Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Everybody Else Does When It Comes To Bullying And What You Should Do Different

When bullying stretches its ugly head and seems to wow for attention, most of the world population looks the other way. The only time that the world truly cares about bullying is when it is about to lose something.
Rarely do you interfere when a husband and wife are having a fight. Especially if the man is huge and mean looking and if you dare even look in his direction he would shift his cruelty to you. There have been some brave souls and you read about them on the nightly news as victims. So we have been punished by taking any action to helping others. Now, if the cops are nearby they may take some action if there are enough of them to go around, and their guns are bigger.
Others just look the other way. If it is a child that is bullying another child, and it is not your child being bullied you look the other way. You do not want to have the wrath of that child on your back. When an employee is being bullied and you are the boss, you may respond if the person who is doing the bullying is smaller, not so outspoken, poorly educated.
Generally, we allow spots of bullying in our society, we hope that it will correct itself, or that the person being bullied will wake up and fight back. There are many services to help out the employee, the Human Resources Department or Personnel. Do not hold back from writing letters to those departments and to the boss. Maintain a track record and the next stop is the Civil Rights Commission. An employee does not have to put up with bullying of any kind.
We allow bullying to happen and flourish in our society. It is only when it comes knocking on our door that we react and fight back or tell someone.
It is all about size, or power and being outspoken. It is not one gender over the other. Even though the male has been given much attention today. Bullies come in all shapes, sizes and packages.
Bullying in school is quite remarkable in that you do have defense mechanisms in place, like the teacher, administrators, counselors, coaches and other school officials. You would think that a person being bullied or their parents would use those services.
The only reason that they are not using them is due to fear or what may happen to them if the bully hears about it. There has to be much more said about bullying and bullies in our schools. Parents can be bullied as well by students and the students parents.
At work is a very different story because you can quit and lose you financial support and not be able to pay your bills. Work has its safety nets as mentioned earlier.
In a nutshell, one should seek outside advice, and use all the uses that are provided by the industry. You can always go to the media and shout out your situation. Documentation of everything and keeping a good track record is important. Defending yourself at all costs is a must.
Purchasing weapons if you feel the need for your protection. Making sure that you home is fully protected and has video recording device at hand. Make sure you do not go this alone. Tell family, friends and love ones about what you are facing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stress at Work and Best Practice

