Archive: October, 2016

Post from Transformation Tom™- Know Your Audience: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - October 25, 2016 - News
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Know Your Audience

 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of your homework, it’s critical that you know with whom you
are talking—not just his or her name and title. Do you know their
interests, their past roles, their accomplishments? If it’s not an interview
but a networking session, it may be a slightly different conversation since
you’re not restricted to protocol about interview boundaries. I wouldn’t
recommend being too casual, but I suggest being more creative in your
approach about topics to discuss.

I suggest keeping things professional; however, you do have more latitude
to talk about potential common interests and connection points.
For example, you can talk about running marathons or how many kids
he or she may have in their family, when it makes sense. Conversely, try to
understand what topics are taboo. I once asked a contact how his wife was
doing, as I knew the couple when they used to live nearby. He mentioned
their recent divorce. I couldn’t have gotten every bit of information in
advance to ensure the conversation went smoothly, but I could have been
more attentive to the fact that he was only talking about his kids, and not
pressed the question about his spouse unless it came up more naturally.
It made the discussion awkward for a little bit. We recovered, but it was a
good lesson in the importance of a better awareness of the surroundings
and situations. As much as personal connections will enhance the relationship,
I’ve learned to do enough homework to be sure, allow others to
bring subjects up first, or to stay away from personal topics until a deeper
relationship is forged.

What do you know about the audience with whom you’re interviewing?
Look for more than personal facts, especially in an interview, since
the dynamics are slightly different from a pure networking session. Do
you know the person’s style and personality type? Does the person you’re
interviewing with like humor? Are they “down-to-earth;” are they shirtand-
tie-type where everything stays extremely professional; are they looking
for past history or go-forward dialog? Stay true to yourself in the
interview but when you know how to adapt, it can be a key factor to
making the most of the conversation.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You

Post from Transformation Tom™-MONITORING MULTITASKING: Chapter from “Time Management Manifesto”

Posted by tomdowd - October 18, 2016 - News
0

MONITORING MULTITASKING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been involved in many meetings, especially conference calls,
in which people were obviously not engaged. The disengaged population
is often multitasking. Besides the people who readily admit
that they are multitasking (you would be surprised at the number of
people who come right out and tell me), there are the people who don’t
say a word during the entire meeting, other than to say hello in the beginning
and goodbye at the end. The multitaskers also are the obvious
ones who say, “Huh?” or, “Can you please repeat the question?” when
they hear their name directly. Some are bold enough to say, “Johnny
and I were just instant messaging and I didn’t catch all that.”

In 2009, Ryan Buxton referenced a new study from the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences that found multitasking may
do more harm than good. Citing the study’s findings, the article
states, “Multitaskers are more susceptible to memory interference by
irrelevant details.” The effort to move from one topic to another and the
exertion required to return where you were impacts the true retention
of information for multitaskers. What does this have to do with time
management? Everything. Anything that takes your concentration
away from the present will create extra work for you. Stop kidding
yourself by thinking that multitasking saves time. It actually does the
opposite.

I recently saw a presenter request the audience to write out their
first name and last name. He asked them to write out the first letter of
their first name followed by the first letter of their last name, and so
on. It obviously took much longer than simply writing their names out
normally. The point was powerful.

Start an exercise over the next three days at work. I want it to be based
on true experiential facts, not by looking at the past and creating a time
study—you want facts, not subjectivity. Start to monitor the number
of times that you try to multitask in a day. By being conscientious of it,
you will reduce the pull to do it. Mark down the number of attempts,
even if you went back to concentrating on the first item. The goal is to
improve this by ten percent each day.

I won’t be a hypocrite and say that I have never done it. However,
since I’ve limited my multitasking, I have found myself asking What
just happened? in a meeting much less frequently than I had in the
past. Additionally, I will say that my concentration level and my
engagement has grown substantially since I made a concerted effort to
concentrate on one task, one meeting, and one conversation at a time.
A conversation that only needs to happen once—thus saving everyone
time.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You

Post from Transformation Tom™- Do Your Homework: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - October 11, 2016 - News
0

Do Your Homework

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to SWOT Analysis and multi-generation plans mentioned in previous blogs, it’s imperative
that you do your homework prior to meeting with people from
any company—even if it’s not an interview. Homework goes far beyond
a company’s website. Doing your homework includes using LinkedIn
individual profiles prior to networking sessions and engaging in group
discussions on pertinent subject matter. Just because it’s not an interview
doesn’t mean you can go in and wing it. You need to be ready to be engaged
in a dialog rather than simply begging for a job. During a networking
session, I once asked the individual how to get actual interviews with
some of her peers whom I had already networked with in the past. Her
response was, “You already had the interview when you networked.” That
was a powerful statement that has remained with me: every conversation
is a potential interview.

If you are fortunate enough to get an official interview, you must start
digging in even further to gather more information. You can start by going
on the company website—the operative word is start. In your effort to
be seen as unique among the masses, understand that going on the website
is what everyone else does, too. It’s important to understand the company’s
mission and culture, but that is only surface information. How do
the mission and culture come alive? Who do you know working there or
who previously worked there? Do you have anyone in your Facebook or
LinkedIn contacts? Can you look at current employee or alumni groups
on LinkedIn, looking for people you may know or can connect with prior
to the interview? Do you know people at a career center who may have
contacts? Look for HR connections though LinkedIn or group discussions.
If you have Twitter, look for how the company is sending out their
regular messaging. Look for news features or articles about the company
to get a holistic view. It’s vital to do more than read the company’s mission
statement.

Homework may also include role playing, mock interviewing, or
bouncing ideas off your mentors in preparation for job interviews and
networking. You can read the “Practice Interviewing” chapter for more
tips.

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You

Post from Transformation Tom™-CREATING EFFECTIVE CHECKLISTS: Chapter from “Time Management Manifesto”

Posted by tomdowd - October 4, 2016 - News
0

CREATING EFFECTIVE CHECKLISTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an ironic twist on the previous chapter, I want to share the power
of mindless checklists. As I was packing for a summer vacation, I
was scrambling around and getting stressed over whether or not I
was forgetting something. As I was digging through my junk drawer, in
the back of a notebook I found last year’s list. There it was; everything
I needed to bring—including a swimsuit, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

The burdensome task of packing turned from a budding stressful situation
to a quick to-do. I have since made a winter vacation list, and a
business trip list. Each of the lists has matured and changed over time,
but the basics remain the same. Routines—or doing the same thing
over again with predictability—can make you a better organizer and
time manager if they enhance your productivity and reduce your stress
levels.

Determine what checklists and routines personally and professionally
can work for you. Are there standard operating procedures that need
to be made up? Are there morning opening or closing tasks that can
be made holistic and easier for you to follow? What regular reference
points or routines can you establish and create both personally and
professionally? You might even want to establish a routine to have time
each week, or even daily, for no electronic disruptions so that you can
commit to doing nothing but what is in front of you. To put the last
two chapters to work, you can have an appointment for today to review
the specific checklist that will be used (e.g., “Use packing list to pack
for vacation”).

Checklists and routines reduce unpredictability and consistently
let everyone know ahead of time what is expected. If it’s a standing
meeting or a common task that makes you more productive and
reduces unnecessary stress, then checklists and routines can and should
be implemented.
 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You