Updates from May, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • drdianehamilton 8:09 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , NACACS, , ,   

    Understanding Personality Improves Communication and Productivity 

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    In my recent NACACS presentation, I received a lot of questions about the differences in personalities in the workplace. Some of the participants had gone through Myers-Briggs, DiSC, StrengthsFinder, or some other type of assessment. However, many of them had not had any training regarding personality preferences. There are a variety of personality assessments that can help people learn how to get along at work. Therefore, it may be challenging to determine which assessment to use. I believe that there are some important things to learn from many of these tools. Toni Rothpletz and I wrote It’s Not You It’s Your Personality to summarize the important aspects of each of the major personality assessments and help employees thrive at work.

    Many guests on my Take the Lead Radio Show are experts in different aspects of helping employers improve communication. That is really what these assessments are meant to improve. We need to communicate more effectively; we can do that through improved understanding of each other’s preferences. Whether it is the introvert learning how to get a word in edgewise with an extravert, or a dominant personality learning to listen better, it is all about communicating effectively. In the 1970s, two separate research teams came up with what we now call The Big Five Factors of Personality, based on research that came out in the early 1930s. Societies have endeavored to determine the best ways to communicate. It is a challenge that will continue because there are so many unique personality traits.

    What may help is to develop empathy, which is a big component of emotional intelligence. I studied the importance of empathy on interpersonal relationships as part of my doctoral dissertation. Empathy, mood self-regulation, self-presentation, along with practical intelligence was a big factor related to work success. Employees who demonstrate empathy understand other’s feelings when making decisions that might impact them. Companies that focus on developing these important skills can have more productive and engaged employees. It behooves employers to proactively encourage effective communication, due to the $550 billion a year productivity loss due to unhappy employees. They can begin by helping employees understand personality preferences. People are more accepting of personalities that are different from their own if they understand why people display certain behaviors. Once they understand different personality traits, they can develop empathy and other key emotional intelligence traits to help them be more successful, cooperative, and productive workers.

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  • drdianehamilton 7:49 am on April 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Employees, , , , , ,   

    Improving Employee Engagement 

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    Employers struggle with a variety of motivation and emotion-based issues with employees. How to attract, engage, and inspire top talent to create winning teams is one of the most requested keynotes.  This is usually combined with some form of addressing generational differences, communication, culture, leadership, teamwork, and personality conflict.  Engagement has been broken down into three parts by Gallup including engaged (13%), not engaged (63%), and actively disengaged (60%).

    Engagement

    With such a large percentage of workers in the category of not engaged, it brings attention to the costs involved with ambivalence.  If workers are not engaged, they do not put forth any extra effort, they are less innovative, less effective at customer service, less loyal, more likely to job hop, and are less productive.  Ambivalent workers are there to get a paycheck, but they are not likely to volunteer for much more.  They may be harder to spot because they are not necessarily unhappy, but they do not feel connected to the organization and therefore, are less concerned about customers, profitability, and safety.  They are more likely to leave, resulting in costly turnover expenses.

    Consider the costs associated with engagement:

    • The U.S. economy loses $250 billion a year to turnover; there is a loss of $30.5 billion just for Millennials
    • Cost of a disengaged employee averages $3400 per $10,000 in salary
    • Engaged companies have a 6% higher net profit margin and grow profits three times faster
    • Managers spend up to 40% of their day dealing with conflict and engagement-related issues
    • Companies with low engagement scores have 32.7% less operating income

    For a complete list of costs involved in engagement, check out 2016 Employee Engagement/Retention Statistics.  There are ways to improve employee engagement. These include:

    • Make engagement a priority
    • Read the SRHM and Deloitte studies for an in-depth understanding of engagement
    • Recognize the importance of understanding emotional aspects of employee behavior
    • Determine levels of engagement to get a baseline
    • Meet with employees and teams to open a dialogue and develop trust
    • Have engaged employees mentor those who are not engaged
    • Determine if employees are in jobs that match their preferences and skills
    • Examine feedback, respect, and recognition employees receive – the number one driver of engagement is recognition
    • Link compensation to engagement

    Engagement may vary based on generations and length of service to the company.  As Millennials become the largest group in the workplace, it behooves leaders to learn more about how to attract and retain this group.  They do not require long, detailed-recognition, but frequent notifications that they are doing well and are on track may be very important to their emotional commitment.

