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Monday, 3 April 2023
10 Public Speaking Tips (Infographic)
Wednesday, 19 October 2022
4 Ways Introverts Can Enjoy More Social Confidence
We used the word "enjoy" in that title for a reason. Social confidence is important for building relationships. This is true of the introvert, the extrovert and the average person who is somewhere between those two personality extremes.
You can enjoy a much more successful career when you have powerful social skills. Your personal relationships benefit. The person who's confident when interacting with others has a high level of self-esteem. They enjoy a powerful self-belief that they are capable in social situations.
That's not to say that introverts don't have wonderful and rewarding lives. They simply have a view of their best life that's different from an extroverted person.
By the way, it's often believed that introverts despise interacting with people. That's almost never the case. It's simply that they would prefer to spend more time on their own. That's how they recharge their batteries. The extroverted person does the same thing by spending a lot of time with other people. Each of these individuals is different in many ways, and no one approach is worse or better than the other.
That having been said, introverts often want better skills at socializing. They understand they can improve some aspect of their life if they had more confidence when dealing with people. If this sounds like you, we're here to help. Here are 4 ways that have been proven to help introverts build confidence in social settings.
1. Don't Overdo It
Introverts can enjoy socializing just as much as introverts. In many cases they do. The difference is that the introverted person loses physical and mental energy from socializing too frequently or for too long.
If you want to perform better in social situations, limit your exposure. Pick your battles. Don't try to drink from a fire hydrant. Plan short periods of time where you're going to expand your social skills over the next week or month. When you feel your energy starts to wane, return home or wherever it is you feel most comfortable recharging your batteries.
2. Prepare Ahead of Time
You might be an introvert that doesn't have much experience interacting with others. That's okay. You can learn how to socialize. Do some prep work before you know you're going to deal with others.
Think of the conversation beforehand. What's the environment going to be like? Who's going to be there? This type of homework can help you succeed in social situations and become more confident and capable.
3. Remember … Rome Wasn't Built in a Day
The old saying that it took a long time to build one of the greatest civilizations in human history is important here. Big accomplishments don't happen overnight. If you are extremely introverted, work on one step at a time to become more of a social animal.
Maybe the first thing you want to do is get comfortable leaving your house. You might leave your home and walk 100 feet down the road and then return home. If that's a big deal for you, give yourself a huge pat on the back!
You did great. Once you're comfortable leaving home, then strike up a conversation with a stranger. Take one small step at a time and before you know it you'll have walked a mile down the road to improving your social skills.
4. Look at Rejection like a Successful Salesperson
The best salespeople get excited when they hear, "No." They know that every rejection gets them closer to making their next sale. You can look at social rejection the same way. See the situation objectively. What can you learn? What did you do right? What did you do wrong? Take rejection or social failure as an opportunity to get better, and then move on.
Introverts aren't necessarily scared of people. They usually aren't. They just prefer to spend a minimal amount of time in the presence of others. If this is you, and you want to build your social confidence, the tips we just shared with you can help. They make you feel more comfortable when interacting with people. You'll also be proud of yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone.
Sunday, 18 September 2022
Misconceptions About Negotiating
The pervasive perception of negotiation in the West is more negative than it is in most other places in the world. We imagine men screaming at each other across a boardroom table, spittle flying. But that’s not what negotiation really looks like if you are doing it right. The goal of negotiation is for both parties to get what they want. The aim is to reach a win-win. There are several misconceptions about negotiating that we would like to straighten out here and now.
It’s too combative - As mentioned above, negotiation shouldn’t be aggressive or nasty. You don’t need to view it as a competition or confrontation because it’s not. Instead, bargaining is simply an exchange of points and offers.
It’s only for cheapskates - More people are watching their pennies nowadays, and one way to improve your wealth is to negotiate, especially on high ticket items. Why pay more than you need to? How do you think people with a lot of money in the bank got there? No doubt, part of their strategy was to negotiate the price of things when appropriate.
It’s improper - Especially in the case of high ticket items, sales people expect you to try to negotiate price. If you own a house, for example, did you settle on the asking price or did you offer less? Same with a car. Most car dealerships state their highest price, knowing that people will ask for something lower. If they get their asking price, all the better. But they don’t expect it. It’s not improper to save money.
