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Category: Interpersonal Skills

Yes, Your Interpersonal Skills Trump Your Technical Abilities

Yes, Your Interpersonal Skills Trump Your Technical Abilities

Do you know the number one skill employers tell me they look for in potential information technology (IT) hires when I visit my students completing IT work internships? You might say “Excellent technical abilities.” While you are partially right, technical abilities are not the most sought-after skill because technical skills are a given and can be learned as the technology field constantly changes, and keeping up with new developments remains critical. So, what is the sought-after gemstone? Interpersonal skills or…

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Just do it: say “No”

Just do it: say “No”

“No”: such a small word with so much power. When you get used to saying “yes” all the time, trying to say “no” may feel foreign to you. Some people say “yes” to everything and everyone because they want to please others. Truth is, they end up pleasing everyone but themselves! Saying “yes” to others means saying “no” to yourself. Although “yes” has a positive connotation most of the time, it can weigh you down like an anchor. Saying “no”…

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Having Difficult Conversations

Having Difficult Conversations

No one likes confrontation. When dealing with conflict, we adopt a fight or flight response: we stay or we go. However, another approach is to freeze or to avoid the situation altogether. This is not helpful for building relationships and working harmoniously with others. Moreover, when we hold onto words that need to be said, this can build resentment. Resentments can fester. Next thing we know, the issue snowballs and may become even more difficult to approach or resolve. Follow…

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9 Tips to Remember for your Life’s Journey

9 Tips to Remember for your Life’s Journey

Life is a journey that starts without a road map. Every choice we make, whether it is carefully planned or on the spur of the moment will affect the outcome of the journey. But the journey should not be defined by one change alone. Let’s face it, every day we make many decisions based on the facts at hand. These choices move us forward in life. At times the road can become congested with traffic and the voyage feels terribly long and…

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Polish Your People Skills

Polish Your People Skills

You prefer working with things rather than with people. You like to be alone in your corner doing your job. You work well autonomously. While you score points for these, you’ll get more points for the essential skill of relating to others or for your people skills. Did you know that 85% of your career success depends upon your people skills, while only 15% of your technical skills account for the rest of your success? Yes, employers value people who…

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How to State Your Truth–Clearly, Fairly and Kindly

How to State Your Truth–Clearly, Fairly and Kindly

It’s never easy to tell someone how their behaviour affects you, especially when this involves giving constructive feedback about negative behaviour. The key word is “constructive.” Your goal is to always create an exchange that benefits you while also being constructive for the other person, despite how their negative actions may have pushed your buttons or triggered your own defensive response. Keep these in mind when you approach a truthful conversation: Don’t kitchen-sink it—stay away from drawing in other complaints…

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Bullying is never OK

Bullying is never OK

Perhaps we first encountered bullying in the school yard, being taunted by our peers. Later, we may have been ignored or left out of a group. Perhaps we have felt picked on by a friend who “means well”. Maybe we’ve experienced online (cyber) bullying that damaged our reputation. Or we’ve been harassed (verbally or sexually) in the workplace by a supervisor or colleague. Do we know the signs? The signs of bullying aren’t always clear. Bullying can be a racial…

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Build Rapport with your Customers

Build Rapport with your Customers

It’s not about selling–it’s ALWAYS about establishing rapport. We call this relationship selling. And this is what you can do to build effective and lasting customer relationships: Use your customer’s name–often–and pronounce it properly. Say what you’re going to do and do it. Show interest in your customer – there’s always time for conversation about their vacation plans, kids, interests. Take an interest! Be empathetic – put yourself in your customer’s shoes, letting them know that you understand their frustration…

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Put the ACTIVE back into your listening

Put the ACTIVE back into your listening

We are born with two ears and only one mouth. That means we should listen twice as much as we speak! Don’t simply hear and make all the right noises–be an active participant and apply effective listening skills. Here are some quick tips for ramping up your listening: Encourage your speaker by acknowledging what they are saying: Nod, say “yes,” “Go on…,” “Tell me more…”. Encouraging responses make your speaker want to talk. Paraphrase or reformulate in your own words…

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