PGAs of EuropeLeadership – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:07:33 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9 What Are Intercultural Skills? http://www.pgae.com/ask/what-are-intercultural-skills/ Sun, 08 Oct 2017 15:44:03 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20019 Broadly speaking, intercultural skills are those that describe your ability to effectively communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds...]]>

Broadly speaking, intercultural skills are those that describe your ability to effectively communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds.

On the one hand this pertains to language, i.e. whether or not you speak a second or maybe even a third language. More importantly though, it’s about understanding and accepting that customs, standards, and values differ between cultures, and being willing to learn and adapt to them.

Research undertaken by the British Council showed that employers value intercultural skills just as much as they do formal qualifications. The Council surveyed employers from nine different countries operating within the public, private and non-profit sectors. When asked about their reasons for valuing intercultural skills, they stated that employees who successfully display these skills were more likely to secure new projects, worked better within diverse teams and were more successful in representing the company brand and reputation.

In fact, a lack of intercultural skills was perceived as a risk to the company, possessing the potential to seriously damage client relations, team productivity and ultimately the company’s reputation.

While there might not be a straightforward way for employers to test your intercultural skills in an interview, they might ask you questions like: have you ever worked abroad? Do you have experience working in a diverse team? Do you speak any foreign languages?

They can also learn a great deal from how you communicate throughout the application process and during the interview: are you easy to talk to? Are you able to see things from someone else’s perspective? Are you willing to learn from them?

Ultimately, intercultural skills are something you show. Simply listing it on your CV won’t do; you’ll have to convince people you possess the eagerness to learn and the ability to adapt. So start doing: read, travel, learn a new language, talk to different people and, most importantly, be curious.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: British Council; Skills You Need

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What Are Intercultural Skills?
What Does ‘Investing In Your Career’ Actually Mean? http://www.pgae.com/ask/what-does-investing-in-your-career-actually-mean/ Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:46:00 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=12680 It means you have to spend some time and money on your career. It means taking control of your career and being accountable for your own success.]]>

It means you have to spend some time and money on your career. It means taking control of your career and being accountable for your own success.

Here are some good examples of where you could make more of an investment career-wise:

  1. Build relationships. Create your own circle of influence; find a mentor. Make time to make connections, pay attention to and nurture meaningful relationships.
  2. Do the career management thing: make a plan, devise some goals. Take time to review your objectives and challenge your own commitment levels daily.
  3. Recognise what you are good at and get better at it. Spend time observing yourself and your colleagues in meetings or just day to day and notice what you uniquely bring. Then invest some time and money getting better at it.
  4. Be prepared to take a step backwards. It may be that to move forward long term you need to forego some short term gratification. A lower salary now could mean great things in the future.
  5. Get a qualification/attend a course/learn something new.
  6. Build your online brand. Create a webpage to showcase your work or simply keep your social networking profiles updated and constantly be on the lookout for anything that could be perceived as negative.
  7. Raise your professional profile. Spend time on a committee or board or take on a challenging new project. Find ways to gain valuable, marketable experience.
  8. Ask for feedback. And learn from it.
  9. Take a risk. If you don’t really have to think about risk it probably isn’t the life changing or breakout move you were looking for.
  10. Make time for that which balances you: your family, your friends, your hobbies. They will offer you perspective, different experiences and a much needed escape from the world of work.

If you think about it you probably invest more time and money in your choice of holiday than you do in your career. Given that you spend two-thirds of your waking life at work and your career goes a long way to determining your quality of life, it may be worth reassessing your investment portfolio.

Article-Header-Images_Coaching4Careers_Investing-Career_01


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Forbes; HBR; LinkedInInvestopedia

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What Does ‘Investing In Your Career’ Actually Mean?
Resilience is a Key Career Skill http://www.pgae.com/ask/resilience-is-a-key-career-skill/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:58:51 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19020 Resilience might be way down your 'list of skills to be aware of' if you are job hunting right now, but it is a vital requirement for modern professionals...]]>

Resilience might be way down your ‘list of skills to be aware of’ if you are job hunting right now, but it is a vital requirement for modern professionals.

With job security and a standard career path less and less attainable across many industries, a capacity to handle uncertainty and adversity has never been more important (or in demand).

Such is the case that many employers will try to find out about your resilience through interview questions on how you’ve handled stress, pressure and failure in the past. Additionally, job hunting itself can be an incredibly demoralising experience if you let it. Focussing on building your resilience can make all the difference to your inner confidence and success rate across many areas in your life.

This might be easier said than done though – to achieve resilience means possessing the right blend of self-awareness and inner strength, and the flexibility to adapt to changes in circumstances and surroundings. It’s rather like a palm tree: a strong, firmly rooted base supporting an element that’s far more flexible and able to cope with being blown around by different winds.

Here are three key building blocks that can help you towards developing a resilient professional persona:

1. Positivity

Having a positive view of yourself and the world around you is the basis for developing resilience. Pay attention to the messages you send yourself throughout the day. If you find yourself making negative assumptions about yourself or anything around you, consciously switch to a positive thought. With practice this should become automatic. That will keep you grounded, rooted like a tree, and give you the stability you need for a positive mindset.

2. Commitment

Get to know yourself and recognise what is important to you. Have a clear idea of your future aspirations and where you want to go in your career. You need to be willing to commit to your goals and invest in making them happen. Knowing what is important to you and being committed to your goals strengthens you in your core. Don’t forget however, that even the best-laid plans can sometimes go off course or need to be abandoned altogether. Make like a palm tree and allow yourself flexibility to go with the flow when things don’t go to plan.

3. Control

Control means being aware of the situations or areas in your life you can influence as well as recognising those that you can’t. Being able to distinguish between the two will allow you to focus your energy on the things that are most important or achievable. It will give you the flexibility to prioritise your goals and adapt to different circumstances.

Remember that in order to be resilient you also need to be healthy in mind and body so pay attention to your general well-being, take proper breaks, eat well, and look after the relationships that support you. When it comes to resilience it’s about knowing that you can’t stop the waves, but that you can certainly learn how to surf them.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

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Resilience is a Key Career Skill
6 Ways to Find Out Whether a Job Candidate Will Fit Your Company’s Culture http://www.pgae.com/ask/6-ways-to-find-out-whether-a-job-candidate-will-fit-your-companys-culture/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:23:18 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=13769 Found an applicant with the right skills? Time for a culture interview. You know that job applicant has the right skills to fill your open position...]]>

Minda Zetlin is a business technology writer and speaker, co-author of The Geek Gap, and former president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She lives in Snohomish, Washington. Like this post? Sign up here for a once-a-week email and you’ll never miss her columns.

@MindaZetlin


You know that job applicant has the right skills to fill your open position. But what about the right personality? Ignore cultural fit at your peril, for your new hire likely won’t last long.

I’ll always remember one of my co-workers at my first company. Although she did excellent work, she seemed to zig while the rest of us zagged. In a group of frumpy, often pudgy writers, she was an accomplished martial artist. Where many of us were just getting our feet wet in the business world, she had been around for a while and worked in some legendary places. Where we tended toward the silly-a plastic-encased slice of prosciutto once spent a week tacked to our department’s bulletin board-she was deadly serious. Not surprisingly, she soon moved on to a job at a prestigious non-profit that was working hard to change the world.

Hiring someone who doesn’t fit your company’s personality can be a very costly mistake. To avoid making that mistake, make sure to interview job candidates for cultural fit, as well as job qualifications. That advice comes from Tara Kelly, CEO of customer experience software provider SPLICE Software.

