Quote of the Day!

I haven’t done this for a while , but here are some quotes:

People grow through experience, if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.  Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Eleanor Roosevelt.

Also:

It is better to live one day as a lion than a thousand days as a lamb.

Roman Proverb

Life is a series of comebacks.

Tom Scott

Memory and epilepsy:Part 2

In my previous article we looked at how our memory is affected by epilepsy. This is about how using memory aids, we can provide strategies to limit these problems.We all have problems with our memory, and there are other issues  that can affect us such as dementia or old age.

To start with, It is good to use practical memory systems such as post-it notes, calendars,diaries,or drug wallets.

Post it Notes: I am a great one for making lists, whether this be for shopping,things to do that day or week eg phone calls to make, emails to send, daily tasks we all have to do.I have seen some people’s office desks covered with notes, around their computer or office wall. I often underline them as well or write in different colored pens, as I am a great highlighter.

Calendars:There are two calendars in our house, but I have my own which I can underline,circle, write comments,as I tend to do.

Diaries:I always use one, although do need a larger professional one, rather than the moderate sized one I currently have. It is good for keeping  appointments,keeping track of what you need to do, and is also good method to keep track of your seizures.However It can get clotted up, especially if you have cancellations or other adjustments to make.

Medication wallets or trays: I started using this,as sometimes I couldn’t remember if I last took my last dosage, admittedly that has always happened from time to time over the years.I  now have a weekly tray with my dosages filled, by myself for the twice daily intakes for the week ahead. I just need to check when I last took my medication, in case I forget, and I am in the habit of  topping up my tray for the next 5 or 6 days, and take it with me for vacations, plus extra supplies, if I need them or in case I lose some.

Cell phones:I suspect everybody does this now, as I routinely update my calendar on my phone, often daily and then weekly, when events occur. Some people may also have calendars on their laptop. I get reminders also for appointments whenever they occur via email.

Other techniques: Mnemonics or memory techniques can be used to help memorize information.These take practice, so you need to work out what is suitable for you. This could be by using stories,image or rhyme as methods to retrieve factual  or other information.

Ever have the feeling you have the word or words ‘on the tip of your tongue’ , you could try what is known as ‘alphabetical’ searching by searching for a word that you are looking for by going through the alphabet. It can be a prompt way to retrieve the word you are looking for.However as an afterthought, ever noticed, when hours later, when asleep or relaxed the word you are looking for pops into your head!

Remembering someone’s name:This is the one I struggle with, whether short-term or long-term. Simply ask someone else to remind you of their name, helps in certain situations, in advance if possible, as I have done and write them down. When meeting someone for the first time, get them to repeat their name to check you heard correctly, and write it down later, if they have are no business cards. You can adapt a strategy of  picturing a visual  image that goes with the person’s name eg the person sitting on a bridge as their name is Mr Bridge, or rhymes similar to the name eg Joan for a moan, and physical features to remember a person name such as a lemon for Mr Lemon. This is similar to the Image-Name technique in which you invent a relationship between the name and the physical characteristics of the person.

Remembering where you put something: Try concentrating where you put something eg keys, or get into a standard routine, of where you put something down. I always leave my keys in the same place, in a small tray, or my extra medications are all together in the same place next to my bed. This I do to see what needs to be refilled, and they are easily located.I tried putting them away in a draw, but tended to forget about refills or how much I had left. My professional files are put in the same box, my medical notes, financial/pension files are in others.These can be easily retrieved.

Using sayings or rhymes: For information involving key words or Acronym are great to recall  information, as well as studying for exams. A 10 year old me , still remembers Never Eat Shredded Wheat, for  where :North.South,East ,West lies clockwise,or Richard Of York Gave battle In Vain, can remind you of the colors of the Rainbow:red,orange,yellow,green,blue,indigo,violet, or BRASS for how to shoot a rifle:Breath,Relax,Aim,Sight,Squeeze.

Use pictures or mind mapping: by drawing  a picture or diagram that represents what you are reading or studying, helps you to recall information. Mind maps are where you draw a map or diagram of information using keywords or phrases,this can be a helpful technique to learn.The Loci Method, is used to remember about 20 items, this is used to imagine placing items you want to remember, in specific locations in a room with which you are familiar.

Simple Repetition used correctly is an effective way to convert short-term memory to long-term memory, especially with other techniques such as with visualization or mind maps it can help.

