Category Archives: Word From YM

6 Reasons Why All Feedback is Important

No matter where you are or what you are doing, you will most likely receive some feedback. Whether it’s direct, nonverbal, positive or negative, feedback is a good thing! Here are 6 reasons why any and all feedback is important:

  1. The best way to measure overall satisfaction

If there was no way for others to provide their input, you would never know if they were satisfied with your performance. Companies always want their clients to be satisfied with their performance so that they continue to come back for other projects. If the client was unsatisfied and had no way to communicate that, you wouldn’t have a chance to resolve issues and/or redeem yourself.

  1. Provides insight on what can be changed

No matter how well done, every project or presentation can be improved upon. Feedback allows you to see what can be changed so that your performance can be taken to the next level.

  1. Boosts motivation and confidence

Feedback does not always have to point out what could be better. It can also provide insight into things that are working perfectly. Positive feedback often shows what you are excelling at and when it is pointed out to you, it motivates you to continue with what you are doing and makes you feel like you can accomplish other projects with the same confidence.

  1. Shows strengths and weaknesses

Your strengths and weaknesses are something that you should always be aware of. When you know what you do well and what you can improve upon, then you can be more cognizant of your ability. When you’re starting a new project, taking your strengths and weaknesses into account should help you stay focused. It can also help you determine whether you need to bring someone new on board who can fill certain voids.

  1. Shows that you value other people’s opinions

When you ask for feedback, it shows that you value the opinion of others. It shows that you are trying to improve your skills to become better. People generally respond well to being asked to give feedback because they feel like their opinion matters.

  1. Improves your overall skills

By accepting feedback and not dismissing it, you open yourself to improvement. When people provide feedback, use it as an opportunity to listen and grow.

Can you think of other reasons why feedback is important? Tell us in the comments below!

6 Ways to Make Your Day More Productive

It’s not always easy to stay on task and accomplish everything that needs to be done. Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you work, there is still a pile of paperwork you need to get through. Here are some productivity tips to help make the most out of your day:

  1. Make a to-do list. List all of the tasks that you have to do in order of importance or deadline. It helps to have a clear outline of everything you have to do and when it needs to be done by so that you don’t start to panic thinking you need to accomplish everything in one day.
  2. Don’t put off until tomorrow what could be done today. Procrastination may seem appealing, but in the end, it will come back to haunt you. If you have the compulsion to procrastinate, just think about everything else that will soon begin to pile up. You will then have to spend your time completing the pile of work you avoided, leaving less time to work on other projects that could easily be finished now. Try to finish the hard stuff first so you can move on to easier tasks later, give yourself periodic breaks and try to keep yourself motivated by thinking about how happy you will be when you finish.
  3. Avoid distractions. There will always be distractions taunting you from every direction. Sometimes they are hard to avoid, especially during those times when you are looking for a way to distract yourself. Turn off your cell phone, block distracting websites like Facebook, stay away from people who try to engage you in conversation and work in a quiet environment.
  4. Be realistic with your time goals. Realize that tasks always take longer than you originally intend for them to. Set aside enough time to finish your work—include some buffer time, if necessary.
  5. Find time, or make time, to sleep. Sleep is a key factor to productivity. If you don’t get enough of it, you won’t be able to function as fully as you would if you had gotten enough rest.
  6. What would you like to accomplish tomorrow? Before ending your day, make a list of what you would like to accomplish tomorrow. By setting a clear list of goals for the next day, you’ll have a strategy allowing you to enjoy your evenings and be ready to go in the morning.

How do you make the most out of your work day? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Celebrate America—And Be Grammatically Correct

We’re almost two weeks into the summer season, and that means the Fourth of July festivities are kicking off! We shared some spring- and summer-related grammar tips in an earlier post, so this time, we’re focusing on tips to help you celebrate America (while being grammatically correct):

  • The holiday can be written as Independence Day, Fourth of July, July 4 or July Fourth. “July 4th” and “4th of July” are not correct. “July 4” is OK if you’re using it as the date and not the holiday, for example: Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
  • Some people choose to celebrate the holiday with firecrackers and fireworks—both one word—while others like to make s’mores over the firewood (one word).
  • The Fourth of July occurs in the summertime, not summer time.
  • The dog days (two words, not capitalized) of summer—the most sultry days of the season—are July 3 to Aug. 11.
  • If you’re heading to the beach, you might be planning to lie—not lay—on the sand to sunbathe (one word).

