Human Skills – Communication

What are human skills and how do they help us to communicate?

Human skills are the characteristics of a person that helps him to communicate and get along well with others. Human skills, often referred to as soft skills,  include communication, empathy, reasonableness, self-awareness and others.

These are skills that we learn as we go through life. Just as no one is born with the skills to be an electrician, or a computer programmer, we are not born with the human skills we need to navigate through the challenges of life. We usually learn them from those around us, such as our parents. Have you ever heard someone speak with fondness about a grandparent because of the kind and gentle person they were? If we have been in the unfortunate situation where we did not grow up with such good influences, we can still learn the human skills that will help us be successful and pleasant to be around.

While Human Skills Development is oriented toward the workplace, the learning of human skills can benefit us in every day life, with our family and friends, and really anyone we come into contact with.

So let’s start with communication. There are a number of aspects to consider, such as

  • When to communicate.
  • What to say.
  • How to say it.

Let’s compare communicating to eating. We usually have some sort of schedule for when we eat. Based on our needs and preferences we decide what we will eat. And then the question of how it is prepared and presented. Those things all affect the experience of eating and the same goes for communication.

When to communicate.

  • At work, you may need to exchange ideas on a project that you are working on with a team.
  • You may need to talk to your boss about time off for an important personal function.
  • You may be the foreman who needs to talk to someone about their work habits.
  • You may be called on to deal with a customer complaint.
  • At home, there are always thing to talk about. Finances, caring for the home and family, dealing with relatives, choosing entertainment, future plans, preparing for retirement etc.

What to say.

As we decide what to say we need to be clear as to our goal in communicating. Are you providing information about accomplishing a task? If so you need to understand the information before you pass it along.

If we are telling a  person to make adjustments  in their attitude or work habits, can we start by commending them for something they do well? It will make it easier to point out what needs to be improved.

Take time to understand the person and their situation. What are they dealing with in their personal lives. Without prying you may be able to understand that their behavior was affected by something unrelated to work.

How to say it.

Think of the Golden Rule, to treat others as we would like to be treated. We like to be treated with respect. We like it when others “hear us out” when we need to explain something. We would like others make allowances for the challenges we face. We like to to be asked, rather than told what to do. We don’t like to be be yelled at.

So those are things that good communicators do.

Communicate
Communicate well at work and home

Our goal in communicating should be to improve the situation for everyone involved.

Our course, Communication Strategies, will help you to communicate skillfully with anyone in any situation.

IMPROVING YOUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

IMPROVING YOUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

The ability to think critically does not just happen- it’s a learned skill. With endless amounts of information in the world, there is always more to learn. Although the development of critical thinking skills can take time, there are certain practices that can help to advance your knowledge, attitudes, and skills. With practice, as well as powerful changes to your cognition, you can improve your ability to analyze information and ultimately make the best decisions for your life. Below is our Quick Guide to improving your critical thinking skills.

PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING

Being a strong active listener is fundamental for successful communication and advancing your critical thinking skills. Active listening involves making a conscious effort to listen attentively and process the information that is being offered. This includes noticing both verbal and nonverbal indications that would be needed for creating a solution. With good active listening skills, the listener should be able to understand the context, make logical connections, as well as be able to restate what was being said by the speaker. The listener should not be formulating their rebuttal or responses to the speaker or thinking about something that is completely unrelated.

Active listening will help to:

  • Avoid missing any important information that is beneficial for drawing conclusions. 
  • Reduce conflict and misunderstandings.
  • Build trust and connections with others.
  • Further one’s critical thinking skills.

ASK QUESTIONS

When it comes to exceptional critical thinking, the key is exceptional questioning. Asking the right questions will lead to new insights, innovation, and breakthroughs. In order to formulate great questions, it’s important to slow down, listen, and truly reflect on what is being analyzed. Critical thinkers ask questions on topics that they are not familiar with, as well as when they are seeking to confirm their knowledge. Questions can spark significant changes throughout your life. They are not only great for learning new information about a topic, but they will also inspire new ways of thinking. Critical thinkers should never abandon the questioning process.

BREAK DOWN THE PROBLEMS

At a first glance, big problems can often become overwhelming. An analytical approach to problem-solving will help to eliminate feelings of overwhelm or stress and improve your ability to think critically. The key is to recognize that big problems are simply a collection of smaller problems. When you invest your time in breaking down your problems into smaller pieces, these problems will become easier to digest and solve, generating ideas for solving the bigger problem. Start by asking questions, such as “What smaller issues might be driving this big problem?”, or “What is the problem composed of?” A complex problem instantly becomes an easier one to solve. Solutions will begin to emerge, leading you closer to the final problem-solving stage.

BE MINDFUL OF EMOTIONS

Emotions play a crucial role in the critical thinking process. They enable critical thinkers to process information efficiently with an open mind, as well as encourage motivation. However, it is important to be mindful of emotions with decision-making, as emotions can sometimes cloud our judgment. Emotions should not be ignored altogether when thinking critically, but rather managed and channeled in productive ways. Ultimately, your success in any situation will result from how you control your emotions. Emotional intelligence is identified as the ability to assess and control the emotions of oneself, others, and even groups. It’s about being heart smart, as opposed to book smart. For instance, professionals need empathy when working with others regardless of their occupation in order to vicariously experience what others feel, believe, or wish.

THINK FOR YOURSELF

Sometimes the most powerful tool you have is your ability to think for yourself. Critical thinking is a self-disciplined, and self-guided form of thinking. After you’ve read books, articles, or blogs, and listened to the advice of others, take some time to reflect on what you think about the situation. Your personal experiences are not to be dismissed altogether in decision-making and problem-solving. We all have a lot to offer, so consider your own thoughts and feelings when deciding which path to choose, or which solution to a problem is best for you.

Although it’s impossible to make a perfect decision for all of our life decisions, there are ways to improve our chances of making the best choices. Critical thinking is a soft skill that can evolve in many ways. A lack of metacognition, or ‘thinking about thinking, can lead some people to feel overconfident. Some leaders have learned to succeed under pressure, but may become complacent in their successes and neglect to take advantage of an opportunity to improve their critical thinking skills. Thoughts become critical when you are aware of them. Exceptional critical thinking skills will develop from practicing habits that are designed for success in accordance with your goals.

VISUAL MAPPING

An effective way to be organized with thoughts and explore connections between ideas is to use mind maps or logic trees. Mind maps can foster the organization of information in a logical structure that is essential for successful critical thinking. By using visual diagrams, the learner is able to map out their thoughts, explore new connections in a more visible way, and analyze choices to form decisions. With this logical structure, it is easier to integrate new ideas into your thinking process. Mind mapping allows the thinker to have greater clarity with their thoughts in light of the bigger picture or objective.