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    Leaders should recognize that the way people work must be evaluated. The days of 8 to 5, no flexibility, and yearly performance reviews are no longer the norm.  People require frequent recognition and feedback.  Leaders who schedule time for feedback will be the ones who reap the rewards. Now that 40% of global workers are remote, it is important to find new ways to connect and to empower people to work virtually.  The successful leaders will begin by hiring the best people, monitor their outcomes, and continue to provide feedback, respect, recognition, and support.

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  • drdianehamilton 4:14 pm on April 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Has a Book Become the New Business Card? 

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    With the advent of self-publishing, realizing the dream of writing a book has become a reality for more people.  Many guests on my nationally-syndicated radio show have been authors. I was fortunate to interview Sharon Lechter recently, and she brought up how a book has become the new business card.  Sharon, of course, is the co-author of the Rich Dad Poor Dad series and several best-selling books based on the recently re-energized Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich series.  Sharon is the ultimate example of a successful author.  Most authors do not have Napoleon Hill Foundation behind their work.  However, many have access to sites like Createspace and others to showcase their writing skills.

    Years ago, Seth Godin, is a well-established author, made news when he decided to self-publish.  Godin had enough customer relationships that he no longer needed his publisher.  Publishers can offer a lot of advantages for a new author.  However, once an author is established and has identified their audience, they may not be as necessary. At that time, Godin told the Wall Street Journal, “Publishers provide a huge resource to authors who don’t know who reads their books. What the Internet has done for me, and a lot of others, is enable me to know my readers.” The Internet offers a platform that has changed publishing forever.

    The popularity of self-publishing is undeniable. The old definition of what qualifies as a book or being published has changed. Books can include fewer pages than in the past, and they can be downloadable e-books.  They open doors for speakers and consultants.  They offer international recognition.  More than 725,000 self-published works were registered in 2015.  “As the field of self-publishing matures, the quality of both content and format for many of these titles is becoming indistinguishable from those published by traditional houses,” said Beat Barblan, Direct of Identifier Services at Bowker. “In recent years, the number of independent authors topping prominent bestseller lists is a clear indication that readers are embracing author-published titles.”

    Has this made a book become the new business card?  Andrew Medal believed it had, as he explained in his entrepreneur.com article Books are the New Business Card in 2015.  This question has become an even more intriguing since that time. Books are a marketing tool just as a business card has been in the past because it establishes expertise, sets you apart, opens doors, and brings in new business.  It also begs another question: If everyone has a book, how has that impacted the value of having one?

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    • Akaluv 6:24 pm on April 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think in a way, the book has become the new business card. However, what worries more is the quality of stories available online. Self-published books are usually fine, but on sites like Wattpad, the quality of stories is horrible. The sad part is most of these poorly written books are getting published, so I wonder what that says about the publishing industry.

  • drdianehamilton 10:52 am on April 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , emotions, gamification, leaders, ,   

    One Key Word That Impacts Intelligence, Engagement, Sales, Soft Skills, Gamification, and Millennials 

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    There is an emotional component behind most of the things that will make or break employees’ and leaders’ success.  When someone first hears the word emotion, it may suggest emotional intelligence.  Developing emotional intelligence is one important factor that has been demonstrated to lead to success.  However, that is just part of the picture.

    Emotions are a big part of engagement as well. Engagement is the emotional commitment the employee feels toward the organization and its goals.   Emotion creeps up when discussing soft skills, culture, sales skills, and just about anything regarding success at work.  Soft skills include components such as interpersonal skills.  Having strong interpersonal skills are a big part of emotional intelligence.

    Sales skills often require tapping into consumer’s emotions.  Sales skills are a big part of being successful as an entrepreneur as well.  Some of the top emotion-based issues employees, leaders, and entrepreneurs face, involve managing emotions, finding ways to become emotionally committed and having others become emotionally committed, and developing ways to improve emotional awareness in others.  What makes a top salesperson successful?  They find an emotional need or pain.  Sales are based on people’s greed, fear, envy, pride, shame, and a host of other emotions that lead to a feeling of emotional reward.  When creating content for consumers, marketing professionals consider the motions that design, color, and images will have on them.

