Category: Career Development Tips

Watch Facebook Live Today! Next up: Staying Proficient

March 21st, 2018 by

Be sure to catch TapRooT®’s Facebook Live session today, Wednesday, March 21. Join TapRooT®’s VP Ken Reed and Implementation Strategist Benna Boring as they discuss Staying Proficient, an apt, applicable topic for every day. Think: You have to practice skills to get good at them AND to maintain your proficiency. Performing TapRooT® investigations are very similar. The techniques are not difficult; they can be used by pretty much anyone, once they’ve been trained.


When? Wednesday, March 21

What Time? Noon Eastern | 11:00 a.m. Central | 10:00 a.m. Mountain | 9:00 a.m. Pacific

If you missed last week’s FB Live session, featuring Benna Boring and Barb Carr discussing Building Rapport with Nonverbal Communication, tune in to incorporate great body language takeaways. Be sure to watch TapRooT®’s Facebook Live next week for another terrific discussion and for news you can use.

Hire a Professional

March 12th, 2018 by

root cause analysis, RCA, investigation

I know every company is trying to do the best they can with the resources that are available. We ask a lot of our employees and managers, trying to be as efficient as we can.

However, sometimes we need to recognize when we need additional expertise to solve a particular problem. Or, alternatively, we need to ensure that our people have the tools they need to properly perform their job functions.  Companies do this for many job descriptions:

  • Oil analyst
  • Design engineer
  • Nurse
  • Aircraft Mechanic

I don’t think we would ask our Safety Manager to repair a jet engine.  THAT would be silly!

However, for some reason, many companies think that it is OK to ask their aircraft mechanics to perform a root cause analysis without giving them any additional training.  “Looks like we had a problem with that 737 yesterday.  Joe, go investigate that and let me know what you find.”  Why would we expect Joe, who is an excellent mechanic, to be able to perform a professional root cause analysis without being properly trained?  Would we send our Safety Manager out to repair a jet engine?

It might be tempting to assume that performing an RCA is “easy,” and therefore does not require professional training.  This is somewhat true.  It is easy to perform bad RCA’s without professional training.  While performing effective  investigations does not require years of training, there is a certain minimum competency you should expect from your team, and it is not fair to them to throw them into a situation which they are not trained to handle.

Ensure you are giving your team the support they need by giving them the training required to perform excellent investigations.  A 2-Day TapRooT® Essential Techniques Course is probably all your people will need to perform investigations with terrific results.


Career Development: Own it

February 26th, 2018 by

Are you a manager trying to develop an employee who is consistently not hitting the goals? Are you an employee not hitting the goals who is hoping your manager will cover for you and not call you out?

In the March 2018 edition of Entrepreneur. Panera Bread’s founder and chairman, Ron Shaich, wrote, “Honesty is helpful. When you tell someone why they’re doing a bad job, you’re transferring the responsibility. Maybe they will improve. Maybe they leave. Whatever the outcome, they own it.”

Honest conversations can lead to departures, but they can also be opportunities for learning. What do you think?



The Pursuit of Happiness

February 19th, 2018 by

What does happiness mean to you? Often we find that answer in what we are pursuing: better relationships, an ideal career, a comfortable lifestyle. But what if chasing happiness makes us more unhappy? One researcher learned just that! Emily Esfahani Smith researched how to live a meaningful and fulfilling life and believes there are 4 basic pillars. The first, second and third are no surprise but the fourth pillar may be something you’ve never considered before that just may change the course of your life for the better.

Refresh your knowledge with 2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training

February 7th, 2018 by

Stay sharp and keep pace with TapRooT® software technology as well as new developments in incident investigation and root cause analysis. If you haven’t taken a TapRooT® course in a few years, you’ll enjoy the boost that comes with new knowledge and strengthening your skills. Here are some comments from recent attendees:

“The 2-Day course was clear, concise, engaging and interesting.” ~ K. Malcolm

“It was a good refresher after taking the 5-day four years ago.” ~ N. Ferrell

“Hands-on exercises will help on the job.” ~ K. Blackmon

Invest in your career possibilities. Join us for an upcoming course and refresh your knowledge and skills.


