Must Reads

Leave Your Work Stress at Work

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Must Reads

Leave Your Work Stress at Work

One of the most important elements of work/life integration is leaving our stress at work; and it’s one of the most difficult to accomplish.  An article in WSJ by Sue Shellenbarger  last month reminded me of some great practices we can put into our everyday routines to help shed the stress of the workday. Schedule time at the end of the day to catch up on emails, clean up your desk, jot down a to do list for tomorrow Use your commute to relax.  It’s the “decompression zone!”  If you drive, enjoy the traffic to listen to your iPod, SiriusXM, sports talk, or whatever floats your car.  Don’t catch up on calls, do that in the office.  Call to catch up with a close friend (BlueTooth Only!).  If you take the train or the bus, it’s time to embrace all those silly games like Candy Crush, Words with Friends, Word Chums.   Any mindless or even mind stimulating activity can help get your mind off the shitty day you just had. Shut the door of the work day behind you.  Enter the front door of your home, or whatever door you need to, turn to the day, shut the door on it, and enter your home life! If cooking dinner stresses you out, spend some time on the weekends putting together pre-made meals for a couple nights. Let your children know that the first 20 minutes of home time is “me time” while you get your bearings. Whatever you employ, it’s about setting your frame of mind and getting into that routine of integrating your professional life into your personal life – when and where it belongs! For more “Must Reads” go to...

Read More

Eat That Frog

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Must Reads

Eat That Frog

“If your job is to eat a frog, it is best to do it first thing in the morning. If it’s your job to eat 2 frogs, it is best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain Whatever your frog of the day is, a call to an angry client, a tough conversation with one of your team members, get it out of the way early on if at all possible.  You will be less productive and more stressed if you have that frog sitting on your plate all day, staring up at you with those big, ugly eyes. For more “Must Reads” go to...

Read More

8 Steps to Avoid Procrastination

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Must Reads

8 Steps to Avoid Procrastination

Eight steps to avoid procrastination. All of us have a self-starter mentality inside ourselves and we all have the opposite side that wants to take it easy, relax, even slack a bit. It’s only a matter of to what degree. Some people rarely, if ever, lose focus on the priorities. For those of us (like myself) who may tend to indulge the procrastinator within us every now and again, here are a few actions to consider: Break large projects into smaller tasks Remind yourself of the payoff Avoid thinking you HAVE to be perfect Make a commitment to yourself as to a completion time and then tell others Delegate! Reward yourself as you complete each step Is it really a priority? Perhaps you can eliminate it. Think carefully about this one. If you eliminate it, will you be at ease? And as always, follow the guidance of Mark Twain and EAT THAT FROG. Taking care of the harder, inevitable tasks early in the day will relieve a huge layer of stress. For more “Must Reads” go to...

Read More

Interviewing: First Impressions

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Must Reads

Interviewing: First Impressions

Interviewing is 20% your resume (experience), 20% your responses and how you respond (your preparation), 20% your interviewee’s disposition, philosophies and mood along with 20% your adaptive personality and style (the connection), and 90% first impressions. These, you can tell of course by the rather fuzzy math, are not an exact science. But then again neither is interviewing. Most people are in their jobs for reasons other than their ability to conduct an interview. Some feel the need to ask the “interview” questions. Others prefer a two way conversation and are able to make their decisions that way. All of the above elements are important, but that first impression is really key. Check out what Laszlo Bock, SVP, People Operations at Google has to say about “Winn(ing) Every Interview with these 6 Steps.” Laszlo Bock, SVP, People Operations at Google, wrote a great book available now at Amazon: Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead.  In it he lays out his thoughts on best hiring and retention philosophes and gives great insight to managers, leaders, employees, candidates, etc. An interesting excerpt, below, talks about how very few of us are experts at assessing candidates. MCS takes the guess work out and combines years of building teams in the media business along with behavioral based science and axiology to both secure the best candidates for your company, as well as make your current employees more productive, efficient, and happy. We can work directly with your leaders to enhance their teams’ performance through assessment and coaching or we can give you the tools to do it on your own. Work Rules! Excerpt: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” was the tagline for a Head & Shoulders shampoo ad campaign in the 1980s. (A couple of cringe-worthy examples are here and here.) This unfortunately encapsulates how most interviews work. Tricia Pricket and Neha Gada-Jain, two psychology students at the University of Toledo, collaborated with their professor Frank Berieri to report in a 2000 study that judgments made in the first 10 seconds of an interview could predict the outcome of the interview. They videotaped interviews, and then showed thinner and thinner “slices” of the tape to college students. For 9 of the 11 variables they tested — like intelligence, ambition, and trustworthiness — they found that observers made the same assessments as the interviewers. Even without meeting the candidates. Even when shown a clip as short as 10 seconds. Even with the sound turned off. “In other words, most of what we think is “interviewing” is actually the pursuit of confirmation bias. Most interviews are a waste of time because 99.4 percent of the time is spent trying to confirm whatever impression the interviewer formed in the first ten seconds. “Tell me about yourself.” “What is your greatest weakness?” “What is your greatest strength?” Worthless.” For more “Must Reads” go to...

Read More