Keeping open body language makes you seem more trustworthy.

Job hunting and interviewing, dating, or just meeting people can leave a wrong impression by doing one thing that implies mistrust or insecurity:

Slide 1 of 5: Especially with face masks covering our mouths these days, body language is a huge factor in how we come across. Whether you're sitting straight up, slouched over, or fidgeting with your pen, people are quick to make judgements based on the little things you do. In fact, experts say that making one common gesture with your hands makes people less likely to trust you. Read on to find out what it is, and for more on why people may be doubting you, If You Answer Questions This Way, People Don't Trust You, Study Says.Read the original article on Best Life.

© Provided by Best Life

Doing This With Your Hands Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say

Especially with face masks covering our mouths these days, body language is a huge factor in how we come across. Whether you’re sitting straight up, slouched over, or fidgeting with your pen, people are quick to make judgements based on the little things you do. In fact, experts say that making one common gesture with your hands makes people less likely to trust you. Read on to find out what it is, and for more on why people may be doubting you.

Putting your hands in your pockets makes people not trust you.

If you want to come off as inviting and trustworthy, keep your hands where people can see them, says Susan Trombetti, a relationship expert and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. “When people keep their hands in their pockets, it appears they are hiding something. And someone is more likely to be lying because they are hiding their hands,” she explains. Concealing your hands comes across as more controlled, which can be interpreted as “deceitful and untrustworthy,” she notes. “People generally consider individuals with their hands in their pockets to be insecure,” explains Girish Shukla, a mental health and psychology expert.

Keeping open body language makes you seem more trustworthy.

According to Trombetti, someone who is telling the truth—or at least, seems to be—is more likely to keep their hands open and palms up. When your hands are visible, “the physical openness of your body language invites trust,” says Lauren Levy, a sales expert who teaches people in the industry how to appear trustworthy.

Slide 4 of 5: According to Trombetti, someone who is telling the truth—or at least, seems to be—is more likely to keep their hands open and palms up. When your hands are visible, "the physical openness of your body language invites trust," says Lauren Levy, a sales expert who teaches people in the industry how to appear trustworthy."Keeping open hands while talking can give others the idea that you can be trusted and that you know what you are talking about," Shukla says. "Whenever you expose your palms it means that you are not hiding anything."And for more tips and tricks for navigating everyday life, sign up for our daily newsletter.

“Keeping open hands while talking can give others the idea that you can be trusted and that you know what you are talking about,” Shukla says. “Whenever you expose your palms it means that you are not hiding anything.”

Article and photos provided by Best Life.

Source: Doing This With Your Hands Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say (msn.com)

You’re Going to Forget 50% of What You Just Learned in an Hour. Here’s the Smart Way to Change That.

Article by Melanie Fellay for Entrepreneur

Over the past year, digital learning evolved from a nice-to-have to a necessity. Without the ability to conduct in-person training sessions, companies flocked to cloud solutions that would enable them to train an increasingly dispersed and remote workforce. a man in a blue shirt talking on a cell phone© PeopleImages | Getty Images

For many, the LMS (Learning Management System) was a safe and obvious solution. Convert the onboarding sessions, tool or process training traditionally shared in a classroom-style format into LMS courses easily consumable from anywhere, at any time. 

Yet, despite the popularity, compelling research suggests there are detriments to relying solely on an LMS for training and onboarding employees. Here are four of the most common pitfalls every entrepreneur should be aware of when evaluating an LMS solution and what you can do about it.

1. LMS course content is quickly forgotten

Studies have shown, (specifically, the Forgetting Curve by Ebbinghaus) employees will forget up to 50% of what they just learned within an hour without revisiting the material. This number jumps up to 70% by the following day. 

What’s happening? Our working memory has a limited capacity, known as cognitive load. It’s estimated that the average adult can store between five to nine pieces of new information at once in their short-term memory. So, if an employee goes through a two-hour course on a new tool, it’s likely they’ll forget most of the training when they go and use the tool the next day. 

2. It’s not easily accessible

A McKinsey report found employees spend, “1.8 hours every day – 9.3 hours per week, on average – searching and gathering information.” 

If that number feels hard to swallow, I bet this scenario isn’t: on day one, an employee takes a course on your company’s competitors where they learn about your unique differentiators. On day 45, they run up against one of those competitors on a prospecting call. To recall that information from their training they need to find the course, the right module and fast-forward to the exact section just to recall the competitive differentiator.  

Compound that by the fact that today, instead of being able to turn to a coworker for a quick answer, employees are waiting for responses on email, Slack, etc. The result is a staggering amount of time and energy wasted.

Retrieving knowledge from an LMS course requires an employee to leave what they’re doing, find the course and identify the exact spot within the course containing the answer they’re looking for. 

Learning teams put so much energy and effort into developing these courses but ultimately if the information isn’t readily accessible, it won’t be used. 

3. It’s not reinforced

This goes back to the original challenge of short-term memory capacity. When information isn’t reinforced and processed into our working memory, it’s discarded to make room for new concepts and ideas. 

