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Valerie

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:

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.

Self-Awareness is a Leadership Requirement

 

Brand

Does Your Brand Have It?

When you hear the word leader, what traits come to mind? Dedication, influence, expertise, and confidence, perhaps. Additionally, a leader simply must have a big dose of self-awareness. How do you know if you have it?

By definition self-awareness is “the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” It’s a trait that allows you to recognize how your presence affects others around you. Are you aware of what others’ body language and behaviors might be saying?  Do you sense friction arising during conversations? Can you recognize the message given by certain facial expressions or gestures? Likewise, what’s the atmosphere of your office on any given day? Is it high-energy or low morale? Even if you’re not having the best day, remember people are watching you and your demeanor is contagious.  Don’t let a bad day dull your presence.

Self-awareness is an important trait that will move a good leader to an outstanding leader. It creates a strong brand presence. Here’s a checklist to determine if you’ve “got it.”

  1. Do you show empathy toward your team? People need to know you care before they care what you know.
  2. Does your presence exude leadership without having to use your title? A leader is an authentic influencer, one who is willing to work alongside people and help them reach their goals.
  3. Do you take time to examine you? What are areas where you can improve?  I’ve heard it said “learning is K through 80+.” Leaders are learners.
  4. Do you ask for feedback? It takes courage, but it’s worth it to hear what others’ perspectives might be.
  5. Are you an authentic leader? Let your team get to know the real you! Yes, being vulnerable is a good thing. It shows you are a human being….not just a human doing!

So what are the signs?

Read:  7 Signs That You Are Not As Self-Aware As You Think  

How Do You Know If You’re Self-Aware?

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.

 

Having a Positive Presence Counts! 6 Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts

 

by stockimages,Freedigitalphotos

We’ve all had to endure the “dreaded” interview. Have you ever left the interview thinking, “Did I do this right? Did I say that wrong? How did I look?” I’m sure you have, along with many other thoughts that flood our brains after an interview.

This is when having a positive presence counts! Your credentials are, of course, important—but a first impression with impact speaks volumes. You never know exactly what an interviewer is looking for; so let your brand, etiquette, and skills stand out.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind the next time you have an interview opportunity. Remember these tips, be confident, focus on your interview, and you’ll know if you did this or that right.

Do’s

1. Do research- Never “wing-it!” Know the brand of the company. With the internet at your fingertips, use online resources to your advantage. Learn, in advance, all you can about the company, the business, the culture, and the position. Use sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Glassdoor to increase your knowledge. Impress them with what you know.

2. Say thank you- Send a short handwritten thank-you note. It shows your brand attributes of being pro-active, engaging, and relationship building.

3. Ask questions- This is another opportunity to sell yourself. Asking questions about the company or industry shows that you’ve put effort in preparing for the interview. They’ll appreciate your genuine interest.

4. Brag-without bragging- Stress your achievements. They are part of who you are-YOUR BRAND. Don’t share negative information about yourself. Be proud of your accomplishments and relate them to ways you can make a difference in the organization. If you are asked about your weaknesses — turn this to the positive. Say something like, ” One of my LIABILITIES I’ve recognized is that I tend to hold back my opinions. What I’ve learned is to value my knowledge and expertise —which allows me to have more self-confidence in speaking up.”

5. Listen!- Be aware of your body language. Smile and nod occasionally to show you’re engaged and interested.

6. Be courteous- to the receptionist, administrative assistant, anyone. You never know who may work directly with the interviewer. They may say something about your demeanor before the interview even starts. Your first impression counts when you first walk in the door.

Don’ts

1. Don’t answer calls or texts- Believe it or not, people do it — during the interview! Turn off or silence your phone. You have an opportunity to shine during the interview; don’t dull it by derailing your brand.

2. Salary requirements- Don’t discuss salary or vacation time. Save this for AFTER an offer is made. You don’t want to imply that your interest is based solely on salary and benefits.

3. Don’t rely on your resume- We’re so digital these days. Bring several copies of your resume but remember your online presence is critical too. An interviewer will likely Google you before or during your interview. No matter what is on your resume, you will have to sell YOU — on or off paper.

4. Don’t ever lie- It’s true that it’s hard to land a job, but it will be a huge mistake to lie about your credentials. Be authentic and answer questions concisely with confidence.

5. Don’t arrive late and/or look unkempt-Give yourself ample time to dress and arrive early. Beforehand, make sure you know the exact location, more than one way to get there, and the building or suite where the interview is located. Clothing, hair, and accessories should be professional. Avoid chewing gum, smelling like smoke, being overly perfumed/cologned, and showing up late. These are all ingredients what will create a bad impression.

6. Don’t forget a pen- Take notes so that you can remember crucial information. Your preparedness will help you stand out!

Here’s a funny video about what NOT to do during a interview.

 

 

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.

 

Does Information Cause Transformation?

By wiangya, published on 16 November 2011 Stock Photo - image ID: 10064924 I’ve been thinking about the reason I enjoy executive coaching so much. Yes, I enjoy watching people move forward in their careers. Yes, it’s humbling to know I’ve made a difference in how people think or behave — habits they learn to change. But above all these things — my love for coaching comes from seeing someone do something that is transformational.

Here’s a recent example. I’ve changed the name to protect the innocent,  as they say.

Bill was a middle manager in a Fortune 100 company who was burned out, frustrated at what wasn’t happening that he thought should be happening, and ready to give up a good paying job. His complaints were partially well founded. Bill’s boss did not agree that he was ready for a new role. He had sought a promotion and was turned down. “You have not demonstrated that you are ready to manage a larger part of our organization,” he was told.

Add to that Bill was bored with what seemed mundane work and mindless tasks that were below his level of skills. Why didn’t people recognize his worth, he wondered?

Part of being a skilled coach is to practice deep listening — hearing not only the words, but the words behind the words. I’ve been trained to do just that, so after a few coaching sessions it became clear that  Bill was looking at all the things he felt were wrong while being blinded to those things that could be right. We began seeking what he could do to show his personal brand attributes in a way that demonstrated strong leadership capabilities.

Here’s the outcome of what followed. Bill saw what parts (although some were small parts) of his job brought him pleasure and used his strengths. He found ways to do more of those things and spend less time on areas where he struggled. With those struggling areas, Bill was able to delegate to people who had greater skills where he was weak. Low and behold, people began to recognize Bill’s skills that brought more successes for the team. He was given projects where he could use those skills — time after time,  he delivered above and beyond expectations.

Now Bill is more engaged with his work and with his team. He is  more fulfilled in his role. He upped his game by taking risks with new activities that others were not willing to take on.

After a year of coaching, Bill took all the information from our sessions, all the tools that were shared, and went from a state of learning to a state of transforming – his role and his career. Last we spoke, Bill had been offered a promotion.

What are you saying to yourself that may be keeping you from seeing possibilities? Positive self-talk matters. Finding your brand attributes that bring more success is important. Keeping your skills current is mandatory. Remember— as William Arruda says, “Personal Branding is evolutionary,  not just revolutionary.”

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

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Valerie Sokolosky

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