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Resolution Add-on

27 Dec

Time to make your list of resolutions.  Oh, yes it is.  The obvious are there AGAIN – eliminate your debt, lose a few LBs, plan your day better, implement your plan efficiently.  Then there is always the second tier of should dos and nice to-dos.  I wanted to go ahead and point out another realm of resolution – the advanced realm of – NOT EVEN AWARE OF THESE SOFT SKILLS I POSSESS THAT I WILL CHANGE in 2011.

This is the type of year-end post that spews the leftover crumbs of the oft asked, if not daily, question, “Andy, what do you think about this?”

Although my wife and kids never recognize me for this attribute, I listen too well.  I hear the subtleties in your presentation.  In the spirit of the holiday season, sorry but I must ask – Do You Hear What I Hear?

I love the discussions with job seekers that are all about what they said, what the interviewer said, and so on.  As much as I enjoy this back and forth with a job seeker, they mostly dislike the exercise.  BUT – the point here is to examine what you are saying, what you are projecting and what they are inferring. Controlling the interviewer’s inference is critical and you are responsible for their interpretation.

Let’s talk the obvious ones first.  My personal general favorite – flinching.  Next, the word – “probably.”  The phrases – “pretty much” and “I think so.”  I think subtleties cost you.  If you aren’t getting the offers to jobs you want where the chemistry is good, you are projecting tentativeness.  Tentativeness does not begat reassurance.  Reassurance is what you are closing the I want to work here deal with – we need the resolute “I can do it, I know I can because I have done it before, I own my desk” mentality.  They brought you in so your skills are a given, chemistry gets you to the next round, reassurance solidifies employment.

What prompted this post was my recent exchange with a candidate and some things I look forward to pointing out to him.  I had trouble reaching this candidate and he had trouble reaching me.  It was frustrating for both of us.  Believe me it pisses me off when I can’t reach people but I don’t project it (I bitch before the beep and after the hangup.)  It clearly annoyed this guy.  Did he say the words?  No.  He never said, “Andy, I am trying to reach you and it pisses me off I can’t.”  It was the lack of self-control subtlety in his voice.  Do you realize what you sound like?  Do you?   Think it but don’t say it.  Think it but don’t show it.

As much as I appreciated his urgency in reaching me (refreshing), I didn’t appreciate the tone  and actually considered not calling him back because of it.  I write this because his entitlement refrain in the form of terse voicemail tidbits was not some calculated tactic nor was it compelling.  Seething with entitlement, flailing job search guy lacks self-awareness.  Seething with entitlement, flailing job search guy is not owning his search – not practicing a self-control he must possess.  No wonder HR doesn’t call you back.  They may be scared seething with entitlement, flailing job search guy will become angry, workplace violence guy.

Do You Hear What I Hear?  Start listening to yourself.  THINK.  Check your subtleties at the interviewer’s door – in fact, just leave them in 2010.  You may be entitled to unemployment compensation but you are not entitled to say anything like THAT.  Hear what I hear.

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The Grounded Edge

1 Oct

Sightseeing never really appealed as a kid, did it?  What are we going to do when we get to the sight?  Just see?  Let’s do.  If you have good childhood memories than more than likely at some point you concluded – my parents pretty much know everything.  This epiphany just hits you at some point.  Maybe deep down they knew sightseeing would be good for you.  Maybe they just wanted you to stop for a second and reflect.

Who came up with the Observation Deck anyway?  A big deck for observing – woo woo.  I had the pleasure of standing on top of the World Trade Center 3 weeks before 9/11 – an incredible 360 degree view of Manhattan and one I am so glad my mind’s eye captured.  Standing there – taking it all in.  What a view. 

How about we go to the observation deck overlooking your life?  What do you see?  Can you even look over THERE?  Can you hear anything?  Words you would take back.  Words you should have tasted first.  Strained familial relationships and relationships you knew weren’t right.  Bosses that you just didn’t click with and employees you should have given another chance to or even fired.  All that muckity-muck.  What a sight. Good stuff too – awards, milestones, wins, cherished memories.  Don’t ever forget the good stuff.

A periodic trip to the very edge of the Observation Deck is cathartic and vision producing.  Look – you need to take an occasional breath in a world that is gasping from all the mindless activity.  A chance to take inventory on your own WTF retreat.  A chance for you to give yourself the advice you would give to others or maybe you even bring a friend along.  What do you do up on the deck with all your STUFF, your baggage?  That’s not the point – the point is you need the perspective on your life.  Regardless of the muck level, it really should look better now from the observation deck.  My how small even the Statue of Liberty looked from the top of the WTC.

Own the new found perspective.  You have to own it.  As I counsel the unemployed job seeker – this is a must – you have to bring grounded perspective to the game – hiring managers want to know what you have learned from your previous positions, your season of umemployment, your wilderness experience, and your success.  Many of you are hyping your involvement in a philanthropic organization that no longer exists and trying to revel in accomplishments that were like Beatles era. 

Perspective from the Past, Clarity for the future, Intentionality for the now – all done with boldness and a sense of urgency.  Imagine that along with me from The Grounded Edge.

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