Training the Generation X and Millennial generations

aaeaaqaaaaaaaalwaaaajgu3mzdjntfklwrkotqtndqxzc1inzk0ltbhy2iyywrhzdq3maThere is a growing generational culture gap appearing in today’s workforce, and it is becoming increasingly apparent in the world of education and training. 45 percent of today’s workforce is under the age of 40. And as these young “millennial workers” show up for corporate training programs, who do they find teaching the programs? Trainers from their parents’ generation?

            Now, there are younger trainers out there. But still, the chances are quite high that the majority of corporate training decision makers and senior trainers are from the Baby Boomer generation. And they certainly influence the design and, to a great extent, the delivery style of a major portion of corporate training.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaamiaaaajdzioddhzjy3lwu5mzytndrlnc05nzkylwi4ntawngyxnwrkmqDo Generational Differences Matter?

Your first response to this situation may be something like, “So what?” Is it really such a big deal that there is this generation gap between trainers and trainees? In fact, isn’t that the way it has always been? Those doing the teaching are older, and supposedly wiser, than those receiving the training? The answer of course is “yes, but.” Yes, in general, there has often been an age difference between those teaching and those being taught, especially when we are young. But, as adults, we often find ourselves in learning situations where the age differences lessenss doesn’t make any sense?

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As the number of younger learners increases in the workplace classroom, designing and delivering training will have to be changed, updated, and, occasionally, overhauled entirely in order to be effective with the younger generations.

            And I’m not talking about changing generational reference points and outdated examples, although these are important. I’m talking about addressing generational differences in learning styles and overall approaches to learning—perhaps even generational differences in cognitive development. Although I am Millennial generation (born 1982)   our learning came through lectures and texts with an occasional opportunity to do something.  We looked to gurus and subject-matter experts to tell us the answers—or at least to provide insights.
Teaching methods have changed dramatically over the past  years also. If the last time you were in a public school classroom was well before 1980, or even 1990, check things out. The look, style, and approaches to learning have changed. Many young people from the emerging generations grew up with learning approaches that used teamwork and collaboration. They took part in engaged learning projects. They learned to use critical thinking skills. They thrived in classrooms with learning pods and subject corners and individualized options… the Millennial Generation, born between 1981 and 2000, grew up learning to learn …Their learning encounters were reinforced with sound and color and humor.      .

So what’s next?

14322523_10154650908715832_4391318693932779514_nSome trainers and designers of training settled into a very organized, linear approach to training and training design—structured, step-by-step, lecture-dominated, text-oriented, criterion-referenced, and often more focused on the trainer than on the learner. What if all your group is under 30 years ? Are you going to use the same approach? Me personally, I am changing the styles always. And really the core of my design is with who i am going to work 🙂
Here are few tips and taps

         Take the “set up” of a training program, for example. If you’ve been doing training as I have for the past ten years, the first 30 minutes of your program may be carefully devoted to establishing a good training climate—welcoming participants, making introductory remarks, presenting an overview of the class and its purpose and goals, covering housekeeping issues, and, of course, introducing yourself and then having the participants meet one another (preferably in a short, clever activity). All of this is done at an energetic, but evenly paced tempo—accompanied by the appropriate distribution of three-ring binders and a sprinkling of overhead transparencies or colorful slides.

            This approach to setting a good learning climate was established years ago, probably to deal with reluctant participants, many of whom were not happy about attending training. The idea behind the approach may have been to allay participant fears, establish the credentials of the presenter, reassure participants of the value of the course content, and put class members at ease with one another. These are important to do, and the way in which we do them may be very reassuring to older participants; but to many younger participants, it is frustratingly slow and seems quite unnecessary.

            I do not want to suggest that any one way of conducting a program is better than any other, nor am I suggesting that participants will only respond to one type and not another. I am suggesting, however, that trainers of a certain age may want to consider using different types of design and delivery techniques now and then, particularly in programs that contain a large number of younger learners.

