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TRiO

Projects
Improving Social Skills

Lake Washington Institute of Technology


Project Years 2010-2015
Achieving Excellence Together

Table of Contents
Social Skills

Communication and Nonverbal Language

Eye Contact

Talking to your Instructors

Rules Worksheet (example)

Classroom Behavior

Characteristics of a Successful Student

Unexpected Change

Would I Make a Good Friend?

10

Making and Being a Good Friend

11

Social Networking

13

Dating Questions to ask yourself

14

Dating Advice

15

What to Wear on a First Date

17

What to Do on a First Date

18

Effective Communication for the Job Interview

19

Proper Handshakes

20

Dressing for the Interview

21

Questions to Ask your New Boss

23

How to Relate to your Co-Workers

24

Organizing your Workspace

25

Business Meeting Etiquette

26

How to Advance your Career within your Company

27

Social Skills
What are social skills? Social skills can be defined as the set of skills people use to interact and
communicate with one another. They are based on the social norms of our society and they tell
us what attitudes and behaviors are considered to be normal, acceptable and expected in a
particular social situation.
Social skills are important because they allow us to interact with each other with predictability,
so that we can more readily understand each other and be understood. Without an agreed-upon
social way of interacting, it is very hard to prevent misunderstandings. It is important for us to
be able to interact with clarity.
Examples of social skills include: how to greet someone, turn-taking in conversation, skills
involved in maintaining conversation, and engaging in eye contact, to name a few.
Communication Skills
Communication is key to improving social skills. Communication includes verbal and nonverbal components.
Verbal Communication

Greetings
Conversations
Participating in class
Talking to your instructors
Asking someone out on a date

Non-Verbal Communication

Eye contact
Handshake
Body posture
Hand gestures
Tone of voice

Effective communication involves understanding both the verbal things people say, and the
nonverbal things people dont say. Communication takes practice to master, just like any other
skill.
http://www.socialskillstraining.org/social_skills.html Copyright 2007-2010 Social Skills Training. All Rights Reserved.
Patrick, N. J. (2008). Social skills for teenagers and adults with Asperger Syndrome: London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Communication and Nonverbal Language


Nonverbal communication makes up anywhere from 75 percent to more than 90 percent of the
messages people exchange. Nonverbal language includes: facial expressions, posture, voice tone,
loudness, inflection, humming, and non-word sounds.
An honest appraisal
Directions:
Answer each of the following questions about your communication skills, be honest. Use the
responses to evaluate your effectiveness as a speaker and listener. Use your new insight into your
communication skills to guide you to becoming a better communicator.
As the speaker

I want the listener to understand my message


I speak clearly
I am able to maintain the topic of conversation
I use transition statements when changing topics during
conversation (ex: usually, also, for example, first of all, etc.
I watch the listener and look for signals that I am being
understood
If I detect a problem, I will attempt to modify my speech
If the modification does not work, I will ask the person if they
understand me

Y/N
Y/N
Y/N
Y/N
Y/N
Y/N
Y/N

As the listener

I extend my full attention to the speaker


I try to provide the speaker with signals such as eye contact so
they know I am paying attention
I refrain from interrupting
I wait my turn to respond
I refrain from formulating my response while the other person is
speaking
If I do not understand the speaker I will ask for clarification
To assure understanding I will ask the person if I can rephrase
what they just said

Y/N
Y/N
Y/N
Y/N
Y/N
Y/N
Y/N

Bedrossian, L. E., & Pennamon, R. E. (2007). College students with Asperger Syndrome: Practical strategies for academic and social success.
Horsham, P.A.: LRP Publications.
Patrick, N. J. (2008). Social skills for teenagers and adults with Asperger Syndrome: London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Eye Contact
Eye contact is important to conversation. For many, eye contact is as important as what a person
actually says.
Eye contact should vary depending on the number of listeners and intentions of the speaker:

Talking to a group: To keep everyone engaged, make brief eye contact with every
member of the group (usually 3-5 seconds per person)
Talking to an individual: Make regular eye contact, but not so constant so that you are
staring at them (break eye contact after 3-5 seconds)
Listening to someone: Make more consistent eye contact than when you are the speaker,
but still dont stare intensely (break eye contact after about 5 seconds)
Arguing: Holding the gaze shows strength
Flirting: Holding eye contact a little longer than usual combined with dilated pupils
indicates romantic interest

