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Have you ever said no to a big opportunity?

Alexandria Joy - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Have you ever said no to a big opportunity?

No I don’t want that new job and pay increase.

No I don’t want to go on that secondment to the other department.

No I don’t want to make a presentation to the Board.

I said no to a big opportunity last week, one that I’ve had on my vision board since January, and it was a tough call to make.

As a workplace futurist and someone who helps organisations plan and strategise their culture and brand for the future I am constantly scanning the environment, travelling throughout Australia and around the world, visiting companies that are on the forefront of modern work practices to bring those ideas back to leaders and organisations we work with.

I spend a lot of my waking hours thinking about the future. So you can imagine how excited I was to have been invited in March to speak at the World Futures Conference in Washington this past weekend. My topic – How to make work work in the future. Awesome and so right up my alley.

I had been planning the trip for some time, I’d already bought a conference ticket, accommodation was sorted and I’d been making connections on LinkedIn with peers that would be at the conference.

And then last week, life got a bit crazy, things weren’t lining up at work or at home and I came up against some pretty deep stuff – like feeling like a fraud and off course.

So I said no to speaking at the conference. I said no to a big break. To the crème de la crème of the futurists gathering. I said no to showing up regardless.

Instead I said yes. Yes to staying home. Yes to me.

For once I was totally and utterly honest with myself. I checked in and no it wasn’t fear making me back away, in speaking is one of my favourite things to do. It was just that the pull to say yes to being true to me was stronger.

I felt bad for letting the conference organisers down, but the truth was I was on day 2, not the headline, plenary speaker, a bit of reshuffling and the conference agenda would work fine. It was more a blow to my ego than an inconvenience to anyone else. Funny how the universe has a way of delivering harsh lessons at the most inopportune times.

I’d been having some hints and intuition that a change was necessary but a total transformation? Hadn’t seen that coming – some futurist I am ha ha!

I wrote a blog last week as this all unfolded and I was sick in bed with a stomach virus purging and transitioning. Some would warn against such a potentially career limiting article, however the feedback about the raw and real honesty has been a surprise to me.  

How did I get here? When did I forget the things that I love doing the most?

I love my work, I love helping people and companies unleash their uniqueness so they can show up authentically and love their work every day. It’s bloody awesome work. But somewhere along the way I had lost my own way and forgotten to heed my own advice.

I started asking some big questions about life, my business and how I want to work and who with. Magically new clients turned up immediately, precisely the kind I like to work with as if to say – here, do more of this!

Awesome nudges. Perfect clues. Thank you universe.

Luckily the conference organisers were very understanding and agreed that I could donate my conference ticket I had already purchased to a scholarship student who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend – awesome #generosityeconomy in action.

I was so relieved once it was done and of course a little disappointed.

But as with any decision, once made, energy has began to flow in the new direction and clarity has returned. I’ve begun making changes in my business, a new website, a new podcast, a documentary, a charitable collaboration and a new theatre style event are all now in the pipeline. Some of these will be launched in the very near future, some a little further off, but already synchronicities are beginning to happen.

So it’s possible to say no to a big opportunity and still find a silver lining!

This week I’m focused on getting even clearer about how I want to live and work, where and with whom so I can put it into action.

Making the decision to say no was the hardest part, once it was done it was done and I could move on again and regain my flow.

Are you finding yourself at a crossroads unable to say yes or no and feeling stuck and frustrated? Don’t worry pushing through the resistance is just part of the process, it’s a sign that you’re on your way.

If you need help and you want to know how to get clear on the future path for your career, business or brand visit www.uqpower.com.au and check out our services and offerings.  

Our videos, articles and resources are a great way to start the forward momentum yourself – whether it’s to grow your team, increase your income or profits or create the most memorable brand in your market.

Start saying no and releasing more energy and space to say yes to you and your dreams. You know you’re unique and you’re awesome and the world needs you!

