Articles — Business

Past Trauma Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Past Trauma Can Hurt Your Business

Sometimes things happen to individuals that are traumatic. Over time, however, others generally expect them to just get over it and resume the life that they had. This is not always possible or easy to do. Over the years I have worked with many people who are not able to function well because of something that had happened to them many years before. One woman had been an employee in a financial institution that was held up by a thief at gunpoint. She never felt comfortable again in any workplace. Those who have returned from military service also have experienced...

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Lack of Motivation Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Lack of Motivation Can Hurt Your Business

Some people use the term "lazy". I prefer to call it "unmotivated" but both refer to an individual who is not very ambitious at doing what needs to be done. Most people who are unmotivated in one area, however, can be extremely motivated in another. They might actually be an avid skier, ambitious carpenter or model parent - all of which take a great deal of time and effort. There are many things that can be at the root of a person's lack of motivation: 1. Lack of skills - Sometimes people just shut down when they don't know what...

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Family Patterns Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Family Patterns Can Hurt Your Business

Although each family is a unique unit made up of unique individuals there are certain types of patterns that might be recognized as dysfunctional for its members. Most of them are characterized by a power imbalance, where one or more people take advantage another. This may occur in a number of areas: 1. Physical - Abuse is never acceptable but some people batter or assault other people to try to maintain control over them. 2. Emotional - Instilling fear and using intimidation tactics can hold some people as prisoners within relationships. 3. Financial - Many people feel that they do...

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Negative Feelings Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Negative Feelings Can Hurt Your Business

It is very important that your clients have positive feelings when they hear your name or when other people ask them for an opinion about your business. You see word of mouth is one of your best marketing tools. Sometimes people have negative feelings that can result from a number of situations where they believe that you or your staff: 1. Weren't competent - Professionalism is so important and if the client doesn't think that you have the expertise, skills and abilities, they will not have respect for you. Make sure that you always do, say and think in a...

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Spiritual Perspective Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Spiritual Perspective Can Hurt Your Business

There are three ways that spiritual perspective can hurt your business as follows: 1. If you or your staff try to impose your view on other people - Every single person has some type of belief. It might be in a God of the universe, nature, or even in life ending on this earth. Most do not want to hear about what others believe unless they specifically ask for it and they certainly do not want to go into a business only to be evangelized or confronted about their faith. 2. If You have specific beliefs or religious customs that...

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Environmental Issues Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Environmental Issues Can Hurt Your Business

Air, earth and water are all vital for our survival. At times, however, these are tampered with or become aggressors that not only hurt the environment but also affect the businesses in the region. Following are some examples of environmental difficulties that have affected countries and the world economy in the past few years: 1. The hurricane and oil spill in New Orleans - Many people will not be able to remove horrible images of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina that they saw on television from their minds. Death and destruction crippled an area that had been well-known for...

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Leading With Feelings Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Leading With Feelings Can Hurt Your Business

Thoughts, feelings and behaviours are interconnected parts that make up and reveal a person's personality. A person can succeed or fail in life and business depending on which of three is allowed to lead. Those who lead with their feelings can experience several different types of problems: 1. They might make impulsive decisions - How many times have you gone shopping without any intent of spending more than a fixed amount yet end up coming home with something that you purchased impulsively? Marketers are excellent at attracting your attention and encouraging you to buy things that you never previously even...

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Lack of Collaborative Process Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Lack of Collaborative Process Can Hurt Your Business

Collaboration is a word that is being used more and more in a number of arenas in society. It refers to groups of individuals with have common goals who work together to identify issues, consider options and come up with a creative plan that will improve the situation of the parties involved. In recent years, for example, there has been a growing movement that has taken divorcing individuals out of a litigation model where a judge who is a "stranger" to them makes decisions for their family. The collaborative model instead allows the two individuals to become part of a...

