Category Archives: hiring & people development

Assuming even a highly trained or long-experienced professional will not require training is also unfair. So much of learning to do a job well is learning the culture and practices of the company – and those things vary dramatically from organization to organization. Just learning the acronyms requires a pocket handbook that to my knowledge no company ever provides. Continue reading

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So what are good work habits? An extremely important work habit to develop – which is frequently overlooked – is the ability to focus at the right level of detail. Some people only focus on the big picture, and don’t know when it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Other people latch onto some microscopic detail and distract the rest of the environment with their inappropriately applied zoom feature. Both types of people have bad work habits (or, perhaps, demonstrate good work habits only a small percentage of the time). If you want to contribute meaningfully to an organizational effort, you have to develop the ability to go from microscope to telescope, and you have to know when ordinary glasses are all that is required. Continue reading

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Conflict exists anywhere you have two or more people trying to work together, so it’s no surprise that businesses are rife with it. Good conflict management skills are rarely taught in the home, are almost never taught in school, and by the time most adults get to the work world, they have learned a very important rule about conflict. To avoid it. Continue reading

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Too many companies put a job description together (half the time they just pulled them from a manual somewhere), slap it into a binder, and never look at it again. Because nobody looks at the job description, nobody knows what training is necessary to be successful at the job. This is true for all jobs. So there’s a manager or supervisor who isn’t quite sure what their role is, and they hire employees who aren’t sure what their roles are. Neither of them receive the training they need, and neither of them really know whether or not they are being successful. When does the employee or manager get feedback? When they fail to meet expectations (just what WERE those expectations anyway?) or get on someone’s nerves. Result? Stressed out people. Continue reading

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When one is not well – physically, psychologically, emotionally, or socially (yes, I think there is such a thing as being social well or socially not well – it goes back to the idea that we define ourselves in context of community) – then all of one’s personal resources are turned to either the pursuit of becoming well or the defense against pursuing wellness. That may sound strange, but for many people, it is so scary to confront and eliminate unhealthiness that they’d rather stay with the illness they’ve got than do the work to become well. After all, going from “not well” to “well” is change, and even when change is a good thing, it still scares us. Continue reading

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Those who can multi-task see the greatest promotions and rewards in most work environments. So this skill has reached a value status that the pre-modern corporation probably couldn’t anticipate. But is it really good? Or is it just a survival skill? Continue reading

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Am I saying that someone with a discipline problem can’t change? Absolutely not! I could name numerous wonderful examples of former employees who have made remarkable turnarounds related to personal discipline. But did I train them? No! Because it can’t be trained. Discipline can only be chosen. Continue reading

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Though there is a perceived risk that someone who is given a weak or negative reference will sue the reference giver, the incidence of such actions is actually quite low. In contrast, the risk that a candidate for employment will provide inaccurate information that inflates previous pay, overestimates their contribution, and expands their importance is very high. This is why you must work hard to get the references you need, even if some of the reference givers seem reluctant. Continue reading

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I’m a big fan of consultants, and not just because I launched a consulting firm this year. I’ve hired consultants often throughout my years as a chief executive at several large firms, and have found their assistance to be invaluable. … Continue reading

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