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Category: The Human Factor

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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Refeather Your Empty Nest

Refeather Your Empty Nest

When my children were young, my mother shared some important wisdom with me. She said that when the kids would be all grown up and leave the house, I would experience a sense of loss and emptiness. I assured her that this would not be the case. Raising two children on my own, I assumed that when the time came for them to move out, it would be a welcomed break. As our busy lives marched on, I blended my…

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Work-Life Balance and Vacation

Work-Life Balance and Vacation

Summer is here once again and so are vacations–days off, long weekends, or a multiple-week haitus from going into the workplace. It’s called “vacation” for a reason. I notice that far too many colleagues remain accessible while they are purportedly on vacation. Having recently taken my first disconnect-from-all-things-work in a long time, I became aware of the pressure to remain available via technology, especially email. Technology, while eliminating reams of paperwork, is supposed to make life easier. Instead, technology has…

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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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Change = Transition = Adjustment = Stress

Change = Transition = Adjustment = Stress

Even positive change can feel stressful, very stressful. The Life Change Index lists significant life changes that we experience, along with a rating scale. You can check off life events to appreciate the degree of stress brought on by transition. I had happened to be living five such life events simultaneously just over a year ago—all due to to saying “Yes!” to the man I wanted to marry. The resulting buying a home, renovating, move, and marriage felt so overwhelming….

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Do you believe in multiple intelligences?

Do you believe in multiple intelligences?

When you think of intelligence what comes to mind, math, maybe science, an IQ test or perhaps something else.  The multiple intelligence theory has emerged from recent cognitive research.  According to Gardner (1991), students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways.  Try the survey and see in what areas you excel. Source: http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-assessment