This is what to say when you get asked to talk about yourself in a job interview


Rachel McAdams waiting for a job interview in ‘Morning Glory’. Image: Rex
Chances are that as some point in your life, an interviewer has said to you, “Tell me about yourself”. It is one of the most common things to be presented with in a job interview, but it is also one of the most difficult to get right. Luckily, a Harvard student who received internship offers from Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Goldman Sachs, among others, has shared her tips on how to perfectly answer this.
Jessica Pointing – who runs the career-advice website Optimize Guide – says that she was most frequently asked this in her numerous interviews.
“You should already know the answer off the top of your head,” Pointing told Business Insider. “It’s your elevator pitch. In addition to that, it’s probably going to be the first question in the interview. First impressions matter.”
So, how do you get it right? Pointing says it can be broken down into three parts. Firstly, start off with a brief introduction (your name, your university, what you studied), then delve into the highlights of your CV, don’t overdo it, just mention the accomplishments you are proudest of. Finally, briefly talk about why you want to work for the company and be specific to the role you are applying for and how your skills align with the position.
Pointing explains that, ultimately, you want to end by reminding the interviewer why you are the perfect candidate for the job.

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Google launches its AI-powered jobs search engine


Looking for a new job is getting easier. Google today launched a new jobs search feature right on its search result pages that lets you search for jobs across virtually all of the major online job boards like LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp, DirectEmployers, CareerBuilder and Facebook and others. Google will also include job listings its finds on a company’s homepage.
The idea here is to give job seekers an easy way to see which jobs are available without having to go to multiple sites only to find duplicate postings and lots of irrelevant jobs.

With this new feature, is now available in English on desktop and mobile, all you have to type in is a query like “jobs near me,” “writing jobs” or something along those lines and the search result page will show you the new job search widget that lets you see a broad range of jobs. From there, you can further refine your query to only include full-time positions, for example. When you click through to get more information about a specific job, you also get to see Glassdoor and Indeed ratings for a company.
You can also filter jobs by industry, location, when they were posted, and employer. Once you find a query that works, you can also turn on notifications so you get an immediate alert when a new job is posted that matches your personalized query.
“Finding a job is like dating,” Nick Zakrasek, Google’s product manager for this project, told me. “Each person has a unique set of preferences and it only takes one person to fill this job.”
To create this comprehensive list, Google first has to remove all of the duplicate listings that employers post to all of these job sites. Then, its machine learning-trained algorithms sift through and categorize them. These job sites often already use at least some job-specific markup to help search engines understand that something is a job posting (though often, the kind of search engine optimization that worked when Google would only show 10 blue links for this type of query now clutters up the new interface with long, highly detailed job titles, for example).
Once you find a job, Google will direct you to the job site to start the actual application process. For jobs that appeared on multiple sites, Google will link you to the one with the most complete job posting. “We hope this will act as an incentive for sites to share all the pertinent details in their listings for job seekers,” a Google spokesperson told me.
As for the actual application process itself, Google doesn’t want to get in the way here and it’s not handling any of the process after you have found a job on its service.
It’s worth noting that Google doesn’t try to filter jobs based on what it already knows. As Zakrasek quipped, the fact that you like to go fishing doesn’t mean you are looking for a job on a fishing boat, after all.
Google is very clear about the fact that it doesn’t want to directly compete with Monster, CareerBuilder and similar sites. It currently has no plans to let employers posts jobs directly to its jobs search engine for example (though that would surely be lucrative). “We want to do what we do best: search,” Zakrasek said. “We want the players in the ecosystem to be more successful.” Anything beyond that is not in Google’s wheelhouse, he added.
Monster.com’s CTO Conal Thompson echoed this in a written statement when I asked him how this cooperation with Google will change the competitive landscape for job sites. “Google’s new job search product aligns with our core strategy and will allow candidates to explore jobs from across the web and refine search criteria to meet their unique needs,” he wrote. “Yes, as with anything, there will be some challenges and adjustments to existing job posting sites; the biggest perhaps being for those that are currently driven by SEO.”

12 Habits Of Genuine People


Genuine people have a profound impact upon everyone they encounter. Dr. Travis Bradberry unveils the unique habits that cause them to radiate with energy and confidence.
There’s an enormous amount of research suggesting that emotional intelligence (EQ) is critical to your performance at work. TalentSmart has tested the EQ of more than a million people and found that it explains 58% of success in all types of jobs.
People with high EQs make $29,000 more annually than people with low EQs. Ninety percent of top performers have high EQs, and a single-point increase in your EQ adds $1,300 to your salary. I could go on and on.
Suffice it to say, emotional intelligence is a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with tremendous results.

