Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Perfect Hire

The Perfect Hire
Tim Connor

I will guarantee that at least once in your career as a manager, leader or business owner you have made a hiring mistake. One that in hindsight cost you more than you would have ever anticipated.

There are four areas I would like to discuss; resumes, references, interviews and personality profiles and then ask you to decide which do you feel are the most effective for making wise hiring choices and which ones you are relying on and are they working?  I will keep these short and to the point.

Resumes –

A resume is a balance sheet without the negatives. Its primary purpose is to make the candidate look good or even perfect.  Relying on these as a major tool for determining who you will interview or even hire can be a huge mistake. With online applications now dominating the hiring process this can create even greater hazards as candidates can easily manipulate them to suit the potential employer.

The answer – Read between the lines.  Ask for details.  Look for obvious loopholes. Ask for further explanations where appropriate.  Look for inconsistencies.  Pay attention to the presentation of the resume – is it professional, too long, too short, to self-serving, etc.

References –

Let me ask you – if you are trying to look good would you give someone a bad or even questionable reference?  I doubt it.  References can be valuable if you ask the candidate for the right ones and interview the references in the correct way.  Otherwise – why bother al you will get are platitudes and often false misrepresentations.

The answer – Ask to speak to previous supervisors, customers, fellow employees or suppliers or vendors. Go back to a former position (before the most current one – where possible) and ask to speak with the same folks as just mentioned.  Ask the former supervisor a critical question – would you rehire this person if you could?

Interviews –

The biggest mistakes interviewers make are they – talk too much or give information before they get it.  They broadcast in advance what they are looking for and only a fool as a candidate would respond in the wrong way therefore making them look ideal.

The answer – Ask more questions than you spend time talking.  Get them talking first. Ask follow-up questions. Observe body language as they answer the questions. Dig deeper. Ask more why and how questions than what or when questions. Take notes. On follow-up interviews ask them the same questions and compare answers.

Personality profiles –

There are hundreds of work style and personality profiles on the market today.  Some are worth the cost while others can be incredibly accurate and a valuable selection instrument. The bottom line – using them is one of the best tools you can use to ensure a smart hiring decision. A major publication, Scientific American Mind just verified that using these instruments is the most important and credible action you can take when trying to wade through all of the information you gain during the hiring process. The results from these instruments when carefully integrated into your hiring decision can guarantee the best possible choice.  I have been a Personality Profile Consultant for over twenty years and many of my clients use these instruments both during the hiring process as well as prior to promoting an employee into a new role or position.  If you would like to discuss their use and benefits give me a call.

The answer – Use an instrument.  Even a poor one is better than not using one at all.

Let me close with the questions;

Now rank the above four areas in terms of importance in making a smart hiring decision.

___Personality profiles

Now rank them in accordance with how you currently implement these in terms of their importance or use as you go through the hiring process;

___Personality profiles

And your conclusion is? A)you are doing things right, B) you need to change a few areas or C) you need to abandon your current approach and begin again.
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man withthe wrong mental attitude."
Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The uncertainties of life.

The uncertainties of life.
Tim Connor

Many people today struggle with the need to know what will happen tomorrow, next week or this year. Some have the need to manipulate tomorrow or to have life be ‘in order’ or ‘certain’ or ‘settled’.  I can only tell you that one philosophy which has served me well all these years is: learn to embrace the unexpected and release the expected.

I never thought my life would turn out as it has. How about you?  Is your life unfolding exactly the way you want?  Planned? Expected?  I doubt it. It is probably either turning out better than you thought, or in some ways worse.  Life is about uncertainty, adventure, unknowns and surprises. Yes, some of these can appear positive while some can be negative. But remember that everyone defines positive and negative by their own perceptions, experiences and parameters.  What are some of the uncertainties in life?  I don’t really need to tell you because I am confident you have experienced some. But here are a few anyway.

- a career change that you didn’t anticipate.
- a divorce that you never thought possible.
- a health crisis that you were not prepared for.
- a new relationship at the wrong time in your life.
- a financial challenge that you felt you did not deserve.
- a family problem with children, in-laws, siblings.

There are many others, but for most people they seem to fall within the above list.
There are two ways to live life. Release the struggle to know in advance what your life may bring or fight life and all of its uncertainty by trying to create known outcomes.

I can only tell you that sooner or later in every life there will be unknowns. That’s life, folks. The key is to have a working philosophy and/or life outlook that enables you to get through all of these challenges, adventures and surprises with dignity, peace, balance and inner harmony. I know from personal experience that life can be difficult when one fails to see the big picture in advance. I have had my share of ‘troubles’ in almost every area of life, but 
I have also come to understand that these so-called surprises – in the end – can be a wonderful detour through life.

Lessons come from all directions in life at the strangest times. We are never ready for failure, adversity, or emotional challenges, but sooner or later life will be asking you some fundamental questions. There are many, but here are just a couple:

Who are you?
What do you believe? 
Who are you becoming?
Is your life grounded in faith?
Do you really trust God?
What are you learning?
What are you here to do?  To become?
How are you contributing to others?

