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Valerie

Are You Committed To Your Personal Brand?

commit
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” ~Kenneth Blanchard

If you had breakfast this morning, the chicken participated but the pig was committed! Here’s a client’s example of commitment to demonstrating and using his personal brand.I recently worked with a senior executive in one of the big four financial services firms who was definitely committed.This man has a huge responsibility with deadlines pulling him daily in many directions. Yet from the beginning he took to heart everything he learned in our coaching sessions. Each time we met he made the commitment to complete his action items—which he DID… each and every time.The longer we worked together developing his personal brand, the more he saw benefit both personally and professionally.

Here are a few outcomes of his commitment:

  1. He grew his book of business exponentially, using the branding networking tools.
  2. He built a stronger reputation in his marketplace.
  3. His enthusiasm was commented on by his staff, which helped build a more engaged atmosphere.
  4. He learned the benefit of having a strong online brand identification when prospective clients commented on his LinkedIn profile. This often led to  business opportunities.
  5. He is now one of my strongest brand ambassadors.

What’s the point? We can only grow when we’re willing to dig deep. To maximize your rate of return, it takes maximum commitment. I love working with committed people!

 

Watch This Free Webinar: How Strong Is Your Brand?

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

A Famous Brand: Authentic To the Core

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“For me, winning isn’t something that happens suddenly on the field when the whistle blows and the crowds roar. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream.” 

—Emmitt Smith

Emmitt Smith is the real deal – authentic to his core.  When I recently had the privilege to work with his team at ESmith Realty Partners, he shared stories about his background and beliefs that told me lots about the man’s core authenticity. First –Emmitt’s story.

  • Emmitt began playing football at the Salvation Army as a young child in Pensacola, Florida.
  • As the Dallas Cowboys running back, he became the leading rusher in NFL history.
  • Over 14 seasons, he rushed more than 18,000 yards and scored 164 rushing touchdowns.
  • He won three super bowl rings in the 1990’s along with being awarded a Super Bowl MVP.
  • He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
  • And Emmitt danced his way into the hearts of America as the winning contestant on Dancing with the Stars.

Okay, now we know his STAR brand. What about his Personal Brand that he exudes every day in his current role as a commercial real estate entrepreneur? Here are Emmitt’s “brand attributes” that I observed during the time I spent with him.

  • Brand Attribute – Influencer

He values the importance of each person in his company, demonstrating relationship skills that build the business—skills that fine tune our image, use appropriate business etiquette behaviors, and enhance our networking and social savvy. By having me present my signature training program called Professional Presence: Am Image of Excellence, he increased the team’s value by the importance he places on these people skills.

  • Brand Attribute – Humility

Emmitt never forgets his early beginnings. When giving his acceptance speech in 2010 when inducted into the Hall of Fame, his first statement was acknowledging that his success did not come from his talents alone—but from the values, beliefs, and dedications of others who have impacted him.

  • Brand Attribute – Commitment

Emmitt had a focused passion to be the all-time leading rusher – Period! He sacrificed his body, his spirit, his time and never wavered in that commitment.

  • Brand Attribute – Family

He is a dedicated family man who gives honor to his wife Pat for her support; who saves time for their five children by often turning down engagements in order to be with his family. In fact, after a toast which he graciously gave to me and to his team, he excused himself saying he had to get home and “take care of the kids because Pat was out of town.”

  • Brand Attribute – Faith

Emmitt says without hesitation that he is fulfilling “God’s purpose for my life.”

Click to read more about Esmith Realty Partners

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

Here’s the Truth! 5 Reasons Why Personal Branding Is Necessary

Image courtesy of sheelamohan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I first read Tom Peters’ article  “A Brand Called You” it fueled my passion nine years ago to seek out the training for doing Personal Branding work. It was so invigorating I couldn’t stop learning until I had earned every certification possible.

Recently, I’ve seen tons of articles about the topic- both positive and negative.  So let’s  look at both sides.

Some belittle what personal branding does. Several state that personal branding creates a façade — saying it is merely playing a character. The authors of these articles claim that branding isn’t genuine.

Here’s the truth! People value authenticity and transparency. Surprisingly, some people think that branding is only for celebrities and companies who need a logo, website, tag-line, or a sensational image.

Branding involves so much more than image, logo, or how you dress. It’s about expressing your total package. It’s about authenticity, building trust, and helping people — their teams and organizations — be more successful.

Yes, branding includes tangible things like your website, branded colors, logos, etc. It is literally a process — a journey you take to discover YOUR BRAND and how to express it in everything you do. It involves the tangible AND the intangible.

Here are five reasons why personal branding is necessary for your career success.

#1. Personal branding will enhance your career growth opportunities and enrich your entrepreneurial achievements. It delves into becoming more self-aware of what specific talents and strengths bring you the most fulfillment.

