Posts Tagged ‘training’

Why Incentives Help You Achieve Your Goals

Friday, July 6th, 2012

When it comes to making goals, we often forget an important aspect: the reward. You can argue that achieving the goal in and of itself is the reward, and in most cases, I’d agree. However, there are some goals where having an additional incentive may encourage you to stick it out longer, than if you were doing it just for the goal achievement itself.

If the goal is going to take time and focused effort to achieve, then setting incremental benchmarks can be useful. The concept is similar to how you create your 90 Day Plan, and in fact compliments your endeavors. Identify your long-term goal, and then figure out what you can do in smaller, bite-sized chunks. Then choose things from your bucket list (i.e. fun things you desire to do/see, but you never seem to have the time to do) that would match the effort it is going to take for you to reach each of the milestones.

For example, getting a promotion at work that you know you should go for soon, but that you are not that motivated to try right now. True the benefit is a pay raise, but if you are holding yourself back, because you are listening to negative tapes in your head telling you that you are not good at test taking, studying, or paperwork, then an outside incentive linked to something you very much want to do or have may help you achieve this goal. And, achieve it sooner, rather than later.

So, in this promotion example, as you identify if you have the pre-requisites and find out what training you will need to take, link a reward to passing the tests or the actual promotion itself. If you’ve always wanted to go scuba diving, spend a day at a spa, or ride a dirt bike, then promise yourself that you will do it once you’ve achieved your goal.

The key is to plan out how long it will take you to achieve your goal. If it is going to take longer than a week or even 3 months, then it is a good idea to celebrate your small victories along the way as well. So, for example, if it is a big step for you to approach your boss and let her or him know you’re interested in more responsibility, then celebrate on a smaller scale after you’ve sat down with your boss—buy a snorkel, get the helmet, or pick out what treatments you want to get done at the spa. Just remember, if the step that you need to take needs external motivation to get you started, then attach a reward to that step.

Pasting visual pictures of what your goal will look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like once you’ve achieved it—right next to the picture of you on the dirt bike or at the spa can help you on the rough days when you don’t feel like going after your goal. When you’re tired of being just outside of your comfort zone, and are happy to slide back into what you had been doing—look and visualize what you have to gain.

And, by all means, when you’ve hit the milestones, don’t forget to cash in on your reward. Celebrate. If you keep plodding on to the finish line without picking up energy boosts, then it may seem a lot further to go than the actual distance you have left to achieve success.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations

Moving on Up: How to Ask for a Promotion

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
ForbesWoman 10/04/2011

Asking for a promotion ranks high on the list of life’s most anxiety-inducing activities. Putting yourself out there to higher-ups can be intimidating, and competition can be fierce, especially in the current economic climate. And, of course, what if they say no?
But—it’s also one of the most important things you can do for your career. If you want to move forward in your company or field, promotions are part of the game, and they won’t just be handed to you—you have to work (and ask!) for them.
Ready to take that next step? Here’s what to know before the big conversation.

1. Do Your Homework
The most important part of asking for a promotion is preparing ahead of time. When you make the ask, you’ll need to prove (with specifics) that you’re ready for the next step.
First, you’ll want to emphasize to your manager what you’ve brought to the table so far—it’s a good measure of both your contributions and your future potential. Make a list of all of your accomplishments to use as your talking points. Have you taken on a side project that grew into a new revenue stream? Doubled your sales goals in less than six months? Doing a great job in your position isn’t enough to make your case—you’ll need to show that you’ve gone above and beyond.
Next, identify the specific position you want, and why you’re ready to take it on. If you’re asking to become assistant manager, know what that entails and then demonstrate that you’ll be able to fulfill the position. Want to be a team leader? Give examples of how you’ve successfully managed smaller projects or groups of people, like coordinating your department’s internship program. Find concrete examples that prove that you’re the right person for the job.

2. Plan the Timing
There’s no “perfect” time to ask for a promotion, but sometimes are definitely better than others. The most straightforward time to ask is your annual (or semi-annual) review—it’s a built-in opportunity for both you and your manager to discuss how you’ve been doing and where your career is headed. (Just be sure that you’re not asking for a promotion solely because you’re up for review—you still need to demonstrate that you deserve the bump.)
Also consider your position in the company and what’s going on within your department or team. Are people around you leaving or moving up the ranks? Is your department merging with another, or repositioning itself within the company? When there’s a lot of overall change going on, it presents a great opportunity to step up and ask your boss where she sees you fitting in as the organization moves forward.
Finally, don’t be scared off by the dismal economy. Even in these tough times, smart employers understand that their employees are one of their most valuable assets, and they’ll want to retain (and reward) the best of them. You might get a smaller salary bump than people did in years past, but a promotion isn’t just about the money: It’s also about increased responsibilities, and hopefully you’ll be fiscally rewarded when the economy starts to turn around, even if you aren’t now.

3. Ask for the Meeting
If you decide to ask for a promotion when it’s not annual review time, plan ahead before you approach your manager. Send an email requesting a meeting, and make it clear that you’d like to discuss your performance and potential. You don’t want to show up to a meeting and catch your manager off guard—by giving her advance notice, she’ll have time to reflect on your performance and what the company will be able to offer you, position- and raise-wise.

4. Know Your Numbers
One of the biggest career mistakes women make is not negotiating their salary. According to a 2008 Carnegie Mellon study, men are four times more likely to negotiate a first salary than women, and 2.5 times more women than men said they feel “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiation. That’s not a good thing!
You shouldn’t discuss numbers until you’ve actually been offered a promotion, but you should be prepared to have the conversation if it arises. So, do your research and know what you’re worth, both within the company and outside of it. Check out Pay Scale and Salary.com, and see if you can find out the norms for your industry and company, too.
Then, when negotiation talks begin, don’t sell yourself short—it doesn’t hurt to ask for too much. That’s the nature of the negotiating game: they can always offer you less than what you ask for, but they’ll never offer you more.

5. Follow Up
If you get the promotion, great! Go out and celebrate—you deserve it! But if not, know that it’s not the end of the world, and more importantly, don’t just close the conversation just yet.
Make sure you leave the meeting with an idea of what will happen down the road. If now is not a good time for the department to be offering promotions, ask your boss when you can revisit the conversation. If he or she said no based on your current qualifications, get feedback on steps you can take to gain experience and be considered for a promotion in the future.

Above all, know that if you’re in the right position, your manager will be glad that you’re looking to advance. Nobody ever gets fired for asking for a promotion (trust me!). But if you don’t ask, you’re only hurting yourself.

2nd Tip for the workplace

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

We expect our first posting caused you to look at the importance of promoting yourself if you are a women or the importance that taking the time necessary with your female colleagues to build rapport if you are a man. These tips alone can increase both ours and our organizations effectiveness. Did you apply one of these tips since the last email? Remember, thinking about them does not make them effective. Taking action, implementing them does. We must always remember that the whole premise of the Mars and Venus in the workplace is that we are different and equal – not that one is better than the other – different and equal.

Let’s now review a second valuable tip in this “How to Get What You Want at Work – 4 Tips for Dealing with the Opposite Sex at Work” series. Like in our last email, one will be intended for a women and another for a man.

Tip for Women
One of the ways women undermine their own abilities in the work place is by using tag endings. These are the couple of little words that are often added on to the end of a sentence like “isn’t it”, “is that ok”, “maybe”, “I think”. These tiny words serve to make you look unsure and change a sentence or what could be a powerful statement in to a question. For example, “We should close down our manufacturing division because it is consistently losing money” is a powerful statement. “We should close down our manufacturing division because it is consistently losing money, shouldn’t we?” shows that you don’t really know if it is a good idea or not. With this new awareness, avoid these words that will otherwise reflect some degree of uncertainty.

Tip for Men
Men, when there are women involved in an open discussion, try to remember that it is not her natural tendency to speak up over the top of others. If she is not freely contributing, ask for her opinion to draw her in to the conversation. She most likely has something very valuable to say and will appreciate you for giving her the opportunity to speak. Please don’t speak for her, even if you perceive that would be easier. Once she is speaking try no t to interrupt her. Practice your active listening skills. As a little aside, the number one complaint from women all over the world regarding relationships, both personal and business, is that they don’t feel heard.

If you found this information helpful, click the link below to learn more about the complete online video eWorkshop, “Mars and Venus in the Workplace”. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COMPLETE ONLINE VIDEO eWORKSHOP NOW

In this online video eWorkshop “Mars and Venus in the Workplace”, we will teach you how to raise your gender intelligence, become more effective at working with the opposite sex, and develop a personal competitive advantage at work.

“Mars and Venus in the Workplace” is the same life-changing workshop that John Gray and his team of Mars Venus Success coaches have given in-person throughout the world. And now you can benefit from this workshop in the comfort of your own home.

PURCHASE TODAY! IN THE “MARS and VENUS in the WORKPLACE” ONLINE VIDEO eWORKSHOP


The Relationships You Want. Start Here.

Sincerely,

Mars Venus Coaching Team

 

How to Have an Awesome Work Career

Monday, February 13th, 2012

I was reflecting on my work career (past, present, and future) this morning and came to the realization that my job is “awesome.”  OK, that word is overused, but I have young adult and pre-teen daughters, so I think I understand the different meanings it has, but I’m talking about the old definition of “awesome.” In others words, I enjoy almost every part of what I do for a living, and there is research in work psychology that explains why that is the case. So, here are the elements that make up an “awesome work career,” and some tips on how to get more of those elements in your own work life.

Meaning. An awesome job is one that has meaning. There is a purpose to your work, and you have to find that higher purpose. There is a scene in the movie Cedar Rapids, where Ed Helms’ nerdy character makes insurance sales sound like an uplifting career (“we are the heroes on the disaster scene, working to rebuild lives…”). Even mundane jobs, like customer service can be viewed as having meaning (e.g., helping clients, giving customers a great experience). If you can’t find the meaning in your current job after looking hard, it may be time to look hard for a new career.

Accomplishment. Choose a career where you can accomplish things, take pride in those accomplishments, and celebrate them. I take pride when I publish a paper, give a great lecture, or finish a blog post. The pride comes from readers and students who comment favorably on my accomplishments, and I’ve been known to celebrate with a glass of wine.

My friend Carlos makes car-racing accessories. He takes pride in the fact that he can build better quality accessories, and do them quicker, than anyone else at his company. I tell our college students to accomplish something at their summer internships – a project, a report, or helping run a successful event. If their internship doesn’t require it, I suggest they talk to their supervisor about taking on some extra, challenging project, perhaps one that the supervisor hasn’t had time to complete. It makes for a better internship experience to accomplish something that makes a distinct contribution, and the same goes for every job.

Positive Relationships. Nothing can make a career more awesome than working with terrific people, and building strong and rewarding relationships with them. I’m fortunate to have amazing, talented, and (yes) awesome students. I get to meet and network with wonderful clients in my consulting work, and I have some of the best research collaborators anyone could hope for. And, I try to steer clear of the bad relationships – those that can make your job an ordeal, and make you question yourself and your career choice.

Research clearly shows that relationships at work can be the greatest source of pleasure or the most tormenting source of pain and stress. Cultivate positive relationships and work hard to avoid the bad relationships (previous posts offer help in dealing with bullies and bad colleagues and bosses).

Balance. Very few people can have awesome careers if their lives revolve entirely around their jobs. An awesome career is one that allows time for family, friends, and the ability to pursue non-work-related interests. I often talk to people who are unhappy because their jobs consume all of their time and energy. Some of them change to careers that allow greater balance and flexibility, and although there are tradeoffs (e.g., less money, prestige, or a slower ride up the ladder). I rarely hear any regrets from them.

Does good fortune play a part in someone having an awesome career? To some extent. But it is more likely that people have to plan, make tough strategic career decisions, and work hard to make their career awesome.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Published by Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D.

From Tunnel Vision To Your Ultimate Vision [BLOG]

Friday, February 10th, 2012

“We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.”
—Anaïs Nin

I’m a huge advocate for living a life beyond your wildest dreams, but I also know there are some potential pitfalls on the journey.

Having a vision is a powerful tool. It means that you are honoring your goals, aspiring toward them, and taking risks to expand your horizons. Sometimes our visions for ourselves subtly turn into tunnel vision. We can’t see anything that contradicts our intentions and desires. We get selective perception, which limits our ability to remain open and to see things clearly. Instead of being present to our reality while we pursue our heart’s desire, we put the blinders on and barrel ahead toward our hopes and dreams.

There is a shadow side to almost every positive thing we can do for ourselves, including having a vision. It’s important to be aware of this distinction. All spiritual and psychological tools can be used in a “willful” way. For example, sometimes self-care is actually about taking care of ourselves: unplugging from too much work and plugging into more balance and harmony. But sometimes, under the guise of self-care, we are really just checking out: denying what’s happening and how scary it feels to show up for it. So, how do we know the difference? How do we know when we are pursuing our vision in a manner that is actually in alignment with our intentions?

Tension in the Tunnel

Tension usually crops up when we are stuck in the tunnel—it takes a lot of effort to keep the blinders on. For me, the tension often shows up in the form of a headache. For others, there might be similar physical cues, such as stomach- or back-aches, getting sick, or feeling lethargic. Some people find themselves to be more irritable or short-tempered. When we aren’t looking at the big picture of our reality, our emotional bandwidth tends to shrink. This happens because everything becomes limited in the tunnel—not just our vision. I don’t know about you, but when I’m stuck in a tunnel, I can get a little cranky. What are your personal cues that suggest you might be denying aspects of your own reality?

Fear in the Tunnel

There are reasons that we aren’t looking at the big picture, many of which boil down to fear. “What if I leave this relationship and I’m alone forever?” “What if I open this piece of mail and find out that I owe more money than I have in the bank?” “What if I take this day-job and I never get the job of my dreams?” Our response to these fears can be “No thanks, I’ll stay here in the tunnel, where it feels safe.” The blinders go up and we clamp down, even harder.

Denial is not a Tunnel in Egypt

The problem is that denial may feel safe, but it’s an illusion. Whether or not you open that mail or take that job, you still have bills to pay—and we have to take responsibility for ourselves in the present, even as we are building the life we ultimately envision.

The Light at the End of Tunnel

If you are still with me on this tunnel metaphor, here is where it gets good. I grew up in Colorado where there are some amazing tunnels going straight through the mountains. Perhaps you have driven through one yourself, or you can imagine it right now. As you are driving, you move into a cold and dark, fear-filled tin can. The echo is staggering and yet everything seems so quiet. You can’t see two feet in front of yourself without your headlights. Then, suddenly, you find yourself entering into a picture postcard. The sunlight pierces through the windshield and warms your heart as you are greeted with breathtaking, majestic vistas. Let that experience be your teacher and your inspiration. When we move through small, contained ideas of what we think we want—what we think will make us happy and safe—we are brought to extraordinary and expansive beauty. Removing the blinders is like seeing in color for the first time. Tunnel vision is rigid and constraining, while remaining open is fluid and liberating.

Ultimately, moving out of the tunnel is about finding clarity, even if it feels terrifying—at least it is true. And reality begets more reality, and the opportunity to make it the best reality you can. I’ll never tell you to give up on the dream. I believe there is a reason that you have the dream to begin with. I will tell you that the best way to get there is to start from where you are, from the fullness of your situation. To look around and truly see, feel, and experience what is happening in your life. Accept your current circumstances and then take mindful action. If we are in the middle of the tunnel, we don’t get to the beauty on the other side by wishful thinking or burying our head in the sand—we get there by taking one deliberate step at a time.

I’d love to hear how have you have moved through your own tunnels. How did you get stuck, and what enabled you to move through? What did you discover when you surrendered your limited vision? I know that oftentimes people find a “picture postcard” that they never would have if they had held on to that tin can they used to believe was the shiniest and most precious thing they ever could have wished for.


Ingrid Mathieu, Ph.D. (Ingrid Mathieu, PhD is a psychotherapist and author of Recovering Spirituality).

