Zoom Meeting Etiquette

By Patti Wood, Author of SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma
1)     Host should send a zoom meeting link.
2)     Ideally, the link should include the agenda and the first and last names of everyone on the call.
3)     If the meeting is all new people or there are new people, it is proper etiquette to introduce each new person to the group. I will give proper in zoom person introductions later, but because often you have a limited meeting time and or to many people to give time to full introductions I suggest a new zoom etiquette of sending each person's name ahead of time plus their job title or something about them and if you can a photo of them along with it. Your goal in etiquette is to make people feel comfortable, recognize the status and unique qualities of and commonalities between members.
4)     The host should make sure each person knows how to use zoom before the call. They can send a how-to video and or do a dry run with the new member of the meeting and or assign someone else the task for making sure new members are comfortable with the technology.
5)     Host ideally makes sure each member knows how to dress and has the appropriate “background” for the call, follows security measures.
6)     Host should know how to follow security measures, allow guests in and know how to mute or deal with video issues.
7)     The host should be first on and last of the zoom meeting. If for any reason they need to arrive late or leave early they should arrange ahead to give the host/meeting leader responsibilities to someone else. Think of being there as people get on as being at the door to take everyone’s coats and offering refreshments, instead of people standing out in the rain and ringing the doorbell and not being able to get in.
8)     Host should be there early on the call so they can make people feel welcome and overcome that awkward silence that otherwise meeting members may feel when they are not sure they are in the correct meeting or that their technology is working.
9)   May I introduce? The proper etiquette, rules, tips, and guidelines for making introductions.

Using the proper introductions help to establish rapport when meeting people. Yes, they are not always easy, but they are important. And knowing how to introduce people to one another can make you not only more comfortable it can make other people feel more comfortable and make you look more confident!

In a very formal setting, you would say, “I would like to present to you....” Otherwise, it is fine to say, “I would like to introduce you to...” or less formally, Mrs.Garmen, Mrs. Tolbight,”
or more informally say Mrs. Jones, you know Mrs. Robinson, don’t you?” Or Sarah have you met Molly. Or Julie do you know my Mother?

In business at formal business, zoom meetings introduce individuals to each other using both first and last names. If you are in a casual zoom meeting it is fine to use first names. "Jim, I'd like you to meet my neighbor, Sarah." Or, very casually, "Sarah, Jim.", "Jim, Sarah".

Whose name do you say first? Though even Miss Manner and Emily Post disagree on whose name comes first I believe you should honor the highest person by saying their name first. So think authority defines whose name is said first. Say the name of the most important person first and then the name of the person being introduced.

Introduce people in the following order:
· Younger to older, “Mrs. Hopkins I would like you to meet my little sister Mary Jones.”
· non-official to the official,” Mr. President I would like you to present to you Mr. John Brown.”
· junior executive to senior executive, ”Mr. Iacocca I would like you to present you to our new junior executive Mr. Sam Horn”
· Colleague to a customer, “Mrs. Hawthorne (The customer) I would like to introduce you to my college, Mr. Mike Frank.”
· 2 year employee to ten-year employee. Sam Coke I would like you to meet John Hordin.
 A customer Mr. Camp visiting a zoom meeting. Mr. Smith is the CEO. Mr.Camp I would like you to meet our CEO Mr. Mike Smith. There are also choices to make. Let’s say that you are introducing people to a speaker that’s formally presenting a speech on the zoom call and not everyone knows the name of the speaker. You could either say. MS Patti Wood I like you to meet my teammate Mr. Mike Stewart. Mr. Stewart (or just plain Mike) I would like you to meet our speaker today Patti Wood or you could say the lower status person’s name first Frank Smith I would like to introduce you to our speaker Dr. James Nelson. Dr. Nelson this is Frank Smith he has been at the Atlanta Training office of UKS for two years. He works with Jennie Waddington. It is OK if you mess up the order. No small children were harmed, just keep going.

