Interpersonal Relations

Working With The Disabled

Working With The Disabled

Working With The Disabled

By: Lydia Ramsey

Since Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, people who previously had limited or no access to public places now move about with a degree of ease in the workplace. While these people have their challenges with sight, hearing or movement, those who work with them are often confused about how to interact them with sensitivity and understanding.

Here are some of the issues to keep in mind.

When it is necessary to mention the disability, language should emphasize the person first, the disability second. Rather than referring to someone as an epileptic, say "person with epilepsy" or "John, who has epilepsy...."

Avoid words that have a negative tone. People who use wheelchairs are not "bound" or "confined" to their chairs. A person may have spastic muscles but should not be described as spastic.

Preferred language is simple. Instead of saying that a person is "crippled with arthritis," "suffering from MS," "afflicted with ALS," say, "John has epilepsy" or "Mary has MS."

Use the following terms:

"Congenital disability" rather than "birth defect."
"Non-disabled" rather than "normal," "healthy" or "able-bodied."
"Condition" rather than "disease" or "defect."
"Visually impaired" rather than "blind" unless a person is totally sightless.
"Deaf" or "hard of hearing" rather than "hearing impaired."
"Little person" or "dwarf" rather than "midget."
Words or phrases like "victim," "cripple," "unfortunate," "dumb," "deaf mute," "deformed" and "pitiful" are offensive.

Ask people with disabilities if they need or want help before trying to assist them. If they want assistance, ask for specific instructions on how you can be helpful.

Look directly at any person with a disability when talking even if the person has an interpreter or companion present.

Don't assume a speech impairment indicates that a person also has a hearing impairment or intellectual limitations.

Allow people with speech impairments to finish their own sentences. Don't talk for them or interrupt. Ask questions that permit short answers or a nod of the head. The other person always has the option of giving a longer response.

Speak calmly, slowly, and distinctly to a person who has a hearing problem or other difficulty understanding. Stand in front of the person and use gestures to aid communication.

When walking with a person who is visually impaired, allow that person to set the pace. If the person asks for or accepts your offer of help, don't grab his arm. It is easier for him to hold onto you.

Never start to push someone's wheelchair without first asking the occupant's permission.

Leaning on a wheelchair when talking to the person is inconsiderate.

If you will be having a long conversation with someone using a wheelchair, get a chair and sit at eye level with the person. You will both feel more comfortable.

Keep in mind that people with disabilities are just like everyone else with the exception of certain physical conditions. Treat them as the capable competent co-workers or colleagues they are.

 

Author Bio
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL - ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors' Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman's Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at lydia@mannersthatsell.com or visit her web site http://www.mannersthatsell.com.

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10 Ways To Be a Terrific Parent!

10 Ways To Be a Terrific Parent!

10 Ways To Be a Terrific Parent!
By Troy Price

Every parent's hope and desire for their child is for him or her to be happy and successful in life. However, the reality is that despite the good intentions of parents, many of today's children are being neglected and not properly lead that will put them on that path to success. When there is no direction and no program in place, both the parent and child are left wandering aimlessly through a jungle of unknowns that often leads to misery and disaster.

Below is a road map that will give you hope and direction if you follow the guidelines set forth. It will help you to be not just a good parent but a terrific parent! Use it, apply it, and watch what happens. You will begin to see yourself in a different light and feel better about your parenting abilities.

So let's get you on the right road!

1. Have a discipline system in place and stick with it.

Whether or not children will admit to it, they desire discipline but more importantly direction on how to behave properly. When there is a lack of rules and inconsistency to enforce the rules, children quickly become confused as do the parents. This causes a lot of unnecessary frustration and tension that can easily be solved in two simple steps: One, have a simple system in place that clearly identifies the rules and consequences; and two, be consistent in enforcing the rules. It is important that both the child and parent understand how the system works and how it can benefit both.

When a parent neglects to consistently enforce the rules and carry out the system, he or she sets up false hopes and expectations that don't carry any value behind it. The child quickly learns that the system is weak, is not executed properly, and therefore begins to exploit those weak gaps. The child also learns how to manipulate to their advantage the inconsistency of both the system and parent and therefore gains more power over the parent. Meanwhile, the parent can't understand why they are losing the discipline battle with their child and becomes more frustrated and stressed out.

Whatever discipline system you create, make sure it is fair and that you firmly carry it out. Never give in or waiver from it and always be consistent. Once the child and parent understand the rules of the system and how to play by it, there will be less confusion, anxiety, and better communication. You will soon discover that your child's attitude and behavior will quickly turn around and your relationship with him or her will be happier and healthier.

2. Get Involved and Often.

It's been said that the greatest investment a parent can ever make in their child's life is spending quality time with them. When you are a part-time parent you get a part-time child. If you only put in 50 percent, you only get out 50 percent. If you want a strong and lasting relationship with your child, you have to be willing to make personal sacrifices and put in the time and effort with your child. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you do it together. Again, it's about the quality of time you spend together, not the quantity of activities.