    Gamification has been added to the workplace to develop employees on an emotional level.   Emotions are powerful and impact learning.  Training programs must have aesthetically pleasing aspects, or negative emotions could result. Gaming has become a strong focus for Millennials as they see it as a form of entertainment.  However, it can also be used to create positive emotions to improve training and productivity.  Plutchik’s psycho-evolutionary theory of emotion explained there are eight primary emotions which include anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust, and joy.  These emotions trigger behavior.  He suggested eight primary bipolar emotions: joy versus sadness; anger versus fear; trust versus disgust; and surprise versus anticipation. Up to 90% of purchasing decisions are based on an emotional response.

    People in sales situations, at work, in school, or at home, may have difficulty expressing emotions or even understanding their emotions or those of others.  This difficulty has led to a multitude of problems that impact behaviors.  Most people are hired for their skills and fired for their behaviors.  This problem with behaviors is a big part of what employers call soft skills.  Soft skills can include a multitude of issues including lack of effective interactions with others.  The sooner employers realize that emotions are not just a part of emotional intelligence, but engagement, productivity, sales, and a vast array of outcomes that can be either positive or negative if employers find ways to capitalize understanding their value at work.

    To find out more about emotions, check out some of these authors and speakers.  All but two of them have been on Take the Lead (my nationally-syndicated radio show), and I have been part of events where I heard the other two speak.  I highly recommend looking into the work that these individuals have produced because all of them are very impressive:

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  • drdianehamilton 4:33 am on March 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amy Cuddy, , , , , ,   

    How to Develop Top Soft Skills Not Learned at School or Work 

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    Job listings often describe the skills needed to perform in a position. However, many of the skills required for success fall under the category of soft skills.  Many employees may be hired for their knowledge and yet may end up being fired for their behavior or lack of social skills.  Forbes reported that 46% of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months.  Mitchell Communications Group found that companies lose $37 billion a year in the United States due to miscommunication.  Research from Adecco Staffing considered what the C-suite thinks about the type of skills employees lack. They found that the C-suite believed 44% lacked soft skills including communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.  This has led to missed growth opportunity, low productivity, and reduced profits.

    The good news is that we can improve these social or soft skills.  The first step is realizing that there is always room for improvement. It can help to observe others who have strong skills that may need development.  To determine areas that may need improvement, start by considering some questions.

    • Do you listen more than you speak?
    • What verbal and non-verbal cues do others receive from you?
    • Do teams on which you serve have personality conflict issues?
    • Do recognize your emotions as well as those in others?
    • Are you adaptable to change?
    • Do you find problem-solving and decision-making difficult?
    • Do you manage your time well?
    • Are you motivated to go above and beyond at work?
    • Do you rush to judgment before knowing the facts?
    • Do you seek an inordinate amount of attention for your accomplishments?
    • Do you recognize your weaknesses and are you willing to work on them?
    • Do you become upset easily if things do not go your way?
    • Do you blame others when things do not go your way?
    • Do you remain calm in difficult situations?
    • Do you apologize directly if you hurt someone’s feelings?

    It may be critical for people to develop empathy by considering how they would feel in another person’s position.  When making decisions, consider how those decisions will impact others.  Most of the issues that employers deal with are communication-based.  Once you can recognize your own emotions and empathize with how others feel as well, that is a big step to building emotional intelligence.  Emotional intelligence and emotional commitment to one’s job (aka engagement) are two important pieces of the employee success puzzle.

    There are two fascinating TED talks that may help.  Amy Cuddy’s talk “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” and Susan Cain’s The Power of Introverts may provide some insight regarding how to truly know your strengths and weaknesses and learn to embrace them.  Personality and preferences play a big role in how we interact at work.  It is important not to under-estimate the impact of interpersonal skills.  Rather than waiting for schools or employers to help, individuals can learn a lot from:

    • Read more about emotional intelligence, listening, problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration, adaptability, persuasive techniques, and conflict resolution.
    • Watch TED talks like the ones listed above and others that touch on these important topics.
    • Find a mentor who embodies the skills that require development.
    • Volunteer to help others and learn important lessons about being humble.

