GET THE BIG PICTURE » communication THE GATEWAY TO SUCESS Thu, 18 Jan 2018 18:54:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Thrive In As an Expat – 3 Ways Sure to Help Thu, 18 Jan 2018 18:54:57 +0000 As an expat living in a foreign country, it is crucial to understand the new culture of your adopted country while ensuring you don’t over stretch yourself. This will surely help you to finding the right balance adapting to the new environment and still being your real self.

Fitting to the new country has always been the major challenge expats used to have over the years. However, if you adopt the 3 following tips, you will not only enjoy your new country but you would even thrive!

  1. Learn the Language

There is no way you can run away from the cobweb of language barrier, whether you had the basic knowledge of the new language or you did not. It is must for you to channel some energy and time to learn the language as it will not only make you understand their values but also appreciate and respect them.  Of course, being a native English speaker does it good by helping you through your new non-English speaking environment. However, you will be better off if you can communicate in the local language as this will give you that edge as compared to the other expats in the country.

You will be highly appreciated for your effort in learning their language and you will be saved from their possible bad plots. Surely, language learning can really be a curse sometimes if you are a complete beginner but trust me; you will enjoy it well by attending few classes.  You are always free to choose your preferred method to get the basic knowledge of the language, improve on it and try becoming fluent. There are many ways way to do this, one of which is to watch videos course online.

  1. To Date Locally Using Tinder

Tinder still remains one of the best and most popular apps when it comes to meeting with people in your proximity. Therefore, as an expat you will not want to be left out of this fun of meeting new people being locals or the foreigners like yourself inhabiting your new environment.

Tinder is so great in that it is usually easy to operate, the app is designed for mobile users with a great layout and you can be sure that the clarity is good of a deal and it is a perfect fit when waiting for the bus. Guess what? You can even use Tinder at work if you have a VPN!

  1. Keep in Touch With Your Home Country

Being an expat does not make you a complete stranger to your home country and so, it is incumbent upon you to always stay in contact with your people at home because one day you will surely be going back there.

It is crucial also note that the new life in the new environment will surely take a toll on you in terms of how you see your home country now from the way it used to be before. Let it be said that your bi-cultural identity should not push you into rejecting the culture of your home country.

More importantly, never neglect staying in touch with friends and family in general, with the help of emails, WhatsApp, Skype and lots more; only then you will actualize this goal.


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Key Benefits of Cloud Archiving Your Emails Sun, 26 Feb 2017 17:41:05 +0000 If an organization is to be successful, they have to effectively and safely manage their electronic correspondence in the long term. Most communications, nowadays, regardless of how large an organization is, are performed using electronic systems. Unfortunately, this also means receiving a lot of spam messages and other unwanted messages. To top it off, businesses have to be able to comply with eDiscovery requests by law. One way to achieve all of this is through proper email archiving solutions. Let’s take a look at its key benefits.

  1. You Can Search Quickly, Hence Productivity Will Be Increased

In the past, if you were to receive an eDiscovery request, or other such type of request, it would mean a staff member would have to go down to the archives and sift through page upon page of information, reading one disk after another. Now, all you have to do is type a few keywords into your search option, and the system will find it for you.

  1. You Will Be Compliant with all Relevant Laws

Numerous laws now exist about eDiscovery requests that all businesses have to be compliant with. Good email archiving solutions are fully compliant. This means that, should you face legal action, you can always access the relevant correspondence.

  1. IT Costs Will Be Lower

Before the cloud, IT departments had to spend a huge amount of their budget on storage, retrieval processes, complex backup systems, and more. Today, however, they can spend their budget on actually developing the IT infrastructure, because the email storage is kept on the cloud. The cost of email archiving is peanuts compared to the cost of having your IT department hold responsibility over it.

  1. You Can Quickly Restore Your Data

Most agree that one of the greatest benefits of email archiving is that you can restore your data very quickly. In fact, it takes just a few seconds to put something back where it was. You can do that whether you archived by accident, or whether things have changed and you simply want it back.

