Wael Ghonim wants to change the way we act and think on social media platforms. No longer just a base for posting funny pictures or the latest craze in food, social media is a political and economic minefield. By approaching social media behavior, Ghonim wonders if we can change the way we interact with others and conduct business.
Get That Green! Benefits of Eco-Friendly Businesses
Trends: they buzz, they tweet, they’re viral! Trends are living entities in the social media world, and savvy businesses know who to harness their power for the good of a company. One of the strongest trends in the Western world over recent years has been environmental awareness. Consumers are naturally drawn to companies that care about the environment…no pun intended!
Day in and day out, customers are surrounded by ads and campaigns. They’re sick of the slick and fast slogans and visuals. They’ve learned to tune out the commercials and most people just fast forward ads altogether to get back to their TV shows. It’s a gift and a curse in the business world, giving consumers the power to resist you.
The simple solution is to be too irresistible! Advertising yourself as an eco-friendly company benefits you in several ways. First, think like the consumer: they hate waste. They don’t want to waste their money and they won’t waste their time if they’re not going to feel like they are a significant individual among the landscape of customers your business works with daily. So how do you combat this? If they know that your business will donate a portion of proceeds to an environmental cause or will plant a tree for every ream of paper you sell, they will know that they are a part of the bigger picture. Then they’ll be motivated! They’ll want a piece of that organic pie!
Advertising your environmental impact also puts you a head above your competition. Would you rather work with someone who offers benefits or someone who doesn’t? Obviously, you want to work with the group that offers more! Making yourself look better in comparison makes you harder to ignore and a much more attractive prospect for customers. They’ll appreciate that you’re doing more than your competitors and that kind of customer loyalty is worth its weight in gold!
Being “green” also keeps your organization relevant. So many companies have fallen into the black abyss of failure simply because they weren’t staying up to date on the latest technology, weren’t utilizing social media or simply weren’t connecting with the locals well. Staying out front and in the social spotlight will keep the world looking at you!
We’re Not Sorry!
“Sorry, this might be a stupid question…”
“Sorry, can you repeat that?”
“Sorry, traffic was really bad this morning!”
STOP! What do all three of those sentences have in common?…Think about it…Give up? They’re all unnecessary apologies.
You might be thinking, “But saying ‘Sorry’ is just being polite…right?” Not when you’re overusing it. Saying “Sorry” may be polite when you bump someone’s arm on the street or when you send the wrong files to your supervisor. But over-apologizing has become a pervasive problem in many offices in America.
Studies have shown that women are more guilty of over-apologizing in the workplace, and there are a few reasons why this could be. First of all, women are much more tuned into their emotions and have a broader spectrum for what might be considered offensive. So women tend to believe that there is generally more to be responsible for and will take on those responsibilities, leading to unnecessary apologies. Women are also subject to gender roles that require them from a young age to be more “polite” or “feminine” and this usually leads to the worst thing you can be in a professional setting: submissive.
Being submissive sets low standards. If you’re trying to close a deal with a client and you keep apologizing, the client will wonder why you keep saying “Sorry.” Are you insecure about your company? Do you lack confidence in your product? Is the client coming off as domineering and oppressive? Where has the deal gone wrong? All of these red flags spell disaster for you and your company!
If you apologize for every little thing, you seem weak, vulnerable and even incompetent. Employees are passed over for promotions all the time because they leave a negative and weak impression on managers. You just “Sorried” yourself out of a raise! Sorry.
Undue apologizing could also be a symptom of low self-worth. Analyze why you’re saying “Sorry.”
Did you hurt someone or was someone hurt because of what you did? Did you do something offensive, illegal, or inappropriate? Are you directly at fault for a loss?
Don’t be sorry!
Many people tend to apologize for situations that are simply out of their control and perceive responsibility when there is none to be had. Recently, this snowstorm caused government offices to close, schools to cancel, and just a lousy mess on highways making employees all over the region late or absent from work. Did they conjure the snow? Did they barricade their cars behind snowdrifts? Things happen and there’s no reason to apologize for forces beyond your means.
More often than not, “Sorries” are just another way for us to say “Excuse me” or to express empathy. “Sorry” has become shorthand for what we are truly thinking or feeling. Consider this scenario:
You walk over to your co-workers while they’re discussing their weekends and you hear one person’s car was damaged by a hit and run driver. Instinctively, you blurt, “Sorry!”
Everyone will look at you and think simultaneously: “Was that a confession?!”
Instead, you could say “I’m sorry to hear that!” What a difference! You sound empathetic, caring, and invested in what’s going on in your co-workers’ lives!
By elaborating on your feelings or thoughts or simply substituting “Excuse me” for “Sorry,” you sound stronger and yet still polite. Making statements instead of apologies is the key.
“I’m sorry” becomes “I’m sorry about that.”
“I’m sorry” really means “I haven’t been ignoring your calls: things here are just busy.”
“I’m sorry” is replaced by “I have some ideas about the merger. When can we schedule some time for a meeting?”
Apologizing too much diminishes your power! Your power is the ability to impact others and affect change. Instead, embrace your existence and don’t apologize for it. You have something worthwhile to contribute and there’s no reason to be sorry for that. You are not a doormat to be walked all over: you’re an individual with ideas, feelings, and confidence. Once you embrace your self-worth and stop apologizing for things you cannot control, you stop trivializing your existence and start contributing.
One Thing to Keep in Mind at Your Holiday Party
The holiday season is in full swing, and everyone from the Fortune 500 businesses to your local post office are throwing holiday parties. In a modern and educated society, it’s important to recognize that there are several diverse holidays this time of year. It’s also important to remember that not everyone celebrates any holiday in particular.
So what’s a party planning committee to do?
Huffington Post recommends remembering to keep the party inclusive and light on any one cultural influence. One of the biggest problems with holiday parties is that they are often inundated with Christmas imagery or games like Secret Santa that alienate employees who don’t feel any connection to the Christmas holiday. But that doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a Festivus pole. Instead, use the party as more of an opportunity to build team spirit and draw people together.
Gift exchanges can still be done, that party platter of treats and finger foods is, of course, more than welcome! The event doesn’t have to be sterilized of everything festive: decorations are okay! You don’t have to be “PC” until it hurts. But keeping the focus off one culture when several others in the room might feel excluded will keep things enjoyable for everyone. Celebrate a successful year and share how much you’re all looking forward to the next one.
That said, there are a few things to keep in mind when you attend your company’s holiday party.
For the employees, be sure to read the invitation carefully for notes on dress codes, the time the party starts and finishes and any other unique details. It’s also important to be clear on the company’s policy regarding guests. Companies are given limited budgets for parties, so if your “plus one” turns into “plus five,” you’re creating a problem. You’ll also want to monitor how much you are drinking so that you do not embarrass yourself or your company and so that you remember having a great time!
For the employers, be very specific in your invitations. Cover all the bases so that there is no confusion later on. Set the limits on the number of drinks your guests are allowed and the number of people they may bring. Making sure everyone has a relaxing and fun time is important, but maintaining control is important, too. And finally, ensure that everyone is safe. The venue should be nice, but you should also make sure everyone has a way to get home safely whether that’s arranging for a taxi service at the end of the night or organizing a carpool and designated drivers.
Overall, it’s the season to relax, have fun and celebrate with those you work with. You see your co-workers and employees on a nearly daily basis. They are your team. They are what make your business a success. Don’t be afraid to spread the cheer and make sure that everyone is just as merry and bright as you!