Monthly Archives: June 2014

blueVisions Indonesia Held Communications and Customer Service Training Program for KIDECO – Jakarta, Indonesia

blueVisions Management Indonesia held “Effective Communication and Quality Customer Services” training to 23 employees of mining company KIDECO over a dynamic two-day program on the 22nd and the 23rd May 2014.

This training aims to help KIDECO employees to:

  • Develop a win-win relationship with customers, suppliers and the public,
  • Communicate effectively and manage stakeholder’s relationships,
  • Establish customer needs,
  • Deliver quality customer services,
  • Manage networks, and
  • Review and monitor customer services.

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Participants of this training believe that this training makes them more “confident to make improvements”. They also shared that the exercises presented during the session were useful in helping them to assimilate the lessons.

Communications and Customer Service Training are only two of the many business and management training courses that blueVisions carry through its Registered Training Organisation – Institute of Management. For more information on blueVisions consulting services and Institute of Management’s training courses please visit our websites at: www.bluevisions.com.au and www.im.edu.au

Or contact our office at:

(South East Asia) Tel: +6221 8378 6195 or e-mail: info@bluevisions.co.id
(Australia) Tel: +61 2 8908 9888 or e-mail: info@bluevisions.com.au
(Middle East and North Africa) Tel: +971 2 641 1757 or e-mail: info@bluevisions.ae

How to be an Effective Supervisor: 5 Important Skills

Have you just been promoted into a supervisory role? Are you a manager who needs to supervise many team members? Here are the five important skills you need to master:

supervising tips

1.    Delegation skills

Supervisors can’t do everything by themselves, and most importantly, effective supervisors know that they can’t do everything. Instead, they need to delegate.

Delegation itself is not an easy thing. A supervisor needs to transfer his or her decision-making authority to another employer who has the capabilities to do such task. However, he or she still has the ultimate responsibility over the work that has been delegated.

2.    Performance evaluation skills

An effective supervisor knows how to evaluate his or her employees. It is challenging, as it is hard to deliver constructive criticism, and even harder to deliver constructive criticism well. However, a good supervisor knows that performance evaluation is critical to the employees’ growth and job satisfaction.

3.    Training skills

Supervisors supervise; and when it is apparent that their employees need to upgrade their skills, supervisors need to be aware of this and conduct further trainings on a regular basis. This will in turn improve both the employees’ and company’s development in the long run.

4.    Decision making skills

Making a decision is hard; making a decision and bearing the consequences is even harder. A good supervisor needs to be able to weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for all parties.

5.    Time management skills

On top of supervising his or her employees, a supervisor also has a set of other deadlines and responsibilities that he or she needs to tend to. Therefore, being able to manage time wisely is a very important skill to have.

Want to learn more about being a skilled supervisor? The Institute of Management offers a Supervisory Skills course. Visit our website to find out more.

Negotiating 101: 5 Simple Ways to Improve your Negotiating Skills

Being able to negotiate is a very important skill to have in the workplace, whether it is to your boss or to your clients. However, not many people have the skills to negotiate well.

Here are five ways you can do to improve your negotiating skills:

negoiating tips

1.    Seek a win-win outcome

Of course, you would like to win. However, what’s better than winning is to win together. When you are happy, the other party is happy as well. This way, your clients will be more open towards whatever it is you are proposing, and not put their barriers up because the think they will be disadvantaged from your offer.

2.    Listen

One of the best things to do while negotiating an offer is to: Listen. Listen to what the other party is saying, and don’t just push your thoughts towards them. Really listen and take note on what their demands are. Listen and find a solution that can benefit both parties.

3.    Do your homework

When negotiating, always be prepared. Dig up their companies, find out what they need, familiarise yourself with their industry and business methods. Offer something of value to them, and not just something that will benefit you.

4.    Walk out if you have to

One of the worst decisions you can make as a negotiator is not being able to walk out of a disastrous negotiation. Ending a negotiation without a settlement is a business decision, and not an emotional decision. If you know the other party, for example if the potential client is a friend of yours, and you feel reluctant to walk away as it will damage your relationship, and yet the company’s well-being is at stake, it might be better not to walk in in the first place.

