Visit Our Store October 15, 2009
“A good coach will make his players see what they can become rather than what they are.” – Ara Parseghian
While each person is different, there are some issues that universally affect stress levels. For example, feeling out of control, directionless, or guilty for failing to keep your commitments; having more commitments than time; or being forced to make changes (or enforce change in others).
Most of these stresses can be decreased through effective time management. Although there are many time management theories, used effectively, each one will help you decrease your tension and increase your effectiveness.
So where do you begin? You may have heard it before, but these basics bear repeating:
Take the time to determine the difference between urgency and importance. Look critically at the last week. What caused the most stress in your environment? Was it the urgent matters, or the truly important matters? This critical step will help you feel more in control and will give you a greater sense of direction; living in crisis mode is a distraction from the greater goals you have as a leader in your organization.
Decrease the number of urgent matters that cross your desk. I know this one sounds insurmountable to many of you, but consider it a long-term project. Start investing now and you will see the returns in the coming months. For example, identify the top five urgent matters that you are typically faced with.
Spend the time to create a buffer between you and the “crisis” that crosses your desk. This doesn’t mean that you leave it unsettled. You may choose to train team members to handle these types of seemingly urgent matters. Perhaps they could each take one on.
Delegate! You’ve heard it said before, and here it is again. A critical part of coaching is also delegating. Why not take advantage of this, and give someone else a chance to work on some of your projects?
Be honest with yourself. Is it possible that you are holding on to them, because of your sense of ownership, or for other reasons? You will find that you can “think big” when your mind is not cluttered with all of the daily issues.
Recreate Your Schedule. Create a new schedule for this week. Begin by filling in what is important. This will help you make it a priority. Seemingly urgent matters can often be blocked into a particular time slot in your day. This takes away their “urgent” nature, and gives them the true attention they deserve.
If you follow all of these steps together, you will find a gradual but important shift in your time (and your life) in the upcoming months.
Learning to cope with stress is an essential skill in today’s workplace. Unmanaged stress is responsible for decreased productivity in the workplace.
Mentoring is quickly becoming the most effective and least costly alternative for fostering young or inexperienced talent. You will find that developing a mentoring culture in your organization gives you the opportunity to augment learning and better utilize your resources. Moreover, the benefits of relationship skills learned (by both sides) will spread through the whole organization. As the relationships deepen, people feel more connected to the organization.
Ultimately, the learning that results creates value for the entire organization. An excellent mentoring program is fostered by creating readiness for mentoring, facilitating opportunities and building in support mechanisms to ensure success.
Here are some of the hallmarks of a good mentoring culture.
1. Hold everyone accountable. Accountability measures such as setting goals, clarifying expectations, monitoring results and formulating action goals, will enhances
performance and produce long-lasting results. Shared intention, responsibility and ownership go a long way toward a successful mentoring relationship.
2. Share your stories. Share personal mentoring stories with your colleagues. Make yourself one of the leaders who spreads the “value proposition” offered by mentoring by letting your peers know what you have found out regarding best practices, the life cycle and success of your own mentoring experiences.
3. Increase opportunities. Help your organization develop a multi-pronged approach to mentoring; there is no single method for successful mentoring. For example, many organizations couple group mentoring with one-on-one mentoring; the learning from one reinforces the other.
4. Provide training. Ensure that your organization is teaching its leaders to foster a mentoring culture. Encourage the organization to provide overall training, both for the mentor and mentee roles. This will get the ball rolling on fostering mentoring within your organization.
Start your own mentoring by consulting with a seasoned mentor. Ask him or her what you can do to begin networking with colleagues to mentor others who are at a point in their career which would benefit from this kind of relationship. Remember, your organization is bound to benefit, too!
This time we were fortunate enough to sit down with Richard J. Pinsker, author of Hiring Winners (AMACOM, 1991), 7 Rules for Hiring Extraordinary Talent (HRD Press, 2009), and 7
Steps to a Rewarding Transitional Career: Getting Work in a Tough Economy (HRD Press, 2009). Mr. Pinsker has over 30 years of experience recruiting top level executives and coaching them in job transitions. He is also the Managing Director and Founder at The Transitional Career Center.
Can you tell us about how the ideas for your two most recent titles developed?
That’s a great question. Actually, I started with the 7 Rules for Hiring Extraordinary Talent, and the 7 Steps to a Rewarding Transitional Career actually takes the same concepts and turns them inside out for job seekers. Essentially, the ideas are universal and can be utilized by hiring managers and executives or candidates looking for engagement.
In the recent economic changes, many books have been published about how to find work. What makes this one unique?
First of all, it recognizes a new kind of career; a career model that recognizes the worker who is always in transition. Let me elucidate on that a bit: In the past, if people had more than two jobs in 10 years, it was suspect. Then with the dotcoms, people were changing jobs every year. Everyone was always jumping to the next deal. Then the bubble burst. Then this whole financial debacle hit us.
Companies are now really seeking to keep their costs to a minimum. They are quite motivated to engage management consultants and interim managers for specific projects, so they can avoid extra costs. I define that whole process as a transitional career. Management consultants and contractors have been doing this for many years.
The book, 7 Steps to a Rewarding Transitional Career, shows people how they can be available for a transitional career, and how to get work in a tough economy.
Essentially, a “transitional career” has one or more of the following attributes: A series of job engagements which may be part or full time; be consecutive or concurrent; and are typically separated by non-paid activity.
Another unique aspect of this latest title is that it is designed as a workbook. That means the reader actually works through all of the steps to developing his or her own transitional career.
Can you tell us about those steps?
I would be glad to! In short, they consist of creating your personal brand, creating marketing tools to promote that brand, networking and creating brand awareness, presenting your brand successfully, knowing the value and worth of your brand, and how to manage your brand.
As the reader works through the book he (or she) will learn how to develop many skills and resources such as how to succinctly describe your experience set and offerings, how to get an interview and what kinds of questions to consider when talking with a prospective employer.
Essentially, I help the reader define the transitional career, and then lead him through the process of developing the business, defining the relationship with new employers, and leading them through the process of getting an engagement.
Let’s talk briefly about the 7 Rules for Hiring Extraordinary Talent. What makes the information you present so revolutionary?
For starters, companies typically use job descriptions which are historical documents talking about activities, not accomplishments. When you are going to hire someone, it is to accomplish specific results.
The first concept I introduce is to develop a hiring profile based on the results you expect them to achieve in the first year. Skip the description altogether, because you are hiring someone to achieve results, not to fill a position.
Next, I encourage organizations to implement a proactive recruitment strategy. A manager should always be looking, whether there is an opening or not. Your company is built on the basis
of great people working there. This means that every manager is charged with the responsibility of bringing good people to your attention. It should even be part of the manager’s performance expectations, whether candidates are currently needed or not.
I also have a unique suggestion for drawing out sincere references, not simply commercials for the candidate that have been set up ahead of time!
Thanks so much for your time today, Dick. We look forward to learning more about the hiring and career transition processes from you in the future!
Ensuring Training ROI
An executive team for a large company sent their senior managers to a seminar on quality. Understandably, the executives were fully expecting that quality, productivity and overall performance would improve as a result of having sent their senior managers to the seminar.
As time marched on, enthusiasm for the seminar waned, because the executive team could not identify any quantifiable quality-related improvements. They couldn’t figure out why the such a well-known and respected program didn’t work for their own organization. They even resorted to sending a subgroup of managers back for a refresher course, but the results remained flat.
Why did this initiative fail? What could have been done to avoid the disappointing outcome in this situation?