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5 Ways In Which Students Can Benefit From Personality Development Classes

No matter what you do now or what you achieve in the future – one this is for certain. Your success is a result of more than just your educational qualifications or hard work. A lot of it will be based on how you interact with people and how you are perceived by your peers and seniors. This is generally known as your personality.

There is no specific definition for personality, and it is loosely defined as the set of characteristics a person possesses – this includes how you think, how you feel, your belief systems and your behaviour patterns.

Personality development is the process of bringing about positive change or improvement in a person’s personality through training.

Personality development classes for students ensures that they get the benefits of this life-changing experience early in life. Understanding yourself and your strengths, weaknesses, and core motivations right at the start of your career will help you achieve your life goals more quickly and easily.

Let us move on to the specific benefits the training brings, especially to students –

1. Understand yourself better

First and foremost, a personality development course will make you understand the real you! It starts with a self-awareness module and through a variety of exercises encourages students to get in touch with their inner selves. Only when they understand their strengths and weaknesses; motivations and core beliefs can they approach problems with a realistic frame of mind.

2. Communicate with clarity and confidence

Effective communication is the foundation of almost all professional as well as personal activities – and it forms a key part of personality development courses. Students not only learn traditional communication skills such as expressing themselves well in person or in writing but will also learn vital tips and tricks to manage public speaking situations and learn how to understand and control their own body language.

3. Project a confident and enthusiastic demeanour

A personality development course also focuses on teaching students how to process information quickly and completely, draw logical conclusions, and think strategically. All of this helps them face complex situations with confidence. They face new challenges with enthusiasm and confidence, knowing they have the skills to handle all types of situations.  

4. Learn how to keep yourself motivated and become self-reliant

A personality development course teaches students to understand what drives them and interests them. They can use this information to self motivate and focused on their goals. Good personality development instructors also help students to use their abilities smartly – instead of waiting to be told what to do, they learn how to take charge and complete tasks without help or supervision.

5. Learn to focus on and process new information

With so much new information to grasp and apply, students gain a valuable new skill from personality development classes – they learn how to focus to make learning faster and more efficient. Not only is this invaluable for studying, but this skill also translates really well to work environments where processing information quickly and analysing it correctly can give you a huge advantage over your peers.

Nothing beats the feeling of being well-prepared, especially if you are entering uncharted territories. A personality development course offers just that – it gives students on the verge of new educational and career adventures, a strong foundation of life skills they can rely on to excel – not just for the next few years but for the next few decades.

Do you want to turbo-charge your college experience or career with the life-changing benefits mentioned above? Request a consultation by clicking the button above.

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Articles | Insight

5 Things You Must Do Before A Job Interview

Congratulations!  Your CV has finally struck gold. With an interview call letter in your pocket, you have successfully cleared Step 1. But remember this is just a foot in the door; to enter it on your own terms you need to crack the interview.

We presume that if your resume got selected, then you already have all the qualifications down pat – so we won’t go down that road. However, we must mention that work experience and educational qualifications are just one part – albeit an important one – of a much larger process of selection.

You have to assume that everyone invited for the interview would have similar qualifications and with all things being equal hiring managers select the person they LIKE – someone they like as a person and someone they like for the job profile.

So, your job is to convince them that you are not only the right fit work wise but also for the company culture.

Here are some things you must do before your interview

Invest in your appearance

You know what they say about first impressions. Right? Well, when you walk into the interview room your appearance will create an impression whether you want it or not - so it’s best to make sure it’s a good one.

Invest time and money in curating a good look for your big day. Your clothes should be professional and smart while showing a hint of your personality. It’s easy to go for boring business attire, but if you can add a dash of something interesting, then you might stand out. The hiring manager will be interviewing several candidates, and your red socks or cool tie might make you more memorable. But this is a tight rope to tread - as you want to be interesting but not weird. If you are confident, you can pull it off then go for it or else play safe.

Tip: Make sure you lay out your entire outfit including shoes and accessories the night before.

Clean up your social media feeds

Ideally, you should do this before you even start applying for jobs. Almost every recruiter checks out LinkedIn feeds of their prospective employees. Some even go as far as to stalk you on other social media forums. Make sure you stay professional on LinkedIn and Twitter and keep your other social media feeds private.

Tip: Spend some time sprucing up your LinkedIn profile and add a nice picture. If you are not confident about writing well, then it is a good investment to take tips from a professional career coach or a trusted mentor.

Research the company and the job profile

No one likes an unprepared candidate; it just shows how disinterested he/she is! Research the organisation you are applying for and especially consider the job profile you are interested in.

