Gap

Career choices based on the unknown
Making career choices based on what is unknown is always a source of uncertainty for most. We fear that which we do not know. Imagine looking down a very dark tunnel running straight down into the earth. You are expected to jump into this hole, you expect this of yourself or others expect this of you. To you this hole looks like it just goes down forever, a never ending drop into a very deep abyss…
Actually the hole is only two meters deep, but you don’t know that because you only see the black opening! We are too afraid to jump into this hole simply because we know nothing of it.
Many a time it is the same with ones career choices. We are expected to make a career choice, be it a big change or a small task in our current career; it feels like we are jumping into that ‘very deep’ unknown hole. Especially with the small everyday career choices at the office, imagine having to jump into unknown holes ten times a day!
How do we usually react to such situations? We just don’t do it, we ignore it or we take forever to take action; it is just too fearful and unknown. Many a time one will miss a great opportunity, other times it was the right career choice, one will never be a hundred percent certain before making a jump.
Read the coaching session on career choices based on the unknown…
How does one overcome this fear of the unknown?
Freely use our Career Development Guide and make the information on the following pages your own, these skills and knowledge will make big and small career choices much simpler:
Emotional awareness
Signal to transform into a positive mindset
Turn all emotional experiences into selected actions
The glad game
Productive listening
Effective questioning
The decision making process
The issue resolution model
The process of transformation
The need for continuous goal clarification
Closing the feedback gap
Before we go any further, the most important fact to remember is to jump slowly! A sudden jump will almost always hurt. For example if one realizes it is time to change jobs, careers, cars, anything, do it slowly over a period of time and with the right information.
Gather the most information concerning the specific career choice one possibly can, make an informed jump .
Talk to the people around you; family, friends, colleagues, people you trust. Frame the situation you find yourself in for them and listen to what they think, but really listen and take their advice seriously; even if you think it might be senseless information at the time. One is usually very surprised at the wisdom that exists in others we share with.
Another time tested method is to write about this career choice you are facing. Write down all the questions that come to mind. Answer the ones you are able to answer, leave the others for later. Check with others, what they think would be the best answers to the questions, the ones already answered as well. Just keep on writing, anything and everything that comes to mind. It is amazing how things clear when they are out of ones head and somewhere else, there is now space for new truths to take shape. This method is equally effective for any challenging choice one might face.
Frame your mind
Continuously frame your mind for the time when one will go from information to choice to action. In more direct terms, bull%&*# your mind into taking positive action. Motivate your mind into believing that taking the action will come to success; believe it and your voice and attitude will reflect it. Think positive!
If you jump and fall a bit hard, don’t stay there too long, your muscles will start cramping! While recovering from a hard fall, take time and reflect on which choices could have been made differently and which information one did not have. Reflection is good, but not to be overused. We were built to jump and grow and run and build, ones system will recover. Get up and move.
Please share your experience at our value exchange forums and ask questions!
How does one “safely” make this jump?
Slowly. Taking action based on a choice would sometimes be faster, other times slower, never instant. At the very least apply the twenty four hour rule; especially when another person angered or frustrated you, an instant answer, remark or response is never the desired reaction. If you are angry or frustrated, allow twenty four hours to pass before you react or jump in.
A career choice with longer terms effects, for example changing careers, should be made even slower. Weeks, months could and probably should pass before making the jump. Phase into action bit by bit. Remember delegation. When changing careers, jobs, departments or positions, don’t leave gaps behind. Ensure others will be able to successfully do the job you did and you will always be welcome again!
Coaching session on Fear of the unknown career choices
Dawie
I have an opportunity to go and work with Aleph. I currently work for a company called New-World and do not know if I should change jobs. What do you think?
Nicholas
Do you enjoy your current job?
Dawie
No, I want to do graphic communication and am currently a salesman. Doing what I love doing, graphic communications, part time.
Nicholas
Why do you not want to change jobs / careers if you will do full time what you are doing part time now?
Dawie
I am not 100% certain what it is I will be doing. There is the probability that I will do some of the things I want to do, but I might have other responsibilities.
Nicholas
Would these other responsibilities be a problem to you? If some of the work would be in graphic communication? As you grow in the skill of delegation, you could always delegate more of the work you do not enjoy doing.
Dawie
No it would probably not.
Nicholas
How would you get more information on what would be expected of you in this position working with Aleph?
Dawie
I would set up a meeting with a more senior person in the company and talk to them about what it is I would be doing. Maybe talk to some other employees of the company and get a feel for how the company operates.
Nicholas
If you like what you hear and see would you then be more comfortable making a decision?
Dawie
I would get all the information I can, share this with the people around me, for example friends and family, and hear what they have to say. Once I feel comfortable that I have sufficient information and feedback to base a decisive choice on, I will take action.

