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Top 10 Online Learning Sites To Advance Communication Skills at Work

Top 10 Online Learning Sites To Advance Communication Skills at Work

Experiencing inefficiency at work and in the personal life is the worst feeling that one can face, especially when it is self created.

There comes a phase in majority of us lives when every time we listen to or meet great orators or managers, we tend to feel a sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach followed by self consoling thoughts saying that those people were probably just born with the ability or their parents probably had the same glorious skills which passed on to them as well.

Being a perfect communicator comes with time and experience after being in a series of difficult situations. Everyone of us, no matter which geographical area we belong to, more often than not, face similar issues in our career that tend to shape us as either a good communicator or a bad one.

Lacks of communication skills is one of the most misunderstood terms. It is rarely about the language proficiency or how much you fumble when you talk. It is more about how we voice out and react to an unfavorable situation that stands in front of us.

Knowing how to react in a situation helps gives us the confidence that ultimately shapes us as good communicators and even leaders.

In this article, we will be looking at the different situations that we come across everyday, which helps define us as good communicators or bad ones. Along with every situation, we have mentioned a link to the course/website you can visit to better the situation at hand and come out as an expert communicator.

Let’s begin:

1. If you are finding yourself fumbling in a language, try Duolingo.

A number of times what happens is that you lose practice in talking in language A because people around you – at home or at office – talk in language B and so when the time comes to talk in language B, you fumble because of lack of practice.

Nothing can be more frustrating than not being able to voice out what is in your head in so many words from your mouth. So, what is the solution? How do you overcome this brushing up your language issue?

Enroll in a language course on Duolingo.

    I know what you are thinking, why enroll in a course which teaches you a language from scratch? Right? I’ll tell you why.

    Because you have forgotten a language, you have over time lost track of the confidence in your speaking skills. So, enrolling in a course to learn the language from scratch will help you get the confidence back that will come from knowing that you know everything about the language that you’d need to get by in your day.

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    2. If you are unable to let go of bad incidents and it is killing your confidence, try Coursera’s EQ course.

    How many times has it happened with you that after an argument or a disagreement with someone, you were not able to talk to them as confidently as you used to earlier and it shows in your speech, tone, and simply in how you talk to them, even act in front of them?

    It is the doing of your low emotional intelligence quotient. Emotional Intelligence is that part of the personality that deals with making people aware and bringing them in control of their emotions and then channel them in a way that they are able to handle the interpersonal relations more empathetically, ultimately helping you get over and not fret over little things.  

    The solution? Coursera course on Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence. The course teaches you about hope, compassion, and mindfulness that helps in combating stress and build better relationships in the workplace.

      3. If your skills are making you hide in the crowd, upgrade your job skills at Udemy.

      No matter what job profile you are in, there is one given thing – the amount of skill set that you have to do Job A will always be inversely proportional with the skills that the job requires to ultimately help reach the organization’s goal.

      And the moment a new member who has an advanced skill set as compared to you joins your team, or the moment your boss realizes that the skill set it would take to head the job towards better profitability is one that you are missing as of now, it would affect your confidence and ultimately your communication skill.

      Another way to look at this lack of skill set issue is that in the absence of one, you will have nothing to talk about to your management team in your next tete-a-tete.

      So, what should you do? You should upgrade your skill set. There are websites like Udemy that will help you upgrade your job skill to another level.

        4. If email and Skype etiquettes are killing your confidence, use these online tools.

        If being an expert communicator is Mt. Everest, becoming a good orator is base camp one and perfecting your written communication skill is another mountain to climb altogether.

        When we talk about communication in a workplace, the instances where your oral communication skills are tested would be a lot less than the instances where you will have to write proper, concise emails or messages through the official communication mode.

        Even though it might sound a lot less important than perfecting your oral communication skills, wait till you write long unexplanatory subject lines or even worse, 3 words’ mystery subject lines in the assumption that the receiver will be enticed into opening your mail – Both being major blunders.

        So what should be done?

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        No website can teach you to write. But there are websites that can teach you how to write better and error proof.

        Here’s a list of tools to help you with that – 7 Online Tools that Improve Your Business Writing

        5. If giving PowerPoint presentations in meetings is stressing you out, sign up for Udemy’s presentation course.

        A time comes in every employee’s corporate life when they are made to stand at the center point of a room and deliver a presentation to their in-house team or their clients. If it still hasn’t happened to you yet, give it time. It will.

        It is not uncommon for worst case scenarios to run over your mind before the very minute you are going to take center position and deliver the presentation. There are so many things that can go wrong – you might fumble, you might pronounce something wrong, someone might ask you a question you have no answer of, or the audience might yawn because the presentation was that boring.