Kelly makes sure to include a culture interview in the hiring process, and she says it’s made a big difference. “It is important to understand employee values, motivators and interests,” she explains. “Understanding what keeps employees fulfilled is a key element to build a truly successful team. Whereas regular job interviews focus on verifying qualifications, culture fit interviews focus on ensuring potential candidates fit the corporate culture and core values of the organization.”

Given that every new hire is a big investment, it’s worth taking the time and effort to interview for cultural fit as well as skills and experience. Here’s how Kelly does it:

1. Define your company’s culture.

You may not need to do this, and Kelly doesn’t mention it, but if yours is a small or start-up companies, your culture may not be something you’ve given a lot of thought to. You should, though, because you definitely have one and a bad cultural hire will hurt you.

Your mission or vision statement is a good place to start-it won’t define your culture, but it should identify the values that drive you and your employees to show up and work hard every day. Beyond that, take a look around and consider how your company compares to others in your industry. Ask your employees or colleagues for input, until you can come up with a sentence or two that captures your company’s personality. Consider this example from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: “Our culture is friendly and intense, but if push comes to shove we’ll settle for intense.”

2. Write job ads with culture in mind.

“Culture fit should be integrated into every aspect of recruitment,” Kelly notes. That begins with your job ads, which should reflect both your company’s brand and its culture. If yours is an informal, family friendly workplace, with child care on site, and where pets are welcomed, say so. If yours is an elegant workplace with a prestigious history, say that.

3. Include culture questions in regular interviews.

From your first conversations with a candidate, interviewers should be thinking about cultural fit, Kelly says. “Once applications are assessed, pre-screening interviews should occur over the phone to see what first impressions candidates make and gauge personality for a possible fit.”

Candidates who pass this screening should be invited to an in-person interview with their potential department head. “The department head should also screen the applicant for culture by introducing a few less technical questions,” she adds.

4. Know which questions to ask, and which not to.

“Ask questions that speak to the core values and culture of the organization, without directly asking about each value,” Kelly advises. “For example, ask ‘what is something you have accomplished this summer that you are really proud of?'” This type of question helps SPLICE find candidates who like to learn new things or improve their skills. “At SPLICE, we really value a love of learning and improving things,” Kelly explains. “Our fundamental core value is, ‘We believe it can be better.’ So we like to see that not only in someone’s work life but their personal life too.”

It should go without saying that there’s a difference between culture and bias, and you should be clear about that difference, especially when it comes to questions that could land your company in legal trouble. To say that your culture is fun-loving and risk-taking is fine; to say that all employees should participate in extreme sports means your workplace discriminates against disabled or older workers.

In Amazon’s we’ll-settle-for-intense culture, an employee who’d just had a miscarriage was told by her supervisor that the company was likely the wrong place for a woman looking to start a family. Not surprisingly, many labor lawyers have been contacted by current or past employees seeking to sue the company for attitudes like these. Someday, one of these suits will get filed.

5. Train employees to conduct culture interviews.

“Once it is verified that a candidate has all the necessary qualifications and has passed all the preliminary culture fit screenings, a culture fit interview should be introduced as the last phase of the process,” Kelly says.

But you’re not the one to conduct the culture fit interview-the candidate’s potential co-workers are. That means they’ll need some training about what to ask and what to listen for. “It’s crucial to ensure the team is prepped on the purpose of a culture fit interview prior to participating,” Kelly says.

In general, she says, you should select four to six employees from around your company to talk informally with the job candidate about hobbies and interest and how these things tie in with your company’s personality. “Employees should be encouraged to ask questions that tie in to the organization’s value system.”

6. Gather feedback.

Employees who conduct a culture interview should fill out assessment afterwards that scores applicants on numerical scales of good-fit-to-bad-fit, and also ask for written comments. After you review those assessments, call the employees together for a quick debrief to make sure you understand their feedback and get a better sense of how the candidate might or might not fit with your company and its values. All of this input, together with the candidate’s performance on your skills assessment, will put you in the best position to make the right choice.


This article originally appeared on Inc.com – to view the original article visit http://eur.pe/1kkmevy.

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6 Ways to Find Out Whether a Job Candidate Will Fit Your Company’s Culture
The Benefits of Teasing Your Brain Regularly http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-benefits-of-teasing-your-brain-regularly/ Thu, 18 May 2017 10:53:47 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=18832 Sometimes we need to trip our brains up and remind them to look beyond the obvious patterns, outside of what we already know works and not expect one situation]]>

Do you make assumptions that turn out to be incorrect? Do you miss information that didn’t fit the pattern you expected?

We all do. It’s the way our brains work. We look for patterns, use our previous experience and rely on what we already know works. It’s an efficient way to work…most of the time.

Sometimes however, we need to trip our brains up and remind them to look beyond the obvious patterns, outside of what we already know works and not expect one situation to turn out pretty much like the last one. If we don’t occasionally abandon our preconceptions there is a chance we may miss opportunities or changes in customer needs or market demands.

For example, what’s your first answer to this question?

Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

Most people will reply June. Be honest. Did you? Of course if you re-read the question you’ll realise the answer is Johnny. But how many times do you make assumptions (that fit a known pattern) like this at work?

Try these three:

  1. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?
  2. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?
  3. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

You know by now that these are trick questions so it’s unlikely you assumed the first answer you thought of was correct i.e. K2, 24 cubic metres, 1st place, for example. That’s the first step in realising that what your brain expects to see may not, in fact, be the right answer.

Think about the words that are used: ‘before Mount Everest was DISCOVERED’; ‘How much dirt in the HOLE?’ The third one may require you to actual visualise yourself overtaking the person in SECOND place.

You may face questions like these at an interview because the hiring manager wants to see if you can think calmly, logically and perhaps differently from other people. They may want to see if you will take the time to read the question a little more carefully and think long enough before blurting out the first answer that comes into your head.

There are loads of these questions online to try and even if you’re not going for an interview, it’s good to tease your brain occasionally and get it to look at things differently. These questions are designed to challenge your critical thinking abilities, and to test specific skills like creativity and logic. The more you practise, the better equipped you will be to deal with and find solutions for tricky questions and situations that might come up at work.

P.S. The answers are Mount Everest – it was still there before it was discovered; None – because it’s a hole – and 2nd place – you’re still behind the person in first.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Forbes; The Muse

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The Benefits of Teasing Your Brain Regularly
The Value to Organisations of Offering Career Support to Staff http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-value-to-organisations-of-offering-career-support-to-staff/ Mon, 01 May 2017 15:35:07 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=18631 Coaching4Careers explain how career management conversations can help keep and develop staff...]]>

There is little recent data about career management conversations in the workplace:

Kelly Global Workforce Index – August 2014 (230,000 people across 31 countries participated)

  • 57% people agree that career development discussions are beneficial in terms of the opportunity to acquire new skills
  • Only 38% had these discussions with their employer in the past year
  • Only 29% are satisfied with the career development resources provided by their employer

With global employment trends changing all the time, the need to keep and develop staff should be at the top of an organisations agenda.

Whether the organisation is a school, SME, Not for Profit or Corporate, many seem frightened to invest in the career management of their staff, they think staff will be unsettled, leave, or want more than they can offer. Some work very well with their staff, helping them manage their careers and reap the reward. The reality is that staff who feel valued and invested in are more likely to stay with an organisation and be motivated to work harder.


