To find the classes that can make you better and more productive, visit Connect2Classes.

3 professional skills that will make you stand out

By: Flint Stephens

Skill development and enrichment is essential to career growth and longevity. Upgrading, learning new skills and honing existing ones can lead to a more rewarding career, potential salary increases and personal success.

A great way to improve your résumé, gain a competitive edge or satisfy a thirst for ongoing knowledge is by taking classes. Finding classes that interest you and boost your value is as easy as browsing an online marketplace like Connect2Classes.com. With over 10,000 classes from hundreds of providers in the Seattle area, business, technology or management classes are at your doorstep.

Develop visual meeting skills

Conducting effective meetings is a critical leadership skill. In today’s business world, many of those meetings involve participants in varied locations who are connected via computer rather than sitting across from each other in a conference room.

“Virtual meetings will never replace the need for humans to exchange emotional and unconscious non-verbal information through face-to-face exchanges, but they can be made to do for all but the most important purposes,” according to Nick Morgan, writing for the Harvard Business Review.

Virtual meeting organizers are often constrained by PowerPoint presentations and bulleted lists that restrict creativity. A skilled visual meeting presenter can use whiteboards, easel pads, glass walls and other surfaces to generate discussions, presentations and brainstorming sessions and record the process to be shared and saved online.

Connect2Classes’ recommendation: The Visual Meeting: Tools for Documenting Ideas.

Navigate conflict

Conflict is inevitable and can create negativity in the office that can affect relationships and diminish productivity.

“The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader,” writes Mike Myatt in an article for forbes.com. If you can’t address conflict in a healthy, productive fashion, you should not hold a leadership position, he says.

Learning to understand, control and avoid conflict is a critical skill and one that employers are looking for in job candidates. Techniques to harness the power of resolution can be found in classes that teach both theory and practical skills for a well-rounded understanding.

Connect2Classes’ recommendation: Navigating Conflict.

Create a career and life portfolio

In a world where technology and jobs are constantly changing and evolving, it can be difficult to script and achieve long-term career objectives. As a result, many never even try. It isn’t uncommon for people to spend more time planning for a vacation than for their careers.

Jeff Levy, author of “Making the Jump: Second Session,” advises people to consider vocations not just in terms of a single defined job or occupation, but more as a holistic body of work. In executive workshops, Levy explains what it takes to create a career and life portfolio and key developments and milestones that led him in that direction.

Connect2Classes’ recommendation: Creating a Career & Life Portfolio.

Learning is a lifelong pursuit and one that can help you develop skills, follow a passion and round out experience. Build your skills with Connect2Classes.

Note: Flint Stephens has a master’s degree in communication. He writes regularly on business, financial and medical topics.

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