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Showing posts with label MANAGEMENT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MANAGEMENT. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

10 Common Communication Mistakes, (from Mind Tools)

👉 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
💡 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.


🔗 READ FULL ARTICLE ⇒
 10 COMMON COMMUNICATION MISTAKES

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

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

How Approachable Are You? (from Mind Tools)

Building Relationships with Your Team

Being approachable is key to building relationships with your colleagues, and to creating a strong team in which trust, confidence and ideas can flow. When you're approachable, team members do not sit on or cover up problems. This means that they are able to bring issues to you before they become full-blown crises because they know that you won't react badly.

© iStockphoto MaggyMeyer / From: Mind Tools
Team members who have approachable managers feel able to contribute ideas and find the workplace a safe environment in which to do so. They're not scared about being knocked back because they know their manager is open to their suggestions and will consider them fairly.

[…] Approachability is about being accessible, consciously breaking down perceived barriers, having appropriate body language, and using the right verbal communication and listening skills. Take the quiz to find out just how approachable you are, and discover strategies for becoming more approachable in areas that are holding you back.

DO THE QUIZ ⇒ How Approachable Are You?

💡 You may also be interested in the quizzes below:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

An easy way to seem more persuasive, by David Robson (From BBC Capital)

Your hand gestures can help make you more charismatic.

Research into public speakers suggests hand gestures can powerfully change the way you are perceived - David Robson explains.
From BBC Capital / Credit: Getty Images
Next time you watch a TED talk or a political speech, take a moment to look closely at the speaker’s hand movements. Is the motion slow or energetic? Is it subtle or expansive? And how are the hands mostly moving – vertically or horizontally? 

It is well known that non-verbal cues can have more of an influence on the way that a message is received than the actual words spoken. As BBC Capital recently explored, a deeper voice increases perceptions of authority, for instance – and this even appears to influence a CEO’s earnings and how long they stay with a company

Now a series of recent studies from Markus Koppensteiner at the University of Vienna has examined the way that people talk with their hands – with remarkable results. Even when all other factors have been taken into account, your hand gestures signal important elements of your personality like extraversion and dominance. They can even change people’s perceptions of your physical height – making you appear a few inches taller or shorter. 

Koppensteiner’s findings would seem to recall the famous research on “power poses” – the strategy, for instance, of standing, like Superwoman, with your hands on your hips and your feet planted wide apart. These small gestures of confidence are thought to feedback into the brain, leading people to feel more assertive before public speaking. 

In the words of the Harvard University professor, Amy Cuddy, who conducted many of these studies, “you fake it until you make it”


There are some important differences with the new research, however. Power poses are primarily designed to be performed in private to increase confidence before a meeting – and they are largely static positions rather than fluid movements

Koppensteiner’s research, in contrast, examines the motion of the speakers’ hands as they talk and the ways that this influences others’ perceptions. In a typical study, he would take real videos of politicians’ speeches, and then transformed them into animated stick figures so that confounding factors – like their facial expressions – would no longer be visible. (GO TO FULL ARTICLE to see an example + read more)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Emotions in the Wake of Disaster, by Sarah Rose Cavanagh Ph.D. (From Psychology Today)

How you respond to emotions may have implications for your psychological health
Source: Psychology Today
Michiko is at home, contentedly sipping coffee and flipping through the pages of a gossip magazine while her toddler plays at her feet and her 7-month-old naps in her crib. She lives in an area with frequent earthquakes, so at first she hardly notices as her cup begins to clatter in its saucer. But quickly the shaking becomes more and more severe, and the apartment building begins to rock alarmingly from side to side. The quake is not letting up.

She grabs her son by the arm and rushes to her infant daughter’s room to swoop her up. Michiko manages to get to the stairwell, one struggling child under each arm. Dust begins to fall from the ceiling, and she realizes that there is no way to get all three of them down the long, steep staircase safely. She rushes to return her infant to her crib, kisses her hot face, and begins the challenge of wrestling her toddler down the perilous stairs.

