How to be a better negotiator

The ability to effectively negotiate is a learned skill.

Become a better negotiator and a more effective business leader with Mastery Technologies.

Whether you are brokering a business deal or running interference between two squabbling colleagues, the ability to negotiate is critical to professional success. Unfortunately, most of us were never taught the art of negotiation in school and many don’t realize that conflict management skills can, in fact, be learned. Here are some tips:

Do your homework

Imagine your company needs to hire a consulting firm, and you’re negotiating the cost of a six-month contract. The more you know ahead of time about the market value of this kind of service, the more prepared you will be to efficiently and effectively arrive at a fair deal. Be prepared with detailed data you can reference during your conversations with the firm, as it’s hard to argue with concrete facts and figures.

Don’t be afraid of rejection

Negotiation expert Victoria Pynchon tells professional news outlet The Muse that before you start negotiating, you must first be comfortable with the idea of rejection.

“It’s not really a negotiation if we’re asking for something we know our bargaining partner also wants,” Pynchon tells the source. “Negotiation is a conversation whose goal is to reach an agreement with someone whose interests are not perfectly aligned with yours.”

Keep your emotions in check

It’s easy to get angry or upset during negotiations, especially if the other person is raising their voice or losing their temper. It’s always a mistake, however, to let your emotions get the better of you, as it will only undermine your bargaining power.

Know what you want

Negotiating is all about understanding your priorities and those of the other parties in question. Say you are mediating a conflict between two subordinates under your purview — both employees believe they should be the lead manager on a particular project. You realize that one wants the prestige of being “in charge,” while the other is simply particular about whom he works with. Perhaps you negotiate a deal in which the latter agrees to act as second-in-command if he is allowed to handpick the rest of the team.

If you are negotiating on your own behalf, make a list of you goals, in descending order from most important to least important. This way you know exactly what you want and where you are willing to compromise. A common example: Maybe your boss can’t or won’t give you a raise, but is willing to offer more vacation time. Next, make a list of the priorities of any other parties involved, as best as you can determine. Knowledge is power, and the more you know about each person’s ranked interests, the better your position when it comes time to negotiate.

Listen

Many people tend to think of good negotiators as hardheaded, aggressive types who don’t care about other people’s interests. On the contrary, the best negotiators are able to put themselves in other parties’ shoes, empathizing with their wants and needs. In his book “Negotiation Boot Camp,” Ed Brodow highlights the importance of active listening, which helps you create rapport with your negotiation counterpart. By showing your genuine interest in understanding their point of view, you build trust, ultimately increasing your chance of getting what you want.

Whether you are a supervisor or an individual interested in proactively building your career, employee development training can help your each your goals. Browse Mastery Technologies‘ many course offerings today!

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Mastery Technologies Announces Launch of New Reseller Subscription, EverySeat™

Mastery Technologies is kicking 2015 off with a bang! The award-winning company has announced the release of its most revolutionary licensing model yet, the EverySeat™ Reseller Program. Geared toward providing resellers with instant access to high-quality, video-based eLearning content,  EverySeat™ is designed to remove the administrative burdens and other barriers that come with most reseller programs.everyseat

EverySeat™ provides resellers with a licensing  system at a low-cost based upon the number of users each reseller supports.  Designed with the reseller in mind, the EverySeat™ program is for Learning Management System providers seeking to offer high quality content with their LMS. With no fluctuating costs, EverySeat™ allows LMS companies to set their own revenue goals, reduce administrative burdens, and avoid upfront “setup” fees, forecasting and painful true-ups.

“With EverySeat™, our desire is to make selling our training content an easier experience.” says Channel Partner Program Manager, Jeff Holth, “EverySeat™ is a one stop shop for training content and provides LMS companies with an additional revenue stream.”  

Courses accessed through Mastery’s EverySeat™ program are available on Mastery’s Video On Demand (VOD3) courseware platform, and play on all desktops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones, allowing employees to train anywhere, any time.  Mastery’s course library offers a wide selection of topics ranging from health and safety, HR compliance, communication skills, PC skills, leadership, customer service, team building, and management and supervision. Mastery’s VOD3 standardized platform provides continuity in user experience from one course to the next. All VOD3 courses play on all devices and browsers, giving users the ultimate flexibility in when and where they can access their training assignments.

