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March 6, 2015

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Want to Communicate Effectively? Ask What vs. Why

By Mary Lippitt

At first glance, exchanging information, meaning, and messages among team members appears deceptively simple. After all, you know each other and share common goals. Nonetheless, communication and misunderstanding often continue.  The drive to get to the heart of the matter often has us make assumptions in order to quickly fill in the blanks. And these hasty conclusions tend to depend on a personal motivational filter, more than an open and rational analysis.

Effective communication takes analysis to understand what is being said, before trying to understand why it is being said.  While working as a consultant with an executive team it became clear during a strategy meeting that the CEO and his staff were talking past each other. The staff viewed the new direction and rejection of current practices as an effort for him to make his mark. The CEO attributed the opposition to jealousy or collusion. He had only focused on why they resisted, instead of what facts and trends caused their objections.

Communication problems can be kept manageable if we start with an analysis of what drove a recommendation, rather than trying to decode why an idea was being advanced. Read More

Six Amazing Work At Home Offices

6 Amazing Work At Home Offices Arise

Own your own home-based business? If so, it can be said that Monday through Friday, your home office is your sanctuary. Whether you are a freelancing creative, customer service extraordinaire, or other small business owner, we have scoured the internet for the six best home offices.

But first, what does it take to have a great home office? Below are the five factors we took into consideration:

  1. Efficient Furniture
    When it comes to your workspace, seating arrangements and desktop are key. Comfort should also come into play. After all, a home office is an extension of your home.
  2. Clutter-free Workspace
    The general rule of thumb is if you don’t use it every day, it doesn’t need to be left out. Investing in simple, inexpensive storage that can keep your wires out of sight is a great hack.
  3. Stimulating Supplies
    Experts say most companies give their employees small desk toys to stimulate creativity and production. A few toys may not only be whimsical touches but may also increase the effectiveness of your productivity and that of your workers.
  4. Natural Light
    Good sources of light encourage energy and focus. Natural light is even better. It boosts your mood and helps your body adjust to a better sleep pattern when it comes time to turn in.
  5. Personal Touches 
    Whether it be adding an accent wall, artwork, or inspirational quotes – adding personal touches to your home office can enhance your motivation. The real fun of a home office is that YOU are in control of its interior design. Feng Shui away!

To view the images and see the complete list, read the full article on the Arise Home-Based Business Blog.

Register Your Business and Take a Voice Assessment Now! Arise Virtual Solutions is an industry leader and has been featured on many national news segments, such as: Good Morning America, Bloomberg Television, Fox News, CNN, and the TODAY Show. Learn More About Arise.

Buh Bye Cubicles, Hello Open Offices

The New York Times reports that average amount of space per office worker in North America dropped to 176 square feet in 2012, from 225 in 2010, and that real estate experts say there is no doubt that workers are being shoehorned into even less space. This means that everyone will get to hear those loud calls about how long your mother-in-law will be staying or why the $1,500 medical bill the collection agency insists you owe should really be covered by insurance, the paper says.

What’s Next? Assessing Your Career Post-Baby

By Michelle Kruse

Having a child changes your life in a major way. And while many women will return to their current job following maternity leave, others may decide to seek a career that fits better with their new lifestyle. Between flexible hours and childcare options, a number of new factors come into play after adding a new member to your family.

Navigating this new reality can certainly be a challenge for moms, but it’s worth the obstacles if it means providing a better life for your family. If you’re unsure whether you should stay put or find something new, consider these five questions that might help you make a decision.

What can — and can’t — you afford to do? You may dream of staying home full-time or cutting back on your hours, or your new responsibilities may have you feeling anxious for a raise. Think about what a new family member really means for your finances, and consider that an important part of your decision-making process.

