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Archive for May, 2013


How to Talk About Accomplishments Without Bragging

Sharing your accomplishments is a great way to earn the respect of your colleagues and gain new clients. If you are doing your job well, it is important that others understand and appreciate the valuable role you play in the workplace. Self-promotion, however, is one aspect of career management that tends to make many people nervous. You want to make your contributions clear to others and avoid coming off as abrasive or egotistical. Whether you are networking, interviewing for a new position or aiming for a promotion, here are a few ways to highlight your accomplishments without coming off as a braggart.

Establish the Right Mindset
Before talking about your accomplishments, assess your goals. By having a clear purpose in mind before you speak, you can focus on the contributions that pertain to your goals. For example, you might want to showcase your creativity, so you can choose to mention how your innovative idea contributed to the success of a project. By establishing a mindset that is a mixture of self-confidence and modesty, you can demonstrate the significance of your accomplishments in a non-offensive way.

Stick to the Facts
Muhammad Ali once stated, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” To avoid crossing the line into bragging, make sure that each of your accomplishments can be clearly defined and measured. Avoid embellishing with additional details that do not pertain to your situation, even if they may be true. By sticking to the facts, you will be able to keep the focus on your most important achievements.

Credit the Work of Others
People love to receive credit for their contributions to a positive outcome. While you never want to take credit away from yourself, sharing details about the help you received from others will enable you to talk about your own accomplishments with an air of graciousness.

When you take the time to present your accomplishments in a straightforward, factual way and share the glory, you will be recognized for your success in the right way.


Three Tips to Be More Persuasive with Others

The ability to be persuasive is often thought of as a talent; however, persuasion is a skill that can be learned. Once you have mastered this crucial skill, you will be able to influence others to see your side of any problem. This can provide you with a sense of empowerment in any situation whether it is social or work-related. Here are some tips for being more persuasive.

Strive to Understand How You Benefit the Other Person
One of the greatest tools for being persuasive is focusing on the other person. Learning about those you seek to persuade and understanding how they think gives you insight into how to approach them. Do some research and ask some open-ended questions to gain the information you need to form a persuasive argument that is tailored to them.

Be Credible
You will be more persuasive when everything you do, say and present is credible. Use your experience and knowledge to speak with the authority of an expert. Make sure your work is error-free and speaks directly to the other person’s needs. Rely on facts and avoid exaggeration. This simple step can help you gain the trust of your audience, and trust is a necessary for persuasion to be effective.

Practice Your Powers of Persuasion
Persuasion is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. Use visualization to rehearse possible responses, anticipate questions that others may have and plan how to respond.

Your powers of persuasion will get better with experience. So, go on out there, and put these tips into practice!


How to Eliminate Distractions

In the workplace, distractions are an everyday occurrence that can significantly lower your productivity. While it may not always be possible to avoid an urgent phone call or emergency meeting, it is important to eliminate as many potential distractions as possible when you are trying to focus on priorities.

Although it may be tempting to close up your office for the day or escape you’re your cubicle when distractions seem insurmountable, that isn’t an option for many people. Here are some tips for handling distractions if you can’t get away from them.

A good solution for managing one of the most common workplace distractions is to shut off the ringer on your phone and let calls roll to voicemail. This gives you time to work uninterrupted while knowing that anything important will be waiting when you are ready to handle calls.

Email is another major distraction. Unless you get paid to answer emails as they arrive, shut it down when you are focusing on a task that doesn’t require email usage. As with the phone, turn off the notification that announces any new emails.

Also, look at all the gadgets and “toys” sitting on your desk. Are they a distraction? Do you find yourself getting distracted by picking them up and playing with them?

When possible, avoid distractions all together. For example, if you know a chatty coworker will likely stop by your desk on his or her way to a meeting, take your break around the time when you expect the coworker to arrive.

Using these tips to take charge of distractions will give you time to handle your priorities and keep you focused on your work.


Tips for Better Collaboration Among Team Members

Collaboration is an effective way to strengthen teamwork and accomplish organizational goals. However, getting team members to collaborate effectively can take some work, especially if they are communicating from a distance or are unaccustomed to working together.

Establish Ground Rules
When working as a team, it is important to recognize that no two people will always think the same. Therefore, it is important to lay out some ground rules so everyone knows what to expect. Establish how often, when and where the team will check in. Decide if check-ins will be in-person or virtual. Clarify roles so that each team member understands what they are accountable for and what their responsibilities are to the team.

Encourage an Open Environment
A primary goal of collaboration is to generate new ideas and ways for them to be implemented. For the creative process to work, each team member must feel comfortable and safe in order to share his or her ideas. During team meetings, create an open atmosphere by accepting all ideas using the brainstorming process. Then, after the brainstorming session is over, discuss each idea objectively until the best solution is found.

Celebrate Milestones
When team members spend time together on a personal level, they are much more capable of working together effectively. Celebrating milestones and achievements can be a great way to encourage the camaraderie that will pay off in the long run. So, be sure and plan for a team celebration to mark each milestone along the way toward reaching major goals. This one simple move can serve to inspire motivation while strengthening your team.

By using these tips, you can encourage better collaboration among team members and ensure the successful accomplishment of projects.


How to Productively Manage Priorities

Managing priorities is an essential part of being productive in the workplace. Here are some good ways to manage priorities and keep work flowing smoothly.

Identify Sensitive Tasks
When managing priorities, it is important to understand if one task is more important than another. Tasks can often be prioritized according to their sensitivity. For example, if something is on a tight deadline or can negatively impact other areas of work, it probably is a higher priority than other, less-sensitive tasks, which can be delayed.

Create a Plan
Always create a prioritization list to remind you of what is essential for hitting your goals. Put the highest priority items on the top of the list. Using a visual aid, such as a calendar or scheduling board, can help ensure that you and your team members keep the top priorities in focus.

Maintain Communication
It is common for priorities to suddenly change in response to new developments. This makes it essential to maintain open communication so that everyone can adjust priorities as needed. Regular check-ins, email updates and task boards are a few ways to make sure that everyone is aware of the established and changing priorities.

Managing priorities is important for you and your team to stay positively productive, especially in times of change when priorities often shift and move. These tips can help you achieve what is most important and stay on task.