Do you have any other tips to share with us? Tell us in the comments!

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Our Favorite Super Bowl XLIX Commercials

Super Bowl XLIX is in the books, and though the New England Patriots came out on top, so did a lot of the commercials.

The Yearick-Millea staff has compiled a list of some of our favorites. Here’s a look:

Budweiser’s “Lost Dog”

Lauren: I enjoyed the Budweiser lost puppy commercial – for the way that it evoked emotion. It was obviously pretty cute, too!

Stephanie: A cute puppy works every time.

John: You can’t go wrong with the puppy and the Clydesdales.

Esurance’s “Say My Name”

John: As a “Breaking Bad” fan, I got a big kick out of the Esurance commercial starring Walter White (Bryan Cranston).

Discover’s “Surprise”

Heidi: I’ve watched YouTube videos with screaming goats because they’re so funny! Even though this commercial aired pretty early on in the night, it was definitely my favorite.

Loctite Glue’s “Positive Feelings”

Ian:  I liked it because the last thing I thought I’d see on Super Sunday was a hilarious glue commercial with a catchy beat and fanny packs.

NO MORE’s Domestic Violence PSA

Jay: This is a sensitive subject, but it was very well done.

However, not all commercials–serious or funny–are getting the thumbs up from viewers. Nationwide Insurance’s “Make Safe Happen” spot has received a lot of criticism for being too dark and depressing for the Super Bowl, and some viewers were confused about the insurance company’s intent. What do you think?

In your opinion, what were the best and worst Super Bowl XLIX commercials? Let us know in the comments!

A Thanksgiving Thank You

In 1621, the Pilgrims gathered in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with members of the native Wamapanoag tribe to celebrate and give thanks for that fall’s bountiful harvest.

Tomorrow, as we convene with family and friends to share the generous blessings bestowed on us, the staff at Yearick-Millea wishes to express its gratitude to all who have made our good fortunes possible, from our husbands, wives, and moms and dads, to our dedicated vendors and suppliers, and, of course, the extraordinarily loyal and talented friends we have the privilege of serving as clients.

We also are grateful to the countless people who will volunteer their time and labor tomorrow and throughout the year to food kitchens, shelters and other charitable activities, and to the thousands of military service members around the world who are sacrificing time with their loved ones to make sure we have the freedom to be with ours.

Together with the Pilgrims and Native Americans assembled on the shores of Massachusetts nearly 500 years ago, these individuals represent the best of an American spirit that was born a century-and-a-half before the Founding Fathers signed our country into existence.

To all of them and to all of you, we say, “Thank you.”

Do you have someone you’d like to thank or acknowledge?  If so, we’d really like to hear from you.  Please do so here.

The Benefits of Having a Company Blog

In this age of digital media, it has become an expectation for companies and brands to have blogs. While managing and maintaining a company blog can be time-consuming, we encourage all of our clients to put effort into having one for several reasons:

  • Drives traffic – Having a blog that is updated at least monthly creates more content for your website. This flow of fresh content will help your SEO ranking, making it easier for potential customers to find you in search results.
  • Complements your social media – Not only does blogging automatically give you good content to use on social media, it gives you a space to expand on ideas in a way that is not possible on social media.
  • Show off expertise – Whatever your industry may be, a blog allows you to establish your brand as the “go-to” expert in your field, potentially leading to new business.
  • Engagement – Having a blog offers customers more ways to interact with your brand, creating more opportunities to form a relationship. You may be able to transform some of these new relationships into brand advocates.
  • Cost –There are many great blogging platforms that offer free services – WordPress is one of the more popular options.
  • Additional content – Think of a blog as an extension of your website and your social media pages. It gives people more information about how your company operates, who the members of your staff are, what your philosophies are and your areas of expertise.

If you have a blog, tell us why you started one in the comments!

Our Favorite Pittsburgh Things—Point State Park

As we welcome September, it’s hard to believe that fall is almost here. But there’s still time to enjoy one of our favorite things in Pittsburgh—Point State Park (or, simply, the Point).

The Point, which is a short walk from the Yearick-Millea office, is located at the tip of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle,” where the city’s three rivers come together.

Opened in the 1970s and recently renovated, the Point provides a recreational space within downtown and hosts multiple city events, including the Three Rivers Arts Festival, the Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race and the Three Rivers Regatta.