For knowledge to be retained, it needs to be reinforced as the employee is going about their day-to-day workflow. Imagine, you’re trying to learn basketball and the coach walks you through a two-hour course and sends you on your way. Do you feel like Steph Curry? Likely not. 

In the same way that the fundamentals of a sport are repeated over and over to make it into long-term memory, employees need repetitive training on processes and tools before they’re proficient. 

4. It doesn’t mirror how employees learn outside of work

Let’s say you’re at home and you want to know how to cook the world’s best scrambled eggs. Odds are, you’re not going to comb through hundreds of cookbooks to find that recipe. A simple Google, YouTube or Facebook search and within seconds, you’re whipping up an Anthony Bourdain caliber feast.

In our personal lives, information is instant. Yet, in our professional lives, we’re forced through lengthy courses that are rarely immediately applicable. 

In essence, we’re accustomed to learning as we’re doing. Rather than treating training as a corporate destination, effective professional learning should align and flow with our working days as simply and friction-free as a YouTube search does in our personal lives. 

5. It’s not designed for training on small changes

Businesses are evolving more rapidly than ever before. A recent study revealed 44 percent of companies change or update tool processes at least every two weeks! Between rapidly changing processes, frequent adoption of new tools and the tools themselves constantly changing – employees struggle to keep up. 

Training on these changes using an LMS would require the creation of a new course for each of these frequent updates. Due to time constraints, businesses typically defer to low-retention, easily ignored methods to communicate small changes like email, Zoom meetings or Slack channels. This results in crucial information and updates getting lost in the day-to-day shuffle. 

Methods for adapting your training to the modern age

Despite all of the shortcomings, there are still benefits to LMS platforms.  Before you toss your LMS out the window, ask yourself, “what type of training is suited to course style learning and what type of training is not?”  

For example, general company policies, security training or department overviews might make sense to deliver in a course-style format. But, training on tools, processes or methodologies could be better served in a different format. 

For the latter, ensure you’re addressing the below key challenges:

  • Reinforcement: How can you reinforce crucial training throughout an employee’s day-to-day workflow? 
  • Accessibility: How can you make training instantly accessible in the moment of need, right where questions arise? 
  • Digestibility: How can your training more closely mirror how employees learn outside of work? 
  • Flexibility: How can you train on those small, frequent changes in a way that solves the above challenges? 

Luckily, there are new Digital Enablement solutions specifically designed for these challenges that pair well with an existing LMS. There are also strategies you can adopt, regardless of what tools you use, to adapt your training. 

Source: You’re Going to Forget 50% of What You Just Learned in an Hour. Here’s the Smart Way to Change That. (msn.com)

8 Easy Ways to Make a Great Impression in Seconds

Connecting with people quickly is essential to landing new opportunities and building relationships. Here is a 1:19 video to explain how.

Source: 8 Easy Ways to Make a Great Impression in Seconds (moneytalksnews.com)

10 Financial Moves to Make before the End of the Year

By Matt BeckerPosted  October 25, 2019

Note: This article is somewhat dated but still contains worthwhile information for this year end. DH

We’re closing in on the end of the year, which means it’s almost time for family, friends, travel, stress, fun, and everything else that comes with holiday season.

It’s also a great chance to take stock of your financial situation, reflect on what’s gone well this year, what could be improved, and what you need to do to put yourself in the best situation possible going into next year.

But let’s face it: you don’t want to spend the holidays handling your finances. That’s no fun for anyone. So instead of waiting until the last minute, and potentially missing some important deadlines, I’d like to help you get a bit of a head start.

Here are 10 moves you can start making right now to improve your financial situation before the end of the year.

1. Review your goals and set new ones

If you set some financial goals at the beginning of the year, now is a good time to check back in on them and ask yourself some questions:

  • What’s gone well?
  • What hasn’t gone well? Why is that?
  • Are these goals still relevant? Do any of them need to be discarded or updated?
  • Are there any new goals you’d like to be working towards?
  • What are some specific steps you can take to make better progress going forward?

Block some time off in your calendar to review those goals, update them as needed, and set new goals for the coming year. Your life and your circumstances have almost certainly changed over the past 12 months, and your goals should reflect those changes.

In the end, your financial plan can only be as good as the goals you set. Make this review a priority, block the time off in your calendar, and set yourself up for success in the coming year.

2. Maximize your retirement/financial independence savings

The easiest way to reach financial independence as soon as possible is to save more money. Nothing else you do will have as big an impact.

So it makes sense to take stock of how much you’ve already saved this year and whether you should be making any special moves to maximize your contributions to accounts like your 401(k), IRA, and HSA.

There are some limits and deadlines to consider here, so let’s walk through them quickly.

3. Plan next year’s savings

With both your goals and your savings still top-of-mind, you’re in prime position to make a least a rough savings plan for next year.

