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Professional Buzz

Professional Buzz

Professional Buzz is a blog warehousing 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. The blog is written and curated by Associate Dean of the Graduate College, Anne Converse Willkomm – drawing on her academic and professional experience to provide insight into the latest professional trends, challenges and skills needed to thrive in today’s everchanging workplace.

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Encouraging Daily Creative Thinking, Innovation & Resourcefulness in the Workplace

Encouraging creativity in the workplace is vital for bringing new ideas to an evolving organization. Learn how the CEO of the Delaware River Port Authority does it.

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How to succeed as a team of one

Are you the only person in your whole department? Learn tips and tricks on how to be a successful team of one.

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Square with a lime green block at the top containing the words "Soft Skills" and below this are 6 black and white illustrations of arrows pointing to stops and then re-routing, a stop watch, a man speaking at a podium, a silhouette of a man's head with a puzzle piece pulled out, another head with the top lifted off exposing the brain, and a set of hands holding a head, and a pair of hands shaking - all to convey soft skills

How Employers Assess Soft Skills in Job Interviews—And Why They're so Important

It should be no surprise employers are looking for soft skills in their new hires. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 80% of the more than 5,000 talent professionals surveyed, 80% say soft skills are increasingly important to company success. They specifically identified: creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management as the soft skills in highest demand. To be even more specific, 92% of the talent professionals stated soft skills are more important than hard skills, and 89% stated bad hires are usually a matter of poor soft skills.

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Pencil illustrations of 6 "business-like" people: 4 women and 2 men all looking straight on as if looking at you.

3 Reasons to Have a Personal Board of Directors

I recently attended a Women’s Faculty meeting in which the topic was mentorship. In the discussion, the idea of our personal board of directors was raised. I had not thought about the people in my life: the cheer leaders, those who hold me accountable, those who push me, those who are experiencing the same struggles, or those who can connect me to people as members of my board, but that’s what they are. While the role of a corporate or nonprofit board is the management of the organization, personal boards are meant to help guide and shape the individual in their own management of their careers and personal lives.

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silhouette of a leader facing their team. The team members are clapping and raising their arms in agreement.

The Secret to Building a Cohesive Team

Whether on the basketball court or in an office, building a team is not done haphazardly. It is a thoughtful and methodical process. One that has long-lasting consequences. The old proverb, “you are only as strong as your weakest link” is especially true when it comes to building a team. At Goodwin, I am part of a dynamic, engaging, and productive team, where I feel supported and valued, so I thought I would ask Assistant Dean, Tim Gilrain, who is responsible for building this team, to share his secrets.

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4 Tips for Helping Employees with Autism Succeed

Employers are being faced with the increasing prevalence of a new conundrum: how to approach and assist employees who may (or may not) have autism. Guest blogger, Amy D. Edwards, EdD provides 4 Tips for helping employees with autism succeed in the workplace.

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Woman with a long thick braid of dark hair, wearing a light blue, long-sleeved button-down shirt, with her fists in the air looking very angry

3 Nonverbal Cues You Should Master

Nonverbal communication is as important as the words you speak. It can convey disinterest, excitement, nervousness, and fear, among other emotions such as joy, sadness, or even arrogance. Sometimes our nonverbal communication is spot on, while other times it does not accurately convey our feelings or emotions.

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Image of a man in a suit holding a card. On the card in red bold font is written the word, "Accountability"

3 Ways to Create a Culture of Accountability

Level, status, seniority, etc. do not matter. Accountability should be woven through the fabric of every position, in every department. It cannot happen in a bubble, it must start at the top, it must be fostered and cultivated, and it must never be punitive.

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Grey background with the decorative wheel to the left and the words: Mentoring Part II: 5 Benefits of Mentoring on the right in a peach colored font.

Mentoring Part II: 5 Benefits to Mentoring

I might go as far as to argue that if you are not gaining something in return, then you aren’t putting enough effort into the mentor/mentee relationship. Sure, the bulk of the benefits should be for the mentee. However, I have had those mentor/mentee relationships where I feel I have been the one gaining the most benefits. That would extend to my mentoring of the Mandela Washington Fellows. Of course, part of that results from the cultural exchange.

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clear white board with the word in bold red, "Mentoring" and a hand on the left side that has presumably written the word with a marker.

Mentoring: Part I

Mentoring at its core is a symbiotic relationship. It is one where both people, the mentor and the mentee gain something of inherent value. In this two-part series, I will unpack the value of mentoring from each angle – that of the mentor and of the mentee. Let’s begin by looking at the value for the mentee.

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Image of a man's face - he is wearing glasses and superimposed across his face are lines of question marks.

Six Steps to Help You Think Critically

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Navy blue background with the words "I'm sorry" in the middle

The Importance of Saying I Am Sorry

Brené Brown, in her book Dare to Lead, argues, “While some leaders consider apologizing to be a sign of weakness, we teach it as a skill and frame the willingness to apologize and make amends as brave leadership.” She also talks a lot in this book about vulnerability and there is no doubt that stepping up, in front of a colleague you just insulted or yelled at, immediately makes you vulnerable, but it also is a bridge to honesty and accountability. And without those two elements, there can never be trust.

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