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6 Tips to Pick the Ideal Removal Service for Home and Office

6 Tips to Pick the Ideal Removal Service for Home and Office

The process of moving is stressful by nature. By working with a professional removal company, you can help streamline the process and ensure you have the support you need on the proper date. If you are trying to decide which removal company is ideal for your needs, consider the following key points to help you make a selection.

1. Membership in Professional Organizations

Most reputable removal companies belong to professional organisations, such as the British Association of Removers.  While it may not be required to be part of a professional organisation in order to operate as a removal service, it does mean that the company meets the standards that are set forth by the association if they are considered a member in good standing.

2. Availability of Services

If you have a specific date, or dates, in mind for your move, your first priority should be identifying removal services which can accommodate that schedule. This can be especially important if you are moving during a peak period, such as on a Saturday in the summer. Any other aspects the service may provide are irrelevant if they cannot work with you on your desired date.

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The same goes for issues of location. Services may have limited pickup or delivery options depending on their service area. Before gathering any other information about the removal service costs or offerings, make sure they can relocate your goods from your current location to your selected destination.

3. Costs and Quotes

Removal services may be charged in different ways. Some charge based on an understanding of the entire job, while others may offer to charge by the hour. You may find that your preferred option for determining cost varies depending on the kind of move you are completing.

For example, if you are simply relocating a few key items across town, you may prefer a removal man who will quote an hourly rate. Since your needs will not take the majority of a day, it may lead to a lower cost overall, especially if those who quote by the job have any mandatory minimum charges that can elevate the price of an otherwise simple job.

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However, if you believe your move will take a day or more, a quote for the entire job may be preferable. This is due to the fact that it allows you to fully understand all of the costs associated with the removal service prior to the work being completed. Additionally, it allows for accommodation of small changes to the timeline based on unforeseen circumstances, like traffic jams or stormy conditions, without incurring additional costs like you would with an hourly service.

Understand that your honesty regarding the details of your move are what lead to an accurate quote. Failure to disclose certain information, or forgetting to include items in storage areas (such as garages or attics) may lead to surprise charges on removal day. Further, if the company was not prepared for the volume of items, they may not bring the proper sized vans or the necessary equipments.

4. Include Insurance

While the majority of removal services will have insurance should your items be damaged in transit, it is important to confirm this before making a final selection. It would be a shame to assume that damages would be covered only to discover that is not the case after something of value is damaged.

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Make sure and contact your home insurance provider to determine if your policy also covers damage of items when moving. While the use of such coverage may not be necessary if the removal company is properly insured, it is helpful to have this as a supplement.

5. Additional Services

If you require additional services, such as the dismantling of large furniture items or special packing materials for delicate items, make sure to cover this information with the removal service before the day of your move. Again, they may be unable to meet your request, if they are not properly informed which may prevent your move from being completed in your desired fashion.

6. Making a Final Decision

Once all of those aspects have been covered, you should have enough information to make an informed decision regarding your selection. If any changes occur before your scheduled removal date, make sure to contact the company immediately to discuss the changes.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.timeout.com/ via media.timeout.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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