        The possibility of things going wrong are numerous. But the fact remains that with the right amount of practice, you might not face any of the presentation delivery challenges.

        In a busy office day, it is common for people to get the feeling that they don’t have enough time to accomplish everything they want and deliver a mesmerizing powerpoint presentation.

        Udemy’s course titled – PowerPoint Presentations: Deliver a Non-Boring Presentation, is just for the busy office goers. The course offers practical steps for the presenters to draft, memorize, and deliver PowerPoint presentations that don’t bore the audiences.

        6. When you have an angry customer on phone and you are going speechless, try Lynda’s course about dealing with customers.

        Everyone of you who have been in sales or is a Doctor or a Lawyer basically anyone who has ever dealt with an angry/unhappy customer whose issues have not been addressed, would relate to this.

        There are so many unfavorable situations that can come up when you are in a business where you are made to deal with a client or vendor or with someone who can have an impact on your business while not being present in-house.

        The situation leading to disagreement or frustrations can either be your doing or it might result from something purely circumstantial. Either of which way it emerges, the end result of both – Angry Customer – is something that you have to deal with, tactfully.

        You will have to prepare yourself in a way that you don’t end up saying or acting in a certain way to make the customer even angrier.

        While following a proactive approach and role playing the different situations that can emerge can help you greatly, there is a course, being offered by Lynda.com that can help you with preparing for the situation more easily.

        Lynda.com, a sister concern of LinkedIn has come up with a Course on Dealing with Difficult Customers, to help you get some perspective into what can be done in situations like these.

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          7. When you are avoiding situations and letting the conflicts foster, try Communicaid.

          Whether you are working as part of a diverse team or whether everyone in your team share the similar skillset as you, conflicts are bound to emerge.

          No matter how much we as part of a team, try to ignore the situations there will be times where disagreements between two people or within a team would rise to a level that it converts into a conflict.

          There is one thing to be clear of when it comes to conflicts – they will happen, no matter how badly you try to prevent them. What is in your control is to manage them in a way that they don’t get out of hand and affect productivity.

          Here’s a course on Managing Conflict by Communicaid, which will come in handy the next time you are finding yourself staring at a conflict.

            8. If you face difficulty with cracking deals in your favor, try Impact Factory’s course.

            In your career, there will be a number of instances where you will have to reach at an agreement with people that favors you. The discussion can be between your in-house teams or with your vendors or even your clients at times.

            The ideal scenario where both you and the other person in the picture get the best out of the deal is generally rare. More often than not, you both will mutually have to come to a point where you are able to arrive at a position whether none of you are compromising.

            Arriving at a situation where you get your fair share while the person in front of you is not at loss too with just your words is a lot more difficult than what it reads in the books.

            Practicing good negotiation skill is the one capability that comes in handy on not just the professional front but also in your everyday life. Once you master the negotiation centric communication, you will find yourself conversing with a lot more confidence in the office space.

            To help you in this department, enroll in the Negotiation Course by Impact Factory. The course structure is designed to teach the necessary skills that would prepare you to negotiate in a way that is best suited for achieving your goal.

            9. If you have difficulty holding a productive meeting, try Udemy’s productive meetings course.

            Holding meetings is an art. Not everyone can organize a meeting and then get the team to respond the way they want to.

            There are a number of factors that affect the outcome of a meeting – the time and place of the meeting, the agenda, the participants, etc. And as someone who is handling the meeting, even a single ounce of disinterest is enough to shake the confidence and bring an increase in the probability of making a mistake on the communication front.

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            What helps in a situation like this is a course that would teach you the exact steps that guarantees happening of a productive meeting.

            A course that would help you with exactly this is Udemy’s Meeting Management: How to Lead & Master Productive MeetingsThe course is structured around giving you insights into how to transform a boring meeting into a productive one.

              10. If what you are communicating through your body posture is not in sync with your words, take Alison’s communication course.

              Any talk on communication will be incomplete without a mention of non-verbal communication or your body language. The saying that action speaks louder than words holds true on so many fronts, especially in a competitive environment like an office space.

              There’s a lot that people perceive about you and what you perceive about people from the way they sit, stand, smile, shake hands, and even look at you.

              While on one hand you shouldn’t be overly friendly to allow people to not take you seriously, you shouldn’t keep a firm tone as well so that you come across as a stubborn, my way or the highway colleague.

              A number of times, we fall prey to the classic ‘this is not what I meant’ swirl and more often than not is the doing of how our body acts when we are having a dialogue – something that when not checked can affect the interpersonal relationships in a way that you cannot even imagine.

