Building Your Competitive Advantage
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[ACTIVITY] 7 Soft Skills CEOs Work On


While I was doing research for My Career Journal, I spoke to quite a few chief executive officers and other executives. I found it interesting that the soft skills they wanted in their employees were often the same soft skills in which the CEOs wanted or were receiving coaching for themselves.

But just because that’s what I found from a few dozen interviews, it doesn’t mean this trend is universal. Fortunately, I came across the 2013 Executive Coaching Survey administered by Stanford University and the Miles Group. The results were similar to my interviews, but they were more accurate and more data was available.

Here are the top 7 soft skills that CEO’s work on:


[VIDEO] Duncan Nugget® #346: Overcome Cognitive Bias


In 1945, psychologist Karl Duncker gave research subjects a candle, a book of matches, and a box of tacks. He asked them to stick the candle to a wall so that when lit, wax wouldn’t drip on the floor.

What would your solution be?

The simple solution is to remove the tacks from the box, stand the candle in the box, and then tack the box to the wall. See what I mean? Simple.

But most people didn’t get it because they had a type of cognitive bias about what the box was for—holding tacks. They didn’t see the box for all that it could be. Think about that.

The ability to overcome cognitive bias gives you a competitive advantage because you’ll expand your perception of yourself and others. You’ll find better ways to maximize your skills and resources.

Million-Dollar Question:
What are you doing to expand your perception and overcome cognitive bias?



5 College Interview Questions You Could Be Asked


In most cases college interviews are not mandatory. They are, however, highly recommended because they can give you a competitive advantage. A great interview could be the difference between acceptance and rejection.

Before I give you 5 questions your interviewer could ask you, let me answer a question that you may have.

What criteria do they use to make a decision?


Q & A: What Is Your Take On Professional Resume Writing Services?


Q: Hi Mr. Duncan, I wanted to know your take on professional resume writing services. Do you feel that it has a higher chance of impressing or do you think if one had the main key points, their resume would be just as good? I was curious and just wanted your advice on the subject. Thanks. —Z. Brandford

When it comes to resume writing services, I’ve heard great stories and horror stories. So, in a nutshell, a did-it-myself resume can be just as effective as one written by a professional IF you know what you are doing.

The two initial questions most employers have are:


[VIDEO] Duncan Nugget® #36: Individuals and Issues


Whether it’s parents fussing at children, students complaining about teachers, co-workers arguing, or couples fighting, conflicts often end with a stack of hurt feelings and enraged people.

If you really want to resolve the conflict, it’s not cool to say things like: “You idiot! How stupid can you be?!”

But what if he really is an idiot?

I feel your pain but, even if you’re dealing with a genuine idiot, those types of statements actually make things worse because they are value judgments about the individual.

When resolving conflicts, focus on the issue, not the individual; the problem, not the person.

Think about it. It’s easier to resolve the issue or problem, when you avoid making value judgments about a person. Instead, focus on the aspects of the issue you want to resolve.

Million-Dollar Question:
When dealing with conflict,
do you focus on the individual or the issue? 



[ACTIVITY] Soft Skills Questions You Could Be Asked During An Interview


Here are 29 sample behavioral-based interviewing questions that companies and organizations use to help assess a person’s leadership ability, teamwork and other soft skills.

Below the questions there are two activities you can do with your group.

To be a rock star at answering these questions you have to tell clear, concise, and compelling stories and give relevant examples of your skills and actions.

If you want an easy method for doing this, read How To Tell Your Story In Professional Settings.

Some of the questions can be tough to answer if you haven’t properly prepared for your interview and obviously, a few of these questions are only for people interviewing for  leadership or management positions. If you have any others to add, please let me know.


7 Online Soft Skills Quizzes


Duncan Nugget® #312:
Accurate self-assessment is crucial to exceptional performance. 

Where do you stand on your soft skills? If you are not sure, here are 7 quick and easy quizzes about a few of your soft skills.


A List Of Soft Skills

Click here for a list of soft skills definitions, and behavioral indicators.

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