Women at work – #SelfAffirmationDay/#FunFriday

Women At Work – Flexing Our Muscles

Submitted: 03/30/2017 06:06 am ET | Updated and Published here on July 21, 2017.

In my previous post I talked about why I believe that women not only ‘deserve a seat at the table’ but should be looking at building their OWN tables, and running the world from there, instead. I honestly feel that the planet we co-habit has rotated away from its previous patriarchal, masculine nature – win at all costs – to show its more feminine side, where we all win together.

 

In this new world, certain aptitudes are more highly prized, because they deliver divergent results. I believe we, as women, should start to build on them. They are our competitive advantage after all.

A small caveat: I love men. I do. They are amazing creatures, without whom the world would be a dull and lackluster place. This post was not written while my bra burned in the corner. Any comparisons are designed for the sake of humour and, if I’m honest, also because they’re mostly true. A second small caveat: much of this is based on generalised assumptions about the basic nature of womanhood. It will not apply to all.

 

If you haven’t yet read ‘Now, focus on your strengths’, maybe it’s time to do so (even if just to add weight to the argument you’re reading here). In it, the authors advocate the building of the core, unique strengths of a particular individual, to maximise the potential to excel – after all, we enjoy more, learn faster and execute more efficiently things we’re naturally designated to do.

This flies in the face of what many of our mothers taught us about ‘working on our weaknesses’, which, inevitably, leads to everyone being ok at most things. Each of us have our own USP, which should be bolstered and encouraged, in order to separate us, by our innate gifts, from the listless pack of mediocrity.

 

If you apply this to our gender, rather than ourselves, there are certain characteristics that women are genetically and psychologically ‘stronger’ at. If we can bring these to play in our lives, and our work, not only will we spin the globe faster, but we will also win faster, climb higher and have a longer lasting impact on the greater society in which we live. There are three I’d like to focus on.

 

1. Inclusiveness:

Women tend to consider everyone, rather than just the one. We look at a bigger picture, and consider the implications on everyone around us. It’s this that has allowed us to better raise children, being more likely to explain the potential outcomes of a wrong action to an errant child in order to alter behaviour, rather than just spitting out “Because I said so!”. Heck, we will put our lives on the line for our offspring and often become care-givers to our ageing parents. We tend to think about the whole village, because we’re the ones who are left to fend for it when the blokes go off to war (or the cigar club). As creatures with comparatively weak shoulders, we know how much we need each other, and we realise therein lies our strength.

 

Unfortunately, many of us spend so much time trying to replicate boys, rather than compete with them on our own terms, that we end up creating division where we could, rather, so easily create unity. Teams. We are adept at communicating a shared worldview, and galvanising individuals around it. The world needs more teams, which multiply their effectiveness through an amplified body-count, working in harmony. And we’re the ones who can bring people together and make it happen.

 

2. Sensibility:

Sensible is not ‘boring’. Nor does it refer to those dreadful shoes… Being sensible means we consider the consequences of our actions, which allows us to see the true value of (or lack of) that action before taking it, rather than simply leaping in, balls first. Could you imagine the William Tell story happening if Mrs. Tell had the crossbow?

 

While men just do things because they ‘feel right’, because they’re ‘in the gut’ or because they haven’t thought of a good reason not to (one of my personal favourite characteristics of men, by the way, but if I had a dollar for every stupid decision I’ve talked a man out of, I’d be writing this on my yacht), we can make smarter, long-term decisions because we’re not as goaded by our id. We can ask ‘What will happen if this goes wrong, and can we prepare for that?’ without getting towel-whipped in the bathroom afterwards. If it weren’t for women, many men would likely survive on hot dogs and peanut butter, because they never think about ‘the list’. We do. Call us anal, or call us overly fastidious, but the devil is in the details – and that makes him our bitch.

 

This is an important trait to have when making decisions that could make, or lose, millions of people millions of Dollars. It’s equally important when considering acquisitions, mergers and directional shifts in our organisations. Clear thinking, and a wider lens of consideration, makes us exceptionally good decision makers. After all, it wasn’t a woman who almost started a war, potentially killing hundreds because someone “couldn’t keep their potatoes out of my damn pig!” (Check out the Pig War of 1859.)