Growing up, I played a lot of sports. The one thing I hated more that anything else was sitting on the bench and watching others in the heat of battle. I wanted more than anything to be in the middle of it all and when I wasn't it tore me up inside. No one likes to sit on the bench or "ride the pine" because it's lonely and boring. Everyone wants a piece of the action and maybe if their lucky enough, be the hero. When you sit on the bench as a parent, you miss out on some of the most precious moments of your child's life. Moments that you can never get back and ones that may never come again. Don't be a spectator parent. Get off the bench and into the middle of the fray. You'll be glad you did and so will your child.

When at all possible, try to be there for as many activities for your child as you can. And not just show up as I mentioned. Get involved by actively participating. My two oldest boys play baseball and so that I could spend more time with them, I help coach their little league team. It is a blast helping kids learn the great game of baseball but more importantly, I get to be directly involved in my children's lives while teaching and leading them. I know it makes a big difference to my boys when I am there cheering them on and supporting them at the field level. Even though they may not say it or fully appreciate me being there with them, I see it when my boys smile and high-five me once they round third. It is at that moment when I realize that this is where I need to be.

3. Set and Be a Great Example.

The role model that will have the greatest impact and influence on your child for either good or bad in their lifetime is you - the parent. For girls, that parent is the mother and for the boys, the father. That's not to say that both parents don't have a great influence on their child because they do, but studies have shown that same sex gender plays a greater role in how that child is influenced based upon the sex of that child. And from a logical stand point, that makes perfect sense. Females understand females better than a male and vice-versa and for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, both parents need to set and be a great example for their child.

When children are brought into this world, they learn from their parents and siblings within the home how to walk, speak, think, behave and acquire new knowledge and understanding. As time goes on and that child gets older, they begin to learn from others outside of their home environment. That's when they begin to simulate into society and learn new attitudes, feelings, and behaviors. Their mind and body are trying to formulate all this new knowledge and conceptualize how this information will be processed. In short, they are trying to find their identity and where they fit in the scheme of it all. It can be a very daunting and challenging task.

That's why it is so critical that your child gets off on the right foot to be better prepared and handle the difficult challenges that await him or her. You as a parent have a tremendous responsibility and duty to ensure that when your child leaves home on their own that they stand a fighting chance of surviving and thriving in a completely new environment that will shape who they are and who they will become. But before society teaches them, you have the distinct advantage to nurture and mold them into success so that when the gale force winds of life attack, their foundation will be strong enough to withstand it.

By setting a positive example right from the get-go, your child will know what pattern of behavior to follow. They will quickly learn what they should and should not do based on effective discipline. They will lean what is acceptable and is not acceptable based on your teachings.

The old saying, "Monkey see monkey do" is so applicable to parenting because children do exactly what their parents do. So, set the correct example from the beginning and then practice what you preach thereafter. Refuse to be the kind of parent who says, "Don't watch what I'm doing, only listen to what I say." What? Not only is that confusing but that's poor teaching. In essence, you are saying to your child, "Only learn the good and not the bad from me." I'm sorry but it doesn't work that way. You have to teach your child the good from the bad and then model the correct behavior in what is appropriate. When you do so, your child will understand much easier and quicker the next time he or she encounters a similar situation and know exactly what he or she must do to be successful.

4. Listen More, Talk Less.

Nobody likes to hear other people talk, especially when they drone on about themselves or have to hear an ear full for something they did wrong. Instead, take the more effective route and listen rather than talk. The rule of thumb is in any conversation, listen 80 percent and talk only 20 percent of the time. That can be especially tough for a parent since we always want to teach but here's the lesson: you can do more good by listening then you can by talking.

Stephen R. Covey coined the phrase: "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." If you want people to really "hear" or understand you, you must first listen to them. Allow them to share their thoughts and feelings without interruption. In most cases when you do, you learn a few things:

1. You tend to be less judgmental

2. You become less selfish because you're not trying to impose your will

3. You learn that most people figure the answer out themselves

4. You gather more insight and information from that person's point of view that you would otherwise

5. You become more sympathetic and learn patience

6. You build trust and respect

7. You are open to other alternatives or solutions that are not possible if you are the one dominating the conversation

Through the act of listening, you gain a better perspective of the whole scenario and can more clearly communicate your thoughts that best connect with the receiver. So the next time you go to talk, don't. Listen, learn, and then listen some more.

5. Be Gentle yet Firm.

It's always a fine balance of having just the right amount of gentleness mixed with firmness. There are times when you need to be firm, especially when it comes to rules and reprimand but there are also times when you must be gentle and offer a warm hug and comforting words.

There is a time and place for everything and you will have to learn when the right time is to use either or both simultaneously. When you are firm, be consistent and don't waiver from it. Don't be afraid to be so as well as be afraid of how your child will react. Do not be belligerent, overbearing, or intimidating. Not only is this bullying and abusive but manipulative. You will never win any battle by behaving in this manner. Instead, be calm, think calmly, and speak calmly. If need be, step back from the situation, collect your thoughts, regain your composure, and try again. Never act out in aggression or have emotion involved. Always defuse the situation by first removing emotion or yourself from the equation. When you do, reasonable heads will prevail and a solution will be reached sooner with little to no damage.

