January 31, 2011

Network Events: The Future of Hiring

Most networking events promise countless benefits, yet rarely do they match our expectations. The emphasis should be on building trusting relationships, before trying to make your next sale. Friends hire friends...why do you think the rich stay rich?

Let me take this a step further and say network events are the future of hiring. I'm not talking about job fairs, but a place where job applicants can mingle with employers. Think about it. The traditional way of hiring is done through submitting an application, attaching a resume then waiting to be contacted for an interview. Anyone can lie on a resume, but a face to face interaction is what separates the men from the boys.

Imagine, as a job seeker, you were entering a room full of potential employers. You've memorized your elevator speech, but there's no way you can anticipate what questions they might ask. Isn't that just like the real world? Life is not scripted and neither should interviews. You can learn a lot about someone by having a conversation with them. Their skill set may not be obvious, but confidence, body language, tone, etc. comes off within 5 minutes or less. 

I'm not undermining competence, but instead of meeting the exact educational and experience requirements, wouldn't you rather hire someone you actually can work with? Talent is talent, no matter what industry. Skills can be taught, but intangibles such as "soft skills," charisma and confidence usually come with the package. A formal interview is one of the worst ways to predict someone's future performance. As an employer you want to see a worker in his/her natural environment socializing with others. Where better, than to go "undercover" and meet your next hire at a network event?

January 25, 2011

Read This Before Hiring a Coach or Consultant by Tim Berry

May I call it the expert business? It’s kind of like a zoo (no offense intended). There are coaches of all varieties, from business to life to style, to executive and leadership and others. And management consultants, planning consultants, strategy consultants, marketing consultants, public relations consultants, etc. And designers and programmers, project managers, event planners, graphic artists … I’ve been both seller and buyer, and I’m thinking I can help you figure out which section to go to, and which cage to rattle, by sorting through some of the species, and some of the differences.

I worry that people use these terms indiscriminately. To me, a coach teaches you to do it better, helps you, and trains you to do things better. A consultant delivers a report telling you what you’re supposed to do.

A coach watches you do it, then reviews your performance. A consultant studies, listens, concludes, and delivers the conclusions.

Can you tell I lean towards coaching? Maybe because I made a living consulting for 20 years, both on my own and as an employee of brand-name firms. And in my specialty, business planning, having it done for you doesn’t work. It’s like paying somebody to do your exercise. Coaching is more likely to work better. I’ve done strategy consulting, and that’s very similar. Strategies are to develop and implement yourself, over a long term. A coach might help, a consultant, not so likely. I’m immersed in social media, and I think that’s another example of something you so yourself, ideally, rather than have done for you; which means it’s another area for coaching more than consulting. And PR? Maybe you have somebody do the press releases, and arrange the meetings, and suggest tips and techniques, but do you believe in anything actually said by a spokesperson?

Ideally, you look for a relationship in which you are buying, and paying for, just the expertise. Pay the expert to coach you as you do it yourself. You pay for fewer hours, but you still get the benefit of somebody else’s experience and expertise. That’s the best of both worlds.

January 13, 2011

4 Steps to Sustain Peak Performance by Scott Peltin/Keith Ferrazzi

Scott Peltin, author of Sink, Float, or Swim, teaches companies and their employees how to think differently and take better care of themselves. Typically he finds that only 5 percent of any given company are sustainable high-performers who know how to maintain their peak over time.

Recently Scott lead an RMA masterclass around creating new habits in four key areas – mindsets, nutrition, recovery, and movement – so that brain and body can stay at their maximum capacity.

Peltin points out that you make 1000 choices a day and each of them either increases or decreases your brain’s performance. Many of us make bad choices out of habit; Peltin’s goal is to shake that up. Here are four ideas you can put into practice immediately.

1. Mindset: You have over 60,000 thoughts a day. Reframe thoughts that drag you down. Instead of thinking “I’m overwhelmed, “ think “I am present.”

2. Nutrition: FORTY PERCENT of how you feel right now is due to your last meal. Did you eat a meal that set you up for success? Make sure that every meal you eat fuels you properly for your activities of the next three to four hours.

3. Recovery: Take breaks! Plan small downtimes during the day. The brain can only work for about 90 minutes without needing a break. Plan your schedule in 90 minute blocks, and take a break at the end of every increment.

4. Movement: Add more movement to your schedule. It doesn’t need to be hard-core exercise, just anything that increases your body’s range of motion. For help, download 10 simple “daily prep” movements, all tied to breathing exercises, at tignum.com.

What’s your best tip for sustainable peak performance?

January 8, 2011

Career Synergy is SOLD OUT!

Career Synergy is officially full! Please contact me for details about next month's event. Hope to see you there!

January 3, 2011

Accomplishing Your New Year's Resolutions

The New Year arrives, so you set goals that you plan to work on, yet come the end of January they're forgotten. How do you ensure successfully achieving your New Year's Resolutions?

Make it Visual: Write it down. Put it somewhere you're going to see it daily. We are all visual learners that remember more when we see it. Create a vision board. Put a post-it on your bathroom mirror. We are creatures of habit. Once we get in a routine, it's easier to follow through. 

Weekly Goals: The grander your goal(s), the more it needs to be broken into smaller pieces. Set weekly benchmarks and chart your progress. This will increase your motivation to accomplish what you set out to do. Use a digital calendar or your smartphone to send a reminder. Think of weekly goals like "steps" towards your destination. 

Accountability: There's added incentive when you know someone is holding you to your promise. Positively, you want to keep your word or negatively, you don't want to look that person in the eye and admit you failed. Either way, it helps significantly to have someone keep you accountable. This could be a friend or up the ante and hire a professional.

This year do what you say and say what you'll do. Writing it down, setting weekly goals and having an accountability partner will ensure successfully completing your goals. You have a daily choice to move towards or away from your vision. 

Are you ready to make 2011 one to remember?