Celebrating Women at Intundla Conference Venue near Pretoria, Gauteng

 

August 9th is Women’s Day in South Africa, this is the day that commemorates all the women that have struggled and fought for this country and women’s equality. At Intundla Conference Venue we recognise the strength of women and we’ve decided to Celebrate Women, who they are and what makes them a great asset to any business.

Women apply several positive leadership behaviours more often than their male counterparts and this makes them stand out from the crowd. The first one and probably the most obvious is that they are more empathetic. Empathetic leadership is all about understanding people and motivating them on a level that empowers them. For women this tends to be a more natural skill. Women also become extremely driven when they are excited and passionate about a product, a service, a company, or whatever they are doing.

Knowing yourself and having insight into your own as well as other people’s behaviour will get you far in business. This is not something that you get from horoscopes and online quizzes but from spending time with people and having a good mentor. Because women generally have good friends and find the sharing of emotions easier, women are also natural leaders in this arena. Women also have a high degree of emotional intelligence that makes them better able to tap into their intuition when making decisions.

This also makes women good at mentoring and coaching. Women look at people in a more holistic way and don’t just see a working machine but a person with needs and dreams. Women have fantastic listening skills and a nurturing instinct which is especially important when working in teams.

Women are natural networkers. Networking in business is essential for expanding your business and maintaining healthy relationships. The future of business is all about relationships. Even though we live in a technology-driven world, it’s still a human world and relationships still matter. This is where women shine. Women are not held back by their ego or the need to compete, but more so by their need to do something meaningful, be of service and create change.

We have such women at Intundla Conference Venue and recently on Mandela Day some of our women took soup and home-made bread to the local school – Wagensdrift Primary School.  They were accompanied by the Marimbas Band that entertained the children while the bread and soup was being dished. Below is a video of the local Michael Jackson that got great attraction on the day!

Happy Women’s Day – Celebrating Women – Celebrating Life

Mandela Day at Wagensdrift Primary

School

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Building Strong Customer Relationships is Vital for your Company’s Survival

 

Building strong relationships with customers has never been more important and is getting more difficult every day. Research shows that the point where you now make contact with a client is moving further and further down the sales funnel. The nature of customer relationships has changed dramatically. This is mostly because consumers interact differently with brands through ubiquitous technology like social media and mobile devices. The way you connect with your customers needs to be just as dynamic in order to stay alive.

Your network of contacts is your lifeline. Grow your network constantly with business colleagues, professional acquaintances, prospective and existing customers, partners, suppliers, contractors and association members, as well as family, friends and people you meet at school, church and in your community. But remember to also segment your list. When communication with your clients is personalized, it creates a whole new dynamic.

Relationships need to be taken care of just like you do a little baby. It needs constant and early attention. You can’t expect someone to remember you a year later after a once off introduction. When you meet someone at a networking event immediately make contact to strengthen that relationship. Send a “great to meet you” email. Follow up with an email to reinforce who you are and what your company does. Send them an email to tell them that you’ve added them to the company newsletter.

Be authentic with your customers. Make sure your company has a voice and owns that voice. Be genuine and be yourself. Deep, authentic passion, clear vision and great communication skills will build stronger and more trusting relationships with people, and will engage them better. Be a partner, not just a service provider. Make sure you understand your client’s business on the inside and out.

Build your reputation as an expert by giving away some free insight. Having a blog is a great way of doing this. Create content that your customers will want to read. When you send out newsletters don’t just sell, sell, sell. Today’s customers want to be engaged on a different level. Speak your customer’s language. Find out what is important to your customers and write about that. This will make you a thought leader and will build loyalty and trust.

“Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and deliver everything you promise.” – Richard Branson

Trust is the glue that holds relationships together. Your customers and clients need to trust you. Trust is built by continuously and consistently doing what you said you would do. When you tell a customer you’ll call them back, do it. When you promise to follow-up, do it. Always be transparent in your business.

Reward loyal customers. As relationships develop, customers should always be ascending within your business. Introduce various levels of customer loyalty and have perks associated with each new level. Educate new customers about your loyalty programme and show them what a loyal customer looks like. Show customer testimonials. This also makes for great content for your blog posts, social media, and newsletters.

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Using Workshops to Achieve your Company Objectives

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. – Andre Gide

Change is inevitable. For most companies the question isn’t whether or not there will be change, but whether or not the employees will buy into the new vision of the company. There is often resistance to change even when the new vision is clearly the best path for the future and the company. This can lead to low staff morale, poor customer service and missing the opportunity of achieving greatness as a team. To get your team to buy into your vision you need to build their trust, communicate your vision clearly, get their input, define their roles and make them feel like they are an integral part of the company’s success.