It is best to capture your ideas in a mapping format that is understandable to you. Consider beginning with a central theme and expanding your thoughts from there. The central theme can branch off to other connected topics that you wish to explore, in which these topics may be branched as words, images, or phrases. Mind maps create a clear, organizational structure that can guide you through your critical thinking process.

KEEP AN OPEN MIND

An essential aspect of critical thinking is the ability to open your mind to new insights and possibilities. Open-mindedness is the virtue by which we learn. In particular, being open-minded means taking into account relevant evidence or arguments to revise a current understanding. It involves being critically open to alternatives, with the possibility of changing your personal view. When we allow ourselves to be open-minded, we can discover new information about ourselves that challenges our current values and beliefs. The key to being open-minded is to not allow pre-conceived notions to constrain or inhibit reflection on newly presented information. It’s important to avoid becoming defensive when our ideas are being challenged, but rather allow new ideas to give us fresh insight on the world around us.

GET INVOLVED

Learning and improving any life skills is possible with practice. A critical thinker can improve by finding ways to get involved and participate in exercises or dilemmas that will expand their line of reasoning. In a workplace setting, actively volunteer to help with specific work-related problems, or newly emerging issues- this will help to bring out your creative side and offer you the support you will need to develop those very necessary skills. If there is a lack of opportunities available, consider introducing team building exercises that are aimed at getting the group involved with exploring logic and reason. Surrounding yourself with keen critical thinkers exposes you to more sources of perspective and shared knowledge of great ideas.

CONCLUSION

Are you ready to set your trainees up for success with these skills? Download our newly updated Critical Thinking Workshop today!

Corporate trainingcoursewarecritical thinkingSoft Skills Trainingworkplace training

SIMPLIFY YOUR TRAINING WITH MLEARNING

SIMPLIFY YOUR TRAINING WITH MLEARNING

Can you guess how much the first cell phone weighed?Seriously, take a moment and guess.

If you guess a whopping two pounds, you would be correct. The first cell phone came out in 1973.

Since then, cell phones have evolved not only in their compactness but also in what they can do. A luxury item for business executives is now an extension of all of our lives.

In the first few decades of the cell phone, development was focused on making it look and feel better and more practical for everyday use, along with reducing its cost so it can be used by the masses.

But once cell phones could give internet access, and especially when the iPhone was released in 2007, the possibilities of what this device can do were endless. Making them an integral part of our everyday lives that we know them as today.

It’s pretty amazing there’s a time when a cell phone sending text messages, taking photos, and even accessing the internet felt unfathomable. And now, we can even conduct training with it.

Mobile learning, or mLearning, is defined as the delivery of learning, education, or training on mobile devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. mLearning allows training and support to be taken anywhere, making it flexible and convenient for companies to use.  Many businesses are taking advantage of mLearning to educate employees and clients more efficiently, especially with remote working being more prevalent than ever.

As a trainer, you should know about all the different options you have for training, an mLearning is only going to continue to grow in popularity. Consider this blog post your quick guide to mLearning.

 

WHY MLEARNING?

The prospect of mLearning has created a long list of the advantages it can bring to a company.  One of the most obvious advantages is the flexibility and convenience of using mLearning and accessing information at any time – anywhere.  But mLearning also allows the content to be customized to the learner and can benefit different types of learners (i.e., visual learners, auditory learners, spatial learners, etc.).  Since people take their mobile devices wherever they go, mLearning allows users to make use of their spare time, or ‘dead time’, such as while standing in line at the bank, waiting for the bus, or even in between meetings/projects.

Advantages include:

  • Convenience and flexibility
  • Customized learning
  • Makes good use of spare time
  • Tailored to different learning styles
  • Larger access to information

WHEN MLEARNING IS USED

mLearning is most commonly used for training and education purposes.  The majority of training or learning in the workplace occurs on the job.  However, it can be costly and time-consuming to require employees to attend meetings, conferences, or other training sessions away from work.  Recently, many businesses have begun to implement mLearning, which allows employees to stay in the workplace to acquire additional training or knowledge.  With mLearning, employees can gain new knowledge faster and be more up-to-date on any changes or company additions.

mLearning has also become a helpful tool in training new employees since it allows the company to reduce group or individual training sessions and allow the employee to learn on their own terms.  Not only does this allow the company to save on training hours, but allows the training manager to evaluate which employees are ready to begin work and which ones may need more help before starting on their own.

mLearning is most commonly used for training and education purposes.  The majority of training or learning in the workplace occurs on the job.  However, it can be costly and time-consuming to require employees to attend meetings, conferences, or other training sessions away from work.  Recently, many businesses have begun to implement mLearning, which allows employees to stay in the workplace to acquire additional training or knowledge.  With mLearning, employees can gain new knowledge faster and be more up-to-date on any changes or company additions.

mLearning has also become a helpful tool in training new employees since it allows the company to reduce group or individual training sessions and allow the employee to learn on their own terms.  Not only does this allow the company to save on training hours, but allows the training manager to evaluate which employees are ready to begin work and which ones may need more help before starting on their own.

WHAT MLEARNING IS DELIVERED ON

Technology has changed the way we receive information.  Computers have replaced reference books when it comes to learning new material, and now mobile devices are changing how we access information that has already been digitized.  One of the key aspects of mLearning is using these mobile tools to access new information for education and training purposes.  These mLearning tools allow learners to access the information needed from anywhere and at any time.  Many of the devices used have become a common household need, such as mobile phones and notebook computers.  With technology on the rise, employees are more than likely to own at least one mobile learning tool they can use for future mLearning.

Common mLearning tools:

  • Mobile phone
  • Tablets
  • Notebook/laptop computers

THE FRAME MODEL

In mLearning, the Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education, or FRAME, model was created by Dr. Marguerite Koole, and is designed to show how the different aspects of mLearning work with each other to enhance learning and overall user success. Although the FRAME Model is generally applied to any form of learning with technology, it has become a great tool in defining and illustrating the different aspects of mLearning.

Three aspects of the FRAME Model:

  • Device aspect
  • Learner aspect
  • Social aspect

The Device Aspect – The first aspect of mLearning is the Device aspect, which focuses on the physical and functional characteristics of the mobile device used by the learner.  When beginning mLearning, one of the first steps is to choose a mobile device to use.  The characteristics and capabilities of this device can play a role in the success of the learner.  The hardware of the device must be suitable for the course, such as the size/shape, storage units and any additional input/output devices.  Additionally, the software must be able to perform properly as well, such as the processing speed, response ratings, general power and the likeliness of malfunctioning at some point. Although this aspect is often overlooked as a separate component, it is a very important part of mLearning because the learner cannot connect to the learning materials without a device that works properly and efficiently.