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 

Balanced Leaders Create Healthy Cultures

Alexandria Joy - Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Most people today could share a story about someone they've worked for who was highly intelligent, highly skilled and got promoted to a position of leadership only to drive their workers around the bend and leave them running for the hills.

This common story told the world over suggests that identifying individuals with the right goods to be a great leader is not an exact science or exercise in who has the best resume. After all, evidence shows that the personal styles of the best leaders vary greatly as seen from my recent list of the 50 leaders I most want to interview.

Some leaders are quiet, conscientious and analytical, others are bold and boisterous preaching their vision and values to the biggest audience they can find. Regardless of their external personality traits however, we have found through our work at UQ Power that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they create healthy workplace cultures where their workers feel safe and valued.

In the course of the past year, my colleagues and I have focused on how leaders and managers can create the most physically, emotionally and psychologically healthy workplace cultures. Using our proprietary UQ Powerhouse Blueprint we have worked with numerous public and private organisations and examined the relationship between IQ - innovation and intellectual safety, EQ - emotional intelligence and psychological safety, BODY - cultural presence and physical safety and VISION - clarity of purpose and financial safety, especially in leaders. And we have observed how each of these four dimensions, the quadruple bottom line, shows themselves on the job.

Which is why most people today could share a story about someone they've worked for who had high IQ but low EQ and drove them around the bend. When we study organizational psychology, culture and well being we begin to see that one area connects to another, and another in such a way that it is hard to isolate one without considering the other. Organizations therefore could more appropriately be seen as a complex living organisms rather than simply as an organization.

Identifying what makes an organisation healthy is not a straightforward science as one needs to appreciate the UQ (uniqueness quotient) of each individual employee - basically every worker has different motivators and or stressors and each group or team has its own dynamic which in turn ultimately creates the organisation’s culture.

What we have found through our work is that just like any other living organism, an organisation needs to be nourished, maintained, and experience growth in order to sustain it over the longer term. It also needs some essential nutrients to ensure it maintains peak health including:

Nutrient 1 - Free Flowing Communication: Communication is always a two-way street and requires contextual listening (listening beyond words to what is being said, not said and felt). So many companies are built on top-down communication from management leaving employees feeling there is no point in saying how they feel as they have no direct channel and don't feel they'll have an impact. Effective leaders and managers are those who create an atmosphere that fosters trust and open, two-way communication. Communication can be critical especially during difficult times such as those recently experienced as a result of the economic downturn (Read this article to find out more about leading during a downturn).

Nutrient 2 - People emPOWERment: By understanding and appreciating the UQ (uniqueness) in each and every employee and leveraging their individual talents, a leader will build confidence and trust and empower individuals to self-manage. By empowering employees to be victors rather than victims, to celebrate their uniqueness rather than punishing their imperfections, by owning their responsibilities, a healthy empowered environment is created. Through an empowered workplace you will not only have the benefits of enhanced productivity but you can grow your reputation among your customers and stakeholders.

Nutrient 3 - Spreading PositivityIn The Happiness Advantage, former Harvard professor Shawn Achor argues that people who start off happy are more likely to succeed and using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how organisations can gain a competitive advantage by shifting employees to become more positive too. Similarly Professor Richard Boyatzis' Intentional Change Theory states that intense positive emotions will have a contagion effect on others. Likewise we must be conscious of the negative emotions one emits as well, Boyatzis suggesting that for every negative thought three positive thoughts are needed to counter the affect.

Nutrient 4 - Cool Collaboration: In short, teams that play together, stay together. A leader's job is to ensure everyone in the organization must work in solving problems while adapting change together. Cohesive organizations build unity toward improving and resolving issues as a team and not as isolated units. Simon Sinek frequently cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives, because they know others would do the same for them. It’s not brainwashing; it’s actually based on the biology of how and when people are naturally at their best. If businesses could adopt this supportive mentality, employees would be more motivated to take bigger risks, because they’d know their colleagues and company would back them up, no matter what.

The best company cultures are vibrant, healthy ones where the well being of individuals and the sustainability of the organization go hand in hand. It is ultimately a place where individuals are inspired to work, trust, and value the uniqueness in one another, while reinforcing the mission of the organization.

