Blog, Business, Paul Saunders

How To Influence Others At Work

Getting ahead in your workplace can be difficult if you are not in a leadership position. However, if you use the right approach, you can influence others in your company and position yourself for more success. This will allow you to grow connections and be better prepared for when you want to become a leader. Here is what you need to know:

Connect With Others

Seek out others in your office that you can form a bond with. It doesn’t have to be your manager or anyone above them. Instead, you want to create connections with others. By doing this, people will be more likely to hear out your idea, or may even be willing to bring you in on a project if they need help. Sometimes, just making friends is a great start to your career.

Listen First And Speak Second

You should hear others out before rushing to talk. Take the chance to give someone else the power to be heard. Don’t interrupt them if they are in the middle of a thought even if you think you are going to help them. By allowing them to talk, you will be able to get a better idea of what they are trying to tell you, and you can base your response off of that.  If you are trying to persuade another, you can tailor your answer so that it targets their needs or what they are valuing. This will make them more receptive to your idea. Once you get into the practice of listening first, it will become a habit, and you will acquire a reputation as someone who gives sound advice. So use this to your advantage at every turn.

Develop Expertise

If you do not have an official title of influence within your company, take the chance to become an expert in a skill.  Take more classes or get additional credentials. When your coworkers need help, they know they will be able to go to you. Use this opportunity to not only help your coworkers but also to teach them, so that next time they won’t have to go to you. While this may seem counterproductive, it is not. You will be perceived as someone that is always willing to teach, and help others.

Volunteer

Take the chance to volunteer for more responsibility, or to take part in a new project. When you do something with no expectation or payment, you will stand out more. You are showing that you are just as committed to the mission and the future of the company. In the future, you will be considered for more work, because you showed that you were willing to put in the effort.

Take Charge Of A Project

You can’t expect everyone to be interested in the same initiatives as you. Map out a plan to enact a new strategy that could improve some aspect of the business and offer to do the hard parts. You are showing that you want to take the first step to better the organization and that you aren’t afraid of the challenges that come with it.

Influencing others is not easy. If it were, everyone would be the leader of their group or company. However, with practice and attention on getting better at influencing your peers and coworkers in the ways above, you can carve out a solid reputation and bubble of influence for yourself.

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Blog, Business

Mindfulness Exercises That Aid in Relieving Stress

This blog post originally appeared on Paul Saunders’ website.

In this day and age, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by one’s responsibilities at home and in the workplace. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association revealed that this phenomenon is rapidly sweeping the United States, with upwards of 75 percent of Americans reporting symptoms of chronic stress. Furthermore, approximately 45 percent of the same participants reported experiencing regular sleeplessness.

Thankfully, there are effective methods of mitigating the draining impacts of everyday life. However, it is imperative to note that such a feat is not achieved overnight. Instead, reducing one’s overall stress level is a long-term commitment that often requires further lifestyle adaptations, like exercising more often, adopting a healthier diet, and so on.

With that being said, let us explore some mindfulness exercises that can aid in relieving stress.

Focusing on breathing

When we begin to feel overwhelmed, our bodies release a number of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which trigger your natural “fight or flight” response. Once this switch has been flipped, our hearts begin to pound, our muscles tighten, and our breathing quickens considerably.

To effectively combat the body’s initial response to stress, it is best to focus on controlling your breathing. This can be achieved by removing yourself from your stressors, closing your eyes, and making a concentrated effort to take deep, even breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Regaining control over your breathing will subsequently regulate your heart rate and reduce your body’s production of adrenaline and cortisol.

Practicing acceptance

As difficult as it may be to admit, our circumstances are not always under our control. Sometimes, traffic will make us late for work at the most inopportune times; babysitters will cancel and ruin our plans; and we will fall ill before a big deadline or event. However, there is little more we can do than accept the situation and our feelings toward it. Otherwise, we will cause ourselves to become unnecessarily angry and stressed.

Now, this is not to say that you should become complacent and simply accept every negative incident that comes your way. After all, you do have the power to alter situations that you do not like. However, in times of heavy traffic or altered plans, it is imperative we choose our battles and prioritize our personal wellbeing over a simple emotional outburst.

It is entirely possible, if not feasible, to take the reins and steer yourself toward a more stress-free life. However, accomplishing this goal requires patience, persistence, and the understanding you will fail from time to time. After all, you are only human, but showing yourself a level of gentleness and grace will only improve your mindset over time.