Five Key Millennial Generation  Needs

After reading and researching what has been written about the different generations, after conducting a number of focus groups and brainstorming sessions with younger learners, and after numerous fact-finding junkets into Millennial culture, I would like to propose five key Millennial needs that can be easily addressed in the design and delivery of almost any training program to make it more appealing to younger learners. Think of these five needs, or five factors, as antidotes to five unfortunate habits of well-meaning Boomer trainers:

Boomer Habits                                        Millennial Needs

Use telling, text-oriented methods                 Involve to solve

Take a linear approach                                    Offer options

Use a leisurely, even pace                               Pick up the pace

Apply a trainer-focused style                          Link to the learner

Employ a prudent amount of fun                   Turn up the fun factor

proper-preparation-prevents-poor-performanceSo How TO Do It?

Start your training with a bang. Decrease the amount of telling and increase the amount of doing. Make the learning environment pleasant and attractive. Use rewards and incentives. Use fast, action-based games and competitive activities. But most importantly, have lots of interaction and involvement.

            Design and use games that address the five factors presented in this article. Make your games fast-paced. Offer options and choices throughout games and activities. Involve your players in finding solutions and solving problems. Try to use great graphics and include sound and movement. Whenever possible, make use of technology. Include lots of rewards and punishments. And don’t be afraid to make use of fantasy and imagination.

Where to Begin?

Take a quick look at the various classes you are teaching. Which ones have the largest enrollments of younger learners? Choose one or two and begin making a few alterations. Or choose a program that needs a real shot in the arm and design a new “<Millennial-friendly” game or activity to use at the very beginning of the program.

            Find a couple of Millennial colleagues and discuss some of the ideas and suggestions in this article. See what they think. Audit each other’s programs and exchange feedback and ideas. Make some changes. Try out some new approaches. See what happens.

            As one younger learner I know suggested, “Don’t make learning so serious. Make it fun. Make it comfortable. Have lots of food and drinks. And if I have to sit there for a long time, how about a sofa?”

Have a great Monday.

Greetings,

Kirilka

The tiger who wished to be a king

indexOne morning the tiger woke up in the jungle and told his wife that he was King of the beasts.
“Leo the Lion, is King of the beasts”.- she said.
“We need a change”- said the tiger. I will be King od beasts by the time the moon rises. It will be a yellow moon with black stripes, in my honour.”
Öh, yes”, said the tigeress and went to look after her young.
The tiger walked throught the jungle till he came to the lion’s den. “Come out,  he roared, and greet the King of Beasts!”Inside the den the lioness woke her husband. “The King is here to see you”- she said. “What King?”the lion asked sleepily. “The King od Veasts, “the lioness answered.
“I am the King of the Beasts”- roared the lion and ran out to defend the crown.
It was a terrible fight and it lasted untill the setting of the sun. All animals of the jungle joined in, some taking the side of the tiger, the others  the side of the lion. Some animals did not know which they were fighting for, and some fought for nearest, and some fought for the sake of fighting.
“What are you fighting for?”- someone asked one of the animals.
“The old order.”- he said.
“What are you dying for?”someone asked another animal.
“The new order”- he said.

…When the moon rose, all the beasts of the jungle were dead except for the tiger and his days were numbered.

Moral: You can’t very well be king of beasts if there aren’t any!

P.S  This story is alegory

Greetings,

Kirilka

 

ENCOURAGEMENT: GIVING POSITIVE INVITATIONS

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soft skills trainer

Parents, teachers, and managers – “helping persons” frequently ask how to motivate others more effectively. The philosophy and skill of encouragement are a means both of increasing motivation and of combating feelings of inadequacy.

Encouragement communicates trust, respect, and belief. Many psychologists contend that there are only two basic human emotions: love and fear. Encouragement communicates caring and movement toward others—love, whereas discouragement results in lowered self-esteem and alienation from others—fear. Yet, despite the intention to be encouraging, all too often helping persons are, in fact, discouraging in their communications with others. An example is the manager or parent who “lets things go” as long as they are going well and who comments only when things go wrong.

