Heal Your Inner Emptiness: It’s Time To Fill Your Cup

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eBook: Heal Your Inner Emptiness: It’s Time To Fill Your Cup (22 Pages/6,452 Words)
Editable Word And Fully Formatted PDF
Editable eCovers with 9 Different 2D and 3D designs
Custom Squeeze Page

Report: Your Mental Health Guide – 40 Actions Steps To Good Mental Health (22 Pages/6,082 Words)
Editable Word And Fully Formatted PDF
Editable eCovers with 9 Different 2D and 3D designs
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Report: 50 Greatest Benefits Of Real Human Connections (14 Pages/4,348 Words)
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Editable eCovers with 9 Different 2D and 3D designs
Custom Squeeze Page

7 Day Email Series: Heal Your Inner Emptiness – 1,487 Words

23 x 1000+ Word Articles 

7 Key Causes Of Emotional Emptiness – 1,015 Words
10 Basic Rules For Leading A Fulfilling Life – 1,036 Words
10 Harmful Effects Of Feeling Empty Inside – 1,012 Words
10 Powerful Benefits Of Attaining Fulfillment In Your Life – 1,092 Words
10 Signs You Feel Empty Inside – 1,060 Words
Common Measures Of Fulfillment – 1,013 Words
Feeling Empty Inside- Understand The Source – 1,038 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – 10 Ways To Fill Your Cup – 1,035 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Address Your Relationship Difficulties – 1,032 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Are You Denying Yourself Fulfillment – 1,018 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Eating Disorders – 1078 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Fulfilling Missing Needs – 1,031 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Have You Lost Touch With Yourself – 1,057 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Internal Starvation And Its Causes – 1,017 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Neglecting Your True Desires – 1,018 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Reconnect With Joy – 1,039 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Fulfillment In Day To Day Living – 1,042 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Unresolved Past Trauma – 1,050 Words
Feeling Empty Inside – Break Free By Embracing Your Meaning – 1,033 Words
Finding Fulfillment In Your Life – Find Balance – 1036 Words
How Does Inner Emptiness Feel – 1,011 Words
What It Means To Feel Empty – 1,014 Words
Finding Fulfillment In Your Life – Redefining Success There Is
More Than One Way To Be A Winner – 1,069 Words

8 Editable Checklists
50 Greatest Benefits Of Human Connections
40 Action Steps To Good Mental Health
10 Signs You Feel Empty Inside
10 Harmful Effects Of Feeling Empty Inside: The Effects On Your Life
Feeling Empty Inside: 10 Ways To Fill Your Cup
10 Basic Rules For Leading A Fulfilling Life
7 Key Causes Of Emotional Emptiness
10 Powerful Benefits of Attaining Fulfillment In Your Life
Word and PDF

8 Editable Checklist Graphics
50 Greatest Benefits Of Human Connections
40 Action Steps To Good Mental Health
10 Signs You Feel Empty Inside
10 Harmful Effects Of Feeling Empty Inside: The Effects On Your Life
Feeling Empty Inside: 10 Ways To Fill Your Cup
10 Basic Rules For Leading A Fulfilling Life
7 Key Causes Of Emotional Emptiness
10 Powerful Benefits of Attaining Fulfillment In Your Life
Easily Editable Powerpoint, PDF and High Def PNG

27 Editable Viral Images: 27 Actions Steps For Good Mental Health
Easily Editable Powerpoint and High Def Web Ready PNG
PDF Report Created From Images

Editable Collage
Easily Editable Powerpoint, PDF and High Def Web Ready PNG

40 Tips/Tweets/Social Media Updates: Heal Inner Emptiness – Fill You Cup – 1,399 Words

2 Editable HD Videos
12 Action Steps To Good Mental Health
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Voiceover Provided Separately
Voiceover Script – 443 Words
Editable Cover with 4 2D and 3D Designs

7 Key Causes Of Emotional Emptiness
Easily Editable Powerpoint
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Voiceover Script – 462 Words
Editable Cover with 4 2D and 3D Designs

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How To Deal With Work Stress and Actually Recover From Burnout

Mindfulness, detachment, selecting off-time activities with care: Here are evidence-based strategies to achieve healthy work-life balance. There’s job stress, and then there’s the crushing pressure paramedics went through during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The uncertainty, the dread, the constantly changing protocols, the shortages of personal protective equipment, the multiple calls to the same nursing home — it was almost too much for Kate Bergen of Manahawkin, New Jersey.

