What does a medical assistant do?

Medical assistants fulfill a variety of roles within a clinical or medical setting. From taking vitals before a doctor visit to advising patients on treatment plans prescribed by physicians, medical assistants are an essential part of every physician’s office. Medical assistants often fulfill both clinical and administrative duties, and they may even assist with billing, product inventory, and other important processes. The job duties and functions of a medical assistant vary depending on the size and location of the clinic, hospital, or other setting in which they work, but in general, the duties performed by medical assistants include:

  • Greeting and Checking In Patients
  • Compiling Patient History and Medications
  • Taking Vitals and Drawing Blood
  • Taking and Preparing Lab Specimens
  • Submitting Prescriptions and Refills to Pharmacies
  • Scheduling Appointments and Lab Work
  • Obtaining Patient Records and Lab Results
  • Updating Patient Records and Medical History
  • Handling Referrals, Admissions, and Other Paperwork
  • Advising Patients Regarding Treatment Plans
  • Reviewing Proper Use of Prescriptions and Medications with Patients
  • Managing Product and Supply Inventory

What does a medical assistant make?

Most entry-level medical assistants make between $10-$15 per hour, although the range can vary by geographic location, work setting, skill level, experience, and other factors. The nationwide average salary for medical assistants is around $35,000, which is fairly standard for entry-level careers. On average, medical assistants in hospitals and physicians offices have higher salaries than those in other work settings.

What do medical assistants make in Colorado?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in Colorado make, on average, $32,000 per year. However, skill set, level of education, experience, work setting, and other factors can have an impact on how much medical assistants make. For example, medical assistants working in hospitals in Colorado can make as much as $55,000 per year with less than 5 years of experience working in the field, while entry-level registered medical assistants in physicians’ offices can expect to make between $30,000 and $35,000 per year.

Where do medical assistants work?

If you have ever visited a physician’s office or a hospital, chances are you have encountered a registered medical assistant. In addition to physicians and nurses, medical assistants are an essential part of every health setting. Medical assistants work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Physicians’ Offices
  • Nursing Homes and Retirement Communities
  • Community Health Centers
  • Laboratories
  • Sports Medicine Clinics
  • Physical Therapy Centers

How do I become a medical assistant?

Becoming a medical assistant requires some level of technical training, but unlike becoming a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN), becoming a registered medical assistant (RMA) does not require a college degree.

What does it take to be a medical assistant?

You can become a registered medical assistant by completing a medical assistant certification program. Colleges like IntelliTec offer registered medical assistant programs with a relatively quick training period, so you can become a registered medical assistant in as little as 10.5 months.


What is the difference between an RN and a RMA?

A registered nurse, or RN, is different from a registered medical assistant, or RMA, in that becoming an registered nurse requires a college degree and a higher level of specialized training, while registered medical assistants are able to fulfill a variety of roles with significantly less time spent in school and with a much lower education cost.

While some of the duties of a registered nurse and a registered medical assistant may overlap, RMAs are often also active in the administrative side of a clinic or hospital setting, and may even work alongside practice owners and managers to implement marketing campaigns and other important functions outside of patient care.

How To Study Effectively

Wondering how to study for a test? There are several obvious ways to prepare for a study session, like not waiting until the last minute and making sure you take detailed notes in class, but there are a few more ways to create a study routine that promotes focus and productivity.

How to Create a Study Routine

The first step in creating a study routine is to know what works best for you. There is no strict guideline for which type of study routine works best, since it depends on your personal study habits and learning style. Are you a night owl or an early bird? This may affect the time of day you find it easiest to study. If you are easily distracted, finding a clean and organized space with minimal distractions may help you engage with your notes or study material.

Study Tips: How To Focus Better

If you’re having trouble focusing, know that it happens to all of us at times. There are, however, some tips and tricks you can utilize to help your mind stay focusing when studying for an exam or performing other tasks that require concentration. Here are a few study tips to help you study for exams.

Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is a great way to keep your mind from becoming overwhelmed, which can lead to burnout and a desire to procrastinate or avoid studying. A good rule of thumb is to take a 15-minute break at least once every hour. This keeps your brain active yet not overworked.

Eat Healthy

Eating healthy snacks and meals that support brain function can actually improve your focus and your memory, two great tools to have when it’s time to study for an exam. Foods that include healthy fats and antioxidants that support brain function and memory include:

  • Avocadoes
  • Blueberries
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea
  • Nuts and Seeds

Setup a Study Space

When creating a study space, consider things like noise level, lighting, temperature. If you prefer dark and quiet spaces, a coffee shop may not be the best place to study for an upcoming exam. If you prefer warmer temperatures, studying in a cold library may distract you or steal your focus. Choose your ideal surroundings, as much as you are able, in order to avoid environmental distractions.

Meditate / Exercise

The benefits of meditation are seemingly endless, but a quick 30-minute yoga or meditation exercise can be of particular use when you need to clear your mind and minimize distractions before or during a study session. Focus on your breath, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, and release any thoughts of worry or stress.


Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to creating a productive study session. When your body and your brain are tired, chances are you won’t find it nearly as easy to focus and to concentrate. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep when preparing to study, and avoid all-nighters as much as possible.

Many people opt to attend college or trade schools in order to give themselves an advantage in the job search. While taking on student loan debt to pay for your education is not a bad thing as long as you have a plan to budget for and manage your debt while working towards a career, one of the biggest differences between trade schools and colleges is the cost of attendance.


Many colleges have attendance costs that are double or even triple the cost of attending a trade school. Some college graduates are experiencing crippling student loan debt. This amount has steadily increased over the last three decades and is expected to keep doing so as attendance costs continue to rise.

READ MORE: Quick Facts About Student Loan Debt

With so few employment options, and so much debt, how does one prepare for a career in any field? Trade schools are becoming an ever increasingly popular option for those looking to find gainful employment.


What is the difference between trade school and college?

While private and public colleges and universities tend to offer a wide variety of degrees with coursework focused on the liberal arts – math, science, literature, history, and the arts – trade schools offer highly-specialized, hands-on training in a work environment. The essential difference between trade school and college – trade school prepares you for employment, and a career, and for many, college does not.



Because trade school programs focus on specific industries and careers rather than a general area of study combined with liberal arts courses, they tend to be much shorter than college degree programs. Some nursing assistant programs even allow students to earn a certificate for employment in as little as 4 weeks.

LEARN MORE: Earn a Nursing Assistant Certificate in Just 4 Weeks


Beyond saving you from additional years of coursework, trade schools can save you money. Unlike colleges and universities, trade school attendance costs tend to be affordable. While attendance costs will vary from program to program at various schools, you can expect to spend far less at a trade school than at a public or private university.



Your personal interests will determine what program of study you choose. If you enjoy working with your hands, a career in automotive services or HVAC repair may appeal to you, while a career in massage therapy or nursing assistance may appeal to those who are drawn to helping others. Just a few of the most common trade school programs include:


Unsure which field of study you should choose for a career? An IntelliTec admissions representative can help you determine which career is right for you. From providing helpful information on typical course schedules to helping you find employment opportunities, a career counselor is a great resource for anyone seeking advice on which career path to choose.


At IntelliTec College, we understand that the trades our students receive training in require a certain set of skills, certifications, and proof that you can excel in the field. To help students hit the ground running towards a new career, the curriculum we offer include real job training.

Along with the important information you learn in the classroom, you gain practical skills that prepare you to start your career right away.


One of the most common ways that our students gain real career experience is through our externship program. Thanks to our instructors who know their industries well, and thanks to our helpful career services department, students are able to connect with externship hosts. These externships, offered in a variety of settings for different programs, allow students to work alongside industry professionals, gaining experience and seeing how the day-to-day business is handled.

Our Salons

For students in our cosmetology and massage therapy programs, we offer a truly hands-on approach to honing their skills.  In Grand Junction and Pueblo, we have  cosmetology salons, which allow local customers to come in and enjoy student services in hair, nail, waxing, and skin services to the public.  This instructor supervised approach allows students to master tricks and techniques that they cannot learn in the classroom.  Click here to access our cosmetology salon’s page.

Similarly, our massage therapy students have their own massage clinic in Grand Junction and Pueblo, too! While some massage services at upscale spas can cost quite a bit of money, our services in the massage clinic provide the same relaxing experience for a fraction of the cost. Students practice their therapeutic skills with an array of massages – from 30 to 90 minute offerings in various massage options, such as popular Swedish and Deep Tissue massage therapies.  Click here to visit the massage clinic’s page.


For science-based programs, such as medicaldentalpharmacy, and nursing assistants, laboratories offer real experience for the workplace. Additionally, our medically-based programs are able to work within our simulated clinic settings, which are offered on all of our campuses. Inside the clinics, you get a true feel for what it is like to work alongside fellow professionals, how the day flows, and how to handle emergencies. By giving laboratory and clinic settings at the college, along with externship opportunities in hospitals and other medical settings, IntelliTec allows students to find their true passion and decide on a career that fits their personality.

Equipment and Technology

For some of our programs, the right technology and tools provides enormous value to students. When you are familiar with all of the latest updates in your industry, you can find a job that is innovative and able to adapt, giving you a long-term career where you can always grow as technologies change.

As an example, our Computer Systems Technician program was created to keep up with the booming tech field. Our students are able to complete their own labs, working on actual computer systems and finding solutions to some of the most common industry problems.

For students in programs like our HVAC & Refrigeration or Automotive Technician, having simulated equipment and the right tools makes all the difference in how students learn. HVAC students even receive their own toolkit through the program, which allows them to work with the real-world tools, become familiar with them, and fix issues that arise.

For Automotive Technician students, IntelliTec has an array of Snap-On tools, allowing students to run diagnostics and become familiar with one of the leading brands used in the industry today. In addition, automotive technician students receive their own set of tools upon graduation to ensure they are equipped for their new career!

Think Outside the Classroom with IntelliTec

There’s a reason why IntelliTec College provides more than just a classroom setting. We all learn in different ways, but one of the most effective ways to learn is by doing!

Trying something out for yourself, especially for a new career path, means having consistent practice, becoming familiar, and feeling confident. If we taught just a classroom alone, our students would not have the practical experience and exposure that a potential employer wants.

Through IntelliTec’s programs, students get a distinct advantage above other job seekers. Instead of coming into a job as an entry-level candidate, you have the skills and real-life experience. This allows you to tell an employer directly what you are good at, what you love, and where you see your career headed with them.

Curious about a certain program and how hands-on learning can help you? Browse our programs here, and contact our Career Services department to learn more!

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit?

Have you always dreamed of owning your own business? Of being your own boss?

If so, now that you’ve graduated college, you may feel as though you’re finally ready to begin putting those plans into motion.

Still, while the skills and knowledge you’ve gained during college will definitely go a long way toward helping you reach this goal, there’s some other helpful information you should know about before you take the leap. These tips for starting your own business after graduation will prove vital to your success.

Tips for Starting Your Own Business After College

There’s no doubt about it: becoming your own boss is hard work.

It’s far from impossible, though. Graduating from college with relevant skills and training definitely means you’re starting off on the right foot.

Still, be sure you follow these tips for starting your own business before proceeding any further.

1. Speak to Alumni

One great thing about going to a college with an engaged career services department is that they can help you prepare for life after graduation. This may also entail connecting you with alumni who can be extremely helpful with planning that next step.

That said, don’t forget about sites like LinkedIn, as well. You can easily search for alumni that way and reach out to them for guidance.

