Transformation Blog & Events

Upcoming and Recent Events (Book Signings, Speaking, Training, Coaching, and Media Appearances)

Posted by tomdowd - February 22, 2019 - Events
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Upcoming Events

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Thomas B. Dowd III’s books:

– Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success

– The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

– Time Management Manifesto:  Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance 

Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (2014 Paris Book Festival and 2014 New York Book Festival Honorable Mention)

– The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival)

– From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available!

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

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Upcoming Speaking, Training, Coaching, and Book Signing Events (all times Eastern Time Zone):


• April 19, 2019 Time: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Individual Coaching- job search strategies

• May 3, 2019   Time: 8:00 am – 3:30 pm 

Practical Public Speaking for Business

University of Maine- Hutchinson Center, Belfast, Maine

• June 19, 2019   Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Maine Adult Learning Association

“Manage Your Time, Don’t Let it Manage You” keynote address and workshop

Donald P. Corbett Building, University of Maine, Orono, ME


• Date / Time / Location Rescheduled Time: TBD

Bebee Healthcare

Heritage Shores, 34 Royal View Drive, Bridgeville, DE 19933

“Resurrecting Resilience” keynote, MC event

Past Events: 
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4/5/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

4/2/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

3/29/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

3/25/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

3/21/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

3/15/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

3/14/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

3/12/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

3/11/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

3/5/19 Interviewing Workshop (virtual session with financial institution)

3/8/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

3/1/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

2/26/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

2/22/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

2/20/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

2/15/19 Individual coaching session- job search strategies

2/13/19 Individual Coaching- job search strategies

2/8/19-2/10/19 U.S. National Toboggan Championships- Master of Ceremonies

2/7/19 Individual Coaching- resume

2/6/19 Individual Coaching- job search strategies

2/6/19 Individual Coaching- job search strategies

1/31/19 Individual Coaching- job search strategies

1/24/19 Individual Coaching- job search strategies

1/21/19 Individual Coaching- job search strategies

1/15/19 Individual Coaching- job search strategies

1/14/19 Individual Coaching- job search strategies

1/10/18 Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

1/9/18 Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

1/03/19 Individual Coaching- networking skills

12/28/18 Individual Coaching- job search strategies

12/14/18 Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

12/13/18        Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

12/10/18        Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

12/3/18           Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

11/19/18         Hope Elementary School, Hope, Maine

“Resurrecting Resilience” keynote

11/19/18         Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

11/26/18         Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

11/15/18         Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

11/12/18         Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

11/6/18           Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

11/6/18           Individual Coaching- interviewing skills

11/2/19           Practical Public Speaking for Business

University of Maine- Hutchinson Center, Belfast, Maine

10/19/18        Individual Coaching- resume

10/25/18       Let Your Connections Work for You—How to Build a Professional Network

Mt. Laurel, NJ

10/9/18         Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

10/8/18         Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

10/3/18         Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

10/2/18         Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

10/1/18         Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/21/18         Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/20/18        Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/19/18         Keynote address: Resurrecting Resilience

91st Annual Maine Safety and Health Conference

Augusta (Maine) Civic Center

9/17/18        Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/13/18        Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/10/18        Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/6/18          Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/3/18          Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

8/28/18        Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

8/27/18        Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

8/24/18        Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

8/20/18        Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

6/27/18        Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI)- “Here Comes the Judge”

Texas Instruments, Portland, Maine

6/13/18        Individual Coaching- resume

6/12/18        Individual Coaching- resume

6/12/18        Individual Coaching- resume

5/27/18       Toastmasters District 45 Table Topics Finals (First Place)

5/26/18       Toastmasters District 45 International Speech Finals (Second Place)

5/24/18       “Change Your Story”

Tri-City Toastmasters (Portsmouth, Maine)

5/23/18       “Change Your Story”

Portland Harborside (Portland, Maine)

5/23/18        “Change Your Story”

Running Hill Toastmasters (Scarborough, Maine)

5/22/18         “Change Your Story”

L-A Toastmasters (Lewiston, Maine)

5/21/18           “Change Your Story”

Greater Portland (Portland, ME)

5/17/18            “Change Your Story”

Portsmouth Toastmasters (Portsmouth, NH)

5/16/18             “Change Your Story”

MDI Toastmasters (MDI, Maine)

5/15/18              “Change Your Story”

Ad-libs Toastmasters (Portsmouth, NH)

5/8/18              “Change Your Story”

KVTM (Augusta, Maine)

5/4/18               Individual Coaching- resume

5/1/18               “Change Your Story”

Camden (Maine) Rotary, Camden, Maine

4/4/18               Division B-level International and Table Topics Speech Contest, Waterville, Maine (won both)

4/30/18             Individual Coaching- resume

4/26/18             “Change Your Story”

Ecotoasters, Augusta, Maine

4/25/18              “Change Your Story”

TD L-A Toastmasters (Lewiston, Maine)

4/24/18             “Change Your Story”

Carbonite Droid Toastmasters (Lewiston, Maine)

4/24/18             “Change Your Story”

L-A Toastmasters (Lewiston, Maine)

4/17/18               “Change Your Story”

Brunswick Toastmasters

4/12/18               Individual Coaching- resume, LinkedIn

4/10/18              Area 14-level International and Table Topics Speech Contest, Augusta, Maine (won both)

4/9/18                “Change Your Story”

Rockland (Maine) Kiwanis,

Chamber of Commerce, Park St, Rockland, Maine

4/6/18               “Change Your Story”

Dexter Sunrise Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus Hall, North Dexter Rd., Dexter, Maine

4/3/18                “Change Your Story”

Winthrop Rotary, 117 Bowdoin St, Winthrop, Maine

4/2/18                Individual Coaching- resume

3/28/18            “Change Your Story”

Ecotoasters (Augusta, Maine)

3/27/18             “Change Your Story”

KVTM Club-level International and Table Topics Speech Contest, Augusta, Maine (First Place, both contests)

3/27/18              “Change Your Story”

Augusta (Maine) Rotary, Cohen Community Center, Hollowell, Maine

Individual Coaching- Interviewing

3/21/18                “Change Your Story”

Wayfair Furniture, Brunswick, Toastmasters Demo Meeting, Brunswick, Maine

3/20/18                “Change Your Story”

University of Rockland (URock)- Public Speaking Class, Rockland, Maine

3/6/18                 “Change Your Story”

Camden (Maine) Lions, Camden, Maine

3/5/18                 Individual Coaching- resume

2/19/18               Individual Coaching- resume

2/19/18               Individual Coaching- professional development coaching

2/10-2/11/18     U.S. National Toboggan Championships

Camden Snow Bowl, Camden, Maine

Honored to be the “Voice of the Toboggan Championships” since 2009

2/5/18          Individual Coaching- resume update

2/2/18            Midcoast Leadership Academy

Penbay Hospital (Physician’s Building downstairs), Rockport Maine

“Resurrecting Resilience” keynote

1/30/18          Individual Coaching- resume update

1/10/18           The Havard Club of Boston

374 Commonwealth Ave, Boston MA

“Resurrecting Resilience” keynote

12/20/17         Individual coaching- career advice

12/13/17          Amoskeag Better Communicators (Toastmasters)- “Turn the Page”, Manchester, NH

12/7/18           Individual Coaching- long-term career planning

12/5/17            Individual Coaching- long-term career planning

11/16/17           Individual Coaching- long-term career planning

11/13/17           Individual Coaching- long-term career planning

11/8/17             Individual Coaching- resume

11/6/17             Individual Coaching- long-term career planning

11/4/17             District 45 Fall Conference- Resurrecting Resilience

10/16/17          Individual Coaching- long-term career planning

10/12/17           EcoToasters

Augusta Maine

“Resurrecting Resilience”

10/13/17          Individual Coaching- long-term career planning

10/3/17            Brunswick Toastmasters

8 Venture Ave, Brunswick (old Brunswick Naval Air Station)

“Resurrecting Resilience”

10/4/17           Bangor Toastmasters

417 Main St Bangor Maine

“Resurrecting Resilience”

9/28/17          Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/26/17          Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/25/17          Individual Coaching- job-search strategies

9/20/17          Individual Coaching- resume

9/18/17          Individual Coaching- resume

9/7/17            Individual Coaching – resume

9/5/17            Individual Coaching – resume

9/1/17-9/3/17  Master of Ceremonies (Saturday and Sunday)

Camden Windjammer Festival

https://www.camdenwindjammerfestival.org/

8/28/17         Individual Coaching – Interviewing

8/28/17          Individual Coaching – Networking

8/21/17           Individual Coaching – Networking

8/21/17           Individual Coaching – resume

8/18/17           Individual Coaching – Networking

8/16/17           Individual Coaching – Networking

8/14/17           Individual Coaching – Networking

8/2/17             Individual Coaching – Networking

7/24/17           Individual Coaching – Networking

7/17/17            Individual Coaching – Networking

6/7/17              Individual Coaching- Networking

6/2/17             Individual coaching- interviewing

5/26/17           Individual Coaching- resume

5/25/17           MC Sculpture Race at Camden-Rockport Middle School

5/24/17           Individual Coaching- resume

5/20/17          District 45 International Speech Competition, Sunday River, Maine

5/19/17           Criterium Engineers, Portland, Maine: Portland Regency Hotel, Portland Maine

Generational Differences- Millennials

5/17/17           MDI Toastmasters, Hulls Cove, ME

District 45 International Speech Competition prep

5/16/17          Brunswick Toastmasters, Brunswick, ME

District 45 International Speech Competition prep5/11/17

5/15/17          Individual coaching- resume

5/11/17           Tri-City Toastmasters, Dover, NH

District 45 International Speech Competition prep

5/10/17            Portland Harborside Toastmasters, Portland, ME

District 45 International Speech Competition prep

5/9/17              KVTM, Augusta, ME

District 45 International Speech Competition prep

5/6/17              Division B (Maine/pasts NH) Toastmasters International Speech Competition (winner)

5/5/17              Mid-Coast Leadership Academy, Location TBD

Generational Differences- Millennials

4/27/17            EcoToasters, Lewiston, Maine

Public Speaking

4/27/17            LA TD Toastmasters, Lewiston, Maine

Public Speaking

4/25/17            Individual Coaching- professional development

4/24/17            Individual Coaching- professional development

4/24/17            Individual Coaching- professional development

4/21/17             Rockland Kiwanis, Lighthouse Museum/ Chamber Office, Rockland, Maine

Public Speaking

4/20/17              Individual Coaching- professional development

4/13/17               Individual Coaching- professional development

4/11/17                Individual Coaching- professional development

4/7/17                  Individual Coaching- professional development

4/6/17                  Individual Coaching- professional development

4/4/17                  Winthrop Rotary, American Legion Post 40, 117 Bowdoin Street Winthrop, Maine

