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Professional Studies Blog

The Goodwin College of Professional Studies Blog is a warehouse of relevant information, tips and tools for students and professionals looking for career development and advice. Topics range from leadership and management skills to interpersonal communication and innovation in the workplace. Our Department Head of Graduate Studies and faculty member, Anne Converse Willkomm, along with guest expert contributors provide weekly insights into the latest professional trends, challenges and skills needed to thrive.

A round circle with the image of two hands shaking (as in colleagues) surrounded by the word respect in different sizes with the color of the letters ranging from red, brown, to orange and gold.

How to Show Respect in the Workplace

I'm big on reflection because, when honest, we get a glimpse into ourselves and how we act, respond, engage, interact, etc. Thinking and reflecting on how you show respect, and disrespect, to your colleagues can be a valuable exercise. Think about your close colleagues, but also think about those colleagues with whom you only occasionally interact with, as well as above and below you on the corporate ladder.

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3 Reasons to Avoid Meetings

How many meetings do you attend in a given week? You might be surprised, or not, to learn the average person spends five hours and three minutes per week in meetings and another four hours and 15 minutes preparing for those meetings. This translates to 11 million meetings every day in the United States. Now, some of these meetings are likely useful and productive, but not all of them. In fact, $37 billion is wasted on unnecessary meetings every year. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX said, “Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time.”

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Social Skills are Essential Skills

Social skills are soft skills, which are also known as essential skills or human skills. They are important and necessary to make you the most effective co-worker, colleague, and leader possible. They are skills that can be learned and mastered, but it starts with you and your commitment to grow and develop over time.

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Black print - arrow hitting a barrier, moves around to hit another, and then goes in a different direction - meant to depict how one adapts to challenges, change, etc.

4 Ways to Boost Your Adaptability Skills

Charles Darwin’s words still very much ring true, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Adaptability is one of the top “human skills” otherwise known as soft or essential skills employers are seeking. Historically, little emphasis has been placed on these skills, but employers have realized that hard skills on their own are not enough. Employees need to be able to communicate, negotiate, interact with fellow colleagues, think critically and creatively, and they need to be able to adapt.

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Image of a woman with dark hair in a suite holding a pair of eye glasses with the white board to her right that states: "Be a leader, not a boss."

6 Ways to Become a Leader

Leadership roles are generally earned, which sometimes leaves young career professionals wondering how they can build leadership experience to earn such a role. It’s that old adage – if I’m required to have leadership experience for a leadership role, and I can’t get a leadership role without leadership experience, how do I get leadership experience? Well, there are six ways you can demonstrate leadership to earn a leadership role.

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3 Ways to Promote Your "Soft Skills"

Writing, problem-solving, adaptability, work ethic, time management, communication, leadership, are just a few of the many skills commonly referred to as “soft skills” and historically viewed as less important than more technical skills. These are now considered essential skills and last week, Marina D’souza – a Drexel BS in Environmental Engineering student ’20 and President of Drexel’s chapter of the Society of Civil Engineers asked me how to best promote these essential skills on LinkedIn or on one’s resume.

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Personal Reflections on the Mandela Washington Fellowship

Learn about the impact the Fellows had on the Drexel community and what they're up to today!

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The Power of Connection: 3 Ways to Build Relations

I don’t know anyone who has been able to succeed in their career without making and developing strong connections and relationships. Sure, we all know someone who has been promoted, maybe more than once, despite being terrible at relationship building. However, in the end, those folks usually don’t rise to the top, they don’t build a coalition of folks under and around them, they often reside on their personal island. It is the process of building connections and forging relationships that helps us succeed and grow in our careers.

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We can learn more from our failures than our successes

In developing a failure résumé, the intent is not simply to list the failures but to focus on what lessons you learned from those failures.

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6 Tips for Better Active Listening

Being an active listener is an important communication skill to master, especially in the workplace. Discover the benefits & unlock the power of listening. 

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Image of the Museum of African American History and Culture. It is brown stricture depicting 3 levels with a reflection of it in the water.

Stepping Out of Your Own Experience

We get stuck in our own worlds, doing little to step out of our experience and that has an impact on us both personally and professionally. By broadening our experience, we open ourselves up to new ideas, new people, new perspectives, which in turn provides a space for creativity and collaboration.

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Cartoon of a man with no face in a suit jacket and red tie juggling 6 colored balls.

Too Many Balls in the Air?

A leadership exercise I facilitated with the Mandela Washington Fellows teaches us to think about the number of balls we are continually juggling.

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