What interventions, improvement programs or cultural reviews have proven to work well for you and your organization?

What other nutrients do you believe support a healthy organizational culture, not listed in the list above? 

Feel free to share a comment or two about your experiences below, I'd love to know.

References
Achor, Shawn The Happiness Advantage
Adelson, S. and LaRoche, G . (n.d) The Power of Positive Emotional Attractors. Boyatzis, R. E., Soler, C. (2012). Vision, leadership and emotional intelligence transforming family business, Journal of Family Business Management.
Sinek, Simon (2014) Leaders Eat Last
Topping, Peter, (2002), Managerial Leadership. McGraw-Hill.

6 WAYS TO BUILD TRUST AT WORK

Alexandria Joy - Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Trust - it's a term bandied around all the time when it comes to leadership and organisational culture and with good reason. Nothing builds a solid culture better than growing a cushion of trust and nothing harms an organization more than a lack of trust in those leading it.

For such a simple, small five letter word, trust can often be challenging to develop and maintain in any organisation. But it can be done! Trust must begin from the top to be developed throughout an organization. If top management is not trusted it gives the perception that it is everyone for themselves and opens up rationale for building a culture of mistrust.

In a recent episode of UQTV titled "The Leadership Relationship" I address the issue of trust and how critical it is in creating sustainable businesses.

Here are six steps to help you develop trust in your workplace:

1. TRUTH TELL

Leaders who are trusted tell the truth even when it is easier to lie or leave out facts. There is no such thing as ‘the’ truth. There is only ‘your’ truth so practice becoming a truth teller - the more you tell your truth up front, the less cleaning up you’ll need to do. 

If there is a values statement for the organisation that includes any words about honesty, trust or integrity event more so - you need to ensure you act, speak and live those values before expecting staff to.

2. DO GOOD

When a leader does the right thing for the benefit of the whole organisation rather than their own personal agenda they are held up as examples of integrity for others to follow. This strongly reinforces an expansive culture of trust.

When a leader does what is convenient or beneficial for them and not for all it sets up a mistrustful, counter productive culture where staff feel justified to look out for themselves rather than doing what is most beneficial for the whole company. 

3. BE CONSISTENT

A sure way to grow mistrust is when managers start saying one thing to the executive or board and giving a different message to their staff. This makes staff feel like they are being manipulated, treated like children and used to make their manager look good.

Build motivation and trust by allowing staff to feel to confident that you are sharing a consistent message regardless of the audience.

4. STOP WITHOLDING

Withholding is like taking a razor blade to a company culture and all the relationships within it. Withholding is a breeding ground for catastrophising as in the absence of accurate and timely information rumors spread. Often the rumors paint a worse picture of the situation than would exist if the truth were told. 

Withholding information gives staff the message that they are not to be trusted to know the truth and therefore sets up a culture of suspicion and mistrust that rumors will only feed and fuel. 

6. CELEBRATE UNIQUENESS

One of the most common complaints we hear in workplaces is favoritism and unfair treatment. Treating everyone fairly, consistently and giving credit to those who deserve can be a challenge as we all have our own biases and personality preferences.

One of the challenges of leadership is to see beyond personal preferences and clearly see the unique value or UQ (uniqueness quotient) that each person brings to the organization. Imagine the motivation, engagement and cushion of trust you could build in your organisation by recognising and celebrating the UQ in every individual employee.

Want to build trust at work? #StartwithU

Six Easy Steps to Turn Happiness Into Success

Alexandria Joy - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

From an early age, most of us are raised to believe that success equals happiness. We work hard to get good grades, finish school, and land that fantastic job. Then many of us find that we still are not happy, so we work hard again to climb the corporate ladder and get that promotion, in the hopes that as we become more successful we will also become happier.

However, does success really equal happiness? Author Shawn Achor believes that things should actually be reversed, instead of believing happiness comes from success, we should believe that success comes from happiness.