#2. It brings clarity to the messaging you want to use in all communication—writing, speaking, hosting a meeting, presenting on a topic, or developing your online presence.

#3. It conveys your values, makes you more marketable, and gives you a competitive edge!

#4. It helps you focus on spending time staying in touch with those who can help you reach your goals, rather than networking like crazy at social events.

#5. It gives you more leverage in business development of sales.

As Tom Peters says, “It’s this simple: You are a brand. You are in charge. There is no single path to success. And there is one right way to create the brand called You. Except this:  Start today. Or else.”

 

Read and share this valuable article:How a Personal Brand Can Help Reimagine Your Future

 

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

3 Quick Lessons In Effective Leadership

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How timely to have recently reconnected with a senior leader inside a large healthcare services company. In his usual passionate way, he couldn’t wait to tell me about a new leadership development initiative that was being rolled out in his company. His enthusiasm and great ideas started to flow, so I started taking notes. What he plans to do is kick off the first meeting by talking about his own leadership journey and challenging his employees to consider actions they could take that would impact their own career path.

I became so excited, I asked if I could share his thoughts with you. With his approval, here are his thoughts on what he has learned that has been helpful in becoming an effective leader:

1 – Have a vision for your career, set specific written, time-bound goals, and then execute!

Here’s what he said. “I’ve always had a vision for where I wanted to be in a certain time frame. I knew I wanted to be leading a department by age 30, be a functional area leader by age 35, etc. With that in mind, I wrote down the first long term 10-year goal. Then I broke that down into smaller steps or objectives that I knew I would have to accomplish in order to make my goal a reality. This wasn’t easy. One of the short-term goals I had to complete was to get my MBA, and that took several years.”

It’s important to effectively articulate and communicate your vision or goal. Talk about it. Think about it. Take actions toward it. And be careful to not allow any self-doubt to enter in. You must believe you WILL…or you WON’T.

2 – Seek feedback from trusted mentors, but also from those who work for you.

This admittedly takes humility. He has learned to seek feedback from those who (in his opinion) will directly help him succeed or fail. As he said, “How can I possibly motivate my employees if I don’t know where they are coming from and what might be going on in their minds about my leadership? So I ask them!”

So how does he do that? I might start by saying, “I believe all of us can benefit from good feedback, learn from it and get better. So I’d like to know how I can be more effective in working with you.” Or, “how did that presentation resonate with you?”

Just being honest and authentic is what makes this work for him or anyone else. It’s showing true servant leadership, considering employees’ feelings, ideas, and listening to their feedback once in a while.

3 – Let the team make the decisions.

When the strategic direction for the year included developing and implementing the new leadership initiative, he empowered those who would be designing and implementing it — including HR, mid-managers and staff to take ownership of the project. He trusted them to come up with the plan and determine how it would benefit employees. It was planned, designed, and rolled out on time and on budget.

That’s why he was so excited.  So, not only is he excited, but the entire team is excited — after all, it is their ideas and those ideas worked.

Kudos to a team effort well done…and a true servant leader at the helm. Onward and upward!

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

Can You Strengthen Your Team by Leading Through Vulnerability?

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vulnerability is synonymous with weakness, helplessness, and being defenseless—things that you, as a leader, do not want to be known for. Vulnerability, which is getting a lot of buzz around leadership qualities and traits discussions, is also synonymous with openness and exposure, which aren’t necessarily negative when it comes to leading a team.

In a recent article in INC. magazine, the author mentions what researcher Brene Brown addressed at their INC. Leadership Forum in regards to vulnerability. Brown emphasizes that it doesn’t have to be negative. Rather, being vulnerable is your opportunity to be courageous enough to show who you really are. Being authentic helps your leadership branding and team building efforts.

“Vulnerability is the absolute heartbeat of innovation and creativity,” says Brown. “There can be zero innovation without vulnerability.”

As you lead your team, consider what Brown says in the quote above. What kind of environment do you want to have? One that is dysfunctional, low productivity, and low morale? Or, do you strive to have a team that is built on trust and authenticity, which breeds innovation and creativity? Good leaders are open and engaged with their team. They know how to influence each person to lead in their corner and ultimately achieve targeted goals.

So, how does leading through vulnerability make a difference? How does it get your team moving in your same direction? It humanizes you! Some followers may see you as just the boss—just someone telling them what to do— and they must complete their tasks because you’re the boss and not because of a greater purpose.

Don’t be afraid to share stories about yourself that could help people relate more easily to you. Maybe someone makes a mistake that you’ve made before?  How did you recover? Let your team know that you support them. There’s nothing wrong with asking a team member to help you with something, or asking for input.  That’s the kind of engagement that fosters creativity and innovation.

