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Hello and welcome to my site! My purpose is to help you develop your leadership, coaching, and mentoring skills, and provide you with professional development information and opportunities.

Leadership, Coaching, and Mentoring

Top 10 Character Traits Employers Look for in Employees

Friday, October 17

Need a Job?
A review of several surveys conducted by business industry leaders including Inc, Forbes, and others disclosed some common characteristics employers actively look for in hiring and retaining employees. 

During the Q&A segment of the job interview, it is important to be able to demonstrate at least some of these traits in the answer responses.

If consistency is any indication of success, then allowing some of these character traits to show through your application and interview process will significantly enhance your chances for success.

Employers are consistently searching for the following traits:

1. Action-oriented – Stagnant employees won’t make a company money; action-oriented employees will.

2. Autonomous – Self-sufficiency is expected; employee who can get the job done without extensive hand-holding are highly prized. 

3. Communication – Employees who are able to communicate clearly and effectively are essential to the exchange of important information, ideas and challenges. Employers love to hire employees who have the ability to communicate well and express themselves in a clear manner, whether in writing or speaking. Inaccurate/inappropriate communication between employees can cause many problems to the company.

4. Confident – Confidence produces results and encourages employees to take on challenges that others shy away from.  Superior product or service and this belief spawns a culture of improvement and client confidence.

5. Demonstrated Leadership – Leadership begins with self-confidence, is molded by positive reinforcement and repetitive success. Nested in this attribute are critical thinking and conflict resolution skills.
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6. Hard working – Nothing great is accomplished easily, or via hiring 9 – 5 employees.  Rather, the foundation of an effective organization lies in its ability to recruit results oriented, hardworking employees who execute.

7. Honest – An employee can have all the talent in the world, but without ethics, integrity and authenticity, nothing great will be accomplished.  If nothing else, you want honest, forthright employees at your organization, otherwise your company will turn off clients and, ultimately won’t survive.

8. Organizational and Cultural Fit – Employers are recruiting individuals who are able to work on a team and with a team when necessary. “Lone wolf” persona's rarely, if ever significantly increase a business competitive advantage.

9. Passionate – Employees who are passionate about their job never work a day in their life.  While money should be a motivator in all individuals hired, it should never be the motivator. 
A formula for passion is Interest x Enjoyment = Passion.
10. Upbeat – Employees who come into work fresh and energetic everyday are going to out produce workers who think negatively and easily burn-out when they encounter defeat.    Upbeat and optimistic employees create a working environment that is unique, spawns new ideas and, just as important is enjoyable for the other people involved.

Anyone can apply for any job - but only those whose character traits are consistent with the employers needs get the nod. By adding these qualities to your character, you will improve the likelihood of being hired and staying employed!
Dr. Eugene Matthews

Considering Becoming a Trainer? Think in 3D!

Tuesday, October 7

Within every industry, or field there are deep pools of experience and expertise, much of which can be shared with others through training. All that is required is a Trainer...perhaps that's you.
Step 1. Identify a specific area in which you are a Subject Matter Expert (SME).

Using your SME skills, research your industry to determine what the demand for your skill might be. There are a lot of different tools out there that make this process simpler. One that I use is BuzzSumo, a tool that finds topics that have already performed well.

In the example below, I entered the word "Leadership" in the search box and immediately found that there were over 1million shares for the an article in Forbes Magazine written by Cheryl Conner, Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things they Avoid

Buzzsumo aggregates the number of 'shares' based on popular social media sites including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Understand that part of the reason this topic and this article got so many shares, likes, and tweets is because it was featured in the very popular magazine, Forbes, which has a large fan and subscription base. However, another reason for the article's success is because it is well written, and gives tons of valuable content to the reader. The take-away here is that if/when you write a well researched piece, offer something of value to the reader, and you will improve the chances for success.

Now that you've got an idea as to your topic, it's time to think across the spectrum of content/information delivery or sharing. In other words, think 3D.

Step 2. Now think in 3D.

Thinking in 3D means that you don't limit yourself to:
1) one sole means for content delivery
2) one audience/customer to be trained, or
3) one industry

Content Delivery
There are numerous methods for delivering content, or sharing information. Granted, some have proven to be more successful, traditionally, than others, based on the content. Consider these three broad categories for delivery, and the specifics as to methods that have a proven track record for success:

One to one training
Face to Face individual training
Teleconference Call (typically phone call)
Videoconferencing Call (Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts…)
Core group (2-7)
Face to Face group workshop
Audio Conference Call (typically VOIP call)
Videoconferencing Call (Google Hangouts, Anymeeting…)
Small group (8-30)
Face to Face seminar training
Audio Conference Call (typically VOIP call)
Videoconferencing Call (Google Hangouts, Anymeeting…)

Online Instructor led/facilitated
                  Recorded Audio (Podcast)
                  Recorded Video (Vodcast)
                  Audio seminar – live/call or join in
                  Video seminar – live/webinar

Large group (+30)
Face to face conference training
             Pre-recorded audio or video training
             Asynchronous re: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Target Audience
As with the methods for content delivery, the potential audience for your training is limited only to your imagination. However, during the research phase you would have identified potential audiences for your training. If we continue with the example of Leadership, the potential audience may expand to include:
Public Service/Public Safety Leaders (Police, Fire, EMS, Gas, Water, Electric, etc...)
Private Industry Leaders (Transportation: bus, rail, truck, air, sea; corporate retail industry, etc...)

Each of these areas have leaders and managers responsible for the day to day operations, as well as the fulfilment of the agency or organization's strategic plan.

One method for further drilling down into the target audience might include conducted a search of social media sites. (Click Here to view Wikipedia's nearly exhaustive list of sites) Target the sites discussion forums to identify individuals who may be a potential audience for your content. A 'white hat' tactic is to query/search forums for topics that match or closely match your area of expertise, then engage in the forum discussions.

If you discover specific 'pain points' which are aligned with your expertise, then it's appropriate for you to share your solutions, and invite seekers to attend your training for deeper information (if the forum is not appropriate for a complete explanation/solution discussion).

More than any other area, training is nearly always transferable across industries. The particulars of the training may need to be modified, however - in the case of Leadership - leaders exist in every industry: education, academies, faith-based, volunteer, community run, student clubs, etc... As a result, the valuable content you've created, can be modified, repurposed, and re-shared again and again.

The challenge and the solution to making your training known to a wider audience and across industries is to network. Not networking in the spammy sort of way you might otherwise think of, but rather in the 'white hat' sort of way, by offering solutions to challenges or problems individuals are dealing with...across industries.

For example, staying with the Leadership topic: every industry has the challenge of motivating its members, whether they are part-time, full-time, or volunteers. A quality of an authentic leader is the ability to motivate others in such a manner as to accomplish the mission, or goals.

The 2-step process described above contains the essential methods or tactics you can use to get your message out and possibly add to your current role, that of an SME/Trainer.

So what are you waiting for? What is it that is keeping you from taking the first step; identifying what you are a SME in? Maybe you don't yet know where your expertise lies. If that's the case then I encourage you to check out this short article on S.W.O.T. Analysis. Simply recognizing your Strengths and Weaknesses will position you to take advantage of Opportunities, and overcome obstacles that might otherwise pose a Threat.

Today is a great day to consider the possibilities of sharing your knowledge with the world!
Dr. Eugene Matthews

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