It takes a certain type of personality - This misconception goes back to believing that negotiating is aggressive. Though it may feel less than comfortable in the beginning, some practice can take care of that. Even shy people can learn to negotiate. It’s a skill that can be learned, not necessarily something you are born with.
It’s not worth the time or money - Again, in the case of expensive purchases, it can be well worth your time to negotiate price. Many people who are selling something, whether a company or an individual on Craig’s List set their price high, expecting to bargain. Is it worth your time to shave a few car payments off the life of your car loan? If not, it should be.
It’s embarrassing - This misconception is rooted in the fact that most people are uncomfortable negotiating. But all it takes is some practice. You also won’t negotiate on everything you buy. The kid checking you out at a fast food place or movie theater isn’t going to knock down the price. But the salesman trying to sell you a dishwasher probably would. Knowing when to bargain and then practicing it is all that is needed to end the embarrassment.
Why It’s Important to Be Able to Debate
When you think of the word debate, you probably think of a somewhat nerdy after-school activity offered in some high schools. But debating isn't just for sport, as it is also known as "arguing." And clearly, arguments have a place in our everyday lives. No matter what you call it, though, it is an important life skill to have for several different reasons.
Debating Helps You Form Your Own Opinion
If you've never debated a topic, chances are your feelings about the topic aren't fully formed. When you debate something, it challenges you to think about the topic at a deeper level. And when you think about the topic at a deeper level, it helps you solidify your emotions about the topic.
Debate Helps You Learn
Besides just solidifying your emotions about a particular topic, the debate also allows you to learn more about a topic you may be passionate about. Your opponent may make a point that you had never heard of before. However, for this to hold true, you need to make sure you listen when the other person(s) are speaking instead of just preparing your answer while they speak.
Debate Activates Your Brain
While debate isn't the only way to activate your brain, it activates a part of your brain that you don't often use. This part of the brain deals with problem-solving and the art of persuasion. When you debate with someone, you exercise both of these skills, crucial to survival as an adult. Even most schools recognize this, so several colleges such as Oxford recommend debate classes for all of their students.
Debate Solves Problems
If you have an opinion and never share it with anyone in your life, problems could arise because you haven't made your opinions clear. Debating a topic helps bring everyone's opinions to the forefront in an environment where they are respected. Just make sure you never attack someone else for their beliefs. Only attack the topic at hand so that it doesn’t become personal.
These are just a few of the many reasons that it's important to learn to debate. Without knowing how to debate, it's likely an individual will go through life being misunderstood by others and even by themselves, as they may not understand their stance on certain issues. So, if you think this describes you, it’s time to learn how to debate today!
Sunday, 28 August 2022
5 Tips to Help You Have More Energy When Socializing
Introvert or extrovert? You wouldn't think it matters, but the truth is, some people thrive on social interaction. Others don't.
But even if you're not an introvert, social interactions can sometimes be draining. The problem is these interactions tend to be the ones where you do need to be at your best. Think about the last time you had a job interview or spent time in conversation with a mentor. Even the best conversations can leave you tired.
So, how do you turn this around and keep up your vitality for even the most draining social interactions?
Imagine Who You Want to Be
If you want to have high energy during social interaction, you first need to picture yourself as someone who has this kind of energy. What does it look like? What kind of gestures would you use when speaking? What tone of voice do you use? Do you laugh or smile often? If you can picture the person you want to become, it's much easier to become that person. This might seem like a form of acting, and at first, it might well be, but the more you do it, the more authentic this high-energy version of yourself will become.
Try Being Someone Else
Who do you admire who has a lot of energy? This might be an actor or celebrity, or it might be your own best friend. When interacting socially, start asking yourself how this other individual would likely act in the same situation. Do what they do. Again, mimicking high energy has a funny way of becoming high energy.
Try Some Coffee
This one won't work for everyone, but coffee is a great stimulant. If you know you're going to be needing a lot of energy for an upcoming social situation, why not have a cup of coffee beforehand? You might need to experiment with this slightly to figure out how much coffee gives you an optimal amount of energy without leaving you jittery.
When attention lags, it's natural to come off as being more low energy. By remaining interested in your surroundings and especially in the people around you, you naturally maintain a higher level of energy. Start taking note of details. This has the added benefit of giving you things to talk about.
Deal with Stress
if the energy drains right out of you in social situations, chances are it's because you're stressed. Any time you're experiencing anxiety, your body takes more energy to get through simple tasks. With this in mind, the best way to get more energy for social situations is the deal with the root of the anxiety you're feeling when being social. This might mean dealing with some baggage. It's worth it in the end, though.
How to Make Networking Events Less Stressful
How many people do you know who actually enjoy networking? If you’re like most people, you find it awkward or uncomfortable, and if you’re an introvert, it might even feel excruciating.
But you know that effective networking is crucial for your career, whether you’re looking for a new job, a promotion, or to build your business. Excellent networking skills are essential if you want to get ahead. So how can you make it less stressful? Try these tips to get more out of your network, and maybe you’ll even enjoy it!
Do your homework
You wouldn’t dream of going to a job interview or an important meeting without preparing, would you? Treat networking events the same. Find out as much as you can about the event, who’s organizing it, and who will be there. Study the sponsor’s website and arm yourself with knowledge, so you have two or three topics of conversation to help break the ice and start connecting with other participants.
Find yourself a role
If it’s appropriate, see if there’s any way you can volunteer to help out. If you have some official position, you have a ready-made pretext to connect with people. Make sure to check in with the organizers first, but maybe they could do with some extra people to staff the registration desk or set out welcome packs. Perhaps you could offer to take event photos or live Tweet. At question time, you could help pass the microphone.
Take a friend
Who says you have to go to networking events alone? It will feel much better if you invite a friend or colleague to share the learnings. Not only will you feel braver about connecting, but you’ll also likely look more approachable than if you’re standing alone radiating anxiety.
Find the key networker
You can take the stress off yourself by looking around to find the extrovert, the natural networker who knows everyone. In any big group, there will always be one or two people who are enjoying connecting with people. Find that person and benefit from their positive networking. Follow in their wake, and you will find it much easier to join in the conversation.
Turn it into a game
Try taking the heat off yourself by turning networking into a game. Before you go, make yourself a list or even a bingo card of things you want to achieve. Your networking goals can include things like connecting with two people, handing your business card to five people, connecting on LinkedIn to three people.
Sunday, 12 June 2022
Top 8 Tips for Delivering Your Elevator Pitch at Networking Events
You probably know how important networking is for maximizing your career. But it’s not always enjoyable. You can make networking a whole lot less painful by being prepared and by having your personal elevator pitch rehearsed and ready to go.
Here are eight tips to help you polish your pitch for your next networking event.
1. Keep it punchy
A good elevator pitch should be no more than 45 seconds (yes, the average length of an elevator ride). It should be interesting, memorable, and brief, and you should feel comfortable delivering it. It should sound natural and not like an elevator pitch!
2. Keep it focused
You can tailor your elevator pitch to the event. Are you there representing your organization or there to get your next sale or your next job? Keep your two- or three-line pitch focused on that objective. If the person you’re talking to is from the same sector or went to your college, include that to get their attention. If you have an existing connection, you can start to build the relationship there.
3. Mention your career experience or goals
Be clear about your experience or your business goals. Tell them you’ve worked in 3D printing or horse-breaking for however many years, or that you’re an entrepreneur or a human right advocate. Mention any specializations without falling into jargon and make sure to steer away from too much detail.
4. Mention your qualifications
If you have a diploma of jurisprudence or an MBA, mention them. If you’ve just graduated, you can specify your college major. You might want to include any significant achievements, leadership skills, or standout strengths.
5. Highlight what makes you unique
Think of what makes you stand out. Do you speak other languages? Have you worked or volunteered overseas? What unique qualities or experiences make you memorable?
6. Include a question
Your elevator pitch isn’t a party piece that just finishes, and that’s it. It’s an invitation to continue the conversation. You should consider including an open-ended question, perhaps asking about the other person’s company or an opportunity to speak again.
7. Slow down!
In your eagerness to get your elevator pitch across, it’s easy to speak too fast or even appear desperate to impress. Remember to breathe, slow down, and smile! Make eye contact and allow the other person to respond.
