LinkedIn Learning’s popular online course on working with difficult people taught me how to speak up at work

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  • Working with Difficult People is a popular online course offered on Linkedin Learning.
  • It helps you navigate negative behaviors and use effective strategies to improve your relationships.
  • I signed up and learned how to manage conflict with coworkers and spot my own negative thinking.
LinkedIn Learning Logo on a laptop screen with blue background
Working with Difficult People, a LinkedIn Learning online course, teaches you how to improve even the most challenging work relationships.

Let’s be honest: We’ve all worked with people who seemed hard to get along with, whether they’re micromanaging, rude, or neglectful.

One online class aims to unlock the secrets behind dealing with difficult people so they don’t have as big an impact on you. With over 800,000 enrollments so far, LinkedIn Learning’s Working with Difficult People equips you with strategies to help improve even the most challenging relationships, both in the workplace and in our social lives.

Working with Difficult People (small)

The course is led by Chris Croft, a world-leading career trainer who’s taught over 18 million people online via his massive open online courses (MOOCs) on Linkedin Learning and Udemy. Throughout the course, he explores the various types of difficult people, such as those who are aggressive, passive-aggressive, selfish, or childish – to offer strategies for transforming how you work with them.

Free 30-Day Trial (medium)

To access this course, you need a Linkedin Learning subscription (which you can test out with a free 30-day trial). After that, it’ll cost $29.99 per month (monthly) or $19.99 per month (annually).

You can take the course here, or read a review of the course below.

What to expect from the course

LinkedIn Learning Working with Difficult People online course

Working with Difficult People covers the following topics:

  1. How To Identify and Understand Difficult People
  2. Tactics and Techniques
  3. Difficult People at Work

Each section includes video lectures and a chapter quiz to test your understanding of the content. It takes about three weeks to officially finish the course, but since it’s self-paced, you can technically complete it in a week or even a few sittings. Once completed, you’ll get a Linkedin Learning certificate that you can display on your LinkedIn profile.

What I loved about the course

1. You learn as much about yourself as you do about other people.

LinkedIn Learning Working with Difficult People online course

Croft makes it clear from the beginning that “difficult people” are subjective – and that we may be difficult to others in some ways as well. That’s why Croft encourages us to ask ourselves if we could be the ones contributing to tensions because more often than not, those who are difficult aren’t aware of it.

This really resonated with me because I don’t always think deeply about how my actions in the workplace affect others. After some self-reflection, I asked my colleagues for feedback on my performance. My coworkers mentioned that I was already nice to work with, but I could improve my communication skills and punctuality. I genuinely appreciated their honesty – it felt good to realize how I could better collaborate and serve others.

2. The course is very action-oriented, with realistic examples.

LinkedIn Learning Working with Difficult People online course

Throughout the course, Croft uses real-life situations to explain different choices you can make. For instance, he highlights two options when we encounter people who are difficult to work with. One is to let them continue with their negative behavior, but change how you perceive it. The other is to try to change them, which is usually harder because you have to make them aware of how they’re impacting you.

While learning these options over the three-week period, I applied them to a couple of people around me who were difficult to work with. For instance, in a group project, one coworker required an explanation for each step, which I initially found annoying. But I accepted that it was easier to just help her more on her part of the project and let my annoyance go. The other coworker simply didn’t do their fair share of the project, so I politely confronted them. By choosing to act this way, I developed better relationships with my peers and was able to work together more effectively.

3. You learn how to make positive changes at your workplace.

LinkedIn Learning Working with Difficult People online course

If you’re working at a poorly managed company, you may feel like you can’t make a difference in changing things. Croft emphasizes that we should ditch that philosophy and strive to make an impact on a more positive work culture wherever possible by starting from the team we work in.

According to Croft, one way to do this is by splitting up a big goal into smaller goals to track our progress over time. An example he gave is how small pebbles still make ripples in a big ocean. As team members, we’re the small pebbles that have the potential to make our workplace better for everyone around us.

Even though I work for a smaller company, this pushed me to start practicing greater transparency and asking for feedback on a regular basis, promoting it among my team, which could eventually reach our entire group of employees.

The bottom line

I was surprised at how much I learned over the few weeks about how I can inspire change as an individual to make my work environment better.

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to identify the negative behaviors of difficult people and practice strategies to positively transform the larger work culture, such as asking for feedback and developing healthy confrontation skills. Personally, it’s helped me build stronger relationships with my colleagues and change my negative mindset into a growth mindset.

Working with Difficult People (small)

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I took a popular LinkedIn Learning course on emotional intelligence – and it completely changed how I talk to my coworkers

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Developing Your Emotional Intelligence became one of the top five most popular LinkedIn Learning courses in 2020.