6. One-On-One Time is Gold.

Everyone wants to feel valued and feel like they are the only ones in the world. This is so true particularly with children. When a parent goes out of their way to make their child feel like they are a king or queen and show it through actions and not just words alone, that is worth more than all the riches in the world and 10 trips to Disney land.

If you ask your child what their fondest memory is as a family or with you, they won't necessarily say the time we went to so- and- so but will say the time you spent with him or her listening, teaching, and helping them. He or she will remember the camping trips and how you taught them to chop wood or set up a tent or the campfire songs. He or she will remember you teaching them how to throw a curve ball or a spiral or the time you took off work to be at their music recital or ballet. He or she will remember you staying up late and helping them with math or a science project that's due the next morning. Those are the small big moments that last and make a difference. Those are the golden moments that define who you are as a parent and what kind of parent your child will be. Look and focus on the gold mine and you will reap bountifully.

7. Love and Lift Always.

Children crave attention and in particular their parent's attention. Even as adults, we want to always please our parent's and make them proud of us. By virtue of being born, everyone should automatically be loved without strings attached. Love is the single greatest power that can literally change lives.

Over the years, there have been numerous psychology studies on the effect that love has on a newborn. What psychologists learned is that babies, who were coddled, loved, given a lot of affection and tension from an early age grew up "normal" with little to know side effects. In contrast, babies who were given less coddling, attention, and affection developed severe mental, psychological, and social issues. And in rare cases, a few of the babies literally died of a broken heart.

Without love, there is no life. And when we withhold our love from our children or make it conditional, we are slowing killing the life out of those precious individuals. Always give and receive of your love freely and let it grow in your children. Love has and always will endure forever.

One of the primary characteristics of love is support. When we love others, we should lift them as well. We should never belittle or put others down, especially our children. If we want to lift someone up we have to be standing on higher ground. Much like lifting someone out of a ditch, we can't if they are leveled or below us.

To lift up our children, we should always say kind and encouraging words that are genuine. Phrases such as, "You're a great kid!" or "I'm proud of you!" or "I knew you could do it!" are simple yet powerful ways to build self-confidence and self-esteem in a child or adolescent struggling emotionally to survive. Always build up your children and never tear them down.

8. Be Forgiving and Less Critical.

It is so easy to "fly of the handle" by yelling and screaming then it is by using self-restraint and mannerisms. How many of us have been guilty (far too often I imagine) of tearing a strip off our child in the heat of the moment only to feel guilt and remorse afterwards? The sad thing is that in most cases, the incident that your child was involved in was insignificant but yet, as a parent, we want to "teach our child a lesson" and to "get our point across" so that he or she will never do it again. So what do you do? You holler in a loud voice and threaten the child with severe punishment hoping to scare fear into him or her so that they will never do it again. Guess what? The chances of them repeating that same act or behaving in a similar manner are great. Why? Because we as humans don't learn things just once. Otherwise, we would all be virtuosos and be fluent in 10 languages. Years later, the kid may not remember what exactly he did but he will remember how his Mom or Dad reacted and the feelings he felt as a result. As humans, we tend to forget certain events but rarely do we forget feelings.

I recall a story someone told me years ago that stuck in my head. He said, "If you want to teach a child not to touch the stove, put his or her hand on the stove and see what happens. I guarantee he or she will never touch the stove again."

I said to him, "How do you know this?"

He responded, "You see this scar (pointing to his hand). My Dad did that to me when I was a kid and I have never forgotten it."

I'm sorry but I don't need to "touch the stove" to know that it will burn me if I do. Just like I don't need to walk on the moon to know that it exists. I can learn from other people's mistakes and more importantly, from correct principles and teachings then by actually participating.

As a parent, you need to be less critical and more forgiving. You make mistakes as well and so why do you expect your child to be perfect? After all, they too are learning and trying to create their own identity and part of that learning comes through trial and error. That is a good thing, not bad. So don't belittle him or her for learning and not always knowing what the right thing is that he or she should do. Be patience, be supportive, and see these opportunities as teaching moments to expound the correct methods of carrying out an activity.

9. Be There.

One of my biggest pet peeves in life is people who say that will do something and then don't. Where I come from, we call it integrity - something that has been forgotten over the years.

Not too long ago, we needed our roof repaired. My wife and I had called around to a dozen roofing companies leaving voice mail and email messages. Only two out of the twelve actually called us back and of those two, one of them didn't email me until eight days later. If you have ever tried to hire tradespeople, you know what I am talking about.

So, we finally tracked down what seemed like the only roofing company in town and after pleading and prodding for them to come, they did after three weeks of our initial call. By then, the monsoons had come and were causing considerable damage to our home. When they showed up to our home, one of the tradesmen got his ladder out, climbed on top of the roof, went from one end to the other and then came back down and said, "Yep, it's damaged, we'll have to fix it." He then said, "We'll be back."

