Category Archives: Business

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    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training

    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training  

     Leadership, social media, community outreach, research, and training, they all mean very different things to different people.  What I  have learned is that you need to be able to show your work.  In a job interview, that can become a very interesting prospect to have thrown at you – unaware.  It’s those little questions….

    1. Show your work
    2. Show me leadership.
    3. Tell me how you perform community outreach.
    4. How many hours a day do you work in social media?
    5. How many social media applications can you link?
    6. What is content marketing for social media?
    7. While doing research did you actively engage in experimentation that provided you with factual data that could be useful to your organization or business?
    8. Training usually has some long-term benefit, plus you provide your learners with material or backup data, where do you store your assessment data?

    Have we reached the end of sensibility?  The honest answer is – maybe.  We can’t all be social media managers.  Nor can we thrive in a  constant research environment without some form of monetary benefit keeping us afloat.  Researching a paper is not the same as research that has value leading toward the benefit of society, or changing guiding principles for an overall operation.

    Back to my initial statement, leadership, social media, community outreach, research, and training, they all mean very different things to different people.Words DO matter.  Depending on the words you use, they may ultimately define your role in the working environment.  They may also generate feelings, good or bad.   I have learned the meaning of stress, and words that I associate with that stress are called project management and strategic planning.  I’m  not saying they are bad positions, but anyone who has ever been in a position where a large chunk of your daily role was finding yourself buried under a deadline – you’ll understand. They can be fun roles also; if you like the fast and furious pace that they often take.   Yea…I live for that crap!

    Yea…I live for that crap!

    Leadership verbiage is probably way over-used by many.  Leadership has to deal with taking a lead role in a project or endeavor. Leadership is not teaching someone how to turn on a computer or find information, that’s training or guidance.  It’s not leading a meeting where all you do is discuss the same thing over and over again – that’s training.  Leadership is more about directing others and assuming a role of authority and taking responsibility for that position.  When you do community outreach, that generally entails that you have many contacts and work through those contacts to form some sort of alliance that has a similar goal.  It is a bringing together of large circles of people, businesses, and community leaders for the common good.

    When you do community outreach, that generally entails that you have many contacts and work through those contacts to form some sort of alliance that has a similar goal.  It is  bringing together  large circles of people, businesses, and  community leaders for the common good

    Some people may have a completely different ideology about what constitutes some of the above skill sets.  I have an aversion to those who claim certain skill sets that are not unique to them.  On-the-other-hand, I  enjoy those professionals who put Microsoft Word or Excel on your list of skills.  Basically, unless I know you personally, the only thing I  can pretty much assume is that you can type.  I can probably glean a fair amount of information from your writings, but there has to be more.  Details tend to matter.

    Here are some fun little tools to test your skills.  It’s all hypothetical, it won’t determine your life work.  You might be a master in your craft, and end up with a weak score.  It’s a reality check, but a fun one.  What are you really good at?  Are you too good? Can you laugh at yourself and with others when you look at your own scores?

    Have fun with these freebie tests  

    When you go into an interview it is always handy to have first done a little research about the job you are applying for.  True there are some professional interviewers who can buffalo their way through just about any interview scenario  – but those individuals are rare.  Generally, they do tend to be older and probably come over-qualified, and they know it.  I hope you are not one of the ones who will discriminate against them due to age or fear they are after your job.  You might be turning away your companies next Einstein.  Okay, maybe not.   But let’s just say your training curve will be lower if you hire them, and we know how training affects your bottom line, not to mention your stress levels.

    Have fun learning what you are good at.  Take a good hard look at your resume.  If you have done the skills, and actually understand the meaning of the skill, leave it on there.  If you have tinkered with a skill, be very cautious about misrepresenting who you are and what you do.

    I’m to the point where I would like to see more companies go back to a just detailed application and lose the cover letter.   I’ve seen too many cover letters that don’t necessarily represent the true individual or give me enough information that would be beneficial to my company.   Another issue that clogs the process involves the use of resumes. Who really reads the resume all the way through?  The federal government has a computer that reads resumes for them. You have to take a class just to know how to design a federal resume.  It’s comprehensive and labor intensive.

    When we did our interviews with our staff, one of us was selected to develop questions based on potential candidate resumes.  A lot of companies do not do that. They read a few lines and put it back into the stack with the other resumes.  I read all of ours.  I was better able to gauge the sincerity of many of the candidates that we interviewed.   Read those resumes, and use them to develop your questions.

    I’m not a fan of traditional interviews either.  I dislike the questions that immediately tell me a lot about the person holding the interview.  Some really do not put a lot of thought into the interview process, and probably are just as unsure as the candidate, about what is needed. I am also not a big fan of the behavioral questionnaires either.   The one question that should be banned from all interviews is, “where do you want to be in five years?”  ALIVE!

    Where do you want to be in five years?  ALIVE!

    I understand the need to ask those questions that are burning in your bosom, but geez whiz, lighten up on those older folks – okay?  You gotta have a sense of lightness in an interview.  If I like you and your environment – I’m going to make sure you know before I leave your office – I will be paying you a compliment.  Ask people “how do you feel about this working environment”?  People don’t think about the environment they are stepping into very often.  That is the first thing I would look into – because you are going to be spending a lot of time there!

    For the younger generation who hasn’t yet learned to respond or develop their own questions,  there is a lot of feeling or emotion that determines their selections.    It’s humorous to hear them talk about “I like that one”, or “I think he would be a perfect match”.   Even if their skills are below the standard, they will select that person, based on emotion.  Skills be damned.  It is kind of a slap in the face to higher education and those with experience who are up against a younger touchy-feely kind of interviewer. Okay, to be honest, some of the older and more seasoned interviewers get emotional as well – but not as much.  Still doesn’t make it right.  You do want the right fit, but what are you really gaining?  Tough questions that we often have to ask ourselves after the storm has settled and new staff are learning their places.

    Age matters as well in some organizations.  Seventy-Five percent of the staff that I hired were all older than I was.   I wasn’t biased at all – the younger individual’s I interviewed did not have the qualifications for the job.  I had people who were in their 60’s and even a couple in their 80’s that worked for me.  I didn’t feel threatened at all.  The age myth is just that – a myth.  The real threat is hiring people who are NOT qualified regardless of the age.

    Take your tests, rewrite your resumes, and re-evaluate your skills that you list.  Your endorsements might be all smoke and mirrors if you can’t back them up in an interview.  You will come away looking really bad.

    I am a professional who looks for those out of the ordinary individuals who just want to work.  They don’t have anything to prove, their education and experience shine through.  Now that makes me all emotional in a touchy-feely kind of way; because I’ve just hired the best!

    geralt / 10127 images

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    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    What went right

    The Way Forward Starts Here – What Went Right

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    The Way Forward Starts Here – What Went Right

    The title would better read “the way forward starts with you”.  We often find ourselves bewitched with words.  As Sigmund Freud once stated in a lecture in psychoanalysis in 1915 “Words were originally magic and to this day words have retained much of their ancient magical power”.

    With just a simple twist of words, we can motivate or provoke a person or group of people into action.  If you add a list of positives words into your speech, over a short amount of time you will begin to see the subtle hints of change in the attitudes and behavior of others around you. When people no longer think you are out to get them, they will feel more at ease with you when discussing matters.     As an example, you might consider changing references to individuals or groups by applying a few of the following:

    Positive Affirmation   (Empathy)                 Negative Affirmation (Sympathy)

    • I am glad you told me                                      At least you had….
    • Look for a solution                                           Talk about the problem
    • Your input is valuable                                      Yes, but…..
    • Everything is a process up                              Failed again I see
    • Working together                                              Not open to change
    • Allow others to have an opinion                    Discredit the opinions of others

    Using words to gain cooperation from others is the opposite of expecting opposition.  Even though some people may have repressed feelings or thoughts due to prior experiences – you can begin to implement change by breaking through with positive reinforcement statements.   Those reinforcement statements need to be sincere in their delivery.

    Just saying nice things isn’t the same as the meaning and context behind those words.  Were the words earned, were they just, did they pivot one group over the other?  There is a lot to think about. Immediate solutions start with acknowledging the positive.  What went right.

    Immediate solutions start with acknowledging the positive.  What went right.

    The way forward depends on your ability to get started. It also depends on your ability to want positive change.  You need to seek out solutions and focus a lot less on the problems.  Chances are everyone knows the problem – but does everyone know what went right?

