Archive for the 'Career Management Tips' Category

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Procrastination

Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
Worry And Procrastination

Whenever I see or read quotes (or jokes) like this, they make me laugh while at the same time wonder if people get the REAL MESSAGE. I know too many people who procrastinate and self-sabotage their career and success. They are their biggest obstacles to just about anything they want, if only… they got out of their own way!

Skirt Suit And Cufflinks

I a recent BRW Magazine article, the discussion of the importance of first impressions came up (yet again). I’ve blogged about this topic under the theme of Erotic Capital - an academic term that sounds provocative and yet just makes common sense in a world that is dominated by appearance and perceptions

Skirt SuitA report: The Effect of Appearance on First Impressions by Professor Karen J Pine, Professor Ben Fletcher & Neil Howlett, of the University of Hertfordshire in collaboration with Mathieson & Brooke Tailors Ltd, takes the discussion from what you look like to the importance of what you’re wearing…

Background
First impressions are formed rapidly and are often highly accurate. After seeing a face for just one second, people make judgments about another’s personal and occupational attributes.

How much does a person’s dress style affect these judgements?
The study tested three hypotheses:

1) that people make rapid judgments of others based on clothing alone

2) that a minor manipulation of the man’s clothing (e.g. the cut of a suit) will influence these rapid judgments and

3) that manipulation of the masculine – feminine dimension of the woman’s clothing will affect the impressions formed.

Conclusions
Apparently minor clothing manipulations gave rise to significantly different first impressions of the man, with a more positive impression being created by the bespoke than the off-the-rack suit.

The change was very subtle, both suits were formal, the same colour and the same fabric, yet nonetheless they had a very different impact upon perceivers. Most previous research has experimented with manipulating the overall style of clothing, for example comparing formal clothing with causal wear.

This study demonstrates that people are influenced also by subtle features, such as the cut of a suit, which has a powerful impact on judgements of personality and professional status.

The woman in the study was perceived more positively in a skirt suit than in a trouser suit, although this effect was limited to fewer dimensions. Women generally have a wider choice of dress style for work than men, but still have to maintain an identity that balances professionalism with attractiveness and the skirt suit may achieve that balance without appearing provocative.

This study is the first to use images that were devoid of any facial features or expressions, therefore it can be concluded with confidence that the impressions arose from the clothing alone and were not confounded by the physical appearance of the model. The report’s authors further conclude that even apparently minor adjustments to clothing style will have a major impact on first impressions.

People are judged on their overall head-to-toe appearance and the fundamental role that dress style plays in creating a positive first impression cannot be underestimated.

Weird things people do

walking-asciiAs a reader of this and my other blogs, you know one of the underlying concepts of Exponential Mindset Thinking is what I call antimimeticisomorphism.

Today’s post is about some weird things successful people do, Based on a Scientific American Magazine article, among many interesting facts, reveals that Dean Kamen, known for the invention of the Segway, dresses almost exclusively in denim. He spent five years in college before dropping out, does not take vacations and has never married. Kamen presides (along with his Ministers of Ice Cream, Brunch and Nepotism) over the Connecticut island kingdom of North Dumpling, which has “seceded” from the U.S. and dispenses its own currency in units of pi. Visitors are issued a visa form that includes spaces on which to note identifying marks on both their face and buttocks.

Kamen, who works tirelessly at inspiring kids to pursue careers in science and engineering, is one of many highly creative people whose personal behavior sometimes strikes others as odd. Albert Einstein picked up cigarette butts off the street to get tobacco for his pipe; Howard Hughes spent entire days on a chair in the middle of the supposedly germ-free zone of his Beverly Hills Hotel suite; the composer Robert Schumann believed that his musical compositions were dictated to him by Beethoven and other deceased luminaries from their tombs; and Charles Dickens is said to have fended off imaginary urchins with his umbrella as he walked the streets of London. More recently, we have seen Michael Jackson’s preoccupation with rhinoplasty, Salvador Dalí’s affection for dangerous pets and the Icelandic singer Björk dressed for the Oscars as a swan.