TALENTSMART, INC.
But there’s a catch. Emotional intelligence won’t do a thing for you if you aren’t genuine.
A recent study from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington found that people don’t accept demonstrations of emotional intelligence at face value. They’re too skeptical for that. They don’t just want to see signs of emotional intelligence. They want to know that it’s genuine—that your emotions are authentic.
According to lead researcher Christina Fong, when it comes to your coworkers,
“They are not just mindless automatons. They think about the emotions they see and care whether they are sincere or manipulative.”
The same study found that sincere leaders are far more effective at motivating people because they inspire trust and admiration through their actions, not just their words. Many leaders say that authenticity is important to them, but genuine leaders walk their talk every day.
It’s not enough to just go through the motions, trying to demonstrate qualities that are associated with emotional intelligence. You have to be genuine.
You can do a gut check to find out how genuine you are by comparing your own behavior to that of people who are highly genuine. Consider the hallmarks of genuine people and see how you stack up.
“Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency, and integrity,” -Janet Louise Stephenson
1. Genuine people don’t try to make people like them. Genuine people are who they are. They know that some people will like them, and some won’t. And they’re okay with that. It’s not that they don’t care whether or not other people will like them but simply that they’re not going to let that get in the way of doing the right thing. They’re willing to make unpopular decisions and to take unpopular positions if that’s what needs to be done.
Since genuine people aren’t desperate for attention, they don’t try to show off. They know that when they speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, people are much more attentive to and interested in what they have to say than if they try to show that they’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what or how many people you know.
2. They don’t pass judgment. Genuine people are open-minded, which makes them approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.
Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace, as approachability means access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require you to believe what they believe or condone their behavior; it simply means you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick. Only then can you let them be who they are.
3. They forge their own paths. Genuine people don’t derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction from the opinions of others. This frees them up to follow their own internal compasses. They know who they are and don’t pretend to be anything else. Their direction comes from within, from their own principles and values. They do what they believe to be the right thing, and they’re not swayed by the fact that somebody might not like it.
4. They are generous. We’ve all worked with people who constantly hold something back, whether it’s knowledge or resources. They act as if they’re afraid you’ll outshine them if they give you access to everything you need to do your job. Genuine people are unfailingly generous with whom they know, what they know, and the resources they have access to. They want you to do well more than anything else because they’re team players and they’re confident enough to never worry that your success might make them look bad. In fact, they believe that your success is their success.
5. They treat EVERYONE with respect. Whether interacting with their biggest clients or servers taking their drink orders, genuine people are unfailingly polite and respectful. They understand that no matter how nice they are to the people they have lunch with, it’s all for naught if those people witnesses them behaving badly toward others. Genuine people treat everyone with respect because they believe they’re no better than anyone else.
6. They aren’t motivated by material things. Genuine people don’t need shiny, fancy stuff in order to feel good. It’s not that they think it’s wrong to go out and buy the latest and greatest items to show off their status; they just don’t need to do this to be happy. Their happiness comes from within, as well as from the simpler pleasures—such as friends, family, and a sense of purpose—that make life rich.
7. They are trustworthy. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them. It is difficult to like someone when you don’t know who they really are and how they really feel. Genuine people mean what they say, and if they make a commitment, they keep it. You’ll never hear a truly genuine person say, “Oh, I just said that to make the meeting end faster.” You know that if they say something, it’s because they believe it to be true.
8. They are thick-skinned. Genuine people have a strong enough sense of self that they don’t go around seeing offense that isn’t there. If somebody criticizes one of their ideas, they don’t treat this as a personal attack. There’s no need for them to jump to conclusions, feel insulted, and start plotting their revenge. They’re able to objectively evaluate negative and constructive feedback, accept what works, put it into practice, and leave the rest of it behind without developing hard feelings.
9. They put away their phones. Nothing turns someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When genuine people commit to a conversation, they focus all of their energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them. When you robotically approach people with small talk and are tethered to your phone, this puts their brains on autopilot and prevents them from having any real affinity for you. Genuine people create connection and find depth even in short, everyday conversations. Their genuine interest in other people makes it easy for them to ask good questions and relate what they’re told to other important facets of the speaker’s life. These are some of the skills we teach in our emotional intelligence certification program.
10. They aren’t driven by ego. Genuine people don’t make decisions based on their egos because they don’t need the admiration of others in order to feel good about themselves. Likewise, they don’t seek the limelight or try to take credit for other people’s accomplishments. They simply do what needs to be done without saying, “Hey, look at me!”
11. They aren’t hypocrites. Genuine people practice what they preach. They don’t tell you to do one thing and then do the opposite themselves. That’s largely due to their self-awareness. Many hypocrites don’t even recognize their mistakes. They’re blind to their own weaknesses. Genuine people, on the other hand, fix their own problems first.
12. They don’t brag. We’ve all worked with people who can’t stop talking about themselves and their accomplishments. Have you ever wondered why? They boast and brag because they’re insecure and worried that if they don’t point out their accomplishments, no one will notice. Genuine people don’t need to brag. They’re confident in their accomplishments, but they also realize that when you truly do something that matters, it stands on its own merits, regardless of how many people notice or appreciate it.
Bringing It All Together
Genuine people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. They are firmly grounded in reality, and they’re truly present in each moment because they’re not trying to figure out someone else’s agenda or worrying about their own.
What other qualities do you see in genuine people? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.
Want to learn more from me? Check out my book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0.

