Jackie Kellso

Archive for the ‘job seeking’ Category

Bad Performance Review? So? Grow!

In aggression, arguments, bad review, body language, bullies in the workplace, business relationships, career challenges, career coaching, career-related problems, chinese symbol for crisis, communication skills, conflict resolution, coping with pressure at work, dealing with a difficult coworker, dealing with a male boss, disagreements, emotional balance, engagement, gossiping, handling tough boss, human relations, interviewing skills, job seeking, lead by example, manage stress at work, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, masteries, non-verbal signals, office politics, passive-aggressive, performance review, person to person dynamics, personal development, productivity, professional behavior, professional development, Professional Reputation, promotion, raise, self-image, success, success masteries, transformation on August 20, 2015 at 12:13 pm

There are schools of thought that define the Chinese symbol for ‘crisis’ as meaning opportunity with danger. Whether this is the literal translation or an invalid assessment, it’s brilliant.  Does a bad performance review feel like a crisis to you?  Do you feel undermined or that your value isn’t being recognized?  Is there an obstacle to a raise/promotion? If you said yes or even maybe, let’s look at your crisis with some objectivity – it’s an opportunity to assess yourself and use the feedback to your advantage. The only real danger is the pain of discovering your own truths.  By deciding that there’s something important for you in the mix, you can increase your skills, reputation, and worth.

I had a recent client (let’s call him Gary) who had just come out of a painfully bad review and was sent to my seminar to develop skills to improve his communication and people skills. Being there was not his choice. His boss kept sending him to one professional development seminar after the other, with the command that he improve his attitude, which was killing his ability to get promoted.  He walked in announcing that my seminar was “bullshit like the others” and I knew I had a hostage.  During a listening skills segment, Gary turned his back to me and I talked to his shoulder blades. His passive-aggressive behavior was very much his downfall; eyes rolled in the audience at his negative body language.

At a break, I asked him to help me understand his reaction.  The picture Gary painted was that despite his incredibly high billings and huge successes, his boss would call him everyday demanding to know what business he was closing.  His eyes bulged as he repeated these daily conversations, in which his response would typically be, “When I close something you’ll be the first to know!”

The route of Gary’s problem was that he perceived his boss’ behavior as a lack of trust in his abilities.  I probed him, “If your boss had dementia, would you be so angry?”  He said, “Of course not.”  I asked, “So, what if I told you that your boss is showing you his disorder – that he is so anxious about revenue that he looks to you to alleviate his fear?  This isn’t about you.”

None of this had ever occurred to Gary.  He had never attempted to understand his manager, and that was the mistake.  When we take things personally we tend to act out in truly destructive ways.  So rarely is anyone else’s behavior about us.  I concluded, “You have been giving your boss a real reason to be concerned about your abilities because you haven’t thought about his issues.” I suggested that he discuss with his boss the best way he can communicate up-to-the minute progress with him. He said, “Well, sounds a bit time consuming, but I can do that.”

We have more control in how things play out at work than we think. However, it entails a sophisticated development of certain skills and the openness to take a hard look at ourselves. First analyze the performance review by its parts. List each area marked for improvement and note the category.  The six categories below are what I call Success Masteries:

  1. Total Communication (Oral, Written, Listening)
    • Are you effective in the oral skills your job requires:  negotiating, persuading, disseminating information clearly, etc.?
    • Are your tendencies to approach communications with optimism or pessimism?
    • Do you take the time to research things for accuracy, such as grammar, facts, etc…
    • When others speak, do you check for clarity or assume to know what you’ve heard?
    • Are you an attentive and even pro-active listener?
  1. Person-to-Person Dynamics
    • Do you have positive, open interactions with managers, direct reports, co-workers and customers?
    • Do you spread good-will or does insecurity cause you to be territorial, aggressive, hostile, manipulative, intimidating?
    • Do you genuinely respect others feelings and perceptions?
  1. Ability To Lead By Example 
    • Do you see and cultivate the potential in others?
    • Do you encourage a supportive, productive environment or do you reject others’ ideas and play one-upsmanship?
    • Do you manage others’ expectations of you?
  1. Emotional Balance 
    • Do you have extreme reactions and inappropriate outbursts?
    • Do you gossip, complain and/or sulk?
    • Do you send out emails with all caps to denounce yelling?
  1. Active Engagement 
    • Are you contributing to an exchange of knowledge, hard-work and creativity or do you insulate yourself to protect your turf?
    • Are you a team-player?
  1. Productivity 
    • Are you delivering what is expected of you against your goals, workload, and responsibilities?
    • Do you dump your work on others?
    • Do you seek too much direction or are you self-directed?
    • Are you open or closed-minded to learning new ways of generating work?

Watch what happens when you decide to review your strengths and limitations against these Success Masteries in combination with the developmental areas documented by your manager.  There’s nothing quite as powerful as accepting how others perceive you and actively making the changes that you and your manager deem important.  If you apply what you learn using this method, you will shift yourself away from the current negativity and powerfully propel yourself onward.

