Training Sets the Bar for the Future

stock-illustration-85078075-choosingThe implications and impressions that you get on your first day at work can make a lasting impression of your future efforts.  Therefore, trainers must be able to be perceived as approachable for questions, yet serious that the information being passed down is important.  Is these teaching qualities defining of being a good leader?

Here are some aspects to think about in using training to set future impact:

  1. Being an expert can be a downfall

Training individuals numerous times can be thought of as being an expert in the knowledge and ability to train, although it can also deter your ability to teach the “in between.”  Forgetting the basic information that would prove helpful to the individual, may not be passed down.  Less preparation may take place, and the informality of the training may cause the individual to not take the information as seriously.

  1. You can always set the bar lower, not higher

Taking training seriously will bring the individual to take the information seriously.  Your expectations can be set starting with training, and training can set the tone for the future expectations of the employee.

  1. Emphasizing the mission

The employee has been chosen because the impression is that the potential and individual fits the culture.  Making the mission and values of the company known while the employee is developing is essential in communicating the standards and expectations of the company and what it is set out to accomplish. Making this clear will help establish the individual to help in efforts to accomplish goals.

  1. Allow the individual to envision what this information means. Getting excited about what she or he can do in their positions should be taken advantage.  That excitement will bring other’s motivation.

Training should not only be considered a time of spreading knowledge, but motivation, excitement and endless possibilities to the team.  Take this time to get to know your employee, and set the tone for the expectations and involvement of other team members.  Training is not always thought of bringing so many opportunities to your team’s future.  Tell me about your experiences, optimization, and utilization of training in future impact.  Leave your comments, and follow me on Twitter @tammym_nguyen


Rediscover the Passion



Passion gives you energy and the desire to perform an activity.  What you do becomes dreadful when the passion is not there.  Although, the focus will be finding the passion in what you do in the workplace, this can be applied in all that you do.  You are only shorting yourself and what you are offering to your customers.  Here are some ways that you can rediscover or maintain the passion in what you do:

  1. Take accountability

Blaming other’s when things are not a success does not lead anywhere.  Taking responsibility with improvements that you could make and reflecting on those can help with future mistakes.  Focus on successes and learn from unsuccesses.

  1. Acknowledge the small stuff

Being appreciative of those that help you or the organization builds positive energy and a positive culture.  Being thankful of the everyday positives will lead to huge successes.  Acknowledging the small things will snowball and reinforce positive behavior to bring large successes in the future.  Recognizing the small things will help you stay positive and will keep the flame for the passion in what you do.

  1. Recognizing factors that you can control

Focus on factors that you can control and using your energy to improve those factors.  Focusing on how you think others should act or on things that you want to change but cannot, at least for now, will only drain your energy.  More change will occur when you change the factors that you have control over and putting less focus on those uncontrollable other factors.   This will result in more positive change, another energizing factor.

  1. Don’t settle

Being happy for things going good will not be enough in the long run.  If you cannot find the passion and love in what you do, you have choices to change that.  Although, love whatever you do.  Know when it is time for change, and have high expectations.

  1. Continuously challenge yourself

Stimulate yourself with challenges and always become an expert in what you do.  Do not rely on others or your superiors to give you all the challenges.  Read more in depth about the challenges that you face or aspects that you find you could improve on.

What are other ways that you maintain the passion in what you do?  Leave your comments and follow me on Twitter @tammym_nguyen!

What triggers individuals to act for the well-being of others?

blood hero with cape

As we look back with the unfortunate recent events of the tragedy in Orlando, many individuals have sought means to donate blood who have never found the desire to.  Evaluating these reasons may help future means of recruiting donors.  Although, tragic events whether personal or national is often the case of bringing new donors or even past donors in sooner, understanding this drive gives us a better understanding of the individuals that we want to transform to regular and habitual donors.

Although, we do the same service daily, our services seem to transform into a “purple cow”, a term developed by Seth Godin.  A remarkable service that individuals want to partake in.  In the last few weeks, we have requests to send that blood to the state struck by the incident, regardless of the state needs.  Again, this is not to criticize the caring individuals acting on this deed, but simply understanding them.  Developing a strategy that will gain new customers without having tragedy strike by evaluating these emotions and reasons to act are essential for efforts in recruiting new donors.  On a much lower scale, tragedy strikes the community on an ongoing basis.  Although, we always feel more remorse when it hits at a larger magnitude.

