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Author Archives: Margie Davis

International Business Academy Guatemala How to gain an employees trust in 3 ways

How to Gain Employee Trust in 3 Ways

Margie Davis No Comments

Let’s face it, a company’s success relies on its employees. Without a fantastic team, success will fall behind. It’s easy to speak about successful teams, but the real value comes from building true teams across departments.

Here are three basic things to consider in order to build strong teams.

ONE: Transparency

Nothing is more noxious than smoke and secrets. When you are transparent with your employees or team members; work will get done more efficiently as doubt will not stifle productivity. Trust your team members with information, and be clear about what is expected of them and you will see your employee’s happiness level increase as well.

TWO: Clear KPI’s

As with the previous point, a clear expectation by establishing Key Performance Indicators early on will aid in team productivity. Either benchmark them, or create new ones to benchmark in the future. What’s important here is that these KPI’s are communicated to each of the team members so that they know what is expected of them; and in turn, how they can go above and beyond.

THREE: Voice

As with all happy relationships, communication goes both ways. It’s important to make your employees or team mates to feel like they have a voice. A voice that will allow them to voice their concerns, and also provide valuable data that will help improve processes or provide insight into aspects of the business that is only visible to the person executing the task.


With a start of a new year, this is the perfect time to start implementing these builds!

International Business Academy Guatemala | Starting 2017 Successfully

Starting 2017 Successfully

Margie Davis No Comments

The new year is upon us and with that it means that it’s time to set the goals we’ll accomplish in the next 365 days. Most New Year’s Resolutions are set at the beginning of the year, but are quickly forgotten in the next few weeks.

Since there are many facets to our lives, the best way to establish goals for the year is for each dimension. One for our business or work, one for personal achievement, one for the social landscape, one for our relationship dimension, etc. In order to ensure that we accomplish all our objectives, maybe what we need is a new perspective on New Year’s Resolutions:

1. 100 –Day Plan

First coined in Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930’s to measure the effectiveness of his presidency, it is now a commonly used milestone across presidencies in various countries. In the same manner, while setting your 2017’s goals consider what the milestone or short term goal will be on the first hundred days. By the time mid-April rolls by you will be able to feel a sense of accomplishment or make the necessary adjustments to put your objective back on track.

2. Declutter

Although a busy desk is a sign of a busy mind, it is always helpful to improve your workspace by decluttering. If there are papers and documents that are no longer needed, shred it. If you are doing this on a company wide scale, dedicate a big portion of a slow workday to throw out all irrelevant documents and files that are just taking up space.

3. Remove toxic people

If you wanted to fire somebody, stop delaying and do it while following legal procedure. This is also applicable for your personal life; if there is somebody that always strays you away from your goals negatively, it’s time to move away from therm.

Whichever your goal, this will be the year that you accomplish them all.


Sources: Entrepreneur, US News

increasing productivity

14 Things Successful eople do

Margie Davis No Comments

From Talentsmart.com, Dr. Travis Bradburry talks about what ultra productive people do. Follow this list and jot down all the things that will make you an incredibly productive person. My personal favorite is number 12, since I am incapable of dealing with physical mail at the moment I get it; i have to keep procrastinating it to some other day.