‘A person who lies once is capable of lying again’ – our work expert responds

My colleague always moans about being too busy, but refuses the offer of any help
I work in a small team for a large professional services company and have a colleague who, while constantly bemoaning how busy they are, refuses the offer of any help. I put this down to a “martyr complex” but was alarmed when I found out she had told my line manager that I was not pulling my weight. I also learned she said the same thing about another colleague who, like me, offers their support whenever they can during busy periods.
I’m irritated that this person tries to suggest that myself and colleagues are not supporting them. Added to the mix is that, while I sit within the team, my role is somewhat specialised and as such I’m not in a position to offer the colleague in question my help very often – although when I do, it is refused.
Jeremy says
I wonder how you found out that this dissatisfied colleague had told your line manager that you were not pulling your weight? And that she’d made the same accusation about another colleague? On the face of it the line manager would seem to be being indiscreet; I don’t see how else these revelations could have become known.
In any small team accusations such as these, either real or imaginary, lead to suspicion, resentment and a toxic atmosphere, where just about any comment, however innocent, can be misinterpreted as an example of malicious gossip. However, I suspect an open challenge to this colleague would only exacerbate the problem. If met, as seems likely, by a straight denial you would be left feeling even more helpless.
Your best chance, it seems to me, is to raise the subject of mutual support at a general level while keep personalities well out of it. For example, you could suggest to your line manager that, with such a small team, it could be extremely helpful if there was open agreement that all team members should inform the line manager whenever they have enough time on their hands to help out a colleague. Even if no such convention is adopted, the very fact of raising the subject openly should be enough to clear the air.
Readers say
Email the colleague and say: “As discussed earlier, if you are still struggling with the workload I am happy to help.” Get your other colleagues to do the same. The person will either email to decline or not respond at all, but either way if your boss complains to the team, show them the email trail. allnighters
If they let you help it might become apparent that you could do their job in a fraction of the time. As in most things work-related, the best advice is to keep a journal – in this case detailing when you offered assistance and the circumstances of that being refused. Keiitth
Work (and domestic) martyrs exist in large numbers – they do unnecessary tasks in a pernickety way and then complain that no one else helps. I once shared a student flat with a woman who spent hours boiling tea towels and cutlery in large pans in the interests of hygiene, and then moaned that no one else did (we washed these normally). They never change, but as long as you are sure your boss understands the situation fully and therefore will take the martyr’s moans at their real value, you can afford to ignore them. Alexandria
Why feel the need to offer help? If they are (in their own judgment) overworked they should be taking it up with their manager. Next time they moan, suggest they do exactly that. time4tee
My brief time in the police a decade ago dominates my CV – should I remove it?
I am looking for a new job as my current one is a fixed-term contract that soon ends. I have had a number of interviews, but have noticed that interviewers are disproportionately interested in an episode from 10 years ago, when I spent 18 months as a police officer.
This was something I tried but found was not right for me, and I left without completing my probationary period. It stands out on my CV because all of my other work experience has been in office administration and customer service. I can understand why interviewers find it interesting, but I don’t want to be defined by a job that I did so long ago, or spend time in interviews discussing something that didn’t work out.
I am thinking of taking the police officer role off my CV altogether. The company that I worked for prior to that has closed down and cannot be contacted, so it would be easy enough to simply extend the period of time that I was there on my CV to avoid any gaps in my employment history.
I know this amounts to lying, and it is possible I am getting interviews on the basis that I have had an “interesting” job, but I don’t feel it reflects who I am now or what I have to offer.
Jeremy says
I can fully understand your predicament but would caution you against deleting the police officer period from your CV. Yes, to do so would be a lie, and one with which you would probably continue to feel uncomfortable. There is always that one in a thousand chance that somebody somewhere would unearth the truth. And, once you have been exposed for having falsified your personal history, any potential employer is likely to eliminate you from contention: a person who lies once is believed to be capable of lying again. In any case, I don’t believe it’s necessary.
Without torturing the truth, I believe you should find it easy to show how your experience with the police force was, in fact, extremely helpful in showing you where your strengths and interests really lay. Ever since then you have been grateful that that 18 months provided you with real life experience against which you can evaluate your work in office administration and customer service. It has enabled you to feel more confident in your choice of career and increase your satisfaction in the work you do.
It would seem a pity to expunge such an interesting episode from your CV when you can so easily turn it to your advantage.
Readers say
You should try to pick some experiences you had in the police and show how they have since helped you. For example, the police deal with members of the public at times of high stress and emotion. Surely this is helpful in a customer service role. SpursSupporter
General CV advice online appears to be to cut the length of your CV down to the past 10-15 years. I would merely start your CV with the job after your police work and think nothing further of it. TenementFunster
Many moons ago the one thing in my CV that consistently got me interviews was the fact that I used to hand-paint the Wallace and Gromit cufflinks that were all the rage back in the late 90s and early 00s. That single three-month summer work job got me into my (totally unrelated) science career.
The trick is turning it into a positive that works for whatever role it is you are applying. For example, did the police role require any level of integrity – dealing with confidential information/public records etc? That one time spent as an officer could speak volumes. Sorbicol
Do you need advice on a work issue? For Jeremy’s and readers’ help, send a brief email to dear.jeremy@theguardian.com. Please note that he is unable to answer questions of a legal nature or to reply personally.

