One Thing That Destroys Your Credibility

One Thing That Destroys Your Credibility

Communication, Featured
You're making a pitch. You have prepared and practiced. You know your information backwards and forwards. As you speak, you do one thing and suddenly you have no credibility. What did you just say? "Uh." That was it. You could have substituted "um" but the result is the same. Say it once and you can probably recover. Repeat it and your toast. You might not even be aware you're saying it, which makes it harder to stop. The problem is that while it may not be noticeable to you as a speaker, it stands out to your audience, especially if you say it often. How often do people say it. One politician gave a three minute speech and said it over 100 times. His approval rating was terrible. He had…
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Demographics Vs. Psychographics

Demographics Vs. Psychographics

Evaluate, Featured
The need to understand who your ideal customer is comes down to finding what your customers have in common. Most business people describe their customers in terms of demographic information. To get a better feel, you should look at their psychographic information. Demographic segmentation — i.e., defining audiences by factors such as age, gender, marital status, income, etc. — has been used by marketers for decades to help define their target audience profiles. But as countless real-world marketing campaigns have shown, it is not uncommon for people who fall within the same demographic profile to act in radically different ways. Psychographics include characteristics of an audience that are slightly more intangible, such as interests, habits, attitudes, emotions, and preferences. Psychographic segmentation is the act of identifying and classifying groups of people…
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It’s Not About Being Liked

It’s Not About Being Liked

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
There have been a number of studies in gender diversity showing that when people to something generally considered to be normal for the opposite gender, they are found to be less likable. This has been cited as something that has to be overcome in the workplace. People need to realize that the behaviors should be acceptable. There is another aspect to this that goes undiscussed. Perhaps people shouldn't be trying so hard to be likable. In my first job as a camp counselor I decided that I didn't care if I was liked, but that it was important to me to be looked on as someone who was very good at his job. I kept the kids in line, did my job, and didn't concern myself with being liked. What…
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Get Away From The Edges

Get Away From The Edges

Communication, Featured
When you walk into a room, one thing you should notice is where people are standing in a room. At the edges are people who are more tentative. They appear unsure of themselves. Seasoned networkers tend to be closer to the center of the room. The best networkers not only don't stay at the edges, they actively bring people in from the edges. The idea of networking is to interact. To do this effectively, you need to get in the thick of things. Pull yourself away from the edges. The more you do this, the easier it gets.
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Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You to Grow

Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You to Grow

Featured, Improvement
When it comes to planning our careers, we carefully choose our companies and jobs. But rarely are we deliberate about selecting the advisers and confidantes who help us succeed. Cultivate a support group for your career by thinking about whose advice and expertise you wish you had on speed dial. Consider who you feel inspired by, whether they’re colleagues, senior leaders, or peers in your field. Seek these individuals out, and be candid about why you admire them and why you want to connect. Focus on building a relationship that will benefit both of you. As you get to know each other, don’t be afraid to explore big life questions: What do you want to do with your life? What motivates you? What are you doing that you really don’t…
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Build A Network That Challenges Your Point Of View

Build A Network That Challenges Your Point Of View

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
When your network is mostly people whose backgrounds and skill sets are similar to yours, it’s unlikely to help you find new ideas or creative solutions. Diversify your network by connecting with people whose viewpoints, insights, and experiences differ from your own. When you meet someone new, talk about what you don’t have in common. Ask friends to introduce you to their contacts who have an interesting job or who work in a unique space. In particular, try to meet people who will challenge your assumptions and biases. If you’re struggling to build your network in the usual ways, create a reason to bring a diverse group together. For example, a monthly book club can give you the chance to hear a variety of perspectives, as well as to read authors you…
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Know Your Strengths

Know Your Strengths

Evaluate, Featured
To get ahead in your business or career, whether you are trying to get a  job, a promotion, or a new venture off the ground you need to know your strengths. If you can’t articulate them, you can’t expect your boss or potential employers, partners, or customers to either. Here’s a four-step process to identifying what makes you great: List your strengths. Include skills and knowledge you’ve acquired through experience and education as well as softer intrinsic strengths, such as insightfulness or empathy.Ask for input. Ask colleagues for honest feedback.Revisit past feedback. Reread old performance reviews or think back on coaching from previous bosses.Modify your list. Adjust your original list to reflect what you’ve learned. Make sure the strengths are specific so that they are credible and useful.
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The Balance Between Learning And Doing

The Balance Between Learning And Doing

Featured, Improvement
To achieve success it is crucial that you continue to learn. Whether you are learning new skills, reading to keep up with changes in your industry, or simply continuing your education learning is crucial to achieve your goals. However, that learning must be balanced with actually doing tasks and following through. Aside from the obvious reason that you have to get things done, there is a big difference between practical application and learning. There is an old saying, "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Someone who studies something will never have the proficiency of someone that studies AND does it. Someone who understands how an internal combustion engine works is not necessarily able to fix one. The other major reason to move…
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The Solution to a Tough Problem Isn’t to Overthink It

The Solution to a Tough Problem Isn’t to Overthink It

Attitude and Mindset, Evaluate, Featured
We all like to consider ourselves smart, but raw intelligence isn’t everything. When we get stuck on a problem, sometimes it’s because we’re overthinking it. Pay attention to when focused thinking isn’t getting you anywhere; perhaps it has turned into obsessing over the same answers or approaches. Consider whether experimenting with a new strategy or talking ideas through with others might be more likely to result in success. Take breaks to let your brain relax and get unstuck. Expand your range of skills for reaching insights and coming up with new ideas; don’t be someone who sees every problem as a nail because your only tool is a hammer. And when you do find yourself ruminating, disrupt it by doing a few minutes of an absorbing activity, such as a…
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Stress Doesn’t Have to Short-Circuit Your Creativity

Stress Doesn’t Have to Short-Circuit Your Creativity

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
When you’re stressed out, it’s hard to decide what to eat for dinner, let alone get work done. How can you produce ideas when you’re feeling this way? First, take a breath and relax. Trying to force yourself to be creative will only lead to more frustration. Instead of thinking, “I must be creative right now,” tell yourself, “I’m going to play around with some ideas.” Then do an activity that will let your mind wander. Going for a walk or napping, for example, naturally loosens up your brain, which can lead to new insights. If you still feel stuck, give yourself more material to work with: Read about the topic you’re tackling, take a field trip to observe other people’s solutions to similar problems, or talk to experts. Above…
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