Protecting Brand YOU this holiday season

Protecting Brand YOU needs to be at the forefront of your mind as the busiest social season of corporate and employer hospitality approaches.

When it comes to the corporate Christmas party as a guest, and as a host, there’s quite a bit to be considered, not least, what not to do at the festive function.

If you’re in an environment where year-round business socialising has been prevalent, you’ve probably seen (and heard of) countless social blunders and corporate clangers, and nowhere is this more prolific than at the work Christmas do.

It’s astonishing how Brand Buffoon comes to the fore, to boot the most carefully nurtured Brand Me image off its precarious pedestal.

In the interests of fairness, I’ll ‘fess up to having been less than whiter than seasonal snow-driven slush, (or was it lush?), just so this ramble doesn’t smack of the holier-than-thou.

Back in the day when I was a newly minted sales sprog, I attended my first company Christmas party, a lavish affair complete with all-night free bar (uh-oh!).

The lessons I learned from the experience are:

  • An all-night bar doesn’t make it compulsory to drink all night;
  • Never attempt (if you’re on your ‘nth’ bubbly beverage) to converse with anyone of authority, however jolly they seem on the Bolli – it’s a trap;
  • Do not approach the tilting dance floor – you could barely stay upright when it wasn’t moving;
  • It’s inelegant to crawl up the foyer staircase – take the elevator – the service elevator (by now you can easily pass for a bag of laundry);
  • Only a complete numpty books their top prospect appointment for the morning after.

Not the most auspicious way to launch a career and Brand Me!

It was so long ago that it pre-dates handheld mobile phones, let alone iPhones and social media (thank you God!); I can only show my face on LinkedIn now because my bosses from back then have since retired or died – or have pretended to in order to avoid me.

Had there been such things as blogs at the time, I may have been saved (from my idiotic self) by Dan Miles’ Blog The Ultimate Office Christmas Party Etiquette Guide, in which he lists his #1 tip as ‘Be on brand’. A piece of invaluable advice! It’s quite hilarious, if a bit naughty …

In a more managerial vein, there’s also this article on Managing Office Christmas Parties from the legal eagles Eversheds. After reading this last one, you could be forgiven for grinching out and doing without a Christmas do … if you don’t mind being Brand Grinch.

Yvonne

PS – this post was originally published on Simple Team Meeting

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

Is Brand YOU in Tip Top Condition?

Is Brand YOU looking a little frazzled around the edges? Perhaps you’re feeling a little overwhelmed?

If you’ve answered yes to either of the above questions, then it’s time to start thinking about taking time out.  Time dedicated to Brand YOU, refreshing, reframing and relaxing.

If you’ve got kids and family to look after it’s not always so easy to get away. I get that. I know there’s often that feeling of guilt when leaving them behind. Going off without them. Or if you’re in business perhaps not wanting to leave the business.

You know what?

You need ME Time. We all do.

ME Time is dedicated to looking after your own needs because if you’re not in tip top condition, then you cannot look after your family or your business properly.

Time away – dedicated to Brand YOU

Have you ever considered a retreat?

There are many different kinds of retreats. But the common element is that a retreat is dedicated to focussing on yourself.

It’s usually means everything is taken care of for you.  No need to worry about being alone to fend for yourself in a strange place.

No meals to think about, no pressing deadlines – just time to be in the moment dedicated to yourself.

Some retreats are dedicated to weight loss, natural foods and all that other great stuff. Some even have curfews and no talking times. It’s horses for courses BUT that’s not my kind of a retreat.

If you like being pampered, eating delicious meals that you didn’t have to prepare,  perhaps sipping the odd glass of bubbly, a cocktail or two and… learning new things then we’ve got something in common!

Doing your homework

There are some great retreats around the world, but before committing your money it’s important to check out the organisers.

Do they have solid business reputations? Are their behaviours ones you respect? Have they got integrity?  You’ve got to know these things as you’re spending time with them! To be able to relax and know you’re in good hands is so important.

Bali is widely recognised as the Island of the Gods. There are the real touristy sides but there is also a whole other side to this country.  Andrea Wicking of Salty Plum Events really knows Bali well having been there countless times!

Andrea and I are combining my experience teaching, training and leading groups of women on travel adventures, with her wonderful event management skill, attention to fine detail and deep knowledge of Bali.

The result is we’ve put together a delightful sojourn in Bali, planning every little detail to ensure the very best experience!

Designing the sojourn especially to refresh, reframe and relax has been paramount.

Pampering massages, a bit of shopping, delicious dinners each night and your own beautiful double room complete with ensuite – no twin sharing – in a tranquil private villa.

You do as much or as little as you like! The perfect way to revive Brand You!

There’s also the opportunity of working one on one with me.  You can have your sessions focussed on personal or business development in total confidentiality.

Sound interesting?

Discover more about joining us for 7 days dedicated to Brand YOU.

Michelle

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.


Number One Tip for Better Time Management

Do you struggle with time management? If you answered yes, do not despair.

The good news is that you’re not alone.

Time has a habit of running past all too fast. When you’re in business it is essential to have great time management skills and the reason is simply this – time is money.

Good time management can be achieved through discipline.

It’s not easy, but it is doable and like anything else it takes training.

The more you do something, the more you are training your brain into great habits.

So here’s the thing …..

One of the best way to wrestle more time is to take control of your inbox.

When you control your inbox, as opposed to it controlling you, you’ll soon notice that you’re able to achieve a lot more.

Trust me, this works!

How to gain control

You must TAKE ACTION!

Your own action. It begins with switching off your inbox.

Switching off  your inbox is NOT closing it down.

When you switch off, means you are in offline mode. No new emails can drop in to distract you.

Gain control by working in offline mode.

If you’re not sure how, here’s a little demo clip.

The benefit of offline mode

You still have your inbox open.  This means you can action and refer to the content while working.

You can even write responses, but the responses won’t be sent till you go back online.

By working offline, you are no longer distracted by emails as they drop in.

Yes, yes, I know – you have will power, but that’s not exactly true is it? I mean to say, out of the corner of your eye you will see that email icon. You’ll register at some level that there is new mail.

By being in offline mode you won’t be tempted to take a peek.

Here’s how peeking wastes your time

The moment you peek, you become distracted. When you’re distracted your attention is no longer focussed on the tasks at hand.

Peeking at emails means you spent at least 2 minutes each time (and it’s usually more than 2 minutes) trying to regain your though pattern and get back into the ”flow”.

This is not productive.

Imagine you do this for 10 emails over the course of the day – that 20 minutes you’ve lost.

20 minutes just getting your thoughts back into the flow.

Then there’s the time you spend reading, and I’m betting you didn’t action it immediately, so will go back later and deal with the matter.

So can you see how you’d pretty quickly waste 60 minutes?

That a scary thought, because if you repeat this pattern each day (and you get more than 10 emails) you’ll be clocking up several hours a week of wasted time.

This precious time is something you will never get back. So don’t waste it.

The beauty of good time management

With good habits, you’re freeing yourself up to have more hours to spend on things that really matter.

Stuff like family time, getting out with friends, or just precious time for yourself to veg out with a good book, Netflix or whatever takes your fancy.

When you carve out time for yourself, your business grows and thrives.

The reason is simply this – you are in a better frame of mind. You are relaxed and refreshed, so you are more focussed when you are working.

From a personal perspective, I’m as guilty as the next person of wanting to peek at emails. BUT, I control this urge by working in offline mode – it’s part of my secret sauce formula for day-to-day self management.

How often should you look at emails?

This very much depends on how your work comes in and your day flows.

I suggest 3 – 4 times a day.

I work across the globe, so my routine has to factor in the time differences in the US, Europe  and Australia.

Work out what works for you and start to establish your own routine – there is no one size fits all – because each place of business is somewhat unique.

I guarantee you’ll love this way of working once you get into the habit – although it might scare you a bit at first to be offline.

Got questions about trying this routine? Ask!

I’ll personally respond to each comment and query, so go ahead and leave one.

To your success!

Michelle

PS – you may like to check out the helpful FREE resources on our website.