When The Past Becomes The Guide

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    When the past becomes the guide

    When The Past Becomes The Guide

    Category:Wellness and FitnessTags : 

     

    When The Past Becomes The Guide

    People tend to rely on the past as a means to prepare for the future.  While it is true we need to learn from our mistakes, are we allowing the past to control our future?

    Picking a time in my past that was riddled with mistakes and completely altered my life course, I ponder on how things could have gone differently.  We tend to focus only on the negative and often times allow that negativity to guide our present and future decisions.  Unfortunately, this way of thinking doesn’t help us resolve the conflicts or problems that haunt our memories.

    If we use the past as a guide and look for the things that went right instead of focusing on the negative,  we have a valuable tool at our disposal.  Using what we know today and incorporating the positive things of the past helps us make better future decisions.

    Past reflections:

    I recall a matter between an individual who was very close in the business sense as well as being a close friend.  I trusted this person with my back in every sense.  I knew he was going through an extreme amount of turmoil in his professional and family life.  I too was caught up in my own personal life struggles.  While we were very close,  we really didn’t know each other like we thought. If we could have looked at the struggles each of us was facing,  together, we might have avoided a head-on clash of wills.  A clash that would last for years.  An unfortunate error called “being human”.

    We each had our own set of values for life, complete with its checks and balances.  But were those checks and balances flawed?  Could either of us today remember the real story the way it really happened or did we just reflect the story as it related to our own concept of reality?    The pictures we have of life are often murky when we are facing difficulties.  Truth too often gets in the way.  Our anger and our feelings of being wounded cloud our better judgment.

    Letting the Past Guide the Way

    The upside to many of our past problems is knowing that the past is also filled with things that went right. Things that are good and bring light and happiness to the faces of those who care to remember.  If we use the things that went right we can help make the present much more relaxing, and the future peaceful.  Letting go of our flawed memories is a good start.

    I acknowledge that some things in the past need to stay there.  But for the honest mistakes and misunderstandings, the old saying Let It Go applies.   When the past becomes the guide you are on the path to regaining those valued relationships.   Trust can be re-established and friendships renewed, but it’s a focus on what went right that will get you there.





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    Have You Ever Fired Yourself?

    Have You Ever Fired Yourself?

    Category:Business,Wellness and FitnessTags : 

     

    Have You Ever Fired Yourself?

    Have you ever come home and “fired yourself”?  Somedays are like that, and it takes us a long time to unwind from those moments that are a dig to our self-confidence.  Rebounding from those moments of self-disclosure are important.

    The day I allowed someone to steal my work. I had to start over and learn to trust again. I had to let go of the old me, and lean on the new me.

    In a working environment, I’m to the conclusion that if you aren’t in on key decisions and one of the movers and shakers – the fault may lie with them. “Them” being those in power, or above us in rank – someone else in the know. I’m not necessarily challenged by authority unless it has proven to be less than scrupulous.  So if the fault has to find a home, I hope it is with them, the movers and the shakers.

    But what if I am one of the movers and shakers? First, I don’t want someone else’s mistakes.  I want to start fresh and correct my own mistakes.  It’s a difficult task to jump into the middle of a project and take ownership.  Rather, it requires research and time; plus a sense of humility as you begin to deal with people who have no loyalty toward you at first.  You have to build those relationships and prove your worth.   Let others praise your work – there is greater value in that than praising yourself.  Humble yourself and you will be lifted up.

    Secondly, there are those who would like nothing better than to sit back and talk about opposing issues and add roadblocks to your designs, inventions, and other such handiwork. To those, I would refer to an old saying, “what other people think is really none of your business”.

    “What other people think is really none of your business”

    Somedays we have to just go home and fire ourselves.  That is such an awful word “fire” when used in the context of someone’s livelihood.  No one wants to lose a job – or asks to lose a job.  But it happens, for good or bad people get fired, laid off,  or suffer a reduction in force.   When you are the boss, the only person who can fire you is YOU!   That isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you are the boss.  Letting go of pieces of a project and learning to allow others through delegation to complete a task can be rewarding.  For one, you get rid of the stress, and two, you increase the value of one of your employees.