Given your entrepreneurial dreams, look for those who also own their own businesses and, therefore, have had relevant experiences. Even if it took them years before they finally broke out on their own, their advice will still be extremely helpful.

Similarly, networking with alumni is always a good idea. Again, you may have to wait a year or two before you can finally become your own boss. Having a strong network of alumni can help you find gainful employment in the meantime.

2. Learn Sales and Marketing

If you aren’t able to effectively market your business, you’ll have a hard time attracting people.

If you can’t sell people, those whom you do attract will never become customers.

Eventually, you’ll probably have the funds to hire someone to handle these essential components of your company.

Until then, you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of sales and marketing your business.

This will also be extremely helpful later on. Thanks to the gig economy, you will be able to hire sales and marketing experts without paying the same prices as you would if they were fulltime employees. You’ll have a much easier time hiring the best possible people if you already have a solid understanding of these essential components to your business’ success.

3. Be Patient

Even if you implement all of these tips for starting your own business right after graduation, your business most likely won’t be an overnight success.

There are a lot of factors that determine when you’ll become profitable, so there’s no one timeline for when you’ll be able to consider your company a success.

If you want to start your own personal training business, you probably won’t have the same overhead as someone who wants to open up their own auto body shop. They’ll need to pay for the building, equipment, tools, and utilities, among other things.

Nonetheless, even if you don’t have to deal with a lot of overhead, patience is never more a virtue than when you’re an entrepreneur. You need to keep a long-term perspective, one that accounts for temporary setbacks and the occasional bad luck.

Looking for More Tips for Starting Your Own Business?

Do you have questions specific to the industry you want to enter or the unique type of business you want to start?

As a graduate of IntelliTec Colleges, you’ll have full access to our career service professionals, who can point you in the right direction.

If you aren’t yet enrolled, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today to begin learning about all of the opportunities awaiting you at IntelliTec Colleges

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Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit?

Have you always dreamed of owning your own business? Of being your own boss?

If so, now that you’ve graduated college, you may feel as though you’re finally ready to begin putting those plans into motion.

Still, while the skills and knowledge you’ve gained during college will definitely go a long way toward helping you reach this goal, there’s some other helpful information you should know about before you take the leap. These tips for starting your own business after graduation will prove vital to your success.

Tips for Starting Your Own Business After College

There’s no doubt about it: becoming your own boss is hard work.

It’s far from impossible, though. Graduating from college with relevant skills and training definitely means you’re starting off on the right foot.

Still, be sure you follow these tips for starting your own business before proceeding any further.

1. Consider Waiting a Year or Two

Before we delve into the other tips for starting your own business right after college, we recommend considering the benefits of waiting a year or two.

Seeking out traditional employment in your field first may help you better understand the industry you’re entering. Depending on the employer, an entry-level job could also provide you with opportunities to learn about how this kind of business is run.

For example, if you’re a cosmetologist who goes to work at a small spa, you may wear several hats outside of your official role. This would give you a unique perspective into all the different facets of running one of these spas yourself.

You may also be able to score some of your first clients during this time. For instance, it’s fairly common for clients to follow their cosmetologists to new locations.

A year or two of employment will also help you save some of the capital you need to eventually fund your own business.

If you still plan on moving ahead with starting your own business right after graduation, at least consider some part-time work to keep money coming in. That will definitely fill up your schedule, but it may also make all the difference during your initial year or two as a business owner.

2. Put Together a Budget ASAP

If you don’t put together a budget for your company, none of the other tips for starting your own business on this list will be very helpful. You could follow each one to a “t” and still fall short of your goal – or start a business only to see it fail – because you don’t have your finances figured out first.

While securing a small business loan is always an option, it may be difficult as a new graduate – though not impossible. You can probably leverage your credit for many expenses, as well.

Of course, you may need to either borrow money from family members – usually a risky prospect – or, again, work a couple years to build up your savings.