There are many myths and misconceptions about stress, so I thought that I would write a summary for you.
Q: Is stress is good for me? A: No! Pressure is good for you but stress is not.
Q: What is the difference between pressure and stress? A: Pressure motivates and is within your control and you can usually manage it. Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed upon them.
Q: What causes stress? A: Fundamentally, it is the way that we think about a
situation rather than the situation itself, that causes stress.
Q: What is a stress 'carrier'? A: People who exhibit stress-producing behaviour but are unaware of the impact of their conduct upon others.
Q: What are some of the physical reactions to stress? A: Dry mouth, anxiety, rapid breathing, moist palms.
Q: What are some of the symptoms of prolonged stress? A: Sleep problems, headaches, anger, indigestion.
Q: What are some of the causes of workplace stress? A: Long working hours, lack of autonomy, excessive expectations, uncertainty, work under-load / overload
Q: What are some of the effects of workplace stress? A: Poor performance and productivity, low morale, reduced commitment and increased absenteeism
Q: What can the organisation do to manage stress? A: Introduce Best Practice with primary, secondary and tertiary levels of intervention.
Q: What is the primary level intervention? A: The primary level deals with the assessment of risk and its prevention by introducing appropriate interventions, reviewing the needs of the organisation and implementing an anti-stress policy.
Q: I am the CEO of a pharmaceutical company and want to assess the risk of stress in my organisation. How can I do this? A: You will need to ensure that:
a) Demands upon employees are realistic.
b) Change is managed effectively.
c) Procedures for dealing with grievances are introduced.
d) Teams are allowed some control over their work
e) Role conflict and ambiguity are avoided
f) Published support is available within the organisation.
Q: What is the secondary level intervention? A: This includes training, education and implementation
Q: I am a training director of an IT company? What training initiatives have been proven to work? A: There are two training initiatives that will help reduce stress in your organisation:
a) Stress awareness and resilience training for all employees. Many organisations cannot eradicate stress but they can strengthen the resilience of their employees to manage it effectively. Individuals can be taught how to increase their capacity to tolerate excessive demands and learn how to 'bounce back' from challenges.
b) Stress Management training for all Managers. Managers need to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress in both themselves and in others and know how to deal with it quickly and efficiently so that team performance is not impaired.
Q: What is the 3rd level intervention? A: Dealing with stress-related problems in the workplace by timely interventions and by offering coaching, counselling, mediation and regular staff appraisals.
Q: I am a Manager and I assume that you would say that I have a fundamental role
in managing stress in my team? A: Exactly so. Your role is to manage people and you need to communicate, 'walk the talk', be approachable and value individual and team effort by recognition.
Q: What are the benefits of taking action to manage work stress? A: The organisation will benefit from reduced absenteeism, improved staff morale and increased productivity.
Q: What is your key message? A: Create a healthy workplace culture where you have motivated and resilient teams who love what they do! Engage, involve and inspire them and lead by inspiration and motivation.
Q: What do I do next? A: You could buy a copy of my new book, Show Stress Who's Boss! and put these interventions into practice.
Is this all difficult to do? No! Is it costly to implement? No! Then how many companies
are actually committed to doing it? Now that's another question for another time!
Keys Points
  1. Excessive pressure = stress
  2. Anti-stress interventions, work!
  3. Resilience is the key to beating stress!
This article was written by Carole Spiers and originally published by her with Gulf News.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Choose Keywords for Your Articles

So you've started a blog or a niche website and you'd like to start writing content but you don't know where to begin? The thing is that, even though you'd like to think that you could start anywhere, it just isn't true. You can't publish posts that will not bring traffic to your site... unless you want to write and keep those articles just to yourself, but then what would be the point? You need to make sure that the keywords you will target have enough people searching for them on a daily basis. That will mean that those keywords are viable. But that's not all...
How to Choose the Perfect Keywords?
As I said, the keywords you go after should be words or sentences that people will be typing in Google, Yahoo or Bing, and the more people per day, the better for you. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as I make it sound. Why? Because if it was, we would all be targeting keywords such as "payday loans", "make money online" and "buy Viagra"... then rank for them and rake in the big money! You also have to check out the competition for those keywords, so you can see if it will be easy for you to earn a spot in the top 3 or just near impossible.
Yes, the perfect keywords are those that show the perfect balance between high searches and low competition. Your job now will be to find them.
Finding Your Keywords
Finding your keywords is a two-step program that starts with you sorting out between the potential winners. The way to do that is to open Google Keyword Tool (you'll need to register to be able to use it well) and type in the topic, the general subject of your blog (i.e. make money, writing, dog grooming, and so on). Before you press enter, you want to make sure that in the match types option you've selected [Exact] as you only want Google to give you the number of people looking for those exact terms and nothing else.
OK, so now you have your list that should be around 800 results long (that's the maximum number Google will return). Click on the Global Monthly Searches element in the menu to sort the keywords by their volume of searches. Don't even look at those results that bring in hundreds of thousands of searches; it would cost you too much time and money to rank for those... and I can't even guarantee that you could as those keywords are generally already taken by old authority sites with high PR and A LOT of backlinks. What you should pay attention to are long tail keywords from 1,000 to 10,000 exact searches per month. Don't go lower than one thousand as, even if you placed 1st for those keywords, the resulting traffic would not justify all your efforts. Now, copy and paste those results in Word and go to the second step.
Determine the Competition for your Keywords
Now that you have your list of keywords, you need to check whether you have a standing chance to rank for them or not. There are 2 ways to go about it, the fast and the not so fast. If you want the process to be automated, you can get your hands on a piece of software like Market Samurai or Traffic Travis... There are Free Trial versions for the both of them so you can test for yourself if you like them or not (personally, I have a preference for MS as its SEO competition tool tells you exactly what you need to know in a clear and concise manner).
If you prefer to do the checking manually, here's how to go about it:
  • Install SEO Quake: first of all, install SEO Quake plugin in your web browser.