              The solution of this lack of syncness between what you say and what your body language portrays is something that needs to be corrected as early in your career as possible.

              There are a number of courses related to perfecting the nonverbal communication skills available on the internet, the one that is performing well in terms of best result is Alison.com course on Communication Skills – Perception and Nonverbal Communication.

              The bottom line

              Have a look at the course structure and see if it is aligned with what you are hoping to achieve.

              When it comes to bettering your communication skills, never put your concentrated focus on learning how to speak a language more fluently, instead learn how to tackle different situations. It is your preparation to tackle different situations that will give you the confidence when the time comes and better your communication automatically.

              When it comes to situations where you need to showcase your communication skills, chances are they won’t be restricted to these ten, there will a lot more. But, as you are starting on this journey of being a good communicator, these ten situations are the perfect starting points for you to get confidence and ultimately become a better communicator

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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              Tripti Rai

              Tripti works in a mobile app development agency and shares about work and productivity tips related to technology.

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              Last Updated on November 17, 2019

              40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

              40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

              With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, starry-eyed lovers worldwide are getting ready to celebrate their love and planning the perfect date for their partner. However, there are many loving, caring, and generally great people out there who simply can’t think of a single romantic thing to do, let alone create the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience for their loved one. If you are looking for some great date ideas that will put a smile on your partner’s face and melt their heart, then just keep on reading. I’ve got a pretty big list of choices for you. Here are some great ideas ranging from tried and true classics, to the fun and slightly unconventional.

              1. Rom-coms marathon

              This is a very basic yet highly romantic way of spending the day with your partner. Take a few days to prepare the right playlist and create a romantic atmosphere at home. You can order out some food, open a bottle of wine and cuddle up in front of the TV.

              2. Recreate your first date

              Rated pretty high on the “romantic gestures scale,” this is guaranteed to impress your significant other. It requires a good memory and a bit of work to make it just right, but it is well worth it. Walk down the same streets where you first kissed and have a couple of drinks in that old coffee shop where you had your first drinks together. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit extra and add a little romantic gift into the mix.

              3. Cook for your loved one

              Start researching good recipes for a romantic dinner for two, get the right ingredients and prepare a couple of practice dinners to make sure you’ve got your technique and presentation down pat. Cooking for someone can be a big turn on and you can create some incredible meals without spending too much money. Take it up a notch by dressing classy, decorating your dining room and presenting your partner with a printed menu.

              4. Organize your very own ancient Greek party

              Here’s another one of those creative date ideas for the stay-at-home couple. The ancient Greek private party can be a very fun and erotic experience. You can decorate by using big bowls full of grapes, spreading some white sheets all over the place, placing some plastic vines here and there, putting up a few posters depicting Greek parties and having plenty of wine lying around. Wear nothing but light sheets or costumes and channel some of that hot-blooded Greek spirit.

              5. A romantic weekend getaway in the mountains

              For those looking for a change of scenery and an escape from the busy city, there is nothing better than a quiet, romantic weekend in the mountains. There are plenty of fun activities like skiing that will keep you active. You can have fun making a snowman or engaging in a snowball fight, and, of course, there is plenty of privacy and great room service waiting for you back at your room.

              6. Fun day at the shooting range

              A bit unconventional but an incredibly fun and exciting date that will get your blood pumping and put a huge smile on your faces. Try out a number of guns and have a bit of a competition. Some outdoor ranges have fully automatic rifles, which are a blast to shoot.

              7. Rent an expensive sports car for a day

              Don’t be afraid to live large from time to time—even if you can’t afford the glamorous lifestyle of the stars, you can most definitely play pretend for a day. Put on some classy clothes and drive around town in a rented sports car. The quick acceleration and high speed are sure to provide an exhilarating experience.

              8. Go on a shopping spree together

              Very few things can elicit such a huge dopamine rush as a good old shopping spree. Get some new lingerie, pretty shoes, a nice shirt and tie, a couple of new video games or whatever else you need or want. This is a unique chance to bond, have fun and get some stuff that you’ve been waiting to buy for a while now.

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              9. Hit the clubs

              For all the party animals out there, one of the best date ideas is to go out drinking, dancing, and just generally enjoying the night life. Visit a few good clubs, then go to an after-party and keep that party spirit going for as long as you can.

              10. Spend the day driving around the city and visiting new places

              This one is geared towards couples who have been together for a year or two and want to experience a few new things together. Visit a few cool coffee places on the other side of town, check out interesting restaurants you’ve never been to, and consider going to see a play or having fun at a comedy club on open mic night.

