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You’re not a Vulcan, show your personality in your work

main.jpgThe following blog is by Jeff Achen (guest post)

She flung her foot up onto our table at the MCN NP Tech Conference and flashed her ankle tattoo. It was the Rebel Alliance symbol.

Sweet.

Her glittery Yoda t-shirt had first caught my attention and it led to our discussion of a mutual love of the gentle green Jedi master. It’s funny, but I’d have to say my interaction with this young woman was the most genuine social interaction I’d had the whole day.

That’s not to say that I wasn’t genuine in my chats with others. I had a great time talking with everyone. It’s just that we really connected for a few moments because of a mutual, if not over-the-top, obsession with Yoda. We connected because of something we both enjoyed. It was fun.

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Give it Some Gusto: Nuance in Word and Action

main.jpg"Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
-Author Unknown

I once spoke with Eric Hoffberg—business and life coach—about his philosophy of intentionally coloring speech with nuance. He explained that providing detailed information, creating context, and explicitly relaying the subtler points in conversation make for a richer dialogue and deeper communication. 

Wiktionary defines something nuanced as “possessed of multiple layers of detail, pattern, or meaning.” While I agree wholeheartedly with Eric’s attitude, I would suggest that words are only the start to living more intentionally and with nuance. Words are powerful, but even more critical are the actions that ultimately result from thought and speech. 

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Make Your Voice Heard. Improve Our Sector. Take YNPN’s National Voice Survey Today!

YNPN's National Voice Survey Closes Friday. Make Sure Your Voice is Heard!

Over the past several years, a great deal of literature has been released noting significant leadership challenges for the nonprofit sector. This includes a looming leadership gap, intergenerational and diversity issues, as well as a base of young professionals somewhat hesitant to lead in the near future. With each issue revealed has come a compelling set of recommendations for how the sector can meet these challenges head on.

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Finding "The One": Thoughts on the Job Search

Alright, you. Deep breath. Remember your talking points, check your teeth for cilantro from lunch, and smile. Another deep breath. Dry-off your sweaty hands. Confidence, poise. Keep. Breathing.

How many of us have experienced this inner monologue? Whether meeting someone for a promising first date or interviewing for what you may consider the perfect job, nerves get the best of many of us. Luckily the more experience you have with interviewing (or dating for that matter) the less stressful it often becomes. Being well prepared, self-aware, and confident can often muffle the voice we have in the back of our minds questioning whether that laugh made us appear interested or overeager.

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Q&As | What should you do with your collection of business cards?

You ask the questions, and we'll find an expert with the answers. Nicole Harrison, principal at SocialNicole, chimes in on how to handle what seems to be our Hoarders-style addiction to business cards.

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Member Spotlight | Who is Jamie Millard?

jamie.jpgThe Vitals: Name, Current City, Age
Jamie Millard, Funapolis, MN. 24

1. Where do you work? What is your position? What do you like best about it?
Charities Review Council. Communications Coordinator. There are so many great nonprofits in MN and by working at the Council, I get the opportunity to help support many different kinds of nonprofits and donors.

2. Why nonprofits?
Working in a sector that proactively thinks and cares about the collective good of society is mentally and emotionally stimulating. Personally, I most enjoy working on the capacity building side of the sector as opposed to direct service—partly why working for an organization like Charities Review Council is such an amazing fit.

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From No House to the State House

main.jpgAt first glance, Representative Rena Moran’s ascent to public office is not unlike other Twin Cities progressive’s – a career in early childhood education, a fellowship with Wellstone Action, leadership as a community organizer – that is until you learn that just ten years ago this mother of seven was homeless, in search of a better life for her family.

It’s fitting then that Rep. Moran (DFL-St. Paul), a self-proclaimed “mother who decided to get involved,” now serves on the Education, Health and Human Services, and Public Safety/Crime Prevention Committees.

The future, however, wasn’t always as bright. Having heard the Twin Cities was supportive of families and public education, she made the heart-wrenching decision to move her young family in search of a better, more stable community. As Rena said, “it’s about your kids and the outcomes you strive for.”

Rena and her family sought resources from Caring and Sharing Hands upon their arrival, appreciating the warm and welcoming environment provided by an array of volunteers who helped parents navigate the different networks of community support services. Rena and her family also utilized the resources of Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities in their first months in St. Paul.

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No strings attached | Consulting 101

main.jpgIf someone told me when I graduated college three years ago that I’d be working as a nonprofit consultant, my response would have been: Me!?! A consultant? Don’t you have to be an expert to do that?

I’m no expert. I am, however, fortunate to have come into the nonprofit sector at a time when a less-than-desirable economy forced me to get creative with my career path.

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Just Ask.

So you made it through the first month of the New Year! How are those professional goals of yours going? Over the course of January, I’ve felt a new goal emerging—one that seems so simple on the surface yet has been really challenging to put into practice. 

I’m trying to ask more questions.

Easy enough if I was just letting myself throw out more of the typical: “How’s it going?” “How about all this snow?” No, I’m trying to find fresh questions—questions that have the power to move myself and those around me beyond chit chat or same-old, same-old to action in a new way.

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What To Do When Your To-Do List Gets You Down

By Virginia Brown
Follow me on Twitter: @3manypuppies

I started a new job recently and absolutely love it. I’m so excited to bring my specialized knowledge to a big, successful program to see how I can make it even better than it already is.

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