If you dont follow these rules, you are likely to make people uncomfortable. For example, in
western cultures, and throughout much of the animal kingdom, direct and unwavering eye
contact is perceived as threatening and aggressive. Too much eye contact in a flirtatious situation
will almost definitely not lead to a date.
On the other hand, if the person youre talking to isnt making eye contact, they are likely
perceived as:

Not listening or not caring


Lying, deceiving, or hiding something

Therefore, for example, too little eye contact during a conversation is not likely to leave a good
impression.
Some basic rules for eye contact for conversations include the following:

Break eye contact approximately every 5 seconds


When you break eye contact, look up or to the side
The Triangle: When listening to someone, look at their right eye for 5 seconds, their left
eye for 5 seconds, their mouth for five seconds, and repeat

Eye contact and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. June 4th, 2009 Posted in Communication Skills, Sensory Issues, Social Skills
http://aheadd.org/blog/eye-contact-and-adults-with-autism-spectrum-disorder/

Talking to your Instructors


Instructors have office hours so you can ask them questions that were not answered in class, or if
you have questions about a project or test. However, there are specific ways to approach your
instructor during his/her office hours.
1. Schedule an appointment or go during office hours. This way your instructor can
focus entirely on you and your questions
2. Visit your instructor when you have legitimate reasons to do so.
a. You are confused about a topic discussed in class and need clarification
b. You would like clarification about your current progress in class
c. You dont understand why you did poorly on a test (if you know the reason you
did poorly, do not waste yours or your instructors time)
3. Prepare before going to see your instructor.
a. Plan questions ahead of time. Write them down create a script
b. Go prepared. Bring books, notes, homework, your list of questions
c. If you want to discuss grades, bring your graded work with you for reference
4. Wait patiently for your instructor to meet with you.
a. If he/she is meeting with another student or instructor, wait outside the office until
the other person leaves
b. Enter the office and greet your instructor
c. When he/she asks what you need, begin asking your prepared list of questions
d. After your questions have been answered, thank the instructor for meeting with
you, say goodbye, and leave

Adapted from How to talk to your Instructor from University of Texas at Austin http://www.utexas.edu/student/utlc/handouts/1472.html
http://edgenet.edgewood.edu/lss/study_resources/pdf/Talking_profs.pdf

Rules Worksheet (example)


Situation
I need to talk with an instructor about a class assignment. The instructor is currently meeting
with another student, but the office door is open.
What I did
I walked into the instructors office without knocking and sat down in a chair to wait until he/she
finished so that I could talk to him/her.
My rule (what I should do)
1. I should knock on the instructors door first
2. I should wait for the instructors acknowledgement and invitation to enter the office
3. I should wait until the instructor indicates where I should sit down
Help from my TRiO advisor
1. Instructions in the proper way to enter an office and gain acknowledgement from the
other person
2. Help to recognize others personal space and possessions, and understand cues that
indicate when others are busy

Rules Worksheet
Situation
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
What I did
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
My rule (what I should do)
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
Help from my TRiO advisor
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
Bedrossian, L. E., & Pennamon, R. E. (2007). College students with Asperger Syndrome: Practical strategies for academic and social
success. Horsham, P.A.: LRP Publications.

Classroom Behavior
The following is a list of successful behavior to use when in a classroom situation:
1. Show up on time, sit down, get out your pen and notebook to take notes, get out any work
that needs to be turned in
2. Be prepared have your homework done and ready to turn in. If you need help with
organization and time management, make an appointment with TRiO
3. Turn your cell phone on silent or turn it off. Do not answer your phone during class. Do
not text message during class either
4. When your instructor starts talking, listen and take notes (dont interrupt)
5. If you have a question, raise your hand and wait for the instructor to call on you before
you ask your question. Ask yourself if the question is relevant to the topic. If it is not
relevant, dont ask it
6. If you have more than one question to ask, pick your top 3. If you still have more
questions, write them down and ask your instructor after class or during their office hours
7. If asked to do something in class (example open your textbook to p. 20), and you dont
know why the instructor is turning to that page, dont ask why. Asking why can
come across as confrontational and rude. Wait until after class if you need clarification
from your instructor
8. Be aware that rocking in your chair, tapping your foot or tapping your pen on the desk,
humming, shaking your leg, slouching, and interrupting can come across as rude, odd, or
disrespectful