You can visit www.masterytech.com/index/channelpartners or call 800-258-3837 ext. 1656 to find out if the EverySeat™ Reseller Program fits your organization’s eLearning needs.

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First new batch of courses for 2015!

Mastery is starting off 2015 with a new batch of Video On Demand courses, Partner courses, and Partner activities!

The new Video On Demand courses include:

There were several new Partner courses:

We also released 3 new batches of Partner Activities produced by Vado.

Writing to Get Things Done

Bud to Boss

Become a Contributing Project Team Member

For our full list of courses visit www.mastery.com

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3 questions to ask when writing a mission statement

A mission statement should be a living document that is regularly revisited and updated as needed.

Your mission statement should reflect your company’s values, objectives and culture.

While many of the training courses we offer at Mastery Technologies focus on the nitty-gritty of daily operations — conflict management, employee safety, etc. — we also believe it is important to keep in mind the big picture. Developing, maintaining and sustaining a long-term vision is critical to success, both as an individual and an organization. One of the best ways to define your corporate or personal vision is by writing a mission statement that articulates your values and objectives in a succinct and compelling way.

A good mission statement can help you stay focused and on track. It can also play an enormous role in building a company culture of which you are proud, that promotes rather than undermines your team’s goals.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when crafting a mission statement of your own:

  • Why do you do what you do? Whether you are writing a personal or a corporate mission statement, this is arguably the most important question you will ask yourself. Put another way: What gets you out of bed in the morning? The answer will likely speak to some important big picture ideals and values that should be included in your writing.
  • Whom do you serve? Even if your main objective is to make a profit (and there is certainly nothing wrong with that), the means to that end likely involves meeting someone’s needs. Perhaps your are a software development company who serves small to mid-sized businesses. Or maybe you are a construction firm that builds large-scale projects such as stadiums, schools and office buildings. Regardless, take a moment to reflect on who your work is meant to influence or help.
  • What image do you want to project? Your mission statement should represent not only your deeply held values, but also the image you hope to project to the world. What value do you bring to the table that no one else does or can? How would you describe the culture of your company? Are you fresh and innovative, or traditional and reliable? Does your brand boast a fun irreverent quality, or more of a dignified gravitas? The mission statement should make the answers to all of those questions clear.

Remember to keep your mission statement powerful but brief. It should be easy to read and understand in just a few moments, packing a lot of meaning into a handful of carefully chosen words. They say that good writing is in the rewriting, so don’t get frustrated! Keep editing and revising until you have a final product that you are happy with. If you hit a wall, sleep on it and return to your task the next morning when your mind is fresh.

For more advice on cultivating vision, whether for your company, department or self, browse Mastery Technologies‘ training and employee development course catalog today.

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Make Professional Development A Priority In 2015

January is the month for setting goals and adding or subtracting to your new year’s resolution list. It’s safe to say self-improvement is at the top of everyone’s list, especially goals such as professional development or continuing education.

Continuinprofesionnaldevelopment2g education opportunities for employees is a known element that is used to retain employees and improve the overall growth of the company. Making your employees’ overall professional development a priority will help increase employee morale and productivity. Professional development can help employers distinguish the mediocre from the spectacular.

According to an article published by Skyhook Internet Marketing, investing in continuing education shows your company’s commitment to its employees personal progress and growth within the workplace. When developing a continuing education plan for employees, employers are reminded that each employee’s plan will be different. Mastery wants to provide you with the following reminders when developing a continuing education plan for your employees:

 

  • Take an evaluation - Not every employee places personal development as a priority. Take the time to assess your employees interest in developing a plan.leadlearn

 

  • There is no “one” plan - Each employee is different. Know that every professional development plan will be different. Don’t be afraid to adjust as needed.

 

  • Promote MentorshipOnce a plan is in place, motivate your employees to seek a mentor within their department or industry. There is a transfer of industry-related knowledge that can only be received through mentorship.

 

  • Invest in E-learning - Providing your employees different ways of learning, such as providing online courses, will allow your employees to gain the knowledge needed and remain productive within the workplace.

Mastery Technologies is dedicated to providing employers with avenues to assist in their professional development needs. Mastery offers many courses that award CEUs (Continuing Education Units), and all of Mastery’s courses provide a certificate of completion. For additional information, visit www.mastery.com

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E-Learning Trends in 2015

350-interactive-elearning

As we look back on 2014, the e-learning industry has seen tremendous growth. Companies are using e-learning more and more to improve employee productivity. Within the last year, it is stated that 81% of online learners are generated by companies, with productivity improving by 50%.

