Up to date, high-level business information that is relevant to our clients and contacts, helping keep up to date on the ver-changing business world of today.

Cal Wilson / September 26, 2023

Workplace success tips for introverts

A lot of us consider ourselves introverts; someone characterized by introspection, enjoying alone time, and preferring small groups for social interaction. While introverts can be just as socially proficient as everyone else, being in a busy office or workplace environment does take an extra toll on them.  

In this issue of the Pulse, we look at strategies introverts can employ to even the playing field and thrive in a socially demanding workplace environment. 

Organizations need introverts. 

The first thing to remember is that introversion is not a liability, but an asset. Introverts bring a lot of value to their roles. For example, introverts often possess great observational skills, keen focus, and the ability to think about problem-solving at a different angle than their extrovert counterparts.  

An effective employer or manager will look to have a balance of personalities and perspectives on their team, and introverts are an important part of that. 

So how can introverts set themselves up for success?  

Take a self-inventory.  

If you don’t know what kinds of social situations drain your battery, or what kinds of environments help you recharge, you’re going to struggle with balance. Do an objective assessment of these factors and compare them with your professional goals.  

Manage your energy levels. 

If you have any sort of freedom over your schedule, as an introvert, you can use this to your advantage. Making strategic calls ahead of time, such as scheduling periods to go on ‘Do Not Disturb’ after meetings or socially heavy tasks.  

Identify quiet spots in your workplace where you can go to avoid excess chatter and traffic and ask your supervisor for assistance in accessing these spaces if needed.  

The point is to be proactive about knowing when you might hit your limits, so you aren’t trying to pour from an empty cup when it comes to your performance at work.  

Network smarter not harder. 

Most professionals need to network as a necessary part of their career advancement. However, for introverts, excessive networking can be challenging and exhausting. If you find this is the case, focus on building deeper, meaningful connections with a few key individuals, rather than casting too wide of a net to keep up with.  

Focus on leadership skills. 

Often – as loathe as many of us introverts may be to admit it – introverted people make fantastic leaders. With natural observation and problem-solving skills, developing the other necessary leadership traits could give you a huge edge up in your workplace.  

Prioritize yourself. 

It’s easy to push your needs to the side, but in the end, this could result in burnout. Ensure you’re taking care of your needs and doing things that fill your cup in order to help you relax, recharge your battery, and keep you in the right mindset for success.  

In conclusion… 

Every workplace needs introverts; but sometimes, the environment can be draining. As an introvert, be proactive about your needs and energy levels to set yourself up for success.  

Cal Wilson / September 18, 2023

How the heat wave impacts fuel prices

Didn’t enjoy the heat at the beginning of the month? Well, you might hate it more when you hear how it impacted, and may continue to impact, your price at the pump.  

Right now, gas costs about three cents more than this time last year despite an overall drop in the rate inflation. So, what does the heat have to do with it? 

Gas prices climbed with the temperature. 

In the first week of September 2023, the average price per gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline jumped thirteen cents, marking an eight-month high.  

While there are lots of economic and political factors behind this price hike, experts believe the several heatwaves we have experienced this summer have contributed to the problem significantly.  

Why does the heat affect gas prices? 

Simply put, refineries can’t work at full capacity during the extreme heat. These refineries – which convert oil into usable products like gasoline – determine the supply of gasoline to consumers. So, when there is extreme heat right around a holiday weekend, and demand goes up, but supply falls, the price for consumers is naturally going to spike.  

“Petroleum engineers can tell you that when ambient temperatures get to the 100-degree neighborhood, it is difficult to run at maximum levels,” Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service, told USA Today 

This has particularly been a problem for refineries in states like Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee, which saw a huge slowdown in production due to the heatwaves at the beginning of the month. 

What toll did the September heatwaves take? 

In the first week of September, refinery utilization across the United States decreased by 0.9% to 93.6%. While that might not seem like a huge decrease in theory, in practice, that’s hundreds of thousands of barrels of gasoline per day. Especially during  a high-demand period, that makes a significant impact on supply and demand.  

2023’s heat has caused prices to skyrocket before. 

This past July was the hottest month ever recorded, forcing a lot of refineries along the Gulf Coast to shut down for long periods of time when temperatures passed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only did this cause gas prices to rise, but many of the affected refineries spent August running day and night to try to ramp up production.  

Gas stations are not to blame.  