 

3. Empathy:

Empathy, simply put, means that we get the way others feel and, because our motives take those feelings into consideration, we can create products, solutions, systems and businesses that will leave the world in a better place than we found it. This world has, and always will be, a world of people – which is our forté, thank you very much.

 

The ability to identify with others makes us uniquely qualified for positions in marketing, because we sense buying motives clearer. It makes us powerful managers since the Dark Side-style Darth Vader leader has been widely discredited (it worked before; it doesn’t now). We are more likely to find solutions to personnel problems and, because we see underlying intentions, we are able to encourage the best from those with whom we work. This makes sense on so many levels.

 

This empathy also impacts on what we can create better, because we’re concerned with more than just profit. Bethlehem Alemu started soleRebels, which is the fastest growing footwear company on my continent (Africa), in order to provide green jobs for her community, and made a fortune doing so. Lorna Rutto has saved massive areas of natural forest from annihilation with her company EcoPost, and will create around 100 000 jobs in the next few years. Our ability to put purpose before profits is exactly what makes us so likely to be profitable.

 

And so there you have it, my two cents worth of wisdom. The world of work in particular is changing at a staggering pace, and for women this could not be more true. If we dig deep, we can truly galvanize our intrinsic genetic and psychological characteristics to make valuable contributions in society. But to empower women and girls – to win faster, climb higher and flex those muscles – we need to search within ourselves to play at our core strengths. Inclusiveness, sensibility and empathy … I say.

Master your strengths ladies, for that is where your true girl power lies.

Wellness in wetness – #WellnessWednesday

Smoothies are a great way to curb your appetite between meals, as well as get a lot of fantastic nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber into your system.

vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpgThey’ve come under fire for their calorie and sugar content, but here are plenty of healthy smoothie recipes you can make on your own so you have total control of what goes in, and what doesn’t. Read more

Ways to de-stress at month-end #LifehackTuesday

What’s your stress “tell?” For some, a quickened heart rate or a slight feeling of queasiness is enough to let them know they’re getting anxious or overwhelmed.

vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpgBut just as a slight from your boss or bad news from a family member can get your stress hormones pumping and your blood pressure rising quickly, you have the power to reset almost instantly. Read more

Boost your inner self – #MotivationMonday

Many people have trouble with their habits because they don’t follow a morning routine “system” for sticking to them.vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpg

It’s easy to forget about a new routine when your day is full of dozens of tasks and personal obligations.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem.

If you follow a “morning routine” every day, you’ll create a short ritual (under 30 minutes) where you can complete a number of small habits that can improve your life.

The trick here is knowing which habits to include in your morning routine.

In this post, we’ll go over 22 ideas that take under five minutes apiece.

Let’s get to it.

The Importance of a Morning Routine

Before we jump into the habits, let’s take a moment and talk about the benefits of a morning routine. For starters, people are the most productive when they wake up, and setting up a routine ensures that they maintain that level of productivity for longer periods of time.

Following a system when you first wake up, means you’ll have more time to reflect in a quiet atmosphere (less hustle and bustle) and it gives you the opportunity to be organized for the rest of the day. More importantly, this daily habit helps you create energy and the right “mindset” to tackle the challenges of a busy day. (For more on this concept, check out my book Wake Up Successful.)

Waking up early is a success habit that nearly all leaders follow, notes Sujan Patel in his blog post on the routines of fortune 500 leaders. Noting how early many high powered leaders start their work days.

The good news?

Everything in the following list can be accomplished in as little as five minutes. A morning routine does not necessarily mean you need to be up at 4:00 am. It only means you need to set aside a little bit of extra time every day.

These quick routines mean you can stack one habit on top of another and complete a lot of important things in a single block of 30 minutes.

Simply look at the following list and choose the habits that make the most sense for your lifestyle.

1. Fix Your Broken Windows

2 min.Required Time

No, you don’t have any actual broken windows, but you probably have a number of small things that add to your stress levels if you don’t address them early on.