Career choices based on the unknown

Making career choices based on what is unknown is always a source of uncertainty for most, especially for those considering a midlife career change. We fear that which we do not know. Imagine looking down a very dark tunnel running straight down into the earth. You are expected to jump into this hole, you expect this of yourself or others expect this of you. To you this hole looks like it just goes down forever, a never ending drop into a very deep abyss…

Actually the hole is only two meters deep, but you don’t know that because you only see the black opening! We are too afraid to jump into this hole simply because we know nothing of it.

w&t_binoculars

I Explain

Many a time it is the same with one’s career choices. We are expected to make a career choice, be it a big change or a small task in our current career; it feels like we are jumping into that ‘very deep’ unknown hole. Especially with the small everyday career choices at the office, imagine having to jump into unknown holes ten times a day!

How do we usually react to such situations? We just don’t do it, we ignore it or we take forever to take action; it is just too fearful and unknown. Many a time one will miss a great opportunity, other times it was the right career choice, one will never be a hundred percent certain before making a jump.

Read the coaching session on career choices based on the unknown…

w&t_question

I Ask

How does one overcome this fear of the unknown?

w&t_exclamation

I Answer

Use our Walk and Talk guide and make the information on the following pages your own, these skills and knowledge will make big and small career choices much simpler:

Before we go any further, the most important fact to remember is to jump slowly! A sudden jump will almost always hurt. For example if one realizes it is time to change jobs, careers, cars, anything, do it slowly over a period of time and with the right information.

Gather the most information concerning the specific career choice one possibly can, make an informed jump .

Talk to the people around you; family, friends, colleagues, people you trust. Frame the situation you find yourself in for them and listen to what they think, but really listen and take their advice seriously; even if you think it might be senseless information at the time. One is usually very surprised at the wisdom that exists in others we share with.

w&t_elephant

I Advise

Another time tested method is to write about this career choice you are facing. Write down all the questions that come to mind. Answer the ones you are able to answer, leave the others for later. Check with others, what they think would be the best answers to the questions, the ones already answered as well. Just keep on writing, anything and everything that comes to mind. It is amazing how things clear when they are out of your head and somewhere else, there is now space for new truths to take shape. This method is equally effective for any challenging choice one might face.

Frame your mind

w&t_binoculars

I Answer

Continuously frame your mind for the time when you will go from information to choice to action. In more direct terms, bulldoze your mind into taking positive action. Motivate your mind into believing that taking the action will come to success; believe it and your voice and attitude will reflect it. Think positive!

If you jump and fall a bit hard, don’t stay there too long, your muscles will start cramping! While recovering from a hard fall, take time and reflect on which choices could have been made differently and which information one did not have. Reflection is good, but not to be overused. We were built to jump and grow and run and build, your system will recover. Get up and move.

w&t_question

I Ask

How does I safely make this jump?

w&t_exclamation

I Answer

Slowly. Taking action based on a choice would sometimes be faster, other times slower, never instant. At the very least apply the twenty four hour rule; especially when another person angered or frustrated you, an instant answer, remark or response is never the desired reaction. If you are angry or frustrated, allow twenty four hours to pass before you react or jump in.

