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August 22, 2014

Working Under Pressure Part II: Stress Management

Last week the focus was on techniques for creating a rhythm when dealing with our #7 Top Transferable Skill Working Under Pressure.  

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

This week we will talk about the stress that results from working under pressure.

Hazards of Improper Stress Management
Did you know that studies show when you are under stress your body releases cortisol which kills brain cells?

Your memory is one of the areas that is most effected...no wonder it is hard to think under tight pressure!  

To add to that, this damage increases your vulnerability to future stressors and you become susceptible to more ailments such as headaches, stroke, obesity, gastrointestinal issues, asthma and sometimes, premature death.

Those were the hard core issues.

Common problems that you may face while  managing stress improperly are:

  •         Irritation
  •        Fatigue
  •      Lack of Concentration
  •          Forgetfulness
  •          Loss of sleep
  •          Withdrawal and depression
Your goal in order to function under pressure and reduce the physical and psychological effects of stress is to develop and have handy your stress busting tool box.

6 Proactive Ways to Manage Stress

The following techniques are geared to help you managing stress and deliver expected results:

1. Talk to Someone.  Know ahead of time who are your primary and alternate people who can and will help calm you down.

2. Start a Stress Journal. Take note of your stress triggers, the way you cope with the resulting stress, and how you felt.  Reviewing your notes will reveal any patterns that you can improve  on or change.

3. Notice if any Muscle is Tense. Just noticing will relax that muscle.

4. Know if Sound, Smell, Touch, or Taste Calms you Nerves.  Smell and touch works for me personally.  I keep soothing scents in hand lotions and roll on perfume as well as textured stress balls handy for quick relief. A brisk walk and hug from a friend always helps me if I still need to take stress down another notch.

5. Cut Down Caffeine and Sweets.  So we all know that stress eating = weight gain, you want to avoid huge amounts of the sweet stuff...However, a trick such as keeping a few pieces of hard candy or chewing gum helps with the desire to chow down in stressful times.

6. Do Things That Make You Feel Good. If you are able to take a break from what is stressing you, have a list of small, quick tasks that boost your ego and get you refocused.

Working under pressure is a huge challenge an can bring significant changes in your personal and professional life.  Try to stay calm, focus on the issue, and learn what are your natural stress relieving tendencies so that you can use that as a resource for stress management.

Have any other handy stress relieving tips you would like to share?  
Leave them in the comments below!
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August 15, 2014

Working Under Pressure Part I: Traits of Effective Leaders

Do you "choke", while others stay cool and calm under pressure

You are on your toes to hit the deadline. Eyes of top management and colleagues are fixed on you. Your body tenses. You stammer. You fall apart.

Working Under Pressure

It's enough to tense anybody... and sometimes, a small deal can make or break your career.

Which is why our Top Transferable Skill #7 is Working Under Pressure.

This is a regular work experience for most people that raises self-consciousness and anxiety about delivering 100% results. At this stage, attention to execution starts disrupting well-learned performances, and therefore, you make mistakes in small things that you have done well in the past.

Some people are naturally confident and hold equilibrium under pressure...and some do not! 

An Effective Management Skill 

We panic because we face an uncomfortable situation, and we do not know what to do to get rid of it. Learning how to work under pressure is a desirable management skill as it helps in staying at the top of your game even when you have actually practiced for worst.

Look Around, you will find people who are performing better when under pressure than in normal situation.  learn how to develop leadership skills. What makes them deliver expected results under unfavorable condition, when no one can even think of performing.

The answer is because they have certain traits that help them work well under pressure. 

Here are 4  Traits of Leaders Who Work Effectively While Under Pressure on the Job:
  1. Maintain Control: The first step in learning how to perform under pressure is to maintain control. Many people get emotional in such situation as it inhibits your ability to deal with a problem. You need to learn to set your emotions aside and turn them into the energy required to deal with the situation.
  2. Evaluate the Problem: Before you just start working, you should first evaluate the issue. Make it sure that you know what is triggering your reaction and what is needed to deliver a solution. Ask the important questions who, what, when, where, why to get the root of the problem.
  3. The Basic Plan:  An effective management skill proactive people use to handle any crisis is to have a plan or processes of dealing with a crisis already in place. When a crisis put you under pressure, you should be able to outline every step, and know what you are supposed to do. 
  4. When There is  No Plan: It is not possible to  have a  plan to deal with stress every time a situation comes up. One thing you can do in times that catch you off guard is to create a simple to-do list for each step that needs to be done to perform under huge pressure.
 Working under pressure is a huge challenge, and can  bring significant changes in your personal and professional life. Try to stay calm, focus on the issue, and learn how to develop leadership skills to come up with a  solution.

Stress Management Techniques for a Drama Free Day!

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August 8, 2014

Developing Effective Leadership Skills with Integrative Negotiation

Our #6 Top Transferable Skill is Negotiation. Let's take a look at what Integrative Negotiation is and how can it help you.

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

Integrative negotiation is a skill every leader should posses to develop healthy professional relationships. 

What Is Integrative Negotiation?
Integrative negotiation is  known as ‘win-win’ negotiation.

Both parties undergo an agreement process to better integrate their aims and goals through creative and collaborative problem solving techniques.

Learning integrative negotiation skills can help everyone develop profitable professional relationships. 

 Negotiation and leadership go hand in hand, and therefore, learning to proactively negotiate for the conditions of your own success is a Very Big Deal

Integrative Negotiation Helps in Building Networks
A person with good negotiation skills can build stronger networks. As it is a win-win situation, both parties will be happy and that ultimately strengthen your professional relationships.

Since we all negotiate, and spend our days negotiating with others for benefits, it makes lot of sense to learn and develop remarkable negotiation skills.

Handling negotiation well largely depends on how we perceive it. Knowing your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement before negotiating helps to avoid failing to secure a positive outcome.

However, most people still consider negotiation  as a loss, and become very rigid, avoiding it at all costs.

So , what prevents people from negotiation?

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

There Are Four Main Factors That Close The Door For Negotiation:
  • Fear of the Unknown
  • Fear of Rejection
  • Fear of Losing
  • Fear of offending
All these fears will collapse if you determine to get a solution . 

Characteristics and Behaviors of Effective Negotiators
Here are some basic characteristic and behaviors of effective negotiators that can also help you improve:

Negotiation as process
Highly effective and successful negotiators view negotiation as a process.  You have to understand the dynamics that affect the process and behavior of people.

Focus on Win-win
The main aim of integrative negotiation is that both parties feel good about the outcome of the negotiating process.  try to solve problems  while looking for more opportunities to share as much value as possible. 

Keep patience
Many negotiators look for a quick fix to close the deal, which is not beneficial. Successful negotiators recognize that patience is a virtue, and understand that rushing the process often leads to an undesirable result.  major mistakes are made when we try to build an agreement too quickly.

Successful negotiators are confident when they enter a negotiation.  Behaving rude or arrogant is a No-Go! Strive to make other party comfortable and create a light atmosphere. 

Develop a high belief in your ability to reach a win-win outcome.

Great Listening Skills
Listening is the most crucial of skills that can make or break your negotiation process. Develop a habit of listening to others to understand what is on their mind. 

Integrative negotiation requires time, effort and the right perspective to end up with a win-win situation. 

But you can do it!

Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and learn the science of integrative negotiation!
Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

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August 1, 2014

Evernote and Dragon Speak Organized My Life!

Our Top Transferable Skill #5 is Organization.  If you have trouble with making plans that are efficient and coordinating resources at work and at home.


I don't know about you, but I am one of those “Type A” personalities who need to see my tasks and plans written out.

My Organization Journey
Being the mother of an “Active” four-year-old, military spouse, (I'm usually taking care of my household and family sólo while hubby is serving our country), entrepreneur, and full-time Doctoral student; I wear a lot of hats and have to wear them well to keep things flowing smoothly.

I Tried Sticky Notes
I still use them for less complicated tasks.  Overall I ended up with a never ending sticky wall.

I Tried Notebooks.
You know keeping track of my many passwords in notebooks… However, when you go through as many notebooks as I do for school, any open page becomes a commodity and keeping compositions for class separate from daily tasks and ideas did not work for long. And there's the whole “I’ve got an idea!!!!” at a moment when no sticky notes or notepad is available.

These things became very frustrating; especially for someone whose mind is going all day long.

So I Started Searching For Solutions
While taking a look at the apps I already had on my phone, I stumbled upon my old Evernote app. I never learned how to use it because I felt it would be too time-consuming to learn and couldn't possibly be better than my notebooks, sticky notes, calendars, and clipboards.

Boy was I wrong!

Browsing Free Apps
The combination of Evernote and Dragon speak apps have saved my busy life. These have also been key to staying organized and managing my time.

Dragon Speak For Homework
I use Dragon Speak to put my ideas into text for my school papers, discussions, responses, and even this blog post ;)

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

I am actually quite spoiled now. My certified typing speed is 57 words per minute, so I type fast, but dictating a 15 to 25 page paper is two times faster than I can type it.

Soooo much time saved.

Evernote is AWESOME!
With Evernote (I RecommendThis To Everyone!), I have notebooks for business, school, and mommy/wife life.

I use the web clipper on my laptop and desktop to snap screenshots or save articles, pins on Pinterest, and make diagrams. On my phone I use the app to snap document images, save pics, start my to-do-list, and I even use it to outline courses and webinars I developed for customer organizations.
Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

With my iPhone 5 I have a microphone feature similar to Dragon Speak and all I have to do is speak my notes into Evernote.

Using Evernote for Work
If you use Evernote at work you can make and shared notebooks.

Using Evernote In The Class Room
I love this article on how teachers are starting to use it  in the classroom. Brilliant!

If you need a little help learning all of the productivity savers and cool features of Evernote, I recommend the Evernote Essentials book. It's super easy to read and understand.  Here is a link to it.

Are you an Evernote and/or Dragon Speak user and want to share some additional advice to new users? Leave a comment below for others to read!

Share and Enjoy!
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