A crucial beginning to being a more encouraging person is to become more aware of and to eliminate discouraging messages. The five telltale signs that a message is discouraging are these:

  1. The “Red-Pencil” Effect, Circling the Mistakes of Others. A frequent consequence of such “constructive criticism” is that the recipient of the message becomes preoccupied with his or her mistakes.
  2. The Vertical Plane of Interaction. The vertical plane is characterized by “oneupmanship.” The horizontal plane, in contrast, is characterized by equality and a mutual respect for all; classification of people as superior or inferior and sexual, racial, and religious prejudice do not exist on this level.
  3. Overperfectionism. The unrealistic notion that people should not make mistakes leads them to become overly critical of themselves and to want to discover that others are worse. If people cannot make peace with themselves, they never will make peace with others.
  4. Clinging to Old Patterns. A primary principle of child psychology is that children are good observers but poor interpreters. When they observe death, many children, being egocentric at the time, conclude that they killed the person. Many such irrational decisions and conclusions are habits that are held over from the past. By means of a systematic lifestyle assessment, a counselor often gently confronts a client by noting, “Now that you are not a child anymore, perhaps you would like to look at some things differently.” Reinforcing a static philosophy (“You’ve always been that way; you’re not going to change”) can actually inhibit change or growth.
  5. Misused Psychological Tests. For people who doubt their own abilities, an “objective, scientific” test can be the ultimate discourager. Such tests often “label” people and the people then act in accordance with the labels. Although all tests obviously are not harmful, it is wise to remember that we build on strengths, not weaknesses. Thus, it is important to focus on people’s assets whenever possible.

The goal is not to cease all discouragement completely; indeed, all helping persons at times need to confront others. The goal is to combine such confrontation with encouragement as a means of maximizing the ability to impact others positively.  The proper use of encouragement involves the following:

  1. Valuing individuals as they are, not as their reputations indicate or as one hopes they will be. Believing in individuals as good and worthwhile will facilitate acting toward them in this manner.
  2. Having faith in the abilities of others. This enables the helper to win confidence while building the self-respect of the other person.
  3. Showing faith in others. This will help them to believe in themselves.
  4. Giving recognition for effort as well as for a job well done.
  5. Using a group to help the person to develop. This makes practical use of the assumption that, for social beings, the need to belong is basic.
  6. Integrating the group so that the individual can discover his or her place and begin working positively from that point.
  7. Planning for success and assisting in the development of skills that are sequentially and psychologically paced.
  8. Identifying and focusing on strengths and assets rather than on mistakes.
  9. Using the interests of the individual in order to motivate learning and instruction.

In addition here are  ten specific “words of encouragement”:

  1. “You do a good job of . . . .” People should be encouraged when they do not expect encouragement, when they are not asking for it. It is possible to point out some useful act or contribution of everyone. Even a comment about something that may seem small and insignificant could have an important positive impact.
  2. “You have improved in.  . . .” Growth and improvement are things we should expect from all. If any progress is noted, there is less chance of discouragement and individuals usually will continue to try.
  3. “We like (enjoy) you, but we don’t like what you do.” People frequently feel disliked after having made mistakes or after misbehaving. A person, especially a child, should never think that he or she is not liked. Rather, it is important to distinguish between the individual and his or her behavior, between the act and the actor.
  4. “You can help me (us, the others) by . . . .” To feel useful and helpful is important to everyone. Most people need only to be given the opportunity.
  5. “Let’s try it together.” People who think that they have to do things perfectly often are afraid to attempt something new for fear of making mistakes or failing.
  6. “So you made a mistake; now what can you learn from it?” There is nothing that can be done about what has happened, but a person always can do something about the future. Mistakes can teach a great deal, especially if people do not feel embarrassed for erring.
  7. “You would like us to think that you can’t do it, but we think that you can.” This approach can be used when people say (or convey the impression) that something is too difficult for them and they hesitate even to try. A person who tries and fails can be complimented for having the courage to try. One’s expectations should be consistent with his or her ability and maturity.
  8. “Keep trying; don’t give up.” When someone is trying but not meeting with much success, a comment like this can be helpful.
  9. “I am sure that you can straighten this out (solve this problem); but if you need any help, you know where you can find me.” Express confidence that others are able to and will resolve their own conflicts, if given a chance.
  10. “I can understand how you feel, but I’m sure that you will be able to handle it.” Sympathizing with the other person seldom helps because it suggests that life has been unfair. Empathizing (understanding the situation) and believing in the person’s ability to adjust to the situation are of much greater help.

