Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Soft skills "Survey with Professor Anna Tzanakaki "

In a survey conducted by our team members titled “Soft skills & E-learning” with Professor Anna Tzanakaki (MSITT Program Director) she answered:

What do soft skills mean to you?

Communion skills, leadership skills, Negotiation skills, presentation skills etc…

Are soft skills as important as “Hard skills”?

Yes, although to some extend it depends on the person’s type of work.

Do you believe that soft skills can be taught through internet means (E-learning)?

Not very effectively

When you interview a possible employee or a student, how do you measure his/her soft skills generally?

By the impression I get through the interaction & specific relevant questions I ask.

Do you recommend AIT to include core subject about “Soft skills” in its curriculum?

It maybe a good idea although having it as elective maybe more appropriate.

Enjoy & Learn,

Amjad Alqaisi

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Communication Skills

Effective Communication Skills are very important for our professional /personal success, regardless in what business we participate to.

The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others clearly and unambiguously, and the communication becomes successful when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication.

Searching online for "How to.." on Communication Skills, i cam across on some very useful videos which i want to share them with you.

Communication Skills_Part1

Communication Skills_Part2

Communication Skills_Part3

Communication Skills_Part4

More to come....


Tips to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills.

Recently i had a job interview with an International company, and despite testing technical / professional skills, a great importance on the interview process was given to the "Interpersonal skills".
Interpersonal Skills is one of the elements how you are perceived by your manager and coworkers, which play a large role in things as minor as your day-to-day happiness at the office and as major as the future of your career.
No matter how hard you work or how many brilliant ideas you may have, if you can’t connect with the people who work around you, your professional life will suffer.
Here are some tips, on how to improve our Interpersonal Skills.
  • Smile. Few people want to be around someone who is always down in the dumps. Do your best to be friendly and upbeat with your coworkers. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and about life. Smile often. The positive energy you radiate will draw others to you.
  • Be appreciative. Find one positive thing about everyone you work with and let them hear it. Be generous with praise and kind words of encouragement. Say thank you when someone helps you. Make colleagues feel welcome when they call or stop by your office. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they’ll want to give you their best.
  • Pay attention to others. Observe what’s going on in other people’s lives. Acknowledge their happy milestones, and express concern and sympathy for difficult situations such as an illness or death. Make eye contact and address people by their first names. Ask others for their opinions.
  • Practice active listening. To actively listen is to demonstrate that you intend to hear and understand another’s point of view. It means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said. In this way, you know that you understood their meaning and they know that your responses are more than lip service. Your coworkers will appreciate knowing that you really do listen to what they have to say.
  • Bring people together. Create an environment that encourages others to work together. Treat everyone equally, and don't play favorites. Avoid talking about others behind their backs. Follow up on other people's suggestions or requests. When you make a statement or announcement, check to see that you have been understood. If folks see you as someone solid and fair, they will grow to trust you.
  • Resolve conflicts. Take a step beyond simply bringing people together, and become someone who resolves conflicts when they arise. Learn how to be an effective mediator. If coworkers bicker over personal or professional disagreements, arrange to sit down with both parties and help sort out their differences. By taking on such a leadership role, you will garner respect and admiration from those around you.
  • Communicate clearly. Pay close attention to both what you say and how you say it. A clear and effective communicator avoids misunderstandings with coworkers, collegues, and associates. Verbal eloquence projects an image of intelligence and maturity, no matter what your age. If you tend to blurt out anything that comes to mind, people won’t put much weight on your words or opinions.
  • Humor them. Don’t be afraid to be funny or clever. Most people are drawn to a person that can make them laugh. Use your sense of humor as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people’s affection.
  • See it from their side. Empathy means being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel. Try to view situations and responses from another person’s perspective. This can be accomplished through staying in touch with your own emotions; those who are cut off from their own feelings are often unable to empathize with others.
  • Don't complain. There is nothing worse than a chronic complainer or whiner. If you simply have to vent about something, save it for your diary. If you must verbalize your grievances, vent to your personal friends and family, and keep it short. Spare those around you, or else you’ll get a bad reputation.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Soft skills "Survey with AIT's Managing Director"

In a survey conducted by our team members titled “Soft skills & E-learning” with Mr. Athanasios Zesimopoulos he answered:

What do soft skills mean to you?

