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Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

This article has been updated on November 19, 2010, with secure alternatives to initiate an email or Skype call from your LinkedIn profile.

I am an enthusiastic LinkedIn user. Throughout my MBA I have used it almost daily as a tool for networking, and more recently in my job search as I prepare my post-MBA career. LinkedIn is a great career management tool; there are plenty of articles across the internet, and on LinkedIn itself, providing strategies for job-seekers to leverage social platforms, so I will not delve into that subject. Instead, I’d like to focus on a very simple resource that LinkedIn makes available to all users, and that most users do not take full advantage of: the website links on profile pages.

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Our latest Friday Forum at the Lisbon MBA was dedicated to the power of word. Communication skills have always been an area of much interest for me, as I spent most of my career in highly multicultural environments where communication can be a real challenge. We had four sessions, where we role-played difficult scenarios and recorded our performance on video for analysis and peer feedback – here is an example where I had to give bad news to someone (and tried to do my best at keeping a straight face as Daniel fired off an unexpected comeback):

After watching all the videos, it was truly remarkable how much progress we made. For me, the difference was in small details as the position of my hands or the way I projected my voice when addressing larger audiences. Let’s face it, we will probably never reach the level of communication nirvana attained by some, but this was a hell of a lesson! On our last session we delivered a fast-paced team presentation: we chose the popular «death by powerpoint», as it fitted quite nicely with the theme of the session, and pulled it off almost as we had done this our whole lives. 

I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy. I am fascinated by how stand-up comedians connect with their audience and masterfully manage that complex relationship. During the days following our Friday Forum I caught myself wondering how funny it would be if someone came up with a stand-up act playing a consultant, delivering their jokes in Powerpoint with punch lines zooming into the screen in clever transitions. For a day or two I played with the idea, even imagined a couple of funny lines – then I saw this, and my career as a stand-up comedian came to an abrupt end. Oh well, there’s always humour in tech management I guess…

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