I have come across a few other techniques that you can try: Link,Chain, or Story Method, or Actively Paying Attention.

The Link,Chain, or Story method:

This method is best for memorizing long lists eg remembering the presidents in order. Word manipulation could go like this:A man washes a ton(Washington) of clothes in a river.Suddenly the river goes dry, as the water is blocked by huge dams (Adams). A man asks his ‘deaf’ son(Jefferson) to take his clothes. Thus by creating an image that coincide with items on a list, the easier it will be to remember.

Actively Paying Attention:This is something  many people are guilty of. In order to use our memory to maximum capacity, we need to be conscious of every bit of information we receive. Have you ever forgotten a person’s name as soon as you shook their hand? Or directions as soon as you are given them? Or memorizing a cell phone number, or some instructions? These are common example of not paying attention.By paying more attention, and quickly converting to images, and review it a few times mentally, and it will be easier with practice.

The Emotions and Frustrations of Job Search, made harder with the epilepsy condition!

I imagine most people have had to go through this as some stage.However if you are unemployed and a person with epilepsy, it can be a demoralizing, frustrating experience, and even an exasperating.  Especially when you hear of people who decided to leave a job, because they didn’t like it , BUT get reemployed within weeks (let alone getting interviews). Examples of people getting jobs at the first attempt, or even deciding to relocate to other cities or countries encounter problems. You start to wonder! WHY?? Yes you have updated your resume (had it checked) , cover letter (also had it checked), found agencies, online job boards, job fairs…but still nothing. Here’s what you may of come across in your job search experience:

  1. Unemployed for over 6 months-questions! and a skeptical response as nothing seems satisfactory(you dare not mention epilepsy)
  2.  You are overqualified or you  have reached a certain age: so you start applying  for junior positions eg High School Diploma needed, so you might get a chance.
  3. Find employment in positions, out of desperation, that could be dangerous as a person with epilepsy eg factories
  4. The stages and hurdles you have to overcome: online application, initial phone call interview, online tests, interview or two, job offer! (an emotional roller coaster)
  5. Temporary agencies ,who never call or seem disinterested, or  you can’t speak to someone in authority directly: leave your resume with us .If they do contact you, indirectly via resume posting  job sites – provide inadequate information of the job details, that takes days to process
  6. If not selected, you aren’t told why or if you do,your personality doesn’t fit their profile!
  7. Keeping track of the many applications you apply for, and they employer give the impression you were the only one you applied for
  8. Phone interview only job vacancies…noticed this one
  9. Position requires clean driving license (yes we know that one)…or in difficult locations that required many buses or train
  10. Online application only, can’t speak to a HR person even if you know the name of contact, or if you do, get told online applications only.
  11. Wonder if they ever read your application, in the first place, as the applications increase, BUT still hear nothing
  12. Employment is taking from within  the organization rather than from the outside applications
  13. Jobs already taken, before they advertise
  14. Doing something like voluntary work is considered good, yet you feel, even that is not enough to convince the employer
  15. Interviewers  disrespectful…playing with their phones or dismissive…seems a whole waste of time
  16. Is it any wonder, people with epilepsy try to make it professionally by being self employed or if they don’t, are lucky to have a great employer, who knows of your condition and provides support
  17. Finally, to end on a positive note: keep persevering, stay positive,  motivated, even when you you see don’t the light at the end of the tunnel ,  you could be employed in the most unlikely of situations! It happens.

Epilepsy and spreading the word!

Imagine you have only been in your new high school for 2 or 3 months and you only had your first seizure ever,a month before that.

That’s tough, but recently arrived in a new country, an adolescent and  just getting used to the fact you have epilepsy  is even tougher…

I ‘only’ ever had about 3 seizures during my high school years but the first one springs to mind!!!

It was in a science lesson, sitting on a stool, and I went into a seizure. They (two other guys sitting next to me) were trying to help out!..by holding me down and forcing a ruler into my mouth, to stop me from swallowing my tongue!!

I apparently retaliated by pushing one, and ‘stabbing’ the other on the wrist with a compass, and he told me the next day that he wanted to punch me…lovely!! I happened to ask  how everybody in the class reacted, a mixture of shock and laughter, especially my confusion and grunts afterwards.The head teacher was called, and asked me if I knew my name. Yes, this was the harsh reality of epilepsy then, and is still be happening now. The golden rule if somebody has a seizure is to NOT  to stop the seizure from happening and  limit the possibility of  injury if you fall.

