Meet the Referential Team: Ryan Quackenbush

If you were to rewind the clock on Ryan Quackenbush, you’d find him jumping off stages at rock concerts and singing loudly in equally loud bands. Go back a bit further, and you’ll find a young – Keanu Reeves-looking – man aspiring to write the next great American novel while studying beatniks and black mountain poets and earning a degree in literature and creative writing from an Upstate New York (NY) college. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find an established Advocacy Consultant with a track record of success in the high-tech industry and experience that he draws upon to benefit his clients.

Taking the background as a stage performer with him today, Ryan has spoken at various tech and advocacy events on the programs he’s created. You’ll also find him on occasion attending advocacy-focused get-togethers in the New England area. He’s built internal advocacy programs for mid-sized startups, global enterprises, as well as global, open-sourced tech communities. His experience is varied, as is his approach.

Born in upstate NY, Ryan lives in the Albany, NY area with his wife and new daughter, Luna. He is gradually becoming accustomed to all the challenges that fatherhood provides; he admits, though, that yes everything is different but he’s genuinely surprised at how quickly he’s become used to everything being altered.

If you’re looking for a few fun facts about Ryan to breakout at a dinner party, he loves to cook, he feverishly roots for the NY Mets, he plays 5 instruments and has co-written and performed on over a dozen different albums. His vinyl collection boasts over 1300 records to date, his favorite book series is without a doubt Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, he’s a “big time space nerd” and, more than anything, he wants to stand on every continent before he dies.

Ryan loves a challenge and meeting new people; he joined Referential in May of 2019, having most recently come over from Oracle. Having the opportunity to learn from Helen and everyone at Referential, frankly, was too good an opportunity for him to pass up!

Time Zones - Thoughts From Referential's Lynn Watts

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Our days are governed by time, and the concept of time zones around the world can be quite daunting. If each time zone were 1 hour apart, there would be 24 in the world. But several time zones have only 30 and 45 minutes offsets, making the total number worldwide much higher, so there are 37 different time zones! With the Referential team being dispersed across several continents we have to be very mindful of the time when reaching out to our own team as well as customers. But with this spread, we can be productive and assist our clients across most of the 24hrs in any given day.I’m always a little edgy when sending out a meeting invite to a customer, have I calculated the time difference correctly? I think we have all experienced that oh so embarrassing event of phoning someone at some antisocial hour only to find they are stirring from a deep sleep to answer your call…once is enough and we will do all within our power to never have to go through that again!Have you ever had to arrange a meeting where there are several attendees, all in different countries? You know how confusing it is too, trying to align a time that works for everyone, and being respectful of trying to keep things within business hours, working out what are the business hours in that particular country, as much as one can. It can be a challenge!Also, throw into the mix the switch between Summer and Winter time. Some countries make changes before others, which means connecting with the rest of the world a little daunting! Your usual weekly meetings are not at the ‘usual’ times, and you either end up dialing frantically into a call, when prompted on Skype by a kindly colleague who notices you missing, or sitting on an empty line as you realize you are the only one who is 60 minutes too early!I use this great little tool, World Time Buddy – it has certainly proven to be my ‘buddy’ on a many an occasion!In a few weeks time, the whole Referential team will be getting together for our regular 6 monthly meeting at US head office in San Jose. It’s a chance for us all to be in one place, see each other face to face (rather than on webcam), brainstorm, bond and, for once, not have to think about time zones before reaching out. Its amazing, although we are spread far and wide around the globe, we never feel like there are thousands of miles and varying numbers of minutes between us.

Meet the Referential Team: Lauren Ruffin

LaurenMeet Lauren Ruffin, Referential’s newest team member, shown here with her grandpa! Lauren joined in September 2018 and has been diligently writing case studies, blogs, award nominations, profile slides and other assets for a variety of Referential’s clients. Prior to joining, she worked in the non-profit sector serving a broad range of functions in non-profit development including grant writing, fundraising, event planning, and marketing and communications. She is looking forward to continuing her support of the non-profit sector by working with clients to help them position their advocacy programs to be compelling and fruitful for the non-profit organizations their companies serve. Lauren enjoys being able to experience and contribute to the full spectrum of activities that managing a customer advocacy program requires. She is thoroughly impressed by the range of skills and experience shared among her colleagues and feels lucky to learn from and work alongside such a capable staff. She has come to greatly appreciate the level of planning, organization, and collaboration the staff invests into managing each client’s customer advocacy program. She continues to be in awe of how many programs the team is able to coordinate at once. 