Public Speaking

4/2/17                  Individual Coaching- reume writing

3/31/17                Dexter Kiwanis Club- Public Speaking

Knights of Columbus Hall

16 Crockett Rd, Dexter, Maine

3/21/17                Public Speaking Discussion, Coastmasters Toastmasters

Camden, Maine

3/21/17              Camden Lions Club, Camden Maine

Public Speaking

3/16/17              Individual Coaching- Public Speaking

3/15/17              Public Speaking Discussion, Bangor Toastmasters

Camden, Maine

3/14/17              Individual Coaching- resume

3/13/13              It’s Not Bragging if it’s a Fact–Improve Interviewing Skills

Wilmington Memorial Library

175 Middlesex Ave, Wilmington, MA 01887

3/12/17              Public Address Announcer

Cardboard Box Derby, Camden Snow Bowl, Camden, Maine

3/10/17             Individual Coaching- resume

3/7/17               University of Rockland, Rockland Maine

Public Speaking

3/6/17              Individual Coaching- resume

3/5/17              Individual Coaching- resume

3/5/17              Individual Coaching- resume

2/28/17           Camden Rotary Club, Camden Maine

Public Speaking

2/27/17            Individual Coaching- interviewing, networking

2/23/17            Individual Coaching- resume

2/22/17             Rockland Rotary, Elks Club Rankin St Rockland Maine

Public Speaking

2/23/17            Individual Coaching- resume

2/20/17            Individual Coaching- interviewing, networking

2/15/17              Rockland Rotary- public speaking

2/10-12/17        U.S. National Toboggan Championships

Public Address Announcer

2/7/17               Individual Coaching- resume writing

2/1/17               The Chris Wolf Show

https://www.mainecoast.tv/category/chris-wolf-show/

1/31/17             Augusta Rotary Club, Augusta Maine

Public Speaking

1/30/17             Individual Coaching- public speaking

1/271/7             Individual Coaching- career strategies

1/23/17             Individual Coaching- public speaking

1/20/17             Individual Coaching- career strategies

1/17/17             “Practical Public Speaking for Business”, Falmouth Maine

Financial Institution

1/16/17             Individual Coaching- resume

1/13/17             Individual Coaching-interviewing

1/12/17             Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce -2017 Business Breakfast

1/9/17              “Practical Public Speaking for Business”, Mt. Laurel, NJ

Financial Institution

1/7/17               Individual Coaching- job search strategies

1/5/17               Individual Coaching- job search strategies

1/3/17               Individual Coaching- job search strategies

12/26/16          Individual Coaching- Resume

12/19/16          Individual Coaching- Resume

12/18/16          Individual Coaching- Resume

12/14/16           Individual Coaching- Resume

11/23/16           Podcast Interview with Engel Jones- world record attempt: 1509 radio conversations

11/23/16           Professional Radio Network Interview

11/8/16             Coaching Session- Resume

11/3/16              Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Caroline Dowd-Higgins

https://ow.ly/CZX35

11/1/16              Coaching Session- Networking

10/15/16           District 45 Division B Humorous Speech (2nd Place) and Evaluation Speech (Winner) Contest Finals

10/6/16             Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Sheila Kelley

https://ow.ly/CZX35

10/5/16               Individual coaching- resume

9/26/16              Individual coaching- career development (PM)

9/26/16              Individual coaching- career development (AM)

9/27/16               Area 14 Humorous Speech Contest and Speech Evaluation Contest, Lewiston, ME

9/20/16              TD Legendary Leaders Humorous Speech Contest and Speech Evaluation Contest, Falmouth, ME

9/15/16                Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace with HR Association Greater Concord (NH)

9/13/16                KVTM Humorous Speech Contest and Speech Evaluation Contest, Augusta, ME

9/13/16                Winthrop Rotary Club- Public Speaking Discussion

American Legion Post 40, 117 Bowdoin Street. Winthrop ME

9/12/16                Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Tom Meyers

https://ow.ly/CZX35

9/12/16                 Individual coaching- career development

9/12/16                 Individual coaching- career development

9/8/16                  Public Speaking Discussion, Coastmasters Toastmasters Club, Camden, ME

9/7/16                   Public Speaking Discussion, Bangor Toastmasters Club, Beal College, Bangor, ME

9/5/16                   Individual coaching- resume writing

9/1/16                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Bob Whipple

https://ow.ly/CZX35

8/29/26                Individual coaching- resume

8/29/16                 Individual coaching- career development

8/30/16                 Individual coaching- resume

8/29/16                 Individual coaching- career development

8/22/16                 Individual coaching- resume

8/18/16                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Neil Ihde

https://ow.ly/CZX35

8/17/16                  Individual coaching- resume

8/16/16                  Individual coaching- resume

8/15/16                  Individual coaching- resume

8/12/16                  Individual coaching- resume

8/10/16                  Flawless Virtual Presentations

Conference Call Financial Institution

8/3/16                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest David Riemer

https://ow.ly/CZX35

7/21/16                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Barbara Lee

https://ow.ly/CZX35

7/8/16                    Individual Coaching- resume

7/5/16                    Individual Coaching- resume

6/24/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing

6/23/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing

6/17/16                  Individual Career Coaching

6/16/16                 The Successful Author Podcast with Julie Anne Eason

6/16/16                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest David Balch

https://ow.ly/CZX35

6/15/16                  Individual Career Coaching

6/2/16                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Helene Segura

https://ow.ly/CZX35

6/1/16                     Individual Coaching, Interviewing

5/25/16                   Merck- Interaction and Engagement Effectiveness

Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center, Spinnaker Room

5/20/16                  Maine State Library – offsite facilitation

Location: Portland Public Library, Portland Maine

5/16/16                   Individual Coaching Session- job-seeking strategies

5/19/16                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Janet Edmunson

5/15/16                   Individual Coaching Session- job-seeking strategies

5/11/16                   Individual Coaching Session- job-seeking strategies

5/5/16                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Bob Whipple

https://ow.ly/CZX35

5/2/16                     Individual Coaching Session- job-seeking strategies

4/30/16                 Book Signing Sherman’s Books, Camden ME

4/29/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing

4/21/16                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Randy Fox

https://ow.ly/CZX35

4/19/16                  Individual Coaching- resume writing

4/18/16                  Individual Coaching- resume writing

4/14/16                  Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace

Conference Call Financial Institution

4/11/16                   Guest speaker Rockland Kiwanis

Samoset Resort, Rockland, ME

4/11/16                   Individual Coaching- resume writing

4/8/16                    Individual Coaching- resume writing

4/7/16                     Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Monal Pathak

https://ow.ly/CZX35

4/7/16                     Guest appearance HR Power Hour with David Ciullo

4/5/16                     Individual Coaching- resume writing

4/5/16                     Guest speaker Augusta Rotary

Senator Inn Augusta, ME

4/4/16                     Guest speaker UROCK (University of Rockland), public speaking class

Rockland, ME

4/1/16                    Individual Coaching- resume writing

3/31/16                  Individual Coaching- resume writing

3/31/16                  Individual Coaching- resume writing

3/29/16                 Guest appearance on Fred Simkovsky radio show

3/23/16                 Resume Writing: Make Your Story Come Alive

Westford Job Seekers, J.V. Fletcher Library

50 Main Street Westford, MA 01886

3/22/16                 Guest speaker at Coastmasters Toastmasters       Camden, Maine

3/20/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing

3/17/16                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Bryce Kuhlman

https://ow.ly/CZX35

3/14/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing

3/13/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing (3pm)

3/13/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing (5pm)

3/10/16                Speaking to Thomas College Public Speaking Classes, Waterville, Maine

3/9/16                  Radio Guest January Jones- Sharing Success Stories

3/8/16                  Guest speaker Winthrop Rotary

Winthrop Legion Hall, 40 Bowdoin St. Winthrop, Maine

3/7/16                  Individual Coaching- resume writing

3/6/16                  Cardboard Box Derby, Camden Snow Bowl-announcer

3/3/16                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Tom Reaoch

https://ow.ly/CZX35

2/29/16                “Your Working Life” Podcast with Caroline Higgins Dowd

2/24/16                 Transformation Discussion- Virtual meeting with Financial Institution leaders

2/24/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing

2/23/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing

2/20/16                 Individual Coaching- resume writing

2/18/16                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Jeffrey Hayzlett

https://ow.ly/CZX35

2/16/16                  Guest Speaker Camden (Maine) Lions Club

Camden, Maine

2/13/16                   Book Reading: “The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood”

Our Lady of Good Hope  Camden, Maine (cancelled)

2/12/16                  Individual Coaching- Book Marketing

2/8/16                    Make Your Connections Work for You- Networking Skills

Financial organization Mt. Laurel, NJ

2/5-2/6/16           US National Toboggan Championships

Snow Bowl, Camden, Maine

Event Announcer

2/4/16                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Al Raymond

https://ow.ly/CZX35

2/3/16                    Let’s Just Talk radio with Katherine Raaker

2/3/16                    Chris Wolf Show    MaineCoast.tv

1/27/16                   US National Toboggan Championship Panel Discussion

Rockport (Maine), Rockport Library

1/21/16                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Michelle Chung

https://ow.ly/CZX35

1/19/16                   Understanding Generational Differences in the Workplace

Falmouth, Maine

1/12/16                   VStv Interview- discussing US National Toboggan Championships

1/11/16                   Individual Coaching- resume

1/8/16                    Individual Coaching- resume

1/7/16                     Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Donna Serdula

https://ow.ly/CZX35

12/31/15                Individual Coaching- resume

12/28/15                Individual Coaching- resume

12/18/15                 Book signing- Portland Jetport, Portland Maine

12/17/15                 Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Oscar Santolalla

https://ow.ly/CZX35

12/14/15                  Individual Coaching- resume

12/12/15                  Book Signing, Sherman’s Maine Books & Stationery, Camden Maine

12/3/15                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Chris Dyer

https://ow.ly/CZX35

12/2/15                    Interviewing: It’s Not Bragging If It’s a Fact

Westford Job Seekers, J.V. Fletcher Library

50 Main Street Westford, MA 01886

11/19/15                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Diane Williams

https://ow.ly/CZX35

11/16/15                 Individual Coaching session- resume writing

11/13/15                 Individual Coaching session- resume writing

11/12/15                 Individual Coaching session- resume writing

11/11/15                 Time Management- Baker Newman Noyes CPA (BNNCPA)- Cancelled

Portsmouth Sheraton, Portsmouth NH

11/11/15                  Podcast Interview Business Innovators Magazine

11/11/15                  Individual Coaching session- LinkedIn, Networking

11/9/15                   Individual Coaching session- resume writing

11/8/15                   District 45 Speech Evaluation Contest Finalist (winner)

11/7/15                   District 45 Humorous Speech Contest Finalist

11/5/15                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Brian Campkin

https://ow.ly/CZX35

11/4/15                   Communicating Up, Down, and Around- Conference Call with a Financial Institution

10/27/15                Guest appearance on TalentTalk Radio Show with Chris Dyer

10/19/15                 Individual coaching- resume writing

10/17/15                 Division B (State of ME and parts of NH) Humorous Speech and Speech Evaluation Contest Finals

