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Soft Skills Earn Hard-Won Results

Thursday, April 30, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
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At Take 5 last Friday, Chris Lottman gave a great talk on emotional intelligence, using resources from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She introduced a simple mood chart to track energy (low to high) on one axis and feeling (unpleasant to pleasant) on another, and she discussed how to use it when you're working with groups of people. (You can find all the slides and handouts from Take 5 on the Take 5 Resources page.)

To begin with, you should do quick self-assessments. If you're feeling pretty neutral on the pleasantness scale and really low on energy, for example, that's a symptom of being tired. If you're about to lead a program, you may not need to get happy, but you do need to raise your energy level. Some physical movement can help with that.

If you're setting up a program, and you see some people walk in who seem to have a lot of energy and are really happy and excited about what they're doing, that's great! Too much energy, though, can make it difficult for them to pay attention and stay engaged. Lowering their energy level, even with just a couple deep breaths, can help them focus.

Emotional intelligence isn't like IQ; your emotional intelligence can grow throughout your life. You can get better at recognizing your current state and the state others are in and use smart strategies to help programs and interactions go better. It's not rocket science, but it is science, and it's very useful.

  • Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator

Soft skills, earnest work at the Staff Training Symposium

SWON is glad to offer several sessions at our Spring Staff Training Symposium that can help build your emotional intelligence. Developing these skills takes practice, just like any other skill. Considering that librarians constantly work with people, people-skills prove their value every day.

We're bringing experienced professionals to help you improve your emotional intelligence, and with it, your communication and collaboration. Come learn with us. Come practice with us. Sign up today!

SWON is ready to report!

Our Membership Meeting is a chance for SWON to tell you what we've accomplished and what we're working toward. We want you to know so that you can participate with us and help us chart SWON's course. We especially need current Supporting Members to attend to vote on SWON's budget.

Come for lunch and hear a talk on Design Thinking for Libraries from Cindy Tripp, a nationally recognized expert on the subject. The Membership Meeting is less than a month away—May 26. Please plan to join us (and register).

Nepal in crisis after earthquake

This week, central Nepal was shaken by its worst earthquake in 80 years, with a magnitude of 7.8. It's an area sorely lacking in maps that are needed for aid groups to deliver help.

In two days, over 2,000 humanitarian mappers added over 13,000 miles of roads and 110,000 buildings in Nepal. Your patrons can help too. Learn how at next week's Level-Up Lab on Humanitarian Mapping.

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