Author Archives: Angie Weinberger

When you suddenly see kingfishers everywhere and you assign meaning. Then C.G. Jung calls this synchronicity or is it just well-done Marketing brought to you by Google? An unknown word appeared in my life and it was the project name from Action from Switzerland called “Halcyon Days”. I had to spell this word several times as I mentioned it on several occasions. And I always got it wrong.

So on a Monday night when I was watching a documentary on C.G. Jung and synchronicity, I noted down the correct spelling. I hoped that I would now spell it correctly. That evening I learned that there are a few “coincidences” between C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien. That was quite a fascinating discovery as I feel these two come from two completely separate fields of my life. However, the connections are intriguing. 

Kingfishers everywhere

Then, I heard from a friend about an old seventies TV-series that I binged on. It was one of those cold Saturdays and Sundays where going out of the house was just not an option. Guess what? One of the main families in the series had the last name “Halcyon”. I then learned how to pronounce it and found out that it is actually a special kind of tree kingfisher (bird). I finally checked Wikipedia: “Halcyon Days is an oblique reference to the Greek mythological figure Alcyone”.

“Ovid and Hyginus both also make the metamorphosis the origin of the etymology for “halcyon days“, the seven days in winter when storms never occur. They state that these were originally the 14 days each year (seven days on either side of the shortest day of the year[5]) during which Alcyone (as a kingfisher) laid her eggs and made her nest on the beach and during which her father Aeolus, god of the winds, restrained the winds and calmed the waves so she could do so in safety. The phrase has since come to refer to any peaceful time. Its proper meaning, however, is that of a lucky break, or a bright interval set in the midst of adversity; just as the days of calm and mild weather are set in the height of winter for the sake of the kingfishers’ egglaying.

Now you all know that Wikipedia is not scientific but it is often a good first reference for discovery, especially if you are looking for connections. Today, I read an article in which Ellie Golding was mentioned. And she has an album called “Halcyon Days” . Yes, it’s a coincidence, maybe…maybe not. Maybe Gaby Tan, the founder of AFS is a fan of that seventies series or Ellie Golding or really good at Greek mythology or maybe she just likes the bird.

Synchronicity

What C.G. Jung would say though is that I assigned a deeper meaning to this and that is why it is synchronicity. I was ruminating about the question if I should continue to edit my Bollywood-meets-Bond-style novel “Double Happiness”. Maybe you don’t know that I ventured into creative writing a few years ago. I never fully finished “Double Happiness”. Fear took hold of me. I did not see immediate success and decided to quit. Part 1 was published, Parts 2 to 4 are draft manuscripts lying around on my computer. I did not even know if I still had them.

And then out of the universe I get a sign that reminds me of India. The kingfishers are everywhere and my favorite Indian beer brand is “Kingfisher”. I cannot remember a time in my life that was so mellow and calm. So, if I wanted to lay my artistic eggs this fasting period up to Easter 2018 would be the best time to do it.

The Lens of the Writer and the Paintbrush of the Artist

We look at life through a different angle. As writers we have a lens. We make the normal day-to-day visible with words just like a painter who brushes a situation in a shopping center into a piece of art or a photographer who captures a war story in one image. What we do with our writing is to paint a world inside your head and sometimes we touch your soul. And when we touch your soul we feel connected through the words. There is beauty in that.

What I did not really know about C.G. Jung until the recent explorations was that he painted and that he was so interested in mythical topics. When I picked up the archetypes for the second time, his words about cultural separation seemed so up to date it was almost scary.

“Unser Intellekt hat Ungeheures geleistet, derweilen unser geistliches Haus zerfallen ist….Schliesslich graben wir die Weisheit aller Zeiten und Völker aus und finden, dass alles Teuerste und Kostbarste schon längst in schönster Sprache gesagt ist.” (Carl Gustav Jung, Archetypen, originally 1934, 2010 ed., p. 19)

Can you grasp the idea that there is a collective unconscious in this world and that we can tab into it like into a radar? There is a painting in Jung’s red book that symbolizes the channel to the collective soul. For a while, when the Internet was fairly new in the 90-ies and only geeks knew about it many of them thought of the Internet as our collective consciousness. I felt it was Twitter for a long time.

What has our Collective Unconscious Become?

Is the Internet now the collective, global expression of our fears, prejudice and biases? And are we just stuck in a loop where what we set out there echos back to us? Did I find Halcyon’s everywhere because I was looking for them? Is it all just selective perception or is it Google spying on me? 

This needs further exploration. Rest assured though that the answers will rock your grounds, shake your inner most beliefs of what is true and what is not. Are you with me on this journey?

Tell me about your synchronicity experiences please.

RockMe! Retreat

I mentioned in my post Simplify Your Digital Life – On Reducing Complexity” that I learned a few more principles about how I work with the companies I encounter as a small business and private individual. Maybe this helps you to improve your customer experience too.

Reduced Clutter Equals Better Choices

When you consider simplifying your life there are certain standards that you expect. One example that comes to my mind is a website for a seemingly simple transaction such as buying a ticket or sending flowers. In both cases, those websites were overly full of information and had too many options. I probably just clicked what I thought was right, did not read the fine print and made mistakes.

Treat your Costumers like Intelligent Humans

Another site annoyed me in the last part of the buying process where I had invested already about half an hour selecting and declining additional options because they did not tell me that the delivery cost would be added at the end of the transaction. You probably think that this is normal and that I should not be surprised. I understand the principle, but what I did not like was that the delivery cost about 100% of the product. That was way out of proportion and did not make sense to me. I would have expected that there is a standard service with a delivery (a bunch of flowers). Maybe it’s my inexperience with such transactions but I gave feedback. I got a reply but it did not help…but at least I did not have to speak to a robot again.

Consumers should not be treated like idiots. I am happy to spend money but I want to feel that my money is well spent and in a lot of those cases I wasted either time or money because of lame processes or lack of customer service. I often wonder then why employees take no pride in their work, why they are not trying to make their customers happy, why they are not communicating better. The only explanation I have is our corporate culture. If we want to create amazing customer experiences, we also have to create better employee experiences. I think we also need to give our employees more freedom to make decisions to support the customers, like the lady who helped me at the SNCF counter. I also think we need to hire Generation X customer service representatives into shared service centers, who do not treat a 45-year-old like their best friend or their worst enemy and who have the patience to explain a process step by step.

As a Customer Give Feedback

These days, if I come across a bad website or a bad email marketing newsletter I give feedback. I know that I have not been asked to provide feedback, but I know that most of the time it helps me a lot. There are so many misunderstandings in written communication, we all come from different places and for most of us we feel challenged to communicate in our mother tongue, let alone in a second or third language.

Customer Service of Humans Tops Everything

I was annoyed by SNCF, the Novotel, and other sites because they did not allow me easily to reverse a transaction that I made in good faith. I lost money and time. While I am writing this post I am sitting in the same hotel that had annoyed me a few months back. I did not book it. There is no better option either. However, this time I was not expecting service and I was wondering if anyone would talk to me about my 1-star review on TripAdvisor. I even did not have a functioning credit card as a guarantee for them. BUT my experience is amazing. I needed help as I am unwell. I got free medicine and a fresh lemon for tea. The kitchen staff gave me lemons. I was treated friendly and could choose the floor and have a great view now. I am almost considering to reverse the bad review…but then logging in to Tripadvisor took too long again. Maybe I leave it there for a little longer to keep them on their feet.

 

Kind regards

Angie Weinberger

 

Guest post by DAVID NEWGASS

Finding a job in today’s global landscape can be a daunting task. With so many qualified people vying for the same position, it can be challenging to envision ways you can make yourself stand out.

If you are looking to give yourself an extra edge, here are four types of training that will prepare you for today’s global workplace.

1. Technical Skills Training

No matter what technical level you are at, there are always areas of your skills that you can improve. Technical skills are those that include the knowledge of doing things such as data analysis, content writing, social media management, coding, programming, etc.

This form of training is fundamental to your employee education as it is the key to knowing how to do your job right, technically. Even if you already know how to do your job, it is almost guaranteed that there is still more for you to learn.

By engaging in ongoing skills training on a regular basis, you will ensure that you are staying up-to-date with the latest developments in your field and that you are well equipped for today’s global workplace.

Look for training that utilizes a full range of blended learning solutions on sales and management skills development topics, including videos, e-learning, podcasts, and online support solutions.

