7 Emotional Intelligence Habits You Can Develop at Work

Emotional intelligence is a healthy state of mind that can reap benefits for you both in your personal and professional life. The basis of emotional intelligence is understanding and managing your own emotions, which in turn helps you understand and manage other people’s, including co-workers and colleagues.

Here are some EI habits you can develop at work as you interact with others.

1. Active listening.

Listening is a skill, and there are aspects of it that need to be learned and practiced just like technical job skills. Some active listening skills to learn may include waiting a few seconds before you respond to someone’s statement, repeating in your own words what the other person said before responding, and using “I” language when you communicate instead of saying “You make me feel _____.”

2. Getting comfortable with change.

Change is something that makes a lot of people uncomfortable, but you can train yourself to think about possible “silver linings” that often happen when things change, or ways that the change may make things better than they were before. Even reminding yourself that you have faced change before and survived may make it easier to deal with–and it’s inevitable, so you need to deal with it eventually.

3. Saying “no” tactfully.

People don’t like to hear no, so they will try to make you feel bad about saying it. But part of having healthy boundaries is being able to recognize when what you’re being asked to do doesn’t fit with your goals or fit into your available time for tasks. Try to remember that people get over hearing “no” and usually don’t hold a grudge for very long, and if they do, they might not be people you really want to like you anyway.

4. Reading a room.

Being able to tell when someone is in a bad mood or when a situation is tense can have many benefits in the workplace. When you can read a room, you know when it’s a good time to ask for something, and when it’s not. You also know what things are likely to stand in the way of getting what you want so you can remove those obstacles and better your chances.

5. Seeing others’ perspectives.

Being able to understand where another person is coming from can do much more than help you get what you want, it can also help you understand big-picture dynamics, which is helpful in many aspects of a job, including collaboration, leadership and advancement.

6. Empathy.

Empathy goes beyond seeing another’s perspective to feeling their feelings and being able to understand how they feel. Empathy in the workplace helps to prevent a lot of negativity, draws people to you, and just generally makes the workplace (and the world) a better place. Empathy has to be balanced with reason, but is a necessary part of emotional intelligence.

7. Altruism.

Emotional intelligence without altruism–the desire to do good for others without getting anything back–can turn you into a manipulative person who uses other people to get ahead. While no one can be completely and purely altruistic, having that as one of many traits in your personality will help you stay positive and think about others in addition to yourself.

CCSU offers continuing education courses for professional development in many different areas, including emotional intelligence.  View open courses to see all they have to offer.

Why Project Management Should Be Part of Your Professional Development

As your career continues to progress, professional development should play a role in your overall learning as a great way to invest in yourself and learn new skills. One of the best skills any employee–even those not yet in leadership–can learn is project management.

Whether you decide to become certified as a project manager or just take courses in project management, there is much you can learn that will improve your overall functioning at work and may lead to your being considered for advancement as your company has more advanced positions available.

How Project Management Training Benefits All Employees

The foundation of project management is in skills that are universally useful in the workplace. First, best practices in organization are taught, which if followed, can increase your productivity whether or not you are in a leadership position. Being organized helps you get more done because you aren’t wasting time trying to find information or materials you need.

Another thing you learn in project management courses is how to plan a project in an efficient and effective way. Whether or not you are in a project manager position in your job, you can use these planning skills to structure your work in the best possible way. If you are involved in a team, you can use these planning insights as you collaborate with the team, and may even distinguish yourself as a potential future project manager going forward.

Time management skills are also taught in project management courses, although all employees can benefit from improving their time management. In addition, project management courses help employees with problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills, which also have broad usage even outside project management.

How Project Management Training Leads to Advancement

Maybe you have advancement ambitions, or maybe you just want to see what happens as your job progresses. Either way, you may find yourself in a leadership position after taking project management courses–especially if you decide to pursue certification. PMP certification, which is the most popular project management certification, is regarded positively by employers, even if it isn’t required.

Certification demonstrates that you have mastered particular project management skills well enough to pass a rigorous exam, which helps employers have confidence that you will be able to handle projects effectively. Coursework carefully covers all relevant aspects of project management, rather than a piecemeal approach that might give you strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others.

Project management skills will also help you with future coursework, since you can apply the same skills to the projects you have to do in the courses. Whether or not you become a project manager, the organization, planning, and time management skills you learn in project management courses will benefit both you and your company. And should you apply for a promotion or a job that requires project management skills, having taken classes in it will help your resume stand out.

CCSU offers courses in project management that can lead to the PMP certification or just enrich your knowledge base and skills.  View our open courses to see all that we offer.


5 Tips for Protecting Your Children & Students on Social Media

Many children discover social media before they are old enough to realize all the ramifications of posting every detail of your life online. Without leadership from parents and other adults like teachers, children are left to make mistakes with social media that can have lasting consequences for years to come.

Here are some tips for protecting your children and students as they navigate social media.

1. Be friends with your kids and (if appropriate) students.

Teachers may not be allowed to connect with students through social media, or may not feel their posts are child-friendly enough to connect with students, but parents should require their children and teens to connect with them on social media as a way of keeping tabs on their activities.

Parents can also keep a list of passwords for their kids’ social media accounts so that they can monitor them at all times (and delete posts that they feel are inappropriate). Warn children ahead of time that you will be doing this.

2. Give concrete examples of what not to post, and why.

Anecdotes about social media snafus are likely to make kids think more about the possible negative consequences of their actions on social media than a list of dos and don’ts. TV shows aimed at kids and teens have dramatized this issue and may get them to think twice to avoid ending up in a similar situation.

