Do you often feel overwhelmed or stressed? We spend much of our lives at work, and while work can be rewarding and meaningful, it can also be the cause of a great deal of stress. How do you cope? Have you ever considered the concept of mindfulness? It’s an idea that many companies are beginning to embrace.
Mindfulness, simply put, is being consciously present moment by moment, and having an awareness of yourself and your surroundings in the present, rather than focusing on the past or future. Mindfulness means stepping away from multi-tasking, being calmer and more focused, and striving to be gentler with ourselves and those around us. When mindfulness becomes part of your company’s culture, it increases creativity and productivity by improving focus, attention, and behavior. Even if your company isn’t ready to jump on this trend, though, there are simple ways you can improve your own workplace experience by practicing mindfulness.
- Start your morning with mindfulness. Prepare for your morning the night before, and wake up early enough to be able to start the day slowly. Create a morning routine that engages your mind and makes you feel calm. Rather than engaging with technology immediately, spend time in the morning being in the moment, and thinking about your day.
- Make a conscious decision to be present in the moment. More than anything else, mindfulness is about being aware and awake, rather than running on auto-pilot. At the beginning of your day, make a decision to be present in what you’re doing, whether it’s working on a task, eating your lunch, or talking to a coworker. When you find your mind drifting, acknowledge the thoughts you’re having, and refocus your attention on what you’re doing.
- Stop all the multi-tasking. In today’s high-paced world, many of us pride ourselves on being able to effectively multi-task. The truth, though, is that focusing on one thing at a time increases your efficiency and productivity.
- Just breathe. Simply focusing on inhaling and exhaling can relax you and can be done anywhere. Breathe in through your nose to the count of three and then release the breath through your mouth to the count of three. Slowing down and taking a minute to just breathe can help put you into a calmer emotional state. Try spending one minute of each hour simply focusing on your breathing and nothing else, and you may be surprised at how much better you feel.
- Take breaks when you need them. It may seem counterintuitive to take a break in the middle of a busy workday, but detaching from work for a few minutes can improve your concentration. Sometimes, it just takes a moment of tuning into your body, thinking about how you’re feeling, to help you re-center. Don’t hesitate to take a lunch break, though, or go outside for a 15-minute refresher.
- Cultivate a healthy mindset. Practice gratitude and positivity, while acknowledging that there will always be things you cannot change. Look for ways to turn frustration into an opportunity to reflect and regroup and stress into an exciting challenge. Sometimes, just being mindful of how you think can make a huge difference in your overall well-being. Here’s an easy exercise to help you: at the end of each day, wrote down one positive thing that happened that day and why it made you happy. By doing this, you’ll be training your brain to focus on the positive.
If you’re a leader in your company, you might consider hosting a mindfulness seminar to acquaint your team with the practices that can help them thrive moment by moment. When it’s time to start planning, consider Texas Training and Conference Center for your next group event. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering training facilities that feature the technology and tools to facilitate learning, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Soundproof rooms, state of the art electronics, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the ways we create an environment that makes a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.
How good are you at chit-chat? With all the skills you need to be successful in business, this is one that often gets overlooked. Being a good conversationalist, however, is vital if you want to get ahead. Fortunately, small talk is a skill that can be learned; with a little bit of practice, you can become proficient at making conversation.
- Be mindful of the moment. Often, we’re so involved in our own thoughts or focused on our devices that we miss the opportunity to connect with those around us. Put away your phone when you’re around other people, and make a point to interact.
- Know before you go. If there’s a company event, find out what you can about people who will be in attendance. Think about the people you’d really like to meet, and what questions you might ask to engage them in conversation.
- Be prepared. Make a plan before you enter a social situation, thinking of questions you can ask to start conversations, current events that are interesting without being controversial, and interesting personal facts that you can share without oversharing. It’s also smart to plan for the close of a conversation, making sure you know how to gracefully exit when it’s reached its logical conclusion.
- Make the first move. Don’t wait for people to initiate conversations with you. Instead, take the initiative and branch out from people you already know. Be inclusive, introducing people to each other, and be friendly, conveying warmth and sincerity.
- Listen more than you talk. A big part of conversation has nothing to do with coming up with things to say. Focus on the person with whom you’re conversing, asking questions and paying attention to the answers. It’s likely that the answers will act as springboards for further conversation, so look for opportunities to ask follow-up questions.