  1. Minutes, not hours. Instead of focusing on hour and half-hour blocks, focus on the minutes instead. Know that there are 1,440 minutes everyday, and maximize your day by this guideline. You will find that you will appreciate time and use it more efficiently. “As legendary Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller told Kevin, “To this day, I keep a schedule that is almost minute by minute.” You must master your minutes to master your life.”
  2. They focus on only one thing. Ultra-productive people know what their “Most Important Task” is and work on it for one to two hours each morning, without interruptions. What task will have the biggest impact on reaching your goals? What accomplishment will get you promoted at work? That’s what you should dedicate your mornings to every day.
  3. They don’t use to-do lists. Throw away your to-do list; instead schedule everything on your calendar. It turns out that only 41% of items on to-do lists ever get done. All those undone items lead to stress and insomnia because of the Zeigarnik effect, which, in essence, means that uncompleted tasks will stay on your mind until you finish them. Highly productive people put everything on their calendar and then work and live by that calendar.
  4. They beat procrastination with time travel. Your future self can’t be trusted. That’s because we are time inconsistent. We buy veggies today because we think we’ll eat healthy salads all week; then we throw out green rotting mush in the future. Successful people figure out what they can do now to make certain their future selves will do the right thing. Anticipate how you will self-sabotage in the future, and come up with a solution today to defeat your future self.
  5. They make it home for dinner. Kevin first learned this one from Intel’s Andy Grove, who said, “There is always more to be done, more that should be done, always more than can be done.” Highly successful people know what they value in life. There is no right answer, but for many, these other values include family time, exercise, and giving back. They consciously allocate their 1,440 minutes a day to each area they value (i.e., they put them on their calendar), and then they stick to that schedule.
  6. They use a notebook. Richard Branson has said on more than one occasion that he wouldn’t have been able to build Virgin without a simple notebook, which he takes with him wherever he goes. In one interview, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis said, Ultra-productive people free their minds by writing everything down as the thoughts come to them.
  7. They process e-mails only a few times a day. Ultra-productive people don’t “check” their e-mail throughout the day. They schedule time to process their e-mails quickly and efficiently. For some, that’s only once a day; for others, it’s morning, noon, and night.
  8. They avoid meetings at all costs. Meetings are notorious time killers. They start late, have the wrong people in them, meander around their topics, and run long. You should get out of meetings whenever you can and hold fewer of them yourself. If you do run a meeting, keep it short and to the point.
  9. They say “no” to almost everything. Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” And James Altucher colorfully gave Kevin this tip: “If something is not a ‘Hell Yeah!’ then it’s a no.” Remember, you only have 1,440 minutes in a day. Don’t give them away easily.
  10. They follow the 80/20 rule. Known as the Pareto Principle, in most cases, 80% of results come from only 20% of activities. Ultra-productive people know which activities drive the greatest results. Focus on those and ignore the rest.
  11. They delegate almost everything. Ultra-productive people don’t ask, “How can I do this task?” Instead, they ask, “How can this task get done?” They take the I out of it as much as possible. Ultra-productive people don’t have control issues, and they are not micro-managers. In many cases, good enough is, well, good enough.
  12. They touch things only once. How many times have you opened a piece of regular mail—a bill perhaps—and then put it down, only to deal with it again later? How often do you read an e-mail and then close it and leave it in your inbox to deal with later? Highly successful people try to “touch it once.” If it takes less than five or ten minutes—whatever it is—they deal with it right then and there. It reduces stress, since it won’t be in the back of their minds, and it is more efficient, since they won’t have to re-read or re-evaluate the item again in the future.
  13. They practice a consistent morning routine. Kevin’s single greatest surprise while interviewing over 200 highly successful people was how many of them wanted to share their morning ritual with him. While he heard about a wide variety of habits, most nurtured their bodies in the morning with water, a healthy breakfast, and light exercise, and they nurtured their minds with meditation or prayer, inspirational reading, or journaling.
  14. Energy is everything. You can’t make more minutes in the day, but you can increase your energy to increase your attention, focus, and productivity. Highly successful people don’t skip meals, sleep, or breaks in the pursuit of more, more, more. Instead, they view food as fuel, sleep as recovery, and breaks as opportunities to recharge in order to get even more done.

Which of these do you already do, and which ones are you going to start practicing?


Misleading Information on Resumes

Margie Davis No Comments

We’ve all wanted to embellish our resumes, but these take the prize!

Make sure that the next time you don’t make these huge errors.


3 4 5 6 7 8 9 -Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying.- (9) -Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying.- (10) -Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying.- (11) -Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying.- (12) -Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying.- (13) -Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying.- (14)


Things to do before asking for a raise

Margie Davis No Comments

“Find the right moment to ask. This is not something to do when you are unhappy in your job or if the boss is under pressure, possibly in an unhappy place of their own. Be strategic when looking for this conversation.” – Brendan King, CEO, King & Bishop

“Prepare your manager for the salary conversation. Don’t surprise them, because they won’t be prepared to find and allocate the resources or the permission.” – Claudia Telles, founder, Trailblazing Business

“Set a time to have this meeting. Don’t do it on the fly or when your boss is distracted. Don’t schedule more than 30 minutes — that’s the most you should need.” – Sheryl Raskin, founder, Out There Creative Media

“Last but not least, seek out and cultivate appropriate internal advocates and support. These are the people who will promote you and your good work. It is essentially nonaggressive evangelism. They may be managers senior to you in other departments, vendors or peers.” – Roy Cohen, career coach and author, “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide” (FT Press, 2010)

“It’s certainly important to research your company’s pay-raise policy ahead of time. This may often be posted within your company’s employee handbook. While there are occasions when employers may give raises outside of their standard practice, your boss will appreciate that you took the time to research existing company policies before approaching them.” – Chris Costello, principal and founder, CBG Benefits

Photo by aopsan. Freedigitalphotos.net

Photo by aopsan. Freedigitalphotos.net

“If [your boss] is logic-based, create a spreadsheet or graph on your accomplishments. If she is more social, relate anecdotal stories that demonstrate your accomplishments. If she is concerned about what others think, show testimonials from customers, vendors or other employees within the company.” – Beth Meixner, founder and president, Moxxie Network

“Make a list of all the measurable ways you’ve gone above and beyond before you do anything. Plant the seed with your boss that you’d like to be considered for a raise and that you’ll be coming with a document which justifies your request. Doing this greases the skids and prepares your boss for the conversation.” – Mark Strong, life, career and executive coach, Mark Strong Coaching

“Be prepared to ask for a specific number. When you’re asking for something, it should be quantified in some way. Do your research on what the going salaries are for people with your experience level.” – Michelle Mavi, director of content development, internal recruiting & training, Atrium Staffing

“Prepare to possibly negotiate around vacation days or bonus incentives. Adding three or four extra days per year can work in place of salary, and bonus incentives work well for both sides. It keeps in place checks and balances for doing your job.” – Michelle Joseph, founder and CEO, PeopleFoundry

“You can test the market by talking to a recruiter about your value in the market or by applying for a real vacancy. This isn’t about having a plan to leave if you don’t get the raise, but it will give you a reality check and something to point to if you are being underpaid relative to the market.” – Corrie Shanahan, CEO, The Beara Group 

So make sure you lay down the ground work for your raise with these 10 tips, and make sure your next meeting with your supervisor count!

source: Business News Daily

cloud forecast | international business academy guatemala business english

Future of Cloud Computing

Margie Davis No Comments

About a decade ago, the concept of cloud computing (as a service) was a little known concept; and suddenly it exploded. The significant cost reduction in cloud storage, and software as a service allowed for the current wave of on demand services. Gone are the days of high initial infrastructure investments. Now anyone can host a website and have an on-demand ERP that is based on volume, as opposed to a fixed cost. Obviously,  a robust ERP is still a significant investment; but you can always opt for segmented services such as payment/billing, CRM, sales tracking, etc.

So now that we are all fully integrated into the cloud – what should we expect for the future? Forbes offers the following keynotes from

Related Article: On Demand Economy


“After much wringing of hands about data security, the financial services industry is moving computing operations to the cloud to save money, improve operations, increase agility, gain access to large-scale resources and improve security.”


“Making the new vehicle creation process more collaborative using cloud computing not only accelerates time-to-market, it also leads to higher quality and new designs that reflect customer requirements.”


“As smartphone payment systems evolve, geo-location tracking has the possibility of alerting retailers the minute a valued customer walks into their store. This, combined with knowledge of what that customer likes, offers a valuable opportunity for very personalized service and rewards programs.”

 Healthcare Services

“Time is valuable for everyone, but especially doctors. They need fast access to accurate, updated information so they can assess and treat patients more efficiently. Accessing the cloud would allow them to tap a database of information from professionals all over the world to monitor trends in disease”

Medical Data

“Means exist for us to engage more and better share information, including across various care settings and geographic locations (including from the patient’s home), all thanks to healthcare cloud computing”

Related Article: How you can get a sicknote via Skype in Australia


“Scaling global manufacturing operations to support increasingly complex, intricate and often compliance-driven supply chains is a leading catalyst driving cloud computing adoption throughout manufacturing today.”

