The happy secret to better work


According to Shawn Achor (CEO of Good Think Inc.,), we believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? – What then is happiness? What does Positive Psychology has to do with it? Who were the founders? What topics are concerned and what about Neuroscience and to increase one’s happiness?

In cognitive therapy, the goal is to help people change negative styles of thinking as a way to change how they feel. This approach has been very successful, and changing how we think about other people, our future, and ourselves is partially responsible for this success. The thinking processes that impact our emotional states vary considerably from person to person.

A good article written by; Shawn Achor; Are Happy People Dumb

Positive psychology is a recent branch of psycology whose purpose was summed up in 1998 by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Positive psychologists are concerned with four topics:
1.Positive experiences,
2.Enduring psychological traits,
3.Positive relationships
4.Positive institutions

A good TED-cast done by; Shawn Achor, where se achor the happy secret to better work:
The happy secret to better work

Neuroscience and brain imaging have shown increasing potential for helping science understand happiness and sadness. Though it may be impossible to achieve any comprehensive objective measure of happiness, some physiological correlates to happiness can be measured.

A practical application of positive psychology is to assist individuals and organizations in identifying strengths so as to increase and sustain well-being. Therapists, coaches, various psychological professionals, HR departments, business strategists, and others, are using new methods and techniques to broaden and build upon the strengths of a wide population of individuals.

The easiest and best possible way to increase one’s happiness is by doing something that increases the ratio of positive and negative emotions.


Social selling – Part 2. 7 STEPS TO GET STARTED

By Malin Avalon Engquist, April 2013

Do you want to boost your sales? Give it a thought if social selling could be an interesting option for you.

Social selling is fun and makes your job easier. Building a social media profile and starting to interact doesn’t happen overnight. The good news is that you can take the first step today and become successful tomorrow. Are you already part of the winning (sales) team?

Here my 7 steps to get started:

1. Build your digital profile

Build a social media profile corresponding to your personal brand. Communicate in social communities which are relevant for you. Establish links with other experts, and offer information and references. Build your reputation by drawing attention to your web presence, motivating others to circulate and act on your ideas.

Why? Sales is about trust. The more you give, the more you get back. Let your “social media alter ego” show that you understand the market, trends, clients and prospects. You cannot be out on the market 24/7, but your social profile is always online. Our world is becoming global. Be a part of it!

2. Choose the right channels

Select the channels you want to join. Focus on one or two platforms where you are most likely to engage prospects. If you are in B2B, LinkedIn is probably a smart platform for you. You can be more “personal” on one network (e.g. Facebook) and more “formal” on another (e.g. LinkedIn). Always show respect in your comments!

3. Expand your network

Compared with the old way of collecting business cards, it’s easier to expand your online network. Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world, so that a chain statement like “a friend of a friend” can be made to connect two people in a maximum of six steps. Reach out to peers, friends, customers, co-workers, etc. Share your friends’ posts on Twitter and start conversations with your real life connections. Another example is asking for recommendations on LinkedIn.

4. Connect with influencers

Try to find people who drive conversations around topics which matter to you and your customers. First identify them. Do some research on topics, organisations or other media you know. Follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn. This way, you connect with influencers and increase your knowledge. Position yourself as a bridge between unconnected groups so that you have the chance to identify potential collaborations and accumulate information.

5. Share/create content

Start by sharing and commenting on the blogs and articles of others. If you like to write, you can publish your own (small) blog (free of charge via WordPress), which you share and link, for example to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The challenge is to get appropriate content to your customer on a personal basis. If you start to be transparent to your social media world, you will become a trustworthy adviser.

6. Be aware of the next trend

What is happening on the other side of the globe is also important for us. Listening is a future weapon when it comes to being successful. Choose the channels and media where you get relevant information. Following relevant people on Twitter is one option. If you want to organise your social profiles and followers, you can download Hootsuite or TweetDeck for free. Hash tags are like keywords (people use the hash tag symbol # in front of a relevant keyword or phrase in their tweet to categorise those tweets and make them more visible in Twitter Search).

