Gift of Feedback Workshop Recap

Workshop Category: Others

Workshop Student Development Outcomes: Resilience

Workshop Facilitators:  Corey Bonnema, Office for Human Resources

This workshop was designed to address:

  • What feedback is and the difference between informal and formal feedback
  • Why routinely giving timely and accurate informal feedback has a strong positive impact on performance
  • How the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) Feedback Tool can be used to deliver clear, specific informal feedback

Feedback is an important tool to use in order to reinforce good behavior, correct poor behavior and initiate dialogue that is geared towards finding the cure for a problem and not just a temporary bandage/medication. Feedback is not just needed in formal settings like a place of employment, but rather it is used in all aspects of life. Every situation has some type of feedback that can be offered and it is important to offer that feedback as often as you can so that people know where they stand.

When it comes to feedback, the sooner you can render it in an effective yet direct manner, the better. If you wait until the situation has gotten out of hand, the feedback you are giving is much less effective and is often coming from a place of anger rather than rational thought. For the most effective feedback; use as many details as possible and don’t attach the situation/behavior to the person. In other words, don’t name call or use statements like “You always” or “You never.” Those are exaggerations and negate the point that you are trying to make by putting the other person on the defensive.

As a student employee, if you are not receiving feedback, then it is important to seek out feedback that is honest and genuine. Don’t look for feedback that fuels your confirmation bias, but ask for what you are doing well in addition to what you need to work on. When you ask your supervisor for feedback and they see that you are serious about improving on the job, they will begin to see you in a different light and will trust you with more responsibilities.

Lastly, remember that feedback can also be positive. If you someone does something that you liked or they do a great job at a particular task, tell them. You will be surprised what a small complement does for the psyche in order to create positive repeated behavior.

For more information go to: http://www.myevt.com/news/retrain-your-brain-learn-amygdala-hijack

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Find your Motivation; Regain your Strength

Find your Motivation; regain your strength

Blog writer: Danielle Korby, Sophomore Journalism major, College of Liberal Arts

February SDO: Resilience

We live in a society where we are surrounded by people and by messages that encourage us to stay strong. People are constantly telling us to “never give up” or to “keep on keeping on,” and while these anecdotes can be inspiring and even helpful at times, they are far easier said than done. In a time of our lives where many of us are pursuing new opportunities and trying to figure out just who we really are, it can be so easy to throw in the towel when we find ourselves at a dead end.

We all know that it’s important to stay strong, but just how do we do this? I think the he best response when we are told this is to ask, “Why?” Why is it important to us that we persist in the face of disappointment, loss and mistakes, which are inevitable for nearly all of us in some way or another? And for each of us, the answer to this question can – and should – be different.

In order to fully recover from hardship, whether from the loss of a relationship, a job, a loved one, or even just a bad grade in a class, we must find a specific reason or reasons why we want to overcome these obstacles to find some peace of mind. Without the motivation to move forward, it is difficult to be resilient.

My high school Cross Country running coach always used to tell my teammates and me to get rid of all of the “junk” in our minds. We would lie down on the gym floor with our eyes closed on the days before our big races while he talked about clearing our minds of any negative thoughts and focusing only on specific motivators or happy thoughts. I was always amazed with how I felt afterwards; it never mattered what had happened during that day, because I would have new energy and new purpose after clearing my mind.

In a similar way, by learning to clear our minds of sad, troubling or harmful thoughts to the best of our abilities and instead focusing on specific motivating factors, it can be easier to be find the strength within us to be resilient.

For example, after being turned down for multiple job or internship offers, we may become discouraged and begin to question our capabilities or our worth. We may start to ask whether we are pursuing the right career or we might even lose the motivation to apply for more jobs for the fear of being turned down again. In this case, we might ask ourselves why we decided to pursue the jobs we applied for in the first place or why we even want a job or an internship.

The simple answer to these questions might just be that we need the money, but there might be other motivating factors as to why we wanted to pursue a specific kind of career or how we set our minds on a particular “dream job.” Maybe a teacher told you that you had strong negotiation skills, which is why you decided pursue a career in business, or maybe a young engineer came into your class when you were young and you were inspired by the kind of work that they described. By reminding yourself of why you wanted to pursue these careers in the first place, you can find the will to continue pursuing them, despite the roadblocks you have faced.

Resilience is not something that comes easily to many of us, and it might even be one of the most difficult parts about being a college student or a young employee. However, by using motivation-driven thinking, it will be much easier to overcome the challenges in your life and to display resilience in the face of any hardships you might be facing.

Featured image

Photo source: http://www.thinkholisticactpersonal.com/en/?category_name=resilience

Intercultural Communications Workshop Recap

Intercultural Communication

February 13th from 1:00-2:30

Facilitators: Alexander Cleberg and Thorunn Bjarnadottir

This past Friday, for the first time ever SELP held a Intercultural Communications workshop that was facilitated be the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. The workshop was full of group activities, along with story sharing about different cultural experiences. Students learned to be aware of the difficult task that is communication for individuals whose first language is not English. Below you can find a brief summary of the workshop, along with some next steps for students and supervisors!

