Here Are 3 Life Skills You Gain As A #Carer

Words Related To Work

Skills Matter – Wherever They Come From (Image From Alvimann From Morguefile.com)

Dementia Awareness Week just ended* and it has put the spotlight on the role played by thousands of part and full time carers out there.

In particular I’ve talked to several people involved with caring for Dementia patients. Those conversations reminded me of the many valuable skills you get from caring for others. Skills which offer a lot to employers seeking fresh talent..

Professional Skills Gained Through Volunteering

Ever focused exclusively on the goal of helping others and lost track of your own priorities? Not to worry, there is an answer to the question:

OK I have done a lot of caring – how do I run those talents into worthwhile job skills?

The skills you use to look after others look good on a resume or CV, especially if you can relate them to the types of employment that interest you.

The trick is to explain the situation in which the skill was used, what task you were responsible for and the action you carried out. What results did you achieve illustrating the skills you want to highlight?

There is a long list of skills from which you can choose, including the following:

Action Planning

You need to be aware** of what you want to achieve before you can become a good planner. Once you are focused on your main task you will be ready to help to bring about the right results, at the right time.

However you go about your planning (maybe you use a wall chart, a smart phone app, or a diary) you still know what results you expect to create at each stage.

You also know which legal, medical or financial rules you have to follow at each stage to get what you want.

What does a successful final outcome look like?

Managing Collaborations

It is exhausting to try to achieve results on your own.

How do you communicate with others so you build new relationships and bring allies into your world?

What do you offer to bring their skills on board?

Problem Solving

Even the best plans can get derailed by unforeseen problems.

Obviously you will have tried to manage the basic risks involved in your project. What does your Plan B look like, should things go wrong?

How will Plan B bring the overall project back into line?

How do you record what you have achieved to ensure you learn how to get better results next time?

Your Next Steps

Thanks for reading about 3 of the key skills which caring can add to your CV. I would love to hear from you. What skills have you gained through volunteering? How have you used those skills in your professional life?

Use the Comment section to share your story, or Tweet me @RogerD_Said. If this post was useful please share it with a friend who would benefit from reading it.

Finally…

*Here is a useful link about Dementia – https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

** Here is a 30 minute video I recorded recently, worth a look if you would like to learn more about self- awareness. http://bit.ly/Self-Awareness-Superstar-Part-1-Of-3

#GEW – What’s Your Secret To Confident Public Speaking?

Speakers At The 2014 Work & Family Show

What Is Your Secret To Public Speaking?

Are you getting connected with the no-cost and low-cost events in the UK during Global Entrepreneurship Week ?

Hopefully your goal is to sample some of the Networking Sessions; Webinars and Presentations scheduled from now until 23 November. You will definitely be able to hear some inspiring ideas from some talented speakers in the next few days.

Any one of those learning opportunities might be the right one to give you clarity. They will help you see past the fog of options that you might pursue and focus on your next development goal.

What’s The Secret To Confident Public Speaking?

Have you ever wondered how some speakers seem to effortlessly get their points across?

Whether you are in the UK, US, the EU, or further afield I think the speakers you listen to will have 3 points in mind as they clear their throats and start speaking. They will be mindful of the need to:

  • Focus on meeting the information needs of you, the audience member
  • Present their message in a simple and straight forward way
  • Give you a summary and a call to action before they finish speaking

How Do These 3 Strategies Help Speakers Get Their Message Across?

  • Addressing the audience on their terms means the content is relevant and accessible, rather than too academic
  • Simplicity means you are more likely to remember the key message or stat the speaker referenced
  • Summarising the content underlines its importance and signals that there is more information on the key topic than the presentation could contain

These 3 strategies also naturally lead you and the rest of the audience to read an article online, subscribe to a Newsletter, or book onto a follow-up session if that is the final point the speaker mentions.

How Will You Share The Information You Gain During #GEW ?

Feel free to comment below – or on Twitter @RogerD_Said – on the learning you have undertaken and how you will apply inside or outside work. I’ll be sharing my GEW takeaways here and across social media during the week. Why not join the conversation?

 

Goals 2014: 5 Ways To Make The Most Of Your #MidYearReview

What Makes Your Mid-Year Review A Positive Experience?

What Makes Your Mid-Year Review A Positive Experience?

If your staff report year began in April your mid ear review is due about now. You and your Supervisor / Team Leader / Manager will be preparing for a conversation which will cover: your performance against your goals; the competencies you are using and those you can develop; plus support you can tap into from coaches, mentors or formal training providers.

