Looking for the company Steady CRM? We have our own web site now at www.SteadyCRM.com.

How to speak more confidently, based on research

Noah Zandan has some great research on 'speaking as a leader.'  https://www.quantifiedcommunications.com/resources/

Harvard Business Review: How to Stop Saying “Um,” “Ah,” and “You Know” 2018-Aug-1 by Noah Zandan

Finally, I can’t stress the importance of preparation enough. Nerves are one of the biggest reasons people overuse vocal fillers. The less prepared you are, the more nervous you’ll be, which will likely cause you to speak too quickly, trip over your words, and forget what’s next. So practice. On average, the optimal ratio of preparation to performance is one hour of practice for every minute of presentation, but at the very least, Dr. Trey Guinn, one of our communication experts, recommends speakers get in at least three full runs before stepping in front of an audience.

Used sparingly and effectively, filler words can make you more relatable to your audience, give you time to catch your breath, and emphasize key points. That’s why Google built fillers into the latest version of its AI assistant, Duplex. But when they become crutch words, used out of nervousness or lack of preparation, they hurt your credibility. As you prepare for your next presentation, identify the words you lean on most, and train yourself to avoid them. Then, next time you’re in front of an audience, use silence to gather your thoughts, rather than filling the air with sound.

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How to turn anxiety to good use... Bob Rosen interview in Fast Company.

Anxiety is a signal, not a sentence.

Fast Company: How to make your anxiety work for you instead of against you, 2018-Jul-17 by Stephanie Vozza

When you have too much anxiety, it’s often because you’re telling yourself a story. “For example, ‘If I don’t do a good job I’ll get fired,’ ‘My boss hates me,’ or ‘I’m going to embarrass myself,'” says [Bob] Rosen [Conscious]. It’s often not the event that causes anxiety; it’s the story we tell ourselves about it.”

When this happens, take a long walk or breathe deeply if you have too much anxiety. Meditation is a force that helps you live in the present moment. “When you meditate, you get a better sense of how your body and mind are reacting,” he says. “Deep breathing creates a direct connection between your breath and reducing stress. You can get a sense of the source of the anxiety, peel back the onion, and find the cause.”

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What do the groups you join ask of you? Beware of groups that focus on placing blame on other groups.

Thank you, thank you, Timothy Taylor, for introducing me to the work of John Tooby and Leda Cosmides. (Check out Coalitional Instincts and Fox News, or MSNBC.)

We are evolutionally programmed to join coalitions and those coalitions ask us to signal our loyalty to the group. Sometimes they ask us to do despicable things. 

Conversable Economist: How Coalitional Instincts Make Weird Groups and Stupid People, 2018-Jul by Timothy Taylor

...we all feel a strong need to join groups, we do have some degree of choice and agency over what groups we end up joining. Even within larger groups, like a certain religion or political party, there will be smaller groups with which one can have a primary affiliation. It may be wise to give an outlet to our coalitional nature by joining several different groups, or by pushing oneself to occasionally phase out one membership and join another.

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To address polarizing issues, let's keep it complicated

I'm very tired of listening to people belittle the people they disagree with. I want to avoid the trap and learn to understand more people, all the time. I recently found an article for journalists that explains how to frame a discussion in order to avoid having both parties retreat into their battle positions. 

How to complicate a narrative:

  1. Amplify contradictions
  2. Widen the lens
  3. Ask questions that get to people's motivations
        care, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority, sanctity
  4. Listen more, and better
  5. Expose people to the other tribe
  6. Counter the confirmation bias (carefully)

Solutions Journalism Network: Complicating the Narratives, 2018-Jun-27 by Amanda Ripley

In the midst of conflict, our audiences are profoundly uncomfortable, and they want to feel better. “The natural human tendency is to reduce that tension,” Coleman writes, “by seeking coherence through simplification.” Tidy narratives succumb to this urge to simplify, gently warping reality until one side looks good and the other looks evil. We soothe ourselves with the knowledge that all Republicans are racist rednecks — or all Democrats are precious snowflakes who hate America.

Complexity counters this craving, restoring the cracks and inconsistencies that had been air-brushed out of the picture. It’s less comforting, yes. But it’s also more interesting — and true. 

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Email loyalty

When designing emails, most companies don't give much thought to customer loyalty issues. Getting people to open and click dominate the process. However, there are a few simple procedures that prevent unsubscribes and signal our audience that we are willing to earn their attention and loyalty. 

  • Use a calendar to establish an emailing plan that customers can learn to expect
  • Segment customers by behavior, starting with the most loyal VIP types
  • Study unsubscribers and develop a heartfelt re-engagement campaign--but do let people unsubscribe quickly.

SendGrid Blog: What is Retention Marketing? And How to Use it in Your Email Program, 2018-Jul-13 by Kelsey Bernius

You don’t have to dive head first and try out every last retention email campaign tactic. In fact, it’s better to start out and test one strategy at a time so you can measure your results before implementing more permanent programs. 

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How to keep a job you don't appreciate

No job is perfect but most of them are well worth doing, even if it's just to prove we can. And in the process, we will no doubt learn something, usually something about ourselves. 

Quartz: Want to love your job? Read this article, 2018-Jul-6 by Ephrat Livni

It’s not the job itself that gives us a sense of purpose, but the pleasure of work. Yes, that’s right. Pleasure. Because work at its best—whether it’s pouring coffee or defending the indigent accused in a county jail—is a kind of play. In the moment of doing, meaning doesn’t matter, just the task. That’s a relief from spending time dwelling on the big picture: who you’re meant to be and what you should try to achieve in your life.... 

It would be fantastic if we all found our best and highest use on the job. But dismissing all service work misses an important point. The puzzle we’re all constantly solving is survival, ideally with minimal friction and conflict and the maximum positive exchanges. When a supermarket bagger makes the effort to pack your shopping in a way that ensures the eggs don’t break, or offers to carry your stuff, that’s a plus.... 

Being adaptive is a critical life skill that’s practiced at work, whatever job. Understanding this, you can take an interest in pretty much anything for some time and, as a result, become more interesting and accumulate experiences that will inform your next steps. As Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck points out, interests aren’t inherently fixed. Having a growth mindset, being open, is wiser than pinning your hopes on a single passion; it makes you more resilient, creative, intelligent, and happy. 

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Confidence and confirmation in customer relationships

The customer experience of paying online can be frightening. Any signal that the transaction is insecure or the seller is sloppy can destroy a budding relationship. 

DMA.org.uk: Is the Transactional Email Experience Critical for Customer Loyalty?, 2018-Jul-3 by Laura Chieri of Mailjet

In our recent research study, we found that 93% of consumers would consider choosing a rival brand following a negative transactional email experience.

So, what aspect would lead to a dissatisfactory interaction? Fear not, we asked that too.

  • Spelling, grammar and language mistakes.
  • Emails that contained sensitive information.
  • Emails that don’t visually look like a brand’s website.
  • Emails that took a long time to arrive in the inbox.
  • Emails that reached the SPAM box, rather than the inbox.
  • Emails that got categorized by Gmail as a ‘promotion’ or not a focused email by Outlook. 

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