Efforts of Social media and Mainstream media also influence the efforts.  Many individuals create a habit or have a call to action when it is linked to emotions.  Also, the values and support of individuals on these values becomes more apparent.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is notorious for the brand awareness brought from the participants, which seemed to become viral overnight.  The cause marketing and social media fad raised the efforts for fundraising to notable levels.  Let’s shed light on donating blood, without having tragedy strike at the levels it did.  I would love to hear your comments or suggestions by leaving your comments or find me on Twitter @tammym_nguyen.

Control Time, Don’t Let it Control You



Time does not discriminate individuals, it does not discriminate days, and does not wait for you to catch up.  It is interesting how often “I do not have time” comes out of our mouths.  It is such an easy excuse, and we really can all relate to it especially in certain times of our life more than others.  However, we do not have control of adding more hours in a day or shortening hours in another, we can decide what we are doing with those hours.

  • Setting a bed time is more prominent now then I was a kid.

11pm is a happy medium I have set in order to make dinner, go to the gym, study, and prepare a lunch for the next day.  Staying up later trickles into the next day of less productivity and begins a trend for the week.

  • Set deadlines throughout the week

Know what needs to get done this week and what can wait until next week.  Set days that you want certain chores/tasks done.  This will prevent your for feeling overwhelmed or ensure all tasks that should be done to get done in a timely fashion.

  • Make To-Do-List

This will keep your ease your mind and let yourself rest.  Jotting it down will alleviate some stress and be able to lay it out.

  • Allow yourself to reset

Maybe just last week you were not as productive as you should have been and it definitely still having an effect on you.  Move on.  It is a fresh week and do not continue the cycle.

  • Allow yourself to relax and do the things that make you happy. You will reach burnout if you do not let yourself rest and relax, and allow yourself to do things that you enjoy.

I write this with self-reflection upon myself.  Work gets chaotic, school work gets behind, and gym time gets cut in order to make the time to catch up.  Working for a nonprofit, this is an activity that individuals choose to do, and unfortunately often one of the first activities to be eliminated when times get busy and chaotic in individual’s lives.  When we use the excuse that we do not have time to commit to something, be real, we are not willing to make time for that commitment.  Partner with time, rather than time being your worst enemy.

What about Change is Uncomfortable?

Change Picture

We are creatures of habit and change makes us enter a world of the unknown.  Forward thinkers want to know what the future has in store for them, and don’t we value forward thinkers in the workplace?  However, as management is going through change, answers are not always known.  High turnover may result because individuals begin feeling uncomfortable in the position they are at. Being adaptable and flexible has never been so highly valued in a changing environment and it is very common in business today.  For example, as technology is rapidly changing, marketing strategies change, and human labor responsibilities shift, just to name a few.

Here are some ways to deal with change:

  • Accept the situation. Just because leadership is embracing the change doesn’t mean they like it either and you need to embrace it too.  Change is more common than ever before as technology innovations are rapidly evolving and the call for action in order to stay competitive is necessary.  Therefore, reflecting on why things are the way they are will not help with moving forward and adapting to what changes have occurred.
  • Remind yourself of the mission and goals of your company. You are working at your company because you are passionate about what your company does.  Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing and why you are there.  This will get you over the tumultuous times that changes can bring on.
  • Culture of change. Building a culture that change is normal.  Create an environment where adaptability, flexibility, and creativity are embraced.  Business environments need to be always ready for change and learning techniques and strategies that evolve as changes occur will bring successful results.
  • Do not think that changes occur because what is working isn’t bringing success. You do not want to be forced to create change, because you have delayed change for too long.  Changes may occur for predictions or forecast about creating a more successful future.
  • Do not discriminate change. Changes may be experiments, and they may not always be better than what processes or what was already being used.  However, do not let failure lead you to think that all changes are going to be unsuccessful.  Evaluate why it went wrong, ways to fix it, and why this may not have been the right decision.  Making a broad conclusion that all changes are failures will impede future opportunities.

Every business environment that will succeed in the long-term will be involved in change.  Therefore, embracing change, and being part of the excitement in possible opportunities it may bring, will allow more positive results not only for you, but for your organization.  Just as much as you expect to receive communication from your leadership that is part of making the decision to create change, being an active part in open communication channels will help the changes be effective.

Visit my website to read my past and future blogs.  Like and comment, I would love to hear about your experiences and insights regarding these subject matters.