The specific advice you should seek (and ignore) to become more self-aware

Self-awareness is the meta skill of the 21st century. Research shows it’s the essential foundation for high performance, making smart choices, and forming strong relationships. But while we bemoan the lack of self-awareness in our politicians, bosses, and Facebook friends, we rarely consider whether we might have room to improve, too.
According to findings from my three-year research program on the subject, 95% of people think they’re self-aware, but only 10-15% actually are. So why do we fall so short? One reason is that though it’s relatively common to see self-awareness as clarity about our inner workings (things like our values, our goals, and our ideal environment), true self-awareness also requires that we turn our gaze outward to understand how we are seen.
This isn’t a popular perspective. Many people believe that it’s simply not important what people think about you—all that matters is what you think about yourself. But, unfortunately, this just isn’t true. If we want to be successful at work and happy at home, we must consider how the important people in our lives perceive us.
95% of people think they’re self-aware, but only 10-15% actually are.It’s not that how we view ourselves is wrong or useless, nor should we develop an insecure concern about what people think. But because others see us more objectively than we see ourselves, we should take the time to understand their point of view. How else can we discover the hidden strengths that give us a unique edge, or the blind spots that are hurting our relationships without our even knowing it?
It’s perfectly normal to feel a mild sense of nausea at the mere idea of seeking out candid feedback about yourself, so here are five suggestions to help you get honest perspectives on the real you without losing your mojo.
Be picky about who you ask
Not all feedback is well-intended or helpful, whether it’s a colleague gunning for your job, an ex with a grudge, or a friend who thinks you can do no wrong. Highly self-aware people are selective about who they get feedback from, relying mostly on a small, trusted group of loving critics: people who’ll be honest with them while keeping their best interests at heart. Interestingly, this isn’t always those who you’re closest to. In general, the best loving critics check three boxes: You should be confident they want you to be successful; they should have regular exposure to the behaviors you want to learn more about; and they should have a pattern of telling the truth, even when it’s difficult for people to hear.
Provide parameters
Failing to give our loving critics parameters is confusing for them and unhelpful to us. For example, asking an innocent yet vague question to a coworker like “Can you tell me how I’m doing?” might yield anything from helpful feedback on how you appear in meetings to their opinions about your fashion choices and water-cooler banter. Instead, think about the skills or behaviors that are most important for you to be successful, happy, and fulfilled in the area of your life you’re seeking help—then ask specifically about those. A salesperson might explore his behavior in prospecting meetings; a CEO might look at the clarity of her communications; a friend might investigate whether he’s a good listener. Another gift of specificity is that if you hear something critical, it’s less likely to feel like an indictment of your entire personality.
Give them time
When we ask someone for feedback, it’s important to look at our request from their perspective. For this reason, it’s a good idea to give them a day or two to decide if they have the time and energy to really help you—and then they’ll be even more committed when they do. Also provide time to collect data and observe the issue you’re concerned about. If you want to know how you’re coming across in meetings, for example, let them see you in action during a few before asking for a download. When you do, you’ll get far more helpful—and specific—information.
Commit to curiosity
No matter how surprised we are at what we hear, it’s critical to remain curious. Sometimes just saying to yourself, That’s surprising. I wonder what I’m doing that’s making them say that? can change the conversation from a trial-by-fire to a fact-finding mission. It’s also best to focus more on asking questions and listening than on explaining or justifying. Try questions like, “Can you tell me more about what you mean?” or “Can you give me a few examples where you’ve seen this behavior?” Your job in this conversation isn’t to answer for the behavior—it’s merely to understand it.
Give yourself space and grace