If you're in a formal zoom meeting introduce someone who has a title’s doctor, for example,’ include the title as well as the first and last names in the introduction. Use proper titles. Don't introduce your parents as 'Mom' or 'Dad' unless that is how they would like to be addressed. You can say, “I would like you to meet my mother, Ms. Jones.

If the person you are introducing has a specific relationship to you, make the relationship clear by adding a phrase such as 'my boss,' 'my wife' or 'my uncle.' In the case of unmarried couples who are living together, 'companion' and 'partner' are good choices.

Use your spouse's first and last name if he or she has a different last name than you. Include the phrase 'my wife' or 'my husband.' Mr. Jones I would like you to meet my husband Eric Mann.
Introduce an individual to the group first, then the group to the individual. For example: 'Dr. Noble, I'd like you to meet my friends Hassan Jubar, Kim Nordeck and Michael Smith. Everyone, this is Dr. Mark Noble.'

Give them something to talk about once you have introduced them, preferably something they have in common. For example:” Sara this is Paul." “Paul, Sara is the biggest Baseball fan I have ever met" Now you have them a conversation starter. If you need to go, once they get a bit of a conversation going you can excuse yourself politely

Introducing people by recognizing talent and giving praise is an important part of being a good leader, team member, and friend. And showing great respect In my book, "People Savvy Leadership," I give the following tips:

When you focus on other’s accomplishments and notice what is worthy of praise, your energy is lifted, and you build successful interactions.
A simple way to give praise is with an introduction. For example, when you introduce your friends, coworkers and business associates to someone new, share their name and an accomplishment. "Jim, this is Sara Beckman, she just headed up the committee for our new quarter sales meeting and it was fantastic." "Tom, this is Morgan Tyler, she just spearheaded the new marketing project." "Karl, this is Veronica Mann, she works with our top client Prudential." Or “Pam, this is my dear friend Karla, we have known each other since we were kids and she has the best sense of humor” “Karla this is my co-worker Pam, she has designed our new social media platform to rave reviews from the team or “Mark this is my colleague Jim, Jim he is our go-to expert on customer loyalty, he really knows his stuff.” Jim, this is my friend Mark, Mark and I met at Top Golf benefit he was in charge of last year and it was a huge success and did us proud.” 

If you're introduced to someone respond. You don’t have to say, “Nice to meet you.” It is a polite response, but you may not be sure yet if it will be nice. You don’t have to say, “It is a pleasure to meet you unless it is a pleasure. You do have to say something. You should repeat the person's name back; In a formal setting saying "Hi" or " Hello" is not enough. Instead, say, “Hello” "Do you prefer being called David or should I call you Dave?"

here http://www.pattiwood.net/program.asp?PageID=7830

The host should state the agenda, that they sent ahead of time and set ground rules/etiquette guidelines for the meeting both in an email before the meeting and at the start of the meeting. For example, “Here are the guidelines for private messaging members of the meeting while we are on the call.” And or “We want to make sure everyone has time to talk and everyone feels heard and understood. Make sure your zoom box is not coming up and filling the screen more than other members of the meeting unless you are presenting. I may hop in and suggest that other people contribute. The host should guide the meeting making sure no one dominates the zoom call and that if someone hasn’t spoken you call on them and or send them a private message asking if they would like to contribute.

11.)  The host should give a final thought, goal, motivational statement, story, or a bit of humor to formally end the zoom call and thank people for attending, give special individual thanks for important contributions to the call. Tell the group you will stay after for further questions and visiting time and will be the last to leave the call and ideally, if you can say goodbye to each individual on the call so there is not a haphazard clicking off at the end and people don’t know when to say goodbye. 

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.

How to Apologize for Missing a Meeting How to Apologize for Missing a Meeting

How to Apologize for Missing a Meeting
By Body Langauge and Human Behavior Expert 
Patti Wood
Step One - Communicate your apology as soon as possible. Waiting to let some time pass is a great strategy when you’re a gardener waiting for your seeds to grow, but delay allows weeds to grow larger in a garden and a bad situation to grow worse in our relationships. Dissonance makes people uncomfortable, so your colleague who is upset with you for missing the meeting and that they taking will not remember the good behavior in other situations they will emphasize the bad and research shows it will actually grow in severity in their minds.