Oh he came back alright, four weeks later! And when he did, he only did a partial job and then left again. These shenanigans continued on for weeks. I wanted desperately to fire him but I had no one else who would come and the roof needed to be fixed. After being polite and patient the first few times (I didn't want to tick him off and have him leave for good) I finally had enough. I called him up and left a terse message. I even wrote him a flaming email that got his attention. Sure enough, he came the next day and finished the job. In the end, we got our roof completed. What should have only taken a day, took over ten long and painful weeks. When you say you are going to be there or do something, do it. Don't lie and don't procrastinate. If you can't do it, then be honest enough to say so and don't commit to it. And if you do commit to something and a situation arises, have the decency to let the other person know. They will understand and forgive you. Don't leave them hanging and coward off. It makes you look bad and puts a black mark on your good family name.

When you tell your child you will be there for his or her school play or sporting event or pick them up from work, be there! If you don't, your child quickly learns that your word doesn't mean anything and three things happen: one, your child loses trust and confidence in you; two, your child internalizes your "mishap" or "lie" as them not being important enough for you to be there; and three; your child learns from your poor example and pretty soon, guess what starts to happen? Instead of your child coming home on time, he or she begins to come home later and later and uses the excuse, "I forgot" or "I was busy." Hum... does this sound familiar? It should. You taught them this, remember? And you didn't even realize it! Be there and your kids will be there for you.

10. Teach and Lead.

Every single day presents new learning opportunities, not only for you as a parent but for your child. Always seek to teach and lead whether the situation is good or bad. As parents, we are quick to point out the bad and teach the right but seldom to we praise the good moments and reinforce good decisions that are children make.

As a parent, learn to have faith and trust in your child. Allow them to make mistakes and to learn on their own from those mistakes. Guide your children through situations and have them discover for themselves what the correct choices or decisions they should have made. Point out to your child what would have happened had they made a better choice or decision so that they can visualize the outcome at their own level.

As you teach, always remember to lead. Lead by example and through encouragement. Learn to walk-the-walk and talk-the -talk. Children would much rather follow your actions and behaviours than what you say. Talk is cheap but actions speak volume. Lead by good example and your children will follow the leader. Lead by bad example and your children will still follow the leader.

Always be thinking, "How can I better lead my children and be a better parent?" In most cases, your children will teach you without you even knowing it. The secret is to listen and observe, ask questions and take genuine interest in them and their lives. When you do so, you will grow as a parent and as a leader and so will your children. Learn from each other and you will learn to be better.

Troy

Parenting With Results

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8 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Kids

8 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Kids

8 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Kids
By Kristen Wint

If you're like me, teaching your kids as you go, imparting wisdom to them as they make their way along the road of life, how often do you sit down and really think about the essential life skills you'd like them to have? Take a few minutes to brainstorm what's most important to you and your partner when it comes to the competencies that are integral to setting your kids up for success and start focusing on them today.

8 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Kids:

1. Unconditional Love

By loving your children openly and wholeheartedly every day, you are showing them how to love themselves and others. Teaching kids to accept themselves for who they are will enable them to do the same with others. They must also be willing to forgive friends and family in order to love them unconditionally.

2. Social Awareness and Manners

Impart social and conversational skills from a young age by letting kids join in on adult gatherings from time to time. Don't make a habit of always segregating your children from the adults - they can learn a lot about etiquette, social cues and the art of conversation from watching grown-ups. These settings are also a good time to work on basic manners including the consistent use of "please," "thank you," "pardon me," as well as proper dining etiquette.

3. Respect for Others

Children learn respect from their family and it starts with family members caring for each other's physical space, thoughts, interests and needs. When kids feel that what's important to them is held in high regard by others, they will be able to emulate the same respect for their family and peers.

4. All Things Nature

Instill a lifelong love of the outdoors and of nature by spending plenty of time in the fresh air, in all kinds of weather. Let your kids climb trees at the park, plant seedlings in the garden, feed the birds in your backyard and jump in rain puddles on the street. All ages love summer camping, day hiking and picnics by the lake. When you give your kids a lot of exposure to our beautiful planet, it will make them appreciate it more and want to protect it for future generations.

5. Good Hygiene

Start early to create good hygiene habits that will stay with your kids forever - from teaching proper hand washing and teeth brushing techniques to tots, to encouraging daily bathing for sweaty teens. Make learning daily habits fun for young kids by singing, using props and giving out reward stickers. Good hygiene sets them up for good health and well-being in later life.

6. Food Preparation

Get your kids in the kitchen early, helping to select meals, prep food and cook with you. My son learned to prepare snacks with his classmates in preschool and loved it. He's been comfortable in our kitchen ever since and is not afraid to use a knife, stir a pot or get his hands dirty. Start by showing them how to make simple soups and pastas and work your way up to more complicated dishes.

7. Smart Shopping and Saving

Show your children the difference between whole foods and processed foods, how to eat in season and how to be savvy shoppers. Talk to them about brand versus non-brand, retail versus wholesale, and how to budget their money. Even young kids can save money in their piggy banks and learn how to bargain at a garage sale. Older children can open a bank account, start saving and help with shopping and errands.

8. Tidiness

With my recent goal of getting my house more organized, I've been reading "the life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo. She highlights the fact that most of us have never been properly taught how to tidy! Start early by teaching your kids how to fold clothing neatly so they can find articles easier, and have them sort through their personal belongings to keep only things that "spark joy." A tidy room means a tidy mind, and ensures children can cut through the clutter to focus on what's important.