Obviously the school were aware of my condition, and asked the usual questions…what should we do? However  my classmates and probably my teacher at the time didn’t.

You learn to, or is a good idea to tell your friends, the close friends, who you trust and are most likely to hang around with, what to do if the scenario does happen and you continue this when you get older.But outside that circle of friends and the school or any other environment, in general  it didn’t and the message if more difficult.

My parents told my family,sibling about the epilepsy condition and what to do if a seizure should occur, this takes the shock effect away and people are aware of what to do.Looking back…at school,college…the working environment. There were no first aid classes as such, or ones that did, epilepsy or other conditions weren’t. This is what is needed to dispel the myths and misconceptions of the condition. The compulsory classes at work if any, tended to focus more on fire regulations or maybe resuscitation and other physical injuries.

Over the years, my family and wife get asked…should we call an ambulance if I had a seizure.It’s not necessary unless the seizure lasts for more than 3 minutes or you have injured yourself when you fell. However I have just been talking about Tonic Clonic  or Grand Mal seizures, so people need to be aware there are other types  of epilepsy which are categorized into PRIMARY GENERALIZED SEIZURES  which includes Absence, Tonic Clonic or Myoclonic seizures and PARTIAL SEIZURES which includes Simple or Complex Partial.

I hope you found this useful…spread the message

Employment and epilepsy disclosure!

Finding employment is tough at the best of times, but even more if you have have epilepsy it’s even tougher, WHY?

You have to consider the following:

1.Your career choice is a difficult process anyway, even more when you can’t drive, your own personal safety and that of  others.

2.The process of finding employment and when to disclose your condition is a difficult experience.

3.The fear of discrimination and ignorance decreases chances of being hired or even promoted.

Most people who have epileptic seizures, do so by their mid to late teens. Therefore when old enough to be of age to learn to drive will of gone through the stages of acceptance,that being qualified to do so will never happen.

Thus when taking careful consideration of your career, despite your usual reasons of choice: interests,passion,skills which can be based on your personality and your values. You have to take in account your own safety(and those of your co workers etc) as to the potential of having a seizure in a workplace environment.

An environment that is office based or anything that doesn’t require driving as a job requirement, which is not easy in this day and age. You need to consider a location where there is good public transportation.

When you have come up with a suitable career choice, you then start applying and then the hurdle is of going to interviews,and filling out application forms with the fear you won’t get hired because you have disclosed you have epilepsy. If you did ,was it because you weren’t the right candidate eg lack of experience, knowledge,qualifications OR was it really the employers fear or ignorance of the epilepsy condition ie don’t want the responsibility/hindrance.

There is no correct or perfect solution to this dilemma, unfortunately. In my experience, honesty is the best advice, for application forms I would write in the medical section: epilepsy- but well controlled…which was generally true, and then they occurred  at home. I have disclosed  this at the interview stage only, when I was hired. I have also disclosed this information, when I was in the company for a period of time, and therefore they knew I could do the job, was reliable,punctual and had very few sick days.

This is where your knowledge and education about epilepsy condition and the law is the key:

You therefore have to decide yourself when you do or don’t disclose this information as I have done. There is NO RIGHT TIME TO DISCLOSE. In most cases prospective employers can ask if you have any specific diseases, medications,hospitalizations. The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states ‘ Before making an offer of employment an employer may not ask job applicants about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform job functions.’

They also state ‘ A job offer may be conditioned on the results of a medical examination, but only if the the examination is required for all entering employees in the same job category.Medical examinations of employees must be job related and consistent with the business necessity’.

Work situations may be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) , A federal law that offers protection to those with disabilities for companies with 15 or more employees. Most states have their own laws supplementary to the ADA, and they sometimes apply to smaller companies as well.The ADA protects against discrimination in all employment practices, including job application procedures, hiring, firing, training,pay, promotions, benefits, and leave.

You therefore have the right to be free from harassment because of your disability, and an employer may not fire you or discipline you for asserting your rights under the ADA.