2. Soft Skills Training

How you act in your position is just as crucial as what you actually know – that’s why soft skills training is so essential for growth in your career. Soft skills pertain to the personal attributes that enable employees to interact harmoniously and effectively with other people in the workplace, including management, co-workers, and customers.

Having a gap in primary soft skills among company employees affects company success significantly and increases turnover rates.

Whether you are a new or existing employee or are just trying to get your foot in the door, soft skills training is useful as it demonstrates that you understand and appreciate one solid fact — that soft skills are an effective way to build an efficient, respectful and collaborative workplace culture.

Some soft skills to consider improving include:

  • Communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Leadership skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Time management
  • Ethics
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability

3. Taking NEBOSH Courses

The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) develops syllabi, assignments, and exams to Accredited Course Providers who then create training courses to prepare candidates for NEBOSH qualifications.

For those who are looking to work in health and safety positions, a NEBOSH qualification is often required. For many, their career progression is closely linked to enhanced NEBOSH qualifications.

As the UK’s most popular health and safety qualification, the NEBOSH Certificate is very well known and highly regarded, making it an ideal choice for those looking to launch a career in safety. Companies are realizing the importance of health and safety training and are favoring potential employees who have obtained this knowledge.

To get started on the path to obtaining an online NEBOSH certificate, you do not usually need any formal entry requirements.

4. Taking IOSH Courses

In today’s global workplace, health and safety are top priorities and primary objectives for firms, not only in hazardous fields such as mining and construction but also in occupations that are considered low-risk, such as banking or real estate.

For this reason, if you are serious about ensuring that you remain a vital and valuable member of your team, you should future-proof your career by refreshing and updating your knowledge and skills in health management.

Taking an IOSH course is one of the most significant ways you can do this, as this learning module is created by top international occupational health and safety experts. With this, you can be sure that the curriculum will be aligned with world-class standards and up-to-date strategies.

It would be a great addition to your cache of capacities as a mid-career professional, whether as a supervisor, team leader, manager, or any other role where you have to oversee other employees.

If you are a company owner who is considering hosting one of these online employee training sessions, remember that they save you time and money, as no one needs to be scheduled to give the lessons with every new update or batch of new hires. You can also train multiple locations at various times for no extra cost.

They guarantee informational consistency across all levels, so you can rest assured that everyone gets the same information and training, and they provide employees with easy access to information, reducing uncertainty, misinformation, and error.

About the Author

Owner, Managing Director and Big Kahuna at Wise Global Training Ltd
David Newgass

Dave Newgass is the owner and Managing Director of Wise Global Training Ltd. Born and raised in a small California coastal fishing town but now living in the United Kingdom, Dave’s goal is to ensure that clients are not only happy with the IOSH and NEBOSH online courses they purchase from Wise Global Training Ltd. but are also happy with the total experience as a whole.

Editor’s Note: If you would like to measure your success in improving your skills, you could join the Global People Transitions’ second pilot group for the RockMe! App. Still free until 30 June 2018.

Guest post by Jacqueline Vicario

Some say Feng Shui is the Chinese art of arranging the furniture in your home. But I can assure you, as a certified Feng Shui consultant (FSS), it really is so much more! It’s all about your own energy and where you put it. What does this have to do with spring cleaning? It’s simple: The outer order reflects your inner order. Meaning: If I am unhappy with myself and the world, or feel tired and worn out, my home usually looks like a bomb has struck with things lying around everywhere. After I clean it all up again I always feel so much more satisfied than before. I now feel ‘clean’ inside and am ready to conquer the world again.

Winter is a time of rest and darkness. It is the last season in the lifecycle, representing stagnation or even death as everything slows down and freezes. In those days I get lazy and love to curl up in a warm blanket on the sofa and do as little as possible.

Once the days get longer and temperatures begin to rise the yearly lifecycle starts all over again. Spring is the time of birth and growth. What better time to turn new ideas into projects? But before I can start my new projects, I want to get rid of the old dirt and all the unwanted, unloved stuff. This is where my spring cleaning comes in.

Remember how my outside (the home I live in) represents what my inside looks like? I admit that during the winter I put things into drawers just to have them out of the way quick. After a while this disorder starts to irritate me. It’s now time to do something about this mess!