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Limited Options Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Limited Options Can Hurt Your Business

Lately, there has been a strong trend that encourages businesses to focus on a niche which they then market to a particular group of clientele. The theory is that the business owner can then be viewed as an expert who people will respect and go to for services and products. There are several things that you need to consider though if you are going to do well in a niche: 1. The niche that you choose - Remember, earning revenue means that you have to fill the needs of the clients. If people do not need what you have to...

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Attitude Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Attitude Can Hurt Your Business

Have you ever been treated poorly by an employee of a business and swore never to deal with that business again? Can you think of friends or family members who tell horror stories about the terrible customer service that they had from one staff member in a large organization? Can you still feel the shock and hurt experienced when a company representative was rude or apathetic about your situation? Attitude is extremely important when it comes to working with people. In fact, businesses are becoming more and more aware of the importance of building good relationships with customers and clients....

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World and Economic Factors Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

World and Economic Factors Can Hurt Your Business

The news has been filled with stories about countries and states that are having serious financial difficulties. Some are considering filing for bankruptcy. Others have been affected by wars or natural disasters and are depending on others to help them. Like it or not, we are in a world where the things that affect one area also have an effect on our lives and businesses. Lack of overseas markets - There are so many things that can kill what might otherwise be a good customer base. Tariffs or import policies can reduce trade when political leadership changes or relationships between countries...

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Old School Ideas Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Old School Ideas Can Hurt Your Business

When some people hear the term "old school" they think of a nostalgic, happy time when life was just a little bit better because it was simple and filled with good values. For others, "old school" represents a stubborn perspective that honours an out-of-date time before modern ideas and technology improved life. If you are of the second mindset and believe that you need to hold onto your old school ideas, you may not only be missing out on good opportunities, but might actually be hurting your business. Think about the computer, for example. Many people in business were reluctant...

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Policies Set in Concrete Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Policies Set in Concrete Can Hurt Your Business

Times have changed and when I think about business policies from even a few short decades ago, it makes me realize that we have to be open to even more change in the future. When my mother was pregnant with me in 1951 she was told that she would have to give up her grade four teaching job because it wasn't healthy for children to look at a pregnant woman. Today that would be considered absolutely ludicrous! In fact, now female teachers often show ultrasound pictures of her unborn child to their young students during class. The union labour movement...

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Stubbornness Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Stubbornness Can Hurt Your Business

There are many characteristics and perspectives that are very important for starting and building a business. Stubbornness is not one of them! You see, a person who is stubborn can be unreasonable, unyielding and difficult to deal with. Those around him or her can feel frustrated and helpless, especially if that person is the owner or manager of the business. Customers might chuckle about it while others may view the stubbornness as being foolish or narrow-minded. At the same time, the stubborn person might actually think that s/he is persistent and persevering viewing both these traits as positive ones. In...

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Personality Disorders Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Personality Disorders Can Hurt Your Business

Personality Disorders are psychiatric conditions that usually cause life-long problems in both personal and work relationships for the individual. The reason for this is that the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of the person do not match expectations of society. There are ten different types of personality disorders and although criteria is complex, following is an extremely brief description of each: 1. Antisocial - These individuals live and behave as though they do not have a conscience. 2. Avoidant - People who do not do things that they need to do even if the task would benefit them, can fall into...

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Three Things You Can Do To Be More Professional

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Three Things You Can Do To Be More Professional

Some people treat their work as a job that they have to do. They use terms such as "pensionable hours" or "putting in time" to describe how they feel about what they spend most of their waking hours doing. Even if you don't have a degree or are employed in a field that is classed as professional, there are three things that you can do to improve your situation and move you from "someone who just works here" to someone who is respected as a "professional": 1. Dress for Success - My aunt has always said that you should dress...

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Are You The Solo Professional and the Janitor?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Are You The Solo Professional and the Janitor?

I really got tired of trying to find a janitor who would come into the office for a few hours a month at a reasonable cost. For the past year or so, I therefore decided to do the job myself and have figured out a way to do it without being exhausted or resentful. Here are some tips that will save you time and money when it comes to cleaning the office: 1. Supplies and Equipment - I purchased a few items to keep in my storage room so they are handy. A feather duster, garbage bags, paper towels, and...