Once outside, she looks desperately for someone she can entrust her toddler to so that she can return for her daughter. Huge buildings tilt and crack as a sea of panicked humanity rushes by her.

This is a fictional recombination of several real accounts told to us by our research participants, living and working in Tokyo, Japan during the March 2011 tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear crisis.

The Regulation of Emotion

I study emotion regulation, or the strategies people use to change or modify their emotional states in order to feel better or meet some other sort of goal, such as behaving appropriately in a social situation. Most of the time, the situations that require us to regulate our emotions are fleeting and minor (you must dampen your irritation with a frustrating client in order to maintain a good working relationship). Decades of research have taught us a lot about which methods of emotion regulation are most successful.

This research seems to indicate that one of the most effective emotion regulation techniques is that of cognitive reappraisal – the ability to rethink the nature or implications of a situation in order to alter its impact (the client is just trying to please his own boss – I can recall being in similar situations and should be more patient).

So, cognitive reappraisal is effective, and both how frequently you use cognitive reappraisal in your daily life and how successfully you are able to use it to reduce negative emotions have been linked to all sorts of good outcomes like lower depression and heightened well-being. (Continue reading)

🔎Sarah Rose Cavanagh, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Psychology and Director of the Laboratory for Cognitive and Affective Science at Assumption College.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

TOP TIPS for WRITING a SUCCESSFUL SPEECH (From OXFORD Living Dictionaries)


At some point in your life, you will probably have to make a speech. There are many kinds of speeches, including those intended to inform, persuade, instruct, motivate, and entertain. They all share the same goal, however: to communicate clearly and effectively to an audience.

💡 Here are some guidelines to make it easier to talk to a room full of people you don’t know.
  1. Know your audience
  2. Narrow your topic
  3. Outline your speech
  4. Get the attention of the room
  5. Organize your speech
  6. Offer examples, statistics, and quotations
  7. Craft a powerful conclusion
  8. Use presentation aids if appropriate
  9. Write for the ear, not for the eye
  10. Time yourself

1. Know your audience

Understand what your listeners care about. Tailor your speech to their knowledge and their interests. If you are an expert speaking to a general audience, be sure to define your terms. If you’re a manager talking to a staff that has recently experienced lay-offs, acknowledge that you understand their concerns.

2. Narrow your topic

A good speech makes a claim. And a good speech is about one thing only. Even if your speech is a wedding toast, your point is that the bride and the groom were meant for each other. Have a specific focus and make sure everything you say supports it.

3. Outline your speech

A conventional organization usually works best. Tell the audience what you’re going to say (introduction), say it (body), and then tell them what you said (conclusion) ⇒ Repetition is a powerful tool, especially in a speech. Audiences tend to absorb only a small portion of what they hear, so it’s good to make your point several times.

4. Get the attention of the room

Your opening should engage listeners immediately. Engage them with a unique personal story that is relevant to your topic. Or try a specific reference to the location. Most people will appreciate a speaker who says she’s glad to be in Australia in January.

Other good ways to begin:
  • ask a question;
  • report a surprising statistic related to your topic;
  • find an apposite quotation.

5. Organize your speech

Structure your speech according to your purpose. If your goal is to inform, try a chronological or alphabetical organization. When your goal is to convince your audience to take a stand, introduce the problem and then propose a solution. Use transitions between your examples, so people can follow your logic.

6. Offer examples, statistics, and quotations

You need evidence to support what you’re saying. Try examples from history, current events, and your own life. Consult government sources for statistics. Use quotations from experts in the field. Don’t overdo quotations, though: most of the words in your speech should be your own. Check your facts—inaccuracies will undermine your credibility.

7. Craft a powerful conclusion

Keep it short, memorable, and to the point. Consider ending with a concrete, vivid image or anecdote that illustrates your topic. Or ask people to take an action, such as promise to write to a decision-maker or to contribute to a cause.

8. Use presentation aids if appropriate

Charts and tables quickly convey data, and photographs can offer compelling support. Incorporate visuals into your speech if they’ll make it more powerful. Know what technology will be available for you to share these visuals. And be prepared to do without them, in case something goes wrong with the equipment.

