Adding and Managing Business Sub-accounts

Managing Sub-accounts as a Business Member

After you sign up for your business account membership, you will  see a new link option on their Account page > Subscriptions tab. This link option is called “Sub Accounts” and will look like this for your corporate member:

Adding and Managing Business Sub-accounts 1

Clicking on that link will reveal the business account information for that subscription like the image below:

Adding and Managing Business Sub-accounts 2

X of X Sub Accounts Used – Here, the user will see how many of their allocated sub-accounts have been used. An example may be: 10 of 20 Sub Accounts Used.

Add Sub Account (button) – Clicking this button will reveal a form with the following details:

Existing Username: Your business user can use this entry form to put the username of an existing user on your site to add that user under their business membership. The field does not support entry of the user’s email, or move an existing user if they are currently associated with another business account.

– OR – (under this header, your business user can use the entries to create a new user to be added under their account)

Username: (Required) Used to enter the username that will be associated with the sub-account. Please note that usernames cannot be changed once submitted, so it’s important that this is entered correctly.

Email: (Required) Enter the email to be associated with the sub-account. The new members welcome email will be sent to this email if that option is enabled below.

First Name: Used to enter the first name of the user as needed.

Last Name: Used to enter the last name of the user as needed.

Send NEW members the welcome email: (Optional) Check the checkbox next to this option to send the sub-account a welcome email. This will send the new user an email about what Skill Builder Pro is and some information about how to get started.

Search Sub Accounts – Business account can use this search bar to search for sub-accounts in the table below it instead of manually searching each page. For best results, search by username or email.

Sub Accounts table – Here, your corporate account user will be able to see all sub-accounts associated with their business account. The table will show the sub-account’s username, email, first name, last name, and also give the option to manually remove any sub-accounts with the “Remove” link next to each entry.

Previous/Next Page: The Corporate Account user can use these options to manually scroll through the pages of sub-account users.

Export Sub Accounts: Clicking on this option just below the sub-accounts table will export all sub-accounts associated with the business account user.

Signup URL – This is a simple URL that the corporate account user can copy and send to anyone they would like to subscribe under their membership. Use the clipboard icon to easily copy it.

Import Sub Accounts via CSV – The business account holder can use this section to import a previously created comma delimited CSV file. Additionally they can enable or disable the following emails:

Send NEW members a password reset link (does not email existing members): Sends the user a simple password reset link. Your business account user should use this option if they don’t already know the sub-accounts passwords. This is because the welcome email cannot include any password information.
Send NEW members the welcome email if they haven’t received it already for the membership: This is the same welcome email mentioned above in the “Add Sub Account (button)” section.

Formatting the Sub Accounts CSV File

The only fields needed for the CSV are:

  • Username (“username”)
  • Email (“email”)
  • First name (“first_name”)
  • Last name (“last_name”)

Here’s a link to a sample corporate sub-account member import file: Corporate Account Sub Accounts (CSV)

How to Improve Emotional Intelligence

If you’re interested in learning how to improve emotional intelligence or what emotional intelligence is, then you landed on the right article.

Emotional Intelligence is considered to be a key ingredient in the successful development of close personal relationships.

Simply defined, emotional intelligence is the capability to understand, manage, and successfully convey one’s own feelings, as well as being able to engage successfully with the feelings of others. There has been much research to suggest that the vast majority of high performers in the work place possess high emotional intelligence, while not unexpectedly low performers in the work place often possess a lack of emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is not static. It is possible to improve emotional intelligence over time by making a concentrated effort to do so.

Learn how to improve emotional intelligence today by enrolling in the Emotional Intelligence Course today!

Four Components of Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman PhD identified four components of emotional intelligence. These are outlined below.

  • Self-Awareness: The capacity to understand one’s emotions, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Self-Management: The ability to effectively manage one’s motives and to regulate one’s behavior.
  • Social Awareness: The capacity to understand what others say and feel and the reasons why they act and feel as they do.
  • Relationship Management: The ability to act in such a way so that one can get desired results from others to attain personal goals.

All four components are interrelated. Mastering the first three components will help you to manage relationships effectively.

Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important

Of all the soft skills, emotional intelligence may well be the most important of all. While, emotional intelligence is seen as an important ingredient for successful people managers, it also has practical applications in all aspects of life.