Above all, once you’ve written your elevator pitch, you should rehearse and refine until it’s second nature. Practice repeatedly with your partners, a friend, or even your dog. Practice in front of the mirror and observe your expression and body language. What image are you projecting? You want to look calm, confident and engaging.
Three Rules To Help You Make A Good First Impression
Making a great first impression isn’t always easy, but it’s well worth attempting as much as you possibly can. To help you make it happen more often, here are three simple rules you should always follow. While they are not the only great advice on making a good first impression, they are the things that will have the biggest impact – whether you get them right or wrong. I suggest you get them right :)
Rule #1 – Dress To Impress
Pay attention to what you’re wearing. This may seem very superficial, but that’s what first impressions are all about. They are a first, quick judgment based on things like appearance. Overdress just a little if it’s an important first meeting like going to a job interview or meeting the future in-laws for the first time.
At the very least make sure that what you’re wearing is neat and flattering. Don’t go crazy and when in doubt go for something somewhat conservative. You can always let your personality shine after you’ve made that great first impression.
Rule #2 – Be On Time
Another very important thing to remember is to always be on time. It makes you look prepared and reliable. But there’s another important reason for this. The world is made up of two types of people. The first group is a stickler for time. Being late is one of their biggest pet peeves. The other group has a more looseinterpretation of being on time and doesn’t mind waiting for someone for a few minutes, or being late themselves.
The problem is that you never know what camp the person you’re about to meet will fall into ahead of time. So be prepared and make sure you get there on time or even a little early. It’ll look good no matter how the person you’re meeting will feel about time and it will definitely keep you from making a bad impression with a time stickler.
Rule #3 – Think Before You Speak
Last but not least, think before you speak. It’s easy to get nervous and just prattle on about anything and everything. It makes you look nervous and silly. Even worse, if you don’t think before you talk it’s very easy to put your foot in your mouth. Trust me, I’ve done it plenty of times. It’s not a good feeling and definitely a quick and easy way to ruin that first impression.
Tuesday, 31 May 2022
The word communication is a general word in its meaning. It could take on many roles, depending on the use and context. It also has many formats as its delivery mechanism. You can listen to music or watch videos, or you can read a book. Conversations are forms of communications as well.
Because of the general aspects of communication, it’s difficult to imagine formulating it into a skill. But it is possible, and many colleges offer majors in communication, which elevates the field. It’s not necessary to study at a four-year college to enhance your skills of communication. It takes basic knowledge and some practice.
The biggest skill you can use to communicate better is to listen. People are not natural listeners as they are focused on themselves. It’s how we are wired. We will always put ourselves first. Part of that is a survival mechanism. But, because of our self-serving nature, listening to others is secondary and requires us to put effort into being better listeners.
To increase your ability to listen to others, the next time you are speaking with someone, repeat back everything they say. That may be a little unnerving to them, at first. But, if they look at you with a bewildered look, explain that you are just making sure you understood what they said. Once they get past the awkwardness, they will welcome the exchange.
The next step towards better communication is to use simple language. When you want others to understand your meaning, you need to make sure everyone will understand the words. People have different levels of education. Therefore, you want to use the lowest common denominator when speaking to everyone. You should not view this as a means of looking down at others. Your goal is to make sure you are understood. Speaking and writing in basic language is the best way to accomplish this.
You must consider the feelings of the people with who you're communicating. Even if you are a manager, barking orders at people is one of the least effective ways. Consider everyone’s opinions and needs. Keep people engaged in the communication platform. This way they take ownership in the process. That is a massive benefit for excellent communication. You will get more out of people when this happens than merely rattling off commands as if they are robots. There are some instances, such as the military, where shouting out orders is necessary. But, these are the exception, not the rule.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
You may recognize the title of this article. It is that of a book written by the late Dale Carnegie. The advice in the book remains timeless.
In no way is this meant to steal from the original book. This was written as a kind of review of the book and as a reminder that this book can truly serve as a life guide on how to be influential. The book spells out some common-sense techniques, yet many people fail to implement them, even after they have read the book. This is why Dale Carnegie himself, suggested using the book as a reference after the first read. It’s important to reinforce the techniques described from time-to-time.