    Firing yourself doesn’t mean you can’t come back the next day with a better attitude.  Usually, when you get to this level you are ready for a change, a good swift kick in you know what, to mend those attitudes of displeasure.  Your own attitudes.

    When you walk in the door at work tomorrow give some thought to some valuable points when you do:

    1. You have a job
    2. People like working in a positive environment
    3. Money won’t buy you the thing you value most, respect of others
    4. Talk to the janitor – they know more than you think
    5. Be the janitor!
    6. Smile
    7. Shine it on
    8. Compliment someone who has earned a compliment – be sincere about that compliment
    9. Delegate if you can – but make it worthwhile to the delegatee.
    10. Rehire yourself

    It’s how you approach your life.  Not how others approach your life.  You make the final decision on how happy or successful you will be.  Success is measured in happiness.

    “Success is measured in happiness”

    __________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Have You Ever Fired Yourself?

    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:LeadershipTags : 

    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!

     

    ___________________________________________________

     

    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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    On the ledge

    Category:EducationTags : 

     On the ledge – Overcoming fears


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    Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    Category:Educational TechnologyTags : 

    Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    #BringItOn”

    I was standing outside the middle school talking with the technology guy for both the middle school and the high school a while back. Really great guy, family man, well respected for his work with the school district. We were discussing the issue of Bringing Your Own Devices (BOD) to school,  and how that would affect, not just the lives of the students, but his IT department, and all the teachers at both schools. While I am tremendously happy for our district, I also understand the challenges we face with technology.

    New Technology and Education

    New technology creates volumes of work for those in IT, as well as for teachers, and administrators on tightly held budgets. How can we really gauge eLearning or mLearning (Mobile Learning) when technology doesn’t have a consistency plan? We can develop plans, but technology doesn’t seem to have any boundaries. How do you strategically plan for technology? You can equipment your labs with the latest computers and software, but technology shifts almost monthly.  Once you plug it into the wall, it’s on the road to obsolete.

    We can develop plans, but technology doesn’t seem to have any boundaries.

    There are some key strategic questions you have to ask when you begin to prepare to integrate technology into your educational setting and/or any organization.

    1. How can educators ensure reasonable access for all students or employees? Not everyone can afford it.
    2. Will the wide variety of devices create a problem with consistency? It would be important to do research beyond specific brands.
    3. Ongoing discussions have occurred over the “digital divide”. Is this still an issue or is it narrowing?
    4. To avoid distractions from things such as social media and texting, would different types of mobile devices be more effective for use in the classroom setting?
    5. How can research keep up with the ever-changing world of devices and applications?
    6. When the novelty of using mobile technology begins to wear off, will student and employee engagement still be higher for the m-learning group?
    7. What are best practices for Twitter usage in a classroom?
    8. What external factors (age, gender, socioeconomic class, culture, religion, etc.) affect the usefulness of mobile learning?
    9. What situations is mobile learning least-suited for?
    10. How will the role of the teacher change as mobile learning increases?
    11. What changes will be made in teacher education to prepare them to facilitate mobile learning?

    Everyone needs to be connected

    It’s no secret that I used to work for a university, and one of my many hats that I wore had to deal with helping students get onto the wireless system. It was a small 5% or less of what I did. At the maximum level, I also helped troubleshoot nearly 82 computers throughout the complex. Between myself and the campus help desk, and UEN engineers, we muddled through a number of challenges daily.

    The hardest part of BOD, and administering access is that there are so many different types of devices. Students have presented computers to me that was almost archaic. I’ve seen some pretty sweet devices too – ones that I would love to own. The high school and middle school would see the same. Once you open the door to BOD – you will have to accommodate all devices, within reason of course.

    I have to say my favorite departments to work with were IT and UEN, at the university level. They have a thankless job some days. Other days they are everyone’s hero. They were always my hero’s. Somedays I kick myself for never having applied to UEN. Working with such highly specialized technicians and engineers was rewarding.

