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Explaining Terminations – No Excuses Necessary (or Allowed)

 

What are the reasons for these issues?

What was YOUR role in these issues? What might you have done differently?

Hindsight is 20/20 so use it

Why did I have you review what your role is and what you might do differently? How can you answer tough interview questions about reasons for leaving without looking long and hard at this? YOU CAN’T

So you have your list of causes, what your part was in those causes and how you can improve your situation, you are better off now than you were before and even better off than many others who are still scrambling to even scratch the surface of some of this.

Common reasons for termination/separation for someone with ADHD and WHY: below are some things you may have found out about yourself. These why’s are a bit strong, heavy-handed, direct and most important they are generalizations, so take what looks like it may be you more seriously and those characteristics that are not you ignore and move to the next:

  • late: you are easily distracted, unorganized and not prepared
  • personality conflict: you may be seen by others as overwhelming, over bearing, bossy, scattered, impulsive, nosy, talkative or you may over share your personal issues
  • insubordinate: you are easily distracted, not prepared, talkative, etc… therefore you only hear parts of instructions. You complete tasks that are of interest and work on items that are not assigned to you but appeal to you and leave other work unfinished

When discussing reasons for leaving with a potential employer, even if it is in a phone interview or you are listing on an application DO NOT OVER EXPLAIN, KEEP IT SIMPLE and TO THE POINT.

The biggest key is to remember to be honest about what has occurred and focus on RESULTS and be Solution Oriented

What Does That Mean:

  1. Don’t talk about your personal issues: things about relationships at work or at home don’t belong in an interview
  2. Don’t blame others
  3. Take accountability and show some remorse and how you will improve
  4. Don’t bad mouth previous boss, company, machines … don’t bad mouth anything at all actually, it just means you are negative
  5. People want to hire and work with those who can fix things, find solutions and are problem solvers not problem makers

Here is an example of a good answer:

I was let go due to failure to adhere to the attendance policy, however since that time I have rectified the solution and am now always 5-10 minutes early for meetings, appointments and work. I created stronger habits for myself in time management and use the task manager on my phone and email so that not only am I early or on time, I also complete tasks and duties more efficiently. NO EXCUSES NO BLAMING – Just problem solving!

Bottom line is whether you have ADHD or not, being late, insubordinate, having personality conflicts with co-workers are all unacceptable actions and behaviors in the work place or most any other for that matter. The great thing is these are actions and behaviors which, with practice, can be changed and modified.

Some Managers Don’t Like Questions a Story in Miscommunication!

Some Managers Don’t Like Questions a Story in Miscommunication!

It has been sometime since I have written and I realized I never actually published this post from before the new year. It is interesting to let things sit for a spell. The one example I used in this post actually resolved itself extremely well, but I will save that for the end.

I have been talking a great deal to people in various stages of their career, one in interview stage, another just starting their job and a 3rd well established, yet the theme is the same don’t ask. Maybe I have been spoiled in my career in that I have always asked questions of my employer or potential employer, sometimes maybe even too many questions, but they are what I felt were good questions at the time. I would even go so far to say that it is my style that has allowed me to grow and help my company and those around me grow, change, be nimble, creative, etc… The list goes on. I would also be courageous enough to say that I have been supportive to my employees questions. That I created a safe environment for them to ask questions and make mistakes, I truly hope that I did this. More about that in a bit, back to the examples.

Someone I know has been interviewing for a high level almost director level position with a very well established and large organization for quite some time. There have been several phone interviews, and face to face interviews and the potential new hire had questions in regards to the structure of the organization to better understand where they would fit and how they would make the most impact. What did the hiring committee hear these questions as, uncertainty about the quick-moving pace of the environment, needing more clear direction and that the person would need a more structured, concrete role. Interestingly enough the potential employee had said, prior to getting this feedback, when discussing how they felt it went, “I am just not sure that they are clear and can all agree on what they want.” The irony in this situation blows me away! Not only did this candidate have the hiring committee pegged, they were probably the best for the environment, if they wanted someone who could understand and read them and the way they make decisions. On the other hand, they may have either just wanted a “Yes” person or someone who would never question the group.

I will save the middle story for another day and skip to the 3rd. Long term manager level employee who tries to work with their very intense power lusting boss. This is the type of boss that just shouldn’t exist anymore, I thought this type went out in the 60’s but they still exist and they are still breeding… ughh. The dictator is completely freaked out by anyone who threatens them, they don’t know how to actually communicate what they need from you and because you are not a mind reader you are an insubordinate and incompetent employee. So after a number of reviews by this new boss that all are leading to the unemployment line the employee finally decides they have tried reasoning, pleasing, pleading, anything they could think of and it is now time to go over their head. Unfortunately 8 out of 10 times this never ends well for the employee.

