Archive | November, 2008

“Not a lot of warmth there.”

25 Nov

,said the hiring manager.  I loved that quote in a recent discussion with one of my clients.  He was forthright in debriefing the interview and what it served to tell me and YOU is that your people skills matter.  Warmth?  Really.  That know thyself thing really does come into play. 

This candidate had reasons for being that way – I was unaware this person already had an offer.  They could not project warmth for their heart already belonged to another.  Warmth or Fake warmth – go find it.  People skills have to be considered as an additional step in recession proofing your career.  In desperate times, let’s face it – aholes, complainers, grumblers, half ass contributors are REALLY on the radar.  The perception of your people skills, your ability to control yourself, your tongue, your whatever may be at the tipping point of determining your fate and if for Christmas a new gig will be at the top of your wishlist. 

I am now calling for CE courses in people skills and work relationships.  I think you can look for these courses very soon from the CGP Institute –

Genuineness and Fake Sincerity – pick one.

2 part course – How to Bitch Less and – Moving to Contributor from Consumer at the office.

Are you aware of your annoying voice?

Co-worker awareness of ice crunching and finger nail clipping in your cubicle.

Voice mail greetings during your jobsearch that don’t include your kids voices.

Work travel and ordering meals that you would order if you were paying for it.

Are you “talk loud in public on your mobile phone guy”? 

Controlling your spouse and significant others at various work functions.

Your Blackberry is not a human being. 

Men only:  Wait until after the meeting to adjust yourself.

You can overcome listening to your voice mails on speaker phone.

BONUS Advanced Courses – Showing Gratitude, How to Say the Actual Words – “I am SORRY and I was Wrong” and “I AM STARTING WITH THE JACKASS IN THE MIRROR.” 

These courses have been devloped through careful listening to the needs of my clients.  Please feel free to request others based upon your particular work environment in feedback below.

People skills will and still matter.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Let’s eat.

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Be the Job Description

13 Nov

I have always gotten a laugh when some of you people (I love saying – you people) in the higher pay grades ask about a job description.  Why do you do that?  Don’t do that.

There is no job description.  You ARE the job description.  But I would like to know what I will be doing, what I can become.  OK.  LISTEN.

You know I struggle to come up with new flavors of kool-aid for you but – wow, you got to stop asking this question.  Bottom line it isn’t about the job description is it? – what is it?  your insecurity?  Your need for a piece of paper?  Your desperate need for reassurance because you don’t really want to leave where you are?  Your need for some level of job security that your grandfather knew in days gone by?  Let’s just call it something like that or we can ignore it if you like.  Wait, we can’t ignore it.

The job description that you desire looks more like a crystal ball.  In lieu of said ball – let’s just mix in questions that reveal what you would be doing and note the answers as you look in the whites of the boss’s eyes.  Let’s just file away the boss’s expectation as to what you will need to do.  Do you trust this potential boss?  Then, let’s believe it.  Let’s have a philosophy check – do they align?  Look at the environment.  The people.   If you need over reassurance, stay with the devil you know. 

Let’s look at Peyton Manning for instance.  I was very interested to learn that the Colt’s Offensive Coordinator calls in a “concept” not a play.  Can you imagine #18 going now wait a minute – is this a run or would you like me to pass?  They pay Manning to decide what it should be and your company does the same.  Manning knows one thing – he has his concept and 11 guys are looking to kick his ass in a few seconds.  You know, just like your typical workday.  

Do you want a commodity job or do you want to make an impact?  Commodity jobs have really good job descriptions.  Career changing opportunities are for people you can’t really describe.  They are just good.  There assessments show it and they know it.  They know who they are.

Hey, Mr. Job Seeker – I have your real job description right here – the philosophy and expectations of the boss that you uncover through REAL discussion and – the mirror.

McCain’s and Obama’s Best Trait

3 Nov

With only 1 day left in this presidential campaign, I thought it was about time I let this entry out of my brain.  McCain v. Obama.  As tempting as it is to rant on about who I think you should vote for and why – it is far more intelligent for me not to do so since I am in the service business and want to continue to provide service in a bipartisan fashion to my valued clients.  I will continue to reach across the aisle to provide you the best people.

However, you need some last minute commentary that will hopefully last longer than your selection’s first term.  So, I have chosen to point out the trait I like in both of the candidates that I think can make you a better employee and a better person.  So let’s look at these traits in alphabetical order by candidate.  McCain.  Obama. 

McCain

McCain’s Congruence

McCain uses “Country First” as a slogan and he has a right to do so – He put “Country First” as a soldier and subsequently a POW in Vietnam.  In my perusal of some of the finer points of his career his words and his actions align and so should yours.  Whether you are facing a project deadline, a quarterly earnings call or need to get home by 6 – and no later – after a trip to the gym, words and actions aligning is always a good thing. 

Since work expands to fill the time allotted – always – how about adding a little time to your promise and turning something in early.  I think you get the point.  Your people are listening – the co-workers, the boss, the subordinates, the wife, the husband, the significant other – they expect it – whatever it is – and your kids – do they ever forget something you say?  Not if entails a park, or candy – I know you are with me here.

Words and actions in harmony.  Basic skill with daily application.  You can still be a maverick – just make sure your words and your actions are congruent. 

Obama

Obama’s Empathy

Empathy, showing empathy, empathic listening – Obama does very well in the empathy arena.  I think this a like the graduate school level people skill.  It is also one of those traits you really don’t label immediately but it is more of an endearing quality.  Bottom line, empathy can serve you well at any level in any situation.

You need to listen – and listen with intentionality here to practice this.  Most of us are ready to rain down solutions, preach judgment, or ground someone for the weekend with kneejerk precision.  I think it is very safe to assume that you will never get to the root cause of problems without some empathy.

Empathy in your inventory of people skills and congruence in your words and actions if not already present are definitely change you need regardless of who you vote for tomorrow.

I hope YOU approve this message.

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