Characteristics of a Successful Student


Many students do not know what it takes to be successful in the college environment. They
understand good and bad grades in a general way, and they sense that they should attend classes,
but that is where their knowledge begins and ends.
The following is a list of some characteristics of good students. By learning these characteristics,
you may better understand the day-to-day and class-to-class behavior of successful students. The
idea is to provide you with guidelines you can follow which will help you get down to the
business of becoming a serious, successful student.
1. Successful students attend classes regularly. They are on time. They listen and train
themselves to pay attention. If they miss a session, they let the instructor know why
before class begins, if possible, and their excuses are legitimate and reasonable. They
make sure they get all missed assignments (by contacting the instructor or another
student), and understand specifically what was covered in class. Successful students take
responsibility for themselves and their actions.
2. Successful students take advantage of extra credit opportunities when offered. They
demonstrate that they care about their grades and are willing to work to improve them.
3. Successful students are attentive in class. They ask questions that the instructor knows
many other students may also have.
4. Successful students see their instructors before or after class or during office hours about
grades, comments on their papers, and upcoming tests.
5. Successful students are driven to complete their assignments. All work and assignments
are turned in.

Cuesta College San Luis Obispo Co. Community College District http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/as/201.HTM

Unexpected Change
Many times in college, you are going to be faced with changes that are unexpected. What you do
in those situations is important to your college success.
For the following situations, determine what the problem is, determine possible solutions,
and identify resources available to you.
1. A class is cancelled and you must register for a new section at the last minute.

2. Your exam does not arrive at the testing center for you to take your test.

3. You get sick for a day and miss your classes.

4. The disability coordinator takes another job and now there is a new disability coordinator.

5. Your instructor has an accent and you are having a really hard time understanding
him/her.

Bedrossian, L. E., & Pennamon, R. E. (2007). College students with Asperger Syndrome: Practical strategies for academic and social success.
Horsham, P.A.: LRP Publications.

Would I Make a Good Friend?


Read and think about each statement. Then circle either yes or no to identify the answer that
best describes you.

I am cooperative

Yes

No

I am a good listener

Yes

No

I like to talk to other people

Yes

No

I am helpful

Yes

No

I share my possessions with others

Yes

No

I share my time with others

Yes

No

I would help a friend even if I would

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

rather do something else

I would allow my friends to have their


own options without getting mad

I can be trusted to keep secrets

I would give helpful advice to my


friend without being bossy

I could take advice from my friend


without getting mad

I would support my friend if they had a


problem

I would make a good friend

Patrick, N. J. (2008). Social skills for teenagers and adults with Asperger Syndrome: London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

10

Making and Being a Good Friend


Friendship is a two-way street -- both people give and take.
Friends care about and respect each other.
We can't force or make someone be our friend.
Friendships can change. They have no guarantees.
Friends have something in common -- they share an interest or hobby.
Friends:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

like to do things together.


share or discuss personal feelings or information.
trust each other.
like each other for who they are, not for what they have.
have known each other a long time.

When you have an argument with a friend:


1. Speak in a calm voice -- take a break if you're too upset.
2. Say what you think and feel, then ask your friend what s/he thinks and feels. Listen to
each other.
3. Try to understand your friend's feelings. Let your friend know if you don't understand
what s/he means.
4. Say you're sorry when you're wrong. Try not to make the same mistake again. Do
something nice for your friend to show you care.
5. Remember: hitting or being abusive is never OK; it's a crime.
Be a Good Friend:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Do things you both enjoy. Try something your friend likes once in a while.
Be supportive. Be there to listen or help when your friend has a problem.
Be honest. Keep your word and promises. Be trustworthy.
Understand that you don't have to do everything together. It's okay to do things alone or
with other friends.
5. Call, get together, or send a card at holidays and special occasions.
When we have trouble making or keeping friends, people can encourage us to:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Get out of the house, do things, and go places we like.


Smile, say hi, and introduce ourselves to people.
Join a group, start a hobby, play sports, learn something new.
Volunteer to set up, clean up, help someone, or bring something to a social event.
Have good personal hygiene -- wear clean clothes, brush teeth, use deodorant -- so others
are comfortable around us.
6. Be respectful of other people's personal space and belongings -- don't get in someone's
face or touch his/her belongings.
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7. See how we talk or act in inappropriate ways, then help us make positive changes.
8. Keep in contact by calling, getting together, or sending an email.
Questions to talk about:
How do you show you are a friend? How does your friend show you?

How do you talk to a friend? How does your friend talk to you?

How do you treat a friend? How does your friend treat you?

Do you listen to your friend? Does your friend listen to you?