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How to Set Long-Term Career Goals

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

How to Set Long-Term Career Goals

One time I was out walking with two friends and was very surprised when one of them said "Linda, you are always reinventing yourself". It sounded as though she thought that I kept changing from one thing to the other. The way that I viewed it, however, was that I was merely building the foundation for my professional life piece by piece. You see, if you want to build a career, you will need to break your long-term goals down into manageable and achievable pieces or steps: 1. Consider your interests - Often people state that they want to have...

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Three Methods to Achieve Conflict Resolution

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Three Methods to Achieve Conflict Resolution

Conflict can arise in any number of situations. Sometimes it is between family members who disagree about relationships, estates or dependent adult issues. Business transactions involving property, or organizational issues can also be difficult at times. Municipal boundary issues, condominium owner disputes or even contracts can led to individual upsets. There are several ways that these types of conflict can be resolved outside of a Courtroom. Following are three very good options: MEDIATION - One or more parties may decide to involve a trained impartial person who can help to identify their needs and interests. When they hear each other's...

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Important Things To Put On Your Business Card

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Important Things To Put On Your Business Card

Everyone seems to have a business card these days but some of them are not very good marketing tools. The print might be too small or in a font that is not easy to read. Sometimes the colours or paper used are distracting. The whole idea of having a business card is so that people can reach you. Before you have your cards printed consider the following: 1. How will you state your name? Will you print your full name followed by all of your credentials or just your first name and surname? What font will you use? 2. Will...

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Personal Interests Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Personal Interests Can Hurt Your Business

My daughter was managing a large company with over fifty employees. One day she told me how frustrated she was about the way that staff members were more focussed on personal interests than on their assignments. She was hurrying through the office when a fellow behind the computer screen stopped her to ask advice. She said that she was happy to help. Then he asked her to recommend a good lunch restaurant where he could take the woman he was chatting with on the dating site he had running. She was stunned! First of all she couldn't believe that he...

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Does an Apology Help Your Business?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Does an Apology Help Your Business?

Today I attended a break out session with the topic of apology at a conflict resolution conference. We discussed the importance of apologizing to others and how it is best done. I have been thinking ever since it ended about why you might be required to offer apologies when you are in business. Sometimes you might have offended someone without knowing they were offended until some time had passed. You might hear a complaint about products or services that were not delivered as expected. Perhaps you had a misunderstanding with a peer or another business owner. There are several things...

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Tips For Reading People

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Tips For Reading People

When you are in business, it is very important that you are able to read people. This applies not only to your customers or clients but also to your staff. There are several things to pay attention to so that you understand what is truly going on with the other person: 1. Watch the body language - If someone is shaky or doesn't look you in the eye, you have a good clue that there is a problem. People who are worried or fearful will usually take on passive or agitated behaviours whereas those who are angry will usually assume...

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Living Without Breaks and Vacation Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Living Without Breaks and Vacation Can Hurt Your Business

Sometimes business owners become so involved in all the things that need to be done that they ignore the fact that they need daily breaks and regular vacation times. There are several reasons that they need to make changes to this pattern. 1. You will be able to stay well - Probably the most common-sense reason for taking breaks is to protect your health and ensure that you have time to rest. Once your start neglecting your diet and relationships, they start to deteriorate and you will one day wake up to find that you don't feel well and have...

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Control Issues Can Hurt Your Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Control Issues Can Hurt Your Business

Sometimes people tend to micro-manage things. They want to be in charge and responsible for every single detail of a situation in order to have control and ensure that things are done properly. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this way of managing things. The advantage, of course, is that the person in charge has a very clear picture of everything that is going on in the business. Nothing is a real surprise because they always know the details of every aspect of the business. If they have staff, everyone reports to them and provides a great deal of...

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