  • Developing Your Emotional Intelligence is an online course offered on Linkedin Learning.
  • It teaches you how to build EQ to reach career goals and facilitate strong relationships.
  • I signed up and learned how to enhance my communication and relationship-building skills.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) can deeply enhance our personal and professional lives, helping us do everything from navigate complex social situations to manage relationships with people who are different from us.

It’s no surprise then, that Developing Your Emotional Intelligence, an online course available through LinkedIn Learning, has garnered over 800,000 enrollments. Taught by Gemma Leigh Roberts, a chartered psychologist and founder of the Resilience Edge framework, the course became one of the top five most popular courses on Linkedin Learning by 2020.

Developing Your Emotional Intelligence (small)

Throughout the course, Roberts explores the four factors behind EQ – self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship development – to offer learners science-backed strategies for understanding their emotions and being empathetic when communicating with others.

As someone who’s interested in learning more about psychology and science-backed mental wellness strategies, this course really caught my attention as it not only focuses on individual wellbeing but also on optimizing your day-to-day performance at work (whether you work on a team or as a solo freelancer).

Free 30-Day Trial (medium)

To access this course, you need a Linkedin Learning subscription. LinkedIn Learning is considered a premium service and has a subscription fee of either $29.99 per month (monthly) or $19.99 per month (annually). You can also try a free 30-day LinkedIn Learning trial. Once you complete the course, you will get an optional certificate to display on your LinkedIn profile.

You can take the course here. Or, keep reading for an overview of what to expect and a firsthand review of the online course.

What to expect from the course

LinkedIn Learning Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

Developing Your Emotional Intelligence covers the following topics in an estimated time frame of five weeks:

  1. Understanding Emotional Intelligence
  2. Being Self-Aware
  3. Managing Yourself
  4. Social Awareness
  5. Managing Relationships

Each section includes video lectures and a chapter quiz to test your understanding of the content. It takes about five weeks to officially finish the course, but since it’s self-paced, you can technically complete it in a week or even a few longer sessions.

3 Things I Loved About Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

1. Roberts uses real-life, relatable situations to explain different psychological tools.

Gemma Roberts in LinkedIn Learning's Developing Your Emotional Intelligence course

When watching Roberts’ lectures, I found myself relating to a lot of the situations. She analyzes common issues in our personal and professional lives, emphasizing how they could have been averted by understanding our emotions and being empathetic when expressing them to others. Many of the quizzes also focus on applying the psychological concepts to realistic scenarios, which is extremely helpful in remembering how to use EQ in real life.

One of the examples is how two coworkers get into a conversation that eventually grows into a heated argument. Roberts says that if you want to change the way you react emotionally, start by accepting your past behavior and using that to define how you want to behave and react in the future. She identifies it as a learning curve that takes conscious practice but once you have it, you’ll be able to control your emotional reactions even in a contentious moment.

2. You learn real tips for practicing empathy every day.

LinkedIn Learning's Developing Your Emotional Intelligence course

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes sounds a lot easier than it actually is, but it’s so crucial: The course emphasizes that the ability to empathize with others is a key predictor of emotional intelligence – and, subsequently, strong relationships with other people.

Just like any other skill, cultivating empathy takes practice. Roberts breaks it down into two steps. One, she says, is to ask the other person questions to learn how they’re processing the situation or the impact it’s having on them. If you don’t have the opportunity to ask questions, you can also take a step back and imagine the possibilities of how they may think and feel.

The other step is to offer support and understanding – without assuming you have the answers the other person requires. You may not be able to solve the situation or change it for them, but it’s important that the person knows that you’re actively listening and trying to understand them.

3. The course teaches you how to collect and handle honest feedback to build stronger relationships.

LinkedIn Learning's Developing Your Emotional Intelligence course

Roberts addressed how we often wonder about how others view and think about us, which resonated with me; when I’m working in a team, I always wonder if others understand my approach and intentions. Roberts says that the key to understanding how others perceive you is to ask for their feedback.

Feedback can go two ways: The fear of receiving negative responses can influence your emotional reactions and self-esteem – or, you can appreciate and use feedback to grow. If you want to get feedback, Roberts promotes a review-refine-repeat process, where you review how you’re perceived, refine and make tweaks to make sure you come across in an empathetic way, and repeat the process again and again.

I recently took Roberts’ advice and asked a few of my colleagues for feedback on a group project for work. The main feedback I received was that sometimes, I prolong conversations so much that I don’t get to the point quickly. While this may be okay for informal banter, it can really hold up the team when it comes to important business decisions. I now practice being more concise and impactful in my communication so I can make this into a habit. I found that doing this not only impacted my EQ, but helped me become better at building relationships and communicating effectively.