    As with any learning, it takes time to develop soft skills. The U.S. Department of Labor created a great workforce readiness soft skills training downloadable PDF for youth ages 14-21. Although that is intended for young adults, older workers could benefit from many of the activities as well.

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  • drdianehamilton 5:49 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Conflict, , , , , ,   

    Managing Millennials Requires Understanding Their Values 

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    Millennials are one of the most misunderstood generations, which has led to frustration in the workplace.  With so many generations working together, it is not unusual that there would be some conflict. The biggest issues have revolved around the clash between Boomers and Millennials.  With varying views on political and leadership issues, as well as differences in the frequency at which they embrace technology, conflict management has become a top concern for many leaders.  Part of learning to manage this unique generation includes understanding and embracing their values.

    The Forbes Mentor Week presentation, “The Future of the Workplace” focused on what will happen when Boomers finally retire, and Millennials take the wheel.  This presentation addressed some myths and facts about Millennials.  In addition to the information provided there, here are a few more Millennials statistics that may be surprising:

    • Millennials are now the largest living generation
    • Millennials make up more than 25% of the U.S. workforce
    • Nearly half of business to business researchers are Millennials
    • Millennials are among the strongest advocates of business
    • Millennials’ top issue that concerns them in business is education (including skills and training)
    • Millennials’ loyalty to employers remains low with many anticipating leaving jobs within 2-5 years
    • Although they embrace technology, 40% believe it poses a threat to their employment

    Millennials want to experience engagement at work.  For this group, engagement requires that they have a sense of belonging.  To meet this need, leaders must clearly share their vision, to obtain their cooperation.  Millennials must feel valued; therefore, it is critical that leaders show them respect and reward them for their efforts.  In research by Zemke, Rains, and Filipczak, the authors found that Millennials had nine more frequent requests. These included:

    • Help us learn
    • Believe in us
    • Tune on to our technology
    • Connect us
    • Let us make it our own
    • Tell us how we’re doing
    • Be approachable
    • Plug into our parents
    • Be someone we can believe in

    Part of being successfully in meeting their requests is to provide timely and detailed feedback.  Millennials like to receive feedback more frequently than past generations.  They like to meet privately and learn about their performance immediately after, with concrete observations.  They do not mind hearing they need to improve, but they will want to have specifics on how to accomplish that.  To ensure proper training occurs, managers should vary the way in which they present information. Millennials are avid learners and like to get their information through technology.  Allowing for workplace flexibility may be critical to Millennials staying with their employer.  Flexible working conditions are linked to improved productivity and engagement in this group.  By offering flexibility, employers have found that it has encouraged their sense of accountability.   By demonstrating to Millennials that leaders appreciate their values, they will have a better opportunity to lead this group in a way that meets their unique needs, leading to improved engagement and productivity.

    Please click on the following link to take a Generational Engagement Survey.

    About the Author:

    Dr. Diane Hamilton is a speaker, educator, and the co-author of It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality and award-winning speaker at DrDianeHamilton.com.  She is a former Editor in Chief at an online education site and has written for several sites including Investopedia.  Dr. Hamilton has spoken for top companies including Forbes about topics including leadership, engagement, emotional intelligence, and generational conflict.  If you would like to learn more about these issues, you can sign up here: Contact.

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  • drdianehamilton 10:40 am on February 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    The Cost of Low Engagement and How to Improve It 

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    Many people misunderstand the meaning of engagement. It is important to note that engagement does not mean satisfaction. Engagement refers to an emotional commitment to an organization and its goals.  Engagement, generational conflict, emotional intelligence, and other communication issues are some of the most requested speech topics by organizations. This is not surprising because 60-80% of all difficulties in organizations stem from relationship-based issues.  Numerous studies have demonstrated a correlation between engagement and performance.  Leaders with high levels of engagement also were more transformational, had higher levels of interpersonal skills, and had a better sense of well-being.

