5 Steps to Effective Last-Minute Exam Revision

Exam time has started and we feel your pain. Even the most confident students can feel overwhelmed at the prospect of the testing period ahead.

Your schools and colleges will have given you loads of excellent advice about the best techniques and approaches. Here are a few more ideas to help you maintain your focus and energy in the final sprint towards exams.

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How Jargon Makes Us Less Human

The workplace is rife with jargon. We use the currently fashionable (or sadly outdated, if you don’t keep up) pre-packed phrases to make our banal utterances sound zippy and dynamic, and to impose a veneer of gravitas on our trivial observations.

Why take a broad view, or an overall perspective, when we can get the ‘helicopter view’? Why meet for coffee or a chat when we can ‘touch base offline’? But office jargon also disguises the reality behind the pithy expression.

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How to Deal with Bullying When it’s Called Honesty

In these times of fake news and alternative facts, how could we not be in favour of honesty? Honesty is a core value which is essential to human interaction. We have to be able to trust each other.

So let’s be on our guard for communication which, in the guise of honesty, presents negative comments masquerading as helpful feedback, and which raises questions about the motives of the speaker.

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How to Identify the Real Power in the Workplace

At first glance, it’s quite clear — the people at the top have power, and everyone else doesn’t. There’s an element of truth in this, of course.

If you have a position which gives you the last word in hiring and firing, rewarding and punishing, then you are powerful indeed. And we don’t hate you for it, because we know that you will always exercise this power with intelligence, sensitivity and responsibility.

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How to Disagree with People at Work

Frank and fearless exchanges of views about entertainment, public personalities and the best place for a lunchtime sandwich are fun and stimulating.

On the other hand, disagreements about practice and policy, decisions and projections and similar kinds of work-based stuff are trickier to handle, whether they involve your colleagues or your boss. Here are some tips on how to handle contentious matters.

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Get Work-Life Balance with One Short Question

work and life balanceHow’s the resolution going, the one about getting a good work-life balance? Thought so. But you’re not alone. It happens to most of us.

We start out with the firm intention of keeping work demands in check so we can have a personal life that is worth the name, but before we know it, we are overwhelmed with the relentless claims of the workplace.

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How Smiling Affects your Impact in the Workplace

smiling1It seems rather sad that such a lovely expression of pleasure as a smile should be put under scrutiny and become a subject for guidance and rules.

But smiling, like all other aspects of non-verbal communication, can add to or detract from the impact you make at work. It’s that Goldilocks effect again — too few smiles and you appear to be cold and standoffish, too many and you seem over-eager to please and to be liked. Get it just right, though, like the porridge that is neither too hot nor too cold, and you hit the right note of positive communication.

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How to Make Good Decisions

decisions2In the course of a day we make dozens of decisions, most of which happen so automatically that we don’t realise we are exercising choice. The easy fluidity of this process is hampered when we are required to make a choice in an unusual or unexpected situation.

That’s when we feel confused, stumped, overwhelmed, unable to move — and it doesn’t seem to matter if the decision is about a trivial matter or a life-changing one. Here are some strategies you can use to make choices that you feel happy about.

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How to pick the best place for a difficult conversation

conversation1Anyone who has ever tried to have a significant, or even insignificant, conversation in a noisy bar or restaurant or party will know how impossible it is to hear and be heard when you have to strain to catch every word.

When you want to concentrate on and understand what someone is saying, and when you want to raise a tricky subject, give some thought to the environment in which the conversation will take place.

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Think Like a Rock Star to Achieve Clarity

vanhalen2‘Think Like A Rock Star’ doesn’t sound like sound advice on how to approach situations in our comparatively mundane, non-rock star lives. True, there was a moment in the 1980s when girls made decisions based on ‘what would Madonna do’, but I imagine most of us abandoned this guiding principle along with perms and padded shoulders.

But we might learn a thing or two from rock band Van Halen. No, hold the air guitar, this isn’t about their music. The reference is to the story about the band’s rider, or list of requirements, for all their concert venues. One of the stipulations was for a bowl of M&M sweets — but definitely NO BROWN ONES. When the band arrived at a gig, the first thing they would do is check the candy bowl.

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Six Situations When A Pause is Powerful

Mary Hartley The Power of PauseDoing things quickly can make us feel productive and in control.

We admire the aura of the authority and confidence shown by making an instant decision, the efficiency shown by whipping through messages and firing off replies, the mental sharpness shown by coming up with an instant response.

However, an immediate reaction is not always the best one. It doesn’t sound quite so finger-snappingly on the ball, but pausing before you respond may be the smartest thing to do. It’s the difference between reacting and responding.

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