It is widely accepted that emotions play a very significant role in the overall quality of our personal and professional lives. In fact emotional intelligence is becoming recognized as more important than our actual IQ. While we can learn and retain information using tools and technology, nothing can match our capability to learn, manage, and control our emotions as well as the emotions of those that we interact with.

By improving your emotional intelligence, you can see improvements in the following elements of your life.

  • Physical Health – Stress can have a significant impact on our overall wellness. Stress levels are intrinsically linked to our emotional intelligence. By being conscious of our emotional state and managing reactions to stress factors, we can take steps to manage stress and maintain good physical health.
  • Mental Health– As well as affecting our attitude and overall life outlook, emotional intelligence can assist in alleviating anxiety and avoiding depression. High levels of emotional intelligence can be directly correlated to more positive attitudes
  • Relationships – When we improve our understanding of our emotions, we are not only better positioned to constructively communicate our feelings but more able to appreciate and relate to those who we have relationships with. This improved understanding will help to lead to stronger, more fulfilling relationships.
  • Conflict Resolution – When we are able to empathize with other people’s perspectives, conflicts are easier to resolve or even be avoided completely before they arise. Negotiation skills are enhanced in lime with our improved abilities to appreciate the needs and desires of others. It’s a lot easier to provide people with what they need if we understand fully what their need is.
  • Success – Higher emotional intelligence leads to stronger internal driving motivating forces. These driving forces will help eliminate procrastination, improve self-confidence, and develop our capacity to focus on a goal. Higher emotional intelligence also enables us to build better networks of support, conquer obstacles, and develop greater resilience.
  • Leadership – Being able to understand the motivating drivers of others, relate positively to others and to strengthen bonds with other workers makes people with higher emotional intelligence superior leaders. Effective leaders can identify what the needs colleagues and team members are, so that they can be met while encouraging better performance and improved workplace satisfaction.

What Is The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Conflicts?

Relationship conflicts often rooted in miscommunication and a lack of awareness of the other’s point of view. Raising your emotional intelligence will help you to avoid and mitigate any relationship conflicts that may arise. Raising emotional intelligence will give you greater capacity to be aware of the emotions of those people you interact with, helping you to build a stronger relationship.

How Is Emotional Intelligence Used?

Emotional intelligence can be used in just about all life situations. It can be applied in leadership roles, team settings and in personal relationships. By applying emotional intelligence, people can create more cooperative environments and achieve more with less conflict and stress.

Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important to Critical Thinking

Understanding how emotions can affect the thinking process can help you to guard against decision making being affected on a purely emotional level. Applying emotional intelligence to critical thinking situations can help to identify biases and assist in exercising clear and sound judgement.

Emotional Intelligence Books
Below you will find some of the best emotional intelligence books available to you either online or at your local bookstore.

The key author in matters concerning emotional intelligence is Daniel Goleman whose books are widely read on the subject. Key books include Emotional Intelligence and Working with Emotional Intelligence.

Goleman’s books particularly working with Emotional Intelligence explore the concepts of emotional intelligence and propose that the secret of success is not what is taught in school, IQ, the amount of business degrees or even the level of technical knowledge that an individual possesses but emotional intelligence.

The key concepts discussed within Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence books are extensively covered in online courses like The Emotional Intelligence Online Course

Courses to Improve Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a soft skill that can be improved with diligence and by practicing key concepts. A great way to embark on improving your emotional intelligence level is to partake in an online course that will deliver all the key concepts in an easy to follow manner while allowing you to do so at the times that best suit you.

A course like the Diploma in Emotional Intelligence Online Course will assist people to learn how to cultivate their emotional intelligence.

The course shows students how to look at their own emotional intelligence. It demonstrates how the student can identify the common components of their own emotional reactions. And how to use thought processes like mindfulness, to manage emotion as well as the emotional hot buttons that cause problems in life and relationships.

The course delves into the ways that empathy and interpersonal intelligence can be cultivated and how these qualities can be used to empower effective communication.

The five common traits used to describe and understand personality are covered, as well as the strategies on how to deal with difficult people.

In addition to the use of emotional intelligence on a personal level, the course also looks at the wider applications of the concept, including about how society utilizes emotional intelligence in all aspects of business and social interactions, as well as the deeper characteristics of our way of life.

How to Measure Emotional Intelligence

There are several ways to measure emotional intelligence. These are known as the competency based approach, the ability based approach and the trait mixed model approach.

The competency based approach measures emotionally intelligent workplace behaviors, this approach works best internal assessment and talent development, while it isn’t particularly suitable for external recruitment.

The ability based approach s designed to measure an individual’s emotional abilities. This approach works very well for external recruitment hiring processes or the determination of the core reasons for problematic behavior, whereas, it does not work well for internal talent assessment.

The trait/mixed model approach is essentially a self assessment process and measures a set of self perceptions rated to personality preferences linking emotional and social functioning. The approach is well suited to identifying underlying problematic behavior and talent development. However, it is not considered to be suitable for the selection of external recruits.

Emotional Intelligence Scale
The Schutte emotional intelligence scale or the Assessing Emotions Scale is widely used to measure emotional intelligence. The scale measures emotional responses to 33 statements and then allocates a 5 point score to each response. The mean average score for this scale is 124, with a standard deviation of 13, meaning that normal scores range between 111 and 137

Common Steps to Increasing Emotional Intelligence

  • Reduce negative emotions. Negative emotions can easily overwhelm us and affect our emotions and judgement. It is important to recognize them and treat them appropriately. This can be done by reducing negative personalization and the fear of rejection.
  • Manage stress. There is some level of stress in all our lives. How we manage it will go a long way to determine our emotional well being and emotional intelligence. The key to managing stress is to maintain your cool. Some common ways to maintain your cool include-: a) splashing cold water on your face and get some fresh air. This can help to reduce anxiety and b) intense aerobic exercise can help reduce negative stressful emotions like fear and depression.
  • Be assertive in expressing your emotions. We have the right to say how we feel without being rude or accusatory. Being confident to set our own boundaries so that people are clear about where we stand.
  • Be Proactive When Confronted By Difficult People. Difficult people can hijack and drain our emotions. The key to remaining in control of your emotions is to recognize the situation for what it is and to proactively take charge.
  • Bounce back. Failing is never the issue. How we choose to respond to failure is the key driver when it comes to dealing with adverse situations. This choice can determine the difference between hope and despair, frustration and optimism. Treat every situation as a lesson to be learned from. Always seek to do better next time.
  • Work on responding instead of reacting. It takes a conscious effort to respond appropriately, whereas reacting often involves knee jerk sub conscious responses to situations. Responding involves adopting a mental process of examining your feelings and choosing an appropriate response.
  • Take responsibility. Your emotions and behavior belong to you—no-one else—therefore, you own them and need to take responsibility for them.
  • Observe how you feel. In this modern age, it is very easy to get swept up in the rush and urgency of our day to day lives. When we get caught up, it is easy to lose track of our emotions and start acting unconsciously on autopilot. When we take the time to acknowledge our emotions, we are better placed to trust and manage them.

How to Overcome Low Emotional Intelligence

While we are all born with a certain level of emotional intelligence, the good news is that low intelligence levels can be worked on and improved. The first move is to want to improve your emotional intelligence and to commit to it. In addition to the steps outlined above, low emotional intelligence people may find the following steps useful.

When you find yourself getting angry, make an effort to remove yourself from the immediate situation and give yourself time to cool off.

When you feel that your pride has been hurt, accept that you can’t be perfect at everything and recognize others for being better or having better ideas. Humility in the right circumstances can be a great relationship building tool

Recognize that anxiety is a perfectly natural phenomenon. Practice simple relaxation techniques to overcome feelings of anxiety in normal situations. If, however you find that anxiety is becoming an issue it may be necessary to seek help from a medical health professional.

Improving emotional intelligence can have significant benefits upon all aspects of professional and personal lives, the key to improving emotional intelligence is to commit to making an improvement.

If you would like to commit to improving your emotional intelligence, you can make a start by enrolling in one of our Emotional Intelligence Online Courses today.

There you have it, all there is to know on how to improve emotional intelligence.

How do I Start a Course

Once you are a member, all you need to do is navigate to any course on the website via the courses menu, or search for a course.

 

Once in a course, you will see a large red link that says “Start Course”. Click on that big button and, assuming you are logged in, you will be able to access the course materials.

Mastering Office Conflict Resolution

Those equipped with office conflict resolution skills are highly sought by office industry employers. Conflict is part of life and is neither good nor bad. How we choose to respond and manage conflict will determine how it will affect our lives and business operations. Toxic responses like avoidance or aggressive confrontation will result in negative consequences, poor morale and rising levels of conflict. Office conflict resolution is therefore a vital skill for office managers to develop.

Develop your office resolution skills today by choosing the conflict resolution course that best suits you.

Industry leaders have grown to recognize that people managers who either avoid conflict resolution or lack the emotional intelligence to address it properly have a detrimental effect upon the workplace. Modern industry today is seeking workplace supervisors and managers that have the capacity and will to apply the proper conflict resolution principles. This is precisely why office conflict resolution is a highly sought-after skill.

Office conflict resolution relies upon the ability to instigate difficult conversations. There are three difficult types of conversations that office managers will need to have at some time. These are:

  • What happened? This involves getting to the heart of the matter and establishing what was intended as opposed to what occurred. Many conflicts are liable to get out of hand because conclusions are drawn about a person’s intent.
  • Exploring feelings. Conflict often presses people’s hot buttons. Good office conflict resolution negotiators allow people the space and time to express their feelings about a certain situation
  • Honest feedback. How we are perceived by others can impact our own sense of self. Honest feedback can challenge people’s perceptions of how they are viewed in areas such as competence, ethics and respect. Giving honest feedback (both good and bad) while maintaining respect can at times be challenging.

Developing emotional intelligence will help supervisors and managers to build the confidence and skills for resolving workplace conflict.

Managing Workplace Conflict

It is important to recognize that conflict involves emotional responses and often what appears to be a rational solution can do more harm than good. Emotionally intelligent managers will recognize that workplace conflict needs to be addressed in a fair and reasonable way by introducing effective office conflict resolution strategies.

Regardless of your current position, office conflict resolution is a valuable skill that will help you to stand out because few people can manage conflict well. If you can ensure conflicts occur in a healthy manner, your efforts will help to improve creativity, promote positive relationships, and improve overall job satisfaction. The following tips will assist you with reconciling disagreements between others, resolving a quarrel with a fellow worker or, on occasions. disputes with your superiors.

A workplace with no conflict may seem utopian, but in reality, it betrays a workplace that is stale where people have little interest in their work outcomes. Conflict always represents an opportunity for growth of the organisation. Identified early and managed properly, conflict can be managed to build a better workplace for all parties.

1. Anticipate potential conflicts.

There’s nothing worse than being caught unawares by a conflict that flares up out of nowhere. You can use emotional intelligence to recognize personality clashes and underlying pressures that could spark conflict in times of high pressure or challenging scenarios. Being aware of potential flare ups before they occur can give you the time you need to prepare office conflict resolution responses to avoid situations getting out of hand.

2. Allow people time to cool down.

Nothing constructive will be accomplished when everyone’s emotions are at boiling point. Allow all parties some time to calm down and reflect on what happened. Clearly tell them you are willing to help everyone by resolving employee conflict after everyone has had enough time to cool down.

3. Put the conflict into clearly understandable words.

Use clear language to express your understanding of what happened and the reasons why it’s necessary to provide office conflict resolution. Seek agreement from all parties regarding your summary of the circumstances. It’s important not to proceed until agreement is reached about what the problem is. You can’t hope to succeed until you understand what the problem is.

4. Get to the heart of the problem.

It’s easy for personalities and previous disagreements to muddy the waters when conflict arises. If you’ve invested some time in anticipating potential conflict hot spots, you will at least have a head start in cutting away the peripheral issues and getting to the heart of the matter.

5. Allow all parties a fair hearing

Get everything out in the open by giving each party time to air their grievances in private if necessary, allowing them to feel like they’ve been given a fair hearing. If you are personally involved in the conflict, it might help to get a fresh perspective on the situation by asking a neutral colleague for help in understanding the other side’s point of view.

6. Promote acceptable working solutions.

Collaborative efforts to reach a mutually agreeable solution based on compromise will be more productive than creating a winner take all outcome. While working to negotiate an acceptable outcome, it’s worth moderating the situation to give all players an equal opportunity to share their opinions and views.

7. Spell out your expectations to all parties.

Ensuring that your expectations are clearly communicated to all parties involved will go a long way to resolving conflict at work. This type of clear concise communication not only broadcasts expectations but tells people that their opinions and roles are valued.

Following these steps will not only help to reduce the negative impacts of workplace conflict but will assist in building a more engaged team.

Conflict Resolution Jobs

People who can provide office conflict resolution in the workplace are in high demand, simply because most managers are unable to resolve conflicts successfully. Office conflict resolution professionals as well as conflict resolution trainers can earn significant incomes either troubleshooting problems within existing workplaces or training people to work in the resolution industry.

Typically conflict resolution jobs are advertised in Government sector or through large commercial organisations. Job titles include specialist customer relationship managers, case managers and various elements of human resources positions such as employee relations consultant, change manager and people and culture managers.

Conflict Resolution Training

The key to resolving and preventing conflict is promoting and encouraging good communication. The ability to provide office conflict resolution quickly and effectively will help to prevent conflicts spiraling out of control as well as improving productivity. The Skill Builder Pro conflict resolution training courses offer participants a six-step model that will help them to resolve conflicts in all situations as well as learning strategies to effectively manage anger.

Topics comprehensively covered in these training courses include

  • Building a positive energy outlook and reducing negativity.
  • The fishbone diagram (sometimes called the Ishikawa or cause and effect diagram)
  • Effective use of the agreement frame to pace and lead the person to where you want the communication to go.

The conflict resolution training will help participants gain knowledge in the following key areas.

  • An understanding of what office conflict resolution is and how to effectively resolve workplace issues.
  • The full use of the six-step conflict resolution model when resolving conflicts.
  • The ability to identify the key stages of conflict resolution.
  • The flexibility to intelligently alter the dispute resolution process for the differing types of negotiation and conflict.
  • Applying basic listening and communication skills, incorporating the use of open-ended questions, as well as the agreement frame.
  • The use of better body language when looking to work with difficult people.
  • The effective adoption of stress and anger management techniques when dealing with conflict.

What Are The Steps of Conflict Resolution?

  • Clarify exactly what the disagreement is – ask questions to clarify what needs are not being met.
  • Gain agreement from all parties about what the dispute is.
  • Work towards a common goal that is acceptable to both parties.
  • Brainstorm ways to meet the agreed common goal – getting both parties to work together to achieve a mutually agreeable outcome will help build respect between the two of them.
  • Identify potential barriers to the common goal and discuss ways to mitigate these problems. Having all parties aware of potential road blocks will help to build awareness of what can be reasonably achieved.
  • Establish agreement on how the conflict can be resolved. This should be a win- win situation that both parties are comfortable with.
  • Gain commitment from all parties to work to put the agreed resolution in to practice.

Common Conflict Resolution Scenarios

Conflict can arise in many different situations, but there are some common scenarios that you can prepare for.

Conflict caused by leadership style scenario

Joanne has been performing in the sales managers role for close to a year. On the face of it, she appears to be performing well. Her team is meeting and exceeding all sale targets and she appears to know how to keep her team motivated and performing well.

However, some of the team have consistently complained about Joanne’s management style. She is inclined to be very hands on when monitoring their sales techniques and publicly criticizes them when she sees a mistake. It has also been noticed that she does not respond well to constructive criticism herself.

This situation has now come to a head with one of the leading sales people now threatening to resign because of Joanne’s leadership style.

Strategy to deal with leadership style conflicts

It is important to get on top of this scenario quickly. Both parties in the dispute should be encouraged to resolve the differences privately if possible. However, if it appears that this will not solve the dispute satisfactorily, it is important to quickly move the dispute to mediation.

During office conflict resolution mediation it is critical that the rules of dealing with conflict are followed. Identify exactly what the problem is, put it into clear language that all parties to agree with give people a fair hearing, and seek common ground and work to gain a compromise that both parties agree to.

Conflicts caused by differing work styles

Everyone works differently. This can become problematic when two workers with differing styles are required to collaborate to meet deadlines. Consider a scenario where Jim and Anne are required to produce a report on a weekly basis. Jim tends to work sporadically but always meets deadlines, whereas Anne likes to work on a consistent basis. Anne gets frustrated with Jim’s apparent haphazard approach, while Jim doesn’t appreciate Ann’s constant “harping” to get things done.

Strategy to deal with conflicts caused by different work styles

Recognizing the problem and arranging for both parties to mediate is the first step to solving the problem. The rules of office conflict resolution should again be applied, and an agreed solution worked out. In this case there must be a recognition of the differing styles and a solution may involve some reorganization of duties. This can be achieved with goodwill.

Conflict Resolution in Nursing

While nursing practice is not the same as working in an office, many scenarios are very similar and the steps to conflict resolution in nursing are very similar to office conflict resolution.

The nursing profession is founded on building collaborative relationships with colleagues and patients alike. It is necessary to work closely with others of differing backgrounds, beliefs and cultures, potentially giving rise to conflict in several areas. The potential for conflict can be reduced by developing good communication and conflict resolution skills.

Generally, nurses have trouble dealing with workplace conflict openly and tend to avoid conflict. This leads to negative consequences as nurses are inclined to hold on to feeling created by the conflict, often causing them to act out in covert ways. To overcome this, nurses need to focus on building their conflict resolution skills as well as becoming more effective with team building skills. It is essential that nurses work to build their negotiation and communication skills suitable for a team-managed environment. As the healthcare system continues to evolve along these lines, nurses will need to have effective conflict resolution skills.

There is much evidence to indicate that styles of conflict resolution are strong indicators of levels of job satisfaction within the nursing profession. To get the most satisfaction out of this challenging profession, nurses need to equip themselves with appropriate conflict resolution skills.

Common Conflict Definitions

What Is the Definition of Conflict Resolution?

Conflict resolution can be defined as the use of processes to help end conflict in peaceful manner.

What Is Resolving Conflict?

Resolving conflict is the process of two or more parties finding a peaceful way to solve a dispute about a business, personal, financial or emotional matter.

What Is Role Conflict?

Role conflict occurs when there is friction between a person’s different everyday roles. This can occur when people have multiple roles with different statuses.

What Is Interpersonal Conflict?

Interpersonal conflict occurs when an individual’s efforts are frustrated by another group or individual.

The ability to resolve conflict can have major benefits upon all aspects of people’s professional and personal lives. Resolving conflict takes practice and knowledge. You can take the first step to improving your office conflict resolution skills by enrolling in an online conflict resolution course today with Skill Builder Pro.

How to Improve Your Communication Skills

If you are looking how to improve your communication skills you’re at the right place.  Effective communication skills are essential in all aspects of the business.  Good communication skills deliver efficiency in communicating goals, strategies and, policies as well as sharing best practices and identifying areas for improvement on an individual and group level.

Learning effective communication techniques will help you improve key aspects of your life in both a personal and business sense.

As effective communication can have positive affects every facet of your life from workplace relationships to your bank balance. Being able to clearly articulate your opinions and views is just a small portion of being an effective communicator. Effective listening as well as being able to understand what people are really saying are equally as important components.

If you would like to communicate better take action today by enrolling in one of the many communication skills online courses available at Skill Builder Pro. 

Benefits of developing your communication skills

The benefits of improving communication skills are many. Most benefits can be applied in both a professional and personal sense.  When you become a better communicator you will achieve better outcomes n your personal and private life.

In a professional sense, effective communication in the workplace will go a long way to determining your success, regardless of whether you operate in a supervisory capacity or you are a wage or salary earner. For organization leaders and people managers, the ability to effectively communicate team or company goals can be the single most important factor in determining whether a team succeeds or fails to deliver expected outcomes.

There are countless publications, training courses, and workshops that proclaim effective communication will deliver increased productivity and profits if workers understand what the company’s goals are and how they can help to achieve those goals.  The key to getting buy in from employees is clear concise communication that informs educates and inspires.

Some of the biggest benefits of improved communication include

  • Improved relationships – The biggest obstacle to forming good business relationships is the absence of clear, concise communication. How the message is delivered is just as important as actually delivering the message. Communication is a two-way street – listening is just as important as talking.
    Improved relationships result when both speakers and listeners take ownership of their roles.  Both roles take conscious effort. The proper understanding of these roles and application of communication skills will result in improved relationships. 
  • Reduced Conflict – Even the most skilled communicators will encounter conflict situations. When conflict occurs, a leader with the appropriate communication skills moves quickly to reconcile the conflict issues.  One of the keys here is to take the emotion out of conflict situations. With that vital skill in place, you are more likely to mitigate and reduce the strength of the conflict.
  • Better Leadership – Leaders understand the power of getting people involved in effective communication skills. Great communicators have the ability to clearly communicate plans, direction, goals and expectations while above all, motivating and inspiring their team to focus on achieving goals. As you improve your communication skills, not only will you recognize the best ways to communicate your message at the best time you will be able to identify the right method, who should receive the message and what words will work best. It is a valuable skill that has tremendous potential to grow your business.  Like all skills, it has to be learned, developed and practiced.

While improved communication skills have great benefits in the business world, the very same skills can help you improve your personal relationships as well.

What are communication skills?

Communication skills cover a broad range of soft skills.  
These include basic literacy type skills like reading, writing and comprehension but also encompass higher level skills listed below. 

  • Confidence – Being self-assured builds trust and confidence.  The key is to strike the balance between being assured and measured and appearing to be cocky and arrogant.  This is achieved by welcoming questions, using a steady voice tone, using humor where appropriate.
  • Reading non-verbal cues – All good communicators understand the importance of body language and are able to read t and use it to their advantage.
  • Active Listening
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills – Builds trust with peers and mentors alike.  These skills do involve looking for common ground, demonstrating empathy and building bonds with key stakeholders.
  • Teamwork – Understanding that individuals can contribute n unique ways to achieving the common goal.  Being able to communicate that all contributions are valued is essential to gaining maximum buy in.
  • Selling Skills – Being able to find the win-win scenario when negotiating. 

How to Communicate Effectively 

There are many ways to communicate effectively – some written, some verbal.  Each method is unique and circumstances will dictate how to communicate effectively and which communication method works best.

Some golden rules in relation to effective communication are:

  • Use clear concise language that the audience is able to understand.
  • Remain on message
  • Listen to your audience.  Really listen – take the time to understand their point of view.  When you understand where people are coming from you are much more likely to address their key concerns, offer solutions and get a broad-based agreement.
  • Be honest and sincere. 
  • Confirm that people understand your message.  Summarize communications before concluding them – even ask what people understood the message to be.
  • Cut out the vagaries.  It’s easy to hedge communications with vague words like soon and a lot.  Be precise,  f necessary state how much of what by when – don’t leave room for misinterpretation.

Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Improving your communication skills takes a commitment to communicate effectively as well as practicing skills. There are many effective communication techniques

Some strategies on how to communicate better include:

  • Work on your body language.  Non-verbal clues can betray your real feelings.  Make eye contact. Adopt an open listening position (unfold your arms).  Portray confidence and a welcoming position.
  • Use stories to demonstrate or emphasize a point.  Storytelling is a powerful mechanism that can be used to demonstrate key points about positive and negative behaviors and outcomes.
  • Focus on the other person by asking questions and repeating sentences.  This will help you to focus and pay attention.  Communication is a two way street.  When you give others the respect that they deserve, they respond accordingly and are more likely to be open in their communications with you.
  • Make written communications brief but specific.  Follow the formula of Background, Reason, Information, End, Follow-Up to keep your communications BRIEF and to the point.  Most people don’t have time to read pages of written communication and they don’t want to be confused by jargon or your use of long words.  Write to inform.  This is particularly relevant when email communication is required.
  • Tailor the message to suit the audience.  The goal should always be to connect with your audience on their level.  Your delivery may shift subtly when communicating with employees compared to middle management.  The message must stay the same but the context may shift to be relevant to the specific audience.
  • Remove unnecessary distractions.  This is an easy win when you are looking to communicate better. Be in the moment. Don’t stop at turning the mobile phone off, switch off computer screens or any other devce liable to distract.  Give communication a chance to work.
  • Take a course to improve your communication skills.  There are a plethora of short face to face and online courses available.  The advantage of taking an online course s that you can do it at your own pace without having to meet schedules or deadlines.

How to Work On Communication Skills

Some ways to work on improving and developing good communication skills involve becoming more aware of others.  These activities take a conscious effort but will help you to be more effective with your communication.

  • Concentrate on listening – Listening is not to be confused with hearing.  Listening is an art that involves not only hearing the words spoken but picking up on how they are spoken as well as the non-verbal signals that accompany the words. It is important to clarify and reflect upon what has been said before responding. One of the hardest listening techniques to perfect the practice of clearing your mind and really focusing on the message being received. 
  • Be Aware of Other People’s Emotions –  People are not robots they will respond to your genuine expressions of sympathy as well as your praise and congratulations at the appropriate times. This requires some commitment to taking an interest in your colleague’s life.  Little things matter.  People respond positively to eye contact and the use of first names where appropriate. Always be mindful of the effect that your words can have on the listener.
  • Empathize – work on seeing things from other’s point of view. Work on being non-judgemental and do not allow your existing beliefs and inherent biases to influence your responses to the other person’s viewpoint. The best way to empathize with others s to remain in tune with your own emotions.
    If it becomes necessary to state your personal point of view, state it clearly and honestly. Be mindful that some subjects can be too stressful to discuss.
  • Encourage contributions by being open and honest – Offer praise for good work and work to create an environment where people feel wanted, valued and appreciated in all your communications. Creating this environment helps to encourage people to want to give their all for you.  Being aware that every interaction and communication that you engage in will be effected by your body language, demeanor and willingness to engage.

How to Learn Communication Skills

In order to communicate better, you need to identify the communication skills that will give you the greatest benefit. Once you’ve identified what communication skills that you need to improve you can set about learning them.

Reading up on communication skills or watching YouTube videos will only take you so far.  Good Communication skills are ultimately learned by putting them into practice.  The more you practice communication skills the better you will get at them.

There are many quality communication courses designed to help you to understand how, why and when to effectively communicate.

These courses cover the full range of communication skills. Everything from business writing through to coaching and understanding body language can be accessed via online courses.

If you are considering accessing an online course, Skill Builder Pro has a communications skills course that will suit your needs.

Course categories include Communication, Coaching & Conflict Resolution, Communication in Sales, Business Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Communication & Leadership and Communication Strategies.

Within these course categories, you will sure to find a course that will help you learn the communication skills that you need to improve.

Besides the obvious benefits that undertaking a communication course delivers, there are some less obvious benefits that will make you glad that invested the time and energy in improving your communication.

These include:

  • Increased confidence – Possessing effective communication skills, will do wonders for your self-esteem. When you are able to apply your learned communication skills effectively you will be naturally more confident when you speak one or one or are called upon to speak publicly.
  • Better listening skills – once you learn the skill of effective listening, you will be amazed at how dynamic your communication becomes.
  • Increased empathy – Many communication courses have exercises designed to help you place yourself in the other person’s shoes.  These exercises will help you to remain focused and open to suggestions as well as being able to sincerely empathize with others
  • Speaking concise language – People are far more likely to be receptive to a message that is both clear and succinct. Communication skills courses will not only assist you to communicate effectively in a variety of circumstances but help you to speak in plain clear terms that will help you to reach mutually beneficial outcomes with others.

Skill Builder Pro has a range of communication courses available. Book your communication course package now. Now that you know how to improve your communication skills, all you need is one of our course!

Get Ready To Run Your Own Business Successfully

How do you start your own business and more importantly, how can you be sure that your business idea is going to have every possible chance of success?

Many people ask those questions when they have a good business idea and begin to investigate how to establish and run a business of their own.

Unfortunately, many new business owners don’t prepare for running a business anywhere near as well as they should. A recent survey from Dunn and Bradstreet has shown the small business failure rate rising and that the rate of new business start-ups is slowing. This represents a great opportunity for a well prepared new business owner.

Getting prepared to successfully run your own business takes a little more effort than simply registering an ABN number and opening a business check account. You need to gain an understanding on a variety of important facets of business including basics like -: how to choose a business name, what type of business structure you need, bookkeeping, business planning and how to open a business bank account. Then you need to consider where your business is to be located, business leases, tax liabilities, and licenses, how to select employees and what types of insurances you need to guard against all possibilities. It’s enough to put you off starting a business before you start!

Fortunately, there is help at hand. Business Management and Business Entrepreneurship online courses will give you instant access to the skills and techniques required to not only start your own business but how to turn it into a profitable gold mine for you and your family.

Featuring a series of online videos and the insights of some of the world’s leading businessmen, this online course shows you how to set up your business in ten easy steps.

Module one covers the business basics of structure, set up and legal considerations.

Module two goes beyond the basics and focuses on how to make your business a success. Nine comprehensive units cover the winning strategies that will get your business up and running in no time.

Topics covered include :

  • How to get your image right so that customers will return to you again and again.
  • How to get your customers to remember your business.
  • How to track your sales and to identify your profitable customers.
  • How to profile and identify your valuable customers.
  • How to get your merchandising right so that customers buy more from you.