Get linked in to your business

If a decade always has to be identified with some particular theme, what will identify the 2010’s?  To me, this upcoming decade is certain to be shaped and coloured by social business networking  –  the wonderful world of the blog, the tweet, the podcast, the various online channels with their 24/7 inter-group dialogue.

True, social networking has already been operating for some time. Or more strictly, its component parts have been in place, available to be utilized. But there is a time-lag before it swims properly into focus, and people can see just what is this thing called social marketing.

I believe social networking can best be described in terms of what it has replaced. It is an astonishing new version of the first handshake, the interview, the shortlist and the new-business pitch rolled into one. It has taken over from the reception desk, the telephone enquiry, the formal letter of application. It is also a remarkably efficient way to retrieve lost contacts, perhaps from years back  –  but a two-edged sword, as you can guess. To have your overture to join a group rejected is a painful but salutary experience. To have it accepted is a most satisfying endorsement of your credibility and standing.

It is not hard to see how social networking has revolutionised the entire process of new-business hunting and recruitment across all sizes of organization, though its benefits show up most vividly in the SME, especially at its launch and in the early growth-stages.

These new social media

The top social networking sites are currently dominated by the global online business club LinkedIn. Let me suggest that you start as I did, with Jan Vermeiren’s book ‘How to REALLY use LinkedIn’, which I have studied carefully, page by page. This could usefully be backed-up by a training course or perhaps even with one of the many tele-seminars being offered. At any rate, when you’ve created your profile, you are cordially invited to connect with me by typing in ‘carole spiers’ and I will return the compliment.

Another popular branch of social business networking is Twitter, where your own group automatically receives your mini-newsletter in the form of a single statement restricted to 140 characters  –  among other things, an intriguing new test of the copywriting skill. This of course links-thru to any item you may want to promote. You’ll find that the quality of your Twitter profile makes a big difference to results from the social networking community, and you may like to personalise your own profile. 

Otherwise, there are all the other well-known business social networking  outlets, which you may not have directly identified as self-marketing media relevant to your own operation. There is YouTube, on which you can make quality broadcasts and promotions amongst many others.

Podcasts enable you to build credibility in your field. Mastermind groups represent particular ‘inner circles’ of expertise, equally suitable for those in corporate companies or freelance, while tele-seminars can brainstorm limitless ideas from all over the world.

One caution: you do need to study these social business networking media in-depth, rather like learning a new language properly, not just a few phrases to use in the street. But you’ll be glad you did  –  take it from me.

Happy networking in 2010!

 Key points about social business networking

1       The decade of the 2010’s will be shaped by social networking

2       These media are a unique mix of the comprehensive and the selective

3       The social media need to be studied in-depth like a language

[Reproduced with the kind permission of Gulf News]

Book Motivational Speaker, BBC guest-broadcaster and best-selling Author, Carole Spiers in person for your next conference for a charismatic, high-impact presentation on proven stress management and organisational change strategies.  See Carole live http://bit.ly/TUWbX

Contact Carole  for a FREE stress strategy consultation – Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8954 1593   or email info@carolespiersgroup.co.uk.    She is dedicated to supporting your long-term growth through talent retention rooted in effective stress management.

Or check-out our latest professional stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L and stress management services delivered to blue-chip clients from IBM to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, UAE and worldwide at www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

 

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Stress of the Vanishing Lunch-break

Although we can safely ignore the idiotic ‘Lunch is for wimps’ challenge, made in that certain Michael Douglas movie, there is no doubt that the formal lunch-break, once the daily, universal custom, is being observed less and less frequently.

One explanation is clearly cultural, a social statement to do with an increasingly flexible workplace policy  –  a natural urge to distance yourself from the legacy world of typewriters and fixed working hours. To be seen at your desk between 12 and 2pm confirms that you are a member of the modern office culture, where you’re free to slip out to a coffee-shop at any time you want. It may also suggest a certain indispensability.

But a much more important factor is the new dynamic of the workplace, where commercial pressures put even junior executives into an entrepreneurial mindset. They may be waiting for some crucial email that requires their urgent attention. More likely, they might be working through a complex commercial problem involving an important contract, so that going off to lunch might be completely unrealistic. Or, if a lawyer, they may be charging-up billable time, where the temptation to charge an extra hour, may be irresistible.

Wrong Focus

I once had to counsel an ambitious young lady called Amanda in Dubai, who was in her first job as a sales consultant at a travel agents. The basic salary was very low, but the bonuses could mount up if she made enough sales.

The trouble was that most of the customers came in at lunchtime, and the sales staff were tempted to skip their own lunch-break in order to increase their monthly  bonuses. As this was good for business, the manager did nothing to discourage the habit.

However, two of the other saleswomen pointedly refused to do this, saying that their lunch was important to them, so Amanda found she was picking up even more sales by staying at her desk at the time when she should have been taking a break. (Meanwhile it was forbidden to snack at the desk for reasons of company image. Only coffee being allowed.)