Enthusiastically,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Linked IN Activities Reveal Our People Skills

In Asking for a reference, building rapport, business opportunities, business relationships, communicating, communication skills, Connecting, effective communicating, entrepreneurs, human relations, interpersonal skills, job seeking, leadership, Linked In, networking, promotion, prospecting, replying, Reputation, responsiveness, sales, social media on May 13, 2015 at 6:31 pm

Let’s face it; we’re not all on Linked IN for the same reasons. Some of us are pretty secure in our jobs – the reason to have a profile is to market current status, relevance and expertise (and you still never know what better opportunity might come along!). Some of us are job hunting. Some are entrepreneurs looking to make connections for business. Some are sellers who are looking for their next customer. Some are marketing books, networking events, business opportunities.

And when we launch Linked IN every morning from our computers or iPads, it’s pretty obvious who‘s working it — the way social media promises it will work: with enough frequency and reach, articles, statistics, news, etc, will help get a return on investment.

A major benefit of Linked IN, of course, (and the best way to get ROI) is to forge solid connections with others. Here’s where I’ve personally noticed the strengths and limits of our ‘social media’ interpersonal skills. Some of us are very responsive to others and some are not.  I have had great success on Linked IN in building rapport, relationships and business, and in some cases I have made contact (with primary connections) and have had no response.

Here’s a sampling of typical requests that many of us make, with the sincere hope of getting a response:

  1. May I ask for a reference?
  2. May I offer you a free workshop at your next event?
  3. I would love to learn about your business challenges/goals to see you how my services might improve the situation/grow your business/support your efforts.
  4. Hello! We haven’t connected in awhile and I’m just checking in to see how you’re doing.
  5. Hey, someone else in our network contacted me, before I say yes, what is your experience with him?
  6. Thank you for connecting with me! Can we meet for coffee to learn more about our businesses, and see how we can support one another?

People are busy and over-committed. And it’s a job in and of itself to manage a social media network! I get it. So when I don’t hear back (occasional, but not the norm, thankfully) I don’t take it personally and I surmise that:

1. They may not want to hear from me (despite the fact that they have said yes to being connected).

2. They may be happy to hear from me but don’t know how to say, “NO.”

3. They may consider my note not worth their time and effort.

4. They may not be looking for someone with my services.

Whatever the reason for a non-response, I feel that the nature of social media makes it easy to de-sensitize us to others. Maybe it’s the lack of eye contact or human voice? A flat profile cannot possibly feel as real as direct interaction with a person, after all. Maybe we are all just so inundated with requests from our networks that it just takes too much time and effort to respond?

Whatever the reason, I believe that we should communication online in a way that mirrors the way we communicate in person. That is, to be personable, approachable and aware of the perception we create, by the way we respond to others.

Linked IN is a community of people who are trying to survive and thrive. Everyone. That means that everyone is a potential reference.  The person who has considered you to be important, has reached out with hope of opening a door. And even if you have to say, “No,” it is still acknowledging your receipt of the message, at the very least.

Friends, colleagues: please consider that if you’re going to grow a large network, expect people to make contact and expect to be sought after. So, take a few minutes to write back. You never know when you might need something from someone in your network and only hope you’ll get a reply.

I don’t mean to sound preachy, not trying to teach anyone a lesson; just reacting to an overall experience that has made me consider that social media has the potential to diminish our ability to relate to others and eat-away at our people skills.

In the bigger picture, we all need each other to be successful. In my humble opinion, kindness and generosity have a Pay-it-Forward energy that could yield surprising support for us all!

So the next time someone writes to you, think that the other person could be you reaching out for support, advice, a reference, a moment of their time.  Then hit reply.

Happy connecting!

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bless Those Career Woes; They Have a Supporting Role in Your Play

In bullies at work, bullies in the office, bullies in the workplace, business relationships, career, career coaching, career path, career-related problems, coaching, communicating, communication, communication skills, conflict resolution, consulting, coping with pressure at work, dealing with a difficult coworker, diplomacy and tact, effective communicating, executive coaching, executives, handling tough boss, inner peace, interpersonal skills, job seeking, jobs, journey, leadership, life skills, life's path, manage stress at work, managing, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, negativity at work, office politics, path, people skills, personal development, personal growth, professional behavior, professional development, professional development training, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, spiritual awakening, spiritual growth, spiritual journey, training, transformation, Uncategorized, work-related problems on September 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm

The world is flooded with consultants, coaches, trainers and lecturers who help professionals become confident leaders, effective communicators, managers of conflict and change, business builders who beat out the competition and who earn lots and lots of money.  The web is flooded with expertise.  Bookstore shelves are lined with words from the wise, those who promise tools for the achievement of massive success.