We’ve written before about how gas stations don’t often see the profits when gasoline prices rise. The same is true now. With only about 7% of the retail price of gasoline going to markup, station owners don’t tend to make a huge profit on gas sales, as opposed to secondary revenue. 

Likewise, with price hikes, they are often faced with the difficult decision of choosing to keep prices steady, at a loss to themselves, to maintain customers. Competition over who can provide the lowest price and attract more customers can also put gas profits at significant risk.   

Don’t hold your breath for price drops. 

It’s hard to determine if prices will cool down with the weather. More hurricanes on the horizon in the Gulf of Mexico could further refinery downtime, thus exacerbating the issue.  

The good news is that refineries will soon switch to producing winter-grade gasoline, which contains more butane and is generally cheaper to make, meaning retail prices could even out. 

In conclusion… 

Due to extreme heat conditions we’ve experienced this summer, gas prices have skyrocketed at a worse rate than national inflation. Future prices are also largely connected to the weather, so businesses and individuals should expect to budget for unpredictability.  

Joe Weppler / September 12, 2023

The Key to Stop Undermining Yourself

When it comes to success, there may be nothing so important as self-confidence. Confident workers are more motivated towards achieving excellence – and simply happier in general. Studies have shown a direct correlation between self-confidence levels and tangible advancement at work. The bottom line:  self-confidence in your professional life matters.   

However, even the most self-assured of us can find it difficult to be confident every day. Confidence can be fragile, and it doesn’t always take much to bring us down. Maybe you missed a big sale, have problems at home, or you’re just feeling a little bit under the weather. Negatives in our lives directly affect our levels of self-confidence, whether we notice it at the time or not.  

When it comes to how other people view us and our confidence levels, self-sabotage is pervasive. There are things that otherwise extremely competent leaders do that make others see them as ineffective, and they’re often completely unaware of them.  

So how do we recognize when we’re undermining ourselves?  

Recognizing the Problem Behavior 

The first step in addressing any problem is recognizing and understanding it. A few of the common ways we undermine ourselves in a business setting include:  

Dwelling on the Negative: Whether it’s in casual discussion with colleagues, a business meeting, or simply your internal dialogue, focusing on the bad in any given situation is a surefire way to undermine yourself. An obsession with what isn’t possible or too much consternation over navigable roadblocks make you look insecure and ineffective.  

Lacking Focus on Priorities: A flip-flopper is hard to follow. There is little more disheartening to an employee than putting work into a project only to see it wasted after leadership initiates a change in direction. Flexibility is necessary; a lack of clear and consistent goals is troubling.  

Dealing in Fantasy: In the same vein, goals need to be executable. While a strong vision is crucial, your goals need to be attainable for others to take you seriously. While its admirable to believe in yourself and shoot for the moon, if your goals are so fantastical that your teammates don’t think they are possible, you’ll quickly find yourself spinning your wheels in place.  

Beating Yourself Down: Self-deprecation can be a healthy method to keep your ego in check, but take it too far and you risk lowering the expectations and confidence of those around you. Too strong a focus on your imperfections and mistakes is bound to force those around you into focusing on the same.  

Physical Undermining: While your words say one thing, your body language says another. If you look like you’re not listening, you’re making too much or too little eye contact, you’re fidgeting too much – people are making decisions on your capabilities. First impressions can be very hard to shake, and a lack of control over the physical can be harmful to your image.  

The Key is to Commit 

Now that we recognize some of the behaviors that undermine us, how do we take action towards changing them?  

First and foremost, we commit to recognizing and improving these behaviors in ourselves. 

Commit yourself to be intolerant of these habits from yourself. Recognize which are easy to overcome and which will require real effort. Consider how failing could cost you professionally – whether it’s in your next meeting or one years from today.  

The next step is to commit to self-reflection. You may begin to notice when you’re undermining yourself in the moment, but more likely you’ll see it more frequently in hindsight. In these moments of recognition, be deliberate in your reflection. Think to yourself how you could have handled the situation differently and try to make a note of the exact moment that you slipped up.  

By committing to improvement and being deliberate in our self-reflection, we can start separating our good tendencies from the bad ones.  

Support Your Own Initiative 

Beating yourself down too often? Start collecting positive emails, performance reviews, and feedback in one place to reflect on when you’re down on yourself.  

Procrastinating or showing up late? Start scheduling extra time into your calendar before meetings and giving yourself artificial deadlines on projects.  