Lauren also enjoys learning about customers’ stories during the asset creation process. She is fascinated by the infinite number of ways we as people perceive and experience the world around us and continues to be intrigued by the myriad of benefits a single product from a client can offer to different customers. One of her favorite parts about working in asset production is the creative challenge of capturing the details that make each customer’s narrative unique and retelling their stories in a way that is true and authentic to their lived experiences.

She is grateful for the warm welcome she received from the Referential team and how patient and kind everyone has been introducing her to the world of customer advocacy. She is very thankful to have the help and guidance of so many experienced customer advocacy managers and appreciates the team’s propensity for a good laugh. Afternoon strolls with teammates and the perk of afternoon tea – thanks to Referential’s British managing partners – are some of her favorite parts of day-to-day life in the office.

When not clacking away on a keyboard at work, you might catch Lauren cruising around the Bay in her red Prius to try out new food or taking time out for gardening. She likes to take breaks from indulging in various TV series to walk her dog, Koge, and will almost never turn down the opportunity to turn up some music and dance with reckless abandon when no one is watching. 

Lauren loves to connect with people and looks forward to translating that passion into continuing Referential’s tradition of fostering welcoming, inclusive environments for customer advocates so they feel comfortable and confident sharing their stories.

Wellness: A Company Priority

We kicked off a team wellness challenge today.  As partners with Influitive we have our own AdvocateHub which we call Rendezvous. We’re going to use the Experiences capability as our foundation. The Experience capability is almost like having a mini Hub within a Hub.  We’ll have choices of challenges around a monthly theme. Not only are we all going to improve our wellness, we’ll learn a bit more about the AdvocateHub from both the administrative and user perspective. challengesMonth one of our challenge is focused on food and drink.  We can choose from 5 different challenges throughout the month, repeating or choosing to do a new one each week.  Eat less sugar, eat more fruit and veggies, drink more water, eat home cooked meals all week, or try out a new diet. As we complete our chosen challenge each week we’ll earn points towards individual and group goals. 

Next month the theme will be increased physical activity.  Follow our blog and you’ll see updates on how we’re doing. It’s good to focus on wellness and this approach allows us to have personal choices while still working towards a common goal as a team.

Meet the Referential Team: Saravanan Sakthivel

saravanan sakthivelSaravanan Sakthivel – or Sara for short – is based in India. Referential is the first company he’s been with in which he works entirely remotely. Although he’s in the eastern hemisphere, he never feels too far away from the rest of the team because everyone is good about connecting with him via Skype and there’s overlap in working hours with other teammates’ time zones. Sara has over five years of working with customer advocacy programs and has been a full-time consultant with Referential for more than a year. His favorite part of the job for clients is recruiting new customers into their programs. He enjoys being able to identify and leverage clients’ happiest customers, and then help them share their success with the rest of the business community.

When he’s not working, Sara spends times with his family, which includes his wife and 3-years old son. They like to watch television together to relax. They recently had a vacation in England visiting family and while there, Sara got to spend a day sightseeing with his Referential colleague, Lynn.

Sara describes Referential’s culture as being strong and friendly. He loves working alongside the rest of the team; it was the work culture that attracted him to join the company in the first place. Sara plans to keep on learning and moving to the next level in consultancy with Referential. He always gives a hundred percent of effort in fulfilling the goals and targets that he’s tasked with.

Meet the Referential Team: Lillian Kann

Portsmouth-2018 (2)Meet Lillian Kann, in the photo with her husband.  Lillian had just two words to say when giving a brief description of her position at Referential – “fabulous job”. She’s extremely passionate about what she does, and anybody could tell that from the way she speaks about it. Lillian explained how she loves being able to work with customers and being able to share their success stories, which she says are tremendously powerful. She feels this incredible satisfaction in being able to enable her customers to feel proud of their success and help showcase their achievements. Lillian’s previous years of work prior Referential included building a number of advocacy programs from scratch. What attracted her to Referential is the strong, collaborative, and unique team. She feels she’s continuously learning and growing as an individual: Having the opportunity to try things she’s never done before, and is delighted at how much she’s enjoying it all.

Having never previously worked as a consultant, Referential has enabled her to constantly be introduced to new clients, tasks, and environments. It has exposed her to an entirely new perspective on business and she loves the thrill of always having new aspects in her work life.

Lillian looks forward to furthering her career at Referential and continuing to help clients share their customers’ stories. She’s a strong believer in there always being room to improve and would love to keep learning. Most importantly, she hopes to keep on enjoying what she does and to do an outstanding job at it.

Lillian stressed that she wants clients to know she will work hard for them and will work to build an effective partnership. She will do her upmost to invest her energy in helping them achieve their goals and missions.

Her love for cooking, gardening, sailing, and traveling keeps her occupied in her free time. Lillian’s enthusiasm is infectious and we hope you get to meet her and enjoy spending time with her like we do!

Meet Referential's Barbara Leavy

BarbMeet Referential's Barbara Leavy.  Here she is with family celebrating mom's 95th birthday.  Happy birthday to mom!   Barbara has a wide variety of skills and talents that she’s amassed throughout her career and determined that her strengths are best utilized as a Senior Advocacy Consultant at Referential. Her experience in a range of business functions, as well as collaborating across various departments, makes her a valuable advisor; offering unique perspectives to aid others.  

She enjoys being a matchmaker for her clients: Connecting their customers with each other and ensuring they receive invitations to the activities they’ve flagged as of interest. Her ability to multitask enables her to juggle all her responsibilities, which particularly comes in handy since no two days at Referential are ever alike!

Working at Referential is one of her favorite professional highlights: She loves the teamwork and comradery, being able to share knowledge and getting to know and help each other grow. Barbara commented on how the group’s dynamic really shines during team activities such as scavenger hunts in San Jose, escape rooms, and casual nights out. Being in such a supportive setting, she feels she continues to grow as a consultant and as a person.

Golfing, cooking, and puzzles are some of her many hobbies. She hopes she can add traveling to that list soon as she looks forward to seeing more of the world. Barbara wants her current job to be her last career; she’s extremely passionate about her role at Referential and doesn’t imagine doing anything else in the future. 

Productivity tips from Referential's Barbara Leavy

I know we are all guilty of wishing there were more hours in the day.  Unfortunately, we need to face the reality, there is… and always will be… 24 hours in a day.  The one exception is that one day of the year when the clocks turn back, but hopefully we are getting an extra hour to sleep and not an extra hour to work! In this fast paced world we live in, the ability to multi-task and prioritize is essential to our success, our productivity and especially our sanity.  If we all keep a few tips in mind it can help to effectively juggle what is on our plates.

Make a plan:

  • The first step to effective multitasking is having a plan or setting goals. You can’t “just wing it” and hope that your projects will be completed to the best of your abilities.
  • By thinking ahead, it will help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Make sure to set reminders: 

  • If you have a data base where you can create tasks to manage your work, make sure to do so. Check your to- do list early in the day and prioritize, keeping in mind there will more than likely be a fire drill that comes up during the day.  Tackle what is most important first.
  • Use your outlook calendar to your advantage, it can be an easy way to track deadlines.
  • Flag emails that you need to address but cannot respond to immediately or you need to investigate prior to responding. Take some time at the end of your day to review your flagged emails and respond or create a task or reminder where appropriate.

Break down and combine tasks when possible:

  • We often look at our workload like an insurmountable mountain which can be intimidating. Break down those tasks into smaller manageable chunks.  This will enable you to work on multiple tasks at once, and if they are smaller they will feel more manageable.
  • If possible, try to concentrate on similar tasks at the same time. In order to effectively multitask, it helps if the projects you are working on are somewhat similar. This way your mind is not jumping from one thing to another, allowing you to “get in the zone”.

