Category Archives: Blog

Virtual Training Grows Skills Needed During COVID 19

Are your employees working from home during the COVID Pandemic?  Are any of them experiencing social isolation while juggling new tasks and procedures remotely?  Have you noticed that some members of your team seem anxious or overwhelmed?

Help your team thrive by getting them together for virtual training and team building experiences, made possible by interactive learning platforms like Zoom.

According to recent news stories, Americans are experiencing record high levels of anxiety, stress and depression as they adjust to new norms at work and home. From fears about job loss, to struggles balancing home, school and parenting (while working), more than 60% of professionals report feeling stressed.  This statistic is not surprising as the routines and norms of just a few months ago have fallen by the wayside, with no real end to the pandemic in sight.

One way to combat isolation and stress is to engage your team in collaborative and interactive training experiences where they get to share what’s going on in their work life, while also building skills to boost your business.  Using online platforms, our expert facilitators lead interactive training sessions which build camaraderie, knowledge and skills – thereby improving overall feelings of wellness and effectiveness for your team members.  Ask us about the 5 virtual training programs that are in highest demand:

  • Resilience-Thriving in Times of Change
  • Leadership Success
  • Management Success
  • Influencing For Business Results
  • Negotiating Success

Help your team create new skills and new attitudes to help them bloom, rather than wilt, in this new era of change.  Call us at 1-800-501-1245 to ask about all the virtual training options we recommend.

Top Skills Needed for Working Remotely

Are you working from home more now than ever before?  Have you noticed a difference in how you need to organize your day to stay motivated?  Now that the newness is over, are you getting bored with your remote working arrangements?

Working from home demands different skills than working in a busy office.  While it can provide a quiet sanctuary conducive to completing tasks efficiently,  it can also take away some of the stimuli that helped us get our jobs done.  If you expect to be working remotely for a while, it’s helpful to brush up on three key skills that will help you excel from the home office such as Communicating, Influencing Others and Completing Tasks.

Communicating

It goes without saying, that it was easier to call across the office to your co-workers, or bump elbows at the coffee station when you worked onsite at the office.  Now that you are working remotely, it takes more effort to reach out and communicate with your colleagues.  However, communication with colleagues can pay off  by offering teamwork and collaboration that can boost your mood and your project’s success simultaneously, depending on the communication medium you choose.

Have you ever noticed that your go-to communication technique is email?  While email or texts are quick, they often leave something to be desired including the tone and back and forth of good communication.  Try picking up the phone more often to talk to a colleague, or plan a Zoom conversation so you can interact and see each other’s facial expression.  For it’s not just communication most of us are after; it’s connection, collaboration and teamwork too.

Influencing Others

Now that you’re working remotely, can you see how building your Influence Skills could be advantageous?   Influence helps you to position ideas and choices in a way that will help your listener draw logical conclusions and lean in the direction of certain actions.  Did you know that there are 6 Principles of Ethical Influence that you can bring to your conversations and communications?   Ask us about our interactive virtual training program Influencing For Business Results to learn how these principles can help you be more effective in your job.

Completing Tasks

While working remotely can bring advantages, we definitely miss out on some of the office stimuli that helped us feel good about our contributions.  It’s easy to get bored or loose interest in tasks that don’t seem to be part of a larger picture.  If you notice any of those negative feelings, try to see how your tasks fit together to accomplish a larger goal.  Break a project down into bite-sized tasks and plot them on a check-list so you can check them off one by one.  Celebrate tasks have been completed on a daily basis and make sure that you mark the completion of projects with a special event or treat.  Whether it’s having a virtual coffee break with a colleague, or going for a walk outside, celebrating your accomplishments helps you gain a sense of satisfaction even when working remotely.  Consider also the use of whiteboard, zoom team meetings, and old fashioned bulletin boards in your home office to help you see how your progress on small tasks is getting you where you need to go.

Summary

Working remotely brings a host of different challenges when compared to working in the office.  Brushing up on the three skills of Communicating, Influencing Others, and Completing Tasks will help you thrive in this new environment for months to come.

How to Boost Your Resiliency

Are you feeling overwhelmed at work? Too many projects on your To-Do List? Or, are you feeling out of step with your workload and home tasks?

It’s easy to discover that the juggling act we often call “Work-Life Balance” gets out of wack. It may be that there are a lot of stresses in one or more areas of your life that are getting you down. Professionals who work full time and run a family or home life often report feeling stressed keeping it all together.

Do you need a jump-start for your Resiliency? Here are three tips that can help you feel better at work or at home.

  1. Focus on your Successes. Remember to take stock of all that you are accomplishing. This might be itemizing a list of actions or tasks you have taken toward a goal. Or even something simple like cleaning off your desk so you feel more organized. It is better to count your successes than your failures; you’ll feel more capable to move forward in a positive way.
  2. Find some Supporters. Surround yourself with friends and colleagues that you trust, and with whom you feel nurtured. Spend some time with them over lunch or coffee break to get a boost of their energy. Depending on the situation, ask them to let you chat for a few minutes about what’s stressful in your life, then brainstorm a few supportive steps in the right direction.
  3. Change your Scenery. If you are feeling overworked, or overwhelmed staring at your computer screen, get out for a walk. Pick a green park or waterfront trail; somewhere that you can be in nature. Take this opportunity to shift focus, breathe and appreciate the beauty of nature. Taking a 30 minute walk can change up your internal landscape enough that you will return to work with a renewed perspective.

It’s easy to find yourself feeling dissatisfied, or stressed or overwhelmed at work. Most of us experience these ups and downs from time to time. The real question though, is what are you going to do about it? Try these three tips to shake up the situation so that you can reclaim your innate resiliency at work, and at home.

Boost Your Resiliency

Are you or your colleagues feeling stressed? Would it be helpful to get a booster dose of Resilience Skills? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Over the past 6 months we have noticed an increase in the number of inquiries about Resilience Training – from health care workers, to large companies, to branches of government – it seems that everyone could do with a booster dose of resiliency. Ask us about how a One Day Resilience Training Session can help your team grow attitudes, skills and knowledge that impact your resilience at home and at work.

How to Deliver a Stand-Out Presentation While Seated

Do you make more presentations sitting down versus standing up? Wonder how to highlight key points while seated? Not sure what to do with your vocals when delivering over phone or computer? These questions are frequently asked of our expert Presentation Facilitators when we work with companies to grow their teams’ public speaking skills.

These days, many professionals deliver presentations via webinars, phone calls, or in small meeting rooms where sitting down makes more sense. So how do the stand-up delivery skills work in these sit-in situations? Turns out that all the speaking skills that are traditionally used in a stand-up forum are transferable to a seated speaking engagement, with some adjustments. For example, eye contact is just as important sitting down as standing up; even more so when you are in a small intimate meeting space. So use your eyes to connect briefly with each person around the room. Similarly, gestures are important for stressing key points, and changing the pacing of your verbal remarks. While your gestures may be smaller in a boardroom versus a ballroom, the same principles of delivery are important to consider. Think about your timing, your gesture zone, and your placement of your hands; keeping your gestures above a meeting room table is key to ensuring people “see” your message.

What about your vocals? Think you can forget about varying your pitch, your pace, your projection or your passion? Definitely not; a boring, monotone presentation is killer especially if you are speaking via teleconference. So remember the importance of varying your vocals, changing your pitch, adjusting your projection and emphasizing key words while seated. It will be the difference between a mediocre presentation and a great one!

Bottom line, if you deliver presentations seated or standing up, it is extremely valuable to learn how to use expert performance skills such as eye contact, vocals, body language and gestures. Check out our Powerful Presentations training course for a good overview of speaking skills that deliver – whether you’re sitting down or standing up!