5.    It is not personal

It is business and not personal. Again, it is not personal. Don’t carry an emotional baggage full of negotiation fails in your conscience. Don’t feel offended personally if the other party walks out of the negotiation. If you’re being clouded by your own emotion, odds are you might not be able to make the best decision while negotiating.

Want to get better at negotiating? The Institute of Management offers a Negotiation Skills course. Visit our website to find out more.

5 Interviewing Tips for Employers

Are you a part of the Human Resources Department that regularly recruits new employees? Are you a manager looking for more team members to join your department?

Wherever you are at your career, at some point you might have to interview people before recruiting. Here are some tips to make sure you get the best out of the interview session.

interviewing tips

1.    Be prepared

Being an interviewer does not mean you can just wing it and go ahead without any preparation. Especially if you have to interview people on a regular basis – you might forget the position or the job description of the person you are interviewing at the moment.

Always make sure that you have read the CV of the candidate prior to the interview, and that you understand the key requirements of the role you are interviewing them for.

2.    Jot down your questions

You might have done it so many times and you may think that you will be able to improvise your questions as you go along. However, to make sure that the interview process is fair to all candidates, as well as to make your decision-making easier, plan your questions ahead of time and take them to the interview. Some of the best questions are open-ended ones, where the candidates can have the opportunity to explain themselves better.

3.    Conduct the interview in a round table

While you might not always have the opportunity to do so, conducting an interview using a rectangular table where you sit opposite each other may make the process feel intimidating, especially if you sit on a big padded director chair. Sitting around a circular table and positioning your seats at an angle make both parties look more relaxed and makes the process feel more like a discussion.

4.    Leave time for questions

Due to your busy schedule, you may forget to ask your interviewee if you have any questions. This is actually a very important step, because many candidates are shy to ask questions to their interviewer. Always leave time for questions just in case they have any further questions regarding the job offer.

5.    Most importantly, remember, you’re being interviewed too!

Interview is a two-way street. You need them as much as they need you. You are the face of the company, so dress smartly, be prepared and be approachable!

Want to learn more about how to conduct interviews? The Institute of Management offers an Interviewing Skills course. Visit our website to find out more.

5 Ways to Improve your Presentation Skills

Do you need to ace that presentation next week? While being a skilled presenter takes time and practice, there are some techniques you can implement directly to bring your presentation to the next level.

presentation tips

1. It’s all about stories

It’s a no brainer that people connect with stories. If your presentation is long and about a topic that will probably make you yawn, consider explaining your points through stories and anecdotes. Remember, a speaker who connects with their audience emotionally is much more likely to be remembered long after the presentation is finished.

2. Project your voice

What’s worse than giving a boring presentation, is giving a presentation with an inaudible voice. Your audience may be able to read your slides, but if they can’t hear you clearly, they will lose interest in you. Always makes sure that you are heard throughout the room and always be confident about what you are talking about.

3. Don’t use filler words

We used to say, “Umm,” “Ah,” “You know,” “Well,” and so on during presentation. However, these words make your presentation sounds unprofessional. Instead, replace those words with a pause while taking a short breath in. When in doubt, stay silent. The audience don’t notice it as much as you do.

4. Don’t apologise

Resist the urge to apologise – whether in saying sorry for your nervousness or even a lack of preparation time. Don’t apologise for your anxiety either. The audience might not even notice that, and by apologising you are drawing their attention to it and in fact, you’ll become more nervous than before.

5. More importantly, don’t read from the slides

Powerpoint slides are there to help you remember your key points, not to act as a script. Reading from your own slides show that you are unprepared, and that you don’t really understand your own message. Furthermore, it’s boring – and the audience will lose interest on your presentation soon after, no matter how brilliant your message is.

Want to learn more about how to give a killer presentation? The Institute of Management offers a Presentation Skills course. Visit our website to find out more.

10 Microsoft Powerpoint Tips and Tricks

Working on a presentation? Here are our top 10 tips to work with Microsoft Powerpoint.

microsoft powerpoint tips

1. Create a Custom Background Size

Powerpoint background size can be changed. Simple choose File -> Page Setup and type the height and width of the background you’d like and click OK.

