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Your Self-Image in the Workplace
When communication breaks down in your office or factory and workers lack motivation, what are the roots of the problem?
On a study tour of a Fortune 500 food company, Peter Grazier, an international consultant specialializing in employee involvement, stopped to chat with an elderly machine operator.
Within minutes, the operator began discussing a solution for quickly clearing bulk food material from a clogged hopper - apparently a frequent problem. The visitor asked him if he had ever told this idea to his supervisor.
"Nobody ever asks for these kind of ideas around here," shrugged the worker, who would be retiring in another few months after 42 years of service.
Grazier writes that he felt the plant manager, who was standing behind him, wishing he could sink through the floor!
How many other ideas would this employee be leaving behind him? Why was the communication environment between management and worker in this food manufacturing plant apparently as sterile as the physical environment had to be?
Of course, we could talk at length about employers or managers who fail to encourage upward communication.
We could contrast these with others who go out of their way to not only to recognize the achievements of their employees or subordinates, but also to instill in them a real sense of importance and self-worth. (In another Grazier "story", he came across a janitor sweeping a hospital hallway and asked him what his job was. The instant response was "customer satisfaction.")
The influence that a positive, reassuring, work environment - one that cultivates self-dignity and encourages contribution - might have had on our food machine operator is obvious.
I would like to suggest, however, that there just might have been other factors contributing to his reticence - factors that have little to do with working conditions in the factory.
It may be a long shot, but it's at least remotely possible that in order to understand our operator's reluctance to share information, his unwillingness to involve himself more than he had to - we might have to look farther than at his work life alone.
We might have to look, in fact, at his earlier life, at what he was doing even before he began to work. We might even have to go back to an earlier stage, as far back as his youth, or even earlier.
Perhaps he might have acted rather differently had he been blessed with a self-confidence not dependant on external circumstances, with an unshakeable sense of self-esteem. And perhaps his self-esteem had been shattered many years before.
A friend who is an experienced educator once made an interesting confession to me.
I should emphasize that his many years of teaching experience is not in the type of school one reads about so often in the American media - places where chaos and violence reign supreme - but in institutions where the young students are refined and serious, and hail from the best homes.
"Usually, a small child arrives for his first day of school with an excellent self-image," he said.
"And very often, that's the end of the story!"
Azriel Winnett is creator of Hodu.com - Your Communication Skills Portal. This popular free website helps you improve your communication and relationship skills in your business or professional life, in the family unit and on the social scene. New articles added almost daily.
Revitalize Your Recruiting for 2005
Happy New Year! The forecasts are in agreement: Hiring is on the rise. 2005 will mark the revitalization of our economy. In fact, hiring plans may rival 1999 statistics, when the economy was at its strongest.
Confidence Is Critical to YOUR Success....
Make EYE contact when you look at another person. Look at them!! Don't look down at your shoes or away from the other person. Don't look around the room for someone else who may be more interesting.
The Executive Resume - Moving Beyond Accomplishments
There is a major difference between conventional resumes and executive resumes. Accomplishments are usually the center point of a conventional resume (i.e., indicating how much money was saved, how sales increased, what processes were proposed, planned, initiated, implemented, or streamlined). The executive resume, on the other hand, has more than one focus. It alludes to the executive's ability to drive profits (accomplishments) and the capacity to lead (that is, to blend various "soft" skills) an organization.