A career choice with longer terms effects, for example changing careers, should be made even slower. Weeks, months could and probably should pass before making the jump. Phase into action bit by bit. Remember delegation. When changing careers, jobs, departments or positions, don’t leave gaps behind. Ensure others will be able to successfully do the job you did and you will always be welcome again!

Coaching session on Fear of the Unknown Career Choices

Dawie

I have an opportunity to go and work with Aleph. I currently work for a company called New-World and do not know if I should change jobs. What do you think?

Nicholas

Do you enjoy your current job?

Dawie

No, I want to do graphic communication and am currently a salesman. Doing what I love doing, graphic communications, part time.

Nicholas

Why do you not want to change jobs / careers if you will do full time what you are doing part time now?

Dawie

I am not 100% certain what it is I will be doing. There is the probability that I will do some of the things I want to do, but I might have other responsibilities.

Nicholas

Would these other responsibilities be a problem to you? If some of the work would be in graphic communication? As you grow in the skill of delegation, you could always delegate more of the work you do not enjoy doing.

Dawie

No it would probably not.

Nicholas

How would you get more information on what would be expected of you in this position working with Aleph?

Dawie

I would set up a meeting with a more senior person in the company and talk to them about what it is I would be doing. Maybe talk to some other employees of the company and get a feel for how the company operates.

Nicholas

If you like what you hear and see would you then be more comfortable making a decision?

Dawie

I would get all the information I can, share this with the people around me, for example friends and family, and hear what they have to say. Once I feel comfortable that I have sufficient information and feedback to base a decisive choice on, I will take action.

We recommend getting acquainted with the Career Development Guide:
The Walk and Talk table of content
Using the Career Development Guide
Preface to the Career Development Guide
The Cast of Characters in the Career Development Guide
The Career Development Guide was developed from the fundamental knowledge that cause a business to succeed or a career to thrive. Career Builder has identified the knowledge the top half percent of successful individuals and businesses apply daily. The Career Development Guide consists of this knowledge and was compiled by career and business experts over a period of ten years.
Lets use communication as an example. One should ask the question, am I able to constructively give and receive feedback? Bridge the feedback gap. Do you sometimes find yourself in a tight spot because the request and the result do not match? By practicing ones listening skills and questioning skills heaps of problems will just vanish! We have compiled the knowledge successful career builders apply daily to turn challenges into opportunities, use the Walk the Talk guide.
Communication skills are only one of the many topics covered in the Career Development Guide. We have published a free version on the web and know you will find the greatest career building value in its pages.
The Career Development Guide was developed over years of learning and gathering the knowledge contained in its pages. The development cost for the Career Builder guide was close to $200 000 and a version is freely available on Career Builder!
When you apply the information contained in its pages, please let us know how we can better this knowledge to address your career challenges more efficiently.

We recommend getting acquainted with the Career Development Guide:

The Walk and Talk table of content

Using the Career Development Guide

Preface to the Career Development Guide

The Cast of Characters in the Career Development Guide

The Career Development Guide was developed from the fundamental knowledge that cause a business to succeed or a career to thrive. Career Builder has identified the knowledge the top half percent of successful individuals and businesses apply daily. The Career Development Guide consists of this knowledge and was compiled by career and business experts over a period of ten years.

w&t_elephant

I Explain

Let’s use communication as an example. One should ask the question: am I able to constructively give and receive feedback? Bridge the feedback gap. Do you sometimes find yourself in a tight spot because the request and the result do not match? By practicing one’s listening skills and questioning skills heaps of problems will just vanish! We have compiled the knowledge successful career builders apply daily to turn challenges into opportunities, use the Walk the Talk guide.

