Let’s talk!

I’ll share my thoughts on a variety of topics here, as well as information from my quarterly emails.

If you have questions (or suggestions for topics that you’d like to talk about) please comment on the posts below or contact me.

1912, 2017

Making the most of 2018 – free printable document

By | December 19th, 2017|Categories: Digital Communications, Government/Large Projects, Planning, Public Involvement, Small Business, Social Media|0 Comments

The experience of running my own company, has tested me and challenged me in ways that I didn’t expect! It was one of the best decisions I made in 2017.

I want to share a big THANK YOU for helping to make 2017 amazing! I want you to feel the same thrill of trying something new and reaching your goals, so I’m sharing my personalized planning sheet with you!

In order to grow, you need to focus on what you need to improve and what you want to enhance (about yourself, a current project, or your business). I’ve done a lot of planning programs over the years (even though I don’t do the standard New Year’s Resolution, since I tend to forget about it by February). This sheet is the best of several great programs. I hope you find it useful!

Take 30-45 minutes tonight or this weekend to fill out this plan. You’ll be so happy at the end of 2018 that you did!

  • Spend 15 minutes daydreaming. What do you want to accomplish in 2018? It can be hard this time of year to set aside personal time, but I think you can sneak it in over dish-duty or instead of checking Facebook!
  • Think about one word that describes what you want to accomplish next year. This is your theme for 2018.
    • Some people adverse to planning might be tempted to stop here – but research shows that writing down your goals leads to higher rates of success! And doing this with a partner/friend/colleague leads to even greater success.
  • Write down your goals! Start with two categories/topics that you want to focus on (personal and business/finance) and figure out three goals that will get you to achieve your 2018 theme.
    • It’s best to start small. You can always add new goals in the summer if you whip through these!
  • Decide how you’ll reach these goals. Write down one specific action/habit for each goal. You might need to change more than one thing, but overloading yourself with habit changes might make you less likely to succeed! If you create a habit that is trackable, it’s even better.
    • Add or remove circles in the document, so that you can visually track your habits. 
  • Think about what is holding you back. What are you willing to get rid of, so that you can reach your goals.
    • In 2017 it was the time-sucking allure of YouTube for me – and I gave up watching it for personal reasons (work research was ok).
  • Print it out and hang it up! Then start checking off those circles when you complete a habit. I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds satisfaction in checking off my successes!
1506, 2017

Building trust

By | June 15th, 2017|Categories: Digital Communications, Public Involvement, Small Business, Social Media|0 Comments

As I’ve formed Brightside Engagement, I’ve been reminded how vital relationships are to business. And one of the most important components to healthy relationships is trust. I want to build and sustain a relationship with you that is built on trust, so I’ll be sending you helpful emails like this four times a year.

Hopefully, the tips below help you build trust in your relationships with your colleagues and customers.

1. Understand the current climate. The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer indicates that trust is at an all-time low across multiple sectors. While this is unfortunate, it also means that we have an amazing opportunity to restore trust in our communities.

  • Whether you are a small business or a government agency, you have the chance to connect with your community and rebuild trust using the tips below.

  • It’s vital to go into a situation with your eyes open. Knowing that people have a low level of trust right now allows you to focus on building trust; as the right thing to do, but also to set yourself apart from others.

2. Work to rebuild trust. Sometimes you can listen to your gut and know when trust is eroding. Most of the time, you need to consciously move toward building or maintaining trust with each action you take to ensure a strong and healthy relationship. My most fruitful discussions happen after I’ve built trust with someone or when I’ve “extended a hand” to show that I’m working to rebuild lost trust.

There are hundreds of ways to rebuild or maintain trust. Here are two ideas you can use, but the most important thing is to be authentic.

  • Online: Marketers suggest a Feel/Felt/Found formula (ah, alliteration!) to empathetically connect with readers to build trust. Here is an example of this formula, “It’s hard to write your LinkedIn profile. I felt that way too until I found a tip saying I should write my profile more like the start of a conversation.” (If you want to learn more about writing a good LinkedIn profile, check out this article from Fast Company.)

  • In person: If you’re speaking with someone who is angry, try to reframe what they’re saying without attaching agreement or disagreement (just show empathy). This is a technique that takes practice and really comes down to your tone of voice and staying emotionally neutral. For example, “I want to make sure I understand. You feel upset because … Is that right?” If you want to learn more about this technique, check out this article by Psychology Today.

3. Trust builds slowly! The three components researchers say are critical to trust--someone has the ability to do what they say, shows benevolence, and acts with integrity–are typically learned through actions over time, not just through words.

One great way to build trust is to make and fulfill promises; as you deliver on the promises you will build trust.

  • Online: Share useful information that helps your customers. This shows that you are looking out for your community’s best interests (showing benevolence) and are committed to a long-term relationship.
  • In person: Don’t let your meetings run long. It might seem unimportant and it’s not an easy thing to do, but by promising you’ll finish at 2 p.m. and then finishing at 2 p.m. you will gain trust from your participants.