“It felt like everything was closing in around us,” Bergen says. “At some point I knew that I couldn’t take any more. Was I headed for a meltdown? Was I going to just walk off the job one day? I was getting very close to that point.”

Instead of quitting, Bergen found a calling. One day while waiting for the next emergency call, she took a picture of herself in her full PPE. The image inspired her to paint a self-portrait poster in the style of World War II icon Rosie the Riveter. The message: “We need you to stay home.”

It was the first in a series of “Rosie” posters of women first responders, an ongoing project that has helped Bergen calm her mind during her downtime. Ultimately, she says, the Rosies helped her withstand the stress of her job and allowed her to show up to work each day with new energy and focus. “They made it possible for me to keep going.”

While workers like Bergen are responding to emergency calls and saving lives, many of us are doing things like responding to emails and saving receipts from business trips. But even for people with jobs in offices, restaurants and factories, there’s an art and a science to making the most of downtime, says Sabine Sonnentag, a psychologist at the University of Mannheim in Germany. The right approach to non-work time can help prevent burnout, improve health and generally make life more livable.

“When a job is stressful, recovery is needed,” says Sonnentag, who cowrote an article exploring the psychology of downtime in the 2021 issue of the Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior.

Workers everywhere are feeling frazzled, overwhelmed and ready for the weekend. With that backdrop, researchers are doing work of their own to better understand the potential benefits of recovery and the best ways to unwind. “Work recovery has become part of the national conversation on well-being,” says Andrew Bennett, a social scientist at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. “There’s a growing awareness that we can’t just keep working ourselves to death.”

At a time when many people are rethinking their jobs (if they haven’t already quit), they should also be thinking about their quality of life away from work, Sonnentag says. “People should ask themselves, how much free time do I have and how much energy do I have for my free time? How do I want to continue my life?”

A weekend paradox

We can all use a chance to unplug and unwind, but here’s the rub: Recovery from work tends to be the most difficult and elusive for those who need it most. “We call it the ‘recovery paradox,’” Sonnentag says. “The odds are high that when a job is stressful, it’s difficult to have an excellent recovery.”

That paradox was underscored in a 2021 analysis that combined results from 198 separate studies of employees at work and at home. Workers with the most mentally and emotionally draining jobs were also the least likely to feel rested and rejuvenated during their off time. Interestingly, people with physically demanding jobs — construction workers, furniture movers and the like — had much less trouble winding down. The surest way to feel lousy after hours, it appears, is to think too hard at work.

Sonnentag authored a 2018 study published in Research in Organization Behavior that helped to explain why the paradox is so hard to escape. People who were more stressed out at work tended to get less exercise and worse sleep, an ideal scenario for feeling less than great. In other words, stressful work can disrupt the very fundamentals of healthy living.

To help workers break out of that destructive loop, researchers are pondering both sides of the work/life cycle. As Sonnentag explains, certain tasks, obligations and workplace cultures make it especially hard to unwind when work is done. Time pressure, the feeling that one is constantly under the gun, is especially disruptive. Jobs in health care, where that time pressure often combines with life-and-death stakes, tend to be especially taxing. Working with customers can be exhausting too, Sonnentag says, partly because it takes a lot of focus and effort to act cheerful and friendly when you don’t always feel that way deep down, a task known as emotional labor.

The demands of work vary widely from one person to the next, and so do approaches to downtime. Recovery is highly individual, and different people will have different strategies. “We don’t have a single prescription,” Bennett says. Researchers have grouped approaches into broad categories, including “relaxation” and “mastery.” Relaxation, a concept that’s easier to grasp than it is to achieve, includes any activity that calms the body and mind, whether it’s walking through a park, reading a good book or watching a zombie hunter movie on Netflix. (Note: The latter may not be an ideal choice if your actual job involves hunting zombies.)

Mastery, meanwhile, can be achieved through any activity that challenges a person to be good (or at least passable) at a new skill. Just as painting helped Bergen cope with stress, workers can find relief in their accomplishments. “Anything associated with learning can be helpful,” Sonnentag says. “It could be some kind of sport or exercise. It can be something like learning a new language or trying new cuisines when cooking.” A 2019 study that followed 183 employees over 10 workdays found that people who achieved some sort of mastery during their off time were more energetic and enthusiastic the next morning.