Some questions to consider are - How can you align your existing qualifications and experience with your job profile? What different do you bring to the table? What are the gaps and how can you convince the manager to overlook these?

Tip: If you have time, then reach out to people with similar job profiles in your network and get some inside information that can make you look well-prepared during the interview.

Prepare stock answers and some questions

There are some standard questions that you can be sure you will be asked so why not prepare the answers in advance! While you are at it, it is also a great idea to prepare some questions for the hiring manager. It helps to show that you have considered the job profile well and that you are someone proactive who is interested in knowing more details.

Tip: What are your strengths and weaknesses? – is the one stock question almost everyone faces! Have a ready and authentic answer to this one!

Practice!

Finally, practice! If you can do a mock interview with a friend or a colleague, then that’s great! If not then your bathroom mirror will suffice. In fact, do both! Not only will you get to practice your stock answers but you will also get to improve your body language and other nonverbal cues.

Tip: Practice several times to perfect your posture, smile, and tone. You can even use your phone to record a practice interview session!

No one can predict what happens in an interview. Some go well and some not so much. However, it’s great to enter a room feeling prepared – it relaxes you and helps you deal with the situation knowing that you have covered all the basics.

Preparing for an interview doesn’t have to be a DIY job. If you feel you need help, just click on the Request Consultation button above.

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Articles | Self-awareness

7 Changes You Can Make To Develop A Positive And Confident Personality

We all know people who are brilliant but always seem to struggle at work. When it comes to educational qualification or subject matter knowledge, they excel almost effortlessly, but when it comes to taking up managerial or leadership roles they falter.

The truth is that your educational qualifications will only take you up to a certain level. Beyond that, you will need an arsenal of social and interpersonal skills to succeed. Basically, you need an engaging, confident and open personality!

What defines a personality? The American Psychological Association defines it as “Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.”

Over the last few decades, accurate measures have been developed to help us understand and analyse our personality traits and to change or improve them.

Here are some quick tips that you can start implementing from today to change the way you think and act.

1. Start becoming more social

Humans are not wired to live in isolation; it doesn’t matter if you are an extrovert or an introvert – we all need company. Personality is all about interpersonal skills and meeting and engaging with diverse groups of people will improve the entire spectrum of your social skills. So next time some acquaintances invite you to drop in don’t just blow it off – say yes and fix a date.

2. Dress better

How you look has a lot to do with how you feel. It is the physical manifestation of your inner feelings. Which is why when we feel sad or depressed we tend to stay in our pyjamas all day! Start paying more attention to what you wear and how you take care of your body. When you put in the time to look good, you signal to yourself that you value yourself.

3. Practice optimism

No one likes a wet blanket! Stop being a naysayer and start looking for positive options when confronted with a problem. It is not possible to become optimistic overnight but making the effort to always look on the bright side will eventually change ingrained mindsets.

4. Take care of yourself

Self-care is all about taking care of your body, soul, and mind. It’s not just about staying healthy; you also have to make sure that you keep yourself happy and satisfied by taking out time to do things that you enjoy. When we neglect taking care of ourselves holistically, it shows in many ways - sometimes physically and sometimes in our interactions.

5. Practice communication skills like listening

Good communication skills are the foundation of all interpersonal relationships. While for many it seems that being able to communicate means articulating your thoughts clearly, in reality, communication is far more complex. To bring positive changes to your personality you need to communicate well, and the first step to that is active listening -this means that you are actually paying attention to what is being said to you and understanding it well.

Listening to someone and responding appropriately shows them that you care, that you are paying attention.

6. Improve your body language

A large part of our communication happens through non-verbal means. It’s important that you become conscious of what your body language is projecting to others. A closed and hunched body posture indicates timidity or anxiety. Adopt a more expansive body language so that you project, and also feel more confident. When we are feeling powerful, we tend to expand and take up more space. Do the same when you are feeling a little nervous and see how much better you feel.

7. Be happy, be positive

Happiness and positivity rub off on people – no one wants to be around someone angry, sad or negative all the time! Choose to be happy, smile often, talk politely, stay calm and try to see the bright side of every situation. When you consistently choose to turn your back on negative emotions, you will, with time, rewire your brain and behaviour pattern to stay on a positive path.

We often hear - I am who I am; I was born this way, or I am naturally shy. Of course, your nature, experiences, upbringing, and circumstances have made you the person you are today. But there is no reason you have to stay like that. Personality traits CAN be changed.

What we shared above are some things you can change slowly in your life, but if you need more help or a more structured approach then undertaking a personality development course is also a great way to bring about positive change.  

If you want a tried and tested personal development approach, then its best to get some professional help. With thousands of hours of coaching and training sessions under our belt, we know how to help you become more positive and confident. Click on the Request Consultation button above.