We often force ourselves to figure out exactly what critical feedback means and what we’ll do about it, then and there. But it’s best to first take some time to react and cool off. If you’re upset after an honest conversation with a loving critic, do something that will boost your mood and give you some perspective, be it a long run, a tasty take-out meal, or a night out with friends. In fact, veteran feedback-seekers usually give themselves days or even weeks to bounce back after hearing something truly surprising or upsetting before they choose their course of action. It’s not only okay to take this time—it’s essential.
Above all, we must be as gentle with ourselves as we are honest. No feedback is ever an indictment of our inherent value or a full picture of who we are. At the end of the day, we all have strengths and weaknesses. And exploring them—through inward introspection and external feedback—is the key to a successful and self-accepting life.
Tasha’s latest book is Insight: Why We’re Not as Self-Aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life. Learn how to write for Quartz Ideas. We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.

The job interview: don’t just answer, ask!

Comment

Much has been said about what to answer to tough or typical interview questions. Most of us spend hours rehearsing answers to questions like “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” or “What makes you a good fit for this company?” But have you spent time thinking about what to ask?
Whether it’s your dream company or a backup plan, you should always equip yourself with the right questions. Beyond impressing them with your initiative and wit, it is also a great way to find out more about the position, the company culture, and the people you potentially will be working with.
Here are five questions that can help you do just that.
Aside from the job requirements mentioned, what other skills or traits would help me as an employee of this company?
You must have applied for this job because your resume and experience meet the qualifications. That’s great. But going for an interview is also the time to gauge whether your personality will work well with your potential colleagues.
Are you extremely introverted? Can you handle a company with outspoken people? Find out if this is really for you. Imagine spending most of your days in a place with people you simply can’t jive with – torture. Join a team you can work well with.
This question could also reveal possible additional work or skills needed when necessary. It is particularly crucial for startup hopefuls to know this because job descriptions are only a fraction of what’s expected of you. More often than not, extra hands will be needed for tasks outside of your responsibility on paper.
Think of the interview as a first date: make a good impression, and figure out what impression the company gives you – are you impressed?
Why is this position vacant?
This might seem like an uncomfortable question to ask, but finding out whether the person before you left because of overwork, or moved up the ranks after a promotion, gives you a glimpse of what to expect. Alternatively, the position might be open because it’s newly created, which means trial and error and a lot of expectations on your plate. Can you handle it?
What is the career path like?
You might be afraid to sound eager with this question, but if you have career ambitions, this is an answer you’d want to hear. If you are eyeing to work at a startup, you might not get the typical “after two years, you can get promoted” answer. Instead, small companies tend to be fluid with their teams. You’re either given different responsibilities, or have to wait for it to expand before being able to take on a more senior position. Whichever the answer, is that okay with you?
What is the company’s long-term goal?
Or better yet, ask about a specific timeline. Companies cannot survive without having a clear goal. It is especially critical for tech and startup companies to a have good idea of what they want to achieve, and when they expect to get there because of the limited runway they have. Do they want to be the next Google? Are you able to make a meaningful contribution to their goal? If you don’t agree with their vision, or if the answer seems vague and unconvincing, maybe this company isn’t right for you.
What do you love most about working here?
Interview managers tend to keep it black and white. Asking this question is an opportunity to connect on a deeper level, and to get a unique perspective about the company and its people. The answer will reveal how the interview manager feels about his job, whether it is a place where you can be passionate, or if it’s strictly about getting the work done. Was it a struggle for him to come up with a good answer? Trust me, it is important to love (or at least like) your place of work. If someone from recruitment can’t seem to convince you, it’s a red flag.
Always remember: you’re not just here to impress, you’re here to be impressed.
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About Natasha
Natasha is a young copywriter from the Philippines who dreams of writing a novel one day. A typical day in her life consists of puppies, naps, sports, and Netflix (Okay, fine. And work).