Looking for More Tips for Starting Your Own Business?

Do you have questions specific to the industry you want to enter or the unique type of business you want to start?

As a graduate of IntelliTec Colleges, you’ll have full access to our career service professionals, who can point you in the right direction.

If you aren’t yet enrolled, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today to begin learning about all of the opportunities awaiting you at IntelliTec Colleges

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How are your finances?

Are you confident you have them well in hand or do you sometimes worry that you’re not doing enough for your own financial wellbeing?

Either way, now that you’re a college student, you may find that you need to rethink your finances a bit. Fortunately, some very simple personal finance tips can be enough to secure peace of mind where your money is concerned.

5 Personal Finance Tips for Your College Years

You have enough to focus on as a college student. However, if all you do is implement the following five personal finance tips, you can get back to studying and spend far less time worrying about your funds.

1. Create a Budget and Then Stick to It

Without a doubt, one of the most important personal finance tips is that you must create a budget for yourself. Otherwise, it’s far too easy to end up in tight spots with your money.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a herculean challenge.

First, add up the total amount for your essentials. These are things like:

  • Rent/Mortgage Payments
  • Internet Bill
  • Phone Bill
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Car Note
  • Gas

This should also include groceries. Use the average of what you spent over the past six months.

Then subtract that from the amount you make every month and what’s left is what you have to spend on the nonessentials (e.g. entertainment, dining out, etc.).

To be fair, it may be a bit difficult to accurately predict what your spending habits will be like now that you’re a college student.

Still, do your best to stick with your budget for at least a month before you make any changes. Implementing the other personal finance tips on this list may not help immediately. It could be a month or so before you see their results, so changing your budget right away would be a big mistake.

Furthermore, you don’t want to get into the habit of adjusting your budget the moment you think it might be a bit off. Unless you’re about to miss making a payment or you’re out of groceries, stick with it for now.

2. Use Technology to Track Your Spending

Use an app to track your spending and you’ll have an even easier time staying on budget.

These apps will also help better inform your decision about it, too. So if you do start thinking it might be time to adjust yours – maybe you feel like you need more for groceries – you can go over your historic data to get a sense for the new amount.

Most importantly, these apps will help you track your spending day-to-day, so you won’t absent-mindedly end up over budget.

3. Don’t Forget About Your Savings

We didn’t include “savings” in the “essentials” portion of your budget earlier because, although it absolutely belongs there, it also deserves its own explanation.

Far too many college students ignore their savings. That’s something they intend to worry about after they graduate and have a steady paycheck coming in.

They may listen to all kinds of other personal finance tips, but they still hold off on setting money aside for their savings.

This is a huge mistake.

Everyone should work toward having an emergency fund (at least $1,000 or 3 months of expenses if you don’t have any debt) on hand. You don’t want an unexpected financial obligation to completely drain your resources and leave you broke.

Furthermore, you’ll want to retire someday. Thanks to the power of compounding interest, the earlier you begin saving, the easier it will be to build a nest egg that will support your Golden Years.

4. Get Rid of Regular Expenses and Study More

As you go back to track your spending on essential like groceries, keep an eye out for other expenditures. Specifically, look for those that you don’t absolutely need and that you’re not even using anymore.

For example, are you still paying for a gym membership you never use? Get rid of it and workout at home.

Do you spend money on cable every month? Ditch that reoccurring cost (switch to the much more affordable Netflix if you have to) and put that money toward savings.

Also, put the time you were spending on some of these unnecessary expenditures (e.g. a regular happy hour) toward studying, which will provide you with much better future returns.

5. Implement the 30-Day Spending Rule

At this point, you may worry that some of these personal finance tips will mean you have to spend your time in college having no fun at all.

That’s definitely not the case. You should absolutely include room in your budget for fun expenditures, like going out with friends and treating yourself to the occasionally pricey coffee.

You can still splurge on other items, too. Maybe it’s a new item of clothing you don’t really need or the brand new phone you could actually do without.

For expenses like those, use the 30-day spending rule.

In short, this rule allows you to make those kinds of purchases, but first you need to wait 30 days.

For example, if you decide you could really use a new TV, that’s fine. Write that down somewhere. Include the date you first had this inclination, too.

Most of the time, you’ll find that when the 30 days are over, the impulse has completely passed. Even better, you’ll still have the money you would have otherwise spent.

One of the best things about this practice isn’t even the savings. It’s the fact that you become cognizant of how many of your purchasing decisions are made on impulse. This, in turn, will help you avoid other unnecessary purchases as time goes on.

Need More Personal Finance Tips?

At IntelleTec College, we pride ourselves on setting up our students for success.

Among other things, this means helping them with many of their needs outside of the classroom. So if you’d like help paying for your education, we’d be happy to talk to you about financial aid.

Simply contact us today and we’ll send you more information about the program you’re most interested in and how to fund your education.

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Do you have the social skills it takes to win over employers and work well with others?

Having the right certificate or associate degree is essential, but most employers want to know that you’re someone who possesses adequate social skills, as well.

In fact, they may even opt for a candidate who is technically less qualified simply because they are clearly more social.

Don’t let this happen to you.

5 Ways to Begin Improving Your Social Skills

Unfortunately, many people think that you’re either born with strong social skills or you’re doomed to live your life without them.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While it will take some work to begin building them, the following methods will help improve your social skills, something that will make you a more attractive job candidate and most likely benefit you in your personal life, as well.

1. Start Small

If you’re not already a social person, the thought of suddenly introducing yourself to strangers and holding a conversation can be too overwhelming to consider.

That’s why you should start small. Try giving yourself a goal for the day. Start with simply talking to one new person.

It can be the cashier at your grocery store, a classmate, or a neighbor you’ve never met. All you have to do is ask them one question. Something like “How’s your day?” is just fine.

When that becomes easy, try asking the person two questions. Follow up that last one with, “Big plans this weekend?” or “did you see the game last night?”

You’re not trying to start an entire conversation. You’re just trying to get past that initial question.

Once that becomes easy, try to talk to two or three people a day. Over time, you’ll find that taking this kind of initiative is no longer a problem.

2. Make Eye Contact

You can do this alongside the last tip or you can implement it once you get comfortable.

Either way, eye contact is extremely important in conversation, especially when you’re trying to be persuasive (something you definitely want to be during a job interview).

It also signals that you’re engaged and listening to the other person.

As most people don’t associate eye contact with a lack of social skills, simply looking the other person in the eye can go a long way toward making you seem more sociable than you may really be at the moment.

3. Choose Open-Ended Questions

If all you do is implement the two practices we just covered, you should enjoy a marked improvement in your social skills. You’ll definitely be better prepared for a job interview.

That said, you may still run into issues if the conversation hits a lull. Now you need to work on regaining momentum.

This probably won’t occur during a job interview, but it could easily happen while on the job.

To some degree, the best thing you can do is keep trying. Keep practicing and you’ll get better at restarting conversations when they slow.

However, you can also avoid these lulls by asking open-ended questions. If you ask yes/no questions, the other person can kill the conversation with a single word. If you ask an open-ended question, they have to give a lengthier, more detailed response.

Any one of those details is something you can focus on to continue the conversation. Ask a who/what/where/why/how question about their original answer and the person will likely give you even more details you can use to continue talking.

4. Focus on Being Assertive

Just like eye contact, assertiveness is something that people without great social skills usually struggle with.

To be clear, being assertive doesn’t mean being bossy or rude. It means being clear about what you want or what your ideas are.

If you don’t come off as assertive in your job interview, the employer may worry that extracting important information from you will be like pulling teeth – something no employer wants to deal with.