Step Two - apologize. – You can say, “I apologize,” or “I am sorry.” Or my personal favorite, “I am sorry, I messed up.”

Step Three - Keep the message clear of “buts” and excuses. In order to sound professional, you must keep your message clear and free of the “buts” So don’t say, “I’m sorry, but I had to take that phone call it was really important.”  Stay clear of the blame game. “I am sorry, but it’s not really my fault, my boss…”  You might think, “But sometimes it’s not my fault.”  It doesn’t matter who’s to blame; apologize anyway without giving an excuse. If you’re apologizing to a customer, you know you are a representative of your company and therefore you have a responsibility to see that things go well. In all your relationships your willingness to be accountable will ensure that you are seen as a responsible, mature individual.  If you start making excuses, you may start an argument. If you choose to be agreeable an argument is not possible.

Step Four - If there is an excuse use this magic phrasing. “I am sorry, I messed up, there is a reason but the most important thing for you to know now is that I am sorry.”   If you absolutely must make an excuse right now for goodness sakes make the excuse briefer than your apology and whether writing an excuse or giving it face-to-face, follow it with another statement of apology.

Step Five - Sympathize. Empathize.  Let the person know that you can identify with his feelings.  For example, “I understand that you were worried and frustrated because I missed the call. would be frustrated to.”  Their feelings have been validated. You can also assure them that you did not mean them harm. For example, “I did not mean to upset you.”

Step Six Accept responsibility for the situation. You’re an adult. You cannot blame mommy. Be accountable. If you’re not going to be accountable do not apologize just to say you did.  If you are willing let the person know that you intend to do whatever it takes to make things right. You can’t help what has already happened, but you will come up with a solution to the problem.

Step Seven - Show your regret. Just as I said people will complain till they see you get there pain, some people will not fully accept an apology unless they know you have suffered too. I don’t mean that meanly, just know that pain for pain can make a conflict disappear. Come right out and say you are sorry or ashamed. “I feel really bad for forgetting”.

Step Eight - Repair the damage. To be complete, an apology must correct the injury. If you damaged someone's property, offer to fix it. If the damage isn't so obvious, ask “What can I do to make it up to you? There may be nothing concrete you can do, but the offer must be sincere. “I'll will be there on the call on time next time. Meantime I want to send you a Starbucks card to say I am sorry.”

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.

How to Tell If Your Phone Interview Went Well

1.      One of the indications that an interview has gone well is if the interviewer has gone deep on particular questions when you are giving a positive answer.
2.      If they are looking for more information about something you have done well it indicates                are seeing you as a positive candidate.
3.      Spontaneity in their questions and responses during the interview indicates they are going off-script to be present with you as an individual rather than doing a rote interview.        
4.      They laugh!  Interviewers who laugh show not only that they think they have had fun with  you in the moment, and that they may find you funny, but they are comfortable enough with      you to be personable and step out of the “interviewer” roll.
 5.     Time is a strong communicator. If they are giving you more time. If they are thinking seriously as a candidate, they will give you more time to answer questions, won’t interrupt or cut you off or speed through the process. One of the best indicators is if they slow down and or linger at the formal close of the interview. 

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.

How do we find out the real number of Covid 19 cases and how many people have recovered?

In college at Florida State, I had a great part-time job. I was that delightful person who called your home between 6 and 10 in the evening to do a short survey, 45 minutes to an hour and a half, about fun topics such as how many refrigerators you had in your home and if you owned a trailer. (I always wanted to ask if they had a pink flamingo in their yard, but It would have skewed the survey.)  I worked for the policy science program and most of the survey research was done for the governor’s office for the State of Florida and used to determine policy and budgeting. After getting my Master's degree and  I came back to Florida to work on my Doctorate in Communication with an Emphasis in Body Language and end up getting promoted to my former boss's job and I was the manager of the Policy Science Program, helping design the surveys, hiring and managing the staff and keeping track of all the research and creating reports for the governor’s office. 