Once you’ve recognized how you’re undermining yourself and committed yourself to improving, the final step is creating supporting actions and structures to lean on. You could even consider speaking with career counselor or therapist to help you make concrete plans.  

Challenge your inner dialogue, recognize your own worth, be proud of your accomplishments, and motivated by your mistakes. When we undermine ourselves, we offer others an excuse to lose confidence in us – and as we’ve established, it’s hard enough to keep that confidence in ourselves. So recognize the behavior, commit to fixing it, and give yourself the tools to do so. You’ll be glad you did.  

Cal Wilson / September 5, 2023

The cost of stolen office supplies on your bottom line

It’s not a surprise to any employer that, sometimes, office supplies go missing. It’s not uncommon for employees to take pens, paper, and other supplies home for personal uses. Even use of company printers for non-work related print jobs can eat into a business’ facility supplies budget.  

So how much does this all-too-common behavior impact your business’ bottom line? In this article, we take a look.  

How common is the theft of facility supplies? 

We call this kind of behavior ‘petty theft,’ but that doesn’t mean it’s not a big problem. In fact, it’s probably happening more than you’re even aware. Research has found: 

  • 100% of office workers have stolen a pen at work. 
  • 75% of employees admit to stealing office supplies in the past year. 
  • 24% of employees steal just because they can. 
  • 2% of employees steal larger items, such as chairs and IT equipment.  

What is stolen the most? 

According to office asset tracking expert GoCodes, the most commonly stolen office supplies are: 

  1. Writing utensils, like pencils, pens, and highlighters.  
  2. Notebooks and sticky notes. 
  3. Paperclips and binder clips. 
  4. Staplers. 
  5. Scissors.  
  6. Tape dispensers. 
  7. Printer/copier ink. 

What does it cost a business? 

Some estimates say this kind of workplace theft “may be responsible for roughly 35% of an organisation’s inventory shrinkage annually, and an average of 1.4% of its total revenues.” 

This is just in normal cases, too. There are extreme examples of employees stealing facility supplies that are enough to make any business owner feel faint. Such as, the Austin Library lost $1.3 million in toner cartridges that an employee stole and resold online. 

The rising cost of living might play a part in supply theft.  

In the past few years, everyone has felt the consequences of inflation. The rising cost of living associated with inflation might be a culprit in a rise of office supply theft.  

A recent study in the UK found that employee theft, including the theft of office supplies, has risen by an average of 19% over the course of the ongoing inflation crisis. In some communities, that number is as high as 44%.  

Rising costs especially play a part in office supply theft around this time of year, when back to school shopping for similar materials can put households over budget.  

Why else do employees steal office supplies? 

An employee might take a pen home here and there, thinking it’s harmless, not realizing their actions are a part of a larger problem. Others might ‘getting even’ for a perceived wrong they feel has been done to them, or promise they feel their employer has broken. As mentioned above, others steal simply because they can.  

What can you do?  

As an employer, you can expect this behavior to happen, to some degree, no matter what you do. However, there are steps you can take to minimize it. Some strategies include: 

  • Focus on employee satisfaction. 
  • Keep better track of your inventory – that way you can notice when something goes missing.  
  • Consider a check-in/check-out system with more valuable or long-lasting equipment and supplies.  
  • Lock the area where office supplies are stored and have a select few trusted people with access.  
  • Include clear anti-theft policies in your employee manual.  

Of course, if you find employee theft to be a serious issue for your business, there are more serious monitoring measures you can take, as well. 

In conclusion… 

Employee theft of facility supplies is a rampant problem, and it’s only getting worse as the cost of living increases. While the occasional missing pen or pack of sticky notes might not sound like a big deal, over time, this behavior can have significant costs to your business. 

Cal Wilson / August 29, 2023

Steps to being more assertive in the workplace

Any people pleaser can tell you, lacking assertiveness is a path to burnout and compassion fatigue. In your personal and professional life, this can be a hard – and often awkward – obstacle to overcome.  

For your success and your sanity, taking steps to become more assertive is necessary. In this Pulse, we look at what those might be.  

What barriers do people face in acting assertively? 

A lot of people-pleasing behavior stems from a fear of confrontation or disapproval. Especially in the workplace, people-pleasing can be seen as the best way to avoid reprimand, secure your job, and make others see you as valuable.  

Of course, sometimes, we all have to suck it up and do what a supervisor, client, or customer wants, without really questioning it. However, in the long run, strictly people-pleasing isn’t a good strategy. Especially when we inevitably encounter colleagues who act the opposite way and won’t hesitate to take advantage.  

Assertiveness isn’t the opposite of being helpful or accommodating. It’s about finding a healthy medium between being too passive and too aggressive and expressing your needs and opinions while also respecting the rights and feelings of others. 

So what can you do to work on being more assertive? 

Call yourself out.  

Understanding the root of your lack of assertiveness – whether it be a fear of losing your job or discomfort with confrontation – and challenging it, is the foundational step in strengthening that muscle. This will help you build the self-awareness to combat any people-pleasing tendencies.  

This isn’t just self-critique, either. You should also be able to call out your strengths and the value you bring to the workplace. Assertiveness is also built through confidence, and recognizing your worth in the workplace is tantamount to developing it.  

Start small.  

When working on being more assertive, you don’t have to jump right in to the biggest, scariest situation. Begin by asserting yourself in less intimidating situations and gradually work your way up. 

Communicate clearly and set boundaries.  

You do not have to say yes to everything that’s requested of you. Be clear about what you can and cannot help with and say ‘no’ when necessary. 

Sometimes it’s easy to assume we’ve been clear about not wanting to do something or being too busy. Reflect on the language you use when communicating, as well as your tone and body language. Assertive communication looks like: 

  • Using ‘I’ statements. 
  • Being direct, rather than avoiding or building up to the point. 
  • Staying calm.  
  • Being specific with details, especially when it comes to your capacity/availability.  
  • Active listening.  

Don’t fear all conflict.  

Sometimes, constructive conflict is beneficial. Disagreements, differences in opinion, and, occasionally, even truly uncomfortable conversations are opportunities for growth, improvements, and strengthened connections. 

In conclusion… 

While it may seem like people-pleasing on the job is the safest course of action in the short-run, in the long-run, it’s likely to burn you out. Practicing assertiveness and building it like any other muscle is important for your wellbeing and success.  

Cal Wilson / August 21, 2023

How does UCaaS improve your customers’ experience?

On top of the cost benefits of switching your business’ communications and phone system to a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution, there are significant benefits for your customer’s experience when interacting with you. In this article, we look at some of those benefits.  

It’s all about convenience.  

UCaaS makes your customers’ experience interacting with you more seamless and convenient.  

When your customers are trying to get in touch over the phone or online, ease of access is crucial. No one likes having to call several numbers, trying to find the department they’re looking for, or having to provide their information multiple times.  

UCaaS eliminates this hassle.  

All UCaaS solutions eliminate the need for customers to switch between different apps or devices to communicate, making the experience more seamless and efficient. 

UCaaS offers accessibility options for customers.  

It’s important that all your customers, no matter what level of ability, be able to reach you. UCaaS solutions provide them with options. UCaaS integrates all communication options – voice, video, chat, email, etc. – so that, no matter what a person’s preferred method of communication is, they’re not at a disadvantage.  

Likewise, it’s also accessible geographically. UCaaS supports communication across geographic boundaries, making it easier for businesses to engage with customers wherever they’re located. 

UCaaS changes the game for customer support services.  

For businesses that offer real-time technical support, UCaaS solutions enable enhanced collaboration capabilities through features like video conferencing, screen sharing, and instant messaging.  

UCaaS is reliable.  

Many UCaaS solutions are offered by providers with robust infrastructure with redundancy and disaster recovery measures. This ensures that communication services remain operational even in the face of technical issues, preventing downtime for your business and less frustration for your customers.  

In conclusion… 

If you’re on the fence about transitioning to UCaaS, keep in mind some of the advantages it brings, especially when amplifying your customers’ experience when interacting with your business.  

Cal Wilson / August 8, 2023

Does your uniform rental budget account for employee damages?

If your business rents employee uniforms, you may factor for general wear and tear and replacements over time, but forget to include employee losses or damages in your budget. However, losses and damages are the greatest source of unexpected cost when it comes to your uniform expenses – resulting in customers paying as much as 20-30% in added charges.  

In this article, we take a look at what these unexpected costs can mean for your business, and how to account for them.  

Why do losses and damages cost so much? 

Loss and damage charges include the purchase of a new garment at full retail price on top of the associated setup, name tag, logo fees, and sometimes replacement charges, depending on your rental agreement. And, because loss and damage often happen out the blue, it’s not like this is money you were planning to spend.  

Replacement charges aren’t just an unexpected bill to pay, either. They’re also not prorated depending on the age/lifespan of the garment that is being replaced. So, if an employee damaged a uniform after three wears or three hundred, you’re likely paying the same fee, despite the value of the article being significantly reduced in the latter scenario.  

Loss and damage are inevitable. 

While you can include employee uniform policies and provide employee training, uniform loss and damage are inevitable. It’s a part of life. Something as simple as a thread snagging in the dryer could spell an extra expense for your business.  

Instead of passing the burden and anxiety of uniform damage onto your employees, focus instead on signing a rental policy with a provider whose terms won’t gouge you when life happens.  

Your rental agreement determines a lot.  

For uniform rental providers, the lost/damaged garment replacement is often the number one source of complaint from customers.  

Before you sign a new contract or renew an existing one, here are some things to think about: 

  • What constitutes as damage, and is it unclear? Vague clauses about damage can leave you liable for extra fees.  
  • Are you being charged for regular wear and tear when a uniform is returned, swapped for a new size, etc.?  

Damage insurance is an option. 

To avoid being gouged by damage fees, some providers offer an ‘insurance’ or ‘protection’ program. These programs can be expensive, and don’t always cover losses, so it’s important to assess the frequency of uniform damage and your contract to know if the extra monthly premium is worthwhile.  

In conclusion… 

Damage to your employees’ uniforms is unavoidable, but the hefty, unexpected charges associated with damaging rented uniforms don’t have to be. Finding a contract with clear and fair terms, and taking additional measures to prepare your budget for these charges, will protect your bottom line in the long run.  

Cal Wilson / August 2, 2023

The psychology of change

Resisting change is human nature – or is it?

Sometimes change is exhilarating. Sometimes change is petrifying. Whether you love and seek out regular change, or you are put-off by it, it’s important to understand why it has the effect that it does on us.

In this article, we take a look at the psychology of change, and how it might be impacting you.

Good Change Versus Bad Change

No matter how we feel about change, there’s objectively both good and bad types.

For example, embracing change in our professional and personal lives can lead to innovation, learning new skills, creating new opportunities, preventing stagnation, and other tangible benefits. In fact, obtaining an edge, or improving our lives, necessitates change – it’s essential. Alternatively, we stay where we are now.

However, some changes, like a global crisis such as a pandemic, or the loss of a loved one, have a negative impact on our lives.

Human beings tend to enjoy and pursue the types of change we consciously control. Think about a decision like renovating a room in your home. Sure, it brings stress and expense; but since you’re the agent of change in this decision, it tends to be the kind of change-making we gravitate towards.

When we aren’t the agents of change, we tend to react less favorably. If that home renovation becomes necessary due to an unexpected flood, for example, you might not be so happy about it. Even if the result is the same.

Whether or not we can control a change in our lives, change is going to happen. It’s inevitable. Determining how we can control more of it helps establish the direction we seek.

Resistance to Change

We’ve all heard that people resist change. It’s often stated as a simple fact of life in a sort of callous or dismissive manner. However, it’s false. Otherwise, we would never have children. Billions and billions of people, over centuries of time, have chosen to take on the drastic change in their lives by bringing children into the equation. Could there be a bigger change in life? Yet, we do it willingly.

So, the conclusion must be that people don’t resist or fear change itself. We like comfort and want to be in control of the change. More control, more comfort, easier to change. Not an easy equation to grab by the ears, and yet it is fairly straight forward.

In their book, ‘Switch’, Chip and Dan Heath allude to the logical and emotional side of change. They call it the ‘elephant’, our emotions that control most things, and the ‘rider’, our rational self trying to control the elephant.  They state that to institute change, three elements must be addressed. It must make sense to the logical side, but maybe more importantly, it must move the elephant, the emotional side as well. In addition, a path for success or achievement must be shaped so that the change can indeed be instituted.

Whether you are trying to manage a change for yourself, or you are trying to manage change for someone else, you must ponder how to address, or fulfill, each of these three elements. The Heath brothers call it ‘Direct the Rider, Motivate the Elephant, and Shape the Path’.

In a parable about mice and cheddar, Spencer Johnson’s book ‘Who Moved My Cheese’, illustrates that the mice who figured out that the cheese was somewhere else and not the normal spot, motivated themselves to pursue the new location, and made a plan to get there, filled their bellies.

Common Resistors

As we’ve established, people like to be in control of their change. But what about people hesitating to make a change they can control? There are a number of reasons why people resist choosing change:

  • The status quo is more comfortable.
  • Underdeveloped coping skills.
  • Fixation on a part of the change that’s not in control.
  • The discomfort brought on by change is often perceived as unfair, rather than as a catalyst for growth.
  • The justification feeling of ‘no need to change’.
  • A perceived lack of security.
  • Peer pressure – the ‘naysayers’ rule.
  • Fear of failure.

If you look at each of these resistors closely you will see that either the logical or emotional side has not been satisfied related to the change being contemplated, or there is no clear path established.

In a book called ‘The Power of Habit’, Charles Duhigg discusses in great depth, the things that we become comfortable with that become habits and do not require us to engage our ‘resource restricted’ decision making process.  It’s when we are presented with changes, or choices, that those resources are used up, and sometimes we just run out of gas. Our decision-making resources are depleted and change is stymied. The bigger the change, the more resources are required, the easier it is to run out of gas.

Understanding that concept and its effect on you – and recognizing that it is what is happening – can be enlightening. It can also be motivating to get the job done. Getting the job done means making the decision, yay or nay, with clarity and conviction, and ultimately driving change for the betterment of our lives. Understanding that these mental resources are being used up, and more rapidly for bigger changes, can provide the ability to realize that just because you can’t get to that point to make the decision to change, doesn’t mean that you can’t plan the decision-making process with precise smaller steps to ultimately get to that very decision point.

Improving Response to Change

If you’re in the majority of people who are, or have been, at some point, resistant to change, don’t feel bad. The uncomfortable feeling that accompanies change is a fairly common psychological response built into all of us.

In fact, it’s normal for us to perceive change as a ‘psychological threat’ – or an environmental challenge to our safety or integrity. Our natural instinct is to protect ourselves. So, what can we do to help us implement changes that will benefit us?

In the event of that visceral reaction to change, a rational appraisal of the situation and of yourself, is the best tool you can use to overcome your discomfort, and then determine whether or not reacting with only emotions or feelings might prevent a great opportunity.

On the other hand, the rational side can analyze you into the ground so you can’t move (analysis-paralysis). We need the emotional side too, including the vision for the future, the pursuit of dreams, the fulfillment of success, the picture we can create for ourselves. We need that energy.

Sometimes, if we can see a series of smaller steps along the way to achieving the change, it will help to get where us where we need to go. That’s shaping the path. When logic and emotion work together, change can be achieved more easily. Put another way, when the elephant and the rider work together down a clear path, that’s where achievement lies.

Exhausting Our Resources

There is another significant issue that comes into play when contemplating considerable change. Our ability to choose, is an exhaustible resource, as mentioned above. When given too many choices, we tend not to choose at all. There is study after study backing up this supposition.

In one study by physician, Donald Redelmeier and psychologist, Eldar Shafir, they found that when doctors were given a choice between recommending surgery or one medication, 47% chose the less invasive medication. When they had the choice between the same surgery, or two different medications, only 28% chose either medication. That’s an astounding result.

It’s called decision paralysis and it happens because we only have the capacity for so much choosing. In this case, even three choices were overwhelming as compared to two options.

The lesson here is to eliminate options as quickly as possible so you can really assess your very best alternatives. The likelihood of moving forward with life-improving changes is much higher when you have two choices versus more. That seems counter-intuitive, but science proves it to be true time-and-time again.

Adapting to Change

There’s no avoiding change in your professional life. After all, today’s business world frequently encounters changing market trends, changing career options, changing bosses, new technological advancements, corporate burnout, and other global challenges.  However, too many professionals still resist change or try to slow it down.

Adapting to change and making necessary changes is important to displaying leadership, developing skills, achieving dreams, and advancing career.

Professionals who embrace change, rather than resist it, have the following advantages:

  • Adaptivity in the face of the future.
  • More opportunities.
  • More chances to build resilience.
  • Paths to personal and professional fulfillment.

Maybe there’s an opportunity in your life to make a significant change. Whatever it is, the lesson is to assess the opportunity rationally (Direct the Rider) engage the energy (Motivate the Elephant) and envision the future, and plot the direction to the opportunity (Shape the Path).

Just maybe it’s your new baby, or it’s your cheese, or it’s just your best chance to direct your life towards your own goals, dreams, and desires.

Cal Wilson / August 1, 2023

Seven tips to rocking any presentation

At some point in your career, chances are you’ll have to deliver some kind of presentation. Some of us thrive under that type of spotlight, and some of us struggle. In either case, there are always ways to improve.  

In this issue of the Pulse, we’re looking at seven tips that will help you excel at presenting.  

Proofread everything ahead of time.  

When you’re done working on your presentation, the last thing you want to do is proofread, scanning every last word for mistakes. But it’s an important task, and one that might save you from stumbling or having to correct something as the presentation is happening.  

Get yourself in the right headspace. 

Easier said than done if you’re nervous of public speaking, but being in the right headspace to present is important. Focusing on your nerves and doubting your abilities won’t help you deliver a good presentation. Instead, try: 

  • Reminding yourself that your presentation message is important. 
  • Visualize yourself delivering a great presentation, rather than imagining the worst-case scenarios.  
  • Don’t apologize for being nervous; embrace it and use it as a kind of energy to put into your presentation.  

Ensure AV and lighting isn’t an issue.  

Some people need to rehearse more than others – so do what feels right for you. However, a test run to ensure the audio-visual equipment and lighting is working smoothly is critical.  

Be prepared to be cut short. 

There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed or like you’re running out of time. Oftentimes, if we know we have a ten-minute window, we will plan for those entire ten minutes. But sometimes things run late, or your time gets cut in half, and you’re left scrambling to fit your entire presentation into a smaller chunk of time than you prepared for.  

You can be ready for this by: 

  • Having a full version of the presentation you planned, and a version that’s 50% of what you’ve planned. 
  • Know ahead of time what content can be cut, and what is integral to your overall message.  
  • Don’t get too attached to unnecessary details. 

Don’t forget a hook.  

If you’re worried about audience engagement, a strong hook at the beginning of your presentation is a solid strategy. This could be anything from a relevant joke to an icebreaker activity.  

Prioritize being interactive.  

Humans do better when we’re being spoken to rather than spoken at. Avoid sounding like a lecturer by including interactivity, such as: 

  • Actively listening to audience questions. 
  • Encouraging audience members to engage with each other and the material. 
  • Asking for opinions and questions.  
  • Including a group activity, when relevant.  

Don’t forget a strong finish. 

Just like a good hook will get your audience engaged, a strong ending will leave them reflecting on your presentation long after it’s over.  

In conclusion… 

Whether you love or hate giving presentations, following these seven tips will make any talk you give go a lot smoother.  

Cal Wilson / July 24, 2023

How LTL shipping reduces the environmental impact of freight

By optimizing truckloads, Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping helps to reduce the environmental impact of the freight industry. As the rest of the world looks to the shipping industry to reduce its carbon emissions, this solution is more important than ever.  

In this article, we take a look at the environmental upsides of LTL.  

The shipping industry is in the hot seat.  

At the beginning of July 2023, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for agreement to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Guterres pointed to the shipping industry for its contribution to carbon emissions. Specifically, the proposal made by several member nations to introduce a global carbon dioxide emissions levy on shipping.  

Overall, the global shipping industry accounts for 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Concerningly, if things don’t change, shipping emissions are projected to increase by up to 120% by 2050. 

In the United States, the transportation sector accounts for approximately 27% of emissions.  

How does LTL help?  

While there are many proposals of how to reduce the environmental impact of the shipping industry, LTL is one solution already doing good.  

When using LTL shipping, the shipper pays for the space its goods take up on the truck. The rest of the cost of the truck trailer is divided among shippers paying to have their goods transported. This means that shipments aren’t going out unoptimized. Each LTL shipment is therefore more fuel efficient, reducing emissions and cost.  

It’s a win-win-win. 

The only way LTL is effective is if it’s as efficient as possible. Meaning, each trailer carrying its optimal load, making the most efficient deliveries, and consuming only as much fuel as needed. In this sense, it’s a win for the provider, the business using the service, and the environment.  

Consumers care about your commitment to environmental initiatives.  

A commitment to using more eco-friendly shipping options, such as LTL, is a win for your customer relations, as well as your bank.  

Increasing consumer awareness means your customers likely care about the environmental toll of the products they’re having shipped. In fact, recent studies have found that as many as 69% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable options.  

Luckily, because of the efficiency and lower cost to the shipper, employing LTL solutions likely means you will not have to offset additional costs to the consumer.  

In conclusion… 

With the world looking at the shipping industry to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, LTL is one of many potential sources of more environmentally friendly practices.