Communication skills are only one of the many topics covered in the Career Development Guide. We have published a free version on the web and know you will find the greatest career building value in its pages.

The Career Development Guide was developed over years of learning and gathering the knowledge contained in its pages. The development cost for the Career Builder guide was close to $200 000 and a version is freely available on Career Builder!

When you apply the information contained in its pages, please let us know how we can better this knowledge to address your career challenges more efficiently.

How to give feedback, bridging the feedback gap

w&t_question

Ask

For some reason I have a feedback gap. Ìt always makes me nervous. When I receive feedback, I often withdraw and go into the poor me – mode. When I give feedback, I’m always afraid that people will take it as criticism. How should I bridge this feedback gap?

giving feedback to peers

Answer

Feedback is essential for growth. The most important thing about it is that it should always lead to something constructive, only then can it really act as a motivational tool for growth.

Feedback consists not only of getting feedback, but also of giving feedback. The glue that bonds these two dimensions together, is the development of an action plan to deal with the content of the feedback. It is essential that action follows feedback, otherwise no growth will result.

giving receiving feedback

Ask

When is feedback positive and when is it negative?

Can you give me some guidelines that will enable me to be more effective in giving feedback?

how to give effective feedback to your students

Answer

One can close the feedback gap and enhance feedback by:

  • Focusing on what you say, how you say it and when you say it,
  • Distinguishing between negative and positive feedback, and by
  • Ensuring that your feedback results in a SMART(M) action plan

The SMART(M) action plan and closing the feedback gap

S Specific: You should be able to break your goals into manageable chunks.
M Measurable: How will I know? (See? Hear? Feel?) What is the evidence procedure?
A Achievable: Is this within my control? Do have I the skills, the resources, the authority? Do I give myself permission to act?
R Rewarding: The benefit must be greater than the cost, otherwise you won’t achieve the goal (causes procrastination).
T Timing: When do I start? How long will it take? What are the mileposts so that I can monitor that I am on my way?
M Monitor: We added a last M for monitor. We found that one can have the most amazing plan, but without monitoring and tracking it until completion; the chances for successfully completing this plan is minimal.

Feedback should always result in something constructive and actionable. When you are about to give feedback and are afraid that it might be destructive in a way, rather apply the 24 hour rule.

Sometimes the need to give feedback was caused by something that triggered emotions; these emotions can interfere with giving constructive feedback. If this is the case allow at least 24 hours to pass before giving feedback. The 24 hour rule allows these possibly interfering emotions to play themselves out before giving feedback. This is sometimes difficult to do, but once you have done this a few times the feedback gap will be significantly reduced!

how to give constructive feedback

Constructive Feedback

Developing a SMART(M) action plan

  • What is to be done?
  • Who is to do it?
  • When is to do?
  • How do we monitor?

Close the feedback gap by giving

  • Descriptive feedback
  • Specific feedback
  • Constructive feedback
  • Timeous feedback
Negative feedback Positive feedback
Should always be in private. Praise in public as person and others benefit as well.

Focus on the problem:

  • What was the behavior
  • What was done
  • What’s was said

And not on the person.

Focus on the person:You did a great job!

Put into context – Period of time.

People are then more ready to accept.

Make permanent by using:You “always” produce good results.
You” never” let us down.
Make specific – Resolved Copy (great)
how to give performance feedback

Advise

Remember that feedback should always be constructive.

Never cause pain, other than as a signal to learn something new or to do something differently.

how to give good feedback

Ask

Receiving feedback is an even worse nightmare! I often feel that everyone else is trying to burst my bubble… What can I do to change this mind set and close this feedback gap I have even more?

giving feedback to your boss

Explain

Always give constructive feedback, be aware and bridge the feedback gap!

There are two different sets of tools that will enable you to deal effectively with the feedback you receive:

  • Using open-ended questions to explore exactly what is expected of you. Read the questioning skills applet.
  • Using NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) techniques like reframing and dissociation to see yourself inside the picture.