Like many others of my clients, in the enthusiasm to focus on her monthly pay, she forgot to focus on her health. Month after month, she simply failed to eat properly through the day (though she drank a good deal of coffee) and she found herself taking more and more headache pills. Stress can make you vulnerable, as I can testify, and sure enough, during a local outbreak of flu, Amanda went off sick for nearly two weeks, but her two colleagues shrugged it off. That loss of two weeks’ earnings finally made her realise what was important. There could be no clearer illustration of the value of a regular mid-day lunch-break with a healthy walk and a nourishing diet.  Keeping your body running smoothly with nutrients is even more important than putting gas in your car.  You can always get a new car if the old one breaks down…

 Key points about the disappearing lunch-break

  • The lunch-break is often mistakenly seen as unnecessary
  • Modern workplace pressures make it hard to leave your screen
  • Direct incentives may also tempt you into working through lunch

[Reproduced with the kind permission of Gulf News]

Book Motivational Speaker, BBC guest-broadcaster and best-selling Author, Carole Spiers in person for your next conference for a charismatic, high-impact presentation on proven stress management and organisational change strategies.  See Carole live http://bit.ly/TUWbX

Contact Carole  for a FREE stress strategy consultation – Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8954 1593   or email info@carolespiersgroup.co.uk.    She is dedicated to supporting your long-term growth through talent retention rooted in effective stress management.

Or check-out our latest professional stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L and stress management services delivered to blue-chip clients from IBM to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, UAE and worldwide at www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

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Dubai – A World Centre of Excellence

Dubai, as a successful new financial centre, has inevitably been impacted  by the global credit crunch, although somewhat later and not as severely as in Europe or America.  

Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Investment bank in the US last year, the world economy has undoubtedly been in a mess and there has been a significant economic contraction that has affected business and consumer confidence.

That there are financial problems, as in New York or London, is clear – but there is no doubt that the Dubai government of HM Sheikh Mohammed will find the necessary solutions with its international partners. The country has supreme confidence in this.

The last few days has, however, drawn some media distortion from certain journalists who are always willing to ‘invent’ a catastrophe, where none exists.  Some of the world’s press, may have jumped on Dubai’s financial challenges, and in doing so, have ignored many of the facts – ten of the more obvious being: 

  1. The financial crisis and economic turndown are global phenomena
  2. Arguably, both the UAE, and Dubai in particular, have fared no differently than other financial centres – possibly better.
  3. There is an element of schadenfreude in a proportion of press comment
  4. Dubai has proved itself to be a centre of excellence and achievement in many fields, over the past decade.
  5. Its architectural innovation and engineering ingenuity, are the envy of the world
  6. The tallest, inhabited building anywhere on the planet, the Burj Dubai, at over 800m tall, is a monument to the most advanced civil engineering technology in the world and a triumph of unsurpassed architectural know-how
  7. Hotel accommodation and hospitality accommodation is of such a high standard that it is unrivalled in New York, Paris or London
  8. The crime rate in the UAE is, compared to Europe or  America, non-existent
  9. Emirates Airline offers the most advanced flying experience anywhere in the world
  10. Hospitals and medical services in Dubai are of a world-class standard and attract eminent specialists from around the globe

To try to evaluate Dubai against European or American standards, is problematical.   The Emirate of Dubai is an autocracy than runs and has run extremely successfully.  Government policies have been some of the most far-sighted of any country, building an unparalleled infrastructure in a timescale that has astonished other nations with its attention to detail and excellence of design.

I, myself, have advised many senior management teams in Dubai, and the UAE, for over five years.  Having worked all over the globe, in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia in a period spanning twenty years – I am today, extremely proud of being associated with the extraordinary achievements of the Dubai government of HM Sheikh Mohammed.

Dealing on a professional basis with CEOs and executives throughout UAE’s industry and the professions, I am constantly impressed with the level of higher education (the number of MBAs and Doctorates is extraordinary), and the pride that Emiratis and expatriates take in their achievements.

Over the past decade, millions have come to Dubai from every continent on the planet – many via Emirates Airlines – to see for themselves a true example, the only example, of 21st century architecture and engineering – all within a crime-free environment.    Most visitors are hugely impressed.

Dubai will survive – leaner but stronger, and will continue to be an exemplar to the world of how to apply modern technology to provide good living.  [Reproduced with the kind permission of Gulf News]

Book Motivational Speaker, BBC guest-broadcaster and best-selling Author, Carole Spiers in person for your next conference for a charismatic, high-impact presentation on proven stress management and organisational change strategies.  See Carole live http://bit.ly/TUWbX

Contact Carole  for a FREE stress consultation – Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8954 1593   or email info@carolespiersgroup.co.uk.    She is dedicated to supporting your long-term growth through talent retention rooted in effective stress management.

Or check-out our latest professional stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L and stress management services delivered to blue-chip clients from IBM to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, UAE and worldwide at www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

Listen