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Monthly Archives: July 2011

So how do you say “no” without insulting the other person, feeling consumed with guilt, or hurting your own credibility? We need to find a way to say “no” without dragging up all of those HIDDEN FEARS — they’ll think I’m lazy or selfish, that I have no career drive, that I’m not ambitious, that I have no concern for other people. And it’s time to give up all of those roles you’re so proud of — supermom, martyr, hero — but are keeping you from finding true peace. Once you’ve accepted that you have the right (and often responsibility) to turn someone down, you can do it in a way that doesn’t seem like a REJECTION. Let me show you how:

1. “I CAN’T RIGHT NOW, BUT I CAN DO IT LATER”

If you really want to help the person but don’t have time now, tell them so. Offer a later time or date — if they can’t wait for you they will find someone else.

2. “I’M REALLY NOT THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON FOR THE JOB”

If you don’t feel that you have adequate skills to take on a task, that’s okay. It’s better to admit your limitations up front than feel overwhelmed down the road.

3. “I JUST DON’T HAVE ANY ROOM IN MY CALENDAR RIGHT NOW”

Be honest if your schedule is filled — and “filled” doesn’t have to mean really FILLED! It just means you have scheduled as much as you are willing and you’re stopping.

4. “I CAN’T, BUT LET ME GIVE YOU THE NAME OF SOMEONE WHO CAN”

If you aren’t available to help out, offer another qualified resource. Professionals do this all the time when they refer a client to a colleague.

5. “I HAVE ANOTHER COMMITMENT”

And it doesn’t matter what that commitment is. It could be a meeting or a dentist appointment or a day in the park with your kid. The point is, you aren’t available.

6. “I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF SEVERAL PROJECTS AND CAN’T SPARE THE TIME”

Let people know when you have already accepted other responsibilities — no one is going to fault you for having already filled your plate.

7. “I’VE HAD A FEW THINGS COME UP AND I NEED TO DEAL WITH THOSE FIRST”

Unexpected things happen that throw your schedule off — it happens. So accept that you may need to make a few adjustments until your life stabilizes again.

8. “I WOULD RATHER DECLINE THAN END UP DOING A MEDIOCRE JOB”

Knowing that you aren’t able to deliver a quality product — for whatever reason — is reason enough for turning a request down.

9. “I’M REALLY FOCUSING MORE ON MY PERSONAL AND FAMILY LIFE RIGHT NOW”

People act ashamed of wanting to spend time with their families — like it means they don’t have goals. Having a strong family is a goal in and of itself!

10. “I’M REALLY FOCUSING MORE ON MY CAREER RIGHT NOW”

The reverse is true also — you may have to give up some civic or community duties to focus your energies on a work-related task (and that’s fine, too!)

11. “I REALLY DON’T ENJOY THAT KIND OF WORK”

Who said you were supposed to enjoy your chores and assignments?! Well, if you don’t enjoy them, why do them? Life isn’t about drudgery and boredom.

12. “I CAN’T, BUT I’M HAPPY TO HELP OUT WITH ANOTHER TASK”

If someone asks you to do something you really despise, refuse — but then offer to help with something you find more enjoyable or stimulating.

13. “I’VE LEARNED IN THE PAST THAT THIS REALLY ISN’T MY STRONG SUIT”

Another way of admitting your limitations. Did you know that actually makes you stronger? Knowing what you can handle and what you can’t is a tremendous talent!

14. “I’M SURE YOU WILL DO A WONDERFUL JOB ON YOUR OWN”

Many times, people ask for help because they doubt their own abilities. Let the other person know that you have confidence that they will succeed.

15. “I DON’T HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE WITH THAT, SO I CAN’T HELP YOU”

Volunteering to help out shouldn’t mean that you have to learn an entirely new set of skills. Offer to help out with something you already know how to do.

16. “I’M NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THAT”

You might be uncomfortable with the people involved, the type of work, the moral implications — this is a very respectful way to avoid a sticky situation.

17. “I HATE TO SPLIT MY ATTENTION AMONG TOO MANY PROJECTS”

Let people know that you want to do a good job for them — but that you can’t when your focus is too divided or splintered.

18. “I’M COMMITTED TO LEAVING SOME TIME FOR MYSELF IN MY SCHEDULE”

Selfish, selfish, selfish! But in a good way! Treat your personal time like any other appointment — block it off in your calendar and guard it with your life!

19. “I’M NOT TAKING ON ANY NEW PROJECTS RIGHT NOW”

You aren’t saying that you will never help out again — just that you feel your schedule is as full as you would like right now.

20. “NO”

Sometimes it’s okay just to say no! Just make sure that you say it in a way that expresses respect and courtesy — that leaves the door open for good relations.

Author – Ramona Creel

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Few people succeed in business without self-assurance. But, everyone has bouts of insecurity from time to time. Here are three ways you can bolster your confidence:

  • Be honest. Know what you’re good at and what you still need to learn. With an accurate assessment of your abilities you can tell the difference between self-doubt and lack of skill.
  • Practice. If there’s a job or task that you’re worried about, practice doing it. Preparation builds both skill
    and confidence.
  • Embrace new opportunities. Playing to your strengths is smart, but not if it means you don’t try new things. Conquer fresh challenges to remind yourself what you are capable of.

People world-wide are using social media/networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on) for kinds of reasons. Does those social networking can deliver Training?

  • What is social media anyway? Is it a passing fad? Will it impact the way training has traditionally been delivered?
  • Who uses social media? How does it work?
  • What are the key trends in social learning or learning through collaboration?
  • What is the impact on learning design and how do we blend social media into the design of our eLearning experiences? How do we meet learner’s needs for on-demand learning more swiftly and provide opportunities for immediate access and self-directed learning?
  • What are the limitations of social media?
  • What are the barriers to delivering training through social media?

