• Third Thursday Tips

Bridging the Gap

As we have worked with a variety of organizations for Partnering, Strategic Planning, and Process Improvement Tune-Ups, we have noticed that every one of them has some gaps. That is, they all have areas of their business where they fall short of the ideal. In some cases, it's the gap between dysfunctional and good. Sometimes, the gap is between good and great.

As we've observed these gaps, we've seen some common gaps that show up in many companies. The most common seem to fall into three categories:

1) Gaps in Communications and Expectations, both internally and with customers.

2) Gaps in Generational Communications with employees that come from multiple generations.

3) Gaps in Employee Engagement between where employees currently are and where their employers want them to be.

Many of these gaps have simple fixes if you can just identify the gap and then implement options for fixing it. Sometimes that is more easily done with an objective party helping you to sort out what the gaps are. The communications gaps can often be fixed with training and practice.

One example is a gap between older and younger employees. There are differences in communication, use of technology and attitudes about work. Generational gaps can often be closed by being more aware of the strengths of each generation and the labels we are placing upon them. By gaining new knowledge, paying attention to details such as motivators and triggers, we can put together a plan to improve working relationships. And engagement gaps can be fixed with company culture development and greater involvement from employees.

If you need a little help, we have created a powerful 4-hour class to address these gaps and help you find solutions. These classes are open to everyone (and are especially great for supervisors and project leaders). They are reasonably priced, offer a 100% satisfaction guaranteed, and (of course) include our signature home-baked chocolate chip cookies!

We have two classes on December 20th and two classes on January 10th. Register by Dec. 1 and save $30! For the discount, click on this link and select the "Discount" option. Or, feel free to contact me for more information or different payment options.

Just as bridges are built to cross the gaps, we know that our training will help your company become more competitive, help your employees to become happier, resulting in higher productivity.

5 Tips to Better Photography

By Darryl Jacques

Over the holidays, you'll want to take photos of your family and travels. Follow these 5 tips to make your photos more memorable:

1. Move Closer. It was the famous photojournalist Robert Capa who once said "If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough." Take a step or two closer to your subject. Fill the frame with your subject and see how much better your photo will look without so much wasted space. The closer you are to the subject, the better you can see their facial expressions.

2. See the Light. Before you raise your camera, see where the light is coming from, and use it to your advantage. Whether it is natural light coming from the sun, or an artificial source like a lamp; use it to make your photos better? How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject? Is it highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows? These are all things you can use to make an ordinary photo extraordinary.

3. Hold your camera properly. There is a right way and a wrong way to hold a DSLR camera. The correct way is to support the lens by cupping your hand underneath it. This is usually done with the left hand, with your right hand gripping the body of the camera. This helps to prevent camera shake. If you are gripping your camera with your hands on either side of the camera body, there is nothing supporting the lens, and you might end up with blurry photos. For even more stability, tuck your elbows into the sides of your body.

4. Increase the contrast. A secret of photography is that most professional photographers retouch their photos using photo editing software, like Adobe Photoshop. As good as camera lenses are, they simply can't capture the same colors and contrasts that you see with your eyes. You don't need to buy Photoshop, because there are a lot of free or inexpensive editing programs. If you only use it to increase contrast (which deepens shadows and enhances lighting) and amp up colors a bit, you'll be amazed at how much better your photos will be.

5. Try Something Different. Anyone can stand in front of a group, about six feet away and snap a picture with the subjects in the dead center of the photo. Everyone takes these, and they all look boring and alike. Try different angles. Kneel down and take the shot from lower, especially when taking pictures of children. Find an interesting background or cloud formation or use your subjects' shadows. Take some candid photos in addition to your posed pictures. The great thing about digital photography is that it doesn't cost anything to experiment. Happy shooting!

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