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Sunday, January 29, 2017

DKG: Empowering Women in Leadership

One of the goals of the Educational Excellence Committee is to Empower women through leadership opportunities.  An objective to help us reach this goal is to Empower leaders to impact policy and people worldwide.  These words bring an image to my mind of Rosie the Riveter or Wonder Woman.  I visualize myself standing tall, confidently taking on any roadblock that would potentially stifle progress for women around the world.  This picture is inspiring, but it does not accurately describe my ability to empower leaders, who impact policy, that ultimately impacts people worldwide.
               Empowering leaders is often accomplished through one on one conversations, emails, or other personal communication.  I have the privilege of representing the citizens of my community as an elected member of our City Council.  My decisions or votes don’t have global impact, but they certainly impact policy and people in my little corner of the world.  I serve in that capacity because a group of women took the iniative to empower me through leadership opportunities.  I am forever grateful to them!

              Ask yourself how you can empower a leader, or potential leader.  Will words of encouragement or offers of assistance inspire a woman you know to run for elected office? Could your email impact a legislator’s vote? Would your involvement in a DKG Forum help inform others of educational issues around the world? Please consider how you can help Empower women through leadership opportunities. 

Social Media are Becoming More Visual

Text is still very important, but a lot of text can get overwhelming quickly. The Internet is becoming very visual. Humans process visuals much more quickly than text, so visuals can do some heavy lifting as you work on your website, newsletter or social media platforms. Working with visuals can be fun. Some ways to construct your visuals are below. 
Canva is the top choice to design visuals. Canva is available online and also as an app for iPad. The best part is that it is free and easy to use. It is a workhorse, offering a variety of content types. From pre-sized social media images and header templates to marketing materials, documents, presentations, invitations, ebooks, resumes and ads, you’ll find almost everything you need. Great tutorials are available for all levels.


When you think about visuals, photography is the first thing that comes to mind. Sites like Pixabay provide free, high quality images. Three examples from Pixabay are shown below and also in our header.

Quote Graphics
Occasionally, a newsletter, website or Facebook page needs a quote to add emphasis. Three online free services make this easy. Quozio, and Recite are easy to use and produce eye-catching results. 

In addition, there are a number of excellent apps available to make your quote graphics: WordSwag, InstaQuote, PicLab, and Paint Paper Studio.

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. Venngage and Pictochart are two online infographic creators.


Screen Shots
If a member has a question about doing something, why not take a screenshot to answer via social media or website? Screen shots can explain, exemplify, or demonstrate something. Screen shots are easy on both the Mac and Windows and cost nothing. Below are three screenshots. Two are from web pages and one from an email program on a computer. Notice the annotations. 

Are you ready to add visuals to your social media, website or newsletter? You will enjoy working with them, and your members will enjoy seeing them. Try one approach. Then try another. Let us know how you did. What was your favorite?




Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mentoring Roles (Part 1 of a 3 Part Series)

In today’s fast paced world DKG state organizations need to help their members learn – and be able to apply that learning – more quickly. There is a wealth of knowledge and talent in any chapter. The challenge is to ‘tap into’ that knowledge and make it available to other members that need it.

Who could be that ‘magician’? She is a wise and trusted counsellor who has experience and knowledge of DKG, and who is willing and able to share this information with others. She is a mentor. She is caring, balanced, and an effective communicator.

Mentoring is not about offering expert ready-made advice or serving as a role model. It is a voluntary relationship between an experienced member and a less experienced member. It is about asking the right question, staying curious, listening empathically, reframing and analyzing situations, giving feedback and helping the chapter/organization move forward to reach development goals.

Through mentoring members can achieve greater clarity about personal development and become more confident in their own potential and ability. Mentees gain security in their roles and duties as they get feedback in key areas such as communication, interpersonal relationships, and leadership skills.

Who is a good mentee? A mentor can counsel a person who is ready, willing and able to grow. In other words - a mentee should be a FAT person!       
F – faithful       
A – available         
T – teachable

Watch for our next blog: Setting Up a Mentoring Program

In the comments below tell us about a time mentoring helped you or a time you mentored someone else. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Safety First

To keep in touch with your DKG friends, you love Facebook and post photos and comments daily. You also send and respond to emails. Online, you bought that cute figurine for your sister. You logged into your bank/credit union and checked your balances. Maintaining safety in the cyber world is important and relatively easy if you apply some basic strategies.