More Time Moms designs tools to make your busy life easier, so you can spend more time with your family. All of our bestselling titles, including the original and #1 bestselling Family Organizer and the Family Meals cookbook are designed by moms to help you manage your family schedule and are available online at http://www.moretimemoms.com. For more great parenting tips and tricks, check out our blog at http://musings.moretimemoms.com/ and join the Family Meals Challenge for free recipes, dinnertime tips and games.

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10 Keys to Guaranteed Success in Negotiations

10 Keys to Guaranteed Success in Negotiations

10 Keys to Guaranteed Success in Negotiations

By: Paul Wilson

Negotiating is a skill that like warfare tactics must be honed. It is important to be mentally prepared to win. Do the ground work well before your reach the negotiating table and decide on the "path" you are going to take. Positivity will help as also a sense of confidence and self esteem. Set aside any doubts you may have and stride forward prepared to win at all costs.

The five cornerstones of successful negotiation skills are placing emphasis on common points; presenting clear arguments; being innovative and open to several options; focusing on the problem being dealt with; looking for a clear solution. The key is to be clear about your preferred outcome. However in the back of your mind you must be willing to compromise to some extent.

A good negotiator is an excellent communicator and understands how human beings think, feel, and function. You must be able to befriend the people seated on the other side of the negotiating table. You must know when to push hard, when to accept a compromise, and when to walk away. A negotiator is in many ways an artist he needs a great amount of creativity to steer the negotiations to a successful completion. A negotiator must keep in mind the 3Fs: fair, fast, and firm.

According to the gurus there are tactics to be used for negotiating:

1. Be focused on the problem or issue. Logical arguments are the key to smooth negotiations.

2. It is important to be firm yet polite when making a stand or presenting a point.

3. Clearly emphasize the advantages and disadvantages.

4. Be patient and let the process of negotiation take its course.

5. Put ego aside and concentrate on the matter at hand. It is finding an amiable solution that's important not self worth or position.

6. Never threaten or manipulate the opposite party-it is completely unethical and unfair.

7. Aim for solutions that are interest based and not what individual desires or aims are. It is best to consider any situation as a whole rather than from a personal view point.

8. Avoid psychological traps and have the magnanimity to admit when you are wrong. Be open minded.

9. Don't accept weak solutions and try and negotiate a plausible settlement. Temporary measures are not what you need. A permanent solution must be sought.

10. Value time, schedules, and deadlines. A good negotiator will not beat around the bush or adopt delay tactics or waste time talking about mundane matters. It is professional to immediately get down to the business at hand.

Most human beings are born negotiators. From the first breath a baby takes it makes all around him dance to his tunes. Most of us consciously or unconsciously do what we have to do to get our own way in life. And, if we look closely it is just mastering the art of negotiation.

 

Author Bio
Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for www.Submit-Article-Services.com, the premier Article Submission website including services to submit article, write articles, ghost write articles, plus a guranteed inclusion on 125 sites per article, and more. He also freelances for the premier Domain Site www.1866Domains.com

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Choosing A Wedding Date

Choosing A Wedding Date

Choosing A Wedding Date

The most commonly asked question you will hear when your friends and family are informed of your engagement is "When is the wedding?" Choosing a wedding date is very important because almost all of your wedding planning details will revolve around the date that you choose. Here are some things to take into consideration to help you pick a perfect date for your wedding.

If you already know where you would like to have the ceremony and reception, you should call them and confirm what dates they have available. If you are set on a specific location, your wedding date will have to coincide with the availability of the location, especially if you have chosen a very popular location because these places tend to get booked very quickly.

Take into consideration what type of wedding you have in mind. For example, have you always dreamed of a beach wedding surrounded by the calming sounds of the ocean or a fall wedding with beautiful red and orange leaves in the background? You will have to choose a date that is appropriate in terms of temperature and seasons. In addition, if there is a particular style of dress that you have in mind, the time of year will influence your bridal attire choices.

Have you always wanted a wedding during a specific holiday such as Christmas? Christmas is a popular time because many wedding locations are already beautifully decorated at this time of year. However, getting ready for a wedding in addition to all the activities that occur during the Christmas holidays such as shopping, parties, wrapping gifts can be too much for some people.

Maybe you thought having a wedding during a holiday would be easier for your guests due to the three day weekend. Some people may appreciate that your wedding is during a long holiday weekend while it might be difficult for others because many people plan their own vacations during these times of the year.

Are there important people in your life that you feel must attend the wedding? While there will always be people who will not be able to make it, some people may be higher on your priority list than others. For example, if your maid of honor is giving birth the same month you choose to have your wedding, you may want to give her a little time after the birth to feel more comfortable in her bridesmaid dress. Or maybe your parents have a vacation already planned for the same time. Prevent scheduling conflicts as much as possible by discussing your wedding date with these important people to avoid any problems.