10/15/15                 Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio- Time Management Manifesto

https://ow.ly/CZX35

10/13/15                 Individual coaching- resume writing

10/6/15                  Resume Writing- Women in Leadership group

Falmouth Maine

10/2/15                   Command and Influence: Effective Communication

Falmouth, ME

10/1/15                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Alfred Manganiello

https://ow.ly/CZX35

9/30/15                   Command and Influence: Effective Communication

Mt. Laurel, NJ

9/17/15                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Dorie Clark

https://ow.ly/CZX35

9/11/15                   Individual coaching- resume writing

9/9/15                    Individual coaching- resume writing (2 different clients)

9/3/15                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Jen Blood

https://ow.ly/CZX35

9/1/15                     Resume Writing- Women in Leadership group

Falmouth Maine

8/25/15                  Resume Writing- Women in Leadership group

Falmouth Maine

8/20/15                 Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Mike Matteo

https://ow.ly/CZX35

8/19/15                 Time to Shine Podcast – Public Speaking with Oscar Santolalla

https://www.timetoshinepodcast.com/

8/13/15                 MaineHealth “Practical Public Speaking” for Trainers, Falmouth Maine

8/12/15                 Individual Coaching- Resume Writing

8/10/15                 Individual Coaching- Resume Writing (2 clients)

8/6/15                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Erin Dymowski (Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms)

https://ow.ly/CZX35

7/31/15                  Individual Coaching- Resume Writing

7/27/15                  Time Management Training

Conference Call

7/16/15                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Judy Robinette

7/7/15                    Resume writing coaching session

7/6/15                    Guest on CBS Radio with Shep Hyken

7/2/15                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Sharon Mast

https://ow.ly/CZX35

6/15/15                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guests Henry Chamberlin and Bennet Geis

https://ow.ly/CZX35

6/10/15                   Radio guest on Destiny Moments with Angel Murchison

https://angelmurchisondestinymoments.blogspot.com/

6/4/15                      Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with the authors of “The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood”

https://ow.ly/CZX35

5/31/15                   Maine Authors Publishing- “The Art of a Good Book Reading”

Sebasco Harbor Resort, Sebasco Estates
29 Kenyon Rd Sebasco Estates, ME, 04565

5/23/15                   Book signing Shermans Bookstore, Camden ME

5/21/15                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Bob Weinstein

https://ow.ly/CZX35

5/21/15                   Podcast Interview with David Wissore on Fatherhood360

www.fatherhood360.com

5/20/15                 Facilitator- all day session with Maine Librarians

Point Lookout, North Port Maine

5/16/15                  Toastmasters District 45 (ME, NH, VT, 3 Eastern Provinces of Canada) Manchester, NH

Training Session:  “Manage Your Time, Don’t Let It Manage You”

5/14/15                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Mike Storkey

https://ow.ly/CZX35

5/7/15                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Dr. Fay Butler

https://ow.ly/CZX35

5/5/15                    Taping VSTV “Soup du Jour” show with Nancy Nickerson

https://www.vstv.me/soupdujour.html

5/4/15                    Individual Coaching Resume Writing

5/8/15                    TV Interview Helen Fu westfordcat.org

5/9/15                    Toastmasters District 31 (Eastern MA, RI), Mansfield, MA

Afternoon Training Session:  “Manage Your Time, Don’t Let It Manage You”

5/9/15                     Toastmasters District 31 (Eastern MA, RI), Mansfield, MA

Keynote address:  “Transformation Time with Transformation Tom:  A Journey of Self-awareness, Belief, and Action”

4/24/15                   Radio Guest on “Better Business Builders Show with James Nemley” discussing “Fatherhood”

4/16/15                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Josh Coburn

https://ow.ly/CZX35

4/10/15                   Discussion with 10:00am and 11:00am Public-speaking Classes at Thomas College

4/2/15                     Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Marc Demetriou

https://ow.ly/CZX35

4/1/15                      Radio Guest on “Better Business Builders Show with James Nemley” discussing Time Management

3/26/15                   The Successful Author Podcast with Julie Anne Eason

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/successful-author-podcast/id948069222?mt=2

3/19/15                    Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Debbie Pokornik

https://ow.ly/CZX35

3/18/15                   Camden Hills Regional High Schools

Time Management Discussion

3/15/15                    Taping for guest appearance on “Your Kind Voice” with host Dominic Domasky

Click here to listen

3/5/15                      Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Sheila Kelley

https://ow.ly/CZX35

2/21/15                     Division B Toastmasters Leadership Institute – Effective Elevator Speeches

Thomas College, Waterville, Maine

2/19/19                      Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Dominick Domasky

https://ow.ly/CZX35

2/19/19                       Radio guest appearance with Beth Shackleton-Anderson Click to Listen

2/12/15                       Radio guest appearance with Marc C. Demetriou on 1160am WVNJ “The Real Estate and Money Show”

2/12/15                       Falmouth (Maine) Lions Club Time Management Discussion Falmouth Legion Hall 65 Depot Rd Falmouth, ME

2/11/15                        Guest Radio Interview 93.3 WRFR with Chris Wolf / Mid-Maine.tv

2/11/15                        Individual Coaching- resume writing

2/6/15-2/8/15           US National Toboggan Championships Camden ME Announcer

2/5/15                         Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Elisabetta Faenza

https://ow.ly/CZX35

2/2/15                        Interview with Charlotte Howard on the Success & Beauty Radio Show

Click to Listen

1/26/15                      Blog Interview with Mary Motivates

1/24/15                     Division B Toastmasters Leadership Institute – Effective Elevator Speeches

UNUM, Portland, Maine

1/15/15                      Midcoast Development Council – Effective Elevator Speeches

Georges River Land Trust, 8 N. Main Street, Suite 200, Rockland Maine

1/15/15                     Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Diana Warmsley

https://ow.ly/CZX35

1/8/15                        Radio guest appearance MPBN Radio discussing Time Management

https://news.mpbn.net/post/better-time-management

12/24/14                   Individual Coaching- interviewing

12/23/14                   Individual Coaching- business start-up discussion

12/21/14                   Guest on Al Cole Radio Show- taping

12/18/14                   Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Abbie McGilvery

https://ow.ly/CZX35

12/17/14                   Guest on Visions of Success radio show with Dr. Fred Simkovsky

12/14/14                   Book signing at Sherman’s Book Store, Freeport ME

12/13/14                   Radio Guest on “Business 101 with Scott Gingold”

12/11/14                    Individual Coaching session- resume

12/12/14                   Individual Coaching session- Interviewing

12/4/14                     Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Don Holbrook

https://ow.ly/CZX35

12/1/14                       Individual coaching- Public Speaking

11/24/13                    Taping “Defining Success” Podcast with Zeb Welborn

11/24/14                    Guest appearance with Tom Evans of “The Zone Show Podcast”

Discuss “When Your Job is to Find a Job…and Yourself”

https://avanoo.com/landing/473/When-Your-Job-is-to-Find-a-Job—and-Yourself

11/24/14                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest Kit Summers

https://ow.ly/CZX35

11/13/14                 Individual Coaching- professional development

11/13/14                 Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce -2014 Business Breakfast

Thomas College 180 West River Rd. Waterville (Rt. 104)- Spann Student Commons

https://www.midmainechamber.com/cms/index.php/events/upcoming-events/range.listevents/-

11/11/14                 Individual coaching- resume

11/10/14                Radio Show Recording (The Strength Coach) with Greg Smith

11/6/14                  Transformation Time w/Transformation Tom Live Radio with guest David Frood

https://ow.ly/CZX35

11/5/14                   Radio guest appearance, HR Power Hour with David Ciullo

https://hrpowerhour.com/

11/1/14  District 31 Toastmasters:  Eastern Massachusetts & RI.  Topic:  “Running Successful Speech Contests”

Holiday Inn, 31 Hampshire Street, Mansfield, MA

10/25/14               MC Toastmasters District 45 Fall Conference Banquet, PEI, Canada

10/23/14               Guest radio appearance with Beth Shankle-Anderson host of “The Success Design Radio Show”

10/13/14                Individual Coaching Session- resume

Belfast, Maine

9/30/14               Thomas College students- “Have Your Connections Work for YOU”- professional networking

Waterville, Maine

9/25/14                Individual Coaching Session- professional development

Belfast, Maine

9/10/14                Individual Coaching Session- professional development

8/20/14               Make Your Story Come Alive — Résumé Writing Workshop, Falmouth, Maine

Radio Interview with Michelle Spaulding host of “Illuminate Together”

8/15/14               Pecha Kucha Event sponsored by Mid-Coast Magnets

Camden Amphitheater Camden,  ME

8/7/14                  Radio Guest on “Dose of Leadership with Richard Rierson”

Show Link

8/5/14                  Radio Guest on “Better Business Builders Show with James Nemley”

8/4/14                  Individual coaching session- Resume Writing

8/2/14                  Book signing Shermans Books, Camden, Maine

8/1/14                  Book signing Portland Jetport, Portland, Maine

8/1/14                  Guest on Visions of Success with Dr. Fred Simkovsky

Dr Fred Show August 1 2014

7/24/14              Interview with Charlotte Howard on the Success & Beauty Radio Show Click to Listen

7/24/14              Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Kita Szpak

7/22/14              Individual Coaching Session- Public-speaking

7/17/14              Sponsored by Lewiston Career Center, Maine

Auburn Public Library 49 Spring St, Auburn, ME 04210

Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job Book Launch

7/15/14             Terri Levine Radio Show

https://www.theterrilevineshow.com/

7/10/14             Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Nadine Lajoie

7/2/14                 Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Ron Finklestein

6/23/14              Guest appearance on BFM 89.9FM: The Business Radio Show Malaysia

6/12/14              Radio Guest on “The Success Design with Beth Shankle-Anderson”

6/11/14              Guest on “People of Distinction” with Al Cole of CBS Radio

https://broadcast365.blogspot.com/2011/11/featured-station-people-of-distinction.html

6/7/14               Guest on “Business 101 with Scott Ginsgold”

https://www.facebook.com/business101withScott

6/6/14               Maine Career Development Association (MCDA)

Let Your Connections Work for You — How to Build a Professional Network

USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston, Maine 04240

6/3/14                Let’s Talk Strategies | The Womenpreneurs Network

Let’s Talk Strategies

6/2/14                Individual Coaching

5/30/14             Guest on The Hollis Chapman Show

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/hollischapmanshow

5/29/14              Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Larry Agresto

5/28/14              Radio Interview with Dr. Fred (DocFred) Simkovsky, CMCP host of “Simple Solutions for Complex Challenges”

https://www.lifecareerbusinesscoach.com

Radio Interview with Rafael on “The Untamed Blogger Show”

Untamed Blogger Show

5/26/14             Radio Interview with “Top of the Morning radio Show” with Dr. Fay Maureen airing

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/pastor-maureen

5/24/14             Toastmasters District 45 Spring Conference – Let YOUR Connections Work for You- How to Build a Network

Double Tree, South Portland, ME

5/23/14              Toastmasters District 45, MC of “Guts and Glory” event, S. Portland, ME

5/20/14             Woman In Leadership West Falmouth, ME

Make Your Story Come Alive — Résumé Writing Workshop

5/19/14               Guest on Talk 2 Brazil on LA Talk Radio with Tom Reaoch

www.talk2brazil.com

5/17/14                Toastmasters District 31 Spring Conference – Impromp-to-Success

Holiday Inn, 31 Hampshire Street, Mansfield, MA

5/14/14                 St John New Brunswick Chapter- Certified General Accountants,

Venue:  Lily Lake Pavilion PO Box 492 55 Lake Drive South Saint John, NB, E2L 3Z8

Keynote address: “The Transformational Journey:  A Story of Self-Awareness, Belief, and Action”

5/8/14                   Rockland Networking Group

Tradewinds Hotel, Top of the Rock, Rockland, Maine

5/7/14                   A Kind Voice on Books with Eden Blackwell

Click here to listen.