9. Write for the ear, not for the eye

Once you’ve finished a draft of your speech, practice reading it out loud. You’ll hear anything that sounds awkward. Revise so you are more comfortable giving your speech. You want to sound natural, no matter what the occasion.

10. Time yourself

Have someone else run the stopwatch, so you won’t be distracted. Read slowly and clearly. Include pauses for emphasis or for audience reaction if you’re saying something that might cause listeners to laugh or gasp. If you’re over your time limit, you’ll need to edit to shorten your speech.


💡 Go to Oxford Dictionaries for more Top writing tips.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Top Tips to Avoid Emotional Exhaustion at Work, by Eleanor Bruce (From MIND TOOLS BLOG)

A friend of mine recently told me that she was thinking of quitting her job.

I was astounded; she’s one of those people who actually does (or did) bound out of bed and looks forward to her days at work. She’s always loved her job, and she fought tooth and nail to get it.

Yet there she was, on the brink of quitting. What was going on?

Credit. GETTY IMAGES / From: Mind Tools Blog
I dug a little deeper, and she told me that she was just exhausted and didn’t care anymore. She’d stopped putting much effort into her work; she’d started taking sick days, and she barely spoke to her colleagues at all. In short, she’d “checked out.”

In her words, “It all feels like too much, and I just can’t be bothered with it.”

Alarm bells started ringing, and it became clear that she was suffering from emotional exhaustion.

What Is Emotional Exhaustion, and What Causes It?

Emotional exhaustion can be tricky to spot, as it manifests differently for different people, but is typically characterized by a “don’t care” attitude, feeling low, and a lack of emotional strength. It’s similar to burnout, and it can also be a precursor to depression, so it’s not something to ignore when it happens.

It can be triggered by almost anything. But emotional exhaustion tends to occur as the result of long periods of stress. In my friend’s case, it wasn’t just her job that was the problem, but a combination of work and several personal issues that were sapping her energy.

Armed with the knowledge of what was wrong, she began work on setting things right and vowed not to let it happen again.

It got me wondering: how could she have prevented this from happening in the first place, and what strategies have other people used to avoid emotional exhaustion at work?

We opened up this question to our friends and followers on social media. As always, the responses were overwhelming, and loads of great advice was shared. (GO TO FULL ARTICLE for the top 3 tips)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale (from Mind Tools)

© iStockphoto vkbhat / From: Mind Tools
Understanding the Impact of Long-Term Stress

People use the word "stress" to describe a wide variety of situations – from your cell phone ringing while you're talking on another phone – to the feelings associated with intense work overload, or the death of a loved-one.

But perhaps the most useful and widely accepted definition of stress (mainly attributed to Richard S. Lazarus) is this: stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that "demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize." In less formal terms, we feel stressed when we feel that "things are out of control."

Our ability to cope with the demands upon us is key to our experience of stress. For example, starting a new job might be a wholly exciting experience if everything else in your life is stable and positive. But if you start a new job when you've just moved into a new house, or your partner is ill, or you're experiencing money problems, you might find it very hard to cope.

How much of this does it take to push you "over the edge?" Not all unusual events are equally hard to deal with. For example, compare the stress of divorce with that of a change in responsibilities at work. Because of this, you need to be able to rate and measure your total stress score appropriately.

The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), more commonly known as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, was created to do just that. This tool helps us measure the stress load we carry and think about what we should do about it.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

HOW SELF-CONFIDENT ARE YOU? (from Mind Tools)

QUIZ ⇒ How Self-Confident Are You?

💡 Improving Self-Confidence by Building Self-Efficacy

How self-confident do you feel? Are you full of it, or do you wish you had more of it?

A good place to start answering these questions is to look at how effective you believe you are in handling and performing specific tasks. This is termed 'self-efficacy,' and it plays an important part in determining your general levels of self-confidence.

