The 21st Century Education Foundation of Anne Arundel County, Maryland named Outfluence, LLC as a Business Partner of the Year at South River High School for 2017. Kay Betz, Co-Founder and President of Outfluence, received the award during the annual Superintendent's Breakfast.
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!
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.)
Imagine you have awakened from a deep sleep that lasted 5 years or more. Your home is gone because the rent or the mortgage was unpaid. Your job is gone because your employer couldn't wait for you. Your career is gone because technology has taken it. Your family has separated from you. Your friends have moved on. You have no one to go to. You are in the same location as you were when you fell asleep, but the landscape has changed. You have not changed. You have not advanced sufficiently in knowledge, skill or experience to compete in the world. You have nothing.
What do you do? You are here . . . Now What?
As I learned over the weekend, men and women exiting from lengthy prison sentences often experience the reality described above. As a result, 50% or more of former offenders are recidivists: they offend again, and they are returned to that deep sleep. Of the former offenders who do find employment after release from prison, 80% of them don't last in the job. Why? They lack the soft skills. They don't know how to work with others, they don't respond well to authority, they communicate poorly. They return to their former life, they commit crime, they return to prison.
It costs you and me, the taxpayers, approximately $35,000 annually to house an inmate. One inmate. And there are millions of inmates. Very few inmates are rehabilitated in prison. One reason is because the prisons are dominated by gangs that control inmates, and sometimes the prison employees as well. To be fair, there are programs in the prison system that do attempt to educate the prison population. There are also programs in the community that support offenders upon their release. But the programs only scratch the surface of the need.
The disturbing bottom line is that nonviolent offenders are incarcerated with violent offenders and they, too, become violent. Then they are released back into society and their impact on our neighborhoods is worse than it was before they were incarcerated. It is an endless cycle of human carnage and community pain.
Fortunately, in Maryland, there is a light beginning to shine ever so faintly at the end of the tunnel. A program called Day-Reporting is being developed. It recently was funded and it has the support of Maryland's Governor Hogan. Many eyes around the state and beyond are on this program. Here is my understanding of how it will work: offenders who are convicted of a nonviolent crime and are sentenced to 18 months or less of incarceration will be sent, or have the option to be sent, to the Day-Reporting program where they will report every day for 12 hours of skills training and education and employment. The remainder of the day, the offender will be on his own. He will have to arrange for housing and meals and essentially create a home life. The time on his own will be challenging because at this point in his life he is starting over with nothing - no money, no experience, few if any friends, very little if any family support.
A program called Gatekeepers is located in Hagerstown, Maryland. Its Founder and Director, Bill Gaertner, a former offender, recognized the need for someone to be waiting at the prison gate to support men and women after they have paid their debt to society and are searching for a way to transition back into society successfully. Mr. Gaertner is doing remarkable work and Outfluence is exploring ways to help him.
Everybody deserves a legitimate second chance.
Through personal experience and observation over 5 decades I understand what it takes to construct a life that is, in the end, looked back upon with satisfaction. Today my team and I at Outfluence teach youngsters, young professionals and business leaders how to build a life of which they will be proud, a life that will be filled with achievements large and small, that will make them happy and fulfilled. Their path from here to fulfillment won't be easy. It never is. But if we can create awareness in them so that when they do fall down, an a-ha! moment will reveal itself and they will know how to recover and move forward. Awareness is what will help them to avoid the long delays in their journey to fulfillment brought on by mistakes that are compounded by bad decisions.
We teach our audiences that one bad decision, a relationship decision, for example, can cost them 5 years or more of pain and delay.
A fulfilled life is composed of knowledge, communication skills and performance. Within those 3 components are numerous skills that must be learned and absorbed into daily living. They include message development from the perspective of both the sender and the receiver. They include personal development skills such as decision-making, time and money management, leadership. They include learning how to inspire a performance in all of its aspects. These examples only scratch the surface of the knowledge to be gained and the skills to be acquired.
We are so easily thrown off track in our quest to live a life that is fulfilling to us. Ego, jealousy, misunderstanding, excessive competition, overreaction to unfortunate experiences and following misleading influences all contribute to delayed or unrealized fulfillment.
As we work to construct lives that are fulfilling the question becomes how much of who and what we are can we control? What influences us more, nature or nurture? As written in Simple Psychology magazine, "Nature is what we think of as pre-wiring and is influenced by genetic inheritance and other biological factors. Nurture is generally taken as the influence of external factors after conception e.g. the product of exposure, experience and learning on an individual."
If we were fortunate enough to have grown up in a loving and nurturing environment, we have a leg up in constructing our life. If our early years were painful and frustrating, we can certainly construct the life we want. We just might need a bit more help and it may take a little longer.
Outfluence takes people where we find them developmentally. We help them to discover, or re-discover, their genius. Then we show them how to build on that genius and take it where they want to go.
"William McGirt, you just won the Memorial Tournament, your first win on the PGA Tour. How did you do it?"
"Well, I've been close several times before. I recognized that my tendency was to speed up when under pressure. So this week I focused on slowing things down."
We learn so much from the experiences of others. If we listen carefully, little nuggets like "tendencies under pressure" resonate loudly. Tendencies to speed up are the result of lack of confidence, inadequate preparation, insufficient knowledge of a subject, inexperience and other reasons. But I believe those four are the primary reasons why we tend to speed up when we are under pressure.
I remember early in my public speaking days I tended to speak very quickly. In my mind I tended to speak quickly because I had so much information to share, I was afraid I couldn't fit it into the time allotted. Really it was poor preparation.
Tendencies are great teachers. One of the things they teach us is that failure is the result of doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. In my case, after speaking publicly and not feeling good about the result, I spoke to some experts on the topic of public speaking, specifically about my concern, and they coached me to overcome my tendency.
Sometimes we just need the perspective of an outsider, an uninvolved third party, someone emotionally detached from the situation to look at what we are doing and voice an opinion. A good business coach will teach the principles of Constant Messaging© and Silent Communication from the perspective of the receiver as well as the sender which may uncover those tendencies before they cause more failure.
A business mentor once told me that when negotiating the wise negotiator will make a statement and then sit silently. The weak adversary will tend to feel the need to fill the air with words. Chances are he or she will reveal something in that moment that the savvy negotiator can use strategically later. Maybe what is revealed is simply the tendency to react too quickly.
So much happens in silent moments.
You Are Here ...Now What?, Outfluence's premiere program for high school students, has been part of the Anne Arundel County school system for five years. In this video, our co-founder, Kay Betz, sits down with Ms. Linda Lamon, South River High School's Signature Program Facilitator, to discuss the history and philosophy behind the program.
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.