5/6/14                 Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Jeff Krantz

5/3/14                  Book launch of Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work, sponsored by the Rockport Public Library.

Rockport Opera House located at 6 Central Street, Rockport, Maine.

4/29/14                 University College at Rockland- COM101 Public Speaking class

Breakwater Building, 4th floor, Rockland Maine

4/26/14                 Taping Radio Interview with “Top of the Morning radio Show” with Dr. Fay Maureen

4/24/14                 eTalks Virtual Roundtable with Mike Brenaug

eTalk with Mike Brenhaug Guest Tom Dowd

4/24/14                Defining Success Podcast with Jeb Welborn

4/17/14                 Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Lynnette Louise

4/10/14                Dirigo Toastmasters, Bank of America, Belfast ME

Toastmasters Ambassador Program- Educational Overview

4/9/14                   Command and Influence Communication

West Falmouth, ME

4/8/14                    Radio Interview with Host James Lower- WJAG Radio

kjagradio.com

4/7/14                    Individual Coaching Session- Résumé Writing

4/3/14                    Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Phil Spillane

blogtalkradio.com/transformationtom

4/1/14                   Camden Rotary, 55 Elm St. Camden. ME

Toastmasters Overview and “Unconditionally Nice” speech

3/28/14                 Rockland Rotary, Samoset Resort Rockport, ME

Toastmasters Overview and “Unconditionally Nice” speech

3/25/14                 KVTM International and Table Topics Club Contest (competitor)

3/20/14                 Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Beverley Golden

blogtalkradio.com/transformationtom

3/19/14                  Bangor Toastmasters Club International and Table Topic Speech Contests

3/14/14                  Thomas College, 180 W River Rd, Waterville, Maine, 04901

Public Speaking Discussion

3/11/14                    Augusta Rotary, Senator’s Inn 284 Western Ave, Augusta, ME 04330

Toastmasters Overview and “Unconditional Nice” speech

3/6/14                      Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Wally Hauck

blogtalkradio.com/transformationtom

3/5/14                     Winslow High School         20 Danielson St, Winslow, ME 04901

“Unconditionally Nice” speech at Assembly and Public-Speaking Overview with English classes

3/4/14                     Camden Lions Club, 3 Lions Ln, Camden  ME 04843

Toastmasters Overview and “Unconditional Nice” speech

3/3/14                     Rockland (Maine) Kiwanis, 58 Ocean St. Rockland. ME

Toastmasters Overview and “Unconditional Nice” speech

2/26/14                   MDI Toastmasters, Birch Bay Village, Bar Harbor Maine

Toastmasters Ambassador Program- Educational Overview

2/25/14                  Coastmasters Toastmasters,

Camden National Corporation 245 Commercial St Rockport Maine 04856

Toastmasters Ambassador Program- Educational Overview

2/20/14                  Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom radio program taping with guest Fred Maidment

blogtalkradio.com/transformationtom

2/19/14                   Bangor Toastmasters

Toastmasters Ambassador Program- Educational Overview

2/18/14                   Winthrop (Maine) Rotary, Legion Hall 117 Bowdoin St. Winthrop. ME 04364

Toastmasters Overview and “Unconditional Nice” speech

2/7/14-2/9/14     U.S. National Toboggan Championships- Announcer

1/28/14                    Hosting taping of “Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom”- guest John Brubaker

1/18/14                    Organizing and Judging Effective Toastmasters Contests- Toastmasters Leadership Institute

Texas Instruments, Portland, ME

1/16/14                    Taped “Your Kind Voice with Transformation Tom”- guest Dominck Domasky

Post from Transformation Tom- Manage Your Time, Don’t Let it Manage You—Part I: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - February 19, 2019 - News
0

I have found in my twenty-eight years of professional experience that poor time management skills are one of the biggest pitfalls for leaders. I am going to intentionally repeat myself: poor time management skills are one of the biggest pitfalls for leaders. I took organization training over twenty years ago, and I understood at that time the power of managing my day and beyond. More importantly, I realized I couldn’t survive in the business world until I could manage the swirling days, weeks, and months around me. By actively staying organized, I found I could dedicate the appropriate time to urgent and important items, spend more time developing people, and yes, put out those dreadful fires that often come our way.

Time Management 1

When you are running at capacity, the fire drill exercise will sacrifice something else that may need to be dropped. However, if you have full control and knowledge of your own capacity, you can not only do it right, but you have a chance to do it all, and more. Included in this section are highlights from an evolving organization course I have taught over the years for new and experienced managers. I have a positive reputation for being highly organized at work. Some call it being anal retentive or compulsive. However, very few people can remember me ever missing a key deadline.

First and foremost, people are the highest priority. Regardless of your job responsibilities or what is on your calendar for the day, people who work for you take the top billing. As a manager, how do you get all of the administrative work done if you are constantly bombarded with questions from your direct reports? Good managers can anticipate questions and concerns through staff meetings and team meetings. It is extremely important to lay out clear expectations and preparations, including what might be the best time to connect with you, what is on your plate for the day, and who to contact if you are not available. Being ahead of the game is also important. You can do this by anticipating common questions and put answers in your reports’ hands before the questions are even asked. Everyone wins.

Managers should also understand the most effective ways to present information to a particular audience. Knowing who you are presenting to and how well they will absorb the information is critical. How does your group like to be taught? For example, a manager might find success in asking open-ended questions to ensure clarity. Tossing facts and figures at a group of people and expecting them to remember can be difficult. There should be interaction and engagement from everyone. The group of people learning should feel comfortable, and the leader should invest the appropriate amount of time when it is all over. Sometimes in the past, I rushed information to people by talking at them, and was always surprised when I got a question later about the same subject. I have found it extremely helpful for time-management purposes to invest the time up front so that everyone learns and digests the information from the start. Group settings are extremely helpful in avoiding duplicate messages. If you are not a leader, you should ensure that this gets practiced by discussing this with your manager.

Leaders need to build time into their calendars for the unexpected. How can you do this if you don’t know what’s coming relating to those “I need it now” requests? If you are scheduled for an eight hour day, and your calendar is booked for that entire eight hours, it is guaranteed that you will not get everything done. The unexpected will happen during that time—I promise. I like to block off time in my day with follow-up items that occupy space on my calendar to cover loose ends. The blocks of time also allow flexibility if meetings go over or someone needs me for something important. These blocks of time are great for reflecting on past meetings, preparing for upcoming meetings, or conducting in-depth work.

You should also schedule time to get away from your desk. This builds in another block of time for the unexpected, and allows extra time for the flexibility to take a break and stay fresh. Below are some additional tips for the unexpected:

  • Schedule time for emails, return messages, etc. This minimizes your need to multitask and builds more open time. If you build an hour a day for this and it only takes thirty minutes, take advantage of the bonus time for other tasks.
  • Build in time for daily operations and be sensitive to potential impacts within your business. For example, in a call center, Mondays are often high call volume days. Managers are needed on the floor. Build that time on the floor into your calendar for non-meeting activities. Do not schedule your staff meetings during peak times, since the chances for interruption are high and a less productive meeting will occur.
  • Use miscellaneous blocks of time on your calendar for routine events that may not require a specific time. For example, you know you need two hours tomorrow to provide feedback to people on your team, or do a daily task like quality monitoring. You may schedule it for 10:00 A.M.-12:00 noon. The actual time is not as important as reserving the block of time of two hours. You can build in the flexibility to move this block of time through the same day as you need to as long as you remain committed to making it happen. Be careful of pushing it too late into the day, when you risk not completing it and are required to move it to another day. When you start carrying appointments over to other days, you run the risk of creating a bottleneck situation. For example, pushing the two hours to another day puts you four hours in the hole the following day.
  • Use recurring meetings to hold future times and dates. This habit gives people a heads up to reserve times and dates and should increase attendance to key meetings. It is respectful of other people’s calendars, since it will give everyone ample time to know what is ahead for them, and they can look forward to the same time and date each week or month.

One of the greatest things I did for my own sanity was to keep a pad of paper near my nightstand at home. How does this relate to time management? When random thoughts pop into my head at night, I write them down immediately. The benefits are as follows: 1) I don’t forget, thus I don’t waste time trying to remember, 2) I sleep better knowing I have immediately addressed my thoughts, 3) I have stronger ideas since I have reached the inner non-stressed part of my brain and can formulate a plan of action. All of this allows me to enter into my day knowing where and when things are happening, with a clear plan of attack to get it done.

Don’t be a slave to your calendar, but be committed to it and avoid constant appointment pushing. Consistent appointment pushing to another day is a red flag that you need to change the calendar process—it is either too full or you need to be more committed to it.

You should invest ample time in understanding your future calendar appointments. Organize tomorrow before leaving today. You should invest five minutes before leaving for the day. I make very few promises, but I will make an exception. I promise you will sleep better knowing exactly what’s on your plate tomorrow. You should actually schedule this five minute event for the end of day as a calendar appointment. Five invested minutes will save you hours later. Additionally, organize the next week every Friday. Look out a week at a time. Again, schedule this Friday event on your calendar. Finally, organize each month with a few days before the current month ends. Look out a month at a time. Once again, schedule this event on your calendar. This shouldn’t be done on the thirtieth of the month—it should be done around the twenty-sixth to avoid surprises in the first week of the following month. The outlook a month ahead of time allows you to determine what normal routines you need to conduct each month and how to spread them accordingly. When we have certain obligations that are required on a monthly basis, I find as high as ninety-five percent of the people on any given month, if given the choice, will do the task at the end of the month. Be in the minority and get things done before they are scheduled and due.

We are in a culture of procrastinators. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum, almost to the extreme, viewing it as the antithesis of procrastination. I want tasks out of the way as quickly as possible so that I can concentrate on other things. I front load certain events in the first or second week of each month to get them out of the way, and allow flexibility in case other events come up that need to be accomplished prior to the month ending. There have been many times when something did come up at the end of the month, and a number of leaders did not meet their requirements as a result. Keeping ahead of your schedule allows for the unexpected. As I was going through my career growing pains, it was effective time management that often kept me afloat.

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Build and Maintain a Strong Résumé: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - February 11, 2019 - News
0

Resume

If you are looking for a job, résumés can be the difference between getting your foot in the door and getting a rejection letter without being granted an interview. Résumés are, at times, our first and only impression on a prospective company or new position. The importance of an effective résumé is typically not lost on those seeking a job. However, what about people who already have a job? Unless you work in a small company where you know everyone, a résumé works the same way by allowing others to get to know you professionally.

You should always have an updated résumé ready. The practice of building and maintaining a strong résumé is not always related to active job searching. The routine of keeping an updated résumé is to eliminate surprise pressures when something of interest does come up or someone wants to get to know you professionally. A prepared résumé that can be instantly obtained shows your preparation when someone may ask for it. This has happened to me more than once. It also ensures that you stay up to date and not forget about including key accomplishments. If a question comes up relating to recent accomplishments, you are ready to share instantly and are in a position for effective networking conversations. I have seen far too many people scrambling to put together a résumé because they were caught off guard.

Résumé writing is a skill that can be taught. When preparing a résumé, the key is due diligence and constant review. A résumé should always be considered a work in progress. There is no better tool in your arsenal than a résumé as a way to express yourself professionally in writing. With that said, I have seen résumés that were slapped together quickly with very little thought. I have also seen people pay a lot of money for someone else to put together a résumé that ultimately looked like it was put together just as quickly. If you are going to pay someone, be an active part of the process. No one knows you better than yourself. If you invest the time and get the right support, you will be proud of the work of art you put together.

A résumé is potentially a one-time shot to make that great first impression. You can’t afford to submit a document with spelling errors, with glaring grammatical errors, or a poor overall layout. The amount of time invested in a résumé is obvious. Often, readers are turned off because of the lack of visual stimulation and obvious errors as they glance over the information. This can occur before they even begin to read the content in detail. How a résumé presents itself on the page tells a very big story about you. Effectively organized résumés should point the eyes of the reader to the right places to help with the flow and readability. The appropriate investment ensures that it is the best-quality story possible.

When is the last time you touched your résumé? I review mine quarterly and I am not shopping for a job. I have a recurring appointment that pops up on my online calendar. After the initial investment to put the full document together, I invest about five minutes per quarter into maintaining it. I learned early in my professional life not to have a dusty résumé. Growing up with a father with over twenty-five years of Human Resources experience with Sears Roebuck & Co., and my subsequent twenty years of interviewing job candidates taught me to always be prepared.

My analysis on retaining employees, my recruiting experience, and interviewing has allowed me to see hundreds, if not thousands, of résumés. The following are tips to help you to build and maintain a strong résumé.

  • Style. There is no right or wrong style. The Internet has plenty of websites dedicated to résumé styles and formats. I have yet to find two that are exactly alike, which should clearly tell you there is no magic formula. However, while there is no right or wrong, there is still a first impression.
  • Bullets versus sentences. I personally think it is a preference and that it doesn’t matter as long you are consistent, clear, concise, and succinct with your information.
  • Use of effective spacing and layout. Proper spacing and open areas on the document grab attention. Don’t crowd the document with words. Use the open areas to your advantage to ensure that key items catch the attention of the readers and point their eyes to the key words/places on the document.
  • Hesitancy in sharing. Go out there and share it with everyone. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, you need a third party’s opinion and proofreading skills. Another set of eyes is a must. I had someone review my résumé recently and she found an extra space that had been there for years. Second, share your résumé for networking purposes. Having your résumé floating around is not a bad thing when it gets into the right hands. You will also surprise some readers who may not know all of your background. The only assumption you should make with a résumé is that no one knows you.
  • Editing. Running spell check doesn’t count as editing. Enough said.
  • Routines. Have a recurring calendar appointment to update your résumé quarterly. No need to think about it, just do it.
  • Jargon. Match your résumé language and headings consistent to job descriptions, but avoid internal jargon. You can use language familiar to people in your company if you are using your résumé internally, or use similar language to a job advertisement you are applying for. For example, if you have a sales background and you are pursuing a marketing position, use terms such as “Marketed products to…” However, when possible, I try to minimize the amount of changes by staying broad enough with your terminology that both internal and external readers can understand it, so you only need to maintain one document. In large companies, you also can’t assume people in different departments are familiar with all internal terminology.
  • Be specific. Assume the people you may be speaking to do not understand your past jobs or responsibilities. Be specific. Even if you are meeting with someone who is familiar with the job description, use specifics on your résumé that differentiate you individually.
  • Use statistics. Job descriptions should include powerful information that shows the size and scale of your responsibilities; numbers can be insightful (e.g., Collected on 5-million dollar portfolio, exceeded goal by over twenty-five percent for twelve consecutive months). Dollars and percentages visually stand out.
  • Word choice. Avoid support language (e.g., Assisted…) and use language that shows your leadership (e.g., Created, Directed, Prepared, Piloted, and Developed).
  • What makes you special? Use differentiating accomplishments and descriptions. What makes you unique? Go beyond the duties and tasks of the job.
  • Order of facts. Key points should be prioritized in the job descriptions. For example, “Managed as many as fifty people” should be placed ahead of “Maintained timesheets” in your job assessment.
  • Final document. There is no such thing. Your résumé is a fluid document. You need to adapt it regularly and as needed.
  • Outside experiences. Include assets and experiences that may not have a direct link to the job in which you are interested, but show differentiating and special features. A friend of mine had a résumé that didn’t list his Military reserves experience. Not including these details instantly neglected over fifteen years of critical leadership, commitment, and service to our country.
  • Volunteer work. Don’t forget to include your volunteer activities and other skills, regardless of what you are interested in. Volunteering shows you can balance time and responsibilities and shows you give back to the community.
  • Certifications. You should include appropriate certifications and system proficiency. For example, you can write “Proficient in Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel” if it’s applicable to your knowledge and background. Also include key certifications, such as “Six Sigma Green Belt Certified.”
  • How personal? Include personal items if they strengthen your cause. For example, you may add something like, “Perfect attendance five consecutive years,” and “Excellent health—run twenty miles per week.” Both examples differentiate you from a typical résumé and show that you will come to work energized and ready every day. Another example might read, “Married for fifteen years.” Although employers can’t discriminate or even ask questions based on your marital status or health, it proactively rounds out your full story and shows more personal differentiation and stability.
  • Sequence of events. The most common formats are chronological and skills-based (e.g., jobs, volunteer work, and training). Just like résumé styles, this can come down to personal preference, unless you have done your homework and found that your company of interest has their own preferences.

If you don’t have a résumé, or have not touched your résumé in the last three months, pull it out and start today. You never know when you will need it. Make it a work of art.

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Laugh at Work; Laugh With Others: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - February 3, 2019 - News
0

I used to provide newer people at work a business overview once a month. I would go into the classroom and spend about an hour talking about my business. I tried to be as engaging as possible and attempted to add some interesting stories and humor to the presentation. We would get evaluations back, and every once and a while I would get one back that said I was funny. My wife has often said, “You’re just not funny, but that’s not what I love about you,” then we both laugh at ourselves. I have a tendency to get straight to the point and straight to work in the professional environment. She said enough with that comment to remind me to enjoy myself at work and to inject humor, on occasion, to get through tough times, or to just enjoy a laugh with colleagues for the sake of a laugh.

Earlier in my professional career, I had a serious undertone to my working style. I was too uptight and often too businesslike when a good laugh would have been better. I was inconsistently funny in some situations, and attempted to be funny in other times when it was not appropriate. I knew when a laugh was needed, but attempted too hard to make it happen.

Laugh1

I have found, early on, through Toastmasters, and by observing fellow colleagues who could effectively work a meeting with well-timed humor, that it is a communication tool. If I worked hard enough on my speeches and presentations, and consciously applied humor, I could have a more positive influence on the people around me since they remained engaged. I may never be considered a comedian, but I was starting to pick up that humorous communication is a learned trait and must be honed. Humorous communication is about timing and delivery, and about how to effectively use the tool. I still had work to do on my humorous side, but I saw the value.

Humor can be an effective form of communication. If the person attempting humor is not considered funny, it can be an ineffective form of communication. I will state the obvious and note that humor can be inappropriate, poorly timed, or offensive—be aware of the audience, timing, and potential impacts.

There were times when I knew I was trying too hard in my attempts to slip in a funny comment that wasn’t natural for me. In many cases, it may have been blurted out of nervousness. One of my managers hit me between the eyes with feedback once by telling me to relax. I knew my body language at the time showed tension. The manager followed up the comment, “You need to relax,” with, “and you can be really boring, at times.” Ouch. It’s tough when someone is so dead-on accurate with his or her feedback. We discussed it further. He was making the point that we had laughed together in the past and he enjoyed that side of me. He wanted me to be more myself. We also discussed timing and style. I know that I am not a natural story or joke teller. But, I do enjoy self-deprecating humor and appropriately timed one-liners in my personal time; I just had difficulty carrying that over to the professional side. If I learned to be a better storyteller, I could transform my style to one that would possibly reduce my own anxiety, improve my satisfaction level, and change the perception of people around me.

Do you remember that my wife said I’m not funny? In reality, my wife and my manager were both right. I needed to be more of myself at work and enjoy the ride. Toastmasters International has annual humorous contests. I heard tenured members say that the humorous speech was the hardest speech to write. However, they also emphasized that it is an important part of communication. If you can react effectively to a joke, or actively tell a story that can keep an audience’s interest and make them laugh, you are winning in the game of communication. I had to work hard at acting naturally to create memorable speeches that grabbed the audience’s attention through humor. I gained more audience reaction and increased my confidence level the more I did it. As I “practiced” being more myself and being less prescribed with what I said and how and when I said it, I was able to be more personable in my interactions. I was turning into someone I already was—the person I was outside of work. I was starting to be perceived as less uptight and even funny, at times.

The goal was not to be a comedian, but to be able to relax and be an active part of any engaging conversation. I became more conscious of my own enjoyment at work. I could also see how people seemed to be enjoying our conversations more. I now periodically get a note that says, “Thanks for making me laugh today…I needed it.” I have heard that more often over the last few years from people who worked with me in the past. They have gone out of their way to mention how they enjoyed this side of me and had no idea I had this type of personality. These comments go a long way in increasing my confidence level.

I ended up finishing third in my first Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest for our Division in 2009. The division represented the state of Maine and a small part of New Hampshire. I was proud of myself. I entered a contest for humor when I knew I had to work very hard at being funny. I was learning through Toastmasters, and through better self awareness and practice about my “looser” communication style, I was learning to find my true voice. I even won the division humorous contest in 2011. I was breaking out of my serious shell and having good laughs with others along the way. I now try to consistently incorporate natural humor into my presentations and speeches to get across key points, and in some cases, purely for entertainment purposes. My satisfaction with work has been through the roof over the past several years. So has my productivity and quality of work; and so has my success. It is not a coincidence.

