Leave it to the Diva: Why Subject Matter Experts, well, MATTER…

We seek knowledge everywhere and obviously, want to learn from the best. One of the things I love about Intellezy is the caliber of trainers we have available. Subject matter experts who bring a wealth of practical and applicable knowledge delivered in easily digestible chapters. It’s important to know where to go to get the best.  As a mom, I think I know tons but really, I’m learning every day.  And I have definitely learned how important it is to have an expert on hand. Just ask my kids.

My Elsie is a fashion diva.  She is 8 years old and knows EXACTLY what one needs to wear to look sparkle-rific. And yes, that is, in fact, a word in our world. And in our house, it is a mandatory requirement of anything that kid puts on. When we were school shopping this year, she rejected many outfits for being too blah, no sparkle, no glitter, and when pressed why they wouldn’t do, I was told “There is just no LIFE to them, Mommy.  Listen you just gotta trust me. I KNOW fashion ok?”  I said “All right dude. I won’t suggest anything else. Here is your budget. I’ll just pay.” And 3 hours later, we left the mall with bags full of everything an 8-year-old fashion maven with an eye for sequins, sparkle and zebra prints could ever want. Of course, not one thing matched, but that little girl was the happiest kid on the planet.

The teenager was no easier.  I tried the same approach to try and steer him away from $69 completely ripped jeans and Thrasher t-shirts but the response was a simple “Mom, seriously? This IS totally what people wear.” So with new renditions of basically the same black clothes he wore last year, we headed home.

Now if you have kids, you know that school clothes shopping is supposed to be getting “outfits” that you can wear for the first 3 days and then go right back to the old stuff. But hearing my mother in my head, I tried to get my daughter to get pieces. However, the rationale of having a few pairs of pants and several shirts you can mix and match along with practical shoes for the playground and gym class is lost on a child obsessed with wearing every glitter shirt from Justice with a kitten on it, all the outfits from Disney’s Descendants and of course, fingerless lace gloves that “everyone in school who is cool is wearing.” And don’t even try it with a teenager.  I mean dude, we know NOTHING.

But really, I am a 46 years old mom of 2 who seeks the cleanest sweatpants in my clothes pile. Who am I to speak fashion? I remember being them. I was obsessed with shoulder pads, paisley sweaters and stirrup pants. My hair feathered just like Blair’s on the Facts of Life and I rocked the blue eyeshadow.  I was like, totally outrageous when I pulled into school in my two-toned Monte Carlo.

So this old lady will just leave today’s fashion to the experts: my kids. I will happily stay with my Spanx and $14.99 billowy “hide my pooch” tops from Marshalls and let the kids rock their looks.  When you want to know how it’s done, just follow the lead of the experts and you will do fine.

Elsie and Jax rocking their looks.

Be brave, be awesome and smile whenever possible.
Kristen Teixeira

*Trust the experts!  At Intellezy, we seek out the best of the best subject matter experts to help you learn the nuts and bolts of all the programs you need. Office365, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Adobe, Oracle, Azure… learn at your own pace with fantastic instructors!

I call it Gathering. Tips to bring your job, and what you love, together.

Many of us just have a job.  Something we do to pay the bills.  But the lucky ones?  They feel passion for their career. That kind of excitement is contagious and why I believe passionate people are so successful.  So how do you marry what you love with your job?  One way is what I call the “gathering” method.  You work at places you like where you make the paycheck you need and gather from them the skills that will help you with your passion so eventually you can have it all.

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO
I like to talk. I love to make people laugh.  I want to make others feel good and encourage and inspire. And I love to organize. Big time. Every job I’ve ever had I have taken on a fun, nurturing, people role while organizing things.  From getting the birthday cakes to arranging the Christmas parties to helping with social media. I have included myself in the social aspect of my jobs since I started working when I was 13.  That’s %& years (you don’t need to know) of learning how to make people feel happy and a wealth of info at my disposal.

NOTICE THE SKILLS THE PEOPLE YOU ADMIRE HAVE
I have always paid attention to the people at my jobs who are genuinely liked and respected.  Are they funny?  How do they interact with others?  Work ethic?  Sense of humor?  How could I emulate their positive qualities? And what did they know how to do that I didn’t?  Computer skills? Negotiate?  Speak another language? What could I add to my personal grab bag that might propel me ahead?

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE
This does not mean bragging but rather, focus on the things you are good at and don’t be afraid to humbly offer your skills.  And then hit it out of the park! You never know when someone is looking for what you have in spades! And don’t wait to be noticed.  Show ‘em what you’ve got!

My background is predominately the music business.  I love all things music.  Almost every genre, every type of artist and show. From the behind the scenes prep to the show itself to the search for the next great gig or performer.  No matter how bad my day was, and there were many that left me like “Whaaaaaaaaat am I doing here?”, I was always excited to get up the next day and do it again. And when I look back I realize that for 20 something years I was gathering the bits and pieces in each job, from collaborating jazz music tours to cast parties for Disney films, that centered around my passion for being social.