Some common broken windows include:

  • Unmade beds
  • Cluttered mail
  • Unsorted laundry
  • Messy kitchen
  • Trash that needs to be taken out

Most of these can be fixed in a matter of minutes, yet we allow ourselves to ignore them and let them sit in the back of our minds for the rest of the day. Take care of your broken windows and then you’ll see a dramatic decrease in your levels of stress.

2. Weigh Yourself Every Day

1 min.Required Time

I know, this isn’t something that you want to hear. But, weighing yourself on a regular basis can help you establish clear health and fitness goals. Also, it’s important to know that your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis, so you don’t have to be bummed if your weight goes up for a day or two. Finally, be sure you weigh yourself at the same time for the most accurate results.

3. Practice Rebounding

3 min.Required Time

Rebounding is a trendy new exercise routine that is changing how people start their day. You need a small trampoline (here’s one that I have personally used).

There are numerous benefits to rebounding:

  • Cleared sinuses
  • Toned muscles
  • Stronger lymphatic system
  • Increased creativity

One of the best things about rebounding is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space. Whether you live in an apartment or a home of your own, you can start rebounding right away.

4. Have a Glass of Cold Water with Lemon

2 min.Required Time

Start your day by drinking a 16 ounce glass of lemon water. (Make sure your drinking water is clean and safe by using a quality water filter pitcher). We’re not talking about putting in a whole lemon and juicing it. Instead it’s better to do just a few drops.

This habit helps you:

  • Wake up faster
  • Freshen your breath
  • Get large amounts of vitamins
  • Reduce the feeling of hunger
  • Aid your digestive system

This is a lot easier to do than it seems, and it’s a great way to start your day. All you need to do is pour some water into a glass and add a couple drops of lemon juice. Easy, right?

==>>Learn more about lemon water benefits: 10 Benefits Of Drinking Warm Lemon Water In The Morning

5. Take Daily Vitamins

2 min.Required Time

Daily vitamins are a must for anyone, and you’ll feel better about your day if you take them on a consistent basis.

Vitamins are essential because they:

  • Help build a stronger immune system
  • Increase awareness
  • Ensures your body gets essential nutrients
  • Build stronger bone

Vitamins can give your body the boost it needs to get started and help your mind stay focused throughout the day. Be sure to read the directions on specific vitamins so that you are taking them properly.

==>>Learn more about the benefits of taking vitamins daily: Potential Benefits of Multivitamins

6. Maintain a Food Journal

5 min.Required Time

This is another aspect of your morning that you probably don’t want to do, but need to do if you want to lose weight. Maintaining a food journal helps you see exactly what you’re putting into your body and how much you’re eating. You’d be surprised at just how much you consume in a given day.

Food journals are effective because they:

  • Make you responsible for what you eat
  • Give you a physical representation of your daily habits
  • Encourage you to avoid little “snacks”
  • Help you meet your health goals

Food journals might seem like a negative thing at first, but you’ll soon be able to take pride in recording what you eat.

==>>Check out this site to learn more about food journals: The Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal

7. Review Your Goals

5 min.Required Time

Everybody has goals. Whether they are big or small, we all have things that we want to accomplish. Sadly, the daily hustle and bustle of life can make us get off track.

You need to review your goals so that you can:

  • Create plans to reach those goals
  • Put your day in perspective
  • Know what’s important to accomplish

 

Your thoughts can and will heal you – #SelfAffirmation/ FunFriday

Very recently, I came across the book You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. The book is about self-healing through the use of positive affirmations that correspond with different illnesses and ailments.

