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About Sorin Dumitrascu
Sorin developed and delivered on management, project management, computer literacy, human resources, career development, soft skills for employees and even corrections incidents management.
Currently working as a prison service consultant, he is a certified trainer and project manager, holding a master degree in International Relations and Policy Making and a bachelor degree in Law and Public Administration.
Sorin coordinated during the last 15 years projects in the areas of rule of law, regional development and human resources.
He has more than 15 years of middle/senior managerial experience within the civil service (justice, corrections, internal affairs, training), private sector (project management, consultancy, training) and NGO (industrial relations, rural development).
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As you may have deduced, emotions can have enormous power. They can motivate you to act by steering you toward what you desire and away from what you find unpleasant. Even negative emotions like anger can be beneficial by providing you with a stimulus to take productive action.
Emotions also help you understand your needs and those of others.
And recognizing and taking them into account can help you build strong, healthy relationships and improve your ability to relate to others.
To live full, rewarding lives, people need to make use of their minds and their hearts. Intellect and emotion aren't opposed to each other – they work together, informing your perceptions and reactions.
Favoring one or the other throws things out of balance.
But it's not possible to use emotions to your advantage if you suppress or misinterpret them. So emotional awareness is vital. It involves accurately recognizing your emotions and those of others.
A person's emotional intelligence quotient – or EQ for short – is the capacity to reason about emotional information. EQ is increasingly recognized as important in both personal and work environments.
Even in business contexts, where rational thought is traditionally valued over emotional skills, research shows that EQ is an important predictor of success.
This applies especially in areas where dealing well with others is crucial, like sales. People with high EQs relate better to others, make better use of feedback to develop themselves, and generally possess greater understanding of their environments than those with low EQs.
EQ can be divided into four general areas of competence – self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and relationship management.
There's always room for improvement, right? Self- improvement is a lifelong journey that can have lasting positive impacts on your personal and professional life. In this course, you'll learn about the key principles for committing to self-improvement. You'll also learn how to create a plan to organize self-improvement activities, how to build and maintain an effective self-improvement mentoring relationship, and what common obstacles you may encounter in your self-improvement efforts.
Self-confidence is a crucial factor in your willingness to face challenges and take risks, both in your personal and your professional life. Your self- confidence isn't just something that affects you; self-confidence radiates out to the people around you. Because self-confidence can fluctuate, you need to be able to evaluate your current level, raise it when necessary, and maintain it. In this course, you'll learn about techniques for assessing, increasing, and maintaining a healthy level of self-confidence.
Many people view negotiation as something that diplomats and businessmen do in order to get what they want. While many of them no doubt approach negotiation with that mind-set, negotiation should be viewed as a collaborative, rather than competitive, process.
Negotiation is a process in which two or more parties with different needs and goals work together to find a solution that's acceptable to both.
In business, negotiation is a constant. In addition to negotiating deals or contracts, you'll need to negotiate with the people you work with on a daily basis.
Suppliers frequently ask for delays to deliver their products, buyers ask for extensions on payment, and employees ask for salary increases. Each of these requests requires negotiation skills to address properly.
If you can't negotiate through these issues, you won't survive in the workplace.
This course includes information you can use to become a better negotiator. You'll learn to recognize the actions that can help you negotiate successfully.
You'll learn about distinguishing between the two main types of negotiation: distributive and integrative.
And finally, you'll be introduced to the different styles of negotiation. Are you confrontational? Collaborative? Accommodating? This course will show you which style, or combination of styles, is the most appropriate in a given situation.
If you've ever tried to negotiate without being properly prepared, you may know firsthand what it's like to not get what you want. Consider Jose, who was honest and heartfelt when he told his boss, "My mortgage went up and my son needs braces. I need a raise!" Jose didn't plan for the negotiation, and only explained the situation from one point of view – his own. He didn't get the raise. But being prepared might have given him a better result.
In planning for negotiation, you have to figure out what you want and what the other side wants. You need to prepare for the give-and-take of negotiation, identifying areas of compromise and alternatives.
After all, an effective negotiation isn't a winner-take-all type of contest. Remember, many negotiations take place with people you need to work with after the negotiations are over.
