Writing Samples

I published these two articles on LinkedIn:

MOTIVATION IN TWO WORDS

Much has been written about what motivates employees. Money, it’s been said, is low on the list; other motivators often cited are: being appreciated, valued, informed, and given projects which help the employee grow and increase their visibility in the company.

I once told a boss I had that all it took for me to be motivated was a sincere thank you. That’s it. With a furrowed brow and wrinkled forehead, she asked: “Why should I thank you for doing your job?”

Why indeed? Because it feels good. You don’t have to become new-age or sing “Kumbaya” around a campfire to know that feeling good and productivity go hand-in-hand. I didn’t feel very motivated after her comment but she took note of it and started to thank me for – yes – doing my job. Bingo! Instant motivation!

I’m not saying that companies are supposed to give trophies every day, nor do bosses have to baby-sit. What I am saying is that saying thank you is short, quick, and free. The giver feels good, as does the receiver.  A short e-mail is fine. Better, add an exclamation point or change the font to the fun comic sans MS, 24 point in shadowed green. Best, say it in person. Putting a little thought into your thank you goes a long way.

A friend of mine – whom I’ll call Nadine – works for a woman – whom I’ll call Luisa – who is very demanding. Luisa is excellent at her upper-management position. Similarly, Nadine is great at her job too – supporting Luisa’s endeavors and corporate goals. Luisa frequently has Nadine working on two or three projects simultaneously. Nadine is often overwhelmed but gets everything done due to her organizational skills. Sure, she mutters under her breath about how demanding Luisa is but everything is made all better when Luisa comes to Nadine’s desk and says, “Thank you.” Better yet, Luisa is specific in her praise: “Thank you for preparing that spreadsheet so quickly; I was able to make an informed budget request to my boss.” Nadine is now and repeatedly motivated. Hence, Nadine will go to the ends of the earth for Luisa. Best, Nadine just made Luisa look good and felt good about doing so.

These days, employees often feel discouraged. If managers can change DIS-couragement to EN-couragement – simply by using and hearing two little, but very powerful words – then what do you have to lose by trying it out?

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THE SCIENCE OF FACE READING: THE MISSING LINK IN TALENT ACQUISITION?

As a current job seeker, I was shocked to learn – through a recent article in Time Magazine – about the trend by corporations to use big data such as extensive personality tests to find the perfect employee. And yes, I use the word “test” here because they are ostensibly looking for candidates to respond with the “correct” answers.

As an informal student and observer of human behavior, I love knowing what makes people tick. I’m a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) ® certified administrator, I know my DiSC type, I’m familiar with astrology, and help people by counseling them on the Bach Flower remedies. I have bridged the gap between esoteric studies and the mundane.

Continuing my studies and interest in armchair psychology, I recently attended a fabulous 4-day workshop which taught me the basics of face reading, taught by expert face reader, Jean Haner (www.jeanhaner.com.) I was astonished to learn what each feature of a face means and imagine my excitement when I realized that anyone involved in hiring could put this information to good use. The result? Accuracy while maintaining the dignity of job seekers by encompassing a holistic approach to hiring. It could even save companies money by eliminating costly, degrading, and time-consuming testing.

Some things I learned about face reading can translate very well to the HR function. For example: many jobs require an employee to be able to work with a wide variety of personalities. With face reading, all you need to do is simply look at the space between their eyebrows: the wider the space, the greater the ability to play well with others. Conversely, someone with eyebrows that are closer together – sometimes called a “unibrow” – would work better by himself with little interaction. Need someone who can creatively make deals for your mergers and acquisitions department? Look for a candidate whose forehead slants back, admittedly more associated with men than with women. If the job requires logical thinking, look for someone whose eyebrows are straight across, as opposed to arched. Need someone for a short-term project who will get it done? Hire the man or woman with the strong, square jaw.

Now, this does not mean that people without the aforementioned attributes will not be good at a particular job – the ability to read the whole person through their face takes time, study, and a lot of practice. This is just a very small example of how face reading can help employers be smarter about their hiring. But knowing a few basic tips just may ease the pain of interviewing for all parties involved.

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I was perusing someone’s website recently. He is a highly regarded corporate consultant. What struck me about his website was the lack of “punch” and personality on his “About Us” page.  It went something like this:

“….I bring to my clients the ability to understand their business needs and environments. I offer customized solutions….” blah…blah…blah….

His “What I do” page was pretty much a reiteration of the “About Us” page.

I am half tempted to contact him and offer him my service to rewrite these pages. I would write something like:

ABOUT US

Welcome to my website! I’m Fred Grasshopper and my passion is seeing people grow in their communication skills. 

That I teach communication skills is odd to me, since I was a shy kid growing up. I had no confidence so my teacher suggested I take acting classes. That really brought me out of my shell and I ended up having the lead in 2 school plays. When I entered college, I majored in acting but also took classes in psychology and communication and therein I found my passion: understanding people’s inability to communicate effectively. I set out to change the world, one poor communicator at a time. Join me and let’s take this exciting journey together!

….and that’s what I would write.

 

 

 

 

Yes, I really will get back to you

I hate websites through which the only way to contact them is by filling out these forms. However, it's the only way to greatly reduce the amount of spam and I figure if you're going to the trouble to contact me this way, you're interested in my services. Win-win!

Why hire me?

I live in the U.S. I will be within 3 hours of your time zone. I have 20 years in the business world and I speak the lingo. I have interfaced with people at all levels and believe in treating the janitor with the same respect as the president. I have a great sense of humor and excellent interpersonal skills. I believe in personal growth and I'm a work in progress.