10 Best places to Hike in Colorado for Beginners

landscape-1843128_960_720After careful consideration and experimentation I’ve come to the conclusion that the following ten places are the best hikes for Coloradans who have recently gotten into hiking.

1. Horse Tooth

2. Garden of the Gods

3. Devil’s Backbone

4. Bierstad

5. Black Lake

6. Hanging Lake

7. Serpents Trail

8. Fountain Valley Loop Trail, Roxborough State Park

9. Bear Lake Trail

10. Quandary Peak

Backpacking Checklist:

  • Water
  • Food (snacks)
  • Hiking shoes
  • CamelBak
  • Flashlight
  • Jacket
  • Map
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • GoPro
  • Charger
  • Hat
  • Sweatshirt
  • Extra Clothes

5 Habits Of An Effective Communicator

Effective communication skills are vital to success in many aspects of life. Some of these include: delivering professional presentations to an audience, or preparing for job interviews. You need strong communication skills to build your personal brand and grow your professional business. Good leaders are also great communicators, and it takes time to master these skills. Practice and learn how to improve your relations with others by following these five habits of an effective communicator!

“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand.

We listen to reply.”

 

Top 5 Communication Practices

1. Behavior –

Your behavior is the most important determining factor of your communication. If your attitude is positive, caring, and accepting, you will be able to engage with your audience and maintain their attention. It is also important to be honest and let your actions speak louder than your words. If you promise to carry out a specific task that you back out of on a last minute basis, you could lose your credibility, and get into huge unwanted trouble if not dealt with sooner. A good rule of thumb is to delay your communication or promises until you are certain you can perform an action completely.

2. Listen – 
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Listening to what other’s have to say is not only a polite gesture, it also earns their trust and respect. If you take the time to truly listen to others without interruption, they gain the confidence to confide in you. You establish a stronger connection with others when you develop the ability to not only hear them- but to listen to them. Listening includes more than just hearing the words being spoken. You can pick up non-verbal messages by observing how those words are delivered. Clear your mind of any distracting thoughts to focus on the message being conveyed. If something is unclear or confusing to you, it is wise to wait until after the person has finished speaking to ask for questions of clarification.

3. Simplicity –

Customers and employee’s are constantly being bombarded with information in their busy work environment. To ease their tension, try to address them in a relaxed, confident manner. Speak with simplicity. They will appreciate having a conversation that does not focus primarily on technical business jargon. Effective communicators are able to elicit complex, strategic thoughts into simple words that are just as meaningful. Simplicity can be a powerful and necessary means of communication.

4. Encourage –

Encouragement plays a huge role in effective communication. Encourage participation, words of inspiration, as well as praise to others. You can make them feel valued, welcomed, and appreciated with your communications. Others are more likely to give it their best if you make them feel this way, and you encourage involvement and interaction with open-ended questions.

5. Relate –

Being a successful leader means getting to know your employees on a personal level. This could also include customers and other business partners! Informally engage with them, ask questions, and show interest. Then be willing to share personal stories of your own! You will effectively form more friendships and grow your followers! Being relatable is a strategy that allows you to be a memorable communicator. Reach out with empathy to gain more insight, and change the way you communicate with others!

The Take-Away

Strong communication skills is important to success in many areas of your life. Engage with your audience by using positive behavior and the correct listening skills. Deliver your communications with simplicity and encouragement while being a relatable business professional. Be sure to focus on the meaning of what you want to communicate and your message will be understood clearly.

What are some communication practices you have used to improve your leadership skills? Can you add to my list? Please comment.

Image Credit: Amanda Rita

Diversity In The Workforce

April 12, 2016 By Amanda Rita

Why It’s Proven To Be Healthy For Your Business!

Diversity involves our personal frame of reference (how we see ourselves), and how we see others. These perceptions affect how we interact with people,  and the attitude we hold towards them. A company who hires an assortment of employees that possess proficient communication skills, adaptability, and creativity can function effectively as an organization.

“ Diversity in our nation and workforce will increase significantly in the coming years.”

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America is entering an era of increased diversity
within the nation.

Businesses are becoming aware of the need to draw upon and exercise the benefits of diversity in the workforce. Talent and creativity is crucial to strengthening the bottom line of a business, and pooling from a large/diverse group of candidates is increasingly important if you want to succeed in the competitive marketplace!

Learn the reasons why diversity can make a vital contribution to our growing economy, and the benefits of embracing it!

“Why Diversity Is Healthy For Your Business!”

  • A More Qualified Workforce!

Recruiting diverse employees creates a team comprised of multiple backgrounds who share different experiences and qualifications. It breeds a class of hard workers who pioneer an improved, innovative, and productive workforce! Companies that hire these types of candidates are more likely to employ the best and the brightest in the labor market! In a 2011 Forbes Study, 85 percent of companies who made at least $500 million in annual revenue strongly agreed that diversity is “key to driving innovation in the workplace”.

  • Avoid Turnover Costs!

Businesses that foster an inclusive workforce can improve turnover rates! A company may be able to avoid employee turnover costs if they maintain a healthy work environment. Companies who fail to cater to an ever growing/changing economy will most likely support a hostile work environment. This may force and encourage employees to leave. Which results in avoidable expenses! Failure to maintain an inclusive, discrimination-free workplace with qualified workers produces a loss in company profits!