 

 

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

 

Post from Transformation Tom- Learn to Manage Up, Down, and Around: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - January 27, 2019 - News
0

Manage

Can you manage and motivate people around you effectively? Can you inspire the people who work for you and with you to run through a wall for you? Can you push your peers forward who only come in for their paycheck? Can you confidently influence leaders above you and make a difference? I have found that professionals are not always equally balanced in all of the above. This presents an opportunity to learn to better manage up, down, and around. The number of people who work for us, with us, or above us is irrelevant. Everyone has a boss, even CEOs and self-employed people, both of whom need to report back to shareholders and customers, respectively. Everyone has people all around that can be influenced, persuaded, motivated, and managed.

Let’s start with the people who work for you. Many of us have been in positions in which we need to manage down. However, I should rephrase it to describe it as lead down. We should be leading people along a path to success. In this day and age, people want and need to feel appreciated and feel as though they are a part of the overall company. Managing has to be replaced with leading if we truly want to have the impact necessary to drive the business forward and build an effective relationship with employees.

Today’s workforce thirsts for leaders who can build confidence, develop relationships, and increase people’s overall satisfaction level. The success of the business is only as good as those who are doing the work. So I will ask the question that was posed to me, “If you ran through a wall, would people follow?” It took me many more years to learn that you can, and will, get better results by caring for people. I found out that I needed to be more open to what they have to say to improve the business, and strive to make them better today than they were yesterday. I needed to adapt my style based on the individual I was dealing with, rather than blanket managing a group. I learned I needed to lead the effort, not just manage the day-to-day results. I also realized that if I peaked over my shoulder as I ran through the wall, I wasn’t exactly sure if I would see people following me. I had to work harder and smarter at knowing the answer. Since I am confident that hope won’t win the game, I began to put in the effort needed to ensure that I wouldn’t have to look over my shoulder any longer. In many cases, I was learning to not only run through the wall, but to get out of the way so my team could forge ahead. I was learning to ride the coat-tails of others while leading.

I was gaining confidence in the fact that people believed in my vision, my mission, and my core values. I became more accepting of employees as individuals, and became more myself. I used to worry that if I ever played the trust game, in which you fall back into someone else’s arms, that I would not be caught. I truly believe that when I began to genuinely trust and respect the efforts of the people around me, those people became more satisfied and productive. I became less obsessed with results and more focused on the individuals working toward those results. Having less control was a new and uncomfortable concept to me. To my amazement, however, the results did indeed take care of themselves.

Another lesson is to take care of the support people, whether they work directly for you or not. The people who do the little things (and the big things) behind the scenes keep a business afloat. The many little things add up to significant impacts to everyone’s workload, potential profit, and overall satisfaction levels. I have been in several positions when people on the support staff have been on vacation and I immediately felt the short-term impacts. I have also been witness to instances when people on the support staff have been let go from the company due to budget cuts. I have felt the pain of picking up the workload nobody realized was there until it was too late. There were impacts to communication channels, key contacts, and routines that vanished. I was so confident in certain things getting done like clockwork that many things came to a screeching halt when the support person left.

I understand business models revolving around expense management, but we need to fully consider the value of good support and build that into the overall model. Everyone in the company doesn’t need a dedicated staff working behind the scenes, but a good business model does account for the value added by having a solid support staff. The ‘go-to folks’ are go to for a reason. They will take care of you. When you have the advantage of great support people, always ask what you can do for them. It is a question that I may not ask enough, but I do know it is always appreciated.

Managing peers around you is difficult for many reasons. How do you manage people or situations when you supposedly have very little influence on them? They do not have to listen to someone who is not an authority figure for them. I have learned to build bridges, and I am very confident that I have a positive reputation for working well with my peers.

As I have stated many times, it was not always that way. I had a demanding and urgent nature to my requests. To some extent, I don’t think the urgency has ever left me. However, I now better understand the importance of collaboration. In recent years, I’ve had fewer people reporting directly to me, but seemed to have more responsibility across a broader spectrum. I had no choice in these situations but to learn to manage the peers with whom I had no direct influence. I had to invest the time to speak to people who could assist and support me. I had to work well with people who could teach me a new business, or learn to negotiate their involvement in order to assist with the completion of one of my requests. I learned how to provide mutually conducive environments in which everyone could win. I also taught myself that it was all right to not have all the answers and to ask questions…A lot of questions. I learned not to hold back and to ask questions that allowed people to dig deeper, and this in turn, built mutual trust and respect. I learned that a team of peers who learned from each other and played off of everyone’s strengths all moved up together.

I also learned to eliminate my negative competitive feelings. I used to worry whether the person with whom I was working would get the credit for work I had done. Would they get the next promotion? Could I afford to have them look better than me? When I finally learned that a team effort creates better quality work, we both won. I began to get a reputation for being a team player and that made me more favorable in the eyes of people making decisions about my next roles. I am not naïve enough to think that there is no competition. However, I no longer worry about it. I trust that either the right person will get the job or, more importantly, that everyone wins in the right situation.

How do you manage the people above you? This is a foreign concept to many people. I have learned that we need to learn to communicate up effectively. If you are given feedback, you have the right to ask for examples. If you are told to do something faster or better, you must ask how and why. A healthy and respectful dialogue will build the relationship and make both of you stronger. If you do not understand specific instructions, you should clarify and confirm. It may bother some managers to have to go into more details, but it is much better to invest the time up front than waste energy doing it all over again due to some initial miscommunication resulting in the job being done wrong. The confidence you possess when speaking to people you manage should not go away just because the bigwig is in the room. Nothing should change. We are all working towards the same company goal of making our business better.

We should seek to maintain strong conviction in our voice and avoid holding back points we feel need to be said. If we prepare and use facts to state our points, we should be confident in what we are discussing, as this discussion may create opinions and create a debate that is needed. If you are not strong enough to state your opinion, then all sides of the argument are not exhibited and additional facts are left off to the side. If your leader disagrees with your points, this is fine since at least then the entire story is on the table. When this occurs, you should professionally ask questions as to why the leader may not agree with you if you feel you have stated all the appropriate facts. Finish your thoughts with confidence. Even if cut off, you can professionally interject when you feel it is appropriate, or ask to finish your thoughts. I am not asking for everyone to speak over their managers, but I have found if you have done the legwork and preparation, including building a solid relationship foundation, this type of communication is acceptable, and even encouraged, as everyone is striving to achieve the company goals.

I have found people who were more willing to offer a quick apology for having an opinion than willing to finish a healthy debate. I was one of those people. Now, I seek to ensure that it is a two-way conversation. This comes through mutual engagement in the conversation and a built-up trust and respect from both parties. If this mutual trust and respect is not there, then make the effort to build it. Be open and honest; the buzz word in professional lingo is to be transparent. Do not be deceitful or withhold information. Note that I didn’t say you couldn’t filter messages; filtering messages provides enough information without wasting anyone’s time (e.g., executive summary).

Be as prepared as possible to manage up by having reference information at your fingertips, staying in tune with industry information, and understanding the leader’s tendencies. Keep a nice pace to what you are saying so it is fully understood and questions can be asked. Be structured and organized with your thoughts; take the time to think it through. Trust that when you are in a position to speak to senior people within the organization, you are there to provide valuable information and that they are there to seek information that will strengthen the business.

I have had many conversations with individuals who felt there was an underlying tone or agenda to some of the senior leader questions asked in focus-group-type sessions. For example, cynics may perk up when responding to a question like, “How do you think we are doing overall as a company?” when they are having issues with their own management team, and feel the question is meant to spark a negative comment. If that is truly the case, escalate your concerns to other parties who could make a difference. Trust is a delicate thing that needs to be earned, but it is a two-way street. You have the right to build up enough trust so that when someone asks what’s on your mind, you can genuinely share it.

The other side is not to speak up just to be heard or to impress. You should speak up when you have something important to say, not because you have a scripted or canned question or response.

Get comfortable with having conversations with senior leaders. Be curious—ask questions that are meaningful to you and your team. Your silence says as much as the person asking questions just to be heard—yes, that is obvious too. It takes work and preparation to increase your comfort level. You can role play ahead of time and network with people outside your area to practice. In all cases, seek to build your confidence by continuing to try. You may surprise yourself.

Whether you are managing up, down, or around, know the audience and balance your messages with honest and genuine responses. There is no need for the traditional good-bad-good sandwich feedback approach. Just provide honest answers and questions. Look for the positive in everything, but build relationships in which direct and genuine conversations can take place—that is where constructive conversations grow. If something is not going right, it is not about spin, it is about what positive measures you are taking to fix it. If two people can work through a plan of action, anything can be made better.

Finally, be willing to be wrong. Take chances—it won’t hurt you (most of the time) as long as the right effort and attitude are there. The great thing about all of the mistakes I’ve made is that I get the excitement of sharing what I’ve learned with everyone willing to listen. This builds your credibility and trust—thus opening up communication with more people. If I didn’t make mistakes, I would have no speeches or books to write, or have anything to say to my mentors.

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Take Action—Hope Won’t Win the Game without a Game Plan: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - January 20, 2019 - News
0

Whether you are moving your business forward or moving yourself forward, you can’t hope for the best and expect it every time. You need to take action and put in the right game plan and preparation to ensure that your hope is given the appropriate direction and momentum. I have heard people who were responsible for multi-million dollar businesses say that they hope the new idea or initiative works. I truly believe in some cases that their fingers were crossed. We can’t predict the outcome of every decision or action we take; however, we can dictate the direction and significantly increase our odds by taking out the unknowns.

I was meeting with one of the people I mentor. It was our second meeting, so we were following up on actions I had asked of her in our last meeting. I asked her to come back with three names of leaders she wanted to emulate and network with. We spent almost an hour discussing the benefits of networking, and how we could work together to gain confidence to pave her own road ahead. During our discussion we talked about networking with people a couple of levels ahead of her. I was excited to see who she had come up with, whether it was someone from across the country or a completely different line of business. She brought in two names of people within one hundred yards of her and a name of a member of her own management team. Although it was not what I had expected, it was the small circle of names she knew.

I realized then that her circle of influence was small, and her networking circle was not much bigger. I also realized that she was accustomed to not taking accountability unless it was specifically asked of her and then followed up with a formal request. We discussed the benefits of taking action immediately and taking responsibility for requests independently. Taking action would contribute to her confidence and success.

Our continued conversation made it clear that she had issues understanding our corporation as a whole. I shared numerous examples of my own inability to understand our particular corporate culture early on and what had been required to be more proactive. I was able to share live examples of when this had worked. She still seemed hesitant. I almost felt as though she “hoped” I would do some of this for her in our mentoring sessions.

I had to change her hopeful mentality to one of action. So, I began to give examples of instances when we hear a request and are not sure whether we should do something about it or not. We discussed the benefits of clarifying and confirming the requests to ensure that the appropriate owner and action comes out of the meeting or interaction. How many times have you run into an old friend and said, “We should get together some time,” and nothing ever comes to fruition? This is the same concept. Action is required for successful execution of a request. Action makes it happen, not hope.

