Accent-YOU-ate the Positive in Business and Life
This is the first time I have ever Re-Blogged another contributor's post but I felt that Sandy really hit home on some key often overlooked business advice.
At a social function recently, someone came up to me and asked if I was feeling alright---that I seemed concerned or distracted by something. Actually, I was having a wonderful time at the event but obviously it wasn't reflected in my demeanor or on my face---an 'aha' moment for me, for sure.
It started me thinking about how often my exterior wasn't accurately portraying what was going on internally and what perception others might be getting. I began to pay close attention to how I physically exhibited my state of mind AND how others did the same.
It dawned on me that if people (inaccurately) assumed I was sad, mad, fearful or disconnected from those around me---because of my facial expression and/or body language---that maybe I was making the same assumptions about others.I started to concentrate on ways that I could accentuate my good mood and positive outlook and appear approachable to others.
1. LOOK Positive: Catch yourself smiling! Even when you may not totally feel it on the inside, the physical act of smiling helps to improve your mood. Make eye contact. It's one of the best ways to show people you are truly listening to them.
IDEA: Add a personal screensaver to your computer and/or cell phone. Choose a person, pet, place or activity that you love. Every time you look at the screensaver which if you are like me is a lot, it will automatically bring a smile to your face.
Wearing a lively color, scarf, vest, or jewelry will inspire comments and start a conversation. I had my business logo shapes (triangle, square, and circle) made into a necklace and earrings. I always get comments---branding in action! Plus, my jeweler has now started promoting his new niche service, custom logo jewelry.
2. SOUND Positive: Have you heard your voice lately? Pay close attention to the tone, volume, speed and overall 'feel' of your voice.
IDEA: Listen to your voicemail message or record yourself. What do you hear? Do you sound energized OR tired, mono- toned, rushed?
Use positive words. What is your typical response when someone asks "How are you?" or "How are you doing?" Is your response upbeat and energized? My favorite response is one word--- "Fabulous!" It not only sounds good, it feels good saying it and it's definitely an attention-getter.
3. ACT Positive: During your daily interactions with people---whether it's a client or the grocery store clerk---do you come across as being truly interested and involved in the conversation? Practice really noticing things about people and complimenting them when the opportunity arises. You'll find that not only will they feel good, but you will too.
Q: How often do you hold doors open for people (both men and women)?
Q: If someone is short a few pennies when checking out at the store, do you make up the difference for them?
Q: When someone needs to get into your traffic lane---do you let them?
Think about all the small ways you can make a difference throughout your day. When you choose positive actions regardless of how small, it has an amazing effect on both your attitude and mood.
Tip #2 The Power of Presence
Be Present in your industry: be visible and be viable by identifying ways to get involved in organizations that are related to your business. Staying current within your industry and getting active by volunteering on a committee or task force will not only expand your knowledge base, but will enhance your expert status as well.
Be Present in your community: participate in groups like homeowners associations, church groups, book clubs, newcomers, service groups like Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions Club in order to contribute to your neighborhood and to meet a wide variety of people.
Q: Do you make a habit of knowing the names of local merchants and service providers that you see on a regular basis?
Be Present in your life: to fully experience everyday living and the wonderful surprises that can surface when you least expect, it's important to fully participate in life. Take time to spend with family, friends, pets and also put non-work blocks of time on your calendar---for reading, gardening and hobbies.
Get active, whether a short jaunt around the block or a longer hike. Motion motivates!
IDEA: Start a 'walk and talk' program with a friend or a small group. Combine action with fresh air and sharing thoughts and ideas. Amazing things can happen---physically and mentally.
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