Is being there really the same as BEING there?

Is being there really the same as BEING there?

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Today’s economic climate makes it really hard not to see a two-parent working household. But, in the process of working so much to support one’s family, are we actually negatively impacting them in the process? Maybe not as much as one might think actually as long as we actively make time to attend recitals and soccer games. But more importantly, when we are there physically, we have to be there mentally as well. Research has found that parents’ working, even for long hours, did not hurt children but parents who were distracted by, or obsessed with their work, did see an impact on their children.

Be mentally present 

Work is important but it should not always be at the forefront of one’s mind. Technological advances have made it possible to work from home and answer ‘important’ emails right in the palms of our hands but, if you are focussed on work the whole time you were at your child’s hockey game and didn’t even see them score the winning goal, were you even really there? 

Impact on child’s emotional health 

A study found that there are many factors regarding a parent’s attitudes towards work that can have correlative effects on the behaviour of one’s child which also offers insight into their mental health. The Child Behaviour Checklist was used in a study to cross compare the effects a parent’s work-life can have on their children, irrespective of time. Findings from the study showed that when parents felt that family life took precedence over work, a child’s emotional health was higher than a child’s whose parents felt work should come first. Another interesting finding showed that when parents thought of work as an interesting challenge and enjoyed it, their children were better off.  

Individual parent’s role 

When specifically looking at the role of a father, the study showed that when a father had a very psychologically demanding career, the result was behavioural and emotional issues. But, if when a father came home satisfied and was available to his children as well as relaxed psychologically, the children had fewer issues. When looking at the maternal role regardless of the type of work they had, if they were in charge of their time, and had time for personal self-care, the children showed fewer issues. This is unsurprising as most women usually take full responsibility of their children’s well-being which can get tedious and tiresome fast. Giving them time to take care of themselves allows them to really be there and present when they are with the children.  

All these findings are regardless of how much time a parent spends at work, but how they spent the time they weren’t at work. Being present and focussing on children and really being there when you are with them is what is important. So, if we care about how our careers are affecting our children’s mental health, we can and should focus on the value we place on our careers and experiment with creative ways to be available, physically and psychologically, to our children, though not necessarily in more hours with them. Quality time is real. 

7 steps to create an Action Plan for your Business Strategy

7 steps to create an Action Plan for your Business Strategy

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Behind every success story is an even more successful plan. In a business when formulating an action plan to attain a goal for the coming year it is necessary to delegate tasks and have a clear idea of who will be doing that job, and what the timeline for said-task is. The action plan is typically created at the end of the strategic planning process, after you’ve set out your vision, done a SWOT analysis and established objectives.  

Here are the steps for creating your action plan. 

1. TeamWork

The more you involve the people on your team in the planning of the task, the more invested they will be in its ultimate success. The more time people spend working on something the more emotionally invested they become in seeing their projects success. Also, by involving people from the ground-up you can get a variety of opinions from people from all different levels of the company who may encounter and see things management may not be directly aware of and new places for improvement.  

2. Clearly define & delegate tasks

Different tasks should be kept separate and worked on by divided groups. This will help to avoid confusion and also facilitate focus. Also, appoint a person to be in charge and take responsibility for their team and let them know what resources are available to them and what they can work with.  

3. Set deadlines

Once the different tasks have been established a timeframe should be set to prevent procrastination. If there is no clear end time a task can be daunting like it may never be completed. By breaking it down into timed intervals a task can be completed on schedule without stressing out one person. 

4. Follow-up

Make sure that tasks aren’t just delegated and forgotten about that people are constantly being followed up with. This can be regular check-ins, or meetings to make sure milestones are being met. 

5. Be Transparent in your Communication

Another key to a successful action plan is good communication. Make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them to prevent any friction within the team. By facilitating open communication from the very beginning of the planning process people will always have a clear idea of exactly what they need to do.  

6. Be Consistent

Lastly the most important step is to maintain momentum. It’s hard to stay disciplined and motivated once the initial hype of starting something new has worm off. Staying motivated during the lowest points is where the difficulty really lies. Making a plan and working out the logistics is only half the work; actually implementing it is the other half. After the assigned deadline is up analyzing the action plan and improving it for the next time is a sure-fire way to have a successful business

Humour is Serious Business

Humour is Serious Business

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Humour in the workplace

Statistically, people have a great sense of humour when they are not busy working. One survey revealed that individuals laugh considerably more during the weekends than weekdays. Additionally, once people grow older, they do not smile and laugh as habitually as they did before. Once people enter a work environment, they are less probable to laugh and find things less funny. Alternatively, humour is essential for stress relief, an increase in retention rates, and coming up with advanced solutions.

Supporting Research 

There was a study taken place in 2015 where participants watched a funny or neutral video before meeting with a stranger to see how open they would be with one another. The participants that watched the funny video shared 30% more information about themselves than the participants that viewed the neutral video. A study in 2007 came to the conclusion that couples that talked about memories when they laughed together were more happy and successful in their relationships than couples that shared positive memories that were not funny. 

Workplace humour 

In order to build humour skills, self-deprecate. Self-deprecation humanizes bosses and generates socialization with employees. It builds confidence and encourages workers to be funny. However, if your position in the workplace is of higher status or fairly new, it is best to dodge jokes that are aggressive. Use your own discretion when making jokes. 

It is common for employees with lower status in the work environment to laugh at jokes out of politeness rather than sincerely laughing. When you recognize the difference between the laughs and realize which type of laugh you receive from your jokes, you’ll know if you are funny or not. Do not worry if you are not funny. You just have to find out who in your workplace is the funny and boost them to make others laugh. 