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Author Bio
Gina Brown writes articles on a variety of wedding topics. To learn more about wedding planning, Gina recommends you visit: http://www.AWeddingToPlan.com

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Wedding On A Budget

Wedding On A Budget

Wedding On A Budget

Traditionally, the bride's family paid for the costs of a wedding while the groom would incur the expense of the honeymoon. These days it is not uncommon to find many couples paying for their own wedding from their own funds. However, you don't have to spend a fortune or go into debt to have a beautiful wedding. Determine the amount of your budget and stick to it. Keep track of all your expenses and receipts in a folder or binder so that you can stay organized and accurately keep track of where your money is going. Here are some helpful tips to help you stay within your wedding budget.

Wedding Dress
• Avoid overly elaborate dresses because they will be more expensive.
• Choose a floor sample dress and just have it dry cleaned if necessary.
• Look for your dress during prom and homecoming or consider wearing a bridesmaid dress. You can find a beautiful white or cream colored dress during that would be perfect for a wedding at a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding dress.
• Look at consignment shops and the classified ads. Wedding dresses are generally only worn once so you can get a gently used dress at a huge cost savings.

Reception
• Keep the number of guests down. You and the groom should look at the first draft of the guest list and carefully consider who can be taken off the list.
• Have a cash bar instead of an open bar. Or you can also just provide wine and beer to keep the costs down.
• Hold the ceremony and reception in the same location. You will be able to cut the cost of the location for the ceremony, decorations and transportation to the reception site.

Flowers
• Purchase your flowers wholesale and just pay for the labor of a professional florist to arrange them.
• Arrange the flowers yourself. A bouquet made of all roses with a little eucalyptus filler and tied with ribbon makes a stunning bouquet and you do not need to be a professional to put this together.

Photography
• Find a photographer with reasonable hourly rates and pay only for the time to do your formal poses. You can then designate friends or family to take the candid shots throughout the rest of the reception.
• Put disposable cameras at each table with a note asking guests to take pictures to help you capture memories.

Invitations
• Print your own invitations using your home computer. Visit your local arts and crafts store or search online and purchase a do-it-yourself invitation kit.

Miscellaneous
• Make your own wedding favors. Wrap up jordan almonds or other candies in lace and tie with ribbon pre-printed with your names and wedding date.
• Keep the number of chosen bridesmaids and groomsmen to a minimum or choose not to have them at all. This will keep the rehearsal dinner cost down as well as eliminate the need to buy groomsmen and bridesmaid gifts.

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Author Bio
Gina Brown writes articles on a variety of wedding topics. To learn more about wedding planning, Gina recommends you visit: http://www.AWeddingToPlan.com

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The Ready Reckoner to Finding the "Right Person for the Right Job"

Finding the Right Person for the Right Job

The Ready Reckoner to Finding the "Right Person for the Right Job"

By: Mahalakshmi Prabhakaran

Ever heard of the "round peg in the square hole" syndrome? It can essentially be used to describe a situation where you have hired the wrong person for the right job or vice versa.

Most companies generally hire employees based on their essential qualifications and experience. However it holds wise to remember that there are a multitude of factors that need to be kept in mind, while hiring a new incumbent. No matter how long it takes to find the perfect person for the job, it pays to wait for the right candidate to walk in than hurry and choose an ineffectual.

Sadly in spite of a growing awareness about these factors, a lot of companies still go wrong in the hiring process and end up placing the wrong person for the job. A wrong hire does not only add to the cost burden but also to the work and time burden of a company. As is often said, 'wrong hiring is worse than no hiring'.

This article seeks to provide you with answers to the essential question: Why do so many companies still make the same mistakes? Additionally giving you pointers on what you should remember during the interviewing process.

Look beyond qualifications and experience
Generally, when a job need has been identified, HR executives draw up a brief, detailing the job tasks and the relevant qualifications and experience needed from potential candidates. So while IQ and aptitude required for the job is listed, the EQ and attitude required for the job is given a see-through. The failure, to assess the inter-personal and intra-personal qualities needed of an individual for a job, is one of the more common reasons for hiring a mismatch.

Pointer#1
To avoid this mistake remember to list the qualities you think are required for a job profile. This makes for a scientific hiring process. One that will help you pick the right candidates from the wrong.

Prepare for the interview

An interview is by far the most accepted method to recruit new employees. Given its criticality many companies, in reality, rarely give a thought to planning the interview process. The fallout of an unplanned interview is that the right questions remain unasked, leaving you with a misfit in hand.

Pointer #2
Plan the interview. Determine the questions you want and a general guideline of the answers you expect for the same. As an interviewer, YOU need to guide the interview process. A well-thought interview process will effectively help you to evaluate a person's skills and determine if he/she is the right candidate for the job.

Follow the 80/20 rule

An adage that interviewers generally tend to forget is that "It pays to listen". More often than not, it's the interviewers who end up talking more than the interviewees!

Pointer #3
While interviewing follow the 80/20 principle: Listen 80% - Talk 20%. You need to learn as much about the candidate as you can, to best judge if the incumbent is the best fit for the job. At the same time, remember to allocate sufficient time to brief the candidate on the company and the basic job requirements.

We've listed some of the more common reasons for wrong hires.
What if you've already made a wrong decision? In such circumstances, just be patient and let the person grow into the job- have them groomed for the job by offering them the necessary training and letting them learn on the job. Else, you may want to examine the possibility of redirecting the candidate to a job more suited to his aptitude and skill set.