Here’s a little cheat sheet you can use to set up automatic contributions that max out each of your tax-advantaged investment accounts:

401(k)

  • 2020 annual max: $19,500
  • Monthly: $1,625
  • Per paycheck (26 paychecks): $750
  • Per paycheck (24 paychecks): $812.50

Traditional or Roth IRA

  • 2020 annual max: $6,000
  • Monthly: $500
  • Per paycheck (26 paychecks): $230.77
  • Per paycheck (24 paychecks): $250

Health Savings Account

  • 2020 annual max: $3,550 individual / $7,100 family
  • Monthly: $295.83 / $591.67
  • Per paycheck (26 paychecks): $136.54 / $273.08
  • Per paycheck (24 paychecks): $147.92 / $295.83

But of course financial independence shouldn’t be your only goal. Back in Step 1 you might have set goals like buying a house, traveling, building an emergency fund, switching to a single income, or starting a business.

Those shorter-term goals are just as important as the long term ones, so make sure to set aside some regular savings for those as well.

4. Optimize your employee benefits

The end of the year is open enrollment season, which means your employer will probably be sending you a big packet of information about your 2019 employee benefit options. That might sound pretty boring, and it kind of is, but it’s also a big opportunity to make sure you grab every last financial incentive available to you.

Here are a few of the things you might be able to take advantage of:

  • Retirement plans – Have there been any new plans introduced? Are there any changes to the old plan? Are you taking full advantage of your employer match?
  • Health insurance – Check both your options and (if applicable) your spouse’s options to make sure you’re getting the right coverage for your family’s needs. You may even be able to choose a plan that qualifies you for a health savings account!
  • Dental and vision insurance – This can be valuable coverage, especially if you know you’ll need care in the coming year.
  • Medical FSA – Money contributed to this account is tax-deductible and can then be used tax-free for medical expenses. Just be cautious because this money is, in many cases at least, use it or lose it. The maximum annual contribution for 2020 is $2,750.
  • Dependent care FSA – Money contributed to this account is tax-deductible and can then be used tax-free for childcare expenses. Hey, at least there’s SOME relief from this enormous cost! Though again, this money is use it or lose it so plan carefully. The maximum annual contribution for 2020 is $5,000.
  • Life and disability insurance – There are pros and cons to getting this coverage through work, but at the very least it’s good to know what’s available to you so you can make an informed decision.
  • Legal services – You may be able to take advantage of heavily discounted legal services, which can range from estate planning, to immigration assistance, to family law.
  • Other perks – There’s a whole range of other perks your employer might offer, such as gym membership, transportation reimbursement, education assistance, and many others. Make sure to look through all your options so you can take full advantage of everything that’s available to you.

5. Use any remaining FSA money

One of the tricky parts of a medical FSA is that the money is often use it or lose it. That is, any money that’s still in your account at the end of the year is gone forever.

So, while there’s still time left, check your FSA account balance and think about how you might be able to use it before the end of the year.

Do you need new glasses? Do you have any medical care you’ve been putting off? Maybe your child could use a trip to the dentist?

See if you can find a use for this money before the end of the year so that it doesn’t go to waste.

Quick note: Not all FSA plans are 100% use it or lose it. Some offer a grace period where you’re allowed to use the money for a certain period of time after year end. Others will let you keep up to $500 for next year. Check your specific plan details to see what leeway you’re allowed here.

6. Plan for the holidays

The holidays can be a lot of fun. Time off from work. Time with family. Maybe even some traveling.

They can also be a HUGE money drain. Between gifts, food, plane tickets, hotels, and all the rest, the money you spend during the holidays can throw you way off your other goals, and potentially even leave you with a new pile of debt to handle.

The best way to avoid all of that is to plan ahead.

Make a plan for how much you want to spend. Set a gift budget, a food budget, and a travel budget. Save ahead for the things you know are coming.

I’m all for traveling to see family and spending on things that matter. And the holidays are a great opportunity to do just that.

With a little bit of planning, you can do it in a way that keeps your other goals on track.

7. Rebalance your investments

I like to be pretty hands off with my investments.

As long as you pick a good enough investment strategy, minimize your costs, and automate your savings, you should stop worrying about it and get back to the rest of your life.

But there IS a small amount of regular maintenance that helps keep things on track, and rebalancing your investments is one of those pieces.

Rebalancing is essentially this:

You chose to invest in a particular way with a particular mix of investments. This much money in stocks, that much in bonds, etc.

But over time the markets will move and that mix will naturally change. When the stock market is up, that part of your investment account will increase in value and you’ll have a bigger percentage of your money in stocks than you originally planned. The opposite is true when the stock market is down.

Rebalancing is how you bring everything back in line with your personal goals. It’s simply the process of resetting your investments back to your original plan.

Of course, there are also a number of investment options that automate the process of rebalancing so that you don’t have to worry about it. 

8. Double-check your insurance and estate plan

Life moves fast, and as your circumstances change you may find yourself with new things to protect, or maybe even things that no longer need protection.