    It behooves companies to improve engagement for a multitude of reasons, including retention issues.  Gallup found that the cost of disengagement was estimated at $550 billion annually in the U.S. With all the chatter about how often employees, especially Millennials, job-hop, it is important to consider why.  Studies indicate multiple reasons.  Talent Solutions found that 42% of job switchers stated they might have remained with their companies had they had better opportunities, benefits, recognition, and rewards.

    To appreciate the importance of engagement, leaders must consider who lacks engagement and why.  Organizations may be able to not only improve turnover with improved engagement, but they may also be more profitable.  Organizations have shown a 6% higher net profit margin if their companies have high levels of engagement.  It can be helpful to look at some startling statistics provided by SHRM, Gallup, and other top researchers.

    • 87% of employees are not engaged at work
    • Engaged companies have a 6% higher net profit margin
    • Managers spend up to 40% of their day dealing with conflict
    • Women are 35% engaged; men are 29% Engaged
    • 29% of Millennials are engaged at Work
    • Millennials change jobs more than three times that of non-Millennials
    • Engaged Millennials are 64% less likely to switch jobs
    • 59% of Millennials, 44% of Gen Xers and 41% of Baby Boomers say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a Job

    To create improved engagement, employers should focus on communication, growth, development, recognition appreciation, trust, and confidence. Since engagement is an emotion-based issue, it could be critical to create a baseline measurement of employees’ emotional intelligence.  Emotional-based assessments like the EQ-i may be useful.  Leaders must share the results with their employees to develop action plans to improve any personal issues employees may have.  Once personal emotional issues have been addressed, leaders should recognize their responsibilities to improve. Leaders need to get into the rhythm of communicating, showing concern for employee growth, recognizing achievements, and instilling trust by doing what they promise.  By improving emotional-based issues like engagement, managers can use that 40% of their day with productive issues rather than dealing with conflict.

    Please click on this link: to take a Generational Engagement Survey.

    About the Author:

    Dr. Diane Hamilton is a speaker, educator, and the co-author of It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality, and award-winning speaker at DrDianeHamilton.com.  She is a former Editor in Chief at an online education site and has written for several sites including Investopedia.  Dr. Hamilton has spoken for top companies including Forbes about topics including leadership, engagement, emotional intelligence, and generational conflict.  If you would like to learn more about these issues, you can sign up here: Contact.

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  • drdianehamilton 7:57 am on February 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Interpersonal Skills, Listening, Negotiation, , Problem-solving, ,   

    Soft Skills: Critical to Employee Success 

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    Attend any leadership conference, and someone likely will bring up startling statistics regarding how employees and leaders lack something they refer to as soft skills. This term is used to describe many qualities that include interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and other personality-based issues. The problem that many organizations have experienced is that people are hired for their hard skills, or in other words, for what they know (knowledge). Then later, are often fired for their lack of soft skills, or what they do (behaviors). If employers recognize the importance of soft skills, they can avoid costly hiring and training mistakes, improve turnover, and boost productivity.

    Most leaders do not think graduates have the soft skills that businesses require for success, and 75% of newly hired executives have difficulty with these core competencies. Soft skills are critical for interpersonal relationships and communication. One important reason to develop these skills is that most employees do not quit because of companies; they quit because of leaders. Stress from working with leaders who have poor soft skills costs American companies $360 billion a year.

    Some of the most problematic areas for employees and leaders include difficulty with listening, communication, team-building, listening, negotiating, problem-solving, decision-making, time management, motivation, and emotional intelligence, which includes interpersonal skills. The Millennial generation often gets bad press for having less-than-stellar soft skills including lack of patience. The use of too much technology may cause a breakdown in interpersonal relationships. Instead of interacting before meetings, many individuals embrace their cell phones. This lack of interaction has led to issues with listening and poor two-way communication.

    The good news is that individuals can improve their soft skills. Authors like Daniel Goleman have found that emotional intelligence, which includes things like interpersonal skills and empathy, can be developed. Having a baseline measurement of emotional intelligence levels may be an important part of monitoring improvements. Seeking a mentor may be helpful as well; it is important that employees and leaders are open to feedback. It is important for individuals to consider ways to overcome their personal weaknesses and threats. Identifying the problem is only the beginning; having a plan to improve with measurable goals may be critical.