Since the institution of e-learning, companies have an opportunity to invest in its employees’ professional development plans, as well as build stronger learning cultures within the workplace.

The e-learning industry is a 55.6 billion dollar industry and is projected to double by the close of 2015, it’s safe to say e-learning is here to stay!

The new year is projected to be a profound one for the training industry. According to TrainingMag.com, the industry is making great strides and continuous efforts to bring continuous education to the forefront. To help your company stay aware of the coming e-learning trends in 2015, here are a few trends provided by Training Magazine:

  • With the increase of jobs and the restoration within today’s economy, job hopping has become popular and has increased. Companies are taking the necessary precautions in identifying opportunities to retain their employees and increase productivity within the workplace through e-learning.
  • With the increase in jobs, new-hire orientations are now easier through the use of video. More companies are looking to use videos this new year to illustrate best practices and tutorials to make the learning experience easier for new hires.eLearning
  • Technology is taking a shift. The use of text-based communication practices are declining and the use of video communication is increasing. In 2015, companies will begin to provide more content visually through smartphones or webcams to reach their audiences.
  • Preserving knowledge through the use of video will increase. Utilizing video to share knowledge makes the showcasing of products and services easier for employers and employees. Not only will the employees receive the knowledge via video but with the use of social media, sharing content has gotten easier for all parties—both employees and employers.

Stay ahead of the trends in 2015! Mastery Technologies provides a vast selection of e-learning courses that will benefit your company and its employees. A complete list can be found by visiting, www.mastery.com

 

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This simple trick can help you turn goals into reality

What steps will you take to meet your professional goals in 2015?

Mastery Technologies can help you meet your professional goals this year.

We are about halfway through January, and that means many of us are already feeling discouraged about the plethora of New Year’s resolutions we have made and broken. However, it’s never too late to get back on track! Here are some tips to turn your goals into reality:

Focus on the action, not the goal.

This might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the most effective way to meet a goal is to shift your focus away from it and onto the action that will get you there. For example, instead of concentrating on losing 10 pounds, think about eating more fresh vegetables and taking more steps throughout the day. Ultimately, you will lose weight, but only because you invested in the actions necessary to make your goal a reality. This applies to workplace resolutions as well. Want a promotion by the end of the year? Make a list of concrete actions you can take to make it happen, such as volunteering to spearhead a big project or enrolling in online management training courses, such as those available through Mastery Technologies.

Good is better than perfect. 

There is something incredibly attractive to many of us about the idea of a clean slate or a fresh start. That’s one reason New Year’s resolutions are so popular — they represent the opportunity to live for a whole 12-month period with absolutely no mistakes. However, if you want to succeed, it’s best to let go of perfection as an ideal. You will almost certainly have an occasional misstep, but try to let it go. Otherwise, you are likely to give up entirely. When it comes to reaching goals, good is always better than perfect.

Set yourself up for success. 

Psychology professor Wendy Wood tells The New York Times that we tend to overestimate the importance of willpower and underestimate the importance of environment.

“Willpower, she said, is more about looking at those yummy chocolate chip cookies and refusing them,” writes The Times. “A good habit ensures you’re rarely around those chocolate chip cookies in the first place. To create or change a habit, you have to think much more about altering your environment and patterns of living than work on steeling your mind, Professor Wood said, because ‘behavior is very much a product of environment.'”

If your goal is to spend 15 minutes per day on continuing education, for example, find an online course from Mastery Technologies that meets your needs. When you get to the office each day, open up the resource on your computer so it is ready to go whenever you can spare a moment. You are more likely to consistently invest time in learning if it becomes an integral, easily accessible part of your work environment.

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OSHA says lack of fall protection led to worker death

As an employer in the construction field, OSHA requires you to provide and enforce fall protection for your workers.

Do you provide and enforce proper fall protection for your construction employees?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that an Illinois roofing company’s failure to comply with fall protection laws led to the death of a worker. OSHA cited the business for one willful and four serious safety violations, and is proposing fines of $42,600.

The 33-year-old victim was working at a high school gymnasium when the accident occurred. He was reportedly installing wood blocking to create a finished roof edge when he fell 27 feet to the ground. According to OSHA investigators, the bit of a battery-powered, hand-held impact driver he was using broke, causing him to lose his balance and plummet to his death. The man was an experienced worker who had been with the company for 14 years.

