Business skills

Create a professional SWOT analysis

Create a professional SWOT analysis

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It’s Monday morning, you’ve just gotten back to work after the weekend and your boss asks you to do a SWOT analysis for a new, potential business area and present it to the leadership team tomorrow. Your mind goes blank as you stare at the 2 by 2 matrix you’ve drawn on a white sheet […] Read More

How to effectively manage organizational change

How to effectively manage organizational change

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Last week I attended a seminar by Richard Jolly, one of my former professors at London Business School. Professor Jolly does research in organizational behavior. One of his courses, “Managing Change” made a huge impact on me. In today’s fast-paced business environment, businesses need to effectively manage change in order to survive. Whether it is […] Read More

How to make a good first impression

How to make a good first impression in business

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Whether you are giving a presentation, selling a product or interviewing for a job, making a good first impression is extremely important when you are doing business. Due to the way the human brain functions, it’s very difficult to change a first impression, so you need to get it right the first time around. Most […] Read More

How to effectively assign work tasks

How to effectively assign tasks

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In my productivity workshops I often talk about task management and I show the attendees how they can effectively use Microsoft Outlook to keep track of their tasks. During these sessions there are always questions about assigning tasks to others. As some of you might know, you have the ability to assign tasks to other […] Read More

10 tips for a productive work year 2013

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Today it’s the last day of 2012. I’m sure many of you are excited about celebrating New Year’s eve and that you are thinking of good New Year resolutions. Personally I’m really looking forward to 2013. I think it will be a year filled with great business opportunities and exciting adventures. To make the most […] Read More

How to delegate effectively

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Being able to delegate effectively is an essential skill if you want to be a successful manager. A lot of high performing business professionals have trouble letting go. Instead of delegating work to their subordinates they do the work themselves. This leads to work overload and in the long run an ineffective work group. Some […] Read More

How to effectively persuade others

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One of the most important skills to have in order to be successful in business and progress in your career is the ability to persuade others. Whether you are a sales person trying to persuade a client to buy from you, an interviewee trying to persuade the hiring manager that you are the best person […] Read More

Conducting a professional job interview – Part 2: How to interview

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Two weeks ago I posted the first part of the blog series on how to conduct professional job interviews. In that first article I covered how to prepare for the interview, in this second part I will cover important aspects of giving the actual interview. Interviews are an extremely important part of the hiring process; […] Read More

Conducting a professional job interview – Part 1: Preparing for the interview

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Selecting who to hire is an extremely important decision for your organization. It can be quite expensive if you hire the wrong candidate.  Many experts claim that hiring the wrong person exceeds the cost of an annual salary for the position. Despite the importance of hiring, I’ve witnessed numerous instances where managers interview candidates totally […] Read More

Constructive advice for motivating employees

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It’s mid-July, right in the middle of summer. Many of you are probably on vacation while others are struggling to find motivation to work. Finding the motivation to accomplish various tasks can be quite challenging, especially this time of year. If you are a people manager and you need to motivate others, this is even […] Read More

How to set more effective goals

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It is widely known that working towards a goal is a major source of motivation. A study done by Locke et al. (1981)found that in 90% of the laboratory and field studies they carried out, specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance than easy goals, “do your best” goals, or no goals. In many […] Read More

How to be an Effective Mentor – Part 3

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This is the third and final article in the series on mentoring. Previously I’ve covered the basics of mentoring in “A Guide to Mentoring” and in the second article I gave advice to mentees on “How to be an Effective Mentee”. This final blog post is for those of you who currently are, or are […] Read More

How to be an Effective Mentee – Part 2

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Last week I wrote about the basics of mentoring – what the benefits are, who should be a mentor, who should be a mentee and topics that can be covered during mentoring sessions. In this week’s blog post I will share with you steps you can take to be an effective mentee.In a professional business […] Read More

A Guide to Mentoring – Part 1

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If done well, mentoring is extremely valuable and it can have an enormous impact on your career – and your life. I know that my career would not have gone in this direction if it weren’t for a mentor I had many years ago at Microsoft. Unfortunately the term “mentoring” is used very broadly to […] Read More

Five simple steps to improve your networking skills

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Last week I attended a seminar in Dubai called “Business Networking & Sex” (as in gender). The speaker, Phil Bedford, shared some interesting facts about the importance of networking and how men and women go about networking differently. Whether you are a man or a woman, a good network is crucial for your career and business […] Read More

Turn criticism into constructive feedback

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Last week I wrote about how to effectively give feedback. Even though most of us welcome more feedback in order to improve in our professional as well as personal lives, we give, and are given feedback way too seldom. More often than feedback we are given praise, and even though this “pat on the back” […] Read More

How to give effective feedback

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This morning I was taking our 18 month old son out for a walk in his stroller. He had his pacifier and his favorite stuffed animal (a blue mouse) with him. All of a sudden he throws the pacifier and the mouse on the ground. I pick it up and tell him, “When you do […] Read More

Key tips for how to negotiate successfully

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Up until a year ago I detested negotiations. I’ve always heard that I’m terrible at bargaining. I would rather pay up and get it over with than stand and argue about the price. Then something changed, I attended Professor Niro Sivanathan’s course “Negotiation and Bargaining” at London Business School and it all changed. Now I […] Read More

My Wish List to Santa Part 2: Books I Want for Christmas

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Last week I wrote the first part of my wish list to Santa which focused on cool technology gadgets I want for Christmas. In this second part I want to share the top 5 titles of my book wish list that I plan to read – or listen to next year. What better way to […] Read More