Why Do People Quit Their Jobs, Exactly? Here’s the Entire Reason, Summed Up in 1 Sentence

CREDIT: Getty Images
In my line of work, I do a lot of listening to managers bickering about losing good employees. It’s understandable–turnover is costly and disruptive.
So many of them will point fingers somewhere, but the data I receive from exit interview reports, feedback instruments and employee engagement surveys has fingers pointing back at them.
This is consistent with leading research by Gallup. In one study of 7,272 U.S. adults, they found that 50 percent of employees left their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”
We’ve all heard this “tune” play like a broken record: People leave managers, not companies.
Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, however, takes the cake. He summarized in a succinct sentence the bottom line of why your company’s employee turnover may be high. He said:
The single biggest decision you make in your job — bigger than all the rest — is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits — nothing.
That’s what Clifton wrote in the summary accompanying Gallup’s 2013 “State of the American Workplace” employee engagement study. That quote is the conclusion Gallup drew from decades of data and interviews with 25 million employees. But companies keep getting this decision wrong, over and over again.
Clifton says decision-makers at the top of the food chain spend billions of dollars every year on everything but hiring the right managers. He writes, “They’ll buy miserable employees latte machines for their offices, give them free lunch and sodas, or even worse — just let them all work at home, hailing an “enlightened” policy of telecommuting.”
Changing the Face of Management Today
If you’re an executive concerned about low morale, employee satisfaction or engagement, or–at worse–a revolving door at your company, start by looking at who your current managers are. You have a choice to make: Develop their leadership skills or filter them out of their leadership roles.
In either scenario, you have something to shoot for as you identify current and future leaders. Here are 4 traits of managers that I can attest (and research will back it up) will lead your employees to perform at the highest level.
1. They are radically honest.
When you’re authentic and vulnerable with your employees, they are more than likely going to reciprocate and gain your trust.
If you are seeing hard times in the company, tell your employees. Let them know ahead of time that they will not be receiving Christmas bonuses, pay raises, or time off. But compensate for that by ensuring that if they perform and sales are up, they will see those things enter back into the picture in the coming year. It holds everyone accountable and makes them feel like a team.
Radical honesty is about being transparent. The best leaders leverage this approach to influence and develop trust. It’s always the best policy.
2. They are supportive.
Great leaders support their people by showing an interest in their people’s jobs and career aspirations. They look into the future to create learning and development opportunities. They find out what motivates their best people by getting to know each tribe member’s desires that will drive them. This is about emotional engagement.
This means being supportive of employees who are up for promotions, job changes or going through transitions or difficult circumstances in their personal lives. Remember this quote by John C. Maxwell? “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
When leaders show that they care about their employees as human beings and support their employees’ future career choices, it helps employees feel more confident in their position and career path, whether it means moving up or moving on.
3. They recognize the talents and strengths of their tribe.
Clifton states that “employees’ strengths never stop growing throughout their career–particularly when they have talented managers who build unique development strategies around their individual, innate talents, and who make sure they are always in roles where they get to use those strengths every day.”
People love to use their unique talents and gifts. The best leaders will leverage close relationships with employees by finding out what their strengths are, and bringing out the best in their employees.
In fact, when managers help employees develop through their strengths and natural talents, they are more than twice as likely to engage their team members.
4. They display empathy.
Global training giant Development Dimensions International (DDI) has studied leadership for 46 years. They assessed over 15,000 leaders from more than 300 organizations across 20 industries and 18 countries to determine which conversational skills have the highest impact on overall performance.
The findings, published in their High Resolution Leadership report, are revealing. While skills such as “encouraging involvement of others” and “recognizing accomplishments” are important, empathy–yes, empathy–rose to the top as the most critical driver of overall performance. Specifically, the ability to listen and respond with empathy.
Unfortunately, the DDI report also revealed a dire need for leaders with the skill of empathy. Only 4 out of 10 frontline leaders assessed were proficient or strong on empathy.
A leader displaying empathy is your secret weapon but it can’t be faked. The real McCoys are leaders who will naturally foster strong personal relationships and promote productive collaboration. They’ll think about their team’s circumstances, understand their challenges and frustrations, and know that those emotions are every bit as real as their own. This helps develop perspective and opens team members to helping one another.
Bringing it home.
With automation and robotics looming in the distance, the biggest human capital gains businesses will witness in the future will stem from the same, smart practices we see today: Hiring and developing the right managers, who in turn, care for, develop and maximize the strengths of every single employee. This is what research has repeatedly confirmed will transform companies now and in the future.