Oh, by the way, I was 22. I had taken several semesters of graduate-level statistics and a survey research course in grad school where I designed and conducted a survey research study, and I had been trained briefly by my boss, but that’s it. Later, as National Spokesperson for Wrigley’s gum, Benadryl, Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion, The Natural Dentist and Latisse eye drops and other products. I designed and conducted and or consulted on the design of national surveys. I also designed a three-year survey research study on handshake and greeting rituals and a five-year study of first impressions. 

Here is why this is important to know. 

If you are asking, "What are the real numbers for COVID 19 in your state or in the US? I think we could very easily design and implement a brief survey research design to call every house and or a sample large enough to study in our state and gather data on who has or has had each symptom of COVID 19, how long they were ill and their recovery, who has passed in a household and who may have developed antibodies?

It’s not hard to do and not that expensive. If we couldn't poll everyone and wanted to do a representative sample for research, for example, a staff of 12 surveyors working from 6:00 till 10 each did surveys, up to 7 pages long for an entire state in two to three weeks. National Surveys I worked on hired US companies to do the phone research for less than 1,000 dollars questions an again did the pilot tests and surveys in a few weeks.

We could also design a simple survey and have it online and we could work in conjunction with or compare research that could be done by every insurance and health care provider could have it online and do the same phone survey with their customers/patients. Surveys could be on websites, they could be emailed, and there could be follow up emails and make phone calls to check in on health and recovery. We could figure out the privacy rules. Dang, Kaiser already has a number for the nurse to call if you have symptoms that the nurse could ask for permission to use the patient's demographic details, keep their privacy and collect the data on symptoms and then check back about the seriousness of illness and recovery. It wouldn't be difficult to compare that data with numbers coming from hospitals dealing with the seriously ill. 

If I could design and conduct survey research at 22 and “This is Carol with Cardholder Services” can call us on an automated service with such persistence to get us to use a high-interest credit card I think we can get have the know-how and gusto up to make this work. 

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language and Human Behavior Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.

Living and Working with your Spouses and Partners Durring Covid19, Coworking Durring Covid By Body Language Expert Patti Wood, Gives Tips to Co-Working With Significant Other

When you were little you built forts from cardboard boxes, wood, blankets. As a child, you see the need to have your own kingdom a safe space that is all yours where you are in charge. If you can create your own “fort” in your home. When your Coworking with a significant other Space (Proxemics) is important and having conversations, boundaries and rituals around private spaces is important. Personal space or proxemics, a form of non-verbal communication, is the space surrounding each person. Zones: Broadly, the four distinct zones are: Intimate (0-2 ft.), Personal (2-4 ft), Social (4-12 ft.) and Public (more than 12 ft.)
Ideally you need a workspace that gives you at least five to seven feet of space. Just like having a fort that’s yours, you and your partner can each set up sacred kingdoms. Have fun with it. Name your kingdom! Create a Royal King or Queen name. (Kids may willing serfs or invading Vikings. That just the way life is.) So set up the sacred time rituals of your kingdom, such as, “Please no one else socks, coffee cups, and commands” will be brought into the kingdom of the desk.  You and your partner may have sacred times for work and relaxation as well. So the law of the kingdom may be, “No interruptions while I am at the dining room table kingdom from 9:00 till 12:00. There may be a sacred time. Perhaps an hour in the day where you want to be alone as you can be, whether its to work, meditate, exercise or binge-watch. Research shows that  any interruption when we are working takes on average 15 minutes to recover from, so one small request like, “Did you see my glasses.” It can cause you to lose your already possibly unsteady focus. My niece has the upstairs bedrooms from 8:00 till lunchtime, my nephew is law had the basement reck room office till 5:00. You can make the punishment funny, interrupt me and you must pay a price and wear a pair of clean underwear on your head, or you must sing your high school fight song all the way through. Use love and humor to ease stress. 
Honoring these small kingdoms of time and space can help you get through these tough times.

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.

If you are Grieving How Do You Deal With Those Who Try to Comfort You With, "I am sorry for your loss." and other well meaning platitudes.