Step Away:

  • You may find that by stepping away for a brief time will give you a chance to clear your head and may also give you some inspiration.
  • With so much on our plates it is easy to feel guilty if we take some down time. So, take a short walk, grab a cup of coffee (away from your computer) or get some fresh air. I am pretty sure your brain will thank you!

Remember, not all tasks are equal.  It is up to you to evaluate your tasks prior to beginning to determine true priorities.  Keep in mind that some tasks may require your full attention, at that point you need to put your multitasking hat on the shelf for a while!

Meet the Referential Team: Andreas Silva

AndreasAndreas Silva takes a lot of pride in what he and the rest of the Referential team do. As an employee of three years, he’s extremely dedicated to his work. Andreas insists no other company can do what Referential does. He explained the level of detail that goes into each task, and how the team goes through a lot to provide powerful content and input for each client.   As an individual he offers a wide range of skills; he’s fluent in Spanish, possesses a strategic mindset, is highly efficient, and delivers incredible work stamina. As cliché as it sounds, Andreas describes himself as being the kind of person that doesn’t shy away from challenges and it’s been proven to be true on many occasions. He’s known to be one of the first to step up and help with any given task. He has an incredibly active mind that’s constantly looking for where both he and the company can grow and expand in any way.

Despite his strong focus on work, he doesn’t neglect to recognize the family-oriented culture that he shares with his co-workers. Andreas recalled a number of amusing memories such as room escapes, happy hours, and other various out-of-office moments. He especially treasures the time last year spent traveling to Belgium and Singapore for video shoots. He loves getting to work with people from different countries and cultures.

There’s a certain relaxed and laid-back culture unique to Referential, which Andreas loves, that serves as the foundation for the office’s overall atmosphere, even with the tremendous amounts of work that’s being accomplished. The environment makes for an enjoyable and easy place to work.  

Andreas makes sure that clients’ needs are met and does everything that’s needed of him. In return, he’s exposed to a wide variety of companies and industries that give him a better understanding of the business world. He made a point that the constant learning is one of his favorite things about working at Referential – other than the breakfast burritos from the restaurant next door! He always tries to give as much, if not more, as he receives.

He wants future and current clients to know that he may come off as quiet and laid back but when it comes to work he’s passionate, persistent and takes it very seriously.

When he’s not in the office, Andreas can be found coaching soccer, at the beach, hiking, wine tasting, or just simply relaxing. Alongside his hard work, the Referential team appreciates his good sense of humor and stellar poker face!

Meet the Referential team: Jennifer Doyon

JenDLiving in Maine along with her husband, two sons, and dog – Jennifer Doyon manages to be an active Advocacy Consultant for Referential. She enjoys being able to work with multiple clients, and she especially appreciates that in her role as a consultant she can focus on her work without the distraction of corporate politics. Jennifer mentioned how people love being able to talk about what they do, and that Referential helps find them the platforms to do so: She facilitates customer interaction to help them promote the products they use. She loves meeting customer advocates at events and interviews: Being able to hear about their experiences and to learn about their industry keeps her job interesting and informative.

Jennifer’s experience of working for a large technology vendor and understanding how a big enterprise company is structured – as well as the challenges employees face – enables her to connect with her clients on a different level. She also has experience working in a corporate communications team, which gave her extensive experience with analyst and press relations, customer interviews, and event planning and execution. 

Aside from work, Jennifer enjoys walks with her dog, yoga, and spending time with friends. She has two boys that have always played numerous sports, so she considers watching them compete as one of her hobbies! During football season, she is especially busy, as her sons both play, one in high school and the other in college. In the summers, Jennifer's family spends time fishing and boating along the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. . She tries to travel whenever she can: She backpacked all over Europe after college and would like to revisit some of her favorite countries; Germany, Ireland, and Greece.

She loves that her co-workers are team-oriented, positive, and focused on learning and improving, which creates a very positive work experience. She enjoys traveling to San Jose at least twice a year for the all-hands-in-person weeks where everyone at Referential experiences working side-by-side and the team bonding is significant. She’s excited to be part of Referential’s positive trajectory!