Here are are few tips to make your time on the Internet more secure.
  • Emails: If you get an email from a friend, but it looks a little strange and has a link to click, DON’T CLICK IT!  At the very least, it will grab all of your contacts from your address book and send them emails that look like they are coming from you. Or, at its worst, your click allows malware to download to your computer. The malware may steal all of your personal information or hold your computer for ransom.
  • Your email at DKG Headquarters - why it is so important: If we want to communicate well with members via e-blasts, etc., having correct emails in the system is imperative--and that is not the case at this point. Almost 1/2 of our members do not have emails in the system. Based on bounce backs, a large number of those addresses are incorrect. Let's see what we can do to help correct this!
  • Privacy and security settings exist for a reason: Every social network has privacy and security settings. Take the time to investigate them. You can control who sees what you post. But don’t do this just one time!  Because social networks are constantly changing these settings, it is appropriate to revisit the settings several times a year. While you are checking these, look at the security settings on your browser.
  • Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data, or commit other crimes such as stalking.
  • Keep all software current: Having the latest updates for your security software, web browser, and the operating system create a first line defense against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Passwords: You must have a unique and random password for each and every account. Don’t reuse passwords!  If one account is hacked, your other accounts are far less likely to get hacked if you have varied passwords. You can generate a random password based on feelings, mood, the weather, and even with the help of a password manager. A strong password could be a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
  • Invest in a password manager: This is a must for all those unique passwords. No one can possibly remember them all. PC Magazine recently rated some password managers for the Windows environment.You have probably heard about a few of the: DashLane, RoboForm, or LastPass. Find the ratings HERE. Mac users have an excellent choice as well. 1Password is a favorite. DashLane and LastPass are also available. Find information HERE.
  • Utilize the services of a two-step verification process where possible: The two-factor authentication method is offered by internet services such as social media platforms and email portals. Google and Apple do a great job with this! This process of verification blocks out third parties from logging into your account even if they manage to steal your password.
  • Protect your computer: Most computer systems come with a firewall. Make sure it is activated. Install and update your antivirus and antispyware software. Here are recent ratings of antivirus protection from PC Magazine.  A note here: in the past users of Apple computers felt quite safe and rarely installed security. Although most harmful viruses and malware are still directed at Windows computers, Apple owners are seeing an increase. Sophos is a free download and is highly regarded for protection of an Apple computer. Info Here
  • Banks, Credit Unions, Investments Firms and Credit Cards: Create a different email address for each bank, etc. and DON’T use that email address for anything else. Google makes it easy to set up multiple Gmail accounts. This article from Techverse shows different ways to do it.
  • Secure Sites: One sure way to buy online with confidence is to look for https (notice the “s”) in the site address and a closed lock. Also, use PayPal or similar services when possible. See graphic below.

If this information is overwhelming, try one suggestion at a time. Start with your passwords and go from there. STAY SAFE!

“Private” graphic from Pixabay rated CC0

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Welcome to the DKG International Finance Committee blog.  It is our goal to inform and educate members about DKG finances. We also want to build confidence and understanding for current and future financial leaders.  A major emphasis is to instill pride in our members by reminding them of the many accomplishments that truly impact education worldwide through their dues and contributions.

Each month we will post information about DKG finances that is pertinent throughout our membership.  We hope this monthly blog will reach all members. We encourage you to share this link to help increase better financial understanding throughout the Society.

We also hope that you will subscribe to our blog and receive monthly notifications about each post. You can do so by clicking on the subscribe button at the bottom of this post.

Being involved in your organization's health helps you understand and strengthen the Society. Let us all join together and lead as a financial ambassador for DKG.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Netiquette Expanded

Your communication can reflect positively or negatively on you.  Avoiding mistakes by following simple rules will help lead to professional results and avoid embarrassing situations. Building on the ten rules from last week’s post, today’s post will provide more details and suggestions. You should be mindful of your netiquette when writing emails, posting on discussion forums, commenting on Facebook or Twitter, or posting photos. Netiquette governs every aspect of your internet experience.

Spelling and Grammar

Always use proper grammar and correct spelling. Poor grammar and misspelled words are unprofessional and reflect poorly on you and your message. A suggestion is to type your message or information into a word processor such as MS Word, apply the spell and grammar checker, make changes, then copy and paste the text to your communication source. Take the time to ensure your audience does not have to read a poorly written message with typos.

The “You” Attitude
When communicating within the DKG world, avoid using "me" or "I" with your message. Your messages should be about the reader or the organization and not the writer. Talk about the other person and use the word "you" and "your" in your message. There are exceptions to this rule, such as in online classrooms and Web sites; however, professional writing requires the "you" attitude at all times while sending emails, memos, and letters.

Write Concisely
Get to the point. Follow the concept of concise writing and do not ramble on with unnecessary words. Only write what is necessary so your audience can quickly read your message and move on. People have many other emails and websites to read, and if you write senseless words leading to a long email or electronic message, people might click out early and move on to their next reading.