Giving positive invitations” is another way to describe the process of encouragement. Such invitations help to increase people’s self-confidence by at least four different methods:

  1. Self-affirmation—a renewed appreciation of one’s personal strengths, motivators, values, and peak experiences;
  2. Self-determination—being able to take responsibility for one’s life without blaming others;
  3. Self-motivation—setting goals and taking the action necessary to reach those goals by integrating one’s emotions and intellect with one’s body; and
  4. Increased empathic regard for others.

Many people’s feelings of inadequacy can be overcome by prolonged exposure to positive affirmation. Of course, the process of encouragement may take longer with some people than with others. One may be tempted to admit defeat and discouragement much too soon. An optimistic rather than a pessimistic attitude and a proactive rather than a reactive affirmation of the basic worth of all people can help anyone to be a more effective “helper.” Encouragement can assist people in rediscovering their values and joys, in identifying their strengths instead of dwelling on their mistakes, in challenging and changing old patterns, and in having the courage to be imperfect!

Best regards,

Kirilka

The Influence

To work is to sell, regardless of whether you are “in sales” and whether you hold a position of authority over others. When you interact with people, generally you are either presenting an idea or listening to the ideas of others—either selling or being sold on something. To sell successfully, you must convince others that it is worth their time to listen to a proposal and to take action in accordance with it.

The Influence Continuum

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Often when you want people to comply with your wishes, you will either not have or not want to use position power to accomplish your goal; instead, you will want to influence them. This article offers an approach to influencing that can be used by anyone in an organizational or team setting. With some adaptation, the approach can also be used in one-on-one situations.
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Balk
When you want to influence others to listen to an idea and to take action that is different from their accustomed behavior, you must anticipate resistance. During the first stage, called “balk” because of this characteristic audience reaction, prepare to present your idea in ways that lower resistance. Most people do not feel a need to give up a current practice and adopt another unless they believe that the new practice will be significantly better in some way. Reactions may range from hesitation or agreement on a surface level only (“It sounds okay, but let me think it over”) to questions about potential benefits (“What’s in it for me?”) or direct challenges (“The way I’m doing things now works just fine; I don’t need to change”). Influencing others successfully during the “balk” stage, when people know little or nothing about your proposal and probably do not care to know more, calls for preparing an introduction to your idea that will create interest.
Lay the Groundwork.  Before you unveil your proposal, set a tone of anticipation. Let people know that they can look forward to the change as a positive experience. Prepare for Resistance.
Develop strategies for handling resistance to the change. Anticipate people’s questions and qualms; devise appropriate responses and rehearse them before you meet with people to present the change.
Gather.  Collect facts, figures, and benchmarking data from comparable situations to include in your initial presentation of the idea. These precedents will go a long way toward persuading others of the validity of your idea.
Plan a Powerful Presentation.  Work on making your presentation powerful or dramatic. You might try an experiential approach. Let’s say you previously trained three colleagues from another department in a new problem-solving technique that you now want your team to adopt. You could invite these colleagues to a team meeting, explaining to them in advance that you want them to use the technique for solving a particular problem. At the meeting you would ask the team members to suggest a real workplace problem that needs to be solved. You would form three subgroups, each to be led by one of the colleagues. Then you would give each colleague a specific amount of time to come up with a solution and walk through it with the subgroup members. After the subgroups finished the task, you would reassemble the entire group to review the new technique, discuss ways in which it may be superior to techniques currently being used, and answer any questions. Also, you would encourage your three colleagues to share their experiences with the technique, its benefits, any difficulties they encountered, how they overcame those difficulties, and their personal reactions to the technique.

Talk

The “talk” stage refers to the actual presentation of your idea, during which you not only explain it but also engage your audience in a discussion of it. To make your presentation as effective as possible, consider the following questions and incorporate resulting insights:

  •  What draws my attention?
  • What factors are compelling enough for me to try something despite my belief that I don’t need it?
  • What persuades me? How am I persuaded?

Seasoned influencers often begin their presentations by acknowledging the negative emotions that people experience when confronted with change.  Lead people to the realization that trying something new can yield gains, regardless of whether those gains are apparent at the outset. Following are recommendations of ways to influence successfully during the “talk” stage, when you are ready to present your idea to people who are willing to listen to it and discuss it.

Use Visual Aids.  Use visual aids to supplement your message, but make sure that they do not constitute more than half of your presentation. Visual aids can be highly effective, but they cannot replace a passionate proposal and an effective rationale for implementing that proposal. Remember that visual aids are only one of the three essential “V’s” of an influential presentation: voice, verbiage, and visuals.