“Managing human capital is a misnomer. Humans are ‘beings’. We want to be known and valued for who we are, and our aspirations and ambitions recognised and seen as important. It’s a missed opportunity for an employer not to attend to these needs and thereby reap the productivity gains that accrue from more motivated, loyal employees”

(Talent, Careers and Organisations, What Next? Corporate Research Forum)

The value an organisation can reap when investing in their staff:

Staff are more settled and less distracted as they have plans for their future

  • Organisations can plan their future if they know what their staff want and plan to do
  • Demographics
  • Succession planning
  • Recruitment
  • In house development of staff
  • An organisation planning what will happen with regards to its staff must be more cost effective
  • Fewer surprises
  • Less need for interim, agency or contract staff
  • Better ongoing communication between staff and employer
  • Staff more likely to say if they are looking for a new role
  • Organisation able to deliver a more structured handover if they know a member of staff 
is/wants to leave
  • Employers who cannot afford financial rewards/bonuses, can support the development and 
career management of staff, which can be a cost-effective reward process.

The ability to manage your career and future is a life skill, if organisations don’t invest in their staff to give them these skills, how can they then pass on these skills to the people who work for them and to the next generation who they might educate and/or influence.

There are many processes for managing careers and these can be integrated into a workplace environment, below is a cycle often used to develop process that works within different organisations, depending on what is needed and required by the organisation and their staff.

Often employees find it easier to have these conversations with someone external first.

“My volunteers felt better placed to plan an effective conversation with their manager once they’d been coached, which is a win-win for the organisation”

(T Delamare, An action research study on the barriers facing women developing their careers and how they can be supported using a coaching framework. MA Dissertation, Oxford Brookes University, 2016)

“Internally focused workplace development opportunities are likely to ensure that a particular employer realises investment in development for the organisation. Yet, the worker might not have the skills transferable to other organisations. This is in contrast with the premise of the type of ‘deal’ where enhancement of employability is the key value derived from the employment relationship by the worker. Instead, they may be receiving only the development that is relevant to their current employer, without the promise of job security.”

(CIPD – Attitudes to Employability and Talent, Sept 2016)

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The Value to Organisations of Offering Career Support to Staff
How to Identify & Demonstrate Your Skills http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-identify-demonstrate-your-skills/ Mon, 14 Nov 2016 22:44:51 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=10357 Your CV is not the place to be modest! It is usually the initial and is sometimes the only opportunity you have to create a positive impression and will be the]]>

Your CV is not the place to be modest! It is usually the initial and is sometimes the only opportunity you have to create a positive impression and will be the thing that gets you an interview – or not.

The trick is to establish a strong sense of what you have to offer without being boastful and making grand, empty claims. The way to achieve your goal of impressing employers and making them want to meet you is to back up your claims with hard evidence. Don’t just say you are good at something; provide examples to show you are.

Therefore, the most effective CVs are those that have a strong Skills evidence. Past experience and application of skills is a good indicator for employers of your potential abilities and actions. This focuses attention on what you can do, have done and are likely to do.

It is a good idea to back up your claim that you possess excellent skills in, for example, communication by giving specific examples of the particular form of communication you have used, where (context) and why (for what purpose and for whom). Try to start each bulleted point with a verb to emphasise real life experience. Follow with an example from work, study or extra-curricular activities. For example:

Skills

Communication

  • Presented reports to tutorial group of 20 about research findings in Economics
  • Wrote articles for university magazine about mountain-walking club activities
  • Liaised with customers of various backgrounds at Tesco’s Supermarket as part-time cashier for 3 years

Teamwork

  • Co-operatively planned work schedules with four staff at JJB Sports
  • Negotiated with colleagues regarding task allocation for major projects at university
  • Played an active role in attaining customer service goals at Tesco’s

What skills do you have?

If you are really not sure, as opposed to being modest, perhaps you could ask friends, family and colleagues or speak to a careers coach . A personal skills audit might suggest the following. Note sub-sections of the major skill areas and use them as a guide to the bullet points you could include.

Communication

  • Presenting information and ideas in written form
  • Editing
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Explaining
  • Active listening and asking clarifying questions
  • Expressing ideas, feelings and opinions
  • Speaking fluently and accurately
  • Foreign language competence
  • Persuading and influencing
  • Negotiating
  • Non-verbal communication

Flexibility

  • Attitude to new tasks
  • Readiness to change
  • Enthusiasm
  • Ability to transfer skills
  • Commitment to ongoing improvement
  • Desire to learn new skills
  • Acceptance of constructive criticism

Teamwork

  • Ability to work co-operatively
  • Delegating skills
  • Constructive confrontation and resolution
  • Empathising
  • Recognising and valuing difference

Resilience

  • Coping with uncertainty
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to set and achieve goals

Assertiveness

  • Decision making Problem solving
  • Independence
  • Leadership
  • Level of ambition
  • Inclination to initiate ideas and plans

Entrepreneurship

  • Self-promotion
  • Ability to create opportunities
  • Networking skills
  • Customer focus Business acumen

Some of these sub-headings could be major skills themselves, such as Negotiating and Leadership. Some elements may fit under more than one skill. You will have to make choices about how best to use your material. Be guided by the Key Selection Criteria for specific jobs as your aim is to show how your skills fit with the employer’s needs.

When describing your skills, it is possible to ‘value-add’ by making reference to aspects of your experience and your personal qualities, interests and values. This can provide a lot of information about you in a very brief and concise way. For example, ‘Wrote articles for magazines about mountain-walking club activities’ informs readers about your interest, skill and success in writing as well as your active, healthy and sociable lifestyle. These are highly valued traits in the workplace and they have been communicated efficiently and effectively.

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How to Identify & Demonstrate Your Skills
A Better Way to Coach Employees http://www.pgae.com/ask/better-way-to-coach-employees/ Tue, 01 Nov 2016 08:25:35 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=9135 Coaching is the process of preparing your employees to succeed. Good coaches can create the mental resources, emotional resilience, business skills, and more.]]>

GEOFFREY JAMES did a lot of business stuff and wrote a slew of articles and books. Now he writes this column. Preorder his new book, Business Without the Bullsh*tby May 12 and get an exclusive bonus chapter and a signed bookplate.

@Sales_Source


Coaching is more than just giving advice. Use this process to help your team members hone their own behaviour.

Coaching is the process of preparing your employees to succeed.  Good coaches can create the mental resources, emotional resilience, business skills, and career development that employees need to achieve their goals.

Unfortunately, while coaching is a well-established part of the sports world, it’s a neglected art in the world of business. Much of the time, coaching is relegated to a five-minute conversation at the end of a yearly performance review.

There’s a better way to handle business coaching. Try this five-step process, based on a conversation with Linda Richardson, founder of the huge sales training firm Richardson:

1. Ask for a self-assessment.

Ask the employee’s opinion of a recent event (e.g. meeting, interaction, project) in which the employee was involved.  Don’t accept a pat response like, “Uh, it went fine.”  Instead, ask additional questions that help lead employee to discover both the strengths and weaknesses of the employee’s performance. If the employee says something like “You’re the manager, what do you think?” respond with, “I want you think this through, then I’ll give my ideas.”

2. Give balanced feedback.

Start with honest praise for the employee’s strengths and your perspective on how those strengths were an asset during the event in question. Then identify one or two key areas where you feel improvement would have helped the employee’s performance. You’re not providing advice, just identifying areas. It’s important to limit the discussion to one or two areas, by the way – more than that and you’ll be “flooding the engine.”

