Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Choose Your Work Colleagues & Play Mates

As a Career Counselor, it's important for me to assist clients in understanding their own values and how values are foundational to finding our best fit for work, community involvement and other group affiliations. Our values define what we hold to be true about ourselves and what is important in the way we live out our work and personal life. They are at our "core" and usually remain consistent throughout our lives sometimes changing slightly with a "season of life" transition like starting a family or retiring.

I'm very involved in a local music organization. The reason we came together was because of our passion for this music gendre, the Blues. However, the reason that we stay together is because we have a similar foundation of values. We like working together and "fit". What makes a particular band stay together for many years? They have a synchronicity in the music they create and perform together. But, it goes beyond that. It's personality styles and getting along. I think it's also that they have enough commonality of core values so they build upon their like mindedness and it's a good fit for a long time.

The same is true inside companies and organizations. Culture is shaped around the values established early on in a company's formation and lived out by the top leadership team. If your values fit with the organization, you are in sync. If you are disappointed a lot of the time, or frustrated with the mission and vision, or lack of it, or you feel like the odd man, or woman, out, it may be time to reassess and look for a better values fit.

I want to send you on your way today with a quote shared via Dr. Bernie Rock's newsletter from Latin Rock, Inc. Reading this, inspired me. Thanks, Bernie!

"Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people." 
~  Elizabeth Green  

~ ~ 

Have a great week~

Marianne   408-295-6656 

Friday, March 14, 2014

March 27th 8-10am, free event
"Talk Your Way into the C-Suite": Learn how to quickly capture top leaders' attention and gain their support
We hear more and more about understanding HR's value to the Business and making the business case.  Now, it's time to put this into action and communicate with impact to Senior Leaders. Join us at UCSC Extension in Silicon Valley on Thursday, March 27th, 8-10am, to hear from Rick Gilbert, Ph.D. and Founder of PowerSpeaking,
Learn the proven secrets of powerful executive presentations including:
·         Making your first line your bottom line
·         Using appropriate delivery style
·         Reducing or eliminating PPT
·         Improv: Being flexible
·         Managing the 7 “Deadly Challenges.”
By the time you leave, you will understand the importance of practicing these rules for your career success and the success of your HR team.
Frederick Gilbert is the founder of PowerSpeaking, Inc., a speech communication training company in Redwood City. Prior to this he held Quality and Communication roles in High Tech. Rick's coaching  of over 200 senior-level executives led to the creation of the award winning  Speaking Up: Presenting to Executives.  The program won The 2004 Best Buys by Training Magazine, was recommended by Fortune Magazine, and won the Brandon Hall “Excellence in Learning” award for 2011. It features video interviews with 21 C-level executives about how to present effectively at top-level meetings. His book, “Speaking Up: Surviving Executive Presentations” was published by Berrett-Koehler in April, 2013.
This event is sponsored by:
Executive Search Firm, Lewis Partners, LLC,
Career Coaching & Training, Design Your Direction
UCSC Extension in Silicon Valley.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Communicating with Success

Being an effective communicator is such an important skill in business. A former manager of mine, who was very influential in my career life, shared a model of communication feedback years ago. This model has a 4-pronged approach. I'm sharing it with you now so that you may add it to your resources for effective communication.

4-pronged model:
  1. Explain your observations to the other person.
  2. Describe what you felt or thought.
  3. Own your feelings / thoughts and take the other person "off the hook".
  4. Ask for feedback from the other person.
Here's an example:
  1. In yesterday's meeting,  you expressed dissatisfaction with the project outcomes and raised your voice when doing so.
  2. I thought that we had met all of the specifications and felt surprised, unprepared and uncomfortable with this part of the presentation.
  3. You probably didn't know that it was the first time our team was hearing this information. Therefore, you most likely didn't know that I felt surprised and unprepared.
  4. Would you let me know your thoughts? Thanks. 
From here, you continue an objective dialogue.   

There are some additional key points to keep in mind. Taking time to prepare for a feedback conversation is important. I often prepare and then run it by a trusted colleague before scheduling the feedback meeting.  When communicating, the message (what I say) may not be received exactly the way I intended. Therefore, I recommend checking in along the way to insure that the message is clearly understood. I try to ask clarifying questions like "Would you be more specific?". And, practicing active listening (, a tool often used in conflict resolution, is very helpful. Giving and receiving effective feedback takes a lot of practice. With time, it does become more comfortable and you find that you have positive outcomes. 

~ ~ 

Further resources for Active Listening:

Have a great week~

Marianne   408-295-6656