If you haven’t read the book (and you should), Carnegie describes techniques that make people want to be with you. One is the simple technique of using somebody’s name. This requires that you remember the name when a person is first introduced to you. But once you know the name, be sure to use it whenever you come in contact with that person. People value their names more than you could possibly imagine. The next time someone says your name when speaking to you, pay attention to how that makes you feel. It is likely to make you feel a connection with that person on a level that you probably took for granted in the past.
Another technique that Carnegie describes is to pay attention to other peoples’ likes and wants. If you know somebody that is into elephants, for example, when you come across items related to elephants, make that person aware of it. Carnegie goes into much greater depth about this, but you get the general idea. Take a genuine interest in others and you will find them drawing towards you more and more.
The techniques described in the book really are common sense, but they work. There are several other techniques that are described which can really give you those influencing abilities you want to acquire. What’s great about his techniques is they are not difficult to incorporate into your life and yet they have a tremendous impact in how you are looked upon by others. It is almost magical at how well it works.
It should be noted that Carnegie wrote the book to help salespeople sell better. The book was actually a by-product of a course he developed with the same motivation. You do not need to be a salesperson to take advantage of the techniques contained in this book.
10 Expert Tips for Negotiating in Today’s Business Environment
The heart of business lies in negotiation. Whether you’re trying to close on a sale or get yourself included on a plush project that could make your career, knowing how to get people to listen to you is crucial to your success.
How do you go about getting what you want? Read on for some expert tips for negotiating in today’s business environment.
Challenge the Status Quo
You start by being assertive. Remember, everything is open to negotiation. You need to step out in confidence and be able to express your needs, while never losing sight of the fact that you have the right to ask for anything.
You’d be amazed how much more people are willing to go to bat for you if you only do them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say. More important, by letting the other person do the talking, you’ll find out everything you need to know to handle the negotiation.
Know what the other person needs before going in. Have settled in your own mind the value and worth of what you’re negotiating for. This information will help you to find the middle ground where agreement can be reached.
Be willing to end negotiations if things aren’t going well. Don’t be hammered into a deal you’re going to regret. Also, by terminating the negotiation, you show the other person what your values are worth.
There’s no need to rush. Take time to think through the options.
Oddly enough, you’ll have better success when you ask for something big.
Know the Competition
Understanding what the other side needs will always work in your favor. Keep your focus there. How can you take advantage of their worries and frustrations?
Look for the Mutual Benefit
If you can find the solution that’s beneficial to the person you’re negotiating with, as well as yourself, you’re sure to have success. Find out how your resolution can best meet their needs, then be sure to point that out.
Remember the Give and Take
If you give up anything in the negotiation, make sure you’re getting something in return for it. The deal has to be fair on both sides, or it’s not worth taking.
Keep an Emotional Distance
Remember, success or failure is never about you. Nothing that happens in business should ever be personal.
By following these tips, you’re sure to experience success in whatever negotiation you face in the business world.
Should Every Conflict Be Resolved?
Did you know that there are people that specialize in resolving conflicts? Well, there are, that is just how common conflict issues arise today. But do you also know that not every conflict needs a resolution? Probably not and let's look at that issue today.
Professional conflict coaches have one vital piece of information that they share with their clients. That is to simply learn that you don't always have to be right.
Think about this for a minute. How many times have you found yourself arguing with someone and refusing to give up, because you want to be seen as the winner?
There is an inbred need inside of people to what to be right or seen as the victor. This is the main reason why so many conflicts are never resolved, instead they boil and cause resentment and anger between family and friends for years.
If you can learn that one simple thing, to give up needing to be right, you will find that you are not involved in as many conflicts. What is so wrong with letting someone else be right for a change? If it makes them happy and ends the conflict, you should be happy too.
Of course, you may encounter a situation that is important and you definitely need to be right. This could be conflicts that deal with your children and their safety for example.
Then there are those conflicts that end up being more silly and less meaningful because they drag on so long. The people involved don't even remember the true cause of the conflict in the first place. All they are left with is that feeling of 'I just have to be right!'
The conflicts that don't always need resolving are the ones where you want people to do as you wish. All you are looking for is someone to do as you say. This is very difficult to force onto someone and creates nothing but an angry air of conflict. These are the ones that you should learn to recognize and be strong enough to quit on.