- Be sure to share. If you only ask questions without volunteering information about yourself, the person with whom you’re talking may feel like you’re conducting an interrogation. Share details about your life, taking care to keep the conversation light and upbeat.
- Be mindful of your purpose. Small talk is more than mindless chatter. Rather, it’s a way to get to know people, forming connections in order to build more substantial relationships with colleagues and associates.
If you’re a leader in your company, you can help foster relationships by providing opportunities for team members to interact and get to know each other. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering training facilities that facilitate team-building, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Soundproof rooms, state of the art technology, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the ways we create an environment that makes a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.
Are you a good leader? What would it take for you to define yourself as a great leader? Is there a certain personality trait or character aspect that makes someone a great leader, or can outstanding leadership be taught and learned? What would you say are the top five traits that make a great leader?
- A great leader has integrity. A leader who is honest and has a clear vision is capable of building a team from the ground up. People are inspired by leaders who believe in what they’re doing and are honest in their interactions. In fact, a recent survey indicated that over 80 percent of workers surveyed rank honesty as the most important personality trait for a leader.
- Great leaders are decisive. Making decisions is central to leadership, and to be an effective leader, you have to be confident that the choices you are making are in the best interest of your organization. To do this, you must have a vision and know how to weigh all your options and move forward in pursuit of that vision.
- In order to lead well, you must be open. Openness is an important trait of leaders, and that means being imaginative, open to new experiences, and open to the ideas of others. A leader who has this kind of openness can create a culture of effective communication, where team members feel that their ideas are heard and valued.
- Attention to detail is imperative in leadership. Conscientious leaders are organized, thoughtful, and forward thinking. They are strategic planners who empower their teams by creating both long and short term goals to propel the organization forward. They can see the big picture as well as the little details, and they notice how their employees contribute to the success of their company.
- To be a great leader, you must be a team builder. In addition to listening to the ideas of their team members, great leaders recognize achievement in their team, acknowledging each member’s contributions. By supporting employees this way, leaders create a culture that promotes confidence and positive energy rather than stress. In such an environment, expectations are communicated clearly, but there’s also room for fun and camaraderie. What’s more, good leaders provide learning opportunities and chances to grow and advance.
Good leaders know that sometimes, team building requires time and space for training outside of the office. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering facilities perfect for team building, featuring the technology and tools to facilitate learning, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.
Do you travel for business? It can be exciting in the beginning, but after a little while, corporate travel can feel like a hassle. How can you avoid becoming stressed? Try these five stress-free tips for corporate travel.
- Compare fares. Sometimes, it pays to stick with one airline and build up points. On the other hand, it’s not worth missing out on cheaper flights, just for the sake of points. Take some time to shop around, looking for non-stop flights, to save time as well as money. Don’t overlook one-way fares, because sometimes combining two one way fares can be a better deal than booking a round-trip ticket. Don’t limit yourself to coach, either: during times of year in which there aren’t as many business travelers, the cost of seats in business and economy class may drop.
- Invest in good travel gear. What this means it up to you. You certainly need luggage that’s easy to maneuver and made to stand up to the rigors of travel, and it’s not a bad idea to pick up a power bank or two, for those delays that drain your devices’ batteries. Shore up your wardrobe, so that you’ll look pulled together even on travel days, and you’ll know exactly what to pack each time you leave. Think about the things that will make your travel comfortable and efficient, and purchase what you need: some people might find it worthwhile to invest in a good travel pillow, while others may find it just as comfortable to roll up a scarf or jacket to use instead. What makes a trip easy is subjective, so consider your own needs when you’re deciding what to purchase and pack.
- Travel light. Bearing in mind the above suggestion about providing for your own comfort, it’s still smart to confine your things to a carry-on bag. This will enable you to get to the gate more quickly, and if you use compression bags you can still fit everything you need into a carry-on and your laptop bag. Pack with security checkpoints in mind, making sure to abide by protocols regarding liquids and electronics.
- Make friends. If you’re going to travel the same route on a regular basis, you’ll undoubtedly run across the same people, whether in the airport, on the flight crew, at the hotel, or at the car rental counter. Being friendly to these people can help facilitate more comfortable travel, and make your trips smoother. One frequent traveler brings a bag of candy on each flight, to share with the flight attendants. This kind of nice gesture puts everyone in a good mood and makes them more favorably disposed towards you, which can make your travel more enjoyable.