  1. Your Mail Servers Won’t Be Overloaded

This is another very important issue. Because your system manages every email that comes in, it also ensures you don’t get flooded with spam email anymore. This is very good for the overall quality of your server.

  1. You Are Protected Against Information Loss

If you don’t store your data on the cloud, there is always a chance that something will go horribly wrong. For instance, a natural disaster could destroy your backup source. Or a clumsy employee could spill their coffee on their computer. Either way your data will be lost forever. By using a cloud based service, no matter what you do to your machines, the information will still be readily available.

  1. Your Data Will Be 100% Secure

By using email archiving solutions, your data will no longer be stored on a local server, but rather by an external provider. This means that the responsibility for safety and security lies with them, something that they are very good at.

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BUSINESS COMMUNICATION: BREAKING BARRIERS FOR ORGANIZATIONAL SUCCESS Sun, 24 Jul 2016 13:47:41 +0000 If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela. This quote embodies the importance of language both in our personal and professional lives. In an organization, effective communication skills are extremely valuable. Both verbal and non-verbal communication strategies are continuously honed to achieve solution and success for the company. In lieu of globalization, companies should also focus on effectively communicating to international business partners and consumers by availing certified translation services of the highest quality that read as if they were originally crafted in the target language. In this manner, it helps alleviate language barriers and cultural differences in the workplace thereby decreasing errors especially operations-wise due to miscommunication. Translation services can also be utilized during international transactions especially for the export industry. In line with this, employees, managers in particularly should be careful in communicating to avoid terms which are politically and culturally offensive.

Moreover, effective communication promotes efficiency among different departments since trust and rapport are built within teams. Leaders are able to command working standards without being hostile and rude. Thus, productivity, responsibility and respect are valued and upheld. Consequently, the employees’ morale is developed since effective communication produces a conducive and healthy work environment. If the management are able to provide and maintain good communication, employees will appreciate it. It has been proven that effective communication in the workplace is vital in maintaining employee motivation. When professional relationships are improved, management and employees would coordinate better resulting to harmonious decisions. Hence, end goals are easier to achieve. Poor communication streams and skills lead to poor customer service, high employee and product turnover, lack of productivity and even uncomfortable workplace.

Breaking barriers in professional communication

Like other important facets in organizational management, effective communication also has barriers. It is important to identify these barriers in order to avoid these mistakes and

efficiently maintain healthy business communication lines.

  1. Poor listening skills

This is one of the most common barriers in the workplace. Not listening happens when one does not have any desire or concern in the conversation. In addition, differences in ideas and self-entitlement also affects not listen deliberately. To avoid this, ensure that meetings and brainstorming is done in a quiet room. It is also important to maintain professional respect so that listening is easier to do.

  1. Perceptional barriers

We all have different outlooks and perspectives. While its normal that we view things differently, it is important to also remember other views and opinions. In this manner, we would learn new processes and approaches in dealing with problems in the workplace. Keep an open mind for you can also deduce bright and creative ideas from others.

  1. Misunderstanding non-verbal signals

Some body signals such as raising of brows, shaking your head and waving your hands in a particular direction will send negative messages even if you do not intend to. To avoid these, one must be aware of his or her nuances and assess whether they send negative messages.

  1. Making assumptions

Assuming can be dooming; when in doubt, check it out.” This is an important reminder everyone, especially for leaders to not make an assumption more so decide something based on it. Assuming things will most likely make you miss on crucial information thereby increasing your susceptibility to grave mistakes.

  1. Emotional and psychological problems

These problem can distract you to effectively communicate to others, whether personally or professionally. Moreover, emotions play a vital role on our ability to focus. To avoid barriers that can arise due to these problems, it is important to seek help so you can cope healthily. It also pays to make your closest confidants know your situation so they would not misinterpret you.

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Stop damaging your bottom line with missed leads! Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:28:36 +0000 Missed Calls? Missed Sales, Missed Profit!

Did your business reach its full potential last year? Did you successfully answer every incoming sales call to your company?

Or are you missing calls coming into your business? In turn, does this mean you missed out on potential sales last month? This could be the big profit you missed out on last month.