Proper planning gives you the direction needed for effective problem solving at the negotiation table. In Jose's case, preparation could have helped him show how a raise would be a win-win solution.
Negotiation preparation allows you to be more confident, which gives you better control over the outcome. Preparation also gives you a greater understanding of the other party. This will help you craft a good solution.
In this course, you'll gain an understanding of the key considerations in preparing for negotiations.
You'll learn about determining overall goals and the needs, wants, and expectations of both sides of the negotiation. You'll also learn how to research the issues surrounding the negotiation and take into account the relationship you have with the other party.
You'll learn how to prepare for a negotiation by considering possible compromises you'll have to make and how to create negotiation value through trades. You need to research what outcomes would be good for both your interests and the other party's.
This course also covers how to identify the BATNA – which stands for best alternative to a negotiated agreement – in case a negotiation reaches an impasse.
You should examine your organization, identifying where it excels and where there's room for improvement, and implement changes where necessary. Encourage those who work with you to excel at what they do, giving their best to making yours a high-performance organization.
There are five cornerstones of a high-performing organization. Any examination of your organization for high performance should take each of these into account. First there's the mission statement, embodying your organization's strategy. Second is performance measurement – how you examine internal progress. Third, there's customer orientation, how you're positioned to deal with customers. Fourth is leadership, how you lead for high performance. And finally, there's organizational culture, the way your organization is geared toward high performance.
Using each cornerstone as a guide, you can ensure your organization is poised for high performance in its internal configuration and how it deals with external factors. You should select the right strategy and focus on your customers. Quality leadership is also important, as are the right human resources policies and management practices. Overall, your organizational culture needs to be geared toward success. These should lead to greater value creation for your organization going forward.
This course will help you gauge your organization's potential for high performance in terms of its mission statement, performance measurement strategies, customer orientation, leadership, and culture. It will also point to how each of these can be fully harnessed to make yours a high-performing organization with a competitive edge.
Every organization has some problem performers, but these problems can be avoided. It's an uncomfortable lesson to learn, but an organization only has itself to blame when it has to play catch-up on problem performance.
When problem performance is accepted as a normal part of the organization's existence, then a golden opportunity has been missed.
So how do you prevent problem performance?
The recipe is plain and simple:
• Choose the right people--even if your new hires do not perform well, at least you know that they have the ability.
• Tell your employees exactly what you want them to do. If you haven't explained your standards of performance to your employees, then they will never meet your expectations.
• Tell your employees how they're doing. If you fail to give your employees feedback, eventually performance standards will drop.
Preventing poor performance isn't complicated. This course will teach you step-by-step prevention of problem performance in your organization.
Problem performance comes from problem performers, and they are easy to spot. They are the ones you are having problems with. That sounds easy, but this truism hides the real complexity of identifying problem performance.
This course will help you to distinguish between conduct and performance. Your response to one should be different from your response to the other. You might believe that good performance is a function of character. If so, what are the most significant attributes to look for?
And you might believe that excellent performance is developed by competition. This course will guide you through the controversial issue of forced rankings as a means of managing performance.
To manage problem performance, you will need to identify its causes to find relevant solutions. The causes may lie in the attitudes of workers, or their ability to perform. But you need to remember that your employees work in a context, and that sometimes the working system hinders good performance. This course will provide you with the information necessary to analyze the causes of problem performance in your organization.
In addition, you must be able to quantify levels of performance. You can't tell employees that they are not performing well, and then expect them to improve without quantifying and detailing that information. The last lesson in this course describes how to measure performance.
This course will enable you to identify problem performance. You will then be ready to tackle performance improvement.
Turning problem performance into good performance is probably the most important element of all performance management systems.
Before you can help an employee to improve her performance, you have to tell her that she has a problem. This, of course, sounds easy. But often the first step is the hardest. This course will guide you through the right way to begin.
Many managers think that their job is then finished--it's up to the worker to improve. They're wrong! This course will help you to create effective improvement plans, and to know when to use external agencies for support.
Do you wonder if there is another professional business style that might be right for you? The answer may well be yes. Many people find that an assertive style meets their professional needs. Others around you appreciate this solid, constructive approach. And you can feel in control using this style to deal with co-workers or even manage or supervise employees. The assertive style can be your win-win style.