Which means it’s a good idea to review your insurance and estate plan from time to time to make sure it’s still covering what you need it to cover, and nothing more.

Here are three things in particular you’ll want to review:

  • Life insurance – A change in circumstances, such as a new child, a new house, a windfall, a marriage, or a divorce can significantly change your need for life insurance. If you’ve been through any big changes, you can use this tool to re-evaluate your need for coverage.
  • Disability insurance – If you’ve changed jobs or had a significant change in income, you may need to update your coverage to make sure you’re fully protected.
  • Estate plan – The same changes that would trigger a review of life insurance should trigger a review of your will and other estate planning documents. This is simply to make sure that your family will always be cared for in the way you want.

9. Review the past year’s income and expenses

If you’ve been tracking your spending for the past year, now is a good time to look at the full year’s worth of information and ask yourself some questions:

  • Do any of the numbers surprise you?
  • Were there any irregular expenses you hadn’t planned for?
  • Did you save for the things you wanted to save for?
  • Are there any expenses that would be easy to cut?
  • Do you see any opportunities to increase your income?
  • Do you have room to put more money towards more enjoyable activities?

There’s nothing like looking at the cold, hard numbers to get a real sense of where your money is going, what you’re prioritizing, and what you’d like to change.

10. Record your net worth

Your net worth is your single most important financial number for the simple reason that just about every good financial move you make serves to either increase it or protect it.

And that means that tracking your net worth over time will help you gauge whether the financial moves you’re making are actually working. If your net worth is increasing, you’re making progress. If not, it might be time to re-evaluate the decisions you’re making.

So no matter what, recording your net worth now is a good idea. And if you can, compare it to your net worth at the same time last year to see how it’s changed, think about what worked and what didn’t, and use that information to influence your plans for the coming year.

What will you do to improve your financial situation?

You certainly don’t have to hit all 10 of these by the end of the year (though it would be great if you did!). That’s a lot to take on.

But as you look at this list, try to find at least 2-3 things that you can commit to handling before December 31, and maybe another 2-3 that you can commit to at the start of next year.

This isn’t about getting EVERYTHING right. It’s about making consistent forward progress one step at a time.

What next step will you take?

Source: 10 Financial Moves to Make before the End of the Year – Mom and Dad Money

AnnualCreditReport.com

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militarydollarsandsense.com

AnnualCreditReport.com is a website jointly operated by the three major U.S. credit reporting agencies, EquifaxExperian, and TransUnion. The site was created in order to comply with their obligations under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)[1] to provide a mechanism for American consumers to receive up to three free credit reports per year.

Background

One of the provisions of FACTA, passed in 2003 as an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), was a requirement that each of the three credit reporting agencies provide, upon request, a free credit report every twelve months to every consumer. The goal was to allow consumers a way to ensure their credit information is correct and to guard against identity theft.[2]

Accordingly, the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion created the joint venture company Central Source LLC to oversee their compliance with FACTA.[3] Central Source then set up a toll free telephone number, a mailing address and a central website, AnnualCreditReport.com, to process consumer requests. Access to the free report was initially rolled out in stages, based on the consumer’s state of residence. By the end of 2005 all U.S. consumers could use these services to obtain a credit report.

Companies participating

Currently these companies are required to participate in the website:

Companies not participating

Use of website

AnnualCreditReport.com requires users to register with the site and provide their basic identification information, such as name, address, and Social Security number. The user is then sent to the website of the individual credit reporting agency they select, where they are asked additional security questions to confirm their identity before getting their report.[2] A consumer can request reports from all three agencies at the same time or stagger the requests throughout the twelve-month period as a way to self-monitor their credit data.[2] In order to obtain a free credit report, users are not required to give a credit card number but establishing an account is required by some of the agencies. Any inaccuracies or signs of identity theft may be dealt with using the mechanisms provided for under the FCRA and FACTA.

Over a two-year period from December 2004 to December 2006, 52 million credit reports were issued to consumers through AnnualCreditReport.com. According to the Consumer Data Industry Association, fewer than 2 percent of the reports reviewed by a consumer resulted in a dispute in which data was deleted from the report.[4]

Credit scores are not included in free credit reports obtained from AnnualCreditReport.com. For a fee, each of the credit bureaus offer credit scores as an add-on feature of the report.

Concerns

Credit inquiries effect on credit scores

Using this service does not lower the consumer’s credit score, as it counts as a “soft” credit pull. “Hard” credit pulls made by lenders directly, however, do affect the borrower’s credit score.