Do you think of your friend's feelings? Does your friend think of your feelings?

After an argument, do you tell your friend what upset you, try to work out the problem, and
apologize when you are wrong?

Do you keep in touch with your friend by calling, getting together, emailing?

Written by Kathryn Lincoln, NLACRC Community Outreach Specialist and FFRC Adult Coordinator. 818-756-6225 or 818-677-7063. Updated
8/03 http://www.csun.edu/~ffrc/Making_A_Good_Friend.htm From The YAI Relationships Series Friendship Videotape 1:

12

Social Networking
The following is a list of proper uses for social networking sites and other social media.
Facebook

Only add friends you actually know. Most people will not respond well to a friend
request from someone they dont know.

If you add a friend and they dont friend you, dont keep friending them. If they want
to add you as a friend, they will.

Be appropriate with your wall postings. Anything you post on your wall or another
persons wall can be seen by everyone. If you have a private message to send, use email
or Facebook private messages.

Dont ask people out over Facebook. If you want to go on a date with them, ask them in
person.

Twitter

Be appropriate with your tweets. Nothing you put on a social media site is ever private.

Follow people who share your interests and whose tweets are meaningful or
compelling to you.

Texting

If someone gives you their phone number, ask if it is ok if you text them. They may be
ok with phone calls but not text messages.

Be appropriate with your texts. Even though texts are between you and another person,
they should still be appropriate. Remember, nothing you say in a text is completely
private. Even deleted texts can be recovered.

If someone you text doesnt text back, dont continue texting them. They may have a
reason for not replying.

Dont ask someone out using text messages. If you want to go out on a date with them,
ask them in person.

13

Dating Questions to ask yourself


Think about dating as it relates to you and answer the following questions. Use the answers to
help define the dating relationship that is best for you.
1. List your personal interests and hobbies

2. How do you prefer to spend your time?

3. Is there time in your schedule for dating?

4. If so, how much time?

5. What do you have to offer someone who you might date?

6. Would you prefer to date for companionship?

7. Would you prefer to date for a romantic relationship?

8. Would you prefer to date one person exclusively?

9. Would you prefer someone to date you exclusively?

10. Do you want to get married?

11. Do you want to have children?

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12. Would you prefer to date someone gradually over a long period of time?

13. If so, how would you communicate this to your date and potential partner?

14. Do you want to disclose your AS to the person you date?

15. If so, how do you think that you would accomplish this?

16. What would you predict could be the biggest hurdle when dating?

17. How might you overcome this hurdle?

Patrick, N. J. (2008). Social skills for teenagers and adults with Asperger Syndrome: London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Dating Advice
It can be quite challenging to be a student in college with Aspergers syndrome. Dating is one of
the more challenging parts of college life. Here are ideas, tips and resources to help you learn
more about the hows of dating,
Talk to the Opposite Sex as Friends
Make friends with people of the opposite sex. Share notes, help each other, and make an effort to
ask how theyre doing. Casual conversations and interactions with the opposite sex will make it
easier to approach a guy/gal you like and want to ask out.
Watch Other Couples
Watch couples around you. Watch the way they talk, and interact. This will give you a lot of
ideas of what to say to a person you are dating.

15

Practice
Sometimes, it is difficult to think of things to say when youre in a stressful situation. So practice
when you are by yourself. Have make-believe conversations with a person of the opposite sex in
front of a mirror. Write down some nice things you could say and practice saying them. All of
this will help you speak confidently when the right opportunity comes your way.
Read about Relationships
There are a lot of books these days about making and maintaining friendships and other intimate
relationships. Read such books for a lot of good advice. However, asking someone on a date is
not the most important thing. Getting to know them and building a relationship is equally
important, in the long run. Thus, make an effort to learn more about that aspect too.
Find a Support Group
A lot of people with Aspergers and high-functioning autism struggle with the same issues,
however many have successfully gone on to have relationships, and get married. Finding an
Asperger support group in your locality will help you get advice and encouragement from people
who are like you and have walked the path you are walking now.
Be Brave
Dating is always difficult for the first time. Most guys and gals struggle and hesitate during their
first date, but slowly they get used to it, and it becomes easier. It will be the same for you.
Although it may seem very difficult initially, it will get much easier once you do it. So be brave,
and do your best.

