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Feel Fat and Worthless? It Could Be Destroying Your Business.

Feel Fat and Worthless? It Could Be Destroying Your Business.
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Can’t remember the last time you looked in the mirror and actually liked what you saw? Struggling to think back to when you felt wholeheartedly confident, fearlessly self-assured and determinedly bold?

I feel you.

But feeling crappy about yourself could be doing even more harm than you might think … in fact, it may even be destroying your business and career. Here’s how.

The message

Okay, I’m going to get really straight with you: every day (in a myriad of ways), you’re sending a message out to the world.

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With the way you dress, the way you walk, the way you hold and present yourself, the way you speak, the words you use, the expression on your face and even the menu options you choose, you’re telling a story. Physically, mentally and even energetically, you’re sending your message – and your story – out into the world. And that story is being read, interpreted and reviewed by every single person you come in contact with – both consciously and subconsciously.

In the same way, we make snap judgments (which yep, I know totally sucks) about the people we come in contact with. We form opinions based on their body language. We decide whether we like them, want to work with them and – wait for it – want to invest in them (either financially, energetically or even just with our time) based on the story we read.

What’s your story?

And here’s where the problem rests: when you feel crappy about yourself, you’re also projecting that image out into that world. You’re sending the I’m-fat-and-worthless story to everyone you come in contact with. And even though you’re running yourself ragged trying to run a wildly successful business that attracts an abundance of clients and customers, it doesn’t matter. Because your story is saying that you – and in turn your business – aren’t worth anybody’s time.

Now, to simplify this massively, the story and message you’re sending out into the world is either one of success and abundance (“Look at me, I’m confident, happy, positive and radiating with success!”), or one of failure, lack, scarcity and rejection (“Ugh, I’m so fat and worthless. Everybody hates me. I’ll never get anywhere.”)

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And while we all have our A-team of supportive cheerleaders that help us shake off our negative funks, the truth is that the majority of people you interact with – and that your business needs to influence and woo – won’t care about your potential. They’ll judge you based on what they see, feel, hear and experience.

You get back what you put out

So, how can you use this 24/7 story-telling spiel to your advantage? Simple: be mindful of what message you’re sending out into the world.

I discovered the Law of Attraction through Esther and Jerry Hicks and while it’s a bit woo-woo, it does make sense to me. Condensed and simplified, it essentially means that you get back what you put out. Think happy, blissful thoughts? Get a happy, blissful experience. On the flip side, if you feel fat, worthless and unsuccessful, you’ll be attracting experiences that reinforce those feelings.

But wait … how can you change your story? And how can you feel good about yourself, attract positive experiences and expect good things to happen, when you feel fat, worthless and unsuccessful?

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Well, while everyone is different (and I encourage you to discover what works for you) here are three strategies that have helped me transform my story:

1. If what you focus on grows, then focus on the good stuff.

Take Peter Pan’s advice and think happy thoughts. Surround yourself with positive people. Take time to enjoy yourself, and your day, in as many ways as you can. Make your life about deliberately feeling good.

2. Practice gratitude.

If you’re reading this, then your life is pretty awesome. You have a digital device that allows you to read information on the inter-webs. You have time to read an article on Lifehack. And you’re in a position where you’re able to better yourself and your life. This is not something to be taken for granted. Now, I know this doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and unicorns in your world. But by setting aside five or ten-minutes each day to say thank you for the good things that are in your life, you’ll feel so much better. Science says so too (not just the hippy entrepreneurial girl).

3. Rewrite your story.

In addition to writing ‘business stories’ for my professional copy-writing clients, I also write fiction in my spare time. Now this means that I’m kind of a super word geek, but more importantly that I have an unquenchable passion for storytelling. And this has come in very handy on those “WHY DON’T MY FAT JEANS FIT!” days. Because you know what I do? I rewrite. I’m no longer the girl who indulged in way too many cupcakes and now can’t fit into her jeans, I’m the girl who is going to wear that bangin’ maxi dress that she feels sexy as heck in. And you know what? It works. My confidence soars, the fat pants get shelved and I go on with my day. Because the reality is that it’s all just perception anyway. So why not do a rewrite? You’re not the entrepreneur who failed one too many times. You’re the genius business whiz who picked themselves up and kept going. You’re the successful entrepreneur who made their dreams a reality.

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Because it’s time for you to start calling the shots. It’s time for you to consciously choose your story and your message. It’s time for you to feel powerful, strong and brilliantly successful. It’s time for you. Now, go get ’em, tiger.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo.com_HNCK8495 via media.lifehack.org

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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