Friday, May 27, 2011

Memories Worth Recalling

“Our memories are the only paradise from which we can never be expelled.” - Jean Paul Richter, German Novelist and humorist, 1763-1825

With Memorial Day approaching, it is timely to speak of respect, service, sacrifice and memories. I respect and appreciate the effort and the sacrifice those who have gone before us to allow us to live in the freedom we have, and that is worth writing and sharing every chance we get with our national anthem and pledge of allegiance. Keeping those people, and that idea of appreciating what we have in mind, please do look back fondly and with gratitude, AND, additionally, remember to be intentional about creating memories now that will be worthwhile later.

It’s not often we hear of regrets of what was done, rather we hear much about the regrets of what was not done. Go out in your life, your world, with your family, friends, and/or team, and keep in mind that each day, you are making memories for tomorrow, and ask yourself “Is this something worthy of a fond memory?” Not everything or every act is magical or sacrificial, and yet the overall impact of an encounter, project or activity can be.

So on the eve of this year’s Memorial Day, I honor and thank those we are not here so that we can be. And, I wish you intentional and enjoyable memories that you can relive in your hearts and minds often!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Raise the BAR!

"Interview, Don't clamor for an interview. Instead search for the INNER VIEW. ”
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Indian Spiritual leader, b.1926

Whether you are searching for candidates to add to your team, or you are someone looking to make a move in advancing your career, make sure you are raising the BAR on your approach by including the following in your efforts:

Know your core competencies (employers – what you are seeking, potential employee – what you bring to the table), and be able to explain, see and demonstrate them each.

Watch the “likeability” factor. You cannot rely too heavily on it as an interviewee, and you can get burned by falling for it too quickly as the interviewer.

Make all of your assessment quantifiable, meaning employers look for the following in the resume and interview, and potential employees, provide in your interview and your resume the following:

Background – What the situation was; time and place as well as the expectations.
Action – What was done specifically by the individual; nobody is a “we”, and you cannot hire a “we”, it must be “I”, and it must be relatable and repeatable.
Results – The outcome of the actions in quantifiable language (percentages, numbers, hours – think people, time, money, quality) so that there is an assessing of effort and talent.

After all, if you don’t raise the BAR, who will? You are your product, you want the best for your company/business, so keep the BAR high, and measure only to it and above it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NOW Show You are Really Listening!

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk.”
- Doug Larson, Cartoonist and Columnist

Ever get distracted in conversations? Even good ones? Yikes, right? Then you start wondering if the other person noticed, and oops, now what was s/he saying?!?!?

The way to get engaged and stay engaged is to do it right NOW:
N – Note strong points on a sheet of paper or through notes on your smart phone or computer. Taking notes engages the sense of touch, and reinforces the sense of sound (hearing) with seeing the words on paper (sight).

O – Offer feedback verbally and non-verbally. Nodding and tilting your head, and allowing facial expressions and other cues to be a part of the conversation will engage your body with your mind. The other person or people in the conversation are “looking” for that acceptance and feedback subconsciously anyway, so it benefits you both.

W – Weigh the options through consideration and questions before simply answering or reacting to the other person. Give the ideas a chance to settle in…even if that means a few seconds of silence. Let the conversation weigh over you so that you are grounded and interacting…and therefore, not distracted.

Getting your NOW mindset for each individual conversation or meeting is a key to communication and leadership success, so go ahead, start really listening…right NOW!!!