Wenzel, C. R. (2010). Teaching Social Skills and Academic Strategies to College Students With Asperger's Syndrome. Teaching Exceptional
Children .
Wing, L. (2010 ). Asperger syndrome: a clinical account . Retrieved from http://www.mugsy.org/wing2.htm
Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/mental-health/autism-pdd/articles/85134.aspx#ixzz1G97ziKFq

16

What to Wear on a First Date


1. Decide between you and your date what type of setting you will be in casual, formal, or
a specific event.
2. Your outfit should reflect who you are. Be comfortable, but wear clothes that fit you
well.
3. For a guy, a buttoned down shirt and nice jeans with a pair of brown or black dress shoes
is great for almost any occasion.
4. Men should get a haircut and be clean shaven with trimmed, clean fingernails.
5. For a woman, nice jeans or slacks or a mid-length skirt with a nice blouse or shirt and
dressy flats, pumps, or high-heels are great for almost any occasion. (Dont show too
much skin dont have a low cut shirt or a really short skirt)
6. Women should wear natural looking make-up (for tips on natural looking make up go to
http://www.taaz.com/beauty/beauty-tips/makeup/first-date-makeup.html
7. Make sure to bathe before the date and wear deodorant. You may also choose to wear
cologne or perfume.

http://workchic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/techi_casual.png

17
http://workchic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/nanny-chic-1.jpg

What to Do on a First Date


A first date should be casual and comfortable, as well as in a public place. It should be at a
place youre familiar with, or have at least been to. Make sure wherever you decide to go on
your date that you do a dry run. This means that you know how to get there if you need to
take the bus, go a few days before and make sure you know the route. If you drive, drive the
route in advance. This way there are no surprises when the big day arrives.
For a first date, its usually a good idea to meet at the agreed upon location rather than driving
there together. This keeps the date more casual, and if it doesnt go well, it gives each of you a
chance to leave early.
Some possible options for a first date include:

Coffee house or wine bar

Bowling

Picnic at a park

Hiking or walk around a park

Lunch at your favorite restaurant

Go to a museum you both like

Go to a sports event

Miniature golf

Go ice skating

Go to the fair or a festival

If the date went well, use the following instructions to ask for a second date:
1. Make sure to check your calendar before the start of the date to see when you are free
next
2. Wait until the end of the datewhen you are both about to leave, face your date so you
are looking directly at him/her
3. Tell your date you had a great time and you would like to make specific plans to go out
again. Recommend a day and place for the next date.
How to ask for a second date by Samantha Herman, eHow Contributor. May 5, 2010 http://www.ehow.com/how_6293341_ask-seconddate.html

18

Effective Communication for the Job Interview


Communication tips for job interviews focus on establishing a good rapport with your
interviewer. Effective communication skills are essential to interview success.
Often communication in the job interview will start off with some small talk, asking questions
about getting to the interview, the weather etc. Respond appropriately in a conversational tone
but avoid over-communicating. Stay clear of problems or negatives such as describing how bad
the traffic was.
Have a couple of polite conversational-type remarks ready for this small talk phase, for example
comment positively on the building or surroundings. You can prepare these while you wait for
the interviewer.
Address the interviewer by name but know how to pronounce it correctly. Ask the receptionist
beforehand if you are unsure of how to pronounce it. It is advisable to address the interviewer
formally until they suggest otherwise. Avoid abbreviating the interviewer's name unless asked to.
For example if his name is Robert don't start calling him Bob!
Important tips for job interviews include matching your communication style to that of the
interviewer. If the interviewer is very business-like, then you should respond in a similar way.
Avoid offering up jokes and funny stories. If the interviewer is more informal and chatty, adjust
your communication style accordingly by responding in a more informal tone while still showing
respect. The interviewer should be the one who sets the tone of the interview, not the candidate.
A good interviewer will attempt to put the candidate at ease; don't interpret this as trying
to be your friend! Always treat the job interview as a professional meeting.
A common mistake candidates make is talking too much. Listen to the question being asked,
ensure you are clear as to what is requested and respond with the information. It is easy to move
off the subject and chatter about irrelevant topics. Effective communication means keeping your
answers concise and to-the-point and making sure you are answering what is asked.
It is advisable to ask for clarification if you are unsure what the interviewer means or wants.
Don't guess and make assumptions, this usually results in an inappropriate response. Say
something like, "So you would like me to tell you about ...." The interviewer can then correct you
if you have misunderstood.
There is no need to fill up silences with unnecessary rambling. Silences will naturally occur as
the interviewer gathers their thoughts or formulates the next question, it is important to be
comfortable with silences.
One of the most important communication tips for job interviews is to avoid interrupting the
interviewer. Make sure they have finished speaking before you respond.