For people who need a break, the “why” behind a particular activity can be as important as the “what.” A 2013 study that followed 74 workers for five days found that people who spent their off time with activities and tasks that they actually wanted to do — whatever they were — were more lively and energetic the next day than those who felt obligated or forced to do something.

Whether they’re relaxing or creating during their time away from the office, Bennett says stressed-out workers should strive to think about something other than their jobs, a process that psychologists call detachment. (The TV show Severance takes this concept to extremes.) It’s OK to have great ideas in the shower and regale your partner with office anecdotes, but research shows people with stressful jobs tend to be happier and healthier if they can achieve some mental and emotional distance from work.

The benefits of tuning out became clear in a 2018 report involving more than 26,000 employees in various lines of work, including judges, teachers, nurses and office workers. The analysis, coauthored by Bennett, found that detachment was a powerful buffer against work-related fatigue. Workers who said they were able to think about things other than work while at home were less worn out than their colleagues. On the other hand, workers who carried on-the-job thoughts throughout the day were more likely to feel exhausted.

Vacations can also help erase work stress and prevent burnout, to a point. Sonnentag coauthored a 2011 study that used questionnaires to track 131 teachers before and after vacations. The teachers returned to work feeling refreshed and engaged, but those benefits tended to fade after only a month. The post-vacation high was more fleeting for teachers with especially demanding jobs, but it lingered a bit longer for those who managed to fit relaxing leisure activities into their regular routine.

How much vacation is enough? That question is hard to answer, Sonnentag says. While many European workers expect and demand four- or five-week breaks, she says there’s no evidence that such long vacations offer any more chance for recovery than a vacation of one or two weeks. She does feel confident saying that most workers will need at least occasional breaks that are longer than just a weekend, especially if that weekend is largely eaten up by household chores and other non-work obligations.

Perhaps an extra day off each week would make a big difference. That’s the premise driving an ongoing four-day-workweek experiment involving 70 companies in the UK. The businesses, including banks, robotics manufacturers, and a fish and chips restaurant, are all expecting employees to maintain their productivity despite working one day less each week.

The full results won’t be available until 2023, but early data suggest that the four-day workweek has decreased signs of burnout and stress while improving life satisfaction and feelings of work-life balance, reports Wen Fan, a sociologist at Boston College who is helping to conduct the experiment. “The results are very encouraging,” she says.

Fan says it’s too early to know if the employees and companies were able to stay as productive as ever during the experiment, but she notes that most jobs could be done more efficiently with a little extra planning and streamlining. “A lot of time is wasted on distractions and meetings that go on too long,” she says.

No matter how many days a week a person has to work, minibreaks during the day can help, too. A 2020 survey-based study involving 172 workers in the US found that subjects tended to be in better moods and were less emotionally exhausted toward the end of the workday if they had breaks that allowed them to briefly detach from work. The study also tracked mindfulness, the degree to which people are conscious of their present emotions and circumstances.

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They did this by asking the participants how much they agreed with statements such as “Today at work I was aware of different emotions that rose within me.” Employees who were the most mindful were also the most likely to truly check out and relax during their breaks from work.

A 2021 study of college students took a closer look at relaxation and exercise during work breaks. Those who tried progressive muscle relaxation, a low-stress activity that involves tensing and releasing muscles, reported more detachment during the break, while students who got their blood pumping on an exercise bike had more energy for the rest of their day.

Study coauthor Jennifer Ragsdale, now a research psychologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati, says that a better appreciation for the nuance of work breaks can help people choose the right approach for a given day. “If you need some sort of pick-me-up, you can walk round the building to get your energy going,” she says. “If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can relax.”

As many people have discovered during the pandemic years, it can be challenging to fully check out from work when your living room is also your office. Speaking with at-home workers, Bennett has collected tips for separating work life and life life. Something as simple as wearing a collared shirt or other office attire during work hours and changing into casual wear at the end of the day can help establish boundaries, he says. Using a dedicated laptop for work and putting any work-related materials out of sight at the end of the day can also create much-needed distance.

Ragsdale says that technology can be both an escape and a tether. The same devices that help us play games, listen to podcasts or struggle with online word puzzles also make it possible to receive work emails and other reminders of life outside of the home. Ragsdale cowrote a 2021 commentary calling for more research into the impacts of cell phones on work recovery. “When you’re continuing to be exposed to work through your cell phone, it’s harder for that recovery process to unfold,” she says. The very sight of a work email can trigger thoughts that are just as stressful as the actual job, she adds.