Paint a Vivid Picture.  Use metaphors and vivid verbal pictures to engage the members of your audience and to help them envision your idea. When your purpose is to inspire and motivate rather than simply to edify, you need to appeal not only to people’s minds but also to their emotions and imaginations.

Acknowledge Disadvantages and Risks.  Present and explain any potential disadvantages and risks associated with your idea. People know that every new venture has a “downside.” By readily acknowledging the particulars of that downside, you will be seen as honest, and you will probably preclude some audience attacks on your idea. Discussing disadvantages and risks also allows you to appeal to the courage and adventurous spirit of others in trying your idea.

Encourage Discussion.  Make sure that you establish a dialogue with your audience. By inviting and welcoming feedback, you will arouse people’s interest and enhance the likelihood of buy-in.

Ensure Viability and Value.  First ensure that the idea you are proposing is both doable and worth doing. Then assure your audience that it is viable and beneficial. Don’t worry about aiming slightly higher than existing comfort levels; that is the basis of continual improvement.

Caulk

The third stage, “caulk,” extends throughout the process of implementing your idea. At the beginning of implementation you scrutinize your idea, looking for and “caulking” or repairing cracks or weak spots that might jeopardize the outcome. For example, if you find that you lack essential organizational support, you can cultivate a relationship with a top manager who is willing and able to champion your idea. Then, once implementation has begun, you and others involved in the process continue to assess progress. The “caulking” responsibilities that must be fulfilled consist of solving any problems that arise, obtaining any additional resources that are needed, and strengthening commitment when it begins to wane. Recommendations for successfully influencing others during the “caulk” stage, when you and they are working to reinforce implementation, are as follows:

Agree on Measurements of Success.  Because we human beings have such a capacity for misunderstanding one another, it’s important that you establish clear and measurable gauges of success. Quantitative measures, although they need not be used exclusively, will tell you when and where caulking is needed.

Focus on Accomplishments.  When setbacks occur, remind people of their accomplishments to date. Sometimes during implementation the future seems too far away, the goal less distinct than it once was, the need for your idea less pressing. If you are to be effective as an influencer, expect such developments and be prepared to caulk any fissures by restoring people’s flagging spirits.

Avoid Defensiveness.  Don’t let defensiveness impair your ability to identify and solve problems. You won’t be able to caulk if you don’t know where the leaks are, and you won’t know where the leaks are if you refuse to listen to feedback. If you doubt the importance of paying attention to feedback, consider the following news story:

Identify the Real Causes of Problems.  Use what is called the “five-why technique” to determine causes. This method consists of asking why a problem exists and continuing to ask why as each answer is received until you are certain that you have uncovered the real causes, rather than superficial reasons. You scrape through the various layers on the surface until you can clearly identify the cracks; then you can caulk appropriately.

Walk

Eventually you will cease to be the impetus behind your idea; after implementation the idea continues on the strength of its own momentum. By the time you reach this fourth stage, known as “walk,” you have conceived the idea, nurtured it through a period of gestation, helped to give it birth, facilitated its continued growth, and seen it reach maturity. Your idea has become standard operating procedure; now you can walk away and turn your attention to another project. Recommendations for influencing others during the “walk” stage, the process of releasing yourself from the day-to-day execution of your idea, are as follows:

Recognize People’s Efforts.  Think of appropriate ways to recognize those who helped you to implement your idea. For example, you might write a formal letter of commendation to everyone who participated in the process and then send a copy to each person’s supervisor.

Celebrate Successful Implementation.  It is important to hold some kind of celebration or ceremony to signify the end of the project. Not only does the hard work of those involved deserve public and lavish praise, but such a ritual also helps the participants to achieve closure and move on. People often remember the closing celebrations or ceremonies with as much intensity as they remember the many months preceding the project’s conclusion.

Encourage Networking.  Encourage networking among those who have been part of the project. Frequently, all people need is a nudge in the right direction. Keep in touch with them, and ensure that they keep in touch with one another. Some teams find the initial success so heady an experience that they decide to undertake a second project. Other teams disband after the initial success, but their members network to keep alive their memories of the past, to learn about opportunities for other projects, and to encourage their hopes for the future.

