Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

Brainpower boosters? Not so fast…

Posted on: December 1st, 2015 by Steve Robbins presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Happy BrainBeing in the self-help space to some degree, I see an awful lot of products designed to “boost your brainpower.” This is an interesting value proposition, but it’s incomplete. You need to ask: how will you use the boosted brainpower? What will you expect it to do that your current brainpower isn’t doing?

This is an extremely important question. In my experience, brainpower is NOT what holds people back. What holds people back is not brainpower, it’s how the brainpower they have is organized. Brainpower is secondary to the ability to take action, align actions in mutually reinforcing ways towards a goal, and use feedback from the world to make mid-course corrections.

For example, if your primary attitude towards life and the world is a “victim mindset,” do you really want to boots your brainpower? You’ll be that much more effective at finding ways to explain why you’re a victim and not in control of your own life.

Boosting brainpower without making sure you’re using it for something worthwhile is like putting in a high-horsepower engine without making sure your car is pointed in the direction you want to go. What determines where you end up is the direction of the car. The horsepower only affects how fast you’ll get there.

FIRST choose a worthwhile direction.
THEN boost your brainpower.

Be a Truth-Teller: Advice for Better Mentoring

Posted on: November 1st, 2015 by News presented by How to Mentor No Comments

As a small business owner, you forge strong bonds with your staff and serve as their teachers, whether you realize it or not. Foster better, more honest relationships with those team members with these great tips from our recent panel on small business mentoring.

  1. Be respectful. Maria Contreras-Sweet, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s current chief, says mentors should avoid ‘gotcha’ moments. Instead, see critiques as a chance to be someone’s champion and to offer help and guidance.
  2. Seek to understand, not judge. Poornima Vijayashanker suggests you lead with compassion and the desire to understand your staffer mentees to know what’s driving their decisions before rushing to judgment. Jenn Piepszak, a national sales executive at Chase, agrees. “Truth-telling is very effective when combined with empathy,” adding that understanding the context of the development opportunity is essential.
  3. Be good to them. Truth-telling depends on trust. Build trust with staff you’re mentoring by removing obstacles in their path and giving them the resources they need, suggests Contreras-Sweet.
  4. Ask “What can I do better?” Says Contreras-Sweet, this simple question won’t just make it easier to help your mentee. It will even the playing field and allow for an honest two-way conversation.
  5. Help them think big. The bigger picture isn’t always obvious, says Bridget Weston Pollack, vice president of marketing and communications of small business non-profit SCORE. Take the time to educate the mentees in your company so they understand how their role and problems fit into your business’s overall timeline.  

Four Ways You Can Impact Learning

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by All Things Workplace presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

More and more, job candidates are asking the question, "What will I learn here?"

If they don't like the answer they may keep looking.

For leaders, managers, and heads of projects, helping people learn is a critical contribution to individual and organizational success.

So, here are Four Ways to Impact Learning that will serve you well.

Training02_small

Impact on Curiosity: For every action there's a reaction. When we say or do something, people want time to react to it, talk about it, and understand what it means to them.

Practical Application: Allow  time for questions and answers. The give-and-take after you speak is where people actually learn and where they begin to develop an affinity for, and commitment to, the topic. Even if you're an expert, the learning takes place as a result of people wrestling with the information or idea rather than being the recipients of a data dump–no matter how eloquent you may be.

Impact on self confidence: How you deliver and discuss the information impacts how people feel about learning it. People with position power–managers, supervisors, team leaders–all have the ability to build confidence in the learners or create a defensive atmosphere.

Practical Application: Tell the group at the outset that you value their questions and that you hope they'll jump in when they experience an "Aha!" or a "Help me, I don't get it." When someone asks a question, throw it back out to the group to give someone else a chance to form an answer that may be framed in a way different than your own. Thank people whenever they ask a question or offer an answer.

Impact on motivation: Even as youngsters, we knew who the teachers were who made learning exciting, interesting, and engaging. Why not be the "managerial version" of your best teacher. And remember this: Managers Are The Mediators of Motivation.

Practical Application: Take some time to develop questions and break people into groups to address them; if you're talking about a new marketing approach, give people a block of time to do a concept and present it to the group. You know the content. The time you spend designing the right approach will pay off in engaged learners and, ultimately, effective learning.