The bottom line

Gemma Roberts in LinkedIn Learning's Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

Even though I did not know much about EQ prior to this course, I was surprised by how much I learned over the few weeks. This class doesn’t just teach you how to develop your EQ – it also shows you how to strengthen your connections and feel more satisfied with your day-to-day life. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to identify what EQ is and how to achieve it with research-backed psychological tips, such as managing your mindset and becoming more empathetic. Personally, it’s helped me strengthen my relationships and ask for feedback to grow.

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Conversations on LinkedIn nearly doubled since January, and it could be a sign that wealthy Americans are ready to pursue their dream jobs following a pandemic slump

Dan Wang, Associate Professor of Business Management at Columbia Business School

  • Satya Nadella recently said LinkedIn saw “record engagement” as content shared increased 29%.
  • A Columbia Business School expert said this may mean professionals are considering a job switch.
  • A rise in LinkedIn activity says less about the economy, and more about the shift in US priorities.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

If you’re a burned out professional day-dreaming of quitting your job, you are might find yourself spending more time on LinkedIn.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company saw “record engagement” on LinkedIn, as conversations increased by 43%, content shared increased 29%, and hours learning new skills increased by a whopping 80% in the first three months of 2021.

And despite major job losses following the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses spent 60% more on marketing jobs on LinkedIn over the last year than the previous year – bringing in a total of $3 billion.

“We once again saw record engagement, as LinkedIn’s 756 million members use the network to connect, learn, create content, and find jobs,” Nadella said on a call to investors on April 27.

Though more time spent on LinkedIn might initially suggest an improving job market, Dan Wang, an associate professor at the Columbia Business School who completed a study about LinkedIn learning in January, said the trend has more to do with the changing attitude of wealthy job seekers rather than an indication that the economy is coming back.

“It’s not obvious to me that it’s the availability of jobs that’s driving increased activity on LinkedIn,” Wang said in an interview with Insider.

“Individuals are more contemplative about their career prospects. They were left to reflect more about their careers, their achievements and positions,” he added. “It’s more of these big cognitive shifts that the pandemic has induced that’s simply being reflected in LinkedIn activity.”

Read more: America’s best burnout expert says employees hold the key to reducing workplace stress. Now if only their bosses would listen to them.

A rise in LinkedIn usage could be a sign that the ‘YOLO economy’ is alive and well.

The New York Times’ Kevin Roose recently reported wealthy professionals are leaving their high-intensity jobs in tech and business for passion projects. He coined the new trend the “YOLO (“you only live once”) economy,” as many professionals have realized during the pandemic that life is too short to waste away typing on Excel. Insider has reported on widespread burnout in consulting, tech, media, and other professional industries.

A similar trend happened during the Great Recession in 2008, when white collar workers who lost cushy jobs in finance turned to entrepreneurship. Some today’s hottest companies – including Uber, Venmo, and Instagram – grew out of the financial crisis.

“So it would not surprise me that there would be an explosion of creative energy as well that follows this period,” Wang said.

The opportunity to quit your job and start a company exists for a small fraction of the US workforce. Millions of Americans are at risk of losing their house this year and are behind on rent.

Though jobs are steadily rebounding in the US as vaccination picks up, just 4% of workers in leisure, hospitality, and retail – among the hardest hit during the pandemic – will get their old jobs back. Women, particularly mothers, left the workforce entirely during the pandemic.

Wang said active LinkedIn users tend to have college degrees and a “higher than average level of employability.” These people probably used April stimulus checks on improving their professional prospects, rather than basic necessities.

Economists said the post-pandemic recovery was “K-shaped,” or devastating to lower-paid Americans yet fruitful for the richest. Wang said the desire for white-collar workers to follow their passions is “emblematic” of the K-shaped recovery.

“The pandemic gave folks who are already kind of fairly well to do an opportunity to reevaluate their careers and perhaps in the opportunity to have a boost in their careers as well,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 easy ways to quickly improve your grammar, from affordable online courses to a free Chrome plug-in

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  • Knowledge of grammar is important in the world of professional emails and job applications.
  • Online resources can help you improve your punctuation, writing style, and sentence structure.
  • The list below includes 10 online classes, books, and free apps to sharpen your grammar skills.

Whether your job prospects actively involve a lot of writing or you find English punctuation rules confusing, understanding grammar can make your sentences stand out. It’s an increasingly important skill to have, considering how much our careers usually revolve around written text – be it in cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, emails, or presentations.

While learning more about grammar can seem like a daunting endeavor, there are plenty of accessible ways to do it, whether you take a short online course, consult a reference guide, or install a free grammar-checking app.

10 affordable resources to improve your grammar:


Grammarly 4x3

Cost: Free for basic plan; $11.66 a month for Premium.