19

You can do this by allowing a pause before you start speaking. Taking a little time to think about
a question rather than rushing to answer also helps you to organize your thoughts and prevents
verbal fillers such as "umm" and "you know". These always come across as unprofessional. By
taking a moment to think before you answer you appear calm, confident and polite.
Try not to use jargon in your answers or questions. The interviewer may be unfamiliar with the
jargon, often jargon is company-specific. Using jargon does not make you sound knowledgeable
in the interview, often it just sounds as though the candidate is trying to impress with no real
substance to the content of what is being said. Speaking simply and coherently is the best way
to establish rapport.
Essential tips for job interviews include preparing and practicing answers and questions
before the interview. This builds confidence and ensures that you are able to communicate
effectively with your interviewer.
Winning communication tips for job interviews. Copyright 2010 best-job-interview.com http://www.best-job-interview.com/tips-for-jobinterviews.html

Proper Handshakes
One of the basic things that every person should know is how to give proper handshakes. It
doesnt matter if youre in a party or in a business meeting, if youre greeting a friend or a client,
a good and firm handshake is always necessary. Not only does it create a good and favorable
impression but it also establishes an optimistic character and a healthy level of confidence to the
receiver.
Professional image consultant, Jill Bremer, once said: Handshakes are the only consistent
physical contact we have in the business world. They also happen first in an encounter, so they
set the tone for the entire relationship that follows.
Five Steps To A Good Handshake
1. Establish and maintain eye contact. Give a warm smile. It
helps to say something like, Nice to meet you. Or simply
say, Hi.
2. Extend your arms, hands outstretched with thumbs straight
up. Predict where your hands will meet. Prepare for
contact.
3. Upon landing, slide and adjust your hand so that you and
the other persons web are touching. (The web is the skin
between your thumb and forefinger)
4. Consider the strength of the other person. Adjust the grip
and make it firm. Match the power.
5. Shake a couple of times and disengage.

20

How about you? Have you ever considered the way you shake hands with people? Here are of
the most common mistakes people do when giving a handshake and tips on how to change and
improve.
Wet Hands
Always keep your palm dry. Its okay to get nervous and sweat, but if youre anticipating a
handshake. Make sure that you keep a handkerchief or tissue ready. Dont wipe it over your
pants or shirt!
Limp Hands
A soft and loose grip implies lack of interest or worse, low self-esteem. Reach confidently with
your hands perpendicular to the ground. Pretend that youre shaking someones hand in front of a
mirror and observe. Your hands should look firm and confident.
Four-Finger Handshake
You get this when the webs of the hands do not properly meet and lock which results to an
awkward shake of the four fingers. One of the best ways to avoid this is to employ presence of
mind during the handshake, carefully adjusting and sliding your palms to achieve proper grip.
Crushing Grip
Always consider who you are shaking hands with. Different people require different levels of
strength. You may not know it but you could be hurting the other person. One way to do this is to
let the other person apply the initial grip and adjust yours up to the point when the handshake
feels sturdy and comfortable.
A good and proper handshake is best achieved through application. Practice with your friends
and ask for feedback. A handshake is just a simple gesture, but it is an important part of etiquette
which every social being should learn.
How to give good and proper handshakes. Bremer, Jill. Bremer Communications: Handshakes and Introductions in Business. 2004 Copyright
2007-2011 Ready To Be Rich: Business, Investments & Personal Finance

Dressing for the Interview


An article in U.S.A. Today spoke about candidates for jobs wearing jeans, purple sweat suits,
and spike heels or sneakers. Other applicants weren't afraid to show pierced body parts and
spiked hair. Still others chewed gum or showed up in rumpled clothes or with their pants falling
down. One recruiter even told a candidate with his trousers down below his hips, to "Pull your
pants up." According to the article, the outlandish dress costs some candidates the job.
If you're in doubt about how to dress for an interview, it is best to err on the side of
conservatism. It is much better to be overdressed than underdressed. If you're not sure, check
with the person who scheduled the interview and ask.