How to Engage your Employees in your Vision

The Power of Empathy
You have a clear vision now all you need to do is get your team on board. First you need to understand the Power of Empathy.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – John C. Maxwell

Change brings with it a lot of anxiety, along with many concerns and doubts about how it will affect them. If people feel you are listening to their concerns they will be more willing to trust you and to align with your vision.

Set up meetings where concerns can be voiced and involve all members in coming up with possible solutions.

Workshops can also be a very effective method in educating employees on how to adapt to change. It can lift morale and make people feel like the company is investing in them as part of the transition process. This will raise their self-confidence and ease their concerns.

Create Excitement
To build on those positive feelings make sure you keep up the communication. In communicating an inspiring vision to employees, the secret lies in the details. Provide your team with a detailed outline of how the company intends to achieve this goal.

Another strategy is to hold voluntary workshops on innovation and creativity. The more you can get your team involved in brainstorming the path to success, the more you will be able to get them connected both at the head and the heart.

Keep employees engaged through frequent performance reviews, set achievable short-term goals and keep them informed of the progress on a regular basis.

Share your vision frequently through staff meetings, outings, newsletters, emails, text messages, even using social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Establish New Procedures
With workshops you can involve your employees in translating the company’s new vision into everyday procedures. This will ensure they maintain a sense of control and will boost their commitment.

Make sure you follow through with report backs from team leaders as well as the employees that are at the coal face. Encourage constructive debate. Be adaptable, you can’t expect your team to buy into change if you’re not willing to be flexible on how best to achieve those goals.

Keep an open ear and mind, setting up new processes take time and need constant monitoring and adjustment.

Reward Engagement and Success
Explain the rewards of achieving the company goals. This doesn’t have to be limited to salary increases or stock options. Communicate the opportunities that will open up once the company objectives are achieved.

Measure and Reward. Set small bite-sized targets and make sure to celebrate them along the way. Provide incentives. Recognize success.

Expect the best of people. People thrive when trusted and relied upon.

Intundla Conference Centre offers the perfect setting for Workshops and Meetings. The Conference Venue has 7 meeting rooms that can be arranged to suit your conference size and requirements. Our Conference Co-ordinating Team are dedicated to helping you get the maximum value from your Workshops and your experience at Intundla.

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Effective Time Management – how to get a better start to finish your day.

It’s a funny thing Time Management because we know that we need to do it and get it right to be more effective, but we never have the time. And Time Management takes up time!

The thing is though we do need some Time Management because  at the rate we are going there won’t be a time when you can take a beer on the deck, kick up your feet and reflect on the peaceful scenery (I’ve the view from Intundla’s  pool bar in mind here). We are so consumed every waking hour by unfinished tasks, deadlines, emails piling up unanswered and self-imposed commitments that some well-deserved time out after a job well done seems like a pipe dream. By the way at Intundla Conference Venue we encourage you to break away from the trappings of the mobile office so you can focus on the job at hand. And if this ‘job’ on hand happens to involve taking some time out and relaxing with a beer on the pool deck, we’re not going to fault you.

OK so we have acknowledged that Time Management takes time but by squeezing some Time Management skills into our already overloaded workload we may be able to come out of the day marginally ahead.  Keep implementing the skills and one fine day we may well see you on our pool deck just relaxing enjoying a cold one.

Start the day with focus

Spend a few moments getting your bearings so you know what to do. This also reduces stress and anxiety or can make it worse depending on your day ahead. At least you’ll have a clear idea about what you are in for…

Get organised

Now that you know the structure of the day, week, month, etc.  put it into your calendar. Get that fancy smart phone working for you! Read the manual if you have to!

Upgrade your technology

Nothing can grind you to a (teeth) grinding halt like a slow or faulty computer, laptop, software, etc.

Keep yourself topped up

When facing deadlines it is easy to either forget to eat and drink or to unconsciously consume vast quantities of junk and coffee. It is better for your concentration and state of mind to drink water and snack on fresh foods and protein than to discover you’ve just consumed a jumbo party pack of doughnuts and a 2 litre pitcher of coffee.

Cut out the blabber

Learn how to get to the heart of the matter first. If there is some time left over you can give the talkers some free air time while you use these moments productively to pack up your stuff and head for the door.

Pass it on

Don’t be a hoarder –delegate and if there is no one below you confer.

