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WORDS OF WISDOM FROM MARIANNE WILIAMSON

Alexandria Joy - Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Each year I take time out during this break to reflect on the year that was and to pen my Annual Gratitude Letter - in my 2015 letter I wrote how on New Year's Even 2014 I read Oprah Winfrey's book What I know for sure that had been loaned to me by a dear friend Tracy. The book truly set the tone for me for the coming year and little did I know at the time that I would round off 2015 with a bus trip to see Oprah live in Sydney on 12 December 2015 with 10 of my Leading Ladies clients and friends organised by the very same friend Tracy. 

What an exquisite way to top and tail the year!

The middle of 2015 was also a peak or highlight for me as I had the amazing experience of travelling with my great friend Mel to Sir Richard Branson's private island Necker. While there we were joined by none other than spiritual teacher of our time - Marianne Williamson.

My experience of and interactions with Marianne had a surprising and profound impact on me personally as well as on the way we now operate at UQ Power. In this week's episode of UQTV I will share some of the wonderful insights I gained from time with this amazing leader. I hope you find her wisdom to provide you with some tasty food for thought at this time of the year as well.

 


PS - If you want to get a glimpse of the power of this woman then check out this video of her speaking recently on women and religion at the Parliament of World's Religions in Salt Lake City Utah - I have some footage I took of her speaking on Necker however the Caribbean breeze and 100 flamingos in the background make for challenging audio, plus I wanted to experience her in person not through an iPhone ;-)

I look forward to being of service and sharing more with you all on the other side in 2016!

With respect
  
Heidi Alexandra JOY Pollard

Great Questions to Ask to Win at a Job Interview

Alexandria Joy - Monday, September 28, 2015
At UQ Power our team coach many intelligent, articulate, experienced professionals on the art of a great job interview. And while many of the people we work with have skills for the jobs they are applying for, most of them had come for coaching because they felt they lacked confidence, finesse or experience in delivering a great interview.

One way to ensure you impress at interview is to be prepared for the questions - theirs and your own. There are a multiplicity of questions interviewers often ask, such as:
  • What is the greatest value you can bring to us?
  • Why do you want to leave your present position?
  • What is the most stressful situation you have experienced at work within the past year, and how did you handle it?
Critically then, you must prepare to ask your own questions of the panel or interviewer for example:

  • What is the most important thing I can do to help within the first 30 days of my employment? 
  • What main factors do you attribute to your growth?
  • What makes you better than your nearest competitor?
That's a few ideas, want more? Then check out this weeks episode of UQTV where I share a few more that will really make you stand out at interview. 



Good luck!



Body Language For Interview Success

Alexandria Joy - Monday, September 14, 2015

Are you looking to land a new job? Then you have to use your body! I'm not just talking here about how you suit up, I'm talking about how you show up and communicate through your gestures, facial expressions and movements we make with our bodies that indicate what we think and feel.

The way we walk, talk, sit and smile is part of our everyday communication and it becomes even more critical in all important job interviews, because everything we do is scrutinised more closely and because due to natural nerves, are often exaggerated more than ever.

There are several ways you can effectively use your body at a job interview from making a confident entrance as you enter the building, to giving a warm, friendly, not a bone crushing handshake on entry into the interview room. 

Watch this week's episode of UQTV for three more body language techniques to help you put your best foot forward and be your best self in an interview situation.


Remember at the end of the interview to also leave a good impression, rise calmly, pick up your things without fuss, smile and nod your head to the panel. If shaking hands with everyone isn't convenient, at least shake hands with the person who brought you to the interview space or seeing you out.

Good luck!


Dressing the same everyday - on brand or boring?

Alexandria Joy - Monday, August 17, 2015

Have you ever thought about how much time you waste on silly, frivolous things in life, will I have the decaf or full blooded coffee? Should I go to that networking event or finish my report? Will I wear the blue or black suit today?

I don’t know about you, but I can easily get trapped into wasting time deciding what to wear for the day which is why in this week's episode of UQTV I explore the benefits of wearing the same clothes everyday like a form of uniform.

What's your thoughts? Is it smart, sensible and on brand or just plain boring?

Now I’d love to hear from you. How much time do you spend each day worrying about what you’ll wear?

Would you find dressing the same every day smart, sensible and on brand or just plain boring? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Until next time 

Be unique!

Heidi Alexandra


Happiness Hacks to Help You Love Your Work

Alexandria Joy - Monday, April 27, 2015

Happiness is an elusive goal; everyone seems to want it, but by all the "shelf help" books out there my guess is that we are still searching for it. 