7. Develop a corporate sales & intelligence process

Social (media) selling should be part of your corporate sales process. “Time for calls” is scheduled in every sales professional’s diary. According to CSO Insight, the effective use of sales intelligence increases revenue productivity per sales representative by 17%. So if you include social (media) selling as part of your sales process, it should also include monitoring tools. What’s more, apps such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite are free!

Don’t forget that social selling starts and ends with “listening”. It’s not about showing off; it’s about understanding what your customer needs.

Please join or follow me on my social media ;=)

Twitter: @malinavalon

© Krauthammer International, April 2013.

Social Selling – Part 1 – CAN WE AFFORD NOT TO BE ACTIVE?

By Malin Avalon Engquist, April 2013

Social media platforms can help salespeople to engage quickly with prospects and client worldwide. But what do (potential) customers expect from your social selling activities and what do they dislike?

Consumer habits have changed a lot since the rise in popularity of social media. As far as customers are concerned, it has never been easier to get information without stepping foot in a shop. The Customer 2.0 interfaces with friends and peers about products, services and vendors before making a purchase decision. The same applies to the B2B market. Social media can provide a lot of information about and personal insights into companies, products and services, some of it not necessarily always positive. What impact does this have on our sales efforts? How can we make use of social media, and can we still afford not to be active?

Professional networks on the increase

In the past five years, the perception of social selling has changed considerably. Globalisation and social media platforms have increased the size of our personal and professional networks. Facebook reports that it has over 1 billion active users, LinkedIn reaches more than 200 million users and Twitter has around 500 million registered users. Many B2B buying decisions start, progress and often even close online, without any prior face-to-face meetings.

Social media impacts purchase decisions

According to ComScore, social networking sites reach 82% of the world´s online population. 75% of B2B buyers claim that social media would probably influence a future purchase. According to Sirius Decisions, 70% of the “buyer’s journey” is completed before they even talk to a salesperson. 65% of businesses are already using social media for their sales efforts. According to the Sales Management Association, 55% of businesses believe that their sales organisation would be more productive if they had a greater social presence. These figures clearly reflect the impact that digitalisation is having on customer behaviour.

Sales People can react faster to customer needs

Social selling is about recognising that a connected and informed customer is in control of the buying process. While sales is still a relationship business, “what you know about who you know” is now more important than the straightforward “who you know”. New customers expect salespeople to be informed about their companies and their needs before engaging. As a sales professional, you should use the web to listen, engage with and add value to prospects and customers, and yes, social media gives you the ability to observe and react to the needs of prospects and/or customers faster than ever before.

Sell by solving problems

If you want to be a successful social seller, you should contribute and offer “dialogues/conversations” that solve customers’ problems. If you create “Aha!” moments, this is the best way to help customers guide themselves toward your products and services. A good way to gain in reputation is to publish articles, videos, white papers and other tools which help customers find a solution to their problems. However, be aware that people get annoyed if they get the feeling that it’s simply promotion!

Our tips for building trust and credibility for your social selling:

1. Spend time on high-level communication – quality makes the difference
2. Engage and interact effectively – you can’t sell if you are only pushing messages
3. Listen to the buying signals from the social web (Hootsuite can support you)
4. Schedule time to maintain and expand your network
5. Add relevant information/categories to your contacts (such as “very important personal reference”, “active contact”, “inactive contact”, “don’t know anymore”, “follow”, etc.)
6. Don’t annoy people with information overflow

Polite or not?
A lecturing experience by Jos Velthuis, Managing Partner, Krauthammer
18 months ago, I was asked to give a lecture at Nijenrode Business School for an international group of 45 MBA students. As usual, I used my laptop for a slide presentation and had my iPad open because I was expecting an e-mail informing me about my next appointment that day.
During my preparation, I had been thinking about how to make the 3 hours as lively as possible but, of course, I had to transmit some content as well. After one hour of presenting and lecturing, I was somewhat irritated by some of the students tapping on their iPhones and tablets. I started to doubt their level of motivation and interest, and even their politeness towards me. During the half-time break, I checked my iPad. There was no message about my next meeting, but there were 20 LinkedIn invitations from the students, 2 online polls about some statements I had made during my lecture and a lively debate about the subject of my lecture. I wonder who learned the most that day…


If you are feeling stressed, try Corrective-/ Diaphragmatic-/Deep breathing (Remember; “4+4+8”)


Deep breathing exercises are sometimes used as a form of relaxation, that, when practiced regularly, may lead to the relief or prevention of symptoms commonly associated with stress, which may include high blood pressure, headaches, stomach conditions, depression, anxiety, and others.

Breathing correctly helps you manage all types of situations you may encounter. Deep breathing has a calming effect, and it can help you to collect your thoughts and give you clarity and concentration.

The following exercise shows you how deep breathing should feel:

1. Lie down and place your palms on your stomach so that your fingertips touch.

2. To breathe correctly you need to relax the abdominal muscles.

3. Breathe in slowly through your nose while you count to four. Breathe in until it feels like your stomach is full of air, so that the fingertips are removed from each other.

4. Hold your breath while you count to four, and then exhale through your mouth while you count to eight.

5, When you “feel the air in your stomach” means the diaphragm muscles are relaxed, which means that the lungs have expanded and you have breathed in as much as possible. This may seem a little strange at first, but it soon becomes the “normal” way to breathe.

If you feel tense up or becoming nervous, ten deep breaths can help you get centered again, ready to deal with the situation.

You do not lie down for using deep breathing, but the best way to learn the technique is to lie down and train hard without fitting clothes. Once you know how it feels to breathe fully, you can breathe properly throughout the day while you perform your chores.

“women are really good at making friends and not good at networking…”


On the surface, networking and making friends look pretty similar. You’re meeting new people, finding common interests, and hoping that the relationship will continue.

But the truth is, they’re different—and it’s important to distinguish between the two. As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently put it, “women are really good at making friends and not good at networking.”

 Networking is about building rapport, having substantive conversations, and finding commonalities with other professionals in a limited amount of time. Yes, it’s an opportunity to connect with others—but it’s more about advancing your professional goals than it is about getting people to like you or boosting your social scene.

 If you’re trying to make friends at every networking event you attend, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Here’s a look at some common networking scenarios that can veer toward friend territory, and how to make sure you’re approaching them the right way.

The Situation: As you’re grabbing a glass of wine at the bar, you strike up a conversation with the woman next to you. With drink in hand, you’re ready to move on and work the room, but your new Pinot pal seems determined not to leave your side.
Making Friends: Feeling bad, you grab a table and chat with her throughout the event. Hey, she’s really nice, and it’s tough not knowing anyone in these types of situations.
Networking Effectively: After a few minutes of chatting, you invite her to be your “networking buddy.” You’ll divide and conquer—each of you talking to new people throughout the evening, and agreeing to introduce each other when there’s someone the other should meet.

The Situation: Five minutes after introducing yourself and asking, “So, what do you do?” you find yourself still listening to someone tell you about the projects she’s working on.
Making Friends: You don’t want to hurt her feelings by interrupting, and her job is pretty interesting, so you smile, nod, and listen while she chatters on—never stopping to ask what you do.
Networking Effectively: Realizing she’s not going to reciprocate and turn the attention onto you, you listen for the next sentence where you can relate what she’s saying to a project you’re working on, a client you have, or any topic you can speak to and jump in. By doing so, you’ve created a seamless transition, and you can start sharing some things of your own.

The Situation: You see someone standing alone, carrying the handbag you’ve been eyeing for months. It’s the perfect icebreaker, so you head over to chat.
Making Friends: You compliment her on her bag, then launch into a conversation, bonding over your love of Burberry and sample sales.
Networking Effectively: You break the ice by mentioning her bag—after all, making small talk is one of the quickest and most effective ways to build rapport. But after a few minutes, you tactfully find a way to transition to business talk, changing the conversation into an exchange of why you’re at the event or what you do.

The Situation: You’re having a great conversation with someone about the conference you both attended last month. Just as you’re about to ask if she’d like to have lunch next week, someone else pushes her way into the conversation.
Making Friends: You don’t want to seem annoyed or interrupt, so you stand there awkwardly, not sure how to react and never adding to the conversation.
Networking Effectively: You realize you’re not going to be introduced, so you interject yourself into the conversation. You smile, introduce yourself, and maybe even stay a bit—after all, this new person could be a new contact, too. Then, you slip your colleague your card, saying, “I’ll let you two chat, but I’d love to have lunch sometime. Email me next week?”

So, does not all this mean that all the fun has to be sucked out of networking? Of course not! Networking isn’t about brusquely exchanging business cards, it’s about making true connections with people. But the key is: Before you move those connections straight into friend territory, do have meaningful conversations that help advance your professional goals.

 Then, if you make a new friend? It’s an added bonus.


New hire mentoring programs


New-hire mentoring programs are set up to help new employees acclimate more quickly into the organization. In new-hire mentoring programs, newcomers to the organization (protégés) are paired with more experienced people (mentors) in order to obtain information, good examples, and advice as they advance. It has been claimed that new employees who are paired with a mentor are twice as likely to remain in their job than those who do not receive mentorship

These mentoring relationships provide substance for career growth, and benefit both the mentor and the mentee. For example, the mentor gets to show leadership by giving back and perhaps being refreshed about their own work. The organization receives an employee that is being gradually introduced and shaped by the organization’s culture and operation because they have been under the mentorship of an experienced member. The person being mentored networks, becomes integrated easier in an organization, gets experience and advice along the way. It has been said that “joining a mentor’s network and developing one’s own is central to advancement” and this is possibly why those mentored tend to do well in their organization.

In the organizational setting, mentoring usually “requires unequal knowledge”, but the process of mentorship can differ. Bullis describes the mentoring process in the forms of phase models. Initially, the “mentee proves himself or herself worthy of the mentor’s time and energy”. Then cultivation occurs which includes the actual “coaching…a strong interpersonal bond between mentor and mentee develops”. Next, under the phase of separation “the mentee experiences more autonomy”. Ultimately, there is more of equality in the relationship, termed by Bullis as Redefinition.

Mentoring is a tool that organizations can use to nurture and grow their people. It can be an informal practice or a formal program. Protégés observe, question, and explore. Mentors demonstrate, explain and model. The following assumptions form the foundation for a solid mentoring program.

Deliberate learning is the cornerstone. The mentor’s job is to promote intentional learning, which includes capacity building through methods such as instructing, coaching, providing experiences, modeling and advising.

Both failure and success are powerful teachers. Mentors, as leaders of a learning experience, certainly need to share their “how to do it so it comes out right” stories. They also need to share their experiences of failure, ie., “how I did it wrong”. Both types of stories are powerful lessons that provide valuable opportunities for analyzing individual and organizational realities.

Leader need to tell their stories. Personal scenarios, anedcotes and case examples, because they offer valuable, often unforgettable insight, must be shared. Mentors who can talk about themselves and their experiences establish a rapport that makes them “learning leaders.”

Development matures over time. Mentoring — when it works — taps into continuous learning that is not an event, or even a string of discrete events. Rather, it is the synthesis of ongoing event, experiences, observation, studies, and thoughtful analyses.

Mentoring is a joint venture. Successful mentoring means sharing responsibility for learning. Regardless of the facilities, the subject matter, the timing, and all other variables. Successful mentoring begins with setting a contract for learning around      which the mentor, the protégé, and their respective line managers are aligned.

A checklist – to become a good mentor; Are you one?

1. Experienced

2. Character  (Trust /Admire)

3. Similar Goals

4. Availability for interaction.

5. Open-minded

6. Caring  (care about success just as much as the protégé do)

7. Positive (People want to work with other positive people)

8. Focus ( not only focus on protégé and what would like to achieve, but also help you focus)

9. Believes in You (believe in your potential)

10. Open and Honest (Openness and honesty also help build credibility and trust among the mentor and protégé)