One of the many lessons of loss is that you are the one who suffers loss you become responsible for helping those around you not feel bad as they interact with you. Standing in your pain, you are often in situations where you need to lift the burden of your sorrow off those who are awkward in dealing with it.

So, for example, when someone tries to comfort you with the comment, “I am sorry for your loss.” Which may seem to you to be a rote statement you are left with the choice of giving a pat automated response or going deeper. It’s always your choice.

As a body language expert, I give programs on dealing with abuse grief loss and trauma with professionals who deal with the grieving. (funeral directors, social workers, therapists school counselors, law enforcement, ministers and rabbis, and others.) I share with them tools they can share in turn with those suffering losses.
I suggest that you listen to the voice and watch the body language of the person who makes the “Sorry for your loss” statement to see and hear if they may be willing to go deep with you for a moment. If they are staying pulled back and reticent and speaking with a flat automatic tone, just give them a warm, “Thank You.” And let them go. They are saying the pain is too much for them, but they are kind enough to reach out as far as they can go to comfort you.
If they are really making eye contact, leaning in, fully present and have the paralanguage of truth as they say, “I am sorry for your loss.” it you can give them your truth. The funny thing is when you are laid bare in grief you can read nonverbal cues acutely. You know. If they are open and willing, you can share your truth.
You can share how the loss is affecting you, “I have lost my partner and my best friend, and it hurts so much.”
You can thank them deeply, “Thank you for reaching out to me and standing in my grief with me for a moment.” “My pain is so big, thank you for being in sorrow with me.”
You can share memories of the person you lost that the person who said sorry also shares so you can grieve at the moment together, “I remember how you and Roy loved to sing in the car together when we went to the beach. I will miss hearing his voice joining with yours.” 

When I was 29, the year I watched my best friend die and suffered the loss of nine other friends dying I learned a lot about grief and the responsibility of dealing with people who had no experience with it being incredibly uncomfortable and awkward about it. I already had my speaking and consulting business as a body language expert so it placed me in a unique position of seeing into the hearts of people as my heart broke. 

Patti Wood’s Bio
Called the “Gold Standard” of Body Language by The Washington Post and credited in the New York Times for bringing the topic to national attention Patti Wood, is a true expert. She is the author of nine books and she speaks and consults to Fortune 500 companies and associations. You see her on National TV shows like Good Morning America, CNN and FOX News, The History Channel and the Today Show. She is quoted every week in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Bloomberg Business Week, Fortune, Good Housekeeping, and USA Today.

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.

The Story of Roy and Learning to Love and Be Loved My Journey to Speak on Greif Loss and Trauma Patti Wood

The Story of Roy and Learning to Love and Be Loved
My Journey to Speak on Greif Loss and Trauma
Patti Wood 

We met at freshman orientation at Florida State University in Tallahassee. I looked across the room and saw this tall, handsome Nordic blonde guy. I said to myself: ‘There is my life’s best friend.” We became like brother and sister, closer even, we were twin souls. 
For years, we did everything together. We giggled and laughed and danced through our college years. We were housemates along with our friend Lisa our senior year; we fixed hundreds of awesome dinners together; we shopped and traveled together, and we shared our innermost feelings and experiences. In fact, sharing something with Roy was often the best part of a new event in my life and hearing something wonderful that Roy experienced made me as happy as it made him.

Roy was warm and funny, goofy and silly in a Dudley Doo Right kind of way. He was a six-foot-two nordic blonde, kind and loving and generous and had a deep full laugh that was contagious. He had deep scars on his back where his father had whipped him with a belt and I believe each long scar showed where he had chosen to turn his pain to empathy and compassion for others. As friends, we accepted each other down to the core. Someone loving you that much made you feel loved absolutely.  Roy and loved each other absolutely. Roy taught me that people showed their love in different ways even saying “Patti when I fix your broken necklace, I am showing I love you.” “When I reach something from a high shelf for you I am showing that I love you and I know when you have my favorite big BLT fixed for me at lunch you are loving me and when you let me sing off-key through a long car ride you’re showing that you love me.”
We were tender and affectionate with one another. Holding hands, sitting leaning up against each other like twins, brother, and sister. We weren't attracted to each other. We were a bonded pair. We completed each other.

