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Respecting Effectively

“Effective and successful contributors are those who `walk the talk’ of respecting others”, a sage says.

Respect is about genuinely caring about others; understanding their strengths, weaknesses, and needs; looking others in the eye and listening; expecting, seeking and telling the truth; recognizing and rewarding; and, remembering that human frailties can be overcome with effort and by focusing on improving, growing, and doing right things and things right.

Think about the absence of respect for just a minute … some of us have felt the sting of someone who may have neglected to include or acknowledge us or sharply criticized us. If continued and repetitious, we become discouraged, disengaged and derailed from the path of productivity.

We need to recover from the negative `omissions and commissions’ by learning from them and working on `doing and being’ better. Yes, `to err is human’ … and making mistakes and forgetting to include, acknowledge, or positively motivate – all of these are `forgivable’. If there’s a lack of awareness of the err, or worse yet – if pride gets in the way of correcting and moving forward … it’s one of those signs of trouble. While good results may be achieved, if relationships are broken and unrepaired – success will be short-lived and less than exemplary.

As job seekers we should appreciate the important and difficult challenge that all of us face. We should `walk the talk of respect’ – it’s our shared responsibility! Clearly it’s an important be-attitude to … do/be for others, what we want them to do/be for us.

Post Script … The past four posts have been on the subject of `effectiveness’ and generic skills and traits. I trust that you’ve gained some insights. The skills and traits of effective and improved leadership, communication, problem-solving, and respect are sine qua non – (that without which there is nothing) in life and the workplace. I welcome your inputs and dialogue on these subjects!

Problem-solving Effectively

“Problem Solving” is the most important skill that hiring supervisors again and again say that they’re looking for in candidates.

When I first saw this, I was surprised … thinking that it was surely a key criteria in technical positions but not as important in other jobs. With reflection and input of others, I realized it’s important for all jobs and is another key, generic skill.

Problems, challenges, conflicts are everywhere and require solutions, fixes, and resolutions … in both our lives and our workplaces. Most of us appreciate being around people who can solve, fix, and get things going again and who can make improvements. We feel really good when we fix. On the other hand, those who repeatedly bring problems to us and to the workplace can be quite a challenge!

Solving, fixing and resolving are skills that deserve our never-ending attention and work. What’s the process? It starts with a good understanding and clarity about the core problem or issue; it continues with thoughts and inputs about possible solutions and alternatives as well as analysis about plusses, minuses, risks, impediments and rewards; and includes testing of possibilities. The focus needs to be on viable and impactful solutions!

Job seekers: You have an opportunity to be a more effective interviewee (and the selected candidate) when you ask better questions and listen more effectively. When answering questions, give examples of your strengths (your skills, traits, and achievements) with examples and include those times when you solved, discovered, made a difference, and solved or improved something. Are you the kind of person who will bring `solutions’ … or issues and problems?

Leaders: You can take responsibility and make improvements by learning new skills such as influencing and by motivating others to make improvements; by asking good questions; and by solving things and situations vs. blaming, criticizing, and keeping on doing things the same old way. Consider the choices and comparison discussed by Speaker Newt Gingrich: Are you a `prison guard of the past’ … or a `pioneer of the future’?