Impact on Creativity: Unless you're involved in safety procedures, accounting rules, or a regulatory issue, people want to be able to offer their own "variation on a theme." One of the reasons to bring people together is to capitalize on the collective creativity and varying viewpoints in the room.

Practical Application: Give people latitude to take the discussion in directions that you never thought of. Remember, you're in charge–but to try to be in control will shut down the kind of learning that the group–and you–have an opportunity to experience.

Bonus: When the noise level goes up and people start debating, discussing, and delving into the topic, you've been successful. Let it go until the energy begins to die down. Then, capture the points that they were making with their co-workers and discuss next steps. When learners sit passively, you may feel more relaxed because you feel in control not having to respond to questions or manage the group. What it may really mean is that they aren't engaged, aren't learning, and are waiting "until the bell rings" so they can go back to their workspace.

What are your unique methods for impacting learning?

5 Ways To Raise The Bar On Your Mentoring Relationships

Posted on: September 1st, 2015 by Mentoring Matters Blog presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Mentoring ToolsStarting Strong walks you through several fictional mentoring examples, highlighting the importance of the first 90 days of a mentoring relationship and pointing out invaluable conversations to have.

One of those fictional examples introduces readers to Rafa.

Rafa is a composite of hundreds of mentees we have worked with over the past 15 years. He’s an ambitious Millennial, and impatient to make it big and fast. To help him on his professional path, Rafa’s company has matched him with a savvy and experienced mentor. This is new for him, and he has no clue what to expect from a mentoring relationship.

Sound familiar? If you’re someone who is new to mentoring like Rafa, our new book, Starting Strong, can help you jumpstart your mentoring relationship and get it on solid footing right from day one.

Starting Strong models mentoring best practices by taking you inside a mentoring relationship, allowing you to observe, feel and experience six key mentoring conversations as they take place.

As the story evolves over the first 90 days of their mentoring relationship, Rafa comes to appreciate the importance of a good launch, and the critical role preparation plays in moving forward. He learns many lessons about how to build a trusting, open and honest relationship, how to maximize his mentoring time, and how to take charge of his own learning.

The Conversation Playbook that follows the story is jam-packed with strategies, tips and probing questions that you can use to your advantage while working with your mentees.

Here are five ways to use Starting Strong to deepen your relationship, stay on track and raise the level of your mentoring practice:

  1. Invite your mentees to read Starting Strong and discuss Rafa’s experiences.
  2. During one of your initial sessions with your new mentee, address the questions at the end of each chapter.
  3. Prepare for your mentoring meetings by selecting questions from the playbook to deepen your mentoring conversations.
  4. When you bring your mentoring relationship to closure, give your mentee a copy of Starting Strong as a gift. It will help them prepare for the transition from mentee to mentor.
  5. And, don’t forget to benchmark your mentoring practices against those described in the book.

Want to change yourself? Change the system.

Posted on: August 1st, 2015 by Steve Robbins presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

While reading “The Lucifer Effect,” it’s becoming increasingly clear how much of behavior is a product of situations and systems. I think that coaches and psychological change agents are missing this piece, big-time.

I have many people tell me that “if a person just gets clear on their big passion, they’ll make the change they need to make.” Or if they “just have an inspiring vision,” that’s enough. And yet that simply hasn’t been my experience. People go to a change agent, come back all pumped up, and six weeks later are back where they started.

(Besides, do you want a surgeon who has passion, or a surgeon who has training? There really is more to life than just having passion. Indeed, there’s research that says passion often comes from doing something you don’t like and growing to like it.)

Yes, not having an internal change will often keep you stuck. If you sabotage yourself at every turn, you’ll be stuck wherever you are. But my new opinion is internal change only works if it gets you into action. But not just any action; action needs to help create a new situation or new system that will support the new identity or new vision, or the change will eventually die out.

You don’t hear that side of the story, though. When a change agent fails with a client, they don’t trumpet the failure from the mountaintops and examine what happened in detail, to find out if their (the change agents’) models of change are insufficient. And the clients who don’t change don’t trumpet the story for obvious reasons.