Not many people can completely let go of their phones when they’re at home, but they can take steps to protect themselves from intrusive work pings. “You can adjust your settings in a way that make your phone less appealing,” she says, including turning off notifications for things like email and Twitter.

Bergen can’t be away from her phone when she’s on call, but she can still feel like she’s in her own world when she’s working on a new “Rosie” painting. Psychologists may call it mastery, but for her it’s a validation and an escape. She has recently started painting women first responders who were on duty for both 9/11 and Covid. “I started out painting one thing for myself and it blossomed,” she says. “It’s turned into something beautiful.”

Source: How to deal with work stress — and actually recover from burnout

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Monitoring Employees Makes Them More Likely to Break Rules

As remote work becomes the norm, more and more companies have begun tracking employees through desktop monitoring, video surveillance, and other digital tools. These systems are designed to reduce rule-breaking — and yet new research suggests that in some cases, they can seriously backfire. Specifically, the authors found across two studies that monitored employees were substantially more likely to break rules, including engaging in behaviors such as cheating on a test, stealing equipment, and purposely working at a slow pace.

They further found that this effect was driven by a shift in employees’ sense of agency and personal responsibility: Monitoring employees led them to subconsciously feel less responsibility for their own conduct, ultimately making them more likely to act in ways that they would otherwise consider immoral. However, when employees feel that they are being treated fairly, the authors found that they are less likely to suffer a drop in agency and are thus less likely to lose their sense of moral responsibility in response to monitoring.

As such, the authors suggest that in cases where monitoring is necessary, employers should take steps to enhance perceptions of justice and thus preserve employees’ sense of agency. In April 2020, global demand for employee monitoring software more than doubled. Online searches for “how to monitor employees working from home” increased by 1,705%, and sales for systems that track workers’ activity via desktop monitoring, keystroke tracking, video surveillance, GPS location tracking, and other digital tools went through the roof.

Some of these systems purport to use employee data to improve wellbeing — for example, Microsoft is developing a system that would use smart watches to collect data on employees’ blood pressure and heart rate, producing personalized “anxiety scores” to inform wellness recommendations. But the vast majority of employee monitoring tools are focused on tracking performance, increasing productivity, and deterring rule-breaking.

For example, a social-media marketing company in Florida installed software on employees’ work computers that takes screenshots of their desktop every 10 minutes and records how much time they spend on different activities. The company then uses this data to determine productivity levels and identify rule-breakers. Similarly, Amazon tracks smartphone data for its delivery drivers to monitor their efficiency and identify unsafe driving practices.

Given their prevalence, one might expect that these sorts of systems would be effective in reducing harmful workplace behavior. And indeed, studies have shown that in some contexts, monitoring can deter certain specific behaviors, such as theft by restaurant workers. However, our recent research suggests that in many cases, monitoring employees can seriously backfire.

When Monitoring Backfires

In our first study, we surveyed more than 100 employees across the U.S., some of whom were subject to monitoring at work and some of whom were not. We found that monitored employees were substantially more likely to take unapproved breaks, disregard instructions, damage workplace property, steal office equipment, and purposefully work at a slow pace, among other rule-breaking behaviors. Of course, this survey only determined correlation — so to prove causation, we ran a second, experimental study.

We asked another 200 U.S.-based employees to complete a series of tasks, and told half of them that they would be working under electronic surveillance. We then gave them an opportunity to cheat, and found that those who were told they were being monitored were actually more likely to cheat than those who didn’t think they were being monitored.

What drove this effect? In general, people are motivated to do the right thing by a combination of external factors (such as the threat of punishment or promise of reward) and their internal moral compass. Prior studies in support of employee monitoring generally focus on the former: situations in which targeted monitoring informs an immediate external response to a specific form of misconduct, such as retail workers who know they will be fired if they’re caught stealing on camera. But in many workplace contexts, employers cannot rely on carrots and sticks alone.

In these cases, employers must also depend on employees’ internal sense of morality — and our studies showed that monitoring employees causes them to subconsciously feel that they are less responsible for their own conduct, thus making them more likely to act immorally. Specifically, when we surveyed the participants in our studies, we found that those who were monitored were more likely to report that the authority figure overseeing their surveillance was responsible for their behavior, while the employees who weren’t monitored were more likely to take responsibility for their actions.

