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Dec 01 2017
The Importance of Self-Talk

I had a great department manager at Zions Bank, Executive Banking. She was constantly talking to her employees about the importance of "self-talk." She spent time explaining the impact that negative self-talk would have on us personally and our jobs. We were part of Zions Private Banking and had our own clients. We spent much time and effort developing relationships with those clients, so it was crucial that we were a positive reflection of our department and employer in order to gain the trust of our clients. This past October, at the Western Region Credit-Con in San Diego California, one of our own, Shane Inglesby, taught a session called "Taking Control of the Conversation Within." When I saw Shane and his session topic on the agenda, I was excited to attend; I was greatly rewarded by attending the session.
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Dec 01 2017
Antitrust Compliance

When we reviewed the U.S. Antitrust laws in Credit Law class, especially the Sherman, Clayton, Robinson-Patman and Federal Trade Commission Acts, it reminded me of the many hours that were spent at my work place, reviewing customer files and making computer system changes in order to better address compliance issues with these Acts. In class we learned that antitrust laws have been around for a long time as the Sherman Antitrust Act was created in 1890. This act prohibits conspiracy or contracts among two or more persons in restraint of trade, in interstate commerce or with foreign nations. Since this statue is so hard to regulate and enforce, (per se violations), a "rule of reason test" was established. In essence, the laws attempted to establish a level playing field for all sellers. The acts outlined rules and regulations for commercial trade that prohibited exchanges of pricing information, conspiracy in restraint of trade, price fixing and group boycotting.
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Dec 01 2017
Why You Should be Sharing Your Trade Credit Data

As a Credit Manager, having good and accurate credit information helps make solid and informed credit decisions. It also assists in setting credit limits and allows trade creditors to assess risk for their company. When the credit department begins the investigation of a new account or reviews an existing account, one of the first steps is to request a business credit report. Of all the credit reports to choose from, the one that I prefer to use on a regular basis is the NACM NTCR report because it has the most detailed information and is broken out by member and grouped by industry. This information is utilized in a couple of different ways. It helps show how the trade creditor is paying each account, and it also has the last date the information was reported, and numbers do tell a story. Part of the credit team's job is to uncover that story and make the best possible risk assessment for their company.
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Nov 01 2017
Being Proactive Rather Than Reactive

The difficult situations in life don't always bring out the best in us. In fact, sometimes these tough situations can bring out the very worst version of ourselves and cause us to experience unpleasant emotions such as fear, anger, and anxiety. These situations can also cause us to do and say things that we typically would not say or do, or things that we may regret later. One possible solution to turning these negative situations around is the basic idea of being proactive rather than reactive. The key to harnessing the power of this approach is to be able to own these difficult situations instead of letting the problems steer you.
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Nov 01 2017
What is My Purpose?

Everyone I know has a very busy schedule. We go to work, take kids to school, to their sports practices and games, meal prep, house cleaning, grocery shopping, other errands, homework, medical appointments and the list goes on. We have all this stuff going on in our lives. We're stuck on a hamster wheel seeming to be going nowhere, accomplishing little. I recently took one of those Facebook surveys that would tell me what my life purpose is. It said I was meant to "Eat all the food. You have your work cut out for you." If you know me, that's a dream come true. But the survey got me to thinking about what really is my life purpose? What should I do with my life? Is there more that I should be doing with my life?
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Nov 01 2017
Communication Competence: Western Region Credit-Con

One of the sessions that I attended at Western Region Credit-Con in San Diego was titled "Communication Competence" taught by Michael Rapp. Michael is the Director of Public Speaking Program at San Diego University where he also teaches Theory of Communication and Public Speaking. was interested in the class because I am always looking for ways to increase my communication skills and gain new knowledge that will help me in my career. He started out by defining the term communication as being understood. He also pointed out that you can understand even though you don't agree. He then spoke about the two meanings of competent; effective and appropriate. Effective communication means that
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Oct 01 2017
Are You Underemployed?

In the August 12, 2014, Forbes magazine issue, Kathryn Dill reported on "The Ten Most Underemployed Jobs in America." In her article she states that data released by the compensation comparison site Payscale.com, up to 22 million workers in the U.S. could be considered "underemployed", a term Payscale defines as "having part-time work but wanting full-time work, or holding a job that doesn't require or utilize a person's education, experience or training." Assuming that you are employed full time or you are working part-time but not wanting full-time employment, being underemployed boils down to one main thread: your skills/abilities are not being utilized which may prevent you from growing into your full potential. This can happen for several reasons:
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Oct 01 2017
It's the Small Things