All said and done, the hiring process should be dealt with, with more care and thought. While this ready reckoner will make your job of interviewing easier, it definitely pays to hire a professional staffing company.

Author Bio
Mahalakshmi is a Marketing Writer for CAMO Technologies. CAMO Technologies is a global IT Outsourcing solutions provider offering IT Staffing services, Application Development services, Software Testing services and Web Services.

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Get The Fundamentals Right

Get The Fundamentals Right

Get The Fundamentals Right

By: Kevin Sinclair

To succeed in business on the Internet, or in the off-line world, requires an understanding of the fundamentals of business and using them to your advantage. In this article, I will outline what I consider the fundamentals of business success are.

Believe in Your Product or Service
First, you need to believe in your product or service. If you don't believe in it, you will have a great deal of difficulty selling your product or service to other people. You also need to have confidence in your ability to provide and promote your product or service. An old saying sums this up best by stating: "All things are possible to he who believes".

Aptitude for the Business
Secondly, you need to have an aptitude for the business. You will also need the motivation to acquire at the very least basic skills and experience before you start your business. If you were to set yourself up as a web designer but did not have any skills or training in this area, then you will almost certainly fail. However, if you are employed as a bookkeeper and you enjoy the job, then setting up your own bookkeeping service would be a sensible choice with a greater chance of success.

Be Responsible
Thirdly, you need to be responsible to your customers. This is achieved by only making commitments you can keep and by not engaging in misleading or dishonest advertising. If you want to build long-term success in your business, then you need to develop long-term satisfied customers. When their needs are being satisfied, customers are at their happiest.

Aim for High Quality
The next principle is that you need to have a high quality product or service. This will be your best advertisement. Inferior quality products usually generate poor customer satisfaction. A dissatisfied customer can be very dangerous for your business. Usually they tell on average about fourteen other people who will then be disinclined to buy your product or service based on the experience of that one dissatisfied person. Therefore, always aim for a top quality product or service.

Make a Profit
However, it is not enough to have a top quality product or service. You also need to have a product or service that will generate enough income to cover all your business expenses and give you a satisfactory wage. A friend of mine once said that business is only about two things: satisfying customers and making a profit. A simple statement but very true.

Sufficient Start-up Capital
You also need to have access to enough cash to set up and run your business, and enough income to meet your private expenses during the start-up phase. A major problem with many home and small businesses is that they fail to have enough money available to ensure their success. There is nothing more discouraging than having a great idea, getting it started on a shoestring, not being able to expand due to cash shortages and seeing a competitor come along and steal your market.

Start Small
Another fundamental principle of home business success is that you start small. This will enable you to minimize your overheads until you are confident of your success in the marketplace. For many of you, this would mean starting part-time while retaining your full-time income source. When you can, expand your business into a full-time venture. This is a great way of minimizing the risk of failure.

Be Well Organized
Successful businesses are well organized. They have a system for keeping track of expenditure and earnings. This level of organization in your business will help to ensure that you are providing your customers or clients with a top quality product or service. It will also ensure that you have enough information available to maximize your profitability and to satisfy your legal requirements for record keeping.

Be Prepared
Preparation is another key ingredient in your business success. This preparation will include being aware of the regulations and laws affecting small and home business. Armed with this knowledge, you should not have any nasty surprises from unintentional violations of the law.

Have a Business Plan
Finally, successful businesses have developed a comprehensive business plan. This is their road map to success. It tells them where they are going and how they are going to get there. There are a number of good resources about business planning on the Internet. Here are some:
www.bplans.com
www.businesstown.com/planning/creating.asp
www.bizplanit.com/vplan.htm

Conclusion
It has been said that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. The same can be said about business success. Without having the fundamentals in place, a great business idea will usually fail. Set yourself up for success by considering each of the points raised in this article.

 

Author Bio
Article by Kevin Sinclair, CPA, of Personal & Business Success Resources. Visit his website at www.business.ksinclair.com.

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Working the Room and how to do it

Working the Room and how to do it

Working the Room and how to do it

Let's cover an area of working the room with which people often struggle... the actual moving around the room. Disengaging with one group and breaking into groups. Finally I will cover the bridge process and explain the importance of the follow up after we have met new people.
Perhaps you have recently had a chance to meet people at a business networking event or social event, a conference, or seminar and have taken the opportunity to go up to someone standing alone. The problem comes when you wish to extricate yourself from this person but don't know how to go about it. Here let me give you some practical ideas. If you are both fellow guests at a function you don't owe it to this person to spend the rest of the evening with them. Think about it for a moment, the chances are that this person wishes to move on as much as you do but like you they simply don't wish to offend or cause any embarrassment.
You can do one of three of things:

  • After you have finished speaking you can simply say "Well, Jo, it's been great meeting you, enjoy the rest of the evening. Please excuse me as I promised to go and talk to Gerry over there".
  • You could say, "I'm going to get another drink, would you like to come?"
  • The coward's way out is "Please excuse me, I need to go to the loo!" and make sure you move well away from the person.


Whichever you use please do it with respect, integrity and politeness. Good manners is essential when working the room and is good business; bad manners brings no business.

