Category Archives: good-to-great

MakeUseOf, definitely check them out!

MakeUseOf.com-For in-depth, hands-on reviews of the latest Web apps, keep looking. MakeUseOf.com’s real strength lies in its quick but surprisingly comprehensive roundups of apps and sites in a given space. If you’re looking to discover the best iPhone apps, Firefox extensions, or accounting sites, MakeUseOf can point you in the right direction (www.makeuseof.com/)

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This list or Resources, I hope will help you on your Journey!

Info and Reference Have fun looking at how the world around us works !!! But ”

“…Beyond Google, Wikipedia and other generic reference sites, the Internet boasts a multitude of search engines, dictionaries, reference desks and databases that have organized and archived information for quick and easy searches.

In this list, Laura Milligan compiled just 100 of our favorites, for teachers, students, hypochondriacs, procrastinators, bookworms, sports nuts and more.” see 100 Unbelievably Useful Reference Sites You’ve Never Heard Of from TeachingTips.com, I have also included my favorite below:

Newsmap – A wonderfully graphical – and customizable – display of news stories from around the world, it  is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator.. (marumushi.com/apps/newsmap )

Arts and Letters Daily – World-class articles from intellectual and influential journals around the world. Browse the day’s selections..
(www.aldaily.com )

Ask Philosophers -The academy comes to cyberspace. A panel of mainly American and British philosophy scholars answers questions sent in by the public. Search the database, from Abortion to War, or send in a question of your own.  (www.askphilosophers.org )

Nationmaster –”..NationMaster is a web site that features a large database of variables for comparing countries. A wide range of demographic indicators are covered including literacy rates, taxation levels, and murders per capita. These are also available in pie charts, scatterplots, and correlations graphs…also see (www.nationmaster.com )

Wikipedia -Controversial, democractic,. make it your first port of call for looking something up. Just be sure to check somewhere else that what you find makes sense
(www.wikipedia.org )

Wiktionary – Wikipedia’s online multilingual dictionary. Immensely powerful and far less controversial than its encyclopaedic forebear
(www.wiktionary.org )

The Library of Congress – As the online rolodex of the Library of Congress, this site houses numerous reference materials, digitized collections, films—basically any content you’d ever want to find (www.loc.gov)

Project Gutenberg is the foremost online source for public-domain literature, with over 20,000 books available. Even better, titles from the entirely free eBook collection are downloadable to your PC.( (www.gutenberg.org)

Martindale’s ‘The Reference Desk’ -A very useful gateway to online reference tools in most fields; see the home page for a comprehensive list of topics. From the arts, business, science and technology, a authoritative conglomeration of data from around the world.(www.martindalecenter.com )

PubMed Free and authoritative database  that”..includes over 18 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources..” Not always easy to understand if you are not a medic, but a far better place to look for information than the random sites that come up on Google. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed )

About.com -The internet’s version of your father , who always seems to know the answer to your questions. There are few subjects the site doesn’t tackle, though the coverage can be superficial. A good starting point for idle research (www.about.com )

XE – Currency converter covering every world currency. (www.xe.com )

.Babelfish – translates speech from one language to another.. The results are sometimes a little strange, but you will usually get your message across.(http://babelfish.yahoo.com/)

eHow – How to do just about everything, from getting stains off curtains to buying a second-hand car. (www.ehow.com)

The Straight Dope– (My favorite)- Every class had that kid: the one who would ask all the dumb questions you were dying to ask but felt too embarrassed to utter out loud. The Straight Dope is the grown-up, online version of that kid. Published in the Chicago Reader and penned by ghostwriters under the name Cecil Adams (aka “the smartest person in the world”), (www.straightdope.com)

Snopes.-Before you forward that so-called “true” story that landed in your inbox this morning to everyone in your “Outlook”, you better check Snopes to make sure it’s not completely full of you-know-what. It’s an extensive index of urban legends, common fallacies(www.snopes.com/)

How Stuff Works – Engaging encyclopaedia of the modern (and not so modern) world, with good illustrations and clear text. Explains hundreds of subjects, from car engines to  ESP, using tons of illustrations…(www.howstuffworks.com )

Design My Room – We are remodeling our home and this site provides the ability to redecorate your home in cyberspace. Choose colours, furniture, accessories and finishes and then publish the results online.(www.DesignMyRoom.com )

101 Cookbooks – My wife loves to cook and and loves this blog from a Californian cook who believes in good food. 101 Cookbooks has been featured in numerous newspaper articles and is a winner of numerous awards including the 2005 people’s choice Webby Award for best personal web site. (www.101cookbooks.com )

Who What Wear Daily – Fashion tips, advice and suggestions. Includes Ask a Stylist for those tricky co-ordination problems and a What Was She Wearing? inquiry service to help you track down your favourite celebrity’s fashion choice.( www.whowhatweardaily.com )

Social Tools

Facebook – The most grown-up (just) of the social-networking sites that are fast taking over the world. Excellent for staying in touch with far-flung friends, though pretty good too for re-establishing contact with those you hoped you had lost. I have a one  and love it!!!! see me at here

(www.facebook.com )

Twitter-Service for people to quickly communicate and stay connected with other users. You can follow specific people and see their Twitter messages. I use Twitter and enjoy it!

bubbl.us – Organise your thoughts by creating mindmaps online and sharing them with others  (www.bubbl.us )

Technorati – An intelligent, intuitive and inspiring way to read entries from some of the millions of blogs that dot the internet. You can browse by subject or area of interest, read the postings that are catching the world’s attention and bookmark blogs that catch your attention. And if you want to join in… (www.technorati.com )

Digg-A community driven social news site where users submit articles and the community votes them up or down. Articles are promoted to the main page at when they reach a certain threshold.( http://digg.com)

LinkedIn-One of the original “social networks,” LinkedIn has been eclipsed in recent years by Facebook, even among adults and professional users. In the past year, LinkedIn had to scale back its revenue estimates, had its head of sales bolt for TheLadders, and is also seeing stagnating traffic growth. My Profile is here

(http://www.linkedin.com)

Humbly presented,

Devin Willis

Resources

Mind Maps A Powerful Approach to Note Taking Related variants: Spray Diagrams, Spider Diagrams, Spidograms, Spidergrams and Mindmaps (http://www.mindtools.com/)

100 Unbelievably Useful Reference Sites You’ve Never Heard Of from TeachingTips.com, I

The 101 most useful websites-30/03/2008-Telegraph Media Group

PC Magazine’s  Top 100 Classic Web Sites in 2007. You’ll see a lot of familiar URLs on this list, and we hope there are also quite a few that you haven’t heard of before. (www.pcmag.com/)
Tools For Engaging In Social Media-Apr. 23, 2008  by Brent Csutoras-from Search Engine Land.

My Proven Research Resources That, When I Applied Them , Produce Positive Results !-(https://prosperstudentcare.wordpress.com)

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Article Highlights Life-Changing Prosper Learning Education

Changing lives, One Student At A Time

I love the article  that was selected to appear in the August 2006 issue of the national magazine, U.S. Business Review in an article entitled “Investing in Tomorrow”.

The article thoroughly outlined the reasons for Prosper, Inc. students’ success and portrayed the vision of Prosper, Inc. as a company . It also covered  the vision for  our employees and leaders;0) The article stated ,

“After pioneering its own niche in the post-secondary education market, Prosper Inc. has positioned itself as an organization devoted to helping individuals achieve success in the business world through its customized courses…[T]he company is a valuable asset for individuals hoping to fulfill their potential and further their careers through return-on-investment-based learning systems.”

Ethan Willis, CEO and President of Prosper, Inc. said, “This is a rewarding article because it talks about the success of our students as well as the integrity and abilities of our employees here at Prosper.”

In the article Ethan, whom I call my young brother and friend  stated   he “believes the company’s most valuable assets are its employees..”

Humbly Posted

Devin Willis


Resource:

Investing in Tomorrow By Kate Burrows Tuesday, 15 August 2006 –http://www.usbusiness-review.com

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Using Influence at Work- Thoughts by Joni Rose

I found this article Using Influence at Work-How to Share Your Knowledge with Colleagues byJoni Rose and wanted to share it;0)

Other Training/Professional Development by Joni Rose

Quick Links:

Devin Willis

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Filed under Career Advice, good-to-great, kindness, Listening Skills

The Fred Factor and Customers/ Students at “Prosper Learning”

postman_pa_m1126970.jpgToday I went to Borders near my home to browse books- and I came across a book titled The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn. I could not put it down! Fred is a postman who delivers exceptional service to the author – so exceptional that it inspired the writing of the book and became a national best seller. The story of Fred continues to inspire people all over the nation. Who ever knew a postman could do that? As I browsed the book I came across a few important points I’d like to share with all of you.

Quoted from the Fred Factor web site (www.fredfactor.com)…fred�factor

The Mission: Be a Fred…

..continually create new value for those you live and work with through dedication, passion and creativity.

The Idea’s I took from the Book:

Each of Us makes a Difference. The only question at the end of the day is “What kind of difference did you make?”

Everything is Built on Our Relationships. The first principle in building a relationship is to build Trustworthiness, or Trust- and Respect-based relationships. Other words for trustworthiness, including “respect,” are humility, honesty, patience, faith, virtue,” and moral based .

This principle of trust and respect is based in always assuming the most honorable of intentions from us towards our fellow workers, students, customers or those we love.Always, remember No one succeeds on their own. Asking for and sharing information broadens one’s perspective of situations and life. Others help you open doors to opportunity. “

I could train you to achieve exceptional performance and then reward it. However, only the you can choose to do your job in an extraordinary way, either because of, or in spite of, circumstances.

Think about it. Do you add to or take away from the experience of your customers/students and colleagues? Do you move our business closer to or further from its goals of helping people succeed ? Read Lee & Nancy’s story

Do you treat your customers and potential customers in an ordinary way or do you treat them superbly? Do you lighten someone’s burden, or add to it? Do you lift someone up, or put someone down?

Nobody can prevent you from choosing to be exceptional. The only question at the end of the day that matters is, “What kind of difference do you make?”

You must continually create value for others, and it doesn�t have to cost ANYONE a DIME. You can replace money with imagination. The object is to out think your competition rather than to outspend them.

You can reinvent yourself regularly. No matter what job you hold, what industry you work in or where you live in the world, you wake up every morning “tabula rasa,” with a blank slate, and you can make your business and your life anything you choose.

Also in the book is a quote from Andrew Carnegie that I remember hearing on the sales floor and from a coach I respect:

“There are two types of people who never achieve very much in their lifetimes. One is the person who won’t do what he or she it told to do, and the other is the person who does no more than he or she is told to do”

Presented by  Devin Willis
It’s a short, easy to read book with lessons we all can apply to all aspects of life to better enrich here at Prosper as well as your personal relationships. By following these simple principles, and by learning from and teaching other “Freds,” you, too, can excel in your career and make your life extraordinary. As this book made clear to me, each of you has the potential be a extraordinary(in fact you are,already in many ways).THE FRED FACTOR shows you how to become extraordinary in many more ways.

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Does the Airlines and Prosper have things in common?

 yoda1presented by Student Care Manager (Yoda)

I found some interesting information on  The Employee Factor Blog -Judy McLeish wrote the following truths “..Someone from every company should read the article in the New York Times titled – “Airlines Learn to Fly on a Wind and an Apology”. We think this article is particularly timely as more and more companies are striving to deliver a better, more powerful customer experience. Southwest Airlines has someone in charge of Proactive Customer Communication. What does that mean? This individual spends “12-hour work days finding out how Southwest disappointed its customers and then firing off homespun letters of apology .” How  do you feel we could  use the suggested infomation ?

 

I am happy that we do a good job, but want to keep getting better!

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Does happiness at work matter?

All,

The following is brought to us from  the Customer Service Reader RSS Service. It has a collection of notes & commentary on essential works of experts in customer service and related fields.

