Magical Halloween Trends

The National Retail Federation has been conducting research on Halloween since 2003. You may not believe it but this year’s spend on Halloween is expected to reach a high of $8.4 billion. Some 171 million Americans will spend an average of $82.93 on the holiday, up nearly 12% from last year.

The NRF reports three Halloween-related trends captured from their research survey conducted by Prosper Insights. First, Halloween is no longer just for kids. Millennials are the top Halloween consumers and are most likely to spend on costumes and parties and report these activities over social media.

Next, this year represents the second lowest in trick-or-treating, and more activities are shifting to retail venues instead of door-to-door. Finally, costume trends have shifted from princess to superhero. Costumes are more gender neutral, with spending on costumes expected to reach $1.17 billion. And, don’t forget pets – 16% of pets will strut in style in an array of costumes.

So why is this important to you?

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Team Dynamics

I recently moderated a panel discussion on interview skills for college students. The panelists were from top companies in financial services, technology, consulting, and fashion retail. One of the trends that emerged from the discussion was the expectation that entry level employees have strong skills to be part of a team.

The evolution towards team focus parlays to managers: You need to hone what is important in leading successful teams in addition to managing individual efforts. This begins with the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of team members.

Skill assessment: You already know the core skills of each of your employees. In more of a team environment, competencies such as interpersonal and collaborative skills become more important. Use a skills assessment to objectively evaluate these and other job-based skills.

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Do You Hear What You Say?

Last time I wrote about the impact of tone of voice. This week is about content.

Are you aware of what you say when you speak to your staff (co-workers, family, friends…you get the picture)? Most breakdowns in the workplace can trace back to ineffective – or just plain old BAD – communication.

I’ve recalled several examples shared by clients during the past few weeks.

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Do You Like What You Hear?

I have a friend who is a litigator by profession, and true to her calling, she sounds like a litigator in all aspects of her life. She is smart, interesting, and fun to be around….that is, when it doesn’t seem like she’s badgering people. Her tone is often contentious and argumentative, even if we’re talking about something as mundane as what to order in a restaurant.

The sad part is that she doesn’t realize what she sounds like.

As a friend, I overlook this. Once I had an “organic opportunity” to bring it up, and she denied that she sounded the way that I described. Friends can be forgiving. Colleagues may not be.

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