To Tip or Not to Tip?

I recently asked friends on social media for their thoughts on tipping. I was surprised by the number, diversity, and passion behind their responses. While many enjoy demonstrating their gratitude with a generous tip, others felt tipping was an individual decision based on circumstance and preference or that workers should be paid a fair wage that would eliminate the need for tipping. Here are a few of their perspectives:Continue reading

Kindness Pays: Boost Productivity Through Praise

If you were given a choice between a 10 percent raise or a kinder boss, which would you choose? According to an NBC News State of Kindness poll, 70 percent of survey participants would forego the cash for a kinder boss.

Kindness expressed through praise and recognition binds teams together, elevates trust, diminishes stress, improves overall health, and increases productivity. Being praised triggers the release of dopamine that not only makes us feel good, but can also contribute to innovative thinking and creative problem-solving at work.

Kindness pays. A Gallup survey of more than 10,000 business units and 30 industries found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:Continue reading

 Air Travel Made Easy: 10 Ways to Avoid Disaster and Plan the Perfect Trip

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

Travel can expose us to different cultures, diverse styles of dress, beautiful sights, new and cherished relationships, and tantalizing foods! But for many, the mere thought of pulling out luggage, braving the airport, and surviving hours flying at 30,000 feet in a cattle car leaves them panicked.

Whether you are preparing for a family vacation, a bucket list adventure, a search for warmer climate, or a business trip—air travel can be daunting. What makes the difference? Preparation. Here are 10 tips for making your journey a smooth and smart experience.Continue reading

How to Maintain Your Cool When a Conversation Gets Hot

Conversation is challenging enough at times.  When it gets heated, conversation can seem impossible. While some double-down and dig in, others back up and exit—perhaps not physically, but emotionally.  When emotionally charged, increased cortisol levels make you more reactive and sensitive, and decreased oxytocin diminishes your ability to trust others. While you may be able to control your words, your tone of voice and body language will always reveal your true feelings.

Meaningful relationships require honest, respectful conversation.  Words matter; they have the power to bind us or divide us.  So, how do you respectfully converse with someone who strongly holds an opposing belief? What can you do when disagreement arises and a conversation heats up?Continue reading

Resolve to Audit Your Personal Brand

Visit a Starbucks anywhere in the world, and you will encounter a familiar experience: friendly, knowledgeable baristas who serve made to order cups of coffee in recognizable green and white cups. Starbucks’ memorable brand builds trust with customers and keeps them coming back, even though they often pay a bit more for their favorite beverage.

Companies spend millions to create and promote compelling brands that effectively communicate who they are and what they offer. Every company has a brand—and so do you. Whether you know it or not, everything you wear, say, and do—both online and offline—defines your brand. So, what exactly are you promoting? Are you branded for success or failure?Continue reading