10 Steps to Escape the Job World and Create the Life You Really Want
1. GET THE POINT ? OF LIFE, THAT IS. How many of us will look back in our old age and wish we'd gone to more meetings or put in more overtime. The point? Despite pressure to "play it safe" by sticking with your day job ("...but dear, you have a good job, you want to be HAPPY too?") you have every right to follow your entrepreneurial dreams. With the realization that life is for living comes the understanding that it is up to you ? and you alone ? to create the kind of life you really want. 2. GET THE RIGHT PICTURE. Be honest. How much time do you spend bitching about your lousy boss, hellish commute and on and on? As satisfying as a good gripe session is, you're wasting precious energy on the wrong picture. Five minutes a day spent visualizing your ideal work-life and fashioning a plan to get you there will move you far closer to your goal than 30 minutes of complaining about what you don't want. Bottom line: You won't see yourself doing it until you can see yourself doing it. 3. GET CLUED INTO YOUR PASSION. The most successful entrepreneurs love what they do. Haven't quite figured out where your passion lies? Start paying attention to situations or things that grab and keep your attention. Focus less on your skills (what you CAN do) or your resume (what you HAVE done) and instead, try to tune into what it is you really LOVE and WANT to do. What types of things did you love to do as a child? What kinds of characteristics or talents do people compliment you on? What kind of work or lifestyles do you envy? If you don't yet have the knowledge or skills to turn your heart work into a business venture, make it your business to fill the gaps. 4. GET A GRIP ON "IT." In her book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers says IT is what scares you ? and ultimately, what's holding you back from going after your dream. Perhaps your fear centers on money, or that you're not "smart enough," or that you'll fall flat on your face. Let's face it ? shaking up your life is scary. Yet, "Unless you walk out into the unknown," says Tom Peters, "the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low." So go ahead and indulge in your worst-case fantasy. Then get busy figuring out what steps you can take to prevent it from happening. 5. GET REAL. You've seen the easy money pitches: "Earn $1,000 a week stuffing envelopes in the comfort of your own home." Sounds great, right? Now, snap out of it! Launching your own business takes time and effort. You should also expect a drop in income ? at least in the beginning. Now is the time to revisit the ideal life you outlined in Step 2 and ask yourself, "How much do I really want my ideal life? What am I willing to do or give up to get it?" If you are serious about living life on your own terms, the sacrifice will be worth it. 6. GET INFORMED. Change always seems scarier when you have either inadequate, or worse, inaccurate information. Go to the library. Join associations. Talk to people who have started similar businesses. Take classes. Read trade publications. Subscribe to ezines. The more informed you are, the less "risky" the risks become. 7. GET READY. A goal has been described as a dream with a deadline. Take out a calendar. Even if you haven't nailed down all the details, you should still go ahead and set a target date for when you want your "new life" to begin. Besides being a great source of motivation, knowing how much time you have between now and "D-ream day" lets you create a realistic plan for hitting it. 8. GET SUPPORT. Enthusiasm is contagious, but so is pessimism. Avoid the nay Sayers and try to seek out others who share your passion for living life on your own terms. Consider meeting weekly with other aspiring entrepreneurs to generate ideas, share information and help each other stay on track. 9. GET GOING. To keep from being overwhelmed ? yet still make headway ? break your larger goal down into more manageable steps. Then, no matter how hectic thing get, pledge to take at least one action a day. Even the smallest actions ? jotting down a new idea, reading a single page, or making one phone call ? start to add up. And, once you actually get the ball rolling, it's hard to stop! 10. GET GRATITUDE. At the same time you're setting your sights on achieving your future goal, be mindful of how much abundance you have in your life RIGHT NOW! Changing course is a journey. Count your blessings and enjoy the ride. When you think about it, it's all we really have.
Consulting: A Different World
I won't say I have a vast array of knowledge as a consultant...collectively I've only been doing it about 8 years. However, there are some things that I have observed that I think will be helpful to those of you who are new to the profession. We will first dispel the myths and address the realities associated with being a Consultant, then we will address the commandments of being a good and valued consultant.
