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Category: Professional Development

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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The Value of ‘Thank You’

The Value of ‘Thank You’

Although you can’t assign a dollar value to a ‘thank you’ per se, keep in mind that these two little words go a long way. Whether you are receiving something old or something new, simply saying ‘thank you’ makes the giver feel appreciated and special. Not acknowledging, on the other hand, presents itself as an affirmation of entitlement and shows a lack of social graces. If you want to ensure that you are easily forgotten by the giver for any…

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Improve Your Self-Management Skills

Improve Your Self-Management Skills

A bird doesn’t question whether it should fly to move forward; it just flies. This is how the bird survives, a powerful instinct with which we are all born. Unlike the bird, sometimes we get in our own way. How can you get out of your way and control your destiny forward? Improve your self-management skills, those essential skills for thriving and progressing in your life. Learn to manage YOU in order to take responsibility for yourself and your life!…

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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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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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Ace Your Next Job Interview

Ace Your Next Job Interview

Say this at the end of your next job interview when asked if you have any questions: “You’ve hired me and it’s been a year and you’re reviewing my performance. You rate my work very positively. What have I accomplished for you to give me such a stellar review?” What asking this direct question does: It gets the interviewer visualizing you for the job It demonstrates confidence and a willingness to meet the challenges It gives you wonderful insight into…

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Read Aloud – Why? What’s wrong with my essay?

Read Aloud – Why? What’s wrong with my essay?

Producing written work is often a difficult task for most people. Getting your words on paper requires more than just time and hard work–your paper has to have a flow. Often when we write we tend to keep it all inside our head and punch away at the keyboard. Miraculously, pages begin to appear, and as you near the final entry of your masterpiece, you begin to feel excited about your production. Next you run a spellcheck, give it one…

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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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Why Mentoring Matters

Why Mentoring Matters

A good mentor teaches you to fly then steps back so you can soar. Mentors are people with a vested interest in your success. They apply and demonstrate their experience, knowledge and skills to help the mentee learn and grow in their own role. They seamlessly share their background in a safe and non-judgmental way that helps you to turn your mistakes into opportunities for learning. Have you ever had a mentor at school or in the workplace? Here are…

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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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