When we were roommates in college he was a social work major, a crises team counselor, head of gay peer counselor and went on to work as a social worker in a mental institution and lived in Atlanta.  I went to Auburn University to pursue a master’s degree, and then returned to Tallahassee to begin a Ph.D. program.  Roy and I were as close as ever. We talked for hours on our weekly phone calls and visited each other every few months we were still so very very close. 
I lived in a small town where I couldn’t go shopping without running into someone I knew.  Roy and I were so close that when my friends in Tallahassee who hadn’t even met Roy knew he was my “Twin Soul” so when they would see me they would always ask, “How are you?” “How is Roy?” 

Years passed. I had a four-bedroom house with a big fenced-in yard, a steady boyfriend a group of friends that were like a second family, wonderful housemates and a great dog. I took Thai Chi classes, and. I’d eat grape nuts for breakfast and joked with my housemate Pat about our crazy dream from the night before. I’d start my day singing in the shower and then get in my car singing along with the songs on my radio on my way to work.

I had my own consulting company and taught communication at Florida State; my class in nonverbal communication had 150 students enrolled each semester. I was living a happily-ever-after existence, and Roy, was always a part of me and I was always a part of him.

When we were both 29 Roy and I went to visit Roy and we went walking in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. His big 6’2 frame towered above my petite five feet two inches and he held my hand as we walked. It was a beautiful spring day and as we circled the lake and I was blissfully breathing the fragrant flowered air so happy to be Roy. As we rounded a curve, Roy stopped, brushed back his blonde hair, turned toward me and said, “Patti, I’m dying.” 

I heard a loud gut-wrenching scream crying “No!” echo across the lake. It took me a moment to realize the scream was mine.

How could the world turn without sweet Roy? At that moment, everything in my life began to change. I knew with certainty I had to move to Atlanta to be with Roy. I didn’t ask him if he wanted me to come, I just decided. People thought I was crazy. But it was really selfish – I just had to be with him. 

Within a few days, my boyfriend had broken up with me - he was afraid of being infected from my innocent friendship with Roy - and I began getting rid of my belongings. I sold almost everything in the house down to the bare walls. I took the cash and left my house, my friends, and my speaking business.  I moved to an apartment that Roy could share with me and I took a job as a temp receptionist in to make ends meet, exchanging a $1,000-a-program speaking life for a $7.50-an-hour wage. Instead of being treated with respect and admiration, I was treated like a servant. I didn't really care. I smiled and hid my pain. 

I took a small apartment and fitfully slept on a borrowed mattress on the floor of my closet. I was alone in a city filled with strangers.  I would visit Roy every day he was in the hospital and sit on the edge of his bed, holding his hand. And though Roy and I would laugh as we always did, our jokes were about the glove-wearing hospital staff that tried to avoid touching him, his new free hospital gown wardrobe with built-in” ties in back” air-conditioning and about his new easy diet plan, we called “Wendy’s drive-through” a drip from plastic bag on a stand on wheels that he was hooked to when he could no longer eat.   

All of our friendship we had incredible rapport with one another. We
would dress in a similar way — same dark blue jeans, same leather jacket.
Both of us even had red shoes, mine pumps, and his oxfords. We would sit in
a similar way next to each other on the couch. When we got on the phone,
we talked in a similar tone and rhythm. When we were sitting across the
table from each other eating, we would both pick up and put down our
knives at the same time. Our sameness made us feel comfortable around one
another. Being with each other was like being home. My roommate in graduate
school wrote her master’s thesis novel based loosely on our lives as roommates.
Her professors said that my eerie matching with Roy did not make
sense. So in the novel, she made us twins! Now I felt that we were sharing our parallel lives with each other, I was dying along with Roy and he was getting to live along with me. 

