exist. They respect everyone, try to be helpful and stick by you no matter how difficult the war or great the feat. We each fight our own battles, and the more we kick people down or disregard others’ feelings, the more disrespect we receive in return. You never know what struggles someone is facing, so if you can’t find it in you to offer respect, the next best thing to do is to simply walk away.

Family is everything

This is perhaps the most important lesson of all, and as a mother who strives to create that magical bond between her kids, I was warmed to see that the importance of family was the core lesson of this movie. Most of us have a lot to be thankful for, but this movie teaches us that nothing is as valuable or integral as your family. Dory fights for his till the end, traversing all boundaries and conquering all risks. And for this, he’s a hero.  

After watching glimpses of this movie (yes, I cheated and let my mind wander every now and then), I’ve got to say I’m pleased that the creatives behind these films give thought to the morals they can teach the younger generation. Hopefully the lessons these kids learn from these movies will be imprinted in their small minds and remembered well into the later parts of their lives. 

3 Easy Ways to Transform Yourself Into a Better Listener

Written by Salina Jivani

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I’ve met some extremely intelligent people in my life. Some have driven businesses into success and others have amassed millions in the span of a few decades. Still others have built empires from the ground up, throwing thousands of dollars around like chump change. Yet what shocks me is when I speak with these people and realize that they arehorrible listeners.

To me, successful people are good communicators and good communicators have to be good listeners. But it’s amazing how many people lack this key ability.

In 2014, I attended a local APMP conference where a communication specialist delivered an impactful workshop on the barriers to effective listening. And of all the workshops I attended during the conference, this is one that resonated with me the most, because I realized that I was guilty of displaying traits of a bad listener. Here’s what the specialist recommended as steps to take to enhance your listening skills, and I try to use these often in my own day-to-day efforts.

Remove the filter

One of the first pieces of advice the instructor shared was to “lower the barriers in your mind.” I kid you not when I say I literally heard mine collapse. Yes, I know. Shame on me. We all at times have certain blocks and filters in our brains which make us perceive what we want, often at the expense of discrediting or dismissing other people’s thoughts or true intentions. Often in these cases, the walls in our mind hinder people’s words from actually being processed beyond our own thoughts, and right away we hear our brain screaming at them, “Hey, no! What you’re saying is just not possible.” In fact, this reminds me of a relative of my husband’s who follows everything anything anyone says with the phrase “Nah, that can’t be possible.” It’s frustrating and often infuriating to speak to someone like that. And it’s because that filter is up like the Great Wall of China in their minds that they often don’t understand—or refuse to try to understand—what other people are saying.

So the first step here is a difficult one to accomplish for those of us who are preprogrammed to erect that barrier and question or doubt everything we are told. But if this barrier remains up and active, you can toss your chances of being a good listener out the window (or over the Wall!).

Stop talking in your head

I’ll admit, I’m completely guilty of this one, too. Often times—and more often after I had kids —I find my mind going a million miles an hour in a thousand different directions. Clothes need to be hung, dishes need to be cleaned, the house needs to be vacuumed, plants need to be watered, kids need to be fed…. And with so many things to do, it’s easy to nod along or murmur a quick hmm of acknowledgement while someone talks, but let’s face it. This one’s a no brainer and giving half-hearted acknowledgements is definitely not an attribute of a good listener. When someone is talking to you, shut down your thoughts, look at the person, absorb what they are saying and eliminate all distractions (or as many as you can). A good practice is to engage in the conversation by responding, asking questions and showing empathy, as appropriate.

Stop forming opinions

Your friend just told you he locked his keys in the car and burned his favorite shirt with an iron. And all you can think about is what a moron he is and you’re glad that ugly shirt has finally kicked the grave.

It’s so easy to get distracted in our own minds and forms opinions of people and their actions. But being opinionated isn’t only about secretly mocking and shaming those who confide in you. Forming opinions about a topic or situation to be discussed can equally hinder your understanding as well as your intellectual growth, because you’re too far grounded in opinion to listen or entertain another perspective.

People are often also guilty of harboring preconceived notions or making judgements about others based on conversations or appearances. Stop looking with your eyes and activate your ears. Keep judgements at bay and allow people to completely finish their thoughts before forming an opinion. You’ll find that you’ll learn so much more if you simply listen. Maybe your friend was looking for an empathetic ear about his horrible day or maybe he was having a horrible day because something bigger was bothering him. It’s hard to get to the root of those issues or offer an appropriate response if you’re too busy forming opinions.

If you’re not a good listener and you’re really trying to improve, following these steps can prove frustrating and even challenging. But remember that baby steps or even unsuccessful attempts are better than not trying at all. Start with one step at a time and work your way up until you feel the difference in your ability to retain information and lower the barriers that prevent you from being the best listener you can be.