If you consider yourself more of a hands-on learner, you can download Grammarly, an AI-powered writing Chrome extension and mobile keyboard. It’s essentially like the spellcheck tool, but gives more detailed feedback so you can learn more about grammar as you go. It’s free to download, but the paid version gives more personalized guidance on style, such as avoiding excess words like “really” or “I think,” using more inclusive language, or tweaking your tone. You can read a review of the free version of Grammarly here.

Available on Grammarly.

“The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

"The Elements of Style" by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White 4x3

Length: 96 pages

Cost: $2.98 on Kindle; $7.89 paperback

This style manual is a staple of many high school and college classes and is regarded as a must-have by many writing and English instructors. It includes commonly misspelled words and expressions, making it a handy reference guide for when you get stuck on an essay or writing assignment. If you’re planning on expanding your grammar knowledge, you can’t go wrong with this classic.

Available on Amazon.

English Grammar and Style

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Length: 8 weeks

Cost: Free

Offered by the University of Queensland in Australia, this course devotes each week to one section (such as verbs or punctuation) so that you’re not overwhelmed. The class comes with video interviews from grammarians to guide you through the lessons, plus virtual quizzes and writing activities so that you can practice everything you learn right after you learn it.* 

Available on edX.

*This course is archived, but you can still access all the materials

Editing and Proofreading Made Simple

Editing and Proofreading Made Simple 4x3

Length: 39 minutes

Cost: Free with 1-month trial; $29.99 a month or $19.99 a month (annual fee) after trial ends

Not everyone has the money or time for a personal proofreader, so this speedy course is meant to help you edit your own work quickly and effectively. You go over the five keys of good editing for things like emails, presentations, and blog posts, so that you can apply these lessons to your daily professional life. This course comes with a LinkedIn certificate of completion at the end.

Available on LinkedIn Learning.

Grammar Foundations

Grammar Foundations 4x3

Length: 2 hours and 11 minutes

Cost: Free with 1-month trial; $29.99 a month or $19.99 a month (annual fee) after trial ends

This relatively short beginner course isn’t about memorizing an endless list of rules that you know you’ll eventually forget. Rather, it’s focused on quickly teaching you the most basic principles you can apply to avoid the most common mistakes. It provides you with tricks for using words that sound alike (like “affect” and “effect”) and understanding parallel sentence structure. As a bonus, you automatically receive a certificate of completion by the end of the course, which you can add to your LinkedIn profile.

Available on LinkedIn Learning.

Tricky English Grammar

Tricky English Grammar 4x3

Length: 4 weeks

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $49 a month to keep learning after trial ends

Designed for both native and nonnative English speakers, this UC Irvine course is built around the things that can trip you up. Through a combination of lectures and practice quizzes, you learn whether to put “a” or “the” in front of certain nouns, or how to navigate confusing rules about infinitives. Completion of the course earns you a certificate to put on your resume or LinkedIn profile. The course is also part of a larger Coursera specialization in Intermediate Grammar.

Available on Coursera.

Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order

Writing and Editing  Word Choice and Word Order 4x3

Length: 4 weeks

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $39 a month to keep learning after trial ends

Beyond understanding grammar, knowledge of syntax (or the order of words) can help you make complex information easier to read. On top of covering crucial grammar rules, this engaging University of Michigan course teaches you how to simplify your sentences and consider your word choice, so that you can present your ideas in a more effective way. Completion of the course gets you a certificate to put on your resume or LinkedIn profile.

Available on Coursera.

Purdue University’s OWL (Online Writing Lab)

Purdue University's OWL (Online Writing Lab) 4x3

Cost: Free

Purdue University’s online writing lab (OWL) offers a wealth of written resources to answer all your grammar and style questions as they come up. It has specific examples as well, like explaining the difference between “that” and “which,” and provides detailed guidance on sentence mechanics, punctuation, and style. 

Available on Purdue University’s OWL.

How to Write an Essay

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Length: 5 weeks

Cost: Free; $169 for a certificate

In a little over a month, this UC Berkeley class teaches you how to structure a convincing essay, with a strong focus on grammar and style. This is great if you want to get better at longer-form writing, such as academic writing, or sharpen a personal statement for a college application. You can take this course free or pay to get a shareable certificate. 

Available on edX.

“Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English” by Patricia T. O’Conner

"Woe Is I  The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English" by Patricia T. O'Conner 4x3

Length: 320 pages

Cost: $9.99 for e-textbook

Written by a former “New York Times” book review editor, this tome is full of funny, light-hearted examples of grammatical errors, with clear (and judgment-free) instructions on how to avoid common mistakes. The tone of the book is geared toward reminding you that everyone — including bestselling authors — can find English grammar confusing. You can order as a book or e-textbook, which lets you annotate the text and create digital flashcards.

Available on Amazon.

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