Who said hiring was easy!

I’m hiring!

Currently I am in the process of hiring a scientist to my team.

There are a lot of articles and information to be succeed in an interview as a candidate, but there isn’t so much from the interviewer side…

In fact I got a little bit nervous, so much that today I forgot to introduce myself when I called to one of the candidates, jumping over to a question… to the part of supposed ice breaker, when I listen from the other side: “I was expecting a call for an interview, is this call related????”…

Hiring in a corporate organization has a very defined process, first the resume assessment, then the phone call interview, and then the panel interview in person (the panel can be up to 5 people). It can’t happen a bad decision, right?

I believe the candidates follow the same type of resume template, so it is quite quick to give a first look. I look to the number of years of experience, and the type of experience, then I look after  the motivation…and it isn’t in the resume! It would be better to have a small paragraph about the person and why they want to apply the job. Could be the header really!

This time I wanted to apply everything I am learning regarding hiring, so I am trying get out of my bias… So for the resume assessment I hide the names, so I don’t know if it is a man or a woman. 

Then I built a competencies check list in an excel file, so for the phone call interview is very quick to understand if it matches for the main competencies required for the job. At the end where I want to spend time is to hear about the motivation, and the drive to make this move… and honesty in the speech we can feel it. At least I was thinking so…

Then I wait for the questions, and I like the ones who dare to make more than a couple questions, but not standard, the ones which comes out from the conversation. Like how a day can look like for a person in your team? I liked that question…Or how do you like to work there, and how did you build your career?

What I am trying to do is to have the intuition and the gut feeling out of the equation, it is very hard, but I am thinking what Daniel Kahneman said in the WBF in NYC 2 weeks ago, about the intuition…do not trust it! It can trap you!!

Regularity, practice and immediate feedback makes a good intuition, is what Daniel Kahneman explained about accuracy in the decision making. But if I don’t do every time recruitment, and the feedback only can come after deciding, so I think I need to build the confidence of my intuition collecting my excel files along the time, and why not adding a column stating gut feeling with Go/No Go option, so I can understand after a while if it was right or wrong.

I will do that! 🙂

Thank you

Ana

Lead more than a cheerleader…

Last week I attended to the WOBI event in NYC, with an impressive cast of speakers, who talked each one between 45 min and 1h30 min, and there were so much to take on, that I am trying to digest and bring the content from the event to my world.

There were 10 speakers, I knew all of them…from TED Talks, Books, and Press. Some of them I knew very well, and some I knew only the highlights.

I was trying to rank the speakers, what they said, how they said but there was something more than that, how I felt when I listened to them, and believe me I was there with my full heart and body to all of the speakers!

I had to admit there was a keynote speaker who made me cry, and I am not going to forget about how that speech made me feel!

It was Todd Davis, talking about leadership and all the Toolbox of the 15 Best Practices to build effective relationships at work.

It started with something new, which actually caused a bit of distraction in the beginning, having the staff handing over to everybody in the audience a set of cards explaining the 15 Best Practices…then Todd looked like so corporate in all the description of each one, stating you need, you have you should…but with good quotes. I remember I Twitted some of them during the speech. Then towards the end, Todd Davis, gave an example, putting a picture of a beautiful young lady and said she was Sydney, his daughter. He talked about the struggling she was having as a teenager of being accepted in high school!! He mentioned she was deaf since she was a baby after meningitis…when he said that, done!! he got my full attention and my heart, couldn’t write or tweet anymore, and I was straight in my chair!

Then Todd told a story of how to motivate his daughter for something different for her to feel the accomplishment of something bigger and discover her potential. So he thought why not a marathon?

So he asked his daughter to do a marathon with him, which they would need to practice everyday. Sydney said yes, and actually she was happy to do it. But as the hard work and cold weather was coming, Sidney was gave up… Todd was saying that he tried to motivate her to keep doing but then he admitted that he accepted it and he kept practicing and focus on his timing.