Criteria observed for the Device aspect:

  • Physical characteristics
  • Input capabilities
  • Output capabilities
  • File/Storage abilities
  • Processing speed
  • Error rates

The Learner Aspect – Another aspect of mLearning is the actual learner themselves.  This aspect refers to the learner’s individual capabilities, such as their use of memory and prior knowledge when learning and how they merge prior knowledge with newly acquired knowledge.  It also describes how learners use emotions and personal motivation to guide their sense of learning, and how they best learn and process information. mLearning is a convenient and accessible way to distribute training, but it is important to remember that it requires significant motivation and self-guidance from the learner, so communicating the impact and benefits of the training is crucial.

Criteria observed for the Learner aspect:

  • Prior knowledge
  • Memory capabilities
  • Emotions/Motivations
  • Learning styles

The Social Aspect – A large portion of mLearning is done individually, which can make the social aspect of mLearning sound almost like a contradiction.  But the social aspect refers to processes of social interaction and cooperation that the learner has with other users, and with the learning material itself.  After all, learners must follow rules and obey guidelines, such as following deadlines and studying the correct material. Cooperation allows users to communicate with one another and exchange ideas, knowledge and even learning practices. The majority of the social aspect boils down to the ‘culture’ of the learner and the environment.  In mLearning, this environment involves the virtual surroundings the learner must submit to in order to access the material.

Criteria observed for the social aspect:

  • Conversation/Speech
  • Cooperation
  • Culture practices
  • Social interactions

CONCLUSION

mLearning is really more accessible to deliver than ever, and can be the solution to convenient training.

You might be thinking, “Okay, I am sold on offering mLearning, but how do I even do that?”

That’s where we have you covered.

Our eLearning Library and all of the courses that are pre-loaded into our Learning Management System are compatible with mobile devices, so you can start your mLearning training today.

Training Industry Trend Predictions for 2022

Training Industry Trends

Why focus on training industry trends? With the continued evolvement of technology, a global pandemic, and a new generation settling into the workplace, the Learning and Development industry has unique and ever-changing needs.

It has never been more important to maintain resilience and flexibility in corporate settings. And finding ways to anticipate changes – such as trends in the training industry – can help with that.

Why take the time to understand training industry trends? Well, if you know the industry, you can better predict your training needs for 2022, and anticipate them accordingly.

Below are some factors that have impacted the training industry in 2021/2022, and how you can adjust your training strategy accordingly to stay on top.

training industry trends

TRAINING INDUSTRY TRENDS IN THE 2020S = ACCOMMODATING A PANDEMIC

When the COVID-19 pandemic became most prevalent in 2020, no one could have predicted the ways that it impacted every aspect of life, including how you provide corporate training in your organization.

Before covid, online learning was still very prevalent, and used as a convenient option to accommodate trainee’s busy schedules and geographical locations. However, it has now become absolutely essential.

Online learning is the only safe way to develop your trainee’s skills in this day and age. Fortunately, it is more accessible than ever. And educational software companies (such as ourselves) are always working to make it user friendly, well designed, interactive, and affordable.

For example, over the past year, we have completely revamped the courses that are pre-loaded onto our LMS.

Online learning will not be going away anytime soon. And between the pandemic and an increasingly fast-paced world, you need training that fits with the “new normal” for working.

If you feel as though you don’t have time to develop your own online soft skills training content, you are not alone. Join trainers who trust our Learning Management System for convenient, instructorless online training.

TOP SKILLS FOR LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT IN 2022

If you still don’t think soft skills training isn’t imperative to the success of your organization, now is the time to get caught up before you find yourself falling behind.

EdgePoint Learning discusses a research study that found that found that 75% of long-term job success depends upon mastering soft skills, while only 25% relies on technical skills.

Soft skills are the future of workplace training. According to the LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, upskilling and reskilling is the top priority for Learning and Development professionals globally.

Upskilling is upgrading current skills with complementary training that will allow the trainee to grow within their role.

Reskilling is when the trainee is given training to take on an entirely new role.

Internal organizational shifts allow for trusted employees to grow in the organization and work in the role that best suits them. It also saves employers time and expenses to onboard someone who is entirely new to the organization, which is critical now more than ever due to turnover being more common in the workplace.

The second priority according to the report is Leadership and Management. Providing training to your employees who are working towards a leadership role can boost their confidence and prepare them for this unique type of role, whether they are new to it or are looking for a refresher. Some of the courses we offer that will get you started on leadership/management training include:

The third priority discussed in the report is virtual onboarding. With remote working being more prevalent than ever for the last several years, there have been countless numbers of new employees who needed to start their new role from home. This majorly shifts the dynamic for team building as new employees join the organization. Some of the courses we offer that will get you started on getting your onboarded employees adjusted to your organization include:

GENERATIONAL GAPS

Millennials take up 35% of the US workforce. This means they are still the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, as they have been since 2016.

Millennials in the workforce are less likely to stay in the same job for more than 1 to 5 years. They also value working for organizations that closely align with their own personal values.

While millennials are still taking over the workforce, Gen Z is making a mark in the workplace too, and they are only just beginning.

According to the most recent LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 75% of Gen Z learners believe learning is the key to a successful career. And they have been learning more than ever thanks to online learning.

They are most motivated by opportunities for career growth, and spend time learning to help them do well in their current jobs, work in a different function, or shift to a different internal role.

Between the growing establishment of millennials in the workplace and the drive and curiosity to learn new things from Gen Z, these generations are sure to succeed in the workforce while bringing fresh and new ideas to the table.

CONSIDERING UNIQUE LEARNING APPROACHES

With the structure of our work week evolving more than ever, there’s no doubt that the format for how we work and learn has changed. This could involve shifts into flex hours, or full-time to part-time remote working.

This is applicable to corporate training too. With trainees that have many specific and unique needs, ditching the one-size-fits-all approach is key to providing effective training. This can be done through individualized training. This approach to corporate training provides a more individualized format of training that gives employees options to receive their training in a way that suits their needs. This could involve providing in-person training, the use of a Learning Management System, or a blended learning approach.

Another training approach anticipated to continue to grow in popularity in 2022 is microlearning. Microlearning provides employees with easily-digested bites of information or instruction that can be immediately applied to a task or project.

Microlearning has never been easier with our fully customizable instructor-led training materials. Select relevant modules and distribute accordingly. Microlearning has been proven to improve focus and retention, and could be the ideal approach for upcoming generations entering the workforce in 2022.