Sure it’s not easy to be happy most of the time and many of the solutions suggested in popular culture take a fair bit of effort and TIME, the one thing we all seem to be short of in modern society. 

For example a commonly cited one is to do more exercise. A study cited in the book: “The Happiness Advantage” also confirmed the importance of exercise on our happiness level. Basically, this study looks into three groups of depressed patients found that exercise had the biggest effect in reducing depression. 

Others suggest all you need to do is get more sleep. True we spend roughly one third of our lives sleeping, so you cannot underestimate the importance of sleep, in particular nanna naps. An interesting study in 2011 from BPS Research Digest showed how sleep affected our happiness, in particular that people who take an afternoon nap are desensitized to negative emotions and more responsive to positive ones. But who has time for a nanna nap and unless you work at Google is that acceptable behaviour in your workplace?

So what can you do if you're feeling a bit blue and you're time poor? Well you could ask Siri on your iPhone to tell you a knock knock joke (go on try it). Or you could just watch this 4 min video for my two happiness hacks that will have you faking it until you make it and get happy again in an instant:


What's your #1 tip for getting happy at work? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Don't worry, be happy.
Big smile
Heidi Alexandra 


Unique Annual Reports - More Than A Reverse Mullet

Alexandria Joy - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Have you ever sat in the waiting room of a client or service provider and noticed their Annual Report sitting on the coffee table in front of you? Bet you weren't even slightly tempted to pick it up for a browse (unless of course you hadn't prepared and done your research on them!) 

Why? Because typically these are drab boring documents aimed to serve a legislative or corporate governance mandate not to delight, educate or entertain. 

Imagine seeing a document instead that served as a piece of art, a design masterpiece or a magnificent representation and extension of that company's unique brand and essence. Would you be more likely to pick it up and flick through a page or two?

Annual reports are seeing a resurgence amongst a number of savvy brands. Once only the domain of publicly traded companies and non-profits these reports were typically single-color, and had a plain, boring design. I once had a designer tell me that an Annual Report is typically formatted as a “reverse mullet” ie: the “party in the front” via photography and interesting design, with “business in the back” where financial data was displayed. This trend grew well into the 1990s until Microsoft sounded the death knell by having their annuals available online, setting a steep downward trend in printed annual reports’ significance.

In the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a wonderful trend: a resurgence of companies creating both online and print annual reports just for the fun of it. No other obligation than to share their year’s experiences in a bold, daring and totally on-brand way. 

And we’re not just talking cutting edge print, paper and design techniques for the sake of being arty farty – we’re talking uniqueness that builds on the company’s point of difference. Check out today's episode of UQTV and you'll see what I mean with two cutting edge reports. 

Tweet This: Annual Reports don't have to be reverse mullets says @UQPower

Hungry to see more? Check out crowd funding website Kickstarter's year in review, and  email marketing company MailChimp's reports online.

So next time you are planning a company annual report or website or any brochure for that matter don’t just design and print your standard same old same old thing. Really sit back and think about what makes your company unique, what do we stand for and why do we exist, what do we want to be known and remembered for and build it from there. Your impact and strengthening your brands UQ will be worth it in the long run!

#startwithU

Heidi Alexandra


The Art of Persuasion: How to Get People to Do What You Want

Alexandria Joy - Friday, November 21, 2014

There's a fine line between persuasion and manipulation and whether we choose to like it or not we are using one of these approaches in almost everything we do in business and human interaction. If you want to learn how to ethically and honestly influence people then read on.

In my latest book “It all starts with UQ Power” I reference a classic book on psychology, marketing and human behaviour known as Influence, the psychology of persuasion by Dr Robert Cialdini Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing, Arizona State University. This classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. (Note: I am not of Italian descent and yes I pronounce his name incorrectly - you can hear the proper pronounciation here! Hey I'm only human).

Dr Cialdini’s research found six universal principles that when applied will help you become a skilled persuader and get people to do what you want. In today's video I want to focus on just three of the six principles.


Now it’s your turn. What’s your number one takeaway from these three principles of persuasion? Which one are you already applying in your life or business? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to know!

PS Here's the link to the video I recommend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw#t=18 
PPS Check out the photos from our recent Secret Leaders Breakfast with Editor of the Renegade Collective, Lisa Messenger here. To sign up for the Secret Leaders list enter your details here. 

UQ'S FONT POLICE - STAMPING OUT CRIMES AGAINST BRAND

Alexandria Joy - Monday, September 29, 2014
What first impression do you make?

Sometimes the first thing others sees of us is in writing – it might be our online profile, a website or maybe a snail mail letter or advertisement. 

Are the fonts you use building your brand loud and strong or are they doing you an injustice and we should be sending in the font police to stamp out your folly?

I love words, and design and am a brand junkie so when I see people or companies using these three shocking fonts I cringe and my eyes scream no! Are you guilty of using any...?



Now it’s your turn. Tell me, what do you think? Are there any fonts you love using that you think are the best typefaces created? And which fonts do you believe are a crime against humanity?  

Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to know!

And remember if you want more resources to increase your impact, influence and income then head on over to our resources page.

Keep on building a life, business or career that plays to your unique strengths – the best thing you can do to change the world is to #startwithu.

Heidi Alexandra 
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THE POWER OF EYE CONTACT

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, September 14, 2014

Look inside your kitchen cabinet and odds are you have a collection of old friends gazing back at you — the Rice Bubbles cartoon characters, the Frosted Flakes tiger, the Honey Puffs bee, the Milo boy, the Sultana Bran sunshine face, you get the idea. The real reason they are there has more do with your subconscious craving for eye contact than the taste of the products.

A recent study published in the journal Environment and Behavior, researchers at Cornell University manipulated the gaze of the cartoon rabbit on Trix cereal boxes and found that adult subjects were more likely to choose Trix over competing brands if the rabbit was looking at them rather than away. The researchers also found that the eyes of characters on boxes of cereal marketed to kids were directed downward, to meet the upward gaze of children in grocery store aisles. (Yes check it out next time you walk through a supermarket - subliminal trickery).

“Making eye contact even with a character on a cereal box inspires powerful feelings of connection,” said one of the study's authors Professor Brian Wansink.

In other studies, researchers have also found that children and adults who avoid or are denied eye contact are more likely to suffer from depression and feelings of isolation as well as exhibit antisocial traits such as callousness. Rather than cause and effect, the hypothesis is that the relationship between less eye contact and psychological problems is circular and reinforcing. This is alarming in a society where people increasingly spend more time looking at their mobile devices than at one another.

In short eye contact makes us more socially aware and empathetic. It allows us to make sense of our relationships and social orientation. Moreover, research from as far back as the 1980s indicates that people who make eye contact are perceived as more likable and trustworthy. 

Still not convinced about how much your peepers mean to you sales, marketing and business relationships? Then check out this episode of UQTV where I will share two more reasons why eye contact adds impact.

Amazeballs right!

But wait - researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine last year also found that patients of doctors who made more eye contact had better health, adhered more to medical advice and were more likely to seek treatment for future problems. Not surprisingly, doctors who brought laptops into the examining room made less eye contact.

“Eye contact is a really good surrogate for where attention is and the level of accord building in a relationship,” said Enid Montague, a professor of engineering and medicine at Northwestern, who used video recordings of 100 patient visits to a primary care clinic for her analysis. “We found eye contact leads to significantly better patient outcomes.”

So eye contact with your doc can make you healthier too!

Tweet this: Eye contact increases your EQ

Tweet this: Patients of doctors who made eye contact are healthier

Now it’s your turn. What are some of your tips for building rapport and trust in relationships? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time keep on building a life, business or career that plays to your unique strengths – the best thing you can do to change the world is to #startwithu.

Thanks for watching

Heidi Alexandra 
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LESSONS FROM A BRAND GONE GAGA

Alexandria Joy - Saturday, July 05, 2014

What is one of the most memorable experiences you have had with a brand?
What was memorable about it? 
How did it make you feel?
Did it have lasting impact on you? 

Creating memorable brand experiences can set great brands apart from average and even good brands. Many marketing and business leaders tend to over complicate everything about marketing. Because they over complicate what should be simple, they wind up falling to strategies and tactics that do anything but create what is a memorable and meaningful brand experience.

There’s lots we can learn from strong brands and the music industry is fertile ground for creating and moulding unique, personal brands. Watch this video to glean three simple brand lessons that we can glean from this pop stars meteoric rise to fame that you could apply to dominate your market niche and create raving fans.

Today’s Tweetables:

Now, it's your turn. 
Is quality your focus? What can you do to "Go Pro" in everything you do?
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No get out there and go gaga!
Heidi Alexandra

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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
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