Lake Charles, LA, March 6

Lisbon, Portugal, March 8

Sydney, Australia, March 13

Calgary, Canada, March 13

Singapore, March 15

Perth, Australia, March 19

Bogota, Colombia, March 21

Portland, Oregon, March 21

Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 4


Is the information you’ve gathered for your investigation in this pile… somewhere?

January 24th, 2018 by


Are you frustrated with the amount of paper on your desk related to incidents you are investigating?

Do you spend too much time looking for information you know you have… somewhere.

Are you having a hard time finding the missing pieces to the investigation puzzle that will help you find and fix problems at your facility once and for all?

Then you need TapRooT® software!

TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis software is used by investigators as a central repository for their root cause investigations. The software helps to streamline the process, organize information and save critical data.

Some essential tasks investigators use the software for are to:

  • create SnapCharT®s (a timeline leading to the incident) that are easy to read and re-order as they collect new information.
  • organize evidence collection.
  • run causal factors (mistakes, errors or equipment failures) through the Root Cause Tree® to determine the real root causes.
  • look up questions they may have in the Root Cause Tree® Dictionary.
  • develop fixes with the Corrective Action Helper®.
  • create management reports.

How can you receive a free 3-month subscription to try it for yourself? Sign up for a 2-day TapRooT® course! In the 2-day course, you will learn everything you need to know about how to conduct a TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Investigation and an opportunity to practice in the software.

“[The course] gave us the opportunity to complete an example event in the software.
Most classes don’t allow you time to learn objectives taught, including software.” ~ A. Garcia

REGISTER for an upcoming course:

Lake Charles, LA, March 6

Lisbon, Portugal, March 8

Sydney, Australia, March 13

Calgary, Canada, March 13

Singapore, March 15

Perth, Australia, March 19

Bogota, Colombia, March 21

Portland, Oregon, March 21

Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 4


Job Postings

January 15th, 2018 by

Discover the career opportunities below for candidates with TapRooT® skills at facilities around the world.

Get trained soon to open up your job opportunities for the new year. Here are some recent postings looking for candidates with TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis skills:

EHS Manager II

EHS Manager

Reliability Engineer

Reliability Engineering Supervisor

Electronic Specialty Gas Customer Quality Manager

HSE Site Supervisor

Check out our complete listing of 2-day TapRooT® trainings around the world here and register today!

Job Postings

January 8th, 2018 by

Discover the career opportunities below for candidates with TapRooT® skills at facilities around the world.

Get trained soon to open up your job opportunities for the new year. Here are some recent postings looking for candidates with TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis skills:

Electronic Specialty Gas Customer Quality Manager

Health System Specialist

HES Ops Specialist

Safety Coordinator

Mgr, EHS Gnrlist

Quality Advisor

Global Business Unit Quality Manager

Check out our complete listing of 2-day TapRooT® trainings around the world here and register today!

Successful People Support Other’s Success

January 4th, 2018 by

The following article is reprinted with permission of its author, Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP. We are pleased that Mr. Phipps is a keynote speaker at the upcoming 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit.  You can purchase his new book, Lead Out Loud, and learn how to unlock your personal excellence by clicking here. Learn more at And last but not least, don’t forget to register for the Summit and meet him in person!

Stop making New Year’s Resolutions promising to focus more on yourself. Instead, channel that energy towards supporting others.

Be honest, how do you feel when you see others accomplishing their dreams and goals? Are you disappointed, jealous, angered, or motivated?

A “hater” is a term used to describe someone who says negative comments about others who are doing well. Don’t be a hater! Be a congratulator! Be the type of person who is happy and supportive of the success of others.

When you are unable to be happy for others, it reflects your own insecurity. When others hate on you, they do not really hate you. The truth is, their negative feeling has nothing to do with your accomplishment. The negativity that pessimistic people project is more about their awareness of their lack of effort.

