Career Development Topics

Informational "Snapshots" and Information Available on the Web


Saying "No"

  • Most people have a hard time saying "no", primarily because they feel that it casts them in a negative light. They feel that it will make them seem like less of a team player or that they are trying to avoid work.
  • Saying a mindful "no" is actually a positive action, as it allows you to work toward your own purpose and allows others the opportunity to step up to the challenge.
  • It is important to be assertive in your behavior, and not aggressive. Being assertive will allow you to get your message across without invoking a negative emotional response from the listener.
  • Be clear, concise and consistent in your message.

Learn More:
How to Say No 
Nine Practices to Help You Say No 
Say "No" For Work Life Balance
Assertive Communication for Better Relationships

Green Line

Active Listening

  • Take personal responsibility for understanding what you hear.
  • Concentrate and make a good effort to focus on the person speaking.
  • Listen without interrupting, disagreeing, or offering explanations.
  • Use body language (nonverbal gestures) to show that you are involved in the conversation - nod your head, keep eye contact, lean toward the speaker.
  • Ask questions to be certain you are interpreting the message correctly. You can also summarize and paraphrase what you heard.
  • Take notes as necessary. This will help you remember and/or document what was said.

Learn more:
Active Listening: Hear what People are Really Saying 
Active Listening Study Guide 
Active Listening Clip 1: 
Active Listening Clip 2:

Green Line

Getting to Know Introverts

  • 25% - 40% of the population is oriented to introversion, with more who have introverted "tendencies"
  • Being introverted is not the same as being shy
  • Introverts gain energy from spending time alone, while extroverts become energized by being with others
  • Introverts tend to be deep thinkers, great listeners and are very creative and detail oriented
  • Introverts prefer to have deep, meaningful conversations with a few close friends than having superficial, small talk with acquaintances or large groups
  • Before making decisions or verbalizing opinions, introverts prefer to have time to think about & process information 
  • Famous introverts include President Obama, Meryl Streep, Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Stephen King, Albert Einstein, J.K. Rowling, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks, Rosa Parks, David Letterman & Jane Goodall

Learn more:
Extraversion vs. Introversion 
Introverts No Longer the Quiet Followers of Extroverts 
Faking it: How introverts succeed 
Introvert vs. Extrovert: A glimpse into the challenges of an introvert

Green Line

Critical Thinking and Mentoring

Mentoring is a learning opportunity for both the mentor and mentee. One of the best ways to create this reciprocal environment is through critical thinking. According to's 21st Century Lexicon, critical thinking is "the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion." By being reflective about their own experiences, mentors can gain perspective while sharing lessons learned with their mentee. Here are some other ways that critical thinking can be helpful:

  • Figure out the "who", "what" and "when" while dealing with issues
  • Mentoring pairs can utilize critical thinking to help navigate through change and alleviate the stress that can accompany it
  • Critical thinking can encourage "what else" thinking, allowing innovative problem solving
  • When tasked with meeting a goal, critical thinking can help clear the path to achieving desired results
  • When reflecting on a completed tasks, don't just consider what worked and what didn't work, but also how the process of completing the task was created
  • Critical thinking enables you to be aware of how emotions affect your decision making process

Learn more:
Becoming Aware: Mentoring & Critical Thinking - 
Developing Skills in Critical Reflection Through Mentoring Stories -
Critical Thinking Exercises - ‎ 
Critical Thinking Skills -
Do You Think? -
Behind the Medicine: Critical Thinking -

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Last Updated: 04-07-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.