Microsoft Cloud Voice

“When it comes down to it, companies want to use the cloud to enhance customer service for the same reason: Better service can help differentiate a company from the competition. — Bill Patterson, General Manager of Customer Service Solutions at Microsoft”


Source: Forbes

how to get a sicknote via skype International Business Academy trends Business English

Get a Sick Note via Skype

Margie Davis one comments

There are now 2 websites in Australia that offer sick notes through Skype. Instead of having to go to the doctor’s office to get an assessment and get a legitimate sick leave, you can now easily do it through a Skype call and avoid the commute and waiting.

From the employee side this is great news because the waiting factor is eliminated; particularly if you have to wait more than half a day at the doctors office just to get excused for the day. When this happens, by the time you get back home you are exhausted and reevaluated the value of having waited for 6 hours just to get 2 hours of rest versus just going to work.

From the employer side, the fraud factor is a legitimate concern as well as the ease of obtaining a sick note. Although receiving an accredited medical certificate first thing in the morning, as opposed to the next day, does have it’s merits since you will be able to shift resources quickly without having to doubt the absent employee. Furthermore, if the worker is legitimately sick, it is best to keep him away from your otherwise healthy workers; the last thing you need is a flu outbreak throughout the office.

The two websites that have launched in Australia are Dr. Sicknote and The Medic. These two practices are embracing the use of technology into their customer satisfaction and turnaround time.

how it works, the medic. International Business Academy tech trends

image: themedic

It will be interesting to see how soon this will be replicated in other countries, and what measures the healthcare industry and companies will have in place to reduce fraud.


Source: Mashable

convincing email International Business Academy Mentoring business English

5 Steps to Writing a Convincing eMail

Margie Davis No Comments

You’ve just sent a great email with a fantastic initiative, are you absolutely certain that you have structured it in such a way that’ll generate positive feedback? Most of the time great initiatives get lost among the lengthy, wordy and extensive emails. Next time, use the following checklist to ensure a high positive feedback.

1. Goal in Mind & Write the Conclusion First

As if this were a great surprise, make sure you start the email with a goal in mind. What do you expect to achieve with this email? What’s the point? Remember, when you’re vague you easily lose interest and will probably get the wrong idea across.

Starting with the conclusion will help land your goal. With business emails there’s no time to develop an idea traditionally (introduction, thesis statement, supporting ideas, conclusion). Just get to the point. In this example by Geoffrey James (Inc.com), the goal in mind is to get your boss to approve an in-house gym.


As you know, employee absenteeism is generally recognized as an ongoing problem with a steep financial impact, both in our company and in other companies in our industries. [yada, yada, yada] Therefore, we should consider allocating money for the installation of a gym at our headquarter facility.


I want you to approve the installation of an in-house gym.

2. Bullet supporting arguments

With your conclusion written out, now you have to find supporting arguments to reassert its validity. You’re not writing an essay, and although we are usually compelled to write in a story-telling format, don’t. Remember to be clear and avoid vagueness whenever possible. Instead, use a bullet format in order to highlight arguments, stick to statistically accurate information whenever possible.


According to a recently published government report, group physical fitness is extremely important even though very few companies actually demonstrate a commitment to it! Many firms identify physical fitness as an undervalued competitive asset, but don’t have a plan for improvement in this area, even though physical fitness is strongly linked to corporate and individual economic and personal success. I feel that if we do not address the issue of physical fitness as it enhances workplace productivity, we will be left behind.


An in-house gym will:
– Reduce absenteeism. According to a National Health Institute survey of 1,000 firms, companies with in-house gyms experience 20% less absenteeism than those who lack such facilities.
– Increase overall productivity. Data from xxx show that productivity is increased by 3 fold with an in-house gym.

3. Close with a call to action

Increase positive action by including a call to action when you restate your conclusion. It’s no surprise that advertising always includes a form of call-to-action in order to increase conversion rates, so do the same with your email. When specifically state what action you expect, and what the following steps are you will generate a higher conversion rate.


Your support for this project would be greatly appreciated.


If you respond to this e-mail with your approval, I’ll get the process started.

convincing email writing International Business Academy Business English

4. Add a benefit to the subject line

You need an attractive subject line to generate sufficient interest to get people to open your email and to imply the conclusion you want the recipient to reach.