It is natural to feel attacked when one is at the receiving end of critical feedback (poor me); however, reacting in a defensive or attacking manner curtails the feedback, stops the growth process and stretches the feedback gap even more.

A person coming from the personal power model (maturity), who receives unpleasant feedback controls his natural feelings of defensiveness and gets more information by using the following technique:

negative positive feedback

Negative Positive Feedback

  • TELL me more.
    • Use Open-Ended questions: What, when, where, who, how to determine an Action Plan.
  • WHAT is to be done?
    • (Now/Next time/In future)
  • WHO is to do it?
    • (Who is to be responsible? What other resources are needed?)
  • WHEN is it to be done?
    • (When is it to be started? How long will it take?)
  • WHERE is to be done?
    • (What area, location etc.)
  • HOW do we monitor it?
    • (How will I know your plan is working? Who does the checking?)
  • Reframing
    • What else (that would be to my benefit) could this mean – this method is commonly known as Lateral Thinking.
  • Dissociation
    • When feedback is hurtful, I can dissociate from the feelings in order to effectively manage the feedback to find a solution.
giving feedback exercises

Advise

Deal with feedback in an emotionally intelligent way. While you’re at it why not also use the six thinking hats to enhance communication and understanding.

The first few times you are going to react like you always did. Make a conscious effort to be aware when giving or receiving feedback; focus on what to do, what to say and how to react for all to get maximum benefit from the feedback.

Handling feedback in a mutually beneficial way will eventually come naturally. Use the support of those around you and make them aware of how you are developing certain skills. Others will then learn from you and everybody grows and develops new skills!

Interpersonal skills
Effective interpersonal skills are based on effective communication
Chapter 5
p.1
I am of the opinion that the way I get along with my colleagues is very important for my success. What can you teach me about interpersonal skills?
You are right – this is a critical aspect of success. Effective interpersonal skills in your business life as well as your personal life are based on effective communication.
Your contribution and value-add depend in large measure upon your ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members, understanding their behavior and upon the nature of the relationship you maintain with them.
Equally important is your own self-awareness of how you respond to others and how you are perceived by your customers and team members.
This section of the book deals with the various tools and concepts that will assist you in managing Interpersonal relationships.
But first – let’s study the Mindmap.
Apply the process of Actions & Results rather than Analysis & Understanding.
Use your great personal capacity and gain in understanding of how and where you do your best work while you work; avoid focusing on analyzing yourself and once you understand you will do something. Take action and learn as you do, rather than analyzing, trying to understand and then doing.
Interpersonal skills:
7 habits of highly effective people
Growing the arena – The Johari window
Stimulus and response
Association and Dissociation
Finding common ground
Understanding DISC profiles
Feedback gap:
Stimulus and response
Responding to anger signals
Effective questioning
Productive listening
Association and dissociation

Effective interpersonal skills are based on effective communication

Chapter 5 p.1

w&t_question

I Ask

I am of the opinion that the way I get along with my colleagues is very important for my success. What can you teach me about interpersonal skills?

w&t_exclamation

I Answer

You are right – this is a critical aspect of success. Good interpersonal skills in your business life as well as your personal life are based on effective communication.

Your contribution and value-add depend in a large measure on your ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members; understanding their behavior and respecting the nature of your relationship.

Equally important is your own self-awareness of how you respond to others and how you are perceived by your customers and team members.

w&t_binoculars

I Explain

This section of the book deals with the various tools and concepts that will assist you in managing interpersonal relationships.

But first – let’s study the Mindmap.

Apply the process of Actions & Results rather than Analysis & Understanding.

Use your great personal capacity and gain in understanding of how and where you do your best work; avoid focusing on analyzing yourself and thinking that once you understand yourself you will do something.

Take action and learn as you do, rather than analyzing, trying to understand and then doing.

Interpersonal skills

Close the Feedback gap