Archive | December, 2012

Sell yourself – by being yourself!

18 Dec

In a recent workshop, a struggling artist looking for a ‘day’ job asked:

‘For artistic growth opportunities, I’m challenged to sell myself better.’

The workshop was on conflict.  Specifically conflict-free holidays with a focus on identifying and using the DiSC communication style assessment tool.

I always say if we all understood our communication style, we would be happier and more effective.   Or at least we’d understand our frustrations better!

The DiSC is based on four styles, like most assessment tools (except Myers-Briggs which has 16):   Dominant, influential, Steady, and Conscientious.  Styles are based on focus:  task vs. relationship, and, working within the environment or changing the environment.

This particular artist (‘A’) was Steady style:  relationship-focused and someone who worked within the constraints of the environment.

A little more about Steady style types:

  • They are doers, accomplishing tasks that are assigned and following through with impeccable ability.
  • They are peace-makers in the sense that they will go along with consensus to build and maintain relationships when the issue isn’t vitally important – and the relationship IS.
  • They can be very pleasant and easy-going.
  • They are often quiet – until they get to know you and then they become very chatty.
  • They don’t like change, and if processes or procedures or anything else changes they need lots of time and support.
  • They tend to be good listeners.
  • Because they take their time in processing information (and don’t want to ruffle feathers), they usually dont’ speak up in group settings.  This can be a perception problem in the work place and personal space for that matter.
  • They have a stereotype of being wishy-washy because they will not exert their opinions or wishes if there is danger of damaging the relationship.

‘A’ had great self-awareness of this style, and, the reason he was wondering how to sell himself.

He wondered – no, it seemed more like he wanted – to know how to be a lion (figuratively…) rather than a lamb (Steady-like) .

He says it’s lions who are valued in the workplace!  The other participants agreed.  Sadly.  Since lions can attack and eat lambs – and the other two styles.  But I’ll have to cover more later.

Interestingly, ‘A’s’ dad’s style was that of a lion (Dominant in DiSC)!

Here’s the thing though – and the selling point – of Steady:

They follow-through and get things done and accomplished more than any other style.  Without them, there would be half-finished or never-started projects.

Steady types also get things done because they focus on the community, not on their ego and being right or being the center of attention.  Without them, groups would go round and round while many voiced their opinions and argued for their way.

Steady types are great mediators because they can sit back and adapt to other styles (I’d venture a guess that Jimmy Carter is steady, and acknowledged to be one of the greatest mediators for his ability to blend with other’s styles).

Steady types add calm and consistency and every workplace needs those qualities.

So “A”:

  •  Sell yourself as someone who accomplishes and completes tasks.
  • Sell yourself as a peacemaker and relationship builder.

One more major lesson to ‘A’, and all of us:  The bottom line is, in real space, vs. cyberspace, there’s so much more power in just being ourselves.

So as you go about the holidays and beyond – listen past your filters and look for the strengths in others and how they can add to your life and work!

Happy Communicating and Best Wishes for a Conflict-free Holiday!

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Post-Newton, Ct. – How do we save the world?

17 Dec

A young man opens fire on an elementary school – LITTLE KIDS – killing 20 kids and 6 adults.

We’re not at war, are we?

So why?

I don’t know, and, since the shooter has killed both himself and his mother, we may never know.

It’s unimaginable to think about anyone going into a school and shooting 6 year olds.

Yet it’s happened.

And I know cyberspace is filled with us bloggers writing about yet another attack.  A terrorist attack of a sort.  A hate crime of a sort.

The BBC this morning discussed the lack of care for those with mental illness.

THIS to me was the issue.  After all, it’s not guns who kill, but rather people.  And to commit a crime of this magnitude and with this focus, surely this young man had some sort of mental illness.

We can all speak up and sign petitions.  And we should.  For gun control, and especially for mental health services.

Even more, I think we can all do little things and help those with lesser pain, ‘managed’ illness, I guess you can say.    ‘Illness’ like being affected by shorter days, or less work, or depleted resources – financially or emotionally.

Especially this time of year.  While the airwaves are filled with toe-tapping music even for this dreidel-spinning, menorah-lighting Jew, and yummy delights are passed beneath our noses, this can also be a sad time for many.

Just last night someone told me she can’t wait for the season to be over.  To get back to everyday life.  ‘Regular’ life.  ‘This‘ is all too much.

I love this sign from Bija Yoga not far from Union Square in NYC.  I think it offers compassion and kindness to all of us in the midst of a struggle.
I love this sign from Bija Yoga, 20 E. 17th St., NYC. I think it offers compassion and kindness to all of us in the midst of a struggle.

We may not be able to take care of the big things, but we can take care of these little ones:

We can offer support and kindness to people feeling vulnerable.  Compassion and humorEmpathy and an ear without judgement.

How do you know who’s in pain?

YOU DON’T.

It’s just as easy to treat everyone as if they may need a little extra  cheer.

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.  ”
―    Rachel Naomi Remen

The holiday season is short but our memories are long.  I say let’s reach out and touch someone’s heart this season and do what we can to really bring good tidings and cheer into as many lives as possible.

That to me is creating a miracle!  A much needed miracle!   Bolstering someone’s ‘internal life’ is huge.  And sometimes all it takes is a smile or the patience and time to connect.

My friend Pam sent the link of this powerful, must read article:

now.msn.com/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-says-mom-of-mentally-ill-son

 

We can all do one small thing with huge results!  Remember:

“Whoever saves a single life, it is as if he had saved the whole world.”

— The Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:5

If we can’t banish guns off the face of the planet, we can still save the world!

What kindness will you pass on?