Third-party fraud attempts

AnnualCreditReport.com is the only federally mandated and authorized source for obtaining a free credit report. The Federal Trade Commission cautions consumers to be aware of “impostor” websites that have similar names or are deliberate misspellings of the real name.[2] Such impostor websites include websites with titles like FreeCreditScore.com.[5]

In order to investigate this concern, the consumer group World Privacy Forum has made two studies regarding AnnualCreditReport.com. Their July 2005 study found that there were 233 domains with names very similar to AnnualCreditReport.com, of which 112 routed users to a variety of unintended destinations, including for-fee services, “link farms” and pornographic sites. The report concluded that the credit reporting agencies and the Federal Trade Commission needed to do more to rein in and shut down impostor sites. A follow-up study from RentPrep found that of the original 112 routed links, only six currently remain. [6]

Source: AnnualCreditReport.com – Wikipedia

Working from Home? 10 Small Office Décor Ideas

Slide 1 of 10: This lovely space from @loves_leeds_homes proves you can carve out workspace almost anywhere. Define it with inspiring wallpaper (or color). Check out that wall-mount desk with slim attached legs, with matching overhead shelves for storage. So smart!

 © via love_leeds_homes

Unexpected Nook

This lovely space from @loves_leeds_homes proves you can carve out workspace almost anywhere. Define it with inspiring wallpaper (or color). Check out that wall-mount desk with slim attached legs, with matching overhead shelves for storage. So smart!

Slide 2 of 10: A painted floor pattern, slim storage towers and airy drapes (no actual window required) helped @bloomingdiyer carve a cozy farmhouse office out of a dark basement storage room. Create a similar look with these herringbone wood wall decals and this Moroccan tile floor stencil.

 © via @bloomingdiyer

Cozy Farmhouse

A painted floor pattern, slim storage towers and airy drapes (no actual window required) helped @bloomingdiyer carve a cozy farmhouse office out of a dark basement storage room. Create a similar look with these herringbone wood wall decals and this Moroccan tile floor stencil.

Slide 3 of 10: A small office can feel dark and cramped. To make a space feel bigger and brighter, use recessed LED lighting and playful wallpaper, as shown in this office from @littlesquaresofhome. A cubby wall adds plenty of storage, and freestanding plant stands lighten without bulk.

 © via @littlesquaresofhome

Bright and Playful

A small office can feel dark and cramped. To make a space feel bigger and brighter, use recessed LED lighting and playful wallpaper, as shown in this office from @littlesquaresofhome. A cubby wall adds plenty of storage, and freestanding plant stands lighten without bulk.

Slide 4 of 10: Every square inch of this workspace by @lauracoxhome is maximized, thanks to choices such as cut-to-fit shelves, a hardworking pegboard and a roomy basket that tucks perfectly into what would typically be wasted space. It also serves as proof that there's always space for plants, which add life, texture and cheer without taking up much space. When your desk is next to a bright window, it's practically mandatory, though faux plants are always an option.

 © via @lauracoxhome

Plenty of Plants

Every square inch of this workspace by @lauracoxhome is maximized, thanks to choices such as cut-to-fit shelves, a hardworking pegboard and a roomy basket that tucks perfectly into what would typically be wasted space. It also serves as proof that there’s always space for plants, which add life, texture and cheer without taking up much space. When your desk is next to a bright window, it’s practically mandatory, though faux plants are always an option.

Slide 5 of 10: A small desk and chair tucked into the corner of your bedroom or living room certainly qualifies as a home office. A large piece of artwork anchors and defines the workspace, as @rice_camp so beautifully demonstrates.

 © via @rice_camp

Super-Sized Art

A small desk and chair tucked into the corner of your bedroom or living room certainly qualifies as a home office. A large piece of artwork anchors and defines the workspace, as @rice_camp so beautifully demonstrates.

Slide 6 of 10: The right decor choices can make a small space feel bigger, like in this small office from @prettyrealblog. Vertical shiplap draws the eye up, and the neutral color palette feels calm and airy. The wall-mount shelves and smart sconce lighting free up desk space.

 © via @prettyrealblog

Calm and Neutral

The right decor choices can make a small space feel bigger, like in this small office from @prettyrealblog. Vertical shiplap draws the eye up, and the neutral color palette feels calm and airy. The wall-mount shelves and smart sconce lighting free up desk space.

Slide 7 of 10: How can one wall host so much? Pin the praise on @oakeydesignandco's large cork board, equal parts inspiration and organization. (Use cork tiles to customize one to your space.) It definitely communicates "command central" while helping keep the desktop clear — especially challenging in a small space. And an acrylic chair is always a strong choice in a small space, since it all but disappears.

 © via @oakeydesignandco

Cork It Up

How can one wall host so much? Pin the praise on @oakeydesignandco’s large cork board, equal parts inspiration and organization. (Use cork tiles to customize one to your space.) It definitely communicates “command central” while helping keep the desktop clear — especially challenging in a small space. And an acrylic chair is always a strong choice in a small space, since it all but disappears.

Slide 8 of 10: Pegboards can be reconfigured as your needs change, and they don't take up any floor space — great for small offices. We love this beautiful reimagining of the classic wooden pegboard in this small office from @cozy.happy.home because it works as storage and art. Check out this budget-friendly option, or make your own by adapting this garage unit.

