Blog

Category: Personality

The Right Way to Discuss Your Failures in a Job Interview

Filed under: Interviews, Personality, Publishing

In interviewing hundreds of people, I’ve found that the way a candidate answers one key question tells me more about them than any other. I’ll usually wait until the candidate has relaxed somewhat and begins to open up. Then, about halfway through the interview, I’ll ask, “What has been a moment of significant professional disappointment or failure, and what caused it?”

Straightforward enough, right? Yes, but I’m listening for a few key things. First, it asks an interviewee to come up with a specific moment. Rather than the standard “What are your weaknesses?” question, which more often provokes groans from jobseekers, it asks for a concrete professional incident. But this gives a candidate plenty of options: Do they focus on a lost promotion, or a failed project? Do they make it about themselves, or about their company? You can see a lot of their personality by how they interpret the question.

What’s more, by asking what caused the failure, the question doesn’t require an applicant to take responsibility for it, though they might choose to. In my experience, these are three types of answers I typically hear—with some responses earning better marks than others.

Click here to read the rest on Fast Company >>

7 Character Traits That the Best Employees Share

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Personality, Professional Development

The difference between success and failure in business usually comes down to one thing: good teamwork. If someone is going to be an employee, he or she needs to work well with me and other team members. For that reason, it’s important to identify and hire based on the qualities that predict teamwork and success.

Here are seven qualities that the best employees have in common.

1. Reliability
Your employees are only as good as they are reliable. But, how do you determine how reliable new hires will be before you work with them? The value of credentials has all but vanished in today’s economy, so you have to look elsewhere.

Click here to read the rest on Entrepreneur >> 

 

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

Filed under: Attitude, Communication, Personality, Professional Development

I have a serious issue with the term “soft skills.” You know, those skills that the United States Department of Labor lists as Communication; Enthusiasm and Attitude; Teamwork; Networking; Problem Solving and Critical Thinking; and Professionalism. Every one of those skills is absolutely critical to success in today’s business environment, and calling them “soft” subtly diminishes their importance. Like A Boy Named Sue, soft skills have an image problem, and we need to change that.

“Hard” skills don’t have that image problem. “Hard” connotes tangibility, certainty, and measurability. You have that knowledge, you have that skill, and you are hired to use that knowledge and perform that skill and bring value to the company. Hard skills are essential, because without skill and knowledge nothing gets done.

But today, relying solely on hard skills won’t get the job done either. As we move away from the literal and figurative bricks-and-mortar production model, and toward a more virtual and collaborative work space, soft skills are arguably more essential than hard skills. After all, when breakdowns happen at your organization, is it because your employees didn’t have the specific knowledge or skill to do the job? Not really. We can determine hard skills fairly easily and get people in the right jobs. Failures are far more likely to arise when there’s a communication breakdown, a toxic team dynamic, or a lack of critical thinking. Soft skills don’t seem so soft when you think about it that way.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

How Your Facial Expressions at Work Can Hurt Your Career

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Personality, Quick Tips

What’s the first thing you notice about a person? It’s generally their facial expression. And when you meet someone for the first time, you’re likely to remember if they greeted you with a big grin or a disappointing sulk. First impressions do matter, and your facial expressions can affect how people perceive you. Dr. Alan Fridlund, professor at University of California Santa Barbara, says that expressions are inherently social; they give others clues to how you’re feeling.

Facial expressions can forecast how a person’s feeling: “The face is like a switch on a railroad track,” Fridlund says. “It affects the trajectory of the social interaction the way the switch would affect the path of the train.” Studies by Dr. Fridlund and others show that expressions “occur most often during pivotal points in social interactions; during greetings, social crises, or times of appeasement.” This is where your career may be affected. Because a facial expression can give insight into how a person feels, it may be influencing how you’re perceived at work. Here are three situations where showing your gut reaction through your facial expression may affect you in the workplace.

1. Greeting Someone in the Office Who You Don’t Like

Our general reaction to someone we don’t like is shown directly through the expression our face makes. Dr. Fridlund says that “a scowl may impel them to stay clear.”

Click here to read the rest on Business Insider >>

5 Ways Resilient People Use Failure To Their Advantage

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Insights, Personality

While some people become frozen with fear or immobilized by their emotions, resilient people have a remarkable ability to tolerate distress. They face hard times – professional and personal – with determination to do their best and confidence they’ll be able to handle whatever life throws their way.

Whether they get passed up for a promotion, or they fail to close a deal, resilient people don’t give up on their goals. They view each failure as an opportunity to sharpen their skills and become better. Here are the five strategies resilient people use to bounce back after failure:

Click here to read the rest on Forbes >>

To Err Is Human. To Apologize Is Humane.

Filed under: Attitude, Good Habits, Personality, Social Impact

Conflict is a natural and inevitable part of being human. At home or in the workplace, different opinions, perspectives, and values intersect to create interactions that are challenging and taxing to navigate, even at the highest levels of leadership. For example, in a recent survey, CEOs rate conflict management skills as their most important area for professional development.

Handling conflict can become even more challenging when we are the offending party. When we are responsible for hurting someone, we often get angry at the person we harmed, avoid the situation, or try to rationalize our behaviour rather than apologizing for it.

However, a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlights the importance of apology in repairing and strengthening our relationships. This research examined how people respond when those who offended them offered an apology. The longitudinal nature of this investigation also meant that the researchers could examine what effect the apology had after the event occurred and track forgiveness levels in the weeks ahead.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Do You Have These 4 Soft-People Skills?

Filed under: Personality, Skills, Social Impact, Success

Have you worked with or for a person with a strong leader-type personality? They’re adept in driving for results and measuring performance. They have no issue delivering hard feedback or making tough decisions. At times however, their sharp edge becomes a limitation. They haven’t spent much time developing their soft people skills and it’s making them less effective in their role. Maybe this even describes you.

In a workshop I was conducting on personality types an example was shared about a boss that everyone in the room had worked for. The general dislike of this individual was still evident as everyone had at least one example of how this person was overbearing and difficult to work for. He was eventually asked to leave the company but only after he left a trail of carnage in his wake. His memory lives on.

If you have a strong leader-type personality, you absolutely must get a handle on developing your soft-people skills. There are 4 Skills in particular that may not come naturally but you can learn.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>