MHAW Day 1 – Kia Kori | Be Active

Kia ora UC whānau,

Today is Day 1 of Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW). This week is all about bringing awareness to the fact that we all have an experience with mental health and wellbeing, and there are small things we can do every day to help support positive mental health.

Each day we will have a theme, aligning to one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing. Our theme for today is Kia Kori | Be Active. Being active can take many different forms, and it doesn’t have to include an intense run or gym session! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park a little further away from campus, go to that Zumba class or dance in your own living room! Make movement fun and do things that make you feel good.

Here’s what is happening around campus today!

UC Rec and Sport Kahoot – $300 in prizes!

That’s right – $300 in prizes! Put your sport and physical activity knowledge to the test tonight at 7pm. Visit the UC Rec and Sport Facebook page for more info.

Have you signed up for the 10,000 steps challenge yet?

Did you think we couldn’t give away any more prizes? Well we have another $150 worth of Rebel Sport vouchers to give away for three lucky winners who have registered for the 10,000 steps challenge and completed 40,000 steps by the end of MHAW. If you are up for the challenge, get more info here.

Keep an eye on the @ucnz Instagram page and right here on the Insider’s Guide for daily updated on the events happening around campus.

Ngā mihi,

UC Wellbeing

Mastering cross-cultural communication

From a young age, people absorb the knowledge, beliefs and values of the culture they grow up in. Effective cross-cultural communication is about being aware of the differences in the way people from different cultures act/react and adapting your behaviour accordingly.

These skills are highly valued by employers, as those employees who demonstrate them are generally more successful at work: they are more likely to work well within diverse teams, secure new projects and represent the company’s brand and ethos in a positive light.

On the flip side, those who lack these skills could potentially dampen team productivity, damage client relations and put the company’s reputation at risk.

the importance of mastering cross-cultural communication

The first step to building your cross-cultural communication skills is to be aware of the way communication varies across cultures. Here are some differences you need to consider:

1. How people show emotion
Cultures tend to either be affective, where displaying emotion is common, or neutral, where emotions are carefully controlled and subdued.

If you’re working with people from an affective culture, let your emotions show during communication and share your feelings to build stronger work relationships. Also, consider learning techniques to diffuse situations when emotions run high.

If your co-workers are from a neutral culture, try and keep your own outward displays of emotion in check and stay on topic in discussions. You may have to read between the lines in conversations with them, to grasp their true feelings on a subject.

2. How direct they are
Cultures can be differentiated into high-context and low-context cultures, depending on how much they value direct communication.

If you’re working with people from high-context cultures, they will feel direct communication is key with the message spelt out in no uncertain terms. You need to include all the details of how and when something will happen in a project, as ambiguity will only confuse or frustrate them.

However, if you are communicating with individuals from a low-context culture, be aware that they will rely more on indirect communication that takes into account background information and subtext. Being too direct could risk offending them so try not to question them over minor details, as they prefer to focus on the big picture.

3. How they give and respond to feedback
Employees from different cultures often feel differently about the most effective way to give and receive feedback.

Some cultures are more extroverted and therefore comfortable with open and casual conversations about performance. If you’re working with an extroverted team, they’ll find feedback in a group environment constructive. Be prepared for them to challenge your opinions and accept that they aren’t personal attacks.

However, if your colleagues come from an introverted culture, you need to be more sensitive when delivering feedback. They will likely find it more acceptable when given in a private one-to-one setting. You might also need to find a way for them to deliver their own opinions anonymously and avoid confronting them in front of others.

While differences in communication across cultures are incredibly nuanced, this list is a good starting point to begin developing your skills. Every workplace you enter, make sure you remind yourself of the different ways in which people may prefer to communicate and actively observe the preferences of those around you. It’s all about being tuned in to the values, behaviours and styles of others and adapting your own style to fit this.

Te Rōpū Rapuara | UC Careers

How to stand out in online recruitment processes

The global pandemic has meant more employers than ever look online to find candidates and use digital assessments and virtual interviews to make hiring decisions. While these methods might feel daunting or impersonal, there are some easy ways to make sure you shine during online recruitment processes.

1. Optimise your CV/resume for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs)

It’s usually your CV which gets you to the crucial interview stage. However, before a hiring manager even looks at it, it often goes through an ATS. This is an automated system that sifts through large numbers of CVs and sends the most relevant ones to a real person. If you want yours to make it into the hands of a real person, it’s important to:

  • Make sure it’s a Microsoft word document as other file types often can’t be read.
  • Avoid including images and graphics as ATSs can only read text, so any information in these will be lost.
  • Stay clear of text boxes and tables too as these may end up being scrambled, and don’t use any unusual fonts.
  • Save your CV as a recently modified file because ATSs will filter out older files.
  • Keep the file size small as many large docs will corrupt before the ATS can read them.

2. Ensure you have a strong online presence

Before recruiters offer you an interview, they will do some research to see what they can find out about you online. It’s important that your online presence gives a professional and memorable impression. You can achieve this by:

  • Ensuring you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile that highlights your key skills and experience.
  • Hiding any inappropriate or out-of-date content and setting any personal profiles to private.
  • Actively engaging and using your professional profiles to like and comment on relevant content.
  • Managing a personal website or blog to showcase your skills or examples of your work.

3. Prepare yourself for online interviews

When it comes to online interviews, you’ll either be asked to take part in a live interview or an on-demand one (in which you record answers to pre-set questions). For all virtual interviews it’s important that you observe good online meeting etiquette:

  • Make sure you’re in a quiet well-lit spot with an uncluttered background.
  • Check your internet connection is stable and the camera and microphone are working properly.
  • Dress smartly.
  • Familiarise yourself with the tool that the interview is being conducted over.
  • Log onto the video call slightly early.
  • Send a polite follow-up email thanking the interviewer for their time.

4. Get to grips with online assessment centres

Virtual assessment centres are similar to in-person ones – they involve a mixture of group and individual tasks such as case studies, role-play exercises and presentations. In preparation for these, follow the guidance on online etiquette above and read through in advance all of the instructions and information that you’ve been sent. Ensure you’ve got the right software downloaded and have familiarised yourself with it.

The virtual recruitment world might seem different at first but the principles remain similar to in-person processes. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll stand a good chance of achieving your job ambitions!


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