    Learn to focus on the positives that you know work.  Make sure you document thoroughly what went right.  Don’t lose your best resources while searching for problems that may never be resolved, or even existed.  Sometimes you have to build cooperation by helping others learn to change. Change doesn’t have to be hard if you explain what went right.

    What went right.   

     

    __________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

     




     


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    Business Walks for Creativity - All Seasons.

    Business Walks for Creativity – All Seasons

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    Business Walks for Creativity – All Seasons. I watched a Ted Ex video the other day about chat walks. Taking your business meetings and making them outside meetings. Inspired by this talk, one has only to think about some of the following items:

    • decide on the location of the walk
    • the length of time available to walk
    • whom you will meet with
    • what you will discuss
    • and the weather of course.

    The amount of stress alone saved in taking a chat walk is worth its weight in gold. It also helps to cut your blood pressure down, beef up your cardio, raise those happy endorphin’s, and bring a level of wellness to your entire body. Many exclaimed that walking and creativity go hand and hand.

    Many exclaimed that walking and creativity go hand and hand.

    Save a back – your own! You have to get up away from that desk, put the mouse down, lace up a pair of tennis shoes, and head out the door. Find someplace, any place, where you can take your meetings to another level; one that risks going outside and breathing in fresh air, and feeling the warm sunshine on your skin. Walking has been proven to enhance your mental health as well as your physical health.

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

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    How to keep from falling behind, when you are already ahead – STOP

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    How to keep from falling behind, when you are already ahead – Stop.  A lot of us live our lives like this. Meeting deadlines, negotiating deals, setting up operations or systems. Once you are caught up and on track, you still sense a little nagging thought in the back of your mind that says “I gotta keep going”. “I can’t relax”.  I’m all caught up, but why do I feel like I’m late?

    I’m all caught up, but why do I feel like I’m late?

    Just recently I finished a project that was eating up a lot of my time, and left me feeling on the edge of my seat. If I finished the project early, someone would think I didn’t have enough to do. If I finish late, some might think I’m not staying on task. You can’t win in this scenario. When you experience this phenomenon enough times, you’re body and mind learn that, business, work, and life, are all done in constant distraction mode.

    PUSH STOP!

    It’s one thing to work hard, it’s another to balance that hard work with a good measure of life balanced activities; including downtime. Many have been in distraction mode for so long, they don’t know how to de-escalate, and build in life balance measures for their lives.

    STOP THE STRESS

    The old saying that failure to plan on your part does not mean action on my part – that often sneaks into the equation when dealing with other distracted co-workers. As the cycle of the day runs its course, people will ride the working wave at different times, locations, levels, and mindsets. A lot of times the mindsets don’t equal each other. We all have our high and low points during the day.

    How is your stress today? Stressed much?

    Stress plays a big factor in your overall health, and I think we all know that. There are a lot of experts out there, which give us any number of remedies and cures for how to deal with stress. Finding which remedy works for you is a process. My hopes are that you have others around you who will act as a support team to help you find just the right remedy or process to gain and keep your health on track.

    Just the word stress, can be a trigger for some people

    Stress has a lot to do with our body’s vital organs and the health of those organs. It is important to tell your doctor about changes in your mood so that you can discuss treatment options best suited for you. Working on your own internal senses to build yourself up and maintain a healthy state of mind, is so important to the quality of your life. Did you know that the very act of caring creates resilience, and in turn helps the body to not overreact to stress?

    Talk Therapy is also a great way to talk through those situations that you might be holding onto unnecessarily. Talk Therapy is also great for creating new conversations and opening up doors to collaborations; about things you might have wanted to explore but were always afraid to try.

    How to keep from falling behind, when you are already ahead – STOP

    The fight or flight mechanism which is a built-in survival tool becomes unhealthy for our bodies when we are subject to it in a never-ending cycle. Taking control of our stress and making it your friend, gives you the upper hand, and helps you keep your body chemistries more in line with those of a healthy lifestyle.

    If you are stressed over past events or situations you had no control over, you have to learn to let go of that negativity. Holding onto that toxicity will only create an unhealthy outcome. For those who suffer from health issues, gaining the upper hand over your emotions and thoughts could extend your life. Even add years.

    I know that by just being kind when you have it in your power to do so, will give you strength in your personal life; that includes your health. The benefits are rewarding.

    Don’t let work rob you of your life. Put stress on notice, as well as any difficult co-worker. Be willing to speak up, out, and overcome the stress. Find that niche where you feel comfortable. Buy yourself a stop button and start using it.

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    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    leadership

    Is Effective Leadership missing in the Equation?

    Category:Business

    Is Effective Leadership missing in the Equation?

    I was reading an article this morning from Harvard Business School called American Idle: Workers Spend Too Much Time Waiting for Something to Do. It was cute, to the point, but had one thing I thought that was missing. Effective leadership was missing from the equation.

    Effective leadership was missing from the equation

    This is the type of topic that authors write about. You find one disgruntled employee who had a manager or supervisor who turned out to be the devil him or herself, and you have a story. How that story is spun will determine the type of outcome you will have. I know the problem, I want the solution. Are you that type of leader? Are you tough enough to tell the old devil where to go?

    Leadership verbiage is probably way overused by many. Leadership has to deal with taking a lead role in a project or endeavor. Leadership is not teaching someone how to fill out routine reports or turn on a computer, that’s training or guidance. It’s not leading a meeting where all you do is discuss the same thing over and over again – that’s training. It’s not filling out the same forms or collecting samples, or even answering the phones. Leadership is working with a group of people to see a project or endeavor through to the goals end. You work with everyone.

    Leadership is working with a group of people to see a project or endeavor through to the goals end.

    While your manager/supervisor may know the job well, they may not have the people skills necessary to motivate their staff. They often get by with either a micro-managing style and/or have a laissez-faire attitude toward others. That is not leadership.

    To avoid ending up with a culture of micromanaging employees trying to scrape together work from the bottom of the barrel, keep your communications open and active. Be active, and help your employees develop their own work ethic – by modeling those same good ethics you want to see. Show them a leader they can work beside. Notice that I didn’t say follow – I said, work beside.

    Show them a leader they can work beside 

    Outcomes are what matters to the client or your future prospects. As long as you are meeting their goals, they’re happy. Are you also happy? What about your employees?

    Leadership, management, community outreach, research, training, they all mean very different things to different people.  What I know, is that you need to be able to show your work. In any working relationship, you should be able to reflect on your leadership skills and provide guidance in the direction you want your team to go. Some examples:

    1.    Show me your teamwork, and how you manage challenges together

    2.    Show me leadership that moves others into motion

    3.    Tell me how you perform community outreach

    4.    Show me how you motivate your employees to increase productivity

    5.   While doing research did you actively engage in experimentation that provided you and your team with factual data that could be useful to your organization or business? What was your teams feedback?

    6.   Training usually has some long-term benefit, plus you provide your team with material or backup data. Where do you store your assessment data? How does your team use that data?

    7. Do your employees enjoying engaging with you?

    Leaders know that we can’t all be managers or supervisors. You have to be able to delegate and let go of some of the controls in order for your vision to manifest itself. Nor can we thrive in a constant environment without some form of monetary benefit keeping us afloat. We need to learn to pace ourselves – and offer others the same pace. Different jobs/tasks require different paces.

    As stated above: Leadership has to deal with taking a lead role in a project or endeavor.

    Leadership is more about directing others and assuming a role of authority and taking responsibility for that position. When you do community outreach, that generally entails that you have many contacts and work through those contacts to form some sort of alliance that has a similar goal. It is a bringing together of large circles of people, employees, businesses, and community leaders for the common good or goal.

    You have a completely different ideology about what constitutes leadership skills. For instance,  I have an aversion to those who claim certain skill sets that are not unique to them. On-the-other-hand, I enjoy those professionals who are willing to discuss even the more basic skills they possess. Basically, unless I know you personally, the only thing I can pretty much assume is that you can type, talk, or maybe turn a wrench. I can probably glean a fair amount of information from your writings, but there has to be more. Details tend to matter, so those basic skills might just be the ticket.

    I am a professional who looks for those out of the ordinary individuals who just want to work. Individuals who want to be a part of the team. They feel good about accomplishing something, and being a part of something more.

    If you know the problem, focus instead on a solution. Lead by example.

    ________________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.