  • Check the PR: type in your keyword in Google and, with the help of SEO Quake, check the PR of the 10 first sites. Are they all high PR? Do you see any PR0-3? The less sites with a high PR, the better.

  • Check the Backlinks: once again, for the first 10 results, you want to see how many backlinks they have and how strong those are. Why only the first 10? Because it doesn't matter whether you have 1,000,000 competitors for that keyword or just 10,000, as the money is on the first page of Google, you're only interested in the strength of those as they're the ones you're trying to beat. Now, the easiest way to check the backlinks of your competitors is to make a search on websites such as BackLinkWatch. You put the URL in and they'll tell you exactly how many links this site has.

  • Check the Age: the older the sites, the worst news it is for you. Websites that have been around for a while will be harder to beat as they've proven their worth through the years.

  • Any .edu or .gov?: if the sites on the first page are educational or government, it's going to be that much harder to outrank them. Google and the other search engines give them more weight than regular com/net/org. So that's another thing to watch out for when you choose keywords for your site.
You see, deciding which keywords to use and which to avoid is not an art, it's a science. It means that there are certain rules to follow and that, if you do, you can rest assured that your website will rank for them and bring traffic back. So put these tips into practice and watch your website rise to the top!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Global Warming: Save Your Planet, Act Today

The oxford dictionary defines global warming as the increase in temperature of the earth's atmosphere that is caused by the increase of particular gases, especially carbon dioxide.
So how does it work? How nature intends for the sun to heat the earth is for the sun to shine UV rays down on the earth. These rays should then bounce off the earth and back out into space. To keep the Earth's temperature in balance some of these rays are blocked by the atmosphere from making it to outer space. The heat from these rays are then used to keep the earth at the temperature nature intended. However we are messing with nature's intentions. What is happening now is a severe increase in the amount of greenhouse gases being sent into our atmosphere due to advancements in technology and our huge dependence on heavy industry and fossil fuels. These gases act as a shield so that when UV rays bounce off the earth now the majority of them are trapped by these gases instead of continuing into space. The result of this is that these trapped rays end up heating the earth beyond the desired temperature.
Since the early 20th century the earth's temperature has increased by 1.4 degrees. The majority of this increase has occurred since the 1980s. 1.4 degrees that's not so bad, right? Wrong. The majority of the environmental disasters you hear about on the news every evening, scientists are attributing to this increase in temperature.
Critics will argue 'that's rubbish there have always been natural disasters, before we ever even heard about global warming'. OK so, I guess their right, the increase in weather related natural disasters from 120 per year during the 1980s to roughly 500 per year now is just a coincidence (insert sarcasm here). That is an increase of around 400% since the 1980s. If you look closer you will notice the number of natural disasters started to increase right about the same time the earth's temperature started to increase but that's probably just another coincidence as well. Remember this is the result of 1.4 degree increase in the Earth's temperature. This figure is set to reach 8 degrees in the next hundred years if current trends continue you can do the math on that one.
Scientists have also noted a rapid melting of the polar ice caps due to global warming. When an ice cube melts in a glass it turns to water and will increase the volume of water in the glass. Imagine this on a scale so large that the ice cube is a continent and the glass is the world's oceans and then guess what happens. That's right our ocean's levels rise and swallow up coastal areas all over the world. At the moment, we can see evidence of it happening in Thailand and this is one of many examples where hundreds have died and millions displaced because of severe flooding. In the future, low lying countries, such as The Netherlands, could be completely submerged and cease to exist if this trend is left to continue.
The whole point of this article was not to leave you with nightmares but to educate you into action. There are so many steps we can take on our own and as a society to help reduce our carbon footprint and leave a safe environment for our future generations.
'In life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action', Tony Robbins