Showing posts with label Professional. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Professional. Show all posts

August 2, 2019

What's Your Relationship?

This week I learned about the Three Levels of Relationships.

Level 3: Family/Friends
The highest form of a relationship where you are being authentic (i.e. yourself), you share deeply about yourself (thoughts, feelings, desires, mistakes, etc,) and you are vulnerable. 

Level 2: Professionals
The middle level of relationships in which you are seeking to build trust and respect, you share some information (i.e. appropriate), and you expose yourself a little to the other person. 

Level 1: Acquaintances
The most elementary of relationships that is superficial in nature, there is little personal sharing of information (i.e. mostly when you are asked a question and you feel comfortable answering it), and you remain guarded. 

This is a good way to assess your relationships--is it a level 1, 2, or 3 and are you behaving appropriately within that, so that you trust, communicate, and collaborate effectively.  ;-)

(Graphic Credit: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 16, 2018

Braving Trust and Credibility

So I thought this was really good from a colleague this week. 

How to build trust and credibility in the workplace:

Credibility is about being "convincing and believable" and results from "expertise and experience."

Trust is believing strongly in the honesty, reliability, character, and effectiveness of a person."


BRAVING

Boundaries - Have good boundaries--respecting yours and having my own; show others respect in words and deeds. 

Reliability - Be someone who is both reliable (can be counted on)  and is authentic.

Accountability - Hold others and yourself accountable; we all own our mistakes, apologize and make amends. 

Vault - Keep information in confidence.

Integrity - Hold courage over comfort; choose what's right over what's fun, easy or fast; practice and not just profess values. 

Non-judgmental - Believe the best in people even when they occasionally disappoint you. 

Generosity - Offer and ask for help from others, and give generously of yourself in time and effort. 

No offense to anyone...the last thing they said was a little spicy for the workplace (but I know it was meant well):  "Good conversation with others should be like a miniskirt--short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the topic." ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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January 17, 2018

Nothing Personal

There's this funny line that some managers use with their employees.

It's when they harshly criticize, pick on, or even bully their hard working and good people.  

What do they say when they do it:
"It's nothing personal."

Ha, that's sort of funny, but really it's sad. 

I asked an executive colleague about this and this is what they profoundly said:
"It's my favorite line when the boss says it's nothing personal. Of course it's personal. Is there anyone else in the room!"

When people misuse/abuse their power to hurt others whether at work or even in other situations like with small children or anyone else in a subordinate position:

- That's not business.

- That's not professional.

- That's not being a good human being.

People are not punching bags because someone else is having a bad day. 

We need to rise above the occasion and be better than that. 

It's better to be humane, compassionate, and emotionally intelligent. 

And not just because someday, we are all in that position where someone bigger is facing off against us.

But rather we need to behave kindly to others, because they too are G-d's children and our brothers and sisters, and it is the absolutely the right way to behave--whether it's business or personal. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 5, 2017

From Cradle To Grave

It's funny how in organizations talk about the lifecycle of people. 

From a full lifecycle perspective, it's "cradle to grave!"

In terms of lifecycle on the job, it's "hire to retire (or to fire)."

Really the lifecycles are intertwined. 

It starts with the cradle...we are born and go through a maturation process that focuses on our education and preparation for life. 

Then we get hired into our (hopefully) dream jobs, where we spend our careers until we retire--or if you mess up badly and get fired or decide to change career course--you may have to go back to "go" and "do not collect $200" and you get hired again for another career round. 

Eventually you retire and start your 2nd life in retirement, where please G-d, you have the health and prosperity to enjoy the fruits of your labor and your families. 

Ultimately, our lifecycle ends at the grave with the death of our bodies--our souls go on to Heaven and live forever basking in the light of the Almighty. 

Thus, the human capital lifecycle. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 28, 2016

Take Your Family Issues To Work Day

So we all love Take You Child(ren) To Work Day.

It's a great idea to bond with our children and share our work life with them.

This way they know what mommy and daddy do and also a little of what work is like. 

But one of the funny things I noticed is how uncomfortable most parents seem with their kids around them in at work. 

They have this worried and kvetchy look on their face.

They are crossing boundaries between personal/family/home life and professional/work life. 

What is at once two-faces, two distinct roles is now combined for a single day a year. 

Perhaps personal problems from home and between family members is entering the workspace or the problems of work life is evident to your close family members. 

Maybe mommy or daddy really doesn't get along all the well with little Johnny or Rosie all the time or perhaps little Johnny or Rosie is not that perfect little kid you've been showing around in pictures and talking up in the office. 

Similarly, mommy or daddy may not be "all that" in the office that they come home and portray to their family about--that big management position and corner office could be just another run of the mill job and situated in a long row of cubicles deep this way and that. 

In any case, the barriers are being crossed and even if there have been no outright lies told and caught, different sides of the person that are typically kept separate and sacrosanct are converging and the alternate egos and varied personas come head-to-head.

The good news is that the organization usually gives the parents leeway to not really do any serious work when the kids are around for the day and to mostly schlep them to special kids' events in the workplace--everybody get to meet the CEO and have ice cream?

Thus, the unveiling of dual natures and embedded conflicts is kept to a manageable minimum, if not an uncomfortable merging of work and family life. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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March 25, 2015

The Geometric Desk

Thought this desk was really nice. 

Professional, clean, hardwood, and very polished!

Not overly large, but I  liked the geometry of this thing, which made up for it.

The square draws on one side and the inverted cone on the other--very cool.

Great design, and seemingly good quality for home or office. 

Made in America? That would be especially nice (let's bring the manufacturing home!)  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 20, 2014

The Starbucks Playbook

I'm in Starbucks and this young lady is drawing one of Starbucks promo signs. 

