Instructor Blog: Exploring Workplace Capabilities

What are workplace capabilities, and how do they relate to your courses at Bryant & Stratton College? In each supplemental syllabus, there is a section called “Workplace Capabilities” and a description of which capability will be addressed in that particular course. The chart will look like this:
Bryant & Stratton College Workplace Capabilities
Tolerance
Communication
Attitude
Interpersonal Skills
Perseverance
Enthusiasm
Problem Solving
Persuasion
Productivity
Dependability
Informational Literacy
Technological Literacy
Why are these capabilities important, and how will courses help you improve in these areas? In the workforce, employers are looking not just for the qualifications of the position but the “soft skills” that make some job candidates stand out more than others. The first workplace capability is tolerance. In any environment, you will come across others who have different lifestyle choices, backgrounds and personalities than what you might be used to or comfortable with. In a professional setting, it is important to maintain a working relationship with others. In the classroom, online or on campus, you will also come across others with different backgrounds and beliefs.
The classroom is a great place to practice tolerance. This can be as simple as not commenting on something you don’t agree with if it isn’t relevant to the topic of discussion.   Tolerance doesn’t mean that you pretend to agree with people, it just means that you maintain civility in interacting with others. In discussion and through providing feedback on the portfolio projects of your peers, you will have experience with maintaining a tolerant and respectful attitude towards people from many walks of life.   To read more about tolerance, visit the following website:  http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/tolerance-workplace.htm.
The second capability is communication.  While this may seem obvious, it is an opportunity to set yourself apart through being respectful, professional and clear.   For example, when emailing an employer, including his or her name helps develop a friendly tone. Simple phrases such as “please” and “thank you” show respect and prevent the tone of an email from sounding demanding.  Communicating with peers and instructor is a great opportunity for practicing professional communication.  Discussion is a great opportunity to practice communication, as you will address a variety of topics with a large variety of people. You will learn more about professional communication in ENGL 250 Research and Writing II. 
Communicating clearly and professionally is essential for any field.  Candidates who show a lack of clear, professional communication may never get past the interview stage.
Stay tuned for a description of more workplace capabilities!

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