Albert Bandura is one of the leading researchers into self-efficacy. His self-efficacy theory explains the relationship between the belief in one’s abilities and how well a person actually performs a task or a range of actions. Bandura says that 'self-efficacy' and 'confidence' are not quite the same thing. Confidence is a general, not a specific, strength of belief. On the other hand, self-efficacy is the belief in one's capabilities to achieve something specific.

If people have high self-efficacy in an area, then they think, feel, and behave in a way that contributes to and reinforces their success, and improves their personal satisfaction. They're more likely to view obstacles as challenges to overcome, so they aren't afraid to face new things. They recover quickly from setbacks, because they view failure more as a result of external circumstances than internal weaknesses. In general, believing in your abilities affects your motivation, your choices, your toughness, and your determination.

Therefore, self-confidence – by way of self-efficacy – often affects how well you perform, and how satisfied you are with the choices you make. This is why it's important to understand your current level of self-efficacy, particularly in the context of your belief in your ability to perform in a variety of situations.

Does your self-confidence affect your ability to perform? Take this short quiz and find out.

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Monday, July 02, 2018

10 Common Time Management Mistakes (from Mind Tools)

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

How well do you manage your time? If you're like many people, your answer may not be completely positive. Perhaps you feel overloaded, and you often have to work late to hit your deadlines. Or maybe your days seem to go from one crisis to another, and this is stressful and demoralizing.

Many of us know that we could be managing our time more effectively; but it can be difficult to identify the mistakes that we're making, and to know how we could improve. When we do manage our time well, however, we're exceptionally productive at work, and our stress levels drop. We can devote time to the interesting, high-reward projects that can make a real difference to a career. In short, we're happier!

In this article and in the video, below, we'll look at 10 of the most common time management mistakes, as well as identifying strategies and tips that you can use to overcome them. (Go to full article)


 QUIZ from Mind Tools ⇒ How Good Is Your Time Management?Discover Time Management Tools That can Help you Excel


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Types of Job Interview Questions, by Alison Doyle (from The Balance Careers)

By ALISON DOYLE (Updated May 25, 2018) From The Balance Careers 


When you go on a job interview there are a variety of different types of interview questions you'll be asked. You'll be asked about your employment history, your ability to work on a team, your leadership skills, your motivation, as well as other interview questions related to your skills and abilities.

Your responses need to be targeted for the job you are interviewing for. Your responses should show the employer why you're a qualified candidate and why you are a fit for the job and the company.

Take the time to prepare for a job interview, in advance, by reviewing the different types of interview questions you'll be asked, as well as by taking a look at sample answers for each type of question.


During a job interview, you'll be asked questions about your abilities. The key to successfully responding is to focus on your abilities as they relate to the qualifications required for the job. Review common interview questions about your abilities and sample answers.


When you're interviewing, you will be asked why you left or are going to leave your job. Here are interview questions, along with sample answers, related to leaving your job, getting fired, and what you have been doing if you're not currently employed.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 4

This post offers you a selection of recommended free online exercises, games, videos and resources so that you can improve your English language skills while having fun! ENJOY!

📜 READING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

Article from Mind Tools: 10 Common Time Management Mistakes
Avoiding Common Pitfalls - How well do you manage your time? If you're like many people, your answer may not be completely positive! Perhaps you feel overloaded, and you often have to work late to hit your deadlines. Or maybe your days seem to go from one crisis to another, and this is stressful and demoralizing. (Continue reading)

QUIZ from Mind Tools ⇒ How Good Is Your Time Management?
Discover Time Management Tools That can Help you Excel

Article from BBC CULTURE: The writers who defied Soviet censors 
Underground publishers in the USSR broke rules in ingenious ways – such as hiding books in fake binding and making records on X-ray film, writes Benjamin Ramm.
In anticipation of the poet’s arrest, his creations were concealed by inventive means – sewn into the insides of cushions and shoes, or hidden in mattresses and saucepans. The police confiscated most of his papers, but others were smuggled out, or hidden surreptitiously in obscure locations. The most important poems were inscribed where even the wiliest investigator could not find them – in the memory of a devoted reader, who would pass them on.  (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
💬 VOCABULARY PICKS:
💡 GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:


MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

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