Connect Implementers with Influencers.  Make plans to inform your implementers when new opportunities arise, in connection with either your own new projects or the developing projects of others. Such referrals are appreciated by those being referred, as well as by those who need implementers.

 Stalk

Despite the usual negative connotation of the word “stalk,” it is used here in a positive sense to designate the fifth and final stage of influencing. It consists of dropping in on those who have implemented your idea and who continue to support it and maintain the implementation.

            Recommendations for influencing others during the “stalk” stage, during which you strive to catch others in the act of doing the right things in the right way, are as follows:

Seek Periodic Progress Reports. 
Publish What Has Been Learned. 
Encourage Continual Improvement.

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It’s long been observed that if you fail to plan, you can plan to fail. This adage serves as the philosophy behind the five-stage model presented in this article. Whether you use this model in influencing others or in teaching others to influence, your emphasis at each stage needs to be on careful planning to accomplish a goal.

Hope my writing is helping you 🙂

Share how you influence others?

Greetings,

Kirilka

My motto is : Grow Yourself—Grow Your Practice!

Imagine that you live in two realities. One is the “reality of ideas.” This is where your wants, desires, goals, dreams, and visions reside. This reality is flowing, fluid, and fun. The second reality is “physical reality.” This is where your dreams manifest. It is the dense, hard, in-your-face reality where you have what you want—the full schedule of excellent clients with their money deposits in the bank. Hooray!

         However, there is a line of demarcation between these two realities. Maria Nemeth (1999), in The Energy of Money, calls this barrier between ideas, desires, and physical manifestation “trouble at the border.” This is where all those juicy dreams dry up in the desert of life.

Let’s explore this line of demarcation – kind of midn catter;)
It is here that many people turn aside from truly “going for” what they want. It is here that our “mind chatter” gets in the way. It says things such as, “Who do you think you are?” “Do you really want this?” “It’s too uncomfortable,” “You’ll never make it,” “It’s not worth the struggle,” “This is too hard,” “Why bother, you’re OK already,” “This is scary!” “Sales is demeaning,” “I’m too good to have to sell,” “If only someone would bring me clients, I’d be a great coach,” “Maybe I can find someone else to do this for me.”

            This “mind chatter” is really a manifestation of your ego or your survival mind. The purpose of the mind is to keep you safe. It likes status quo and stability. It knows that, whatever you have done in the past, you have at least survived. It does not know whether you will survive with new patterns and new goals. New dreams do not have a track record. So it does everything in its clever and conniving way to keep you safe, keep you the same, and keep you from changing. Truly, that is the mind’s job. It is only doing its duty! This is why so many people have great ideas until they get to the “border.” They feel its resistance and turn back. They do not make it through.  In your mind, picture border guards lined up with guns, ready to blast away as you peek timidly over the top of the wall. The mind uses all the guns it can fire to keep you sidetracked. It calls on all the negative, limiting beliefs you have to keep you stuck—to maintain stasis. That is why it is so convincing. So thank your mind for doing its job, for helping you to survive until now, and move forward.

Is there Potential for Growth?
Are you willing to “reframe”  from being an obstacle to being a powerful and potent vehicle for your growth? Just know that, as you grow through your barriers, you will become “attractive”. You will become  increased confidence and experience, and you will have greater credibility from demonstrating your courage.

            Our limiting beliefs are like bricks that are used to build the wall of our “borders,” and they get in the way of building our coaching businesses. So let’s begin to identify some of those bricks that make up that wall. Imagine moving those bricks one-byone over to the solid foundation that will build your life.

   Focusing on positive aspects allows you to align your efforts.

 How could you rewrite the limiting beliefs you have so that you can begin to choose their opposite? Moving those bricks that form the wall at “trouble at the border” will create and leave a space through which you can begin to move into “physical reality” and manifest the busy that you desire. Imagine that brick wall “border” with a hole in it through which your energy can flow to create the reality that pleases you.

          Perhaps some of your experiences demonstrate pushing through the “border” successfully.

            One final hint: Express gratitude for what you already have. This begins to loosen the mortar between the bricks in your wall at the “border.” And be grateful for this opportunity to explore one more area to grow as an individual, as you grow your business!

Have a great day,

Kiki