After 3 times like that… Todd had a different look for himself, and tried to see himself as a leader motivating Sidney, so he was seeing him with big encouraging quotes, and smiling all the time to her, but as his daughter was slower, she was running the laps alone, while Todd was working on his time as well.

One more time, Todd decided… his timing wasn’t important and the only goal was to have Sidney motivated and keep her goal to participate in the marathon with him. Todd stuck to her all the time, helping her out in all the moments…and at the end they made it, and they were so happy, even if it was 1h30 more than Todd ever did. The happiness for this accomplishment was more than everything else.

The big take away is the leader can’t be only the cheerleader needs actually to stick to the plan and help others with effort.

See the tree, not just the seedling (card number #5).

So when Todd Davis mentioned that after this reflection, he dedicate his full effort to motivate Sydney and be there no matter what, and when he posted a picture  of the family finishing the marathon with a big smile in the screen… I cried, and started to clap as crazy!…me and all the audience…

ToddDavis_WOBNYC2018

Very touching story that I will remember forever to use with my family and my teams.

Thank you

Ana

“Status” Effect

Today started the 2 day event, WOBI in NYC, which had a great cast of speakers, and the first one today was Seth Godin. He was talking about Marketing, unlearn to be succeed, unsee to be seen, and he talked about the 3 factors that Marketers need to be doing: narrative, status and tension.

He started to give different examples, and mention about the Mona Lisa painting, which only values the money because it is the Mona Lisa. This painting has a story behind it and very high status, which is so important for the value of the painting.

The status subject actually triggers me a lot different feelings which are underneath our control, and it is installed in our society since we are organized by tribes or even thinking about Lion King!

Today in the event I came as press, so as it was my first time, I came very early and got a nice seat in the press area. After a while, close to start, a blond lady sited next to me, and said Good morning! I thought she had a familiar face… I introduced myself as a blogger about leadership and women leadership, and she introduced herself also as a writer for the Inc. about leadership also! I thought, “wow so nice to have someone next to me with the same interests…!!” Then this lady asked me where did I get the backpack, and surprised I said, “just outside after the check in”. So she went outside and came back without the backpack, saying she couldn’t find it…I thought ok it is not so important, but then she asked if I could get one for her…and me in this place looking forward to don’t miss a second of the event, which was about to start, said, “ok, I will do it after the first keynote (who was Seth Godin), is it ok?”

But…suddenly came in Dan Rockwell, who I didn’t know who was also by that time, and cheered to the blond lady next to me, “Hi Lolly Daskal!!” And me…”wait!!…what??? Am I sited next to Lolly Daskal, who I love so much her work and her book, and who I have in my blog as a top 5 reference!!” “No way”…I just thought, “I couldn’t go pick up the bag…noooo!!” Suddenly the event which was about to start didn’t have the same importance anymore and I went to pick up the bag for Lolly Daskal!

IMG_4628[220]

STATUS EFFECT!!! Just right there. A nice blond lady could wait for me to pick up the backpack, the same nice blond lady with the name Lolly Daskal, can’t wait a minute for having a backpack!

This happened today…and to me…

This subject is putting me so much in alert, that I am doing this test in the event, during networking time. I am introducing myself as a blogger for AnnaJoTalks. Nobody knows the blog (yet), so there is no big interaction. But, when I add that I work for corporate America, not even mention the name of the company, the exchange of business cards happen, and even in my business card I present myself as a blogger they accept it as is perceived a different STATUS.

Let’s reflect on the status effect.

Lately there were some good interactions on this topic from Seth Godin and Dan Rockwell. Check out the follow links:

https://leadershipfreak.blog/2018/11/14/status-matters-even-if-we-dont-discuss-it/

This is Marketing by Seth Godin: “How marketing is at its core about the stories we tell ourselves about our social status.”

https://tim.blog/2018/11/01/seth-godin-this-is-marketing/

Thank you

Anna Jo

 

 

Networking: Let the game begin and enjoy!

Last week I had the opportunity to go a conference in NYC, hosted by Ramon Ray @SmartHustle.