Nevertheless, of course, achieving happiness takes work. Most of us actually have to train our brains to think positively instead of negatively. Fortunately, there are activities and exercises we can do every day to help achieve more happiness in our lives, and achieve more success.

  1. Start every day with a positive thought. Instead of beginning your day lying in bed silently swearing at the alarm clock, think to yourself that something good is going to happen today. Then spend the day looking for it. You will be surprised at how many good things you will notice throughout your day.
  2. Write down three things that you are grateful for every day. Purchase a journal, or use a notebook, word document, or even an online journal, and write down three new things that you are grateful for each day. Research has proven that this helps to improve optimism and helps to raise success rates.
  3. Journal for two minutes a day describing something positive that has happened to you in the past day. You do not have to write much; simply take two minutes out of your busy day. This helps you to transform from a task-based thinker to a meaning based thinker, or someone who looks for a meaning to something rather than it simply being something you have to do. This approach can dramatically increase happiness at work.
  4. Exercise for a few minutes every day. Even if it is only for ten minutes, a short work out will help to train your brain that your behavior matters. Exercise also gives you energy and a general sense of well-being, which will increase your happiness and success throughout the day.
  5. Mediate for a few minutes daily. Spend a couple of minutes every day focusing on your breathing. This will help to undo the negative effects of multitasking, and help decrease stress and anxiety. Additionally, research has shown that most people get things done more quickly if they focus on one task at a time rather than multitask.
  6. Perform a small, random act of kindness every day. Simply spend a few moments, preferably in the morning writing a quick email praising or thanking a co-worker. This increases your feeling of social support, which is one of the largest predictors of happiness.

When you follow these steps, you are training your brain that you do not have to be successful to be happy. In fact, you are reversing the formula and are proving that you can turn happiness into success. If everything seems a bit overwhelming, begin with one of these habits and build them up slowly until they all become second nature to you.

Now it’s your turn in the comments below share what your number 1 tip for happiness is.

Your Pay Reflects Your Personality Type

Alexandria Joy - Monday, February 10, 2014

Want to know why you can’t seem to breakthrough your current income level? According to a study conducted by CareerAssessmentSite.com, your personality has a significant impact on your earning potential.

Is Your Personality Holding You Back?

Before we jump into self-diagnosis mode, let’s first get real about the benefits of understanding how personality impacts your performance, career opportunities, and earning potential.

When managing a thriving business, we leverage organisational strengths to ensure continual growth and profits. We also shine the spotlight on the organisation’s weaknesses to tighten up ship and minimise unnecessary costs (in terms of resources, time, or money). Continuous improvement is a common movement in the business arena, but not so much when it comes to personal or employee growth.

If businesses are run by… people… how could you ever blossom your organisation into its full potential if your people don’t develop and grow?

Just like in business, being aware of your personal strengths allows you to make full use of those to your advantage. Likewise, understanding your weaknesses will allow you to work on them, or if needed, stop you from fighting a never ending battle by delegating things to people who excel at whatever it is that you suck at.

When you focus on your strengths and continue to stretch and build that muscle on a daily basis, you end up stepping up into your full potential. As an aside, you’ll also position yourself as a guru in your area of expertise. You’ll stop struggling and you’ll have better clarity in how to build your career.

What Personality Type Earns The Most?

Busting to know aren’t you?!) Studies show that people with a pragmatic approach to life and business out earn all other types. They are excellent custodians of money, see criticism as an opportunity to expand, and set goals and take daily action to achieve them.

One the flipside, these people sometimes seem controlling and intimidating. Their ability to make decisions and act quickly may come across as impulsive.

What’s Your Personality Type?

You can read more about the different personality types tested in the study here.

Or, you can contact us at UQ Power to help you uncover your personality type, how you can leverage your UQ Power (your unique strengths) and how to go about addressing your weaknesses.

Our Founder and CEO, Heidi Alexandra Pollard is a certified Myers-Briggs facilitator who can help you to discover and bring out your UQ Power. All you have to do is fill out this form and we’ll start the process for you.

How to master any skill

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, December 29, 2013

When you want to learn a new skill, how do you usually go about it? Learn first and then practice?  If that’s your method for becoming a genius you’re on the right track, but you’re only half way to becoming a Legendary Master.

Psychologist, Dr Anders Ericsson did a study revealing that those who practiced a skill for at least 10,000 hours were more successful than those who didn’t. No surprises there as “practice makes perfect” right? Well… to a point.

Emotional Intelligence expert and Psychologist, Daniel Goleman explains the problem with this single method:

 “Ten thousand hours of practice may or may not bring you to the top of your game, and the reason is this: if you are a so-so golfer and you have a so-so golf stroke and you practice that golf stroke in a so-so way, in 10,000 hours you are still going to have the same poor golf stroke,” Daniel Goleman

Here at UQ Power, we believe that success is driven by four keys: Vision, Body, Intelligence Quotient (IQ), and Emotional Quotient (Emotional Intelligence or EQ). (We call this the UQ Power House). And when it comes to powering up your IQ muscle, it takes more than repetition to build strength.

Focus is key to boosting your IQ

As we’ve become more digitally connected, we’ve also become more distracted. We suffer from multi-tasking and undertake it with a matter of pride. Even when we’re performing just a single action, our brain remains in multi-task mode; distracted by other thoughts, sensations, and mental to-do lists. 

Continual multi-tasking has led our brains to reconfigure its neurons (the “hardwiring that sends messages”) to cope with only that sort of thinking. So when it comes time to focus… well… we simply can’t.

To become a true master of any skill, you need to focus when you practise. No distractions, no mental checks of what you need to do afterwards – full, present focus.

“Learning how to improve any skill also requires top-down focus. Neuroplasticity, the strengthening of old brain circuits and building of new ones for a skill we are practicing, requires our paying attention. When practice occurs while we are focusing elsewhere, the brain does not rewire the relevant circuitry for that particular routine.

Daydreaming defeats practice; those of us who browse TV while working out will never reach the top ranks. Paying full attention seems to boost the mind’s processing speed, strengthen synaptic connections, and expand or create neural networks for what we are practicing,” Dr Goleman.

Feedback makes perfect

When your golf swing is consistently causing the ball to veer left, it’s time to get expert feedback. A skilled golfing coach can tell you that you’re stance is affecting your swing and that you need to practice standing with your shoulders in alignment to your feet.

While you may learn a new skill quickly and easily, it’s likely that you’ll plateau. To get past it and to continually improve, you need feedback to help you see where your opportunities are and how you can strengthen your game.

In business, a team that performs well consistently still needs feedback. Progression and continual improvement will only happen if the team has an objective view of opportunities and strengths from which they can leverage.

How is your game? Is it time for you to get some feedback and guidance?

Here’s a story of how UQ Power helped McCulloch Robertson lift their game, increasing their cash flow by half a million dollars within a month.

 

Ridding your vocabulary of the "F" bomb

Alexandria Joy - Thursday, December 26, 2013

Everybody uses the “F” bomb. It’s a word that we attach so much negative emotion to – ego, pride, fear. Too many people connect their self-worth to the word – failure.

Failure is not an end point

If scientists saw their first attempts at creating cures for disease as a failure, we would not have any known cures in the world. If you think about it, we would be living a VERY simple, primitive lifestyle if everyone throughout history saw their mistakes as an end point – a time to give up on curiosity and discovery.   

 Replace “failure” with “lesson”

When an infant learns to walk, she has to find her centre of gravity by trial and error. She will wobble and stumble and fall for some time before she walks on her own two feet without support. When she leans to the left too much, she learns that it will tip her sideways. When she leans too far forward, she learns that she’ll tumble to the ground.

People who have all four quarters of their UQ Power House in balance, in particular their IQ quadrant, understand that failures provide lessons by a process of elimination.

