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

    The Cost of Low Engagement and How to Improve It 

    engagement

    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 2:16 pm on September 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Expert, , , , , , , Speaker Match, Trainer   

    Expert Speaker and Trainer, Dr. Diane Hamilton, Available for Corporate Events 

    I have updated my speaker and training bio. Please click on the picture below to watch the video. To contact me for an event, please go to http://www.speakermatch.com/profile/drdianehamilton/

     
  • drdianehamilton 7:27 am on February 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Elevator Speech, , Martin Zwilling, Marty Zwilling, Murad Abel,   

    Entrepreneurs: Help for Getting Started 

    I had to opportunity to interview Martin “Marty” Zwilling this week.  Marty has an impressive background.  He is a former executive with IBM.  He has served on multiple advisory boards.  He currently works as an author and consultant.  His company, Startup Professionals, is dedicated to helping new entrepreneurs succeed.  He gave some great insight regarding some of the toughest issues facing new entrepreneurs. The following is our six-part interview. Click on the link below the picture.  Scroll to next video with the arrow at the bottom after watching each one.

    MartyDefault2Dr. Diane Hamilton Interviews Marty Zwilling

     

     
  • drdianehamilton 2:45 pm on October 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Grammar: When It Just Does Not Sound Correct 

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    My job has taught me that a lot of people struggle with grammar and spelling. My first sentence brought to mind one of the most common spelling errors. Many of my students type “a lot” as one word, which is incorrect. There is no such word as “alot”. If spelling is not hard enough, grammar is just as tricky because some things that are correct, do not sound correct. I know I tend to say things incorrectly just to sound like everyone else. For example, people might look at you funny if you correctly stated, “that is she” instead of incorrectly stated “that is her”.

    Here are some of the most common mistakes I run into when grading papers:

    • It is not correct to state: in regards; it should be: in regard
    • It is not correct to state: between you and I; it should be: between you and me
    • It is not correct to state: me and Bob went; it should be: Bob and I went
    • It is not correct to state: please contact myself; it should be: please contact me
    • It is not correct to state: it has been a good year for Bob and I; it should be: it has been a good year for Bob and me.

    We are all guilty of making grammatically incorrect statements. I often find things that I have written where I have made mistakes. One mistake I recently noticed was that I incorrectly referred to CEO as an acronym. That is incorrect. It is an abbreviation. It is only an acronym if the letters may be used as a word as in the example of RADAR.

    I was always taught never to end sentences with a preposition. I have seen several debates regarding rules like this one. Some incorrectly written things become so common that they change the rules.

    With all of the confusion, where can you find help with grammar? Even the most educated people make mistakes. I believe a good editor can help. I am a fan of Edit911.com. I am also a big fan of the Grammar Girl website. Another website that may be particularly helpful is Grammarly. There are also some wonderful books, which include:

    The Bugaboo Review: A Lighthearted Guide to Exterminating Confusion about Words, Spelling and Grammar by Sue Sommer.
    Between You and I: A Little Book of Bad English by James Cochrane.
    Eats, Shoots, & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss.

    Related Articles:
    Have Some Fun with Some Common Grammar Mistakes
    Euphemisms, Metaphors, Clichés, Oxymorons, and More
    What is a Backronym or a Bacronym?
    Anthropomorphisms: When Not to Use Them
    Top 100 Vocabulary Words Adult Should Know
    APA and Writing Help Page

     
    • garrymaurice 3:05 pm on October 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting read. I’ve just started to study language more seriously so I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

    • Michelle Kenny 3:18 pm on October 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Diane, How right you are. A friend’s friend has also written a series on grammar. Easygrammar.com

      Thank you, Michelle

  • drdianehamilton 6:44 am on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Professors’ Expectations: Helpful Writing Tips for College Students 

    Writing

    Students often struggle with writing essays.  Some have difficulty with structure. Others dread dealing with APA formatting. I teach everything from bachelor-level to doctoral-level courses.  The following contains some helpful writing tips that I have found may make writing essays a little easier.

    Citations and References:

    Many of the courses I teach require that students master the use of citations and references.  I have found that students often become confused about how to include these.  One common mistake that students make is to include a reference page without including any citations.  That is not correct. The problem with that is there is no way to determine what part, if any, of the paper was paraphrased or cited from that source.  Students sometimes think that listing a reference is a way to show that they used that information for the paper.  However, there is more that must be done than simply including the source on the reference page. There must also be citations.  Citations may be paraphrased or directly quoted.  If there is a reference, there must be at least one corresponding citation.

    • A paraphrased citation looks something like this: Hamilton (2014) explained the importance of citations.

    Students may also want to include directly quoted material.  I teach some courses where I allow this and other courses where I only allow paraphrased citations.

    • If directly quoted citations are allowed, they look something like this: “Citations may be paraphrased or directly quoted” (Hamilton, 2014, p. 1).

    I prefer that my students paraphrase their citations. This may help demonstrate that they understand the content. However, it is important that if any information is paraphrased or quoted directly from a source, the author and year information must be included (list n.d. if no date is listed).  There may be specific guidelines listed in the APA manual for listing page numbers and other identifying information. Students should be aware of the following:

    • Do not list citations without references.
    • Do not list references without citations.
    • Do not list the author and year information at the end of the paragraph and assume it covers the entire paragraph of content.  Author and year information must be included for any paraphrased sentence or directly quoted block of content.
    • Citations and references must be in APA format (for most courses). Do not include footnotes if APA is required.
    • Do not number the references; list them in APA format.
    • Alphabetize references in APA format.
    • Long direct quotes have unique indentation requirements.  I recommend avoid any long direct quotes. They are usually used by students to fill up space.  Professors may not like that.
    • Be sure the alignment of references is correct on the reference page. The first line of each source should be at the left margin and every line after that indented ½ inch.  See APA guidelines for help.
    • Use peer-reviewed scholarly journals for citing.
    • Double-check with the Owl Purdue Writing Lab for help with how to cite unusual sources.

    It may be a challenge for students to get into the habit of citing correctly.  There are some sources like Perrla that may help.

    Use of Appropriate Sources:

    Another common citing mistake is to use less-than-scholarly sources. Although I enjoy writing blogs and doing research, I do not recommend that students use this or any other similar site as a source in their research papers.  Blogs may sometimes contain news-worthy information. However, usually they contain opinion and other information that has not been peer-reviewed.

    There are many sites that students use that are not considered appropriate sources for research.  Blogs are just one of them.  The following list contains some sources that students should not use:

    • Blogs – Blogs are meant for things other than research. They may be helpful in giving insight into how to do things.  They may be fun to read in terms of content.  However, students need to realize that some blogs may not contain accurate information.
    • Wikipedia – Wikipedia is a common student favorite.  It contains some very good information. However, the content is written on a wiki. A wiki allows more than one person to add or change information.  Any wiki should not be used as a source for citing.  Wikipedia may have some very good sources listed at the bottom of the page.  If students start at Wikipedia to research a topic, they could look at the bottom to find the original source of information. At that point, students can search their school’s library for that source to see if it comes up under peer-reviewed scholarly sources.
    • eHow, Quora, or other Q&A Sites – There are plenty of Q&A sites that allow people to answer questions on the Internet.  Just because there is an answer on these sites, does not mean that the answer is correct or has been reviewed by anyone.  Think of these sites as you would a blog.  They may or may not contain accurate information.  Therefore, they should not be used to cite.
    • Dictionary – This is a source students tend to like to cite.  Although it is accurate and will give a good definition, some professors look at this as a kind of “cop out” source.  It is easy to look up a definition in the dictionary.  It is better to show scholarly research that explains the subject in more detail.
    • Books – Some books should not be used as sources.  If there is a textbook assigned to the course, it is usually a good source to cite.  However, not all books are considered “scholarly”.  It is best to stick to peer-reviewed journals if there is any doubt.

    Some professors will allow just about any source for citations.  Others are extremely picky.  To be safe, it is a good idea to get in the habit of using only peer-reviewed scholarly sources.  For more information, check out:  What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal.

    Schools usually have an online library where students can find appropriate sources.  Near the search bar, there may be a box that can be checked to ensure that the search only delivers peer-reviewed scholarly sources.  The wise students stick to the school’s library for research.  It is as easy to search as Google and the chances of coming up with proper research are enhanced.

    Other Common Mistakes:

    I notice that many students make similar mistakes.  I make comments on their papers to address these issues.  Many of them disregard my comments and continue to submit the papers with the same mistakes.  I thought it might be helpful to create a checklist of some of the most common mistakes that I see and give some guidelines as how to correct them.

    • Tense – Students should stick to third person rather than first or second person unless the paper is specifically about them. In this blog, I write in first person. I use words like I, me, us, and we. Those are fine in this type of setting.  In undergraduate and graduate courses, students must be able to write as if they are an observer.  It is also incorrect to write in second person. Second person includes words like you and your.  Students must learn how to write in third person.  Do not write a paper that begins with something like: I chose to write about this because blah blah blah. There is no need to mention the author (aka the student).  Just write about the topic.
    • Paragraph/Overall Structure – I often include a link in class that directs student to this Youtube Video that explains how to write a well-constructed paper.  It is important not to have an overly long or overly short paragraph.  I have seen students submit entire papers that included only one paragraph.  I prefer to see paragraphs include around 4-8 sentences.  If citing is required, it is better to begin a paragraph with a statement and then follow it with citations.  The citations are there to support any points.  Students must make their points before they can support them.  Students often forget to set up their papers to include an introduction, body and conclusion.  I recommend watching the Youtube video for help with this and many other structural and writing issues.
    • Microsoft Word Issues – Students often have difficulty with formatting issues.  I have created the following videos that  may be helpful with some of these problems:  How to Remove Extra Spaces from in Between Paragraphs, Working with Headers and Page Numbers, How to Change Period Spacing.
    • Using Scholarly Sources – Students may have difficulty distinguishing between the kinds of sources that are allowed for citations. If students’ first inclination is to search for answers on Google or if Wikipedia is their best friend, I recommend that they check out their school’s library search engine instead.
    • Font Issues – Students must be sure that their papers meet APA guidelines.  The font needs to be set at 12 point.  There should not be any special bold, ALL CAPS, or underlined information that does not meet these guidelines.
    • Confusion Between Citations and References – I recommend reading:  What is the Difference Between Citations and References. The reference page must be titled References and not Works Cited.
    • Amount of Citations – Students often do not include enough citations.  They must be able to demonstrate their research and back up any points.  I find that many students like to write in a story-telling fashion.  Others may already know information about a topic and write based on experience. It is important to cite even if you are a subject expert.  Some may be tempted to cite too often.  Every single sentence should not be a citation.  That is called patchworking.  It is important to make a point and then back it up with citations to demonstrate your research.
    • Follow Rubrics and Guidelines – If there are specific requirements for the assignment, it is important that students follow the guidelines.  If five pages are required, then submit at least five complete pages.  The title page and reference pages do not count toward page requirements.  If the professor has posted any additional requirements in class, it is important to go through that checklist to determine that all requirements have been met.

    Graduate-Level Expectations:

    Graduate-level students may be required to have a higher level of writing expertise.  These requirements may cause students to become frustrated. Some of my online students have not taken courses in a very long time.  Many of them have not learned how to write properly in APA format. I have a surprisingly high number of students who have difficulty with sentence and paragraph structure. Graduate students should not use contractions.  For example, words like cannot should not be written as can’t.  Papers should be written in third person unless it specifically states that the assignment should be written in first person. Students should support all major points and information that is not common knowledge with peer-reviewed scholarly sources.  The school’s library should be the main search source. Whenever information is not common knowledge or is paraphrased, it should be cited. 

    I have had some students who get annoyed when I take off points for these issues.  I post my requirements on the first day of class, so that there are no excuses for not following my guidelines.  However, there will always be some students who feel it is their right to write incorrectly.  They may not truly understand the narrative mode issue or how to cite in APA format.

    At the graduate level, it is up to students to learn these things.  It is important to write in a scholarly tone.  I think students should write as if their paper could be printed in a journal.  It is important that students do not write in an informal tone.  Some students like to insert personal anecdotes or other information that is not appropriate for the assignment or this level of work.  Unless the instructor specifically states that papers may be written informally or in some other format, graduate-level students should stick to a scholarly third-person tone that is supported consistently throughout with peer-reviewed research.

    There may come a time when an assigned essay involves something that the student has experienced or already has studied.  For example, an assignment might be to write about a famous entrepreneur.  I have many students that are fans of Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey.  They may know everything there is to know about these people because they have followed their careers.

    Many students make the mistake of writing in a storytelling-fashion, based on their own interpretation of what they think they already know.  If it is a graduate-level assignment, usually citations and research are required.  That means that students will need to find sources to support their writing.

    I commonly I see students write something like this:  I chose Oprah Winfrey because she makes me feel blah blah blah.  There are several problems with this sentence.  First of all, the paper should be about Oprah and not about the student.  There is no need to write in first person.  Unless the professor specifically stated that students should explain their feelings, the assignment should stick to what Oprah has accomplished.

    Students often like to refer to their feelings in their writing.  They also like to include personal anecdotes.  For most of the classes that I teach, this is not appropriate.

    Sometimes a student will drop me a note that states something like this:  “I already know everything about this subject, so I didn’t include citations.”  I understand what they mean. However, even if the student knows everything about a topic, the point of the assignment is to show what they have learned through research.

    Students must get into the habit of finding solid scholarly sources to back up what they have written.  Without citations, they have written opinion and not research.

    There are certain expectations of higher-level students.  They should be able to write in complete paragraphs that include around four to eight sentences.  Students should cite consistently throughout each of those paragraphs to support major points.  A strong introduction and conclusion should be included.

    When students cite, it is a good idea to paraphrase those citations whenever possible.  Some students try to fill space by including many long direct quotations. I have corrected papers where students had about 10% of their own information and the rest was directly quoted from another source. This is not acceptable. Some schools do not allow more than 10% directly quoted material.  It is easy to copy and paste what others have written.  That does not really show that the student has learned anything.  It is far better to paraphrase citations to show that the information has been processed and understood.

     Related Articles:

    Also check out this video for helpful tips I give my students to help them succeed in class:

     
  • drdianehamilton 4:10 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    NCU Interviews Dr. Diane Hamilton 

    NCU Interviews Dr. Diane Hamilton

    For more see the full article at Northcentral University Higher Degrees Fall 2013

     
  • drdianehamilton 9:32 am on July 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , James Franco, , , Melissa Joan Hart, Veronica Mars, , Zach Braff   

    Entrepreneurs and Celebrities Use Kickstarter for Funding 

    Kickstarter

    Kickstarter has been a successful crowdfunding option for potential entrepreneurs to garner cash.  However it has not been without some issues.  According to The Wall Street Journal article The Trouble With Kickstarter, “The only thing worse than having to watch your friend’s arty movie is having to pay for it too.” Aside from the problems associated with pestering friends to donate, there have been some successful ventures thanks to this site.  The following list contains some of names of celebrities who have used the site:

    Some people get annoyed by celebrities using Kickstarter.   Celebrities like Kevin Smith have stated they believed Kickstarter is unfair to other filmmakers. Not all stars have had success with the site. Some stars like Melissa Joan Hart have been booted from Kickstarter for lackluster results.

    Related Articles:

     
  • drdianehamilton 11:03 am on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Syndication and Feeds,   

    Facebook Better for Following Blogs than RSS 

    RSS-Facebook

    Facebook has made it so much easier to follow just about anything.  RSS feeds and Twitter are still an option for many people. However, with Facebook, once someone “likes” a page, it shows up in their feed on their homepage whenever anything from that page is updated.  Unlike Twitter and RSS feeds, on Facebook, it is easier to see pictures and information.

    It is simple to create a Facebook page that includes links to blogs like this one.  What I think is great about a Facebook page is that I can incorporate links to this blog, to my other blogs, and any other sites.  It is an all-in-one spot to access information. To see my Facebook page, click here.

    With a Facebook page, it is so simple to like or unlike a page.  Once a page is “liked”, people who regularly sign onto Facebook may be more likely to see the information.  Anyone who has a blog could benefit from creating a free page.  It is easy to create and share.

    Check out the following helpful articles:

    How to Create a Facebook Business Page

    Related Articles:

     
    • Tammy Wilson 7:31 pm on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Just wanted to say thank you for sending how to create face book business pages. I do not know anything in reference to blogs etc. I do so much appreciate all of your helpful hints on everything!!

  • drdianehamilton 9:47 am on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    Online vs. Traditional Faculty Demands 

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    MOOCs have drawn attention to the different requirements of online vs. traditional teaching jobs.  I recently watched Dr. Dani Babb’s Udemy presentation titled How to Make Money Teaching as an Online Professor.  She said something that I thought was interesting.  She had worked as a traditional professor prior to becoming an online professor.  When she discussed the job requirements of an online professor, she mentioned that online professors have to deal with students who expect a lot more interaction in the online environment than the traditional one.  This is very true.  This is also something that I do not think gets enough attention in the media.

    There are plenty of articles about how wonderful traditional schools are compared to online schools. However, it has been my experience that online schools provide students with far more access to their professors.  This has increased the amount of responsibilities required of online professors.  Online professors must:

    1. Help students learn to think critically
    2. Guide students through a maze of information
    3. Help students learn critical information in a shorter amount of time
    4. Encourage students to form opinions and debate topics
    5. Provide tools for lifelong learning

    While the demands placed on online professors have increased, they may feel like they are being under-valued by the press.  Students expect more value.  Students want skills that lead to immediate job improvements. This has put pressure on educators. However, this kind of pressure is good because it creates a dialogue for how to improve the online experience.

    Related Articles:

     
    • Tammy Wilson 1:34 pm on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with the online professor in reference to the article, On Line VS Traditional Faculty Demands.

      I went to a traditional school for my undergraduate degree. If I had to make a decision based on the short period of time that I have used the online educational service at GCU, to me there is no comparison, I have much more access and have had much better experience with the online instructors/Professors than I did in the traditional.

      I feel that it was the best decision that I made, by going online. There is more interaction, more communication, and more help from the Instructors/Professors. This is a wonderful experience for me!

      Thank You!

      Tammy Wilson
      MGT 605
      GCU

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