If you are attempting to resolve a conflict and there is just no end in sight, decide if the process is worth working on or not. It might be best to give up and walk away. You are not showing signs of weakness. Instead, you are displaying signs that you are mature enough to recognize that a resolution is not going to happen and walking away is the smartest thing to do.
Communication Struggles That Only Introverts Have
Some of the issues that introverts have when communicating with others are due to the very definition of being an introvert. Extroverts may not understand these things about you because they don’t experience them. By understanding why you should struggle with these types of communication, you can better explain them to those extroverts in your life.
Your conversation must be brilliant - Due to perfectionistic tendencies, introverts frequently don’t speak up, even when they have something to say because they fear it won’t be insightful enough or it will come out all wrong.
Neglect phone calls - You much prefer to text or email because you can skip the small talk and it’s socially acceptable with those forms of communication. But phone calls... shudder! You find yourself procrastinating making important phone calls or returning calls, even to those you love. You have to feel energized enough to be an enthusiastic participant in the conversation, which can cause you to put off making calls, even if they are vital.
Difficulty thinking in groups - Because you need to think before you speak and because you need to have silence while you ponder, you find it challenging to participate in the conversation when there are comments and ideas flying everywhere. You may feel like you can’t gather your thoughts well enough to contribute to the conversation.
Big groups exhaust you - When you have to be around a lot of people, especially if you don’t know them, you feel exhausted fast. One reason for this is because it involves a lot of small-talk, which doesn’t come naturally to introverts. Putting out that much effort wears you out.
Dislike working in groups - Working in groups can be even worse for an introvert than small-talk. When you must rely on others to communicate in ways that aren’t comfortable or understandable to you, it’s a real challenge to complete the project. There’s also the issue of your perfectionism too. Because of your practice of thinking through every possible issue and solution, you are committed to only turning out perfection... but others in the group don’t often care as much about this as completion, or they have a very different perception of what “perfection” is.
Feel lonely surrounded by people - Introverts often feel left out of a rapid conversation, whether it’s at a party or a work conference. This often occurs because, by the time you determine what you want to say and the best way to say it, the group has moved onto a new topic. You can easily feel left out and lonely during these discussions - more so than if you were actually alone.
Monday, 23 May 2022
Assertiveness for Better Communication
Learning to communicate effectively means that you first must first learn how to be assertive. The other options of communicating are passiveness or aggressiveness – both of which tend to alienate those you’re trying to communicate with.
When you learn to communicate effectively by flexing your assertive muscles, you’ll experience a boost of self-esteem and a personal confidence which will help you succeed in all areas of your life.
You’ll learn to be less resentful or feel inadequate or guilty about your decisions and will experience more freedom in your life. But, most of all – the way you communicate will improve your relationships, both at work and at home.
Assertiveness means that you’re able to express your thoughts and feelings without anger and in an appropriate and honest way. You’ll be standing up for your rights as a thinking and valuable individual and others won’t be confused about your beliefs and opinions.
Some techniques you should learn to become a more effective communicator are:
- Broken Record – This technique that you persist in expressing what you want and how you feel without bringing anger and resentment into your tone of voice. The trick is to remain calm and express your wants very clearly. Then, keep repeating your point and don’t give up unless you decide to agree to a compromise.
- Fogging – A technique which involves not responding in an anticipated manner (defensive or placating). The method is one which gives a minimal response within a conversation – rather than being argumentative. When you’re not expressing the desired effect with the person, he or she will tire of the conversation.
- Handling Positive and Negative Comments – You may have trouble responding to compliments – or to respond to negative comments about you or something you’ve done. For positive comments, you should express your assertiveness by thanking the person and to negative criticism, you should express regret that the person feels that way and then ask what, in particular, do they have a problem with.
As you continue to practice your assertiveness with others, you’ll find that your skills of communication will increase and you’ll have less problems dealing with people.
You may find methods of your own which work – like not engaging a person in arguments or being able to walk away from a bullying situation calmly and without being angry.
Developing interpersonal skills is a self-confidence booster which can help you with day-to-day communication with those who are close to you and those you may need to deal with on a one-time basis.