If you are a UK civil servant this process might raise wider issues, some of which are discussed in a feature on morale this week in the Guardian newspaper   The article is worth a read if you have an interest in staff engagement, or the delivery of public services.

5 Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your Mid-Year Review

Whether you are working in the private, or public sector your review is your chance to share the evidence of your good work so far this year with your Supervisor.

If you are a Supervisor chairing the session it is your chance to have an empathic conversation, which uses evidence to highlight the good work your junior colleague has produced. You can propose any development areas that need attention and leave the session on a positive note overall.

The Review is also the spring board to the second part of the year. You can create momentum from this session. Enough momentum to carry you toward whatever achievements you want under your belt by next Spring.

Here are your 5 pointers to make the most of your mid-year review

  • Bring your evidence (customer feedback; stats showing what you have accomplished; learning log highlights).
  • Listen intently to what is being said, so you can note down positive and interesting feedback.
  • Check you understand any adverse feedback and ask for evidence where necessary.
  • Clarify next steps and timings at, or shortly after, the review (especially if you have to follow a timetable to record your difference of opinion over something which has been said).
  • Create a development goal, in line with your values, which you can work on this month. Make sure it also moves you forward towards a personal goal. This will give you an immediate lift, should you need one and give you confidence you can use at work too.

What are your favourite strategies to make sure you conduct effective reviews with your staff? What factors tell you that your Supervisor has made your review a positive experience? Share your thoughts in the Comment section below, or send me a tweet @RogerD_Said

Feel Free To Share This Post

If you found this post useful please share it with your friends and suggest what other subjects you would like to see featured here.

Goals 2014: 3 Steps Towards Successful #Presentations

A Definition of Success Courtesy of Julian Hall

A Definition of Success Courtesy of Julian Hall

A month ago I offered you my opinion on the benefits of volunteering.  If you found that post useful you might be interested in the 3 steps below.

I followed these steps before giving a well-received presentation in late July.  They will help you should your goal involve giving successful presentations, or learning to do so.  Success might seem a long way away, but small manageable steps can get you there.

One: Know your audience

You will offer your audience maximum value if you spend time preparing to meet (or even exceed) their expectations.  Your confidence level will also rise, once you know how to plan your engagement with the audience members.

At the very least find out if they are:

  • curious about your topic, and only want a simple overview
  • knowledge-hungry and expect an expert analysis to stir them into action
  • a mix of supporters and doubters, who may respond differently to the message you are communicating

Two: Practice your presentation

There’s more work to do once you have created your presentation plan and your notes, plus supporting visual material.

Take time to look at presenters you admire or have heard good things about (at work, on television, via Youtube) to see which elements of their work you can build into your own presentation.

Practice your presentation in front of a mirror.  Then practice in front of a colleague, or friend, whose opinion you trust.  Use the feedback you receive to fine tune your work.

Three: Have confidence you can excel

Once you are confident you have your structure in place you have the potential to excel.  Should the unexpected happen you will be fine (even if you are promoted to the opening slot when another speaker cancels!).

The key points for you to remember are:

  • Outline what you are going to say – then say it with passion – then summarise what you said
  • Use memorable stories to connect authentically with your audience
  • Speak at your usual pace – remember to smile

What is your presentation success strategy?

Feel free to have a conversation about this topic with your colleagues and share your success strategy with others.  I’m interested to know what you think, so post a reply here, or find me on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can learn more by clicking View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: 3 Questions To Help You Advertise A Vacancy Or Select Your Next Job

Is searching for a new job on your Spring To Do list?  Perhaps you are a recruiter whose goal is to fill your post with the ideal recruit.  Neither goal is easy, is it?

Cufflinks For Work

What Are The Essentials For Your Job?

As an applicant you have your check list of what you want (which might include a role that is a good match to your skills; the right salary; a workplace culture you like; a happy work -life balance).

Meanwhile the advertisers are picturing their ideal candidate, someone with the Essential Qualities for the vacancy. They might have in mind someone: aggressive about getting results; assertive without being cocky; independent yet a team player, where necessary.

Here’s the thing. The language used in adverts themselves may be off putting to some potential applicants.  Why?  Time magazine’s online edition shared some German research this week, suggesting that women do not apply for male sounding jobs.

Some terms, like ‘aggressive… assertive… independent’ could be sending unattractive signals out about the vacancy.  They could also be saying something unintended about the organisational culture too.  As the global economy starts to recover from the shock of 2008 there is strong competition to secure the right talent.  Getting it right promotes business growth.  Letting applicants know you are a good organisation to work for is a quick win.

Unappealing language is easily fixed, if advertisers take a few minutes to think about the most appealing / inclusive wording they could use, before signing off their recruitment text and posting their vacancies.  That simple adjustment might broaden their reach and result in a better hiring decision at the end of the recruitment process.

As you are thinking about the psychology of changing your job here are 3 questions for you to respond to.  They are ideal whether you are seeking a job, or advertising one:

  • What language in the advertisement attracts your interest / best represents your vacancy?
  • How many of the Essentials Qualities do you have to offer / do you really want candidates to have?
  • How will this job help you achieve your personal goals once you get it / how will filling this vacancy help your organisation’s goals?

Good luck taking action which moves closer to your recruitment goal.  Feel free to nose around the Archives here and look at ideas I refer to relating to your work and life goals on Facebook and Google+ too

Is Improving Your Work Your 2014 Goal? Here Are Your 3 Key Actions To Take In The Next Week

Was your week a mix of Highs and Lows?  Was one low your boss telling you that your
performance ‘must improve’?  If the answer is ‘Yes’ here are 3 actions to help you move forward in the next week, towards your performance improvement goal:

  • Review the evidence of your previously Successful, or Excellent, reports.  This helps you top up your self-esteem.  Positive customer feedback has always reflected the quality of your work.  Cultivate it from this point
    Your Improvement Strategy Will Move You Forward

    Your Improvement Strategy Will Move You Forward

    onwards.  Also plan how you will add to your key strengths, respect your values and earn more feedback.  Remember your boss’s view is probably changeable.  If not your psychological contract with your team may have ended.  Other bosses are out there.

  • Record the specifics of your next steps strategy, so you identify an immediate, positive, action you will take to start moving forward.  Call this Phase One of your plan.  Make it something constructive, that you know you can do well.  If that is not possible within your present role find another role that allows you to reassert your ability to do good work.  Outline what you want to accomplish in Phase Two of your plan, at the same time.
  • Recruit a skilled ally, ideally an experienced coach who: understands the significance of your work goals; recognises the importance of your values; will remain supportive as your performance rises and you start to fill in the detail of your Phase Two outline.

You are now good to go for Phase One of your plan.  Take these 3 constructive steps and your week ahead will be focused on improvement and positivity.

Good luck and feel free to get in touch with me to talk about your coaching needs, beyond the #MustImprove stage:  use the Contact tab above or visit me on Facebook  and Google+ too.

Goals 2014: 2 Action Points To Add Value To Your Professional Social Media Strategy

How LinkedIn Are You?

How LinkedIn Are You?

How often do you update your LinkedIn profile, compared to your professional Blog, Facebook, or Twitter content?  Go on, be honest.  Here’s another question: What goals are you addressing by using social media for professional purposes?

Don’t worry, you are not alone if you said you: refreshed your LinkedIn presence much less frequently than your other profiles; have no specific outcome related to your social media posts.  With the sea of media out there to dip into focusing on creating content can be difficult.

Recent coverage of professionals use of social media

This week two writers, Paul Boag* and Ross McGuiness** have separately pointed out that LinkedIn can be a real asset to advancing your work life goals, if you use the platform strategically.

Writing as part of the In Focus section within the Metro  Ross’s article highlights the value of building up an organic network of connections, via LinkedIn.  Connecting with people outside your immediate circle, can mean you get to offer your talents to an ever widening pool of curious people, who are already interested in your skill set.  Those connections can be in another city, country or continent.  You get attention in Denver, Delhi or Darlington if you want it.

The blog post Paul wrote reminded me of the advantages in keeping profile content fresh.  Your connections and other visitors like to dip into fresh material.  Your well-presented comments about your latest project, or newly acquired skills are valuable.  So are your contributions to discussion threads.

What actions can you take to sharpen your social media use?

I think there are two actions for you to add to your schedule this year (or focus on if they haven’t had too much of your attention before now).  These actions will help you if your goal involves consolidating your professional reputation on LinkedIn, or other social media platforms in 2014.

  • Update your content on a regular basis, to reflect your recent achievements, your newly acquired skills, or freshly gained qualifications.
  • Connect where possible to others with shared professional interests.  If that is not an option contribute regularly to online discussions about current key topics affecting your work area.  Perhaps you could even start a new conversation, based on your knowledge of upcoming trends?

Good luck with sharpening up your goal and turning your LinkedIn presence to your professional advantage.

Do check out the Archive section for more thoughts on work and life issues and feel free to look at the further ideas relating to your work and life goals on Facebook and Google+ too

 

*Paul is @boagworld on Twitter

** Ross tweets as @McGuinessRoss