The Four Stages of Team Development

By Elizabeth Paul on Aug 22, 2018 12:00:00 AM

If you've ever been on a team, you know there are good times and bad, highs and lows, ups and downs. But you might not have known exactly what they mean or why they happen. Group researcher Bruce Tuckman, defines these different stages of group development as Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Being able to recognize your team’s current stage will allow you to understand what is going on and know how to take them to the next stage. Here’s a breakdown of each stage and what to expect.

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16 Signs You May Be a Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Boss ... And How to Fix Them

By Andy Kistler on Jul 19, 2018 12:00:00 AM

Most everyone has a story about a bad boss. Someone who yelled, under-communicated or micromanaged. However, have you ever considered that, somewhere in your career, the tables may have turned? What if you are the boss that your team complains about around the dinner table? Here are signs you may be the nightmare boss, and how to fix it.

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360 Degree Feedback: Benefits & Best Practices

By Brian Griffith on Jun 26, 2018 12:38:00 PM


Leadership development is one of the most important investments that organizations can make. The best companies know that attracting and retaining top talent is only half the battle. Developing leaders by preparing them for future responsibilities is the best way to insure future success. One of the most successful ways businesses can develop future leaders is through a simple, but powerful tool - 360 degree feedback.

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5 Skills All Professionals Should Master

By Elizabeth Paul on May 15, 2018 8:30:00 AM

To succeed in your field or industry, you need to develop a specific set of skills, knowledge, and experiences. When you go through training and education, you learn what’s necessary to be qualified for your own field.

But despite the ever-growing presence of specialization in the workforce, there are certain universal skills that all professionals should have. Some skills are vital for every field, position, and career. Typically, these kinds of universal skills aren’t covered in your specialized education and training. You are usually expected to develop these skills and learn to apply them to your field on your own.

Here are five skills that all professionals should have in every career and field. When you learn how to apply these skills to your job, you’ll find yourself growing in your career.

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How to Make a Better, More Persuasive Presentation

By Elizabeth Paul on Mar 28, 2018 9:19:00 AM

If you’ve ever given a presentation, you know how difficult it can be to create the perfect one. You need clear and creative ideas to capture the attention of your audience, all while practicing what you will say and hoping that you don’t forget it when the important time comes.
But it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Incorporate these five strategies into your next presentation to take it to the next level and make it a little easier to craft.

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Creativity and the Power of Divergent Thinking

By Brian Griffith on Mar 6, 2018 6:30:00 AM

Creativity can be difficult to define and even more difficult to facilitate. In her book, Making the Team: A Guide For Managers, Leigh Thompson states that “Team creativity is the Holy Grail of teamwork: Everyone wants it, but very few people know where to look for it or how to set up the conditions to make it happen." Here's how you do it.

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4 Best Apps for Online Team Communication

By Elizabeth Paul on Feb 22, 2018 12:21:00 PM

Effective communication within a team does not always come easy. Individuals have different priorities, communication styles, and commitment levels. It’s hard to bring everyone together and get them on the same page, and with emails, schedules, and documents to balance, simplifying communication might seem impossible. But there is hope.

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10 Ways to Manage Your Time

By Elizabeth Paul on Jan 25, 2018 8:49:00 AM

In a world of never-ending to-do lists, time management is more important than ever. But it’s not always the easiest to achieve. Here are ten tips to improve your time-management skills and finish your items on time.

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How 360 degree assessments can fit into your HR strategy

By Andy Kistler on Dec 27, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Human Resources used to be very simple. Hire employees. Train them. Make sure they get paid. Keep track of vacation. Around the time of World War I, the HR function was known as “personnel management.” The function was largely task-focused, centered on training workers and efficiently solving wage and working condition issues.Over time, research consistently showed that non-financial incentives were essential components of work. Managers began to realize that they needed to devote resources to their employees past task training and basic administrative duties.

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Keep Your Team Organized with These Simple Tools

By Elizabeth Paul on Dec 5, 2017 2:15:00 PM

Teamwork is a part of nearly every job. Chances are that wherever you work, you will have to work with other members to solve a problem or complete a project. And if you have ever worked on a team, you know that they aren’t always the most organized.

Unorganized teams can cause large problems for organizations and communities. Teams can miss deadlines, forget assignments, or create problems for a project if they are not carefully organized and prepared. But regardless of if you are leading the team or not, there are steps you can take to ensure that your team is organized and working efficiently and effectively. Here are a few ways to get your team started.

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How to Get Your Team to Work Together

By Elizabeth Paul on Nov 6, 2017 11:05:00 AM

We all know that people don’t always get along. It’s a fact of life. And if you have ever worked on a project or with a group of other people, you know that problems can arise because of it. But if you are the leader of team or group that doesn’t get along, is there anything you can do? Sure, you can encourage and promote teamwork, but unfortunately that message rarely gets through to the parties who cause the problem.

But all hope is not lost. There are plenty of methods and strategies that you can implement to ease the tension and get your team back on track, whether there are idea differences or personal differences. If you are struggling to get your team to work together, try these methods.

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A Professional Development Plan For the Modern Workforce

By Constance Du on Oct 27, 2017 12:47:52 PM

The digital revolution has changed everything, from the way we talk, work, and even purchase products. To fuel the consumer’s insatiable demand for newer and better, companies have begun to take advantage of every actionable insight available, and they are willing to pay top dollar for talented individuals that can create value through digital assets.

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Create an Effective Meeting Agenda

By Elizabeth Paul on Oct 4, 2017 11:52:00 AM

We’ve all been in meetings where we have to fight the urge to fall asleep when it becomes unproductive and unnecessarily long. They leave you questioning why you showed up and if you learned anything about the project, team, or whatever the meeting was about.

But if you didn’t learn anything else, you probably learned how not to run effective meetings. Namely, if people are tuned into their phones, not paying much attention, and dozing off, it’s probably time to change up the basics.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your SWOT Analysis

By Elizabeth Paul on Sep 28, 2017 3:52:00 PM

The world is full of uncertainties. From plane delays to sick days, you can never know exactly what will happen, and there are no exceptions for business and organizations.

If you are the leader of a team or organization, you know exactly how threatening it can be when dealing with the unknown. It is important that company leaders are prepared to handle unexpected situations, but how can you prepare yourself if you are unsure of what’s going to happen?

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3 Ways to Make Your Internship a Success

By Elizabeth Paul on Sep 19, 2017 12:29:00 PM

Internships are becoming ever-more important in the career-search, especially for college students and people entering new careers. For the intern, they provide on-the-job experience, an opportunity to explore different career paths, and network connections for future jobs. Even more, they may be the golden ticket for a job offer with the company or organization offering the internship.

But how do you ensure that you are getting the most out of your experience? And what can you do to make your internship a successful step in your career development? Here are three ways to make your internship worth more than taking coffee orders and copying papers.

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Want to Communicate Your Company Values? Do These 4 Things.

By Elizabeth Paul on Sep 12, 2017 11:40:00 AM

A company’s values are arguably some of the most important parts of the organization. After all, the values tend to be the reason behind the organization itself and the driving force behind why you do what you do. Even more, your company values tend to form first before everything else about the company is figured out.

Because the values can be the backbone of the company, it’s important to communicate them to external partners and the general public. Values give meaning to the work and can help get people on board with your company. Not only do values attract workers who would be a good fit with your organization, but they also attract potential customers, partners, and recognition.

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5 Ways to Be a Better Project Manager

By Elizabeth Paul on Aug 30, 2017 11:15:00 AM

When you are managing a big project, your nice, clean desktop is replaced with an overwhelming amount of sticky notes, reminders, and spilled coffee. Balancing everything that goes into a project is tricky, so it’s helpful to have some tips and tricks in your pocket to help you out along the way (and get rid of all those extra sticky notes).
Here are five ways to be a better project manager.

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7 Ways to Be More Organized at Work

By Constance Du on Aug 11, 2017 2:18:00 PM

If you’ve ever struggled to locate paperwork or find a place on your desk to work, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there, promising ourselves to organize our workspace once the work slows down.

In the chaos of a busy week and overwhelming workloads, keeping your workspace tidy is usually the last thing on your mind. And while it takes time to organize your space, it saves you time in the long run. An organized space can be helpful in staying productive, focused, and on schedule. Keep your workspace organized with these simple tricks.

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How to Incorporate Positive Psychology in Your Company Culture

By Constance Du on Aug 4, 2017 3:07:32 PM

Companies strive for success. Whether it’s to make more profits, decrease turnover rates, or raise awareness of issues, companies and organizations work hard to beat out their competitors.

But how can companies get a competitive edge to reach higher levels of success? You might be surprised to hear that the answer is not always more training or intelligence. The answer may lie in positive psychology, or what is otherwise known as the science of happiness.

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5 Motivational Habits That Lead To Success

By Constance Du on Jul 28, 2017 4:33:29 PM

Have you ever been completely astounded by someone’s motivation? Whether it’s a good friend, colleague, role model, or a renowned business leader, certain individuals possess a drive and determination that the rest of us can’t help but envy. 

The good news is that by following these five habits, anyone and everyone can become more motivated.

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10 Steps to Giving Effective Feedback

By Constance Du on Jul 21, 2017 3:56:26 PM

Giving feedback can be an unbelievably tricky minefield; you risk offending or giving useless commentary if your points aren’t well communicated and focused. Whether your feedback is formal or informal, there are ten basic principles to always keep in mind.

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Resumes vs CVs: The Difference and When to Use Which

By Constance Du on Jul 12, 2017 8:11:48 PM

By Constance Du

Have you ever wondered why some job applications ask for a resume, and some ask for a CV? Or why a few ask for both? There are a few differences between the two documents, but using those differences to your advantage can make a world of difference in the hiring process. Learning how to build a comprehensive and powerful CV or resume and use them properly are essential skills in today’s business environment. Make sure you don’t fall behind the curve.

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3 Ways to Optimize Your Online Brand Reputation

By Constance Du on Jul 7, 2017 3:44:37 PM

Social media and online presences have become increasingly essential to maintaining a competitive and effective brand reputation. Make sure your content and accounts are up to scratch.

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5 Characteristics All Successful Leaders Possess

By Constance Du on Jun 30, 2017 2:09:48 PM

All good leaders start as both good employees and, most importantly, good people.

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4 Ways to Prevent Workplace Burnout

By Constance Du on Jun 9, 2017 11:47:57 AM

When you have projects, presentations, and deadlines piling on top of each other, it’s easy to get lost in it all. When the stress becomes overwhelming, you put yourself at risk for burnout on the job, a state that will make it even harder for you to handle all of your responsibilities.

Workplace burnout goes beyond being tired or a little bit overworked. When you experience burnout, you face inhibiting problems, such as the inability to concentrate or focus, lasting exhaustion, loss of motivation, or even emotional withdrawal. Although being overstressed typically entails too much, burnout entails not enough; namely, not enough hope, motivation, or energy to complete your work or deal with responsibilities. There is no question, then, that that the effects of burnout can negatively impact your productivity, personal life, and career.

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5 Ways to Make New Hires as Productive as Possible

By Constance Du on Jun 2, 2017 2:57:39 PM

Adding to a team can be tricky. Here’s how to welcome new employees and make them part of your culture as quickly and effectively as possible.

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5 Ways to Improve your Social Media Marketing

By Constance Du on May 26, 2017 1:55:44 PM

Social media marketing can be very lucrative, but you need to make sure that it's effective. There are many options you can use for free, but there are even more powerful solutions available with a bit of financial investment. Social media is one of the most powerful ways to market your business and increase brand awareness if used well, so make sure you're getting the most out of your time and money.

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4 Ways to Change your Nights and Improve your Mornings

By Connie Du on May 19, 2017 2:00:41 PM

In today's fast-paced and distraction-filled society, it's hard to make time for relaxation before bed. However, taking the time to end the day on a good note can completely transform your mornings.

Topics: Health Lifestyle
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CREATE a Leading Role in 6 Steps

By Connie Du on May 12, 2017 12:22:23 PM

In the modern business world, there are two different kinds of leaders: the ones who lead through an appointed title and the ones who lead through curated respect and ability. No matter your rank, you can CREATE a leading role for yourself in any situation by using these tools.

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Common Problems for Virtual Teams and How to Fix Them

By Elizabeth Paul on May 2, 2017 4:43:50 PM

If you have ever tried to set up a meeting, you know just how difficult it can be. No one is ever available at the same time or people inevitably have other things come up. The most common solution for this issue is typically to turn to a virtual meeting, either through a video chat service or using a messaging platform.

In today’s world of technological development and online worlds, virtual teams are becoming more and more common in the professional world. Virtual teams are highly convenient for professionals who need to work from home or travel often, but they also come with their own set of challenges and obstacles.

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8 Habits of Productive Workers

By Elizabeth Paul on Apr 27, 2017 12:02:08 PM

If you want to be successful in any field, you need to be productive and efficient with your work. But productivity isn’t simply getting work done and calling it a day; it’s doing your best with the time that you have and finishing your work effectively, efficiently, and in a way that meets your goals and standards.

Productivity doesn’t always come easily or naturally to individuals, but you don’t need to be a natural-born example of productivity; you can learn along the way of your professional development and career. Here are eight habits of productive people that you can apply to your life to make yourself more productive.

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5 Ways to Build Your Brand and Following on Twitter

By Elizabeth Paul on Apr 4, 2017 4:23:15 PM

In today’s world, social media is a necessary tool for all businesses, whether you like it or not. It provides a platform for promoting your company, marketing your products and ideas, and building an online following. Despite its necessity, social media can be tough. How do you gain followers and engage with potential partners or consumers? How do you build positive media? With so many different social media platforms and ways to engage with the online community, how can you make social media an effective marketing tool?

Twitter is one of the largest platforms for social media. Being able to incorporate Twitter into your marketing plan effectively can help your company and organization meet its goals. Here are five ways to build your brand and following on Twitter.

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How to Think Creatively in All Careers

By Elizabeth Paul on Mar 29, 2017 1:58:23 PM

In kindergarten and early elementary school, did you spend time making crafts and coloring with markers and crayons? For me, it was one of the best times of the day during school, and I loved getting to experience with different mediums and ideas. By the time we get older, however, the focus shifts away from creativity and lands on systematic thinking and “right” answers. This is especially true for our careers. Once we enter the job market, there tends to be little or no room for thinking outside the box, error, or trying something new.

Topics: Creativity
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Indecision as a Career Tool

By Elizabeth Paul on Mar 21, 2017 7:10:55 PM

When you were little, you likely went through a lot of different phases of what you wanted to be when you grew up. For me, I wanted to be a veterinarian or an astronaut, which eventually turned into a meteorologist or a teacher. Needless to say, I went through plenty of career phases and am now doing something completely different.

Beginning when we are kids and throughout our careers, however, we are taught that we should have a plan figured out. We should know what we want to be so that we can get the proper education and training and can participate in meaningful and related experiences. And if we don’t know what we want to do, we are placed in the supposedly dreaded “undecided” category.  This line of thinking, however, discourages indecision and writes it off as something to be overcome. But is making a decision sooner better? Not necessarily. In fact, indecision itself can be a powerful career toward to push your professional development further. Here’s why.
Topics: Decisions
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Using Informational Interviews for Career Development

By Elizabeth Paul on Mar 14, 2017 3:39:37 PM

If you’re looking to make more connections, switch careers, or learn new skills, then an informational interview can help you meet your goals. Informational interviews are one of the more underused networking tools. But if you can learn to effectively incorporate informational interviews into your professional development, you’ll soon realize just how beneficial they can be. Not only are they a great way to expand your network, but they are a great way to learn something new that can be relevant to your personal and career life.

Here are three ways to ensure that you are maximizing the use of informational interviews.

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The One Thing All Teams Need to Succeed

By Elizabeth Paul on Mar 7, 2017 1:32:42 PM

Every successful team that I have ever been a part of has one thing in common, and it’s not experience or exclusively high performance. It’s teamwork, or more specifically, the ability to get along with one another and have a good time.

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4 Ways a Leader Differs from a Boss

By Elizabeth Paul on Feb 28, 2017 3:41:56 PM

The art of leading is a tricky one. While everyone in a position of authority knows how to be a boss, not all know how to be a leader. And if you have ever worked for a boss who doesn’t know how to lead, you know just how difficult that can be. It creates an unnecessary environment of positional authority and can be extremely ineffective.

If you are in a position of authority, how do you know if you are being an effective leader or simply being a boss to your subordinates? Here are four ways that leaders set themselves apart from bosses.

Topics: Leadership
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Learning how to Learn

By Elizabeth Paul on Feb 21, 2017 9:27:02 PM

When you enter the workforce, it can be easy to let learning fall to the side. But if you push yourself and direct your own learning, not only will you create new opportunities for yourself, but you will continually grow. Learning to direct your own learning, however, can be difficult. Here are three basic steps to get started.

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What to Include in Your Cover Letter

By Elizabeth Paul on Feb 14, 2017 4:01:50 PM

If there’s anything that is underrated in job applications, it’s the cover letter. Most people focus on their resumes and quickly throw together the cover letter. But this is the wrong approach to take when applying to positions.

Your cover letter gives the hiring manager a unique look into who you are. It covers why you’re interested in the position, provides relevant experiences, and gives you the chance to show that you are more than qualifications or numbers on your resume. With this in mind, it’s important to know what to include and what not to include in your cover letter. Here are the do’s and don’ts for writing any cover letter.

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Why You Should Have a Growth Mindset

By Elizabeth Paul on Jan 31, 2017 3:28:09 PM

When we experience failure, we tend to go through a lot of different questions and emotions. Where did we go wrong? Was there anything we could have done differently? What is the next step?

Typically, there are two main ways that we can respond to failure: letting it stop us or using it as a means for improvement. In other words, we can have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

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Four Ways to Prepare for an Informational Interview

By Elizabeth Paul on Jan 24, 2017 4:29:09 PM

Networking is challenging. There are so many unknown factors, unspoken rules, and directions that you can take. But great things can come your way if you’re up to the challenge of wading through the murky waters of networking.

One of the best places to start networking is with an informational interview. These interviews aren’t for job offers, but they offer you a way to learn more about a specific field, career, or company in which you may be interested.

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The One Thing You Need to Know About Your Career

By Elizabeth Paul on Jan 17, 2017 4:55:49 PM

Growing up, we’re told that we should carefully plan out our career. In fact, for those wanting to break into a professional career, you need to decide fairly early on so you can graduate from college with the right major, internships, and experience. But that adds a lot of stress to an already stressful time, and some people may not realize that they want to enter a certain field until they are well out of college.

Why, then, do we place such an emphasis on planning out our entire career from such a young age? It’s okay (and, in fact, encouraged) to have goals for your career, but you don’t necessarily need to have everything planned out with timelines and deadlines for what you want to accomplish. Although we often like to think of careers in terms of a directed, well-thought out occurance, we should start viewing them as an improvisation.

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Four Quick Ways to Improve Your Networking Skills

By Elizabeth Paul on Jan 10, 2017 6:23:22 PM

Networking is a hot topic in today’s professional world. It sets the stage for potential career opportunities, connects you to other professionals, and helps you develop important professional skills. With so many benefits, then, networking is an important skill to have.

Unfortunately, most people don’t learn how to network properly. Some individuals happen to know good connections, which certainly counts as networking, but it’s a whole different ballgame when you have to network with people you don’t know. After all, where do you meet them and what do you say to turn them into a connection?

Luckily, you can develop and fine-tune your networking skills to ensure that you’re doing the most you can through networking with others. If you need help getting started, here are four quick ways to jump into improving your networking skills.

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8 Career Resolutions You Should Keep

By Elizabeth Paul on Jan 3, 2017 9:32:37 AM

The New Year is in full swing and the holiday season has come to an end. It’s time to get back to work and start another year of personal and professional development. As you head back to work, take some time to develop a few professional development resolutions that you can work on to take your performance to the next level.

Here are eight resolutions that you can incorporate into your career this year.

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What To Do on a Slow Day at Work to Stay Productive

By Elizabeth Paul on Dec 27, 2016 1:42:07 PM

During my first job as a teenager, I didn’t have a whole lot to do at work. Most days were slow and without demand, so I had learn pretty quickly that it was up to me to take things into my own hands and make the workday productive. And the truth is, that doesn’t only happen to high schoolers working after school. It happens in the professional world, too.

Some days at work can feel hectic and overwhelming, but other days are, well, just slow. You might not have much to do, but you can’t quite leave yet, so why not turn that extra time into something productive? It’s a good skill to have, and it’ll do wonders for keeping you away from boredom and watching the clock at work.

Here are five ways to turn your slow afternoon into a productive one.

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How to Motivate Yourself During a Job Search

By Elizabeth Paul on Nov 22, 2016 1:37:46 PM

The job hunt process isn’t easy. You have to jump through hoops, make new connections, ask and answer difficult questions, and sometimes even create your own job. Searching for a job takes a lot out of you. In the middle of it all, it can leave you tired, hopeless, and in want of motivation.

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How to Get Honest Feedback When You're in Charge

By Elizabeth Paul on Nov 8, 2016 11:49:42 AM

If you are the leader of a team or the boss of an organization, you know how important it is to get honest feedback from your employees. If you want to build a company culture of open communication, growth, and success, you need to know what you are doing well and what you could improve. After all, feedback is instrumental in helping you become more self-aware about your leadership skills or more aware about the strengths and weaknesses of your team or organization.

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How to Tell if You are a Workaholic

By Elizabeth Paul on Nov 1, 2016 4:29:16 PM

From a young age, we are told that working hard leads to success. The story goes that you can do anything you want as long as you believe in yourself and work hard enough.

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5 Strategies You Need for Successful Negotiation

By Elizabeth Paul on Oct 25, 2016 12:09:55 PM

Have you ever wanted something but not known how to ask? Whether you wanted higher pay, more vacation time, or even permission to go out with your friends when you were younger, asking a boss or parent for something can be intimidating. But negotiation is the best way to make it happen, and it’s a great skill to have for all aspects of your life.

Topics: Uncategorized
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What Not to Say When Giving Feedback

By Elizabeth Paul on Oct 4, 2016 12:12:24 PM

Are you giving bad feedback?
Feedback is one of the most important tools that an organization can use in their daily operations. When done correctly, feedback offers opportunities for improvement, increased production, and greater efficiency. However, if done incorrectly, feedback can lose its benefits and even become counterproductive.
But when you are faced with giving feedback to individuals, how do you know if you are doing it incorrectly or if it will be beneficial to the person receiving the feedback? In their article, Actionable feedback: Unlocking the power of learning and performance improvement, Mark Cannon and Robert Witherspoon offer five characteristics of flawed and counterproductive feedback. The characteristics that they present offer a well-defined guideline of what not to do when giving feedback to others.

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Write Your Perfect LinkedIn Summary

By Elizabeth Paul on Sep 27, 2016 11:04:31 AM

 If first impressions are important, then your LinkedIn Summary is no exception. In fact, it is arguably the most important part of your LinkedIn Profile. It sets the stage, hopefully grabs interest from readers, and introduces who you are beyond job titles and profile pictures.

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How to Tackle the First Day of Your New Job

By Elizabeth Paul on Sep 13, 2016 12:27:49 PM

You got a new job! But as exciting as that can be, it can also be pretty stressful, especially on the first day. You’re surrounded by new people, places, and tasks, and all of that change happening at once can be a lot to handle.
So how do you make the most of your first day? Here are six ways to make your first day on the job less stressful.

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Is Professional School Necessary In Today’s Job Market?

By Andy Kistler on Sep 7, 2016 8:42:54 PM

You did it! You graduated college. Maybe it was yesterday. Maybe it was 5 years ago. Point is, you went to school for 22+ years of your life and now you are finally ready to cash in on that gargantuan investment in education.

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7 Traits of Self-Managing Teams

By Elizabeth Paul on Sep 6, 2016 7:12:12 PM

If you are a team leader and the team is able to function without you micro-managing everything, you have done your job. As a leader, you should focus on designing a team that knows how to function by itself, otherwise known as a self-managing team. As a leader, you continue to coach and assist the team, but largely, the team knows how to run itself, the ultimate goal of a well-designed team.
So, what does a self-managing team look like? Ruth Wageman outlined the makeup of a self-managing team in Critical Success Factors for Creating Superb Self-Managing Teams. Here are seven key factors that all self-managing team need to succeed.

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How to Prepare for a Job Interview

By Elizabeth Paul on Aug 25, 2016 11:30:07 AM

If you have ever had someone ask you to tell them something interesting about yourself, you probably know the deer-in-headlights feeling where you suddenly forget everything you have ever done. It’s a terrible situation to be in, but it’s certainly even worse if it happens to you in the middle of a big job interview.
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking and scary, especially if you feel underprepared. But if you know how to prepare for the interview in the right way, you can walk into the interview confident and ready to answer any question.
Here are five easy ways to calm your nerves and prepare for your next job interview.

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Six Tips for a Better Morning Routine

By Elizabeth Paul on Aug 23, 2016 9:14:58 AM

If you aren’t a morning person, your mornings are likely rushed and stressful. You might want to stay in bed longer to remedy the situation, but what you do when you get out of bed has a larger impact on how well your morning will go.
When you set a morning routine that you follow every single day, you lower your stress and increase the productivity and pleasantness of your morning. So, if you hate mornings, try creating a new routine that you strictly follow. Here are six tips to build a better morning.

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What Motivates Top Performers? The Answer Is Not Always Money

By Andy Kistler on Aug 18, 2016 9:11:29 PM

More money, more problems? Who knows if the old maxim is right. However, one thing is for certain: money is no longer the reigning champion of workplace motivation. Granted, money is still important. Compensation is a strong motivation for onboarding, and opportunity for financial advancement will keep employees in the building, at least temporarily. Truth is today’s workplace demands broader suite of incentives to retain top performers (or anyone for that matter). Here are some research-backed ways to motivate employees without a paycheck.

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10 Ways Successful People Spend Free Time

By Elizabeth Paul on Aug 16, 2016 10:17:42 AM

Successful people aren’t just made in the boardrooms and classrooms; they are also made in the evenings and the weekends. What you do outside of work impacts both your professional and personal successes, and if you want to reach your own definitions of success, you must take careful, intentional steps.
Your spare time is a chance for you to build habits that will enable you to reach your goals. The healthier your mind and body, the more enabled you are for success. Using your free time wisely can help you achieve a positive work-life balance and develop the career that you want.
Here are ten things that successful people do in their free time.

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How to Make Difficult Career Decisions

By Elizabeth Paul on Aug 11, 2016 1:50:33 PM

No career path is a straight and flat road. It’s a road of many bumps, turns, and obstacles, and the only way to navigate it is to make a few tough decisions along the way. Which way should you turn? How should you overcome the next obstacle? Are you going in the right direction?
You make countless decisions every day, but career decisions are of a different kind. They may cause stress and anxiety or even keep you up at night. It can take a lot of questioning and advice-seeking to find the right answer. And sometimes, you don’t know the answer, so you close your eyes and take a leap of faith.
When you are faced with a tough career decision, there are often too many unknown variables to determine a single “right” answer. But you still want to make the best decision for yourself and your career. So, the next time that you must make a tough career choice, try these tools to help in your decision process.

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5 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Start Working

By Elizabeth Paul on Aug 9, 2016 9:54:19 AM

With big deadlines looming and stress accumulating, it can be easy to fall into the trap of procrastination. Instead of working, you spend time on social media or browse the internet for the latest recipes and cat videos. We've all been there.
But how can you fight the urge to procrastinate and get back to work? After all, even if you manage to get the work done, procrastination can cause extra stress or make you unable to turn in your best work, especially if you feel rushed and out of time. The good news is that there are simple steps that you can follow to eliminate procrastination from your life. Here are five ways to stop procrastinating and get back to your work.

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Motivate Your Team During Long-Term Projects

By Elizabeth Paul on Aug 4, 2016 11:12:43 AM

Working on a long-term project comes with its own set of challenges and tasks. And anyone who has worked on a long-term project knows that one of these unique challenges is staying motivated throughout the entire project.
If you are leading the team, the responsibility to keep your team motivated falls on you. It’s important that, as a leader, you are inspiring a shared vision and keeping the team morale up. But during long-term projects, it can be more difficult to keep your teammates motivated, especially during the second half of the project.
But when the team moral decreases, how do you get it back up, and how do you prevent the moral from dropping in the first place? Here are four tips to keep your team motivated during a long-term project.

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How to Give Negative Feedback

By Elizabeth Paul on Aug 2, 2016 11:14:05 AM

Negative feedback isn’t typically a comfortable subject for anyone involved in the conversation. We’ve talked about what you should do after you receive negative feedback, but what if you’re on the giving side instead? How do you give negative feedback to someone you work with without creating a divisive environment?
Whether you are giving the feedback to an employee, co-worker, or boss, it isn’t always easy. People may become defensive or upset, especially if they are receiving the already-bad feedback in a negative way. So, it’s important to offer the negative feedback in a constructive and helpful way. After all, you’re giving them the feedback to help them improve, not to tear them down. Here are six tips on how to give negative feedback.

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6 Tips to Maximize Your Weekend

By Elizabeth Paul on Jul 28, 2016 10:04:26 AM

We all look forward to the weekend, a time to unwind and leave work behind, even if just for a little bit. It’s refreshing to step away, and it is instrumental in helping you recharge for the upcoming week. But how often do we reach Sunday night and feel like our weekend was a waste and we aren’t quite ready to return to work?
When we leave the weekend feeling this way, we wonder if maybe there was something we could have or should have done differently to get the most out of the weekend. If you struggle with getting the most out of your weekly time off, here are six tips to maximize your weekend.

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Why You Should Include Mindfulness in Your Schedule

By Elizabeth Paul on Jul 26, 2016 9:42:12 AM

If your workday is filled with stress and frustration, you aren’t alone. We’ve all had at least a couple of those days where it seemed as though nothing went as planned. The copier broke. You spilled your coffee. Your boss gave you another big project with a close deadline. There’s no question that work can be overwhelming at times.
But when you’re feeling frustrated at work, all hope is not lost. Mindfulness may be the answer you’re looking for, and it’s the current buzzword in the workforce. Mindfulness is essentially the state of being focused on and immersed in the present moment. It’s a kind of meditation that allows you to let go of your deadlines, tasks, and projects for a few moments to take time for yourself and relaxation. I like to think of it as a chance to recharge your batteries or a small escape from the chaos of a workday.
If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering how you can possibly find time for an escape when you can barely time find for lunch. When your to-do list is a mile long and your deadlines are only a few days or hours away, the last thing you want to do is spend time on something other than your work. In fact, Some de-stressing strategies may unintentionally increase your stress if it takes up too much time. After all, the work still exists and you still have to complete it, which takes time. Strategies to reduce your stress shouldn’t make it harder to find the time to complete your work; they should make it easier.
Here’s the thing about Mindfulness, though. It doesn’t take out that much time from your day. That is the key that makes this exercise so effective in combating the frustrations and stress of a chaotic workday. You can reduce your stress and increase your cognitive function with enough time to complete your remaining work.
So, how exactly do you practice mindfulness? While there are different tips and tricks, practicing mindfulness can be as simple as taking a five to ten minute break to complete deep breathing exercises. There are plenty of video resources online that will guide you through the breathing, but the exercises allow you to let go of everything on your plate and reach a state of relaxation. You focus on the physical state of your body and the emotional state of your mind, allowing you to clear your mind and let go of overwhelming stress. Doing so recharges you and enables you to start your projects and work assignments with a fresh attitude. Starting and ending your day with breathing exercises can be immensely helpful in keeping the frustration from work in check.
Aside from breathing exercises, simply taking small breaks throughout the day can help with productivity. Stepping away from your work, especially if you are feeling stuck, can give you new clarity with the task at hand. Even if you don’t complete any breathing exercises, you are still practicing mindfulness by focusing on your mind and body without worrying about work for a few minutes.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, don’t be afraid to take a minute or two to yourself to practice mindfulness. Its benefits are well worth the few minutes lost, and you’ll return to your desk feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the next task.

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How and Why to Say "No"

By Elizabeth Paul on Jul 14, 2016 10:19:12 AM

Can you take care of this for me? Will you do me a favor during your break? I know you’re busy, but I really think you would be the best leader for this upcoming project, so will you manage it?

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How to Work from Home More Effectively

By Elizabeth Paul on Jul 12, 2016 10:13:35 AM

Flexible work hours. A couch for your work area. And zero commute time. Working from home certainly has its benefits for the employee. It gives you an individualized work experience and helps you maintain a work-life balance.
If you are currently working from home, you are part of an ever-growing network, given the internet-ruled world that we live in. According to Gallup’s 2015 Work and Education poll, 37% of American workers say that they have worked from home, or telecommuted.
But your home or local coffee shop can hold a lot of distractions, and sometimes all of that freedom can make it hard to get your work done. After all, snacks and naps are at your fingertips throughout the day. Lacking the structure of your work environment presents new and unique challenges for those who work at home. Here are tips to fight those challenges and make your at-home work day more productive.

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Selling Yourself on Social Media

By Elizabeth Paul on Jul 7, 2016 10:24:51 AM

With the rise of Social Media over the past years, social selling has become an integral part of the professional game. There seems to be a never ending race to gain more followers and more likes and to increase your social presence.
Social selling is exactly what it sounds like-- selling products, ideas, and companies on social media. Salespeople use it to build and interact with a larger network of prospects and develop relationships with potential customers.
But social selling isn’t limited to organizations and companies. In fact, social selling is a productive tool for individuals looking to further their career. There’s no question that your social presence is an integral part of your professional development. We’ve all heard about how companies and universities occasionally search social media profiles before making final decisions. That’s because your social media presence is becoming an ever-changing, ever-updated resume and cover letter. Potential employers now have the opportunity to peek into your life outside of the 8 ½’’ X 11’’ margins. And because of that, it’s a new way for you to market yourself and develop your career. Making network connections online can lead to new job opportunities that get you closer to your career goals.
If you want social selling to work, though, you cannot just jump in without a strategy. Through social media, you are essentially branding yourself to potential employees, and with any branding campaign, you need well thought-out plans to be the most effective. Here’s what you can do to better market yourself on social media.

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How to Make Group Decisions

By Elizabeth Paul on Jul 5, 2016 9:52:39 AM

Deciding where to eat dinner with your family usually takes hours, and that’s if you’re lucky and can actually come to a consensus. So, there’s no question that group decision-making is a difficult process in any setting, but the process can be even more difficult when you have to make the group decision in the workplace.

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How to Handle Negative Feedback

By Elizabeth Paul on Jun 28, 2016 8:28:55 AM

We all can agree on one thing: No one likes negative feedback. But everyone will receive it at one time or another, and no matter how good you are at your job, hearing that negative feedback can be a difficult process.

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How to Be a Better Listener

By Elizabeth Paul on Jun 21, 2016 9:35:12 AM

We all know that effective communication is important in the workplace, but we typically only talk about one side of that coin: conveying our own ideas. Rarely do we talk about the other half of communication: listening.

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How to Build an Effective Team

By Elizabeth Paul on Jun 16, 2016 9:27:16 AM

If you want to build a successful team, all you need to do is put the best people together, right?

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How To Succeed In A Job You Hate (And Why You Should)

By Andy Kistler on Jun 14, 2016 4:08:26 PM

What a wonderful thing it is to love what you do. I mean, the majority of us spend at least 40 hours a week at work, so we might as well enjoy our jobs, right? In fact, a report conducted by Staples Advantage suggests that U.S. employees are surprisingly happy at work. According to the report, 86% of employees are both happy at work and desiring to move up in the organization. Everything is peachy and everyone is happy, right?

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How to Be More Creative

By Elizabeth Paul on Jun 9, 2016 9:42:43 AM

Most people assume their creativity ends after childhood and would not label themselves as creative individuals. Whether you were building forts in the living room or painting pictures in art class, childhood activities often lend themselves to creativity. But that doesn’t have to end when you enter adulthood. Even when you enter the professional world, you have the capacity to stretch your creative muscles. Here are six ways to be more creative and think outside of the box.

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Steps You Should Take After Failure

By Elizabeth Paul on Jun 2, 2016 7:48:18 PM

We’ve all failed before. Whether it was striking out, forgetting the big dance, or falling short of your boss’s expectations, failure probably wasn’t the most fun thing to experience. But it happened, and we survived, and then it probably happened again. And again. And again.

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Should Performance Reviews Be Linked To Pay?

By Andy Kistler on Jun 1, 2016 3:00:49 AM

Performance reviews have been around for a long time. In fact, America has practically grown up with them. In order to increase the efficiency of the Jamestown colony, Captain John Smith instituted the “no work, no eat” policy. Fortunately, performance reviews are not as harsh today.

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Why Invest In Corporate Learning If Employees Are Just Going To Leave?

By Andy Kistler on May 31, 2016 3:16:59 AM

It’s a big moment in your company. You just put a new class of new hires through your intensive leadership development program. After two years of rotational training, these emerging leaders will place into different areas to drive the future of the company. At least, that’s what your were hoping would happen.

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What All Leaders Need to Stop Doing

By Elizabeth Paul on May 26, 2016 10:07:33 AM

Leadership isn’t something you grasp after reading a textbook. It takes years of experience and feedback, and even then, you can still improve. Effective leaders never stop improving themselves or their leadership styles. If you are looking for your next step of improvement as a leader, here are 10 things you should stop doing.

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6 Reasons No One Under The Age 30 Wants To Work At Your Company

By Andy Kistler on May 24, 2016 3:30:30 AM

In an era characterized by constant technological change, our society loves startups. From the bean bag chairs to the flexible work hours, the startup culture is establishing new standards for the way we work, and these standards are quickly becoming expectations that young professionals are taking into the workplace.

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How to Deal With Employees Who Are Slacking Off

By Elizabeth Paul on May 21, 2016 12:09:16 AM

We have all had that team member, the one who seems to do the least amount of work as possible. When teammates or employees slack off on the job, it is frustrating for everyone involved. It creates problems, unfair workloads, and lower team commitments. This phenomenon is known as Social loafing, or the concept of individuals failing to pull their fair share of the workload on a team, especially compared to what they would do if they were to work alone.

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17 Ways Your LinkedIn Profile Is Keeping You From Your Dream Job

By Andy Kistler on May 18, 2016 5:33:21 PM

Looking for a new job? If you are, you have probably spent a good amount of time combing your resume. And while you may have eliminated every comma splice and spacing error on that sheet of paper, did you take some time to work on your LinkedIn profile? Whether you are looking or not, recruiters are now using LinkedIn more than ever to find qualified candidates for positions. If they aren’t impressed with what they see, you will never get a chance to show them that perfectly crafted resume.

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3 Reasons Your Developers May Be Unhappy

By Thomas Bernstein on May 8, 2016 7:24:34 PM

There are stretches in the life of a startup where everything seems to slouch towards chaos and it just plain stinks to go to work. In my career as a product manager, this dread has often been fueled by the emotional state of my developers (a.k.a., the builders in a tech startup). If this group is unhappy, it’s almost guaranteed that your company’s execution and delivery will suffer.
If you ever find yourself struggling to figure out why your dev team may be apathetic, frustrated, or worse, ask yourself three questions:

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The Case for Eliminating Annual Performance Reviews

By Andy Kistler on May 8, 2016 3:30:35 PM

We have already discussed the potential downsides of linking pay to performance reviews. However, we have more concerns about the status quo in performance reviews today. Another concern is the frequency of performance reviews. Namely, the annual review.

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Are Interns The Key To Talent Management Success?

By Andy Kistler on May 2, 2016 4:19:00 AM

Talent management is a hot button issue in 2016. Finding qualified candidates is one issue. Training candidates is another. Some recruiters are even concerned about candidates lying on their resume. To top it all off, organizations are investing heavily in human resource management, talent acquisition, and professional development, only to find employees leaving companies for better offers within a year or two.

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Your Go-To Guide to Persuasion in the Workplace

By Andy Kistler on Apr 29, 2016 12:05:17 PM

The classic puppy dog face may be the best persuader in the world. At the very least, it's the best in your home. Needless to say, making a sad face is probably not the best way to persuade others in the workplace. Stop practicing the puppy dog face in the mirror. Here are some tips for how to become more persuasive at work.

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The FOCUS Model of Project Management

By Andy Kistler on Apr 26, 2016 7:46:10 PM

The FOCUS Model is another commonly used framework that helps teams systematically solve problems and manage projects. Unlike the DAPEE model which includes the implementation of proposed solutions, the FOCUS model only makes recommendations.

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Components of Effective Communication

By Andy Kistler on Apr 19, 2016 9:50:55 PM

Communication skills help make information exchanges more transparent among teams. Understanding and interpreting others takes work, but the reward is higher functioning, more cohesive teams. Similarly, communication helps you to effectively describe how and why you think the way you do. In this post, we will dive into two major axes of communication: Active listening and assertiveness. By the end, you will have practical takeaways for how to improve your communication skills.

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How Should Companies Approach Diversity In The Workplace? (A Look Into The Research)

By Andy Kistler on Apr 14, 2016 9:11:30 PM

With today’s workforce becoming increasingly diverse, employees are finding themselves working with people who are different. This can be an asset to work groups or a liability depending upon the perspectives of members themselves. Harvard researchers Robin Ely and David Thomas studied three culturally diverse, professional services firms and identified three perspectives that members held towards diversity:

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Is Conflict In the Workplace Bad?

By Brian Griffith on Apr 13, 2016 9:17:18 PM


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Five Practices of Exemplary Leaders

By Brian Griffith on Apr 6, 2016 8:26:16 PM


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Roles and Responsibilities on Teams

By Brian Griffith on Mar 25, 2016 3:01:16 PM

As teams work on common goals, members fill various roles and responsibilities to contribute to the group effort. Researchers Steven Bray and Lawrence Brawley define roles as a “set of prescriptions that define the behaviors required of an individual member who occupies a certain position.” These roles can be assigned by the leader, decided by the team, or volunteered for by specific members. Regardless of how the decision is made, the leader must believe the member assigned to a particular role has the skills, commitment and appropriate attitude to carry out the task.

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Nonverbal Communication In The Workplace

By Brian Griffith on Mar 4, 2016 10:05:10 AM


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Why Employees Leave Companies

By Brian Griffith on Feb 22, 2016 1:19:34 PM

The well-researched and bestselling book, “Good to Great”, speculates that one of the most important characteristics of great companies is the quality of human capital within its ranks. Truly visionary companies know how to get the right people on their bus and in the right seats. Once this happens, the right people are smart and motivated enough to figure out where the bus should be going and how they are going to get there. But finding and keeping the right people is no small task.

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The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

By Brian Griffith on Feb 12, 2016 7:05:58 PM


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Leadership Development and 360-Degree Assessments

By Brian Griffith on Feb 5, 2016 7:05:43 PM


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The Challenges of Virtual Teams

By Brian Griffith on Jan 29, 2016 11:46:57 PM


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The DAPEE Model of Project Management

By Brian Griffith on Jan 22, 2016 12:32:32 AM


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How To Give Good Feedback

By Brian Griffith on Jan 6, 2016 7:06:17 PM


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