Friday, 8 August 2008

Newsletter Issue 152, August 2008

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 152, August 2008
Hi guys,
Do you know how to make the most of your The Seven Second Advantage?
We are a lazy lot; and we can do more to lessen our impact on the environment. Check out The Ubiquitous Plastic Bag
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

The Seven Second Advantage

I am sure we have all heard that first impressions count, and that the very first few seconds are most important when you are meeting someone new. Carol Kinsey Goman, a US Psychologist and Executive Coach has allowed me to share her expertise with you all.
You're at a business conference and you turn to the stranger standing next to you. He turns to face you and in that instant your brain makes a thousand computations. Is he someone to approach or to avoid? Should you flee or be friendly? Will he harm you or help you?
In about seven seconds you've already decided whether you like him. Sure, your opinion may change once you get to know the person better, but that first impression will always linger. And, by the way, while you're consciously and unconsciously evaluating him, he's also making the same kind of instantaneous judgments about you. In business interactions, first impressions are crucial.
Once someone mentally labels you as "likeable" or "unlikable," everything else you do will be viewed through that filter. If someone likes you, they will look for the best in you. If they don't like you, or if they mistrust you, they'll suspect devious motives in all your actions.
While you can't stop people from making snap decisions - the human brain is hardwired in this way as a prehistoric survival mechanism - you can understand how to make those decisions work in your favour.
First impressions are more heavily influenced by nonverbal cues than verbal cues. In fact, studies have found that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say. Luckily, the same nonverbal factors that draw you to certain people are what others are instinctively looking for in you.
We all want to do business with people who are trustworthy and energizing, who put us at ease and make us feel good about ourselves. Luckily, these are the very qualities that you can project nonverbally in those first crucial seven seconds. Here are seven powerful ways to make a positive first impression.
  1. Adjust your attitude. People pick up your attitude instantly. Before you turn to greet someone, or enter an office for a business interview, or step onstage to make a presentation, think about the situation and make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody. Attitudes that attract people include friendly, happy, receptive, patient, approachable, welcoming, helpful and curious. Attitudes that are off-putting include angry, impatient, bored, arrogant, afraid, disheartened, and suspicious.
  2. Stand tall. Pull your shoulders back and hold your head high. This is a posture of confidence and self-esteem.
  3. Smile. A smile is an invitation, a sign of welcome. It says, "I'm friendly and approachable."
  4. Make eye contact. Looking at someone's eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye color of everyone you meet.)
  5. Raise your eyebrows. Open your eyes slightly more than normal to simulate the "eyebrow flash" that is the universal signal of recognition and acknowledgement.
  6. Shake hands. This is the quickest way to establish rapport. It's also the most effective. Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake. (Just make sure you have palm-to-palm contact and that the web of you hand touches the web of the other person's.)
  7. Lean in slightly. Leaning forward shows you're engaged and interested. But be respectful of the other person's space. That means, in most business situations, staying about two feet away.
Once you've passed the "seven-second test" and are engaged in conversation with another person, you can create a lasting and positive impact by adding a single nonverbal component to a simple verbal statement.
Here's how to do it: When you meet someone and they tell you their name, find a way to repeat that name later in the conversation. And as you do, anchor the positive emotion (which your use of their name evokes) by touching the person lightly on the forearm. The impact of this brief touch comes from the fact that you have aroused positive feelings in an individual by remembering and using his name, and as you touch his arm, those positive emotions get linked (or anchored) to your touch. Then at subsequent meetings you can reactivate that initial favorable impression by once again lightly touching your acquaintance's arm.
Every encounter, from conferences to meetings to training sessions to business lunches, presents an opportunity to meet people, network, and expand your professional contacts by making a positive first impression.
You've got just seven seconds - but if you handle it well, seven seconds are all you need!
Author Bio: Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., is an executive coach, author and keynote speaker who addresses association, government, and business audiences around the world. Her latest book and program topic is THE NONVERBAL ADVANTAGE - Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work. For more information, contact Carol by phone: +1 510 526 1727, email:, or through her websites: and

The Ubiquitous Plastic Bag

For those of you who haven't stopped to think about the impact you are having on the environment each time you go shopping, take a minute to think about the incredible pollution (and waste) caused by the production and disposal of plastic grocery bags:
  • 500 billion plastic bags are sold every year
  • It takes 1,000 years for plastic bags to degrade
With a bit of planning, it is very easy to take your own bags to the grocery shop. At the shop I go to, each time I shop and use my recyclable bags, I get a stamp and after ten shops I get another free bag. I leave the bags in my car so I am never stuck without them. I have also noticed just how much it saves me in filling rubbish bags.
Unfortunately most people don't get that organised and probably never will. Unless you hit us in the pocket, most of us won't be motivated to change our behaviour.
And if driving that behavioural change is left to corporations, competition will knock it down again, as it did when Pak'n'Save tried to charge customers for bags; it became a selling point for the other supermarkets. In addition, many customers will pay a few cents without changing their behaviour; only when the price is around 20 cents a bag, as Ireland introduced, will consumers start to take notice.

The only solution is for governments to legislate bags away. Then everyone has no choice but to change their behaviour. However, there is some hope. Over the hill in Collingwood, in August 2006 a group of Collingwood residents declared the town shopping bag free. If only the rest of us could emulate that, or take some inspiration from what is happening internationally;
  • San Francisco, where an estimated 180 million plastic bags are distributed to shoppers each year. As of 20 November 2007, any large grocery store with more than five locations in the city of San Francisco is no longer allowed to bag groceries in petroleum-based plastic. The ‘free’ bags at the checkout stands will be made either of recycled and recyclable paper or of certified compostable plastic materials such as corn or potato starch. In May 2008, the plastic bag ban will also extend to major pharmacies.
  • Similar measures are being considered in Boston, Oakland, Portland, Santa Monica, and Steamboat Springs (Colorado). Plastic shopping bags are banned in at least 30 villages and towns in Alaska.
  • Worldwide, plastic shopping bags are banned in Bangladesh and Taiwan, while in France, a nationwide ban is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2010.
  • In Australia, the soon-to-be-built AUD $300 million Totem shopping centre at Balgowlah, Manly, may be the first council-enforced plastic-free zone in the country. All 60 retailers, including the Coles supermarket, will be banned from providing plastic bags, and from handing out food and drink containers made out of plastic or non-biodegradable foam.
Maybe those of you who don't have some recyclable bags might get inspired to buy some - and use them!

Our Wonderful Kiwi Broadband

Between January and March this year, network caching company Akamai has observed attack traffic originating from 125 unique countries around the world. Akamai has servers in the network all around the world and says it is well positioned to measure actual network performance.
China and the United States were the two largest attack traffic sources, accounting for some 30% of this traffic in total. South Korea had the highest measured levels of “high broadband” (>5 Mbps) connectivity, with Rwanda tied with the Solomon Islands for the slowest connectivity, at ≥95%of connections below 256 Kbps.
South Korea has 64% of connections falling into the high broadband elite category. Japan followed with 48%, then Hong Kong, with 35%, and Sweden, with 29%. The global average was 16% for high broadband connections, but in New Zealand only 2.2% of users receive such high-speed service.
Akamai ranks New Zealand a low 44th in the world for the percentage of high broadband connections, the percentage of connections of 5Mbit/s or greater speed. When simple broadband of 2Mbit/s is included in the total, New Zealand climbs to 38th. Out of 125, remember. With countries like South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Sweden, Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands, Nepal, Norway, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Slovakia, Iceland, Denmark, Monaco, Luxembourg, Germany, the UK, the Bahamas and the US ahead of us.
Akamai plans on continuing to observe, and publishing a quarterly "State of the Internet" report, summarising their findings. Download the Jan-Mar 2008 report in pdf at

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:
  • RIA, Rich Internet Application. RIA is a Web application designed to deliver the same features and functions normally associated with deskop applications. RIAs normally run inside a Web browser and usually do not require software installation on the client side to work (NB, some may only work with specific browsers). For security purposes, most RIAs run their client portions within a special isolated area of the client desktop called a 'sandbox'.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all you can do with Alt and letters. This time it's N & O:
  • Word "Switch to Normal view while working" Alt & Ctrl & N
  • Word "Mail Merge to Doc, or perform a mail merge between two documents or display all headings up to Heading n while working in a document outline" Alt & Shift & N
  • Access "Create a new table, query, form, report, data access page, macro, or module when working with a database or spreadsheet" Alt & N
  • Windows "Minimize the active window" Alt & Spacebar & N
  • Publisher "Print a Help topic" Alt & O, Then P
  • Publisher "Hide or show the Navigation pane in Help" Alt & O, Then T
  • Word "Switch to Outline view while working" Alt & Ctrl & O
  • Access "Open the selected table or query in Datasheet view, or form in Form view or display Options dialog box (in Help menu)" Alt & O
  • Outlook "Display the Format menu" Alt & O
  • PowerPoint, Word "Display Options dialog box (in Help menu)" Alt & O

Hot Linx
Those of you who need behavioural interview questions when hiring new staff can pick up some real purlers at this site
And some green US tips on more environmentally friendly living can be found at Check out their top tips library (though I am sure most of us have already actioned these) at
For a feast of the visual variety, check out This guy finds the most amazing collections of things and posts them to the web; such as the 7 coolest Fire Stations. I dunno how he does it, thinks of it, or finds time for it.
And lastly, another on-line collaboration & web meeting tool at Share your desktop, show slides, collaborate, chat, talk and broadcast via webcam with absolutely no download required for attendees.

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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