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Here's a quick look at the basics:

http://galadarling.com/article/what-to-wear-to-a-job-interview

Women's Interview Attire


Solid color, conservative pant or skirt suit
Coordinated blouse
Moderate shoes
Limited jewelry
Neat, professional hairstyle
Tan or light hosiery
Sparse make-up & perfume
Manicured nails
Portfolio, briefcase, or professional tote bag

Men's Sample Interview Attire


Solid color, conservative suit
Conservative color, long sleeve shirt
Conservative tie
Dark socks, professional shoes
Very limited jewelry
Neat, professional hairstyle
Go easy on the aftershave or cologne
Neatly trimmed nails
Portfolio or briefcase

http://job-guides.onsugar.com

What Not to Bring to the Interview

Gum
Cell phone
IPod
Coffee or soda
If you have lots of piercings, leave some of your rings at home (earrings only, is a good
rule)
Cover tattoos

Interview Attire Tips

Before you even think about going on an interview, make sure you have appropriate
interview attire and everything fits correctly.
Get your clothes ready the night before, so you don't have to spend time getting them
ready on the day of the interview.
If your clothes are dry clean only, take them to the cleaners after an interview, so they are
ready for next time.
Polish your shoes.
Bring a breath mint and use it before you enter the building.

How to Dress for an Interview by Alison Doyle, About.com Guide. http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewsnetworking/a/dressforsuccess.htm

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Questions to Ask your New Boss


It's your first week on the job, you're feeling slightly overwhelmed, and you don't even know
where to start getting all of the information you're going to need from your new boss.
Here are six questions to ask to get the foundation of the relationship between you and your
manager set up correctly during your first week, and to help cut through some of the confusing
fog of the early days on a job:
1. What are the most important things for me to accomplish in the coming weeks?

2. What would a successful first six months look like for me in this role?

3. What recent history of the department or upcoming plans should I be aware of?

4. How do you prefer to communicate? Do you prefer E-mail or talking in person? Do you like
to talk about things as they come up, or do you prefer that I save things up for a weekly meeting?

5. What types of things do you prefer to be consulted on? Given final approval on? What kinds
of things do you prefer that I handle on my own?

6. Are there any pitfalls that you've seen people fall into when they're learning this job? Anything
I should be especially aware of?

Green, A. 2010. Six questions to ask your new boss. http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2010/09/20/6-questions-toask-your-new-boss

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How to Relate to your Co-Workers


1. Let them know you're "one of them." Fill your coworkers in on your background so they
can get to know you better.
2. Don't be a know-it-all. Even if you do know everything, you dont want to come across
as arrogant.
3. Be a team player. That applies to any work setting--from keeping the condiments filled
up to leaving enough paper in the copy machine.
4. Have good hygiene habits--even if brushing your teeth means you'll be five minutes late.
And remember to keep some breath mints on hand.
5. Invite your coworkers out to lunch or happy hour after work. It's much easier to get to
know them out of the work setting. Once you socialize away from the job, they'll view
you as a human being and not just a coworker.
6. Bring donuts or muffins for everyone on a casual Friday morning.
7. Ask coworkers what their plans are for the weekend and tell them your plans, provided
it's something tame like a movie or boat show. People may be curious as to what you're
doing and appreciate your interest in what they're doing--and will likely welcome the
chance to talk about it.
8. If your coworker has kids or a pet they talk about, ask to see pictures. No mommy or
daddy can resist showing off their baby and will love you for asking.
9. Pay a compliment every once in a while about a nice outfit, new haircut or a job well
done, but not too often.
10. Don't ever single out another employee if you feel their work isn't up to par; leave it up to
your boss to figure out.

Maroff, M. 2011. How to win over your coworkers. http://www.ehow.com/how_2039726_win-over-coworkers.html

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Organizing your Workspace


These days most employees are expected to handle multiple projects and tasks but without the
luxury of a secretary or personal assistant. With the hectic pace of most workplaces today, things
can get crazy fast. So how do you stay on top of things without feeling overwhelmed?
1. Prioritize your tasks in order of importance and work on the most
challenging ones when you are the most mentally alert. For some it's
right when they walk into the office, while others work better later in
the day when most people have left.
2. Keep a daily to-do list to manage tasks and check them off as you complete them. A
daily list can be written out on post-it notes to keep tasks in perspective. A larger
"master" list can be kept in a notebook. New tasks can be added here.
3. Keep a file for each project that you are working on, including
folders within your e-mail application to save important e-mails.
This way you know exactly where to find the information you need
for each of the different projects you are working on.
4. Designate a separate notebook or keep a multiple subject notebook so you can take
notes for meetings for each project and keep everything in one place instead of flipping
through multiple pages from multiple meetings of multiple projects to find what you are
looking for.
5. To manage your e-mails, enlist the tools in your e-mail application. For example, you
can choose to highlight e-mails that are from specific persons or flag an e-mail as a
follow-up that will pop up on a certain date and time that you specify.
6. Always keep your calendar up-to-date and check it when you
come in. This will help you when you create your daily to-do list and
mentally prepare you for your day.