This reduction in agency in turn made the monitored employees more likely to act contrary to their own moral standards, ultimately leading them to engage in behavior that they would otherwise consider immoral.

To Boost Agency, Treat Employees Justly

Clearly, monitoring can have some major negative side effects. But is it possible to gain the benefits of monitoring employees without pushing them to abandon their morals? Being monitored is likely to always have at least some negative impact on people’s sense of agency and moral responsibility, but our studies did identify one mechanism that can reduce this effect: When employees feel that they are being treated fairly, they are less likely to suffer a drop in agency and are thus less likely to lose their sense of moral responsibility in response to monitoring.

In our experiment, we increased perceptions of employer fairness both by varying how respectfully the administrator interacted with the participants, and whether they received the cash reward they had been promised, and we found that monitored participants were less likely to cheat if they felt they were treated justly.

So what does this mean for employers? There are countless ways leaders can enhance perceptions of justice (and thus preserve employees’ sense of agency). As a starting point, rather than unilaterally implementing a monitoring system, leaders should find ways to give employees visibility and input into when surveillance is appropriate and when it should be off-limits — and then stick to those boundaries.

For example, financial services instant messaging platform Symphony enables managers to monitor employee conversations only to the extent necessary for record-keeping and legal compliance, with strict guidelines in place preventing any surveillance without a strong justification. Leaders should also find ways to give employees access to their own data, as well as aggregated, anonymized data collected from relevant teams. That data should in turn be used in ways that benefit employees (for example, to inform wellness initiatives or professional development opportunities).

And of course, leaders should do their best to communicate openly and transparently with employees about what data will be collected and how it will be used — in fact, one survey found that even just explaining the scope and purpose of monitoring can boost employees’ acceptance of the practice by about 70%.

When used right, monitoring employees can prevent accidents, boost performance, and improve overall wellbeing. But our research demonstrates that it can also reduce employees’ sense of agency and personal responsibility, potentially increasing the prevalence of the very behaviors that these systems are meant to deter. To mitigate this risk, leaders must ensure that they treat employees fairly, foster accountability, and frame monitoring as a tool for empowering — not punishing — employees.

By: Chase Thiel, Julena M. Bonner,John Bush, David Welsh, and Niharika Garud

Source: Monitoring Employees Makes Them More Likely to Break Rules

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How To Make Online Banking Disabled-People-Friendly

Banks have undertaken extensive steps to transform their customer experience over the last decade in keeping with sweeping technological advancements. However, these efforts have yet to meet the needs of one key customer demographic: people with disabilities (PWDs).

In a post-pandemic world, accessibility has emerged as a critical factor for all customers, with most choosing online channels to perform their financial transactions. Our recent research found that new technologies can enable banks to become partners in the financial well-being of their customers. In the case of PWDs, banks must improve accessibility to help this underserved consumer category to enhance their financial well-being.

As of 2018, 58% of banking websites failed accessibility tests that examine websites on four principles: perceivability, operability, understandability and robustness. And a recent rise in lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (and resultant reputational and business risks) suggest that banks have a long way to go in addressing this matter. Importantly, improving accessibility benefits not only PWDs but all users since banks are likely to uncover related issues affecting all customers.

This means fixing accessibility loopholes in the current offerings as well as ensuring that the objective is embodied in banks’ digital blueprints and organizational culture. While the former can be achieved by adopting latest standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), the latter calls for a focused approach to spread awareness about accessibility among employees and to leverage the power of data and intelligent machines to uncover and fix issues.

Why Accessibility Matters for Banks

Banks’ websites falter at accessibility

Market opportunity

Surge in mobile banking post-COVID

  • Post-COVID, there was a 85% surge in online banking registrations in the US.

Roadmap for building inclusive, accessible banking

Customer service is the cornerstone for digital brands. Applying data collected from multiple touchpoints enhances banks’ ability to attract and retain customers and boost brand loyalty. Yet every year, businesses in the US lose billions of dollars in revenue due to poor customer experience. For banks, this could mean losing customers to more aggressive and accommodating fintechs.

The accessibility blind spot creates hurdles that undermine user experience, and generates legal risks for businesses: More than 2,000 ADA lawsuits were filed in federal courts in 2020, and the number is likely to be higher this year. Meanwhile, the entry of nonbank digital insurgents means that switching banks is now easier than ever, especially among the younger set.

We have worked with leading US banks and financial services companies to make their websites more accessible. This has helped us create a roadmap to remediate accessibility issues. This bottom-up approach can be applied across a banks’ digital landscape.