CONCLUSION

We hope that this blog post starts a conversation in your organization to consider what is to come for the training industry in 2022. By understanding trends and anticipating trainer needs, you can be better equipped to provide optimal training for your organization.

Ready to get started on your corporate training but don’t know where to begin? We have you covered! See what our Workshop Training Library can do for you and get started today.

 

Learn To Problem Solve Through a Creative Lens

Problem Solving

LEARN PROBLEM SOLVING THROUGH A CREATIVE LENS

When facing obstacles in your organization, there are a number of ways to accomplish problem solving and make decisions regarding it.

Creative problem solving helps us look to challenges with an open mind and consider different perspectives. The creative problem-solving process is just that – a process. But by working through it you can optimize your decision-making skills and come to conclusions you may not have otherwise.

The Creative Problem Solving Process uses six major steps to implement solutions to almost any kind of problem.

In this week’s blog post, we discuss the creative problem-solving process, and how it can help you make tricky decisions in your organization.

Problem Solving Process

1.) INFORMATION GATHERING, OR UNDERSTANDING MORE ABOUT THE PROBLEM BEFORE PROCEEDING

The first step in the creative problem-solving process is to gather information about the problem. In order to effectively solve the problem, you need to know as much about it as possible.

There are many different types of information. There are facts, opinions, concepts, procedures, and ideas. Some of these can be biased and self-serving, while others can be cut and dry.

When tackling a new problem, you can gather a great deal of information by asking specific questions to others who may be impacted by it.

One important source of information is to ask if the problem has been solved before. Find out if anyone in your company or network has had the same problem. This can generate information about the problem and potential solutions.

Here are some other ways you can collect information about a problem:

  • Conduct interviews.
  • Identify and study statistics.
  • Send questionnaires out to employees, customers, or other people concerned with the problem.
  • Conduct technical experiments.
  • Observe the procedures or processes in question firsthand.
  • Create focus groups to discuss the problem.

2.) PROBLEM DEFINITION, OR MAKING SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE CORRECT PROBLEM BEFORE PROCEEDING

The next step in the creative problem-solving process is to identify the problem. It is important to take care in defining the problem. The way that you define your problem influences the solution.

In some cases, taking action to address a problem before adequately identifying the problem is worse than doing nothing. It can be a difficult task to sort out the symptoms of the problem from the problem itself.

Four tools to use in defining the problem are:

  • Determining where the problem originated
  • Defining the present state and the desired state
  • Stating and restating the problem
  • Analyzing the problem

You may not use all of these tools to help define a problem, but these are some to keep in mind as you start.

Writing an accurate problem statement will represent the problem for what it is. The problem statement may evolve through the use of the four problem definition tools and any additional information gathered about the problem. As the statement becomes more refined, the potential solutions are improved.

The problem statement should:

  • Include specific details about the problem, including who, what, when, where, and how
  • Address the scope of the problem to identify boundaries of what you can reasonably solve

The problem statement should not include any mention of possible causes or solutions, that’s for later.

A detailed, clear, and concise problem statement will provide clear-cut goals for focus and direction for coming up with solutions.

3.) GENERATING POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS USING VARIOUS TOOLS

In order to come up with a good idea, you must come up with several ideas.

Some of the ideas will not be good. But if you start overanalyzing in this step, the creative process will quickly come to a halt, and you may miss out on something great. Make sure to defer judgment at this time.

Brainwriting is similar to typical brainstorming, except that it is conducted in silence. This method encourages participants to pay closer attention to the ideas of others and piggyback on them.

Mind mapping is another method of generating ideas on paper but can be conducted alone. To do this, start by writing one main idea in the center of the paper. Write additional ideas around the sheet of paper, circling the idea and connecting the ideas with lines. This technique allows for representing non-linear relationships between ideas.

4.) ANALYZING POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS, OR DETERMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING

With many different solutions in hand, you need to analyze them to determine the best one.

When determining the effectiveness of solutions, consider the following:

  • Ask questions such as “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” or “Wouldn’t it be terrible if…” to isolate the necessary outcome for the problem resolution.
  • Think about what you want the solution to do, or not do.
  • Think about what values should be considered.

Additionally, the criteria for an effective solution to the problem should consider the following:

  • Timing – Is the problem urgent? What are the consequences of delaying action?
  • Trend – What direction is the problem heading? Is the problem getting worse? Or does the problem have a low degree of concern when considering the future of the circumstances?
  • Impact – Is the problem serious?

It is important to think about what the circumstances will look like after a successful solution has been implemented. Use your imagination to explore the possibilities for identifying goals or criteria related to the problem.

The wants and needs for the outcome after the problem is solved must also be very clear.

Needs are items the potential solution absolutely must meet. If the potential solution does not meet a need requirement, you can disregard it from further analysis. Wants are nice to have items. You can provide weight to each item to indicate its importance.

Another factor to consider is what is at stake financially. A cost-benefit analysis is a method of assigning a monetary value to the potential benefits of a solution and weighing those against the costs of implementing that solution.

5.) SELECTING THE BEST SOLUTION(S)

The next step in the process is to select one or more solutions from the possibilities. In the previous step, you will have eliminated many of the possibilities. With a shortlist of possibilities, you can do a final analysis to come up with one or more of the best solutions to the problem.

For each potential solution, weigh the potential advantages and disadvantages. Consider the compatibility with your priorities and values. Consider how much risk the solution involves. Finally, consider the practicality of the solution. Consider the potential results of each solution, both the immediate and long-term possibilities.

Think forward to the solution implementation. Ask the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the situation.

Brainstorm for potential problems related to the solution. Consider how likely potential problems might occur and how serious they are. These potential issues can then be evaluated as needs and wants along with the other criteria for evaluating the solution.

Sometimes this analysis can uncover a potential hardship or opportunity that changes the criteria, problem definition, or other aspects of the problem-solving process. Remember to be flexible and revisit the other stages of the process when necessary.

6.) PLANNING THE NEXT COURSE OF ACTION (NEXT STEPS), OR IMPLEMENTING THE SOLUTION(S)

This part of the creative problem-solving process is the time to think about the steps for making the solution become reality.

Identify tasks that are critical to the timing of the solution implementation. Critical tasks are items that will delay the entire implementation schedule if they are not completed on time. Non-critical tasks are items that can be done as time and resources permit.

Identify your resources by considering the following:

  • Time: How will you schedule the project? When would you like the solution completed? How much time will each task take?
  • Personnel: Who will complete each identified task?
  • Equipment: Is there any special equipment required to implement the task? Does the equipment exist or need to be obtained?
  • Money: How much will the solution cost? Where will the money come from?
  • Information: Is any additional information required to implement the solution? Who will obtain it? How?