Hope

I found one of the potential people she wanted to network with could be seen simply by standing up and looking into the office. The fact that she identified someone to network with—even locally—was a small stretch for her, but a good first step. Another person she identified was two levels up from her, but within the same line of business. She said she had met with him when he was in town a few months before. I was excited that she had growing confidence enough to answer these questions and seek to expand her circle of influence. This was another small win, since I had not expected her to have had any previous contact with him yet. Although the networking meeting was more a circumstance of the situation, she took advantage of the opportunity. She was starting to put the pieces together regarding how advantageous this would be for her growth potential.

Her meeting with the person on the management team put her slightly out of her comfort zone, which was a plus, as it demonstrated to her that she had survived and was building her confidence one step at a time. She mentioned that this individual had said they should get together every couple of months to share ideas and discuss her progress. I was ecstatic and asked when the meeting had taken place. She said that it was about three weeks prior to the meeting we were having. I asked what was holding her back from following up to organize the next meeting with him. She said she did not know; maybe she hoped they could catch up in a couple months. Hope would not move her forward. I know, because I sat back and waited for people to approach me far too many times myself.

People hold back on taking action for many reasons. Sometimes, we just forget. This can be easily resolved if we write it down or set it up immediately. For others, it is pushing beyond their comfort level. Confidence comes with time, after continuing to do something over and over again. I often hear, “I don’t want to bother (insert name here).” If you never ask, you will never know the answer. Finally, there may be a lack of understanding as to the expectations within a corporate culture. Ask questions. Curiosity is only going to broaden your cultural understanding and comfort.

Our mentor conversation continued to what she wanted to gain from the three individuals she’d selected. She mentioned that she had watched the other two people already in close proximity to her over the past month. I asked what she had gained from watching them. It was a difficult question for her, since she hadn’t been sure what she had been looking for. The question was not intended to put her on the spot. The question’s intention was to let her know that she had gleaned a month’s worth of valuable observations. Now, what was she going to do about it? She began to grasp the concept that she needed to take action by either trying some of the things she’d seen herself, or by meeting with these two leaders to get some context to what she’d seen so that she could begin to apply it. In simple terms, her personal growth would accelerate when she took action.

We moved on to the next long-term steps she wanted to take. She stated that she wanted to take the next step up in her area or move to another area. She understood the direction of our conversation and proactively mentioned that she did not have a game plan. She was going to wait until something opened up and she would put in her application and résumé. When I asked if we could review her résumé, she said she hadn’t written one yet. I asked how she planned on submitting it if the opening came up today? She said she would have to scramble. This was another “aha” moment for her, and it was fun for me to watch this learning take place before my eyes. We discussed how I “hoped” someone would have had this conversation with me years before. She immediately began to take her own actions right there in the meeting. She began to outline the beginning of her résumé, she took copious notes, and I know that her future success was now in motion based on her actions.

We must all have a game plan, whether it is for our own career, or to push an initiative over the finish line. If you don’t have a game plan, sit with someone who can help formulate one with you. Finding help and support is taking action.

 

 

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

 

Post from Transformation Tom- Learn the Value of Effective Verbal Communication: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - January 13, 2019 - News
0

Verbal CommLearning to verbally communicate effectively is a valuable tool that will build your confidence and credibility. The ability to appropriately balance a message, filter a message, and provide an impactful message is important to move a professional business forward. An effective communication style and approach will give the presenter confidence, and gain credibility with the audience.

What is “effective” communication? The term itself is vague, and therefore hard to define. I like to start with the basics. What is the message you want to send? Whether you are attempting to put two sentences together or a thirty-minute presentation, you must have a clear message with a strong beginning and a strong conclusion. The message you are attempting to convey should be emphasized and reiterated throughout the body of your presentation. The preparation in formulating your message is important, even in question and answer formats or impromptu situations. You should know your audience well enough to have some semblance of an idea of the types of questions or responses that may come up. For example, an executive summary doesn’t need the minute details of the inner workings of a process. This type of audience simply wants to be assured that the process will work as intended. You can give high-level examples where this is the case and have details available if questions are asked, or in the Appendix at the back of the written presentation.

Even if you have the jitters when communicating in front of a group, keep them under control and attempt to present confidently. I realize this is easy to say and harder to do. As you nurture your ability to control your nerves, that ability will improve over time. Keep trying, even if mistakes are made. The more public speaking you do, the more comfortable you will be. I have seen too many people in meeting settings who were experts in their fields not say anything because they were uncomfortable with their own oral communication skills. Not saying a word is communication—if you choose not to participate, you must take this into consideration. If a question is asked about any additional points or a discussion is required prior to a vote, for example, you can make a difference in the direction a business takes if you choose to stay out of the debate. Be confident enough to state your points. You do not have to own the situation; you need to just confidently speak up when necessary. Confidence comes with time and practice.

How often have you been distracted when a presenter communicates a message intertwined with filler words, such as “ah,” “um,” and “you know?” There are plenty of filler words out there. Many times, the speaker’s mind is working faster than he can get the words out as he thinks ahead to the next piece of the presentation. This is easier to fix than you think. Being conscious of your own behavior is half the battle. When you begin to understand how distracting or annoying it can be to the audience, you will slow down your thought process and formulate better-constructed sentences. You can have people around you provide feedback. This practice is critical in a Toastmasters meeting and has been a practical exercise to everyone who has ever had anyone count their filler words.

The ability to reduce filler words will increase your credibility with others. Although you may feel embarrassed at first, the respect you will gain from your audience for your improved communication will easily make up for it. You may remember the story of Caroline Kennedy when she expressed an interest in the U.S. Senate seat in New York. In a thirty-minute interview in December 2008, she had been reported to say “you know” well over one hundred times. The unpopular media responses hurt her credibility. It was not long after the media stories that she decided to drop out of the race. If it was not the direct link to her dropping out, was it at least a contributing factor?

The best written speech is only as good as the person presenting it. Imagine the “Gettysburg Address” wrought with filler words: “Four score, ah, and um seven years ago, you know, our fathers brought forth, you know, upon this ah continent, um a new nation, you know conceived in um liberty, and, um, dedicated to the, you know, proposition that all men are created equal.” You get the point.

While I am discussing effective communication, I thought I would also share some of my favorite communication pet peeves. I’ll start with the use of the words “go” or “went” when the intended word was “say” or “said.” For example, “He went, ‘You should have…’” Another one is “to be honest with you.” It adds no value to the conversation, and does not change the message. The phrase may even negatively impact your credibility since it provides the audience with a taste of something about to be said that needed emphasis on the so-called truth. The phrase is filler and should be avoided. I went years saying the word “supposebly.” Ask me to spell it out on paper and I would spell it correctly, “supposedly.” I knew how to say it, but picked up on the habit of saying it like I had been hearing it from several people around me. Someone said to me once, “You realize the word is supposedly?” Yes, I did, but I had become oblivious to my own poor habits. Actively listen for it. It is still out there in the professional world being used daily.

Another unnecessary phrase is, “It is what it is.” What is “it”? What new nugget of hope or information is the audience given with the phrase? I find it is a way to end a conversation, but adds very little value to the intended message. Remember, your conclusion is just as important as the introduction and body of your message. Do you really want to end a presentation or a conversation with, “It is what it is”? Finally, the recent integration of the words “right” and “really” at the end of sentences is becoming main stream. For example, “You know what I’m saying, right?” Or a little increase in tone when someone ends with a sarcastic, “So that’s what happened? Really?” A keen ear, or in many cases, a not- so-keen ear, can easily pick up on these add-on words that add little to no value to the conversation.

Build your own confidence and credibility by starting with the basics. Keep the message clear and concise, and speak with confidence. Minimize filler words and nurture your ability to overcome your butterflies and your audience will gain respect and consequently promote your credibility. Your verbal communication will become a valuable tool with direct links to your success.

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Know What the Written Word Says About You: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - January 7, 2019 - News
0

Sometimes I think that the written word is a lost art form. Considering how hard I had to work on improving my own writing skills over the years, I take this topic very seriously. In some cases, the use of proper grammar has disintegrated due to the fast-paced environment and technology all around us. Understanding that language is constantly evolving, I have grown to be flexible and accepting of new styles, forms, and words (look up “Ginormous” to get the point). However, I still understand the importance of how much the written word says about the writer.

Twitter, a social networking platform created in 2006, is a text-based methodology to post your thoughts with less than two hundred and eighty characters. These “tweets,” for those not familiar or living under a rock, can be made public to anyone who may be following the author. The public nature of this communication channel is a good example of why a writer needs to be extremely careful of what is written—or, in this case, posted. However, the shortened number of characters creates the need for the person posting to use symbols, limit the use of vowels, and eliminate punctuation in many cases. It also opens the reader up to many interpretations of the meaning of the message, the intended emotion, and limited context in which it was written.

Written Word

Although my current employer limits texting, it doesn’t eliminate employees from staying in a texting mode when sending written communication through emails, instant messages, and in some cases, official memos. I have often been accused of being critical about professional writing. Texting and instant messaging are so commonplace in today’s society, both personally and professionally, that they have influenced grammar when it comes time for formal memos and presentations to be done. Too many times, the habits from these quick-hit communication channels come out when it was not intended.

I consider attention to detail in writing both common sense and critical to anyone’s success in the professional world. I personally enjoy the challenge of creating a perfect document. I try to have a magnetic eye when it comes to spelling errors, spacing errors, and many editorial issues. Although I can hardly say that I am perfect with my own writing, I make the effort. In some cases, I think the diverse communication channels and flow have changed our attention to editing the written word. I don’t think we need to push the argument to the full extent and force everyone to hire an editor to sit down and read every email that is sent. However, I would strongly suggest that the authors slow down enough to proofread their own work. Stopping to read what was written prior to sending an email is a smart business move—simply running spell check does not count.

Written communications tell a lot about a person. Are you detail oriented? Do you have a reputation for misspelling, poor grammar, or lack of ability to check your own work? Whether we like it or not, judgments are often being made about our intelligence level based on what we put down in writing. In a professional setting, do you want the reputation of being the person who always uses silly acronyms such as LOL (“Laugh out loud”), EMPHASIZES YOUR EMOTIONS THROUGH CAPITALIZATION, or must get your point across with multiple exclamation points (e.g., !!!!!!!!) on formal, business-related communications? Believe it or not, I have read the word “crap” more than once on supposedly professionally-written emails.

I have been given the advice often that you should assume that what you write or send to someone can, and potentially will, be made public, even if your intentions are to keep the audience restricted. There are far too many opportunities for messages to be sent on to unintended parties. We are too public in our communications in today’s world not to be cautious of what we write. I am not talking about spelling issues. I am talking about private messages that become public because of our ability to forward and reply to the message. Emails can become an endless string. I recently saw an example of an email that came back to my inbox over two hundred times because someone hit “Reply All” in error, and then a comedy of emails of people informing the person that she hit “Reply All,” followed by the annoyed recipients who chose to inform everyone that they should not be responding to “Reply All.” The final kicker was the courtesy “Thanks” response at the end.

I am often surprised—although I have seen it enough not to be—that within minutes following an internal memorandum, it is already published on an external website for the entire world to see. I am not naïve enough to think that this is not intentional as a way to get the good news out about a company. However, we need to be sensitive that in any company, less trusted individuals with access to information are hungry to seek out the media to share the negative company news as well.

Depending on the company policy, the written word can be permanent. You should always make the assumption that what you write is considered part of the permanent record. How often have you seen in the news someone from a large corporation been dragged through some investigation, including a senate committee hearing, because of an email that came back to haunt them, or someone running for public office whose past written word forced them to be dragged through the mud? The key is to be careful in what you choose to put down in writing. Deleting your emails may not be your savior with today’s technology. We all need to be sensitive in what we choose to send out with our name on it.

Let’s oversimplify: proofread your work. The easiest way to do this is to stop and read it before sending it. I know I am stating the obvious, but running spell check is not considered editing in my eyes. Just ask my old manager, who had the word “manger” written at least twenty times throughout one of my performance appraisals. If we don’t edit our work, we may be losing some credibility—just ask the person we attempted to recognize with an email that starts with “Congradulations.”

I have had many people tell me that writing skills aren’t needed for certain jobs, such as being on the phones talking with customers. This may be true based on the job itself, but it also has to do with pride in your own skills and ability. In my field of work starting from speaking to customers on the phone to managing people and projects, I felt it was imperative to have decent writing skills. Let’s use the example of working on the phones: You may need to document the conversation on the system. Other customer service representatives need to see it for future interactions. The customer needs it for a record to ensure that the inquiry is addressed and resolved. What if it is more complicated, and an email or written request needs to go to another department? What about emailing the manager for assistance? I have seen run-on sentences that have lost all meaning, and entire communications without a vowel. Basic writing skills are critical if your original intended meaning is to be understood.

The speed of business may have moved us from the need to consciously vet everything written through proper and traditional grammar editing. I am pragmatic and understand not every word needs to be scrutinized. My request of you is to pay attention and double check your own work to ensure clarity within the writing. How it is written, and the attention to detail, is often interpreted solely by the reader, regardless of intent. If you are someone who does not proofread well on a computer system, there are other methods that are helpful, such as reading a passage backwards, and in some cases, printing it out to give it the extra attention it may need (note: plug to minimize printing when possible for environmental reasons). You can always have a second set of eyes review as well.

Whether someone chooses texting, instant messaging, email, or formal memos, a person’s personality comes out loud and clear. All methods are effective means of communicating. Text and email tend to be more reactive, but knowing this will change how you effectively use it. The key is to think things through before you hit send. These written communication channels have a tendency to have more emotion—which can be dangerous. What you intended to communicate and what is truly interpreted can and will be different. Take the time to gather your thoughts and to review them. Interpretation is a one-sided process. The recipient has full control to interpret your message any way he or she wants. A simple written joke, such as, “What was up with your presentation this morning?” can go from a fun message to say “nice job” with a little jab, to getting the recipient upset and forcing the need for apologies.

When it comes to written communications, please take notice of the following:

• Be clear and concise in what you are attempting to convey

• Invest time to review your written work prior to turning it in or sending it on

• Understand what you write will become a record of who you are

• Writing is a skill that can and should be honed

• There is value in effective writing skills; value that will be noticed and appreciated by the reader.

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Control Self-imposed Pressures: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - December 20, 2018 - News
0

I remember too many times when someone asked me to get something done immediately for them. When that happened, I knocked down walls to get it done. I sometimes felt like a dog that had just picked up the morning paper and was waiting for my reward, only to often get passed by without an acknowledgement. I didn’t understand that the word “immediate” had multiple interpretations. The requester might have given credit to someone else or didn’t even remember who did it in the first place. I would put undue pressure on myself and then try to figure out what went wrong. Unfortunately, when receiving these types of requests, I often did not effectively ask for clarification or understand the expectations.Self Imposed Pressure

I found myself wondering why I always put this type of unnecessary pressure on myself, or find myself getting riled up when the end result did not come out the way I wanted it to. I tried to understand why I dropped everything else I was doing or poured my heart and soul into something only to realize later that it was a request in passing, or that it could have been done just as easily at a different time. I had to better assess the urgency and importance of these requests. I had to gain a better understanding of what needed to be done now versus later. I also should have compared what needed to be done for the business versus myself. Finally, I needed to understand whether I was putting the pressure on myself or if it was truly pressure about a pressing task that genuinely needed to be addressed quickly.

When I didn’t get the attention I felt I deserved for accomplishing something, I would typically invest far too much time worrying about it. I might have been upset for thinking that a mistake was made and the requester didn’t want to say anything. I searched for the proper credit when I felt it was due. I had to come to grips with myself. I needed to make the move to be more accepting of who I was and what I was doing—everything else would eventually take care of itself. I began to make an attempt to take the pressure off myself by concentrating on the quality of my work and just try to learn from the experience—good and bad.

Many people have a tendency to be harder on themselves than anyone else. The pressure to get the task done, the pressure we put on ourselves in the hope that it was done right and then waiting to see the reaction of others, all adds up. The question is, “Adds up to what?”

I have found myself in situations when I felt like I should kick myself because I said something stupid or forgot to ask a pertinent question in an important meeting. I found that I would drive myself crazy with these thoughts running through my mind, putting more and more pressure on myself to be perfect. I wanted to get everything done for everyone at the exact right times. I include myself when I say everyone because I was typically my own worst enemy.

I started to realize that many people have memories like a dog—they last a couple of minutes and move on. I worked with executives who were responsible for millions of dollars for the company and some who were responsible for hundreds and thousands of people. I began to realize that some people have more important things to do than remember a minor mistake I may have made. Even if the mistake was remembered, I found it important to ensure that everyone saw that I had learned from it. I was the one putting the pressure on myself—pressure that no one else was feeling.

I had to do a better job of ensuring I was clear with expectations relating to time frames and deliverables. There may be situations in which you do have to drop everything, or there is a flavor of the day that needs to be addressed. Sometimes, there really is a pressure to get something done. However, more often than not, I was doing my job well, exceeding my boss’s expectations, and was just putting too much stress on myself. I needed to free my mind of this clutter and just concentrate on the job at hand. I also needed to do a better job ensuring I wasn’t asking too much of myself.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I yelled at my children because I could not concentrate on writing this book, and I felt guilty. Naturally, my reasoning for yelling at them was justified in my mind because it must have made sense that the paragraph I was working on was the most important thing in the world to me at the time. I know this is a ridiculous thought, because nothing is as important to me as my family, but at the time when my emotional pressure was high, I had to find some other silly reason as to why my children were at fault.

I began to assess the situation as I was tossing and turning in the night. I had set very aggressive and specific internal goals relating to this book. I was meeting my own time frames and pacing it out appropriately according to my own expectations. There was no publisher on my back to get it done and there was no one forcing the issue except me. However, my internal goals were stressing me out and building up tension to the point that I was taking it out on the people I love.

I was forcing myself to wake up early to put my ideas and thoughts on paper as quickly as they came to me. I wanted certain sections written by certain times. I was forcing my own direction. It’s good to be aggressive with goals, but there also needs to be a balance with everything around you. I was upset at myself for getting unnecessarily upset at my children. I had no intention of writing a passage about internal pressures, but I know how much each of us drives ourselves to succeed personally and professionally. We will succeed. However, we need to skim some of the pressure off the top that we ourselves have created. When I woke up the next morning, I did not log in to write my book, but I did apologize to my children and thanked them again for being my teachers.

I invested time to reevaluate my goals and decided to extend my own timeline a little longer to ensure that I was putting out a product I would be proud of. The reassessing of a timeline, or giving ourselves a break, does not mean being lax with deadlines, internal or external, and does not mean being less aggressive with respect to personal or professional goals. It means incorporating time to provide breaks and down time to stay fresh, and make sure we truly know what’s important and urgent. Make sure we understand whether the pressure we are feeling is self-imposed. If it is, reassess whether or not those pressures are too intense and thus impacting the quality of the work we are producing.

We should also ask if we are on the same page as the individual requesting our time, even if we are the requester. You might be surprised at the number of instances when you are not in sync. Stop yourself in mid-action and ask what needs to be done and what you want to get done. Need and want will have a different urgency and importance attached to each. As you continue to regularly reassess the pressures, you will begin to assimilate to what is ‘real’ pressure and how much is self-imposed.

 

 

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Understand Communication Preferences: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - December 16, 2018 - News
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There are so many forms of communication in today’s professional environment. Professional communication has evolved from a face-to-face, memo, or phone-driven form to so much more in today’s business. The emergence of voice mail, email, instant messaging, video conference, and texting has changed how, when, and with whom we interact. The list will only continue to grow as new technologies emerge.

The dynamics of our interpersonal and small group discussions are impacted based on the communication preferences and choices people make. For example, our ability to more actively listen and be sensitive to voice cues is heightened when we are on the phone, versus being in person. Attention spans are also impacted by other factors. You can be on a conference call with twenty people, and a few participants have side conversations via instant messenger or email. Their attention and engagement are impacted and may influence others around them. Other people may be conducting non-related business on the side that they see as a higher priority. Face-to-face meetings, and video conferencing to some extent have their own communication influences brought about by non-verbal messaging by allowing the participants to see facial expressions and reactions.

Communication Preferences

The ability to type messages instantly also has its own pros and cons. The messages are typically short and concise. However, there is often a lack of context in the message which may force the need to have significant clarification back and forth. I have found outside of the many symbols being used to express our emotions during an instant text message interaction (emoticons), overreaction is brought into the text message interchange due to the immediacy of the channel. People have a tendency to quickly type a response and hit send as it is going through their mind. Emotion has always been there in the past; however, emotion emitted through channels such as text and email may have responses come more quickly and therefore less thoughtfully.

The lack of proofreading and editing during these quick exchanges has caused many communication issues when a message is sent to an unintended recipient (e.g., you are thinking of them when sending), unnecessary multiple recipients (e.g., reply all), and credibility of the sender if there are significant spelling or grammatical errors. In the latter example, the entire meaning of the message can be altered with the omission of a word. For example, “Your request is approved” is a lot different than “Your request is not approved.”

You should also understand how your peers and managers would like you to communicate with them, and you should make your expectations known as to how you prefer to communicate. I have had many people who never respond when I send them emails. However, these same individuals are always willing to communicate via instant text message. Some people prefer constant written communication using email and instant text message, and can go back and forth all day. I personally prefer picking up the phone if I see multiple emails and instant messages going back and forth. For example, I have set the example that I prefer not to have an email or instant text message go back and forth more than twice before picking up the phone. However, this is simply my preference. One time, I found I was inadvertently annoying a colleague whenever I sent them an instant message. I would ask if she was available. If she responded “yes” I would provide my phone number to call me. She finally sent me a note asking why I always assumed she was available for a phone call. She was available for the instant text message session, and just didn’t know that I preferred the phone.

When possible, we need to understand what works best for everyone and do what we can to accommodate that in the best interest of enhancing the communication experience. The key is to know what works best for the people we communicate with most often. When that isn’t clear, ask the obvious but often missed question, “What is the best way to communicate with you?”

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

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby