If keyboards could talk

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Many thanks to a fellow blogger who provided some very interesting ideas for my next blog, which you’re about to read.

We have officially reached the height of the computer age and if I had to guess, nearly 80% of our day is spent clicking and clacking on keyboards, tablets and smartphones. Yes, we’re hooked and it would be difficult for the majority of us to “disconnect”, without having a darn good reason.

Your keyboard is your friend right?  Abandoning it would be impossible with a PC and nearly impossible with a tablet or smartphone (unless you solely use voice recognition) and we all know how well that works. So I ask you, if your think about conversations, work emails, texts, surfing and tweeting during the course of your day, how would your keyboard describe you and your habits?

Are you gasping or thinking now?  Our actions using technology to communicate these days is almost automatic and perhaps this is difficult to answer.  Really think about it… perhaps I can share first.

I confess, I’m a key banger because I exert passion and determination when expressing my thoughts. (my co-worker’s will back me up here) I clack more than I click (meaning that I find it easier to communicate using a full keyboard, instead of a gentle click of a smartphone key)

Now getting back to what my keyboard may experience.. probably a lot of re-typing and back spacing because I never go with my first draft even with an email. My less productive clacking might see me posting random thoughts on Facebook like we all do. Perhaps something along the lines of “out to dinner with the hubby tonight” or “I can’t wait to see this show”. I also notice that my messages are delivered with a lot of (x’s and lol’s), which means I am generally a happy and loving person right? Maybe I’m just being polite or using proper techie etiquette. (except for work of course)!

We find ourselves communicating this way a lot, sharing our fun experiences, life events, expressions, frustrations and sometimes even sad moments. Our keyboard knows it ALL but never judges except when it notices that a few key letters have nearly faded. This can only mean one thing.. either you are really fond of those letters or these letters are half of your secret password, which unlocks many precious places. This might tempt us to change them, but we don’t because we will surely forget them! If only our keyboards could talk.

Stay happy^ Hands-on

Hide and Seek is not a game

Real me

It’s been almost 2 years since my last blog post and during that time, I feel as though I have lived a thousand lives.

Have you ever had that feeling that very few people get to know the real you? Do you open yourself up to reveal all that you have to offer the world or do you hide instead?  Let’s skip to the most important question of all..”Do you really know who you are?” 

If you do, how long has it taken you to get there?  I’m guessing that some of you will be thinking about this clearly now and may even have an answer but for those that don’t, I invite you to read on while I share my experiences.

The attached photo has great significance in my life and I have only just discovered that. In 2012, I visited my family (specifically my father who was in his 90’s).  I always seem to photograph well during certain events… which are family visits and vacations with my husband. Do you see the glow of happiness and peace in my face? In my opinion, it only occurs when you are surrounded by unconditional love, respect and support.  I liked this photo when my sister took it, so I used it for several online social media sites because it reflects the real me. I started a blog post almost 2 years ago and used this photo, but never finished the story. Today I opened my unfinished blog,enlarged the photo and noticed my father in the background as he always was, right by my side. We were very close and I miss him terribly. He was one of 4 people in my life that always knew the real me. (even before I did)

So my father has inspired this blog and I wanted to stress the importance of not only knowing yourself, but appreciating yourself for who you are and especially for those who know the real you and bring out the best in you. In conversations with my father he used to ask, “are you president of the company yet?” I replied, “not yet dad, they’re getting to know me so maybe soon”. He loved and lived for his children and we are all storytellers to a degree because of him. I’m not quite sure everyone gets me, but the people that count do. Being true to yourself and having at least one person you can be 100% you with is necessary. Without sounding big-headed, because I am so far away from that… I have learned that I am:

  • Caring
  • Sensitive
  • Loving
  • Strong
  • Supportive
  • Creative
  • Intuitive
  • Determined
  • Sympathetic
  • Empathetic
  • Honest
  • True

Like most of us who have spent our young adult lives searching for our true selves, I can honestly say that the moment happens when you’re ready and that moment for me was when my father was no longer here. He gave me a gift and now I intend to share it with others. It’s not a game folks so please try not to hide.

Are you ready to seek the real you?

I hope so!

With respect Hands-on

#Facebook vs Facetime the battle of social

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Before you start to think that I’ll be comparing Facebook (global phenomenon)  and Facetime (Apple’s clever version of Skype), I’d like to say up front and honestly this is not what my article is about.

If you have chosen to continue reading… wonderful and welcome to my thoughts.  If you were slightly disappointed, please do not despair…I think you’ll appreciate what I have to say.

Moving on… it is becoming increasingly obvious that social interactions are happening more so in a digital format, rather than face-to-face.  I think we can agree that for the most part life, work and travel has us “plugged in” at all times and I for one feel a bit weary for a re-charge in a totally different way.

How do you feel about social interactions face-to-face vs social media interactions? Is my not so obvious title starting to make sense now?    Good!

There are certain benefits to both and I’d like to list a few of the benefits of communicating in person:

  • Eye contact-essential for trust
  • Expressions-essential for communicating how you feel
  • Understanding personalities
  • Clear instructions with few misunderstandings
  • Suggestions with instant hands-on actions
  • Questions with debate in “real-time”

Now a few digital benefits:

  • Global communications
  • Aids creativity
  • Helps those who are less comfortable with face-to-face
  • Ideal for the technology industry
  • Enables flexible working

I’m sure you might add a few of your own and I would love to hear them out of interest! (This means comments are welcome)

Social technology can also save an enormous amount of time and money, when you consider the travel and preparation for professional interactions however; let us not forget that all humans need social contact to survive in this world.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to “unplugging” with all of you sometime

Hands-on 🙂

Look into my eyes-tips for connecting

eyes

They say the eyes are the windows to a person’s soul…. I truly believe this.

In fact, the realisation of this in my lifetime has proven itself time and time again both in my personal and professional relationships.

I ask each and every one of you who are closely attached to a significant other, whom you love and adore to test this out!  Look deeply into his or her eyes and think about what you see.  You might be thinking “what am I looking for?”  Well… I’ll tell you what you should look for:

  • Sparkle
  • Warmness
  • Love
  • Respect
  • Infinity (where there is no end)

and most importantly, this person should be looking back at you and you should return the favour of the above.

Now if you apply this rule to business, obviously you’re not looking for love but rather a genuine, honest and non-threatening professional connection.  I’ve listed a few traits to look for and a few to avoid.  I like to end things on a positive note therefore; I’ll start with those you should avoid first:

  • Shiftiness
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Disconnection
  • Shallowness

You’ll know how to recognise these traits when you experience them. Think about when you attend networking events… there may be some people who you meet and think to yourself later, nope.. didn’t connect with him/her so I don’t think I’ll contact them.  TRUST your instincts.

Here’s what you should look for:

  • Sincerity
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Openness

and of course, always pay attention to see if they are looking back and connecting with you.  Genuine folk have no problem making eye contact with other people.

I do not profess to be a psychologist or an expert in this field, but I have lived, experienced and tested this in my life so why shouldn’t you?

Thanks for reading

Hands-on 🙂

5 money- saving tips anyone can follow

Hello readers! I was contemplating writing another business related article and then I thought… Nah, I’ll write something that everyone can relate to.

I’d like to add that the tips I’ll be sharing with you is not rocket science and as an added bonus, its environmentally friendly too!

Tip 1) Save your suds- Instead of rinsing out your shower gel, shampoo or bubble bath bottle’s when it still has some product left, use it to clean your hand wash only items.  (your clothes will have your favourite scent and at the same time you’ll be saving money by not purchasing a separate hand wash liquid)  

Tip 2) Plastic fantastic- What about those plastic bags you get from the supermarket for your fruit and veg?  You throw them out right? DON’T…. use them instead to wrap your lunch sandwiches or to protect certain leaky items from spoiling your clean fridge. (saves you from buying special sandwich bags and wasting your cleaning liquids to remedy spills you could have prevented.)


Tip 3) Walk this way-
Light coloured canvas trainer’s.. we all have them and the moment they get muddy or stained they end up in the trash.  A little loving care will add a few more months to their delicate life.  Pre-treat them with your normal laundry soap and machine wash them by placing them in a pillow case with other items such as; towel’s or bath mats.  Once they are dry they will be clean, fresh and ready to enjoy again!

Tip 4) Fill-er-up- Travelling?  Looking for travel- sized toiletries?  No need to buy special mini brand shampoo’s, shower gel’s etc for nearly the same price as a full size bottle.  Save those little bottles from Christmas gift sets OR if you’ve already used the gift set items,  rinse and save the bottles, which can be re-filled with your products.  (saves buying expensive convenience products and those little travel set bottles that are impossible to fill)

Tip 5) Shine a light on me- Okay so I was saving the semi-festive tip for last…the holidays… wonderful as they are,  many of us go all out when decorating our front windows to try to out sparkle our neighbours.  The problem is, as it gets colder and we draw our curtains to keep the draft out we realise that our windows get neglected and that includes cleaning them regularly. Time to clean the windows!  But what will you use that doesn’t leave particles of paper towel dust behind? Your local newspaper will do the trick! I’m sure this is not “news to you”, but think about it… in the age of recycling instead of throwing paper towels (money) away, you can put your window cleaning used news in the recycling bin.