Reveal your hidden profits

A bespoke telephone system can fix all this for you. Not only are you able to monitor and record all ingoing and outgoing calls for your business – they are also designed to keep callers on the line for longer, meaning your sales potential increases.

Call management solutions track and measure every that is made to and from your business. You can see a real-time breakdown of statistics for your calls throughout the day which you can use to manage your staff performance.

Identify trends as they appear

Identifying key trends can be make or break for some businesses which is why it is important to have a proper structure in place. For example, it can help you identify that your business receive the highest amount of calls at a certain point of the deal – this is where you may reorganise the team so that you have the sufficient quantity and quality of your staff to handle to calls at that specific time.

You certainly wouldn’t want those potential sales calls to go unanswered. At the same time, your system may help you identify the quietest times of the weeks in which you may consider limiting the number of staff on the premises at that time.

By recording and reporting such statistics helps a business to maximise their sales opportunities. It is important for any business; small, medium or large that they reach their maximum sales potential and waste as few opportunities as possible.

Likewise, if you have to put a caller on hold, it is important that they are not kept silent during their wait. This can be fixed by having either music or a message playing whilst they are on hold. All good business telecoms companies offer this service, or also supplying them with advertising on hold.

Callers hanging up so quickly would mean further missed sales opportunities, so it’s important to get this sorted out for your business.

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Ecommerce Efficiency: Cloud Hosting Questions Every Business Needs to Ask Thu, 17 Dec 2015 11:33:00 +0000 If you’ve been researching web hosting for your business, you’ve probably run into the term cloud web hosting at a few of the better hosting providers. Since the technology is relatively recent, not every web hosting service usually offers it. It can even be a challenge at times coming by much information on what exactly it is and how it presents an improvement over the technologies that came before it. Rather than give up trying to understand and going with one of the older technologies more widely available, it makes sense to investigate. Cloud web hosting is likely to become the standard in web hosting in the future. If you can, it’s this type of hosting technology that you should put your business on today.

What exactly is cloud hosting?

With a conventional web hosting service, whether shared or dedicated, you put your website on one server computer, or perhaps two or three, if you have an in-demand website. When your website subsists on such limited resources, though, you tend to be unprepared for episodes of high demand.

If you run a retail sales website, for example, you may have a particularly busy time during the holidays, and a relatively quiet time the rest of the year. To make sure that visitors receive good service during the busy times, though, you will need to buy a large server plan, and pay more year-round. It would be a waste of money.

Cloud hosting is the answer to this challenge — it involves putting hosting websites not on specific server machines, but on a virtual server that is able to spread its load across multiple physical servers when demand rises, and on just one part of one server when demand is low. It’s a dynamic process. Technically, while your website may occupy a cluster of servers, it can still  be considered to simply be one machine.

Is cloud web hosting really better?

One of the prime advantages of cloud web hosting technology is that it tends to be cheaper than large-scale dedicated hosting. Cost-effectiveness comes about because your website doesn’t permanently occupy a number of servers simply to be able to deal with occasional bursts of demand. With this technology, the hosting company is better able to spread demand by multiple customers across multiple machines, making for lower costs.

The fact that the solution is dynamically scalable means that you never need to plan for demand. No matter what kind of demand comes in, you only pay a set amount, and rest assured that your customers never see poor performance.

How do you choose cloud hosting?

If you’re new to cloud hosting technology, you can have a little trouble knowing what exactly to look for when you try different services. According to Source Data Products, a leading cloud web hosting provider offering iSeries technology, there three important questions that you should ask every service that you consider.

Do customers only pay for what they use: Dynamic scalability is the primary selling point of cloud web hosting. You want to make sure that the company offers you scalable billing for such scalable services, rather than a large, fixed sum each month.

What kind of security do you use: It can be very hard to keep your data protected in today’s risk-prone world of computing. Since the success of your business depends on access to quality hosting that doesn’t compromise customer information, you should make sure that the hosting service you choose uses data encryption, security audits and other security options.

Choosing cloud hosting is a sensible choice as far as small businesses are concerned. Not only does such technology help save money, it helps protect business reputation by ensuring consistent website performance, as well.