  • More Competitive!

Businesses need to adapt to our changing nation in order to have a more solid foot in the marketplace. Census studies predict that by 2050 there will be no ethnic majority in the United States! America will grow and benefit from these changing demographics if companies continue to hire diverse employees and meet the needs of the consumer population. It’s a great opportunity for our country to become more competitive in the global market and gain from the unique contributions made from these communities!

The Take-Away

Diversity occurs when people with different ideas come together and collaborate. Companies will have greater success in the global market when they understand, accept, and respect how other cultures operate. By recruiting a diverse workforce, companies can increase creativity, productivity, and profitability for their business. By thinking cross-culturally you will open yourself to new attitudes, increase your language skills, and gain cultural competence!

How do you feel diversity contributes to the workforce? Could you add to my list? Please comment.

Image Credit: Amanda Rita

5 Hawaiian Core Values For The Common Workplace!

April 03, 2016 By Amanda Rita

A friendly, innovative spirit can help you connect with others in the business environment. Liberate your life and improve your communication skills by following these five Hawaiian core values translated to fit the needs of the common workplace!

The people of Hawai’i have always carried a highly recognized attitude that’s become their way of life.

A spirit of “Aloha” that’s applied through five important cultural values.

A – Alaka’i (Leadership)image1.PNG

L – Lokahi (Teamwork)

O – ‘Olu’olu (Graciousness)

H – Ho’okuleana (Responsibility)

A – Ahonui (Patience)

One of the best ways to establish lasting relationships with others is to present your personal brand with a positive, genuine attitude.

Whether you reach out and communicate with friends, colleagues, relatives, or business partners overseas, you must know how to market yourself!

Living in Hawai’i has taught me many important life lessons, and has helped form my ethical code of conduct. I’d like to share what these Hawaiian values mean, and how you can also apply them to your life.

“Aloha can mean many things. No one definition of the word is correct. Aloha is not merely a greeting, but a way of life for the people of Hawai’i”.

Hawai’i is a tropical paradise full of diversity.

From it’s environment, to the local people and vibrant culture, visitors quickly catch an island fever that is missed when they return home. Why? It’s because they feel a sense of relaxation, belonging, and hospitality. Native Hawaiians are able to manage their lives with balance and understanding. They show others what paradise can truly feel like when you’re surrounded by gorgeous scenery, and loving people.

The word “alo(ha)” derives from the word “ha”, which means “breath of life”. “Ha” is the sound we make when we exhale after breathing in. In ancient Hawai’i, natives used a customary gesture of touching noses with the person they greeted. Moments later, the pair would exchange breath with the other to show acceptance.

The word “aloha” is a lot more powerful than most people realize. Tourist have come to understand it as a warm welcome. But for the locals, we use aloha as a foundation for various life values. Especially in the common workplace! Aloha can be broken down into five acronyms that translate into lessons. These lessons can serve as a reminder to treat others with kindness and respect in the business environment.

5 Hawaiian core values for your workplace!

Manage the internal and external factors that influence the way your company operates by gaining a new perspective! Be able to improve your relations with employees, customers, and potential partners by applying five important values to your life!

1. Alaka’i (Leadership)

Alaka’i means leading by good example and stepping forward to take initiative. You can become a better leader by setting personal goals to better yourself. Then, when you have gained the trust and respect of your colleagues and co-workers, you are able to guide them with confidence and certainty.

2. Lokahi (Teamwork)

Lokahi is the Hawaiian value of “teamwork”. We can accomplish more when working together in unity and harmony. When we are open to new ideas and opinions, we are able to cooperate with others. Effective collaboration is the result of sharing and balancing diverse ideas through team participation! Encourage Lokahi and pursue company excellence!

3. ‘Olu’olu (Graciousness)

‘Olu’olu is Hawaiian for “graciousness”. It is used to describe pleasantness and generosity. If you are able to empathize with others in a polite manner, you can cultivate a work environment based on respectfulness and trust. Be humble, modest, and open your thoughts to the idea of complete giving.

4. Ho’okuleana (Responsibility)

Ho’okuleana is one’s personal sense of responsibility. In the business world, it’s important to acknowledge and accept responsibility. By understanding that you are accountable for your own actions, you may aquire the motivation to stay on track and stick to your planned schedule. Others depend on you to do your job successfully so you can thrive as a whole.

5. Ahonui (Patience)

Ahonui is the Hawaiian value of patience. Good things do come to those who wait. Patience gives you the opportunity to listen, interpret, and gain higher knowledge. By reviewing information and deciding on the best course of action, you are more comfortable to work with intent and purpose. Strive to reach the summit without any regrets!

The Take-Away.

The people of Hawai’i have always carried a highly recognized attitude that’s become their way of life. “Aloha” is a spirit that’s applied through five important cultural values. The natives of Hawai’i use these values that spell “Aloha” as a foundation for various life lessons. It serves as a reminder to treat others with kindness and respect in the business environment. It also improves your personal and professional communication skills.

How do you use these values to create a healthy work environment? Do you have any of your own? Or would like to add to my list? Please comment.

Image credit: Amanda Rita