Do the following to show support to others:

  1. Point out significant accomplishes with specific results.
  2. Tell others how their efforts and contributions have positive impacts.
  3. Share the success of others by saying or sending complimentary messages.

A successful, determined, focused, and disciplined person is happy for another who makes the commitment to greatness, because excellence recognizes excellence. In this New Year, make a commitment to be supportive for others and encourage them to be successful.

Gift yourself! (Santa has your back)

December 13th, 2017 by

Do you have the feeling that you have the ability to do more in your career in 2018 but are unsure of how to get going? Why not think about giving a gift to yourself?

Click here to learn more.

Kick Them Out of Your Canoe – Leadership

November 28th, 2017 by

The following article is reprinted with permission of its author, Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP. We are pleased that Mr. Phipps is a keynote speaker at the upcoming 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit.  You can purchase his new book, Lead Out Loud, and learn how to unlock your personal excellence by clicking here. Learn more at And last but not least, don’t forget to register for the Summit and meet him in person!

Leadership is a lot like paddling in a canoe. Let’s say you and two other people are in a canoe. The goal is to cross a river. Let’s say you are in the rear and the other two are seated in front of you. Even if you are the only one paddling, you can propel everyone in the canoe on your own. If all three of you paddle, together in rhythm, all three of you can propel faster. If everyone paddles together, you can also exert less energy and still go faster, farther, with less work from each person individually. This is the concept of teamwork. But how is this related to leadership?

Let’s say, you are paddling hard in the canoe and the other two are not paddling but even worse, they are sticking the legs and hands out of the canoe and into the river. Their placing their limbs in the water is now causing drag. All three bodies have the potential to go faster. If two are not paddling or worse, causing resistance, everyone slows down.

You ask each person to paddle. One tells you they are tired. The other says they will paddle later. You then ask them to at least pull their hands and feet out of the water and place them back inside of the canoe to prevent unnecessary resistance. They both tell you it’s hot and they prefer to keep themselves cool by sticking their hands and feet in the water. They are not focused on the advancement of the team. They are selfish focusing only on what is easier for them personally.

You now have a conundrum. Keep both in the canoe maintaining the potential for more efficiency. Or do you make the tough leadership decision, and, KICK THEM OUT OF THE CANOE! You can move faster, yes, even moving by yourself, than you can with those you are carrying who are not putting forth their effort.

Give others the opportunity to paddle for the team. Be clear about the goal. If others step up, they deserve to stay dry. If they fail to do their part, make the tough decision and do what is best long term, and kick them out of your canoe!

Job Postings for Candidates with TapRooT® Skills

October 31st, 2017 by


TapRooT® root cause training can take your career to the next level. Here are some openings for professionals with TapRooT® skills:


EHS Manager

Global EHS Manager

EHS Global Security Manager III

Haldor Topsoe, Inc. 

Process Safety Engineer (PSM)

United Technologies

Associate Quality Engineer

Senior Quality Engineer

Occidental Petroleum

HES Ops Specialist (Rotational)

HES Ops Specialist (Non-Rotational)

What are you waiting for? Expand your career options. Sign up for training today!

2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training

November 2 Albuquerque, NM

November 6 Amsterdam, Netherlands

November 6 Houston, Texas

November 8 Sao Paulo, Brazil

November 16 Calgary, AB Canada

November 16 Singapore, Singapore

November 20 Toronto, Canada

November 21 Adealaide, Australia

November 28 Bogota, Colombia

November 29 Nashville, TN

December 4 Las Vegas, NV

December 14 Perth, Australia

Monday Motivaton: Do you see things worse than they are?

September 25th, 2017 by

“Cynic: an idealist whose rose-colored glasses have been removed, snapped in two and stomped into the ground, immediately improving his vision.”
~ Rick Bayan

We worry about viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses, but often the problem is the opposite. It’s the gloom-tinted glasses we need to worry about. Read “Remove your Gloom-Tinted Glasses” on and learn about two features of human-basic psychology that can drive us nuts (Click here to read the article).

