Blog

Category: Skills

How NOT to Introduce Yourself

Filed under: Branding, Career Advice, Professional Development, Skills

Networking is one of the most challenging skills you may have to learn in the world of business. It can be an awkward experience, having the attention of a group of strangers focused on you, and trying to make a good first impression.

It’s an important moment. The person opposite you might be someone who could make or break your career. If you make a good impression, he or she might be able to refer your next big client, or have the influence to help you land that next big contract.

On the other hand, if you act like a doofus, you might alienate someone who might have been an otherwise important connection and relationship.

If you’d like to avoid looking like a jerk, avoid being this guy when introducing yourself:

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Why You Should Listen, Even If Others Don’t

Filed under: Career Advice, Communication, Good Habits, Skills

The odds are very good that the last person to whom you spoke barely heard anything you said. Don’t take it personally – most people just don’t listen.

Even the people who never listen know this is true. Most of us know it’s bad to be distracted, zoned out and oblivious… but many of us do it anyway.

Likewise, most of us know it’s bad to be so stuck in our own biases and beliefs that we block out half of what other people say… because we label their thoughts as “wrong” even before they stop talking.

But we are surrounded by noise. We don’t call it noise. We call it by many names: texts, emails, tweets, updates, voicemail, ads, memos, reports, sales pitches, junk mail, TV, Netflix, ITunes…

To protect our sanity, we tune out 99.9% of the world. We even tune out our own feelings. But once we start doing this, we make the mistake of tuning out important stuff, like what the people that matter to us really need us to understand.

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How To Make Friends With Ambitious People

Filed under: ambition, Professional Development, Quick Tips, Skills

If you’re trying to take yourself and your life to the next level, it makes a lot of sense to aim higher when it comes to making friends. The right friends will support you emotional and provide practical help along the way.

If you have exiting friends that aren’t as ambitious as you are, chances are that they’re unconsciously holding you back. You don’t have to stop seeing them right away; your best bet is to focus on building friendships with new people.

If you want to make friends with ambitious people, read on. In this article, I would like to share with you three important steps. These steps will help you go to the next level in your social life, meet many ambitious and interesting people, and have them stick around for a long time.

Click here to read the rest on Careerealism >>

Do You Have These 4 Soft-People Skills?

Filed under: Personality, Skills, Social Impact, Success

Have you worked with or for a person with a strong leader-type personality? They’re adept in driving for results and measuring performance. They have no issue delivering hard feedback or making tough decisions. At times however, their sharp edge becomes a limitation. They haven’t spent much time developing their soft people skills and it’s making them less effective in their role. Maybe this even describes you.

In a workshop I was conducting on personality types an example was shared about a boss that everyone in the room had worked for. The general dislike of this individual was still evident as everyone had at least one example of how this person was overbearing and difficult to work for. He was eventually asked to leave the company but only after he left a trail of carnage in his wake. His memory lives on.

If you have a strong leader-type personality, you absolutely must get a handle on developing your soft-people skills. There are 4 Skills in particular that may not come naturally but you can learn.

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Seven Ways To Sharpen Your Memory

Filed under: Cognitive Ability, Focus, Good Habits, Skills

We often talk about our ability to remember in terms of its being good or bad: “I have a mind like a sieve,” “He has a photographic memory,” “She works hard, but she just can’t retain what she’s learned.”

What we fail to recognize is that the way we use our memory has a lot to do with how effectively it operates. Here, seven strategies from cognitive science and psychology that will allow us to remember better.

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How to Tackle Something You Have No Idea How to Do

Filed under: Productivity, Professional Development, Skills, Strategy

My career has been filled with daunting tasks.

I graduated with a degree in the all-too-general category of business, which didn’t exactly prepare me for any one specific industry. So, when I settled into a career with a healthcare technology company—knowing absolutely nothing about healthcare or technology—I was faced with a tough gig.

My boss would pull me into her office and rush through my next assignment: “Listen, I need you to reconcile our 10 biggest clients’ lists of providers with their billing before we switch to the new accounting software.”