Meet the Referential Team - Lynn Watts

Lynn&BertieWorking from the UK, Lynn Watts has been an Advocate Consultant with Referential for 20-years! She also assists Referential’s creative team when needed, as she has a background as a graphic designer.  One of Lynn’s strongest suits is being able to talk to anyone, whether it be an executive or a sales rep or a technician. She thinks of herself as a matchmaker of the business world; working hard to find the best fitting advocates to speak to each prospect. One of her favorite aspects about work is it’s always interesting; every day is different.

Being a team player enables Lynn to help both her clients and coworkers. She adores her Referential family and is grateful for the supportive and close dynamic they all share. In fact, what she finds so extraordinary about the team is the broad range of experience between them. They can leverage each of their skills and expertise, making for an extraordinarily strong group of consultants.

She recalled a favorite memory – which coincidentally occurred during one of her California visits – one of the team was sitting on a yoga ball and it happened to burst right underneath them! Thankfully, the colleague wasn’t hurt and the whole moment was captured on the cameras in the office, immortalizing the scene forever.

Aside from her job, Lynn loves to play tennis – at club-level impressively enough – walk her dog (that's Bertie in the photo), garden, spend time with her family, and just be outdoors. 

She appreciates the gratitude and recognition she gets from clients, especially kudos those from contacts outside of the advocacy programs that suddenly realize what the program can do for them. And she’s thankful for her team at Referential for constantly expanding her horizons.

Decisions, Decisions - So Many Each Day!

You may have heard that the average adult makes about 35,000 decisions a day!  Of course tracking that to a credible source is difficult, if not impossible, but I think we can all agree we make many, many decisions on a daily basis. Each one is an opportunity for distraction and can impact your productivity. Benjamin Hardy, author of Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success, says you need more than willpower to stay on track. His suggestions are summarized in   this post  by Trello.

  • Commit and then work your environment to facilitate that commitment
  • Minimize the number of decisions you need to make each day
  • Know your distractions and plan for them
  • Enlist support.

The article is a quick read and has valuable examples and suggestions. If you’re prone to distractions take the time to read it and see what steps you can take today to improve your productivity.

Grand Opening of Our New Meeting and Video Space!

Our new training, video, and meeting space had its grand opening September 14.  We hosted a meeting of a Bay Area advocacy group in the morning and a team meeting in the afternoon. We have a video corner, large conference table, smaller table for break outs, projector, TV, white boards, conference phone....  We will host group and client meetings and have plans for many other events in the near future. Below see the view from the front entrance. Cozy chairs provide a second break out area and a great spot for anyone who arrives early. The second photo is from the far wall and shows our video nook. Much of our video work has been at client and customer sites, in fact the team heads to Dubai later this week!  The sound proofing we did makes filming in this space a great option. Finally, you can see Alex and Dave were first to arrive for a later meeting, at our larger table which easily accommodates 12.  Stop by and visit or inquire about hosting your meeting here!

entrance 3

 

Meet the Referential Team: Kristy Ward

Another in our series of blog posts about the Referential Team Kristy glass blowing

Kristy Ward, one of Referential’s earliest employees, holds the responsibility of playing several crucial roles within the organization. As a COO, she carries out many duties ranging from handling the payroll, to analyzing legal documents, to writing checks for the garbage service! She is essentially the backbone of Referential, and although the COO position is only one of the many roles she undertakes in her daily life – others being a mother of three, delivering consulting to Referential clients, and a dedicated film and novel enthusiast – Kristy manages to execute each task presented to her with utmost precision.

Kristy possesses a wide range of skills and recognizes her past experiences as being one of the primary factors in her success. She’s spent a number of years working in the high-tech industry and is very familiar with many of Referential’s clients. She’s grateful that she has a better understanding of them, and how to be more innovative with them, due to her extensive knowledge. Kristy’s favorite aspect of working with customers is receiving their approval and appreciation – knowing that she’s made them feel good – for representing their brand well.

As a matter of fact, her former work has enabled her to introduce a couple of her current co-workers to Referential. This ties into the reason of why Kristy has such a strong perspective of the company being truly family-oriented in both a literal and figurative sense.

