Category Archives: Blog
- March 19, 2018
Acadiana Training & Development launched its mentor match-up program at the Women’s Leadership Conference at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. With great success, more than 30 women will either become a mentor, find a mentor, or both.
A commonly asked and misunderstood question was, “What are the qualifications a mentor must possess?”
The bottom line is that if you’re experienced in a field or skill, you are, in fact, qualified to mentor. As defined by Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, a mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser. If you can passionately guide others in a particular professional skill, you will do wonders mentoring.
Another misunderstanding was many of the college students saying they are too young to mentor; however, many college students are highly proficient in a variety of categories, like technology. Being well-adapted to technology, being able to teach someone how to efficiently utilize technology, and also having in-depth experience with technology qualifies an individual to mentor others in that field.
The academic experience is not the only desirable trait a mentor should have. Life experience is just as valuable in some fields of mentoring. There are endless opportunities for growth.
How do I know I need a mentor?
A mentor isn’t meant to be a professional coach or counselor. A mentor should be a person willing to extend a helping hand to an individual striving to become more marketable and well-rounded.
If you find yourself needing inspiration and someone to professionally look up to, a mentor is a great place to start. Mentors are guides and a valuable tool. Utilize their knowledge in our Mentor Match-Up Program.
Find a mentor who fits your needs or become a mentor to someone growing in your area of experience and knowledge.
Are you interested in finding or becoming a mentor?
Contact us at email@example.com for more information.
- March 5, 2018
Have you ever heard the phrase, “solitary confinement is the harshest punishment”? Whether you agree or disagree with this phrase — the reason why people say this is a result of an understood fact. Human beings are naturally social creatures, who require interaction with others. Just as the inherent need for food, shelter, and water — Humans equally need to feel a sense of belonging.
Positive social interaction is necessary for all humans in all aspects, especially in your work environment. Unfortunately, many workplace relationships are mismanaged, hostile, or simply uncomfortable to form.
However, investing energy into coworkers and superiors will likely result in a more productive work environment. In addition to happier and healthier work environments, good relationships with superiors are often vital for earning promotions or developing a secure professional circle.
But, how does a positive workplace relationship look?
According to MindTools, healthy workplace relationships are composed of five characteristics:
- Trust – Instead of wasting precious time worrying that your coworkers will sabotage you, build relationships founded on trust. When you trust the people you work with and when they trust you, you will see a more efficient work process evolve and less time wasted on watching your back.
- Mutual Respect – A company is made of several components. If one component goes “out of whack” the entire company is thrown off. It’s important that you realize your role in the grand scheme of things. Being a team player means everyone’s, including your own, input and ideas are respected.
- Mindfulness – Being mindful means thinking before speaking and acting. When employees are impulsive in the workplace, tensions rise. Be mindful before acting or reacting.
- Welcoming Diversity – Employees with strong workplace relationships tend to not only respect diversity, but they also “welcome it.” Paying attention to the opinions and beliefs of others provides you with more perspectives on the ways in the world. Not to mention, it creates a sense of acceptance among all involved.
- Open Communication – At work, the clearer and more honest (but still respectful) communication you partake in, “the richer your relationships will be.”
Incorporating these 5 simple changes into your workplace are a solid first step to developing deeper, more efficient workplace relationships.
If you’d like to learn even more about managing workplace relationships, come to our presentation at the Women’s Leadership Conference this Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
- February 26, 2018
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, professionalism constitutes as the conduct, basis, or traits that define or characterize a profession or a professional. Professionalism is an often underestimated, misunderstood trait.
Many employees (in some cases, employers) assume certain behaviors they exhibit in their work go unnoticed. However, professionalism, whether highly or poorly practiced, impacts co-workers, superiors, and subordinates more than may one care to admit.
In 2012, the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania conducted a study, in which they explored professionalism in the workplace. Results of the study showed that 92.9% of managers affirmed an employee’s professionalism in the workplace impacts his or her promotion opportunities. As well as 96% of HR respondents reported that an individual’s professionalism affects the prospect of being hired.
Whether you landed the job or not, a consistency of professional behavior is required in the workplace. Professionalism consists of many features, each requiring attention and practice. Below you will find a few, popular areas of professionalism that could always use a tune-up.
Do: Wear clothing specific to your company’s dress code or the office norm.
Don’t: Wear revealing, foul smelling, too formal, or too casual clothing.
Here are a few standards and tips to consider when dressing for a job or a job interview:
- Dress for the position you want
- For Women:
- Skirts and dresses should stop just above, if not below the knee.
- Shirts and blouses should cover your chest
- For Men:
- Suits and button down shirts should be ironed
- Pants should be worn with a belt
- Shoes should be closed-toe
- Jewelry should be moderate and non-distracting.
If you are absolutely unsure of what the company’s dress codes consists of, talk to your boss or coworkers.
Do: Own up to your mistakes and work diligently to resolve any conflicts.
Don’t: Blame others for mistakes or expect anyone to clean up your mess.
At the office, you are responsible (and will be held responsible) for your own work. If it is your job to assess certain aspects of your clientele, don’t rely on what your coworkers tell you. Double check all of your work yourself.
Do: Arrive 10-15 minutes before a meeting or when you must clock-in.
Don’t: Come to work late.
When you arrive to work or meetings late, coworkers and managers may believe you don’t care about your job. Prioritize your time in the mornings and on your breaks. If you know traffic is usually jammed when you are on your way to work, try leaving a few minutes earlier (just in case).
Do: Be a reliable source for your coworkers.
Don’t: Rely on anyone else to do your job.
In most office environments, teamwork makes the dreamwork. Consider being a reliable resource for your coworkers, but do not take advantage of your coworkers nor allow any coworkers to take advantage of you.
Preserve Your Composure
Do: Respect all clientele, coworkers, and managers.
Don’t: Disrespect anyone in your workplace, even if he or she is treating you impolitely.
Dealing with conflict in the workplace can be uncomfortable and difficult. Never stoop down to the same level of a disrespectful individual, and never allow yourself to be a disrespectful individual. In cases of conflict, contact a manager or human resources manager.
Keep it Clean
Do: Maintain your workspace.
Don’t: Leave food, trash, or unfiled papers on your desk for long periods of time.
Being professional means minding the presentation of yourself and your desk. Not only is keeping your desk clean important for maintaining a professional rapport, staying organized can also be less distracting.
While not every facet of professionalism is outlined above, the six areas listed are a great place to start increasing your professionalism. Remember, professionalism can be the defining factor of being promoted or getting a job.
- February 19, 2018
If you find yourself constantly fighting to remain focused on the task at hand, you may be struggling with productivity.
Losing your momentum can set you back tremendously, which is why staying productive is necessary to conquer your to-do list. Luckily for you, there are numerous tips and tricks that can refuel your draining motivation.
If you’re having difficulty staying motivated, the first thing you need to do is determine whether your distraction or lack of motivation is due to an internal or external factor.
Find your center.
If the distraction is internal, consider meditating or refocusing your attention on the task at hand. Becoming conscious of the moment is a powerful tool that settles disturbances within you. Remember, if the disruption is a much larger, internal conflict, reach out to your superior and let him or her know that you are going through a difficult time. Assure that you are undergoing the proper treatment for whatever issues you may be facing.
If the negative influence is external, identify what changes you can make to better accommodate yourself. Do you need a quiet work zone with zero distractions? Or do you work best in the midst of the hustle and bustle?
If you need a less distracting work environment, consider using earbuds or noise canceling headphones. Make sure there is an inaudible notification on your work phone that can alert you when it is ringing (for example: a blinking light or vibration). Don’t forget to check that the volume of your earbuds isn’t distracting anyone around you.
If music doesn’t constitute as too distracting for you, try plugging into a lyric-free or nature inspired playlist during your typical work cycle. According to studies conducted by the University of Birmingham, England, music is proven to increase productivity in repetitive work environments.
Set Goals and Schedule.
Another simple approach to becoming and staying productive is the simple act of prioritizing your to-do list, setting goals, and scheduling. Outline your workload for the day and stick to a task until it’s complete. When you reach a goal or complete a task from start to finish, reward yourself with a small break.
If your task will take longer than an hour or two, consider a 50/10 minute schedule. Spend 50 minutes of uninterrupted time working. Once your 50 minutes is up, spend 10 minutes to yourself. Drink water, respond to phone calls or text messages, grab a snack, run to the restroom, or practice a few short and quick stretches to refresh your body.
After your 10-minute break, restart your 50-minute timer and restart the process. This process provides a sense of structure and self-discipline that is necessary for productivity.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Productivity isn’t a destination. Being and remaining productive requires constant attention and practice. Remember that ultimate productivity is a practice, and if you want to have a consistent productivity measure, you must consistently practice.
Feel free to incorporate the tools listed above into your work routine, while also mixing and matching them together.
Do you have any tips or tricks that you use when you’re feeling particularly unproductive? What do you do? Let us know.