  © via @cozy.happy.home

Versatile Storage

Pegboards can be reconfigured as your needs change, and they don’t take up any floor space — great for small offices. We love this beautiful reimagining of the classic wooden pegboard in this small office from @cozy.happy.home because it works as storage and art. Check out this budget-friendly option, or make your own by adapting this garage unit.

Slide 9 of 10: An office tucked inside a closet, of course! Just remove the doors and nestle a horizontal workspace inside — a floating desk like the one @flynnhaus used is perfect. Add wallpaper and a cute pendant light and you'll forget the space was ever meant for anything else.

 © via @flynnhaus

Create a “Cloffice”

An office tucked inside a closet, of course! Just remove the doors and nestle a horizontal workspace inside — a floating desk like the one @flynnhaus used is perfect. Add wallpaper and a cute pendant light and you’ll forget the space was ever meant for anything else.

Slide 10 of 10: Take a blank wall and add some plywood and a couple of 2x4s and voilà — a long workspace for two! @this_little nook went the DIY route to create a narrow shared office, though the store-bought version (i.e. this two-person desk) works, too.

 © via @this_little_nook

Go Long

Take a blank wall and add some plywood and a couple of 2x4s and voilà — a long workspace for two! @this_little nook went the DIY route to create a narrow shared office, though the store-bought version (i.e. this two-person desk) works, too.

Article by Erica Young  for Family Handyman

Source: 10 Small Office Décor Ideas (msn.com)

Critical Thinking Skills [Infographic]

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© Business.com

Critical thinking skills truly matter in learning. Why? Because they are life skills we use every day of our lives. Everything from our work to our recreational pursuits, and all that’s in between, employs these unique and valuable abilities. Consciously developing them takes thought-provoking discussion and equally thought-provoking questions to get it going.

Here is a simple infographic offering questions that work to develop critical thinking on any given topic. Whenever your students discover or talk about new information, encourage them to use these questions for sparking debate and the sharing of opinions and insights among each other. Together they can work at building critical thinking skills in a collaborative and supportive atmosphere.

critical-thinking-cheatsheet-tmb

How Does It Work?

Critical thinking is thinking about purpose. It’s clear, rational, logical, and independent thinking. It’s about practicing mindful communication and problem-solving with freedom from bias or egocentric tendencies. You can apply critical thinking to any kind of subject, problem, or situation you choose. We made the Critical Thinking Skills Graphic for you with this in mind.

The Critical Thinking Skills Graphic includes categories for Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Each section has eight questions that begin with their corresponding word. The questions are meant to be versatile and broad, and applicable to a range of topics.

In these questions, you’ll find great potential conversation starters and fillers. That said, this is obviously not a definitive list! Let them inspire your students to come up with their own questions for critical thinking skill-building.

Source: The Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet [Infographic] – Wabisabi Learning

You Could Get Banned From Amazon For Doing This Common Thing

Slide 1 of 6: Online shopping is a large part of retail these days, with a NPR/Marist Poll revealing that more than two-thirds of Americans had given into online shopping as of 2018. Still, it can be hard to judge an item before you actually see it in person, which is why the ability to return items is such a necessary feature. But you may want to ease up on your returns if you want to keep shopping online: It turns out, you could actually get banned from Amazon for returning items too often. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon will ban shoppers from using their site for returning too many items—sometimes without even telling the customer why they're being banned. And for more things that could get you in hot water, You Could Get Sued By Amazon for Doing This Online.Read the original article on Best Life.

Online shopping is a large part of retail these days, with a NPR/Marist Poll revealing that more than two-thirds of Americans had given into online shopping as of 2018. Still, it can be hard to judge an item before you actually see it in person, which is why the ability to return items is such a necessary feature. But you may want to ease up on your returns if you want to keep shopping online: It turns out, you could actually get banned from Amazon for returning items too often. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon will ban shoppers from using their site for returning too many items—sometimes without even telling the customer why they’re being banned.

Amazon reportedly banned one man in 2018 after just five returns.

The WSJ talked to one consumer, Nir Nissim, who said he had been banned in March 2018 for violating the company’s rules. Nissim received an email that stated he could not “open a new account or use another account to place orders” on Amazon.

Another user was banned after she “reported an unusual number of problems.”

Shira Golan told the WSJ that she spends thousands of dollars on Amazon each year, buying an assortment of products from clothes and shoes to groceries and toiletries. And while she had asked for refunds on some clothing and shoe orders for either damaged or wrong items, she said she “didn’t think it was so significant,” especially considering how much she has bought from the company.

Amazon doesn’t include anything about bans in their return policy.

Amazon says nothing about customers retuning too many items in their return policy. All they say is that “Amazon.com and most sellers on Amazon.com offer returns for items within 30 days of receipt of shipment.” However, in the company’s conditions, it does say that Amazon “reserves the right to refuse service [and] terminate accounts” at its own “sole discretion.”

And an Amazon spokesman said bans only happen on “rare occasions.”