    Employers face a financial burden if employees do not have proper soft-skill development. With the increase on reliance on technology, some basic interpersonal relationship skills may not have developed well. Employers can help employees and leaders develop these important skills through training programs and education. The first step is to realize there is a problem; only then can individuals set measurable goals to improve.

    To receive updates regarding interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, engagement, and tips for working on generational conflict, please feel free to sign up for: Updates

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  • drdianehamilton 12:34 pm on November 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Blueskying, Brogrammer, Co-Working, Customer Service Assoiate, Demo Day, DevOps, , , , Freemium, Green Meadow, Growth Hacker, Hockey Stick, MVP, Next Level, Ninja, PEBCAK, , Pufferfish, Slack, Space, , Subprime Unicorn   

    Entrepreneur Startup Terminology 

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    Entrepreneurs have created their own vocabulary.  The Wall Street Journal recently posted some important terms that every startup professional should know:

    Accelerator:  A program that helps young startups refine their product and pitch themselves to investors, in exchange for a cut of equity. Example incubators include Y Combinator or Techstars.

    Blueskying:  Making optimistic promises, particularly to investors.

    Brogrammer:  Stereotypically, software developers come in two types:  nerds and brogrammers.  The former are usually introverted, while the latter are loud and outgoing.

    Co-Working:  Working out of a shared office space with other cash-strapped startups, on a per-seat basis, typically with free coffee, kitchens and pint pong tables.  Companies rent desks or small workspaces to startups with large offices.

    Customer Success Associate:  A customer-service rep. at a startup.

    Demo Day:  The day when an incubator’s companies pitch to potential venture-capital investors.

    DevOps:  A DevOps engineer is a software developer who works with both the software-development and the operations teams at a company as they write, test, and roll out software.

    Freemium:  The free version of an app that also has a better, paid version.

    Green Meadow:  A market where no competitors exist.

    Growth Hacker:  Someone who thinks of clever ways for the company to grow.

    Hockey Stick:  A graph showing rapid adoption of a startup’s product.

    MVP:  The first commercially viable version of a software product. As in “Minimum viable product” Releasing an MVP sets the clock ticking, because investors and customers expect a better, bug-free version soon.

    Next Level:  The ultimate in startup compliments. This generation’s version of “far out” “switched on” or “rad”.

    Ninja:  A term of praise for a person’s skill.

    PEBCAK:  An acronym for “problems emerge between chair and keyboard” – a sardonic programmer term for what happens when users are too dumb to use software correctly.

    Prezi An app that creates digital slide presentations.

    Pufferfish:  Making a startup seem larger than it is. Among other tricks, startups have been known to decorate empty desks and to create elaborate voice-mail systems to make it seem like more people work there.

    Slack:  A team-measuring app popular with startups. Also, a verb meaning to message someone using the Slack app.

    Space:  The area of an industry where a company competes. For example:  That startup plays in the food tech space.

    Subprime Unicorn:  A company formerly valued at more than a billion dollars, now fallen on hard times.  Many companies that were once highly prized by investors are now worth much less, or are rumored to be so.

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  • drdianehamilton 8:33 am on November 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Elementary Education, K-12, , , Training   

    Stop the Madness with Top Classroom Management Techniques 

    I have worked with educators in schools and universities across the United States since 2006.  My experience includes teaching, speaking, mentoring, training, program review, and curriculum design.  My goal is to help educators succeed and make a difference in the lives of students.  As a successful educator, coach, national trainer, and speaker, I promise to motivate and inspire educators through my on-site school training and district keynotes.  I share practical, proven strategies for immediate use in classrooms. This information will help educators feel self-value and proud of their chosen profession as they witness what proven techniques can do to help them succeed.  Please contact me today to find out how I can make a difference for you and your students.  For more information about hiring me for business consulting, speaking, and other training, please click on this link:  https://www.smore.com/ruh68-stop-the-madness

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