As part of the implementation process, you will also need to continue to evaluate things over time. It is important to be flexible and adapt the solutions as necessary. You may need to make adjustments to the plan as new information comes to light.

CONCLUSION

Encourage your team to think outside the box when problem-solving. Making big decisions isn’t always easy, but if you follow the creative problem-solving process, you can rest assured knowing that you did your due diligence. To deep dive into this, even more, check out our Creative Problem-Solving Workshop!

Boost Your Productivity: Overcome Procrastination 

Boost Your Productivity: Overcome Procrastination

We all procrastinate from time to time. Procrastination occurs when we avoid tasks. There are a number of reasons why someone may procrastinate. We may avoid tasks that we find unpleasant. We may also procrastinate tasks that we don’t feel confident we can do adequately. Or we simply may avoid tasks by consistently prioritizing other things that need to be done above them. Even if we perform other work-related tasks instead of the ones we dislike, we are guilty of procrastination. Unfortunately, procrastination will hinder our long-term success. With the proper skills, you can overcome procrastination.

Overcome Procrastination

1. EAT THAT FROG!

Mark Twain has a saying that applies to procrastination:

If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!

Brian Tracy named his course on time management “Eat that Frog” because of this saying. The frog is anything that you do not want to do. You should complete your dreaded tasks first. Getting them out of the way will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and keep you from procrastinating. Always begin with the task that is the hardest and most significant, and you will be less tempted to procrastinate on other activities.

When you dislike a particular task, it is easy to procrastinate. Whether you spend time checking email or looking at Instagram, you are procrastinating. You need to do more than identify when you procrastinate. You need to discover why.

  • Discover your obstacles: What do you choose over your tasks?
  • Discover ways to remove obstacles: Ask for support, and take action. For example, you could turn off the Internet and your phone.
  • Reward yourself: Make the task fun, and use small rewards as incentive.

Once you have identified your frogs and obstacles, the only answer is to take action. Make the tasks that you want to avoid part of your daily routine. Schedule the tasks into your calendar. Once they become habit, you will find them easier to accomplish. Once you have scheduled the time to accomplish your tasks, you must follow through. Resist the temptation to procrastinate with your favorite time waster. Just do it.

2. THE 15 MINUTE RULE

Lack of time is a common excuse for not completing a task. We often overestimate the time that it takes to complete tasks, but the 15-minute rule allows you to accurately time your tasks. When you follow the 15-minute rule, you set a timer for 15 minutes and work on a task. You should stop working on the task when the time is up. You will be surprised by how many tasks you complete within the 15 minutes. When you are not able to complete a task within 15 minutes, schedule 15 minutes the next day for the same task. This allows you to make consistent progress. You will also be able to better estimate how long a similar task will take.

3. CHOP IT UP

The size of a project can also contribute to procrastination. It is easy to become overwhelmed by a large project. The key to overcoming procrastination is to chop up the large project into smaller tasks. Rather than looking at the entire project, focus on the single task. This will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the work you must complete. For example, you could break a large report into different tasks such as brainstorming, outlining, writing, etc. This technique will create a sense of achievement with each step and improve motivation, allowing you to stay focused as you reach the end of the entire project.

4. AVOID DISTRACTIONS TO AVOID PROCRASTINATION

We are bombarded by distractions every day. These distractions are temptations to procrastinate. By removing as many distractions as possible, you will be on track to overcoming procrastination.

Distractions to Avoid:

  • Office clutter: Clean up your space at the end of each day, at home and in the office. A clean space will keep you focused and not interrupt your work.
  • Email notification: Establish specific times to check email. Automatic notifications are distracting and cut into the time you spend on each project.
  • Telephone calls: Do not take all calls. Choose a time to return calls and texts.
  • Environment: Remove distractions such as books, magazines, etc., from your workstation.

5. START SMALL AND BUILD

A habit of procrastination does not happen overnight. Equally, it is not possible to stop procrastinating overnight. Expecting an immediate change will only lead to disappointment. You need to start small and build to end procrastination once and for all. Begin by creating a daily “to-do list” for your personal life. Include the tasks that you have trouble completing, such as laundry or cleaning the kitchen. When you have stability in your schedule, it will be easier to address procrastination at work.

Create a daily schedule for work once you have broken down your larger tasks into smaller ones. As your productivity increases, you will be able to build upon your schedule. You may soon find that you are completing tasks ahead of schedule!

6. REWARD YOURSELF

People tend to procrastinate because they find certain tasks to be unpleasant, so procrastination becomes its own reward. TO overcome procrastination, you could implement a reward system for tasks completed. For example, spending 10 minutes on Facebook could be a reward for returning phone calls. Similarly, going to a movie could be a reward for completing a report on time. When choosing, you should avoid rewarding yourself with anything that you already have planned. For example, if you already have plans to go out with friends on the weekend, the outing will not serve as a reward. Using the appropriate rewards will improve motivation and help prevent procrastination.

7. SET REALISTIC DEADLINES

Schedules and deadlines will help you stay focused. When setting deadlines, however, you must be realistic. Unrealistic deadlines will contribute to procrastination. If you do not have a chance of completing a task on time, you will avoid it. If you are creating your deadline, you should consider how long similar tasks have taken. Be honest, and allow time for interruptions and emergencies. Do not create a schedule based on the best-case scenario; you are setting yourself up for failure. If you are assigned a deadline, determine if it is realistic. If it is not, attempt to negotiate a more realistic date. This negotiation should be done as quickly as possible to prevent complications later.

CONCLUSION

We hope our tips and tricks for overcoming procrastination will help you meet your goals for the new year.

To learn more about meeting your goals and avoiding procrastination, check out our training workshops like:
Goal Setting and Getting Things Done,
Time Management, and 
Personal Productivity.

Corporate Training Materials

You Quick Guide to Workplace Bullying

 

Training on preventing bullying in the workplace is crucial in creating a workplace that is inclusive and safe for all.

Your company has a responsibility to prevent bullying and its impact.

But what is bullying in the workplace and its different types? Why do people bully in the workplace? And what do you do if you or someone in your workplace is being bullied?

We answer these questions and more in the below Quick Guide to Workplace Bullying.

WHAT IS WORKPLACE BULLYING?

Workplace bullying is repetitive and excessively unpleasant actions and behaviors put on an employee or group of employees, that negatively impact health and safety in the workplace.

This type of harmful behavior in the workplace often goes unreported, mainly because of its shameful, intimidating effect on the victimized employee.