So why does this not end well for the employee? Well, the manager hired that person in question, or at least manages them and they wouldn’t make a poor decision. Another reason why this typically does not end well for the employee? The employee is nervous and intimidated to dredge all of the issues up to the manager and the bosses boss, they are uncertain, they may sound accusatory, lack confidence, etc… This means that when they are communicating, they are most likely not doing it to the best of their ability.

What to learn from all of this? Awareness. I am not saying that we shouldn’t ask questions or that we can’t. Here is what I would like you to take from this, you can use it in a number of aspects in your life:

What do I want the outcome to be?

That’s right, start with where you would like to see this end up, whatever the situation. Then work backwards. I may have to create an entire post on this… but it should get you started.

So the ending: that power lusting boss I had mentioned – they were actually fired recently after several other employees complained and when the habits of under performing employees began to show a pattern that this may have been more closely tied to the boss than the employees!

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Strengths, Skills, Intersections, Sweet Spots and Success

What to Do If You Have No One

It isn’t something we really think about in this information age when we have 500 friends on Facebook and can text 30 people at once to make plans for the weekend, but it is a reality for many. The family unit just isn’t what it used to be; families are sprawled out across the country, some purposefully and others are based on necessity. Not everyone has the same tight-knit group of friends they once had, etc… many people feel alone even when they are surrounded by a group.

I have been extremely blessed to have been surrounded by friends, family and colleagues who appear to enjoy my company, for my entire life. Although I did not grow up in the generation where everyone gets a trophy, I was involved and am still involved in a number of different things that have helped me to meet new people and make new acquaintances. I have realized recently that this isn’t the case for everyone which got me curious, what would I do if I didn’t really have any one to lean on, a support system, a family?

You can’t just create a family from thin air, a family is something that has to be cultivated and is built over time based on a great deal of trust, forgiveness, concessions and understandings. But you can start with building relationships with those you have something in common with. So let’s say you are not overly athletic, you can barely walk a mile let alone go to the gym, go to the gym and take a class – I don’t care if you are male or female, take a class and go at least 3 times within a two week period; trust me there are plenty of courageous people at the gym just like you. Maybe you have thought about taking up running, I know a woman who runs 5k and 10ks and couldn’t finish a 15 minute mile a year ago. Every city/town should have some sort of running club and please know that the majority of these clubs are for the slow runners so NO intimidation; support only.

Enough about exercising, not really in to talking to people or taking a ceramics course? I get it, volunteer to  build a house for habitat for humanity and swing your hammer. No touchy feely stuff, just hard work. Join a support group: AA, divorced mothers/fathers, maybe even a job search club.  Don’t like any of those? Take a class on Microsoft Excel, Planning for Retirement, Building an Arch… whatever you might be interested in. Most of the classes are about $60 and are usually one night a week for a few weeks. Did you read my last post? Take dancing lessons!

Even though trying something new is intimidating but the quicker you get out and do it the faster you will reap the rewards (kind of like ripping off a band-aid, it only hurts for a moment). Take your time and don’t push yourself but recognize that what you are doing is not easy and that you should be proud.

On the complete polar opposite of this, if you are always surrounded by people, take an hour out of each day or at least 30 minutes and be by yourself. No TV, no Ipod, no distractions. Take a walk, meditate, write. Just pull yourself out of the grind and refresh.

Can the Groom Pick the Groomsmen Garb? Letting Go of Control

Can the Groom Pick the Groomsmen Garb? Letting Go of Control

I am not sure if I made mention or not, but I am engaged to be married next October (2012); I believe in long engagements, we have been engaged for over a year now. So it is starting to get in to planning time and there is a debate in our house over what the groomsmen will wear, now that we have decided we are having more than 2 people in our wedding party. I should state for the record that my fiance has an incredible sense of style, in fact not only does he dress himself, he selected 90% of the paint colors for our house and can pick out clothes and shoes for me without hesitation (and they are usually better than what I would pick).

So that leads me to a recent conversation I was having with some dear friends of ours, future groomsmen to be precise but let me give you some background. G and I were debating, meaning I was debating, about what the bridal party would wear. We both agreed on casual, no tuxes, no formalwear or satin, sateen or other form of bridesmaid gown that will never be worn again. G wanted the guys to wear khaki pants, white shirts and ties… I cannot get the vision of my 8th grade semi formal out of my mind and as cute as my date looked, NO WAY. So I have been looking on line at all of these DIY blogs like Green Wedding Shoes for hours on end late at night when I can’t sleep. I have seen a few really great looking casual, bohemian style, weddings where the guys are wearing suspenders and it looks great.

