Archive for the ‘Career Coaching Articles’ Category
The truth about singles in the workplace is changing with the pace of the modern world. Do companies treat single and married employees equally? Until recently this has probably not been true. In most cases, the married couples fared better than single persons in the general work population. But that is finally showing signs of changing.
Singles in the workforce now make up just under half of the full-time United States workforce. This is even more complicated by the modern world of diverse family units and different life responsibilities. There are many more singles in the workplace now, some having or not having dependent children. The facts have shown this is such a large group of employees, that the modern employer has to consider this into the new working demographic and wage equation.
The incentives that it takes to keep a single employee at a job are also different from with married couples. Most importantly is that a single person needs higher wages and better benefits to stay with an employer for the long-term. This is sometimes more expensive for the employer, especially if the single person takes advantage of overtime hours throughout the year. The single person becomes both an asset and a possible liability if they stay with an employer long enough. Salaries are somewhat less enticing to single workers, but benefits are generally not.
Singles in the job market has become a population that has social needs and encouragements which translate into work friendly policies for singles. Modern employee demographic categories now are addressing single parents, childless married couples, unmarried couples living together, and unmarried singles. The large numbers of singles in the workforce has brought on the need for policies that reflect this group in the job market of the new millennium.
Today more than ever the workforce in the United States is populated by single persons, but many of them are supporting children just as married couples. The income of single workers is having to meet the needs of both their lifestyle and often they are also paying for child support. Nothing can make the single person keep working for an employer who does not recognize their needs. The modern cost of living for any single person is more expensive than it ever has been before. Singles in the workplace today have more options and rights that are finally being addressed with long overdue equality.
By Leo Thomas
Most people have had the misfortune of having to deal with a difficult customer. It is not a pleasant experience at the time and can be very stressful. Dealing with difficult customers is almost a rite of passage in the work world. Everyone can remember their first difficult customer. You probably panicked and wondered at the time how to deal with such a difficult individual.
It is also likely that you wondered if that type of bad experience with a customer was going to be a frequent occurrence. However, relief probably set in when the next customer, and the one after that, came along and were very nice and appreciative of the help you provided them with. With the above in mind, we can have a brief look at the best ways to deal with difficult customers when they do rear their heads.
The first rule of customer service that everyone learns in their first job is that the customer is always right. What is the principle behind that and what can you learn about how to deal with difficult customers from this statement? Obviously the customer is not always right. Sometimes their request is unreasonable or simply impossible. Sometimes they do not understand the processes involved or other aspects of your business. However, the principle is that you never present things in a way that makes a customer feel like they are wrong. This is essential when dealing with all customers, but especially difficult ones; present them with other options when their request is unavailable or is simply undoable. Another simple thing that goes a long way in dealing with difficult customers is just trying to respond to them in a positive and cheerful way. Indeed, many employees often have difficulty with certain customers and overreact or deliver news in a negative way. Sometimes you will not be able to resolve difficult customers’ demands, but many will appreciate that you are trying your best to help them and are adopting the right attitude towards them.
Lastly, when dealing with some difficult customers, one fact will hold true sometimes. That is that some of them are just beyond help. Indeed, some customers are just determined that things will not work out for them. Therefore, no matter how pro-active you are, or how accommodating and positive you try to be, some people just refuse to be helped. All you can do is try your best and if that is not good enough then sometimes it might be best just to let them go.
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Great business presentations come from the effective use of several skills, all of which can be learned. In this article, I discuss how you handle questions from the audience.
If your presentation is part of a seminar or workshop, people expect to be able to ask their questions and have them answered, but sometimes they don’t know when to ask.
If you are making a business presentation to the management group, they want answers and will have no hesitation in interrupting you any time they want.
The way you handle questions and answers can have a huge impact on your presentation. Perhaps you share two complaints that often come up in my presentation workshops:
1) You can never follow your planned presentations because people keep interrupting with questions that pull you off track.
2) You invite questions at the end, nobody asks any and you fade back to your seat in silence — not the rousing finish you had hoped for!
Here are my suggestions for handling both these situations.
1) Begin by telling them you will have a Q&A session at the end and you will take all the time necessary to answer all their questions. Then any time someone interrupts to ask a question, you can politely say, “I’m glad you asked that question, and I do intend to answer it. However, the details fall more naturally into a later part of my presentation, so please bear with me until I reach that part. If you’d like more details, I’d be happy to fill them in during the Q&A session at the end.”
This is a very reasonable request and most people will go along with it. Adapt the wording to suit your personal style as well as the audience and situation.
2) When you have finished delivering your content, but before you do your “big close”, say something like, “And now, just before I bring my presentation to a close, I’d like to invite any questions you may have.” Complete your Q&A, and then close with your planned “big finish”. If there are no questions, you can slide easily into your planned close and leave the platform, or the front of the room, with your head held high, a smile on your face, and the confidence that you have left your listeners with the final thoughts that YOU want them to have.
Remember, it’s your show, and you must control as much of it as possible — and that includes Questions and Answers.