Shiny Happy People At Work [BLOG]

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

It’s been quite some time since I actually worked in an office, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. The room layout, the florescent lights, my cubicle partners, the weekly birthday celebrations complete with sheet cakes and balloons. Although I have been an entrepreneur for over 10 years, I have fond memories of my work experience and I wouldn’t change a moment of it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always rosy; in fact, I was fired from my first real job.

Boy was that a painful experience! Fresh out of college and working for Capitol Records as an assistant in the International Marketing Department, I was going to weekly concerts, meeting recording artists and having the time of my life. That was the fun part. The work part was a little more difficult. My assistant skills were slim at best and I had a female boss who was less than friendly. Everything I did was wrong and she was always correcting me. The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was when I went over my boss’ head to her superior to ask special permission for something that she said no to. Needless to say, it did not end well. I did, however, learn a valuable lesson that has stuck with me to this day and that is to be deferential to your superiors, especially your immediate boss!

Why am I telling you this story? Because even though I got fired in the end, I realized that I truly enjoyed working! I liked dressing for work, I appreciated interacting with my co-workers, I relished in meeting the clients and I appreciated the sense of accomplishment I felt at the end of the day. Sound familiar? For many people, this is not the tune they sing. Theirs is more of a solemn tune of drudgery filled with sayings that start with “Ugh, do I have to go to work today?” or “Is tomorrow really Monday? I think I’ll call in sick.”

Since we spend so many of our waking hours at the office, it behooves us to invest a little more effort into putting on a shiny, happy face for work. It can be your greatest asset! A good attitude is integral to any office environment whether it consists of 2 workers or 200. Turning a negative attitude into a positive one can help you make the most of your workday. Here are a few workplace etiquette tips we hope will help keep things peaceful and positive in your work environment.

Wrap Up Your Troubles

Pack up your troubles in a nice box, wrap them with a bow and set the imaginary package on a shelf in your home. Everyone has a certain amount of stress that they can’t seem to shake. The daily pressures of living in today’s world can bring about a whole host of physical and mental problems that can cause loss of concentration, scattered thoughts and general lack of focus at work. The act of putting our troubles away before we leave the house frees us of that heavy weight and allows for a much more positive atmosphere at work.

Make A Conscious Effort

The word “work” may conjure up images that are less than desirable, but they don’t have to be debilitating. If we take on the mindset of putting 100% effort into our performance at work, the day will automatically go more smoothly. Get in the habit of displaying impeccable work habits, arriving on time, working to your full potential and staying focused and you will be surprised at the great things you can achieve.

Give Co-workers Their Space

There’s been a great deal of talk about cubicle etiquette and allowing our colleagues their space even if they are not surrounded by four walls. This is an important point that many do not take into consideration and can raise the tension level at work. So be considerate of your co-worker and (a) don’t enter another person’s cubicle unless you are invited, (b) refrain from interrupting a person who is on the phone, (c) be mindful of conducting loud conversations, and (d) avoid applying strong perfumes and eating pungent foods. Bear in mind that your cubicle is a direct reflection of you. Keep it neat and orderly and be respectful of others.

Be A Team Player

As the saying goes, there is no “I” in team. When you arrive at work, it is much easier to be cooperative, kind and patient towards others than it is to remain solitary. Support your colleagues by asking their input and valuing their remarks. Be a problem solver by offering to assist wherever help is needed. Refrain from gossip or slander and keep private matters confidential. Act as a source of encouragement to everyone and pay deference to your superiors. These characteristics will not only classify you as a dependable worker, but they may also result in greater opportunities for advancement.

Guarantee Job Security

A bad attitude can lead to permanent repercussions. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, one cannot afford to be branded as difficult or sensitive. If there is a particular struggle at work, nip it in the bud by giving others the benefit of the doubt or letting things roll off your shoulders once in a while. Taking steps to improve your disposition will lead to a much more positive outcome and make you a valuable asset rather than a disposable liability.

Now, we know it is virtually impossible to be the happy, peppy face of positivity all the time. At one point or other, you are bound to hit a wall at work. When this happens, acknowledge it, take a few deep breaths and remember you have the power within you to turn it around. If all else fails, put on a smile and fake it till you make it. Eventually, you will lighten up and all will be well again.

Lisa Gache / Beverly Hills Manners CEO, Lisa Gaché, is one of the foremost etiquette, manners and life skills experts. Her educational and entertainment company, founded in 2006, is recognized for its new school approach. Lisa has appeared in the media and contributed to various outlets, including CNN, NPR, “The Today Show,” KTLA-TV, Radio Disney, Woman’s Day, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post and The New York Daily News. Her contributions to blogs and websites range from the Los Angeles Times, AOL, The Huffington Post and Weddzilla. Gaché has also been a guest expert on number of reality shows including VH1’s “Charm School” and Discovery Channel’s “Living with Ed.”

How To Follow Your Passion When You’re Just Trying To Pay The Bills [BLOG]

Monday, February 6th, 2012

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During tough economic times, many people think they need to sacrifice passion and focus solely on earning money. From a spiritual perspective, this is the exact opposite approach to generating real abundance. Yes, paying your bills takes practical action. But it also requires an internal belief system powered by inspiration and passion. Without an emphasis on passion, it’s likely that no matter how many actions you take, you’ll still wind up feeling stuck.

Neglecting passion blocks creative flow. When you’re passionate, you’re energized. Likewise, when you lack passion, your energy is low and unproductive. Energy is everything when it comes to earning. Quantum physics teaches us that our bodies are made up of subatomic particles that are energy. Your thoughts, attention, and focus affect your energy and therefore everything around you—including your bank account. So when you’re thinking only about the mundane to-do lists and practical action steps, you’re lowering your energy and in effect lowering your earning power.

Your life becomes what you think about most. When you focus on following your passion and letting inspiration flow, your energy is raised and your earning capacity is strong. But when you’re uninspired and bogged down by low-level thoughts, your attracting power is weakened.

Now that you have a better understanding of the earning value of passionate, positive energy, it’s time to take it more seriously. Read on for three simple, effective ways you can bring more passion into your life—even if you’re crazy-busy.

Who said your job had to be your only source of passion?

Our culture places such a huge emphasis on our careers, that we lose track of our passion projects. But who said your job had to be your only source of passion? A dear friend of mine is a powerful example of balancing passion and career. He works in corporate America, but moonlights as a guitar player. Though he spends his weekdays at a desk, he spends his weekends indulging his passion projects such as gigging with his band, writing, drawing, and learning about art. Though he dedicates a lot of his time to his career, there is no lack of passion in his life.

The passion of being of service

When we’re of service to the world, we feel inspired and passionate about the work that we do. Perhaps the work you’re doing is service-related—getting clear about the ways in which it serves the world may make you more passionate about it. If that’s not the case with your job, maybe you volunteer for a local charity once a month, or find a way to participate in your community, or promote bigger causes. Awaken a service mentality. When you serve the world, you serve your soul.

Shift your perception about the way you make money

If you’re hung up about the fact that your primary source of revenue doesn’t come from your true passion, shift your perspective. Be grateful for the work that you have and focus on the good stuff. Find even the smallest part of your work that ignites your passion. Maybe you love interacting with clients, or the neighborhood where you work. Maybe you’re learning something new by being on that job. Focus on what you do have and you’ll create more of what you want.

Take these action steps seriously. We all have work to do to support our economy, and if we’re void of passion we won’t have the energy and inspiration to serve. The more passion we ignite in our lives, the higher our earning capacity will be and the more we’ll impact financial growth in our country. When we all raise our thoughts we’ll raise our bank accounts—and greatly serve the world.


Gabrielle Bernstein |

Featured in the New York Times Sunday Styles section as “a new role model,” motivational speaker, life coach, and author Gabrielle Bernstein is making her mark. Expanding the lexicon for the next generation of spiritual seekers, Gabrielle is the #1 bestselling author of the book, Add More ~ing to Your Life, A hip Guide to Happiness. In September 2011 Gabrielle launched her second book, Spirit Junkie, A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles. In 2008 she launched her social networking site HerFuture.com for young women to find mentors.

Does Gender Bias Against Female Leaders Persist?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

[Quantitative and qualitative data from a large-scale survey]

The present study of 60,470 women and men examined evaluations of participants’ current managers as well as their preferences for male and female managers, in general. A cross-sex bias emerged in the ratings of one’s current boss, where men judged their female bosses more favorably and women judged male bosses more favorably. The quality of relationships between subordinates and managers were the same for competent male and female managers. A small majority (54%) of participants claimed to have no preference for the gender of their boss, but the remaining participants reported preferring male over female bosses by more than a 2:1 ratio. Qualitative analysis of the participants’ justifications for this preference are presented, and results are discussed within the framework of role congruity theory.

To read the survey in its entirety: http://m.hum.sagepub.com/content/64/12/1555.abstract?sid=ab886a07-1048-41d5-a51f-4564a3a0db0b

Then click PDF (2nd button in upper left corner).

Article Notes

  • Kim M Elsesser is a research scholar at the Center for the Study of Women at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to her PhD in Psychology from UCLA, Elsesser holds graduate degrees in management and operations research from MIT. In her business career, she was a principal at Morgan Stanley where she co-managed a quantitative hedge fund. More recently she has consulted on large-scale national studies relating to gender and work, and her research interests include gender and leadership, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, cross-sex friendships and social support in the workplace. Her most recent work appears in Human Relations.

  • Janet Lever is Professor of Sociology at California State University, Los Angeles. For the past 40 years her research has focused on wide-ranging issues related to gender studies and human sexuality. Since the early 1980s Lever has collaborated with mass media both to popularize academic scholarship and to harness its power to create data for later scientific analysis. After leading teams of researchers that designed the three largest magazine sex surveys ever tabulated, she came to ELLE to lead a series of surveys hosted on both the health and the business sections of msnbc.com. Her Office Sex and Romance Survey (2002) and the Work and Power Survey reported on here are among the largest surveys on these workplace topics. As with the magazine surveys, each of these internet surveys has been reanalyzed for social science, management, health, and medical audiences.

Vision, Strategy, and Tactics

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
  • Vision: What you want the organization to be; your dream.
  • Strategy: What you are going to do to achieve your vision.
  • Tactics: How you will achieve your strategy and when.

Your vision is your dream of what you want the organization to be. Your strategy is the large-scale plan you will follow to make the dream happen. Your tactics are the specific actions you will take to follow the plan. Start with the vision and work down to the tactics as you plan for your organization.

Concepts Are The Same

Whether you are planning for the entire company or just for your department the concepts are the same. Only the scale is different. You start with the vision statement (sometimes called a mission statement). When you know what the vision is you can develop a strategy to get you to the vision. When you have decided on a strategy, you can develop tactics to meet the strategy.

Vision

A vision is an over-riding idea of what the organization should be. Often it reflects the dream of the founder or leader. Your company’s vision could be, for example, to be “the largest retailer of automobiles in the US”, “the maker of the finest chocolate candies in London”, or “the management consultant of choice for non-profit organizations in the Southwest.” A vision must be sufficiently clear and concise that everyone in the organization understands it and can buy into it with passion.

Strategy

Your strategy is one or more plans that you will use to achieve your vision. To be “the largest retailer of automobiles in the US” you might have to decide whether it is better strategy for you to buy other retailers, try to grow a single retailer, or a combination of both. A strategy looks inward at the organization, but it also looks outward at the competition and at the environment and business climate.

To be “the management consultant of choice for non-profit organizations in the Southwest” your strategy would need to evaluate what other companies offer management consulting services in the Southwest, which of those target non-profits, and which companies could in the future begin to offer competing services. Your strategy also must determine how you will become “the consultant of choice”. What will you do so that your targeted customers choose you over everyone else? Are you going to offer the lowest fees? Will you offer a guarantee? Will you hire the very best people and build a reputation for delivering the most innovative solutions?

If you decide to compete on lowest billing rates, what will you do if a competing consulting firm drops their rates below yours? If you decide to hire the best people, how will you attract them? Will you pay the highest salaries in a four-state area, give each employee an ownership position in the company, or pay annual retention bonuses? Your strategy must consider all these issues and find a solution that works AND that is true to your vision.