My new formula:
change = change in mindset (identity, role) + change in actions + change in systems

In my NLP training and my coach training, identity has been considered a powerful shaper of behavior change. And it is, it just turns out that Situation and System can be even more powerful than identity. It also turns out that identity is shaped by behavior, even if the behavior is undertaken for neutral reasons1.

The Power to Change


The Lucifer Effect

 

  • Changing a system or a situation is the most powerful creator of change, because it forces behavior to change.
  • Changing behavior is the next most powerful, when done in a way that reshapes identity.
  • Changing identity is the least most powerful of the three, but still very powerful, because it can provide intrinsic motivation which can lead someone to change their action and their systems.

Your Next Aha!; Is the Beginning, Not the End

Posted on: July 1st, 2015 by All Things Workplace presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Exclamation02_2

How many times have you studied, thought, worked, conversed, or meditated in order to reach an "Aha!" moment?

It seems to me that we have a tendency to treat "Ahas!" as if they are a result.  Yet when you look at them carefully, they signal a beginning; a sign that there may be a new path to pursue, something new to learn, or a situation to re-visit in a different way.

In fact, I received that "Aha!" in a conversation with no less than the Conversation Agent herself, Valeria Maltoni. Some time ago we were discussing just about everything from marketing to book writing to organization effectiveness when she wove her "Aha!"into the conversation. It was a beginning that led to today's post.

Some Aha! Questions to Ponder

1. When was your last "Aha!"?

2. Did it lead somewhere?

3. If  so, where?

4. If not, why not?

5. Is it time to re-visit it to see what you might have missed?

(Almost) Everything I Know About "Ahas" I Learned From Fourth-Graders

When I got out of the Army, I went back to college to complete the last few requirements for my degree.  I also went back to being a working–and paid–musician.  Life was good. Except for the next "Aha!."

You see, at that time in the history of the universe, there was a strange, quaint phenomenon known as dating.("Dating" was a very common ancient ritual that involved asking a young woman to go out with you alone to a movie, or a restaurant, or an event. The idea was that if you could get to know each other better, you might want to continue and develop an even deeper relationship. If this sounds strange and you want to learn more about it, go to a garage sale, buy a 45 RPM  record (they look like oversized CD's with a big hole in the center), and listen to the lyrics. Hint: you will notice that the lyrics rhyme. Oh, and you'll need to buy a 45 RPM record player,too.)

Sorry.

Back to the related "Aha!" which was known as:

"Come in and meet my father"

Me with mandatory strong handshake: "Hello, Mr. ____, nice to meet you. "

Father: "Hello, young man (fathers do not utter the actual name of the perceived weasel-disguised-as-a person. Now that I am the father of a daughter, I understand the dynamic. But I can't reveal it, otherwise I would betray the other fathers-of-daughters-about-to-be-dated-by-the-weasel).

"Tell me, young man, what do you do for a living?" (This is a man-question to determine the extent of your slackerness).

Me: (proudly): Mr. _____, I'm a professional musician and I play at ______and ________.

Father: (Silence)

Father again: (Continued silence, furrowed brow, followed by look of disdain).

Father, turning to wife while walking out of the room: "Ethel, tell him to have her home by midnight."

Aha!

I learned that:

a. "I am a musician" was not a good thing to say, no matter how much money I made.

b. I would have to do something that appeared to erase my perceived weaselness and make me respectable.

Aha!

I will be a teacher.

So I did a little stint at a Junior High School.

Aha! Working with 13 and 14 year-olds clearly wasn't going to do it for me. I concluded, rather hastily, that every existing 13 and 14 year-old should be universally housed in their own country or state–say, North Dakota–until they are 15.

Obviously, High School would work out better for me.

Aha! I apparently had a very short memory and forgot that, between the ages of 15-18, Homer and Hemingway were completely overshadowed by Heaving Hormones. That leaves:

Elementary School. Yes, but what grade?

Third graders still had "accidents."

Fifth graders were reaching puberty. And if I were to be somehow elected President, they would soon be sent to North Dakota anyway.

Aha! Fourth grade.

. . .and Here Are The 5 Things I Learned About Business from Fourth Graders

The kids–and all of us at work– show up each day hoping that we'll have an Aha! experience. And that it will lead to something new, engaging, and satisfying. As a teacher, it was my responsibility to attempt to create the conditions for that in the context of what was to be learned. So I had to do five things:

1. Be crystal clear about the learning goal.

If I wasn't clear, the day didn't go well. Minds and bodies gravitated toward something that did seem clear. The world–even the world of fourth graders–abhors a vacuum.

2. Show them the connection between what they would learn and how it works in life.

If they couldn't see how "it" was real, eyes glazed over.

3. Understand each of the kids and how they learn.

Hands-on doers, Readers, Questioners, 10-year-old Cynics. They were all represented.

4. Create an experience that would allow #3 to be satisfied.

I always thought that this was the toughest part. How do you achieve the learning goal in the designated amount of time with so many different kinds of learners?

5. Manage the experience and follow up with each of the kids.

Once I put the activity in motion, I had to touch base with each of the students, check out how they were doing, tell them how they were doing, and then formally evaluate how they did.

Do Any of These Related Management Applications Give You an "Aha!"?

1. Managing starts with clarity. The time a manager spends getting clear about what needs to be done will pay off in focused effort from increased understanding.

2. The Manager is the Mediator of Meaning. Clarity is the first part of  the issue. The other part is taking the time to show exactly how "what" you are proposing to do is directly connected to the success of over-arching goals.

3. Managers Understand How People Learn and Work. Intellectually, we all acknowledge that people learn differently and work differently. Really successful managers take time to pinpoint what those styles are and genuinely acknowledge their inherent value.

4. Managing Means Knowing How to Orchestrate the Experience. When to have a meeting or not have a meeting; who needs one-on-one attention? What isn't negotiable and what will work best with a full discussion? Is the objective really achievable–at the level of quality desired–in the originally designated timetable? Managers, go ahead and add your favorites to this list.

5. Managers Lead from Every Proximity. You'll spot a good manager out in front of the group; alongside of a direct report who is struggling; or standing in the back of the room listening to a discussion and only joining in when re-direction or a fact is needed. And everyone knows how they're doing in relation to what's expected.

I hope that something has sparked a thought or idea that will create the beginning of something new for you.

And I hope you'll take a moment to subscribe using the Big Orange Button, email, or one of your favorite feeds. It will be good to see you back again.

Graphic Source: A Perfect World www.aperfectworld.org

Why a Good Mentor Can Help Take an Entrepreneur’s Business to the Next Level

Posted on: June 1st, 2015 by News presented by How to Mentor No Comments

Most entrepreneurs know that the skills needed to launch a new business are often quite different from the skills needed to maintain a growing enterprise. That's what Marc Diana, founder of personal finance site MoneyTips.com, discovered after he launched his first business venture 15 years ago.

For most business owners, corporate growth is exactly what they're working toward. "You start with one employee — yourself — but then the business grows," says Diana. "Eventually you're running an organization with several hundred employees. That change comes with challenges."

It's a sobering fact of entrepreneurial life that launching a new venture with a skeleton crew and leading a large-scale organization that's suffering growing pains are jobs that require vastly different sets of skills. According to Diana, not all CEOs are up for the transition. "For me, I was open to the idea that if I wasn't the right person, we'd find someone else to bring the company to the next level," says Diana. "Before we did that, though, I wanted to see if I could be the right person."

Finding Trusted Advisors
Diana enlisted the help of not one, but three trusted advisors. "I was particularly looking for people who had an interest in me personally," says Diana. "Not a lot of people can have an interest in you personally when you're paying them. I also wanted to identify people who had navigated the challenges I was facing."

In the end, Diana found a handful of seasoned, successful businessmen who were still active in the business community but who also had the bandwidth to help an aspiring first-time CEO, such as himself. "The amount of value and insight I received from those individuals was unbelievable," says Diana. "They helped arm me with all this information that helped me shift from being behind the business problems at hand to putting them on the solution track."

How Advisors Helped
Because of their vast experience, Diana's mentors could see his business challenges from a different vantage point and could offer advice that helped him grasp problems much faster than he could have on his own. "They could explain to me why the company was experiencing pain. They told me what was going to happen next within the company and how certain people were going to react. They even gave me advice on how to best handle those situations as CEO," says Diana.

Because of the guidance from his advisors, Diana reached the point where he could see problems before they arose. "I could see them percolating in the back. I was able to start cutting off those issues before they became problems in my company."

Finding Good Mentors
There's no one place to look for a good mentor. In fact, they can sometimes pop up in the most unexpected of places. For Diana, his first mentor was a former employer who'd gone on to have a tremendously successful career buying and selling companies. The second was a former colleague and the third was a paid advisor whom a business partner had discovered at a professional conference. "I stumbled upon mine," says Diana. 'I never did a search and interviewed people and then picked the best one. It was very fortuitous for me to have the coaches I have."

"In today's web-enabled business world," Diana continues,

where we transact important business with people we've never physically met, mentors can come from a dizzying array of countries and industries. For example, on our personal finance community MoneyTips.com, entrepreneurs can get free advice from seasoned professionals, and perhaps even find a mentor.

Diana is just one of 30 entrepreneurs I recently spoke with as part of my free, upcoming 10-day Art of Mindful Wealth Summit, which launches January 26. If you're looking to build or grow a successful business in 2015, you won't want to miss this free, exclusively online event. I hope to see you there.

I'd love to hear how mentors and coaches have helped you succeed in your business, use the comments below to share your experiences.

What’s your industry? The answer may surprise you.

Posted on: May 1st, 2015 by Steve Robbins presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

The way people define industries is really quite interesting. I’ve once again been asked to be a judge for the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition. They asked what industries I’m comfortable commenting on. It’s a surprisingly hard question to answer, because it’s quite unclear what an “industry” is. Here are a sample of a few things that people call industries:

  • B2C internet
  • B2B internet
  • Health Care
  • Medical Devices
  • Energy
  • Financial Services

What makes these an industry? Is it that all members of the same industry share the same markets? Is it that all members of the same industry share the same employee skill sets? Is it that all members of the same industry produce the same kind of products?

Every definition I’ve tried has glaring exceptions, which makes me wonder whether thinking in terms of “industries” really makes as much sense as I’ve always assumed.

Perhaps it makes more sense to think in terms of:

  • companies/products who serve a given market
  • companies/products that require certain kinds of distribution
  • companies/products that require certain specialized knowledge on the part of employees

What do you think?

Why Should You Want to Work There?

Posted on: April 1st, 2015 by All Things Workplace presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

An international survey of more than 500 HR executives by global talent management firm Bernard Hodes (now part of Findly) has found that the quality or reputation of products and services, the corporate culture and the work environment are a business's most important attributes when it comes to bringing talent on board.

Ethical reputation also scored highly. But benefits and compensation were, perhaps surprisingly, toward the bottom of the list.

What does it tell us? That job seekers have a keen idea about the kind of atmosphere in which they want to spend their work life and are savvy and discerning in their search. Discerning to the point that companies are getting professional help to create a "brand" for recruiting. I think that's a worthwhile endeavor. But consultants and their client companies have to pay more attention to what's actually happening: "The War for Talent" is really "the system-to-make-it-as-difficult-as-possible-to-ever-get-in-the-door."

Is Anyone Else Experiencing This?

Our daughter graduated from a well-known university. High GPA, Dean's list, two semesters of study abroad in two different countries, fluent in a second language and quite conversational in a third; leadership experiences during college, worked at a real job for a government agency in her junior and senior years and had additional work experience with a professional firm. Most of all she was motivated to work and clear about where she wanted to be.Jobpal_interface

 


Here's how the job search actually went:

1. All resumes had to be submitted online (not unusual or surprising). She understood the whole "keyword" deal in order to get through internal search machines.

    a. More often than not, there was no response indicating that the document was actually received.

    b. Many websites seemed to be designed by IT people for IT people. They were difficult for even the web-savvy to navigate.

    c. Frequently–very frequently–three quarters of the way through the process all of the information would disappear. On numerous occasions she had to enter the information multiple times before the site remained "up" long enough to complete the application.

2. Seldom did she ever receive any acknowledgment from a real human-being that the resume had been received. I understand that huge corporations receive many applications. If there is a "war for talent" and "company culture and reputation" are really important, then spending dollars on public relations is wasted capital if no one is actually talking to the talent.

3. Career Fairs. My favorite. She figured that if the online application system wasn't yielding results,   then some face-to-face contact could move things along. So she registered for the Career Fair and  showed up with the requested twenty resumes. Please feel free to use the following dialog if you are a stand-up comedian and need some job-related material:

    Daughter: HI, I'm interested in talking with you about___________.

    Recruiter: HI, my name is_____________________.

    (Casual conversation, brochure distributed by Recruiter)

    Daughter: I think this (points to brochure) might be an area where I'd like to contribute. Here is a copy of my resume.

    Recruiter: Go on our website and fill out an application.

    Daughter: Uh, I thought this was a place to talk about jobs and exchange information.

    Recruiter: We don't take resumes. Go on our website and fill in an application.

    Daughter's evil thought: (What are they paying you for if you don't handle resumes. I already knew there was a website. Maybe I should get a Recruiting job with your company so I wouldn't actually have to do Recruiting and could travel and turn in expense reports for meals and hotels.)

    Her target companies were well-known and in the Fortune 500 with some in the Fortune 50. Many tout their Talent Management initiatives. Experience tells me that the internal presentations about Talent Management may be more impressive than the actual execution.

    Happy Ending: She started working at a global firm on a temporary assignment. She liked the company a lot. They liked her work a lot and hire her as a full-time professional there.

Question: If companies are waging a "War for Talent," then wouldn't it be useful to remember that wars are won by the people on the front lines doing their jobs–not in the staff headquarters or the branding office?

Need Better Leadership Skills? Get a Mentor!

Posted on: March 1st, 2015 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Many people believe that you are either born with leadership skills or you are not. Although some people are natural born leaders, it is possible to learn how to lead….and mentoring can help. 

How does mentoring foster leadership?

leadership skillsMost people need to learn and continually practice leadership skills. There are very few naturals out there. A mentoring relationship provides a safe place to learn about leadership, ask questions, make mistakes, and receive coaching from someone who has been there, done that.

Let's consider some compelling statistics, findings, and quotes on leadership and mentoring:

• More and more companies (nearly 60% according to this survey) are reporting a shortage of qualified leadership talent.

• “Leaders hold the key to employee engagement”—from Aon Hewitt’s 2014 Trends in Global Engagement Report.

• “69% of business leaders say it’s important to have a mentor”—from Entrepreneur.

• “The difference between the impact that a top-performing leader and an average leader has on an organization is at least 50 percent, according to leaders participating in Global Leadership Forecast 2011.”

• “Leadership development cannot be left to chance”—from the Center for Creative Leadership’s white paper titled Grooming Top Leaders: Cultural Perspectives from China, India, Singapore, and the United States. 

When it comes to developing leaders, why would mentoring be more beneficial than coaching?

Would there be a situation where coaching would make more sense than mentoring? When you mentor, you’re also coaching. What mentoring does in addition to coaching is it brings in the personal relationship. Both coaching and mentoring should exist within the organization. Coaching is about getting things done. Mentoring is about transforming people and transforming the group. (Read more about the differences between mentoring and coaching in this free white paper.) That said, we know some coaches today who feel that coaching has evolved over the last decade or so and that they bring a personal relationship to the work they do. And that’s great. But we maintain that when this happens, the person transitions from being a coach to being a mentor. It’s a fine line, but it’s important to note the distinction.

Mentoring and Leadership in Action

An employee with U.S. Fish Wildlife Service describes working on specific leadership skills with his mentor. Read the complete case study here. “The mentoring program was very valuable. My mentor and I addressed two of the Service’s leadership competencies: visioning and strategic planning. This included interviewing stakeholders, reviewing documents, preparing a vision statement, and updating my program’s strategic plan consistent with national, regional, and field office priorities. I was using the document almost as soon as I completed it and know that it will benefit my program. As a result of this process, I am also now more experienced with these two leadership competencies. In addition to the specific goals that my mentor and I addressed through the program, I benefited in many other ways. I received career advice, exposure to another program, and much appreciated feedback from an objective third party. Lastly, and most importantly, I gained a new friend who I will be able to turn to in the future.”

Excerpts of this post are taken from our latest white paper, Leadership Mentoring: FAQ's, Tips and Real-Life Stories. To learn more such as "Why do Leaders Need to Mentor?" and "What Does a Leadership Program Look Like?" download the free white paper now. 

Image Credit: www.graphicstock.com