Your answers to these and other questions will determine the quality of your life, emotional state, success and happiness. Trust me, no matter what you do, learn, accomplish, are worth, or master, sooner or later your life will have its share of adventure, uncertainty and surprise. Learn to accept these as the life experience, rather than feel the need to be ‘in control’ every minute or day in your life.

Why not purchase one of my best selling books, Life is Short. It’s on my website. It will give you some great insights and ideas in this area

“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years.”
Abe Lincoln

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Are you thinking about it or doing it?

Are you thinking about it or doing it?
Tim Connor

Over the years I have asked myself the same question a number of times: Why can't I or don't I do what I know I could about . . . . whatever?

There are so many people who want different outcomes in their life but who seem to be unwilling or unable to take the necessary actions or steps to move forward.  (I know, I have been one of those people on numerous occasions during the past 45 years.)

Not that any of my issues might relate to you, but regardless the question remains - are there areas of your life where you are not taking positive action that you feel you could? 
Here are just areas for you to consider.

Are you someone who:

-is in a destructive relationship and wants to leave but don't?
-wants to lose weight but can't?
-wants to begin an exercise program but don’t?
-wants to start their own business but don’t?
-wants to change his/her job or career but don’t?
-has a destructive addiction and won't stop?
-wants to contact an old friend/relative and rekindle a relationship and don’t?
-wants to start a savings plan for their future and don’t?

There are many more actions that some of us – could, should, want to or hope to take some day but just never seem to get around to.  Why not?

I can't tell you why you don't or haven't but I can tell you a few of the reasons I have used as to why I haven't:

1. Fear of the outcome - can I handle the new circumstances?
2. There is plenty of time to do it later - some future point.
3. I am waiting for Divine inspiration to tell me what to do and when.
4. The transition could be painful.
5. It is easier to not do it than do it.
6. I just feel lazy.
7. I need a healthy shot of discipline.
8. I need a support system to begin.
9. I don't have the time.
10. I don't have the money.
11. I’ve tried it before and failed.
12. I don’t really want to.

That's enough, I am starting to get depressed.
The point is: to ask yourself a simple question and don't stop asking until
you get a legitimate answer.  Don't let yourself off the hook too soon or too easily:

The question -

Why can't you or aren't you taking the appropriate action that would improve your life, reduce your stress or help you live longer and be happier and more successful?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The ability to move through life’s transitions takes courage and faith

The ability to move through life’s transitions takes courage and faith
Tim Connor

Life is filled with a variety of transitions – changes, endings and new beginnings.  Each of us lives through many such transitions.  The transition of:
- graduating from high school or college and starting a career.
- leaving one job, career and moving on to another.
- leaving a relationship that is destructive or lacks a nurturing and loving  foundation, and moving on to another that you hope will give you more of  what you need and desire.
- marriage, leaving the single life behind.
- moving into a new home or neighborhood
- retiring and leaving behind the frantic, busy and often stressful life of the busy professional, executive, -manager or employee.
- moving from one part of the country to another or even from one city to another in the same state.

There are many major life transitions such as marriage, divorce, retirement and starting a business, and there are thousands of smaller life transitions that fill our days and years.
Each of us handles and reacts to these transitions in many different ways. Let me pull a key concept from the best selling book Transitions, by William Bridges.  Bill shares a simple concept in managing any major or minor life transition.

Declare an ending. Spend time in the neutral zone. Create a new beginning. Many people attempt to begin again – a new relationship, a new job, anything – without declaring an ending or putting closure on the previous situation. This will almost guarantee a premature ending to your new relationship or new beginning.

Spend time in the neutral zone. This is time of reflection, contemplation and self-evaluation. 

I have known people who have spent months in the neutral zone. Personally, after a previous divorce, I spent over a year in the neutral zone. This is a time of renewal and self-discovery. It is time well invested if you want to discover the who, what, why, how, why not and what if in your past and future.

New Beginnings.  Start, begin and go for it with confidence, desire, passion, belief and a willing heart and mind and leave all of the old baggage behind.  It won’t do you any good in a new beginning.

No one escapes life’s transitions.  The key to happiness and inner peace is the ability to view both the transition process and its outcomes as in your long term best interests.  Years have taught me that nothing happens without a reason.  A life’s transition enables a person to leave something behind and move into something better.  The secret is to accept a transition with confidence and faith.

Some of life’s transitions can be planned and prepared for while others come upon us suddenly with surprise and cause a great deal of anxiety due to the uncertainty of the future.

Over the years I have observed many people who have resisted a life transition that would have ultimately been good for them, due to fear, stress and a lack of trust in their life process.  If a transition is necessary for you to grow, you can anticipate it, plan for it and take positive action or wait for just the right time.  But waiting isn’t an effective way to face a transition if you want to create more inner peace, happiness or success.  There is never the perfect time to; start a relationship, end one, start a new career or end one, or many other of life’s transitions.  If you wait too long, life has a unique way of interceding and pushing you whether you feel you are ready or not.

What transition(s) are you experiencing at this time in your life, that you are not handling with calm, confidence, courage and clarity?

What transition are you waiting to take action on due to fear or a lack of trust and faith?