Always proofread your message! You do not have the opportunity to use body language while communicating over the Internet, and people may misinterpret your message if you do not write with good tone. Do not write messages that are confrontational, rude, or All Caps (WHICH MEANS YOU ARE SHOUTING!). A good suggestion is to read aloud your message to ensure it is a polite and courteous communication for your audience.

Use Good Tone
Good tone is critical with electronic writing. The wrong words can leave a bad impression and upset the reader--especially with emails and in online classrooms. It is easy to sound bossy and unprofessional with persuasive messages, and because most situations are asynchronous, you do not have the opportunity to respond immediately or allow the audience to see body language or hear the tone of your voice. Always check your writing to ensure it is polite and neutral regarding requests and conveying information. An email with good tone can accomplish much more than one that is overbearing and with the "me" attitude. Remember, the "you" attitude is a good way to convey your messages with good tone.

Double Check Email Address
With email programs, it is easy to send a message to the wrong email address. Your unkind remarks may get to the wrong person. Before clicking the send button, always check the email address of the recipient. In a similar vein, do not “Reply to All” unless it is absolutely necessary.

Keep File Sizes Small
People do not want to wait for long downloads. Even with today's high-speed connections, large file sizes are annoying and will cause the person downloading the message to abort. If you know your file size is large, be sure to convert the file to a PDF format prior to attaching the file. Always convert long documents, large graphics, and pictures to PDF format to ensure the file size is reasonable and downloads quickly--especially for those who do not have fast connection speeds. If you do not want to convert pictures to PDF, optimize them using Photoshop or another image program.

Internet Messages are Permanent
Make sure everything your post on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) is appropriate. Your rude remarks live forever. Be careful what you write! Sometimes it is best to keep thoughts to yourself because the Internet is a permanent record of what you send. You cannot retract or delete messages or posts (in most cases), so if you do not want your message read by the wrong people, you probably should communicate your message using another media and avoid sending it electronically. Anyone--from your grandmother to a colleague to a boss--can see what you post.

Be Respectful
Respond to other people's messages promptly, and if they ask for a return acknowledgment or receipt of an email, give it to them! Be polite, friendly, and professional at all times. Many of these rules imply respect for the reader; the Internet is a permanent message and reflects on you as a person. Use these rules to your advantage by thinking about your message and who reads it. The Internet can be a great tool for building a good reputation and respect from your peers.

Be Professional at All Times
Avoid getting into arguments in chat rooms, online classrooms, or with emails. This happens often and is a result of the ease of sending a message while upset or out of spite or revenge. Because the other person is not present, people often use the power of electronic writing to vent or lash out at each other. If you become upset at a person, do not respond electronically until you have had time to put the issue into perspective. Remember, electronic messages are permanent. Do not put yourself in a position with an unprofessional message you may regret later. It may come back to haunt you! Remember that people will have different opinions than yours.

Good Rules for Email
Use clear and precise subjects. Utilize formal letter-writing formats. Keep your messages concise. Include your name and contact information in all communication. NEVER give out any personal information via email.

The number one reason people go to the World Wide Web is to read. Therefore, following simple rules for electronic writing is critical to a well-received message. You can make a positive or negative impression on those who read your electronic communication. The choice is yours. While communicating electronically, people often never meet each other in person, and this may be the only way you are perceived. Use good writing skills and follow these rules to make a lasting positive impression, and you will gain respect and people will look forward to reading your messages. And remember, it is just as easy to create a poor impression if you do not follow rules, so take the time to communicate effectively over the Internet. You will be glad you did later!

Photo is from Pixabay CC0

Monday, January 9, 2017

Register Now! Time is running out!

The Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (CTAUN - pronounced Cee-tawn) invites everyone to the 18th annual conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York –
Refugees: The 21st Century Challenge.
Friday, 27 January 2017
Refugees and migrants have been a large part of US history bringing new energy, ideas, innovations, cultures, customs and more, creating a nation of diversity and power which has become a role model for the world.
Today we face the largest refugee/migrant movement since the Second World War and, wherever we turn, we are bombarded by media images of desperate but determined faces of people on frightening journeys to overburdened and increasingly unwelcoming countries.
How do we bridge the fear on both sides? What are the cross-cultural issues involved in assimilation, and the challenges to host nations? What are the implications of a generation deprived of its education and what can we, as individuals and educators, do to remedy that?
The CTAUN conference will present representatives from the United Nations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and refugees themselves to tell their story, what is being done and what actions need to be taken. To learn more and register go to

Can’t make it in January?  Well, follow along with the EEC committee as we provide updates and reviews on this event in the future. And check out the DKG@UN newsletters for information on global issues put forward there by your NGO/UN representatives.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


In 1994, Virginia Shea developed her Core Rules of Netiquette. These ten rules have stood the test of time and are considered the definitive guidelines of etiquette for the World Wide Web (now commonly called the Net or Internet). When you communicate in a virtual world, these rules apply. This week, we introduce the basics. Next week, we will look with more detail so that your writing will improve and convince the audience that your message to your DKG membership is legitimate and worthwhile reading.