Visitors can learn about the area’s role during the French and Indian War at the Fort Pitt Museum and Fort Pitt Blockhouse, picnic at the Great Lawn and City Side Lawn, grab a bite to eat at the Café at the Point, or sunbathe by the fountain. The area is also a favorite among walkers, joggers and bikers.

The fountain at Point State Park shuts off some time in the fall, so you still have time to head down there and check it out!

What’s your favorite thing to do at the Point? Tell us in the comments!

The fountain at Point State Park.

The fountain at Point State Park.

Are You Using ‘That’ and ‘Which’ Correctly?

In everyday conversation, people use that and which interchangeably without giving the words much thought. However, when using them as relative pronouns to introduce adjective clauses, the choice of using that or which determines the meaning of a sentence. It’s another grammar rule that is more important in writing than it is in speech.

So, how do you know which word to use? Simply put, use that before a restrictive clause and which before a nonrestrictive clause. Easy enough, right?

That

Restrictive (or essential) clauses limit the meaning of the nouns they modify. They add important information, and leaving it out would change the sentence’s meaning.

Example: The bacon cheeseburgers that are topped with cheddar sell fast.

In this sentence, we specifically know the bacon cheeseburgers with cheddar sell fast. We don’t know anything about the burgers with a different cheese.

Which

Nonrestrictive (or nonessential) clauses simply provide additional information that can be left out of a sentence without changing its meaning.

Example: The bacon cheeseburgers, which are topped with cheddar, sell fast.

In this sentence, we can assume cheddar is on every bacon cheeseburger and they all sell fast.

Did you notice the commas in the nonrestrictive clause example and how they are absent in the restrictive clause example. The rule of thumb is to surround a nonrestrictive clause with commas. If the sentence ends in a nonrestrictive clause, set it off with a single comma. For example, “I ate a bacon cheeseburger for lunch, which was delicious.”

Would you like us to explore other grammar questions? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

Our Favorite Pittsburgh Things – Market Square

Market Square has undergone quite the transformation in recent years. Because of its proximity to the Yearick-Millea office, it’s one of our favorite places to visit, especially during the warm summer months.

A mix of old and new, the historic downtown Pittsburgh district offers restaurants, shopping and plenty of summer activities. During the weekdays, you’ll find office workers taking a break to enjoy the weather at the many open tables. The “Summer in the Square” programming sponsored by Market Square Merchants Association and supported by the Pittsburgh Downtown partnership provides free live performances and events all summer. Be sure to check out:

Mellow Mondays: Live acoustic entertainment from noon to 1 p.m.

Tuesday: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Reading Room, where visitors can sample a few of the programs offered at the library from 11a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mid-Week Music Wednesdays: Live bands from noon to 1 p.m.

Farmers Market Thursdays: Shop a variety a vendors (produce, desserts, wine) each Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. now through Oct. 30.

Market Square Farmers Market

Market Square Farmers Market

If you’re in the area Monday through Friday, make sure to stop in to the Yearick-Millea office to say hi!

 

Is It Who or Whom?

While thinking of a topic to blog about, I was looking at headlines on a popular news website when I saw, “Whom will Jackson hire to coach Knicks?” I smiled, but then I clicked the link and read, “Who might Phil Jackson want as his first Knicks coach?” My smile turned upside down.

Who vs Whom

While “who” and “whom” are both pronouns, many people do not use them correctly. The rule of thumb is to use “who” when referring to the subject of a clause—the person doing something—and “whom” when referring to the object—the person having something done to them.

There’s a really simple trick to help you figure out which pronoun to use. If the question can be answered with “he” (she, they, or we), then use “who,” but if it’s answered with “him” (her, them, or us), then use “whom.” The “m” in “him” and “whom” is the trick. Simple.

Who/Whom will Jackson hire to coach Knicks?

Jackson is the subject and the soon-to-be coach is the object. Jackson will hire “him,” so “whom” is correct.

Who/Whom might Jackson want as his first Knicks coach?

Here, the new coach is still the object. Jackson might want “him,” so “whom” should have been used.

Who/Whom will start in goal for the Penguins in game four?

Here, the goalie is the subject. “He” will start in goal, so “who” is correct.

Because many of us do not think fast enough on our feet, the distinction between “who” and “whom” is generally less important in speech than it is in writing. Unfortunately, since people aren’t taking the time to learn the difference between the two pronouns, the use of “whom” may disappear altogether.