Why Southwestern Association Partners with ej4

Associations and ej4 go together like peanut butter and jelly, chips and salsa, cookies and milk, and… well, you get the point.  By partnering with us and selling training to their members, associations find a profitable and hearty relationship to fill in most of an association’s common needs: non-dues revenue streams, retaining members, and enticing the younger generation to join.


Learn about the benefits Southwestern Association hits on in our latest customer testimonial.



Are you an association looking to find a non-dues revenue stream, or ways to engage and inform your members? See why ej4’s training is a perfect fit for your members – and your bank account – with a free 15-trial today.

We’re Finalists for the Best of eLearning! 2014 Awards

Recently, the finalists for the “Best of eLearning 2014″ were announced, and we’re proud to say we’ve been nominated in two categories:


  • Best Sales Training
  • Best Soft-Skills Content


best of elearning finalist


Votes were tallied from nearly 3,000 professionals from the private and public sectors… and to keep things honest, any and all vendor ballots were nullified.


A big, big thank you to everyone who voted for us! Being recognized for our content helps validate the many years we’ve worked to build innovative, engaging content that helps improve the performance of your company and your employees.


Winners will be announced in December and honored at the Enterprise Learning! Summit on January 15th, 2015. In the meantime, if you haven’t had a chance to see what all the fuss is about, check out our content today with a free 15-day trial.

New Video: Emails and Negative Intentions

Have you ever obsessed over an email you were writing?  You meticulously selected each word to ensure you wouldn’t alienate or offend anyone.  After it’s perfectly perfect, you hit send and what happens?  Despite your best efforts the message in your email is misunderstood, misconstrued and misinterpreted!


Just a few weeks ago, we touched upon the downsides of stripping emails of their greetings/salutations in favor of saving a few seconds. That few seconds you think you might’ve saved could in fact be causing minutes of confusion, grief and unintended hurt feelings to your recipient as to why your message was cold in their eyes.


We decided to go more in-depth on the topic in our newest video, “Why Video is the Voice of Reason.” Check it out now!



Make your consistent message now with a free trial of Thinkzoom.

Getting Ahead of Yourself: Pre-crastination Pitfalls

What is pre-crastination? As defined by the Penn State University researchers in their study (which you’ll see below):


“We define pre-crastination as the tendency to complete, or at least begin, tasks as soon as possible, even at the expense of extra physical effort”


Now to the actual study. A recent Harvard Business Review article covered this subject and the Penn State University study where researchers had 9 different buckets of varying weight and told their students to carry them down an alley to a marker. The catch? The heaviest buckets were closest to the start line. Surprisingly, as students ran through the test, researchers saw the heavy buckets picked more and more. After the tests were completed, the researchers asked each student why they chose the heavier bucket and they answered, “[I] wanted to get the task done sooner.” That’s when researchers suggested that “we desire the mental relief of getting a task done so much that we expend extra effort to get it done.”


So, how many of you pre-crastinate to get tasks done more quickly? Have you looked at relatively normal administrative duties and tried to rush them? And if so, what do you think the long-term payoff is?




Here’s one of many pre-crastination examples and the long-term problems with doing it.


Omitting Standard Email Salutations/Phrases


This isn’t about shortening the amount of content in your work emails; it’s about scrapping email salutations and key phrases. Going from this:


Hi Sally,


When you get a chance, I need a copy of last week’s sales data for this presentation.





To this:


I need a copy of last week’s sales data for this presentation.


Which one of those emails might mistakenly strike the wrong note with someone in the office? It’s not apparent at first, but if the latter, more abbreviated email becomes the norm to Sally, that email tone can come off negatively, causing unneeded time focused on whether that email was lifeless in its delivery, whether they did something wrong to offend the sender, etc. And research already proves we read emails differently to begin with, so by omitting key (emotionally, anyway) structures of an email to save time, it will have an adverse effect soon enough.


There are plenty of cases where pre-crastination at work is great, like tightening up meetings, for example; however, don’t get ahead of yourself on other things, like the email omissions above. You will open yourself up to negative ripple effects and errors. Besides, would you leave out greetings/salutations and other warm, inviting phrases on an email you’re sending to a client or prospect?


Create time-efficient routines that are productive, but most of all, make sure they are done right.

3 Key Elements of Effective Leadership

Ask any employee what the benchmarks of a good leader are and you’ll probably wind up with a handful of clichés, some standard characteristics and a few “outside the box” traits. Everything from exceptional communication skills to being brutally honest for the sake of the employee’s progress fall in line with being a followable leader.




Here are three more great qualities of a leader.


Great Character


Leaders with great character earn the respect of their peers. Maybe that’s a cliché to some, but the hidden advantages of great character for leaders is the ability to be trusted through thick and thin. Employees respond better to praise, pressure and criticism from their superiors when they have the utmost respect for them to begin with. More importantly, employees are more engaged and respond to requests more quickly when they trust they’re being led in the right direction. 


Committed, Swift Decision Making


The longer leaders ponder a decision, the more it hurts productivity. Employees sit and wait, unsure of when a revision will come, and if it does, there’s a good chance it will disrupt their flow of working on another project. Great leaders are able to stick with their choices, and make those easy and tough decisions quickly. But getting to that comfort level can be hard at first. If you’re stuck, why not try transparent decision making before coming to the final decision? You don’t have to involve too many people, but at least when you run it up and down the ladder, you gauge their interests to help formulate your last and final decision.


Available When You Need Them


Quality leaders make quality time for their employees a priority. Their schedule may be busier than normal, or they might be fielding calls or flying on planes for most of the week, but they at least extend themselves enough to show the employees that work under them are on the radar.


Final Take


Great leaders are not born; everyone needs a push to be a sound delegator and will succeed (and fail) through trial and error until they’re seasoned, motivational and respected authorities in their field. But truly great qualities like the ones above can have a positive ripple effect to others which can lead to higher employee morale and better productivity for your company down the line.


For more tips on building a great foundation as a leader, be sure to ask about our latest updates to some of our most popular leadership courses on everything from motivational techniques to building an effective leadership team and more.