It doesn’t matter if you run a blog or run a business, there will come a moment in time when you’re really stuck for fresh ideas. Fresh ideas can lead to new business opportunities, so brainstorming should be a process you adopt frequently if you want to stay ahead of your competition. I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that I use when I’m innovating, and each apply if you’re trying to come up with new products, services or blog posts. Spotting solutions and opportunities is just a form of mental exercise. The more you do it, the better you’ll get!

1. Be really grumpy! Keep track of the things that annoy you. This is a great place to start, as you know the problem intimately as well as being the first customer for any solution.

2. Listen to your clients, customers and readers. Complaints are a great source of insight as it’s a very quick way to find something that needs a solution. So identify the common problems that your customers are experiencing and consider possible solutions to their troubles.

3. Think like a child. Children have a fantastically simplistic and candid view of the world, something we lose as we become adults. Employ a strong sense of curiosity and simplicity when looking for solutions. So many things in this world happen due to convention or habit, so thinking like a child helps to break this pattern.

4. Talk to friends and family. Find out what annoys your friends and family. What do they moan about? What problems do they encounter? Do they say stuff like “if only there was a service/product that did XYZ”?

5. Watch and listen to the news. Keeping up with current affairs will help you to keep up-to-date with new legislation and new regulations. Any new constraint usually means that some kind of process needs to change. Where there’s change, there’s usually an opportunity.

6. Learn from your mistakes. When you do something wrong, do you work out how and why you made that mistake? What could have limited the impact of your mistakes? Is there something, that if it existed, would have stopped you from making that mistake?

7. Do volunteer work. Mixing with people from an entirely different background will help you to think from a different perspective. You can make new friends and get ideas for things you don’t usually think about. As a bonus, you help someone too!

8. Bounce ideas with a friend or business partner. If there’s someone who you work well with, spend time brainstorming ideas together. Two different minds can often lead to great ideas, since you’ll find you feed off each others thoughts.

9. Analyse your products/services. Look at your current offerings and identify the best and worst features. See if you can add any features to your existing offerings. Also consider different markets who would be interested in what you offer. You can do the same for a competitors products and services too.

10. Focus on the problem, not existing solutions. Rather than thinking about existing solutions, go back to the original problem. Given a blank canvas, how would you solve the problem? e.g. rather than re-invent the toilet, come up with alternative ways to dispose of human waste cheaply, conveniently and hygienically.

11. Go people-watching. Unleash your inner spy! Spend time watching people go about their everyday lives. What are they doing? How do they do it? Can you spot any obvious problems?

12. Distract yourself. Have a change of scene. Do something that you love doing that has nothing to do with your business or blog. Get lost in what you’re doing. Often we come up with solutions when we’re not even thinking about the problem in the first place.

13. Get feedback. Make the effort to find out what your colleagues, customers and readers think about what you do. Ask what you could do to improve. Listen to their feedback, good or bad. You’ll gain a great deal of insight when you ask people to tell you what they think your strengths are.

14. Refactor, reorganise and rethink. Consider services, products or concepts that are too basic or too complex. Sometimes just adjusting an existing solution will yield more ideas.

15. Critique everything. Question everything, and ask yourself “why?”! Intelligently analyse your environment and think of improvements. See what lessons you can learn about the good and bad things in your environment.

16. Read lots. Any kind of reading material can give you ideas. Find a range of materials that you enjoy reading (there’s no point reading something you hate!). Ideas can come from fiction, magazine articles, scientific journals, anything really!

17. Network, in real life and online. Listen to people who have similar interests to you and find out what they love or hate. What are the common or repetitive problems they would love solved? This is also a great way to find someone to brainstorm with.

18. Regularly read forums related to your interests. Forums often have threads dedicated to frequently asked questions (FAQs). You can borrow ideas from these FAQs as well as be on the look out for questions that pop up on the forums on a regular basis.

19. Look for gaps. Identify gaps in products, services or articles that exist between you and your competitors. Then consider what you can offer to address that gap.

20. Keep a notebook handy at all times. Inspiration can hit you at any time, and you can forget it just as quickly. Keeping a record of this inspiration is vital. Make sure you revisit entries in your notebook on a regular basis too! You might be able to elaborate on ideas you had in the past.

So there you go, 20 tips to help you identify opportunities. There’s a common theme among these tips, namely to analyse problems in as much detail as you can. When you get ideas, consider all ideas, regardless of how stupid they might seem. Then weigh up the pros and cons of those ideas as solutions.

Author: Dan Harrison

What makes a team work can feel like a mystery. While you can’t guarantee success, you can give your team a better chance by being sure it has the following:

  • A common purpose. Most teams form as a result of an outside mandate. To work together effectively, team members need to rally around a meaningful purpose they’ve embraced as their own.
  • A mix of complementary skills. It’s dangerous for everyone on a team to have the same skills and perspective. Look for people with varying technical and functional expertise who bring different approaches to problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Mutual accountability. You cannot coerce commitment. The process of agreeing on a goal together will forge trust and build the team’s accountability to one another.

Source: Harvard Business Review – Management Tips of the Day

Meetings, meetings, and more meetings! Don’t contribute to the dread. Next time you need to gather people together to advance your project, make sure you do the following to make your meeting worthwhile:

  • Make sure it’s necessary. Before sending out the invite, ask yourself whether there’s another way to move the project forward. Can you get input via e-mail? Can you gather a sub-group to solve the current issue?
  • Be clear about the objective. State the purpose of the meeting in the invite and again at the beginning of the meeting. Be sure to explain how the meeting will advance the overall project goals.
  • Focus. Just because you have an hour scheduled, don’t take it. Keep the discussion centered and avoid unnecessary side conversations.

Source: Harvard Business Review – Management Tips of the Day