Good

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Stress in the office is contagious — here’s how to stop it from spreading

papersFlickr

Daniel Keating is the author of “BORN
ANXIOUS: The Lifelong Impact of Early Life Adversity and How to
Break the Cycle
,” out now from St. Martin’s Press.

Everywhere we look, ominous signs
reveal a
mushrooming stress epidemic
.

Predictably, this stress epidemic
is driving up costs to business from lost productivity and
innovation.
But recent
research provides insights on how to counter these trends.

Here are four leadership keys to
easing and even reversing the rising costs of stress in the
workplace.

Making stress contagion work in your favor

Stress contagion in the workplace
– the physiological linkage among individuals working together on
teams – is a real phenomenon, because teams become aligned with
each other in
their physiological response
.
This “second hand stress” can be harmful to
team productivity and restrict creativity in problem solving if
the contagion
leads to everyone being stressed out
.

But research
also shows that a moderate level of stress arising
from a desire to succeed can also spread to the full team and
actually enhance productivity. Bringing the role of stress – and
excess stress – to the attention of team leaders can help
regulate stress levels to achieve the “sweet spot” of focused
productivity.

Maintaining this balance –
between excessive stress that leads to burnout and a reasonable
stress level that enhances performance – is too important to
leave to chance. Leadership styles and structures that create
and maintain that balance is the key.

Leaders need to look at themselves

The primary driver of workplace
stress is how leaders deal with their own reactions to stress.
They may convey excess, toxic levels of stress to those they lead
for three
reasons
: the demands exceed their control over the situation;
they perceive this is the case, even when it is not; or they may
be “stress-dysregulated”, with an amped-up stress reaction, on
high alert virtually all the time.

Leaders reacting badly under
stress permeate an organization,
leading to toxic stress and burnout
for the teams they lead.

If leaders are truly facing
impossible demands, then this needs to be communicated
effectively to key decision-makers. But seeing the situation
clearly is a key, because overestimating risk has the same effect
on stress responses as actual threats. And a frequently
overlooked factor is that more of us are burdened with an
overactive stress response that becomes contagious to the group
as a whole.

Though this may seem at odds with
notions of the successful Type-A leader who mercilessly drives
the organization to achieve, the evidence shows that leaders who
keep everyone on edge with threats and unreasonable demands are
much less effective. There are ways to
bring stress reactions into a healthier balance
, and leaders
should pay attention to evaluating and managing their own
stress.

Collaborative leadership is better for stress
management

Beyond helping leaders attain
better stress management for themselves, are there leadership
styles that work best for achieving the “sweet spot” leading to
higher productivity? This too is a question of balance. Leaders
need to be
assertive, goal-setting, and, ideally, inspirational
to set
the direction and maintain that focus.

But good leadership also needs to
find ways to inspire
strong, competent “followership.”
Collaborative leadership
styles strike this balance best by focusing on the people and
teams, and not only on tasks.

Heidi Kasevich provides
compelling evidence that this combination of focusing on people,
teams, and tasks often comes more easily to women leaders, with
enhancements to productivity, although they are often at a
disadvantage because of lingering cultural assumptions that view
the same behaviors as “assertive” in
men but “bossy” in women.

Upper level leaders need to be

especially attentive to these patterns
among the managers who
report to them, and create norms allowing multiple open lines of
communication so that anyone can respectfully and directly bring
problems to their attention before excessive stress undermines
the goals of the organization.