              11. Wine and chocolates at sunset

              Pick out a romantic location, such as a camping spot on a hill overlooking the city or a balcony in a restaurant with a nice view, open a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates and wait for that perfect moment when the sky turns fiery red to embrace and share a passionate kiss.

              12. Ice skating

              There is something incredibly fun about ice skating that brings people closer together and just keeps you laughing (maybe it’s all the falling and clinging to the other person for dear life). You can have some great fun and then move on to a more private location for some alone time.

              13. Body painting

              Speaking of private locations and intimate moments, body painting allows you to spice things up back at your place and add a new element of fun to foreplay. You’ll need adequate body paints and some brushes and the rest is up to you. You can do tiger stripes, paint a t-shirt on your partner, or go for something more abstract—the choice is yours.

              14. Model clothes for each other

              This one goes well when combined with a shopping spree, but you can just get a bunch of your clothes—old and new—from the closet, set up a catwalk area and then try on different combinations. You can be stylish, funny or beautiful. It’s a great after-dinner show and a good way to transition into a more intimate atmosphere.

              15. Dance the night away

              If you and your significant other are relatively good dancers, or if you simply enjoy moving your body to the rhythm of the music, then a night at salsa club or similar venue is the perfect thing for you. Alternatively, you can set up dance floor at home, play your favorite music, have a few drinks and dance like there is no tomorrow.

              16. Lock the doors, turn off the phones and have the whole house to yourselves

              This one might seem a bit obvious and kind of redundant seeing as how I’ve already mentioned a bunch of stay-at-home date ideas that require this step as a prerequisite, but when I say, “Have the whole house to yourselves,” I literally mean turning the whole house into romantic stage where you can explore your fantasies. Decorate each room a bit differently, have a lot of snacks and drinks lying around, put a bunch of blankets and pillows on the floor and go from room to room throughout the day. You can start off with a steaming shower, have a romantic meal, then watch a movie cuddled up on the couch and eventually make your way to the bedroom.

              17. Organize a nature walk

              Being outside has many health benefits, but what you are going for is the beautiful view, seclusion, and the thrill of engaging in some erotic behavior out in the open. You can rent a cottage far from the city, bring some food and drinks, and explore the wilderness. This is nice way to spice things up a bit and get away from the loud and busy city life.

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              18. Act out a fun scenario wearing costumes

              Some role-playing may be just the thing you need to spice up your love life after a few years of being together, but it can be a very fun experience for new couples as well. Work on the scenario together (wounded soldier and nurse, a female cop arresting a robber, etc.), buy the right costumes and accessories beforehand and find a good setting. You could also rent a hotel room to add to the forbidden-fruit vibe.

              19. Travel abroad

              This takes a bit of planning in advance and may be a bit costly, but if you can afford it, there are very few things that can match a trip to France, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, or a number of other excellent locations.

              20. Go on a hot-air balloon ride

              These are very fun and romantic—you get an incredible view, get to experience the thrill of flying, and you’ve got enough room for a romantic dinner and some champagne. Just be sure to wear warm clothes, it can get pretty cold high up in the air.

              21. A relaxing day at the spa

              Treat your body, mind and senses to a relaxing day at the spa. You and your partner will feel fresh, comfortable and relaxed—a perfect date for the more serious couples who don’t get to spend as much time with each other as they’d like.

              22. A trip down memory lane

              This one is great for long-term couples who will benefit from reminiscing about all of their fondest memories together from the start of the relationship through to the present, reliving some of the most significant moments they shared.

              23. Fun times at a karaoke bar

              A great choice for couples celebrating their first Valentine’s Day together—it’s fairly informal and inexpensive, yet incredibly fun and allows for deeper bonding. Once you have a few drinks in your system and come to terms with the fact that you are making a complete fool of yourself, you’ll have the time of your life!

              24. Helicopter tour of the city followed by dinner

              A modern equivalent to the hot-air balloon ride, the helicopter tour is among the more reasonably priced date ideas and is incredibly romantic and exciting. After about half an hour or an hour of sightseeing you can finish off the upper-class experience by dining in a nice restaurant.

              25. Horseback riding

              Horseback riding is incredibly fun, especially if you’ve never done it before. And what girl doesn’t dream of a prince coming to take her on an adventure on his noble steed? It evokes a sense of nobility and is a very good bonding experience.

              26. Plan a fun date night with other couples

              Take a break and rent a cabin in the woods, go to a mountain resort, a couple’s retreat, or just organize a huge date night at someone’s place and hang out with other couples. This is a great option for couples who have spent at least one Valentine’s Day together and allows you to customize your experience to suit your needs. Also, you can always retire early and get some alone time with your partner if you so desire.