Creating ADA-Compliance Framework for a Financial Services Provider

We worked with one of the largest US-based independent broker-dealers, with 15,000-plus financial advisors, which wanted to make its cluster of advisor-facing and home-office-facing applications compliant with the latest WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

We began by carrying out an end-to-end manual and automated assessment of the existing list of applications for ADA compliance. These included unique/high profile web pages for accessibility assessment, access set-ups and assessment plans. By analyzing aspects such as keyboard and screen readers (navigation, heading structure, text sizing, etc.) and using code screening to perform compliance analysis and identifying gaps, we were able to identify 2,500-plus accessibility issues.

Based on these issues, we remediated 250-plus online pages, forms and pdfs in accordance with WCAG 2.1 guidelines. We deployed an Angular JS-based framework and a scaled Agile methodology to revamp webpages according to the guidelines.

Furthermore, we evaluated all existing advisor/home-office-facing applications to identify accessibility issues, the risks they pose and suggested solutions. We then created an ADA governance framework to determine which level of compliance is required. Finally, we developed internal processes and architectural standards to ensure ADA compliance requirements are “baked in” to future projects/enhancements.

Functions such as opening new accounts, trading, advisor practice management, account viewing, etc. were overhauled as a result of the remediation efforts. We were able to create:

  • A superior user experience with inclusive design catering to disabled category financial advisors.
  • An ADA-compliant framework, with a catalog of checkpoints and best practices for future remediation exercises.
  • A roadmap for future development and the launch of public-facing websites and technology impacting investors and advisors.

Future of accessible banking

The shift to online banking post-COVID is believed to be permanent, making accessibility a key for customer engagement. Becoming and staying WCAG compliant may not be mandatory, but is critical for creating delightful customer journeys in today’s hypercompetitive banking sector. To stay ahead of the curve, we suggest:

  • Avoid the easy fix trap. Accessibility must be seen as an ongoing requirement, meaning remediation efforts should build on past successes rather than easy fixes which may create problems later.
  • Upskill web development talent. In-house web development expertise is critical for accessibility. Upskilling the existing web development teams will provide continuous support and save costs.

Sachin is a consulting partner and Senior Director in Cognizant’s Banking Consulting Practice in India. He has more than 20 years of experience in banking

Source: How To Make Online Banking Disabled-People-Friendly

.

Critics:

Worst-rated banks Despite being parent bank to First Direct, HSBC received the lowest score from customers (62%), followed by TSB (65%). TSB earned just two stars for both online and branch banking, HSBC earned three stars across the board.
Negative comments from TSB customers cited recent branch closures (82 in 2019 and a further 164 by the end of this year) or criticised its digital services for ‘frequent IT problems’, or being ‘unusable’. There were more damning statements, too – one customer feels that staff ‘talk down to you like you’re daft just because you are in a wheelchair’.
Another said that ‘the bank has no idea when it comes to dealing with me being deaf and blind’. TSB said that it continually works to improve support available to disabled customers, and has recently partnered with the Digital Accessibility Centre to review its mobile app and website. HSBC UK said it strives to ensure its products and services are fully inclusive, accessible and flexible for all customers:
‘We are actively engaging with customers with disabilities to enhance our digital experiences as well as ensuring our branches are fully accessible.’
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How To Use the 4 Key Elements of Conversation To Make Small Talk That Doesn’t Feel Like Torture

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Whether you’re pulling up to a first date, parked outside a holiday function, preparing for a job interview, or in any situation where you have to communicate with people you don’t know so well, you may be plagued with worries about how to start a conversation and keep it going. While small talk isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it’s possible to partake without it feeling like torture. Simply leaning on the four elements of conversation can help facilitate the process.

The elements of conversation functions like a formula for connecting with others. And that’s great because this connection cultivates a sense of belonging, which is crucial to our well-being. “We all have this internal need and longing to feel like we belong, and the way we make that happen is through conversation,” says therapist Michelle Chalfant. Read on to learn how you can utilize four elements of conversation to get better at small talk.

Use these 4 elements of conversation to learn how to make easy small talk

1. Asking

This element of conversation is exactly what it sounds like: asking a question. More specifically, low-pressure, simple questions that aren’t overly personal in nature are great for getting someone to warm up. Asking someone what music they like, what they’re watching on TV, and what they do for work all fit into this low-pressure category, says licensed clinical psychologist Aimee Daramus, PsyD. “If you’re at a party, [you could ask how they] know the person,” she adds. “If you’re interviewing for a job, you can ask, ‘What’s your experience been like here?’ or ‘How did you get hooked up with a job here?’”