    Looking at the problems

    Here is the problem that I see. While IT usually has their hands full with a host of projects and fixes, most are not going to have the time to help students, staff and/or guests gain access to their wireless systems, nor offer technical support at the door. You have to have someone on site who can help those individuals who can’t access your wireless system, or need special help with software required by the institution or organization. It’s a troubleshooting job, not at all similar to an online helpdesk. These people are face-to-face.

    While there may be extra hard wired computers in the labs for students to use, when it comes to software and what each student MUST have to accomplish their assignments – that is where it gets a little tricky. Not every student will have the same software needs. Not every teacher will use the same software. You wouldn’t want a teacher using GPS software worrying about their students only having access to software that a marketing student would need.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAj1AAAAJDU0NWI4YzljLTFjOWMtNDQyMy05M2ViLTE4Yzk0ODZkMzY3MA Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    You can say you only have X or O software available for everyone to use, but when you begin talking about Adobe, Indesign, GPS, and other software – you run into bigger issues. A big example of an another major issue is licensing for all the software each instructor will need. If a student is required to have the software and it isn’t provided on the school computers – you WILL accommodate that students need and troubleshoot their access into your network. If the student is required to purchase software or rent it, you have to at least allow them access to your network.

    Anytime you upgrade a computer system, you should be thinking about training and hiring new staff too. Be thinking about this as you develop your long range plans for:

    • upgrading your computer software, and providing technical support.
    •  adjust your projected budgeting for new equipment & networking,  as well as the impact the change will have on your employees.
    • project how it will be implemented, with periodic evaluations and assessments on the finished product (technology is a change beast)

    A little good news

    Most wireless systems have an online dashboard for administrators so that they can add and drop computers easily just by knowing the IP and MAC addresses. The MAC address is a unique address for a specific computer. What is nice with the BOD system is that the person who generally monitors this online system can add and delete computers online, from anywhere. I would get phone calls after hours from the evening staff requesting help with a student’s computer.  I simply log into the online system and “issue solved”.

    The dashboard also allows you to set reminders to check for computers that are about to run out of their allotted connection time (365 days for students, 7 days for quests), and even add the IP and Mac Address along with the person information. Since I also advised students, I knew their class schedules, and I would automatically extend their time so they had a seamless experience.

    Oh, lets upgrade! What does that really mean? 

    Administrators are the worst when it comes to IT and wireless communications. They know a lot, but they really don’t get involved with the hands-on operational part of technology.  They don’t always have the insight for the long term difficulties that comes along with technology. They don’t get into the ends and outs of computers, nor the networks. Just so long as it works, that is all that really matters to them. When it doesn’t work – that seems to be when they really listen.

    Well, listen…..

    If you are going to incorporate new technology in your organizational structure, factor in potential new staff and/or additional man hours. You’re going to need it.

    You need people on site!

    Staffing also includes teachers and IT staff. Professional development for all distance and non-distance educators needs to go beyond the basics. All beliefs and values aside – some educators really do need to go back to school themselves (PhD’s, EdD’s, etc). Institutions of education cannot expect its instructors to teach over a technology medium, nor operate new technology, that they themselves struggle with. Teacher readiness may be more than just “being ready”.

    If an instructor doesn’t have those lifelong learning skills either from prior education or learned through continuing professional development, they probably won’t appreciate the benefits derived from the use of technology in the classroom.

    The changing classroom environment

    Adults still tend to think of a classroom with walls, desks, and a teacher who will lead them in a face-to-face learning environment. With the increase of technology in the classroom, the definition of a traditional classroom is evolving. Teachers have more access to online teaching tools and grading books that help to free up their time for more core curriculum planning.

    The modern curriculum is being redesigned to incorporate further blended learning environments for the student. With the use of online technology, instructors can offer a student a variety of instructional methods for learning. One day a student may be in the classroom listening to a lecture, the next day they may out in the field, doing surveys or working on experiments. The next day after that, they may be doing course work online.  These new blended environments give both the instructor and the student opportunity to utilize the best of many educational methods – traditional, online, and self-directed learning.

