Posted in Relationships, Wellness

Actions With Words = Meaning 

Good morning world!

I just felt like sharing a few thoughts of reflection as I enjoy my coffee on this 2014 Thanksgiving.

Within the past week all four of the family vehicles used at our house have had to go in the shop.  One of them was pronounced dead on arrival–that was the car the kids were using to drive back and forth to college.  That same day my wife had an accident in our family van–all the kids were on board.  Luckily there were no injuries.  So, the hand-me-down process is alive and well.  I’ll be getting a new car; my old one will go to the kids.

I’m finishing up the last few weeks until my Master’s program in Public Administration is completed at Bellevue University.  It’s been a long journey–I have learned so much!  The greatest revelation about this part of my academic journey is how much I enjoy research and thinking…and sharing this with others.  Perhaps when the kids have left home I’ll pursue a PhD (topic/field yet to be determined).  I have learned that I have an insatiable passion for social growth/change & unrest, education, sustainable practices, and understanding the intricacies of human relationships.  All of these topics are at the heart of everything that is wrong and everything that is right in this world.  Governments make choices and the people weather the consequences.  It is ironic to me that without people there is no government, and yet globally, “we” are often victims of our own choices (or lack of choice-making).

I hear a lot of people who say they want to make a difference, actually change some aspect of the world–leave a legacy.  Sometimes I wonder how committed we are to the words that escape our mouths.  It seems more accurate to assess that unless there is an immediate crisis or challenge facing us, we’re content to sit back and criticize other’s attempts to create meaningful change.  I don’t know about you, but seeing this dynamic saddens my heart.  However, I hang on optimistically to my growing belief in cycles and rhythms that seem to be more deliberate than any human intent.  A perspective I’ve gained (maybe it is because I’m getting older) is that life is a marathon, not a sprint!  This dynamic applies to EVERYTHING where any human is involved.  If you take that perspective to moderate your expectations, it is easier to exercise patience, tolerance, and participation.

The greatest challenge to our humanity in modern day life …. communication.  The quality of our listening, our non-verbals, how easily we’re distracted shows we’re a society that has a tragically short attention span….

  • If you don’t make (and keep) eye contact in conversations, if you don’t offer feedback in response to hearing someone speak that confirms to the speaker that you heard what they’re saying;
  • if you don’t stop what you’re doing long enough to visually acknowledge and PAY ATTENTION to the individual … what is the message?

Introspection is one of the best things you can do with some of your spare time.  Think about your own words and actions–do they align?  When someone talks to you, are you paying attention?  The greatest gift we can give each other is our time.  I’m thankful that soon, my plate won’t be quite as full and I can give more of my time back to my family.

I truly wish each of you a wonderful day (Thanksgiving for Americans) and weekend.  I appreciate your time taken to read this message.

Cheers

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Posted in Business

10 Questions for Every Job Seeker

You MatterHere are some questions you should ask during the interview process in addition to the usual salary, compensation package, insurance, time off, and other benefits information normally discussed when looking for a new job or career path.

By asking the questions below (or a variation thereof), you will be better informed about the culture and practices of the organization you may be committing to for the next 3-5 years or longer.

  1. What are some examples of employees suggestions ideas/changes that were actually implemented as a result of an innovative thinker on your staff?
  2. Is work culture compatible with your personality/style… work methods… are there options? Productivity is important to both employer and employee, but so is having fun and feeling appreciated, a sense of belonging. Would it be okay for you to talk to some of their employees?
  3. Is there an opportunity for a move within the corporation if initial assignment isn’t the greatest fit. What are the job rotation/transition opportunities within the organization–do you have examples?
  4. What type of incentives and rewards are given for outstanding performance? Do employees have input into incentive and recognition programs?
  5. What is the method of collaboration within the organization (face-to-face, media facilitated, portal technologies, instant messaging) outside of the organization (social media, telephone, visits)?
  6. How many meetings per week is my participation expected; how long do they last?
  7. How are tasks/project assignments communicated? (Email, Supervisor to subordinate, group venues–staff meetings, scrum/sprint sessions) Are employees invited into decision-making related to how best to accomplish a task?
  8. How is work prioritized? (adhoc by the hair on fire emergency of the day or by a numbers/fact-based analysis)
  9. What does the company’s on-boarding process consist of?       (Training [instructor-led, CBT, or virtual webinars], Orientation, Mission-Vision-Values, Introductions)
  10. What types of team-building activities does the company sponsor?  Do employees get involved in the planning of these activities?

For some people, a job search without adequate preparation can be quite intimidating. In addition to the standard resume and job history (no matter how short or lengthy) you have needs, boundaries and know how you work best. Don’t override your comfort zones in exchange for monetary reward just so you can say you have a “J.O.B.”

The answers to these questions are often issues/situations that add or detract from our quality of life while “on the clock!”  Seriously consider asking these questions when you go for your next interview–interview them back when they ask–“Do you have any questions for me (us)?”

Life is too short…no matter what, value who you are in the negotiating process. Take the time, ask the questions, do your research and make sure the company you commit yourself and talents to will appreciate and value your contributions.  You matter!

Note:  Republished from my LinkedIn account