2. Using SHIFT

You can do a lot of things while holding the SHIFT key. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Hold down the SHIFT key when drawing a line to get a perfectly straight line.
  • Hold down the SHIFT key when drawing an oval to get a perfectly round circle.
  • Hold down the SHIFT key when drawing a rectangle to get a square.
  • Hold down the SHIFT key while pressing Enter to get a blank line without a bullet.
  • Hold down the SHIFT key to select multiple objects on a slide at the same time.
  • Hold down the SHIFT key while resizing a graphic to retain the same proportions in the resized graphic.
  • Hold down the SHIFT key while pressing F3 to change the case of letters.

3. Using CTRL

As it is with the SHIFT key, the CTRL key can do a lot of wonders too. Here are some of them:

  • Hold down the CTRL key plus the HOME key to go to the first slide
  • Hold down the CTRL key plus the END key to go to the last slide in your presentation
  • CTRL + D to duplicate (make a copy of) the selected slide
  • CTRL + E to center a paragraph
  • CTRL + M to insert a new slide
  • CTRL + N to create a new presentation
  • CTRL + W to close a presentation

4. Inserting Special Symbols

You might be using some of these well known symbols:

  • To insert the copyright © symbol, enter (c)
  • To insert the Trademark ™ symbol enter ™
  • To insert the registered ® symbol enter (r)

5. Adding Notes

You could add Notes which will not be present while doing your slideshow presentation. This is especially useful in giving PowerPoint presentations online.

To enter notes on a slide, type text in the pane below the slide. Graphics and other objects can also be placed on the Note Pages.

6. Printing Handouts

To save printing, click on File -> Print and change from “Slides” to “Handouts”. Choose the number of slides you want to appear per page (for example three slides per page or six slides per page).

7. While the show is running…

While giving your slideshow presentation, press the F1 function key to see a list of hidden features.

8. Save Slide Components as an Image

To save a slide as an image, simply solve the problem by saving each slide as an image, and select all objects by holding down SHIFT. Right click, then select Grouping -> Group. Right click on the whole group, then click on Save as Picture.

9. Add a Summary Slide

Quickly add a summary slide, which is created from the titles of all other slides. Click View -> Slide sorter and select the slides with the titles you want. Then, on the Slide Sorter toolbar, click the Summary Slide button.

10. Grid and Guidelines

Click CTRL + G to display the Grid and Guides dialog window. This way, you can turn on one vertical and horizontal guideline to be dragged into position as an alignment aid.

Want to learn more about working with Microsoft PowerPoint? The Institute of Management offers an Advanced Microsoft Powerpoint course. Visit our website to find out more.

10 Microsoft Excel Tips and Tricks

In our last post, we have gone through some tips and tricks in operating Microsoft Word. Now, we are going to talk about the tips and tricks in using Microsoft Excel.

Which one is easier, reading lots of words or looking at an Excel table? While Microsoft Word might be the primary application that we use, it is always handy to know a little bit more about its sibling Excel.

microsoft excel tips

1. Automatically SUM() with ALT + =

You don’t need to type “=E1:E5” and click Enter. Simply add an entire column or row by clicking in the first empty cell in the column (for example, in E6). Then enter ALT + ‘=’ (equals key) to add up the numbers in every cell above.

2. Formatting Keyboard Shortcuts: $ and %

Do you want to change a number (for example, 0.5) into percentage (50%) or dollar value ($0.5)? Simply click on the cell and enter CTRL + % or CTRL + $. Really, it’s that simple.

3. Jump to the Start or End of a Column Keyboard Shortcut

Say you’re working on a very large data and you are thousands of rows deep into your document. You would like to get to the first or last cell. Insated of scrolling, click CTRL + ↑ to jump to the top cell, or CTRL + ↓ to drop to the last cell before an empty cell.

Click SHIFT key as well if you would like to block all the cells as well.

