Soft Skills Workshop WMU BTN Sept 2009


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Presented to Western Michigan University business students and community guests on September 16, 2009. Part of the Business Technology Network (BTN) professional development series. By Matt Mace of BlueGranite and Gary Mescher of BDO Seidman.

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Soft Skills Workshop WMU BTN Sept 2009

  1. 1. Soft Skills Workshop<br />WMU Business Technology Network (BTN)<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Overview and Welcome<br />Essential soft skills that you will need as a business professional <br />How soft skills can help prepare you to land a job and jump start your career<br />Specific Skills<br />Professional Networking<br />Negotiating<br />Business Meeting Skills<br />People Skills<br />
  3. 3. Overview and Welcome<br />Section 1<br />
  4. 4. Speakers: Who We Are<br />Gary Mescher Business Development Manager for BDO Seidman, LLP, a national accounting firm, with Michigan offices in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Detroit. He speaks frequently on the topic of effective networking to classes at Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. Gary is a graduate of Michigan State University. He is past president of the MSU Alumni Club of West Michigan and served as chair of the College of Communication Arts & Sciences alumni board and chair of the MSU Alumni Association National Alumni Board.<br />Matthew MacePresident/CEO for BlueGranite, Inc., a national IT consulting firm, with Michigan offices in Kalamazoo and Detroit, and regional offices in Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, and Washington. Matthew was selected as one of the Top 40 Business Leaders Under 40 for West Michigan, and was a Western Michigan University Alumni Spotlight recipient. He is a Computer Information Systems graduate of Western Michigan University and completed his MBA at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.<br />
  5. 5. Overview: Why We’re Here<br />Studies by Harvard and Stanford Research show that technical skills and knowledge contribute to only 15 percent of one&apos;s success while soft skills make up the remaining 85 percent. <br />
  6. 6. Professional Networking<br />Section 2<br />
  7. 7. Ten Tips to Grow Your Professional Network<br /> 1. Build it before you need it (volunteer)2. Don’t Be a Networking Jerk3. Don’t Keep Score4. Create Instant Intimacy5. Be Audacious6. Develop Conversational Currency7. Learn to Listen8. Master Nonverbal Cues9. Get to Know the Gatekeeper10. Create a Personal Advisory Board<br />
  8. 8.
  9. 9. Social Networking<br />LinkedIn<br />Facebook<br />Blogs<br />Twitter<br />WMU Alumni<br />
  10. 10.
  11. 11. Negotiating<br />Section 3<br />
  12. 12. Your First Job Offer: Negotiate for Happiness <br />Everything in your Offer Letter is Negotiable<br />base salary, various kinds of bonuses, healthcare & retirement benefits, stock options, reimbursed expenses and other incentives that add to job satisfaction and provide financial security<br />Take into account more than just financial considerations can also lead to that elusive condition called happiness<br />Job role and responsibilities <br />Personal, sick days, and vacation<br />Training and education (time and tuition)<br />Expected travel time (overnights)<br />
  13. 13. Top 10 Tips for Negotiations<br />Know your “walk away” alternative options (BATNA)<br />Do not disclose the details of your options<br />Seek to understand the other party’s BATNA<br />Make the first offer<br />Offer high (or low) but make it reasonable and provide evidence<br />Control your emotions<br />Seek to understand the other party’s interests vs. position<br />Create options that satisfy the other party’s interests<br />Analyze concessions<br />Listen more than you talk<br />
  14. 14. Position vs. Interests<br />
  15. 15. Preparing for the Initial Offer<br />Their walk-away<br />Their desired offer<br />Your walk-away<br />(BATNA)<br />Your desired outcome<br />Your initial offer<br />
  16. 16. Business Meetings<br />Section 4<br />
  17. 17. Business Meeting Tips<br />Know what to wear!<br />Have your tools ready<br />Bring a note pad and pen<br />Bring a business card (and copy of resume if interviewing)<br />Take careful notes<br />Do your research <br />Know who you’re meeting with, create a bond<br />Know what the company/organization does<br />Listen attentively<br />Follow-up with hand written note (better than email)<br />
  18. 18. Giving Great Presentations<br />Be interesting and enthusiastic about your material<br />Know your material - practice, practice, practice<br />Know your audience, and what might interest them<br />Face the audience, and look them in the eye<br />Don’t read your slides<br />
  19. 19. People Skills<br />Section 5<br />
  20. 20. Collaboration and Teamwork<br />Collaboration is<br />bringing together knowledge, experience and skills of multiple team members<br />to contribute to the development of a new product <br />more effectively than individual team members<br />Collaboration requires effective teamwork<br />Trust and respect among team members<br />Open communication <br />Willingness to accept input from others<br />Employers want to hire employees who will be effective team members who collaborate with other stakeholders<br />
  21. 21. Ultimate Soft Skills: Emotional Intelligence<br />
  22. 22. Emotional Intelligence at Work<br />EQ accounts for 60% of performance in all job types<br />Single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace <br />Strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence<br />90% of high performers are high in EQ<br />You CAN increase your EQ – it is flexible and is able to change with practice!<br />