Why do so many professionals seek this type of help? Because the part of life we call “WORK” is a massive TRIGGER that shakes us up to ask ourselves things like:  Why didn’t I get the promotion? What makes me unique?  What is my vision?  Why can’t I get along with coworkers? How do I motivate others? Am I good enough?  Do I deserve success?

WORK awakens us to who we are, if we dare look beyond the surface. WORK is a playground for enlightenment, for the opportunity to see how we really operate, how others perceive us; to have our fears become magnified and reflect back messages that tell us exactly what is holding us back in our lives.  WORK delivers definitive proof that we have no control of anyone or anything other than what we do and what we say.

The point is this:  the exercise of being in a job, regardless of what it is, or how many times we switch focus — we are on a journey of learning about ourselves.  A career is an outward path to an inward journey.

Along my 23 years in media, I had the same boss over and over again, no matter what the job or the company, with few exceptions.  The boss who would battle me and cringe in my presence and avoid me and and act out in less than professional ways in not knowing how best to deal with me.

I have a big energy and strong drive and I like working independently.  A friend who knows me for 25 years says that I, “Incite a riot,” meaning, that when unharnessed, my energy can be a catalyst that makes people feel uncomfortable.  Those managers who didn’t have insight and self-control used their authority against me.  I battled them and I always lost.  I blamed them and played the perfect victim.  I was miserable.  I couldn’t understand why I kept having the same boss over and over and over.  I couldn’t get off the hamster wheel.

Then one day a dear and insightful friend suggested that I surrender.  That I accept my role, my managers’ roles and respect the hierarchy; to open myself to what being in a corporate world is – playing a function in a company.  That I didn’t own anything, not a stapler, not an idea, not a client – it was all owned by the organization.  I was getting paid for my function and it was a mutually beneficial arrangement.

That’s when I realized what my real job was – to heal.  After much introspection and hard work I came to understand that I was striving for self-preservation and I was using the same modes of coping behavior I had learned as a child.  Some of this behavior earned me great results – lots of revenue for my employers – but the cost was almighty on me, as I was also so high-maintenance.  As a result of the time I spent to analyze myself and build skills in dealing with these work-related situations, I found inner peace and a purpose. I changed careers so that I could help others heal and grow. I designed my life to have the love and support I need.

I now bless those experiences and those managers of mine. I thank them for contracting with me to push me along my journey towards self-actualization.  Without them I may never have healed or found the path I’m on now, which is aligned with who I’ve become.

Our career paths are cosmic gifts that help us move beyond who we are, not because they are designed to, but because they connect us with the teachers and lessons we need to be able to move on. On the surface, it all looks like WORK.  On a higher plane, it’s a spiritual path of enlightenment.

Look at the places of unhappiness at work.  When you hold up the mirror, that is, the unpleasant or negative or threatening circumstances that are taking place at work, what is being reflected back at you?  Take that reflection and think about the play you are starring in called, “MY LIFE.”  These bosses, these co-workers, these situations, have supporting roles in your play.  Let’s give them a standing ovation.

Happy Journeying,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Job Seekers: Be Ready to Respond to a New Interviewing Strategy

In business pitching, business relationships, career, coaching, communicating, communication, communication skills, effective communicating, executive coaching, executives, interpersonal skills, interview questions, interviewing skills, job seeking, jobs, people skills, pitches, pitching, presentation skills, presentations, presenting, professional behavior, professional development, Uncategorized on June 3, 2010 at 9:25 pm

“On a scale of 1-10, how lucky do you consider yourself to be?”

Can you imagine being asked this on a job interview? Well, according to my colleague, Susan Goldberg, of Susan Goldberg Executive Search Consulting, this type of question is a new trend happening on interviews. Her point is that now in a down economy, old interview questions such as, “If you were an animal what type of animal would you be,” which were designed to help the prospective employer get a sense of an applicant’s attributes and value system, are now being eclipsed by questions that help the company see if the applicant is a cultural fit. Ms. Goldberg wrote an insightful and in-depth article explaining this shift and the new landscape, to help people prepare for the current trend in interviews. She’s got tremendous expertise in helping people connect to the right job and the article’s worth reading.

Here’s the link to her article:  www.womanaroundtown.com/working-around/latest-trends-in-interview-questionsthe-“it”-factor-is-the-“fit”-factor

For more information about Susan Goldberg’s services, please visit her website: www.susangoldbergsearch.com

Please keep in mind that a well-conceived and concise pitch that proves your credibility and the unique value that you bring to your prospective employer is always critical in making positive impact and distinguishing you from all others. Other important factors include body language — good eye contact, a motivated handshake, good posture and lots of enthusiasm in your voice all contribute to getting that job.  You can read more on developing your pitch in my article, “Mastering The 60-Second Elevator Pitch.”  Here’s the link: https://pointmakercommunications.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/mastering-th-60-second-elevator-pitch/

So, when they ask you how lucky you consider yourself to be, look ’em straight in the eye, tell them a number that rings true and feed them the personal and professional experiences that prove that you are a charm they cannot be without.

Happy interviewing,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.