“This tragedy illustrates how quickly a worker can lose his life when fall protection is not provided, and why OSHA requires it each time an employee works at heights greater than 6 feet,” OSHA area director Aaron Priddy said in a press release. “Falls remain the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry. Hundreds of workers, including this one, won’t return home as a result of falls like this.”

Even among the most experienced construction workers, accidents happen. As an employer, it is crucial to invest in regular, ongoing and rigorous safety training. This helps you remain in OSHA compliance, avoid financially ruinous penalties and — most importantly — protect the health and safety of your workers.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune or waste valuable time on inefficient programs. Invest in the cost-effective and engaging online courses available through Mastery Technologies.

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3 tips for better public speaking

Managers and executives should invest in online training courses to improve their verbal communication skills.

Improving your public speaking skills can position you to move ahead in your career.

Public speaking is not just the purview of national politicians and Fortune 500 CEOs. Every person in a management position should be prepared to address a group of colleagues, clients or customers in a compelling and convincing manner. After all, an important element of effective leadership is the ability to inspire and mobilize others with nothing more than one’s words.

A few people may be born with the innate ability to remain calm, cool and collected while speaking to a crowd, but the vast majority of us have to develop the skill. Here are some tips to make you a better public speaker in 2015:

  • Do your homework: Preparation and practice will increase your confidence. Know the information that you plan to present backwards and forwards, with relevant facts and figures firmly committed to memory.
  • Skip the script: On the other hand, try not to become too attached to a detailed script, as it may make you seem stiff and unnatural. Inc. Magazine recommends inviting your audience to ask questions throughout your presentation, which increases engagement levels. However, this means you will need to be so comfortable with your material that you are able to jump around without losing your train of thought.
  • Stand tall: Career advice website The Muse suggests assuming the “Wonder Woman pose” for two minutes shortly before you deliver a speech. This means standing with your feet widespread and pointing straight ahead, putting your hands firmly on your hips, holding your head up and squaring your shoulders. Research shows this position decreases the stress-related hormone, cortisol, and triggers the confidence-related hormone, testosterone.

Management training is key to becoming an effective executive or supervisor. Mastery Technologies’ cost-effective online courses can help you further improve your skills from the comfort of your own computer.

Check out Mastery’s courses on communication skills to help you become a better public speaker.

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Make Corporate Wellness A Priority in 2015

Losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle is at the top of many New Year resolution lists for the year. Companies who choose to invest in their employees’ health by implementing a corporate wellness program demonstrate a vested interest in the overall well-being of employees. Incorporating a wellness program for your company helps eliminate stress, increases productivity and brings awareness to all involved.

According to Harvard Business Review, With an aging workforce and under recent federal health care legislation, companies can use the development of wellness programs to cut health care costs. Some companies, such as Johnson and Johnson, have already taken advantage of this incentive. Within the past decade, J&J has saved $250 million on health care costs.corporate_wellness_zoom

Did you know that creating your company’s wellness program can be as simple as implementing 3 ideas? Mastery presents a few ways to kick-start your free employee wellness program:

  1. Take An Assessment - Getting routine checkups can be a delightful or painful experience for some. Make it a motivating task for all of your employees by creating incentives for those who get their check-ups within a certain time period. Promoting preventive care helps your employees become more cautious of their health. This can also be completed by providing on site opportunities for blood pressure checks, blood screenings/drives, etc.
  2. Everyone Loves a Good Challenge – Create a water or workout challenge. There are several apps that will allow your employees to count their water intake or steps taken throughout the day. Separate your employees into two teams! Everyone loves a good friendly rivalry. The team with the most steps or drank the most water in oz. wins!
  3. Consider A Walking Meeting - Everyone enjoys a little sunshine or time away from the office. Consider hosting a meeting on the go. On-The-Go Meetings, according to an article in Talent Development are usually five to seven minutes, improve health by promoting movement, stimulate creativity and can become great brainstorming sessions.images-013

Making corporate wellness part of your team’s office culture also increases productivity within the workplace. Help your team fulfill their New Year resolutions by incorporating a corporate wellness program.  Read about how Mastery implements corporate wellness within our office culture and additional steps to developing your corporate wellness program by reading our previous blog, Get Your Team Physically Fit at Work.

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