This one was for the new Starbucks Caramel Flan which is a latte (coffee with a shot of expresso and frothy steamed milk) with whipped cream and generous topping of caramel.

In making the sign, the girl was nervous that she wouldn't do a good job because of her drawing skills, but she was actually doing pretty well.

I learned some interesting things from her that the big picture of the cup of coffee on the sign is actually a magnet--so that just snapped in place and was a big help.

Then as you can see on the left, she is a holding a playbook from Starbucks Corporate that has a miniature version of the sign that she is supposed to draw with instructions. 

So this is her guide and the same used by all the other Starbucks putting up this promo this week. 

From a marketing and branding perspective, this helps keep it tight in terms of the messaging, timing, and look and feel. 

Starbucks leaves nothing to chance with their coffee sales and this methodology of having each store draw the promo by hand but from a playbook makes it both authentic and professional. 

Nice job with the Caramel Flan sign! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 23, 2013

Six Dimensions of Personal Health

There was a wonderful interview in the Washington Post with leadership expert, Bob Rosen. 

One of the things that Rosen says is that there are six dimensions of personal and professional health that are vital to leadership.


These six dimensions of the person can also be associated with one's own personal architecture to ensure continuous health and maturity in each of these areas. 

I have taken these and created with my own photos, a little graphic to remind me of them. 


The six dimensions (with my definitions) are:

  1. Spiritual - Serving G-d and doing what is right.
  2. Emotional - Your feelings and ability to manage your state of mind, especially in trying situations.
  3. Social - Interacting with other people in loving, caring, and sharing ways.
  4. Physical - Taking care of your body through good nutrition, exercise, and healthcare.
  5. Professional - Working and contributing to the world by serving a purposeful mission.
  6. Intellectual - Learning and growing mentally by gaining knowledge and the ability to apply it.

I like how each of these is a a distinct contributing element of one's overall health, but also come together to form a coherent whole of human health. 

When all six dimensions are in good health, then a person has the foundations to live and excel. 


However, when one or more elements are not being properly taken care of or are out of balance with the others, then a person will not have the ability to maintain or advance themselves.  


Self-awareness and a commitment to doing your best in all six areas will help you grow as a person and leader. 


Together, these six areas can be associated with one's own personal architecture, whereby one plans and strives for health and maturity in each of them over time. 

(Source Graphic and Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 3, 2013

DC Still Has Its Mojo


Even during the government shutdown, some people are happily strutting their stuff in DC. 

This guy on the Metro had his earbuds on and was dancing up a storm. 

I asked if I could take a short video--he was like "cool!"

Should've taken it landscape, but nevertheless....

He's pretty wild and entertaining. 

At one point, he dances up to the camera and gives me his business card. 

However, due to the "spicy" nature of the lyrics on his site, a link is not provided.

Hey, this is a professional and family-friendly blog. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 19, 2013

What YOU Need To Land That Next Job

Mashable (17 August 2013) has some good advice for job seekers--show you mean business and here's how to do it:

1) Integrity--This is the #1 fundamental. If you are not trustworthy, reliable, honest...you are more trouble than you're worth. Integrity underscores your character as a person and professional. If you cheat, lie, steal, and are self-serving, why would anyone want to associate with you, let alone have you work for them?

2) Adaptability--Change is constant and happening faster and faster. If you are status quo, "old school", and can't innovate your way off a typewriter, how in G-d's name are you going to help a business grow and adapt to changing market conditions?  Go-getters, trend-setters, and change-agents, desired and welcome. 

3) Problem-solvers-Anyone can complain and see problems, but it takes special folks to solve those large and complex ones. You need to be able to come up with a strategy, articulate it, and execute on it. If you see the bad in everything, but can't solve anything--you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.  If you have technical skills and can apply them, you are valuable to the organization. 

4) Self-Starters--No time to babysit snoozers, slackers, or the constantly tardy--organizations are looking for professionals. You need to hit the ground running. If you don't know what to do, how to do it, or can't pick up on it pretty quickly, this is going to be a painful experience. Those with initiative, enthusiasm, team players, and hard workers make it relatively easy,

5) Loyalty--Backstabbers, users, and serial job-hoppers, you're wasting precious time. If you're loyal to the organization and leadership, you deserve the same in return. Your value increases as you learn the organization, mission, and people and can apply your unique training and experiences over time. The organization wants you to grow with them. 

You're a fork, a spoon, and a knife and you are just what the organization is looking for. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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July 7, 2013

Got References?

If you've ever done any hiring, you'll know that the reference checking can be the wildest part of the process. 

Some people have a lot of trouble coming up with good references or perhaps any references. 

In one case (actually more than one), calling the number provided for the candidate's supervisor went to the voicemail for the candidate him/herself--ah, clearly that doesn't help.

However, often candidates don't want their references checked until they have a clear intent of offer, which is sort of understandable--they don't want their references bothered unnecessarily and don't want to jeopardize their current position--but also a little bit of a chicken and egg approach, since you can't provide a real offer without checking references first. 

Then, there is a whole different category, where references are just bogus. In fact, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (14 January 2013), in an article called "Imaginary Friends as Job References," a CareerBuilder survey of 2,500 hiring managers found that "30% regularly find false or misleading references on applicants CVs."

Maybe candidates think that throwing around big names on their resume will just land them the job or at least get them a foot in the door--not fully realizing that the references will actually get called. 

One of the funniest anecdotes in the article was that of a hiring manager who actually found himself listed as a candidate's reference---I can hear the candidate fessing up now, "Oh, did I do that?"

Anyway, it's probably not a good idea to list people that don't know you, don't like you, or are not professional references like your mom, your boy/girlfriend, or your 5th grade teacher--then again, maybe that last one is okay if you're Doggie Howser, M.D. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Tulane Publications)
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