The important aspect here is to move around the room with or without your new found friend. Again can I remind you that if your conversation is dry, they too probably want to be off working the room as well. You are doing them a favour by using your superior business networking techniques

Using the second idea of moving to the bar is an opportunity to park the person with someone else or for them to park you. It's rare both of you will be at an event where you don't know anyone so moving to the bar usually has the desired effect. When you do bump into someone you know even though you are a guest at an event act as a host. Don't just say "Hi Lou this is Jo" and leave it there. You have been chatting to Jo for some time and you obviously know Lou ... so play host. Say something like this, "Lou let me introduce you to Jo who I've just met this evening. He has a fascinating business selling sand to Middle Eastern Companies and, Jo, Lou here and I have been friends for years. He runs a business helping growing exporters raise finance from people who are looking for high-risk high return opportunities". These introductions are designed to get the two of them to talk quickly and with ease and reassurance. Who knows what may happen. You just might have created some potential for both of them? Business networking isn't just about what you can do for yourself, it's about what you can do for others. If you help someone, they will remember you when they hear of someone who needs your services. This of course makes it so much easier for you to move on and meet other people. This exercise is what I call parking. Like your car do it carefully, watch all angles and don't hit anything!

So now you have a parked Jo with Lou you have freshened up your drink. You look around the room and you see clusters of people or groups chatting to each other.

"Help... What do I do next?"

It's easy. Work the room! Look for a group of three people and move over to the edge of the circle. As you are moving towards the group, look at the faces of the people and decide who seems to be the most welcoming. Stand opposite that person at the edge of the group and smile. I can assure you the following will happen. The person you have smiled at will smile back and one or both of the other people will turn towards you and both will take one step to the side making a space for you. When you first do this, it's not easy. I'm not pretending it is but it always works. Ask in a gentle voice "Good evening please may I join you"? Again I have to tell you, you will not be rejected. The chances are someone will put their hand out and introduce themselves. I often play a game at the start of a business networking seminar or prior to a sit down meal by asking my newfound friend if they would allow me to use them as a Guinea Pig. I get them to go up to people they don't know, try out what I have just said and it always works. I do this simply to ensure that whenever I write about the matter or speak about it at the presentations and seminars I deliver that I feel confident in the advice I give.

Once you have successfully joined a group, don't change the subject matter and wait for them to start asking you questions. Bear in mind again, the chances are these people are from the same business or have known each other for a long time but haven't got the self-confidence to break away and meet new people... So you are a big relief for them!

When you are in a group, you will know the time to move on, instinct will tell you. I don't need to. So go to the top of this article and remember the tips about working the room.

Author Bio
I qualified as a chartered accountant in 1971, aged 23 and stayed in practice for the next 30 years.
I ended my accountancy career as the senior partner on merger with a national firm on May 31 2000. The next day I set up Kintish to show people in the professional, financial and service-based communities how to attract more business and clients.

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Educating Your Children: The Home Schooling Option

Educating Your Children: The Home Schooling Option

Educating Your Children: The Home Schooling Option

By: Colin P

An ever growing number of thoughtful parents are concerned about the status of public schools in many cites across North America. At the same time, a good number of families are struggling to make ends meet. They simply do not have excess funds available to send their children to private schools. One solution that many families are embracing is home schooling. With each passing school year, more and more families in North America -- indeed, in many countries around the world -- are electing the home schooling for their children.

There are some definite benefits and specific drawbacks to choosing home schooling for your children. Turning to the positive elements of home schooling first, chief amongst them is the fact that parents have greater control over the education of their children.

One of the more significant complaints frequently expressed about both public and private schools is the lack of input and control a parent has over the education of his or her child or children. While there are certain educational standards that must be met when it comes to home schooling, a parent has a significant degree of discretion over how his or her child or children will be taught.

In addition to more control over the educational process, most parents who are involved in the home schooling of their children believe that their children are obtaining a far better course of education. Many of these parents simply believe that public schools are not up to muster and that home schooling ensures that their children will be properly educated.

Of course, when contrasting home schooling with the private school alternative, educating your children at home is significantly less expensive. The tuition costs and other fees associated with most private schools continue to increase each and every year. As a result, many families simply have been priced out of the private school market all together.

People who are involved in home schooling believe that educating children at home works to develop a stronger bond between parents and children. The very fact that children will be spending more time with their parents because of being schooled in the home enriches the relationship between the generations.

There are some drawbacks to home schooling as well. The primary complaint that some education experts have in regard to home schooling is based on the need for children to interact socially with other children. These experts maintain that one of the most important components of attending school -- be it in a public or private setting -- are the opportunities for children to interact with each other. These opportunities are more limited when a child is home schooled.

With that said, there are now different organizations and associations that have been formed that bring children who are home schooled together for different activities and events. Home schooling advocates assert that these activities and events allow children who are home schooled ample opportunity to interact with other children their own ages.

Most education analysts believe that the trend towards home schooling will continue onward into the immediate future. These experts believe that an ever growing number of parents are going to elect to educate their children at home as an alternative to problematic public schools and expensive private schools.

 

Author Bio
More information on Home Schooling

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