The New Hello: “My Pronouns Are”

Personal pronouns are important because they are frequently used to assign gender based on certain assumptions.  However, these assumptions aren’t always correct.  Using an individual’s correct pronoun is important because it conveys respect.  Most people are accustomed to using she, him, her, he, his, and hers.  People may not be as familiar with using they/them, xe/xem, sie/hir and ze/zir which may be used by individuals who identify as non-binary or gender neutral.  There are numerous other gender neutral pronouns but for our purposes we will touch on those more commonly used.

Undoubtedly, you’ve seen the inclusion of pronouns everywhere from name tags to email signatures.  Companies like General Motors, Target, and T-Mobile are supporting the use of pronouns to embrace inclusion and prevent misgendering.  Based on feedback from T-Mobile employees, the company now offers its employees the option to add any of the following to a name tag :

  • He/him/his
  • She/her/hers
  • They/them/theirs
  • Ask me my pronouns

Also, a new introduction is being ushered in with the evolution of diversity and inclusion which includes an individual’s pronouns.  Face-to-face introductions are evolving as well.  Introductions such as “Hello my name is Sam and my pronouns are she, her, hers”  are replacing the customary “Hello my name is Sam.”

A few tips for navigating personal pronoun usage:

  • Sharing your personal pronouns first is a great lead in when asking another their pronouns
  • If you’re unable to ask someone their pronouns, simply use their name or default to they/them
  • If you make a mistake, correct it and apologize
  • Keep in mind no one should be forced to share their pronouns but rather invited or encouraged to share

Share your comments with us and…make it a great day!

Introverts in the Workplace Are an Asset

Today we’re exploring how introverts show up in the workplace in terms of communication and work styles.  

Introverts can be an extraordinary asset to the team when managers fully understand how to maximize their assets and wisdom.

According to dictionary.com, an introvert is “a person who prefers calm environments and limits social engagement…”  Conversely, an extrovert is “an outgoing, gregarious person who thrives in dynamic environments and seeks to maximize social engagement.”

So how do you really know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert?  What energizes you?  Does the idea of putting on your favorite pajamas and spending a quiet evening at home sound amazing, or terribly boring?  Chances are if you’re energized by solitude rather than socializing, you’re an introvert.  According to author Sandra Cain, biology plays a role in an individual’s response to stimuli.  These biological differences mean that extroverts are energized by environments with lots of stimuli and introverts are the opposite. 

Introverts prefer to work independently and behind the scenes.  In group/team settings, introverts may take awhile to become comfortable enough to share their ideas.  

When it comes to communication style, some introverts prefer to communicate via email, instant messaging, and/or texting.

Lastly, consider providing a quiet and secluded workspace.  If fanfare is not high on the list, offer praise for their accomplishments in private.

Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below and whatever you do…make it a great day !!

We’re Retuning to Work!

At last !  The world is slowly reopening and employees are returning to work.  Everyone is excited about being out and about…especially business owners.  In all of the commotion, there’s a high probability that abundant changes are needed in the workplace.  In this blog, we’re offering ideas about how to enhance employee morale, strengthen customer service, and increase sales.   

Change your perspective

View “new normal” challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement.  Avoid approaching problems with a defeatist attitude.  Visualize how positive outcomes will help your firm thrive.  Then share your ideas with clients via social media and other communication outlets.

Get back to basics

Revisit soft skills basics such as effective communication, empathy, and positive attitudes.  Now is not the time to allow customer service to fall by the wayside; in fact, it’s time to double down on delivering an experience that is unique only to your brand.  Empathize with customers and maintain a positive mindset.

Communication is key.  Be upfront and honest with clients about what they should expect from the level of service you’ll deliver.  Keep them in the loop about policy changes.

Set realistic attainable expectations from your team.  Highlight  expectations in weekly staff huddles.  

If a project cost is going to run over due to price increases in raw materials, share this information with clients immediately.  Give as much information as possible to ensure an understanding that they’re not being overcharged.  

Let your customer know you appreciate their patience by writing personalized “thank you” notes, applying a customized postage stamp, and dropping it in the mail.

Products and Policies

Due to shifts in the marketplace, consider whether you should update your company’s policy or services.  Whether it’s a reduced staffing model or limited supplies, these “constraints” may require a change in how you conduct business.  Doing so may increase employee efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Let us know in the comments how your business is pivoting in the face of such challenges. 

Make it a great day!

The ‘People-Pleaser’ Personality at Work

To paraphrase Merriam-Webster, the act of people-pleasing is driven by a myriad of psychological motivators and saying “yes” when you really want to say “no”.

Here’s why people-pleasing is a detriment to your company’s growth:

* On the surface, a people-pleaser may give the appearance that all is well, however, he/she actually may be overwhelmed, stressed, and on the verge of burnout leading to costly errors and omissions which will evenutally impact the profit margin. 

* The tendency to give everything to others coupled with fear or disappointment will drive a people-pleaser to over-commit and land up falling short of meeting client expectations.

* Because they operate from a space of sacrifice, resentment can grow if management does not acknowledge their sacrifices or offer “acceptable levels of praise”.  

For these reasons, it is important for supervisors to pay careful attention to all employees’ non-verbal cues.   Make a point to be empathetic and to encourage employees to give self-care.  Foster a company culture that rewards extraordinary efforts for all employees.

A myriad of professionals have opined the answer to business success.  A sure answer to business failure is trying to please everybody.

Let’s talk.  We welcome your input for managing people-pleasers in the comment section below. 

In the meantime, make it a great day!

4 Tips for Post-Pandemic Workplace Etiquette

As many offices begin to re-open, workers can expect to be met with new safety protocols, open concept workspaces, and varying levels of comfortability in our world of the “new normal”.   As we adjust to these fresh starts, it is more important than ever to draw on our ability to empathize with others and maneuver workspaces with thoughtfulness.

Tip 1: Review Covid-19 Safety Protocols 

Policies and rules vary from business to business, so be sure to take note of all safety protocols provided by your employer prior to returning to the office.  Pack an extra mask so that you’re prepared for situations such as offsite client meetings that may fall under different protocols than your workplace.

Tip 2:  Avoid the “V” Topic

Returning to the office provides an opportunity to become reacquainted with colleagues and catch-up on life events.  Conversations can quickly turn to vaccination status and it should be avoided.  This is private medical information and intrusive inquiries are inappropriate.  Likewise the oversharing of vaccination information can also make people uncomfortable.

Tip 3: Leave Your Tchotchkes at Home

Many companies are moving to open concept workspaces with unassigned seating.  This can be a big adjustment for people who enjoy having all their creature comforts nearby.  Also, refrain from encroaching on temporarily unoccupied desks with your overflow. 

Tip 4: Embrace Meeting New Neighbors

These new open concept workspaces create a fluid community.  While some may prefer the routine of seeing the same faces everyday, open concept seating allows for new connections and communities to grow so it is likely you will have rotating workplace neighbors. 

Observing these general tips should help with the transition from remote work.  Be sensitive to the fact that everyone’s level of comfort will vary (respect one another’s boundaries).  Extend a bit of grace as we all continue to shift and pivot. 

We’d love to hear from you.  Please share your tips for transitioning from remote work in the comments below!

Make it a great day.