Archive for July, 2009

Recession-Proofing Your Career Through Portability of Relationships

July 9, 2009

People Whispering Tip        

It’s easy to resist the need to stay connected with contacts when you are busy with what is in front of you, whether that’s your corporate job, delivering on a current project with a client, being a parent, or just making sure you exercise and keep up with your friends.  There is no question that the rate and magnitude of change keeps speeding up.  I used to teach two day workshops on this in the late 90’s and even had the opportunity to go to Japan and Korea to share tips and techniques on how to manage change with the Marriott Corporation.  It was a wonderful program which offered some practical tips on navigating through change using skills in four key areas – communication, openness, support, and experimentation.

Many of those concepts and skills still apply today.  That said, many training and coaching programs and interventions still assume a contained world of hierarchical organizations where once you “land” a job or contract, you can breathe easy for awhile.  If this past year has taught us anything, it’s taught us to wake up and assume nothing.  In coaching and consulting circles, we have been talking about thinking about yourself as a portfolio of transferrable skills for a long time.  In other words, you have skill sets and you seek to match your skills with the needs of an organization as you progress throughout your career.  You take your skills with you to another organization as your skills may not be needed at your original company.  Like it or not, the days of working for one company throughout your career are long gone.

However, factors other than skills are important to pack along with you in your portable career suitcase too.  What people seem to be missing in my opinion is the value and crucial importance of energizing and sustaining ongoing trusting relationships with people they’ve done business with in any context.  Of course, skills and experience, otherwise known as competence matter.  But so does that elusive chemistry factor.  Chemistry, compatibility, and “complementarity” are not just for romantic partners but apply in business as well.  Face it, work gets done through people who possess complementary skills, perspectives, and behavioral styles but who can still get along. 

It’s important to realize that you get a job not just because of your resume and track record but also because of your personality or behavioral style.  People want to be with people they know, like, and trust.  If a particular job opening or posting generates 800 candidates with 800 resumes, the resume that is hand-walked to the hiring manager’s desk by someone they know, like, and trust is going to get attention. 

What does this mean for you?  First, people need to know who you are and what you do in order to refer you or move your resume or proposal to the top of the stack.  And you need to be someone they want to work with because you know how to adapt your style to the needs of the situation and connect to the other person in their language.  I am not saying you should be anything other than your brilliant self.  I am saying you will need to develop your adaptability quotient by learning how to people-whisper in 4 easy steps.

It is also necessary to reframe how you think about corporate politics, networking, selling, and relationship-building.  If any of these words have any negative connotations for you as they do for many, learn to reframe your perception of what they truly mean.  All you are doing is connecting with people.  They get to know you and you get to know them.  Work gets done in the context of relationships through conversations.

In order to do this effortlessly, the 4 step process is as follows:

  1. Know yourself – know your style and needs and your impact upon others.  Know your natural strengths so you can build upon them.  Know your natural areas for growth so you can develop strategies to work around them or supplement them through others who excel in those areas.
  2. Know how to people-read – in my DiSC certifications and one-on-one coaching sessions, I teach people how to read others and to understand how to “do unto others as they would like to be done unto.”  In short, people have different needs and treating everyone the same way doesn’t usually work well.
  3. Speak to the other person in their language – we all come into this world with preferences in terms of how we like to fully and freely express certain dimensions of behavior.  Sometimes it is necessary to turn the dial up or down on certain behaviors in order to put the other person at ease and to meet their needs.
  4. Partner together going forward – once people understand where the other person is coming from and realize that people are unique and special, there is less of a tendency to believe the other is acting in a certain way to be difficult.  Knowledge of oneself and others leads to compassion and greater effectiveness when accomplishing tasks. 

Regardless of economic conditions, knowing how to connect and develop rapport will serve you well.  People will seek you out when the opportunity arises such that you will be in demand when the need is there.

To learn how to apply these concepts and translate them into practical realities for you or your organization, call us at (404) 327-6330 or email us at Laura@lauraadavis.com. Also feel free to check us out on Linkedin and Facebook at Laura A. Davis, to visit our website and store at www.lauraadavis.com, and/or to follow me on Twitter at Coachlad.