3. Check for agreement.

Resolve any differences between your understanding of the event and the employee’s perception of the event.  Gain agreement on the area where there was a gap between the employee’s performance and how the employee would have liked to have handled the event.  It’s crucial to come to agreement at this point, because otherwise the subsequent steps will be off-kilter.

4. Identify the obstacle.

Ask the employee to identify the obstacle that he or she feels is keeping him or her from better performance.  Ask what he or she suggests to remove the obstacle, and what might be done to address that aspect.  Then provide your perspective on the obstacle and your ideas to address that obstacle. Decide together what needs to be done in order to improve the performance.

5. Set the next step.

For each obstacle that’s identified, establish an action step with a time frame for follow-

up.  Provide positive input and express confidence in the employee’s ability to succeed.  Then revisit the issue at the agreed-upon time.

According to Linda, this coaching method works for several reasons:

  • It reduces the amount of time that the manager must spend coaching.  Because the coaching process addresses only one or two of the most important skill areas, a typical coaching session need take no more than 15 minutes.
  • It encourages the employee to become more independent, because the employee gradually learns the self-assessment technique and is more likely to buy into the solution.
  • It puts the action items in the hands of the employee, leading your worker to become more independent and more likely to internalize the training into daily habits.
  • It strengthens the relationship between the manager and the employee through mutual success, and builds rapport throughout the entire process.
  • It provides a structure that’s easily followed and can apply to virtually any business situation or problem.
  • It is not confrontational, thereby making it much easier for the manager and employee to participate in the process.
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A Better Way to Coach Employees
How to Be a Better Coach, According to Neuroscience http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-be-a-better-coach-according-to-neuroscience/ Wed, 26 Oct 2016 05:45:19 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=9951 A new study finds that great coaches don't focus on finding and fixing their team's weaknesses. They do this instead...]]>

Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in Cyprus with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist.

@EntryLevelRebel


A new study finds that great coaches don’t focus on finding and fixing their team’s weaknesses. They do this instead.

Sure, running a business is about maximizing the bottom line, but few entrepreneurs care only about the dollars and cents.  For most, going into work every day is also about making the world a slightly better place and helping your team get better at what they do.

In other words, most business owners aspire to be not just managers but coaches.

How do you learn to be a great coach?

Thinking back to your Little League days or star turn on the girls’ volleyball team in high school may give you some inspiration.  Didn’t the coach point out your weaknesses and provide guidance on how to get better?  Your memory doesn’t fail you–traditionally, coaching has largely been about identifying areas in need of improvement and supporting folks as they work towards better performance.  But according to the latest science, there’s actually a better approach.

Positive vs. Negative

A new study, published in Social Neuroscience, used brain sans to test two different approaches to coaching on a group of undergraduates.  The first approach mirrored traditional coaching, asking students to identify areas in which they might be struggling at school and think about ways to improve.  Coaches asked questions such as: “What challenges have you encountered or do you expect to encounter in your experience here?” and “How are you doing with your courses?”

In contrast to this negative approach, the second group of coaches focused on possibilities and positives, asking the students about their aspirations and urging them to visualize their future goals.  They asked questions such as, “If everything worked out ideally in your life, what would you be doing in 10 years?”  The student volunteers were then run through a functional MRI to examine how their brains responded to the two techniques.

The different types of coaching lit up different areas of the brain, the scientists found, with the positive approach stimulating areas involved in:

  • Visual processing, which come online when we imagine future events
  • Global processing, or the ability to see the big picture
  • Feelings of empathy and emotional safety
  • The motivation to proactively pursue big goals rather than simply react to loss or fear

The Takeaway

If you want people to dream big and actually have a shot at reaching their lofty ambitions, the list above would be a pretty good place to start, right?  The researchers thought so too.

“These differences in brain activity led the researchers to conclude that positive coaching effectively activates important neural circuits and stress-reduction systems in the body by encouraging mentees to envision a desired future for themselves,” UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center reports in their write up of the research.

More research needs to be done, and the encouraging effects of a positive coaching style doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no place for the more traditional find-the-problem-and-fix-it approach, but the results should give business owners a nudge towards a positive coaching style.  Why not try spurring your team to dream big, set ambitious goals, and nurture their strengths?

How do you approach coaching your team?

Image designed by Freepik
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How to Be a Better Coach, According to Neuroscience
How to Get Your Employees to Think Strategically http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-get-your-employees-to-think-strategically/ Tue, 25 Oct 2016 19:21:41 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=9151 Studies show that strategic thinking is the most important element of leadership. But how do you instill the trait in others at your company?]]>

Will Yakowicz is a reporter at Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and politics at Patch.com, and his work has been published in Tablet Magazine and The Brooklyn Paper. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

@WillYakowicz


Studies show that strategic thinking is the most important element of leadership. But how do you instill the trait in others at your company?

What leadership skill do your employees, colleagues, and peers view as the most important for you to have? According Robert Kabacoff, the vice president of research at Management Research Group, a company that creates business assessment toolsit’s the ability to plan strategically.

He has research to back it up: In the Harvard Business Review, he cites a 2013 study by his company in which 97 percent of a group of 10,000 senior executives said strategic thinking is the most critical leadership skill for an organization’s success. In another study, he writes, 60,000 managers and executives in more than 140 countries rated a strategic approach to leadership as more effective than other attributes including innovation, persuasion, communication, and results orientation.

But what’s so great about strategic thinking? Kabacoff says that as a skill, it’s all about being able to see, predict, and plan ahead: “Strategic leaders take a broad, long-range approach to problem-solving and decision-making that involves objective analysis, thinking ahead, and planning.

That means being able to think in multiple time frames, identifying what they are trying to accomplish over time and what has to happen now, in six months, in a year, in three years, to get there,” he writes. “It also means thinking systemically. That is, identifying the impact of their decisions on various segments of the organization–including internal departments, personnel, suppliers, and customers.”

As a leader, you also need to pass strategic thinking to your employees, Kabacoff says. He suggests instilling the skill in your best managers first, and they will help pass it along to other natural leaders within your company’s ranks. Below, read his five tips for how to carry out this process.

Dish Out Information

Kabacoff says that you need to encourage managers to set aside time to thinking strategically until it becomes part of their job. He suggests you provide them with information on your company’s market, industry, customers, competitors, and emerging technologies. “One of the key prerequisites of strategic leadership is having relevant and broad business information that helps leaders elevate their thinking beyond the day-to-day,” he writes.

Create a Mentor Program

Every manager in your company should have a mentor. “One of the most effective ways to develop your strategic skills is to be mentored by someone who is highly strategic,” Kabacoff says. “The ideal mentor is someone who is widely known for his/her ability to keep people focused on strategic objectives and the impact of their actions.”

Create a Philosophy

As the leader, you need to communicate a well-articulated philosophy, a mission statement, and achievable goals throughout your company. “Individuals and groups need to understand the broader organisational strategy in order to stay focused and incorporate it into their own plans and strategies,” Kabacoff writes.

Reward Thinking, Not Reaction

Whenever possible, try to promote foresight and long-term thinking. Kabacoff says you should reward your managers for the “evidence of thinking, not just reacting,” and for “being able to quickly generate several solutions to a given problem and identifying the solution with the greatest long-term benefit for the organisation.”