Rule 1: Remember the Human
When communicating electronically, whether through email, instant message, discussion post, text, or some other method, practice the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Remember, your written words are read by real people, all deserving respectful communication. Before you press "send" or "submit," ask yourself, "Would I be okay with this if someone else had written it?"

Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life
While it can be argued that standards of behavior may be different in the virtual world, they certainly should not be lower. You should do your best to act within the laws and ethical manners of society whenever you inhabit "cyberspace." Would you behave rudely to someone face-to-face? On most occasions, no. Neither should you behave that way in the virtual world.

Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace
"Netiquette varies from domain to domain" (Shea, 1994). Depending on where you are in the virtual world, the same written communication that may be acceptable in one area might be considered inappropriate in another. What you text to a friend may not be appropriate in an email to a classmate or colleague. Can you think of another example?

Rule 4: Respect other people's time and bandwidth
Electronic communication takes time: time to read and time in which to respond. Most people today lead busy lives, just as you do, and don't have time to read or respond to frivolous emails or discussion posts. As a virtual world communicator, it is your responsibility to make sure that the time spent reading your words isn't wasted. Make your written communication meaningful and to the point, without extraneous text or superfluous graphics or attachments that may take forever to download.

Rule 5: Make yourself look good online
One of the best things about the virtual world is the lack of judgment associated with your physical appearance, sound of your voice, or the clothes you wear (unless you post a video of yourself singing Karaoke in a clown outfit.) You will, however, be judged by the quality of your writing, so keep the following tips in mind:
Always check for spelling and grammar errors.
Know what you're talking about and state it clearly.
Be pleasant and polite.

Rule 6: Share expert knowledge
The Internet offers its users many benefits; one is the ease with which information can be shared or accessed and, in fact, this "information sharing" capability is one of the reasons the Internet was founded. So in the spirit of the Internet's "founding fathers," share what you know! When you post a question and receive intelligent answers, share the results with others. Are you an expert at something? Post resources and references about your subject matter. Recently expanded your knowledge about a subject that might be of interest to others? Share that as well.

Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control
What is meant by "flaming" and "flame wars?" "Flaming is what people do when they express a strongly held opinion without holding back any emotion" (Shea, 1994). As an example, think of the kinds of passionate comments you might read on a sports blog. Although "flaming" is not necessarily forbidden in virtual communication, "flame wars"--when two or three people exchange angry posts between one another--must be controlled or the camaraderie of the group could be compromised. Don't feed the flames; extinguish them by guiding the discussion back to a more productive direction.

Rule 8: Respect other people's privacy
Depending on what you are reading in the virtual world, be it an online class discussion forum, Facebook page, or an email, you may be exposed to some private or personal information that needs to be handled with care. Perhaps someone is sharing some medical news about a loved one or discussing a situation at work. What do you think would happen if this information "got into the wrong hands?" Embarrassment? Hurt feelings? Loss of a job? Just as you expect others to respect your privacy, so should you respect the privacy of others. Be sure to err on the side of caution when deciding to discuss or not to discuss virtual communication.

Rule 9: Don't abuse your power
Just as in face-to-face situations, there are people in cyberspace who have more "power" than others. They have more expertise in technology or they have years of experience in a particular skill or subject matter. Maybe it's you who possesses all of this knowledge and power! Just remember: knowing more than others do or having more power than others may have does not give you the right to take advantage of anyone. Think of Rule 1: Remember the human.

Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people's mistakes
Not everyone has the same amount of experience working in the virtual world. And not everyone knows the rules of netiquette. At some point, you will see a stupid question, read an unnecessarily long response, or encounter misspelled words; when this happens, practice kindness and forgiveness as you would hope someone would do if you had committed the same offense. If it's a minor "offense," you might want to let it slide. If you feel compelled to respond to a mistake, do so in a private email rather than a public forum.

Adapted from The Core Rules of Netiquette: Shea, V. (1994). Core rules of netiquette. Netiquette (Online ed., pp. 32-45). San Francisco: Albion Books.

Photo from Pixabay CC0

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