So, I bring up the suspenders to G, let’s just say that I am 1/2 bohemian and he is about 1%… I show him the pictures of some of the weddings I like… NOT HELPING. So what do I do, I let it go, just to bring it up a week later with different pictures and examples. Are you noticing a pattern here, did you read about my garden? I was determined, I mean absolutely convinced I was right about this. Yes, it is OUR wedding, but I know when I have something in my head I am usually right… hmmmmmm wait just one second….

Did I just fall in to my own weird web of advice where I should take a step back, really look at the situation, etc… I did that but still believed I was right.

And then there was Kenny. So Kenny is a near and dear friend of G’s whom I am very lucky and blessed to say is a dear friend of mine. Kenny is tall, really tall, Kenny comes from a old farming family, his parents are immigrants and literally made a living and raised 7+ kids or something crazy off of the $50 they came to the country with. NO JOKE. Kenny is the tall guy to the left of G in the picture of the 3 of us and the pic of the 4 guys well that is the crew, minus G’s dad.

So back to my conversation about suspenders with Kenny. He says to me with such seriousness, “D, I could understand if you were marrying a guy without any style, but you aren’t and you need to really think about this, do you think he is going to put us in something that isn’t going to look great?” I am so happy that Kenny has really given this so much thought, so quickly. My immediate response as I was completely overwhelmed with the image of my wedding day, that I said, “Kenny you are exactly right and I definitely can’t have you and Will (our other very very dear friend who is my height…sorry Will) standing next to one another in suspenders!”

Bottom line, I choose not to be a control freak in a number of aspects in my life. I recognize that this is a choice that I make so that I don’t drive others and myself crazy and so that I can continue to grow and take on new challenges without feeling bombarded by details that at the end of the day, I really don’t have that much stake in. Yes, that’s right, wedding pictures, the day of my dreams… he can handle it, that is one of the reasons I am marrying him.

So even those things that you think are traditionally yours to conquer, prioritize and delegate. I will share in a future post how we decided to prioritize everything, that is a great story!

Close Your Eyes & Look Inside Your Heart a moment to remember 9/11

It has been a decade since the tragedy of 9/11. On a day like today, I am not sure what to write but did not want the day to go without writing something. I was watching the 20/20 special and during one of the segments they had the mothers and their children who are now in or around the 4th grade of the fathers who passed away. These are widows and children who have been without their fathers for their entire lives. I kept watching in awe of the strength and courage in these women and all of those who survived.

One of the mother’s made a wonderful statement to her child which many of the other mother’s now use, when you think about your father, “close your eyes and look inside your heart.”

There are so many ways we can use this statement in our lives, not just to remember those we have lost but in our actions and thoughts in our every day moments.

To all of those who have lost their lives, their loved ones, family and friends during this tragedy, I wish you peace and love in your hearts. You are thought of just as much now as you were on that horrific day 10 years ago.

Fitting in at a Whole Other Level: I Joined a Fantasy Football League

There are certain things you must be able to talk about in order to fit in, be well rounded and feel social whether in business, a cocktail party or when meeting new people: the stock market (or at least the economy), news stories of relevance and sports (typically baseball & football).  Football and I, well, I grew up near Buffalo and although it was fun to watch the Bills, especially live, I was never a true fan and I didn’t go to a big college football school so it was never a huge priority for me.

Last year I started paying more attention because G was on a fantasy team and it was fun to be able to watch certain players and cheer them on. This may have also had something to do with watching the game on a big deck outside in the warm weather of the south vs the snow of the north. It was time for me to get in the game.

What I didn’t know until I went to our LIVE draft was just what kind of pressure and stress I would be under. I studied, I was prepared, notes, charts, piles of data and a true plan. It was like I was getting ready to give the sales presentation of my life, but I was ready. So I thought.

I was going 2nd, so I knew ahead of time what I would do for my first pick and even was prepared for number two and 3 but the rest was an absolute blur. At about pick 6 my strategy went out the window because the others weren’t reacting the way I had planned, I mean picked. So I started to question my theories, they waited FOREVER to pick Quarterbacks and were all about the RB/WR… what happened to defense?  I still picked my defense much sooner than 95% of the room, it was 2 picks later than I had on my schedule.

The bottom line is I let the moment and the pressure get to me. In the end I stuck to it in a round about way and used my instincts to adjust in the heat of the moment and my team ended up pretty good (in my opinion and in Yahoo Fantasy’s) but then again Brees could get injured … and then what? The bigger question to me was did I prepare so much because of my competitive spirit or because I did not want to look foolish in front of people whom I assumed knew more than me. You know what they say about those who assume…

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