Ask “Why” and “When”

Kabacoff says you need to promote a “future perspective” in your company. If a manager suggests a course of action, you need to him or her ask two questions: First, what underlying strategic goal does this action serve, and why? And second, what kind of impact will this have on internal and external stakeholders? “Consistently asking these two questions whenever action is considered will go a long way towards developing strategic leaders,” he writes.

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How to Get Your Employees to Think Strategically
Help! I Don’t Know How to Achieve My Goals http://www.pgae.com/ask/help-i-dont-know-how-to-achieve-my-goals/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:44:10 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=16590 Decades of research on achievement suggests successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do...]]>

You may find that you’re really good at reaching certain goals, but not so good at achieving others. And you may have accepted that. You may have assumed that the people who seem to be good at everything just are, intuitively, like that.

However decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

These are some of the things you should do if you want to achieve your goals:

1. Be specific when you set your goals

Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Having a goal to ‘lose some weight’ is not nearly as helpful as ‘lose 5 pounds’ because you know exactly what you’re aiming for. Giving yourself specific actions, such as ‘be in bed by 10pm on weeknights’ to reach your goal of ‘sleep more’ is useful too. It leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals

How many new year’s resolutions did you break and then ‘not have time’ to go through with them? Change is never very convenient in a busy life, but studies have shown that if you plan when you’re going to take action to achieve a goal your chances of actually achieving that goal increases by about 300%! Seize the moment by deciding when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”)

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go

Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress, if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behaviour or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist

Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence so don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach it. Do engage in lots of positive thinking, but make sure you’re prepared for the journey ahead. By thinking ‘it’s just going to happen’ (studies have shown) you are significantly increasing your chance of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good

Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed and that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong; abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in their stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Be determined

Those that have a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty achieve more in their lifetime than those that don’t. If you believe that you just don’t have the innate abilities that successful people do then you are wrong: effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will help you see yourself and your goals more clearly and give you the determination you need.

You are more capable than you think of achieving your goals. It just takes preparation, perspective and a willingness to act along with a huge dollop of self-belief. So start believing.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Abintegro.com

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Help! I Don’t Know How to Achieve My Goals
The Impact of Your Voice http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-impact-of-your-voice/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:30:23 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=16400 What are the three key elements to think about when speaking? Volume, Speed, Pitch and tone...]]>

Most articles about improving the way presentations are delivered focus on body language and content. Body language accounts for an amazing 55% of the impact you have when talking or presenting to people; what you say or show, only 7%. The remaining 38% of your impact comes from the way you speak.

If you are heading to an assessment centre, doing a presentation may be one of the tasks on the table, or if you’re about to start a new job – congratulations by the way – presenting is a key skill that you will probably be required to use in some capacity throughout your career. So it’s worth focussing on this rarely considered aspect of presentation skills.

The three things you should consider when thinking about the way you speak are:

  • Volume
  • Speed
  • Pitch and tone

1. Your volume

You need to make sure you’re speaking loudly enough for everyone in the room to hear. There’s nothing more irritating for an audience than a mumbler. A microphone may do this job for you, but if you don’t have one simply ask: “can everyone hear me ok?” Look around the room and make eye contact with as many people as you can as you ask.

Do this confidently and with a smile to boost your own confidence and engage with your audience. It’s important to get the volume right at the beginning so you won’t get distracted or interrupted once your presentation is flowing and it gives you a chance to hear your own voice before you really get going.

When you want to add emphasis to a given point it’s a good idea to increase your volume slightly, while making eye contact with various people around the room.

2. Your speed

Never speak too quickly. It shows you are nervous; it will mean you are more likely to make mistakes and it is less likely the audience will understand what you are saying.

It’s always faster to other people’s ears than it is in your head – so think ‘slow’. Pause just before you’re about to make an important or complicated point and just after to give your audience time to engage with and digest what you’re saying.

3. Your pitch and tone

Avoid a monotone voice at all costs. People lose interest very quickly without a song in their ears. Varying the pitch and tone keeps people’s brains engaged.

Reading from a script increases your chances of presenting in a monotone. So try to do your presentation from notes, rather than a script. If you have to read it, practice varying your pitch in an exaggerated way as if you’re reading a scary or exciting child’s story. Don’t deliver your presentation like that, however, just get used to hearing that range in your voice.

Using either genuine or rhetorical questions will help keep the flow of your speech varied, which will keep the audience engaged.

Enunciate clearly and don’t mumble into your notes.

Regardless of how nervous or self-conscious you may feel speaking in public if you can think ‘confident’ and match your body language and voice accordingly no one will ever know, and you will have an engaged and attentive audience.

Never forget how important your voice is – practice out loud, playing with volume, pitch, speed and tone, and record yourself to look for the areas in which you can improve.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Abintegro.com

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The Impact of Your Voice
3 Hot Tips For Negotiating Salary http://www.pgae.com/ask/3-hot-tips-for-negotiating-salary/ Tue, 23 Aug 2016 12:49:29 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=16403 Negotiating can be a tricky business - so here are 3 simple, but top tips to help you get your negotiating head on...]]>

Accepting any deal when you feel you could have got more can leave you with an unpleasant “if only” taste in your mouth, but negotiating is a risky business. It’s easy to offend somebody during the process so it’s understandable that many people feel anxious about entering into a negotiation and as such avoid it. However, there are ways to do it effectively and successfully, without upsetting the other side and without giving away more than you really feel you should.

Here are three simple, but top tips to help you get your negotiating head on:

1. Ask yourself whether you should be negotiating?

The first step is to identify if there is really any reason to negotiate. To understand this, research the going rate for your position, and do your homework on the company you are interviewing for. Are they profitable, are they growing, do they have high turnover or have a reputation for under paying employees? Don’t blow your credibility by asking for a rate that is simply out of line with the market.

2. Define exactly what you want

Having researched the market and understood what the market is likely to pay, you need to set yourself an ideal rate, an acceptable rate and a bottom rate that you will not go below no matter what. Knowing this in advance of any negotiation is crucial, allowing you to talk confidently when put on the spot and stand by your numbers.

3. Try to understand exactly why they want you

If you’re negotiating then it’s good news: they are likely to be offering you the job. If you can establish exactly why they are picking you, this will give you leverage to negotiate. If they think your experience is a huge asset, you have good connections (etc) then you can probably be very bullish in your negotiation strategy. If it is because they think you have the aptitude to learn, then your leverage is weaker.

Negotiation is about understanding the reality of your position and being very clear about your own requirements and boundaries. Spend time thinking before you start negotiating and you will nearly always get more of what you need.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Business Insider; Abintegro.com

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3 Hot Tips For Negotiating Salary
The Perfect Recipe for Charisma http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-perfect-recipe-for-charisma/ Sun, 26 Jun 2016 08:38:34 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=11504 While charm school owners will disagree, there's no standard recipe for charisma. Some would even argue it's an open-and shut case of 'you either have it or you]]>

While charm school owners will disagree, there’s no standard recipe for charisma. Some would even argue it’s an open-and shut case of ‘you either have it or you don’t’.

Nevertheless, there’s a growing belief that having charisma means possessing a healthy balance of external qualities – including showing an interest in other people – to complement positive internal traits, such as self-confidence. While people might disagree on the exact ingredients needed for a charismatic persona, a fairly tasty recipe might look like this:

Ingredients:

C – Confidence

This is clearly one of the most important ingredients in charisma. You need to be confident enough to communicate with people in a variety of situations and social settings. However, there’s an important difference between confidence and boastfulness or arrogance.