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              27. Cocktail night

              This can be done privately, or with other couples if you are organizing a group Valentine’s Day celebration at someone’s house. All you need is a bunch of different drinks, a few accessories like fruit and spices, and internet access to check out some cool recipes online. Try out all sorts of fun cocktails and mix some brand new ones on your own. Make it a fancy dress night for added fun.

              28. Make reservations at an exclusive restaurant

              A fairly old school move, except this time you can pick out a restaurant that serves a particular type of cuisine you’ve never tried before. Go for a place that has unusual menus and likes to make a show out of presenting the food, rather than just going for your regular “suits and monocles” type venue.

              29. Go to a concert

              There are a whole bunch of things happening around Valentine’s Day, so go online and check out what’s happening near you. You’ll surely be able to find tickets for a cool concert or some type of festival with live music.

              30. Fancy night on the town

              Buy some elegant new clothes, rent a limo for the night and go to a nice restaurant, followed by a jazz club or gallery exhibition. Walk tall, make a few sarcastic quips, and have a few laughs with your partner while letting your inner snob take charge for a few hours.

              31. Take a tour of the historical and cultural sites of your city

              For the cultured crowd and history buffs among us, a day spent learning about some of the local history and delving deeper into national culture is both incredibly fun and a great way to share a unique experience with a loved one. You’d be surprised to find just how much you don’t know about the place you live in.

              32. Live out a James Bond film at a casino

              A beautiful lady in a simple yet sensual, form-fitting, black dress, and a strong and handsome, if somewhat stern-looking man in a fine suit walk up to a roulette table with drinks in hand and place bets at random as they smile at each other seductively. This is a scenario most of us wish to play out, but rarely get a chance. It can be a bit costly, but this is one of the most incredibly adventurous and romantic date ideas.

              33. Go bungee jumping

              People in long-term relationships often talk about things like keeping a relationship fun and exciting, doing new things together, trusting each other and using aphrodisiacs. Well, bungee jumping is a fun, exhilarating activity you can both enjoy; it requires trust and the adrenaline rush you get from it is better than any aphrodisiac out there. Just saying, give it a shot and you won’t regret it.

              34. Take a tour of a winery or brewery

              Taking a tour like this can be a great opportunity to learn new things about wine or beer (or perhaps whiskey) and how it is made, while at the same time getting a chance to taste some excellent drinks and get a few bottles for later in the evening.

              35. Make a fun music video

              Meet up earlier in the day, take decent camera, and start shooting a music video. Rehearse the lyrics (you can even make up your own silly song), dress up, and start filming. You’ll have tons of fun doing it and you can edit the video later and have a cool memento.

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              36. Play some sports

              Some one-on-one basketball, a soccer match against another couple, a bit of tennis, or even something as simple as a table tennis tournament (make it fun by stripping off items of clothing when you lose a game). You can combine this with date idea #13 and paint team uniforms on each other and play in the nude.

              37. Visit a club with live music

              A great option for just about any couple—pick a club that has live performers (whether it’s jazz, rock or even a poetry reading) and dress up for the occasion. Be sure to make reservations in advance to avoid the Valentine’s Day rush, and focus on making your date feel comfortable.

              38. Take skydiving lessons

              Another adrenaline-filled date, skydiving is sure to get your heart racing like crazy and leave you with a goofy grin for the rest of the day. You can offset all the excitement by ending the day with a quiet dinner at home.

              39. Go for some paintball

              Playing war games is an excellent way to get your body moving, focus on some of that hand-eye-coordination, and engage your brain in coming up with tactical solutions in the heat of the moment. It is also a great bonding experience, adrenaline-fueled fun, and role-playing all wrapped into one. And when you get back home, you can always act out the wounded soldier scenario (see #18).

              40. Fill the whole day with random fun activities

              Just say no to plans, reservations and clichés—take your partner by the hand, have your credit card ready and just go out and have some fun. Bowling, followed by a drink at a coffee shop and then a romantic movie? Sure, why not? Going for lunch at a nice restaurant and then organizing a double-date game night? Go right ahead. Going for a long walk in the park, visiting a museum, followed by romantic meal at home and then going out to a club? Hey, who am I to say no? You can use some of the ideas from this article and mash them up together to create a fun-filled Valentine’s Day you’ll both remember.

              There you go, a whole bunch of useful date ideas for all you loving couples out there. You can pick out any one of these, make some adjustments or even combine different options to create the perfect Valentine’s Day date for your significant other. Plan ahead, have fun and celebrate your love proudly.

              Featured photo credit: Relevante design via unsplash.com

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