In even more extreme cases, workplace bullying may not come to light due to the victim working a lower-level position, and feeling intimidated. However, it’s not always a boss or manager who is doing the bullying, and it can very well be a co-worker on the same level as the person feeling victimized.

TYPES OF WORKPLACE BULLYING/BULLIES

There are several different types of bullying. Having an understanding of the different types of bullying can help you know when to identify it. These include:

Verbal bullying: With verbal bullying, the bully uses their words and/or writing to be hurtful or mean. This can be done via teasing, calling someone names, unsolicited sexual comments, making threats to harm, or mocking.

The aggressor seeks to achieve dominance over the victim by demeaning or lowering his/her self-esteem.

Cyberbullying: With cyberbullying, the bully uses sources such as cell phones, computers, and social media to spread false or unkind information about someone else, which can cause humiliation. Emailing and texting are two common forms used to perpetuate this behavior.

Types of Bullies: As previously mentioned, workplace bullying can come in many forms. One of these is the prankster, someone who doesn’t know the difference between what’s mean and what’s funny. Another one would be the saboteur. This is a person who tries to take credit for work that you did or go out of their way to make your job harder than it has to be.

There are also critics. These are the folks who, no matter how good a job you do, it’s never good enough for them. Some workplace bullies simply shut you out. For example, they won’t tell you when there’s a meeting among employees (where important information may be dispersed), then blame you for not knowing the proper procedure or course of action when the time comes to use that information or training on the job.

There is the boss bully, the person who controls whether or not you keep your job. This type of bully feels that you are required to agree with them about everything they do or say (job-related or otherwise), whether they are morally right or wrong. Boss bullies also may attempt to treat you like a puppet and try to force you to do tasks that are abnormal or seemingly only for their amusement.

Whether verbal or cyber, any form of bullying is detrimental to the one being bullied.

WHY PEOPLE BULLY IN THE WORKPLACE

Bullies hardly ever bully because they think they’re bigger and Badder than anyone else. In fact, quite the opposite is true, and they actually have issues with their own confidence. Below are some common reasons as to why people may bully in the workplace.

Lack of Self-Esteem: One of the main reasons that a person bullies is because they are not confident in their own abilities. The way they choose to respond to this incompetence is by being extra aggressive or belittling to others. They are very sensitive to even the smallest comments. Actions or words directed toward them that are even slightly critical of their work performance will very likely be found offensive. This is one reason some workplace bullies act out the way they do, they feel threatened by their coworkers who outperform them.

It may be a boss who is doing the bullying; they may feel threatened by a worker who is doing an excellent job; someone who could potentially replace them.

A Need to Control: Bullies can be controlling. One way they measure their productivity is by pushing others around, and by talking down to them. This person may not necessarily be someone who does the hiring and firing; they may be same-level coworkers trying hard to impress the boss. This type of bully wants the boss to see that they are in charge of workplace activities and that they are in control of their fellow employees. In a bully’s mind, this is the type of behavior they think will eventually get them promoted.

Being Bullied: Instinctively, a person will know when they are being bullied simply because of the way they feel. A workplace bully may try to make their victims feel isolated. For example, an entire office knows about a new rule, but one person isn’t informed. When that person breaks that rule (one that they didn’t even know about in the first place), they get punished for it.

A workplace bully may also try to make their victim do impossible tasks; or give them so much work to do that they could not possibly meet a deadline. When the deadline is not met, the bully may shout at the worker in front of other people, making them feel horrible and embarrassed. A bullying victim may let Human Resources know about this situation, but HR may suggest trying to work the problem out with the person. This approach will not likely be helpful, especially if the bully is in a higher position than the victim. The victimized worker feels they may lose their job if what they say to the bully is perceived as insubordinate.

A Toxic Work EnvironmentA toxic work environment can feed into a cycle of workplace bullying. This can stem from anything from unhealthy power dynamics to gossip to poor communication. If employees feel burnt out or unhappy in the workplace due to toxicity in the workplace, it can cause further decreases in self-esteem or a need to regain control, which can lead to bullying in the workplace.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED IN THE WORKPLACE

Would you know if you were being bullied at work by a co-worker? And if you were, what would you do about it? Below are our tips for what to do when you feel that you are being bullied in the workplace.

Seek Support: After being bullied at work, you may feel hesitant to seek support due to embarrassment or shame. It’s important to remember that personal health (physical and mental) should be prioritized when dealing with these types of situations, especially if they had been going on for a long period of time. It’s okay to see medical professionals, mental health specialists, or to seek therapy. It is important to not isolate yourself.

Speak Up: Speaking up to a bully is likely the hardest thing for a victimized employee to do. Confronting your bully alone is a good method to get straight to the point. In this conversation, the victim should be completely honest with the bully about how the situation affects them. If this private conversation doesn’t work, and the bully doesn’t back off, then the next step would be to talk to upper management.

Document/Report: Documenting incidences of workplace bullying can help you better identify it. Being able to provide evidence of consistent bullying will help you build a case when you report it. If you don’t know who to report workplace bullying too, you should ask your human resources department, supervisor, or even just a trusted colleague.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WITNESS SOMEONE BEING BULLIED AT WORK

The actions you take when you witness someone being bullied are just as important as the ones you take when you are getting bullied in the workplace. Below are some things to consider when you see someone in your workplace get bullied:

Support Victim: If you find yourself sitting on the sidelines overhearing or even bearing witness to someone being bullied on the job, the best thing that you can do initially is pull that victim to the side and ask them if they realize that they are being bullied. It’s important to establish this knowledge because sometimes they may not even realize that the way someone is continuously aggravating them, isolating them, gossiping about them, or treating them badly in other ways is actually labeled as workplace bullying and that actions should be taken to stop it.

Document/Report: When you witness the bullying, pull the victimized person to the side and encourage them to document these incidents. They may be hesitant to do so, but let them know that without proof there will be no record or building of a case against the bully. Offer to help them as a witness or to support them when they report the case to a supervisor.

CONCLUSION

Workplace bullying happens a lot more than people actually realize. It doesn’t just affect the person being bullied, but can make the entire workplace toxic. A strong first step to reducing this behavior in the workplace is providing effective training. Get a head start on this with our Workplace Bullying Workshop today!

The Corporate Trainer’s Guide to Staying Organized

 

As a corporate trainer, you have many wheels turning at once. From identifying training needs, organizing logistics, preparing, delivering, collecting feedback, and more, there are many different things that need to happen to pull off good training.

Corporate trainers require many different soft skills such as emotional intelligence and the ability to set and meet objectives. However, one of the most important skills a corporate trainer must have is excellent organization skills. Staying organized between implementing all the components of your training before, during, and after a session will be a major factor in its success.

Are you looking to improve your organizational skills when it comes to your corporate training? With our tips, you can boost your credibility with well-prepared and executed training workshops.

FOCUS ON OBJECTIVES

When taking on big projects like putting on training workshops, it can be easy to get caught up in the logistics of it all and lose sight of your objectives. This can cause you to not prioritize properly and fall into finding yourself unorganized.

Some questions to consider when setting your training objectives:

  • What are the most important things your trainees should know by the end of the session?
  • Why is what your teaching important?
  • How can you check your trainee’s understanding of the topics being covered?

Once you set your objectives for your training, be sure to bring yourself back to them when organizing tasks and working towards the development and implementation of your training program. By having a strong understanding of what you are working towards, you can better manage each step to get there. Knowing your “why” will help you prioritize your time more effectively.

LISTS

There’s no debating that our brain loves to-do lists. And while they aren’t the end-all-be-all for being organized, they certainly help. According to psychologist and author, Dr. David Cohen in an article from The Guardian, to-do lists have the power to reduce anxiety, provide structure/a plan to stick to, and prove what we have achieved that day, week, or month.

The article also discusses a research study by Wake Forest University that shows that simply noting a planned activity before doing it improves performance compared to those who didn’t. However, the article states that notes should be clear and detailed. They should also be realistic and reflect the amount of time you have. Understanding how long it takes to complete tasks with some wiggle room will allow you to make more useful to-do lists you can actually have the satisfaction of completing in the future.

What do I mean when I say include detail? Well, if you are tackling a major undertaking for your training, such as preparing your content, simply writing “prepare training content” isn’t going to get you much further from where you started. Instead, break down your content preparation into smaller tasks. For example, instead of “prepare training content” for your task that day, write down what specific aspects of that you’d like to achieve such as “Review training slides” or “Incorporate industry-relevant examples into instructor guide.”

These specific, actionable tasks will help you better break down your objectives and get things done.

Some general things to break down in your corporate training to-do lists:

  • Content
  • Advertising/recruiting trainees
  • Book venue (if in-person training)
  • AV Equipment preparation
  • Consider electronic platform if training online
  • Feedback collection plans

Each of these categories should be broken down to into lists that have more specific tasks to tackle these broader aspects of corporate training.

USE A CALENDAR SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOU

Anyone can tell you to get a calendar or planner to stay more organized. It’s sound advice. But as we have all quickly learned at some point in our personal or professional lives if you are trying to stay organized with a system that doesn’t work, you will eventually abandon it and not benefit from it.

For example, if you tend to prefer using technology and don’t like to write notes by hand, you may not feel compelled to glance at a physical planner or calendar. You also may not feel motivated to write in it in the first place. But if you are already using technology regularly, consider a google sheets document to organize tasks, or use the calendar on your phone.

And the opposite is also true. If you are more drawn to looking at physical copies and writing notes helps you remember things, then a physical calendar planner may be for you.

The way you organize your tasks doesn’t matter except for one condition – it works for you and keeps you consistently aware of your tasks and commitments for each day. It may take time to find a system that works for you, but with some experimentation, you will find it in no time, and be better for it.

PREPARE CONTENT

At a minimum, the below pieces of content should be prepared for your training workshops:

Instructor Guide – This is your handbook to all the content/topics you will be covering in detail. It should also include any pre and post-test/module quiz questions and answers.

Quick Reference Sheets – Quick Reference Sheets are great to highlight important points in your workshops that you want your trainees to take with them.

Slides – PowerPoint slides will walk your participants through your training content in a visual, structured format. They should provide the perfect balance of space and content to keep your trainees engaged.

What do all these things have in common? They, along with other pieces of content, are all included in each of our course kits. Our training materials allow you to spend less time creating content from scratch, and more time getting organized for your training workshop. With our baseline of over 140 courses, simply review and revise the materials to your liking and practice your delivery. This allows you to go from spending hundreds of hours developing and preparing training content to as low as just a few hours.

TEST ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT

Now more than ever, virtual instructor-led training or VILT is the most common way to provide training. Providing online training presents unique challenges that must be considered in order to stay organized. Like an in-person training session, there is a significant amount of prep work that must be put into ensuring logistical issues won’t get in the way of your participants’ learning. To ensure this doesn’t come up, be sure to test your computer, microphone, speaker, and system you are using (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.) before your training workshop. Consider asking a colleague to log into your workshop as if they were a trainee and see if they have any difficulty prior to your workshop. This ensures that logging in and getting settled into the workshop will be smooth. Ask them if they can hear you properly and if you can hear them if you plan on getting your trainees to participate.

Small prep tasks such as these will make a major difference in the flow of your training, and boost your reputation as an organized trainer.

CONCLUSION

We hope this blog post will help you improve your organizational skills for credible and effective training workshops.

Posted by Katelyn Roy

Determine Your Training Needs – A Complete Guide

Determine Your Training Needs – A Complete Guide

Have you ever felt like you could see the potential of providing corporate training, but didn’t quite know where to start?

One of the first steps of providing corporate training is deciding what training topic you want to cover.

This is a mindful process that requires time and attention to get right.

Below is our detailed guide to conducting a needs analysis to determine what kind of training workshop you should conduct

PERFORMING A NEEDS ANALYSIS

In order to help you identify your training needs, the first thing to look at is how to perform a needs analysis. This will provide you with the answers to a few basic questions and help you to understand your audience. This research will help you develop a basic outline that can then be used to help create your training program.

A needs analysis is performed when there is a lack of knowledge, skills, or attitude that is negatively affecting a group of employees, customers, etc. It is the process of identifying and evaluating training that should be done to improve a current situation. Challenges are defined and opportunities noted; a needs analysis will help the trainer set goals and priorities and decide which method to use to deliver the message. The information gathered will become the basis of a well-delivered workshop.

The results of the research will help to answer the following questions:

  • Who is the audience with the problem or need for change?
  • What tasks and subtasks does an expert perform to a work process?
  • What gaps exist between experts, average, and poor performers of a work process?
  • How do we translate the needs into objectives to promote a positive learning outcome?

1. WHO IS THE AUDIENCE WITH THE PROBLEM OR NEED FOR CHANGE?

The first step in conducting a needs analysis is asking yourself what you know about your audience. Your audience should determine the content and approach of your training. Find out what they know; use their words and terms and better your understanding of where your trainees are at.

