Archive for August, 2008

Business email: 22 tips for appropriate communication

August 29, 2008
Business email

Business email

Email is the primary way businesses communicate, as well as how people interact with friends. But there are important differences between the style and content of these types of emails. The following are some tips to help you communicate appropriately on business email.


  1. Be careful what you say in emails. Remember that this is still professional communication. Re-read your emails before you send them to ensure you have been professional.
  2. Make sure you know your company policy about email communication so you are not caught out with personal email. Some companies will ban social networking sites. Some prohibit personal email on company computers. If you know the policy, you won’t make mistakes.
  3. Business communication is for recording, transferring or communicating information. It should not be overly emotional or full of non-factual information. It should be clear, concise and easy to understand
  4. Business communication should also express thoughts in a careful way. Think before you write, and think again before you send.
  5. If the email is particularly important, it may be beneficial to get someone else to read it before sending to a wider group. Often someone else will see flaws in your approach, and change the wording to be more objective.
  6. Business email should also protect confidentiality of the business, so be aware of what you are sending externally.
  7. Question whether you need an email at all. Would this be better done through a phone call or a meeting? If you think you are emotional about the issue, speaking about it can be better than writing so your thoughts are not captured in an email which may jeopardise your position later.
  8. Always state facts objectively, as opposed to your feelings on the matter. You can express an opinion but back it up with facts and not emotion.
  9. Don’t be abusive on email. Always use professional language.
  10. There is a difference between knowing something and hearing about something. Be sure you get your facts right. Don’t gossip on work email.
  11. Leave out irrelevant information from your communications. People are busy now so just state what is necessary.
  12. Make sure email headers contain enough information so people know what they are about to read.
  13. It is best to avoid humour and sarcasm in email as it doesn’t cross the medium well, especially if someone has a different sense of humour to you. Certain types of humour can also be considered harassment, so just avoid it in workplace communication. 
  14. Defamation is when untrue information is communicated that could damage someone’s reputation. This can sometimes be mistakenly done on email.
  15. Never email anything you don’t want that person to read – as chances are, they will end up seeing it even if they are not on the original mailing list.
  16. Email lasts forever. Even if you think you have deleted it, it can be pulled from the backups.
  17. Email is not always private. Assume it can be seen or accessed easily.
  18. Be careful if you communicate with your lawyer by e‑mail. In certain countries, doing so could result in the loss of the attorney-client privilege, since an e‑mail can be read by someone other than the attorney or client more easily than other forms of communication.
  19. Protect access to your computer and to your email accounts. Someone could send an email from your address that could jeopardise your position.
  20. Be careful of clicking “reply to all”. Do all those people really need to see your comments. Only copy people in if they need to be part of the decision/ communication.
  21. No copyrighted material should be transmitted unless you first obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you’re ever not sure if sending an e‑mail attachment will violate copyright laws, ask your company’s law department.
  22. When emailing a member of the opposite sex, keep all written business communication professional. Don’t flirt by email as this can easily be found out by others.
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Eckhart Tolle “A New Earth”

August 23, 2008

The aim of this blog is to give you ideas, tips and strategies to enjoy your job, and your life. Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth” contains wisdom that can be useful for you in these areas. In thinking more, and being increasingly aware of ourselves, we can change our lives now and for the future. Here are some key excerpts from the book.

  • “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is experience you are having at the moment.
  • The quote above leads into another favourite author of mine, Joe Vitale “Once you have learnt the lesson, you no longer need the experience.” If you want to move on from your current place, then learn your lesson first.
  • “Unease, restlessness, boredom, anxiety, dissatisfaction, are the result of unfulfilled wanting.” Happiness is contentment with what we have because there will always be more we want. Be grateful for what you have right now.
  • “Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” If you know the problem you want to fix, you can fix it. Be specific about what you want to change. There is no point just saying “I want to be happy” or
    “I want to be rich”.
  • “One of the ego’s erroneous assumptions is ‘I should not have to suffer’. Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of ego.” Look around you – no one is without suffering. Again, learn your lessons from it and find happiness where you can.
  • “Being present is more powerful than saying or doing.” Satori = moment of presence; a brief stepping out of the voice in your head, the thought processes and their reflection in the body as emotion”.
  • Feel whatever you are feeling now. Allow now. Be fully present in this moment and accept that this is you, and this is your life.
  • “Whatever you think people are withholding from you, give it to them first. Act as if you have it, and it will come.”
  • “The source of all abundance is not outside you. It is part of who you are. See the fulness of life all around you. The acknowledgement of this awakens the dormant abundance within. Abundance comes to those who already have it.”
  • “There is not only growth, birth, success, good health, pleasure and winning. There is also loss, failure, sickness, old age, decay, pain and death. Disorder erupts into everyone’s lives.” But these too are part of life, the shadow side we must also embrace and learn from. It would not be a fulness of life without them.
  • This too will pass. “Be aware of the intransience of form – inevitability of change – enjoy the pleasures of the world while they last.”
  • Be aware of your breathing as often as you are able, whenever you remember. Being aware of breathing takes attention away from thinking and creates space. One conscious breath makes space in the succession of thoughts.”
  • “When you are comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.”
  • “Whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. Acceptance means – for now, for this, the moment requires this, and I do it willingly.”

More detail about the book and study programs you can do at

Oprah also chose this book for her book club
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Questions to shape your future

August 22, 2008
Stop and smell the flowers...

Stop and smell the flowers...

Someimes life flashes by so fast, you wonder where the time has gone?
Do you remember what you vowed back in 2000 when we all made big plans? Have those dreams come to fruition?

In 5 years time it will be 2013 – the Olympics happened last year in London, and Obama is entering his second term. What will you have achieved by then?