Therefore to summarize on disclosure:

On a job application:

  • Peace of mind/honesty  OR may disqualify you with no opportunity to represent yourself

During the Interview:

  • Opportunity to briefly discuss specific issues/concerns OR puts the responsibility on you to handle epilepsy issues clearly

After the interview/when job is offered:

  • If disclosure is revealed and they change the hiring position (Possible legal action) this may lead to Mistrust

After you start work:

  • Opportunity to prove yourself and doesn’t affect ability with peers OR nervousness or fear of possible seizure/ employer accusing you of falsifying your application and identify who you need to tell.

I hope everyone finds this useful and somewhat reassuring.

Epilepsy-All you need to know, A personal perspective for parents and young adults

This is my self styled name of my book that I will hope to finish and publish within the next few months.

There is nothing I know more about, have  experience off and understand more than epilepsy…it is why this is my niche as a life coach.

It is often misunderstood, myths still arise and employers are nervous about employing you. In fact I can recall  being hired for one particular job with my immediate supervisor and then having some kind of meeting to discuss the condition with the CEO about what to do, feeling somehow ‘abnormal’ as I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. Another job I had to write a paragraph which the office girls kept describing my seizures and again what to do, which they kept in case a seizure did occur.

Yes you may say they were just being careful and responsible…but it did make you feel awkward and different, when all you were trying to do was go about your daily business and  really didn’t want the whole world to know or make an issue of it. Application forms are another dilemma, you don’t want to jeopardize your chances of being hired because you have to inform them, and if you don’t and get to the interview stage , do you tell your potential employers then or later on?? It’s never easy, despite  current legislation to protect us.

I would recommend as a career choice something that doesn’t put you at risk of injury,that is  non- driving and being office bound would suffice. However with the economy as it is and to pay rent… you perhaps can’t be so choosy, even if it was temporary( you hope).

Where you live can be a problem in this car-driven society. I have been to some places in this country where you can’t walk , catch a bus unless you have a car, therefore being totally reliable upon someone to go from A to B. I always chose to live in a large town, city where public transportation is good.

Friendships are important and you need a set of good friends who know of your condition, what to do and not to panic. Witnessing a seizure for the first time can be unnerving and brings on a sense of panic. The tendency is to phone for an ambulance. This is not required unless an injury occurs and just let the seizure run it’s course. A person will go through their teenage years and young adulthood into social situations where everything is ok and the consequences aren’t thought through…alcohol, staying up late(repeatedly), test drive a car/bike. This is all down to peer pressure and so being assertive and having a good set of friends who care and know of the consequences is imperative.

In the coming weeks, I shall post chapters or stages of my book. I hope you find it rewarding and enjoyable as well as educational and interesting.

Till then…

Office Politics and Office Bullying- What to do?

Office Politics and Bullying Workshop

 

No place is devoid of office politics but it is important to work place culture and work place politics are not the same. Work place culture is organizational values through actions and behavior at a work place and these behaviors are desirable. Work place politics is the way of working that may or may not be accepted in an organization.

Backstabbing, gender politics, bullying, gossip, favoritism, sucking up, blame games can take office politics into many forms. Professional rivalry within an organization can turn really ugly resulting in politicking, bitching amongst others.

WHY OFFICE POLITICS:

These are strategies that people play to gain an advantage, personally or for a cause they support. Thus this affects the working relationship and the relationships within. Good office politics can help you to promote yourself and your cause and is more often called networking. To ensure your own success you must navigate the minefield of office politics.

Reaso0ns  for its occurrence:

  • Some people have more power than others through hierarchy or influence.
  • People trying to gain promotion will create competition between individuals.
  • Some care about their decisions at work which will create political behavior.
  • Decisions impacted at work by work related and personal factors leads to conflict.
  • People and teams within organizations compete for limited resources which can lead to ‘tribal conflict’ resulting in competing teams to satisfy their needs and interests.

What you need to do.

Accept the reality of office politics and develop strategies in how to deal with the behavior that is going on around you.

HOW?

Firstly:

1.OBSERVE, OBSERVE, OBSERVE

  • Who has influence
  • Those with influence but don’t use it.
  • Those that champions or mentors others
  • Who are the brains behind the organize

2.NETWORK

You will a good idea of who has power and influence but you need to understand how social networking starts.