It was a conference targeting entrepreneurs and small businesses and the cast of speakers were very good. Like Seth Godin and Claude Silver.

I didn’t know the size of this conference if it would be like thousands of people if it would be hundreds or 50…I was trying to build a picture in how it will look like.

During the last week I spent quite some time preparing this conference, like scoping my goal, what I would target to write in my blog, and trying to know more about the speakers, preparing the questions in case I had the opportunity to make it.

But there were a very strong and basic goal: NETWORKING!

On one side I love to talk with people, but on the other side the fear to be judged is tremendous, especially in places we don’t know anyone and I was by myself!

So I was wondering if I go there and nobody talks to me, it is fine…I smile and that is fine. I am here to listen and learn…and if I feel bad I can leave, and go for a walk in NYC which is not bad (plan B set!). 🙂

My husband advised me to make some business cards… what?? Really?? Do I need it?

Then Ramon Ray , the host of the event sent an email…reminding to bring business cards, and saying how important it is!

So now I need some business cards… don’t have time to order!…so, my lovely husband did it by himself, print it with a nice photo paper (the only one apart form the letter paper we had at home), did the graphics, and it was very nice!

Until I read…”Anna Jo CEO and FOUNDER of annajotalks.com”…What?? Can’t have something like that! I need something that shows my passion! So we changed!

So I had the business cards printed at home, my questions prepared so I should be confident. I arrived to the place in Columbus Circle @NYC, and saw Ramon, recognized him from the picture. I checked in, had my badge, said Hi to Ramon, who actually remember me from the emails, and his kind words made me feel less nervous.

There was some stairs to go down and there were plenty of people standing and talking, and a cameraman. I smiled, and there was a guy standing next to me with the same lost look…I dared and introduced myself… then with a few words he was telling me that he was in the VIP session because he wanted to have a talk with Seth Godin ! “Ah! OK”…I said “I am a rookie in these appearances” (rookie!! Why did I say that!! I don’t even like football!!). “I believe the other speakers are very good also, and I am here because of Claude Silver“…he didn’t know who she was… 2 points for me! 🙂

After this quick interaction I learned to be short and clear! And instead saying that you are only a beginner and you are here to learn, bring something else!…this person didn’t want to loose his time with me, when I was explaining about my blog, in the first opportunity he turned his back to talk with someone else…I didn’t feel it was personal, networking is a game!

Then there was this beautiful lady who had a great smile asking me who I was…me a bit lost still, said “I am starting a blog and I love to talk about people”, then I told a story from my team at work…after this she asked to take a selfie and posted in Twitter…also asked me for a business card…first one delivered!! 🙂

This lady, her name Tracy,  was my sunshine in that morning! I felt good and empowered to do the same after.

I was able to meet more people along the event, and each one I asked to take a selfie also! :).  People with such great dreams, like Natasha a coach with such a powerful presence and energy that inspired me only for saying hello and a laugh. Jen with a dream of publishing a children’s book with poems. And Christa with the dream of making her own cookies without nuts as her son is allergic, called Happy Cookies!

 

the fear and the joy of networking

It was interesting how I met Christa. For lunch break, Ramon was telling to the audience that we had 1h30 min for lunch and to make sure we network. The lunch wasn’t included in the event, and I instead run away. Arriving outside, I was thinking ! NO!! This is the opportunity… I came back to the outside door, and the first person getting out I invited for lunch. It was Christa, who looked at me with a surprised look, and made me feel that I need to identify myself with the badge, “I am in the conference and I am alone! Do you want to network?” 🙂

We had a great time, that we arrived late to the event after!

So networking…it is what it is. The lesson learned is put yourself out there that you will be surprised. Let the game begin and enjoy!

Ah!! The business cards actually work, it is like an agreement of “I am interested in you”…next time I will try to make it more professional!

Thank you

Anna Jo

 

PS – Below the link of 2 articles that may help to enjoy and be more effective networking. Next time! 🙂

https://hbr.org/2016/05/learn-to-love-networking

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2018/04/23/10-networking-tips-to-help-you-make-a-great-first-impression-at-an-event/#31608a0301bb

 

Living the beginning of a blogger’s journey!