Does happiness at work matter? Most of your life is spent going to work, being at work, going from work, thinking about work, and talking about work after work. If you work in customer service, and are not happy with your job, you have the wrong job. You should find the calling that makes you happy. When you are happy at work, you’ll never have to work another day.

Most people don’t expect to find happiness, working a customer service job. But customer service, by its very nature, presents unique opportunities for the pursuit of happiness, not only for individuals, but for society as a whole.

Researchers in the field of Subjective Well-being (happiness) have found that there are certain characteristics that happy people have in common. Happy people:

  • Have self-control
  • Are grateful
  • Have good social relationships, supportive friends and family
  • Have an adequate income
  • Have respectable jobs, and
  • Have a philosophy that provides meaning to their lives.

Using this framework, can we, as providers, find happiness through customer service?

Self-control

The consistent practice of outstanding customer service behaviors requires an extraordinary amount of self-control. It starts with the realization that YOU are in control.

  • You choose your attitude
  • You choose your response
  • You choose to set aside your personal problems
  • You choose to give others a better day

When we take control, we refuse to be victims of circumstance, or of our own personal weaknesses. We take charge of our lives and of the situations that we face. This is a principal requirement of a life in service and, as it turns out, a principal requirement for a happy life.

Gratitude

“Thank you” is perhaps that the second most important customer service phrase. We use it (or ought to use it) dozens of times a day (thank you for calling, thank you for bringing that to my attention, thank-you-come-again). When we use these phrases authentically – i.e. when we mean what we say – we develop a habit of thankfulness. In Akumal III, Dr Bob Emmons reported research which showed that “people high in gratitude are more satisfied with life, have more vitality, more happiness, more optimism, hope, positive affect, lower psychological symptoms, more prosocial behaviors, and are higher on empathy”.

Good social relationships

When you consistently practice customer service values and skills, such as kindness, listening, empathy, gratitude, responsibility, and persuasion, you develop habits that will stay with you for the rest of your life, and that can be applied to all other aspects of your life. You’ll be able to make friends more easily, and will be better skilled at strengthening your relationships with your friends and family. They in turn will tend to reciprocate. People who are happy have strong relationships with friends and family. This is both a characteristic of happy people, and a consequence of their behavior.

Adequate income

There is a premium in the labor market for outstanding customer service providers. More important, we have the opportunity to constantly increase both our short-term and long-term income by applying our customer service skills. As Henry Ford once said, one who is “absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”

Respectable jobs

This has two components. There’s the respect that you get for how you do your job, and there’s the respect you get for having that job. It’s not easy to provide outstanding customer service to every customer, on every transaction, every minute of the day. If you can do that, that’s something you can truly be proud of, and it’s certainly deserving of respect. Chances are you already stand out, and are duly rewarded.

The second component, respect for the job itself, depends less on the individual, and more on the team as a whole. When everyone in your organization or location provides outstanding service, people tend to talk about you, and you’re likely to be known and respected for the service that you provide. It’s a source of pride just to be part of such a team. The hard part is that it does depend on everyone. All it takes is one bad player to ruin the whole game.

A philosophy that provides meaning to their lives

The principles at the root of outstanding customer service are simple enough to say:

  • Our lives have more meaning when we serve others
  • Customer service is, first and foremost, a form of service
  • To serve each other and each customer is to serve humanity

As customer service providers, we touch millions of people each year. Each contact is an opportunity to make each life we touch a little better each day. And when we make people happy, they tend to pay it forward. Through the phenomenon psychologists call the “emotional contagion”, we can be carriers of an epidemic of kindness. We can be weapons of mass construction.

I’ll end with some thoughts from some people who are a lot smarter than me:

Everyone can be great because everyone can serve. Martin Luther King Jr

Joy can be real only if people look on their life as a service. Leo Tolstoy

The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive. Only a life lived for others is a life worth living. Albert Einstein

Every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large. Mohandas  K Gandhi

See also: Q&A with Dr Ed Diener

What are your thoughts and ideas ?

Resources that may be helpful:

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