Fast forward to today. I took the position at Intellezy to coordinate our video administration, something that spoke strongly to my OCD and organizational skills, but because of my years of gathering, now get to write blogs and make people laugh and work on our social media connection to the world. It’s amazing and I am truly passionate about my work.  What I’ve done has led me here and now I do everything I love!

So I encourage YOU to gather the bits and pieces of your work experiences so that you can find passion in what you do and know that we are here for you to help you enhance the skills you need.

Be brave, be awesome, and smile whenever possible.
By Kristen Teixeira


Me and my 2 best friends, Ang & Lex, WAY back in the day when I worked for Billy Ray Cyrus. What did I learn from him?  Be genuinely nice to everyone, every fan matters and always have the best snacks on your bus. 

Online Meeting Etiquette

Did you know that 15 percent of an organizations collective time is spent in meetings? (Harvard Business Review) However, not all meetings can be held in person.  As companies expand worldwide, online conferencing is becoming an essential tool for them to collaborate and share ideas quickly.

Yet, not being physically present during a meeting can have its challenges, and professionalism can be often be tricky when participants are note face to face.  That is why Intellezy produced an Online Meeting Etiquette course, which will teach you the valuable skills it takes to make an online meeting professional and engaging.

 

Online Meeting Etiquette:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFAUCrymsQM

New Course Release: American Sign Language

There are between 250,000 to 500,000 native speakers of American Sign Language (ASL), which is the primary sign language of deaf communities in the US and Canada. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Sign_Language).

Intellezy has just released a course with over 2 hours of videos to help you learn ASL. This course will give you an overview of the origins of the language, the alphabet and fingerspelling, colors, animals, foods and drinks, family signs, feelings, professions, verbs and key nouns. There will also be opportunities for practicing vocabulary and sentences. At the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate a short story in ASL.

Here is a sample from our ASL course on the signs for animals:

https://youtu.be/nyw1Rd4bNTk

Email Etiquette 101

Writing emails is something we all do daily. However, the proper etiquette of an email can easily be taken for granted.  Personally, I write numerous business emails every day, and so I thought it would be nice to refresh my memory on the how to’s of writing an email. So, I grabbed my sandwich, sat at my desk, and took 20 minutes to watch Intellezy’s new Email Etiquette course. Here is what I learned:

  1. Always add attachments to emails first. Yep, nothing more embarrassing than getting that email back saying “Thanks, Pam but I think you forgot to attach the document?” Doh!
  2. Compose your message first, then add recipients. Brilliant! Been there done that. Who hasn’t sent the unfinished email and then scrambled to recall or attempted to finish the unfinished product? If the recipient field isn’t populated, then your message won’t be sent.
  3. When writing mass emails utilize BCC. As much as I enjoy seeing the new intern’s color drain from his face because he just made a snide remark to an HR email blast and accidently hit “reply all”, I agree this is probably is the safer way to go.
  4. Avoid humor and irony. I struggle with this, because I am sarcastic at heart. But if they can’t see my face or they don’t know me, I can see where words can be taken the wrong way. And there’s nothing worse or unprofessional than adding LOL! or emojis in a business email to try to get your humor across.
  5. Try to answer emails 24-48hours. AMEN! Nothing irritates me more when I have to follow up and sound like a nag to an earlier email I sent 48 hours ago! I nag my husband and kids enough, I don’t need to nag my coworkers as well.
  6. Exercise caution when forwarding emails. Ouch, this one hurts.  Back in my newly employed days, I forwarded emails with sensitive information in it and paid for it. Always look over the full forward chain before forwarding.

 

Did you find these hints helpful? Or know someone that could use some training? Summer is the time of interns and new hires, so take our email etiquette course for a spin to get your new employees trained on proper email etiquette.

Take us for a spin! Sign up for a 10 Day Trial

Why You Should Not Neglect Employee Training

I’ve been in the learning industry for close to 20 years, most of those spent in the financial and HR side of the house. During that time, I’ve heard a lot of reasons why training isn’t done enough, is the first part of the budget to be cut, or has never been offered at all.  The majority of those reasons always revolve around time and money.  I found a great article from Talk Business that comments on this…“for many businesses, the cost of training and development can be quite expensive. Another reason why many employers cut down on training opportunities for their employees is that attending training sessions can delay the completion of projects due to workers needing to take time out in order to attend.” 

However, it then enumerates 4 points as to why you cannot let these be reasons to neglect employee training:

·         Training addresses employee weaknesses

·         Improves performance

·         Increases consistency

·         Leads to employee satisfaction

Intellezy’s learning platform can help provide these benefits while addressing the issues of time and money. With our short-segment training videos, employees can look for the exact question they have, watch the 3-4 minute video, and get back to work, having learned what they needed to accomplish the task at hand.  With our Pay-Per-Use model, you only pay for the time spent by employees actually watching the training videos.  No more costly subscriptions for something employees may or may not use.