Speaking to the WSJ, an Amazon spokesman said that the company will take action during “rare occasions” in which users abuse the platform. But if anyone thinks they have been mistakenly banned, the spokesman said Amazon encourages them to contact the company.

“We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended period of time,” the spokesman said. “We never take these decisions lightly, but with over 300 million customers around the world, we take action when appropriate to protect the experience for all our customers.” 

But former Amazon managers say you can get banned for several things.

According to the WSJ, former Amazon managers said the company terminates accounts for a variety of behaviors. This includes “requesting too many refunds, sending back the wrong items or violating other rules, such as receiving compensation for writing reviews.” Chris McCabe, a former policy enforcement investigator at Amazon and now a consultant at EcommerceChris LLC, said the company usually bans accounts that are “creating a lot of headaches for Amazon.”

Bestlife article by Kali Coleman. Photo credit: Bestlife©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/you-could-get-banned-from-amazon-for-doing-this-common-thing/ss-BB1bbNL8?ocid=msedgntp#image=6

Lose These 8 Common Words

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One way confidence is judged is by an individual’s behavior, especially verbal behavior. That’s according to Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Professor Tannen has been researching the influence of linguistic style on conversations and human relationships since 1974. She has also studied how ways of speaking learned in childhood affect judgments of competence and confidence in the workplace for several years.

How we speak, she says, determines who gets heard, who gets credit, and what gets done. Tannen gives the following example: one publishing company executive said, “I’m hiring a new manager. I’m going to put him in charge of my marketing division,” as if he owned the corporation. In stark contrast, women were saying “we” when referring to work they alone had done. One woman explained that it would sound too self-promoting to claim credit in an obvious way by saying, “I did this.” Yet she expected—sometimes vainly—that others would know it was her work and would give her the credit.

You might think that your way of speaking is natural, but the words you use and how you use them can determine how your confidence is judged. While there is no such thing as right or wrong words—results vary depending on the context—some common words we use in conversation really just put us at a disadvantage because they are weak and make us seem less confident.

1. “Um” and “Ah”

Many people throw in an “um” whenever they are temporarily lost for words. But there is a reason you won’t hear these crutch words, as they are known in public speaking, in news bulletins and TV shows. “Um”s and “Ah”s make people seem not only less confident, but also dumb. If you are guilty of this habit, stop it. Instead, take a brief pause when you are temporarily lost for words.

2. “Like” and “You know”

Some other people can’t go three sentences without appending a “like” to the beginning of a sentence. This is not a good if you want people to take what you say seriously. “Like” and “You know” are close cousins to crutch words. They make you look silly and incompetent when overused.

3. “Just”

Saying things like, “Just wanted to ask a question” or “Just checking in” weakens your statements and waters down your requests. You seem less sure of yourself and less confident than you probably are. Drop the extra word and speak like a boss. Talk like you know what you want.

4. “Kind Of”

The words “kind of” or “sort of” used in conversations make you come across as vague and ambiguous. You look like you have no idea what’s going on or are afraid of committing. Unless you want people to think you are timid or clueless of what’s going on, don’t misuse these words.

5. “Hopefully”

If you are always saying “hopefully” to everything in conversation or that you’ll hopefully get something done, you’re actually telling people that you don’t have control over situations. This can backfire on you because it can communicate that you are weak, powerless or even unreliable.

6. “Actually”

“Actually” has become the new “basically” or “literally.” People use it even where it doesn’t stylistically make sense. For example, the phrase “but actually” is terribly misused. This particular usage is often unnecessary (fluff) and can make you seem uninformed and pitiful.

7. “Sorry”

99% of the times people use the word “sorry” in conversations where no apology is necessary. Saying things like, “Sorry, can you come visit me?” or “Sorry, can I take you out?” can be misinterpreted to mean you’re not confident. Drop the “sorry” and say what you mean confidently. If you want to apologize for something, say sorry like you really mean it.

8. F-bomb

Dropping the occasional f-bomb (curse words) can add emphasis to what you are saying. But, often curse words are unnecessary and plain offensive. They suggest you are insecure about what is being discussed or are simply a rude and brutish individual. Cut curse words from your conversations.

Possible solution for glitches in conversation

Admittedly, getting rid of these communication glitches is not easy. The mistakes creep into your conversations before you realize it. However, a technique you can use to curb these errors (suggested by improvement thinkers like Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins, and also bloggers like Scott H. Young) is to keep a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you make a communication blunder (say, using um’s and ah’s), switch the rubber band onto your opposite wrist. If you can go seven days with the band staying on the same wrist, you’re making progress.

Source: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/8-common-words-conversations-that-make-people-sound-less-confident.html

The 2020 Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands in America

By Reader’s Digest Editors

Reader's Digest Trusted Brands
GETTY IMAGES (5), RD.COM

What are the most trusted brands in America? For the sixth year, Reader’s Digest teamed up with research firm Ipsos Connect to find out. This time, we asked more than 3,500 Americans which brands they rely on in 40 categories of household, pet, health and wellness, and travel-related products. Here are the winners.

sparkling cleaners

Household Cleaning Product: Lysol

Lysol products are distributed by the Reckitt Benckiser Group. They run the gamut from liquids to wipes to sprays—all top sellers.