Forget About the Goal, Evaluate the Strategy

Think about the last time you or someone you know went on a diet, and wanted to see results every time you got on the scale.  Every day you wanted to see those pounds shed off, you wanted that scale to say two pounds below the previous day’s weight and if it wasn’t, the diet was just not effective.   The result is resorting to eating foods that actually make you not even maintain weight, but gain weight.  This analogy is not about diets and losing weight, it’s about forgetting about numbers.  Focusing on the overall picture, and the evaluating the events, and where you could have improved and where you were successful, rating yourself on that.

You ate great that day, you aren’t going to look at that scale.  Or you ate a couple bad items off your diet, tomorrow, those will be excluded.  After an evaluation of whether you truly felt you were successful, or parts where you know could have been approached differently.  The scale does not lie and the results do not lie, but this allows one to focus on factors that went wrong, and learn from that, rather than merely I did or did not reach my goal. One can pinpoint issues, and maybe when you thought you didn’t reach your goal, you actually did.

This technique is primarily effective when there are months of shortcomings, and you become absorbed in those non-successes and one begins to give up.  You have a week of bad sales or numbers that are not reaching goal, and by constantly focusing the fact that you have been deficient in reaching the goal you are missing out on future opportunities learn how to change your tactic.  You start changing your strategy, and by the end of the month, you could be in excess and make up for that unsuccessful beginnings.

To make this technique truly successful:

  • You must be honest with yourself. When you hold yourself accountable for what you did wrong and give yourself credit for what went right, you will strengthen what you will gain.  I deserved or feel obligated to receive will only cut yourself short.
  • This is especially useful when you are in such a deficit that you give up. Let’s say your goal is measured on a monthly basis.  You are attempted to move on to the next once you reach that point of failure for the month, but you are missing learning opportunities by such action.  Those involved are less willing to help you out in the future, and it becomes more apparent that you only care about the goal.
  • Focusing on situations that lead up to the statistics that you are measured on make the fact that other members of your organization may have different goals. When everybody focuses on what leads up to successes and what leads up to failures, the distance between different goals become less apparent.  Everyone becomes on the same page.

So let’s focus on situations, let’s forget the numbers.  Goals are supposed to be measurable, but let’s look at objective matter and see if these new practices changes the results in the future.  Prevent yourself from getting quickly drained out from the failures, instead pinpoint issues to fix.  This is especially useful when there is a series of failures, to hold yourself accountable for what you actually have control over.  When you feel like you succeeded, even if you didn’t, the reasons that caused the failure is out of your control.  Use your energy on matters that you have control over and your efforts will become aligned to the results.


Evolving Nonprofit Challenges to Excellence


The foundation of nonprofits are an ever-increasing challenge.  As the economy is struggling, nonprofits are hit in a variety of dimensions.  As the community is struggling to find time to participate in philanthropic activities and community events, due to longer hours to support their family and maybe even struggling to find a job.  Unemployment rates and blame on community expectations brings unsupportive community behavior.  Once effective marketing strategies of “help your community” are being impeded, creating negative energy that the community is to blame for the struggles that their family or the individual is going through.

Creative marketing strategies never meant so much.  Finding unique ways of using social media and even traditional marketing strategies varies so widely with the large pool of donor demographics.   Digital marketing strategies to trigger successful responses, and consideration of high open rates are essential.  As community businesses are struggling to survive, the support of nonprofit organizations become limited.  Although, expectations are the same or even have become more demanding as participants are putting more on the line than ever were before.  Many retired individuals who were able to support nonprofits, are working at a much older age, and the dependence of these individuals to participate regularly is reduced.

As funding and less business support of nonprofits become commonplace, employees are being overwhelmed with more responsibility, less resources, and increasing challenges.  The culture begins to have impeding and disagreeing goals that create teamwork struggles.  Organizational behavior and structure are evolving with the changing times. There is less time to concentrate and tackle these quick evolutions as they occur because it is a constant and the resources are already being stretched.  The industry is evolving, employee and participant behavior is evolving, expectations are changing, creativity is a bare necessity, and resources are becoming scarce.

Through my future blogs, I hope to interest individuals of the unique nonprofit sector or find similarities on how profit business tactics can be utilized in the nonprofit realm.  As much of the difference of the sectors, the similarities are just as notable.  The unique characteristics of nonprofits, and specifically the blood banking industry interest me, and successes and learning from failures is highly valued.  The motives of the community are evolving, with a direct correlation to the current economic status of the country.  The changes affect the employees, their behavior, and the culture.   Constant changes to social media practices, marketing strategies, industry and generation value differences all have a significant of the success of blood banking.