Don’t take your work home

If you spend too much time focused on one thing, you will get fatigued. The brain needs stimulation and this is achieved by altering tasks. Conversely if you are overstimulated the brain needs to cool off. Either way find some time to relax.

Don’t hit the bottle (well not too hard anyway)

It is nice to have a drink after work, to help you unwind, let off some steam, loosen you up, or whatever your excuse for serial drinking is. But a few too many will slow you down, dampen your brightness and decrease your tolerance for stress.

Go to bed earlier

If you are taking your work home it is so easy to spend the evening plugging away at the job.  This leads to mild insomnia because the brain does not get a chance to switch off and leaves you tired the next day and less effective, leading to a vicious cycle.

And if all else fails … KEEP CALM and visit Intundla Conference Venue near Pretoria.

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Conference Attendees 10 Best Stress Busters

We are all part of the rat race and no one slows down until they’re retired and even then your 
retired buddies will want you to join all the clubs so you can keep busy. Apart from all the negative health effects like high blood pressure and heart disease, stress also slows down your productivity and effectiveness as well as completely snuffs out your creative side.

So we’ve decided to ask some regular conference attendees at Intundla Game Lodge how they keep stress under wraps. And from their answers we’ve compiled the
10 best stress busters.

1. Be Active

Exercise has for a long time been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. New research now suggests that better still is walking barefoot. There is a whole science behind this and they call it “Earthing” which really means that we need to be grounded and connect with nature, the closer we get to nature the better for our health – and stress levels. Because salt water is an incredible source of free electrons “Earthing” by walking barefoot along the seashore in the sea water would be first prize but for those who are denied this luxury a close second would be walking on dewy grass in the morning.

2. Take Control
Simplify your life – by getting rid of all the clutter and this can be emotional as well as materialistic clutter. Learn to prioritise – we all have to cope with 24 hour days, in order to take control of your life you have to let go of some of the things that are less important. Juggling everything and trying to do all at once won’t help your situation either. Decide what is important and focus on that first, everything else can either wait or even better, let it go!

3. Build Boundaries
Meditation is one of the best stress busters. This ensures you get out of your head and gives better clarity on your goals. The only way you can achieve this is if you have boundaries and learn to say NO! You are not the superhero saving the world and everyone is entitled to a little me time some time.

4. Challenge Yourself
If you are constantly challenging yourself with learning a new skill, e.g. a new language, a different sport, etc. your focus will shift from being apathetic to being a resilient positive thinking person. This increases your coping mechanisms with stress.

5. Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Grabbing for the pack of smokes every time you face difficulty or drinking more than you should to alleviate your stress will only create more problems in the long run. Unhealthy habits don’t solve anything and is more like putting your head in the sand. Rather look for positive and deliberate ways of working through your adversities, this way you will build better coping tools.

6. Do Volunteer Work
You will be amazed at the difference it will make when you see your own problems in perspective. When faced with how others are suffering it is guaranteed to shift your perspective making you more likely to count your blessings than brood over your hardships.

7. Work smarter
Work smarter not harder. Collaborate and cooperate with others to get the job done faster and more efficiently. Be pro-active in the way you seize each day and make sure you manage your time well – schedule a 5 minute meeting with yourself every morning and establish what is most important to do that day. This way you can tackle the day head on and avoid wasting time on things that can wait or be put off altogether.

8. Be Positive
Know yourself, your strengths and limitations. Be deliberate in looking at things in an optimistic light and appreciating the things that matter. Laughing is the best medicine and all round cure for stress. Learn to be a kid again and to enjoy the simple easy things in life, and to enjoy life! Celebrate your life!

9. Accept the things you cannot change
Trying to keep an iron grip on everything and to keep control over everything and everyone can intensify your stress levels. Learn to let go of the things you have no control over. Accept the fact that you have no control over other people and that the only thing you can control is your own attitude and behaviour. Make peace with the order that things change, nothing stays the same – if you’re in a bad situation remember … this too shall pass.

10. Connect with people
Two are better than one, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. The better your support network and your resources, the easier it will be to face problems. You can share your trepidations with co-workers and friends, which could bring new perspective and ease your fears.

 

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Conference Venue Greening – Tips to keep your Conference Environmentally Friendly

When attending a Conference or Team Build at Intundla Game Lodge & Bush Spa, you can’t help but notice that you are surrounded by nature. While situated in the heart of Dinokeng we are close enough to Gauteng and Pretoria to give that “away from it all feeling” without even having to think of getting your passport stamped. Staying this close to nature creates a special affinity for the environment and a desire to ensure that there is a legacy for future generations.