This term refers to a set of personality characteristics and traits that are complementary to the “hard skills” acquired through formal education and training. Under the wide umbrella of soft skills someone could include leadership, motivation, communication skills, team management, confidence, versatility, reliability, efficiency among others.

Are soft skills as important as “Hard skills”?

One set of skills balances the other.

Do you believe that soft skills can be taught through internet means (E-learning)?

Soft skills refer mainly to personality and the conduct towards others/tasks/jobs, etc. Interaction and sometimes mimicking others behavior is a key component in acquiring soft skills. If an on-line method allows real time interaction then some soft skills could be taught by experts.

When you interview a possible employee or a student, how do you measure his/her soft skills generally?

An interview and direct interaction are the only ways to evaluate his/her personality and his/her ability to deal with a set of issues/problems/standards. Setting real problems and case studies evaluating his/her reaction to these is one way to measure soft skills.

Do you recommend AIT to include core subject about “Soft skills” in its curriculum?

As an academic institution that concentrates on the hard skills our students should acquired (especially in technical masters) and given the limitations of time and heavy work load such an addition could be difficult. However, in the MBIT program there is a mandatory course on negotiation which is in this direction. Moreover part of every day student life is presentation and defense of the projects, homework, thesis, etc. There are also team projects and a number of activities that involve the use of soft skills. Finally, the preparation towards AIT’s career days and the interview process with potential employers itself is a valuable activity through which a set of soft skills are acquired.

Finally, Tomorrow we will publish the MSITT Program Director Professor Anna Tzanakaki’s Answers (visit us again)!

Enjoy & Learn,

Amjad Alqaisi

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Soft skills "Survey with Professor G. Yovanof"

In a survey conducted by our team members titled “Soft skills & E-learning” with Professor Gregory S. Yovanof (Our respected and expert professor at AIT) he answered:

What do soft skills mean to you?

They are people’s skills, presentations, communication skills, team players, and openness to cultural diversity. Personal traits (such as time management, leadership ability, being dependable and honest) all fall under soft skills.

Are soft skills as important as “Hard skills”?

Yes, they are equally important since they contribute towards establishing an overall healthy working environment.

Do you believe that soft skills can be taught through internet means (E-learning)?

No! They are primarily social skills developed through personal relationships. The virtual world is a poor substitute for social networking.

When you interview a possible employee or a student, how do you measure his/her soft skills generally?

Through direct questions, but also relying on observation of body language clues, eye contact…etc.

Do you recommend AIT to include core subject about “Soft skills” in its curriculum?

It should be an integral part of “Human Resource Management” elective course, recently added to the MBIT curriculum (to be offered first time in the summer 2008)!

Tomorrow we will publish the AIT’s Managing Director’s Answers (visit us again)!

Enjoy & Learn,

Amjad Alqaisi

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Soft Skills "Survey"

In a survey conducted by our team members titled “Soft skills & E-learning” with Professor L. David Brown (Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government) when he visited the AIT last month he answered:

What do soft skills mean to you?

Soft skills are personal skills, emotional skills, and managerial skills. It is different from hard science capacities.

Are soft skills as important as “Hard skills”?

Sure, they are a lot more important in our social life (at home). Technical people might require more hard skills than soft skills to carry out their jobs, but soft skills are of so importance if they want to pursue managerial positions.

Do you believe that soft skills can be taught through internet means (E-learning)?

Its hard, soft skills cannot be broadcasted; it should be transferred through interactive learning (i.e. face to face)

When you interview a possible employee or a student, how do you measure his/her soft skills generally?

CVs would tell something but not so much. Direct questions, body language and oral interaction will tell a lot more.

Do you recommend AIT to include core subject about “Soft skills” in its curriculum?

Yes very much recommended. In the MPA and MBA of Harvard business school, we have core courses about leadership, negotiation and other soft skills.

Tomorrow we will publish Professor G. Yovanof 's Answers (Visit us again)!

Enjoy & Learn,

Amjad Alqaisi

Thursday, 10 April 2008

www.online-learning.com Survey HW#2

As part of our Home Work #2 in the E-business please follow th link below to answer the questions of the survey.

Believe me its less than 2 Minutes of you valuable time!

Click here to take our Online Survey


Amjad T. Alqaisi

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

How To Gain Recognition for Your Hard Work

To ensure you get the full recognition you deserve for your work, the following strategies can improve your on-the-job recognition factor:

-First and foremost, you have to be liked

-Make it a point to tell your supervisor what you have done, and offer some well-thought-out new ideas and suggestions for improving the bottom line.

