Search This Blog

Showing posts with label English for WORK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English for WORK. Show all posts

Sunday, October 21, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 22

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills and have fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

F
rom BBC CAPITAL: How similar you are to your partner can affect your happiness, by Christian Jarrett. Researchers have found that how similar you are to your partner can affect your happiness – but it’s complicated.
Among many monogamous species, from cockatiels to cichlid fish, studies have revealed a clear pattern: it helps to be more similar to your mate. When mating pairs are behaviourally similar, their reproductive success tends to be higher.
In human terms, this would imply it’s better to be similar to your partner. Indeed, for a long time psychologists and others have argued that similarity is probably beneficial – after all, then we will be more likely to enjoy the same pursuits, values and outlook on life.
But no matter how intuitive the idea seems, for decades nearly every study has failed to support it.
Now, though, a team of psychologists at the University of Amsterdam think they know why. They have taken a far more sophisticated and nuanced look at the issue than in previous research. (Continue reading)

From BBC REEL: Reel: The oldest coffee in the world. From huts in remote villages to internet cafes in the capital city, coffee ceremonies are the centre of social life and hospitality in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
How to show annoyance (4:11 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Salary Negotiation: 6 Tips on How to Negotiate a Higher Salary (9:56 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
HISTORY: CONSUMERISM (10:52 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
VOCABULARY: Words with more than one spelling (6:16 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
Learn English: "last year" OR "in the last year" (8:26 minutes)
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Core Values Are What You Believe, by Susan M. Heathfield (From The Balance Careers)

πŸ‘‰By Susan M. Heathfield (From The Balance Careers)

What Are Your Most Significant Beliefs and Needs?

Core values are traits or qualities that you consider not just worthwhile, they represent an individual's or an organization's highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and core, fundamental driving forces. They are the heart of what your organization and its employees stand for in the world.

Core values are intrinsic to form the vision of your organization that you present to the world outside of your organization. Your core values are fundamental to attracting and retaining the best, most contributing employees.

Core values define what your organization believes and how you want your organization resonating with and appealing to employees and the external world. [They] should be so integrated with your employees and their belief systems and actions that clients, customers, and vendors see the values in action.

For example, [...] when customers tell the company that they feel cherished by the business, you know that your employees are living your core value of extraordinary customer care and service.

Core values are also known as guiding principles because they form a solid core of who you are, what you believe, and who you want to be going forward.

πŸ“Œ Core Values Form the Foundation of Your Organization
Values form the foundation for everything that happens in your workplace. The core values of the employees in your workplace, along with their experiences, upbringing, and so on, meld together to form your corporate culture. [...]

πŸ“Œ How to Identify Your Core Values
Your goal, when you identify the core values of your organization, is to identify the key core values, not a laundry list of cookie-cutter values that you copied from another organization's list of core values. An organization's employees would have a hard time living any more than 10-12 core values (at a maximum). Four-six is better and easier to hold front and center in everything you do. [...]

πŸ“Œ Develop Value Statements From Your Core Values
Value statements describe actions that are the living enactment of the fundamental core values held by most individuals within the organization. For example, a nursing group of employees identified caring service as one of their core values. When they wrote their value statements, one was, "We will respond to all customer calls within one minute." Another values statement was, "No patient shall ever run out of medication from the drip line."

Values play a defining role in employee motivation and morale. [...] Values such as integrity, empowerment, perseverance, equality, self-discipline, and accountability, when truly integrated within the culture of the organization, are powerful motivators.

They become the compass that the organization uses to select staff members, reward and recognize employee performance, promote employees to more senior roles, and guide interpersonal interaction among staff members.
πŸ“Œ The Downside to Identifying Values

The downside to identifying values occurs when an organization's senior leaders claim to hold certain values and then behave in ways that are contradictory to their stated values. In these workplaces, values deflate motivation because employees don’t trust their leaders’ word.

Remember that employees are like radar machines watching everything you do, listening to everything you say, and watching your interaction with customers and their coworkers. They see your values in action every day at work—or they do not.

Employees want to work in a workplace that shares their values. They want their overall work culture to promote being a part of a whole system that is much bigger than themselves. They experience motivation and engagement when their workplace exhibits their most important core values. Never underestimate the power of core values in creating a motivating work environment—or not. Your choice.