Over the one year I watched Roy decline, he went from a being a strapping six-foot 2-inch man to an emaciated 90-pounds that I could carry in my arms. I would return home each night, take a shower and weep uncontrollably. My sleep was filled with concentration camp filled nightmares. Over that year I had nine other friends die. I saw Roy lose his ability to first walk, then to eat, then to remember, to speak and finally his ability to breathe.

Roy died of Pneumonia in July before his 30th birthday. I could not believe that the world would keep spinning without that sweet “Roy boy.” But, it did. I could not believe that I didn’t die too. I was so surprised that I could actually go on breathing without him. His family insisted I have his ashes. He told me before he died, he wanted me to have his ashes so someday he could come to my wedding. His big heart and tall frame fit into such a small box.  I have a photo of us hugging and laughing in the hallways that I look at each day. I am grateful to have known such a good man. 

I envision a reunion with him. It would start out with just for the two of us. We would walk around his beloved Piedmont Park in Atlanta. As we walked, we’d catch up on each other’s news. We’d laugh about him never getting older than 29 and the fact that I am much older but still a tiny blonde.

We would cry over having missed so many dinners and trips with each other. I’d tell him about the speaking practice I rebuilt after he died. I’d express regret that I haven’t yet married, so don’t yet have a son I can name Roy. I’d tell him how sorry I am that his sickness prevented him from marrying the man he loved, who later also died of AIDS. 

Then we’d go for dinner at one of his favorite restaurants. He loved great food, and we would share a dessert. We’d meet up with friends afterward and go dancing together until the wee hours.

And then we would curl up together and I’d thank him for being the best friend in the world to me, for making my life so much richer through the gift of his unconditional love, truly teaching me what is to love and be loved.

We love, we grieve and we are grateful to have known such good souls. 

--Patti Wood, Atlanta, GA, motivational speaker, and consultant on body language and human behavior. 

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.

Sample Business Continuity Statement for Corona Virus Pandemic. First Impression Expert Patti Wood

I am an expert in Human Behavior and a consultant to small businesses. I can help train and coach your employees about communicating effectively through this crisis and through technology if they are working from home during the Coronavirus.  Patti@PattiWood.net  678-358-6160

I would suggest that the company immediately creates and sends out a company policy statement. Letting their customers know what the internal a travel policy is, what percussions the company is taking around sick leave and quarantine and how they will communicate any changes in their staff's availability or workflow to the customers.

Here is a sample internal business statement due to The coronavirus that they could refer to or use to create their external customer-focused statement
I am an expert in Human Behavior and a consultant to small businesses. I can help train and coach your employees about communicating through this crisis and through technology if they are working from home.  Patti@PattiWood.net  678-358-6160.

The first thing you need to decide is what is most important to your employees, your business and your community.
Then you want you to be clear specific and calm regarding your messaging. 

We are closely monitoring developments with respect to the Coronavirus. First and most importantly, we are taking the appropriate actions to continue providing our employees with a safe work environment. We will continue to provide updates as we learn more.

The following measures have been put in place:

Business Continuity Statement
·         We have issued a Business Continuity Statement on our website  (put a link here)
·         If you have customers asking about (Your company name here) pandemic plan or business continuity – please make (Contact person here aware via email).
·         Please know that (Company Name ) has a set of protocols in place should this situation escalate.
·         Let them know if your company has the capacity to work 100% remotely without disruptions to our regular business operations. If not what the fall back is. 

Temporary Travel Suspension for All Work-Related Travel (for the next 30 days through (Give date )  or until we have further updates)
·         We are temporarily suspending all work-related travel both domestic and international (except personal automobile travel) including:
o    Air travel
o    Train travel
o    Busses/Subways - Any other means of mass transit (travel which puts our employees in direct contact with large crowds).
o    Automobile travel is currently acceptable.
·         For those currently traveling:
o    Please finish your trip and return as planned.
·         Do not book future travel without approval. Please contact (contact name) before any future travel is booked.
·         We will be addressing any upcoming, already booked travel shortly.