Conference Venue Greening is not a difficult process it just takes a bit of planning, special consideration and keeping the environment top of mind for all delegates attending the conference.

Pre-Conference preparation

Think before you print – use electronic correspondence in favour of printing and faxing. When paper needs to be used for example leadership guides, delegate handouts, etc. use recycled paper printed with environmentally friendly inks and look out for carbon neutral printing services for your professional printing needs.

Local is lekker – Make use of local suppliers for your venue decorations and custom conference branding such as T-shirts, pens, lanyards, etc. Support community development initiatives and look out for the Proudly South African label. www.proudlysa.co.za

Organise your drive in advance – rather than let people get to the venue on their own steam, organise green transport, and provide taxi/bus options that are green friendly or facilitate the organising of a company carpool.

At the Conference

Use energy efficient options such as LED lighting and plasma screens. For the low-tech option use dry-erase boards rather than flip charts.

Most venues have water filters so ask for their water served in glass as opposed to plastic bottles. If plastic bottles are to be used ensure that the venue has recycling in place to dispose of the waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

Make sure that recycling bins are obvious and placed throughout the conference venue.

Allow the venue to take care of any printing needs to reduce travel emissions.

Rather than importing fast foods and disposable plates use the venue restaurant and ensure that meals are served on china and silverware.

Local foods have less transport emissions and choose a vegan or a vegetarian menu over meat options as they have lower greenhouse emissions than produced by animal farming.

Using the Accommodation

Re-use linen and towels to reduce water consumption and detergent use.

Take it all a step further

At Intundla Conference Venue we will help you reduce your Conference carbon footprint and put down some roots in the heart of Dinokeng by supplying trees to buy at wholesale prices. We only add R 10 which we will donate to our local charity.

Find out more about reducing and offsetting your carbon emissions from Climate Neutral Group (http://climateneutralgroup.com/en/) and become a climate neutral organisation.

Buy Carbon Credits – Carbon credits create a market for reducing greenhouse emissions by giving a monetary value to the cost of polluting the air. Emissions become an internal cost of doing business and are visible on the balance sheet alongside raw materials and other liabilities or assets, find out more (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_credit) 

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How to Nurture your Leads and Increase Sales Conversion

Define your Market
The better you can define your target market, the more qualified your leads will be. Knowing your potential customer and where they come from will also help you in understanding them, what they need and how to convince them to become a customer.

Start with a demographic profile that includes the following: Location, Gender, Income, Education, Family status, Occupation, Ethnic background, Personality, Attitude, Values, Interests, Lifestyles and Behaviour. Don’t limit yourself by thinking who you would like to sell to, rather think instead – Who would like to buy my product? A good starting point is also to research your competitors and to look at who they are selling to.

Build your Lead and Customer Database
This is the lifeblood of your business and one of your most valuable assets. Just having a contact name and email address is not enough, but keep it simple. If it is an existing customer you need to know what they’ve bought from you before and when, and when you’ve last interacted with them. It is far easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one.

New leads should be nurtured in the same way. Make sure you record all the relevant information about them, as well as categorizing your leads and noting where they are in the lead generation pipeline – this will help with your marketing strategy and sending targeted messages, e.g. information about other products they might be interested in, special offers, etc.


Don’t just Sell
So you have set yourself apart from the competition and become an industry leader. But once the leads start coming through your door it is very important that you ask qualifying questions to determine where your new lead is in their buying process. With so much information at their fingertips, buyers have become more and more educated and you can lose a lead fast by frustrating them with overselling instead of empowering them with the information that they still need.
Align Sales and Marketing
Another important point is to make sure that your online presence is aligned with your sales initiative. We live in a world of information technology and sharing this information is vital in the lead to sales conversion process. Sharing important information like the history of each lead’s activity on your website, e.g. interaction with marketing campaigns, downloads, social media, etc.

Ensure that the sales and marketing departments are working together in the planning as well as measuring of campaigns, analysing opportunities together, evaluating past campaigns and setting strategies and objectives together. Getting your sales and marketing teams aligned and on the same page will increase your lead to sales conversion dramatically.
Response Time and Follow up
Speed is the single most critical component to lead conversion. The buyer is often led by a sense of loyalty towards the company that responded to them first. The quality of your response is as important in that initial contact with the prospect. Also, don’t discard old leads and schedule timely follow up calls. Fast and thorough follow-up are the first steps in conversion optimization.

Now that you’ve figured out how to turn your leads into sales, you want to make sure you have your whole team on board. Come to Intundla Game Lodge, close to Gauteng for your next Conference or Team Build event.

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