Bridges and Ladders 

Humour can have a positive impact in a workplace through bridges and ladders. Bridges are methods to build friendly relationships, grow dependence and trust, and support cultures. Humour is an effective way to build bridges since laughter releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that simplifies socialization, trustworthiness, and openness.  

Ladders are techniques to utilize humour to increase status or decrease another person’s status. If you are successfully able to tell a joke in a professional situation, your co-workers are more probable to deem you as knowledgeable and more of a higher status. To effectively be funny, the jokes have to be natural and not forced. The joke has to catch them by surprise, and it cannot be obvious.  

Humour is an excellent way to be persuasive, increase people’s abilities to remember information, and make a person more likeable.  



The Secret to Exponential Business Growth

The Secret to Exponential Business Growth

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In this day and age, companies have to continuously grow and evolve in order to stay authentic and important. If the company is not growing, then that means they are declining. Businesses are able to grow through tactics such as adding new sets of strengths, discovering rare options, and figuring out untouched potential.

Expansion and Growth Strategy

Pre-planning expansion and growth is mandatory to make right choices or there may be huge flaws and risks. Some of these risks may include not grasping the full ability of the business, and expanding too hastily. Moreover there has to be a long term growth plan to be successful and competitive. It is vital to have a clear comprehension of which type of growth is the most appropriate for your business. This will allow companies to participate in the right markets and make assets that spread authority in the market that will last a long time. Furthermore, it is imperative to go outside of the box and pursue growth prospects suited to your company. This way the corporation creates flexibility and familiarity in their approach of growth. 

Brand Licensing 

Another strategy route for expansion is brand licensing. Brand licensing, or in other words category extension is when the brand enlarges its visibility into markets where there is high alertness and partiality, however has shortage of ability to flourish. Brand owners are dependent on licensees to get experience and competence. The brand extension results in product continuation through emotional continuation. The goal of the brand is to create an emotional relationship with their consumers to accomplish a countless share of life. 

Brand Value 

For example, for thirty years Coca Cola had branded its products as happiness to the Olympics with their lapel pins. This certain emotion transforms into a huge global event. Advertisements are not just about the “big idea”. It is more about the emotional relationship that brands have with their customers.

Businesses will grow when there is a thorough knowledge of the company and its strengths, a strategic plan to grow in the present and future, an expansion when it is right to do so, and being determined to be a part of something bigger than they already are. 

Entrepreneur Alert – 3 Trends To Avoid​

Entrepreneur Alert – 3 Trends To Avoid​

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What are trends? They are created by humans rethinking the known ways of doing things. Young entrepreneurs are the force behind new business trends. Most businesses believe that following the latest trends is a sure-fire way to success. This is a misconception. Entrepreneurs must choose those trends which is best suitable for their business and must at times not even follow certain trends. 

Here are some trends that young businesses should not follow: 

1. Growing the first business too fast 

The eternal entrepreneurial dilemma is the decision of recruiting investors or not. While investors inject immediate cash into the business, they also demand quicker results and control. On the other hand, growing organically can work but take years. 

So the solution is to grow your first business yourself, learn from that slow experience and then launch another business faster the next time. Learn your mistakes from the first business and invest more time and money into the second one. 

2. Obsessing about a personal brand 

Many entrepreneurs believe that creating a personal brand will advance their business. But a reputation, or personal brand, is something you cannot fully control. A reputation is a by-product of work. If you work hard and treat people well, you can naturally influence your reputation. So instead of focusing all your attention on developing a personal brand, focus on advancing your business. Once you make money, the persona will grow organically. 

3. Excessive networking 

Networking is a means, not an end. Networking is used to meet potential customers, suppliers, affiliates and partners. Sadly, many young entrepreneurs over-network because it becomes their social life. Instead of working on your social presence or going to meaningless networking events, focus on doing actual work. Excessive networking can also drain your energy. So young entrepreneurs must be willing to sacrifice their social life and use their energy on advancing their businesses. 

It might be tempting to follow the current trends but young entrepreneurs must understand the follies of blindly adopting a new trend. Every business is build up slowly and gradually with hard work and patience.  There is no shortcut to success. 

Pushing Yourself Towards Excellence

Pushing Yourself Towards Excellence

Behavioral economists believe that individuals quickly make decisions when they feel pressured based off  intuition, biases, and psychological misjudgments. Since many people do not make correct decisions and choices, a “nudge” might help you take the right step. A nudge is something that helps guide decisions without restricting them.Behavioral economists, psychologists, and neurosciences have great belief that cleverly, thought out designed nudges can efficiently influence behaviour and encourage results in issues within a workplace.

An example where a nudge was effectively used was at Virgin Atlantic. The airline teamed up with professional economists to come up with a program that reduces fuel by influencing the behaviour of 335 of their flight captains. There were four that consisted of different exercises. The first was a control group that was alerted that the usage of their fuel would be monitored. The second group was provided monthly reports of their fuel usage. The third group were given monthly reports and precise targets that were to be achieved. They were either praised for their success,or encouraged when they failed. The last group received monthly reports, were given targets, and were told that every time they hit their target, charitable donation will be given.

The three groups that were given monthly reports saved a lot more fuel than the first control group. The two groups that had to reach monthly targets were the groups that performed the best. This experiment caused the airline to save 6,828 metric tons of fuel, which cost about more than 3.3 million pounds. Not only did the airline notice substantial savings with the experimental groups, but also noticed a higher amount of satisfaction within the pilots of their airline.Behavioral science gives a boost on cultural change, corporate transformation, and can lead to effective processes. No matter what, a workplace should strategically encourage active participation with their employees to get better results. This experimental pilot program  should be an inspiration for other organizations to transform and improve in every little thing as best as they can. A little nudge in the right direction can go a long way.