    IT has the responsibility to service all these ever changing environments. It’s not a matter of just deciding to install new equipment or software. Unless IT, teachers, and administrations are all working together in the planning and design stages, there really can’t be an assessment stage. You need those assessment stages.

    Understand this when it comes to technology and education

    The impact of technology is directing instruction away from a teacher based learning experience, toward a student lead experience assisted by media.

    Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences (ITLS) is a universal phenomenon, offering educational technology that has the ability to reach immense audiences globally, and obviously, students are by far the largest users of that product

     

    ____________________________________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQTAAAAJGZjNmIxMjM5LWI4MjUtNDBhYy05Mzg3LTgxMDBlODA1MDVmMQ Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    Designing in the Digital Age

    __________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    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 Technologically Savvy is your Instructor?

    How Technologically Savvy is your Instructor?

    Category:Education,LeadershipTags : 
    How Technologically is Savvy your Instructor?

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    What went right

    The Way Forward Starts Here – What Went Right

    Category:Business,Human Resources,ManagementTags : 

    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.   

     

    __________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg The Way Forward Starts Here - 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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    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training

    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training

    Category:Business,Human Resources,Leadership,ManagementTags : 
    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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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training

    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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    PHOTO: MYRIAMS-FOTOS

    Charity Begins At Home – When the Last Horn Blows

    Category:Humanitarian,LifestyleTags : 

    Charity Begins At Home – When the Last Horn Blows

    There is an old saying, that Charity Begins At Home. This proverb was originally documented in English, in somewhat different format, in John Wycliffe’s Of Prelates (c. 1380); “Charity should begin at himself.” It was later quoted as “Charity begins at home” by Terence.

    Charity begins at home ~ Terence

    There are many ways to give right inside your own company, organization, religious or educational institution, and your own home.   Yet, I understand that there are also situations in other countries that do require much-needed aid.

    From time to time charity will not involve money. Sometimes it is the opening of oneself and the giving of respect, honor, and occasionally a fond farewell. Best described with examples:

    When the Last Horn Blows

    Looking out the window of the guard shack, an older gentleman, whom we will call RC, sits and awaits the next train leaving the site, “The Train of Pain”. Twice a week the 8800-horsepower diesel-electric engine moves along a 30 mile stretch of track, taking its payload to a dump site. Back and forth, trudging along, giving it’s all, it will continue until its last load is complete.

    Surrounded by nothing more than the still night desert air and an occasional coyote, the desert calm is broken with the distance hum of an engine on the track. In that moment, RC feels a deep appreciation for the work he’s done. Be that watching the site, doing the rounds, radioing the conditions, and checking the U.P.R. train crew in and out each night at the end of the shift, somewhere before midnight.

    Every week, for many years, RC watched as the train came to the switch on the track, and listened as the mighty engines horn-blast filled the air, then slowly it would disappear into the night.

    The Midnight Shift

    The end of RC’s guard had come, tonight would be his last. RC was preparing for the next journey in his life – retirement.  Unknown to RC, right before he was to depart to his solitary guard shack, a radio announcement came over the airwaves. It was the project manager and he radioed for RC to step outside, and then relayed to all around to blow their horns one last time in RC’s honor.

    RC stood on the steps outside and he listened as the horn blast from semi’s, trucks, and train, could be heard all over the project. In this moment of honor – a smile crossed his face, and a solitary tear escaped, and slide down the side of his face.

    Later that evening while finishing his final midnight shift, he reminiscences. He will forever recall that first train blast from an old 1996 GE C44AC pusher engine as it slowly meandered down the track. He then thoughtfully stared at a framed image of that same train, a gift which was presented to him, from everyone on the project that day. He had a purpose!

    Charity is a thankful heart

    Charity does begin at home, and from time to time it doesn’t involve money. Charity in its most basic form is that substance that all humans need; respect, honor, integrity, a purpose, a horn blast. If you begin there, giving money is easy after that. Learning how to give of ‘himself’, is the first lesson.

    Charity begins at home, but should not end there. ~ Thomas Fuller

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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Charity Begins At Home - When the Last Horn Blows

    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:Human ResourcesTags : 

    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.