How to Tell If Your Relationship Needs CPR

Written by Salina Jivani

couple-fight-1907121Relationships can be a funny thing.  One minute you’re sneaking snuggles in the movie theater and the next, you’re restraining yourself from hurling a laundry basket at your so-called other half. Strangely, these polar extreme sentiments are completely normal facets of relationships. In fact, it’s when you don’t have those highs and lows that you should worry. And based on many relationship experts and a wealth of research, that worry should be taken seriously when four particular signs of trouble constantly lurk around:

Constant fighting

It’s okay to have the occasional argument and even suffer daily tiffs, but when the fighting tends to spiral out of control because of something as silly as who left the toilet seat up (or down), there’s a good likelihood that the frustration roots from something deeper than just that. If you feel constantly upset and irritated at actions of your significant other that seem trivial to spectators around you, it’s likely that you’re harboring some bitterness or remorse about something else. And to have those emotions blow up and out of control, day in and day out—constantly—is not okay. Or normal.

You don’t share anything with each other

You love to share your deepest secrets with your partners. Or at least you used to. Initially, this trust and confidence is what attracts you to each other and brings you closer together. A healthy relationship builds on those elements of companionship. But if you notice that you’ve gradually or suddenly become distant from each other, and live in near-alien existence where one of you has no clue what’s going on in the other’s life, that’s not okay. Even worse, if neither of you has made any attempt to address the issue to the point where your lack of communication has become the norm, beware. You’re treading on fragile foundation.

There’s no affection

The initial part of a typical relationship is filled with endless hours of intimacy, groping, and lustful glances. But once the honeymoon phase wears off, it’s normal to have some fun…at least occasionally. But if you or your partner has suddenly lost interest in intimacy and you can’t remember the last time you’ve made whoopee, and, even worse, you don’t miss it, well, now that’s a pretty big problem. Intimacy isn’t just about sex—it’s much deeper than that. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that people who have sex together share a stronger emotional bond. So if your relationship is missing the key element of touch, it’s likely you’re disconnected in a much larger way than you may realize.

You dream of running away… and feel happy

We all occasionally have that desire to just step away or escape, whether that means taking a spontaneous vacation solo or driving around town at midnight with the windows rolled down. So it should be no surprise that the same desire for some space from your loved one is completely normal. But what’s not okay is if you daydream about escaping and actually get excited about the prospect of a life without your partner. If you’re harboring these thoughts on a frequent basis, ask yourself whether you’re truly in the relationship because you want to be or because something is holding you back from leaving. Sometimes the culprit may be something as simple as fear or even the gossip mill.

Having one or more of these signs present in your relationship indicate that something isn’t completely right with you and your partner, but remember: as fragile as relationships can be, they are also just as resilient. If you find that you’re panicked or surprised that your relationship has many of these red flags, take a moment to think about what it is you really want to do about it. If you’re eager to repair the crevices in your relationship, it’s often doable, but will require a strong effort on both your end and your partner’s. Talk to your partner, address your concerns and think about the best option or solution. Remember that breaking off a relationship—especially one that you’ve invested in long-term—is never easy. But sometimes, it’s just what you need to find happiness and move on into greener pastures.

5 Ways To Be More Confident

Written by Gustavo Camilo

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I believe confidence is the key to be a successful person. That person who everyone looks at and think: wow, this guy is really awesome.

For everyone, there is always a “bridge” to be crossed between the person he is and who he wants to be. A lot of things are needed for cross that bridge, and to be who he really wants to be. One of these things, if isn’t the biggest one, is often a lack of confidence, because it stifles your real potential. The person who doesn’t trust themselves, usually   doesn’t  go very far. You can feel when someone isn’t confident, you can feel it by their voice, you can see it by their gestures.

I’m just a guy who want to learn and be better everyday, so I wrote 5 tips that I believe, can make everyone a little bit more confident, they are:

1 – Do not be afraid to express yourself.

Never be afraid to express your ideas. At first it is a little uncomfortable, but if it’s a good idea, everyone will think “Wow!” If it isn’t, no one will kill you, so don’t worry. Express yourself, let the world know who you are.

2 – Focus on your strengths.

The weaknesses should also be worked out, but they are the background. You need to focus on your strengths. That’s what will make people look to you and think “This guy is really good!”. How do you know what are your strengths? Ask yourself: “What do people tell me I’m good at?” and then, work on it.

3 – Get feedback.

Don’t be shy! You can ask  for  feedback from your managers, superiors, customers, partners and even providers. Use this as leverage to grow on your strengths and improve what is necessary. Talk to people, be interested and it’ll also help you to do a good networking. You win twice.

 

4 – Take a step beyond the comfort zone.

The title is already self-explanatory. Comfort zone is one of your biggest challenges. Is very easy to stay on that zone, and don’t even notice it. But come on, stay hungry, look for the new (never give up to new challenges). How does it help you to be a more confident person? Just by exposing yourself to the new and unknown.

5 – Do the homework, always.

Building confidence is a process that should be continued. Work it every day and you’ll get there. Do whatever you have to do, and one day, success will come.

3 Surprising Ways Reading Helps You Become More Intelligent

Written by Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” blog

065d8cf84455aba96b64b7254937b3dbWho doesn’t want to boost their IQ a few notches? It’s a competitive world out there and with that healthy dose of competition comes a quest for self-improvement and advancement. After all, it’s the intelligent people who can more easily snag the higher-paying jobs and expect to land themselves on the career-path of their dreams. This search for building intelligence has given spark to apps like Luminosity and Quiz Up. Because with intelligence comes more money, luxury and prestige. But you don’t have to indulge in exhausting, mind-numbing activities to sharpen your mind and gain the knowledge you seek. There’s a simpler way to do that: read. Don’t believe it? Read for yourself (see how we did that?). Here are three ways squeezing in that book time will help you become a cleverer more intelligent you.

Promotes analytical skills

Reading every day increases analytical abilities and helps develops logic. Routine readers are able to better pick apart stories, piece together components, deduce and induce logic and make stronger educated guesses than those who don’t read regularly. The more you read, the more you’re able to develop logic, connect the dots, increase comprehension and establish reasoning. And because you’re able to comprehend and piece together facts better than those who don’t read, you’re also able to understand more than them.

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Improves focus

In our technology-driven world, cell phones, laptops and iPads are all the rave—and constantly vying for our attention. As a result, attention spans are shorter than ever before. But focus is integral and one way to develop that focus is by reading. Unlike our technology-driven gadgets, reading requires keen attention, without which you wouldn’t be able to comprehend whatever it is you’re perusing. And, as is the case with any other exercise, the more often you read, the better you’ll become at maintaining that focus.

Keeps your mind stimulated

Just like your body needs exercise to remain in shape and healthy, the same is true of your brain. Reading stretches your thinking and comprehension muscles as your mind works at deciphering words, both familiar and unfamiliar, based on context. In short, reading puts your mind to work, which done frequently enough can help sharpen it, allowing it to work like a well-oiled machine.

The list above is in no way a complete overview of the benefits a regular reading routine can offer. But just in case you’re curious, among its many others are: vocabulary expansion, better communication skills, improved writing and greater empathy for others. Think of it as an all-in-one vitamin for your brain and take advantage of any spare moment you have to skim through a news article or flip open a book. Your mind will reward you later.

 

3 Key Life-Long Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten

Written By Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” Blog

5480b27d0a7fddd318ce35b5a6c3fffcWhen I was a fifth grader in elementary school, I remember reading a poster that said, “Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten.” I’d giggled at the time, thinking how ridiculous it was to think such a thing, let alone slap it on a poster. After all, the only skills I remembered learning as a five-year old were to color in the lines and stretch rubber bands into shapes on geoboards.

Reflecting back on that tickled fifth grader, I realize now how much more truth there was in that saying than my naïve 10-year-old self could ever have realized.

Graduating high school, mastering college and stepping into the real world certainly opens our eyes to life, but one thing I can vouch to is that if we follow some of the basic rules we all were taught when we were wee tiny, there’s a lot of power in them to carry us through the most trying of situations.

As five-year-olds, we were taught quite a bit about the basics of mannerisms and etiquette, so it would be impossible to capture them all here, but if I had to pick the three most valuable that are golden to me even today, it would be these:

Treat others the way you want to be treated

There’s nothing more elementary than this rule, but it truly is a fundamental one if you seek to be both a successful person and valued human. As an adult, you’ll encounter difficult people at work and in life. But if you continuously treat people with respect and genuine kindness, they’ll eventually feel humbled enough to reciprocate. And even if they don’t have an opportunity to return the kindness, they’ll respect you even more for your actions.

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I remember partaking in endless listening and comprehension tests from kindergarten through second grade. Yet today I sit through infinite meetings and conferences trying not to go cross-eyed while my mind drifts off to oblivion. And I have to constantly remind myself that golden rule: LISTEN! It’s difficult to not doze off and let your mind wander to a faraway planet sometimes as friends drone on and on about their complicated lives or colleagues rehash the potential risk of an already-resolved issue, but I’ve found that those who take the time to listen come across as more trustworthy, compassionate and intelligent (because they cared to listen when no one else bothered!).

Never leave anyone out

ab6289a18863ed4437028611fe4cad8eRemember that poor kid who always got left out at recess? Or the nerdy boy everyone always made fun of? No one wants to be the oddball out, but we’ve all been there at some point or another. I’ve learned that making everyone around me feeling included and involved has made me a ton of friends over the years, benefiting me both personally and professionally. And the number of times those connections have turned into something advantageous for me or the other person is astonishing. In fact, when I joined corporate America at the age of twenty-four, I was pulled in by a former manager who I had welcomed and befriended when no one else would. In fact, now that I think back, that’s how I got nearly every single position I ever landed—being inclusive and maintaining connections. Being welcoming not only makes you feel good, but it also can come back to reward you in pleasant and unexpected ways. So respect those around you and make them feel welcome. You’ll get the warm and fuzzies and you also might receive a helping hand when you most need it and least expect it.

There’s a lot of life’s great lessons to be gleaned from those early years of our childhood. And if we each started by implementing just these three simple ones, imagine the beautiful, pleasant, tolerant world we would build for ourselves and for future generations.

 

4 Important Things You Should Consider Before Hiring a Millennial

Written by: Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” blog

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Ever wonder why organizations spend so much research, time and money analyzing each generation, say for example the Baby Boomers? Yes, of course there’s the marketing aspect of it; after all, marketers realize the importance of understanding their target consumers. Because it’s only after they unveil information about the likes, dislikes and habits of these consumers that they’re able to better develop the right products and reap outstanding profits.

But retailers and organizations aren’t the only ones who can stand to benefit from understanding the idiosyncrasies of various generations. In fact, this information can help employers glean golden tid-bits about employees to better interact, understand and motivate them. Taking strides toward this effort can ensure that your organization is making the most of its associates by understanding each generation’s drivers, behaviors, tendencies and values, and then shaping its associate culture around those key discoveries.

At one point, Baby Boomers, also known as Generation X, drove the workforce. And that generation valued freedom, family and fun. But today, Baby Boomers are retiring or preparing for retirement and their children, Generation Y or millennials, have taken center stage and are commanding control. In fact, it’s entirely likely that you yourself are a millennial or work with someone who is.

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Millennials are individuals who are born approximately between the years of 1980 – early 2000s. They’re as unique as their predecessors, Generation X-ers, and come with their own set of characteristics, ideologies and attitudes that set them apart from Generation X-ers in so many ways.

If you’re a manager or an entrepreneur looking to effectively run your team or company, you’ll benefit from understanding this group of individuals and knowing what makes them tick so that you can manage them effectively and help them be the most successful they can, both to their benefit and yours. Here are four traits of millennials that set them apart from preceding generations.

Desire flexibility

Millennials prize mobility. They don’t like being tied down to a single spot. So it’s not unlikely that you’ll come across a millennial who will tell you they don’t want to be rooted down to a single work location.  Often these individuals seek jobs that offer flexibility so that they can strike the right work-life balance.

If your company has the opportunity to offer flex schedules, or remote work on a regular or occasional basis, use that as an incentive to attract top talent in the millennial age group. And if you’re fearful that these millennials will slack off, rest assured that according to studies, most people work longer hours rather than shorter when they work from home. Plus, another great trait of millennials is that they’re multitaskers, so even though they might sneak a moment to put in a load of laundry or grab a quick coffee with a friend, they’ll honor the privilege of being remote and will work twice as hard to make sure they’re able to retain it.

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Saavy with social media

With the creation of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and so many other platforms that help people stay connected, it’s no surprise that millennials, who are pro-connectivity, are all about social media. And because, these individuals comprise 80 million of the population, it’s easy to understand why marketers have turned to social media full throttle for advertising, promoting and even garnering new ideas.

And if you happen to have a marketing division of your company and are fumbling with social media, who better to help revive or implement your strategy than the very people who use them the most—millennials?! Approach a millennial about help with social media, and you’re likely to see their eyes light up, signaling the start of a win-win relationship for all parties involved. You’ll be astonished by the clever tips and suggestions you might get on how you can make your company stand a chance against fierce competition, using these platforms as your arsenal.

Seek recognition and praise

Many tend to label millennials as narcissists. And it doesn’t help matters that one of the characteristics of this generation is love for praise and recognition; but don’t be quick to judge. After all, who doesn’t like being told that they’re doing a great job?  If you want to point blame, direct it at their Generation X parents, who constantly showered them with praise by for the slightest successes. But all that aside, one thing you should take from this revelation is that praise goes a long way with millennials, so be generous with it—when appropriate—and don’t underestimate its power where this bunch is concerned.

Value transparency

Millennials seek to build strong relationships with their managers and don’t like being kept in the dark when it comes to matters concerning work, which means they value real talk and transparency. So if your workplace has major changes up and coming or is in the process of implementing a change that might impact staff, consider communicating these changes in advance to maintain the trust and respect of your millennials, if not the rest of your staff.

Millennials can be a fun group of individuals to work with if you understand what makes them tick. Once you know the idiosyncrasies of this generation, you can bet your bottom buck you’ll be on the path to a firm professional footing with this dynamic, talented group.