- Use programs that make travel easier. Join rewards programs that provide points or miles for air travel, hotel stays, car rental, and credit card usage. Check into your flight online ahead of time, and consider applying for TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry to help you move through security and customs more easily. An airport lounge membership is also a good idea because it gives you access to a pleasant place to wait for your flight.
Another way to make corporate travel less taxing is to host your corporate event at the right location. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering training facilities that feature the technology and tools to facilitate learning, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Soundproof rooms, state of the art electronics, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the ways we create an environment that makes a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.
There’s plenty of buzz these days about creating an inclusive workplace environment, but what does it mean? If you think about the word inclusion, considering what it means, you’ll probably think about belonging, connecting with others, and being part of a community. At work, inclusion means all the ways, great and small, that employers can help people feel comfortable and connected, a part of a well-functioning whole. Why is inclusion important, and what are the steps you need to take to create an inclusive workplace environment?
First, let’s address the importance of this issue. According to recent research, workplaces with an inclusive culture are twice as likely to meet their financial goals or even surpass them, and six times more likely to be innovative. They’re 42 percent less likely to lose employees because when employees feel that they can bring their whole selves to work, they’re unlikely to look for a new position. Engaging your employees and helping them feel connected and included is good for your people, and good for your business.
To create an inclusive workplace, strive to make develop a corporate culture that’s cooperative, collaborative, fair, open, curious, and accountable, by incorporating seven components of inclusion.
- The right resources give employees they support they need to be inclusive. Give your employees access to appropriate technology, help them support each other through employee resource groups, and encourage them to make meetings more inclusive by sending agendas and other materials in advance. When everyone at the meeting is prepared, and technology is set up properly, it becomes easier for all the members of the group to be actively involved.
- One of the most important ways to include someone is to allow them to have a voice. When employees have a say about decisions with an impact on their work, they take more ownership in that work and tend to work harder. They gain a higher level of job satisfaction, which in turn improves their performance. When employees are allowed to talk openly, it helps them trust their leaders, and an environment of trust inspires creativity and productivity. What’s more, companies that listen to their people gain useful knowledge that improves their business.
- When employees feel that their company values them for who they are, they feel connected to that company. It’s important for individuals to be recognized for their uniqueness and to feel that their leadership values their skills and unique perspectives. To give employees this sense of belonging, speak to your employees with intention. Acknowledge their efforts, and highlight their specific achievements so that they know you value them and take pride in their successes.
- Encouraging collaboration helps teams feel connected to each other. This sense of connection gives them the ability to work together using the strengths and skills of each individual. In meetings, take the time to ask for feedback and acknowledge the source of good ideas, even if that person is not in the room.
- Inclusivity relies on intentionality. Look for ways to weave inclusive practices into the culture, values, and mission of your company. Make it clear that you value diverse ideas and perspectives, and show this through inclusive practices.
- Find exciting ways to make people feel like they belong. Create social events and utilize social media to engage employees and help them to connect.
- Employees who have the opportunity to learn and grow will be more likely to want to advance their careers within their organization. Look for ways to empower your employees with learning and development opportunities that help them expand both their personal and professional goals. Find out what interests them and encourage them to pursue their passions and hobbies, learn new skills, and further their education.
One way to strengthen the unity of your group is to hold training sessions off-site, where team members can learn together and form bonds. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on providing companies with training facilities that feature high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.
We often think of it as an HR issue, but if you’re in a leadership position, employee engagement is something you need to be taking seriously. Why? Because employees who aren’t engaged are employees who aren’t likely to stick around. If you want to avoid replacing your workforce, instead creating a team that’s so inspired its members want to bring others on board, it’s smart to look at the top five ways to boost employee engagement.
- Purposefully craft your corporate culture. Cultivate a culture with a clear purpose and identity, in which employees can feel that their work has meaning and they’re contributing to something that matters. Offer opportunities for feedback and the presentation of new ideas, and show employees that you value what they have to offer.
- Connect from the top down. If you want a workforce that shows up for more than just a paycheck, it’s up to those in leadership to model the kind of connection that makes work meaningful. Establish a rapport, getting to know your employees, and consider crafting an employee engagement program with one-on-one mentoring and active communication. Encourage employee interaction, too, using social events and social media to help your team members connect with one another.
- Play to your employee’s strengths. One of the simplest ways to engage employees is to give them the freedom and opportunity to show off the strengths they feel are being underutilized. Talk to them about their goals and skills in a meaningful way, and celebrate their successes. When you capitalize on your employees’ natural abilities, you make engagement an organic process, and the work environment becomes more conducive to creativity and innovation.
- Learn what makes your team tick. Design listening strategies that help you get to know your employees, whether that means focus groups, one-on-one meetings, or group brainstorming sessions. Be transparent, and let employees know that you really want to know their interests, passions, and goals, both personal and professional.
- Provide opportunities for growth and development. Once you know your team’s driving motivations, you can help them pursue their goals and hone their skills. Find ways to develop not just business skills, but also soft skills like emotional intelligence, and use every resource at your disposal, from coaching and mentoring to corporate training sessions, to help your employees learn and grow.
One way to help employees learn, grow, and connect is with off-site team training exercises and a big part of making that a success is finding the right site. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering training facilities that feature the technology and tools to facilitate learning, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.
For your company’s training program, you may be wondering how you can afford to hold training offsite. The real question is, can you afford not to? Offsite training room facilities in Houston can represent savings for your company over your company over your current, on-location training procedures. Here is a closer look at how offsite training can help your business reduce your training budget and use your resources more efficiently.
Take Advantage of Virtual Training
Offsite training facilities often have the technology necessary to host virtual training sessions. This kind of training allows you to simultaneously train remote and local employees, without the need for your remote staff to travel to your offices. Your business won’t have to invest in travel and accommodation for remote employees, which represents significant savings, and the ability to hold a single training session, regardless of employees’ locations will also cut costs for your business and let you use everyone’s time more efficiently.
Give Employees Hands-On Experience
Offsite training facilities are equipped with more workstations than your office can dedicate to training, and they offer access to more of the technology you need to allow employees to participate actively in their training. The ability let all employees who are being trained to get hands-on experience with the tools they will be using makes training more effective. When employees actually have to work with the tools they will be using in the workplace, then they are more likely to retain the information than they are when they just listen to instructions. This will reduce the need for additional training and allow employees to adapt to their tasks faster.
Reduce Distractions for New and Existing Employees
When you host training at your office, the bustle of the workplace can be distracting to the team being trained, and your existing employees can be distracted and disrupted by the training exercise. Using an offsite training facility isolates the activity so that everyone involved can concentrate fully on the training activities.
Whether it’s a convention or a product launch, team training or team building, an event to boost productivity or a soiree to express appreciation, it’s important that you find the best facility possible for your corporate event. You need a place that’s comfortable yet professional, equipped with technology but not lacking in amenities. In Houston, it makes sense to host your next corporate event with Texas Training and Conference Centers.
- Customer service driven for over 18 years. In our full-service conference center, equipped with the finest facilities for corporate events, we’ve spent the better part of two decades serving companies and corporations throughout Houston.
- Trusted by business leaders. Because we created our facility to serve businesses and corporations in our community, and we provide them with the best service in the area, our clientele has included big names like IBM, American Express, BP, ADP, HP, Chevron, and Cisco. We feel honored to have been chosen to serve these companies, and we strive to continue to provide every customer with the level of service that earned us that opportunity.
- Facilities for private and public events. Our suites are designed to accommodate groups of up to 40 people, and these rooms are soundproofed for privacy, making them the ideal place for private training groups. Beautifully appointed, they not only have all the most up-to-date technology, but also elegant touches like crown molding, making them the nicest in the area. Our conference rooms are fully equipped with all the services and supplies you need to make sure your event goes smoothly. No matter how small or large your gathering, the staff at our Houston conference center will make you feel right at home.
- Latest technology. We take pride in placing innovative technology into the hands of the businesses we serve. We provide computer labs for training classes, as well as other cutting-edge features like LCD projection systems, professional multimedia sound systems, whiteboards, and more. Our state-of-the-art virtual training rooms give companies flexible, low cost, time-saving training options.
- Exquisite attention to detail. Our friendly staff is always standing by to assist with anything you might need. From refreshments to tech support, we take care of your group, even providing catering upon request. Our goal is to meet your needs, exceed your expectations, and make sure you’re comfortable.
When you need an outsourced meeting facility, Texas Training, and Conference Centers has everything you need to conduct effective training sessions and conferences, in an environment that’s comfortable and effectual. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.
Team training is an important asset of corporate culture that, by some accounts, can increase productivity by as much as 20 percent. That’s significant, and it makes it all the more vital for management to be prepared when it’s time for training. Before you head off to lead another team training session, it’s wise to make a plan, being mindful of this checklist.
- Set measurable goals. Think about the needs of your company, and the problems you’re trying to solve. Think about how you’ll determine whether you’ve reached your goals, and make sure that your objectives are quantifiable.
- Determine which skills you intend to improve. Team training isn’t an opportunity to impart knowledge so much as to hone skills. Think about the skills most necessary to your business, and find ways to help your employees refine the skills they already have.
- Create an agenda. Design for yourself an outline of your main talking points, any visual aids you plan to use, and when you may need technical support. For attendees of your team training event, create a detailed agenda, explaining your objectives, clarifying your vision, and specifying events, discussions, and activities, being clear about how much time is allotted for each.
- Pick the right location. The location you choose for your event is crucial. You want a space that will accommodate the right number of people, but beyond that, you want your team to be able to focus, as well as having access to necessary technology.
- Secure expert assistance. Subject matter experts are at the heart of every successful training event, and once you identify those people, you can share that information with your team. You’ll also need to ensure that tech support is readily available, in case you need that kind of assistance.
- Organize necessary materials. People learn differently, so keep that in mind as you choose your aspects of your presentations. Think of ways to provide people with the tools they need to succeed, whether they learn from watching, listening, writing things down, or interacting.
- Utilize efficient technology. Keep your presentations engaging by using up-to-date technology to share information. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but finding interactive ways to use technology is a good way to promote successful learning.
- Plan for collaboration. Input from your team is vital, because taking everyone’s opinions into account is what makes teamwork effective. What’s more, statistics show that twice as much workplace learning comes from employee interaction as opposed to formal training. Allow plenty of time to collect feedback and input, for a successful event.
- Develop a follow-up plan. In addition to offering opportunities for feedback during the event, have a plan in place to gather information after the training session concludes. A questionnaire can be a useful way for each employee to feel included in the process.
Having the right plan for your team training is important, and so is choosing the right place. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we’ve turned employee training into an art, offering our clients in Houston facilities suitable for both public and private gatherings, with the most sophisticated technology to make it easy to conduct highly successful team training. To learn more about the Houston training center at Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.
Innovation drives business, so as your business grows and thrives, new products will come into play. Whenever there’s a new product to launch, you’ll have to introduce it to your colleagues before you take it to the public. Using a few best practices, you can promote the success of your launch, while keeping your colleagues engaged and interested.
- Make sure the innovation is relevant. Sometimes, companies make the mistake of coming up with something that doesn’t fill a preexisting need. Innovation for the sake of innovation is typically unsuccessful, so look for a problem that needs to be solved or a need that must be met, and create something to fill a void, rather than trying to create a market for something after the fact.
- Be prepared with a promotional strategy that will grow your customer base and engage on social media. Before you introduce your new product to your colleagues, have a plan in place for introducing it to your customer base. Help others to see your vision by showing them how you will promote it. Ideally, you want to strike the right balance of traditional and social media marketing, so that each medium drives customers toward the other, and your return on investment comes from both directions.
- Maintain engagement by keeping presentations brief. Think of it as a performance: start with something that will grab your audience’s attention, and find ways to hold that attention throughout your presentation. Get to the point quickly, and try not to let the presentation lag. Plan for interaction, and find ways to actively involve your colleagues in the process.
- Welcome feedback. Don’t cling so tightly to your vision that you miss the opportunity to incorporate the ideas of others. Collaboration can be the key to success, and you’ll gain more support from your colleagues if you demonstrate to them that their ideas are valuable and their input is encouraged. Don’t wait for colleagues to volunteer information: plan part of your presentation around soliciting feedback to ensure that you have an understanding of your colleagues’ thoughts and ideas.
Whether you’re launching a new product, providing employee training, hosting a convention, or holding a board meeting, you’ll find the facilities you need at Texas Training and Conference Centers. We’ve got spaces designed to accommodate public and private events and groups of any size, and all the latest technology to make your rollout or training class easy and effective. To learn more about the Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.