MIND YOUR MANNERS

MIND YOUR MANNERS

Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. Clarence Thomas Your manners and thoughtfulness make your life and other’s lives better. Good manners enables positive engagement with others. A person with good manners can move through any environment or situation with ease and grace. Good manners will elevate you from an ordinary to an extraordinary existence. It is easily and quickly learned with practice. Modern manners requires the following: Smile. A ready smile diffuses most tension in all situations. Greet others appropriately. Say hello to others, making eye contact and smiling naturally. You may shake hands or hug where appropriate but always say hello, especially to people you see every day. Remember and use others’ names. Be Punctual. Respect other people’s time. Showing up late is rude and shows a lack of respect for others’ time. Letting others know that you are running late does not excuse your lateness. If you are running late, always give an accurate indication of when you will be there. RSVPs – répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning please respond. RSVP on an invitation means that the invited guest should tell the host whether or not he or she plans to attend the event on the date specified on the invitation. Not RSVPing is not the same as declining an invitation. You need to communicate your intention. Late cancellations require a phone call and an explanation. Doors and Lifts. Hold the door for people behind you. Say thank you to those who hold the door open for you. Allow those in the lift to get out before getting in. Hold the lifts for...
YOUR INNER CIRCLE

YOUR INNER CIRCLE

Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher. OPRAH WINFREY Your inner circle includes your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, parents, siblings and close friends, that you spend non-business hours with. They play an important role in your social and business world and they can be your strongest personal brand asset or liability. The way they present themselves also communicates who you are to your target audience and influence your audience’s perception of you. If your spouse, relatives and friends are charming, dress and behave like ladies and gentlemen, and confirm that you are who you say you are, it will convince your audience of your integrity and strengthen your personal brand. Conversely, if they are offensive or politically incorrect – racist, sexist, with dirty and offensive jokes and views – they undermine or sabotage your personal brand in front of your audience, who might assume that their views are also yours. Depending on your audience and their religion and politics, your inner circle’s controversial and offensive views can get you into trouble, costing you your reputation. You need to be aware of the effect your inner circle’s behaviour have on your personal brand. If they are a liability to your personal brand, then you have to take steps to limit any damage they may cause you and, if needs must, distance yourself from them. You may insist on going out solo, keeping them in the closet, or tactfully, tenderly and respectfully explain that there are certain standards of behaviour that you require from those that share your life. These are nonnegotiable. So, make sure everyone...
RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor. MARIANNE WILLIAMSON We all have days when we experience some discomfort, fatigue, even darkness. At such moments, it may help to remember that history has shown that the most successful lives were filled with many moments of darkness. Every dark moment presents us with two choices: to stop the journey or to keep going. The only thing that happens if we stop is regret. To keep going is much harder, but always the right choice. The single trait of all successful people is their resilience through dark periods; they never stop. They endure. They understand that life is incredibly challenging. They understand that none of us gets out of here alive and that, in the end, what really matters is the difference we made and the legacy we left – something that will inspire others long after we’ve gone. Like them, you will come to see that the road to something great is mostly paved by pain, discomfort and despair. You will learn that despair makes one strong and that its accompanying darkness often brings character, polish and direction, helping us to become the best version of ourselves. So, however bleak things may appear at this moment, Don’t bail; the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap. Professor Randy Pausch Some of the greatest works in history were created during incredibly challenging periods in the lives of their creators. Consider Martin Luther King Jr’s famous gospel...
CONFRONTING YOUR ENEMY

CONFRONTING YOUR ENEMY

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. WINSTON CHURCHILL Yes, we all have an enemy. Confronting your enemy is important. Why? Because it strengthens you, helping your growth and success. It may even eliminate that enemy. Please note that I said confront, not attack. Attacking your enemies gets you nowhere. Ignoring them gets you nowhere. It is confronting them that will get you somewhere. The novelist and playwright James Arthur Baldwin, once said that, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”. You have to confront what or who frightens you – what holds you back from growth. You cannot afford to play the ostrich and bury your head in the sand, hoping that they will miraculously disappear, and there is no magic wand that you can wave to get rid of your enemies. You have to face them down. If you don’t, their hold on you will get stronger and stronger. My observation is that it is far more powerful and fruitful to become a person with a cause than a person with a grievance. When you are face to face with an enemy, you are up against a discovery about your true strength, because until you’ve faced and fought your enemy with everything you’ve got, you’ll never discover how strong you are. What frightens me most is how quickly many people settle to what they call their lot. A bullying boss or partner who frequently undermines your existence, or racism or corporate slavery … whatever yours may be, you’ve got to face...
4 STEPS TO BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND AND WHY YOU SHOULD BUILD YOURS

4 STEPS TO BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND AND WHY YOU SHOULD BUILD YOURS

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. RALPH WALDO EMERSON In today’s fiercely competitive and hyper-connected digital age, your success no longer depends on fitting in with others. Your success depends on who you are and your points of distinction and power – on what you bring to the table that no one else can. But how well does other people really understand who we are – our aspirations, experiences, skills set and the value we provide? The answer is that most people don’t. Most people have us in a big file with a number of other people. They’ve a vague idea of what we do or what we’re good at. As years pass, and we continue to gain more experience and expand our skills set, others perceptions and knowledge of us may become out of date. With the growing information overload we’re all facing today, coupled with our fast growing number of connections, others do not only struggle to keep up with us, but it is increasingly difficult for them to retain what little they know about us. This means that we can no longer rely on just being great at what we do and hope that people will remember us, keep up with us and recommend or hire us for great projects. It is so easy to get lost in the sea of other talented and hardworking people. Thankfully, having control of your brand means that you can make sure that other’s perceptions and knowledge of you is consistent with who you are by proactively and strategically highlighting, leveraging...
WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

Your brand is the truth about you, well told. OLD ADVERTISING SLOGAN Your personal brand is simply your reputation. It is not your name, your website, your logo or what you look like. These are how you tell the story of your brand. Your personal brand is what people think, know, feel and say about you, when you’re not in front of them. It is the sum of who you are, what you stand for, what you promise, your ability and commitment to keeping this promise and how you uniquely add value to your world. So your brand is a lot more than what’s going on visually and it matters a great deal whether you’re young or older. Every action you take and some actions that you don’t take shapes it. Your appearance, the way you enter a room, your body language, your handshake, the way you communicate and interact with others, your website, your online profiles and conversations, your blog posts, your tweets and more, all add up to define your personal brand – how people see you. On that note, you can see that whether you’ve thought of it or not, you already have a personal brand. Every one, from the Prime Minister David Cameron, the artist Sam Smith, to your grandmother or father, we all have one. Even your dog or cat has a personal brand. So the first question to ask yourself is, What is your personal brand currently saying about you? Is it clear, positive and compelling? What does it promise? What value does it represent? Is it working effectively for your vision? Do...
WHAT IS ETIQUETTE?

WHAT IS ETIQUETTE?

Etiquette is a fancy word for simple kindness. ELSA MAXWELL Etiquette is at the centre of the zeitgeist of our global age. Because we now live, work and socialise with people of varying backgrounds, cultures and experiences, we must learn to understand, adapt and be sensitive to the different situations we find ourselves. Etiquette enables us to make quick adjustments in our behaviour to accommodate people with different cultures, priorities and expectations. It also enables us to always present ourselves in a way that is kind and respectful to others. Etiquette will help you to be poised, self confident, sensitive, charming and flexible in any situation. Wherever you are and who ever you’re with, the following definitions of etiquette holds true. Etiquette is: good manners – Putting you and others at ease. being kind and speaking kindly. been thoughtful. being polite – Being aware of and respecting the feelings of others. honouring your promises. being respectful – Respect should be mutual. listening emphatically. respecting protocols. self control and deportment. being compassionate – An understanding and concern for the challenges, problems and difficult life events of others, and a desire to do something about them is one of the basic principles of etiquette. BE A STORY WORTH...
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. MAYA ANGELOU How you start any relationship is extremely important. Within seconds of meeting you, people make decisions about you based on their first impressions, then gather more evidence to support it, so always plan for your first impression. Your first impressions are usually the final impressions, because it is what happens at this point that opens the door for you to make further impressions or shuts the door firmly on you for good. So make it count. So how do you make a powerful first impression? Your appearance: Your appearance including grooming is very important in a first meeting and should communicate who you are and what you want to say to the person or people you are meeting for the first time. It is you visual resume and should always highlight what is right and great about you. Unspoken details colour others’ judgements about your character, capabilities and your value. Every detail matters, so pay attention to every item on your body. Be on time: Tardiness is insulting and disrespectful. But don’t be too early either. For business meetings being 5 to 10 minutes early is okay but not more. Your Smile: A warm, genuine smile involving both your lips and eyes gives you instant attraction, tells the other person that you are happy to meet him or her and puts him or her at ease. Your Handshake: Because the handshake is the only physical closeness at most first meetings, much emphasis is...
HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A QUICK FACIAL

HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A QUICK FACIAL

Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50. GABRIELLE ‘COCO’ CHANEL Your face is key to expressing your individuality. It is your signature, your brand and what people visualise when they think of you, so take good care of it. Start by scheduling a facial to deep cleanse and revive your complexion. How to Give Yourself a Quick Facial Wash your face using the right cleanser or face wash for your skin type. Avoid soaps – the solidifiers that hold a bar of soap together are sightly caustic and could irritate or inflame your skin. Next, use an exfoliating scrub in a circular motion on your face and neck, including your lips and avoiding your eye area. Rinse off the scrub thoroughly with warm water. An exfoliating scrub removes dead skin cell layers leaving your skin glowing. Pat your face dry with a clean towel. Next, apply a lip moisturiser on your lips and an eye gel around your eyes. Apply the right face mask for your skin type on the rest of your face and neck. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash off the mask thoroughly with warm water. Pat your face dry with a clean towel and apply an alcohol free toner to a moist cotton ball and wipe over your face to restore your skin. Massage in the right face moisturiser for your skin type into your face in a circular motion. Make sure that your neck is also well hydrated to stop premature neck wrinkles from forming. Apply an...
MY BEST SKINCARE STRATEGIES

MY BEST SKINCARE STRATEGIES

Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to ageing, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including its nutritional needs. DR. GEORGIANA DONADIO Your skin is a vital and the most looked at organ on your body and should be treated with care. Every twenty years your skin reveals your treatment of it, the environment’s treatment of it and it’s chronological age. It prominently shows any signs of ageing; wrinkles, loss of elasticity, uneven skin tone, etcetera, for every one to see. The good news is that a healthy diet, the right skin care regime and lifestyle choices can improve the appearance of your skin. The greater news is that you can actually repair some of the damage that has already been done with a good skin care regime. Please see below my best strategies for caring, protecting and rejuvenating your skin, especially your face – that most exposed part of your skin. My best skincare strategies include the following: 1. Eat a nutritionally rich diet that will nourish and rejuvenate your skin: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to hydrate your skin – about eight to twelve glasses. Water carries nutrients to your cells and flushes out toxins from your vital organs. Hydration supports your energy levels, gives your skin a fresh, radiant glow and is essential for the overall health of your skin. Reduce your intake of sugar and avoid food that can cause chronic inflammation in your body. Avoid caffeinated and carbonated sugary or sweetened drinks and snacks. Increase your daily intake...

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