I’d nod and take notes, but inside, my stomach was turning over with a mixture of fear and frustration. I don’t even know where to start, I’d scowl. How does she expect me to do this?

But the thing is, regardless of whether you know how to do something or not, it’s part of your job to make sure it gets done. You won’t always be able to get formal company training, and often, your boss won’t be able to guide you through the task step-by-step; it’s up to you to figure out how to see it through.

After a good deal of frustration, I eventually learned how to take that completely overwhelmed feeling and turn it into something productive. Here’s how.

Click here to read the rest on The Muse >>

There’s No Getting Around It: Communication Counts

Filed under: Communication, Good Habits, Insights, Skills

No matter who you talk to or what you read, at the heart of every major issue lies the same problem. As the prison warden in Cool Hand Luke said so well, ” What we’ve got here is … failure to communicate.”

In business and life, we have to interact with other people in order to survive. We are constantly giving and receiving information in one form or another. We must write, tweet, call, text, email or if all else fails, speak in person. Some of us may gain energy from personal interactions (extroverts) while others of us consume energy during those interactions (introverts). But the challenge is the same – in order to survive, we have to participate in the exchange of information.

When communication fails, problems arise.

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What it Really Takes to Succeed

Filed under: Goals, Good Habits, Insights, Skills

The modern marketplace demands that people possess a wide range of skills. But what core qualities are truly essential to career advancement, regardless of industry or job?

The answer could fill a book and it has, thousands of times, if not more. Myriad experts claim that career advancement is a function of everything from extreme self-confidence to extreme humility (or both at once). Still others make the case that big-time professional success derives from more sinister behaviors, such as callous ambition or unfettered narcissism. And then there is the whole “positive thinking” bandwagon, which claims that getting ahead is primarily a function of believing you can. In sum, there’s so much contradictory advice out there about the core components of success that it’s enough to reduce you to a weary sigh of: “Whatever.”

Which is just fine. Because we’d suggest that you can’t really manipulate yourself into success with personality tweaks or even major overhauls. In fact, we’d say just the opposite. The most powerful thing you can do is, well, be real. As in not phony. As in grappling, sweating, laughing, and caring. As in authentic.

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How Influential Are You? Measure It!

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Branding, Self Reflection, Skills

It’s simple, influence matters. It matters in your job and your private life. In fact, influence is part of every human interaction. Just think of parents influencing their children, political or religious leaders influencing their followers, CEOs influencing employees, sales people influencing customers, friends influencing each other and the list goes on…

Influential people have an edge over others who are not influential because with influence comes the ability to make others listen to what you have to say. Influence gives people the power to change beliefs and drive actions and behaviours in others and this is important in all aspects of life, whether you are a CEO of a global company, a sales rep, a football coach or someone that is simply trying to get friends to do or believe something.

So what makes us influential then?

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The Joy of Risk

Filed under: Big Ideas & Innovation, Finance and Banking, Risk, Skills

One American military leader, already having lost most of his many battles, persisted in driving his troops to attack in situations that everyone else regarded as lost causes. A leader destined to go down in history as a failure? Hardly. It was George Washington.

Business leaders today could take a lesson in risk management from General Washington, but it’s not the one you might think. Washington was never reckless. He studied risks carefully, running unapologetically from battles likely to lead to catastrophic defeat, while throwing himself and his troops into battles that he saw could prove decisive and were more winnable than others assumed, as when he crossed the freezing Delaware to attack–and defeat–the British in a blizzard.

Managers sometimes mistakenly think their job is to avoid or eliminate risk. That’s easy to do: Just veer away from all undertakings that aren’t sure things, or that you don’t understand well. I can absolutely guarantee you the result of that strategy will be mediocre performance, at very best. Innovation, speed, and bold action are all associated with risk–so if you’re avoiding risk, you’re avoiding some of the very qualities your organization needs to excel or perhaps even just survive.

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