Some of her favorite memories as a member of the team are shared with her peers. She recalled stories of video ‘bloopers’ -- the time a colleague walked straight into a closed door, and when a yoga ball (some employees opt to use as an office chair) broke with its passenger making an elegant fall! That’s not to mention the birthday parties complete with cakes, the annual holiday volunteer work, and the success celebrations the entire group takes part in. It’s the little things like these that add to an environment unique to Referential’s culture.

Kristy noted the great emphasis on community and helping one another at Referential. She explained that if there’s a particular aspect a member is interested in, the business dynamic enables the flexibility to explore it. Employees are given opportunities to try different things and to customize a role that brings out their strengths with elements to match their interests.

Despite already having a strong career with many accomplishments, Kristy is always eager to learn more about new clients and their industry and solutions, and to help Referential grow. Outside of work, she plans on finishing renovating her house soon, and  traveling to see more of the world.

Kristy wants both potential and current clients to know that she has an extensive background in many areas and is always excited to help them. We hope this gives you a good idea of who she is and the important work she does here at Referential!

Meet the Referential Team: Ryan Barron

RyanIntern-turned-employee Ryan Barron has worked with Referential for 18-months and currently serves as an Advocacy Consultant. Although he recently graduated from college, Ryan has plenty of experience gained from both working at Referential full-time during the summer of 2017, and delivering half-time throughout the school year. Originally, Ryan was unaware of the world of advocacy. However, today he loves that it’s much bigger than he anticipated and is a nice change of pace. He enjoys helping to expand customers’ product markets and grow profit margins by enabling their best customers to share their positive experiences.

Ryan credits his impressive success to being a people-person and having the ability to talk to almost anybody. That, in addition to his dedication, skill with Microsoft office tools, and multi-tasking abilities makes for a bright future.

He’s thankful to Referential’s intimate setting with bonds that are closer than those of an average workplace. Ryan finds comfort in everyone knowing each other well and says it helps the group to communicate with ease. He appreciates coming in to work, seeing familiar faces and having a good laugh. He says he hasn’t had a bad day yet – which means a lot because the work can be quite stressful – and he appreciates having some light moments that reduce the tension.

One of his favorite things about working with multiple clients is the exposure he receives to how different corporations go about business: Understanding how a company is run, how offices function and interact, and learning from co-workers. His day-to-day routine is to soak up everything like a sponge!

In his free time, Ryan plays basketball and takes part in the occasional video gaming session. He also watches a lot of Netflix, which he says should be a hobby! He looks forward to having a sustainable lifestyle.

Ryan works well with people and believes understanding where a client is coming from, and adapting to their style, is vital for success in a relationship. He aims to grow alongside his clients and looks forward to a bright future ahead.

The Referential Team: Meet Ankit Singh

We will be posting profiles of the team over the next several months and are pleased to start with introducing you to Ankit Singh.  You may have seen Ankit's blog post, here, full of tips for Salesforce reporting.  Here's Ankit, with his absolutely darling niece.Ankit Ankit has worked in the advocacy world at Referential for some while now. During this time, he credits three key practices with enabling his success: He’s had the opportunity to work closely alongside very seasoned experts, take on multiple roles as an Advocacy Consultant, and gain an abundance of experience with a variety of clients.

Being a highly-focused consultancy, Referential has a tightknit team that knows each other very well in a both professional and personal aspect. His peers and his position at Referential have taught him how to interact with others within marketing, advocacy programs, and C-Suite – which is crucial for success in business. Ankit appreciates his job for exposing him to the behind-the-scenes operations of business.

When asked what he brings to Referential as an individual, Ankit explained his ability to speak well and keep a conversation flowing whether it be face-to-face with clients or during customer calls. He can be exceptionally engaging, convincing, well-spoken, and very patient when training people. It’s a valuable skill to have, especially when a large part of the advocacy job entails communicating with others. He emphasized how he loves to meet and get to know clients, which he said allows him to connect with them better over the lifespan of the consulting engagement.

With a passion for cars and motorcycles, Ankit is considering buying a bike of his own eventually. He also enjoys cooking, eating, and trying new restaurants. In his free time, he likes to play video games, listen to music, and watch films. He plans to travel more when time and money allow it.