πŸ’‘ You may also be interested in:

Saturday, October 13, 2018

How Good Is Your Feedback? (From Mind Tools)

Giving Clear Comments to Improve Performance
© iStockphoto / monkeybusinessimages / From: Mind Tools
As a manager, one of the most important things you do is give feedback. When you let people know how they're doing, you give them the chance to change unhelpful habits, and you reward and cement positive behavior

Do you know when and how to give feedback to colleagues? 

So, why do managers find it so difficult to give feedback? Perhaps it's because they're uncomfortable doing it, or because they don't feel that they have the skills to do it properly. Either way, they may put off giving feedback until a problem has become serious. 

Use this quiz to find out how well you give feedback, and to discover how you can give better feedback in the future


πŸ’‘ You may also be interested in the quizzes below:

Saturday, October 06, 2018

How many is a billion? (From Oxford Dictionary – Explore)


πŸ’‘ In British English, a billion used to be equivalent to a million million (i.e. 1,000,000,000,000), while in American English it has always equated to a thousand million (i.e. 1,000,000,000). British English has now adopted the American figure, though, so that a billion equals a thousand million in both varieties of English.
The same sort of change has taken place with the meaning of trillion. In British English, a trillion used to mean a million million million (i.e. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000). Nowadays, it's generally held to be equivalent to a million million (1,000,000,000,000), as it is in American English.

The same evolution can be seen with quadrillion and quintillion. In British English, a quadrillion used to mean a thousand raised to the power of eight (1024), and is now understood to be a thousand raised to the power of five (1015). A quintillion, in British English, used to mean a million raised to the power of five (1030), and is now most commonly held to be a thousand raised to the power of six (1018).

Even higher are sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, and decillion, some of which are not common enough to be included in OxfordDictionaries.com yet.

Other terms follow the same linguistic pattern (ending with -illion) but do not refer to precise numbers. These include jillion, zillion, squillion, gazillion, kazillion, bajillion, and bazillion. All of these words are used informally to refer to an extremely or indefinitely large number.

How many is a billion? (2:02 minutes)

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

CV / RESUME WRITING (Posts from Glassdoor Blog + Videos)

Resume Hacks - How to Make a Resume Stand Out (9:00 minutes - By Linda Raynier)


πŸ“ How to Write a Resume (From Glassdoor Blog)

[… This article] will take you through all the essential steps of crafting this career document, from how to structure its many sections to how to make sure a spelling error doesn’t sneak in. […]

How to Structure a Resume

This is what the perfect resume looks like: it's got a simple, clean design and a clear way to contact the job candidate, plus it makes the applicant's experience stand out. You'll need to add your work experience, education — including any specialized training you may have received — your skills, and the best way to contact you. (Adding references to your resume is optional.) […]

For example, professional resume writer Peter Yang told Glassdoor that there's no rule that your education section must come before your work experience section. If your work experience is more relevant to the position for which you're applying—or if your education doesn't match the position's requirements—then your degree should be placed at the bottom of your resume. But if your GPA is sure to wow, or you’re a recent graduate without much experience, put your degree toward the top. In other words, structure your resume in a way that makes sense for you — and that shows off your strongest assets for the specific job for which you're applying.

Lastly, beware of leaning too heavily on traditional resume templates. They may make writing your resume easier, but they also won't help you stand out in a pile of other resumes. "People too often use a standardized resume," said Aikman, "and don't think from a creative perspective."

Instead, Aikman told Glassdoor, "You should consider, 'What does this employer think about? What are they looking for? What can I communicate visually?' You are trying to communicate to someone else, so think about what they want to see. What works for the engineering industry does not work for the marketing industry; [and] therefore, you have to style it toward the person who is going to be reading it."

How to Showcase Your Skills, Education & More

Career experts agree: finding a way to quantify or paint a picture of your skills is the most effective way to show them off on your resume. So, what does that look like?

It means stripping words such as "results-oriented" and "hardworking" from your resume. Why? They're overused, and they're not specific enough. Instead, use verbs "that really pinpoint what was accomplished, i.e. influenced, improved, achieved, etc.," according to expert Susan Joyce. "This way, there is no miscommunication about a candidate’s qualifications."

Job coach Angela Copeland told Glassdoor, "if you want to show that you’re results-oriented and hardworking, share the numbers. Rather than stating that you’re an 'excellent digital marketer,' prove it. Say something that reflects your actual results, such as, "grew online sales and revenue by 200 percent in one year.'"

But when it comes to showcasing your skills, education, and anything else you want to stand out, there are more words you need to focus on than just verbs. Recruiters and applicant tracking systems scan your resume for exact keywords that match the job description. So, one way you'll ensure you can show off those skills is to pepper your skills section with those keywords. For example, Yang told Glassdoor, if the job description for a software engineering position requires candidates have knowledge of object-oriented design and you took a course on object-oriented programming in college, note it on your resume. You can include it in your education or your skills section.

How to Edit Your Resume

You've written your resume, and read it twice, but that's not enough. A good editing job will take a little longer—and some specific tactics meant to catch resume errors.

First, don't attempt to edit your resume until it's done. […]

Next, never try to edit your resume right after you've written it. In fact, you should give yourself a 24-hour break before editing your resume. With time away, you'll see your resume with fresh eyes and for what it really is—not what you meant it to be.

When you give your resume a read, try reading your resume backward. It sounds odd — and it's not always easy — but reading backward forces you to focus on each word, and helps you better catch both spelling and grammatical errors in the text.

Ask a friend or family member to read your resume, too. They may spot errors that you missed or have suggestions for how to show yourself in an even better light.

Then, fact-check your resume. Check the spelling of proper nouns — think: company names, addresses, etc. — and make sure you have the current contact information for any references you've chosen to add. These things might have changed since you last applied for a job.

And lastly, be sure to look for these common resume pitfalls before you press send. […]

πŸ’‘ A few examples:
πŸ’‘ More from Glassdoor Blog:
5 Things Your Resume Must Have To Get More Job Interviews (6:39 minutes - From Work It Daily)
If Your Resume Doesn't Have This, It Gets Tossed by Recruiters | #HelpMeJT (1:54 minutes - From Work It Daily)
Should I List A Short-Term Job On My Resume? - Coaching Moment (2:00 minutes - From Work It Daily)
This Resume Mistake Will RUIN Your Chances Of Getting A Job - Part 6 of 8 (2:06 minutes From Work It Daily)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 19

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills while having fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

From BBC CULTURE: Images that defined the Soviet Union, by Fiona Macdonald. Red Star Over Russia is an exhibition that offers a visual history of Russia and the Soviet Union. Fiona Macdonald finds out how these images foreshadowed fake news.
“We all live in an age of fake news. But it wasn’t invented with Twitter and YouTube – it was used in the 1930s to make real people disappear,” said curator Natalia Sidlina at the opening of a new exhibition at London’s Tate Modern. Red Star Over Russia, which launched on the centenary of the October Revolution, is focused on the powerful imagery created in Russia and the Soviet Union from 1905 to 1955 – but, inevitably, politics seeps through.
And the relevance of these images today is hard to escape. “We planned the exhibition to coincide with the anniversary of the October Revolution, yet it does seem to be inviting comparisons with what’s going on around the world right now,” Tate Modern’s head of displays Matthew Gale tells BBC Culture. (Continue reading)

From CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY: 1066 and all that: How to say years by Liz Walter. Being able to name a year is a pretty basic English skill, but there are a few things that can make it complicated, and there are a number of differences between British and American English.
Let’s start with the (relatively) easy ones. For years like 1345, 1682 or 1961, we say the first two and the second two digits as if they were single numbers: thirteen forty-five; sixteen eighty-two; nineteen sixty-one. If the third digit is zero, there are two possible ways of saying the year: … (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Why English is so hard to learn: silent letters (1:22 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Skills for Work: Interview Skills (6:43 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
10 ESSENTIAL Do's and Don'ts in London (Don't make these MISTAKES!) (14:45 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
English Grammar - comparing with LIKE & AS (9:10 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
Stative verbs in the continuous form: BBC English Masterclass (3:45 minutes)
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Are you an insecure overachiever? By Laura Empson (From BBC CAPITAL)

πŸ‘‰ Listen to Insecure Overachievers on BBC Radio 4 here. Presented by Laura Empson and produced by Jonathan Brunert.

Decades of research into elite firms identified a particular type of worker: exceptionally capable and fiercely ambitious, but driven by a profound belief in their own inadequacy.

"It feels like a constant need to prove you should be where you are, and a constant concern, before every meeting that I go to… am I going to make an idiot of myself here and are people going to see through a faΓ§ade and think actually there’s no real substance to this?"

This is Jeremy Newman. Until recently, Jeremy was the global CEO of BDO, one of the world’s largest accounting firms. He currently chairs important government bodies and a range of other institutions. By any measure he is hugely successful in his professional life, and yet here he is, telling me that he privately worries constantly that he is not good enough.

He is not alone. In my 25 years of researching leadership and professional service firms (such as law and accountancy firms, consultancies and investment banks) I have heard numerous brilliant, successful, and apparently confident people describe themselves as insecure. They are ‘insecure overachievers’: exceptionally capable and fiercely ambitious, but driven by a profound belief in their own inadequacy.

When I wrote about insecure overachievers in my recent book, Leading Professionals: Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas, I got a phenomenal response from people worldwide, in a range of sectors, saying that they identified with the term. Insecure overachievers are made, not born, and typically in childhood, through experiencing psychological, financial, or physical insecurity. [...]

[…] People know that they are being directly measured against their colleagues. But because they don’t actually know how their colleagues are doing, they set themselves incredibly high standards, just to be sure. And because everyone in the system is doing this, the standards just get higher and higher, requiring everyone to work harder and harder.

For insecure overachievers, this pattern persists. During my research, a senior executive in a consulting firm described two colleagues, who “feel that I will say to them, ‘Sorry. You’re not performing. You have to leave’… So I say, ‘Are you crazy? Why don’t you go home earlier and think about your family?’ And they say, ‘No, no, no, no, I have to work.’” More junior employees see their leaders behaving in this way and assume that this is what will get them ahead. And so, the pattern is repeated and constantly reinforced.

[... Sometimes, it] can be positive. David Morley, until recently the global senior partner at leading global law firm Allen and Overy, likens the senior lawyer on a transaction to the ringmaster of a giant circus that’s going on around them. “And if you’re good at it and you enjoy it, that’s very stimulating,” he says. “You can render a large bill at the end which is paid by a grateful client, and so you’ve got a very tangible number on the page illustrating the value that you’ve added. And then the phone rings and you’re on to the next one... It’s almost like a drug... this flow of excitement… and if you are good at it there are a lot of positive rewards that come from that."

However, taken to extremes, the long hours and being constantly driven to excel can lead to serious physical and mental health problems, ranging from simple exhaustion to chronic pain, addictions, eating disorders, depression and worse.

So, if you are an insecure overachiever, what can you do about it? […]
  1. Recognise your triggers […]
  2. Define success in your own terms, not others'.  […]
  3. Respect the evidence of and celebrate your success.  […]
πŸ”— GO TO FULL ARTICLE πŸ‘‰Are you an insecure overachiever?

πŸ”Ž Laura Empson is professor in the management of professional service firms at Cass Business School, London, and a senior research fellow at Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession. Her most recent book is Leading Professionals: Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas (Oxford University Press).

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

10 Common Communication Mistakes, (from Mind Tools)

πŸ‘‰ By the Mind Tools Content Team
Avoiding Communication Blunders and Misunderstandings

© iStockphoto Pinopic / From: Mind Tools
It can be embarrassing to make mistakes with communication. For example, if you send an email without checking it, and later realize that it contained an error, you can end up looking sloppy and unprofessional.

But
other communication mistakes can have more serious consequences. They can tarnish your reputation, upset clients or even lead to lost revenue.

This article describes 10 common communication mistakes, and discusses what you can do to avoid them. (GO TO FULL ARTICLE)

  • 1: Not Editing Your Work
  • 2: Delivering Bad News by Email
  • 3: Avoiding Difficult Conversations
  • 4: Not Being Assertive
  • 5: Reacting, Not Responding
  • 6: Not Preparing Thoroughly
  • 7: Using a "One-Size-Fits-All" Approach to Communication
  • 8: Not Keeping an Open Mind When Meeting New People
  • 9: Assuming That Your Message Has Been Understood
  • 10: Accidentally Violating Others' Privacy
πŸ’‘ KEY POINTS

Everyone makes communication mistakes from time to time. However, you'll protect your reputation if you avoid the most common errors. These include not editing your work, accidentally violating people's privacy when forwarding emails, and not being assertive.

The key to good communication is to think about your audience's needs. Prepare each email, document, and presentation carefully, and give yourself time to check it.

Above all, remember that communication is a two-way process. Be ready for questions, and listen to what your audience has to say.

Over time, you'll find that avoiding these common communication mistakes will greatly enhance the quality of your messages, your reputation, your working relationships, and your job satisfaction.


πŸ”— READ FULL ARTICLE ⇒
 10 COMMON COMMUNICATION MISTAKES

Business skills tutorial: Effective communication | lynda.com (4:41 minutes)

πŸ’‘ You may also be interested in:

Follow me on Google+