Monday Motivation: Let your accomplishments do the talking

September 18th, 2017 by



“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”
― Mark Twain

I was reading profiles on LinkedIn today and couldn’t help but notice how many people describe themselves as “innovative” and “visionary.” The funny thing is, I couldn’t find one thing in the experience/accomplishments sections of their profiles that supported that. Adjectives are easy to throw out there but are you describing yourself more in words than proving it with accomplishments?  If you truly have those magnificent characteristics and are only using words to prove it, you’re not convincing anyone.

Your accomplishments speak for themselves.  Take a look at your LinkedIn profile this week and replace those words with your proven track record. Actions always speak louder than words. And while you’re on LinkedIn, follow us! We post news every day to help you expand your knowledge for further success!

Monday Motivation: Build your personal advisory board!

September 11th, 2017 by

“Pulling a good network together takes effort, sincerity and time.”
Alan Collins, author of “Unwritten HR Rules”

Part of valuing your time is investing in the right relationships. Spend your time on relationships that matter the most.  For career development, those relationships include people who are willing to help guide your career goals. It takes thought, time and effort to find them. However, the more you procrastinate building your own personal advisory board, the more disconnected you will be from opportunities that could advance your career.

Join us for a fun, exciting and rewarding opportunity to network and build relationships at the 2018 Global TapRooT Summit in Knoxville, Tennessee, February 26 – March 2.  Learn more here.

Monday Motivation: Never Stop Learning

September 4th, 2017 by

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
~ Henry Ford

Invest time in obtaining the know-how to accelerate your career advancement. Don’t set back and wait for things to fall into place, shake things up by working on being smarter, wiser and more strategic about how to better manage your career. Know the goals the industry you are serving desires to achieve and how you can contribute and build relationships with key thought leaders.

Begin with a 2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training or 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training. For just a small investment of time you can improve the skills that contribute to your success in these types of careers!

Monday Motivation: Invest in your Strengths

August 28th, 2017 by

“Accept yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, your truths, and know what tools you have to fulfill your purpose.”
― Steve Maraboli

Commit to your natural strengths that allow your skill sets and capabilities to thrive, and then invest in them.  For example, if you are a good speaker, never assume that your technique doesn’t require improvement.   Take a  class, enhance your abilities and then put them to work more frequently.

Keep in mind that just because you’re good at something, that doesn’t make it a strength. How do you know what your natural strengths are?

Ask yourself these questions:

When do I feel the most engaged at work?

What activities make you feel strong?

What do you do differently than everyone else?

You can’t build your career around your best attributes until you know your strengths!


Monday Motivation: Are you making a living? Or making a life?

August 7th, 2017 by

What are you working for? To buy some new things? Did you know that buying experiences, not possessions, leads to greater happiness? A San Francisco State University study (2009) demonstrated that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased greater well-being than material possessions. These experiences tend to satisfy higher order needs, specifically the need for social connectedness and vitality—a feeling of being alive.

Another thing to think about… a Harvard Business School study (2009) revealed people tend to overestimate the influence of wealth on happiness by 100%. When basic needs are met, money does not lead to nearly as much happiness as people think it will.

Let making a living support what really important, making a happier life!

Monday Motivation: Improve Workplace Dynamics for Better Results

July 31st, 2017 by

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
— Henry Ford

“Group dynamics” describes the effects of roles and behaviors on the group members, and on the group as a whole. You may have a very talented group of employees but if the dynamics aren’t working, your company is not receiving the benefit of that talent.  What can you do about it?

You can:

  • Get to know your team.
  • Tackle problems quickly… before they begin to fester.
  • Assign and define roles and responsibilities.
  • Break down barriers that have been erected.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Pay attention!

Want to know more? Read this helpful article on Mindtools:

Improving Group Dynamics: HelpingYour Team Work More Effectively

Monday Motivation: Leadership

July 24th, 2017 by

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

The authority of leadership is not something that someday you’ll deserve. It’s possible that you are not even aware of the biggest impact you’ve ever had on a person’s life. You are more powerful than you think! Be inspired with this six minute video.

Everyday Leadership via @TEDTalks

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