Why Americans Love It: “I’ve used Lysol Spray and trusted it for as long as I can remember.”

Laundry Detergent: Tide

Tide, manufactured by Procter & Gamble, has been helping Americans (and people worldwide) keep their clothes clean since 1946.

Why Americans Love It: “I’ve always had clothes that smell great after using Tide.”

Disinfectant Wipes: Clorox

The Clorox Company is an American company, based in California. They are committed to complete transparency when it comes to what’s in their products, helping to boost that trust factor.

Why Americans Love It: “It offers different size packages to suit my needs. Clorox also offers a variety of fragrances that I like.”

everyday essentials

Contact Lens Solution: Bausch & Lomb

The company makes two different formulas for soft lenses, another four for gas permeable contacts, and eye drops for both lens types.

Why Americans Love It: “I have tried other cheaper brands and they have not been as effective as Bausch & Lomb.”

Eye Care: Visine

Called Vispring in some countries including Greece and Spain, their drops remove redness by shrinking blood vessels on the eye.

Why Americans Love It: “My eyes felt instant relief after just one drop.”

Footcare: Dr. Scholl’s

The company now offers custom, 3D-printed inserts made from foot scans users can take themselves with their cellphones.

Why Americans Love It: “Dr. Scholl’s has a wide variety of foot care needs and I can always find what I need to care for my feet.”

Sun Protection: Coppertone

There are no excuses to skip sunscreen, especially now that Coppertone offers one with a built-in shimmer and a lotion designed to help you tan safely.

Why Americans Love It: “Coppertone has been around a long time and works well.”

Lip Care: Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees is a personal care products company. A subsidiary company of Clorox, they describe themselves as “Earth friendly” and take pride in creating products without harsh chemicals to nourish your skin as naturally as possible.

Why Americans Love It: “I love Burt’s Bee because it’s natural, and it has a good fragrance.”

Soap and Bodywash: Dove

The company has partnered with the Girl Scouts on their Self Esteem Project, which aims to help young people build body confidence.

Why Americans Love It: “Dove is very moisturizing and great for people with sensitive skin. It lathers very well. It is affordable and can be found everywhere.”

Anti-aging Skincare: Olay

Retinol—commonly known as Vitamin A—is the main ingredient in the latest iteration of the Olay Regenerist moisturizer, one of the company’s top sellers since debuting in 2003.

Why Americans Love It: “I am almost 51, and have been using Olay since I was 16. I literally do not look over 35. I tell everyone to use their products.”

Body Lotion: Aveeno

Aveeno is known for its oat-based skin care, and continues to produce new products with the hero ingredient oat to nourish and soothe skin.

Why Americans Love It: “Aveeno is cleanly made and it works well.”

Sleep Aid: NyQuil

NyQuil is part of the Vicks family of brands, a trusted brand that has been helping people feel better, sleep better, and find relief from the common cold and other ailments since the late 1800s.

Why Americans Love It: “Nyquil helps me feel better, faster.”

feel-better fixes

Allergy Relief: Claritin

The company also offers a free service called Blue Sky Living that sends members personalized allergy forecasts.

Why Americans Love It: “Claritin is an old, well-known, and reputable brand. I’ve taken this on and off through the years. I know I can depend on this for relief.”

Cold + Flu Remedy: NyQuil

Manufactured by Vicks, maker of vapor rubs, Nyquil Severe with Vicks VapoCOOL is liquid medicine with the added effect of soothing vapors.

Why Americans Love It: “Nyquil and Dayquil are critical to optimal functioning while I’m sick.”

Headache/Pain Reliever: Tylenol

With redesigned packaging, the bottle caps are now easier to open while also generating minimal plastic waste.Why Americans Love It: “I trust Tylenol. It takes care of my family.”

Cough Remedy: Robitussin

The honey in their Honey Cough and Chest Congestion is certified as ethically sourced.  They also offer a sugar-free variety specially formulated for diabetics.

Why Americans Love It: “There is a Robitussin for every kind of cough.”

Heartburn Antiacid: Tums

Some women experience heartburn for the first time during pregnancy. Tums is the #1 OB/GYN recommended brand of antacid.

Why Americans Love It: “Tums is my most trusted heartburn antacid because it does the job right and fast and gets rid of the heart burn for two days.”

National Pharmacy/Drugstore: CVS Pharmacy

Through their “Pharmacists Teach” addiction-prevention program, CVS has provided 300,000 teens with free information about drug abuse.

Why Americans Love It: “CVS always has what I’m looking for and at great prices.”

For more winners, such as travel services, pet care and health must-have’s, click on the link below.

Source: https://www.rd.com/article/2020-readers-digest-most-trusted-brands/