professional development

Tomorrow, we’ll celebrate our nation’s independence.  While we may be far removed from any colonial experience, we’re reminded that there are certain things that we refuse to give up – things that we feel set us at our best.  They could be physical things, ways of living, opportunities, or property.  When we’re asked (or told) to give these things up, everything tends to go south for everyone involved. As a nation, we understand that there are both individual freedoms and collective freedoms – and that they don’t always align towards the same goals. So, while we’re trying to do our, Read More

Collaboration is a risk.  And, just like any other, it needs to be managed. There are a lot of potential obstacles and pitfalls associated with collaborating, so sometimes it seems easier to just proceed individually.  But, failing to take a chance on collaboration is a risk improperly managed. That is not to say that it is always the best way to accomplish a goal.  Collaboration is a method of problem-solving – an option that’s intended to facilitate progress and improve results by combining the strengths and knowledge-bases of contributors.  It should not be a burden or detriment to a project,, Read More

Navigating the ins and outs of teamwork can be as difficult as trekking through the jungle.  In the jungle we can try to push through the dense vegetation with no tools – just like we can push teams to work together – but without the right tools we just get nowhere. Teamwork is vital to the workplace but we often don’t know how to deal with teams when conflicts arise and productivity drops.  So, where and how do you start addressing these problems with teamwork?  By demonstrating how a well-oiled team acts and thinks. A well-oiled team recognizes the impact, Read More

As the weather gets warmer, it’s more and more common to see people learning to swim.  This can be a great experience for some, and a traumatic one for others – for a number of reasons, but the one we’ll explore is learning style. Whether you’re the one teaching or the one learning, you’ll find that there’s no one way for learning to happen.   You could… Throw the baby in the pool and see what happens. Sit on the deck and watch other people swim. Shave your entire body and buy webbed gloves before getting in the water. Position yourself, Read More

And honestly, that’s pretty awesome.  Once we let go of the constructs that frame positive change, we see that it is possible – and happening – everywhere.  Learning is happening everywhere, all the time. Learning is great – it makes you strong and self-sufficient.  It makes you able to travel through social spaces, figure out what’s right and wrong, and help those in need around you.  To make learning possible and accessible to others is one of the most valuable things you can do for them. As a trainer, you are always looking for the most efficient ways to deliver, Read More

What your workspace tells about your co-workers and your communication styles. Throwing away old papers? Dusting off that top shelf? During your office spring cleaning, take a closer look around your workspace. Does your desk have an endless supply of papers strewn across it; or is it so clear of clutter that you can see every inch of the desk with charts and graphs on your wall? Are papers arranged in neat organized piles?  Or mixed with personal photos and some clutter? Your work space can provide insight into your personality style. Personal style is developed over time and revealed, Read More

There are many measurable skills that contribute to individual high performance.  Furthermore, there are essential soft skills that make possible the delivery of that performance to an organization. A majority of these soft skills pertain to interpersonal relationships, and so are only visible in team settings.  Working as part of a team is much more difficult than working on one’s own – it means having to rely on others, committing to a common set of objectives, and modifying one’s own behaviors to accommodate those of others and move everyone toward shared goals. There are, however, simple choices that can improve, Read More

FREE WEBINAR Hosted by HRDQ Presented by Marcia Hughes and James Bradford Terrell Wednesday, May 15, 2013 2:00pm – 3:00pm eastern time If your organization’s teams are lacking direction, control, or the desire to achieve, underdeveloped emotional intelligence could be the cause. A prerequisite for success, research shows that emotional intelligence is a key driver in team and interpersonal dynamics. Join presenters Marcia Hughes and James Terrell for an informative free webinar that will help trainers, consultants, team leaders, and OD professionals navigate the road of emotional and social intelligence. They’ll explore the seven emotional competencies and discuss how each relates, Read More

Although you may not think of yourself as a negotiator (like, with a capital N), negotiating is something we all do all the time.  It’s communication aimed at mutual need satisfaction. But even though we do it all the time, there’s a lot to negotiating – and by building the right interpersonal skills and modeling our behavior on a sound methodology, we can all reach positive outcomes.  The key is knowing which skills are in need of building, and how to put them into practice. Self-assessment is the first step toward improved performance.  In order to progress, we first have, Read More

It’s May Day!  A day to celebrate rebirth and embrace new beginnings.  With a parting nod to the difficulties of winter, we can begin sowing the seeds of our next harvest.  And, since we’re not in the farming business (not full time, anyway), we’re thinking about renaissance training.  A new kind of training that moves with you – through any topic, and into the future. The Reproducible Training Library is more than a comprehensive bank of renewable resources.  It’s something that can grow and develop with you and your organization. Making a place for the RTL in your organization is, Read More

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