I am not advocating you be “this different”, but then again if it works to create extra-ordinary results, why not?!?!

Our approach to business coaching and mentoring is far from standard… but not totally off the charts. Just enough to create results that astonish and surprise…

Five Different Management Styles

Let’s face it – managing people is not easy. If it was, everyone would be a great manager and we all know that is not the case!

Management Style Cartoon

Being a “good” business manager takes a number of different skills and abilities to succeed. You need to be dynamic, organised and ready to take control. On top of these factors, there are also several different management styles you can adopt. The style  you choose will be a reflection of your personality, workplace and situation and will determine its effectiveness.

That’s why it’s important to be aware of the different management styles, so you can CHOOSE the right technique for the appropriate situation and context. Otherwise you’ll make the same blunders inept managers make – doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons, at the wrong time, the wrong way!

Management Style #1: Directive Style

The directive management style is the hard, ‘do what I tell you’ way of doing things. Generally, this isn’t a practical way to go about your business, as you want your employees to respond via their trust and appreciation of you. If an employee is underdeveloped, they may feel intimidated by this type of management. Similarly, if they are highly developed, they may become frustrated with you. This style is only  successful when there is a crisis or serious situation, when you need to show direction and determination amongst the chaos.

Management Style #2: Participation Style

The participation style of management is highly effective in several different situations. By adopting this style, you give each and every employee an opportunity to speak up and have input. This builds a ‘team effort’ feeling within the workplace, which is likely to increase compliance. However, this style may not be as effective when an employee is underdeveloped and still needs close supervision. That’s why one-size does not fit all when it comes to managing people and situations.

Management Style #3: Authoritative Style

The authoritative management style is somewhat similar to the directive style. The key difference, however, is  this style is more of a ‘firm but fair’ way of managing employees. You provide your workers with a vision of where they should be and where they should be going. With clear goals set, they are able to work individually towards achieving them. This is a successful management technique, although some of the more underdeveloped workers may still need more supervision and direction. An authoritative style requires that you command authority, either formally or informally. Without it, you are just being directive and as previously stated, that is largely ineffective and yet remains a popular management style…!

Management Style #4: Coaching Style

The coaching style of management is similar to participation, however, it focuses more on building your employees’ skills to a higher level of proficiency. By coaching your workers, you are not only encouraging them to participate and get the work done, but you are assisting them in building their own skills as well. This is highly effective with motivated workers who hope to gain more skills.

Management Style #5: Affiliative Style

This management style has a primary objective of building relationships between workers and minimising conflict. By doing this there is a wonderful level of harmony within the workplace which may encourage your employees to meet set goals voluntarily rather than by force. It is a ‘people first’ style of managing. It may not be effective if goals are not being met or if there is a crisis situation that needs to be addressed. It necessarily requires a much higher skill set than the directive and authoritative styles, understanding personality profiles and team dynamics. It is not recommended for your or first-time managers.

There are a number of different ways to manage a business. Obviously, one style won’t always fit your workplace. You need to change your style depending on the tasks and situations that need to be addressed. To know more about successful business management, visit Coral Homes franchise business or Coral Homes on True Local.

This has been a guest post. If you would like so submit one to us, please contact us at your convenience.

Productivity Tip

Get what you want accomplished before you’re too busy to remember what you wanted to do.
Get What You Want Accomplished

 

Five Reasons why you should get a Training and Assessment Qualification

Training & Assessment QualificationI have to admit that I am biased – with 5 university degrees, I know the value of an “education”… Completing a training and assessment qualification is a good idea for just about anyone. Whether you’re an artist or a scientist, having this qualification opens up a wide range of employment opportunities. You can choose to study part-time or full-time, and combined with any previous qualifications, it is ensured to improved your employability. Here are five reasons why it’s a good idea to complete a training and assessment course.

It’s Nationally Recognised: By completing a training and assessment qualification, you are enabled to work anywhere in the country. If you’re a regular traveller, or thinking about moving interstate, the course caters perfectly to your needs. Positions all over Australia will open up to you if you have this qualification, even if it doesn’t seem relevant to the field you are applying in.

It Increases Employability: A training and assessment qualification increases employability across all sectors. A Cert IV in training and assessment gives you the minimum qualification to work within the industry, and you can choose to study further if you wis

It’s Transferrable: Even if you’re not currently thinking about switching jobs, employers will look favourably upon you for simply having the qualification – whether or not it is relevant to the job you are applying for. By completing a qualification in training and assessment, you will be showing potential employers that you have a wide range of skills. A training and assessment qualification proves that you have sufficient literacy and numeracy skills, as well as conveying your leadership possibilities.

It’s a Pathway: If you’ve ever been interested in teaching, completing a training and assessment qualification can provide you with a pathway into the industry. By completing the minimum qualification, you ensure your employability without needing to go to the effort to obtain a degree. If you’re unsure about the field you want to work in, it’s a good idea to take this course. It gives you a safety net if you’re ever in need of a job, and provides you with a wonderful point to work from if you decide to continue in the area of study.

It Increases Insight: Completing a qualification in training and assessment not only gives you the qualification itself, but increases your insight across a variety of areas. Taking the course can provide you with development in both your professional and personal life. You will learn valuable skills, transferable to a wide range of industries. By completing this qualification you have the chance to broaden your mind, and not only your qualifications.

In today’s world, finding employment can be difficult. But by completing a course in training and assessment, you open up a broader range of possibilities for yourself. You may not be particularly interested in teaching, but employers in any field will look favourably on your training and assessment skills. Consider taking this course if you’re an aspiring teacher, or just looking to open up your pathways. A qualification in training and assessment can open up career possibilities you may not have even considered.

This is a guest post – if you would like to contribute valuable content, please contact us.

5 Reasons Why You Must Take Pride in Your Appearance

I’ve blogged about this concept before. The beauty premium, erotic capital, why you can’t afford to be ugly and of course how tall people make more money than their shorter colleagues.

attractive-people-are-simply-more-successful

Attractiveness matters – especially in business when you want to create a professional appearance

Presenting a professional face in business is important to your credibility as a serious player. While modern day business means you can wear your pyjamas while working from home, using services like Servcorp Australia creates a professional business appearance to your customers.

Although you might work anywhere in the world, a reputable virtual office service will give you a prestigious business address that will make a lasting impression on your clients. These services will provide you with a highly professional receptionist to field your calls, again creating a highly professional and satisfying experience to your callers. Most of these services will also include access to boardrooms and meeting rooms of a highly impressive calibre.

“You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure” Zig Ziglar

Personal appearance is as important to successful business as the physical appearance of your office. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. It’s All About The First Impression

It is a well-known fact that people will generally sum you up and judge you within the first 5 seconds of meeting you. This is largely an unconscious process, but nevertheless the impression you make in those first seconds will be lasting. You cannot underestimate the importance of making a good first impression. So, if you are getting ready for a business meeting or a meeting with a new client, it is imperative to take the time required to look like a true professional. This costs you nothing but a little effort and will have far-reaching effects in relation to your business success. Dress to succeed!

2. A Healthy Approach

Taking pride in your personal appearance will foster overall good health and fitness. Being proactive about your appearance will cause you to be proactive about your general health: what you eat, how often you exercise and ensuring you get enough sleep. Taking a little extra effort to look good will pay dividends in terms of your health and fitness as well as in the way you look.

3. How You Look Reflects Your Attitude

Some people are dedicated to being anti-style. They are convinced that how they look doesn’t really matter, as long as they are comfortable. And so they turn up to business meetings in joggers, baggy shorts and crumpled t-shirts. The problem with this approach is that the lack of care you show in the way you dress will be interpreted as a sloppy, uncaring attitude. You will not be taken seriously. That is the simple reality of the matter.

All this might seem quite provocative, but shouldn’t be. The Economist Magazine recently explained why attractive women should not include a photo with a job application. This is how important this is – whether we like it or not.