Create Your Plan B Before the Layoff Axe Falls
In one short week, the axe fell at a number of companies and thousands of employees were without jobs. Hewlett Packard, Kodak, Ford Motor Company of Canada, PNC Financial and Kimberley Clark each had to make critical business decisions and lay off large numbers of employees. Reasons ranged from "maintaining a tighter rein on costs" to creating a "simpler nimbler" organization". Although the news is usually shocking, layoffs don't just happen. There are usually some subtle signs that changes are coming. How does one prepare for such an eventuality? By having a plan in place...creating a Plan B. Make it your responsibility to manage your own career, to swim out and meet your ship, not wait until it comes ashore. Such a mindset will help lessen the impact of a layoff, and will enable you to weather the storm if and when it comes. Here are some tips to help with your preparation:
Youre Fired Isnt The Finale
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, March 2004 had the largest gain in hiring in nearly four years. But as of then, there were still about 8 million Americans without jobs, and almost 23% of those had been unemployed for six months or more.
How to Conquer Job Hunting Apathy
Jack, downsized from his last job, was frozen in a place called Apathy. Had been for months now. Knew he had to get moving, had to find a job, but ? just couldn't seem to get his act together. Oh, he'd tried ? a little. But his lack of immediate success just made him that much more apathetic.
How Can Qualifications Help Your Proof Reading Career?
For those who are looking for a career as a proofreader, it is important to have the right qualifications. It is important to remember that this is a proper job. It is not just an easy way to make some money from home. For those who are serious, it will require a lot of diligent work to get into the field. And, when they do, it will take time to build your freelance business to the stage where it is profitable. Nevertheless, here are some of the basic qualifications that you will need:
Dont Let Difficult People Derail Your Career
Unless you are among the luckiest people in the world, or you are totally free of all relationships in the real world, you have to cope with difficult people in the course of your work.
Cover Letters: Are you telling them what they want to know?
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When preparing for an interview, you need to know your skills, experiences and achievements, and how to answer interview questions.
Reviving Your Resume
A resume may not be who you are, but to a potential employer, it may be all they see of you and make or break your chance for your next interview. While many of us either spend long hours crafting the perfect resume (or pay someone else big bucks to do it for you) and may not want to mess with perfection, not updating your resume may cause more harm than good.
Career in the Toilet?
Individuals not within their target career field may feel insecure, doubtful, or maybe even ashamed of their current job title. Career changers make up a large portion of the job-searching population. Although people (in general) are "creatures of habit," they thrive for change ? especially when unhappy in their current position or industry. Continuing with educational goals or transferring to another industry can alleviate these feelings, yet shouldn't be the only remedy administered.
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About four years ago a friend told me one night that she had an interview the next week and was looking for some comfort as she was extremely nervous, as most people are about interviews. I thought back on my my carreer and realized that in the nine year of my career I had been to thirteen interviews and, more importantly, that I had received a job offer from every one of those interviews. I did not accept all the offers, but the point is that I had not once been to an interview without getting a job offer from it.
Wonder Woman makes it looks so easy. She gets up every morning, fights the good fight, calls it a day, and starts the whole process all over again. This is the way most of us begin our workday. We work hard, accomplish lots, and get up in the morning for an encore presentation.
Ten Things To Do When You Really, Really Hate Your Job
1. Begin focusing on what you want instead of how much you want to escape. When you find yourself sharing the latest horror story, stop in mid-sentence and say, "What I want to have is..."
Playing from the Blue Tees: Women in the Federal Government
Throughout the past decade, workplace diversity issues have allowed organizations to adjust their policies in response to the need for workplace equality in all aspects. As a result of the dynamic political, social and economic changes, some companies have willingly become more inclusive, integrating women, people of color, gays/lesbians, and individuals with disabilities into their workforce at all levels of their organizations. However, others have failed to make this paradigm shift. The Federal government has failed to see the benefits of a diverse workforce, which is evident by the lack of diversity of the people it serves. Research by the Center for Creative Leadership (2002), show women in business have been required to adapt to a well established hierarchal system built around the strengths of its majority of male players. As women have entered the workplace, they initially try to create only a modest variant in a male dominated workplace. Gender diversity could be very beneficial to the Federal government, causing greater creativity in group decision-making and improved task performance.
4 Niche Job-Search Tips
Looking for a job on the Internet can be daunting. Where do you start? What Web sites are best for your industry?
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