Subject: The Health Impact of In-House Employee Fitness Programs


Subject: How we can reduce absenteeism

5. Remove vagueness and redundancies

Before you send your email, reread your email and make sure that the content within it is absolutely essential. Is there information that is redundant, vague or simply a filler? Edit those out and make sure it is as concise as possible. Compare the following two emails, which email do you think will generate the most positive response?


To: Jim@Acme.com
Subject: The Health Impact of In-House Employee Fitness Programs
As you know, employee absenteeism is generally recognized as an ongoing problem with a steep financial impact, both in our company and in other companies in our industries. An in-house gym will reduce absenteeism because then people will want to come to work rather than stay at home and they won’t get sick so much. Therefore, we should consider allocating money for the installation of a gym at our headquarters facility. Your support for this project would be greatly appreciated.


To: Jim@Acme.com
Subject: How we can reduce absenteeism
I want you to approve the installation of an in-house gym. This will:
– Reduce absenteeism. According to a National Health Institute survey of 1,000 firms, companies with in-house gyms experience 20% less absenteeism than those who lack such facilities.
– Increase productivity. We have 50% more absenteeism than other firms in our industry, so reducing that number by 20% will automatically increase our productivity by 10%.
If you respond to this e-mail with your approval, I’ll get the process started.

Follow these tips and get positive feedback!

Sources: Inc, EnchantingMarketing

Mentor Business English Guatemala | International Business Academy

Practice Business Data Interpretation

Margie Davis No Comments

The true test of Business English understanding lies in accurate data interpretation and fluency. Understanding English by itself is, of course, a great advantage; but the true key to achieving success is understanding English in context. Have a go at the following practice questions. In your opinion, are they difficult or easy peasy?


Mentoring Business English Practice | International Business Academy Guatemala

Answer: B. approachable 

Positive leadership stems from the ‘likability’ factor, and the key component is ‘approachability’. The more approachable you are in business, the better you will relate with your coworkers or employees.


Mentoring Business English Practice Weather | International Business Academy Guatemala

Answer: Monday or Friday. 

There’s a possibility of rain on Wednesday and Thursday, so those two days are our of the question. Tuesday is right in the middle of the week and would be needlessly disruptive for the company workflow. Monday and Friday are good options because they are near the weekend and would be the least disruptive.

Saturday would also be a possibility if the company decides to hold business activities during the weekend; however, this is up to each individual company.


Mentoring Business English Graph interpretation | International Business Academy Guatemala

Answer: Decreased

The gray triangle that indicates the mos recent year is lower than the year previous to that (yellow).


Mentoring Business English Graph interpretation | International Business Academy Guatemala

Answer: Graph is confusing, so both answers are possible. 

False: If you focus on the ‘color key’ alone it would seem as thought he ‘blue’ for Returning visit is less, which renders the statement false.

True: If you look at the numeric values (blue 75, orange 60), it would seem as though that this is an overlapping chart, and there are more returning visits than new visits.

Conclusion: The best advice is to avoid confusing charts.


Mentoring Business English Chart interpretation | International Business Academy Guatemala

Answer: A. 860

70% of 1227 is close to 860 people; 370 people is close to 30% and 1127 people is 100%.

Did you find this questions easy or hard? Let us know in the comments below!

mentoring for success

How to be a Better Mentor

Margie Davis No Comments

mentoring for success

Good mentoring is all about telling the truth. When you use truth-telling as the basis for your mentoring relationship, great things will happen.

ONE. Avoid ‘gotcha’ moments. Instead of waiting for your mentee to mess up, provide critique as a chance to offer help and guidance.

TWO. Seek to understand. Before rushing into judgment, strive to understand what is driving their decision. It might reveal more than you think.

THREE. Be good to them. Mentoring is about building trust, and one sure way to do that is to remove obstacles and giving them the resources they need.

FOUR. Start a 2-way conversation. Start by asking “What can I do better?” this will allow for an honest conversation and make it easier for both of you.

FIVE. Help them think big. The bigger picture is the hardest thing to see with inexperienced eyes; help your mentees see how their role and problems fit into your business’s overall.

Mentoring is a great opportunity to take someone who shows promise in your company and ensure that they become long term assets.

Source: Entrepeneur 

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