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Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

My new favorite quote

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

This is my new favorite quote. I strongly believe this statement and couldn’t have said it better myself. I honestly believe that so many things can be solved with simple, open, honest communication. I strive for honesty and communication in my personal and professional life on a daily basis. For me, there is no other way.

Anyone agree or disagree? Share your own favorite quotes in the comments!

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In an interview awhile back I was asked about my major and minor and why I picked them. More specifically, the interviewer wanted to know how I felt my psychology minor related to my communication major. Thinking about the this question made me realize just what a great match it truly was.

For the sake of full disclosure, I have a psychology minor because I was originally a psych major. I took a year’s worth of classes before deciding I didn’t want to be a psychologist. I made psych my minor because I didn’t want those hours to go to waste. I never really gave any thought to how much those classes could benefit me in my future profession.

Different personalities communicate in different ways. My favorite class at Auburn was Interpersonal Communication. This class could best be described as a marriage between my previous psychology classes and my comm classes. We learned about communication dynamics in professional and personal relationships. The lesson about communicating between different Myers-Briggs personality types still sticks out in my head. You can learn more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator here.

I am an INFJ– Introverted iNtuition Feeling Judging

The aspect that everyone is familiar with is probably the first letter – introverts and extroverts. Communication between these two types could not be more different. Introverts are quiet and think (a lot) before they speak. In an argument they prefer to take a step back and hash out their thoughts, figuring out what exactly they want to say before they actually say it. Extroverts are viewed as more ‘social butterflies’ and often say the first thing that comes to mind. In an argument they prefer to spit it all out and verbally sift through the problems. Put an introvert and extrovert in an argument together and the introvert gets flustered and silent while the extrovert does all the talking and become frustrated by the introvert’s silence, often misinterpreting it. See the communication differences?

These differences must be recognized by companies in regards to their professional communication. Any team will be comprised of many different personality types. It’s important to make sure the individuals understand their communication differences. It’s also important to make sure that company communications are fitting to these different types. If you are an extroverted communicator presenting to a group of introverts, your message may not come across the way you planned.

Communication between different personality types has to be a top priority of internal communicators. The most important aspect of communication is the audience that you are sending your message to. If you don’t take your audience into account, even the most thought-out, well planned communications will fall short.

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We already know that I love (and have a passion for) communication. It should come as no surprise that I want to talk about it a little more…

After working for a couple of companies, both large and small, I have realized just how vital internal communication is. I think that often companies don’t focus on it enough. The focus is usually on outside clients, customers and media. Companies aim their attention at keeping their customers and the public happy, but what about employees? Open conversations between managers, HR and employees lead to happier and more productive team members. Happy employees are the best advertising! I am more likely to do business with a company whose employees seem to enjoy their jobs and believe in the company they work for. Employee morale has a strong impact on business. Communication seems like such a simple thing and maybe that is why it is often overlooked.

Ask someone who is employed about problems that they have dealt with at their job, or listen to a random complaint from them. Often times, the problem is linked to a lack of communication. Maybe their benefits were messed up, they didn’t know about a policy change or their boss failed to mention something major that affected them. It’s all communication. Employees just want to be in the know… is that so much to ask?

Now, I’m not so naive to think that everyone can always know everything. Sometimes there are sensitive matters that can’t be discussed throughout the company. However, if something directly impacts an employee, I think it’s their right to be aware of it and have an opportunity to offer feedback.  

Communication is invaluable and shouldn’t be ignored or tossed aside. Lately I have read many articles about communication departments having to defend themselves. Showing the ROI of communication can be difficult and many companies are cutting corners. I hope that companies, large and small, realize the benefits of strong internal and external communication.

What are your thoughts on communication?

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One of the benefits of unemployment (yes, I admit, there are some perks!) has been the time to think, reflect and realize. When you take a step back from your job (or you’re pushed back from it) you can focus more on your field in a broader sense.

During college I changed majors several times. I couldn’t quite find my niche and didn’t feel passionate about my classes. Honestly, I was on the verge of my senior year and my dad kept reminding me that I had four years – and only four years– to graduate. I had been pre-physical therapy but realized I hated math and science. I remained undeclared for about a year and focused on general pre-req classes. I ventured into psychology and enjoyed it, but couldn’t see a career emerging from it. Then I somehow arrived at the department of Communication and Journalism. I started in public relations, taking classes in marketing, communication, PR and journalism. I realized that I loved to write and edit. I was fascinated by my communication classes. I switched my major to comm. after realizing that the communication classes were the ones I really enjoyed (and because I could graduate on time in Comm but not PR… just being honest!)  I left Auburn with an interest in everything I had studied but little direction. Majoring in communication isn’t like majoring in accounting or nursing… you don’t graduate with a job title, you have an entire list of avenues you can choose.

I now realize just how great my time at Auburn was. I enjoyed learning how to speak in front of an audience comfortably and how to work successfully in small groups. Interpersonal communication was my favorite course at Auburn by far. I loved learning how to deal with different types of people and the difference of communication style between men and women or introverts and extroverts (both have really helped in my marriage as well as my professional life!) Over two years later I can actually say that I am passionate about communication. I have realized how broad communication is and everything that it entails and I love it all.

I can wholeheartedly say that communication, in its broadest sense, is my passion. Have you found yours?

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I made the mistake to apply to basically anything and everything when I first graduated from college. I didn’t know that it was a much better idea to tailor your job search. If the position was at a company in my chosen location, I would apply without paying much attention to the qualifications. I realize now that I was HR’s worst nightmare. As an end result, I had an unsuccessful job search and wound up remaining at the company that I worked at part time through college.

Now I know better. I don’t apply to anything and everything. I have tailored my job search. My applications, resumes and cover letters reflect that. Still, sometimes there are jobs that I’m not quite sure about.

I know that I need to have the bare minimum qualifications but I read an blog from Keppie Careers that got me thinking. This blog post claims that sometimes you should consider jobs beyond your qualifications.

When “desired qualifications” include experiences you do not have, it can still be worth applying. As long as you can make a direct connection between what they want and what you offer, I advise going for it!

I’ve had to deal with this before. I read a job description, get excited as everything sounds fitting and then get slammed with something like 8 years of experience or advanced graphic design knowledge. It’s disheartening, especially when I feel that I could truly do this job! Should I ignore the basic requirements and apply anyway? Will my application even make it to a person?

A job opened up at a company that I would LOVE to work for. It involved social media, marketing and communication. I got excited reading the job description… and then I found out it’s a management position. They want someone with management experience. Darn.

Then I start to wonder… just because I don’t have management experience doesn’t mean I wouldn’t make a great manager. One of my career goals is to become a manager, but am I ready for that now? I decided to ask for feedback from you guys. What makes a good leader or a good manager? How much experience do you think someone should have before becoming a manager? Do you need to be an expert first then a manager?

Please, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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I love social media. Chances are, since you are here, you probably love social media too. However, there is certainly a downside to social media and social networking that cannot be ignored.

Yesterday, there was a story on television about Twitter (so what else is new right?). Someone tweeted that Patrick Swayze had died. If you know anything about Swayze’s recent health struggles with cancer, you realize this story was believeable and sad, but it was untrue! Reportedly the story began on a radio station, was picked up by a German television station, was tweeted and spread like wildfire. This makes Twitter sound like a dysfunctional game of Telephone.

roethlisbergerAlong the same lines, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback (my sports boyfriend 😉 Go Steelers!) Ben Roethlisberger, had to clear up the rumor that he is fighting skin cancer. Someone posted a status update on Facebook under Roethlisberger’s name stating that he had been diagnosed with skin cancer. Although there are accounts under his name on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, none actually belong to the quarterback.

“There’s no truth to it. I don’t have any of that stuff,” the Steelers quarterback proclaimed Wednesday.

(Read the rest of the article here even though they spelled his last name wrong until the middle of the article. )

 

What do these stories mean to social media and social networking? Do they hurt the credibility of bloggers or companies on Twitter? Is Twitter anything more than a high tech version of Telephone? Should we believe anythingthat we read? Undoubtedly, we have to remember that many blogs, Facebook accounts and Tweets belong to regular people. They aren’t journalists who are required to research (then again, the article I posted spelled a name wrong!). For some reason people will pose as celebrities and tell lies, or people will report it wrong (did you know the AP Wire posted a story last night with the wrong winner of American Idol?!). To err is human and mistakes are to be expected.

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adviceSo far on my blog I have offered a little advice and stated my opinion. Now I am asking for something back.

 I have no idea how many people (if any) read this blog. I’m hoping at least one or two and I’m hoping these readers (yeah, that would be you!) come out of hiding and contribute. Maybe asking for comments is against proper blog etiquette (though somehow I doubt Miss Manners has rules for blogging) but I’m taking a chance and potentially rebelling against the status quo (and pretending that the status quo song from High School Musical didn’t just pop into my head.)

But I digress…

I would like some job hunting advice. I know the basics, I’ve done the basics (you know, all that stuff I talked about here) and I’m still hunting. I’m hoping to find some insight, something that I’ve missed or just hadn’t thought of.

As we already know, I’m on all the social networking sites. I have profiles on CareerBuilder, Monster, and get daily emails from Simply Hired. I check the local big companies (Aflac, TSYS, Auburn University, etc) several times a week. I have written and re-written my resume more times than I can count. I have a VisualCV, a blog, and a Twitter account.

Maybe it’s just the economy or maybe it’s just the areas I’m looking in (Columbus, GA and Auburn, AL). Maybe I should blog more or connect with more people on Twitter, or contribute more to those social networking sites I’m a part of. What do you think? Other than the same ol’ stay positive, keep on trying, be confident advice, what can you tell me?

I don’t want to sound desperate here because I’m not. Sure, it’s been nearly 6 weeks since I was laid off and yes, I was job hunting even before then. However, I’m still not feeling desperate or depressed or pessimistic. I simply want to be sure that I am doing everything. You see, when you are unemployed and finding a job is your full time job, you need to do it right! I just want to see what else I could be doing.

So what do you think? More in-person networking? (I’m thinking this would be good… but where? In a small town area, where can I go? What should I look for?) More followups with potential employers? (I always worry I’ll bug the crap out of people who are already busy enough) More blogging and Twitter and social media and social networking and patience? Please advise.

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