Tag Archives: Skill

The First Christmas Card: A Lesson in Effective Outreach

Many of us will send and receive greeting cards this holiday season. Always on the lookout for ways to stay connected to our networks, sending holiday notes is a great way to show you care and deepen personal connections.

In fact, the whole notion of Christmas cards was created as a way to more efficiently connect with others.

In the early 1840’s a low-tech version of texting was all the rage in Victorian England. A new service called the Penny Post allowed anyone to mail a letter anywhere in the country by simply affixing a penny stamp an addressed envelope and people were sending lots of letters.

Like texts, it was considered impolite not to respond.

Social “hobnob” Henry Cole was inundated with personal letters during the holiday season of 1843 and like any high-performing networker; he was purposeful about his outreach planning.

His solution?

He commissioned an artist to sketch out a scene he’d designed in his head, had the picture printed on 1,000 cards, along with the salutation “To:_____”.

Cole’s approach allowed him to:

  • Respond in bulk
  • Maintain a personal connection and as a bonus
  • His message stood out as unique!

And voila the Christmas card was born…

Whatever holidays are on your calendar, follow Henry Cole’s example. A little purposeful planning can go a long way to deepening the personal relationships in your life.

As always, I welcome your comments directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

BTW- Have you been working on your resolutions? See (PART 1 & PART 2) for advice on making 2016 resolutions stick…


You Lost Me at Hello! The Next Big Skills Series #1

How good are you at reading faces?  Find out HERE!

You might think of it as emotional intelligence or even compassion but whatever the label, it’s highly unlikely that you’ve ever thought about your interactions with others in the ways researchers are now exploring.

Without even thinking about it, we utilize various combinations of 43 facial muscles to convey virtually every imaginable emotion. Our faces are emotional broadcast systems; instantaneous, real-time, accurate, free of language and cultural barriers and often lost or ignored.

If we were truly in tune with the emotional information available to us, we could fill a computer hard drive with the data from a typical interaction – before we even say hello!

Was that a welcoming and authentic Duchenne smile: a smile that engages orbicularis oculi muscle to crinkle the corner of your eye?

Or was it an inauthentic Pan Am smile: the impersonal gesture offered by a flight attendant as passengers depart a flight?

New research into the science of emotion suggests learning to read subtle emotional changes could provide us with a big advantage in business.

Will you catch the slight movement of my inner brow, indicating fear?

Will a flare of my outer brow, indicating surprise go totally unnoticed by you?

Facial insights help us to increase the effectiveness of our own interpersonal interactions; giving us solid indicators that we should slow down, switch topics or just stop talking and listen.

Applying the emotional recognition software in the home could mean self-adjusting lighting and temperature control systems and even a refrigerator that senses your mood and locks up the ice cream…

Did I see your zygomaticus major round the corner of your mouth?

Go ahead smile; it is still the best way to relax those around you.

Interested to see how well you can read faces?

Take the visual test HERE!
I only got 6 correct… what was your score?

As always, I welcome your comments directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

BTW- Have you been working on your resolutions? See (PART 1 & PART 2) for advice on making 2016 resolutions stick…