Then I realize there is soooooo much to do, but where do I start? When I think about it I get overwhelmed, don’t know where to start and end up doing nothing at all. I feel like I will never ever get it all done, that it will take me forever and right now I just don’t have time for this…

Here are some tips that really help me get started with my spring cleaning:

1. I start small and decide to do only one thing at a time.

If I decide to clear out only one drawer today (not the whole commode!), then I usually get it done, because the goal is reachable within a short amount of time. Usually the energy comes while cleaning and if I have time to spare I continue and do another one and another and before I know it it’s all done. If I don’t have the time I just do the next drawer the following day.

2. Throw away the things you don’t love anymore

When going through my stuff I find all sorts of things, that I had forgotten about and I ask myself:

  1. Do I still love it?
    Yes = keep it / No = on to the next question (valid for all questions below)
  2. Does it raise good/happy memories when I use it or look at it?
  3. Will I ever need it again?
  4. Will I miss it when it’s gone?

If I say YES, I find a good place to put it and go on to the next thing.

If the answer is NO to all these questions, then into the trash it goes. Sometimes the item still looks new and I am reluctant to throw it out, then I either sell it on eBay/Tutti.ch etc. or ask around if anyone can use it or who may love to have it.

3. Sort out your Wardrobe

The same goes for my wardrobe. Here I ask myself the following questions:

  1. When was the last time I wore this? If it was more than 2 years ago out it goes
  2. Do I feel/look good when I wear it? If not, out it goes.

4. Treat yourself after reaching the set goal

After I finish cleaning out that one drawer or my wardrobe, I treat myself to a nice little break. This could be a cup of tea on the sofa, or 30 Minutes of reading in my favorite book or just put my feet up for a few minutes and congratulate myself.

Clearing out old stuff gives me space and energy for new things and ideas. Cleaning up is actually step 1 of my professional Feng Shui advice. Before you rearrange any furniture or paint any walls its important to clear out unloved and unwanted things.

If you are interested in learning more about Feng Shui or wish to have a professional Feng Shui consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can also visit www.fengshuiprincess.ch.

Looking forward to meeting you and happy spring cleaning!

Kind regards

Jacqueline

Jacqueline Vicario

Jacqueline Vicario
Dipl. Feng Shui Beraterin FSS since 2013

Jacqueline was born in New York, N.Y. USA to Swiss parents, who were interested in iGing and Feng Shui.  Raised half in Switzerland and half in the USA but calling Switzerland her home for the last 30 years. Works as an Administrative Assistant and Feng Shui Consultant

FSS = Feng Shui Schule Schweiz

Martina has not been able to find a new job for six months. It’s not because of her qualifications. She is well qualified and has work experience. It might be her self-confidence and that she gets nervous in interviews.

She thinks one of the reasons for her lack of success at securing a job is that she is very realistic about her skills and when asked in an interview she is honest. I guess successful candidates aren’t always honest. That’s the message she got.

Successful people are better at conveying who they are and how they work.

I have made a small mistake in my earlier career. I worked away and assumed that someone would notice my great performance. Colleagues were promoted faster and earned more money. Then one day, one of my former managers pointed it out to me. She asked me how my current manager would notice that I was working hard while I was in a different country.

I got better at communicating to my manager what I was doing and how I contributed to the success of the team. Had she not told me I would probably still sit in that same office, doing the same job. I asked for weekly meetings with my new manager and  even wrote quarterly summaries of what I had achieved. This not only led to more praise and faster promotions, I also got more self-confident and daring. I was even headhunted.

Another manager showed me how to improve my self-branding. She recommended a number of great books to me. All managers who really helped me move forward were women. Maybe because they understood that we tend to be more critical towards ourselves and that we do not always sell ourselves in the best possible manner.

I am very grateful to those managers. As I care for Martina and you, I want her and you to succeed.

Recommendations:

  1. Write a weekly reflection for yourself at the end of the week. (You can use the RockMe! App for guidance).
  2. Share your three weekly achievements with your manager.
  3. In your 1:1 tell your manager what you have accomplished and where you struggle. If you don’t have a 1:1 do it in writing.
  4. Share more than you take. Share your knowledge in your internal yammer and sharepoint.
  5. Share your knowledge on LinkedIn, highlight interesting posts to colleagues and start guest blogging.

Have an inspired week ahead
Angie Weinberger

How to make friends in Switzerland
https://youtu.be/WCSQwPv6Z-k