DiSC Assessment Application 

Experience the power of self knowledge and understanding first-hand in our upcoming Virtual Webinar series.  In the comfort of your own office without a need to travel or commute, sign up to attend one of our Webinar series today.

Using DiSC is a powerful yet easy to use learning model so that people can learn to understand and appreciate their personal priorities and the priorities of others.  This understanding allows them to better connect with their colleagues, improving the quality of workplace relationships – one relationship at a time.

The virtual showcase gives you the opportunity to experience Everything DiSC Workplace and see if it is right for your organization.  From the comfort of your own office you’ll get insider information on an easy-to-use program that helps you create productive and effective working relationships NOW.  This is relevant for recession-proofing your career and for achieving organizational goals.

WHY ATTEND?

As an attendee you’ll receive:

  • Your own personalized Everything DiSC Workplace Profile.  This 20-page report gives you insight into your workplace priorities and what you bring to the table.
  • Expert information from a member of Inscape Publishing’s senior executive team.
  • Virtual experience with Everything DiSC Workplace from a learner’s perspective by viewing all new workplace-specific video, and reviewing possible classroom activities.

EVERYTHING DiSC WORKPLACE VIRTUAL SHOWCASE DATES AND TIMES:
July 15, Noon to 1:30 PM Eastern
July 21, Noon to 1:30 PM Eastern
July 23, Noon to 1:30 PM Eastern

HOW TO REGISTER:

To register, call us as soon as possible as slots are going fast.  Call 404-327-6330 and leave a Voicemail as we will get back to you as soon as possible.  Likewise, you can email us at Laura@lauraadavis.com and be sure to specify which Webinar time you can commit to and we will register you and send you access codes for the report and provide further details you will need to participate fully.  The fee to attend the Everything DiSC Workplace Virtual Showcase is an incredibly low price of just $30 per participant.  Since it is a Webinar, all you will need is a phone line and a computer with high speed internet access.
   
Transformational Coaching Tip 

When dealing with the overwhelming feelings that massive change can bring and perhaps feeling a tad cranky about it, nothing is a better antidote than a good belly laugh.  It’s no surprise to me then that the current number one UTube video is a cute baby boy just laughing – but over 15 million viewers?  When I had a down moment earlier this week, it lifted my spirits.  Sometimes it comes down to simple things to refresh and rejuvenate.  If you are in the throes of change or need a little refreshing in the summer heat, here are some quick tips guaranteed to make you smile and lighten your heart. 

  1. Have a good belly-laugh!  Researchers say that a good laugh increases blood flow, reduces blood pressure, and releases endorphins which are natural pain-killers that increase well-being.  Not only is it fun, it is good for you!
  2. Honor your past and what brought you here today.  Many of us Baby Boomers have taken a trip down memory lane recently with the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett.  I am going to my high school reunion over the 4th of July.  Looking at yearbook photos is sure to guarantee a laugh and a change in perspective.
  3. Hang out with a 4 to 6 year old.  Children this age see the world as if it were magic, and we can learn a lot from them.  It is said that young children laugh over 100 times a day while adults may only laugh a couple of times daily if that.  Vow to lighten up – this too shall pass.
  4. Treat yourself to a childhood goody.  While the 4th of July holiday is now past, you can keep the spirit alive by playing with sparklers, having watermelon or ice cream, or better yet, corn on the cob with butter.  In my family, we had these fun corn on the cob replicas that you poked into the side of the cob so your fingers wouldn’t get too greasy (they probably have an official name I’ve forgotten).  Remember the Norman Rockwell-like moments of your childhood.  Almost everyone has some memories like that to smile about.
  5. Watch a silly but uplifting movie.  For me, “Legally Blonde” does it every time and it just happened to be on TV last night when I couldn’t do another “to do” for the life of me.  The thought of Elle Woods in pink at Harvard is just so silly and yet so profound at the same time.  Some corporate cultures could lighten up and take note.

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday.  I am honoring the talented heart and soul of the man who was Michael Jackson today, and am happy to see that people are celebrating his life and contributions.