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10 Companies to Help You Develop Your Potential

10 Companies to Help You Develop Your Potential
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It takes time and dedication to develop your skills in the world, and it takes just as much effort to develop in your personal life. Becoming self-actualized is a tough but attainable goal that can happen when focus meets drive. Quite simply, to become the best person you can be in all areas of your life you have to want it badly enough to devote time, energy, and resources to it. As successful entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

The great thing about the world we live in is the availability of information, the growth of new companies and ideas that come into being because there is a need for them. Many companies exist because they can make your life easier or better in some way, and some are there to help you grow personally and professionally – to reach your greatest potential.

Here are the 10 best companies that can help you on your journey to reaching your potential in business and in life.

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Hootsuite to master social media

Become a Master of Social Media by using Hootsuite. Not only does this company help save you time, but it helps you stay connected personally and professionally on 35 platforms. Over 10 million professionals currently use this company for managing their social presence. They offer a free plan for personal use, a professional plan for small to medium businesses, and an enterprise plan for large companies.

My Fitness Pal to stay healthy

An important aspect of anyone’s life is staying healthy and choosing a balanced diet. One company that can help you stay on track is My Fitness Pal. They have one of the largest online databases for foods, and have an Android and iOS in addition to their web app. Not only can you track your food and the nutritional quality of your meals, but MyFitnessPal has a popular online forum that is used by millions of people. Connect with others who have the same goals and get new ideas for staying healthy, all in one place.

Ebates to save money

Saving money is something that may not be fun to think about but successful people always ensure they are putting money away. What if you could save money doing what you already do with just a simple click of a button? With Ebates, you can save money on almost all of your online purchases. Simply go through their site before heading to your online shopping destination and get rewarded with a check in the mail up to 4 times per year. It’s free, easy, and saves you cash.

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Duolingo to learn a new language

Duolingo is a great organization that can help you learn a new language quickly and easily. Being multi-lingual in today’s market is never a bad thing – and just think about how much fun it will be to travel once you can speak with the locals!

FreeCodeCamp to learn to code

Do you want to learn to code and help non-profit organizations at the same time? Then sign up for FreeCodeCamp. You can learn at your own pace, connect with other coders and develop apps that are used by real people. Talk about a personal development win!

Thred-Up to make some extra cash

Is your closet overstuffed with things that you will likely never wear again? Clean it out and finally get organized! Check out Thred-up, the largest online consignment store. Clothing they don’t accept can be returned or donated to charity. Remember, organization helps focus and productivity in most people. This is an easy way to get started.

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FitBit to keep track of your steps

If you want to up your exercise game, you need to check out Fitbit. One of the most widely used trackers that will help you remember to get in those 10,000 steps per day! It comes in a variety of styles and colors – choose the one that suits your personality and lifestyle best.

Sleepbot to track your sleep

One of the most important things you can do is get better rest. Enter Sleepbot, the best sleep tracking motion and sound recording App that we found. Simply place your phone near your body as you sleep and be amazed the next morning at the astonishing amount of data that this App will show you. It keeps track of your sleep cycles, snoring, talking, and times that you wake up. You can track your sleep over time to get a more accurate picture of what is happening while you’re resting. Sleepbot is also free!

Lumosity to exercise your brain

Have you ever wanted to exercise your brain? Now you can with Lumosity. The best part is these simple games are fun, yet are scientifically proven to help your cognition.

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Wunderlist to stay productive

If you want to increase your productivity then you need an amazing task manager and scheduler. Enter Wunderlist – a fantastic, cross platform, intuitive tool that will help you keep on track and up to date.

Developing your potential, increasing your productivity and choosing to live a full, healthy and balanced life takes time and effort. These companies can help make that challenge easier. Have you used any of these companies? Did they help you?

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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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