H – Happiness

Happiness, as we know, is contagious. Research suggests that oxytocin (also known as the love hormone) goes hand in hand with charisma: the happier you feel, the more people are likely to gravitate towards you and take on board your views.

A – Assertiveness

A close friend of confidence, being assertive means being able to influence and encourage those in the same room, subtly bringing them round to your way of thinking in a way that’s non-confrontational.

R – Regard (for others)

Charismatic people are genuinely interested in what others have to say, not just the sound of their own voice. This means using your ‘active listening’ skills to really engage with your conversation partner and take on board what they’re saying.

M – (e)Motion

A high level of emotional intelligence goes hand-in-hand with charisma. You need to be aware of your own emotions (including knowing those you should be displaying and those you shouldn’t) as well as being aware of, and empathetic to those of others.

Article-Header-Images_Coaching4Careers_Charisma_02

Method:

Putting all these qualities into the mixing bowl at the same time may be harder than it looks, however: too much of one ingredient and the balance tips too much towards either internal or external character traits. Like most things in life, it all comes down to self-awareness, experience…and practice. Perhaps it’s worth giving that charm school a call, after all.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: The Telegraph; Mind Tools; Skills You Need

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The Perfect Recipe for Charisma
The Presentation Equation: Cost=(A×L)+V+E+P+W http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-presentation-equation/ Thu, 09 Jun 2016 07:00:16 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=11286 If a presentation is a merely a mechanism to pass information from speaker to listener, it must be one of the most expensive, inefficient and unreliable ways of]]>

Piero Vitelli is a freelance presenter, trainer, facilitator, coach and consultant with over twenty years’ experience.  Since 1995 he has provided unique and memorable solutions to development needs in the personal, interpersonal and team settings through innovative and interactive lectures, workshops, training courses and experiences.  Find out more at www.island41.com.


If a presentation is a merely a mechanism to pass information from speaker to listener, it must be one of the most expensive, inefficient and unreliable ways of doing so as the above equation for its cost illustrates.

A is the number of people in the audience, L is the length of time the presentation takes, V is the cost of the venue and E is any equipment needed. P is the amount of work it takes to prepare the presentation in the first place and W refers to the work that the entire audience aren’t doing while they listen to it.

If we accept this equation, a presentation has to be so much more than a transfer mechanism to justify such a cost; it has to be outstanding and too few are.

A Rock and a Hard Place

Standing up and speaking is something we all find normal when done with family or friends, at home or in a social setting. When done from a podium in front of an audience of tens, hundreds or even thousands, it feels completely different, yet the physical mechanics and intellectual thought processes required are just the same.

As presenters, we are caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock is the unavoidable truth that an audience requires us to match, if not exceed, their expectations. The hard place is Abraham Maslow’s assertion that our safety is more important than any sense of achievement. It can often feel like a vice-like grip, and to not just survive, but thrive in it is to dance in the line of fire.

A presentation must first be created and then rehearsed before it can be delivered, and quite often people avoid or omit the rehearsal stage preferring to rewrite and edit their presentation right up until the last minute.

For this reason most finished presentations are in fact first or second readings, which look, feel and are quite different to a polished performance. In this respect, presenting and playing golf are exactly alike; the amateur practices until they get it right, and the professional practices until they cannot get it wrong.

Article-Header-Images_Coaching4Careers_Presenting_01

Effective presenters don’t merely speak; they engage

To present is to stand in front of people and speak. By definition it is an unnatural place to be, it feels awkward and lends credibility to this quote by George Jessel; “The human brain starts working from the moment you are born and never stops working until you stand up and speak in public.”

The easiest and most natural way to resolve this dilemma is to remember to do something, and the key to discovering what to do is to remember that what you do and how you do it are not the same. Good nurses don’t simply nurse; they care, support and reassure. Great golfers don’t just hit a ball; they align their body and swing with the intended direction, ensure the ball impacts the ‘sweet spot’ of the club face and drive the club with precision and consistency.

Effective presenters don’t merely speak; they engage, they inspire and they persuade. In all these three examples, the technical skills are so practiced, refined and honed as to be automatic, leaving the conscious mind as free as possible to react fully to all the vagaries of the present moment like a blood clot, sudden crosswind or interruption.

“To engage and hold an audience is also a physical activity…”

Presenting is not just an intellectual pursuit. To engage and hold an audience is also a physical activity and the purpose is to invite them on an emotional journey towards your objective. Not for nothing do politicians speak of winning hearts and minds, and all three must be present and congruent to deliver a great performance.

Because the external architecture of presenting so closely resembles the activity of one person talking to another, it is hard to articulate the merits of one presentation over another, and this leaves the critical appraisal of what makes a poor performance almost purely subjective. This is so because all the essential ingredients of an outstanding presentation such as authenticity, passion, relationship and purpose are far easier to judge by their absence rather than their presence.

In conclusion, I would suggest that two undeniable truths of presenting are that it is a choice and a commitment rather than a skill, and like every great golfer, you won’t become a champion unless you practise.

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The Presentation Equation: Cost=(A×L)+V+E+P+W
8 Ways Smart People Use Failure to Their Advantage http://www.pgae.com/ask/8-ways-smart-people-use-failure-to-their-advantage/ Fri, 03 Jun 2016 10:01:16 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=15639 Failure is an inevitable part of life, but smart people know how to make it work for them...]]>

Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the No. 1 best-selling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and co-founder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training,… Full bio

@talentsmarteq


Failure is an inevitable part of life, but smart people know how to make it work for them.

One of the biggest roadblocks to success is the fear of failure. Fear of failure is worse than failure itself because it condemns you to a life of unrealized potential.

A successful response to failure is all in your approach. In a study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers found that success in the face of failure comes from focusing on results (what you hope to achieve), rather than trying not to fail. While it’s tempting to try and avoid failure, people who do this fail far more often than those who optimistically focus on their goals.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

This sounds rather easy and intuitive, but it’s very hard to do when the consequences of failure are severe. The researchers also found that positive feedback increased people’s chances of success because it fueled the same optimism you experience when focusing solely on your goals.

The people who make history–true innovators–take things a step further and see failure as a mere stepping stone to success. Thomas Edison is a great example. It took him 1,000 tries to develop a light bulb that actually worked. When someone asked him how it felt to fail 1,000 times, he said, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.

That attitude is what separates the successes from the failures. Thomas Edison isn’t the only one. J. K. Rowling’s manuscript for Harry Potter was only accepted after 12 publishers denied it, and even then she was only paid a nominal advance. Oprah Winfrey lost her job as a Baltimore news anchor for becoming too emotionally involved in her stories, a quality that became her trademark. Henry Ford lost his financial backers twice before he was able to produce a workable prototype of an automobile. The list goes on and on.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Henry Ford

So, what separates the people who let their failures derail them from those who use failure to their advantage? Some of it comes down to what you do, and the rest comes down to what you think.

The actions you take in the face of failure are critical to your ability to recover from it, and they have huge implications for how others view you and your mistakes. There are five actions you must take when you fail that will enable you to succeed in the future and allow others to see you positively in spite of your failure.

1. Break the bad news yourself.

If you’ve made a mistake, don’t cross your fingers and hope no one will notice, because someone is going to–it’s inevitable. When someone else points out your failure, that one failure turns into two. If you stay quiet, people are going to wonder why you didn’t say something, and they’re likely to attribute this to either cowardice or ignorance.