QUICK WORKSHOP OVERVIEW
•    Developed empathy through reflection on experience filling out a difficult form and practicing a new language
•    Understood how work practices such as forms privileges particular cultures
•    Practiced giving clear instructions
•    Practiced listening for clarity
•    Practice asking close ended clarifying questions

NEXT STEPS: STUDENTS
•    Be mindful of your expectation of those with a different level of language skill
•    Practice giving clear instructions in 3 steps
•    Practice active listening and asking close ended questions

NEXT STEPS: SUPERVISORS
•    Ask students to identify their most common instructions that are misunderstood by  international students
•    Ask students to share how they will understand international students differently

February 6th: Resume Workshop Recap

Workshop Category: Professional Practice

Workshop Student Development Outcomes: Goal Setting

Workshop Facilitators: Katie Ness & Erica Tealey, CLA Career Services

Click Here to view the PowerPoint Presentation from this workshop!

The resume (and cover letter) are the tools necessary in one’s search for a job or internship.  These two documents represent you “on paper.”

The idea is IF these documents are good enough, they will advance you to the next stage of the process – typically, the interview phase.

When you are assembling these documents, ask yourself…

  • What do I have to offer (in terms of education, skills, and experience) that would distinguish me from the competition, and be a good match for their company?
  • Use key words found in the vacancy announcement, job posting, or from their website.
  • Descriptive action verbs  are essential in highlighting skills to a potential employer.
  • Is the resume formatted consistently, and is it easy to read and understand?  (If your resume doesn’t look good, it doesn’t matter how well qualified you are.  Employers won’t read it.)

Employers tend to evaluate candidates based on RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE.  Knowing that means

  1. Internships are critical.  Do more than one if possible.
  2. Part-time and summer jobs are viewed as favorable too.
  3. For some jobs, research experience is just as good (maybe even better) than paid work.

Another thing to recognize is how highly regarded LEADERSHIP SKILLS are to an employer.

Therefore, I always emphasize the 3 E’s on a resume.

1. Education

  • Don’t forget to include your expected graduation date,
  • Your degree (BA or BS) and major/minor
  • Your GPA (many employers pre-screen based on GPA)

2. Experience

  • Separate out relevant (and “other”) work experience
  • Internships might deserve their own section on your resume

3. Extra-curricular activities that highlight leadership. Here are a few examples…

  • Welcome Week Leader
  • Ambassador
  • Campus Tour Guide
  • Officer in a club or organization
  • Community Involvement, etc.

Another thing to note:  more employers are viewing social media sites to view applicants.  What is your presence on social media?  Is there anything there that you would be embarrassed about?  I would encourage you to establish yourself on LinkedIn.  The 3 E’s can be highlighted there as well, along with recommendations and endorsements, and a professional head shot and summary section.

How Can I Rock My Next Interview?

How can I rock my next interview?

Written by: Katy Hinz, Program Coordinator

From a company standpoint, an initial interview should answer four basic questions:

  • Is the candidate ABLE to do the job effectively?
  • Is the candidate WILLING to put forth the effort required to be successful in the position?
  • Is the candidate MANAGABLE?
  • Is the candidate a good FIT for the organization?

Following these tips for what to do before, during, and after your interview will help to make sure an employer answers YES to these four basic questions.

Featured image

Image source: pixgood.com

Before the interview

Research yourself:

  • Know what skills, strengths, and experiences you have that make you stand out. You are in luck because your student job has helped you to develop many transferrable skills you can apply in your chosen profession. In fact, many of the top skills employers seek you already have! Use this list to help you determine what those skills are that you feel the most confident in.
  • Know your resume inside and out: be able to expand on what is on your resume.
  • Find out the basic information about the company (services, products, and mission). You can find this information through their Website, their Linkedin Page, a Google News Search, and by talking to people at the organization. Get more tips and tools for researching companies here.

Practice Interviewing:

  • The more you prepare the less nervous you will be! You can practice interviewing through a free resource offered at the U of M called InterviewStream or by setting up a practice interview with your career center.
  • Practice responses to interview questions. Click here to learn strategies for how to answer different types of interview questions. One of the best ways to prepare is to think about experiences (clubs, jobs, courses, volunteer work) that demonstrate the skills the employer is seeking and then practice talking about them out loud. Use the job description as your guide, for example, if they are seeking someone with great communication skills then make sure you have an example that demonstrates your communication skills. Use the STAR (Situation/Task, Action, Result) method to format your responses, learn more about this technique here.
  • Have several questions prepared for the interviewer. Some examples are,
    • What do you enjoy most about working here?
    • I saw XYZ on your website, can you tell me more about…..
    • What are the characteristics of someone that is successful in this role?
    • Get a full list of questions here.

Logistics:

  • Print copies of your resume & bring with you.
  • Map out the location of the interview and plan for how you will get to your interview on time (10-15 min. early).
  • Plan out a professional outfit,  get ideas here and here of what to wear.

During the Interview

  • First impressions are important, be sure to engage the interviewer right away by smiling, making eye contact, and showing an interest in them, the position, and the organization.
  • The interviewer will ask you a series of questions, depending on the interviewer’s style this could be very conversational or it could be a Q&A. Follow the lead of the interviewer.
  • You will be given the opportunity to ask questions, be sure to prepare these questions in advance, use these suggested questions as a guide!
  • At the end of the interview often the interviewer will discuss the next stage of the process, if they don’t give you a timeline, ask! Be sure to end on a courteous note and thank the interviewer for the opportunity.

After the Interview

  • Reflect on what went well in the interview and what you want to improve on.
  • Reflect on what your overall impression is of the organization and the position.
  • Within 48 hours send a Thank you note! Email is an acceptable method, especially if you know they are making a quick decision. Be sure to mention something that will remind them of you and your particular interview, be as specific as possible.
  • Be sure to follow up with the organization if you are still interested in the position. If they said they would contact you by a certain date and you haven’t heard from them, be sure to contact them!

 

How to Deal with a Bad Performance Review?

SELP Help

How to Deal with a Bad Performance Review?

Author: Catherine Cantieri, SELP Training Coordinator

Dealing with positive performance reviews is always an easy task. But what do you do if the review involves more constructive criticism than you had hoped? Feedback (positive or negative) from your supervisor can be very helpful when developing your skills and knowledge within your job position. However, this doesn’t always make it easier to deal with criticism.  If you ever find yourself having to deal with criticism from your supervisor, here a few tips that will make the process a little smoother, and help you focus on the chance this criticism gives you to develop your skills.

  • Make sure you understand your supervisors concerns. It is important that you completely understand why your review was poor because then you will be able to address your supervisor’s concerns properly.
  • Ask for clarification on points or issues you do not understand. However, try not to use this as an opportunity to argue the points your supervisor is making. Keep your mind in the future, rather than starting a debate about situations of the past. Ask for clarification on your supervisor’s points so that you know how to accurately address them in the future.
  • If this bad performance review was a complete surprise to you, make sure to ask your supervisor for performance reviews more frequently. This will help you to be able to address performance problems quickly after they have occurred.
  • Come out of the meeting with clear expectations from your supervisor. Ask your supervisor to clearly state his or her expectations so that you know what is needed from you.
  • Develop a plan for your future next steps. After you’ve done so it may be best to ask your supervisor look them over so that you know you both are on the same page.
  • Keep an open mind. Think of the opportunity to get feedback as a chance to grow your knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Thank your supervisor for the feedback. Believe it or not, they are only trying to help you succeed. Thanking your supervisor for their constructive criticism shows him or her that you understand where they are coming from, and plan to make a change.
  • Remember that nobody’s perfect. Everyone is prone to make at least one or two mistakes. Don’t let this negative review define your outlook of your entire job performance. Take this feedback as an opportunity to better your performance in the future, rather than to dwell on the past.

Resume Workshop – Last Workshop in Fall 2014!

Workshop Category: Professional Practice

Workshop Student Development Outcomes: Goal Setting

Workshop Facilitators: Katie Ness & Erica Tealey, CLA Career Services

Click Here to view the PowerPoint Presentation from this workshop!

The resume (and cover letter) are the tools necessary in one’s search for a job or internship.  These two documents represent you “on paper.”

The idea is IF these documents are good enough, they will advance you to the next stage of the process – typically, the interview phase.

When you are assembling these documents, ask yourself…

  • What do I have to offer (in terms of education, skills, and experience) that would distinguish me from the competition, and be a good match for their company?
  • Use key words found in the vacancy announcement, job posting, or from their website.
  • Descriptive action verbs  are essential in highlighting skills to a potential employer.
  • Is the resume formatted consistently, and is it easy to read and understand?  (If your resume doesn’t look good, it doesn’t matter how well qualified you are.  Employers won’t read it.)

Employers tend to evaluate candidates based on RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE.  Knowing that means

  1. Internships are critical.  Do more than one if possible.
  2. Part-time and summer jobs are viewed as favorable too.
  3. For some jobs, research experience is just as good (maybe even better) than paid work.

Another thing to recognize is how highly regarded LEADERSHIP SKILLS are to an employer.

Therefore, I always emphasize the 3 E’s on a resume.

1. Education

  • Don’t forget to include your expected graduation date,
  • Your degree (BA or BS) and major/minor
  • Your GPA (many employers pre-screen based on GPA)

2. Experience

  • Separate out relevant (and “other”) work experience
  • Internships might deserve their own section on your resume

3. Extra-curricular activities that highlight leadership. Here are a few examples…

  • Welcome Week Leader
  • Ambassador
  • Campus Tour Guide
  • Officer in a club or organization
  • Community Involvement, etc.

Another thing to note:  more employers are viewing social media sites to view applicants.  What is your presence on social media?  Is there anything there that you would be embarrassed about?  I would encourage you to establish yourself on LinkedIn.  The 3 E’s can be highlighted there as well, along with recommendations and endorsements, and a professional head shot and summary section.