4. Repeat a Formula to Multiple Cells

Don’t repeat a formula to each and every cell. Instead, create the formula you need in the first cell only. Then move your cursor to the lower right corner of that cell and, when it turns into a plus sign, double click to copy that formula into the rest of the cells in that column. That way, each cell in the column will show the results of the formula using the data in that row.

5. Copy a Pattern of Numbers or Even Dates

Excel is able to recognise patterns and allows you to copy it to other cells. For example, type “1” and “2” in the first and second row. Then highlight those two rows and drag down for as many cells as you want. Excel will put “3”, “4”, “5” and so on by itself!

This trick also works with days of the week and months.

6.    Go back to the first cell

Simply click on CTRL + Home and you will get back to A1 straightaway. No need to scroll.

7.    Go to the last cell

Not only you are able to go back to the first cell, you can also go to the last cell in your worksheet. Simple click CTRL + End.

8.    Move to next sheet

Working with multiple sheets? Click CTRL + Page Down to move to the next sheet.

9.    Move to previous sheet

Click CTRL + Page Up to move to previous sheet. This way you don’t need use your mouse at all.

10. Move to the next window

To move to the next window (open workbook) Click CTRL + Tab.

Want to learn more about working with Microsoft Excel? The Institute of Management offers an Advanced Microsoft Excel course. Visit our website to find out more.

10 Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks

Odds are you are using Microsoft Word for work. Odds are you are doing just fine. But what if we tell you that you can work even faster, and more efficient than before?

Here are some of our favourite tips and tricks for Microsoft Word:

microsoft word tips

1.     Use formatting style

Working on a document that needs a lot of headings of different styles? By using ‘Styles’, you can create your own heading formats to suit your needs. Go to your Formatting Palette -> Styles and pick or create a style to apply on your designated text. This way, you don’t need to change every heading to font Times New Roman, size 18, Italic, and Underlined. One click will do.

2.     Compare documents

Do you need to see two documents side by side? Open both documents; click the ‘Window’ menu and select the ‘Arrange All’ option. Click ‘View Side by Side’, and voila! Or you can just minimize the windows and place them side by side. You can also click on ‘Synchronous Scrolling’ to scroll both documents at the same time.

3.     Write anywhere on the page

You can use your Word document as a whiteboard and write your text anywhere on the page. Just double-click wherever you want to type your text and start writing.

4.     Convert to Plain Text

When you copy paste from anywhere into Word, all the styles and formatting are retained. To remove these formats, simply select the block and press CTRL+Space Bar and it will be transformed into plain text.

5.     Word’s Hidden Calculator

Your copy of Microsoft Word has a hidden calculator that can handle all the common arithmetic operations. Go to Word Options -> Quick Access Toolbar, switch to All Commands and add the Calculate Command to your Quick Access Toolbar.

6.     Some more useful shortcuts:

  • To insert a page break, press CTRL+ENTER.
  • To center, left-align, or right-align a selected paragraph, press CTRL+E, CTRL+L, or CTRL+R. ·
  • To look up synonyms in the thesaurus, select a word and press SHIFT+F7.
  • To restore selected text to its original formatting, press CTRL+SPACEBAR.

7.     Add a Comment Box

When you are asked to proofread, the easiest thing to do is to turn on the proofreading and commenting system. This will save you from the horror of sending them a lengthy email explaining their mistakes and just marking those in their Word file instead. Go to Tools -> Track Changes -> Highlight Changes. If this feature is turned on, any changes you make to the document will go under different colour. You can also highlight a portion of text, click the Insert -> Comment.

8.     Password Protect Work Documents

If you’re working on a sensitive document, it might be worth locking your documents. To password protect a Word document, click on File > Info > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password

9.     Edit PDF File

Go to File -> Open and open the PDF file. Click ‘Enable Editing’ at the top of the document and edit where you see fit. Don’t forget to save it afterwards.

10.  Find and Replace

Spelled a word wrongly, all throughout the document? Click CTRL+F and type the word you would like to find. Click replace and you can choose between replacing that one word or replace all.

Want to learn more about working with Microsoft Word? The Institute of Management offers an Advanced Microsoft Word course. Visit our website to find out more.