The only constant in business is change. It's the one thing I know I can count on. If a business is not changing it's just a matter of time before it goes out of business. So, how do we, as credit professionals not only adapt to those changes, but help to drive the innovation that can help to grow the businesses that we were hired to support?
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Oct 01 2017
Working in Credit - The Importance of Having a Consistent Supervisor

Can you remember the last time a customer became frustrated with you during a phone call? Did that phone call change your mood? How about the last time your supervisor criticized or humiliated you over a credit decision you made because they were simply having a bad day? Working in credit is not always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes we have to say "no" to a customer or to a salesman. Regardless of who it is, a no is still that, a no. And, not too many of us truly like hearing the word no, which can ultimately trigger certain emotions.
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Sep 26 2017



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Sep 01 2017
Lead with Credibility

One of the sessions I attended while at the credit conference in Dallas was titled, "Lead with Credibility," facilitated by Jeff Jones. Jeff is the CFO for Twisted X, a boot and shoe producer in the Dallas area. Jeff started by defining two types of leaders - a leader with the ability to influence people to do something and a servant leader who has the ability to influence people who know you care about them and together accomplishing a benefit for the common good.
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Sep 01 2017
Becoming an Extraordinary Leader

In The Handbook for Leaders, 24 Lessons for Extraordinary Leadership, John Zenger, and Joseph Folkman argue, "Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. The key to developing great leadership is to build strengths." Exceptional leaders do not get where they are by being perfect; they get there by doing a small number of things exceptionally well.
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Sep 01 2017
Do I Dare Ask That Question?

If there's one thing credit managers crave its information. We pull credit reports, we call trade references, we attend trade groups, and we talk with business owners and employees. We want as much information as possible to make better informed decisions to help minimize our company's risk as we extend credit to businesses.
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Aug 01 2017
Trust Your Hunches!

After being in the credit world for more than 18 years, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and further my education. I just finished the Principles of Business Credit class and let's be honest, my world has been rocked! By taking this class, I've begun to notice how many of the details that I once knew have been hidden in the back of my mind. I regret not taking full advantage of all that NACM has to offer in regard to keeping those details sharp in my mind and up to date. I used to keep a quote by Dr. Joyce Brothers on my desk that read, "Trust your hunches. They're usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level." If I would have kept that saying on my desk and taken this class a year ago, I could have saved our company thousands of dollars. Allow me to explain.
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Aug 01 2017
To Surcharge or Not to Surcharge

One of the best sessions I attended at Credit Congress this year was on a subject of much confusion - credit card surcharges. I am so glad I was able to get some clarification on this sometimes vague and confusing subject. First of all, let's talk about the difference between a convenience fee and a surcharge fee.
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Aug 01 2017
International Credit and You - The Credit Professional

WAIT! Before you say, "this topic is not for me - I only sell locally", give me a chance to change your mind on this topic. At National Credit Congress 2017's opening session we heard from our Chairman of the Board Mr. Jay Snyder CCE ICCE. He touched on many credit topics but he emphasized early in his speech that he predicted that every credit manager in the room would be effected by international credit in the next 5 to 8 years and we should be preparing. I found this to be a powerful and impactful statement, that is why I am writing about it. A few of our local members dispute his statement, but it is likely true for many more of us than we think. If your company does not already have an international customer, you may have an international vendor
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Jul 01 2017
Stick to Your Guns to Protect Your Security Interests

Many times a year, I receive a call from a customer with whom I have an ongoing lease on a specific and expensive piece of equipment. The calls are all very similar. They go something like this: Customer:" 'I'm seeking financing from a lending institution. They have asked me to call you because your UCC-1 filing is holding up my loan. I need you to remove your filing." Says I: "Uhhhhhhhhhh....." My filings are very clear in that they are securing only my piece of equipment, yet the calls come. The calls are always awkward.
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Jul 01 2017
Having Crucial Conversations

I have been in credit for 20+ years and have met and worked with some very interesting people and their quirks and personalities, be it bad or good. I think we all have found ourselves at one time or another working with difficult people, either co-workers, bosses, customers, and even friends and family. Who couldn't use a few tips to increase our ability to deal with the many varieties of different or difficult people?
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Jul 01 2017
The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect is based on the understanding that we are all connected. These connections stretch like an incredibly interwoven and complicated tapestry. Each of us exists within this tapestry. Thoughts and actions are like stones dropped in a pond and they create ripples that travel outward. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives and their reactions in turn affect others. The choices you make have far-reaching consequences.
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Jun 01 2017
How to Prevent Check Fraud

Check fraud is one of the largest challenges facing businesses and financial institutions today. With the advancement of computer technology, it is increasingly easy for criminals, either independently or in organized gangs, to manipulate checks in such a way as to deceive innocent victims expecting value in exchange for their money.
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