communication skills http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13780/all en-US 8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_88219469_LARGE.jpg" alt="mastering negotiating skills" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There was a time when a bit of haggling was expected in nearly every transaction &mdash; from the price of shoes to the cost of a loaf of bread. Sadly, negotiating is usually reserved for home-buying, the purchase of car, and used items these days. Still, knowing how to negotiate effectively can save you (and make you!) big bucks over a lifetime. Here are eight negotiating skills everyone should master.</p> <h2>1. Confidence</h2> <p>The relationship between buyers and sellers has been rigidly established from years of training and a culture where the price tag is almost always the last word. It takes a bit of fortitude to enter a conversation with someone over price, and try to get a better deal. If your confidence is shaky, start with low-stakes purchases at garage sales and flea markets, then work your way up to more significant purchases like cars or a house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-with-confidence-and-strike-the-best-deal?ref=seealso">How to Negotiate With Confidence and Strike the Best Deal</a>).</p> <h2>2. Speed</h2> <p>Sellers want to move merchandise and they often embrace a &quot;bird in the hand&quot; philosophy to making a deal. With that in mind, sometimes simply being first is all the advantage you need. Keeping your ear to the ground, combing the classifieds, and being the first in line puts you in a position to beat the competition and walk away with great bargains.</p> <h2>3. Sociability</h2> <p>Great deals can be made between adversaries, but not between enemies. No matter what side of the negotiating table you're on, the ability to establish a rapport and keep things friendly and light will serve you well. Remember, negotiation is more of a dance than a death match. The best deals are those where both parties get to walk away relatively pleased.</p> <h2>4. The Poker Face</h2> <p>Imagine you've found the perfect antique hutch for a song at a local flea market. Congratulations. Now keep your emotions in check and start haggling. Remember, part of your leverage is not letting your enthusiasm show and subtly implying you have other options available. Admittedly, this is a fine line to walk and getting it right is more art than science. The key is to push just hard enough to sweeten the deal, but not so hard that it turns sour.</p> <h2>5. Patience</h2> <p>Negotiating can sometimes be awkward, especially for those new to the sport. Stay calm and try not to make the first offer. Why? Because if you're a seller, that price may be significantly less than the buyer was willing to pay. And if you're the buyer, that price may be significantly more than the seller was hoping for. I know, it sounds like a twisted game of chicken, but the person who throws out the first number is usually at a tactical disadvantage.</p> <h2>6. Creativity</h2> <p>Amazing bargains come in all shapes, so don't get hung up on just one way of striking a deal. Try bundling multiple items together for a better value or bartering goods for services and vice versa. Effective negotiation is a creative enterprise, so look for novel ways to make a great deal happen.</p> <h2>7. Preparedness</h2> <p>Successful negotiators may seem casual about it, but they're anything but. They've done their homework, know what an item is worth, know what they're willing pay and &mdash; most importantly &mdash; have cash in-hand to make a deal.</p> <p>If you're negotiating the price of a gently used dining room set for example, avoid dropping this infamous line: &quot;Sounds good, but I didn't bring any cash with me. Can I stop back tomorrow?&quot; An unprepared buyer is simply being a flirt &mdash; one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiating-101-the-5-buyers-you-meet-in-hell">worst types of buyers</a> for serious sellers. Usually, not being able to pull the trigger on a deal means all other potential offers are still in play (and you've wasted your time and the seller's time).</p> <h2>8. Determination</h2> <p>Negotiating can sometimes be a drawn-out process, so a little determination goes a long way. As long as both parties are engaged, keep the conversation going and try to find a middle ground that works for both parties.</p> <p>A recent deal my mom made illustrates this point perfectly. In the market for a larger and more comfortable car, my 78-year-old mother negotiated at a local dealership for six full hours (seriously... the sales staff ordered lunch for her). Ultimately, she got the deal she wanted. Remember, if the terms aren't right, be willing to walk away (or in the case of my mom, stay for lunch, get your second wind, and keep on tryin').</p> <p><em>Are you a skilled negotiator? What's the very best deal you've scored? Share your story!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-negotiation-mistakes-that-will-destroy-your-deal">10 Negotiation Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/help-end-hunger-get-kindled-and-3-more-positive-web-tips-you-should-know-about">Help End Hunger, Get Kindled, and 3 More Positive Web Tips You Should Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-fun-facts-about-valentines-day-spending">12 Fun Facts About Valentine&#039;s Day Spending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks General Tips communication skills life hacks life skills money negotiating negotiating skills negotiation saving money Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1754818 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Things People With Good Communication Skills Never Do http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessmen-talking-488118421-small.jpg" alt="businessmen talking" title="businessmen talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What you say is important, but so is how you say it.</p> <p>Whether you're a waiter or a CEO, an introvert or the life of the party, everyone can benefit from communicating more clearly and confidently. In fact, of all the life skills you can hone, few are more helpful and more universally applicable than good communication skills.</p> <p>And while great communication skills will often be noticed and appreciated, bad communication skills <em>always</em> will. Much of good communication, thus, is knowing what <em>not</em> to do.</p> <p>So take a look at this list of things people with good communication skills never do.</p> <h2>1. Never Look Down While Speaking</h2> <p>While the debate about whether <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolkinseygoman/2012/07/24/busting-5-body-language-myths/">looking down indicates lying</a> rages on, the action clearly doesn't convey anything positive &mdash; insecurity at best. Make a conscious effort to keep your eyes up during conversation, even if you find yourself lost in thought (actually, <em>especially</em> if you find yourself lost in thought).</p> <h2>2. Never Think of Your Response While &quot;Listening&quot; to Someone Else</h2> <p>Forming your response while someone else is still speaking has one obvious inherent flaw: The other person is still speaking! That means <em>their</em> point is still evolving, which may (really, should) affect your response. So whatever it is that something they said triggered, make a note of it quickly, and then turn your attention back to the person speaking.</p> <h2>3. Never Run Out of Things to Say</h2> <p>The best way to do this doesn't involve a shortcut&hellip; It involves living an interesting life. Traveling, reading, learning about other cultures and viewpoints&hellip; All these things have the side benefit of supplying endless conversation fodder. And if all else fails and you can't think of anything to share, always be ready with a follow up question about what the <em>other</em> person is sharing.</p> <h2>4. Never Interrogate</h2> <p>If you notice that your conversation is starting to take on a certain detective/suspect dynamic, you may be asking the wrong questions. Remember to ask questions that are open ended (as opposed to yes/no), and get at &quot;why&quot; rather than &quot;what.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Never Over-Nod</h2> <p>Are you one of those people who nods after every clause the other person says? Are you doing it right now? Did you know Santa Claus was a Martian? Gotcha! The over-nodder is making an attempt to show that he's listening, but may in fact be implicitly agreeing with things he shouldn't be.