14 Day Self - Quarantine – Work from Home Policy
In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) interim guidance for risk assessment and public health management, we have temporarily implemented the following 14-Day Stay-at-Home Policy for the following:
·         Employees returning to the U.S. from an area of risk, will not be allowed to return to the workplace until they have reached day 15 back in the U.S. and have not experienced fever, coughing or difficulty breathing.
·         Employees who have:
o    Lived in the same household as, OR
o    Cared for, OR
o    Had close contact with a person who has returned from an affected area of risk, OR
o    Had close contact with a person confirmed to have the Covid-19 Coronavirus

(Emergency Communication App) 
·         Please be sure you have downloaded the (name of the emergency app) for emergency notifications. This is how we will communicate important alerts.
·         Please contact for help with the app
Office Health Etiquette Reminder:
·         Please don’t come to the office if you're even mildly sick (we will continue to be flexible with sick time or WFH)
·         Be sure to request your time off in (Name of Contact ) HR
·         Follow the CDC guidelines for good hygiene
·         Hand sanitizer is available around the office

Supportive Statement here and company heads signature

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.

Take Care,

Patti Wood, MA
The Gold Standard of  Body Language Experts
Phone -  404-315-7397

" Excellent as  always." " You never fail  to 'Wow!' the
audience and teach us something new." 
                                                                UCB Pharma Inc.

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.

Ways of dealing with stress, decision making, crisis management during the Corona Virus.

I am an expert on nonverbal communication and human behavior and speak on dealing with and recovering from crisis, grief, and trauma.
Ways of dealing with stress, decision making, crisis management during the Corona Virus. 

  1. You have interacting remotely down and you can pivot and adapt to the need to do so. Your tech confidence gives you an advantage.
  2. Call on your social media network for support and to offer support. What can you do for others? What are the critical things you need? Ask, offer to help, follow through with that help and make your needs clear and specific. 
  3. If you don’t already have multiple ways to connect to treasured contacts make sure you have phone numbers and email addresses for people you interact with on social media. Do that today an also print it out and have a hard copy. You can print out a hard copy of your contacts on your phone easily. I would also advise you to send a list of your important close contacts to your friends, family, and neighbors should they need to reach you.
  4. You may want to initiate check-in rituals for your key friends family and contacts where you just talk about your day and how you are. You may be used to checking in all the time and having full access but that may be overwhelming so I would suggest a ritual be it Good morning contact, dinner chat or a good night sleep well chat. To give you and you network a sense of continuity and security. That way throughout your day if its stressful you know you can hold it together or if something good happens you can look forward to sharing it in that check-in interaction. Start all your interactions with a request for information about THEM, don’t rush to share. It will really help to focus on other’s needs.
  5. Have something you can do at home that calms you and gives you the pleasure that is in no way tech-related. A pet, a musical instrument and a how-to-play training book, an art kit with paints, pens and such, and or hard copy books. Plan on a ritual every night of doing something that gets you off of tech and away from the news.

When you talk to other people face to face you lay down neural pathways to the social centers of your brain.  Those pathways are strong and have “broad bandwidth” capacity and are built to handle many situations including stress and decision making, The more you interact interpersonally human to human in person and even on the phone with access to a person’s vocal “paralanguage” the stronger the pathways become.  

But ANYONE who spends large amounts of time on tech including millennials is making what are called quick “shallow decisions”, such as, “I want this text. I don't want this text. ““I want this website it’s interesting. I don't want this one it’s boring” “I want this text.” “I don’t want to respond to this” These quick shallow decisions lay down pathways to the ego centers of your brain and gives you a bit of high and can make you feel superior to those around you but, the pathways formed from shallow decisions are narrow fragile and are more likely to break down under any stress and make it difficult to make decisions or take action that requires interpersonal interaction without tech. 

So millennials under stress know that it may be more difficult to make decisions and perhaps more challenging to do things that require phone or face to face interactions. So take a deep breath if you feel like freeze up and know you can ask others for help. (if you are older and grew up with-out tech prepare to counsel and coach on a more than you ever have)  If you are that millennial start creating good decision making habits like pro and cons of your decisions, informing yourself and seeking wise counsel on decisions.  Heck look up, “Great ways to make decisions.” You got this. 

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.