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Archive for the Category "Career"

Enough with the mind reading: get a 360 feedback! Nov 02

I find that a whole lot of people worry about how others perceive them. They worry, and that’s it. They don’t do anything to actually get a realistic view on the matter. At best, they just try to guess it, they try to mind read it and every once in a while, they ask a person they feel comfortable with what she thinks about them.

If what others think about you is something that’s on your mind, do yourself and your personal development a favor, and do something effective about it: get a proper 360 degrees feedback (aka 360).

A 360 is an assessment of your person, from multiple sources. It is usually given by supervisors, peers and subordinates. Clients, suppliers can also chip in, and even friends or family if you wanna get a perspective beyond you professional life.

I used a 360 degrees feedback for myself repeatedly and I often use it with clients. The fact that it is structured and rich in information makes the results very meaningful. You won’t find out perfectly how everybody sees you, but it’s certainty a lot more scientific than guessing.

I think there are 3 main things you can do with the information you gain from a 360 degrees feedback, other than just wondering why people think you’re selfish when you buy everybody Christmas presents:

  1. Discover the traits you project with ease in any situation and use this for personal branding.
  2. Discover the traits you repress, you hide from others, and use this for becoming more expressive.
  3. Discover your strengths and weaknesses you may not have been aware of, and use this for personal development.

Knowing about the tool is one thing. Using it effectively is another. Here are my top tips for making the most out of a 360:

  • Use a standardized questionnaire for everyone that gives you feedback;
  • Ask specific questions and use very clear phrasing;
  • Ask for feedback from people that know you and care about you;
  • Allow the option of anonymous feedback to help people be more honest;
  • Get feedback from at least 10 people to have representative results;
  • Remember that how others see you is not necessarily how you are.
  • Remember it’s just a feedback, not a flawless evaluation tool.

Getting a 360 degrees feedback takes some effort and most importantly, some courage. Most of us are not used to asking others for clear and specific feedback about ourselves. Asking for it is a statement that we are vulnerable to their perception and it’s a request for something some find risky to give: honest evaluations. Expect this to take you and them out of your comfort zones, and embrace it.

If you’re interested in a specific 360 degrees feedback tool, I recommend 360°Reach by William Arruda. It’s an online assessment that’s well designed, easy to use for personal development or branding, and you can try it free of charge for 15 days. So, enjoy it!

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Constructive attitudes after getting fired Oct 21

So you got the F word at your job, ha? No, not that one; the other one! Getting fired not only has practical negative consequences (especially in a crisis period), but also emotional ones. Oddly, enough, until you handle the emotional ones effectively, your chances of handling the practical ones effectively are waaay slimmer.

So for me, the process is not 1) get a new job 2) then feel better; it’s 1) feel OK, 2) then get a new job, 3) then feel even better. I think you wanna have constructive attitudes after being fired. Not positive ones, not negative ones, but the one that help you the most to get results.

With this premise in mind, here are my top 3 personal development ideas for having constructive attitudes after getting fired:

1. Mourn. Pissed off and panicked after losing your job, don’t go straight into looking for a new one. It may seem logical to act quickly, but actually, you are probably nowhere near the emotional state to be looking for a new job. Because of this, you can do a lot more damage than good.

Instead, take a mourning period. My recommendation is anywhere between 3 days and 2 weeks, depending on how hard losing your job hit you emotionally. In this period, get used to the thought that your previous job is no more and that the future is ahead of you. Don’t repress the pain – it’s a natural part of the healing process – just let it go through you and drip out.  

2. Detach. Easier said then done. How do you do it? The most powerful advice I can give you here is understand you are not your job. We live in a society that wrongfully teaches us to define ourselves by our job, our car, our clothes etc. Even though it may seem otherwise after you just got fired, where you work and what you do does not define you as a person; it’s just one part of the way you live. Get this thought really deep in your head.

3. Don’t blame. Almost every time a person tells me about loosing her job (and I have a lot of clients in this category), this sentence is followed by blaming someone or something outside of her: “My boss is incompetent and was intimidated by me professionally”, “Someone else got my job based on relations”, “The company does not appreciate my skills”.

Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. Either way, one thing I always notice with these people is that blaming is toxic. Instead of making them feel better, it often gets them feeling worse and it prevents them from seeing their own faults and approaching the job hunting process effectively. So, put the blaming aside and just move to the next step.

Once you have constructive attitudes about getting fired, you are properly equipped emotionally to move to the next personal development step: the actual process of finding a new job.

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Category: Attitude, Career  | Tags: , , ,  | 5 Comments