Ankit shared that he’s still learning new things with every passing day, and appreciates that advocacy is a space that’s constantly evolving. He has many goals: He joked that his first and foremost goal is to make ridiculous sums of money but on a more serious note he simply wants to be happy and healthy in the future. Referential is thankful to have him, we hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the person that Ankit is inside and outside of work.

Working While Moving - Tips From Our Expert, Regina Dawkins

We are lucky to have access to more than one desk treadmill in our workplace. It has become second nature for several of us to walk while working. While It may even seem counter intuitive or strange, anyone can do it by following a few basic tips. In addition, walking at least 20 minutes a day comes with a variety of health benefits. Building up your eye, hand coordination and finding your ideal walking pace at a desk treadmill is imperative. Here are a few basic tips from our expert and super walker Regina Dawkins which will get you started:

-          Start off walking casually at a 1.5 to 2.0 speed, or a select a pace that feels comfortable for you. Keep your strides short and relaxed.

-          Try typing on your keyboard and moving your mouse around. If your hands are little shaky or wobbly, adjust by reducing your speed. Over time as your hands become steady, increase your walking speed.

-          Ensure the desk treadmill is adjusted to your height by checking to see if your bent elbows are perpendicular to the countertop while easily resting on the countertop. Your shoulders should be relaxed.

-          For stability and support while typing, rest your forearms on the countertop.

-          Have a straight body with good posture. Make sure your hips and shoulders are square and facing the countertop at all times. See Regina's great posture, below!

-          Wear comfortable, flat shoes, preferably athletic shoes, that have good traction.

There are great health benefits to walking. It is one of the greatest low-impact cardio exercises, enhancing the level of HDL (good) cholesterol, curbing the production of LDL (bad) cholesterol and it can even lower the risk of cardiovascular problems. If you sit at a desk for hours at a stretch, walk breaks keep your blood circulating and help promote a less sedentary work day. If you wear a fitness tracker, it helps to meet your daily step goals. You may also feel a sense of accomplishment by getting multiple things checked off your list of to dos for the day. It has become a daily routine for many of us and can be for you too!

Regina

Enjoyed our Hunt!

Most of our remote employees have been here this week.  It's been busy with lots of onsite client meetings, we've taken the opportunity for strategy meetings for Referential, and we made time for some fun. We did a scavenger hunt with Big City Hunt, learning a lot about our home town of San Jose, California along the way.  It was a beautiful afternoon and a nice walk through a variety of city sites, some even the locals had never seen.  It was a great introduction to the area for the remote team members.

And we're good at what we do!  Answering questions, doing challenges, we beat 100% of Big City Hunt Teams with 10 players!  And we have a few pictures to share.  One of the group, in height order but our 6'9" team member took the picture so you don't get to see our tallest.  And Andreas hugging a tree, one of our challenges. We really enjoyed the hunt!

Worldwide Business Etiquette Insight from Referential's Lynn Watts

At Referential we work with clients from all over the world and we have staff in the US, the UK, and India. There are many similarities between the way business is conducted throughout the world, but there are also differences that need to be considered. There are differences in greeting style if meeting face to face, how to address others in correspondence, communications may require an interpreter, and varied meeting structures to name a few. Some business cultures are quite relaxed in style, while others are serious or regimented. As Advocacy Consultants we spend a lot of time corresponding with people globally, so to avoid confusion it’s important not to use slang expressions or local idioms that could be misinterpreted. We need to be mindful that in some countries people expect to be addressed formally. For example, in Germany and The Netherlands it is standard to address people using their academic title. Someone with a PhD should be addressed as Doctor and titles should be used until you are given permission to use their first name. When in doubt, erring on the side of formality is safest.

In order not to offend the people you are interacting with, it is important to consider and adapt to how business professionals operate in different parts of the world. There is no global standard of business etiquette. What might be commonplace in one culture could be unusual or even offensive in another. Where possible, do your research in advance of professional interactions with international clients. When in doubt, ask. People are very helpful and like to advise about what is and isn’t acceptable in their culture.

Derin Cag at Richtopia provides a very enlightening article and infographic to further illustrate this topic.  Share your insights into business differences around the world!