The key to properly using the asking element of conversation is to avoid yes-or-no questions so that you give the subject a chance to respond in more than one word.

Chalfant suggests using this this conversational element as an opportunity to ask for recommendations, which could be particularly helpful if you notice that who you’re talking to isn’t totally into talking about themselves. Start by asking yourself what you might need—maybe an air fryer, a cast iron skillet, or new bedding—and then give that brief context before asking the subject what they suggest. The key to properly using the asking element of conversation is to avoid yes-or-no questions so that you give the subject a chance to respond in more than one word. Related Stories The 12 Most Effective Ways To Open a Conversation, Whether You’re Talking… 7 Tips for Coaxing a Shy Person Into a Conversation That You…

2. Informing

This element of conversation is best characterized as sharing an interesting tidbit about yourself, says Dr. Daramus. If you’re a mechanic, you might say something like, “I was working on this car today and learned that…” Or, if you’re a teacher, this might look like sharing an experience that you’ve had in the classroom. Sharing gives listeners the opportunity to ask follow-up questions and removes the pressure of having to talk about something you’re not totally familiar with.

If you know yourself to be shy or to go blank when put on the spot, consider coming up with something to say beforehand. It could be a fun memory from childhood or something you recently learned about yourself.

Some other ideas? Chalfant adds that If you’re going to a bigger gathering, you could cooking something and bring it, which allows you to share what you made and the story behind it. You could also share what you’re watching on TV and ask others what they’re watching. Or, you could also stick to the basics: A simple, “My name is… and I’m from…” might do the trick and encourage others to share their background, which can serve as an opportunity for people to connect.

3. Including

With the conversation element of including, Dr. Daramus says it’s integral to first listen to what others are saying and notice what they’re doing. If you see that someone is quiet, but their nonverbal communication or body language indicates that they’d like to speak (think, they appear to almost start talking), you can try asking them their opinion on the matter at hand.

Perhaps you observe that someone is standing alone in the corner. In this case, including may look like going up to them and saying something that you think they’d relate to. However, you want to be mindful that you’re not making it about you. Give them a brief example of when you’ve been alone at a party, and let them take it from there. Once they open up, a simple “I totally get that” will build the connection, which might ultimately make conversation more natural.

Including doesn’t all have to be heavy, though. Chalfant adds that giving compliments also falls under this category. Whether it’s something you like about the person’s vibe or decorations around the host’s house, giving a compliment can help start a conversation by engaging the other person.

4. Proposing

“Proposing is…moving things forward,” says Dr. Daramus. You can suggest playing a game or getting another drink when you want to use proposing as a way of making small talk. (Dr. Daramus says you get extra “including” points if you do that!)

You can also tap into proposing to steer the conversation away from topics that you don’t want to discuss. In practice, this might look like saying, “You know, I’d rather talk about…” and follow that up with something that you’re more comfortable discussing.

Another great way to practice proposing, Chalfant adds, is to shift to a lighter topic that folks have strong feelings about but isn’t seriously divisive. For instance, take daylight saving time. Whether someone likes it because it helps them fall asleep earlier or hates it because they find it tougher to stay happy amid shorter days, it’s a good, low-stakes topic that gives everyone the opportunity to harmlessly opine.

Natalie Arroyo Camacho

By: Natalie Arroyo Camacho

Source: https://www.wellandgood.com/elements-conversation/

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“Six Benefits of Better Conversation”. Hodu. Archived from the original on 30 October 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2015.

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“Institutional Sources of Intellectual Poverty in Communication Research”. Communication Research. 13 (4): 527–559. doi:10.1177/009365086013004002. ISSN0093-6502. S2CID145639228. Fiske, John (1982): Introduction to Communication Studies. London: Routledge Chandler, Daniel (18 September 1995).

“The Transmission Model of Communication”. Shannon, Claude E. & Warren Weaver (1949). A Mathematical Model of Communication.

“Types of Body Language”. Simplybodylanguage.com. Retrieved 2016-02-08. Wazlawick, Paul (1970’s) opus (Burgoon, J., Guerrero, L., Floyd, K., (2010). Nonverbal Communication, Taylor & Francis. p. 3 )

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