Therefore notice

  • Who gets on with whom
  • Any groups or cliques in the organization
  • Who is involved in interpersonal conflict
  • Those individuals that get along the least with others
  • What is the basis of these relationships: friendship. Respect, manipulation
  • How does the influence flow between parties

This will:

  • Gain you access to information
  • Build visibility of your achievements
  • Improve any difficult relationships
  • Attract opportunities where you can shine
  • Seek ways to make yourself, your team, and your boss look good

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Get to know politically powerful people in the company
  • Establish relationships with your peers, bosses and executives and those who have informal power
  • Build your relationships on  trust and respect NOT flattery
  • Stay friendly with everyone but don’t align yourself with any particular group
  • Become part of many networks, this will keep you at the center of the organization

TIP- Become a good listener as human nature likes those people that listen

1.NEUTRALIZE NEGATIVE PLAY

‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ applies perfectly to office politics

  • Get to know everybody better, be courteous BUT watch what you say to them.
  • Understand what motivates them and what their goals are, so we counter the impact of their negative politicking
  • Some people who aren’t too strong with their talents use aggressive politicking to get ahead.
  • Being SELF AWARE is an important skill to have in navigating workplace politics eg your strengths and weaknesses , your own beliefs and values

2.YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR (DISCRETION IS THE NAME OF THE GAME)

Pointers to watch out for to avoid the same mistakes and pitfalls as others have.

  • Never publicly criticize your boss or co-worker, it’s the best way to stay in the clear.
  • If you hear something on the negative through the grapevine, listen to it without getting emotional or losing your temper.
  • Don’t pass on or engage in gossip. Questionable judgements, consider first if you have to act.
  • Rise above internal conflicts or get sucked into arguments
  • Maintain your integrity and remain professional
  • Be positive and avoid whining and complaining
  • Be confident and assertive but not aggressive
  • If you voice an objection make sure it is from the organizational and not personal standpoint
  • Don’t rely on confidentiality as you should assume these will be disclosed somewhere along the line
  • Become a model of integrity and discourage politics
  • Hold on to your inner peace and happiness-give it up for no one
  • Avoid taking sides but become a good listener and don’t pass on what you hear.
  • Project team spirit
  • Treat others as you want to be treated
  • LEAVE WORK AT WORK

3.OTHER TIPS TO REMEMBER

  • Don’t respond to gossip emails form peers or subordinates
  • Clarify your bosses emails and copy to their boss in reply
  • Do not send an email you would not be happy with (read several times before sending).

HOW TO DEAL WITH A BULLY AT WORK

Do you feel regularly intimidated, dread going to work or being near a particular co worker, being yelled at or you feel insulted and put down. Do you feel talked over by a colleague in meetings, criticized and even stealing credit for your work. Then the chances are there is an office bully at your work.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS PERSON:

  • You need personal courage and confidence to stop this as soon as you realize you are being bullied or events are becoming uncomfortable and too frequent
  • Exercise your right to tell the bully to stop this behavior and you won’t put up with this in the future. You are dealing with an adult with a tantrum.
  • Do this is a calm, tactful and assertive manner (it may be a good idea to practice this with a friend at home to make you feel comfortable)
  • Document all actions of the bullying, taking note of what happened, when it happened and who witnessed this if possible.
  • Keep all emails or correspondence to back up your evidence.
  • Observe it from their perspective and why this person’s behavior drives them to act like this. Do they do this with others? Or is it just you!
  • Is it that you are under attack or is there something else going on? How did it start? Is there a pattern? Think what exactly is going on and whether you want to stick around or not. If you don’t get what you deserve, then leave
  • Is the office bully always aggressive and recall how the situations occur. Sometimes the person has personal issues at home, with other colleagues or is stressed. This is no excuse and has nothing to do with you. But it may help you understand the heart of the problem and how to deal with it.
  • Listen to your intuition-fight or flee
  • Alternative-What is the culture here, Is it individually focused and sympathetic to the employee. Do your bosses care about you? What is the HR reputation eg do they help people confidentially and support them. Do you feel the bullying is ingrained in the workplace environment.

Personal Development- Career Assessment based on Values and Interests

Career Assessment based on Values and Interests:

When we are looking foe our career choice we also need to take into account our core values and interests:

What are our personal VALUES:

These are highly individualistic but they can consist of your Lifestyle priorities, motivators for your behavior that you adhere to, subjective values that you prioritize and define individualize you. These values can be ways you react to and relate to in the world around to,your life philosophy which are your experiences with friends,parents and environmental factors and finally conscious or unconscious actions.