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Articles | Insight

How to Make a Resume that will Get You Noticed

I don’t know of a single person who gets up in the morning excited about making their resume! After all, it’s not an act that comes naturally, so we all tend to put it off till the last minute, and then most of us either end up rushing through it or worse send old, badly written versions.

This is terrible because a resume is the first thing the recruiter sees and without an impressive one you don’t even stand a chance to be considered for the job! So tie yourself to your chair, follow our tips and fix your resume once and for all – believe us, it will be worth it! 

First off let’s clarify one point – What is the goal of a resume?

A resume has just one goal – to get the recruiter to speak with you! It is an advertisement for YOU. Its job is to sell YOUR capabilities to the recruiter.

Format is Vital

You might wonder why we would start with something as mundane as formatting, but the fact is that most hiring managers just look at a CV for a few seconds (surveys say it’s less than 10 secs!). If your resume is nicely formatted, they will catch the main points quickly and are more likely to shortlist you.

So, you need to start with a bang which basically means that the main accomplishments or major skills should come right at the beginning.

You can choose from 3 main types of formats:

Reverse – Chronological – This is the most popular and is best if you have a linear and largely unbroken career progression.

Functional – This focuses more on your skills and is more useful if you want to shift career industry or profile or have large gaps in your employment history.

Combination – This uses a bit of both the other formats – it starts off by focusing on your main skills/qualifications but then also gives your work experience in a chronological format.

No matter what format you choose – your name and contact details come at the top and the name should be large and placed prominently.

Career Objectives / Summary

It's not surprising that most hiring managers never go beyond the career summary, but what’s unfortunately really surprising is that most summaries are badly written and very dense. This is not a place to ask for what you want or to talk about your future aspirations or to fill up with important sounding jargon – it’s a short space that should advertise your experience in the best possible manner! It’s a tool to show recruiters the value you bring to their organisation.

A career objective/ summary/ profile should have just 3 main things – who you are, your accomplishments and your skills.

Work Experience

This is the meat of your resume. But here again, formatting plays a role. Remember managers are still scanning the document quickly – from reading your career summary, they have a sense of who you are, but now they want to quickly see where you have worked and how your career has progressed.

So, here you need to highlight the name of the company (add a one-line description of the company here as sometimes – unless it’s a very well known brand - recruiters might not be familiar with the organisation and what it does), your position and the duration of your time there.

Your specific responsibilities and highlights of your job come under that. When something catches their eye, they might go back and read in more detail, but your main goal should be to present your career progression clearly.

Education

Similar to your work experience, this should also be in the reverse chronological order, with your college degrees coming on top and school at the bottom. List the name of the institution, its location, your degree or what you studied and the date of graduation.

Other Achievements 

This is a great place to showcase your personality or other skills/interests that might not fit into work sections such as volunteer activities, mentorship programmes, etc. I would recommend that you avoid simply stating your hobbies such as singing, reading or music and only include them if you have a specific achievement in the area – for example if you have completed your bachelor’s degree in dance or you play the violin as part of an orchestra.

Now some short tips

  • Always choose a readable font
  • Try to keep your resume limited to one page
  • Edit and proofread thoroughly
  • Try to add some lines between sections to break up the different information
  • Always send your resume with a cover letter
  • Many organisations use automated systems to shortlist resumes so you must tailor your resume to the job profile. Pick a few keywords from the job profile or the job advert and include them intelligently in your resume.

At the end of the day, you have to step into the shoes of the hiring manager – they can’t see you or interact with you. All they have is a piece of paper, and your aim is to design a CV that makes them feel positive when they read it.  

Searching for a job and preparing for interviews can be stressful – especially If you are just starting your career. Why not get some professional help? Click on the Request Consultation button above.

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Articles | Insight

Top 4 Key Aspects for Building A Personal Brand

Key Takeaways of a Workshop on Personal Branding for Women by Soaring Eagles

We recently conducted an immersive workshop with a select group of women executives on the topic of Personal Branding for Women. The workshop was led by our CEO, Sonali Sinha.

Women, across companies and industries, thrashing through intense personal and professional issues resulted in a very productive 4-hour session! We discussed some unique challenges women professionals face and how they can overcome some of these through cultivating and projecting a strong personal brand.

Here are some snippets of what transpired in the workshop 

After a fun icebreaker, Sonali introduced the concept of Personal Branding and the myths about it. Unlike what most people misunderstand it for in terms of external appearance and how one speaks and carries herself, Sonali clarified that real personal branding starts from inside. She highlighted the fact that as one moves up the corporate ladder, it becomes more and more important to be visible and be seen as a capable leader.

“Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you.” – David McNally and Karl Speak, authors of ‘Be Your Own Brand’

For all professionals – and most especially for women – it is critical to start projecting themselves in a specific, well thought out manner. As careers advance beyond middle management, the challenges of the work are compounded by the cutthroat competition to advance up the ladder. This is when your personal brand could be the differentiator that keeps you moving up.

4 Key Aspects For Building A Personal Brand

The workshop covered the 4 main aspects of building a personal brand – self-concept, communication style, visibility and networking.

#1. Self-Concept

Self-concept is our knowledge about ourselves, including our beliefs about our personality traits, physical characteristics, abilities, values, goals, and roles. As we grow up our self-concept becomes more abstract and complex.

Our self-concept very strongly affects the way that we process information relating to ourselves. The participants went through an assessment and came to understand their own self-concepts and how it is impacting their behaviour and choices. This whole exercise actually set the mood for the workshop and made the participants think deeply about themselves.

The discussion then turned to self-talk and core beliefs. Our core beliefs are the very essence of how we see ourselves, how we see others, the world and the future. These are rules that we take as a given. They colour our way of thinking in any given situation. If we believe that the world is not fair, we will look for signs that confirm this belief and we will question everyone’s agendas and actions. Similarly, if we believe that we are not smart (because we have been constantly told so), then we will not even try to make an effort to do better.

The discussion on the core beliefs gave immense insights to participants when they shared how being a perfectionist is taking a toll on them. Delegating work to others is hindered by their own ‘Must’ and ‘Should.’ One of the participants also shared her experience of when she was micromanaging a family picnic to the point that after the outing she was totally exhausted.

The participants also realised how their core beliefs were shaped during their childhood and how important it is as a parent to be careful about what messages we give our children all the time. Someone who is constantly held up to a higher standard of performance may actually develop a belief that they are not good enough in any situation. This can be debilitating, especially in the work environment.

The discussion then veered to the fact that a lot of women do not aspire for leadership roles as their belief is that a leader needs to authoritative and aggressive and that they do not want to be that kind of a person. Sonali highlighted that the traits of successful leaders in the current age are very different from this age-old image of a dominating and aggressive leader. She urged the women to take on leadership roles as they have the capability to thrive in such roles.

#2. Communication Style

Our communication style also plays a huge role in how people perceive us. This point was driven through roles plays. Given our socialisation, women tend to be more passive or passive-aggressive. Sonali underlined the need to be assertive, especially in the work environment and while dealing with demanding and aggressive colleagues.

Women tend to feel embarrassed to say NO in many situations because of their conditioning. This self-effacing behaviour is especially obvious when personal issues crop up. They frequently feel – and are told so by colleagues and bosses – that the right to prioritise a personal life is not something career women have. This makes them feel very guilty and pressurised.

Participants were asked to reflect and identify which areas in their lives they needed to be more assertive in. They then discussed their rights and correlated them with the situations in which they need to be more assertive. Participants share that this is one area where they really need to improve as not being assertive can take a big toll on their health and personal life.

#3. Visibility

Sonali highlighted that to get ahead in the workplace, you have to be seen. Being visible at work allows employees to demonstrate their skills, land prominent assignments, and build strategic relationships. 

Studies have shown that women’s contributions are systematically overlooked at work, especially if they are not visible and assertive. This limits their professional advancement and explains why the senior levels of organizations remain overwhelmingly male-dominated. Yet when women try to make themselves more visible, they tend to face backlash for violating expectations about how women should behave. This fear of backlash leads women to believe that if they try to be more visible they may even risk losing their hard-won career gains.

Many women shared how they struggle in their own organisation; they routinely deal with comments on their leaving on time, not being available late at night or for extra projects. They constantly tried to fit in and keep their heads down so as to fit in better and not create a stir. In fact, many even distanced themselves from other women who were perceived as aggressive!

Sonali shared the concept of Intentional Invisibility – how women tend to intentionally become invisible. This was something that almost all participants could relate to their behaviour. Women leaders also realised the important role they can play in support other women in the organisation by giving them the opportunity to speak up and share their ideas and in general be more supportive.

Sonali outlined several ways in which the women leaders can improve their visibility at work without feeling like there are being too aggressive or a show-off.

#4. Networking

Networking touched off a debate where women opened up about the challenges they face on the ground trying to create work relationships. Many felt that networking was either unnecessary or sometimes sleazy (this was an important issue in a male-dominated workplace). They also felt that the whole process of networking is inauthentic in some way. It tends to also make demands on their personal time and hence women tend to avoid networking.

Sonali introduced the core concept of networking and clarified the myths the participants had about networking. She showed them how they can do networking without feeling inauthentic and pushy. She also shared how anyone can become a great conversationalist and leverage that ability to get better at networking.

The participants understood that lack of networking was keeping them stuck in their current roles. They needed to build relationships outside their department and organisations to establish themselves as thought leaders and get more opportunities to work on exciting projects.

The whole workshop was intense and made the participants realise how their own thoughts and beliefs may be holding them back. Generational conditioning is a big part of this internal roadblock which promotes a workaholic, aggressive image of a leader that most women can’t seem to align with. Now, of course, the millennial workforce requires a softer touch and organisations are rapidly reassessing the role of a leader – AND women with their heightened emotional intelligence and social skills are perfectly placed to approach leadership roles, which makes this a great time to be women at work!

The participants also realised that the power is within them to make a name and space for themselves and also help other women in their journey. All of them went away greatly motivated to start implementing the learnings of the workshop, and we wish them all the very best!

If you would like to know more about building your personal brand or if your organisation would like to encourage women leaders to grow, then do get in touch.

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Articles | Leadership

The One Thing Women Need to Break Glass Ceilings at Work – A Personal Brand

For a woman to be successful at work, she needs the right combination of luck, grit, and intelligence to make it to the top.

You need to be born in a family that provided good educational opportunities, you have to battle numerous social and familial expectations and objections to continue working, you must excel at your work AND manage male-dominated office politics – and all this is just enough to get you to middle management.

The last decade has seen so much corporate commitment to diversity; more and more women are being given a chance to climb higher. But still so many great women leaders just never make it to the top!

Why?

One of the reasons is that they don’t have the social skills to play in the big boy’s club. It’s no secret that beyond a certain level, promotions don’t happen based on CVs. Rapport, networking, and reputation play a pivotal role in opening exciting new doors.

Personal Branding Is The Way Ahead

So much has been discussed about building a personal brand, that I doubt there is anyone in the corporate world who doesn’t understand and acknowledge its importance.

But what does it entail exactly? And why do women need it to break the glass ceiling?

Simply put, marketing yourself and your career as a brand is personal branding. It’s promoting yourself and establishing a certain reputation for yourself.

But building a brand is a delicate and long process. Unlike big organisations, you can’t just hire a PR agency to do it for you. While there are professionals who can help you acquire the right skills to take on your self-branding exercise, the actual work has to be done by you yourself.

Let’s look at some essentials you need to keep in mind.

1. Craft your elevator pitch

When you think of a well-known brand, there is always a tagline attached to it. You have to find yours. Well, it doesn’t have to be a tagline, rather a story that you want people around you to associate with you. This is the essence of who you are, and you need to put careful thought into coming up with the right perspective.

We recommend you write down a short paragraph about who you are and how you would like to be introduced. This should not be more than 100 words and must include your professional experiences and personal ideology.

2. Evolve your own style

In this context, style doesn’t just refer to what you wear and your appearance. Here we are talking about an overall impression you would want to create which interacting with people.

For example, do you want to come across as thoughtful and academic or are you more comfortable with displaying an aggressive leadership style? Your appearance and how you conduct yourself is a huge part of how you communicate with others around you, however going against your true nature won’t really work in the long run as you might come across as inauthentic.

We recommend you aim for cultivating a style that comes naturally; after all, you cannot pretend to be something you are not for the next couple of decades. 

3. Network diligently

You need to start making connections and communicating with people both inside and outside your organisation. You should also spread yourself to other areas, don’t just meet and cultivate new relationship within your specific department but also explore meeting new people through your hobbies or at non-work events. The idea is to become a part of large communities that can help you in times of need and also promote you and your brand.

Speaking at conferences and participating in events are two great ways to network effectively.

4. Leverage Social media smartly

Social media has now become a huge part of our personal and professional lives. For working women trying to establish their personal brand platforms such as LinkedIn provide an excellent opportunity to showcase their talents to exactly the right type of people. Here you can control your narrative and gently push the right messaging through your posts and writings.

Apart from posting on the platform, conducting webinars, online workshops and collaborations with other leaders in your industry are some ways to grow your social credentials.

Finally,

Many of us feel that self-promotion is a bit fake, some of us are just too shy, and some just don’t know where to start. But, the reality is that you might be great at work and be extremely talented but if no one except your boss and colleagues knows this, then you will always be limited to that circle.

To really break into the big league, you need to create a reputation and the right perception. So that when management is discussing promotions, your name shines through.

If you are one the many who don’t know how to start building your personal brand, then we strongly recommend you give us a call. We are happy to help!

Request for a free consultation by clicking the button above.