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The Benefits of Allowing Pets in the Workplace

This blog post originally appeared on Paul Saunders’ website.

Bringing pets into the workplace is becoming an increasingly popular trend, forged by the likes of Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s, and Google. Now there are nearly 180 companies following suit in New York City alone.

However, it is important to note that introducing employees’ beloved furry friends to the office is not just some ploy companies are using to attract the newest members of the workforce. Instead, this tactic has been proven to garner positive results on personal and corporate levels, from improving employee morale to decreasing overall turnover.

With that in mind, let us explore the benefits of allowing pets in the workplace.

Pets improve the company’s image

Allowing employees to bring in their pets not only improves their perception of the company but can make a positive impact on customers and prospective hires as well. This is especially true if clients physically visit the business, as the opportunity to interact with an employee’s pet enables them to relax and thoroughly enjoy their time at the establishment.

Pets alleviate stress

It is no secret that employees endure elevated stress levels throughout the standard work week. However, bringing one’s pet to the office can allow them to feel more comfortable and optimistic, regardless of the tense situations they may encounter.

Furthermore, a 2012 study by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that employees who brought their pets to work had decreased levels of hormonal stress, especially when compared to those who did not bring any pets at all. In fact, those individuals showed steadily increasing levels of hormonal stress until the end of the workday.

Pets increase employee performance

Those who work in pet-friendly environments have been shown to work longer hours, as they no longer have to worry about rushing out of the office to care for their pets at the end of the day. Furthermore, these employees also have fewer absences, likely because they do not have to stay home to tend to their pets when they are sick.

Pets promote positive interactions

As previously mentioned, a pet-friendly workplace improves employees’ morale and decreases stress. Additionally, pets act as a common point of interest, thus creating social opportunities for employees who would otherwise not speak to one another. In the long run, these increased social interactions could aid leaders in fostering an environment of teamwork, collaboration, and communication.

This tactic certainly is not for everyone. However, there are some outstanding benefits to bringing pets into the workplace. Perhaps it is time you consider affording your employees this privilege, as it could boost not only their personal performance but your company’s performance as well.

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What is Workplace Wellness?

Over the years, individuals have become more proactive in caring for their bodies and trying to mitigate diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart failure. However, with elevated healthcare costs, a more demanding work schedule across the board, heightened physical inactivity and poor dietary habits, many find themselves floundering in their efforts as soon as they have begun.

In order to combat these negative factors, many companies have taken the time to curate workplace wellness programs, which are designed to reduce healthcare costs and improve employees’ overall health and well-being. While there are some mixed reviews on the efficacy of such strategies, some have genuinely garnered positive results, thus sparking the interest of organizations on a global scale.

Given these facts, it may be beneficial to further explore the topic of workplace wellness and the impact it could make on employees and corporations alike.

What does workplace wellness entail?

When one hears the term, “workplace wellness,” their minds may go straight to physical fitness and nutrition. However, these programs offer a number of other benefits, such as smoking cessation and screenings for high cholesterol, glucose tolerance, and diseases of the blood.

A workplace wellness initiative will also encourage employees to change their daily habits, mostly by providing standing desks and suggesting frequent stretch breaks to reduce physical inactivity. Furthermore, some programs go so far as to offer employees memberships to a local gym at a reduced price, or cover their fitness expenses entirely.

It is important to note, though, that workplace wellness does not just seek to improve employees’ physical well-being. Instead, its aim is to improve their mental well-being as well. After all, work-related stress is an epidemic that has swiftly swept nearly every Westernized country.

Therefore, these initiatives provide employees with new and innovative methods of combating stress, coping with tense situations, and maintaining a more positive attitude at work overall. Additionally, they may introduce more social activities in order to break the ice amongst employees and combat any feelings of loneliness that are associated with working in an office.

Although these workplace wellness initiatives do mean well, some are still skeptical or are wary of taking advantage of their benefits. Therefore, some companies may need to incorporate incentives to boost employee engagement and success, such as gift cards, an additional day of paid time off, or a premium discount to their favorite retailer.

Regardless of the tactics you choose to employ, it is evident that workplace wellness can make a positive impact on the modern workforce. Therefore, it may be beneficial to consider taking these steps to improve your employees’ long-term well-being.