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I was intrigued by the book at the time, but also skeptical about Ms. Hay’s claims that our thoughts and lack of self-love contribute to disease and that positive affirmations can help heal us. Although I understood how affirmations could support positive thinking, I didn’t believe they could change the cells and chemistry in my body. Read more

The bitter truth – #TruthThursday

The bitter truth is people are bitter if not just mad. Most live under governments that hike their Taxes every day and yet people have responsibilities! Lord, don’t even get started on this one because the prices go up for everything except a monthly income. vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpg

You wake up in the morning after a barely slept night to take a cranky little one to school and then get on with your day like everything is fine. Grace, oh Lord, grace. Read more

Want to be emotionally healthy? #WellnessWednesday

Emotional health refers to your overall psychological wellbeing.

vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpgPeople who are emotionally healthy handle stress well, deal with challenges as opportunities, have a positive self-image, and are able to sustain healthy relationships. Review the following tips on how to stay emotionally healthy. Read more

The 1 skill, that will increase your value by 50% in 2017 – #SelfAffirmationDay/FunFriday

Warren Buffett.
CREDIT: Getty Images

Imagine working on one skill in 2017 that–once you improve it–will raise your value by 50 percent. The one skill is public speaking.

The dividends on the investment you make in sharpening your communication skills will pay off for the rest of your career. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to billionaire Warren Buffett’s advice to a class of business students at Columbia University back in 2009:

“Right now, I would pay $100,000 for 10 percent of the future earnings of any of you, so if you’re interested, see me after class.”

After the laughter subsided, he turned serious.

“Now, you can improve your value by 50 percent just by learning communication skills–public speaking. If that’s the case, see me after class and I’ll pay you $150,000.”

Buffett’s point is that mastering the art of public speaking is the single greatest skill to boost your career.

You might be thinking, “That’s great, but I have a fear of public speaking.” That’s OK. Buffett was actually terrified too.

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Overcoming your fear

As a young stock adviser, Buffett took a Dale Carnegie public-speaking course to overcome his fear. It’s a little known fact, but Buffett dropped out of the course on his first try, because he was afraid he’d be asked to speak up. He worked up his courage a second time and today proudly displays his Dale Carnegie certificate in his office.

According to TED curator Chris Anderson, public speaking matters more than ever. In his book TED Talks, Anderson writes: “As a leader–or as an advocate–public speaking is the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, sharing knowledge and insights, and promoting a shared dream.”

Isn’t that what you’re trying to accomplish as an entrepreneur pitching an idea or a small-business owner pitching a potential customer?

Your goal is to create empathy, a bond of trust between you and your listener. Your goal is to stir excitement, share knowledge, and promote a shared dream. Effective public speaking is the one skill that can help you achieve all of these results.

Learning the skills

Anderson calls the ability to captivate an audience “presentation literacy,” a superpower to pitch your ideas, sell products, and accomplish your dreams. The good news is that Anderson believes the skill is teachable.

I agree.

Thanks to broadband connections, YouTube, and TED.com, anyone with a computer, phone, or mobile device has the world’s top business speakers at their fingertips.

For entrepreneurs and small-business owners, I suggest starting with YouTube videos of the greatest presenter in business history–Steve Jobs.

Nearly every public presentation Steve Jobs ever gave–as far back as the original Macintosh product launch in 1984–is available for streaming. A mesmerizing example of a product launch is Jobs’s 2007 introduction of the first iPhone.

Pay particular attention to:

  • The simple, visual, and engaging slides that Jobs used to complement the message.
  • How Jobs delivered the presentation without a teleprompter or visible notes. He simply had bullet points of the messages he wanted to cover discreetly tucked behind the computer he used for the demos.
  • The fun that Jobs had delivering the presentation. He placed a crank call to a nearby Starbucks store to demonstrate the maps feature of the new phone.
  • The clever way Jobs packaged the content. He fooled the audience into thinking he was introducing three new products. They were surprised when he revealed that all three products were rolled into one–the new iPhone.

In the iPhone launch, Steve Jobs reminds us that today’s audiences want more than to sit through yet another boring presentation. They crave visually appealing slides. They want to be informed and inspired, enlightened and entertained, all in the same presentation.

Yes, the skills are teachable–Steve Jobs was not a natural; he worked at it–but mobile video has made it a lot easier to teach yourself, through watching the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and business legends work their craft.

As an entrepreneur or small-business owner, you are only as valuable as your ideas. If you cannot persuade others to buy into your ideas, then they don’t matter very much.

Your ideas deserve to be heard. Make a commitment this year to sharpen the one skill that can change your life and the direction of your business, and raise your value by 50 percent almost immediately.

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