Ruby Spencer provides Ecommerce solutions in her work and enjoys sharing her insights on topics like cloud hosting with an online audience. She writes for several different websites on a regular basis.

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Vistaprint: An Entrepreneur’s Best Friend Sat, 22 Aug 2015 16:39:23 +0000 As an entrepreneur, marketing yourself to potential clients is of the utmost importance. Everyone you interact with has the opportunity to become a customer to your brand, but there are steps that you can take to entice a greater following.

Marketing materials such as business cards are phenomenal ways of sharing information about your business, but deciding where to print them can be a little challenging. Vistaprint is the perfect starting point if you are looking to for new opportunities to market your business. Here you’ll be able to order business cards and so many other marketing tools that will showcase your business to the highest potential.

There are many other options that you can utilize to market your business. One of the most crucial marketing tools that you can use to advertise your business is a website. In our modern society a strong online presence is essential to recruiting new clientele, and Vistaprint is prepared to help you get a user-friendly site off the ground. You’ll be able to customize your site with a variety of different themes and packages available to ensure that it best meets your needs. Remember that a well-functioning website is quite simply one of the easiest marketing tools to share with customers and that it can lead to secondary referrals as well!

Postcard campaigns are a fantastic way to get your name into homes in your target area. Unlike standard mail, potential customers will be enticed by a well-designed layout and glossy photos that reveal what you do. Vistaprint offers myriad layouts, sizes, and allows you the opportunity to upload your own design as you please.

Vistaprint is already affordable, but using Groupon Coupons, these promotional materials and services from Vistaprint will become even more affordable, meaning that you are capable of ordering multiple marketing tools on a budget! And for your other business and marketing needs, be sure to browse the Groupon Coupons site. There are more than 70,000 coupons for over 9,000 stores, and many deals are exclusive to Groupon users.

Be sure to check out Vistaprint and Groupon Coupons so that you can market yourself and your business to the best of your ability- and in the most inexpensive way.

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4 Steps to Becoming an Effective, Sought-After Business Mentor Sun, 25 Jan 2015 02:04:07 +0000  business mentor

Mentors are the cheerleaders, the leaders who show new talent the way. They pave the way to success and encourage others to follow in their footsteps — or to go their own paths to achieve individualized successes. A business mentor relationship can be just as rewarding for the mentor as it is for the mentee. Become an effective mentor and give back to the business community. Your guidance can make a real difference.

1. Earn an Advanced Degree

Although there are always exceptions, the majority of mentors in the business world are educated, experienced people with resumes that can hardly be contained on a single page. The higher and more specialized your degree, the more interest you’ll have among people looking for a business mentor.

Demonstrate your extensive knowledge and learn mentoring tips by earning an advanced degree in a program such as organizational development and leadership. With an emphasis on leadership, your graduate program will prepare you for becoming a more-effective mentor, not just to your chosen mentee, but to all of your younger or less-experienced colleagues at your company.

2. Sign Up With an Organization

As a businessperson looking for mentees, you’ve probably had access to a number of worthy candidates in your company or field. However, there are plenty of opportunities for establishing a mentor relationship outside of your network. Volunteer for mentoring through an organization, particularly the ones most relevant to your experience.

The U.S. Small Business Administration  provides resources for a number of government-sponsored mentor organizations, such as Women’s Business Centers and Veteran’s Business Outreach Centers, which are always in search of experienced businesswomen and veteran businesspeople, respectively. With various chapters across the country, these organizations may make you a more sought-after mentor because of your particular expertise. You can also explore organizations exclusive to your community if such places are available.

3. Strive for a Meaningful Relationship

When you choose a mentee, try to establish a meaningful connection. This doesn’t mean you have to find someone at the same company or in the same industry. A businessperson with ambitions somewhat related to your experience, even if she doesn’t work in the exact field as you, can make as productive a connection with you as someone in your field. For example, if you’re a minority business owner, another minority businessperson striving to start a business will look up to you, even if you work in finance and he wants to start a restaurant.