It is said that people overestimate what they can achieve in a year, but underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years. So, try for 5!

Here are some questions to think about today that will shape your future. Don’t constrain yourself to what you think is achievable. Sometimes you need to set big, hairy audacious goals and leave it to the Universe to help you achieve them.

  1. Where are you in 2013? A different house, different city, near the beach, in the forest, with your family, living alone, partying hard in the city or quietly by the sea. Where do you want to be?
  2. What are you doing with your life in 2013? What is your job? Do you work for a big company with lots of perks? or a small company where you make a difference? Do you own your own business? Do you love what you do? Do you wake up full of energy and ideas every day?
  3. What are your relationships and family like in 2013? Are you happy in your marriage/partnership? Do you have children? Do you spend time with other members of your family? How are your close friends?
  4. How is your health in 2013? Are you fit and active? Have you stopped smoking/drinking hard? Have you done the marathon you always said you would? Are you confident in your body? Do you love yourself?
  5. How are your finances in 2013? Are you financially free? Do you have savings? Can you buy your dream home/car/holiday? Can you afford school fees? Do you have investment income from shares, property or term deposits? (HINT: If you invest in 2008, you will be able to say yes!)
  6. How is your spirituality in 2013? (however you define it). Are you happy that your life is not just material and transitory? Do you have meaning beyond the daily grind and weekly dramas?

What are your dreams? Not just your goals – but your dreams. Free up some time and write these answers down. You don’t need to know how to get there, just listen what you want.

If you know this, you can start now – and in 2013, you won’t be in the same situation you are unhappy with now.
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Job efficiency: 12 ways to improve your personal efficiency

August 4, 2008


We are all busy. Work is busy and so is our personal life. So how do we get it all done? Here are 12 tips to improve your efficiency.

  1. Make lists. These will help de-clutter your mind and organise what you need to do into specific tasks.
  2. Spring clean your office space. At work and at home, go through and ditch all the old paperwork in your drawers. Do the filing and create a To Do pile that consists of the relevant information. Make space on your desk and you will find your head clearing.
  3. Streamline your bill paying. Set up direct debits for the common household bills. Organise online banking for everything else and make sure you pay early for discounts.
  4. Shop online. You can get everything online now including your weekly groceries which saves you time (although may cost more). You are less likely to browse online, and you can shop out of hours.
  5. Organise your email. Keep your Inbox for items that need actioning. Archive old mail and delete old stuff. If you use a searchable email system like Gmail and don’t use folders, then make sure you use the Archive function so the Inbox is still actionable items.
  6. Be proactive about your calendar. Whether you use a PDA or a Filofax/ paper diary, make sure that you actively manage your calendar. Put in your regular appointments, birthdays and things to remember. Then plan your weekends, and week nights writing in items like the gym, social plans and business meetings. If you organise in advance, you will fit so much more in.
  7. Be ruthless with your email and phone contact. Limit your phone and email usage to specific times during the day, and do all admin tasks at the same time. This chunks your time into manageable pieces.
  8. Learn to say no.  When asked to do something, weigh up whether or not you really need to do it. Sometimes people get trapped into doing tasks that are not part of their job because they are being nice. But this can impact stress levels and people are often respectful if you say no for good reason.
  9. Find out about job opportunities for flexi-working. In these times of high fuel prices and the need to retain staff, companies are allowing telecommuting and flexible hours. If you can work from home, you can use the commuting time for other things.
  10. Stop procrastinating.  There are always things you don’t want to do, but they need to get done. By putting them off, blockages are created as those items just sit on your list. Stop procrastinating and do them first. At the beginning of the day is always a good way to get them done quickly.
  11. Delegate and outsource tasks. Within a company, see who you can delegate or share tasks with. At home, consider outsourcing tasks like cleaning and gardening to free up quality time for other things. In business, try using a Virtual Assistant or outsourcing to contract labour online e.g.
  12. Set up Google alerts for targeted information. If you need to monitor specific news or information online, set up Google alerts so you are emailed with the latest updates. This prevents the need for trawling the internet. The information is sent daily. Subscribe to newsfeeds and RSS feeds for the sites you want to monitor.  
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Money…5 Financial Tips

August 2, 2008

Someone we know just won the lottery here in Australia. At least this proves it is not an urban myth!
But a lottery win is not a financial plan – and for most of us, we can’t rely on luck for our financial future. We need to make active choices every month to make the most of the money we have, and make sure we are financially secure for the future. With the financial doom and gloom in the media at the moment, you need to know that you CAN make a difference to your financial situation with some behavioural change.

Here are some of the top tips to help your with the finances:

  1. Put aside 10% of your income (before bills) every time you are paid. It doesn’t matter how much this is, but put it aside into a “Cash – don’t touch” account. It will build up and you can use it as a basis for investment. You also have a buffer for tough times and unexpected situations.
  2. Be aware of your spending. Try keeping a budget and record receipts, even just for a week. If you add up those coffees and lunches out, you will see how much you are spending. There are some great free tools and information for budgeting at this site
  3. Declutter your life and sell it on eBay. Be ruthless and go through your stuff. Do you really need those clothes or the clutter in the garaage? Go through it all and sell what you can, and give the rest to charity. Put the money from the sale into your 10% account for investments. Warning: do not browse the For Sale at the same time as selling!
  4. Get educated about finance and investment. If you don’t know anything about money, except that you need it, then you need to do some reading! I recommend “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki as a good start to understanding money – or “Why we want you to be rich” by Kiyosaki and Trump.
  5. Don’t watch adverts or become a victim for specials and sales. You will spend money you don’t need to because it sounds like a bargain. This tip and 27 others can be found at

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