The first post I wrote was actually to talk about the trigger of starting a blog!

Then I wanted to get started, then I didn’t started really, then last Christmas, I asked to my husband the membership of WordPress as my Christmas present !

It was the year resolution for 2018! I ‘m going to start a blog, and by the end of the year I will have 500 followers!!

Done! A goal very specific, right?

After Christmas I came home on leave as I was 8 months pregnant… and actually learned the basics in how to work with WordPress. I prepared the logo, and started to find out what the publish button means… I posted one before I gave birth,… and…nothing happened… nothing… invisible…

I called to the only person I know that really makes a blog for living and it is amazing, my cousin Sofia in Portugal. We arranged a skype for a time that could be good for us in the week, but instead I was sending her a picture of my newborn…as I went to the hospital to give birth…

I had my baby girl and pause a bit this new idea, but after a bit more than a couple of months, I started to think again about the blog… but the goal of the beginning of the year need to be adapted…starting a blog could be achievable, but having 500 followers would be something that needs more thinking and strategy… my blog was invisible…how to make it happen?…! And that was the issue! I didn’t know!

Well let’s find out…I thought, and I started to listen that the number is not the most important think, as Gary V. is always saying,  but it is a fact that builds up the credibility.

Then started to learn how to use the social media! We need to publish in social media… otherwise how the people know… really? And this is the biggest step for me as I was not very active before, even in Facebook, and now I am trying to stick to 4 post per day in Twitter and 1 in Instagram. I am not doing other social media yet for AnnaJoTalks. 

Yes…I started to use an old Twitter account and created an Instagram account only for AnnaJoTalks.

Still invisible…

Man!!…, I need to learn how to find followers!!!… and when I say that, with everything I am learning (just to say that after Summer I started to read everything about social media and learn how to get followers… there is a lot of information about it out there and all say kind of the same), it doesn’t resonate with me, as “I’m not selling anything!! I just want to find people with the same interests as me…”.

I had one follower, my husband!! And he was telling me, keep doing, why not share with your friends?…

After 10 posts, 95 followers in Twitter and 50 in Instagram, I decided, I am going to share with my closest friends in Portugal…

The day I did that! I was nervous… they took a look and sent me back messages giving their support…but they don’t follow… ok… my best friend Silvia from elementary school do follow!😍😍

I am determined to make this blog a real thing to me, so I built a strategy for social media, having the focus in the content, be consistent and enjoy the journey! English is not my first language, so I have also some issues in writing, but I live in US, so I need to get over it. And I am always thinking in what my cousin Sofia told me, the imperfect and authentic is the new perfect! So let’s keep moving! 🙂

I am learning so much, that is crazy the amount of material, and authors out there! I am putting myself in this uncomfortable situation, that one of my friend, Eufemia said to me, start a video to be closer to the people you want to find… and this is it!

Here it is my first video!

“My blog is about leadership, women in leadership and diversity!, please follow me!”

Haha!! The thing of “please follow me” I learned also…we need to be specific, direct and short!!☺️

Regarding the content, which is my biggest focus, I will be attending to some very interesting events in NYC this month, with a great cast of authors, and I will be sharing everything I can!

This week I am going to the 13th Smart Hustle Conference, on November 8th.

And the other week I am going to the WOBI on November 14th-15th.

Thank you to follow me in this journey!

AnnaJo

They persisted and so should you!

I am a truly believer that the next generations need to continue to evolve and be more mature and aware for the gender equality.

Recognize it is a fact, is the first step, and even if we live in a world that is much better than our mothers and grandmothers lived, still we need to continue to remind ourselves there is still some work to do.

I believe nowadays more than laws and women rights to fight for, is about the mindset and culture. Now the women can make their own decisions,  but what are the decisions they are taking?

With this thinking I feel the education is the key platform that we need to aim, and keep building the awareness and responsibility also to the boys. And stop saying, “Yeah they are boys!!”.

When Chelsea Clinton launched the first book SHE PERSISTED, a kids book talking about stories of women that fought for their achievements, and the message was really inspiring, written in the last page:

“So, if anyone tells you no, if anyone ever says your voice isn’t important or your dreams are too big, remember these women. They persisted and so should you.”

I thought it was a great lesson for my son in that time with 10 years old. So we went to the book signing in NYC and for my great surprise he was shy and didn’t want to do any questions as this was a book for girls he was saying!

I didn’t say anything but I was determined to understand why he is feeling like that… But actually it helped that Chelsea’s dad was there, as after he took a picture with Bill Clinton, I was telling him that her dad had supported greatly her book, and to ask Bill Clinton if he thought the book was only for girls…he looked at me, and make this intrigued face.

At home we started to tell more stories from my mom, and family about the journey of being a women and letting him know that in Portugal my mom and all women couldn’t vote until 1976, after the revolution in 1974! And this was a big achievement and not so long time ago! I didn’t realize, but we actually never had these conversations with him…and there are some good stories in the family to resonate with him.

This Spring Chelsea Clinton launched the new book SHE PERSISTED Around The World, and we went again for the book signing in NYC. This time my baby girl was born and she was 2 months…the deal was we all go, and my son had a mission…make one question, and get a book for him to read in class.

He didn’t do the questions in the audience, but he did to Chelsea while she was signing it…the question was: “What are you persisting for? If you write about you what would be the story?”

Also my son read in class at school, and the teacher was so happy that he did it, as the class spent a full period talking about the book, making questions and telling other stories.

I believe we as parents have a role in the society, to move towards gender equality, so we have our girls and our boys in the future telling other stories where SHE and HE Persisted.

Thank you

AnnaJo

 

In the same group who talks more the boss or the employee?

The last 2 weeks I have been attending some workshops and meetings with different layers present of the organization.

I feel it is kind of a rule to me, I let the higher people talk first, kick off the sessions, or give them the flow of the conversation. But if I am the highest in the group, I also feel I need to start and need to talk first.

I think it is ok when the bosses and managers need to inform or need to be directive with certain subject, but it doesn’t need to be like that when it’s about creative workshops, training of new processes, fireside chat’s, ect.

My reflection comes because the workshop of last week facilitated by external people, which were like 15 people, from management up to the junior level, were all about the I-statements of one person, and actually this manager is an introvert!!

who talks more the boss or the employee.

We had these talks for the audience, and who always kicks off the conversation, or the answer of the open question…the highest in the organization…then by the end, with some help from the facilitators we could notice that we have more common ground.

But it is interesting, because I feel I am in the middle…now I am a manager, and I have a big layer above me also, and I noticed I talk much more in meetings or groups chats that I am the highest level, rather than in the groups I have higher levels in the room, which I wait to understand what is the flow of the conversation, and feel the politics…

After reflecting on this I think it is ok until a certain point, like we let our grandparents talk first, as they are older and we considered them wiser.

But here comes the good leader attitude, be humble, and step back in the discussions and in their I-statements. Listen more, and build an environment which is not about the leader, but about everybody.

Reading one the articles attached, it is big evil ego…and feels good to feel important and cared by the people who are around.

It is not easy to move away from the feeling of the happy ego… but it is possible to remind ourselves BE HUMBLE!

Thank you

AnnaJo

 

Articles that helped me to reflect and write the post:

https://hbr.org/2018/10/if-humility-is-so-important-why-are-leaders-so-arrogant?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hbr

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-bosses-are-humble-bosses-1539092123

 

https://hbr.org/2018/10/the-problem-with-using-i-statements-at-work?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hbr

 

Taking risks is an act of courage or fear?

These last days I have been thinking about taking risks in life, and what this means to me!

I have been listening and reading that is one of the biggest virtues in life and one of the biggest drivers to succeed.

I am not sure how I fit in this sphere, I believe I have been developing something…, in my job I am considered quite good balancing risks and decision making! Within my friends I am considered just crazy, as I am the one who normally says let’s go without thinking!

I was raised in an environment which there was afraid of the unknown, there was afraid of the economy of the country, and my family were in a survival mode which the main goal in life was about to have a place to live safely and food at dinner time. The most important thing of being employed was the job security and the perks that job could give.

Take Risks is an act of courage or fear

I was listening everyday from my mom that my priority would be to go to college and have a degree, which would enable me to have a better life,… but when I finished my engineer degree, my mom would pray for me to find a good job, which means a job for life from 9 to 5, with excellent perks, and with a status of being an engineer with nice business cards, company car and a phone!

I never traveled, never caught a plane until I was in college, and my goals were take a degree and then live and work in an area no more than 20 miles of my town, to be close of my family.

I didn’t know people who had quit their jobs to pursue their dreams, or just drop college to make a long trip around the world. Actually I am not sure what were my dreams in that time.

The definition of taking risks in the article from Megan Tull from HuffPost triggers my mind:

Risk taking can be defined as: “Undertaking a task in which there is a lack of certainty or a fear of failure.” The problem at the core of risk taking is fear; fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking like a fool, fear of seeming ignorant, fear of seeming too aggressive.  Taking risk means confronting the fears/challenges and having the courage to move forward.”

After reading this definition, I think I finished college and got a job 9 to 5 because I didn’t know other option in life, and I was so afraid to fail that I figure it out, even when I had to commute to college using different public transports with an expired pass because I didn’t have money to buy a new one.

During college I had like 3 jobs at the same time I was studying, commuting 3 hours per day from my parents house to the campus, and sleeping between 3 to 4 hours per night.

I feel all this drive was about to finish college, have a degree, with the fear to don’t have another option in life…but the journey itself taught me so much that I believe the decisions I made in life was because I was in alert to the world around me, like listening people experiences, like reading a lot, and building the confidence to take risks outside my direct environment. I believe this was the main learning for me and now I use everyday in my daily job with my teams.

But at the end, is this courage…or fear?

I think it was fear which could be named as continuous curiosity…

Thank you

AnnaJo

Links from inspiration: (Megan Tull, Regina Huber, Jena Rodriguez)

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/megan-tull/how-taking-risks-evokes-l_b_10843744.html

http://bravemasters.com/161podcast/

http://www.transformyourperformance.com/blog/

 

A non tech girl @Google Cloud Summit NYC!

A Non Tech Girl @Google Summit

Some weeks ago I had an invite on LinkedIn to attend to the Google Cloud Summit in New York!

I am not a tech girl, but I am an engineer, and actually I work in the R&D  so in my mind it’s related!!

The goal for me going there was about to connect and see what is happening to the world! I have this idea to start a blog, talk about people experiences and leadership, but I need to get out of my daily routine… right?

So I took a day off, me and my husband signed up, in a kind of a date…and we left early in the morning after leaving the children at the daycare.

We caught the train and we were chatting what would be the main subject we were looking for at this summit.

My husband is a Business Process Engineer, and is looking for a job, so for him was easy…network and distribute business cards. For me…not really related with my job, but it wasn’t the goal, so I always thought of having  an idea for some day to build a business regarding people behaviors to organize themselves.So I can use it as a potential entrepreneur or I can use the blogger status…and in fact my husband did also for me business cards as the CEO of my blog! Funny!

About the business cards, it is a tech event…there is no business cards, so we had a badge and the people would scan it with the phone!

WOW!!

This event had around 3000 people in a big hotel, Marriott Marquis NYC in Times Square and everything was with high standard, with quality! The lunch arrangements, no words, the food, no words, the souvenirs, no words, the coffee, drinks and snacks, no words!

As a blogger, and an advocate of women in leadership, I wanted to talk about this awesomeness and related the obvious and expected numbers…much more men than women!

The expectation was matched, I found more men within my eyes, but not as expected…there were a lot of great women talking and some of them I refer this subject, and there was no problem to talk about it, in fact there was a booth to promote the girls in tech, girls to coding…and they seemed very happy…

What I found a lot was the geek style people, the type that I used to find in college working in the PC’s rooms….lots of black screens and typing something very furious looking like they would found the next secret of the world….

The other surprise was that beyond the keynotes, and the break-out rooms of Google Cloud, there were 2 floors with booths, with companies partnering with Google. I realized they were small and some of them like startups really,  bringing some much diversity and complementary small gaps that Google can have to reach to much more customers! Really impressed with this model.

Funny when I was walking around I saw this names like DataDog with a dog logo…and I was thinking “wow, they are offering already some specific technology of cloud analytical data for pets!!”…it actually could be an idea! 🙂

It was really interesting, this experience and I will keep my mind open and look at new and different things, which actually enriched me as a person.

Thank you

AnnaJo

Testing, Training, Practicing – YOURSELF

Testing, Training, Practice Yourself.picture

I listen a lot during these days, especially with the new generation of millennials, “I want to develop myself”, “I want to be the best version of me”, “I want this job because I can learn and grow”…

When I hear this in job interviews, I used to be so excited, that someone who would say that would be hired!

But I am living the experience when they arrive to the jobs the development is expected to be put in front of them and to be a frame to follow! Not something as they have culture of life!

The big buzz: “we are learning everyday” is true…but it doesn’t need to do something extraordinary, it can be built on small actions. The awareness of learning every day is the first important step…then realize the meaning of new feelings in different situations and recognize the triggers.

I used to have a lecturer at the Psychology College who used to say: “Everything can be trained, even the people’s behaviors”. Looks obvious but what we normally takes for granted as our personality, is now subject to be trained if we want!!

I used to be skeptical about this, but then I leaned the concept of Emotional Intelligence and started to experience that we can take ourselves to another level, and leaving the world of stereotypes.

What?

Starting with the simple question, what do we think we need/want to develop?

It can be quite challenging…the fact that we need to stop and look at the mirror, or ask for honest feedback and have the capacity to listen and digest it, requires maturity and open mindset.

How?

Build a development plan, with tangible actions.

I believe the development plan can be taken outside work, and when we talk about our development plan is not only in the work environment but also in our personal lives.

For example I have in my development plan “Influencing Skills”, it is a skill necessary to do my job, influence my team, my peers, my stakeholders and also the senior leadership. So I put these standard actions, as presenting to senior leaders, investing in preparation of written communication, and contracting feedback to measure the results.

It is a good plan…but it is not enough…I need more situations where I can practice, in different environments, and live unexpected non controlled situations which I could feel and remind myself it makes part of my development plan.

So for influencing skills, outside work, I am trying to use other situations, and if I think it is part of my development plan actually it helps to put myself forward!

Like for example:

I started to buy online in Facebook Marketplace. Looks a very normal thing… but I found the negotiation behind quite challenging! So I set some rules…I always started to ask by 50% down of the price and saying I could go and pick up in the next day taking cash. You can think it doesn’t work but it actually 80% of the time it worked out.

In the other 20% of the cases, I lost some good deals, and I felt bad in the moment, but because I was saying to myself, I was doing a training in influencing skills I was keep doing, and trying to read the triggers of the situation.

Other situation is about to expose my opinions across conversations in the social media. I decided to express my opinion as comment from a friend’s post in Facebook, regarding the Serena’s behavior…it literally had 27 other comments against me! With pictures, with meme’s, cartoons! I think it was great! It really test my influencing skills as crap! It was the best, couldn’t get anybody on my side, not even my husband! I thought it was really fine because the conscience that this was part of my development plan, really change the perspective.

Trying to have fun negotiating…as Prof. Streeter  from eCornell College says if the women prefers going to the dentist than negotiate, do it more often until you feel comfortable and enjoy it.

“Test, Train and Practice yourself! Depends on you!”

It is the same of taking new shoes to the wedding day, to feel comfortable test the shoes, train high heels and practice the dance with them. Or going to a box combat with the most tested, trained and practiced boxing gloves.