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5 Simple, No Cost Ways to Give to Co-workers, Colleagues and Clients this Thanksgiving and Beyond

We really should rename Thanksgiving to ThanksGetting because most of us are getting that day.

We're getting loads of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, marshmallow sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, corn pudding, rolls, and Aunt Jane's weird jello salad.  Plus, there's pumpkin pie, pecan pie, ice cream and plenty of adult beverages.  If we're really lucky, we're also getting laughter, hugs and precious time with loved ones.

No Cost Ways to Give to Co-Workers

But we call it Thanksgiving because way long ago the first Pilgrims who sailed to the New World on the Mayflower were dying and starving.  Squanto, a Pawtuxet Indian, generously taught them how to grow corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. 

That fall when their first harvest was successful, they celebrated with the Indians and gave thanks for their help and good fortune.  Squanto and other Indians did the first giving and the Pilgrims did the first getting.  

What's endearing about this story is that the Indians took the initiative to give because they simply wanted to help.  They decided to give and see what happened.  Lives were saved and a free, new way of living was born.  Giving makes a difference.

Imagine the difference a giving spirit could make on your co-workers, colleagues or clients.  More cooperation, a happier environment, easier results - to name a few. 

There's no need to wait for others to take the lead.  Right here, right now, you can decide to give to others during your work day and see what happens.  Here are 5 simple, no cost ways to get started:

1.  Say thank you.  For the information you requested, for finishing the report in time, for following through as promised.  Sure they are supposed to do these things, but they still want to be recognized and appreciated.  You do, too, so make the first move.

2.  Compliment.  Don't just think “Great new hair cut!” or “She did a great job on that presentation” - let them know!  Email works, but even better is live on a phone call or in person.

3.  Publicly recognize their achievements.  Forget brown nosing, at a live meeting, conference call or group email, pipe up and offer genuine remarks about them being remarkable.

4.  Offer to lend a hand.  A final push on a project, sharing notes from a missed conference call, or suggesting a recommended resource on a nagging business challenge.  It's a simple gesture that means a lot.

5.  Share an idea.  We all get stuck trying to solve a problem often because it's difficult to generate different ways to approach it.  Give them a few minutes of your brain power and see if you can generate any new ideas they haven't considered.  Who knows, one of your thoughts could be the key to a solution.

What do you get?  “The people who focused on gratitude were just flat-out happier.  They saw their lives in more favorable terms” according to research by Dr. Robert Emmons, University of CA- Davis and Dr. Michael McCullough, University of Miami.  Flat-out happier.  Yeah, that works.

Happy ThanksGIVING!

Question:  What's another simple, no cost way you have given to co-workers, collegeaus or clients that's made a real difference?  Please share it in the Comments below!

How Can I Be Taken More Seriously?

Ever wanted to be taken more seriously by co-workers or a client and not sure what you're doing (or not doing) to make that happen? That's exactly what Michelle was struggling with when she asked me:

I've been in my industry for years and have always been given added responsibility and promotions so I must be doing something right.

Yet, when I'm interacting with people who are younger or the same age, they want to give me advice or act like I'm the new kid on the block who needs help.

In my conversations, I always include others and ask their opinions, but for some reason people take that as I don't know what I'm doing.

Sometimes I think that because I'm friendly and smile, people believe I'm not experienced and intelligent. When I try to be very serious and lower my voice to sound less "girly," it seems people get more defensive. 

How can I be taken more seriously?

In my opinion, being taken seriously has a lot to do with being perceived as a strong person.  And one of the best ways I've learned to demonstrate strength came from an approach by the late, great actress Katharine Hepburn. 

Take a look at this quick video to see what I mean:

This is a Test of the Emergency Power Plays System!

** BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! ***

This is a test of the Emergency Power Plays System.  This is only a test.

emergency power plays system2

What would you do when... a new manager rubs people the wrong way?  … a co-worker deliberately leaves you off emails?  ... someone steals your “big idea”?

See how well you score in handling these situations and more by taking this fun, quick online quiz by Franke James of

Remember, this is only a test.  In case of a real emergency, you need to feel confident about what to do.  That's why I want you watch my video Understanding Power Plays & Not Be Played Yourself where I share:

  • 7 most common power play every woman must know
  • Why people really play power games, even when they aren’t aware of it
  • 6 powerLESS behaviors every woman should avoid
  • The 3 options for responding to any power play – and which one every career-savvy gal should choose
  • Your biggest asset to reducing the impact of power plays in business and in your life

You will also get an Action Guide to capture how you can apply these ideas to your own career  plus, more ideas in my ebook What Every Woman Must Know About Office Politics.

To get instant access to this video Action Guide and ebook, click here now

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