-Without making it appear that you are bucking for a promotion, volunteer for additional assignments.

-Keep your own personal performance chart and review it regularly to see how you can improve your contributions to the company.

-If you do not feel you are getting the recognition you deserve, do not complain about it to co-workers

Full article can be found http://www.jobjournal.com/article_full_text.asp?artid=2285

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Technological component Vs. Business needs for Oracle University

Click here to take our Online Survey to evaluate Oracle University e-learning site

As a part of our study for the e-business course and since our blog theme is related to e- learning area, as a homework we had to do a study about an e-learning website (The site technological component corresponding business needs ) for Oracle University (http://education.oracle.com/).

You can download the file from here
P.S Please take time to fill our survey

Click here to take our Online Survey to evaluate Oracle University e-learning site

Monday, 7 April 2008

How to improve your memory: 5 simple tips

Believe in yourself

Don't let negative expectations defeat you. If you expect to fail, you won't even try. If you find yourself thinking, "I can't remember names," substitute "I may forget some names.

Focus your attention on what you really want to remember

No one can remember everything. So put effort and energy into those areas that are most important to you. Much of what is called forgetting is a lack of attention. Before you blame your memory, ask yourself if you were really paying attention.


Tension interferes with the memory process; relaxing often lets the memory come to the surface. When you feel anxious about the possibility of forgetting, you may become preoccupied with the anxiety and unable to concentrate on recalling the needed information. The solution is to take a deep breath and relax; often the information will come to you.

Give yourself plenty of time

People of all ages forget more frequently when they are rushing. In general, if you have enough time to think about what you need to accomplish, you are less likely to forget something. You may also find that you need more time for learning new information and for recalling information from long-term memory. Give yourself a little additional time and see if it helps in encoding and retrieving information.

Be organized

The old saying, "A place for everything, and everything in its place" is good advice for memory improvement. Make a decision to improve your organizational skills in whatever ways are important to you. If you routinely put your keys, glasses, purse, and bills in the same place, you will not waste time searching for them.

Reference www.bayt.com

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Improve your Self-esteem

Self-esteem is a personal quality that plays an affective role in our lives. In psychology, self-esteem reflects a person’s overall self-appraisal of their own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs and emotions. Our behaviour may reflect our self-esteem. Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic. Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension or have global extent.

In order to improve your self-esteem you must first believe that you can change it. Change doesn't necessarily happen quickly or easily, but it can happen. You are not powerless! Once you have accepted, or are at least willing to entertain the possibility that you are not powerless, there are three steps you can take to begin to change your self-esteem:

· Step 1: Rebut the Inner Critic

The first important step in improving self-esteem is to begin to challenge the negative messages of the critical inner voice. Here are some typical examples of the inner critic's voice and how you can "rebut" that voice.

The Inner Critic's Voice:

Is Unfairly Harsh:

"People said they liked my presentation, but it was nowhere near as good as it should have been. I can't believe no-one noticed all the places I messed up. I'm such an impostor."

Be Reassuring:

"Wow, they really liked it! Maybe it wasn't perfect, but I worked hard on that presentation and did a good job. I'm proud of myself. This was a great success."

Generalizes Unrealistically:

"I got an F on the test. I don't understand anything in this class. I'm such an idiot. Who am I fooling? I shouldn't be taking this class. I'm stupid and I don't belong in college."

Be Specific:

"I did poorly on this one test, but I've done O.K. on all the homework. There are some things here that I don't understand as well as I thought I did, but I can do the material-I've done fine in other classes that were just as tough.

· Step 2: Practice Self-Nurturing

Rebutting your critical inner voice is an important first step, but it is not enough. Since our self-esteem is in part due to how others have treated us in the past, the second step to more healthy self-esteem is to begin to treat yourself as a worthwhile person. Start to challenge past negative experiences or messages by nurturing and caring for yourself in ways that show that you are valuable, competent, deserving and lovable.

· Step 3: Get Help from Others

Getting help from others is often the most important step a person can take to improve his or her self-esteem, but it can also be the most difficult. People with low self-esteem often don't ask for help because they feel they don't deserve it. But since low self-esteem is often caused by how other people treated you in the past, you may need the help of other people in the present to challenge the critical messages that come from negative past experiences.