Understanding your audience also helps you determine what training format may be best. A group of youth interested in entrepreneurship won’t experience the same presentation as a group of senior entrepreneurs.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the aim of my training?
  • What do I want the audience to do after my presentation?
  • What will your audience learn?
  • What happens afterwards?
  • What outcomes should be expected?
  • What changes in the workplace should occur?
  • Who will implement these changes?

These are all questions you should ask yourself when better understanding your audience. Continually referring to these questions as you build your needs analysis (and training workshop in general) will help you stay on track and focused.

2. WHAT TASKS AND SUBTASKS DOES AN EXPERT PERFORM TO A WORK PROCESS?

In order to be able to provide contextual training, you must understand the roles of your trainees. Learning the objectives of your trainees and their process for meeting them gives you the ability to list their tasks and subtasks.

For example: Consider this in the context of a call center. Although the call center reps are empowered to assist customers, several are not solving callers’ product problems. Instead, they are passing them on to the Escalation Desk, creating a bottleneck, and unhappy customers. The needs analysis identified a task called “Resolve customer complaints”. Some of its tasks/subtasks are:

  • Handling a Call
  • Answer call
  • Listen to customer’s problem
  • Express empathy for the trouble
  • Open a new support ticket
  • Resolve the complaint per the list of allowable resolutions
  • Documenting Call Resolution
  • Document the resolution in the call notes
  • Close support ticket

While some of this information may be common knowledge to you, don’t assume someone else’s tasks/subtasks. Make sure you communicate with employees and let them tell you their tasks/subtasks. Getting this info directly from the source ensures you aren’t misinterpreting certain aspects of their roles and that you didn’t forget any crucial tasks that could help you better identify their needs.

3. WHAT GAPS EXIST BETWEEN EXPERTS, AVERAGE, AND POOR PERFORMERS OF A WORK PROCESS?

So, you have identified the problem and the people involved in the process where issues are arising. You have communicated with them to understand the tasks and sub-tasks involved.

Now it is time to identify the gaps. Consider the experience level of all the employees involved. Do some people have higher levels of training/expertise than others?

Note what systems are being used that may be out of date or less than efficient. Are there new systems that your team should be trained in?

Think about what employees are involved in this process but may not be communicating with each other. Is a lack of communication causing preventable mistakes or deadlines not being met?

Even better, ask the employees involved some of the following questions to also identify gaps:

  • What are the department needs?
  • What are some problems your department is experiencing?
  • How long has this been a problem?
  • What would indicate to you that the problem has been solved?

Once you have evaluated this, simply note the gaps you see in the processes that are contributing to the problem. If you are having difficulty finding these gaps, or are worried you missed something, consider explaining to a third party the process, the tasks/subtasks, and the people involved. Get them to ask you critical questions and see if they can poke any holes in it. If you can’t adequately answer certain questions or account for their critiques, those may be areas to examine for gaps.

4. HOW DO WE TRANSLATE THE NEEDS INTO OBJECTIVES TO PROMOTE A POSITIVE LEARNING OUTCOME?

Now that we have identified the gaps, we can finally set our objectives and identify our specific training needs.

How can we fill the gaps we found in your organization’s processes? Fortunately, since we have done all our prep work to identify these, the objections should be fairly clear by now. For example:

If the gaps lie in inconsistent training levels between employees, perhaps there are employees that need to receive training that others already have. Or maybe a refresher training session is required.

If the gaps lie in outdated or inefficient systems, it may be time to revamp these and give everyone updated training on the new system/policies.

If the gaps lie in a lack of communication, then soft skills training will help your employees improve their communication skills, emotional intelligence, and teamwork skills.

Translating the gaps and needs of your team into objectives will ensure better learning outcomes for your training.

CONCLUSION

One of the best parts of conducting a needs analysis is that once it is done, it has likely produced much of the supporting content required to build your training program. So, if you are hesitant to do a complete needs analysis, remember how much time it will save you later, and how much better your training will be for it.

We hope that our outline for conducting a needs analysis will help you better understand your training needs.

Posted by Katelyn Roy, Corporate Training

E-learning

What Exactly Are Human Skills or Soft Skills?

We prefer the term human skills to soft skills as they are the personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success on the job. Human skills characterize how a person interacts in their relationships with others both on and off the job.

Human skills include public speaking, stress management, adaptability, attitude, communication, creative thinking, work ethic, teamwork, networking, decision making, positivity, time management, motivation, flexibility, problem-solving, critical thinking, and conflict resolution.  All skills that can be learned and practiced.

Hybrid skills are related to human skills in that they include a combination of non-technical and technical skills.


Why Employers Care About Human skillsSoft Skills Hiring

It’s easy to understand why employers want job candidates with a particular hard skill set. After all, if you are hiring a plumber, they need skills in plumbing.

However, human skills are important to the success of almost all employers. After all, nearly every job requires employees to engage with others in some way. Therefore, being able to interact well with others is important in any job.

Another reason hiring managers and employers look for applicants with human skills is that human skills are transferable skills that can be used regardless of the job at which the person is working. This makes job candidates with human skills very adaptable employees.


Also, because human skills are acquired over time

as opposed to those acquired in a short time during a class or training program—people with human skills are often seen as having a unique and broad background that can diversify a company and help it run more efficiently.

Human skills are particularly important in customer-based jobs. These employees will typically be in direct contact with customers. It takes a number of human skills to be able to listen to a customer and provide that customer with polite helpful service.


Tips for Highlighting Your Human skills

First, make a list of the human skills you have that are relevant to the job you want. Look at a list of human skills and circle the ones that you have. Then, compare your list of human skills with the job listing. Which of these human skills are mentioned in the listing? Which of these do you think would be most useful in this job? Make a list of three to five human skills you have that are also needed for the job.

Then, include some of these human skills in your resume. You can add them to a skills section (or a section titled “Transferable Skills”).  Attach the certificate that you will receive from our programs to your resume.

You can also use them as keywords throughout your resume, mentioning them in places such as your resume summary, and in descriptions of your duties for each job in your “Work History” section.

You can also mention these human skills in your cover letter. Pick one or two human skills you have that appear to be the most important for the job you’d like. In your cover letter, provide evidence that shows you have those particular skills.


Finally

You can highlight these human skills in your interviews. You can mention examples of times you have displayed some of these skills in the past at work. However, you can also demonstrate your human skills during the interview. For example, by being well-spoken, friendly and approachable during the interview, you’ll show your ability to interact with others. And by paying attention while the interviewer is talking, you will show your listening skills. These actions will demonstrate your human skills clearly to the hiring manager.


How we can help

We will be adding new human skills courses to our offerings at regular intervals as we build our inventory.  You will be able to study these courses at your convenience and apply these new human skills at home and at work.