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Exact Staff News

  • Doing This in the First Five Minutes of Networking is a Game Changer

    07/30/18 2:35 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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    Your eyes glaze over.

    Your attention wanders.

    And after about three minutes, you want to throw up your hands, yell “I can’t take it!” and run out the front door.

    What happened? You were attacked by a conversation bully. You know, one of those people who dominates the entire conversation, blathering on (and on and on) about themselves, their job, their company, their achievements…

    …and learning absolutely nothing about you.

    It happens all the time. And when it comes to professional networking, it’s the biggest blunder out there.

    What? You say this doesn’t happen to you all the time?

    Then (gulp) maybe you’re one of “those people” (in which case, you REALLY need to keep reading).

    Regardless of how you use business networking events – to identify new business opportunities, broaden your circle of influence, recruit candidates, solicit advice for solving a challenge you’re experiencing – you’ll dramatically improve your results if you do this one simple thing:

    Ask questions!

    In the first five minutes of a networking conversation (or any conversation, for that matter), using active listening skills to pose thoughtful questions is an absolute game changer. Here’s why:

    • You’ll keep them engaged. The best small-talkers are perceived as interesting because they: stay in the moment; focus attention on the person they’re talking to; and show a genuine interest in learning about them.
    • People often feel awkward talking to strangers. If you gently guide the conversation with questions, they don’t have to figure out what to say next – which puts them more at ease.
    • You’ll identify all kinds of “openings” to form the basis of a strong business relationship. Maybe you’ll discover a common interest or client. Maybe you’ll be able to connect the individual to someone who can help them with a problem. Maybe you’ll even find your next business deal or the perfect job candidate for a position you’ve been struggling to fill. But you’ll never know unless you ask!

    At your next networking event, try spending the first five minutes of each conversation listening more than you speak, and asking open-ended questions to learn about others. You’ll have more meaningful conversations that uncover more opportunities and ultimately lead to more meaningful connections.

    Want tips for becoming a better listener?

    This earlier post shares Three Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills.

    What are you trying to achieve? What challenges are you facing? How can Exact Staff help?

    We listen, ask the right questions, and then create solutions that offer the workforce flexibility, support and access to talent your team needs. What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

Here’s Proof That Sleeping in on the Weekend Can Add Years to Your Life

07/23/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Does being a sack hound on the weekend make you lazy – or extend your life?

According to the results of a 13-year study of sleep habits published by the Journal of Sleep Research, it’s the latter. The study reported the following:

  • For people 65 and under, weekend sleep can make up for sleep deficits accrued during the week.
  • People who slept fewer than 5 hours per night during the week faced a 52% higher mortality rate. However, those who gained 2 hours’ sleep per night on weekends lived just as long as those who consistently slept 7 hours per night.

Afraid to turn off the alarm clock on the weekend?

If you create a sleep deficit for yourself during the week, you no longer have to feel guilty about sleeping in Saturday and Sunday. First, the results of the study above (which followed 43,000 people) prove that catching up on your Zzz’s each weekend can add years to your life. Second, sleep deprivation is an illegal method of torture outlawed by the Geneva Convention (it’s literally a form of torture!). And finally, study after study confirms what most people already know about sleep loss:

  • It diminishes your ability to focus and block out distractions.
  • It reduces your ability to solve problems and make effective decisions.
  • It slows your reaction time.
  • Besides that, being sleep deprived just makes you feel lousy.

Get more sleep on the weekends!

If changing your sleep habits doesn’t come naturally to you, read this earlier post for tips on how to make a new habit stick and consider these ideas:

  • Figure out how much sleep you really need to feel good and perform at your best. Then track your hours each week to determine if you’re behind.
  • Make sleep a priority. Stop scheduling early morning activities on the weekend. And if you can’t, get creative to share “early rising” duties with your significant other, friends or family members.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. If you associate Friday and Saturday nights with rich food and alcohol, change your routine for a few weekends and see if you sleep longer and/or more soundly.
  • Unplug. The blue light emitted by screens of all types can make you restless. Turn off your technology an hour before bed to help you fall asleep faster.

Then, contact Exact Staff. With a national presence and a full complement of staffing and placement solutions, we can help you better you plan your hiring and staffing needs, offload non-core business activities, and assume time-consuming hiring activities. We’ll help you lighten your load – and sleep a little better.

“Big Sister” Is Listening: How to Delete Alexa’s Recordings of Your Private Conversations

07/16/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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George Orwell’s fictitious Big Brother may not truly be watching you…

…but Amazon’s very real Alexa is definitely listening to you. All the time. And recording everything she hears you say.

Kinda creepy when you think about it.

Even worse? A Portland woman claims that the Echo virtual assistant took things a step further, recording a private conversation between her and her husband – and then sending the recording to one of the husband’s employees.

Kinda extremely creepy.

While an Amazon spokesperson explained the incident away as an innocent series of voice recognition mistakes, news like this makes it clear that you need to protect yourself if you use voice recognition technology in your home.

What is Alexa listening to – and recording? And how can you erase her “memories” of your conversations? It’s pretty simple if you have the Alexa app:

  1. Open your Alexa app and click “Settings.”
  2. Scroll down and select “History.” You’ll see of all your voice interactions listed.
  3. From this list, you can review Alexa recordings. Be sure to listen to those with “Text not available.”
  4. From there, you can select any recordings you’d like to delete by choosing “Delete Voice Recordings.”

If you don’t want to use the Alexa app, here are the steps to delete all of your interactions, using the Amazon website:

  1. Navigate to the Amazon website, and then go to “Manage Your Content and Devices.”
  2. Select the “Your Devices” tab.
  3. From the list of devices registered to your Amazon account, select your Alexa device.
  4. Select “Manage voice recordings.”
  5. Select “Delete.”

“Alexa, create a new reminder.”

Voice recognition technology is amazing, but it’s far from perfect. If you want the convenience this tech offers, understand that it comes with risks – and schedule regular reminders to delete your virtual assistant’s recordings of your conversations.

Have something we need to hear?

As a national staffing service, Exact Staff understands and appreciates the value of constructive feedback in maintaining a productive business relationship. So, tell us what you think! Please contact our national staffing service with your comments, questions or suggestions.

The Secret to Being Your Best Self Requires This ONE Thing

07/9/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Finding new ways to improve your effectiveness – both as an individual and a leader – is a common goal among managers, and it’s a common theme to posts you’ll find on our blog.

In fact, we’ve written about the topic frequently over the past year or so, sharing great advice from a variety of sources. Here are a few of our favorite installments:

Adopt These Habits of Mentally Strong People

8 Things the Happiest People Do Every Day

3 Ways to Be a Leader People WANT to Follow

5 Ways a Leader Can Build the Perfect Team

In today’s post, Exact Staff shares S. Chris Edmonds’ secret to being your best self every day in every way by doing this ONE thing: living your Servant Purpose and values, in service to others.

Here are a few highlights from his video:

Work/Life Balance Doesn’t Work

Trying to separate, or even balance, work and life today is more difficult than ever. When you attempt to “draw lines” to distinguish the various roles you play across a wide range of contexts, it causes inner struggle that makes you frantic – and ultimately less happy and effective.

Aligning your purpose as a servant leader, however, provides a solid foundation for success. Clarifying and formalizing servant values leads to calmer, more consistent, purpose-driven behavior that you can apply across all areas of your life.

Becoming a Successful Servant Leader

Effective leadership isn’t a position; it’s a choice to serve others. It requires a single philosophy that works in all areas of your life: at work and at home; with co-workers, superiors, family and friends.

To be a true servant leader, plans and decisions must be aligned across every context, in every role and with every interaction. When you act in alignment with your best self in every situation:

  • There’s no conflict among the aspects of your life. You’re fully in sync with your true self and there’s no “imbalance” to address.
  • You’re better able to help others succeed, in ways that support your own success.
  • You’re living your servant purpose in a way that’s meaningful to others, creating a calmer, more consistent and more authentic path for yourself.

Creating a Servant Purpose Statement

To serve others effectively, you need a single clear statement of your servant purpose and values, defined in behavioral terms. An effective servant purpose statement includes these three elements:

  1. It specifies your talents and passions.
  2. Identifies whom you’re trying to serve.
  3. Clarifies to what end (i.e., how your talents improve your “customers'” quality of life.

Once you’ve defined this statement, you can then apply it to every situation you encounter and every role you play at home, at work and in your community.

Find the Great Leaders and Managers Your Team Needs

Exact Staff’s national network of offices can connect you with unforgettable talent to strengthen your organization. Improve performance. And achieve more. What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today!

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