What else does it take to lead through vulnerability?  Watch this video: 4 Powerful Things Leaders Should Know.

“Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”
~ Patrick Lencioni

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

 

How Does Networking Fit Into Your Brand Strategy?

Business people handshake in the office.

In a recent  blog post, I mentioned how a positive second impression develops a lasting business relationship.

When you’re networking, your brand is “on stage.” You’re making connections, focusing on your presence, and collecting business cards. You’re doing great! Now be sure you have a strategy to keep it going. Once you’ve made sure to “Do it Right”— from your appearance, to your behaviors and business etiquette—how will you use networking to continue the business relationships?  If you don’t have a strategy, you could “drop the ball” on a lead, potential partner, or needed resource.

One way is to help someone get what they want. Zig Zigler said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  You may know someone who could be beneficial to them or you may have an expertise they need.  You get the point!

Next, stay connected with others’ newsletters, blogs, or updates on social media. Take the time to comment when you have a point of view.  Email them about a new blog post you like. A few kind words and input goes a long way.

Finally, plan to meet at the next scheduled event or invite them to an event that interests you both. This gives you yet another chance to leave a positive second impression.

Share with your ideas on how to leave a second impression. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Check out this article: Does  A Second Impression Count More Than the First?

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

Warning! If You’re Using These 5 Words, You’re Killing Your Executive Presence!

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Remember that time when you were at a business meeting and it took an awkward turn? There was congenial conversation—then all of a sudden you or someone else said something unprofessional that killed the flow of the discussion. The conversation went from congenial to awkward. The point is, how we communicate is a reflection of our personal brand and executive presence.

Let’s look at some “brand busters” that can rot an otherwise fruitful conversation. Here are five words and phrases to delete now!

1. Honey/Hun: Save these way too friendly words for informal conversations with people who are dear to you. The same goes for “girl,” “dude”, or “boy.” Honey is what you spread on toast and hun is a warrior who followed Attila. These words tarnish your professional image at a time when you could have been shining.

2. Doncha, Gunna, Howjado: These are not words, rather they are a part of our “laid back” communication that can easily cross over into business if you don’t pay close attention. Instead, enrich your vocabulary with meaningful words. With practice you can recognize habits that need to be ditched and communicate more professionally. And on that note, keep foul language at bay—no matter how angry you are, there’s never an excuse for “bathroom talk.”

3. You know what I mean?: Being proficient in articulating your thoughts is a leadership competency to be mastered. Using phrases like “you know”, “see what I’m saying”, and “whatever”, are fillers. If those words are eliminated from a sentence, the thought has more substance—otherwise your message is diluted. For instance, instead of saying “the speaker today made great points about leadership styles, communication, and whatnot”— delete “and whatnot”. It’s just not necessary and adds nothing.

4. The word “I”: Do you know someone with “I” trouble? That means someone who converses most of the time talking about himself….”I did this, I won that, I, I, I.” That’s boring and prideful. Your conversations shouldn’t be all about you. It takes two to have a conversation, so make sure both people are talking, not just you. I recently had a scheduled meeting with a prospective client who kept me waiting for 30 minutes. Finally, when he showed up he reminded me how busy he was. Then he talked an hour and a half about himself without stopping (hardly breathing). Whether at a business meeting or socially, talking incessantly about yourself is just rude and shows a lack of interest in the other person.

5. Using the word like: Have any of your conversations been filled with “like, you know? I’m like, really? “For real, like seriously?” These are phrases I hear commonly used in casual conversations with family and friends. They’re so common that they are often embedded in everyday vocabulary and are a challenge to eliminate. These are the tips for today. My suggestion is to take notice of these and instead learn a new word every day that will add substance to your professional communication. Enrich your vocabulary and eliminate using these phrases even when speaking casually.

Watch this video on eliminating filler words. While you’re there, subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Click here for another video on eliminating filler words.

 

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

How To Leave Your Best Brand Impression:The Second Time

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We hear it all the time. “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

That good ol’ first impression, in which people “sum you up” in a matter of seconds. Some say this isn’t fair but research shows that we do make judgments about others in the first few seconds of meeting them. In a short amount of time, there can be assumptions made about a person’s income, where they live, where they work, their personality, etc. It’s up to you to exude your strong brand attributes and leave a positive perception in every encounter. By now you’ve probably had a crash course on this topic and even mastered it— but what about the importance of the second impression?

Here are examples of making good first impressions—you had a great lunch meeting, you made solid connections at the last event you attended, or a potential client was thrilled with your presentation. All of those “firsts” are great…now what?

The impressions don’t stop there. In order to pursue business relationships, what can you do? Let’s consider these steps for a successful second impression:

#1. Forget about you! I often speak about the word “W.A.M.” That means, “what about me.” Make the conversation about them by asking good open-ended questions that get others talking. By listening more than talking, you’ll show you’re sincerely interested. Just be sure the conversation is two way – not one sided. Otherwise, you can become a “WAMMER.” Watch this video for an example of a “WAMMER”.

#2. Listen for personal information. After making that initial connection, getting to know someone’s interests, favorite pastime activities, community involvement, etc. gives you the opportunity to connect on a personal level, not just business. We are human beings, not just human doings.

#3. Send handwritten notes. Saying thank you for taking time to meet is a nice gesture of appreciation. So why not thank them? This gesture has two outcomes; it shows your brand attribute of graciousness and you’ll be remembered for your thoughtfulness.

 #4. Connect online. Your on-line brand identity is just as important as meeting in person. Today, more people connect via social media than ever before, especially LinkedIn for professional networking. Staying connected is another opportunity to make a good second impression.

What exactly does W.A.M. mean? I explain it in this video. Take a look and leave your comments. I value your feedback!

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

3 Ways Brand Authenticity Opens Doors

Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When you’re networking, your brand is “on stage.” You’re making connections, focusing on your brand presence, and collecting business cards. You’re doing great! Now be sure you have a strategy to keep it going. Once you’ve made sure to “Do it Right”— from your appearance, to your behaviors, and business etiquette—how will you use networking to continue the business relationships? If you don’t have a strategy, you could “drop the ball” on a lead, potential partner, or needed resource.

One way is to help someone get what they want. Zig Zigler said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” You may know someone who could be beneficial to them or you may have an expertise they need. You get the point!

Next, stay connected with others’ newsletters, blogs, or updates on social media. Take the time to comment when you have a point of view. Email them about a new blog post you like. A few kind words and input goes a long way.

Finally, plan to meet at the next scheduled event or invite them to an event that interests you both. This gives you yet another chance to leave a positive second impression. It’s all about people skills. Remember, soft skills bring hard dollars!  Check out this article: Does A Second Impression Count More Than the First?

Before you go, watch my video  on building relationships and post your comments. I value your feedback!

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

Power Up Your Professional Presence: Interviewing Tips for Employers

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last month I covered interviewing do’s and don’ts and included a humorous exaggerated video to illustrate. This month I’m happy to introduce Sean C. Wright as a guest writer who generously wrote the article below. More commonly, we see tips for interviewees—she makes the point that interviewers also need a refresher.

The Interview Coin’s Other Side: Tips for Employers
by Sean C. Wright

As an employer, it’s true that you don’t have as much to lose in an interview. However, you are a representative of your company, which carries significant weight. Here are some tips that assist you in putting your best foot forward – and your organization’s in finding that ideal candidate.

Match the protocol. Interviewees must be prompt, well-dressed, prepared, and so on. So should interviewers. I have been to some interviews where the potential employer chewed gum, hadn’t looked at my resume before we talked, or couldn’t answer my questions. They lost professionalism points the same as I would have as the interviewee because it’s a matter of mutual respect. This is probably the most crucial tip, extending the same courtesy to people you interview that they extend to you. And you never know, you might be interviewed in the future by someone you interviewed. Those little differences make a big difference!

Have a plan B. This is not news: life happens. Our children get sick. We have car trouble. These acts of God, as they are called, are inevitable. But they can be eased with communication or a safety net. I met with dismay once to show up to an interview where the hiring manager couldn’t make it and failed to tell someone that I was coming. Another time, the manager kept getting called out of the interview to work on some important project and never came back. Both companies scrambled to find someone to speak to me instead. It still yielded a waste of gas, time, and energy on my part because the people weren’t prepared to conduct the interviews. It left me thinking that there might be one unpleasant surprise after another if I worked there. Yikes. It’s also wise to take the interviewer’s contact information home with you. If something comes up, simply call or email to reschedule. The interviewer may prefer that instead.

Say thanks, but no thanks with class and timeliness. Saying no is never fun, but it’s the human thing to do when interviewing if you go with another candidate. Someone has taken time to dress sharply, drive out, and attempted to sell themselves. This nerve-wracking process deserves closure. Countless times, I got my “no answer” by hearing nothing with the people I interviewed with. A simple rejection letter within a week of the decision would have been sufficient. It’s the worst of interviewer offenses, as people warned me who interviewed with places that weren’t polite enough to follow up about this impolite practice.

Hiring a candidate presents itself as a daunting task for both parties, but the basic principles we learned early on – politeness, mutual respect, and good communication – take the heartache out of this necessary but sometimes harrowing process. Here’s to many professional future interviews!

For more tips read: How to Conduct the Perfect Job Interview.

Enjoy watching this video on how you shouldn’t conduct a job interview:

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Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

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Valerie Sokolosky

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