Monday, June 25, 2012

Google search tips, that really will help!

Think you're a Google Search power user?

You might not know all the ways to get faster, more focused search results. Here are five tips:

  1. Exclude terms. If you're looking for information on Vikings, the old Norse explorers, you don't want pages on football's Minnesota Vikings. Use a minus sign to tell Google to exclude pages that contain a certain word, like this: Vikings - Minnesota
  2. Site search. Limit your search to a single website or a specific group of sites, by using site: followed by a Web address or ending. For example, type in your search and you'll get results only from the Los Angeles Times website. To get results only from U.S. government sites — which have Web addresses ending in ".gov" — add site:gov to your search. Use site:edu for colleges or site:mil forU.S. military sites.
  3. Wildcard search. Use the asterisk to substitute for any word in a phrase. This can be handy for identifying a particular fact or finding a missing word in a song lyric. Put phrases in quotes. For instance, "Perris is in * county" or "in Penny Lane there is a * showing photographs."
  4. Math and conversions. Enter a math problem into Google Search and it will give you the answer (use * for multiplication and / for division). It will also convert currencies and temperatures. Enter, for example, $100 in euros or 72 Fahrenheit in Celsius.
  5. More shortcuts. Put "define" before any word (for example, define photobomb), and Google will give you a definition at the top of the results. Similarly, entering "movies" or "weather" before a ZIP Code or a city name will produce a list of films playing nearby or a weather forecast for that area.

originally printed on

April 27, 2012|By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times

Friday, June 15, 2012

Are you an inspiring leader?

I was working with a client the other day who consistently complains about the lack of energy in their workplace. It is an organization that has its problems and lack of energy is definitely one of them, however,  I did start wondering what this person was doing - in their leadership opportunities - to motivate people.
If tasked with standing in front of a group of disengaged people how do you respond?
Do you see it as hopeless?
Do you go through the motions with no expectation that anyone will become engaged or be interested?
Or do you take a deep breath, hitch up your pants (figuratively if not literally) and set out to connect, engage and motivate the group in front of you?

Having been a trainer for adults, a middle school and high school teacher and a counselor for troubled teens I have many years of experience of standing in front of disengaged and disinterested 'learners'.
Without question there have been days that I looked at the slump-shouldered people in front of me and thought, "forget it, nothing will happen today". But then I would remind myself that my 'job' was to get my message across.
I would recall successful training sessions where the room was buzzing and light bulbs were popping on the entire time. I can feel that energy just thinking about those times.
Bottom line is that I change my mindset from feeling defeated by the dark cloud in front of me to seeing it as a challenge.
Sometimes its a really, really big challenge.
For me a challenge is really motivating, it energizes me and starts my wheels spinning to find ways to use my energy to ignite my audience.

In my mind I am trying to inspire. I am trying to move the disinterested to be interested. I want to motivate those that have stopped caring about the quality of their work and their contribution to the organization to start caring again.
Because if the fifteen people in front of me become inspired and motivated they take that positive energy back to their teams and that offers potential for others to become more caring and motivated.

So how do you inspire the uninspired?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Why you and your team should know your DiSC

Since becoming an Inscape Publishing Distributor I have been asked many times what Everything DiSC is and what it can do for you or your team/workplace.
I've been told 'we did this assessment or that assessment and its a fun thing to know but it didn't change anything.'
Many people have done the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator at some point (or used a knock-off assessment) to determine your 'type'. Learning type is fabulously interesting and CAN be very useful in the workplace but applying it in the workplace is a long process. As a certified MBTI practitioner I fully support the usefulness of the tool WHEN the organization dedicates appropriate time and money to the process.

The Everything DiSC products are different. First of all they aren't assessing 'type'; they are assessing how you process/operate/communicate in the workplace, they call it your 'style'.

Unlike the MBTI you answer the questions relative to how you are at work.
The assessment is short and sweet and the profile you receive offers an abundance of information on each style enabling you to get a picture of others as well as yourself.
In fact, it will describe how best to interact with each 'style', how you may perceive other styles, what motivates you, and what you find stressful.

Ideally having taken the assessment you receive the results from a qualified and experienced DiSC professional, HOWEVER, the report is so thorough that you can gain a tremendous amount of knowledge by reading it closely.
Taking the assessment in isolation - meaning you take it but others in your workplace don't - is a very valuable experience.  You will increase your ability to successfully communicate. I guarantee that, if you allow me to facilitate your report.
Successful communication is the key to success in life.

In team settings, the reports are facilitated and the discussions are always lively.  People always seem to have 'aha' moments when they discover more about their own style but especially about other people's style.
Once you learn that team member A is a 'D'  and thus prefers to make decisions swiftly and to work independently you will spend less time giving them a host of options and debating the positives and negatives of each option.  Usually when you do this with someone who has a 'D' style you can actually watch them begin to boil or get so turned off by the task that they do a poor job or don't do it at all.

If it turns out your team has a preponderance of 'C's' you will no longer wonder why every task takes so long - they are done to perfection, but things are falling behind. A team that is heavy with C's will need someone else monitoring deadlines and pushing things along.

And a team heavy in 'D', 'S' or 'i' will need some C influence to ensure that steps weren't skipped or information processed too swiftly/inaccurately.

My belief is that the Everything DiSC assessments provide practical knowledge that, once applied, will increase communication; awareness and delivery of information will be done with more skill and that will lead to greater success.

And a lot more pleasant workplace!

Call (919)336-2324 or email today for more information!