Workplace civility paves the way to productivity

Contagion of toxic stress from
leaders and within teams makes it critical to create a positive,
well-regulated workplace. Workplace incivility deals a fatal
blow to balance. When the level of stress gets too high,
workplace incivility increases, leading to major costs to the
organization.

Christine Porath and Christine
Pearson recently
reported
some costs of workplace incivility and stress: 48%
intentionally decreased their work effort; 47% intentionally
decreased the time spent at work; 66% said that their performance
declined, and 78% said that their commitment to the organization
declined.

Even one stress-dysregulated
coworker can disrupt good
working environments
, causing toxic stress and hostility in
groups that need to work together. Creating clear criteria about
workplace civility as well as norms for addressing conflict can
help, as can attention to specific needs of individuals who are
routinely disruptive.

Often, they may be unaware that
they are the source, because their anxiety, agitation, and anger
arise automatically. Workplace civility can be learned, and
norms for successfully managing conflict can be celebrated,
leading to a stress-regulated “culture” of the
organization.

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var kuid = Krux('get', 'user');
if (allowUserMatch() && kuid) {
var prefix = location.protocol == 'https:' ? "https:" : "http:";
var kurl_params = encodeURIComponent("_kuid=" + kuid + "&_kdpid=bb8ae0e2-9cd7-45b2-ad37-7737269627d8&dlxid=&dlxdata=”);
var kurl = prefix + “//beacon.krxd.net/data.gif?” + kurl_params;
var dlx_url = ‘//r.nexac.com/e/getdata.xgi?dt=br&pkey=rsxs71rsxsk73&ru=’ + kurl;
var i = new Image();
i.src = dlx_url;
}
})();
]]><![CDATA[
(function() {
var allowUserMatch = function() {
var GDN_SITE_ID = '1282650';

if (Krux('get', 'config').params.client_type === 'marketer') {
try {
var params = Krux('require:marketer').getParams(
Krux('require:sizzle').find('script[src*="' + Krux('get', 'confid') + '"]')
);
return GDN_SITE_ID !== (params.siteid || params.kxsiteid);
}
catch (e) {
// In case we don't find the script tag or the URL parser fails, just allow matching.
}
}
return true;
};

var kuid = Krux('get', 'user');
if (allowUserMatch() && kuid) {
var prefix = location.protocol == 'https:' ? "https:" : "http:";
var kurl_params = encodeURIComponent("_kuid=" + kuid + "&_kdpid=afae52b8-1e27-4650-bd6a-ed7d982f5a6a&dlxid=&dlxdata=”);
var kurl = prefix + “//beacon.krxd.net/data.gif?” + kurl_params;
var dlx_url = ‘//r.nexac.com/e/getdata.xgi?dt=br&pkey=iqbg41iqbgj68&ru=’ + kurl;
new Image().src = dlx_url;

}
})();
]]><![CDATA[
(function() {
var kuid = Krux('get', 'user');
if (kuid) {
var prefix = location.protocol == 'https:' ? "https:" : "http:";
var kurl_params = encodeURIComponent("_kuid=" + kuid + "&_kdpid=a8138b01-9fff-43bb-b649-99241ab62170&dlxid=&dlxdata=”);
var kurl = prefix + “//beacon.krxd.net/data.gif?” + kurl_params;
var dlx_url = ‘//r.nexac.com/e/getdata.xgi?dt=br&pkey=qkgx66qkgxw46&ru=’ + kurl;
var i = new Image();
i.src = dlx_url;
}
})();
]]>
<![CDATA[
(function() {
var kuid = Krux('get', 'user');
if (kuid) {
var prefix = location.protocol == 'https:' ? "https:" : "http:";
var kurl_params = encodeURIComponent("_kuid=" + kuid + "&_kdpid=67d37f6f-5439-4715-bfc5-8d4c5c1ecb73&dlxid=&dlxdata=”);
var kurl = prefix + “//beacon.krxd.net/data.gif?” + kurl_params;
var dlx_url = ‘//r.nexac.com/e/getdata.xgi?dt=br&pkey=yxvg96yxvgp90&ru=’ + kurl;
var i = new Image();
i.src = dlx_url;
}
})();
]]>

By Taboola
By Taboola

http://static.chartbeat.com/js/chartbeat_video.js<img height=”1″ width=”1″ style=”display:none” src=”https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=461160604031728&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1″&gt;