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UQ Power Blog

Stand Out. Stand Under. Stand UP.

Alexandria Joy - Monday, April 02, 2018

Imagine you meet someone and then 5 minutes later I ask you their name - you’ll have probably forgotten it.

Now imagine that I told you prior that if you remembered the name of that person I’ll give you $1 million dollars - bet I’ve got your attention and you’ll their name now remember right? What this tells us is that we don’t have bad memories, we have low attention spans in this age of competing attention.

How then do you begin to stand out, to build a personal brand and to be remembered, respected and referred by others in our modern digital world? You begin by being more UP Yourself, yes I said UP Yourself. That is you have to stand out, stand under and stand up to be noticed and be memorable.

In this high tech world you have to think about how your presence can be high touch. You have to have enough confidence to go belly to belly, heart to heart with other humans. Which means you can't hide behind your smart phone. You have to get a FEEL the other person.

When we go belly to belly with others we engage our gut brain, and that helps us get a good 'feeling' for where they are coming from. Next we go heart to heart and connect via our heart brain. This doesn't mean we fall in love with evereyone we meet. What it means is that you begin to have empathy and compassion for the other person and feel a heart based connection with them.

Most of us connect from our analytical head brain, which means we may often totally miss the connection in our body and instead let our brain jump immediately into its default state which is to see the other person as predator or prey. So we therefore want to fight or love the other person first. When we connect only with our head brain (reptilian) we simple see everyone as an opponent or a sexual opportunity. Which is kind of weird right?

What if instead we could begin to connect at a deeper level? To tap into our gut and our heart BEFORE we engaged the head? This is where the magic of connection, memory and impact begins to happen. When we increase the integration of our presence through connecting with others through our gut, heart and head we sense the electricity, we feel gratitude, and our connection becomes whole and complete.

Which is why being more UP yourself comes into play. When you are UP Yourself you begin to tap into your Unique Power (UP) which gives you the confidence to go belly to belly and heart to heart with other delicious humans. When you are UP Yourself you begin to claim your birthright to be your total self. Your right to be totally present in any moment, not second guessing what the other person is thinking.

Many times we will feel like we are unworthy "Do I have the right to be UP myself and claim my personal power?" However it is a must. It is part of our evolution as humans and as leaders. It's so important to keep being you in all of your uniqueness however strange that may be.

Guru Singh said
"Don't be a commodity. Be an oddity."

I couldn't agree more. It is not always easy, but it is valuable. I've had old work colleagues from 15 year ago come up to me anad say "You know what, I used to really dislike you. You were so up yourself and walked around with your nose in the air. But do you know what? I've been reading your Daily Uptimisms and watching some of your videos and I actually like you. I totally get you now. You've shown me how to be myself and now I wish I hadn't spent all those years worrying about what other people think."

Yogi Bhajan shared distinct wisdom that relates. I call it the 3 way stands:

1 - Stand Out - Be outstanding
2 - Stand Under - Be understanding
3 - Stand UP - be upstanding

So when others ridicule you be outstanding in your demeanor and manner, don't drop your standards. Be understanding of their beliefs not just go against them for opposing you, use your empathy and heart brain. Then be upstanding by standing up for what you believe is right and being totally present and without judgement. It is in these moments as you remain steadfast by using your head, heart and gut brains that your true leadership and influence will shine through.

When your cup is already full through being UP Yourself - that is you are 100 per cent accountable and in love with the you of u, then you can feel totally safe with others and they can feel totally safe and not threatened by you. Once this occurs then instead of us each thinking "How can I succeed?" we both begin to think "How can WE succeed?"

From the moment you wake up in the morning and start your PDP (Personal Daily Practice - tip: it is incredibly powerful to help you stay UP Yourself) to when you lie down to sleep at night, #startwithU. Top and tail the day with U. Let yourself be yourself whenever you are with yourself.

When you come against someone who bristles you, remember to take the 3 stands. If you persist and do this consistently, in time your personal brand naturally begin to be remembered, respected and referred.

Ten Things Successful People Do to Become Experts

Alexandria Joy - Wednesday, April 05, 2017

As a brand and culture strategist who helps individuals and brands define their unique position in the market, I meet many business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who want to position themselves as Brand U experts.

Not only do they want to be known as key influencers in their field, they want to leverage and build a reputation so clients and business finds them, so media ask them for their opinion rather than them having to sell, sell.

I just read an article by Lolly Daskal from Lead From Within and it aligns so closely with the advice I give my clients that thought I would share a part of it here and add my personal commentary (my personal thoughts are included in italics). Thanks @LollyDaskal for the great resource!

Here are 10 simple strategies that can help you raise your profile and help you find the people who need your expertise (plus commentary from me):

1. Identify your skill.

When you know your skills and capabilities, it is easier to position yourself as an expert. What are your skills, experience, and knowledge?

(I recommend the Gallup Clifton Strengths Finder, you can also explore DISC, PCSI, Myers Briggs but my personal preference is the Strengths Finder - if you need help undertaking this contact us!)

2. Find your voice.

Create a website, define a target audience, and begin speaking from your experience. Let people find out what you know and what you stand for. Having a voice builds your authority and allows others to find you online.

(If you don’t have a website yet use a blog or LinkedIn articles like this to state your position).

3. Maintain your credibility.

Define what you know and draw a line. With your reputation at stake, this is not a time to practice "fake it till you make it." As you progress, remember that what is most important is to maintain your credibility and your reputation.

(Everything you say and do must be on brand to maintain this. Everything, especially online - post consciously. Expand your skills of course but don't bulls@#t about what you can and can't do).

4. Network generously.

The real currency of networking is not about getting; it is about giving. It is about being generous with those you meet and sharing what you have to offer. Networking is what will get you introduced; generosity is what will make a connection.

(My motto is always Give, Give, Give. Follow up – send a referral, an article a resource that will help them, and of course connect on LinkedIn).

5. Speak up everywhere you go. 

A great way to be acknowledged as an expert is to apply to a conference and get booked to speak. Speaking engagements are a great way to reach your audience and build your credibility. Find professional associations or company boards or town hall meetings. Are there classes you can teach, either in a noncredit program or a traditional academic program? When people start calling you to speak about your what you know, you have become an expert.

(Speaking is one of the best positioning tools – speak and you are perceived as the expert. To expand my speaking in 2016 I gave away 20 speaking gigs for free in the month of May, it got me focused, got me seen and helped me hone my craft).

6. Develop a blog.

Blogging provides you with a potential worldwide audience, and showcases your subject-matter expertise as well as your abilities as a writer. The key to writing a successful blog post is to keep the information useful and highly relevant, and to put out value articles frequently. Remember, you want people to see you as a resource, so provide the best information possible.

(See #2 - also keep track of what people like to read and the information they comment on, like or share - my two most popular blog post to date show people are having trouble with their bosses and leaders. Check them out here:  1 - How poor leaders are killing us and 2 - How to tell your manager they suck)

7. Become the source.

Journalists and writers are always looking for experts that they can quote in their articles. You can connect with these professionals with websites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) or The Expert Connection (ProfNet); these sites can connect an expert with their audience.

(We have SourceBottle here in Australia. Also you can write opinion pieces for the journals etc that are in your clients field).

8. Produce something.

Produce your own informational pieces such as books, e-books, or monthly newsletters. You can also create learning platforms with webinars, podcasts, or online videos to promote your services. You can then feature these products on your website or blog, or give them away when people enquire about your products.

(Yes yes yes this is why I recommend many of my clients write a book or a white paper. You can check out my quirky book - it's only a plane ride read - here!)

9. Make use of social networking. 

Social platforms are important to getting your expertise out. Be active on all social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

(Use your expertise to add value, especially related to your keyword or key point of expertise whenever you can).

10. Help others along the way. 

You can also develop your reputation as an expert by using your knowledge and expertise to help others. Signing on to skill share is a great way to become acknowledged as an expert in your field.

(Connect, engage, and assist as many people as you can - even here on LinkedIn - that is how your influence will grow. Before you know it people will be asking for your experience because they know, like and trust you. My measure of if you are beginning to become a brand U expert is are you being asked to have coffees often because people want to "pick your brain").

