Harvard Recognizes AACPS Signature Program

Outfluence, LLC received the some exciting news from Signature Coordinator Linda Lamon at South River High School in Edgewater, Maryland this week:

"An exciting example of how our Signature Programs impact students' futures: Megan Rutkai, a Global Communications & Public Affairs Signature Certificate bound student, just received record breaking news that she was granted early admission to Harvard University!!! Megan attributes her success in school, and her acceptance to Harvard University, to the opportunities offered through the GCPA Signature Program.

"Megan called me yesterday, besides her family she wanted me to be the first to know. She said Harvard chose her due to the Signature experiences on her resume and she wanted to thank me. The reality is she is an incredibly deserving young woman, and it has been an honor to work with her."

The Outfluence Team, which has been an active part of the Signature Program since its inception five years ago, applauds Megan's great achievement, and wishes her the very best in her bright academic future! Ms. Lamon, the administrators, and others in the business community involved in AACPS have been remarkably committed to the development of the Signature Program.  It is exciting for us to see their dedication so beautifully rewarded. 

Congratulations again to Megan, and to the Signature Team family!

Keep Your Career on the Tracks

90% of communication occurs silently.

So many people don't understand this, which is why we often see careers derail like a speeding train, full of passengers, ideas, and dreams. Everything inside is destroyed.

Naturally we don't want that to happen to us. 

What we read, what we watch, the people with whom we associate, the organizations to which we belong, the neighborhood in which we reside, the clothing we wear . . . everything we do and say, in other words, sends a message about who we are.  Outfluence identifies this form of communication as Constant Messaging®.

One aspect of Constant Messaging® involves sensory gateways and how they function in communication.  As individuals approach us at a network gathering we first observe their general appearance, and we make a judgment.  Then as they get closer, we see their facial expressions, and we make a judgment.  The final gateway is the greeting, when we hear and possibly experience their handshake, and we make a judgment.  We often know at the conclusion of the sensory gateway process whether this initial meeting will develop into a relationship.

Other components of Constant Messaging® are active and passive listening, message interpretation including bias in interpretation, feedback, barriers to communication, intentional and unintentional messaging, and more. 

Kay Betz, MBA, is a recognized expert in the subject of Constant Messaging®.  It has been a part of her curriculum as adjunct faculty at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland for the past 20 years.  On September 27th, 2016, Kay will be a Featured Speaker at the Outfluence Fall Workshop Series. 

Her presentation yields necessary communication tools to ensure that your career and your business stay on the tracks to success.

Register today atwww.outfluence.com/fallworkshop.     

(Three mornings - 9/27, 10/12, 10/27 - Westminster Conference Center, Westminster, MD.) 

Perspective From Higher Ground: Business and Problem Solving

I remember as a kid always talking to ankles and knees when an adult approached to greet me.  And then there was that awkward look up to try to see his or her face.  As an adult I'm sensitive to that moment, so I bend down to get at eye level with a youngster. 

Recently I visited the Gettysburg Battlefields and I felt a little bit of that looking at the ankles feeling as I looked at the base of large trees that surround portions of the grounds. 

As we got to Cemetery Hill, we found ourselves atop the tree line, overlooking the battlefield, and what happened there became very clear.

As I reflected on the moment later, it got me thinking about how some of us conduct business today.  You know ... a few years ago the "big thing" movement  in business was to think outside the box.  The battle cry was if you want to advance in your career, don't do what you've always done.  That will just get you what it's always gotten you.  You must think outside the boxif you want to move your business forward.  So, business men and women began to look increasingly to technology for creativity in leadership and for new ideas in communication and in management.  And now as we move to higher ground and we review where thinking outside the box has led us, we find that what's happening outside the box isn't all good, and in some significant areas.

For example, communication has grown exponentially digitally.  Voice mail, email, text messaging, video conferencing, while great tools, have left younger entrants into the business world lacking in face-to-face communication skills.  Leadership sometimes delivers bad news digitally, coldly, mercilessly to save difficult face-to-face moments.  Teamwork is conducted in less than a civil manner often initiated by carelessly crafted e-mails.  Here are some other thoughts about outside-the-box thinking. 

A website called Lateral Action states,"The research evidence suggests that thinking outside the box fails to produce the expected creative solution. And far from being a hindrance, past experience and training can actually be the key to creative problem-solving."

So, before you think outside the box to create new solutions to age-old problems in business, take a look from a higher perspective.   Like experience maybe?  Training is a good idea, too.  It just so happens that Outfluence is conducting a 3-part series this Fall in Westminster, Maryland that will address this question:  What did we leave behind when we began thinking outside the box?  Visit Outfluence.com in a few weeks when we will begin publishing information about the series.  It begins in September.

This event occurred in the Fall of 2016.