How much time are you expected to spend in the office? If you regularly worked 60-hour weeks pre-baby, it may be difficult to transition to a more moderate schedule when you return from maternity leave. And no matter how much of a workaholic you are, 60-hour weeks simply won’t work if you have any plans to see your child. On the other hand, if your superiors have been consistently flexible with your schedule, allowing you to work remotely on occasion and leave early every now and then, it could be a much better situation for your new life. Read More

Seven Career Tips for the Millennial Woman

girl on computerBy Amy Klimek

Millennial women are passionate, optimistic and hard working. We know what we want, but we don’t always know how to get it. Sometimes, we don’t have the self-confidence or self-belief that we should. This can change. If you’re ready to take the next step, here are seven career tips compiled especially for you and the 30 million other millennial ladies who work every day of the week.

1. Mental preparation is the key to success in the office, in the gym and at home. Prepare to succeed by setting daily and weekly goals and by taking the time to plan your future. If you want to achieve big things, outline a number of smaller goals that will take you there.

2. Manage your time. First, learn how to prioritize. Second, create a daily to-do list and time outline. Budget for weekly meetings and time spent on office duties. Third, avoid time suckers. Set limits, and put these activities on the back burner until more important tasks are complete.

3. Read your way to success. According to bosses, many millennials don’t handle criticism well and have trouble managing impatience toward established workplace practices. Master these soft skills by reading the classics. “The One Minute Manager,” “Contact: The First Four Minutes,” “Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” and “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” are all excellent books. Read More

There’s Nothing Spontaneous about a Successful Career

Sodexo LogoBy Trish Freshwater

I’m a planner by nature. I live by my calendar and often look ahead in six-month chunks of time. For me, six months might as well be six weeks, or, sometimes six days. Life moves fast and if you’re not paying attention, it can pass right on by you.

This is especially true when it comes to your career. If you don’t make plans and set goals, you’re likely to see very little career movement. So, where do you see your career in five years? 10? Where do you want to be when you reach retirement? Do you have a plan? Or, are you worried that your dreams are out of reach?Joanne Martino

For a little inspiration, let’s consider the career of Joanne Martino, District Manager, Sodexo Corporate Client Segment.

Martino began her career more than 30 years ago as an hourly cashier/supervisor for Sodexo’s client Xerox. There, she “worked her way up through the ranks” to a District Manager, overseeing 18 locations with diverse teams and clients.

Martino’s success was no accident. Her determination and drive were the perfect catalysts to advance her career from an hourly employee into management. And, it was there, that Martino gained access to extensive professional development, including ongoing learning opportunities where she was able to sharpen her business skills.

When talking about her career path, Martino described how her managers recognized her abilities and encouraged her to become a leader. That action coupled with her inner-drive led her to feel like “the sky is the limit” at Sodexo, resulting in many personal and professional achievements.

One such achievement was becoming one of the founding members of Sodexo’s Disabilities Task Force, inspired by her brother Joey, a young man with Down Syndrome. The Task Force has since evolved into the employee business resource group SOAR – Sodexo Organization for disAbilities Resources.

Martino attributes some of her career success to development programs that had the support and participation of senior leaders. Read More

Rethinking Traditional Benefits

By Hayley Fisher

iStock_000002172623XXLarge-1As the battle for top talent continues in the hiring space, it’s clear that money is no longer the only important motivator for jobseekers. As such, companies have begun offering unique benefits as a new incentive to keep their competitive edge.

Netflix, for example, does not enforce official work hours. The company measures employee productivity, not the amount of time spent in the office. Another tech giant, Google, has a great commitment to health, keeping physical and massage therapists and chiropractors on staff at its campuses. Facebook and other tech giants made headlines last year for giving female employees the option to freeze their eggs, which stirred up some controversy in the HR world. However, the list goes on for companies providing impressive and innovative benefits for their employees (and fortunately, it is getting longer every year).

Specifically, the trend of gearing benefits toward women is getting stronger.  One of the latest examples comes from the U.K., where the concept of shared parental leave is on tap  – the idea being that women have more opportunity to stay in their careers and men can become more involved at home. What is particularly interesting about this new benefits option is that it directly addresses an important social issue – giving women more opportunities to succeed in their careers. Read More