Category: Career Development
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Do you have a habit of committing to things, but not finishing them? While getting started is the first step to something great, many of us get stuck on the second step … thinking but not doing. Seldom do we consider the challenges that were not visible when we first started toward a goal. However, a goal without commitment will never be reached unless you take action to overcome those challenges.
Where have you dropped your commitment? What one action can you take today to pick it up?
What do you think when you hear “so tell me about yourself!” in an interview? Do you start to panic? Do you wonder how much personal information to give? Do you wonder if the interviewer even took the time to prepare for the interview (after all, you sent him your resume that tells everything about your experience).
When an interviewer asks that question, he is often using it as an ice-breaker to find out if you will fit into the culture and perform well on-the-spot. Here is how to use this question to your advantage.
- Take the opportunity. While you may feel awkward talking about yourself, it’s really a golden opportunity. Think of it as an invitation to tell your potential employer what you want them to know about you and what makes you unique.
- Steer toward your personal strengths. Instead of waiting to see what the interviewer will do, you can steer the discussion toward your strengths and concerns. A good opening will prompt the interviewer to ask follow-up questions about areas where you shine.
- Determine your fit. Remember that you’re evaluating the company while they’re screening you. Do you sense a connection with the interviewer, especially if they’ll be your supervisor? Are they listening attentively or shuffling papers? Your initial rapport may suggest what your working relationship will be lik
- Tell stories. You’re more than a list of keywords. Share interesting anecdotes that will make the interviewer remember you in a positive light.
- Create interest. Your self-description is like a movie trailer or the first chapter of a novel. Instead of trying to cram in your whole life story, make the interviewer want to hear more.
Walk into your next job interview ready and eager to talk about yourself and why you’re an outstanding candidate for the position. Focusing on the intersection between your strengths and the interviewer’s needs will help you to find a job you’ll love.
In our classes we talk about enforcement, changing behavior, and creating the workplace we all envision we should have. Through all these discussions around behavior we talk about moving from Infrequent, Uncertain Negatives, to the use of Soon Certain Negatives to quickly change behavior. Producing a culture of “Reluctant Compliance” because no one is happy with this negative change but are forced to comply to avoid negative reinforcement. This “Reluctant Compliance” over time will turn into the norm, the reality of working in a strictly run workplace. Once the compliance is the norm and deviation is the oddity we can then transition to the next critical step… moving on to the use of Soon Certain Positives to create a long-term positive environment.
Within this Soon Certain Positive phase there is the discussion of using rewards in place of discipline to enforce the correct behaviors. So what is a reward? According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a reward is the following:
“to give money or another kind of payment to (someone or something) for
something good that has been done”
So by that definition we can look at the following rewards:
- Money or financial incentive
- Cash, donation
- Some kind of gift or recognition
- Coffee mug, plaque, pizza for lunch
When I look at the list above and I think of even simpler rewards that can be provided in the workplace. On that brings my mind back to a simpler time in life… kindergarten. Thinking back, how were we rewarded then? With one simple phrase,”Great Job!”
Being told that you are performing well along with a pat on the back or pat on the head meant the world. If we translate that into adulthood, that same phrase (although it can be used in the same way) is usually translated into a much more infrequently used comment, ”Thank you!” Truly the simplest form of recognition is to be told, “Great job, and thank you.”
This kind of recognition if used genuinely can be one of the greatest forms of behavioral modification. Both for the thank-er and for the thank-ee. Both benefit from the recognition of a job well done and the simple note that someone truly has seen and recognizes that, and even more importantly appreciates it.
If you would like to read a great article on the use of this simple form of behavior modification and humanity, read the following article:
The article talks about the Healthcare environment but can translate into any workplace in the world. The simplest of things can have the greatest of impacts.
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“Easier than making a mistake” … now that is good Human Engineering!
While listening to a radio commercial recently, I heard the announcer say, “Easier than making a mistake!” As a TapRooT® Root Cause Instructor with a quality and human engineering (Human Factors) background, all that I could think about is mistake-proofing, Poka-yoke.
The concept was formalized, and the term adopted, by Shigeo Shingo as part of the Toyota Production System. It was originally described as baka-yoke, but as this means “fool-proofing” (or “idiot-proofing”) the name was changed to the milder poka-yoke. (From Wikipdia)
Now, I did not learn about Dr. Shigeo Shingo during my Human Factors study, even though a large part of training dealt 100% with design and usability from products, to controls and to user graphic user interfaces. On the flip side, Human Factors and Usability was rarely discussed during my Lean Six Sigma certification either, even though Poka-yoke was covered.
Why are two major interactive topics such as Human Factors and Poka-yoke kept in isolation, very dependent on where and what you study? Simple, shared best practices and industry secrets are not always the norm.
Where can you learn about both topics? In San Antonio, Texas during our TapRooT® Summit Week August 1-5.
In the pre-summit 2-Day TapRooT® Quality Process Improvement Facilitator Course, we cover the error of making weak preventative or corrective action items that are not based on the actual root causes found and not optimizing and understanding mistake-proofing that will impact your success in continuous process improvements.
For those that need a deeper understanding of why mistake-proofing should be considered, you should look into signing up for the 2-Day Understanding and Stopping Human Error Course.