Tactics

Your tactics are the specific actions, sequences of actions, and schedules you will use to fulfill your strategy. If you have more than one strategy you will have different tactics for each. A strategy to be the most well-known management consultant, as part of your vision to be “the management consultant of choice for non-profit organizations in the Southwest” might involve tactics like advertising in the Southwest Non-Profits Quarterly Newsletter for three successive issues, advertising in the three largest-circulation newspapers in the Southwest for the next six months, and buying TV time monthly on every major-market TV station in the southwest to promote your services. Or it might involve sending a letter of introduction and a brochure to the Executive Director of every non-profit organization in the Southwest with an annual budget of over $500,000.

Firm or Flexible?

Things change. You need to change with them, or ahead of them. However, with respect to vision, strategy and tactics, you need some flexibility and some firmness. Hold to your dream, your vision. Don’t let that be buffeted by the winds of change. Your vision should be the anchor that holds all the rest together. Strategy is a long-term plan, so it may need to change in response to internal or external changes, but strategy changes should only happen with considerable thought. Changes to strategy also should not happen until you have a new one to replace the old one. Tactics are the most flexible. If some tactic isn’t working, adjust it and try again.

Manage This Issue

Whether for one department or the entire company, for a multi-national corporation or a one-person company, vision, strategy, and tactics are essential. Develop the vision first and hold to it. Develop a strategy to achieve your vision and change it as you have to to meet internal or external changes. Develop flexible tactics that can move you toward fulfilling your strategy.

By F. John Reh, About.com Guide

Making Daily Progress Towards Your Big Goals

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Often we make New Year’s Resolutions, because we are dissatisfied with something in our lives. When we make our resolutions, we want things to change as soon as possible. What we often forget is that long-term lifestyle changes take time, patience, and effort.

I believe you have to know what your long-term goals are so you can make small goals (i.e., daily tasks) have direction and purpose. I only work with people who are 100% committed to change. But what does that mean? When you commit to changing something about yourself, then you have to ask yourself and know the answers to these two questions.

(1)    How much is it worth to me to achieve this goal? What am I willing to pay? What will I sacrifice now, so I can achieve this goal sooner, rather than later?

(2)    How will I know when I’m successful? What will make me satisfied, but encouraged to keep working harder?

I believe you have to remind yourself daily of your answers to the two questions above, otherwise you may find yourself quickly coming up with lots of things to do on your to-do list that are not aligned with the daily action you must take to achieve the goals that are most important to you, your happiness, and success.

Psychologists Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer latest program of research called The Progress Principle encourages people to focus on small immediate changes at work where they can see the progress they’ve made to increase their motivation, job satisfaction, and productivity. This is counter to what many people do when making resolutions and goals for themselves (whether it is at work or in their personal lives) that take a long time to achieve. Ronald Riggio, Ph.D., explains how these two psychologists stumbled upon what computer game programmers have known for years: that people become strongly motivated (sometimes even addicted)  to accomplish small tasks (i.e. get to the next level); he further explains how to use this knowledge to get ahead at work.

If you’ve been reading the latest articles on major news websites like Kathy Kristof’s on 7 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions the last few weeks, you may have noticed two trends often mentioned: choose small bite-sized goals and celebrate every time you surpass or meet these small goals. For example, if you’d like to lose 30 pounds, then focus on losing 1 pound per week for 30 weeks. Each week you lose 1 pound, then celebrate with a reward such as a manicure or a bubble bath. If you’d like to run a marathon and you don’t run, then focus first on running 5 miles the first week, and increase your mileage by 10% each week, celebrating your breakthroughs each week. I completely agree; however, know why you’ve committed to challenging yourself to do, or think, or feel differently each day.

Be Aware of the Big Picture

What this means is that even though we are focusing on small daily tasks, before we commit to what we’re going to do each day; we also need to be cognizant of what our BIG, long-term goals are so that somewhere in the busy-work of our days we’re doing the small tasks that will get us closer to our long-term goals. Knowing what the big picture is for why we work on daily and weekly goals will help us stay focused on the direction our lives are moving towards while providing daily structure.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations