Category Archives: Business

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    Copy room manners

    Copy Room Manners

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    Copy Room Manners

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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Copy Room Manners

    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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    Humility During Times of Adversity

    Humility During Adversity

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    Humility During Adversity

    Trying to remain humble and calm during times of adversity is a tough call. Especially when everyone around you is fighting mad, or suffering from some disappointment somewhere in their career or personal life.  A working office environment has emotion and life to it.  You are not immune to what goes on there.  You also are not immune to the politics inside and outside of your office. It would be nice if we could just shut out the political rhetoric – but often it seeps in when we least want it there.

    Add a political campaign cycle to an already fragile office environment and the circumstances are ripe for vindictiveness and strife.  If you don’t believe me, just turn on your television set, and come to work the next morning. Many workers are feeling the politician pressures from within and outside.  A game of tug-of-war or tug-of-wills can and often takes place.

    The tug of war within an office environment quite often only succeeds in oppressing those who are in the middle or lower level tiers.   Within this tier,  is generally the larger chunk of your workforce.  They are the ones that get hit with a wave of disenfranchising rhetoric, genuinely laced with arsenic threats and disallowances.   It is oppressing.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAV5AAAAJDk5MmM1N2M0LTZjZmQtNGQ5MS04YTE2LThiM2MyYzFkMzk5YQ Humility During Adversity

    VOTE MY WAY – DO THIS OR ELSE!

    What happens within these tug of war zones,  is you get hit with lower level workers or middle management dogma.

    You deserve better, we all deserve better, but unfortunately, one side does not want to give the call – and the other side is too afraid you will call. It’s a tug of war, and you are the rope.

    Letting go of the rope. 

    As a society If we continue on the path we are headed on as a culture – pretty soon everyone will be opening up their own businesses because no one can get along.   The office environment has become way too toxic, oppressive, and controlling.  People want out, and they are leaving in droves.

    When you talk about diversity and equal rights in the workplace, that is easier said than done.  People for whatever reason – for just being born into a certain family,  have a rooted belief AAEAAQAAAAAAAAYUAAAAJDNjMzkzOThiLTEzNzQtNDc2OC1iMWRiLWE5ZDVkZGE1YWIxYw-207x300 Humility During Adversitysystem.    Thus their value systems are rooted in the very fabric of who and what they are.   It produces their attitudes and ultimately directs their behaviors.  It also tends to direct their political as well as religious viewpoints – those come out as behaviors.

    To say you can desensitize a working population into adopting a value system that is foreign to their belief system is radical thinking in-and-of-itself.

    Many workers do play the game of office politics  – just to survive.   They can walk-the-walk, and talk-the-talk, but they do not hold a common value system with those around them.  It is a game. 

    A person’s personal belief system is not the same as a company’s core value system.   Beliefs can separate us from other people, whereas values can unite us for a cause, like a business.   A business’s core values are what supports its vision, and helps to shape the culture within,  and ultimately form its identity.  That is all good – that is the way it should happen.  It is what is hidden that often stirs the pot, so to speak.

    What is Hiden?

    Political and religious views, as well as lifestyle preferences, are only acceptable at face value to some – and at a very thin surface level.  They can only be accepted as far as one’s beliefs allow. Those beliefs can vary slightly acceptable to greatly acceptable, depending on the individual.  Ripping at someone’s long-held belief system will not get you far.

    Underneath are the deeply held beliefs (roots) of the individual who may or may not adapt to your core values,  or see your point of view.  It then becomes a game of survival or tolerance.   At what level is enough – enough?

    Adopting Core Values 

    Posting an employee notice on the wall is only as good as the paper it is written on unless your core values are solid within your organization.    Some organizations have great success with their employees adopting their core values and visions. Those tend to have a higher moral and ethical workforce.   Others haven’t learned to adapt to a changing real-world environment, and the impact continues to be felt at the base. It takes time – don’t give up.

    At some point, it may become a competitive disadvantage for employers not to seek to adjust its core values.    I acknowledge that there are some businesses that need not change.  For once they change they lose their purpose, or it adversely affects their core values, as well as disrupts their belief system.  Let’s talk about that for a moment.

    QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

    1. Do your core values remain the same when you go from job-to-job?

    2. Do corporate values change? Have yours changed? Do they need too? What was the outcome of any change, or non-change?

    3. Do you expect to be rewarded for your values? What about your co-worker?

    4. Do your core values present a competitive disadvantage to your company?

    5. What core values do you see others exhibiting? What about your workforce, what do they see you doing?

    6. Does your company’s core values allow you to find a place where you feel “it works for me.”?

    7. Do you ever feel your core values might not work for everyone? How do you deal with that? What if the majority or minority disagree?  Are you open to collaboration? When do you end the conversation and give an affirmative answer – yea or nea?

    A lot of businesses are starting to understand that in a global economy you might need to adjust your core values.  The corporation itself may need to develop an attitude that is more accepting rather than directing in order to compete.

    With many companies outsourcing and setting up offices in different states, as well as internationally, you need to speak the language of business.  But that language may be different than you first thought once you factor in cultural diversity. The first step is acknowledging that cultural diversity exists and that it can be a very good thing.

    See the writing on the wall yet?

    This political year I am seeing splits within many business circles that I have never seen before; that frankly frightens me.  Conservatism is no longer conservatism, and liberalism is no longer liberalism.  These radically changing mindsets are pouring into the working lives of many. Workers are becoming agitated and depressed. They feel they are becoming disenfranchised, as the splits become more prevalent and the American culture starts to erode.  It’s not a good thing.

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot of collaborative efforts in play to help bring a common understanding of the working class needs to the table.   The right sounds more like the left in their anger, and the left strikes out with equal annoyance.   Two waves of anger do not make a positive.   Politics is a great disruptor – but at what cost to American worker? People are afraid of losing their jobs, and others just want a job.

    To the working class, the 2016 political environment has become a war zone, one created to emotionally and psychologically gain control or power over them; to disrupt and seize.   The workforce is concerned that it will become voiceless.    It shouldn’t be a battle to come to terms and find equitable solutions.  Yet, people are angry….. some in the violent sense.  We as a society need to stop fueling that type of anger.

    I hear the voices coming from  working American’s stating, “Damn the establishment!”  But what will you have after you have damned your rights into the hole?  If you can’t find some level of humility during times of adversity, you will either be confused with the outcome you sought and/or disillusioned by the choices of others.

    Trying to stay humble during times of adversity is a tough call

    No one wants to lose their job due to politics or adversity.  Sometimes remaining humble during adversity is the only thing that gets some people by.  But, when you try to put square pegs in round holes,  understand this – at some point, the game is up.

     – checkmate


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    Come to work as our favorite characters

    Come to work as our favorite characters

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    Come to work as our favorite characters
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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Come to work as our favorite characters

    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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    Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfalls

    Hiring a doormat doesn’t come without pitfalls

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    Hiring a doormat doesn’t come without pitfalls

    I debated on writing this one. It gets a little rough in places, and I really don’t like rough opinions. But after talking with an old friend the other day, he convinced me to do it – for him. It is always hard to watch others suffer un-needlessly. To my friend who is feeling the burn, this one is for you.

    Employees are becoming more concerned about being victimized for being themselves, not just for the way they are doing their jobs. It’s a two headed dragon!

    I wonder if doormats are a new phenomenon created by our business culture, or if they have always existed throughout the ages? I am sure they have always been with us – and probably always will be.

    The radical right, and the equally radical left, inside an organization, can and do rip working environments apart. People are getting hit with the doormat coming and going! Here a doormat, there a doormat, everywhere a doormat. Kind of sounds like a children’s nursery rhyme, and we all know the meaning of those rhymes.

    Generally this type of doormat victimization starts at the lower end, or middle management sectors. They rip apart people who would be good workers with their indecisive and critical views points. Basically they run off the busy bees – the truly motivated and often dedicated; the people with all the information about your organization in their heads.

    These radical doormats break internal communications, cause departmental animosity, and breed distrust. That distrust can follow a corporation, and the outward view then becomes a direct reflection of those in power behind it. This level of distrust reaches the communities and business circles you serve, and gives many a reason to not want to do business with your organization. The effects can be long lasting.

    THE OPPOSITE OF DOORMAT

    The happy employee is an engaged employee, even if that engagement is sitting in a cubicle by themselves, effectively working on the day’s task; or running a board meeting, digging ditches, selling tours, or pouring coffee to the masses. They are engaged, motivated to come to work, happy and productive.

    These employees are the opposite of a doormat. You will know when a true doormat joins your operation. People will begin to lose their jobs, be demoted for unknown reasons, and many just leave. Moral collapses and people begin to lose their drive when doormats take over. The happy environment is replaced with one of tyranny and discontent.

    WHAT IS A DOORMAT?

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAe6AAAAJGZmNzkyYWZjLWJmY2EtNGE2My1iMTMxLTRkZGMxOGQyZmM5Mw Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfallsA doormat can be classified as a “yes” man/woman. Never questioning, never confirming, never engaging their higher ups on an issue, and always the first to point a finger;, neglect their own duties; and the first at the water cooler to discuss their dislikes.

    Sometimes they are given a position to appease a nit-picky boss who needs someone who will idolize their every word. Others are hired to return a favor for connections; information; or dare I say, “they were cute or funny”.

    AN INTERVIEW WITH A RECOVERING DOORMAT

    Doormats don’t always know they are doormats. I have an acquaintance who explained it to me this way. “When I was younger, I was able to gain favor from those in higher positions because I turned the other cheek so to speak. Others in the organization were not pleased that I was given a position over them, I was catered too and allowed privileges well above my status. One unhappy co-worker(s) even went as far as to write on the side of a building “my name, followed by the title, Brown Nose Pirate”.

    This acquaintance is now a semi- recovering doormat, and gracefully laughs off the past. He is quick to affirm that he knows how to walk-the-walk, and talk-the-talk, and it really doesn’t bother him to think about taking future positions of the same caliber. It’s money, end of discussion.

    Recovering Doormats. I wonder if there is a place for them to meet?

    DEFINING THE ROLE OF THE DOORMAT

    While I like money as well as the next person, I’m not sure doormat will ever be a title that would stick to me. I have the philosophy that if you are going to make positive changes in this world, you need to take risks. Risk is what business is all about. The type of risk I am referring to, is strategic planning and development of programs that support an organization. Being able to speak freely about those programs to those who make the final decisions – that is important.

    Doormats don’t bring that level of planning to an organization. What they bring can be summed up in the following:

    There are three different levels of doormats:

    • The shy timid doormat
    • The discontent with life doormat
    • The professional doormat

    THE SHY TIMID DOORMAT

    Does anyone even know their real name? They work like a dog day-in and day-out. They keep their heads down and coward when approached with a concern. Like a pup who has been beaten, they are the defeated. Sounds sad, but there are employers who actually seek out these types of employees (in the millions). They work long hours, say nothing, think nothing, and they are often paid little. My heart goes out to these types of doormats. I have worked with a few. I have attempted to re-train them, motivate them, and speak up for them. These people need a strong voice in order to find their own. I have a heart and compassion for the shy timid doormats.

    THE DISCONTENT WITH LIFE DOORMAT (Where the majority of doormats reside)

    I suppose I have been guilty of hiring discontent doormats. Yes, I confess that I have done the dirty deed and hired people who do not contribute to the overall picture in the longer sense. But their jobs were important for a number of reasons:

    • They have menial skills for tasks that are repetitive
    • They don’t ask questions
    • They smile and laugh with me and the janitor equally
    • They didn’t question my authority, and I rewarded them by leaving them alone.

    Even though they did tend to go from department to department stirring up their brand of discontent, it was generally regarding those much higher than my own title, and/or lower than their own. Since I ignored their office chatter and didn’t participate in their brand of office politics, they tended to leave me alone.

    They get the title of doormat because they really don’t do much to try to change their situation. Sometimes I think a few of think like the drama – it is fuel for their aggravation with the world. I’ve seen the discontent doormats in action however. As a force they can be nasty, but they generally run out of rhetoric quickly, and go about their duties. They are good workers – just discontent about life in general. Which brings in my thoughts about the professional doormat.

    THE PROFESSIONAL DOORMAT

    These types of doormats are the sleaziest type of people when it comes to having to work with. They like your pain. They like discontent – they thrive on it. These are the ones that may be educated, and have a higher level of experience, yet they don’t seem to excel when it comes to actual performance. They may look busy, but that is just a rouse. They are busy-being-busy, yet doing nothing. They are catering hand-and-foot to the higher ups. They never would they question the authority of those above them. They pass along information as if it were a weapon to control, and thus lower your status in front of everyone.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAbsAAAAJDQzOGVmN2Q0LTQyNWQtNGMzNC04MTQ0LTVlMmJlODE2NTJhYQ-300x210 Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfallsTo them, passing along information is power. A power they use effectively to disrupt the moral of an entire operation. Yet they remain fabulous! They are fabulous because they have just absorbed the responsibility of passing along information, that someone above them didn’t want to deal with. They start the gossip, and they feed it daily. If you are not within their office posses pack – your life can be miserable. They contribute to nothing but an environment of fear and discouragement.

    MOVING PAST THE DOORMAT

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAi9AAAAJGNlZDAzYjczLWI1M2EtNDBiOS05MjBhLTQwOWNkYTg4YWQ2Zg-300x212 Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfallsChange is always hard – but not always!

    You might have to lose a few doormats that can’t speak the language of your business, and start hiring people who welcome a challenge to speak in any language!

    Hire people who will offer you insight and worthy content that is relevant to the position they hold. No more glorified data keepers who draw lines under numbers, write and pass pain notices, and disrupt the moral of everyone around them. Rather, begin hiring people who have a common value system that is equal with the vision for your company.

    Hire people who appreciate the shy doormat, understand the discontent door mat, and can speak up against the tyranny of the professional doormat. Hire people who can train and re-train your staff to be a voice for your organization. Don’t hire people who leave your staff frightened of their jobs, and depleted of integrity.

    Here is the tough part. Have the #&$%’s to admit when you recognize that you have a professional doormat that is destroying your vision, and that you hired them! You made a mistake – move on and correct the problem.