Try the role of an assertive business professional. It can be the right style for you. You can find yourself acting proactively and dealing with others responsibly. What a great feeling. The good news is that you don't have to achieve this role by yourself. This course will give you tools to help. You will learn about: becoming an assertive professional, proactive listening strategies, constructive feedback strategies.
Do you sometimes feel trapped in the way you commonly act at work? Or even angry at others who act as though you're a nonentity or someone to be avoided?
How would you like to take the lead in developing the assertive professional style you've dreamed of having, one that lets you avoid traps and anger? It's up to you to decide when you want to take charge of your life.
You've reached the right conclusion when you decide that you're the best person to take the lead in developing your professional style. You can blossom as an individual when your actions form the foundation for an assertive style that you can build on and strengthen.
Your self-confidence will increase as you use the course's methods and guidelines to change your professional style to the style you've dreamed of having.
If you have an optimistic attitude, your efforts to develop your style can be both personally and professionally rewarding. The material covered in this course will give you the tools to help yourself. The three lessons are: Developing Your Assertive Style, Self-development Strategies, and Assertive Interactions.
Imagine the embarrassment, not to mention the loss of revenues that probably ensued. And while this example seems amusing after the fact, cross-cultural miscommunications aren't always benign.
For instance, a large airline manufacturer developed its newest plane model to be flown by two pilots, with both pilots helping and correcting each other.
But what do you suppose happens when the pilots are from a culture in which a subordinate is inhibited by custom from correcting a superior? At least one airline company has had several close calls as a direct result of this "design flaw" – which is ultimately a communication lapse.
Now, you may not be involved in public safety or an industry in which communication errors can cause horrendous mishaps. But you'll likely soon be working with people from different cultures, if you aren't already. You need to learn how to handle cultural differences and maximize your communication opportunities.
And this course will help you do just that. You'll learn about important cultural differences that will help you adapt your communication style to be more effective. In the first topic, you'll learn about the importance of achieving a proper mind-set for cross-cultural communication. In the second topic, you'll study aspects of cultures that affect how people communicate across cultural boundaries. In the third topic, you'll learn about a model of cultural dimensions that will help you enhance your communication abilities.
The globalization of communication has brought with it opportunities to conduct business with people from all over the world. Inevitably, this means interactions and relationships between people who are culturally different. This is known as cross-cultural communication.
A simple definition of a culture is a group of people who share a common set of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, and who communicate through common language or symbols.
The culture in which people are socialized influences the manner in which they work, socialize, and interact with others.
If you want to understand and communicate effectively with people of different cultures, it's imperative that you understand how culture affects communication.
There are many different ways that people of different cultures give and receive information. They communicate in a variety of ways – through talk, silence, expression, emphasis, and gesture. People from different cultures place different emphasis on these methods, and have distinct expectations as to how each should be used to communicate, and what the message is that each conveys.
The best way to understand intercultural communication is to be aware of the five elements of the communication process.
The elements are sender, encoding, channel, decoding, and receiver. To communicate effectively, you'll need to understand the cultural context influencing each of these elements.
Imagine an organization where everyone is the same. People have the same opinions. They're all close in age. Their backgrounds are similar. They even have the same political and religious beliefs. Would you want to work there?
Of course, such a company probably doesn't exist in real life. And even if it did, few people would want to work there.
Diversity makes things interesting. Interacting with people who offer fresh new perspectives can teach you how to broaden your horizons and find creative ways to solve problems.
A diverse workplace can even help you identify new markets, products, or business opportunities. Diverse groups are less likely to get stuck in routines and groupthink. In other words, diversity is good for business!
Because diversity is so important, understanding it is crucial, not just for the HR Department, but for anyone who works in a modern global company.
This course outlines the importance of diversity in the workplace:
You'll discover how the concept of diversity is constantly changing and the resulting myths surrounding it.
You'll also find out how diversity can benefit not only your organization, but you as an individual.
Finally, the course discusses some of the challenges and barriers to diversity in the workplace and ways you can overcome them.
Developing diversity isn't always easy, but the benefits far outweigh the effort required. If your company wants to achieve success in the changing marketplace and explore new sources of competitive advantage, diversity should be one of its priorities.
In today's global economy, people of all ages, races, religions, cultures, and backgrounds work together – in the same work environments and across worldwide electronic networks.
And with the availability of a much larger talent pool, nearly all organizations are working to harness the promise of diversity – that increased creativity and synergy are forged when people of differing talents, ideas, and backgrounds work together.
But diversity comes with problems too. Whether you're dealing with a teammate from another country or a client with a different educational background, communications are complicated. Misunderstandings and frustrations are the order of the day when people from different backgrounds apply their own behavioral standards and expectations to each other.
For you to succeed in a diverse environment, you must be able to work well with others who aren't like you. The three topics in this course deal with three different aspects of diversity: Self-awareness and Diversity, Embracing Diversity, and Communicating in a Diverse Setting.
Self-awareness and Diversity
The first topic presents the importance of self-awareness in succeeding in a diverse environment. You'll learn about some tips for determining your core values, core beliefs, and biases, as well as for taking control of your self-talk.
The second topic presents some methods you can use to work successfully with people from different backgrounds. Methods include developing a nuanced world view and investigating the rationale for behaviors that may seem strange to you. This topic also covers actions you can take to become a diversity advocate.
Communicating in a Diverse Setting
The third topic presents some techniques for communicating effectively to ensure your message gets across to people who may communicate very differently than you do.
Diversity is important – and it's becoming more important by the day. Take to heart what you learn in this course. By embracing diversity, you're preparing for the future.
Risk management enables you to highlight the risks that your project is exposed to. It also allows you to develop a contingency plan to overcome them. Some of its main aims are to secure an organization's cash flow, to protect its reputation and resources, and to ensure projects stay within budget.
Risk management consists of a three-step process. First, you identify the potential risks to your project. Second, you assess the risks in terms of their probability and severity, and prioritize them accordingly. And third, you deal with the biggest risks to your project by creating an effective plan of action.
This course describes how to carry out the first step, identifying risks. You'll learn about the different risk identification techniques involved, such as root cause analysis and documentation reviews, and you'll find out when they should be used. You'll then examine one specific technique, brainstorming, in further detail. You'll learn how to prepare and conduct your session and manage group dynamics. You'll then have an opportunity to practice facilitating a brainstorming session in a simulated situation.
At the end of this course, you should be better able to identify risks to your project. And you should find it easier to overcome some of the challenges of conducting a brainstorming session.
There are four questions you must ask when assessing opportunities for your department or individual project.
The first question is, "What events would increase the probability of the opportunity occurring?" There are many variables you may be able to change with regard to an opportunity's likelihood.
The second question is, "How can we encourage those events to occur?" This involves deciding what actions to take to improve the chances an opportunity will come about.
Once an opportunity presents itself the third question is, "How can we capitalize on an opportunity that occurs?" Make sure you have the right resources in place to get the most benefit from the opportunity.
The fourth and final question is, "How will we know when the opportunity has occurred?" Set out triggers and a timeline to measure the opportunity's progress.
As a manager, you probably have to deal with risks from time to time in your organization. Some risks are negative and may pose a threat to your plans. Others have an upside and offer positive opportunities. Whatever type of risk you encounter, it's important to deal with both threats and opportunities in an effective way.
To help deal with risk effectively, you need to put a risk management - or RM - process in place. The first stage in this process is to identify the risks you're dealing with. Stage two is to assess the risks you've identified. And at stage three you deal with the risks. This course focuses on stage three of the risk management process - dealing with risk.
When dealing with risks, it's important to choose the most efficient and cost-effective response in each case.
This course describes various ways of responding to threats effectively. So, you'll be better equipped to manage threats when they do occur.
The course also outlines various responses you could consider when you encounter an opportunity. This should help you to seize opportunities and make the most of them.
Programs bring together a variety of projects and ongoing work that are linked by the overall benefits that they bring to an organization and its customers.
By placing projects and ongoing work under the management of a single program manager, duplication of tasks between projects is reduced, and the direction for the outcomes or benefits of the work is closely managed.
This improves an organization's competitive advantage and helps to ensure that time and resources are not wasted on efforts that have little chance of producing beneficial outcomes.
Currently many organizations have their own definitions and understandings of portfolios, programs, and projects.
The differences in these understandings can lead to confusion, so the Project Management Institute (PMI®) has created standardized definitions of all three types of work allotments.
This standardization should reduce misunderstandings and help to generate sets of best practices specific to each type of work.
When in a program environment, the processes differ from traditional project management.
PMI® has developed The Standard for Program Management, which provides a shared lexicon and set of best practices for program management.
Programs have their own associated organizational structure and stakeholders. The Standard for Program Management provides a structure for program management and provides a set of best practices to help you ensure the success of your programs.
As you work through the course, you will learn about the
• importance of programs and program management and how they relate to portfolio and project management,
• relationship between program management and strategic vision and how the program management themes ensure success of a program.
"The future influences the present just as much as the past." – Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)
In program management, it is vital to know what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. The program life cycle helps you to manage and control a program by clarifying where the program is and what needs to be done.
The program management life cycle is a vital tool in managing and controlling a program and its benefits and outcomes.
By using life-cycle phases, a program manager can ensure that the program achieves all the expected outcomes within the time and budget constraints set for that program.
The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the basic concepts of program life-cycle management.
It provides an overview of:
program life-cycle phases
Program life-cycle phases are used to monitor and control the program's benefits. A program life cycle is made up of five phases - preprogram setup, program setup, establishing a program management and technical infrastructure, delivering the benefits, and closing the program.
The three program themes that span all the program life-cycle phases are benefits management, stakeholder management, and phase gate reviews. These themes evolve over time and require management throughout each phase of a program life cycle.
Program governance involves the continuous management and control of a program. It spans the whole life cycle of the program and is initiated to monitor the progress of the program and the delivery of the planned benefits from its constituent projects.
Cultivating cooperative relationships and building credibility are the foundations on which you can build influence and so get the results you need. Influencing skills are essential no matter what your position – but they're especially important if you don't have direct authority over those you need help from.
To get what you want in a situation where you have no authority, you need to communicate persuasively.
You need to use oral communication properly if you want to be taken seriously and be seen as credible. This is especially true when you don't have authority. It then becomes critical that you communicate well – as well as persuasively – otherwise it's likely you won't get what you set out to achieve.
Consider sales calls and telesales. The salespeople must have effective communication skills. Because they have only a limited time to sell their product, they must be highly persuasive speakers.
You may not be a salesperson, but you still need to be able to influence your colleagues, whether you're asking for a simple favor, a major commitment, or a buy-in for your ideas. Without formal authority, you can't simply order people to do your bidding. Persuasive communication can help.
Sometimes, even if you have prepared to the best of your ability, you may still meet some resistance. Knowing how to communicate persuasively involves knowing how to overcome resistance so you can achieve the result you want.
In economics, the "no free lunch" rule encapsulates the idea that to get something you want, you need to give something back. Or if you give nothing, you get nothing.
In its simplest sense, the idea of exchange is illustrated when you go to a store and exchange money for a desired item.
This idea of exchange – also known as "reciprocity" or "give-and-take" – isn't restricted to material items. It's a universal principle that applies to all kinds of situations.
Reciprocity becomes especially pertinent in cases where you need to influence people you have no direct authority over.
You may need help from a colleague on a project, for example. Or you may need key information from someone in order to complete an important report.
Reciprocity can be either positive or negative.
In positive reciprocity, the exchanges are mutually beneficial. For example, "If you cover my weekend shift this Saturday, I'll cover yours next month."
In negative reciprocity, the exchanges are negative or threatening. For example, "If you don't come to this meeting, you won't receive a production bonus."
You should avoid a negative bias in exchanges unless it's necessary. Negative bias can create a pattern of hostility – which can be very counter-productive in a work environment. Negative bias can also build mistrust and damage perceptions of individuals in the organization.
Consider you and your boss's relationship. Are you able to make a request to take on more responsibility? Can you get the direction you need? Are you happy with the relationship you have with your boss – with how you and your boss work together? If you have answered no to any of these questions, you may need to build influence with your boss in order to improve your situation.
Building influence with your boss can have many benefits. If you have influence, your boss is far more likely to listen to your thoughts and ideas.
You may be given more latitude, more support, or more challenging assignments.