Estimated savings for items used per month based on my own calculations = £11.70  Feel free to convert to your own currency 🙂

Personally, I could use the savings for almost 4 round-trip journey’s through the tunnel or treat myself and my husband to a take out meal on a Friday night!

So there you have it.. 5 money-saving environmentally friendly helpful tips from me

What will YOU do with the money saved?

Thanks for reading

HandsOn

Learning the Alphabet

I have recently been struggling to come up with a blog topic for  several weeks and thankfully,  a recent email from my brother prompted this article.

We both write blogs for personal and professional reasons and so the question and challenge is: How do you improve on your blog style to generate interest? (more readers)

As I tossed and turned last night, I started to think of the key elements that make ME want to read a blog and as you can probably guess, the alphabet has something to do with it. (one letter in particular) P… the beginning of many (P)owerful words.

What draws me to read a blog in it’s entirety and decide to share with others?  The answer is simple and contains several key elements all beginning with the letter “P”:

  • Personality-you must let your personality shine through… almost as if you’re in the same room with your reader and telling them a story. (Be yourself, a blog is not a user manual)
  • Pictures and photos-people are attracted to visual things that help them  imagine the story.  Take an ordinary book for example, raise your hand if you have purchased a book that contains pictures or photos… do you wait until you reach the chapter that contains the images or do you find yourself skipping ahead to have a peek? Have I made my point?
  • People- You must include a human in your story… someone to relate to even if you’re only talking about yourself (Consider your audience)
  • Passion-without passion for your subject, your blog will only be words… express yourself in an animated way so that your readers can almost hear your voice. If you don’t have a subject to write about, wait until you do.

There are many blog writer’s out there that profess to be experts and some of them are actually quite good, but a blog is your story.. it’s personal and poetic, it can be popular and perky but most of all it’s powerful because it communicates and teaches others about you, your knowledge and many other subjects that can now be shared across the globe by a simple click of a button.

Thanks for reading!

Hands-On

5 tips about how not to sell

We have all experienced the act of selling and being sold to in our lives.  The question is when do we like being sold to?

As consumers, we receive countless phone calls and marketing leaflets encouraging us to buy or rather “act now” because you don’t want to miss this deal.  What some salespeople and companies don’t realise is that regardless of their targets or quotas, the customer has to need or want the product or service.  Competition is tough, but not that tough where companies should feel the need to pressure their staff into selling something that a potential customer does not need or want. Even companies that we do business with sometimes miss the point of valuing their existing customers.

My husband and I recently received a letter from our bank, stating that they have tried to contact us on several occasions to no avail.  The account manager did not even provide his full name, only his initials and as for trying to contact us.. they only had our mobile numbers, email addresses, home phone number and an on-line banking messaging facility to do this…. hmmmm this was obviously a ploy to get us to arrange an appointment to “review” our services hoping that we will buy more.  This is sadly the standard way that a lot of companies are managing customers these days, but is it the right way and what are their competitors doing? Maybe we would have contacted them if their approach was more personal.

When I was a kid, the biggest running jokes were the encyclopedia salesman and of course the stereotypical used car salesman.  In most cases, these salesmen were “groomed” to persuade the customer that they wanted what they were selling, without finding out what they actually needed or wanted. Countless families ended up with a set of bulky, dusty books that quickly became outdated. (my family were one of them)  What do I remember from these antique paperweights?  The pictures of course and being one of the lucky ones that didn’t have to carry the box of bulkiness when we moved to another home.  As for the used car salesmen, well.. you only have watch the movie “Used Cars” to know what I’m talking about.

So without further ado, here are my 5 tips on how NOT to sell:

  1. Do not treat selling as an art-  (You may be a sales genius, but leave the art factor to Michelangelo please)
  2. Do  not hustle your customers- (I know this is quite a harsh statement, but customers will only remain loyal to you if you provide an honest service, quality products and good value for money)
  3. Do not treat sales as a transaction- (Yes, it is a transaction however; if you are purely treating it as a transaction you are  missing out on providing a good customer experience)
  4. Do not treat selling as a science- (Okay, for some it may be considered to be a formula or experiment relating to the perfect way to seal the deal, but try thinking more about how you will continue to keep the customer coming back)
  5. Do not guilt your customers into buying- (Informing your customers that you will win a holiday in the Caribbean for two if they buy your product or service is well…. wrong and I’m sure you’ll agree)

Now for those of you who know me, it’ll be quite clear that I’ll be finishing this blog off on a positive note…

Here is what selling means to me:

  • Selling is finding out the customers need and then filling it
  • Selling is all about relationship building
  • Selling is about trust
  • Selling is coming to a mutual agreement

By the way, I like being sold to if the salesperson has done their research and really cares about what I want or need.  That’s not an Art..that’s a Skill.

Thanks for reading!

Nancy