    Don’t back down from tyranny – approach it head on, take that risk, invest real man(woman) power into your vision and stay on course. When you stand up to tyranny – you will see how weak it really is.

    There is a saying: A man’s steps are established, and the good delights in his way. Stand up for the weak, do good always- and good will follow you all the days your life.

    ________________________

    To my old friend…. Cool Beans!

     

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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfalls

    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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    The Interview “Looks like a nice person, has a Twitter page”

    The Interview “Looks like a nice person, has a Twitter page”

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    The Interview “Looks like a nice person, has a Twitter page”

    For many who have been working professionals for most of their lives, it is often anticipated with some anxiety that those interviewing them ‘may not know how to interview them’. When you go into an interview and in two quick responses you have pretty much summed up the entire list of questions the interviewer had prepared, you quickly are able to gauge the aptitude of that business or organization. While those giving the interview have thought well and hard on their lists – you still manage to blow that list out of the water. What’s left for the interviewer? They can continue to read from their list, and unfortunately a lot do; because they really do not know anything about interviewing or better yet, the art of communication.

    Interviewing from a list can be caustic. Asking someone what their strengths and weaknesses are isn’t as important as sitting down face-to-face with them at a restaurant and getting to know how they interact with you and others. Sure you need to ask basic questions, but you want to engage your potential candidate to communicate a larger picture of who and what they are. Then you will be able to estimate how they might potentially fit into your organizational culture.

    A good interviewer should understand that a list of questions is only a guide. It’s not a good way to engage potential candidates into giving up information about themselves. The younger and more inexperienced the interviewer the more likely they will not have the proper skills needed to ask the right questions at the appropriate time. It’s not that they can’t – they simply do not have those skills developed yet. Not everyone is a good interviewer.

    How many of you like doing interviews?

    So what do you do when the candidate has just blown your list of questions out of the water in just a few short statements? It’s not the candidates fault. They came prepared. The outcome rests solely on your shoulders.

    It’s not the candidates fault. They came prepared

    Some might perceive the experience of a professional interviewer as intimidating, often fearing for their own jobs by thinking “dang this person is good”. So they quickly write off the candidate by sending out a rejection letter that states something like “we found a more highly qualified candidate”, or “we don’t have need for your skills at this time”. Think about that statement “more highly qualified”, or “no need for your skills”. Over-qualified is probably more like it. Nervous interviewers are writing those letters of rejection as they are interviewing you – that is how unsure of themselves they really are.

    Some just want to filter out those individuals who they perceive as flight risks, who will leave the job for a better one after investing  time and energy into training.

    Your trustworthiness as a professional representing your organization has just been deflated when you do things like that. Leave the candidate with their integrity by changing your vocabulary to reflect something more generic and less personally intrusive. Maybe use things like “Unfortunately you weren’t selected at this time but your application will remain on file”. If the candidate then decides to call and ask why they weren’t selected, I suggest you have a higher level explanation.

    Has a Twitter  page, seems like a nice person, that’s probably not a good explanation why they selected another candidate over you. If you are a state jobs agency and a candidate asks for clarification are you going to avoid the question if it comes up? It happens. Don’t let your title get away from you. It might be you who has to go before the interviewing squad next.

    ……Has a Twitter  page seems like a nice person

    Human Resource people hate to hear this, but it’s true – interviewing is all about discrimination. You are judging people and their skill abilities. You are deciding their fate with your influences within your organization. Honestly, you might just like how someone behaves and interacts with you, who cares about skills. It happens every day, people getting hired for the quirkiest reasons.

    • Have your list of questions, but read the persons education and work history too. Adjust your questions accordingly
    • A candidate shouldn’t have to hide the number of years of experience and/or their education from you just so you will feel comfortable.  You should be thankful they want to interview for your company. 
    • Know your own organizational needs, and at least be fair in your assessments
    • Learn how to communicate and bring in new questions when you get a solid candidate in front of you. You really want to impress them. They are the ones who are actually looking you over to see if your organization is as strong as it comes off
    • Are you willing to allow good talent to go work for your competitor?
    • Your title is not as important as the candidate you are interviewing; it’s about theirskills
    • The potential candidate prepared for the interview – did you?
    • Be willing to adjust your sails. All interviews are different. You will interview some people who have years of knowledge ahead of you. But they are there because they want to be. Revel in that! That’s a good thing. You want good people to want to work for you
    • Be honest when making your selection and leave each candidate their integrity
    • Write letters that “do no harm”. Your vocabulary matters
    • A person with a masters degree interviewing for a job that doesn’t need a degree is still a person.

    Three Things that matter: Integrity, integrity, and integrity.

    1. Integrity of the business or organization
    2. Integrity of the interviewer
    3. Integrity of the interviewee

    My favorite interview question is “Do you Skype”?

     

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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg The Interview “Looks like a nice person, has a Twitter page”

    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.