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Feedback – to change Negative Behaviour and to Reinforce Positive Behaviour. Appropriate behaviour is important because it reinforces the fit with the organisation, your team, your manager’s expectations and it will impact your performance. Poor or negative behaviour can lead to loss of productivity, poor morale in the team and even disciplinary action against you. When you are given feedback, the person providing feedback is trying to: Build competence – to help change negative behaviour or attitude Build confidence – positive reinforcement of behaviour, as an example If you are giving feedback, make your feedback constructive by Asking questions before making statements Offering a specific description of what you know or saw and how you feel, rather than a judgement – for example: “The way you behaved towards your new supplier led to complaints from your colleagues.” Concentrating on behaviours which can be changed When faced with disagreement: Respond in a non-reactive way – don’t try to convince, reason or give additional information Don’t be personal and remain objective – for example, “As you know, I feel differently about this issue…” If you are wrong in the interpretation of the facts, admit it. When receiving negative feedback: Respond rather than react. If it is information about past behaviour, use it to improve – for example, “I can see now why you felt I was getting at you. In future, I’ll….” Ask questions and neutrally request examples. Thank people regardless Tell people how it makes you feel – for example, concerned, willing to change and so on. Networking Skills. The best networking comes from genuine relationships, not a business card exchange. No matter whom you’re trying to build a relationship with, treating that person as a friend rather than a business contact will take you much further with the relationship. So, think about how you would approach a potential friend. Find something you have in common with, keep it light, make jokes, and above all, show that you are interested. Why will networking help you? Networking is great for sharing ideas and knowledge. Whether it’s asking for feedback or discussing your point of view, it will help you expand your knowledge and allow you to see things from another perspective. Naturally, networking will result in opportunities. The thing you will not know is when or how they will materialise. By regularly networking, and pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know, will help increase your confidence. Being visible and getting noticed is a big benefit of networking. By regularly attending business and social events, people will begin to recognise you. This can you help to build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person by offering useful information or tips to people who need it. Digital Skills in the Workplace. It’s expected that technology will become even more intuitive and ingrained in our daily life, and this leads to one important conclusion: the better equipped we are to handle this technological shift, the better our adjustment to it. If you can spend some time updating your skills in these areas, you’ll increase the chances of being able to work in a modern technologically-based work environment. Let’s look at some of the key digital needs: Using the Cloud: Knowing how to choose, use and benefit from a Cloud service can save you from many future problems in today’s digital age. Given that we create and use online content daily, from images to audio files to apps and personal details, backing it up all in the Cloud is a skill you should (already) have. Image Editing: free editing software programs generally have the features of more advanced software, so practising on freeware will allow you to know how to decently edit images should such a need ever arise. Microsoft Office: Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint are essential processing tools for virtually any profession. Creating presentations and spreadsheets are skills that many employees will assume you already have, so knowing your way around these applications will save you time and effort and allow you to come across as a competent professional, no matter the field. Google and other open-source office suites are becoming widely used in education and the corporate world, and being familiar with these tools can only further improve your overall digital literacy level. Web Knowledge: you might want to show a portfolio on a web page or via Tumblr, establish a professional LinkedIn account, and keep up a robust social media presence, predominantly on Twitter and Facebook. It's also important to learn how to hide or delete any content that might harm your reputation. Creating and Curating Content: From creating infographics or spreadsheets and editing or cutting videos, online content creation covers a wide range of applications, and its benefits are innumerable. But apart from simply creating online content (visual, audio, audiovisual), content curation is emerging as another essential digital literacy skill in the 21st century. The ability to collect, assess and create meaningful and worthwhile collections of various content formats is expected to become even more pronounced in the years to come. Digital Etiquette: Digital etiquette, sometimes referred to as “netiquette,” is the dos and don’ts of online communication. Employees need to learn how to maintain a smart social presence. This involves maximizing brand messaging without jeopardizing the company’s reputation. Search and Research: Knowledge of how to search the Internet and the vastness of digital archives is key to many business applications. Employees must be able to quickly and effectively search for relevant and accurate data and distinguish facts from fiction. Platform Flexibility: The ability to navigate across several devices and platforms (including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and wearable devices) is now a critically important skill. Failure to adapt can lead to lost time, compatibility issues, and the inability to leverage the tools available. Security and Privacy: Data and security breaches due to human error are ever-increasing in the digital realm. Employees must be well-trained in security and privacy awareness and know how to use their businesses’ specific safeguard practices. Apps: Many companies design in-house apps, so you’ll benefit from exploring Apps if you haven’t used them before. How to gain these Skills If employers offer training in company-based tools, that will be helpful as you’ll be trained to a high internal standard. Other options include: Using YouTube tutorials. Using other online training programmes. Researching and learning yourself through trial and error Finding an evening class or home tutor.