2. Offer an explanation, but don’t make excuses.

Owning your mistakes can actually enhance your image. It shows confidence, accountability, and integrity. Just be sure to stick to the facts. “We lost the account because I missed the deadline” is a reason. “We lost the account because my dog was sick all weekend and that made me miss the deadline” is an excuse.

3. Have a plan for fixing things.

Owning up to a mistake is one thing, but you can’t end it there. What you do next is critical. Instead of standing there, waiting for someone else to clean up your mess, offer your own solutions. It’s even better if you can tell your boss (or whomever) the specific steps you’ve already taken to get things back on track.

4. Have a plan for prevention.

In addition to having a plan for fixing things, you should also have a plan for how you’ll avoid making the same mistake in the future. That’s the best way to reassure people that good things will come out of your failure.

5. Get back on the horse.

It’s important that you don’t let failure make you timid. That’s a mindset that sucks you in and handicaps you every time you slip up. Take enough time to absorb the lessons of your failure, and as soon as you’ve done that, get right back out there and try again. Waiting only prolongs bad feelings and increases the chance that you’ll lose your nerve.

Your attitude when facing failure is just as important as the actions you take. Using failure to your advantage requires resilience and mental strength, both hallmarks of emotional intelligence. When you fail, there are three attitudes you want to maintain.

6. Perspective is the most important factor in handling failure.

People who are skilledat rebounding after failure are more likely to blame the failure on something they did–the wrong course of action or a specific oversight–rather than something they are. People who are bad at handling failure tend to blame failure on their laziness, lack of intelligence, or some other personal quality, which implies that they had no control over the situation. That makes them more likely to avoid future risk-taking.

7. Optimism.

Another characteristic of people who bounce back from failure. One British study of 576 serial entrepreneurs found they were much more likely to expect success than entrepreneurs who gave up after their first failure. That sense of optimism is what keeps people from feeling like failure is a permanent condition. Instead, they tend to see each failure as a building block to their ultimate success because of the learning it provides.

8. Persistence.

Optimism is a feeling of positivity; persistence is what you do with it. It’s optimism in action. When everybody else says, “Enough is enough” and decides to quit and go home, persistent people shake off those failures and keep going. Persistent people are special because their optimism never dies. This makes them great at rising from failure.

Bringing It All Together

Failure is a product of your perspective. What one person considers a crushing defeat another sees as a minor setback. The beauty is that you can change how you see failure so that you can use it to better yourself.

How do you handle failure? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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This article originally appeared on Inc.com – to view the original article visit http://eur.pe/1sRwsaq.

Infographic/Ladder vector designed by Freepik
Designed by Freepik
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8 Ways Smart People Use Failure to Their Advantage
A Tale of Two Books: How What I Read Affects How I Lead http://www.pgae.com/ask/a-tale-of-two-books-how-what-i-read-affects-how-i-lead/ Fri, 03 Jun 2016 08:21:40 +0000 Buffer http://www.pgae.com/?p=15633 Buffer's Joel Gascoigne explains how recently reading two key books has changed his company and how his team operate...]]>

“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” – Bruce Lee

I’ve felt lucky to learn so much from being an avid reader in the past few years. I’ve come to believe that there is such immense power and knowledge contained within books.

As a natural introvert, I’m a reflective person and love to read books and think about what we could try to apply at Buffer.

In fact, we’re such believers in the power of reading at Buffer that all new team members (and family members) receive a Kindle with unlimited Kindle books (of any type, no questions asked).

Something I have done with books in the past is get about 30 to 40 percent through and get really excited to start implementing things.

I think this might be because with a startup, you often have to get comfortable acting without complete information. For example, when we do customer development we’ll never validate an idea or thought 100%. There’s always a leap we have to take.

But with our reading on leadership, I’ve realized that we could improve this and be a little more grounded in the decisions we make.

Here’s the story of two recent books that have had a big impact on our team, and how Buffer changed with each one based on what we read.

Reinventing Organizations: The book that changed Buffer’s directionReinventing Organizations

One night in late 2014, I stayed up until 4 a.m. reading the book Reinventing Organizations.

It was one of the most exciting books I had ever read, and I couldn’t wait to see how it would impact Buffer.

When I was through with the book, I was so inspired I wrote this letter to the author, Frederic Laloux.

letter to Frederic

(Frederic and I did eventually get an opportunity to chat, and I’m so grateful to him for his time and the incredible book.)

Eventually, Reinventing Organizations would be read by almost all the people within the Buffer team, and transform how the company operated in many ways.

Here’s the note I sent to the team that sent us on a fascinating self-management journey through most of 2015:

letter to team

We made a lot of changes, including dropping all titles, stopping all official coaching and mentorship, and letting each teammate choose the goals and projects they wanted to work on (and what they wanted to pay themselves). On the marketing side, we tried to create a marketing plan without any goals.

Fast forward to present day: We’re grateful for the element of wholeness that Reinventing Organizations brought us and have moved away from its ideas in other ways, bringing back mentorship, goals and metrics.

We interpreted Teal as completely loose: the chaos, the forest. We threw out the ideas of management, skills, leadership, experience. Those are some of the things that we got wrong.

I think it was a great learning experience; it did set us back.

High Output Management: A more balanced approach

high ouput management

By the time I came across the underground business classic High Output Management by former Intel CEO Andy Grove this year, I knew we want to get away from the pattern of reading one book and changing everything as a result.

After I discovered and read High Output Management, I knew I wanted to introduce it to others on the team, but in a different way.

This time, it felt important to share the thought that while there’s lot of great stuff in it, a lot of what it describes is also pretty far from what we want to have. (It was published in 1983, when things were a lot different in the business world!)

As a small but important example, I prefer not to call employees “subordinates” as Grove does—or even employees, for that matter. “Teammates” has been a great fit for us at Buffer.

I didn’t want High Output Management be our next “book” but I did want to take what we could from it.

A tipping point for us in valuing “people management” came from came from High Output Management, as did the idea of “task relevant maturity”—relating how many touchpoints a person needs in a task to their familiarity with the task:

task-relevant-maturity

These are both really useful concepts for us.

Additionally, High Output Management evolved our one-on-ones and accelerated how we think about and plan for leadership at Buffer, which is important.

My experience when I read High Output Management was very different than that of reading Reinventing Organizations

In fact, as I could feel the book moving us further away from elements of self-management I made sure to cue up a Ricardo Semler TED talk on running a company with no rules to make sure to hear the “other side,” too.

My lesson: Be thoughtful in how I embrace new ideas

There’s a certain power in embracing an idea completely and fully giving yourself over to it.

At the same time, I’m finding it increasingly important to apply a lot of critical thinking and hear out an idea from all sides.

This learning reminds me of Jim Collins’ “bullets before cannonballs” blog post, where he advises validating with smaller steps (bullets) first during challenging times, instead of immediately looking for “big solutions, giant leaps, and dramatic success” (cannonballs).

“Wise leaders test idea and assumptions in low risk, low cost way. Try something in a small way and brutally evaluate when it’s over.”

I believe there is still room with our new, more grounded approach to experiment with structuring the team, decision-making, and management processes.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to be really thoughtful about how we do this, and to validate ideas to the appropriate level before rolling them out to the whole team. The bigger the company gets, the bigger the impact of each experiment becomes.

I’m excited to keep reading and learning from what others are trying with various management structures. And yet as soon as we start going pretty far in one direction, we want to start getting opposing thoughts.

The good news is, the more we read, the more context we will naturally have.

The 10 books of Buffer (right now)

books

Today we’re reading as widely as we can, trying different things and keeping whatever works.

We’ve taken bits and pieces from countless management books, and we’re growing a bit more confident in our mix-and-match style.

Buffer’s management at the moment is a mix of:

  • The Decision Maker: Most teammates at Buffer have read this fable by Dennis Bakke. It has helped to shape our ideas of complete trust and confidence in each team member to have the right context to make great decisions.
  • Joy at Work: We hope we can retain some of the ideas from Dennis Bakke’s  organization AES, and create management that’s a bit different.
  • High Output Management: The way we view leadership, feedback, and one-on-ones has been heavily influenced by this book by Andy Groves.
  • Reinventing Organizations: The biggest element of this book by Frederic Laloux that we’ve kept is the idea of bringing your “whole self” to work.
  • The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works: I mentioned Ricardo Semler’s TED talk earlier, and this book is another piece that has helped to shape Buffer. Some of Semler’s ideas are so radical it makes me question everything I think I know about work.
  • Maverick: Another book by Ricardo Semler; this one helped to reinforce our confidence in many of our budding cultural ideas, like the value of transparency, and having trust in teammates to choose their location and work hours.
  • Good to Great: This Jim Collins book helped me to understand how important culture is for building a great, lasting company that has an impact on the world. It helped me to understand that culture can be crafted by choice rather than rather than simply observed.
  • Five Dysfunctions of a Team: I read this book at a key point when we were discovering that we needed to put our values into words to shape the culture of Buffer. The book helped to clarify that through culture, provided we lived it, we could get to the deepest levels of trust with one another and enable much better teamwork within the company.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: The Buffer value of ‘Listen first, then listen more’ comes almost directly from Habit 5 of this bestselling classic.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People: Perhaps the most foundational book of Buffer. We have based a large number of the values within the Buffer culture directly on the principles Dale Carnegie proposes here.

I’m personally inspired by all of these books and lots more.

There’s no one-size-fits-all book for building a company—any company.

I’m sure in the future I’ll discover many new books and ideas that make me want to change everything.

I hope I can remember the lessons I’ve reflected on here and make a balanced decision.

What about you—how do achieve balance when you’ve discovered a new idea or solution? What keeps you from going too far in any one direction?

—————————–

Written by Joel Gascoigne (@joelgascoigne)

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A Tale of Two Books: How What I Read Affects How I Lead
4 Ways to Measure Your Leadership Skills http://www.pgae.com/ask/4-ways-to-measure-your-leadership-skills/ Mon, 02 May 2016 20:01:24 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=8472 It doesn't matter what sort of personality you have. What matters is that you do these four things--really well. Can leadership qualities be measured?]]>

MINDA ZETLIN is a business technology writer and speaker, co-author of “The Geek Gap,” and president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

@MindaZetlin


It doesn’t matter what sort of personality you have. What matters is that you do these four things–really well.

Can leadership qualities be measured? It turns out the answer is yes. Robert Mann, author of “The Measure of a Leader,” has spent the last 43 years developing leadership appraisal tools. Originally created to help the Ontario school system to train principals, his methods can help any leader identify weaknesses and strengths.

When he started his research, Mann says, he expected to identify personality traits of good leaders. It turned out, leaders’ personalities vary widely but, he says, whatever their persona, there are specific behaviors that will make a leader effective. The good news is that you can learn these behaviors, or help an employee with leadership ambitions learn them:

1.     Good leaders have a mission and inspire others to join them.

“What is the organization’s purpose?” Mann asks. “You must be able to understand that and communicate it to a group of people such that they will commit themselves to it. And you have to have a strategy for them  for them to follow to achieve that mission.”

2.     Good leaders create strong organisations.

“The leader has to have a good grasp of what the company is organized to do,” he says. “What’s the most efficient way of producing what it’s organized for?” This is important because the leader needs to understand and manage not only the mission but also the structure of the organization, with sub-leaders who are also important to the company achieving its goals.

3.     Good leaders have strong interpersonal skills.

“Interpersonal behavior will very strongly affect how people feel about the organization’s goals, and whether working toward those goals is worthwhile,” Mann says.

4.     Good leaders are good motivators.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone loves them. “Some leaders rely on the exercise of power–coersion–to motivate employees,” Mann says. A second way to motivate is by the exercise of authority granted to a leader who’s proved superior ability or skill or commitment. “A third way to motivate is with charisma, so that people are drawn to the leader.”

Most good leaders use all three forms of motivation, he adds. “But there’s usually one that dominates. The interesting thing is it doesn’t seem to matter which.” Different situations call for different forms of motivation, he says. “You have to adapt your performance to the culture of your organization.”

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4 Ways to Measure Your Leadership Skills
Leadership: How to Get From Good to Great http://www.pgae.com/ask/leadership-how-to-get-from-good-to-great/ Tue, 08 Dec 2015 12:51:59 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=9129 Focus on a few core components of leadership and you can take your company to new heights. Company leaders always want to motivate, inspire, and support their]]>

PETER ECONOMY Is the best-selling author of Managing For Dummies, The Management Bible, Leading Through Uncertainty, and more than 60 other books. He has also served as associate editor for Leader to Leader for more than 10 years.

@bizzwriter


Focus on a few core components of leadership and you can take your company to new heights.

Company leaders always want to motivate, inspire, and support their people to the absolute fullest.  But most go to bed at night suspecting that they’re coming up a little short.  Maybe more than a little.  Take heart: You can become a truly great leader.  All it takes is:

Perspiration

Great leadership requires effort – lots of effort. And much of that effort revolves around learning: about your people, your operations, your industry, and yourself.  Be relentless in your pursuit of knowledge about everything – and everyone – In your business ecosystem.

Vision

Develop a clear vision for what your business is all about, and don’t lose faith in it.  Know in your heart that you and your team can accomplish anything you set out to accomplish if you work together and believe in one another.  You will undoubtedly encounter setbacks, but don’t be deterred.  Learn from failure and remain confident.

Communication

Great leaders communicate sincerely, often, and in many different ways to everyone in their organisations.  They inform, provide feedback, and motivate – Intelligently and honestly.  Connect with all your people and cultivate multiple channels for two-way.  When you hear your own words and messages repeated back to you from your employees, or when your employees talk among themselves using your words to describe your vision and goals, then you know you’re making an impact.

The 2014 Ryder Cup

Collaboration

Form teams and groups that are constituted for maximum effectiveness.  Recognise that in order to do their very best work most employees need consistent support and input from co-workers, peers, and managers.  When you create this kind of environment, you’ll see an immediate impact on productivity and effectiveness – as well as morale.

Decisiveness

Highly effective leaders are decisive when called upon to make tough calls quickly and confidently.  Take a moment to assess a difficult situation and then calmly and rationally consider your options.  As soon as you have the information you need to make an informed decision, make it.  Don’t let fear of being wrong prevent you from making what you know is the right call.

Integrity

Study after study finds that the No. 1 quality that employees want leaders to possess is integrity.  Always be candid, forthright, honest, and fair.  Treat your people as you want to be treated.  Your employees will respect you and respond in kind.

Inspiration

When times are tough, be the person that people look to for inspiration.  Don’t just talk, act.  Reassure your employees and help them overcome their own doubts and anxieties.  Model the kind of positive behaviour you want to see in them.

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Leadership: How to Get From Good to Great