Instead, practice answering common interview questions in the most assertive way possible. This means giving your answer clearly, even when it means talking about yourself (e.g. “Why are you the best person for this job?”, “Where do you want to be in five years?”, etc.).

Once you land the role, you can practice being assertive by saying “no” to requests you know you’re allowed to turn down (e.g. “Can you work for me on Tuesday?”). Obviously, don’t say “no” when you really want to say “yes.”

This simple practice will build assertiveness as you realize that there are almost never consequences for politely turning down requests that fall outside the scope of your job (as determined by your boss, of course).

Another tip is to push yourself to answer questions with more than one sentence. If your boss asks you what you think about a certain situation, assert yourself by fully expressing your answer in as many words as it takes.

5. Don’t Forget to Smile

As we mentioned earlier, building your social skills will take practice. It will probably also involve conquering your nerves – at least at first.

Still, don’t let anxiety get the best of you. If you need a little break from practicing, take it. Just be sure you start up again.

Don’t forget to smile, either.

For one thing, smiling is actually very good for you. If social situations make you uncomfortable smiling can help you loosen up a bit.

Smiling also makes you look much more at ease and approachable. This is very important in a job interview, when confidence is vital.

Need Help Showing Off Your Social Skills at Your Job Interview?

Do you struggle with social situations?

Do you worry that this will hurt your chances to land a job?

If you become a student at IntelliTec College, our career services department can help you prepare for interviews and build your confidence before you ever sit down in front of an employer.

To learn more about becoming a student at IntelliTec College, contact us today.

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When you think of where you’d like to work after you graduate from college, any number of things may come to mind.

Most people like to think that they’ll be surrounded by coworkers who will be easy to get along with.

Unfortunately, that won’t always be the case.

Not everyone is a team player. Even those who are may occasionally succumb to tension or the stress of their job. Either way, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll eventually have to deal with some kind of work-related conflict.

This is when having conflict resolution skills is extremely important.

4 Conflict Resolution Skills You Should Develop Right Away

While you always want to resolve an issue someone has with you, conflict resolution skills are also helpful when you see that a problem is brewing between others.

Aside from their obvious benefits, skills will show that you’re a leader and someone who is able to manage people effectively. That could earn you a promotion and will certainly make you more valuable to your employer.

1. Keeping Your Cool

Conflict tends to breed conflict. At the very least, it certainly spreads unrest. When one person gets worked up and starts acting out, some people can’t keep themselves from joining in.

This doesn’t mean that they’re also confrontational. Some people will react by shutting down or becoming uncomfortable or simply leaving the area altogether.

If you’re able to keep your cool, then you can be a part of the solution. Otherwise, you’re only contributing to the problem and making it worse.

Often, this realization is all it takes. When you understand that the best response to conflict is calm, you will have a much easier time remaining so.

That said, it can also help to practice remaining calm at work throughout the day. Fortunately, this is incredibly easy to do. Several times during your workday, take a moment to stop and concentrate on your breath – nothing else.

Make it a habit. For example, whenever you sit down, take a few seconds to only focus on your breathing. This kind of meditative practice isn’t time-consuming, but it will help you remain calm throughout the day, which will be very helpful if conflict breaks out.

2. Always Listen First

One of the worst things you can do when one or more people are upset is jump to conclusions. Even if you have the best of intentions, a single mistaken assumption is like dumping gasoline on the fire.

In the famous book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen Covey recommends you “seek first to understand.” In fact, the author thought that point so important that he dedicated an entire chapter to it.

This is much easier to do if you’re able to remain calm, but it can still be tempting at times to decide you’ve heard enough when someone is angry.

Don’t give in.

Hear the person out and do so with the genuine intention of trying to understand their perspective.

This isn’t some trick. You’re not just pretending to care. You really do want to get to the bottom of the conflict. That’s the only way you’ll be able to resolve it and prevent it from happening again.

3. Find Common Ground

The other advantage to letting the other person talk first is that it gives you an opportunity to find common ground. Once you’re able to empathize with the person, it will be much easier to implement these other conflict resolution skills.

If nothing else, the person will begin to see you as someone who isn’t necessarily against them and may even have an acceptable solution.

For example, say one of your coworkers is upset because a customer was rude to them. Maybe they feel as though the rest of the staff hasn’t supported them, either.

As we discussed above, stay calm and hear them out. Then, after they’ve finished speaking, you can describe a time when the same thing happened to you. At the very least, your coworker now knows you understand their frustration. 

4. Look for the Win-Win Solution

When a conflict involves two coworkers who are actively arguing, you need to use your conflict resolution skills to work for a win-win resolution.

This is not the same thing as making both sides compromise. Those look good on paper, but they’re often only a temporary solution. One side will feel slighted and it will usually only be a matter of time before they reengage the other party.

The first thing you need to do – besides remain calm – is to listen to both sides. This might involve digging a bit deeper to the underlying concern behind their anger.

For example, Team Member A might express frustration over Team Member B’s work ethic. They feel as though Team Member B isn’t pulling their weight. Maybe that’s really all there is to it or maybe Team Member A feels as though they don’t get enough recognition for how hard they work. Maybe they feel like they’ve been passed over for a recent promotion.

Once you get to the root of the conflict, ask everyone involved to help find a solution that will fully address it. You can suggest an option, but don’t force it on them. Ideally, you want all parties to agree on the solution – win-win – without making anyone give up ground.

In the above example, the win-win solution may be to find a way that Team Member B’s performance doesn’t affect the compensation of Team Member A. You can even speak to the latter about possible opportunities for promotion coming up and volunteering to help them prepare.

Looking for Help Building Your Conflict Resolution Skills?

At IntelliTec College, our passion is helping students learn the skills they need to find work in a number of different trades.

However, our career services department is also very adept at helping students position themselves as valuable candidates in terms of soft skills, too. So if you would like further help developing your ability to resolve conflicts, they’re here to help.

Contact us today and we’ll send you information about whichever program you’re most interested in. Once you’re a student our career advisors will be more than happy to assist you in building all kinds of important skills.

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If you’re looking to improve your job prospects, going to college is definitely a great step in the right direction.

However, don’t make the mistake of attending interviews without first understanding the importance of soft skills.

2 More Soft Skills Employers Want Most

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2017 survey, there are 20 soft skills that employers look for when assessing candidates for jobs.

Let’s look at 2 more soft skills that are valuable to employers and how you can prove that you possess them

1. Leadership

Even though you may be applying for an entry-level job, employers are always on the lookout for good leaders. Again, leaders tend to do well solving problems on their own.

However, leaders are also easier to promote, which means avoiding the hassles of looking outside the company to fill management positions.

If you don’t have a leadership position to cite on your resume, your best bet is to share antidotes that show how motivated and persistent you are. You can also mention that your goal is to achieve a leadership position at their company (“Where do you see yourself in five years?” will give you an opportunity).

2. A Strong Work Ethic

This is another soft skill that employers want, yet it can be difficult to prove your work ethic during an interview.

One option is to really go into detail on your resume. Don’t just mention your past jobs. Provide some information about all the demands you met while acting in that position. That will give them a better idea of how hard you work.

You can also mention your work ethic when responding to some of the interviewer’s questions. Instead of just citing it as one of your strengths, though, look for an opportunity to boast about your work ethic in a more indirect way.

As an example, if the interviewer asks you about overcoming a challenge, once again, provide lots of details. Show just how challenging the situation was and explain how you didn’t give up until it was resolved.

Obtain the Soft Skills and Education You Need for a Better Future

Are you looking to improve your job prospects?

If so, we’d love to hear from you. Aside from our programs, we also have a career services department that can help you prepare for job interviews so you effectively show off the soft skills mentioned above.

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