Sustainable business practices create win-win situation

sustainable, sustainable business practicesGreen business practices are good for all

Your business is “green,” right? You incorporate the most popular green business ideas and practices; you do your part. Good for you!

Have you ever stepped back and given your program a thorough review? Many businesses take piecemeal approaches to going green: turning off lights when not needed, recycling as much as possible, adjusting thermostats. But that is changing as the country–and the world–gradually adapt the concept of sustainability.

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Calm demeanor helps ensure great customer service

great customer service, good customer service, how to get customer serviceRecall the last time you had a problem with a product or service. What was your frame of mind? Did you want to stomp into that store (or pick up the phone) and chew someone’s butt? Not surprisingly, most people feel that way.

If choose to follow through on your rant, you may find that the reaction from the customer service person isn’t quite what you expected. You see, customer service people are humans, too, and can only take so much. They should be resilient, but even the best training doesn’t steel them for the worst barrage.

I’ve been there a number of times. In fact, I wrote about an incident I had many years ago. As I relate, I was ready to tear into the first teller I faced when I walked into the bank branch. Thankfully, I had calmed down by the time I entered the branch.

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Writers groups stoke those writing passions

writing tip, daily writing tip, writing classes, writing jobs, writers groupsDo you have a nail-biting whodunit inside you that is just itching to get out? Perhaps you’ve dreamed of writing for magazines. Or penning a blockbuster for the big screen. If these–and other–literary dreams need a little encouragement and assistance to become a reality, you might consider joining a writers group.

What is a writers group?

Also called a writers club, a writers group is a loose collection of writers who share their work and receive feedback from other members. Most groups are open, so you’ll encounter a wide variety of genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, blogs, magazines, and more.

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Strengthen leadership skills with improved communication skills

Jason VanderPal, Rotary Club of New Berlin, New Berlin RotaryImproving your communication skills can improve your leaderships skills as well, according to Jason VanderPal. VanderPal a sales trainer with a a very successful sales career under his belt, discussed this during a recent meeting of Rotary Club of New Berlin. VanderPal walked us through his formative years with a major retailer out west.

Employed at Guitar Center in California for several years, VanderPal was asked to give a speech during the firm’s 2007 national conference. That presentation was so well received, he was offered the manager’s position at Guitar Center’s Hollywood location – their flagship store. “I have a 20-minute speech to thank for that,” he says.

Interested in enhancing his public speaking skills, VanderPal joined Toastmasters, then enrolled in an intense, three-day workshop created by renowned public speaking trainer Bill Gove. VanderPal shared some important tips from that training.

1. Make a point, then tell a story. Segue into your story by saying, “Let me give you an example.” Examples and stories help audience members understand your point.

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Tell your story to connect with your audience

Have you ever attended a presentation that put you to sleep? (Maybe one of your presentations had that effect!) Or, how about the presentation that all but slipped your mind by the following day?

A presentation can fail for a number of reasons. One cause is a lack of stories. Good stories are powerful tools, noted Rob Biesenbach during this month’s Milwaukee PRSA meeting.

Rob BiesenbachBiesenbach, who owns Rob Biesenbach LLC, kicked off his presentation with a few stories of his own. A long-time Chicago resident, Biesenbach has “commuted” to Milwaukee at least 150 times over the years. He has also traveled around Wisconsin. He learned to ski in the state, observed the infamous goats atop Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, and got married in Lake Geneva.

As a result, we in the audience developed a connection to Biesenbach. Which is one of his points. “Story telling is one of the most powerful forms of communication,” Biesenbach says. “It breaks down barriers.”

Our brains are naturally receptive to stories, Biesenbach says. Research has shown that 63% of an audience will remember stories told during a presentation, while only 5% will recall the stats that were provided.

Stories work because they:

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