These can and should influence your choices to occupation,employer,family and community involvement. These can help you with stress levels, morale, productivity,cooperation,enhances understanding,respect,feeling fulfilled,personal growth and prioritizing.

Examples of values could be:

Accomplishment, authority, balance, challenge, creativity, diversity, fun, high earnings, humility, independence, influence, learning, recognition,responsibility, risk taking, service, structure, status, team work and trust.

INTERESTS:

Identifying a theme that defines your interest and you will notice patterns being established, such as:

1.Realistic:

This person would be practical, who are oriented to to the present rather than the past or future. Their thought patterns are structured, and tend to take a concrete approach to solving problems rather than rely on abstract theories. Their attitudes and values  are conventional because they are tested and reliable. They can be competitive, assertive but also reserved. They like hands on activities that require motor coordination, skill ,and physical strength and a preference to action than talking,writing or interpersonal skills.

Examples: Baker,cook, desktop publisher, electrician,farmer,machinist, mechanic,pilot, surveyor.

2.Investigative:

These individuals are independent, analytical, and abstract. They consider themselves scholarly and intellectually self-confident, but not particularly people-oriented. They prefer to think rather than act, organize and understand than persuade or lead. They look to understand the causes and effect and so use their intelligence to figure out problems and search for facts.

Example:Anthropologist, architect, pharmacist, civil engineer, coroner, economist, forensic scientist, medical laboratory technician.

3.Artistic:

Artistic people are interested in cultural and aesthetic areas. They value self-expression and rely on feelings and imagination. They are more likely to relate to others with indirect means through their medium. They prefer tasks that involve personal or physical skills and are prone to expressing their emotions to others.They like to focus on the creation of products,ideas,or performances in which they perceive themselves to have musical or artistic ability.Creating new forms,designs, and pattern using physical, human or verbal materials for creative expression.

Example:Actor, artist, dancer, editor, literature teacher, musician(singer), photographer, producer, writer.

4.Social:

Social people prefer to communicate rather than work with objects, machines, or data. They like to value social activities, social service, and interpersonal relationships and are interested in other people as well as being sensitive to the needs of others. They like work situations that promote learning and personal development. These social people use their verbal and social skills to change other people’s behavior. They often seek close interpersonal relationships and are less apt to engage in intellectual pursuits or extensive physical activity. They don’t see themselves as mechanically inclined but do see themselves as understanding and popular.

Example:Clergy, clinical psychologist,counselor,interpreter (translator), librarian, nurse, social worker, teacher, therapist

5.Enterprise:

Enterprising people are doers, not thinkers. They prefer working with people and ideas rather than things. They have good speaking abilities and tend to use their verbal skills for persuading or influencing rather than supporting or helping others.They value political and economic matters, prestige,profit, and status. They enjoy starting up and carrying out projects and taking risks for profit as well as making decisions.

Example:Attorney, buyer, financial planner, public relations executive,sales, small business owner, stockbroker, travel agent.

6.Conventional:

Conventional people prefer working with data,numbers, and detail rather than ideas. The lines of authority are clear and prefer working within regulations, routines, and standards to working in situations where they judge things for themselves.In both work and interpersonal  situations, they like structure, order, and precision rather ambiguity and are happiest when things run smoothly and efficiently.

Examples:Accountant, archivist,bookkeeper, customer service, administrative assistant.

The Smart Way to get Hired

THE SMART WAY TO GET HIRED

S-Specific M-Measurable A-Action orientated R-Realistic T-Time bound

Tactics to use:
• Self awareness: thoughts, feelings, behavior, self assessment
• Self management eg stress, motivation
• Social Awareness: Opportunities and empathy
• Social skills: Communication, assertiveness

SELF AWARENESS:

1.Challenging destructive thoughts:
• I must get a job by the month TO I will get a job by the end of the month ( -ve to +ve thought)
• Don’t focus on –ve thoughts
• Don’t be critical or put unnecessary blame on yourself
• Always doing badly at interviews TO thinking realistically

How?

Using visualization techniques eg doing the interview ( confident self, prepared, asking and answering questions with authority). Knowing you have done your very best.

2.Know your strengths and weaknesses regards job applications

SELF MANAGEMENT:

1.Self control
• Manage your emotions in a +ve way (be aware)

2.Adaptability(change)
• Problem solving eg identify the problem, assess and evaluate, generate solutions, Select best one, take action, outcomes

3.Stress (how to manage it)
• Exercise
• Relaxation(hobbies)
• Get your rest
• Deep breathing and relaxation techniques

4.Motivation
• Establish goals and direct your energy to achieving this

(set achievable goals)

• Using stress management and motivation to get the job offer:

A) Control your anxiety and worry (visualization techniques)
B) Demonstrate energy by raising your voice tone
C) Body posture-no slouching

SOCIAL AWARENESS

Consists of the following skills:
Empathy, reality testing, social responsibility

Empathy: ability to understand and appreciate the thoughts and feelings of others

Reality testing: Your experiences, education, thoughts and emotions
• Skills: self awareness and honesty with yourself

Social Responsibility: Involvement in the community and willingness to help others.

SOCIAL SKILLS:

Skills needed:
• Honesty, Integrity, trust, ie the foundation of a successful career is basic social skills

• Communications, assertiveness, ie sending and receiving messages accurately and good listening skills

• Cooperation, ie with others
• Conflict management & negotiation, ie dealing with conflict

• Influence and management of others, ie networking, interviewing and leading groups/meetings

Therefore in an interview:

Self awareness: I OFFER…..

Social awareness: EMPLOYER NEEDS…..

Self management: PRESENT YOURSELF

Display confidence and credibility, communicate clearly and clarify, you can assist the employer, your values and benefits you can bring. Give examples of past accomplishments that you can bring to the job

PREPARATION FOR THE INTERVIEW

• Prepare in advance answers to questions that may be asked
• Review past accomplishments(to back up your answers)
• Interviewers will ask you questions in regards to your resume eg experience, education, gaps…periods of unemployment

THE PURPOSE OF THE INTERVIEW

• To meet you
• Assess you
• Interviewees to gather information and data of you
• Clarify information that can’t be processed from the resume

USEFUL TECHNIQUES FOR THE INTERVIEW
• Emphasis what your contribution and accomplishments throughout the interview
• Research what the company needs and how these can be met (shows interest, your benefits and how you can meet them)
• Know your marketing brand ( How you want the interviewees to think of you and REMEMBER you)
• Create a good communication flow- clear answers to questions, clarity if unsure of the questions asked+

Other useful techniques: smile, sit upright, thank them verbally and by e mail later, ask for their business card.

POSSIBLE QUESTIONS YOU MAY BE ASKED:

1) “Tell me about yourself?”
2) “Why do you want to work for this company”
3) “Tell me about one of your accomplishments at company ABC”
4) “Name me 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses”
5) “How would others describe you”
6) “Why should I hire you”
7) “What salary are you expecting for this position”
8) “What are your professional goals, and how would they fit into this position and company”
9) “Why did you leave your last position”
10) “Can you explain these gaps I notice you have on your resume?”

Office Politics and dealing with Office Bullying

Office Politics and Bullying Workshop

No place is devoid of office politics but it is important to work place culture and work place politics are not the same. Work place culture is organizational values through actions and behavior at a work place and these behaviors’ are desirable. Work place politics is the way of working that may or may not be accepted in an organization.

Backstabbing, gender politics, bullying, gossip, favoritism , sucking up, blame games can take office politics into many forms. Professional rivalry within an organization can turn really ugly resulting in politicking, bitching amongst others.

WHY OFFICE POLITICS:

These are strategies that people play to gain an advantage, personally or for a cause they support. Thus this affects the working relationship and the relationships within. Good office politics can help you to promote yourself and your cause and is more often called networking. To ensure your own success you must navigate the minefield of office politics.

Reasons for its occurrence:

  • Some people have more power than others through hierarchy or influence.
  • People trying to gain promotion will create competition between individuals.
  • Some care about their decisions at work which will create political behavior.
  • Decisions impacted at work by work related and personal factors leads to conflict.
  • People and teams within organizations compete for limited resources which can lead to ‘tribal conflict’ resulting in competing teams to satisfy their needs and interests.

What you need to do.

Accept the reality of office politics and develop strategies in how to deal with the behavior that is going on around you.

HOW:

Firstly:

OBSERVE, OBSERVE, OBSERVE

  • Who has influence
  • Those with influence but don’t use it.
  • Those that champions or mentors others
  • Who are the brains behind the organize

NETWORK

You will a good idea of who has power and influence but you need to understand how social networking starts.

Therefore notice

  • Who gets on with whom
  • Any groups or cliques in the organization
  • Who is involved in interpersonal conflict
  • Those individuals that get along the least with others
  • What is the basis of these relationships: friendship. Respect, manipulation
  • How does the influence flow between parties

This will:

  • Gain you access to information
  • Build visibility of your achievements
  • Improve any difficult relationships
  • Attract opportunities where you can shine
  • Seek ways to make yourself, your team, and your boss look good

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Get to know politically powerful people in the company
  • Establish relationships with your peers, bosses and executives and those who have informal power
  • Build your relationships on  trust and respect NOT flattery
  • Stay friendly with everyone but don’t align yourself with any particular group
  • Become part of many networks, this will keep you at the center of the organization

TIP– Become a good listener as human nature likes those people that listen

NEUTRALIZE NEGATIVE PLAY

‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ applies perfectly to office politics

  • Get to know everybody better, be courteous BUT watch what you say to them.
  • Understand what motivates them and what their goals are, so we counter the impact of their negative politicking
  • Some people who aren’t too strong with their talents use aggressive politicking to get ahead.
  • Being SELF AWARE is an important skill to have in navigating workplace politics eg your strengths and weaknesses , your own beliefs and values

YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR (DISCRETION IS THE NAME OF THE GAME)

 

Pointers to watch out for to avoid the same mistakes and pitfalls as others have.

  • Never publicly criticize your boss or co-worker, it’s the best way to stay in the clear.
  • If you hear something on the negative through the grapevine, listen to it without getting emotional or losing your temper.
  • Don’t pass on or engage in gossip. Questionable judgements, consider first if you have to act.
  • Rise above internal conflicts or get sucked into arguments
  • Maintain your integrity and remain professional
  • Be positive and avoid whining and complaining
  • Be confident and assertive but not aggressive
  • If you voice an objection make sure it is from the organizational and not personal standpoint
  • Don’t rely on confidentiality as you should assume these will be disclosed somewhere along the line
  • Become a model of integrity and discourage politics
  • Hold on to your inner peace and happiness-give it up for no one
  • Avoid taking sides but become a good listener and don’t pass on what you hear.
  • Project team spirit
  • Treat others as you want to be treated
  • LEAVE WORK AT WORK

OTHER TIPS TO REMEMBER

  • Don’t respond to gossip emails form peers or subordinates
  • Clarify your bosses emails and copy to their boss in reply
  • Do not send an email you would not be happy with (read several times before sending).

HOW TO DEAL WITH A BULLY AT WORK

Do you feel regularly intimidated, dread going to work or being near a particular co worker, being yelled at or you feel insulted and put down. Do you feel talked over by a colleague in meetings, criticized and even stealing credit for your work. Then the chances are there is an office bully at your work.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS PERSON:

  • You need personal courage and confidence to stop this as soon as you realize you are being bullied or events are becoming uncomfortable and too frequent
  • Exercise your right to tell the bully to stop this behavior and you won’t put up with this in the future. You are dealing with an adult with a tantrum.
  • Do this is a calm, tactful and assertive manner (it may be a good idea to practice this with a friend at home to make you feel comfortable)
  • Document all actions of the bullying, taking note of what happened, when it happened and who witnessed this if possible.
  • Keep all emails or correspondence to back up your evidence.
  • Observe it from their perspective and why this person’s behavior drives them to act like this. Do they do this with others? Or is it just you!
  • Is it that you are under attack or is there something else going on? How did it start? Is there a pattern? Think what exactly is going on and whether you want to stick around or not. If you don’t get what you deserve, then leave
  • Is the office bully always aggressive and recall how the situations occur. Sometimes the person has personal issues at home, with other colleagues or is stressed. This is no excuse and has nothing to do with you. But it may help you understand the heart of the problem and how to deal with it.
  • Listen to your intuition-fight or flee
  • Alternative-What is the culture here, Is it individually focused and sympathetic to the employee. Do your bosses care about you? What is the HR reputation eg do they help people confidentially and support them. Do you feel the bullying is ingrained in the workplace environment.