Short on training budget? Get me for free in May!

Alexandria Joy - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

As part of launching her new speaking topics our CEO Heidi Alexandra is offering just 20 speaking spots for corporates looking to Beta Test our new programs and material for FREE in the month of May 2016!

Heidi Alexandra has been running training and coaching programs for over 10 years and yet she's giving it away in May. Why? Well we have a brand new program of topics and workshops and she wants to road test them and make sure she's delivering content that answers your burning questions, inspires your people and gets tongues wagging in your workplace. 

PLUS Heidi Alexandra's key word for 2016 is "generosity" so you'll be helping her achieve her #365daysofgenerosity too!

Topics include:

  • Stealing Startups Culture: What Futurist Companies Do To Unleash Their Employees Hidden Super Powers
  • Corporate Culture Hacking: The simplest secret to transforming a toxic culture
  •  The 4.5 secrets you need to know to become a corporate superhero
  • Body Intelligence – how to have a powerful presence
  • Corporate Superhero – how to become a sought after thought leader

There are just 20 spots available in May in Australia and the USA. To apply to have her speak at your workplace, event or leadership meeting go here now - first in best dressed!

You can read more about her speaking here http://www.uqpower.com.au/speaking 

The Generosity Economy is Alive and Well

Alexandria Joy - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I have always said if you want to change the world, you have to #startwithU.

However like me, many people express that they feel helpless or uncertain of how they could begin to take steps to change the world. They ask what could I possibly do? What could I give? How could I be of service?

It got me thinking after speaking to a friend who had returned from Nepal: in a world that is materialistically rich, yet spiritually poor, is it possible for a generosity economy to emerge and to flourish?

It’s not a new concept, in fact, historically as a race we survived on the exchange of gifts, goods and services; there was no artificial paper notes or numbers on a page assigned to give something value.

Is it possible then for us to reverse our materialistic focus and revert to operating from a place where we are rewarded for our productivity, our generosity and our service?

Rather than the old paradigm of ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’, the new generosity economy creates more of a circle of goodwill where people give and share freely and where everyone benefits.

I am delighted to say that I put this question to the test and saw evidence of this new economy in spades on a recent overseas trip.

It began in San Francisco, I arrived after a long flight to be greeted in the hotel foyer by my roomie and friend chief Sista Code blogger, Melissa Histon. Mel had generously waited around for me for more than an hour so she’d be there to take me to the room and help me settle in.

After unpacking we took to the streets in search of a restaurant to eat, deciding to catch a cable car. As we waited in line, a beggar came up along the line asking everyone waiting if they had any money to spare.

Everyone looked away, ignored them or grumbled under their breath. But not Melissa, she said bright and cheerfully to him, ‘I have something for you’ and reached into her wallet and took out a five dollar note to give him.

He mumbled thanks and moved on.

Someone in the line ahead of us cursed her saying something about ‘great there’s always a sucker now we’ll all be bothered by him’. Mel didn’t respond to them but once we boarded the cable car she whispered to me, “you just never know what someone’s going through and how your kind gesture might help.” I had to agree with her.

Later that week, while in New York, we walked past a church and saw a robed man handing out food to homeless people sitting waiting on the steps of the church. His movements were slow and deliberate with an air of kindness and compassion.

I took a mental note of how this simple act of generosity appeared to not only raise the recipients’ spirits, but also mine too. I realised that just by witnessing this act of generosity my energy levels had been raised as well. I pointed out the interaction to Mel and together we smiled in joy at the simple act of loving kindness.

It seemed that everywhere I looked on the trip from then on I began witnessing and partaking in the generosity economy. Whether it be the policeman or soldier in the street I randomly asked to pose with me for a photo wearing my cape who agreed generously and played along with the fun. To meeting a group of people protesting about the lack of abortion clinics for women in the USA who we gave a donation to and who shared their stories, stickers, ideals and hopes with us openly and enthusiastically.

The next leg of our journey was sure to be yet another extension of the generosity economy as it came about through the kind generosity of an amazing business woman Emma Isaacs, CEO of Business Chicks Australia and USA.

Emma had herself experienced a trip such as this a few years prior and rather than hoarding it or wanting it to remain exclusively hers she came home asking,“how can I share this experience with other women in our business chicks community?”

And this was just the tip of the iceberg, for the following week we travelled to the British Virgin Isles in the Caribbean to attend a Leadership Gathering on Necker Island I experienced even more pure, non-judging, generous behaviour.

Everything about Sir Richard Branson’s private island was done with a sense of service and generosity. Whether it be the generous free flowing drinks, the warm smiles and welcoming hugs of his fabulous staff to the new friends we made who joined us on the trip.

Richard himself was generous with his time, his energy, his laughter, his praise and his stories. I witnessed the conservation work being done on the island from flamingos to tortoises to lemurs, his generosity went beyond man and was extended to the environment and fellow animals, not for kudos or image but from a genuine, loving place. 

Read the rest of this article about my experience and see all the photos here http://thesistacode.com/want-to-be-uplifted-join-the-generosity-economy/#comment-858 

Brendan Burchard Masterclass demonstrates How to Identify, Package, Market and Drive Your Expertise

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, June 08, 2014

My favourite nuggets of wisdom from the day

Last week I attended the event How to Identify, Package, Market and Drive Your Expertise Master Class in Sydney at Luna Park in the Big Top and after posting this photo on Facebook:

I had several friends and clients send me messages asking how it was, who the speakers were and what did I learn.

Always keen for an opportunity to sharpen the saw, and I had attended this event in particular to see Brendan Burchard in person after observing his internet success. I came away from the event with my wallet intact (no I didn’t fall for any of the limited number of seats act now sales pitches) but my notebook full. Surprisingly for a pitch-fest style event (we all gotta eat) I found that I did have some really great takeaways and nuggets of wisdom in my notepad from the day.

Below I've included a quick takeaway from each of the speakers on the day. (For my full seven pages of notes leave your name and email below and I'll happily send you a full copy of my notes.)

Speaker 1 – Scott Harris from Australia - Developing the Psychology behind Your Success

Scott suggested you need to:

1 - Become an expert in your life - really understand yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, habits and beliefs
2 - Invite some experts into your life - surround yourself with smart people who have been there before so you don't have to recreate the wheel and can replicate their systems.

Speaker 2 - KERWIN RAE from Australia  - The 5 Pillars of a fast growth Expert empire
Keys to Getting the Basics Down
  • Simplify
  • Streamline (know the things that don’t matter)
  • Automate
  • Immerse

Speaker 3 - ANDY HARRINGTON [UK] - Promoting Yourself as the Authority in Your Subject

Five Areas to be an extraordinary speaker:
  • IMPACT – break people’s pattern en masse.
  • INFORM – a message that informs people without overwhelming them.  
  • INSPIRE – more people emotionally by changing their state.
  • INFLUENCE – move them into action.
  • INCOME – too many poor coaches and consultants and authors.

Speaker 4 - BRENDON BURCHARD [USA] - Positioning yourself as an Expert on any topic area
  • “Experts are always students first.” Brendan Burchard.  If you’re waiting for someone to tell you, you’re a divine being, well here it is “you’re good to go.”.
  • You don’t have energy or confidence, you generate it.
  • It’s about adult learning – you just have to apply the science to it.
  • You can teach any topic to anyone whenever you decide to.
  • You just need to believe and decide to start.
Thanks to a post a US friend Jennifer Bourn shared recently from the Copyblogger’s Authority Intensive 2014 that I found really interesting, I figured I would get my fabulous assistant Claire to type up my notes of the best bits, the quotables, and the action items — so you can benefit from the most notable content shared too.
To access my full simply click on this link and leave your full name and email. Enjoy! 

I hope this post and my full notes helped you provide you with some of the best bits without the pitch fest parts in between!

How about you? Did you attend the event in the Big Top? What did you think? Did one of the nuggets of wisdom listed above speak to you or catch your attention? Or did you think it was all just too much hype and sell, sell, sell at the back of the room? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Office Christmas Party Ettiquette

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, December 15, 2013

From hitting on your boss' wife to humiliating party games and the indignity of forced merriment, office Christmas parties are a minefield when it comes to maintaining your personal brand.

Here's four office party mistakes we suggest you don't make:

1. Singing karaoke

Regardless if you have a voice like Celine Dion, never partake in singing karaoke if you are in a Western workplace. In the days of smart phones your rendition of "I'm too sexy" could end up on You Tube or Facebook well before Monday morning's Board meeting.

2. Drinking in excess

Obvious, duh, however the most common mistake made by up and comings. While many organisations offer a full bar at their party, many people take advantage and don't realise the number of drinks they've had. If you don't want to make any career limiting moves like chatting up the bosses partner or urinating in the hallway pot plant, limit yourself to 2-3 drinks all night.

3. Finger food faux pas

Picture this: sticky spicy chicken wing in one hand, wet drink hand in the other, your boss crosses the floor with the Chairman of the board in tow, to introduce you. No napkin in sight you have to choose...shove the sticky wing in your pocket, drop it into your cup or offer a kiss on the cheek to the Chairman. (Oh yeah and one other food tip - don't double dip).

4. Whining while dining

The office Christmas party is meant to be a time when everyone can celebrate the successes of the year. That means a cheerful mood. If you feel yourself or the conversation slipping into whingeing, whining or bitching territory about work, colleagues, clients or anything switch topics before the complaints gather momentum.

Stick to these basics and you should find the Christmas party provides a boost to your brand rather than seeing you slipping off the potential promotion list. And if you think we're being conservative check out this top 10 list of the most embarrassing moments. This may be enough to put you off partying for life!

Leave a comment below and tell us your most your or "your friends" most embarrassing office party misstep!

While we're on the subject of Christmas check out our UQ Power Christmas video here. Did you photobomb us in 2013?

Is office clutter affecting your mood?

Alexandria Joy - Friday, June 21, 2013

Trip hazards, dust, and cosy spots for spiders are not the only things that clutter creates in the workplace. Clutter at work, and at home, has a huge impact on your psyche. 

Cluttered workspace = cluttered mind

The chaotic assortment of waste, unused items, and important workplace tools of trade can make you feel overwhelmed, unable to cope, and resentful. More than just a mess, a cluttered workspace negatively affects worker productivity and creativity and it has been known to increase stress levels.

When the chaos reaches a certain level it’s not the mess that’s the problem, but the impact of the mess on the people living with it. Dr Olivia Wynne B Psych, PhD Psych (Science and Psychoneuroimmunology) explains research has revealed that clutter can adversely affect your mindset.“Our senses once stimulated with something familiar can trigger memories of past experiences. This includes feeling all the emotions attached to that memory,” Dr Wynne said. “If you’re office was once a neat and tidy haven, but is now a chaotic mess because your workload has increased, it’s likely you’ll always feel ‘busy’, behind and overwhelmed.”

  • Clutter makes you feel tired – a cluttered office is a physical and mental drain, hindering creativity and blocking your energy.
  • Clutter makes you feel hopeless – you’re probably too busy to file, pack up equipment, and get rid of stuff that you don’t use, and that’s why there is clutter. The problem is you’ll always feel overwhelmed and “busy” every time you step into that chaotic environment.
  • Clutter makes you feel out of control – too busy to keep a tidy workplace? A disorganised workplace reduces your productivity because it takes more time to find things or access items and equipment. When the clutter stops you from doing what you want to do, you have lost control.
  • Clutter affects your company culture – How you present (and setup) your workspace not only expresses some of your values and beliefs, but can either encourage or hinder communication and collaboration in the workplace.

On the flipside, a well organised workspace shows signs of pride and professionalism. It improves productivity and can even enhance creativity and communication.  

Not all clutter is bad however. Boost your mood by decorating your space with items you cherish such as a family photo or a trinket you bought while on holidays. Their presence, and your attachment to them, will help you to feel at home, relaxed, and inspired.

Feeling drained and uninspired? Is it time to declutter your workspace? 

What does your desk say about you?

Here at UQ Power, we visit a lot of organisations and we see a lot of desks. We can usually tell straight away what the appearance of a desk says about the desk owner and the company culture of the organisation.

In our Desk a Day Challenge we analyse the desks of our readers. We’ve seen some wide-ranging examples of office spaces – from the minimalistic look with barely a pen out of place, to the disorganised and cluttered.

We know everyone prefers to work in different ways, and that ‘having a tidy desk’ can be interpreted differently depending on your propensity for clutter. However the environment of an office is a critical factor to successfully building trust, collaboration and communication in a workplace. What does your desk say about how you and your business operates?

Send in a photo to us at UQ Power and we will analyse what is says about your company culture. 

How do you build rapport? Ask the right questions!

Alexandria Joy - Thursday, March 07, 2013
You’re likely to judge whether you’re going to keep reading this article in the first few seconds, just like how someone forms an opinion of you in the first seven seconds of meeting you. It’s not arrogance or ego at play – it’s science – our brains are hardwired to make quick judgements about whether you are friend for foe (or whether you should use your brain power to keep focused – and keep reading!). 

Whether you’re aware of it or not, there are three key elements that your subconscious picks up on to help you make a quick judgement about whether to avoid or maintain contact with a person. 

Body language plays the biggest part in helping you to form an opinion as well a person’s ability to hold a conversation to find common personal connections quickly. 

Lots of people understand these concepts and do lots of talking (and gesturing) to demonstrate what they know, who they are, and what they stand for. And this important. But what I want you to contemplate today is how you can make a positive, memorable first impression by listening and asking questions.  

The art of listening

Speaking well is a skill that is nurtured from a very early age and throughout our education. However, listening is a skill that is often overlooked. Sure, you can probably hear words coming out of another person’s mouth, but how intently do you really listen? 

Your ability to speak as well as listen has a big impact on how you come across. Building rapport is about showing your interest in the other person as much as it is about sharing your stories and ideas to communicate who you are. 

If your mind tends to wander while you’re speaking with people, there are a few things you can do to make a conscious effort to listen intently. 
  • Talk less and you’ll hear more: Give time for the other person to share their stories and opinions. 
  • Be respectful: Face your entire body towards the person so you’re more likely to focus on them and what they’re saying rather than being distracted by what’s happening around you (or seeming like you’re ready to make a run for it!).
  • Ask questions: The trick is to ask thoughtful questions. This shows that you’re genuinely interested in the other person and that you’ve been listening to them. 

Build rapport and gain trust by asking powerful questions

SmartBrief’s small-business and entrepreneurship editor, Brooke Howell, wrote “when you ask thoughtful questions you supercharge your conversations.”

How does asking questions and listening make you more appealing and appear smarter? Again, Brooke puts it perfectly: “Power questions actually give power to the other person — power to talk about what’s important to them…  A good question can get to the heart of the real issue. It helps you understand the other person’s goals and aspirations. It enables the other person to reach their own conclusions.”

When you speak with someone, asking questions shows you are genuinely interested in them. The “give and take” of a conversation also helps the other person to feel more connected to you. If you ask the right questions – you can also cleverly demonstrate what you know about a topic. This trick is great in job interviews or when you’re speaking with a potential client because when you ask the right questions, you demonstrate your background knowledge and it shows you’ve done some research.  

What are powerful questions?

  •  If meeting someone for the first time, ask questions that help you to get to know the other person, like where they come from, what’s their professional background, what they do when they’re not at work, how they got into their field of expertise. 
  • Ask follow-on questions to statements and answers to show you have listened intently.  
  • Already know the person or want to dig deeper? The most powerful questions make the other person think about the “why”. Asking questions that bring out the “why” helps you to understand their motivations and aspirations – getting to the root of who they are. 
At your next networking event, meeting or interview what powerful questions will you ask? (Share your thoughts and join in the discussion below c'mon I am asking you nicely!)

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Heidi Alexandra has been the source of much information strategy and innovation that has seen me push the boundaries on social media internally and improved my local and national profile and that of my firm tremendously. Jeremy Kennedy, Director, Australian Business Lawyers and Associates
I would recommend UQ Power to anyone that is seeking support, guidance and growth in their business. Catherine Miller, Human Resources Manager, Allightsykes