Category Archives: Leadership

What Students Really Need to Hear

09-15-2014-final-478293049-150x150These are not my words.  They are the words of another teacher, speaking for all teachers everywhere!  Please take 5 minutes to either read the article or watch the video by this inspiring and very dedicated teacher, Chase Mielke.

Click here to watch the Video:  What Students Really Need to Hear

or

Click here to read the Article:  What Students Really Need to Hear

When you are discouraged and feel like giving up on school, try to remember what you learned from reading or watching what this teacher had to say about his students.  _____________________________________________________________________________________
For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

 


Are You a Secret Weapon?

04-07-2014 Business Writing Skills 78771905Are you the secret weapon of a company and not even know it? Victoria Rabin has written a great article in Entrepreneur magazine (http://ht.ly/CiovO) about how many CEOs and executives know that they have one person that is their most important asset. That person is their executive assistant.

Are you interested in becoming this type of valued asset? Are you already in one of these positions but need some extra training? Check out the Business Office System and Support certificates and degrees at Richland College: http://www.richlandcollege.edu/boss/

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


Writing to Win: The Great Untapped Talent Pool

by Royce Murcherson

Royce top pictureIn previous posts, I have always stressed the fundamentals of persuasive business writing found in my book, The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. But lately, an important book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg has come to my attention. It’s an honest, frank work that focuses on an untapped talent pool in the business world. It continues offering vital information on how these talented individuals can become leaders, champions, and partners. Who are the people that make up this untapped resource? Women.

At first sight, you might think this is just another self-help book full of advice you’ve already heard. I did, until I spoke with a female executive in a fortune 500 corporation. I suddenly realized a simple truth.   Chances are many women in the business world have lived the challenges presented in Sheryl Sandberg’s book and may not have realized that there are reasonable and available options for overcoming these challenges.

What does all of this come down too? It comes down to women being assertive and understanding the value of internal networking. It comes down to collaboration and communication. There are companies that encourage women to seek a more visible role as senior leaders.

In my conversation with the executive who is currently involved in a women’s internal networking group, I asked, what is the biggest value? She responded, “It’s the opportunity to meet with my peers, other women, and be sponsored by senior leaders who are also women.” She went on to explain how rewarding it was to be in a group with like-minded high performing women with ambition. But most importantly, she stressed the importance of having ‘confidants’, other women who share the same goals and challenges.

I pressed for more specific reasons on how women could benefit from internal networking circles. She said, “…it gives you the opportunity to meet peers from other areas of the company and expand your awareness of opportunities within the organization.”

As I understand it, there are three big advantages to networking circles:

  • You build relationships.
  • You are able to increase awareness of greater leadership opportunities.
  • You build knowledge with specific discussions on issues that help women to increase their effectiveness and exposure in the workplace.

Being a teacher, I needed more examples of real-time value, so I asked her what chapters in the book have ‘stayed’ with you, that is, the biggest simplest rules to remember? Quickly, she said chapters two and four.

Chapter two according to Sandberg is time to “Sit at the Table”. So what does this chapter boil down too I asked? She said, “…from what I have learned from reading the book is that women should take their proper place and not defer to eat the children’s table, be assertive.”

She went on to talk about chapter four, “It’s a Jungle Gym, not a Ladder.” I asked her to elaborate and she spoke about yet another great metaphor, the jungle gym. Apparently, the author wants women to understand that the way to success is not always a straight line. Lateral moves are good, but sometimes backwards moves can be made to build your skill set and advance.

So, if someone were to ask me what was the value in sitting down and talking to someone actively involved in a women’s group whose intent is to expand their reach professionally and personally, I would have to say this. Think Chess.

Royce Chess

 

It’s all about strategy and patience. Be strategic and recognize that women represent the great untapped pool of talent. Be strategic and do something about organizing this vast pool. Be patient and know that knowledge building and forging relationships may take time, but the rewards can be great.

In his review of Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg, Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group stated, “…women in leadership roles is good for business as well as society.”

For a more expanded discussion on workplace etiquette, look forward to further posts, and see my book, Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. (Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013)

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


Keeping Up with The Times

TimeIn order to stay in touch with what is going on in your industry, how do you keep up? In order to advance or even just stay current in your field, most of us have to read industry materials, like blogs, online articles, and magazines.

