Look for people who empower you!

Taking risks is a stressful experience.

Taking risks means learning.

Taking risks can lead to failure.

Taking risks fosters innovation.

When we embrace a new challenge, we do not have full control.  We have the fear of failure and being considered a failure. What can we do about it? We need to look for people who give us feedback, support us and empower us.  Building a network of people who empower us is key. Empower us to risk. Empower us to try.

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You will not change overnight!

Changing is not easy.  Suprise? Surely not.

You need to decide to change and you need to be ready for it.  You can decide to change but also other people can “decide” for you. An example at work? You are asked to learn something new or you need to perform a new task.

You need to invest energies if you want to maintain your new behaviour over time. If adopting a new behaviour is just a response to an external event, you are reacting more than changing. In other words, if the results of a change were immediate and visible, you would just modify something or react

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Dedication and hard work lead to the creation of new actions and habits. You must keep working and remaining patient even if you fail during this changing process. Only if you’d continue to invest time and energies, you will change.

Are you better than your manager?

You work with colleagues who have different soft and technical skills than yours. Is it not the case? Think about the person who sits close to you. He or she could be better than you in running presentations, analysing data or in collaborating with other teams. The differences between professionals are the beauty and the secret of successful organisations. Many studies have proven that diverse teams work and perform much better than teams that are not diverse.

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Do you work in a diverse team? No? Well, you should think whether your team it is the right one for you. You are also different from your manager. The backgrounds, the experiences, the skills and the competencies are (and should) not be the same.

What should you do if you do something better than your manager?

Simple. Keep working at your best even if you are showing better skills/experiences than your manager. Do not be afraid of being better. Your manager should sponsor, support and present you as a subject matter expert within the organisation. This is what happens in healthy and positive organisational cultures.

Is it not your case? It’s time to change team then.

Stop looking at the years of experience!

There are many recruiters and hiring managers who still evaluate candidates for their number of years of experience. What do I think? It is time to stop this practice.  The real focus needs to be on the quality of the years of experience, not the quantity.

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One year of experience in a company is different from one year into another one. There are companies that give visibility and autonomy to their employees; other organisations do not. There are companies which constantly innovate and other companies do not. We need to evaluate the quality of the years of experience considering the better fit for our organisation. The amount of years of experience is a wrong perspective on talent, potential and core capabilities.

HR transformation and innovation: having great technology is not enough. Why?

You can hear about digital transformation and innovation everywhere. Transformation and innovation:  from the virtual reality to the blockchain technology, through the automation of processes. The digital transformation is a philosophical and technical movement that influences businesses, departments and teams…  including HR. The technological innovation, the new methods of collaboration and ways of doing are at the centre of this change.

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We need to talk about the change. Choosing an innovative technology does not equal starting an innovation/transformation change.  To understand what you need to change or work on, you need to understand your values. The values are not the ones that were present at the creation of your organisation or your team. If you do not understand what are the current values and the current way of doing things, the change will never happen. Relying on rewriting values and creating power point presentations on the corporate mission does not mean working on change.

Are you one of those people? Find your way

There are articles, blogs (like mine), presentations, and speakers that illustrate best practices or suggestions about certain topics. They talk about work, motivation, training etc. Really any kind of topic.

When we read these suggestions, we tend to copy exactly the “recipe” and adopt it as such. If we behave in this way, we make a mistake. Why are we mistaken? We read articles that come from personal experiences or events that happen in a specific context; they are therefore subjective. For this reason, you have to be able to step back, understand the proposed solution and try to adapt it to your context. Of course, you can also adopt the solution as it is; however, you should look at the results as an experiment and not give a final opinion on it. This is true for business or personal decisions; even about your career development.  We need to treat the proposed solution as an experiment and then adopting or modifying it to make it ours.

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I’m not saying that we should stop reading… otherwise this blog would not exist either. You have to take inspiration and look for your solution. Find your way.

Defining your career path? You need to work on it

I often write about the importance of collaboration. It has been said that companies should invest and have invested in technology, projects and programs (for example team building or mentorship) to improve collaboration between and within teams. Technology has changed the way we collaborate and exchange information. Conference calls and emails have completely revolutionised our way of working.

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There is an aspect of your work that remains isolated and you should keep it isolated and personal.

What is it? Your career management. Receiving advice from colleagues or your manager is clearly important; however, your career path definition needs to be a personal investment and you cannot rely on collaboration. Managing your career path does not mean undermining colleagues or diminishing other people successes. Managing your career means creating your own path with your efforts. Take risks, join new teams, have different experiences and think about these experiences.

Interview questions? Don’t talk (too much) about your team

Being prepared for an interview is not always easy. You think about the possible questions, you make a research about the company, you review your resume and you decide how much time dedicate to these activities; I know, looking for a new role is a job.

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In order to be well prepared, you have to think about how/what you are going to answer. For example, you need to decide the level of detail that you are going to provide. When the recruiter will ask you a question you need to decide which details you are going to present… and you need to do it in a few seconds. You need to be ready to present cases or activities that you’ve completed/achieved or that are part of your daily job.

In most cases, our achievements and activities imply teamwork and shared responsibilities. However, even if it is important to show that you are a good team player, you have to present what degree of command you have for your activities. Showing accountability does not mean that you are not a team player. Mentioning only the activities that you are doing with the team is not enough to present your role.

Dear recruiter…

Dear Recruiter,

I hope that you’re ready to start the new week.

There will be new candidates to be interviewed, feedback to be delivered and you will surely have to organise (or reorganise) one or more recruiting processes.

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You have to remember that your relationship with the hiring manager is very important. You have to work on it, you have to listen and you have to understand the recruitment needs; however, do not forget to have opinions. Being available and responsive with a manager does not mean always that you need to agree with her/him. If you do so, well, apart from creating problems in the recruiting process itself, you will always be considered as a support and never as a partner. A recruiting process is only successful if there is a true collaboration between the recruiter and the hiring manager. Remember that having opinions is a good thing; a recruiter without personality or opinions will be always an average recruiter.

Finally, what is the worst thing to tell to your hiring manager? This role is difficult.

What would the answer to the question if I was the manager? Well, what are you doing here then?

Presenting well? It is not so easy

We often think that a great presenter is the one who always uses a specialised and technical language. On the contrary, when we use simple words we think that we are showing a lack of knowledge.

In order to impress the audience, we tend to overcomplicate our way of presenting. I did it too, of course. We want to impress the audience and we want to be perceived as subject matter experts. Are we sure that it is the right approach?

When we feel that we are losing the attention of the audience, we change our strategy. Completely. How? We try to simplify our messages using examples and speaking slowly. We need to keep in mind that when we explain a process, we present slides or when we are just telling a story we are appreciated only if understood.

 

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When I interview candidates, it often happens that they try to impress. However, the result is not always great.  Being specific and giving details is clearly good. Extremely good.  Unfortunately, when we are under emotional and time pressure, we risk losing our focus.  In these cases, the answers result too complicated and full of not relevant details. Answering in a simple way is often much more effective.

It is often said: less is more.