Visit www.intellezy.com to learn more about what makes us stand out in the world of online learning.  To read the full article mentioned above, visit:

https://www.talk-business.co.uk/2016/01/15/the-importance-of-training-and-development-in-the-workplace/

By Stacy Wight

How Microsoft Office Helps This Working Parent

  1. OneNote- Remember back in Junior High carrying around spiral notebooks for each subject matter? Blue book for History, red for Math, yellow for social studies? I LOVED all that organization and the color-coding. Well, BOOM, fast forward to 2018 and OneNote gives you ALL that organization for your work and personal life! And thanks to the Internet gods you can access it anywhere anytime with a mobile device. Say WHAT? WORKING MOM’S DREAM! All my notes accessible on my phone and the ability to add more after that unforeseen phone call during pick up? #Winning!

To learn more about OneNote and see it in action, click here:

  1. PowerPoint Slides Master- I am in Sales, so I make a lot of PowerPoint presentations. The Slide Master has saved me from hours–and I mean hours–of frustration as it allows you to format all of your slides at once. No more putting the kids to bed and opening my laptop to fix those slides…Slide Master, the complaints were heard and now answered. Amen.

To learn more about the Slide Master and see it in action, click here:

  1. Outlook Notes- Boy, can I tell you how many times I have almost forgotten to refill the dog’s medicine if it wasn’t for the sticky note pasted on my screen? Now instead of actual sticky notes, I use Outlook Notes which is the same thing, but in digital format! It’s a great way to help remind me to do little tasks that I endure as a parent that otherwise would have been forgotten about!

To learn more about Notes and see it in action, click here:

  1. Skype For Business- Being a working parent means balancing work life with kids’ schedules. Got a sick kid? I bet you are working from home that day, but that doesn’t mean work life stops. Skype for Business allows me to have flexibility and not skip a beat. Working from home with Skype for Business means I can be part of all those in-person meetings. I can view all documents being shared, collaborate on the whiteboard, and even present myself on video to feel as if I am right there in the room.

To learn more about Skype for Business and see it in action, click here:

  1. OneDrive- This cloud-based storage systems allows me to access all my files any time from any device with an Internet connection. The stress of lugging my laptop around along while carrying a 40 lb toddler to an unforeseen doctor’s visit is no longer! Got a deadline to send out a contract that conflicts with your doctor’s appointment? Log into OneDrive on your phone, and then edit or coauthor your document and share it with your client–it’s that easy. I guarantee the hardest part of that doctor’s appointment will be your toddler.

To learn more about OneDrive and see it in action, click here:

By Pam Dumont

 

Successful Leaders Show Interest in Others

By: Andrew Wight, Intellezy CEO

Are You a Terrible Boss? How to Honor Your Employees 

Early on, I learned a valuable lesson from a boss that I admired.  It was a lesson in humility and respect. 

Start with Understanding 

In meetings, he often presented questions for the team’s consideration. He listened intently as we shared our ideas and opinions.  Never expressing an opinion immediately, he asked clarifying questions until our meaning was clear. He always complimented individuals on their efforts and acknowledged their contributions with an authentic smile or a nod. 

The Best Ideas Don’t Come from the Biggest Paychecks 

Now admittedly, our team had some very good ideas, but we also had some half-baked ones too. But no matter the idea, he showed respect by listening to us, recognizing our efforts, and giving valuable feedback that dignified us. He let us know that the best ideas didn’t have to come from the person with the biggest paycheck in the room. 

5 Tips to Show Your Employees Respect 

  1. Take a Personal Interest
    We’ve all heard the expression, “I don’t care what people think about me.” That’s rarely true. We like people that take an interest in us. So get to know your staff. Ask them questions about their likes, dislikes, families, and goals. Consider their viewpoints without being judgmental. Find common ground on subjects that interest them while being careful not to cross lines of privacy or propriety.
     
  2. Be Quiet and Listen
    Listen to understand – not to reply. There’s nothing that says, “I don’t respect your ideas” more than interrupting someone when they’re speaking. Even though you might be able to finish their sentence, resist the urge. It’s rude and can squelch the conversation. Instead, wait for them to finish, pause, and then respond. It builds trust and demonstrates that you value their ideas.
     
  3. Ask Good Questions (then see #2)
    When you ask good questions, you’re practicing validation. It makes difficult conversations easier because you’ve established that you care about them and their ideas.
     
  4. Be Empathetic
    We’re our harshest critics. When a team member makes a mistake, ask yourself, “Was it intentional negligence or just an honest mistake?” If it was a mistake, ask yourself, “Is it a big deal? What if I’d made that mistake? How are they feeling?” Asking yourself these questions can turn a negative situation into a positive teaching opportunity.
     
  5. Honor Others Often
    I can’t think of a better way to show that you value and respect someone than by telling them how much you appreciate them. One of the best ways to do that is to commend them. Do it sincerely, be specific, do it in front of others, and do it often.  

Form a Respectful Habit 

We’re all busy. Sometimes, we get so involved in our own day-to-day concerns that we fail to take the time to think of others and what we can do to better their lives. If you’re a victim of this, don’t blame yourself, just make it a point to try to apply one or more of these points each day. If you do, you’ll not only benefit your team, but yourself as well. 

 

You can find thousands of short-segment videos at www.intellezy.com. Start your free trial today.