Fess up, sometimes you’ve got horrible body language

nonverbalcommimage

We are all guilty of displaying improper and off-putting body language at some point in our careers. Whether avoiding eye contact during an interview, or impatiently tapping our fingers on the table during a management meeting, our nonverbal communication conveys a distinct impression – no matter your intended message.

This week, the Business Insider published an article calling out nine nonverbal behaviors that generally turn people off and can be really annoying.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am guilty of the crossed arms. When engrossed in a conversation, it is an automatic response that says I am in deep thought and listening; however, according to the article, my body language suggests that I’m hoping my co-worker leaves me alone and goes on his merry way.

The good news is that my nonverbal communication does not channel Kanye West, the article’s poster child for forgetting to smile.

It’s always a good thing to do a mental and visual check-in to ensure we convey the true meaning of our intentions. Think I hear a New Year’s resolution calling…

What’s your nonverbal no-no? Leave us a reply below.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

 

Congresswoman Edwards’ 7th Annual College & Career Fair Provides Insight, Youth Resources

For the seventh year, Maryland Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards hosted her annual College and Career Fair for students in Maryland. The event, held at Annapolis High School in Anne Arundel County, MD on Saturday, October 10th, drew more than 1,500 high school, middle school, and college students and their parents.

Representatives more than 100 schools, companies, nonprofit organizations shared resources with students to provide college resources and answer questions, exhibitors gave tips on essay writing, financing education, and requirements for students seeking to attend participating colleges and universities. Many of these institutions of higher learning also conducted on-site interviews, and had alumni representatives who shared their perspectives on the college experience with students.

Photo credit: Congresswoman Donna Edwards Staff
Photo credit: Congresswoman Donna Edwards Staff

In addition, students received career resources to help them plan for future opportunities, learn more about internships, and identify important skills needed for jobs – STEM and beyond – and how they can begin developing them now. Ask The Strategist owner and Editor, Kesi Stribling (CEO of KSG Strategic Consulting), participated as an exhibitor for the fifth time. She shared the Career Development Checklist covering action items for students in middle school, high school, and college and the Three Es of Career Preparation.

The fair featured workshops to assist students in their academic and career pursuits, including SAT & ACT Information Sessions, Exploring STEM Careers, Financial Aid Resources for Post-High School Education, and It’s Never Too Late to Think About College.

A snapshot of participating exhibitors include AmeriCorps, Anne Arundel Community College, Bennett College, Lockheed Martin, Morgan State University STEM Expo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation, Patriots Technology Training Center, State Farm Insurance, Tufts University, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

For more information about Congresswoman Edwards’ College and Career Fair, visit her website or follow #RepEdwardsCollegeFair.

DISCLAIMER: Since its original debut on MySpace in 2004 as Midweek Musings, ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content, unless otherwise noted, is the property of Ask the Strategist and its affiliates, and may not be re-published without express written permission from the Editor.

5 Things to Do in the Workplace on Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, an annual reminder to be a little kinder, gentler to our planet and the communities in which we live. Following are five simple things you can do in the workplace to commemorate Earth Day, while taking steps to incorporate green activities on a daily basis.

Earth Day 2015
Earth Day 2015

1. Say goodbye to paper and energy waste

Help Mother Earth by eliminating unnecessary paper in the office. Whether discarding old memos, outdated company procedures, or decades old personnel files, eliminating the deluge of paper can have a positive impact in the workplace. By scanning and electronically storing essential documents, offices can decrease paper use resulting in cost saving, the preservation of trees, increased storage space, and the reduction of mold and spores.

To conserve energy, turn off the power in rooms at work – unoccupied offices, the restroom, and cafeteria – that are not in use. Energy efficient light bulbs, including those operated by automatic sensor to turn lights on and off, are easy to use and cost-effective. Conserving energy helps the planet, and reduces your office electric bill. Use those saved dollars for employee bonuses instead!

2. Form an alliance with a green-friendly company

Considering a new strategic alliance or partner? Then, think about engaging a green company that has as its mission conservation of energy, the elimination of waste, and a demonstrated commitment to community greening efforts. Forming partnerships with other companies or patronizing vendors with a green work ethic creates an opportunity to work together in a conscientious way. Plus, it doubles the number of staff – your company and theirs – who can work efficiently and generate long-term green efforts beyond Earth Day.

3. Ditch the plastic

Replace plastic utensils with silverware and bring your own coffee cups to work – ditching the Styrofoam and plastic cups. Using cutlery can eliminate waste and save corporate dollars. Some health experts believe that Styrofoam and plastic have a negative impact on the body. So, ditching the plastic may not only help the planet; it may benefit your personal health as well.

4. Take on telecommuting

With gas prices on the rise, telecommuting is a money-saving and efficient way to better our planet. Telecommuting reduces traffic, emissions, and saves energy usage in the workplace. Working at home also has great health benefits, reducing stress that comes from driving to and from work during hefty traffic, being at home when the children arrive after school, and fostering a bit of peace and quiet that is not always present in the workplace.

5. Convert your coworkers

The best way to sustain green activities in the workplace is to engage your coworkers. Make your efforts to conserve energy a contest, work on projects together, and encourage other businesses in your work complex or community to join forces. Organize Earth Day activities, including initiating a recycling plan, planting trees, forming teams to present innovative ways to conserve energy during staff meetings once a month, or bring in an expert to help you and your coworkers implement a strategic green effort at work.

No matter the effort you make on Earth Day 2015, strive to make these changes a long-term habit in the office.

Have a green tip for the workplace? Leave us a reply below.

DISCLAIMER: Since its original debut on MySpace in 2004 as Midweek Musings, ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content, unless otherwise noted, is the property of Ask the Strategist and its affiliates, and may not be re-published without express written permission from the Editor.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

Staying Productive While You’re Snowed-In

Stay productive while snowed-in!
Stay productive while snowed-in!

Many of us along the Eastern seaboard – and in areas across the country – are stuck inside after record-breaking snow, resulting in slick streets, icy roads, and general weather yuckiness. Sure, we would like to go out and make snow angels with the kids, or catch up on some guilty pleasure TV (cue the Housewives of whatever city), but the truth of the matter is that we still have to work despite the weather.

So, here are five tips to keep you focused and productive while you are stuck indoors working.

Play first, then work

If you are like me, snow is actually a welcomed friend that I’m happy to see. So, to shake off the excitability and get focused, allow yourself time to revel at the winter wonderland for a few moments, including calling your loved ones to commiserate, and then get your workspace ready and operational. Having satisfied the kid inside of you before getting to work, you can reduce the urge to stray away from work.

Prioritize your day

You probably prioritize work responsibilities anyway, so tweak your agenda to include unanticipated interruptions, scheduling a play date for the kids because school is closed, shoveling the sidewalk, impromptu office teleconferences, and altered project due dates. If you are the most productive early in the morning, work on the most complicated tasks, or the assignments that take the most time to complete, at the beginning of the day.

Give yourself a break

For some people, working solo at home means that they can work nonstop with little interruption. That means progress, right? Sometimes, it can lead to burnout, brain freeze and frustration. So, schedule brief reprieves during your home-day workday. Take a coffee or tea break, make sure you have a bite to eat for lunch, and give those fast fingers a break from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Stay connected

Staying connected with co-workers and team members while working from home during bad weather creates camaraderie, and keeps you on task. Checking in also helps you stay in touch on project updates, gain management input, and inspire collaboration through trading ideas in a more relaxed environment (your home!) and one-on-one conversations that may not happen during a normal day at work.

In addition, if snowy weather gets you down, staying connected to co-workers can help ease the effects of cabin fever.

Establish a routine and stick with it

Discipline can be tough in the best of circumstances. Staying on task when working alone at home can test your resolve, so it is a good idea to establish a work routine – especially if you anticipate being at home for more than one day – to help you keep on track with expectations from your supervisor, client, and colleagues on your project team.

Do you have any tips that help you productive during a wild weather shut-in? Share in the comment section below, or Tweet us using #ATSSnowDay

EDITOR’S NOTE: This entry was originally posted on December 9, 2013. It was updated on March 2, 2015.

DISCLAIMER: Since its original debut on MySpace in 2004 as Midweek Musings, ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content, unless otherwise noted, is the property of Ask the Strategist and its affiliates, and may not be re-published without express written permission from the Editor.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

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