Helen Wilkie is a professional speaker and workshop leader specializing in communication at work. For more of her ideas on presenting and other workplace communication skills visit her website at http://www.mhwcom.com and her blog at http://www.communi-keys.com
How many times were you asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” when you were a child? Often a child will give an unrealistic answer like “I want to be a princess” or “I want to be a baseball player” but at some stage of your childhood you are expected to come up with a realistic answer to that question. How can you, as a young adult, really understand what you are best suited for when choosing a career?
Most young adults look to unqualified people for guidance which is why, more often than not, they end up choosing a career path that is not right for them. If you turn to your parents for advice you will often be guided to either follow in their footsteps or to go after their unfullfilled dreams. A high school councelor is generally a jack of all trades who is there for moral support to get students through any number of crisis’ teens may encounter while attending high school.
Are these really the people you want to help you plan out the rest of your life? When you are sick you do not go to a lawyer for advice. When you need your car fixed you do not go to a dentist. Why then do you not seek out a certified career coach when planning something so important as your life’s work?
A certified career/life coach will have you complete a series of tests that will identify your strengths, your weaknesses and your passions. From these tests they will give you a list of career choices that best suit you. And let’s face it, do you not want to be successful in life? Of course you do. You can only reach your full potential in life by being skilled and passionate about your career choice.
Before you commit to spending thousands and thousands of dollars on education you must be sure that money is not wasted. A small investment in a certified career coach can prevent you from throwing your education dollars, and years of your time, away.
Often, as I am surfing the net, I find some great articles about career coaching or life coaching that I find interesting or helpful enough to warrant passing along. Christopher King shares similar views to mine on the subject of achieving your goals in the following article. I hope you will enjoy the read.
Although statistics may suggest that fewer people are creating goals for the new year, I would still like to believe that there is a large number of us that believe that there is some benefit to establishing personal targets for our lives. Besides, if we don’t set goals, how do we measure our progress? Unfortunately, as some of our non-goal-setting friends have already discovered, even though we may set goals for the new year, it is still not guaranteed that we will have any form of success. As a matter of fact, out of all of the individuals that set new year’s resolutions for 2010, only 20 percent of them will actually succeed in achieving what they had set out to do. This means that unless you are intentional about succeeding in achieving your goals, odds are that your 2010 goals will soon assume the same fate that they did in 2009 and the previous years. Whether your goal is to lose thirty-five pounds, write your first book, or to start that business that you’ve always wanted, the following strategies are three quick ways to ensure that you achieve your new year’s resolutions:
- Don’t think about the process.Thirty-five pounds lighter, your words in print, and you succeeding in the world of entrepreneurship all seem extremely exciting. The end result is always very appealing. However, reality reminds us that the end result requires a sometimes long, arduous, painful, and maybe a boring process. It’s our negative feelings of this process that often restrict us from achieving our many goals. As humans, it is our nature to be attracted to those things that bring us pleasure and to avoid those things that we associate with pain or discomfort. Therefore, as we think about the process that we must go through to arrive at our desired end result, we quickly make the decision to not engage. When focusing on the process, you begin to ask yourself, “Do I feel like going to the gym to workout?” As you may guess, the answer is almost always, “No.” Therefore, don’t think about the process.
- Think about a specific time in which you are happy that you accomplished your goal. To encourage you not to think about your goal would be foolish. However, when you do think about the goal, you should think about a specific time in which it provides you with positive feelings. Remember the rule of humans that was mentioned earlier: Humans gravitate to what’s pleasurable and flee from those things that are painful. Therefore, you must think of your goal in a framework that makes you feel good. For example, thinking of how energetic and good you may feel after returning from the gym or, the joy that you experience after you’ve completed a chapter of your first book. Also, it is more helpful if this time period is not in the distant future, such as when you have achieved the final goal. Rather, it should be a period in which you feel good after you have made a smaller step of progress toward the final result.
- Just start! Another interesting fact that I have noticed about people is that we often have difficulty changing. This means that once we start something, we often become comfortable in continuing with that particular action. For example, if you are currently sitting comfortably on the sofa at the time that you have scheduled to begin your workout, it is very difficult to change that behavior. While this works with negative and destructive behaviors, it also can prove to be effective when engaging in healthier activities. Therefore, when the time comes to engage in an activity that will push you closer to achieving your goal, just get up and start! I have found that once I begin working out, writing that next chapter, or even handling administrative tasks for my business, it is often difficult to stop. At the least, I will begin with the mental commitment of performing the task for only a short period of time, perhaps, for only ten minutes. But when that ten minute period is finished, I still find it difficult to stop my current activity. So, the next time that you are struggling to perform that task that will move you closer to your goal, I encourage you to simply start.
As you verbally and mentally commit to achieving your goals for the new year, I encourage you to not think about the negative feelings that you have about the process, but about how great it feels to experience progress. And if you simply start, you are sure to experience the success that you are looking for and you will then be a part of that elite group of 20 percenters that actually achieve their goals.
About the Author:
Christopher L. King is an inspirational speaker, author,
Certified Life Coach, and internet radio personality. He
has dedicated his life to helping others take their lives
to their greatest levels yet. Are you looking to take your
life to the next level? Get your FREE excerpt of “The 3 V’s
to Success,” and a FREE 30-minute personal coaching session