</p> <h2>6. Never Lose Their Place Mid-Story</h2> <p>&quot;Wait &mdash; where was I?&quot; You were losing the respect of the person listening to your story, that's where! Don't start a story or point if</p> <ol> <li>You don't recall the ending, and/or<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It's not interesting enough to at least keep yourself from getting side-tracked while telling it.</li> </ol> <h2>7. Never Tell a Story When a Visual Aid Could Tell It Better</h2> <p>However pleasant a good communicator may be to listen to, she should never to fall in love with the sound of her own voice. This is especially true when presenting a business pitch or discussing a work of art: show, don't tell.</p> <h2>8. Never Sacrifice a Specific Word for a More General One</h2> <p>Good communication is about clarity, and word choice is a big part of that. Be precise with your language.</p> <h2>9. Never Exclude Someone Already in the Conversation</h2> <p>A good communicator is a juggler, able to simultaneously keep several conversational partners engaged, never forgetting to share around the eye contact, never getting so fixated on one person as to forget about the others.</p> <h2>10. Never Ignore Non-Verbal Signals</h2> <p>Just as you need to be mindful of your own body language, ignore others' at your peril. An understanding of your own non-verbal cues can also inform how you perceptive you are of others. Is the person you're speaking with looking down or away? Perhaps you ignored one of the above tips to the point of boredom&hellip;</p> <h2>11. Never Let Their Conversation Partner Flounder</h2> <p>The most expert of communicators not only master the skills that apply to their own speech, but they're skilled enough to bail out someone who hasn't.</p> <h2>12. Never Ignore Context</h2> <p>During a negotiation, it may make complete sense to let your opponent see you looking away, disinterested (even if it's only feigned). Or perhaps you're attempting to avoid discussing a touchy subject with a friend, in which case substituting a more general word for a specific one may save everyone embarrassment and discomfort.</p> <p>Above all else, a good communicator knows that his message and delivery aren't judged on some arbitrary scale (like, &quot;Did they avoid everything on this list?&quot;), but rather by the information and impression they convey to whoever it is they're speaking with. To that end... know when to break the rules!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joe-epstein">Joe Epstein</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/masters-of-small-talk-never-do-these-10-things-do-you">Masters of Small Talk Never Do These 10 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-people-with-good-phone-skills-never-do">9 Things People With Good Phone Skills Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-remembering-names">5 Tips for Remembering Names</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-rules-of-etiquette-everyone-should-know-and-follow">10 Rules of Etiquette Everyone Should Know (and Follow!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development communication skills etiquette Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:00:03 +0000 Joe Epstein 1145790 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Along With Someone You Don't Get Along With http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-along-with-someone-you-dont-get-along-with <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-along-with-someone-you-dont-get-along-with" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/annoyed-4526056-small.jpg" alt="annoyed" title="annoyed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether it's someone in your office or a family member, there may be someone in your life that you don't gel with. Perhaps she has one of these&nbsp;<a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Deal-Difficult-Co-Workers-30103939">difficult personalities</a>, or maybe the both of you are just too different. Of course, every situation is different, but here are some techniques that you can try out that may help your relationship with the other person.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Happiness-Studies-30444303">RELATED:&nbsp;9 Things You&nbsp;Can Do to Live a Happier Life, According to&nbsp;Science</a></p> <h2>Keep Your Distance</h2> <p>Sometimes it's better to start mending your relationship from afar. You'll have more control over your reactions, and you'll be able to be more objective about the situation without being subject to emotional triggers. Learn to separate reality from your own bias. Perhaps you're the one who is overreacting.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Disarming Technique</h2> <p>The disarming technique was first popularized by renowned cognitive behavioral psychologist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.feelinggood.com/Dr_Burns.htm" target="_blank">Dr. David Burns</a>. What you do is find a kernel of truth in her statement and agree with her. Being defensive tends to make the situation worse, so using the disarming technique will help diffuse the tension. By using this technique, you're improving your listening skills and learning to be more empathetic. Remember, people who tend to lash out can be really unhappy, so try to be understanding. It's hard to pick fights with replies like, &quot;I can see how this is frustrating for you,&quot; or &quot;You're right, it is important to be more organized.&quot; How can you further an argument with someone who is telling you you're right?&nbsp;</p> <h2>Create New Positive Experiences</h2> <p>If the majority of your recent interactions with the person are tinged with negativity, strive to create new positive experiences on neutral ground. It could be that the place where you interact the most with this person triggers strong counteractive feelings, so establish new&nbsp;positive ones.</p> <h2>Switch Topics</h2> <p>If the conversation is going downhill, switch gears and bring up a happy or neutral topic. This will give you both time to cool down and perhaps even end the conversation on a high note.</p> <h2>Think Proactive, Not Reactive</h2> <p>Given that you know you don't get along, you need to make the effort to turn that around. This means being on guard and making a concerted effort to improve the situation. Don't get complacent and let yourself react naturally, because that probably hasn't worked in the past. React with logic, not your emotions.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Observe Your Own Emotions</h2> <p>Note how you're feeling when you're dealing with the person. If you find yourself getting upset, take a breather and perhaps come back to the topic later on. If the issue you bring up is highly sensitive, give it a few days before approaching the topic. You'll be more calm and collected after some time.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> When you don&#039;t like someone, it can be difficult to spend time around that person — let alone work together. Follow these suggestions to make things easier. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img width="300" height="95" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Having-More-Patience-28495875">Compose Yourself: 10 Tips for Having More Patience</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-De-Stress-Work-22310420">13 Ways to Destress During the Workday</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Deal-Difficult-Co-Workers-30103939">How to Deal With These 6 Difficult Work Possibilities</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-along-with-someone-you-dont-get-along-with">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-remembering-names">5 Tips for Remembering Names</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do">12 Things People With Good Communication Skills Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips communication skills coworkers personal relationships Fri, 28 Jun 2013 09:48:33 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 980217 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5959910204_1327551301_z.jpg" alt="decisions" title="decisions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="185" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&ldquo;Where should we go for dinner?&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;What movie do you want to see?&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Should I buy that shirt or save my money?&rdquo;</p> <p>We make decisions every day of our lives, but with the wide array of options presented to us, we&rsquo;re often plagued with indecisiveness and regret over opportunity costs incurred from &ldquo;wrong&rdquo; decisions. The following ten tips can help you improve your decision-making skills and reduce indecision in your everyday life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-94-year-olds-take-on-making-good-decisions">A 94-Year-Old's Take on&nbsp;Making Good Decisions</a>)</p> <h2>Individual Decision-Making</h2> <p>When you're the only one making the decision, try one of these techniques.</p> <p><strong>1. Cost-Benefit Analysis</strong></p> <p>Before reaching the ultimate decision, it&rsquo;s important to weigh the pros and the cons to ensure that you&rsquo;re making the best decision possible. This requires a cost-benefit analysis, in which you examine the outcome to every possible route (both positive and negative). This will help you see the <i>opportunity costs</i>, or the things you miss out on when one decision is preferred over another.</p> <p><strong>2. Narrow Your Options</strong></p> <p>To simplify the cost-benefit analyzing, limit yourself to fewer options. When more choices are presented to us, <a href="http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun04/toomany.aspx" target="_blank">the greater the difficulty in making a final decision</a>. More choices can lead to more regret because we consider all of the missed possibilities and worry whether we could have chosen one of the many other routes that were available. As such, narrowing your options will lead to greater peace of mind.</p> <p><strong>3. Evaluate the Significance</strong></p> <p>How much time should you spend mulling over a potential decision? Ten seconds? Ten minutes? Ten hours or more? It all depends on what&rsquo;s at stake. To minimize agonizing indecision, determine the significance of a decision (How great of an impact will it have on my life? How much will it cost me?), and set a deadline accordingly.</p> <p><strong>4. Don&rsquo;t Sweat the Small Stuff</strong></p> <p>If it&rsquo;s something as simple as deciding where to go for lunch or what to watch on TV, remember to keep things in perspective and keep your timeframe for decisions to a minimum. This is closely tied with evaluating the significance of a decision &mdash; if it won&rsquo;t affect you or others in a significant way, then don&rsquo;t waste time endlessly debating between your options.</p> <p><strong>5. Do Your Research</strong></p> <p>This may seem obvious, but when it comes to making major decisions &mdash; new cell phone or laptop, car brand, etc. &mdash; putting in the time and effort to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smart-shopping-guide-to-researching-a-purchase">fully inform yourself about your impending purchase</a> can mean the difference between product satisfaction and relentless frustration.</p> <p><strong>6. Get a Well-Informed Opinion</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s more than just researching the facts and logistics of a decision &mdash; getting a personal opinion can also improve your decision-making by giving you the confidence and reassurance that you&rsquo;re making the right decision. Whether it&rsquo;s asking your auto mechanic friend about a car purchase or checking Consumer Reports<i> </i>before buying a new appliance for your kitchen, informed opinions are quite helpful.</p> <h2>Group Decision-Making</h2> <p>Trying to decide with a group? Use one of these tactics.</p> <p><strong>7. Practice Conflict Management</strong></p> <p>Making decisions with a group seems to complicate decision-making. Multiple parties heightens the chance of conflict, so to prepare yourself for these situations, it&rsquo;s always useful to practice conflict management. Identify the difference between a win-lose situation (such as compromises where one side gives up what they want to please another) and win-win situations (such as accommodation, when the two parties agree to give up some things in order to agree on other things).</p> <p><strong>8. Plan Ahead</strong></p> <p>When you have a group decision to make, it&rsquo;s best to decide the details well in advance in order to avoid conflict amongst group members immediately prior to the event. This could be used for movie nights or dinner parties; while it dampers the spontaneity of plans, it improves the decision-making skills of everyone involved and decreases the likelihood of bickering amongst the group.</p> <p><strong>9. Take Charge!</strong></p> <p>There&rsquo;s a time to give in and there&rsquo;s a time to be assertive. If nobody is taking a firm stance on a decision, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/leadership-by-listening">take charge</a>! Otherwise, you&rsquo;ll squander precious time trying to decide on something when you could have been out having fun or being productive.</p> <p><strong>10. Don&rsquo;t Dwell on Mistakes</strong></p> <p>The greatest impediment to good decision-making is beating up on yourself for past mistakes. Living with post-decision angst and regret hurts your ability to decide on things swiftly and efficiently in the future, so instead of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">dwelling on errors and failures</a>, make a decision and don&rsquo;t look back once you&rsquo;ve followed through.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong">Change Your Life by Learning How to Admit You&#039;re Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity communication skills decision making Mistakes Mon, 14 Jan 2013 11:24:35 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 963114 at http://www.wisebread.com Secrets to a Great Phone Interview for Job Hunters http://www.wisebread.com/secrets-to-a-great-phone-interview-for-job-hunters <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/secrets-to-a-great-phone-interview-for-job-hunters" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/657350_0211a74934_z.jpg" alt="man talking on phone" title="man talking on phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Phone conversations with representatives of hiring organizations are becoming increasingly more important in winning face-to-face interviews and landing new jobs. These interviews are moving beyond phone screenings to comprehensive evaluations of job candidates.</p> <p>Career-services professionals and a successful job hunter recently shared with me their common-sense yet often overlooked tips for navigating phone interviews. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a>)</p> <h2>At the Start of Your Job Search</h2> <p>After you make the decision to explore career possibilities, prepare yourself for interactions with human resource representatives, recruiters, hiring managers, and potential colleagues. Laying the foundation can involve these steps.</p> <p><strong>Get a Landline Dedicated to Your Job Search</strong></p> <p>Paul Bailo, CEO of <a href="http://www.phoneinterviewpro.com/">Phone Interview Pro</a>, inventor of a <a href="http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&amp;Sect2=HITOFF&amp;d=PG01&amp;p=1&amp;u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&amp;r=1&amp;f=G&amp;l=50&amp;s1=20110082702.PGNR.">phone interviewing and evaluation method and system</a>, and author of <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Essential-Phone-Interview-Handbook/dp/1601631545">The Essential Phone Interview Handbook</a></em>, recommends that you install a landline dedicated to your job search. When you sign up, get the &ldquo;caller ID&rdquo; feature so that you know what hiring organization is calling before you pick up the phone.</p> <p>The main reasons to get a dedicated landline are:</p> <ul> <li>You know that whenever the phone rings, the caller is evaluating you for a work-related opportunity<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You don&rsquo;t have to worry about spotty coverage and dropped calls that are common with mobile phones</li> </ul> <p>Even though I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-without-a-landline">do not have a landline at my home</a>, I see the wisdom in Paul&rsquo;s advice. Dropped calls can be unnerving if you are trying to make a good impression. Exchanges during question-and-answer sessions can be difficult when there are sound delays, which are common with cell phones.</p> <p>Though the landline adds an expense to your job search, you may be able to include these in your <a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p529/ar02.html">itemized tax deductions</a>.</p> <p><strong>Put Only That Number on Your Resumé</strong></p> <p>Job seekers often wonder what phone number to place on their resumés. Use a number that will allow you to best portray your professional presence. That is, don&rsquo;t put your family&rsquo;s home number on job-hunting documents (resumé, cover letter, application, etc.) if you know that young children may answer the phone or if you have an outbound voice message that is not appropriate for potential employers.</p> <p>Paul suggests that you place the dedicated landline number on your resumé and no other number, including your mobile phone. In this way, you can better control interactions with potential employers, which is critical:</p> <blockquote><p>Do not think of a phone interview as a set time and day to talk with a person concerning an opportunity. It is much more than that. Anytime you pick up the phone or receive a call related to your job campaign, it is a phone interview.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Hone Your Speaking Skills</strong></p> <p>In a phone interview, you must rely solely on your voice to connect with the interviewer. To give the best impression of yourself, polish speaking skills. Consider these approaches suggested by Paul:</p> <ul> <li>Listen to and adopt the styles of radio news announcers, who enunciate carefully and use descriptive language<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Join a Toastmasters group to learn and get feedback from fellow members on your speaking style</li> </ul> <p><strong>Prepare Yourself to Discuss Workplace Scenarios </strong></p> <p>Investment portfolio manager and finance professor (and former job hunter) <a href="http://barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance.com/">Barbara Friedberg</a> told me that practicing interviewing is the perfect way to get ready for interviews. One way to practice is to recall and retell stories associated with successes like these:</p> <ul> <li>New initiatives that you championed and later became critical to the success of your organization<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Times in which you applied innovation and creativity to solving long-standing problems<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Major projects that you managed or contributed heavily to<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Situations in which you exhibited boldness in advocating for your employees and customers, affecting significant policy updates with benefits to the company</li> </ul> <p>Paul emphasizes that you should mention your name when discussing these situations. This technique helps to position yourself in the mind of the interviewer as a person who gets things accomplished for her company. The secret to a successful phone interview is getting the hiring manager to visualize you making money or saving money for the organization, Paul's research indicates, and such storytelling can accomplish this purpose.</p> <h2>Interview Preparation</h2> <p>There are several steps to preparing for a successful phone interview.</p> <p><strong>Research the Company and the Interviewer</strong></p> <p>Barbara says that research makes a &quot;huge difference&quot; in the outcome of an interview. She encourages job hunters to learn about the organization, the position, the background of the interviewer, and anything else that is relevant to the specific opportunity.</p> <p>To research the potential employer, start at the website to get familiar with the company's history, market presence, and major product lines. Follow links to its annual reports. Continue by reviewing news articles that cover topics such as geographical expansion, workforce expansion or reduction, entry into new markets, and product launches. Read about <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/keeping-up-with-trends-while-keeping-up-with-business">industry trends</a>.</p> <p>Find out about your interviewer by looking at her LinkedIn profile and reading her work-related blog posts and/or Twitter feed. Avoid digging for too-personal info. Focus on professional information that is readily available and the interviewer wants to be known.</p> <p><strong>Prepare Questions</strong></p> <p>Most hiring managers close interviews by asking if you have questions. Don't respond to this opportunity with a &quot;no&quot; and seem to lack inspiration and initiative. Both Barbara and Paul recommend preparing a list of questions prior to the interview.</p> <p>Specifically, Paul says that job seekers should compose three world-class questions based on company research. He explains that such questions are similar to ones that journalists ask the President during a press conference, not simple questions that yield &ldquo;yes&rdquo; or &ldquo;no&rdquo; responses. They should demonstrate your ability to gather, interpret, and assimilate information along with natural curiosity and the ability to apply you&rsquo;ve learned to the company's situation.</p> <p>For example, ask questions like these:</p> <ul> <li>Given pending legislation and greater media scrutiny associated with social-media sites, how do you think the new features will be accepted by consumers?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Based on your current processes for product development and marketing launches, what do you see changing with the introduction of nanotechnology to your prototyping activities?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Considering shifts in consumer preferences and studies on the demand for experiential learning, how is your company positioned to develop a new slate of offerings?</li> </ul> <p>Be prepared to listen to responses and have a conversation about these topics.</p> <p><strong>Confirm Your Interview</strong></p> <p>Paul advises to call and confirm the date and time of the interview as well as the position for which you are being considered <em>the day before</em> your scheduled session. I thought that this tip involved a particularly bold action, but Paul assured me that hiring managers appreciate this initiative (and if they act bothered by your call, then understand that this job opportunity may not be an ideal situation for you).</p> <p>Speak to the person who will be interviewing you so that you can connect before the formal meeting, if possible. Ask about planned topics of discussion so that you can make sure that the interview is as productive as possible. If the interviewer specifies an area of interest (perhaps a divisional turnaround or high customer retention mentioned on your resumé), then get ready to talk about these topics.</p> <p>In addition, determine if the interviewer will be calling you, or vice-versa. If you are given the choice, ask to be called in order to reinforce the idea that the employer is pursuing you. Lastly, confirm the phone number that the interviewer will be calling.</p> <p><strong>Create Your Environment</strong></p> <p>On the evening before or the day of the interview, get your space and yourself ready to talk.</p> <p>Place these items in front of you:</p> <ul> <li>Resumé<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Company research<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>World-class questions<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>List of items you would like to cover during the interview<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Paper and pencil (or pen) to take notes<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Photo of the interviewer taken from LinkedIn or website (Paul proposes this idea to encourage natural conversation)</li> </ul> <p>Check your phone line, turn off electronic devices, and tell your family not to interrupt you during the interview.</p> <p>Get your voice ready using these techniques: talk, sing, and/or take a cough drop before the scheduled phone call. The cough-drop idea is touted by Paul; having been speechless when answering the phone, I think that getting your voice prepped to talk is a great idea.</p> <p><strong>Remember These Timing Secrets</strong></p> <p>The timing in response to the potential employer's calls influence the hiring decision-maker's view of your talent. Being too eager sends the message that your professional capabilities are not in high demand. Position yourself as a highly qualified professional with valuable skills needed by employers by playing hard, but not impossible, to get.</p> <p>Specific actions related to phone interviewing include:</p> <ul> <li>Don&rsquo;t always be available when a representative of the hiring organization calls. Unless you have a scheduled interview, let calls go to voice mail. In this way, you can be fully prepared to talk in a professional mindset.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Let the interviewer know that you are busy; don&rsquo;t accept the first interview time offered but suggest an alternate time that should be convenient for the interviewer<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If the caller is more than 15 minutes late for a scheduled interview, then make yourself unavailable immediately afterwards. Later, when the interviewer calls to apologize for being late, accept the apology and reschedule for another time.</li> </ul> <p>Don't be surprised if seemingly insignificant phone conversations with human resources staff and hiring managers shape how they perceive you and your qualifications. Research, practice, and act like you really want the job in all interactions, and you'll be more likely to land the right position for you.</p> <h2>Interview To-Dos</h2> <p>The interview can be navigated much like any normal conversation in a professional setting.</p> <p><strong>Be Flexible</strong></p> <p>When the interviewer calls, figure out what task she may be performing. She may need to screen your qualifications, verify certain information, discover how you respond to tricky questions, or learn how you have approached projects in the past. Quickly assess the style of the interview and respond appropriately.</p> <p>Paul explains why you should adjust to the tone and pace set by the interviewer:</p> <blockquote><p>Both people in the relationship need time and multiple interactions to get to know one another&hellip;Both people involved in the phone interview must be on the same page, moving at the same speed.</p> </blockquote> <p>But no matter how well you prepare and attempt to navigate each situation carefully, something may go awry. Stay calm and show how flexible you are. For example, if your neighbor&rsquo;s dog starts barking at a critical moment, Paul says to acknowledge the disturbance and move on with the interview.</p> <p>Worse, though, the hiring manager may not be adept at conducting phone interviews. Job hunters have told me about unusual interview situations for which they felt unprepared; realize that such situations often arise because of improperly trained or inexperienced hiring managers.</p> <p>Paul concurred with my understanding of some bad interviews, noting that even hiring managers are not perfect. In these cases, take control using your interview scenarios and world-class questions to create a natural conversational flow. And, if the interviewer fails to quiz you about the emphasis mentioned the day earlier, insert this information into the discussion.</p> <p><strong>Be Human</strong></p> <p>Show your humanity in your discussions. Paul favors these techniques:</p> <ul> <li>Answer the phone by saying &ldquo;hello,&rdquo; which is more personable than stating your name<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Make a connection with the interviewer by noting common interests, shared experiences, etc. using your research about her professional background and key interests<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Be considerate about any time zone differences; let the interviewer know that you especially appreciate her taking the time to speak with you early in the morning or late at night if that is the case</li> </ul> <p><strong>Show Gratitude and Excitement</strong></p> <p>The close of the interview should include these critical elements:</p> <ol> <li>Tell the hiring manager that you are really excited about the opportunity<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Give three concrete reasons that you will be a good fit for the job<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Say thank you for the interview and, without pausing, ask about the next steps in the decision-making process</li> </ol> <p>The interviewer's response to your question about the next steps indicates whether she visualizes you in the position. Paul says that if she quickly explains what's next, then there is a strong likelihood that you will be called back for another interview; if she hesitates, then she doesn't really see you on the job and will probably not follow up with another session.</p> <p>Saying that you are excited about the opportunity is really important. According to a recruiter friend, companies want to hire only those who are genuinely interested in the position and a great fit with the organizational culture. Managers are reluctant to extend an offer to anyone who does not show this excitement.</p> <h2>Post-Interview Actions</h2> <p>Paul advises this process of saying thank you and staying on the hiring manager&rsquo;s radar for the next several days:</p> <ul> <li>Write a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks">thank-you</a> email 24-48 hours after your interview, recapping the conversation and reinforcing strengths that will enable you to either make money or save money for the company<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Write a hand-written card on real stationery 24 hours after the email<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Compose an email with commentary about a news article (scanned and attached to the email) that again shows how you perceive this news to affect the business and how you can help the profitability of the company, 24 hours after sending the hand-written card<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Call and ask for a status update of the job opening, 24 hours after sending the second email</li> </ul> <p>All of these techniques help close the deal.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secrets-to-a-great-phone-interview-for-job-hunters">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter">Stupid Things to Put in Your Cover Letter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-librarian-is-still-a-great-career-choice">5 Reasons Librarian Is Still a Great Career Choice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-a-good-first-impression-at-your-next-job-interview">13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting communication skills landline phone interview Wed, 04 Apr 2012 09:48:13 +0000 Julie Rains 913973 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Simple Networking Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-simple-networking-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/networking.jpg" alt="Guys networking" title="Guys networking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Networking is an absolutely necessary skill &mdash; it can make all the difference in landing a job, launching a new company, or bringing in a new client. But while networking is something that comes naturally to some people, most of us have to work at it to get good. These simple tricks can make the process easier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/networking-basics-for-regular-people">Networking Basics for Regular People</a>)</p> <h3>1. Set Goals for Your Networking Efforts</h3> <p>Networking can be a relatively time-consuming process. It may sound cynical to say that you need to focus your efforts on the people most likely to help you, but the truth is that you need to know what you&rsquo;re getting out of networking and find the opportunities that really help you the most.</p> <h3>2. Make Networking a Habit</h3> <p>In order to really get the most out of your network, you need to be doing more than just going to the occasional networking event. You need to make a regular habit of reaching out to new people and connecting with them, even if you can&rsquo;t find that many events to attend in your area. There&rsquo;s always email, phone calls, and one-on-one meetings.</p> <h3>3. Think About How You&rsquo;re Different From Everyone Else</h3> <p>You don&rsquo;t need to have a full-on existential crisis, but you do need to understand why someone would (or wouldn&rsquo;t) want to network with you at this point. Consider how you can help your connections and how you stand out from your industry. If you need to, write out a few points so that you can get some ideas for conversation topics.</p> <h3>4. Get a Better Address Book, Preferably Software-Based</h3> <p>There are dozens of different address book tools out there these days that can do all sorts of tricks. Some can even fill in websites and other public information about a new contact based on just a few details you can add. If you&rsquo;re trying to build deep connections, you shouldn&rsquo;t be spending time alphabetizing your Rolodex.</p> <h3>5. Always Set a Way to Follow Up</h3> <p>No matter who you&rsquo;re networking with or what your goal is, you should make sure that you have already arranged to follow up before the conversation ends. It can be something as simple as promising to email a copy of an interesting article &mdash; you just want to skip that awkward phase of wanting to contact someone but not have a reason to do it.</p> <h3>6. Carry Business Cards With You Constantly</h3> <p>With today&rsquo;s technology, the information on a business card isn&rsquo;t particularly important. But it does provide a physical reminder to your new contact that he or she did meet you, making it easier for you to build on the connection.</p> <h3>7. Look for People You Want to Network With Ahead of Time</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s common to be able to look at the expected attendees for many events these days, and social networking can provide you added insight on who will be attending a given event with a little searching. Identify the best people to network with and make a point of introducing yourself at the event.</p> <h3>8. Make Your Connections Deeper</h3> <p>Just meeting someone in passing at an event (or even online) is just a shallow connection. It&rsquo;s a great starting point, but if you can take the time to make that connection deeper &mdash; say with meeting up for lunch or passing a few lengthy emails back and forth &mdash; you can make build a much deeper relationship. It can be as simple as telling yourself that you want to make one connection deeper every week and make a point of acting on that commitment.</p> <h3>9. Listen More Than You Talk, at Least at First</h3> <p>We all like to talk about ourselves, but a good networker spends a conversation learning as much about her new connection as possible. Ask questions, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">listen</a>, and generally pay attention. Then, when you talk, you can talk about the reason for your networking within your contact&rsquo;s frame of reference, like what you can do to help her. This approach is much more effective than going in and trying to sell at a networking event.</p> <h3>10. Develop a Thick Skin</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy enough for a new connection to ease himself out of a conversation or turn you down during the follow up. It&rsquo;s important to be able to let such situations go. There are just some people who you will never click with, and that&rsquo;s fine.</p> <h3>11. Don&rsquo;t Shy Away From People Who Don&rsquo;t Seem Useful</h3> <p>You never know what the future may bring: You could change industries, strike out on your own, or generally need to know very different people down the line than you do today. Don&rsquo;t brush off anyone who doesn&rsquo;t fit in with your current networking needs just for that reason.</p> <h3>12. Go Outside of Your Industry or Niche</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s very tempting to build most of your connections within your own industry &mdash; especially if your goals focus on sales or business. But by going further afield, you can build a more useful network. It&rsquo;s rare that any of us only need sales connections, after all. Vendors, media, and other potential contacts are crucial to a healthy network, even if they don&rsquo;t directly work in your industry.</p> <h3>13. Connect Your Connections</h3> <p>Take the time to make helpful introductions within your own network. The more interconnected your network is, the easier it is to get your contacts to take action. It doesn&rsquo;t hurt if you can build the reputation as the person always able to make a useful introduction.</p> <h3>14. Follow-Up Is Always Your Responsibility</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy enough to go to an event and hand out a stack of business cards &mdash; but the odds are that only 10-20% of the people that you connect with will follow up with you, even if you give them a great reason to do so. If you want to create connections that will actually be useful to you in the long run, you have to take responsibility for following up.</p> <h3>15. Don&rsquo;t Forget Your Existing Network in Your Hurry to Add to It</h3> <p>Going back and regularly strengthening your ties to your existing network &mdash; friends, family, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-being-nice-at-work-can-payoff">coworkers</a> and so on &mdash; is just as important as building new connections. That&rsquo;s because your deepest connections are the ones most likely to help you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-ways-to-network-that-dont-feel-sleazy">5 Great Ways to Network That Don&#039;t Feel Sleazy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-second-language-can-boost-your-career">11 Ways a Second Language Can Boost Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-career-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Career Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defining-success-if-you-dont-know-what-you-want-you-wont-know-when-youve-gotten-it">Defining Success: If You Don&#039;t Know What You Want, You Won&#039;t Know When You&#039;ve Gotten It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Personal Development communication skills listening networking Tue, 29 Nov 2011 11:00:31 +0000 Thursday Bram 802532 at http://www.wisebread.com Stupid Things to Put in Your Cover Letter http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015820927Small.jpg" alt="Man who regrets what he wrote" title="Man who regrets what he wrote" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Crafting a compelling, convincing cover letter is not easy. The pressure to the capture the reader's attention without being annoying can be paralyzing. Concentrate on showing how you can contribute to the employer's success while avoiding these mistakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-hired">How to Avoid Getting Hired</a>)</p> <h3>Assertions That You Are <em>the</em> Ideal Candidate</h3> <p>Chandlee Bryan, Community Manager at <a href="http://www.startwire.com/">StartWire</a>, shares this advice:</p> <blockquote><p>Don't ever say you are the ideal candidate for the job. Unless you've seen the applicant pool and you know the hiring values aside from the job description, you can't assume you are the ideal candidate.</p> <p>Here's a tactic you can use instead: Restate primary qualifications of the job and show how your past experience and skill set fits &quot;hand in glove&quot; with the requirements. You ask for ____; I offer ___. Bullets work well for this. Including short, concrete examples of past achievements that are relevant for the job is another winning approach.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Statements Indicating That You Are a &ldquo;Hard Worker&rdquo;</h3> <p>Career strategist <a href="http://www.nicoledarling.com/">Nicole Darling</a> tells job seekers to eliminate references to being a &quot;hard worker.&quot;</p> <p>My experience tells me that those who claim to be hard workers either 1) substitute effort for finesse, often yielding below-average results or 2) understate the intellect and creativity they contributed in their roles, attributing success solely to effort and long hours. Convey that you are capable of making the time and taking initiative to bring ideas to fruition, not that you are a worker drone who loves to log 80-hour workweeks in an unimaginative setting.</p> <p>Nicole also recommends avoiding positive but overly used words such as &quot;team player, motivated, excellent communication skills.&quot;</p> <p>Instead, demonstrate how desirable traits manifested themselves in the workplace. For example, state that you headed a team that routinely met tight deadlines for product launches; collaborated with contractors and vendors in remote locations worldwide, overcoming cultural and language barriers; or implemented new methods of delivering customer service at costs well below industry standards.</p> <h3>Anything Non-Personalized</h3> <p><a href="http://www.theredrecruiter.com/">The Red Recruiter</a> cautions against generic terms. Addressing correspondence &ldquo;To Whom It May Concern&rdquo; is an example of what not to do.</p> <p>Get the name of the hiring manager or recruiter to personalize each letter. Likewise, use the company&rsquo;s name and identifying details (location, industry, etc.) rather than referencing &ldquo;the company&rdquo; or &ldquo;your industry&quot; in a bland letter.</p> <h3>Bungled Wording</h3> <p><a href="http://absolutelyabby.com/index.php">Abby Kohurt</a>,&nbsp;author, speaker, and recruiter, has reviewed lots of letters that used twisted phrases:</p> <blockquote><p>A fast-paced company is not the same thing as a &quot;face paced,&quot; a &quot;fast paised,&quot; or even a &quot;fast paste&quot; company. Perhaps someone who uses the keyboard shortcut CTRL+V believes that they are working at a &quot;fast paste&quot; speed. I think not.</p> <p>The abbreviation for Assistant is Asst. Please don't ever forget that. When you drop the &quot;t&quot; from &quot;Asst&quot; you aren't offering much to be proud of.</p> <p>Hiring is not the same thing as &quot;highering&quot; or &quot;hiering&quot; or &quot;hireing.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Check word use and verify spelling before sending the cover letter.</p> <h3>A Precise Time of Follow Up</h3> <p>Abby also advises against saying, for example, that you will &ldquo;follow up with a call on August 1<sup>st</sup> at 11:00 a.m.&rdquo; when you won&rsquo;t actually make that call. Even if your intentions are good, your availability may change, preventing you from being a person of your word.</p> <p>Mention that you will follow up but don't specify a date or time.</p> <h3>Too Many Sentences That Start With &quot;I&quot;</h3> <p><a href="http://www.coachmeg.typepad.com/career_chaos/">Meg Montford</a>, career coach, says that emphasis on your needs, characterized by sentences starting with &ldquo;I,&rdquo; is unwise.</p> <p>Make the cover letter about the employer, not about you. Discuss how you can meet company needs and help solve its problems.</p> <h3>Saying You Just Need a &quot;Job&quot; or Need a &quot;Good Job With Benefits&quot;</h3> <p>Revealing that you have little preference for job content is not inspiring to a hiring manager. Though being open to any job seems like a good strategy in times of high <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">unemployment</a>, this approach comes across as desperate and dull rather than practical when expressed in a cover letter.</p> <p>Differentiate yourself in the job-seeking talent pool. Showcase professional strengths that are in high demand.</p> <h3>Discussion of Past Failures</h3> <p>You don't have to highlight or emphasize imperfections and disappointments with your past employers, coworkers, or economic conditions. Discussing what you have learned from positive and not-so-positive experiences in an interview can be meaningful to a hiring manager, but delete mention of failures from the cover letter.</p> <p>Talk about experience and successes relevant to the qualifications and accountabilities of desired positions.</p> <h3>Touting a Career Change</h3> <p>Hiring managers view the career changer as inexperienced but seeking a salary commensurate with tenure in an unrelated field. Along with lack of industry knowledge and contacts, this job hunter will bring outdated approaches and mindsets to a new employer. He will need training to perform basic duties. Such a candidate is not attractive to an employer.</p> <p>If you are truly in the process of building a career in a new field, state what you have done already to accomplish this professional transformation: list certifications and degree programs earned, research papers published, and internships completed. At this point, then, you are not relying on the hiring manager to help you make a dramatic change but offering your depth of knowledge and insights. </p> <p>Note, however, that many who claim a career change are simply seeking to apply existing skills to a new industry or a new company. If this situation is yours, discard language relating to &ldquo;career change&rdquo; and emphasize how your capabilities enable you to contribute immediately to the employer.</p> <p><em>What stupid things do you keep out of your cover letters? What smart things have you included?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-freelance-writing-jobs">6 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secrets-to-a-great-phone-interview-for-job-hunters">Secrets to a Great Phone Interview for Job Hunters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-dumb-things-employment-recruiters-see-people-do">6 Dumb Things Employment Recruiters See People Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-to-fix-cover-letter-mistakes">10 Easy-to-Fix Cover Letter Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting communication skills cover letters job search mistakes writing Wed, 13 Jul 2011 10:24:37 +0000 Julie Rains 611155 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Tips for Remembering Names http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-remembering-names <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-tips-for-remembering-names" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/handshake.jpg" alt="Two men shaking hands" title="Two men shaking hands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband has always said that I am great at remembering many details about the people we meet. One of the most important and basic things you should remember about someone new is his or her name. Here are some of my personal tips for remembering names; hopefully they will help you avoid an awkward &quot;I know you from somewhere&quot; moment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remember-where-you-parked-your-car-and-more-35-practical-uses-of-a-digital-camera">Remember Where You Parked Your Car and More: 35 Practical Uses of a Digital Camera</a>)</p> <h2>Look for Distinguishing Features</h2> <p>When I meet someone, I always look for something unique in the way they look or act. The trick is to pick some feature that starts with the same letter as their name. For example, if someone has a very distinct mole and his name is Michael, then you can associate &quot;mole&quot; and &quot;Michael&quot; mentally. I have also memorized some people's names based on their left-handedness, the way they walked, or their accents. Try to find a feature that isn't easily changed.</p> <h2>Associate a Name With an Occupation</h2> <p>Usually people tell you what they do for a living. I find that it's often easier to remember occupations than names because there is always a story to that occupation. All you have to do is to weave a person's name into your mental image of that person's occupation. For example, if a person tells you that he or she is a nurse, imagine that you are at a hospital and that person has a nametag on with that name on it. You should be able store that image into your head and bring it up more easily later than just recalling a random name.</p> <h2>Repeat and Reintroduce</h2> <p>When you just meet someone new, try to say their name a few times while talking to them. Repetition always aids your memory, so introduce that person to some of your friends. You can also ask people to spell their names if you don't have nametags. If someone has an unusual name, it is especially helpful to get the pronunciation correct by repeating the name a few more times.</p> <h2>Associate Real Words With Names</h2> <p>Many names aren't real dictionary words, and that makes them harder to remember. If you see a person's name and associate it with a real word, somehow it is much easier to remember. For example, when I hear a name like Jaden, I think of the word &quot;jade,&quot; and I associate the color green with that person. When I hear &quot;Gladys,&quot; I think of gladiolas and associate that flower with the person's face.</p> <h2>Use Social Media</h2> <p>If you happen to like people you just met, you could friend them on Facebook or Twitter, where they will have pictures of themselves and links to their personal sites. At blogger meet-ups I have asked people for their Twitter handles and permission to friend them on Facebook or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/standout-stuff-to-put-on-your-resume">LinkedIn</a>. When you have faces and names show up on your social media feed, then it is much easier to remember who they are when you see them in person. For the most part, I do prefer adding people who I have met in real life to my Facebook, and I find it to be a great tool to keep people's images and names fresh in my mind.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for remembering names of new people in your life? What do you do when you can't remember someone's name in a social situation?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-remembering-names">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-powerful-brain-hacks-you-can-do-in-under-2-minutes">8 Powerful Brain Hacks You Can Do in Under 2 Minutes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do">12 Things People With Good Communication Skills Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-weird-brain-hacks-that-make-you-a-better-person-with-almost-no-effort">4 Weird Brain Hacks That Make You a Better Person With Almost No Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training General Tips Personal Development brain hacks communication skills meetings memories Fri, 10 Jun 2011 10:36:06 +0000 Xin Lu 570814 at http://www.wisebread.com Lose the Gobbledygook and Say What You Mean http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/lose-the-gobbledygook-and-say-what-you-mean <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/lose-the-gobbledygook-in-business-and-say-what-you-mean" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/lose-the-gobbledygook...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/lose-the-gobbledygook-and-say-what-you-mean" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000005241825Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When did we stop talking and start reaching out? When did we start facilitating and stop helping? When did we start interfacing and stop meeting? Moreover, why?</p> <p>&ldquo;Let&rsquo;s touch base on Thursday to see how we might develop synergies to facilitate the branding team&rsquo;s launch.&rdquo;</p> <p>What&rsquo;s wrong with: &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s chat about how we can help Jim and Sarah&rdquo;?</p> <p>Wikipedia defines Gobbledygook as, &ldquo;any text containing jargon or especially convoluted English that results in it being excessively hard to understand or even incomprehensible.&rdquo;</p> <p>Or, to put it more simply, &ldquo;any text that&rsquo;s hard to understand because of jargon and obscure wording.&quot;</p> <h3>By the Numbers</h3> <p>Wikipedia&rsquo;s definition includes 20 words, 43 syllables, and 6 big words. According to WordsCount.info, a website that assigns a grade level to a piece of text based on, believe it or not, its SMOG index (short for Simple Measure of Gobbledygook), it would take a post-graduate to fully understand Wikipedia's definition.</p> <p>Mine, on the other hand has: 12 words, 21 syllables, 1 big word, and is written in a way that a 9th grader could understand.</p> <p>By way of calibration, the IRS code would stump even a PhD, Time Magazine could be understood by a 10th grader, and even a 6th grader could comprehend Soap Opera Weekly &mdash; though there must be something better to read.</p> <p>The big problem with gobbledygook is that it&rsquo;s contagious. It&rsquo;s like slipping into an English accent after you&rsquo;ve shared a pint with a Brit. Whether it&rsquo;s to impress the boss or just fit in, the whole corporate world seems to have caught the bug.</p> <p>Now I&rsquo;m not advocating that we dumb-down the world, but what if we all just said what we meant?</p> <h3>There Oughta Be a Law</h3> <p>Believe or not, as of October of last year, clear writing by federal workers isn&rsquo;t just a good idea, it&rsquo;s the law! While it somehow failed to make headlines, the Plain Writing Act of 2010 directs all federal agencies to not only write in plain English, but to teach their employees what it is and how to do it.</p> <p>If the bureaucrats in Washington can find a way to speak in plain English, surely there&rsquo;s hope for the rest of us.</p> <h3>And a Few Simple Rules</h3> <p>So, here are some tips to help you expunge the gobbledygook and write and speak more clearly.</p> <ul> <li>Avoid jargon. If your grandmother wouldn&rsquo;t understand, find another word.</li> <li>Unless you&rsquo;re writing/speaking to insiders, spell out or avoid acronyms.</li> <li>Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. <ul> <li>Bad: We are in possession of the information you require.</li> <li>Good: We have the data you requested.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Use active voice. <ul> <li>Bad: This has been sent to accounting for payment.</li> <li>Good: I have sent this to accounting for payment.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Write or speak for the average reader or listener.</li> <li>Organize your writing with headings, subheadings, and bullets.</li> <li>Be consistent in your use of past, present, and future tense.</li> <li>In general, avoid words that end in &lsquo;ly&rsquo;, &lsquo;ing&rsquo;, &lsquo;ful&rsquo;, &lsquo;ment&rsquo;, &lsquo;tion&rsquo;, &lsquo;ance&rsquo;. <ul> <li>Bad: It was an oversimplification of the situation.</li> <li>Good: It oversimplified the situation.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Avoid weak verbs. You&rsquo;ll know they&rsquo;re weak if you feel the need to add a word with &lsquo;ly&rsquo; to help them along. <ul> <li>Bad: She spoke softly.</li> <li>Good: She whispered.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Keep the subject, verb, and object close together in a sentence. <ul> <li>Bad: Jack, who was known for his jumping ability, cleared the candlestick effortlessly.</li> <li>Good: Jack jumped over the candlestick.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Use single syllable words: <ul> <li>so <i>instead of</i> accordingly</li> <li>clear <i>instead of</i> apparent</li> <li>use<i> instead of</i> utilize</li> <li>talk <i>instead of</i> converse</li> <li>need <i>instead of</i> require</li> <li>people <i>instead of</i> human resources</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>Avoid these words and phrases altogether: <ul> <li><i>bandwidth</i> (unless you&rsquo;re talking about computers)</li> <li><i>core competencies</i> (it could be the poster child for gobbledygook)</li> <li><i>dog and pony show</i> (unless pets and farm animals are actually involved)</li> <li><i>facetime</i> (another poster child candidate)</li> <li><i>front burner</i> (unless you&rsquo;re cooking)</li> <li><i>game-changing </i>(unless you&rsquo;re still playing PacMan)</li> <li><i>impacted</i> (unless you&rsquo;re referring to teeth)</li> <li><i>impactful</i> (just don&rsquo;t)</li> <li><i>in other words</i> (if you said it right, you wouldn&rsquo;t have to say this)</li> <li><i>interface</i> (unless you&rsquo;re referring to computers)</li> <li><i>leverage</i> (unless you&rsquo;re in construction or finance)</li> <li><i>moving forward</i> (unless you actually are)</li> <li><i>paradigm shift</i> (gag)</li> <li><i>procure</i> (stilted)</li> <li><i>reach out</i> (oh please, just call me)</li> <li><i>shall</i> (unless you&rsquo;re stuffy, or a lawyer, or both)</li> <li><i>team</i> (unless you&rsquo;re talking about sports)</li> <li><i>traction</i> (unless it&rsquo;s icy out or you&rsquo;re a doctor)</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>And finally, the most important rule of all: less is more. Eliminate all unnecessary words. Seventeenth Century mathematician Blaise Pascal closed a letter to his girlfriend with, &quot;I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.&quot; Let's all be a little more considerate of other peoples' time and take some time ourselves to write clearly and directly.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-lister">Kate Lister</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/lose-the-gobbledygook-and-say-what-you-mean">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter">Stupid Things to Put in Your Cover Letter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center communication skills jargon small business writing writing advice writing skills Fri, 06 May 2011 22:55:48 +0000 Kate Lister 532485 at http://www.wisebread.com