Career Coaching

Managers: How to Help Make the Learning Stick

by Rachel Eidan

Acquiring new skills, tools and processes happens in the classroom, but making sure that learning is retained depends on changing habits back on the job. And it’s tough to change. Learners are more likely to successfully improve their skills long term when they have a manager who provides the right kind of support. Here are some ways managers can help:

Ask for a one-minute essay describing the main points learned in the course as soon as possible following its completion. Learning retention is time-sensitive, so be sure you ask for this promptly. Writing helps consolidate key points and clarify the learning. Learners should post a printout of this somewhere for a few days and give it a quick re-read whenever they have a moment. Read more

5 Must-Read Books for Difficult Conversations

negotiation communicationby Lesley Nevills

We all struggle at times to be articulate in face-to-face interactions, especially when the conversation is emotional, difficult or strategic. It’s hard to express yourself when you know the stakes or emotions are high. Being good at these critical conversations can enhance your credibility, boost your confidence, build an important relationship, or help get you that promotion or raise.

Luckily, there is help! I’d like to share 5 books that have helped me improve my communication skills over the years. Add them to your library, and you will find them useful at work and in life. Read more

Is Your Social Media Persona Professional?

professionalism on social mediaThis is a guest blog written by Kim McLaughlin from Lyra Communications. Lyra is a social media company, that provides strategy, execution and consulting services for both consumer and professional service firms to help them retain existing clients and acquire new ones.

 

Emojis, exclamation marks, acronyms and kittens – the world of social media has turned the traditional rules of business writing on their heads.

Back in the day, the rules of writing were clearly defined given a company’s industry, target market and the preferences of its executives. But today those rules are blurred and there is often little difference between the kind of copy we see from a bank and an online jewelry store for teens.
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Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

casual contractions in presentation

by Sarah Maloney

Howsitgoin? Wanna grabba cuppa coffee? Have you heard colleagues speak this way? Have you spoken this way? Probably, we all have. Let’s step back for a moment and ask ourselves: what is our first impression of the speaker? Let’s put these casual contractions under a corporate magnifying glass.

As communication skills consultants, we work consistently with our learners to help them improve their professional images through their business communications. Recently, we’ve noticed that many of our learners are sabotaging their professional images when delivering presentations by using “informal contractions”.

We aren’t talking about contractions like “don’t” for do not or “we’ll” for we will. When you use a few of these contractions in your speech or your writing, you sound quite personable. However, some contractions can make you sound sloppy and unprofessional—like these examples:

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4 Tips for Job Interview Success

by Alan De Back

With the start of the new year, many people decide that the time is right for a job change. Because the market is so crowded with job seekers, you need to distinguish yourself from the competition during the interview process. In addition to preparing for possible questions, how will you use all the skills in your communication toolbox? Here are four job interview tips that will give you an edge.

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Positive Tone: It’s How You Say It

positive tone

by Leigh Geraghty

When asked about their business writing challenges, many of our workshop participants say they have trouble with the tone of their message. Tone is how you describe the emotional quality of writing. It reflects the writer’s attitude towards the reader, and affects how the reader will respond. Writers tend to put a lot of effort into sounding competent and professional, but aren’t always sure how to create a positive tone.

Three choices for tone

When it comes to tone, you have three choices: positive, negative or neutral.

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10 Tips for New Grads: How to Succeed at Your First Job

communicating first job

by Jody Bruner

Last post we discussed how high impact writing can help land your dream job. Here, we are going to focus in on newly graduated millennials. While an astonishing 87% of new graduates see themselves as prepared to enter the workforce with the skills they gained from their education, hiring managers don’t agree. Read more

High Impact Writing and Your Job Search

high impact writing job search

by Alan De Back

Over many years as a career coach, I’ve discovered that the most qualified person does not always land the job. Even with sites like LeoList that can help you in the job search, the qualifications matter. You may have great credentials, but your lack of high impact writing skills could eliminate you from consideration.

How you present yourself in writing is critical to making the first cut. Whether writing a bio or editing your LinkedIn profile, a high impact writing style sends a message of energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism. However, despite the tips below that are awaiting you, I know that some people really do struggle with writing, and producing a well-written bio can seem like an impossible task. Those of you who can’t imagine a successful bio being produced by yourself, why not get someone else to write a great bio? Jill can write a bio for you when the challenge seems too much for yourself, with flawless writing that’ll capture the employer’s eye. For those of you who can face the writing part, but don’t know what aspects you need to put in your bio, read on.

What are the most important elements of a high impact writing style?

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How to Close Your Email Messages

by Jody Bruner

Back in the day of the letter, we were much more formal in our closings. Typically we signed off with Yours truly in formal situations, and Sincerely yours or even Cordially in less formal situations. In business today, while emails sometimes serve the same purpose as a letter, they are less formal and the traditional closes feel too dated and formal. Read more