How to stay organized at work. http://www.ehow.com/how_5245841_stay-organized-work.html

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Business Meeting Etiquette


1. RSVP When asked via phone, email, or electronic calendar to attend a meeting, be sure
to reply if a reply is requested. Some meetings are structured on the basis of expected
attendance.
2. Arrive early never arrive late to a meeting. Do not assume that the beginning of a
meeting will be delayed until all those attending are present. You may miss valuable
information. Dont expect others to fill you in during or after the meeting either.
3. Come prepared always bring something to write with and write on. If you know you
are presenting anything, make sure your handouts or slides are organized and ready.
4. Dont interrupt wait to give comments until the end of the meeting or until the speaker
asks for comments unless the speaker encourages open discussion during the meeting.
Dont interrupt other attendees conversation during a meeting is disruptive and
inconsiderate.
5. Put the electronics away put your phone on silent and refrain from answering it or
using it during the meeting.
6. Speak in turn if you have something to say, raise your hand or make eye contact with
the speaker. Wait for the speaker to acknowledge you before you ask your question or
make your comment.
7. Keep your questions brief be succinct and clear. If your question is detailed, break it
into parts. Ask one question at a time, others may have questions as well.
8. Pay attention listen to the issues the speaker addresses, the questions for other
attendees, and the answers provided. Dont waste meeting time asking questions that
have already been asked.
9. Be patient and calm dont fidget, drum your fingers, tap or click your pen, flip through
materials not concerning the meeting, or otherwise act in a disruptive manner.
10. Attend the entire meeting leave when the meeting is adjourned. Leaving before the
end of the meeting, unless absolutely necessary and unless you have prior permission, is
disruptive.
11. Respond to action items after the meeting, complete any assigned tasks as soon as
possible. File your meeting notes or formal minutes for later review.

Smith, G.M. Eleven commandments for business meeting etiquette, 2000. http://archive.stc.org/intercom/PDFs/2000/200002_29.pdf

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How to Advance your Career within your Company


1. Communicate with your Supervisor especially during the beginning of your job. Ask
questions; you don't want to make mistakes that will create a bad impression.
2. Get your work done on time. Know your priorities and what it takes to get the work done in
a timely manner. Ask your supervisor if they have a set timeline of when a project is due. If
not, set deadlines for yourself so you can get the projects off your desk.
3. Collaborate with your coworkers. Teamwork is a valuable asset in any job. If your boss
can see that you are thinking of the bigger picture, your name may be on the top of the list
when promotions come round.
4. Go above and beyond. Assist colleagues with their workloads. Volunteer to serve as a
trainer during new hire orientations, or take the lead on the companys annual team building
activity, for example. These activities force you to move outside your comfort zone and are
sure to get you noticed.
5. Accept credit graciously. When someone compliments you for doing a good job, thank
them for their acknowledgement. Try the following, "Thank you. I'm glad the hard work paid
off," or "Thanks. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out, too." Just be careful about
accepting credit that's not yours -- it's a sure-fire way to create tension and animosity among
your teammates.
6. Participate. Be sure to partake in company gatherings and team building activities. Introduce
yourself to coworkers you havent met. Through these informal events, you develop
camaraderie with other employees and make valuable new contacts within the organization.
7. Network. Conferences and industry events are great places to network. To make a good
impression, wear your name tag (if you have one) on your right side near your shoulder this
makes it easier for others to see and remember your name when they shake your hand. Ask
for business cards and write information about each person, such as their interests and their
position within the company. This way, you can follow up with each person after the event.
8. Say Thank you. If someone recently helped you -- perhaps your neighbor alerted you to
an employment opportunity or a friend proofread your rsum -- let the person know you
appreciate the support. Take a few moments to write a short, sincere thank-you note. The
respect, kindness and personal touch will create an indelible mark in your recipient's mind
and improve the chances he or she will help out again.
Fengming J.L. How to advance your career within the company. http://www.ehow.com/how_4481746_advance-career-within-company.html
Robert Half International. 9 Little-known ways to advance your career. http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-898-Salaries-Promotions-9Little-Known-Ways-to-Advance-Your-Career/

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