So long as you find someone who shares the things in business you most value — hard work, taking calculated risks and innovative ideas, for example — the possibility for an effective mentor-mentee relationship is present. Before you establish a long-term relationship, review prospective mentees’ resumes and take them out on an interview meeting. Part of becoming an effective sought-after mentor is realizing you can’t mentor everyone who’s interested because it takes work to create meaningful relationships with those few you choose.

4. Engage in Dynamic Activities

Meeting for coffee or a meal is one way to touch base with your mentees, but it’s not the only or most effective. Do something fun and active with your mentees, and word will get around that you’re not like the other mentors who just occasionally eat with people. Ideas for a mentor-mentee meeting, before, during or after which you can discuss business issues, include:

  • Playing a sports game
  • Attending a conference
  • Going to a theme park
  • Meeting in the park
  • Going camping together
  • Taking kids or grandkids out for a play date

To make sure your legacy lives on after your retirement, you need to do more than just focus on your career and business goals. If you’re interested in leadership, and if you’ve shown talent as a leader, do service to yourself and to the business community at large by becoming a business mentor. Look for mentees in your company, your industry or even in an entirely different field. Wherever there’s a budding young businessperson with drive and a passion to succeed, you’ll find your mentoring talents valued.


About the Author: Shonna White is a businesswoman and mentor with over three decades of experience at a Fortune 500 company.


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Setting Expectations: The Key to High-Functioning Teams Sun, 21 Dec 2014 00:34:50 +0000 High-performing teams are one of the hallmarks of a successful organization. When the teams in the company work well together and communicate effectively, they are better at managing tasks and are likelier to meet company-wide performance benchmarks.

While there are several characteristics of high-functioning teams, one of the most important things any manager can do to ensure good performance from his or her team is to set expectations.  Making your expectations clear to team members and helping them understand the consequences for failing to meet expectations helps keep everyone on track and aware of what they need to do and when.

focused business

It’s not uncommon for managers to fail to establish adequate expectations. Sometimes this happens because managers want to avoid becoming dictators and prefer to let the team manage itself. Sometimes it’s because the manager incorrectly assumes the expectations are clear, believing that further clarification is unnecessary. Regardless of the reason, a manager who does not set expectations is likely not an effective one and will not have employees who are happy, motivated and productive.

Expectations vs. Goals

When you study the principles of leadership, one of most important things you will learn is how and why to set expectations — and that expectations are different than goals. Many leaders mistake these two, and while they are related, the differences between them are quite significant.

In short, expectations are the standards that guide your daily behavior and efforts. Goals are what you hope to accomplish. For example, a restaurant’s goal might be to be the highest-rated location in terms of customer satisfaction among an entire chain. To meet that goal, team members must adhere to certain expectations regarding how they interact with customers. The expectation isn’t that the restaurant will be number one, but that the team will do everything possible to make that goal a reality.

Before you can establish expectations, you must establish goals. What is the team hoping to accomplish? Everyone wants to feel like he or she has a purpose, and setting a goal helps provide that purpose and gives team members a framework to guide their activities and behaviors. Make sure the goals are specific, measurable and realistic, and establish benchmarks so the team can assess its progress and make adjustments.


Common Team Expectations

While specific team expectations vary according to the organization and industry — a hospital will have different expectations for its employees than an auto body shop, for example — there are certain categories of expectations that apply across industries. At minimum, managers should establish expectations in the following areas to lay the groundwork for a successful team.

Behavior. Obviously, you expect your team members to behave appropriately and professionally. However, setting specific expectations for how team members are to handle certain situations can prevent problems. For example, you might expect team members to avoid particular words or phrases in lieu of others, or perhaps you require anyone who has a problem to devise a potential solution before addressing the group. These standards bring order to the group and prevent misunderstandings down the road.

Conflict resolution. Conflict is an inevitable part of teamwork — we’re only human after all. Conflict does not have to be negative as it often can lead to creative solutions. How we deal with conflict can make the difference in how the team functions. Set expectations and a clear process for dealing with disagreements, and you’ll have healthier (and shorter) conflicts among team members.

Division of labor. Quite simply, team members must understand exactly what they are responsible for doing. Establish expectations for how to handle situations in which no one is responsible for a task. By doing so, you’ll avoid claims of “It’s not my job,” or “I thought that so-and-so would handle that.”

Failure to perform. Setting expectations is important, but it’s equally as important to establish what will happen if the expectations are not met. Clearly outlining the consequences for failing to meet expectations prevents confusion and provides recourse should a team member fail to fulfill his or her role.

Successful managers establish clear expectations for their teams, and successful teams adhere to expectations and work toward a common goal. Whether you are a new manager just getting your footing or a more experienced leader struggling to keep your people on track, take time to set expectations and watch your results improve.


About the Author: Rhonda Deland is a strategic management consultant and business blogger.

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The Difference in Private, Public, and International Schools in China Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:45:56 +0000 Education in China is continually growing and parents are eager to send their kids to school there. The national government has instituted a “Nine Year Compulsory Education Program” for all citizens of the country. In this educational campaign, education is free; therefore, the number of students attending middle schools in China or other learning institutions at different levels are increasing each year. Even though it is free, there are additional fees that need to be paid for, such as uniforms, and books etc.

As expatriate parents, you are not exempted from increasing school fees. With that, you are considering several options on where to enrol your children.

Public Schools

Because of innovations, Chinese learning institutions are now accepting children of expats or foreigners holding legal resident status. This is a welcome move for parents as private school education becomes more expensive each year. Expat parents are not exempted from the benefit of free tuition. However, the fees that they pay to a public school of choice are much lower when compared with what parents will pay if they want to enrol their children in private schools.

Language is a big problem; therefore, it is suggested that your children should be equipped and prepared with skills in the language. Another aspect that parents should consider is that non-Chinese speakers are usually held back one year level if enrolled through the public school system.

Private Schools

This type of school has better advantages when compared to public schools. The student population per classroom is much lower. There is little barrier when it comes to language as subjects are taught in English, or the school has language tutorial support. In a public school, all subjects are taught in Chinese and offer little or no support at all when it comes to language.

The learning environment and processes in private schools are just replicates of the public school system. But there are private schools which embed learning process and accreditation of foreign schools in order for students to be accepted in any schools around the world. It can be deduced that private schools are better equipped than public schools.

International Schools

International schools are still preferred among expats, but it is more expensive than private schools.  The number of international schools in China is quite impressive and most of these are located in urban cities. Normally, the baccalaureate program of this type of school follows that of their origin country. Some of these schools are also incorporating local subjects such as Chinese language and culture. The cost of education in this kind of learning institution is as high as that in the U.S.

Just because you are an expat in this country, your obvious choice for academic institutions for your children is not always private or international middle schools in China.  This is not the case; you may also want to try public schools if only for cheap school fees or for a more colourful experience for your children.

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Tips On Video Editing Course Mon, 13 Oct 2014 18:41:20 +0000 The world of media production is one of the very few industries that experiences continual growth despite the unpredictable state of today’s economy.  It seems as though everything from entertainment to small business development is using various types of media to reach their audience for a wide range of purposes.

Video Editing Course

To make it in the world of media production individuals must make the decision to earn their degree from a well trusted educational institute such as Pro School of Media Production.  These schools are staffed with professionals that have the ability to provide their students with top notch skills and hands-on training in areas of screenwriting, Foley cinematography, motion graphics, cinema 4D, dialog, adobe, audio engineering, and much more.

For those that truly want to give themselves an abundance of opportunities, video editing is by far the field to study.  Through a video editing course that is available at schools such as Pro School of Media Production, students have the opportunity to take parts in hands-on training that will prepare them for real world experiences.  These training sessions take place in fully equipped labs under the supervision of experts in this field.  Certificate programs in video editing can be completed in a fast duration of time while ensuring the student receives all necessary career counseling and job placement services that will set them in the world on the right foot within their desired career path.

Pro School of Media Productions and other such educational facilities that offer media training courses are staffed with dedicated individuals that want to see you succeed.  You will always receive the support and reassurance that can make a world of difference in your own media production career endeavor.

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