Be specific about the possible consequences—kids have gotten kidnapped by getting emotionally involved with someone online that they have never met. They have been humiliated by intimate photos that are shared publicly. They have been relentlessly cyberbullied. Kids need to know this before they have the chance to get themselves in a similar situation.

3. Have children use computers in a public area, not in bedrooms.

Kids need to know that parents (and teachers, where applicable) could be checking up on them at any time, which will be a strong deterrent to keep their behavior above a certain standard.

4. Keep the lines of communication open.

Children should feel comfortable about talking to their parents and teachers about the difficult things in their lives, including problems that may come up because of their social media use. If you come across as expecting your kids not to make mistakes, they will be more likely to hide things from you. But if you can convey that everyone makes mistakes and you want to help them with the difficult situations rather than punish them, they will be more likely to see you as a resource that can help when things get tough.

5. Set time limits.

The more time kids have on social media, the more likely they will be to find ways to get into trouble there. Kids don’t need unlimited online time, and it’s really not healthy for them to have it, either.

To join the mailing list contact Christa Sterling at csterling@ccsu.edu

How Continuing Education Helps Companies Retain Talent

Retaining talented employees is an eternal struggle for employers. Recruiters are increasingly looking to woo top talent away from current employers, and top talent is continually looking for the next step up the ladder and keeping their options open for a better offer.

The atmosphere companies create for their employees has a lot to do with whether they will be able to retain them. Top talent looks for opportunities to learn more and improve their skills–they want to advance and will gladly leave if they get an offer somewhere they think is better or for a lot more money than what you’re paying.

Creating an atmosphere in which continuing education is valued and advanced within the company can go a long way toward retaining employees, making them feel like they have something to contribute and that they can move up to the next job level when the time is right.

What makes employees willing to leave your company and start over again somewhere else? They do so when the payoff for leaving is greater than the payoff for staying–so you have to increase the payoff for staying. Continuing education is one way to do so.

Investment in Employees

The main reason an emphasis on continuing education is so important to employees is that they see it as an investment in their lives in an ongoing way. When employers provide or fund continuing education training, employees know that their skills development is a top priority and they feel that employers care about them when training is provided.

Companies may think they don’t have the means to fund continuing education, but hiring new employees also costs money. Studies have shown that it costs between 20 and 200 percent of an employee’s salary to replace them when they leave. Even for low-level employees, this adds up to thousands of dollars. The average amount businesses spend on training employees is just over $1000 each year, so intentionally investing more could actually cost less if more employees are retained.

Better trained employees will also be more productive and do their jobs better, which will benefit the company’s bottom line and bring a further return on any training investment.

Continuing Education Options for Employee Training

Not all training is created equal. Online training programs have become widely available and can serve a purpose, but some of them can be unappealing and cause people to spend their time in other ways. Engaging, interactive and in-person courses are the best options for the type of training that will be seen as an investment in your employees and will advance their skills.

Central Connecticut State University offers many different continuing education courses that may benefit your company’s employees. Courses are affordable and engaging, with many leading to certifications that will prepare them for advancement within your company.  View all our open courses to see what we can offer your company’s employees.



Becoming A Leader Can Change Your Life 

Leadership has always been a key foundation for a successful career. It provides more than you’d think to have good communication skills. On all levels of your professional career, it’s important to stand out. Leadership isn’t just a professional skill it’s a skill that follows you within your relationships.  

Why is it important? 

            One of the top ways it can help you as a professional is communication and connection with co-workers and employees. A quote from entrepreneur.com is, “Managers who lead with empathy are more likely to develop high levels of trust with their employees, foster a culture of transparency and proactively ask questions to understand contexts better.” Having your employee’s trust, is a key foundation to any good business or organization. Trust is everything in relation to business. Trust from employees, coworkers and consumers makes for great production and sales. People are going to enjoy coming to work for you if you show you’re worthy to work for. 

            Another important reason leadership skills are so important is that it can encourage others. Ralph Nader has stated to Forbes, “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” Encouraging and empowering other can lead to a fun and productive workplace where people feel more inspired and involved. You want people who want to go to work because that makes hard workers and great production. 

            The following statement is from Jim Rohn, “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” Leadership takes balance. Once you have that balance you will be unstoppable. People want someone around them who can provide them with comfort and direction. In today’s world with great power becomes great responsibility. It takes years of practice and patience to become a good leader. 

How can it open opportunities?

            One of the top skills employers are looking for today is leadership. Indeed.com rates leadership as the 5th most important skill when applying to jobs. Employers want someone who bring out the best in those around them. Anyone can say they’re a leader, but all those words mean nothing if you can’t show it through your actions. The more experience you have the better. Experience can look like a job, trainings, certificates, or positions in an extra-curricular activity.  

            Even if you’re not planning of working for someone else leadership is so important in running a team. You want strong and loyal employees who truly love your company and are passionate about coming in every day. When they see you as a good leader, they will tell friends and family about you and your company which can translate to sales.   

How to get better at it?

            There are many ways to gain more leadership skills and experience. One of the best ways is to take an online course. Knowledge is powerful just like you. The overview of our course is “What is leadership and why is it important? How does a leader encourage change without triggering fearful resistance? What are the key elements to leading an effective team? What is the role of charisma in leadership? How can a leader achieve work-life balance? This suite of courses addresses all these questions and many more. The courses in this suite offer advice on leadership that can help you stand out as a leader among your peers. Video segments introduce successful leaders who discuss such issues as how leaders become leaders, leadership ethics, and the differences between leaders, managers, and administrators.” It offers many different lessons of resolving conflicts at work, empowering others, and having strong influence.