4. Increase Your Confidence

There is absolutely no doubt that looking good increases your confidence. Why do you think beauty parlours, skin care agencies, hair stylists and clothing shops are doing such a booming trade? Looking good translates into more opportunities. If you look good, if you feel god, you take a level of confidence and self-assuredness (a very attractive quality in business) with you into the business world.

5. Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Looking good is really about putting your best foot forward – a proactive approach to good business.

This blog post was submitted by a guest blogger.

How to Stand Out at Interview Time

The dreaded job interview. I can hear your pulse racing already, and honestly, I don’t blame you. I used to be terrified of interviews, whether they be first, second or third, the open-ended question fiesta climbed under my skin a millisecond after excited adrenaline left my system and opportunity turned to despair. Great, now I have a chance to make an idiot of myself in front of people who don’t even know me, I’d berate myself, following with a reminder of my modest skill set. If you can’t tell already, humanity serves itself with a very critical dose of internal cynicism every time something good happens, acting as a curb to any chance of an ego boost. So how do you survive it? You don’t – You take that interview by the horns and thrive, scoring the role you’ve always wanted and instant kudos to boot. Want to know how? Read on.

The Extra Mile – Walk Right This Way

Are you sick of sayings like, go the extra mile, be bold and different, you’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit? Yeah, me too. Every single one of these demands the reader stand out from the crowd without illuminating the how or the why. The latter is actually quite simple. Imagine you’re a HR manager or employer scheduling interview – your morning starts with a cup of coffee and a pile of CV’s, some badly written, others not so much, considering what you’re looking for before the first one walks through the door. You can’t remember their name. The clothes are bland, their answers are boring and perfectly crafted to match their CV. You go through twenty of these per day, for a week, with very few asking anything more about the role, the company or what you’re looking for. When asked if they have any questions, most just blankly smile and shake their heads, exhausted by the whole process of being so perfect a skin-made automaton would have performed just as well. Why stand out? Because you will be remembered, appreciated and quite possibly welcomed back for a second interview with open arms.

Dazzle Them With Bewilderment

How? Ah, that’s a difficult question and the answer changes from person to person. A good stop-gap for absolutely everyone is research, research, research. Yes, I’ve repeated the word three times but preparation is essential if you come to question time; you never want to be THAT person who has nothing to say. Delve into the company history, the department you may be working for and the position criteria, formulating three hard hitting questions that really get to crux of the culture, the role and your adopted company. Know who you’re working for and don’t be afraid to show them you have a voice.

Be…Professional? Logical? Ineffable? Cool? Nope, Just Be Yourself

Nobody wants to hire a robot. Showing your human side and owning your nerves (a quick joke for example about your feelings lets the other side know where your heads at) will help you to banish them as the interview progresses. If you’re interviewing at agencies like Randstad in Melbourne, you’d be expected to be a little bit funky but clothed professionally, letting your personality shine through as your greatest asset. I think this is true everywhere else, though some roles may require you to temper little eccentricities and pull them back a bit. If you don’t feel comfortable in the office or culture after the second interview, cut your losses and seek another opportunity. You spend a lot of time in the office, life shouldn’t be an impromptu stage production where you never know the lines.
How do you feel about the infamous job interview? What mechanisms have you developed to get you through or better yet, score an awesome job.
Blog post by: Jessica Hannah

A positive twist on negative thinking?

Positive thinking seems to be one of the hippest trends of modern management and popular ‘gurus’.  But a review of the empirical evidence, released a few months ago by the University of New South Wales, found those who think negatively actually have stronger memories, make better judgements, are not as gullible, are less selfish, and persevere longer at difficult tasks.*

These are hugely important findings because in many workplaces employees who are branded as ‘negative’ are immediately ostracised, considered too destructive and uncooperative to have on a team.  But what is now evident is that they really do have a valuable role to play in any organisation if given the opportunity to do so.

Different - Zebra

* Unless we’re talking about the toxic people whose clear aim is to cause mayhem by opposing and complaining and conniving and influencing others to join them on the dark side.  In those cases, treat them as a serious performance management issue.  That’s why it’s essential to distinguish between those who simply think negatively with those who work negatively.  The former are easy to coach; the latter not so much.