While reading one of these in an education article, I came across the following quote that had been attributed to the UCR University Honors Program in California, “While ever you are talking, you’re not listening. If you’re not listening, you’re not learning.” It encapsulated so well some of my thoughts lately.

So, how do we keep up with technology and our career field? Below are a few tips:

  1. Don’t just randomly read information. Find the blogs/websites of a few respected experts in your field. In my case, I found a few blogs of some internationally known educators. They will be constantly scanning the horizon, enabling me to digest the summaries from their blogs.
  2. Always keep a magazine or other reading materials with you. Or, make sure you have the online materials bookmarked on your phone or mobile device. If I am standing in line or sitting in a waiting room, I can be learning something related to training or technology instead of just reading whatever is available.
  3. Set aside time each week, maybe during your lunch hour or instead of watching a television show, to learn. After turning off the television more at my house, I realize how little I miss some of the shows that I thought I could not live without.

I know that these tips may not work for everyone. They are just my plan to help me learn more effectively and efficiently. I’m keeping up with new technology more, which makes me feel more confident when I’m teaching or talking with others. I hope some of these tips work for you, too!

Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers both online and on-campus courses. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote


Are You Just Hearing, or Are You Listening Your Way to Success?

09-15-2014 final 478293049

Take a “working tip” from Richland College’s POFT 2312 Business Correspondence and Communication course on how to enhance your career and leadership success by developing effective listening skills.

Some people don’t realize that there is a big difference between hearing and listening. As a result, they run the risk of jeopardizing their success at work as well as in other aspects of their lives.

According to experts, hearing is one of the five human senses—vision, hearing, sight, smell, and touch; while listening is a communication technique.

Developing an effective listening technique is vital for anyone who wants to be successful in today’s workplace. The ability to demonstrate effective listening is key to your success, and to ignore important listening strategies is to invite failure.

Review the list below that was developed by authors Thill and Bovée on important listening strategies that can help you succeed in your career. These authors also look at the flip side of the coin and identify behaviors that can reduce your effectiveness and ones that may actually be harmful to your success. So don’t just “hear”; learn to “listen”!

09-15-2014 Table FinalIf you want to improve your communication skills, consider taking one or more courses in the BOSS program at Richland College.

Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers both online and on-campus courses. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.

Source: John V. Thill and Courtland L. Bovée, Excellence in Business Communication, 11th edition, Pearson, Boston, 2015, p. 49.

 

 

 

 

 


If You Want to Lead, First Learn to Speak

141184078This is a post from our former Chancellor, Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr. This excerpt is from one of his last Weekend Memo articles before he retired. We were honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts.

From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo # 358

IF YOU WANT TO LEAD, FIRST LEARN TO SPEAK

Many years ago while working at Tuskegee Institute (Alabama), I was introduced to Toastmasters International by two friends/neighbors.  I came away from that meeting totally impressed with the Toastmasters vehicle for becoming a top-quality speaker.  Over the years, I have subsequently earned the highest Toastmasters designation — Distinguished Toastmaster.  Additionally, at each institution where I was employed after leaving Tuskegee, I have chartered Toastmasters clubs.  A new Toastmasters Club at the district headquarters was recently chartered.

In this commentary, I am sharing eight elements to aid one in becoming an accomplished speaker.  Great speakers are not born — they are made!

Point #1  –  Be Yourself, Know Yourself.   Anyone giving a speech has to be clear about his/her own beliefs.  If you have a sense of clarity, then you can move on to technique.

Point #2  –   Know Your Audience.   Find out beforehand what the audience mix is, what it expects from you, and what the topic for the occasion is.  Just before you speak, mill about and talk with people.  Assess their level of sophistication on the subject about which you will be speaking.  Know your time slot and stick to it.  Remember, disappearance makes the heart grow fonder.  You can make friends with a short speech, enemies with a long speech.

Point #3  –  Sell Only One Idea.   The most effective speeches have at their core a single idea that can be written concisely.  A speech is essentially a sale; you are better off to sell one thing at a time.  Nail down that core idea, then, in your speech, hammer it over and over.  Know what you want the audience to repeat to you when the speech is over.

Point #4  – Reveal Yourself.   If you want the audience to relate to you, share something about yourself so people will feel that you are one of them.

Point #5 – Write it Several Times.   Writing is discovery.  Our ideas don’t come into our minds marching in lockstep.  Sit down and do it — then get it right.  Get it written — then rewrite.  Your first rewrite should be a complete overhaul.  Avoid the worn out and overused.  Get to the point.  It is not enough to shape your speech to one idea.  Make sure it is the right idea for that audience.  Follow this three-step process for creating, loading, and triggering core ideas: First, write down any ideas that may serve the core of the speech.  Then, put the list away.  Let it “simmer and germinate” for at least 24 hours. Second, select the single idea that will drive your speech.  Now, take that idea apart and examine its elements. Third, trigger the idea.  Put it into action at each stage of your speech.  You should begin with the idea and end with it.  Every paragraph, every sentence, every word should be linked in some way to it.

Point #6 – Don’t Waste the Introduction.   Let the person introducing you know that the introduction is very important to you — that it sets the stage.  Introductions can be like movie cartoons — injecting humor, change of pace, and new perspectives before the main event.  Avoid it being an obituary.

Point #7  – The Delivery.   When you are well prepared, it is far easier to be relaxed when speaking.  Even the best of speakers (if they are human) get butterflies at the beginning of a speech.  A way to overcome the “flutters” is to memorize your opener.  The worst thing you can do is ramble, trying to say everything.  Visual aids?  Be careful here.  Your audience did not come for a slide show or a sales presentation.  It came for a speech.

Point #8  –  Take Charge of the Question and Answer Period.   If a question and answer period is on the program, consider reducing the length of your speech to make time for it.  The beginning of the Q & A session is an abrupt transition from a speech.  You have been talking; now it is time to both talk and listen.  You must be sure to listen!

When it is all over, there is one cardinal rule:  decide how to improve the next time!  Hold on to these pointers as a reference tool and refer to it often.  Let it be a reminder of things to think about each time you make a speech!  Just — “food for thought.”

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For more information on how BOSS classes can help you become more productive and effective or information on the BOSS degree and certificates, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLCBOSS/

 


Instagram & Companies

Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever.

Businesses are now beginning to see value in using Instagram to promote their products and services.  “The big upside of Instagram for companies is the ability to easily develop a communication strategy about their products and services that is by essence more direct and engaging than that of their website, which tends to be more institutional and corporate,” writes François Mathieu at Pikock.com.

To learn more about how businesses are using Instagram, click the link below to read the full article by François Mathieu on the Pikock.com blog. 

How Businesses are Using Instagram

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

 


Thoughts from the New Chancellor

157601193This is the first post from Dr. Joe D. May, the new Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

Excerpt from: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo # 362

THIRST FOR LEARNING

A great deal of the values I hold and the way I think are the result of growing up in East Texas.  This background left me with an insatiable curiosity and a thirst for learning.  I am continually reading, listening to books-on-tape, and taking online courses.  I believe that if you are not learning new things, then you stop being innovative.

I am at the Dallas County Community College District for the same reason you are . . . to change the world through education.  We have achieved that goal in the past, and we will continue to do so into the future.

As I get to know you better, I am committed to leading our colleges toward greatness.  However, those efforts mean that we must all pull in the same direction.  We should never underestimate what we each can do every day to make a difference in the lives of both our students and our communities.

One of the greatest aspects of working at a community college is that we can easily find meaning in our work.  For those of us who believe in the community college mission, we know this is not just work — we are dedicated to improving other people’s lives.  I cannot think of a better calling.

Countless organizations say that they want to change the world; few, however, can actually make this happen.  Because we have outstanding people, resources, and commitment, I know that the best years of the Dallas County Community College District are ahead of us.  As the new chancellor, I couldn’t be more enthusiastic and optimistic.

Let’s change Dallas together,

Joe

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For more information on how BOSS classes can help you become more productive and effective or information on the BOSS degree and certificates, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLCBOSS/


Is Your Team Happy?

Young adultsThis is another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo # 334

IS YOUR TEAM HAPPY?

Whenever I have a so-called “day off,” I use it to read, explore subjects, and clean up assembled folders and files.  I came across an article written by Susan David that appeared in a Harvard Business Review document.  She gave some pointers on how to create a happier team.  Before diving into the article, I pulled down one of my resources to refresh my memory on just what “happiness” is.

The dictionary definition is:  “state of contentment, joy and well-being; bliss; having it all together.”  The phrase, “having it all together,” is intriguing, is it not?  I wonder, who has it all together?

Joseph Addison writing in The Spectator (March 17, 1711) had this to say about happiness:  “True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self; and in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions.”  I believe we all can relate to this thought from Addison.

Robert G. Ingersoll had an interesting thought about happiness that appeared in his Creed in the late 19th century.  He wrote, “Happiness is the only good.  The time to be happy is now.  The place to be happy is here.  The way to be happy is to make others so.”

Research shows that happy people have better health, are more creative, produce better results, and are willing to go the extra mile.  What’s more, happiness is contagious; it creates a virtual spiral that leads to further engagement.

Susan David has some interesting things to say about happiness that I felt compelled to share with my colleagues.

To the question, “How can leaders create happier organizations?” she describes three pathways:

Perhaps the first step is to clarify what we mean by “happy.”  Psychologists typically identify happiness by three distinct pathways.  The first is the “pleasant life,” which involves positive experiences, including contentment, hope, and sensory enjoyment.  This kind of well-being is often referred to as “hedonia,” based on the Greek term for pleasure.  The second is the “engaged life,” or “eudaimonia.”  The ancient Greeks believe in a “daimon,” or guardian spirit, that would guide you toward your destiny; the word also means genius.   The engaged life thus refers to a person’s ability to deploy his personal genius — to use his unique strengths and talents in a way that engages and absorbs him.  The third pathway is the “meaningful life,” which relates to the desire to be part of something bigger than oneself — to belong and contribute to an institution that has purpose.

It is my conclusion that all three of the pathways — pleasure, engagement, and meaning — are important.  Perhaps we, as educational leaders, can use the knowledge of these pathways to ask questions like the following:

•           Do my colleagues enjoy their relationships and the environment at work?

•           Do my colleagues laugh?

•           Are my associates in the right roles — ones that fit their skill sets and offer appropriate challenge?

•           Do my colleagues get to use their genius?

•           Do my colleagues feel they are a part of something that matters?

For more information on how BOSS classes can help you become more productive and effective or information on the BOSS degree and certificates, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLCBOSS/


The Change Imperative

151532165This is another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo # 332

THE CHANGE IMPERATIVE

It is important that all embrace the view that the change imperative and initiative must encompass the entire institution/system.  I would ask all of us to consider the following essentials for success during change.

•           Commit to Change.   Know that change must happen and implementation rarely goes exactly as expected, but when everyone is committed, chaos is eliminated.  This is critical to remaining engaged, productive, and looking forward to the future.

•           Lead Change.   Be a part of one of the diverse groups of individuals who cross all levels of the organization, driving the change initiative, execution, and implementation.

•           Be Clear About the Objective and Outcome.  When you are clear about the vision of the post-change environment, it is easier to remain motivated through the challenges.  Write an exhaustive list of personal and institutional benefits of the change, and remain informed by asking questions and keeping up as the change progresses.

•           Communicate Consistently.  Maintain a clear understanding about what needs to change and why, expectations of you and your team, and the success milestones.  The continuing mantra should be:  when in doubt, ask.

•           Encourage Positive Engagement.  We all want recognition for a job well done or an effort above and beyond what is required or expected.  Request feedback from your boss/leader, or a colleague whose work depends on the quality of your work.  Give feedback where you can.  Provide or suggest training for those who seem to need it and ensure clarity for those who do not understand the change.  Change is slow, chaotic, or stalled when there are communication and engagement gaps.  Work to avoid or eradicate these.

For more information on how BOSS classes can help you become more productive and effective or information on the BOSS degree and certificates, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLCBOSS/