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

    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, Dr. Diane Hamilton, , , , ,   

    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 7:57 am on February 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dr. Diane Hamilton, , , 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 9:14 am on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ABSEL, , Burnout, , Dr. Diane Hamilton, , Penn State, ,   

    Avoiding Teacher Burnout: New Research Explains How 

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    A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Penn State found that Teachers are burning out at an alarming rate.  Around 30-40% will leave their jobs by their fifth year of teaching. There are many reasons for this turnover.  The four main reasons are stress-related and include:

    • School Organizations – Lack a supportive climate and leadership.
    • Job Demands – High-stakes testing and managing students with behavior problems produce chronic stress.
    • Work Resources – Lack of decision-making power. Teachers reported autonomy went from 18% in 2004 to 26% in 2012.
    • Teacher Social and Emotional Competence – High stress and low social-emotional competence training.

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    When teachers are stressed, teachers, students, and schools suffer. High turnover costs schools $7 billion each year.  The research from Penn State found, “the cost per teacher is estimated from over $4,000 in rural areas to over $17,000 in urban districts.” The authors of this study found that there needs to be a way to prevent negative issues that impact teachers.  The authors also found few teachers receive professional development to improve their social and emotional competence.  Social and emotional learning (SEL) programs may improve student behavior and reduce teacher stress.

    In March 2017, I will speak about ways to improve student behavior and teacher stress at the ABSEL Conference in Myrtle Beach.  My research I will present mirrors many of the issues found in this Penn State research, including how behavior problems are the source of teacher burnout and ways to improve behaviors in students to proactively provide teachers a less stressful classroom environment.  To find out more about improving the classroom environment to improve teachers’ stress levels, check out: What other educators are saying; to learn more about the types of training teachers receive, check out: Classroom Management Agenda.

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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, Dr. Diane Hamilton, , , 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: , , , , Dr. Diane Hamilton, , , 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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  • drdianehamilton 1:35 pm on October 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Classroom Interaction, , Dr. Diane Hamilton, , , Smore,   

    How I use Smore Software: Easy and Effective Flyers 

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    You can also access through a website link: https://www.smore.com/tkr7j

     
  • drdianehamilton 2:16 pm on September 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Dr. Diane Hamilton, , , 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 4:26 pm on September 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dr. Diane Hamilton, , , , Ken Fisher, , San Antonio, ,   

    Ken Fisher: Free Speaker Event and Lunch 9/13/16 San Antonio, TX 

    keneventhttps://www.smore.com/7rdt2

     
  • drdianehamilton 7:27 am on February 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Dr. Diane Hamilton, , 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

     

     
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