Obstructionists come in tow different ‘flavours’:

  • The mis-matcher, who will drive you and your colleagues crazy by disagreeing with everything you say hence the moniker mis-matcher. These are annoying people who can’t help themselves and I tell all my clients to fire them LAST WEEK!
  • Non-conformist, who just does not want to be placed in any box, group or team – BECAUSE – they just don’t want to. They are in fact in a box, labeled non-conformist, but even THAT label annoys them.

The challenge for you as a leader is to avoid the temptation to turn a negative thinker into a positive one.  You’re better served identifying the strengths they can bring to the team irrespective of their thinking style, and then incorporate those strengths in some way within their job.  In particular, negative thinkers can make a great contribution in these areas:

  • Matters of cognition:  This includes solving complicated problems, simplifying organisational complexity, and developing subject matter experts.
  • Matters of judgement:  This includes identifying flaws in strategic plans, providing input on the recruitment of new employees, and determining risk.
  • Matters of motivation:  This includes participating in long-term projects, keeping colleagues focused on the core issues, and questioning the status quo.
  • Matters of social behaviour:  This includes communicating critical information, anticipating the impact of change initiatives, and assessing the fairness of decisions.

Of course, positive thinkers can be just as successful at each of those areas.  It’s just that those inclined to think negatively have especially demonstrated those competencies in various academic studies.  Even then, that doesn’t imply that negative thinkers are better than positive ones or vice versa.  They each have advantages (and disadvantages) that brilliant leaders are able to maximise (or minimise).

What you’ll end up discovering is that when you stop seeing negative thinkers as an issue to be rectified and instead see them as a talent to be engaged, they begin to feel valued and acknowledged.  And as soon as that realisation sets in, they’ll eventually exhibit the positive traits that so many of their colleagues have long desired.

NOTE TO SMALL, ENTREPRENEURIAL BUSINESS OWNERS:

Do not hire negative, non-conformist or mis-matchers. Even though academic literature and team oriented literature supports to some degree diversity – as a SMALL business, with LIMITED budgets – you simply cannot afford ANY discordance with your vision and strategy. Of course I am not advocating you hire only yes men and women, what I am suggesting is you AVOID those that will be conflictual.

How do you do that? Contact us and we’ll teach you how to hire the best staff and avoid the most blatant mistakes – BEFORE you make one that can cost you thousands in lost productivity and profitability.

Original source article provided by Mark Mackenzie of The Graffiti Eaters. Thanks Mark!

Time Versus Life Management

In my line of work, I come across two types of people.

  • Type 1 wants to make money, achieve something, do whatever it takes.
  • Type 2 wants what everyone calls work-life balance because they have achieved ‘enough’ and realise without balance, there is imbalance and that’s not good.

The quote below is a foundational, guiding principle that I refer to over and over again in my programs. It’s not just applicable to those who want to create their best year ever, it’s equally (more) important for business people who want to grow their business.

Time Value, Time Management, Life Management, Goal Setting

The thing is WHAT VALUE do you place on WHAT?

With 4 dimensions of mastery (business, internet, professional and personal), how can you reconcile all these values?

Simple.

You need to establish ONE hourly value that is representative of who you are, what you do 24/7.

Easier said than done, I know, but it’s that simple.

If you value yourself and your time at $10/hour versus $100/hour versus $250/hour, your life will be completely different.

Take a minute to read the metaphoric parable of The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers.

What are the golf balls in your life worth to you?

Have a think about it… It can be a priceless revelation to realise you’re sweating the small stuff and missing out on the important things.

In you career it means:

  • You’re being tactical instead of strategic. Doing what your boss wants you to do instead of what’s in your best interest.
  • You’re thinking more about your company’s bottom line (when you are not the owner) than your career development.
  • You’re sacrificing you’re sacrificing your work-life balance for very little net gain.

Explore this further by journaling. Take a blank sheet and make a list of your Top 10 most important things in life – how often do you enjoy/experience them?

Hmmm…. Something to think about.