When you’re mentally strong, you know: what not to do, what chemical compound doesn’t belong in the cure, leaning to the left will make you stumble, and what success doesn’t look like. So you try again with a more informed foundation of knowledge.  

The saying “Success never comes without failure” should really say “Success never comes without a lesson to be learnt”.

A leader with a strong IQ also knows when it’s time to call it quits. The difference with this leader is that he takes with him is a better idea of how he can succeed.

A recent Forbes article that went viral with popularity also pointed out that mentally strong people know when it’s time to move on.  

We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s when we take the same actions again and again while hoping for a different and better outcome than we’ve gotten before. A mentally strong person accepts full responsibility for past behavior and is willing to learn from mistakes. Research shows that the ability to be self-reflective in an accurate and productive way is one of the greatest strengths of spectacularly successful executives and entrepreneurs.”

The end of year is a great time to reflect. Today, power up your IQ quadrant by contemplating all the wonderful lessons you’ve learned throughout the year.

 Please share with us below how your past “failures” have helped to move you closer to your goals (because that’s exactly what they do!).

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?


Are White Lies In Business OK?

Alexandria Joy - Monday, December 09, 2013

Have you ever covered for someone at work? Have you exaggerated (even just a little) on your resume, in a job interview, or in a business performance report? Have you told a white lie to avoid messy consequences, like hurting someone’s feelings? You have haven’t you? Go on – admit it!

If The White Lie Isn’t “Hurting” Anybody Is It OK To Tell Tiny Tales?

Think back to a burger television advertisement (I’m sure we’re thinking of the same brand right now). The people eating the burgers use two hands to hold it. Their thumb and fingers are stretched out to form a wide open C shape. You can see all the ingredients stacked heartily between the buns; it forms a tempting tower tall enough to need the jaw flexibility of a Boa Constrictor.

Then, when you buy that same burger, you feel just as deflated as it looks. It’s flat, you need to separate the buns to see what’s between it, and you can hold it comfortably with one hand. You still feel hungry and a little ripped off.

The advertisers were clever enough to showcase the value that you get when you buy the burger as well as the satisfying sensation of eating it. But, because it wasn’t congruent with reality, with what they actually delivered, you felt betrayed.

If you want to build a powerful brand that people love, feel a sense of loyalty to, and help to spread the word about your offerings, you need to be completely truthful about the value and benefits.

So, the answer is – it’s not OK to lie in business. (Even if some of the BIG brands do it).

When You Tell White Lies In Business, You Create A False Reality

Rebekah Campbell from Posse.com explains how any form of lying in business can hurt your success and longevity:

“… the #1 reason why entrepreneurs fail. Not because telling lies makes you a bad person, but because the act of lying takes you out of the present moment and prevents you from facing the truth about your business. Every time you exaggerate a metric, under-report a cost, or are less than transparent with your team, you create a false reality, and start living in it."

Sweeping a problem under the rug, and covering it up with fibs, stops you from improving, growing, and reaching your full potential. If your people think everything is bubbling along “OK”, they will continue doing what they’re doing and the problem will start to make its way out from under the rug.

If you tend to exaggerate outcomes or benefits (like the example above), you may get what you want in the short term, but you’ll constantly struggle to meet expectations in the long run.

Tell The Whole Truth

Shining the light on your not-so-perfect parts means that you’ll be more likely to face them, overcome them, and grow and improve as a result of learning from that experience. Yes, it may put you in a vulnerable position, but people will connect with you more on a personal level. They’ll trust you completely and feel more compelled to join your movement and help you in your plight. When you’re open about the holes in your business and talk about them, you’ll be surprised at how many people will then offer advice or assistance to help you patch them up.

If it’s raving fans you want, you need to deliver (even over deliver) on your promise. If you promise big towering burgers, deliver it. Apple promises seamless functionality, innovation, and prestige. They certainly deliver on that and that’s why their fans line up for hours for each new product release.

On a personal level, telling the whole truth leaves you feeling more peaceful. Creating an authentic, unique brand is about staying true to who you are – warts and all.

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