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Lochke: From Apology to Atonement

Lochke: From Apology to Atonement

I am glad I waited for Matt Lauer’s interview with Ryan Lochke (8/22/16 Today Show) because the preceding slam of headlines portrayed Ryan as a jerk from a despised fraternity. Yes, his early statements deserved harsh judgment from both Americans and Brazilians, but it’s clear he finally got close to “getting it” in the apology department on the Today Show.

Apology

The proof that an apology is effective can be revealed in the hearts and reactions of the injured parties.

Focusing on the Brazilians, just imagine being called third-world for decades. Imagine getting tagged a banana republic by journalists, tourists, even politicians for a lifetime. Imagine being constantly demeaned as some family’s poor relation longer than anyone should bear. But in face of all that, you still throw the biggest possible wedding for your rich cousins, expending all of your resources, and then you get branded inferior during a toast by the best man who makes international headlines effectively calling you a violent, low-class relative.

Ryan Lochke effectively had done that, but he clearly moderated his message in this last interview with Lauer.

He owned up to the facts as he knew them and also to the evidence provided by local police and others. He took full blame for his role in vandalism, intoxication, and confrontational behavior with the Brazilians who pulled him out of a taxi and demanded restitution. He owned up to messing with the truth in early interviews.

And yes, he did express regret to the Brazilians. He acknowledged they put on a great Olympics. He said the people of Rio were warm, welcoming, and generous and that they did not deserve the smear he launched with bad behavior and thoughtlessness in front of the world press.

But did these words change the minds and hearts of the injured Brazilians? Did they look like a real apology?

Atonement

Probably not. Victims understand actions more than words. Certainly Ryan Lochke’s current and future sponsors will understand actions more than words. To take an example we can all relate to, if I break your window, I not only replace the pane, but I might also pay a carpenter to repair and paint the frame around the glass, then invite you over for a barbeque to celebrate a new relationship. We all know this as atonement. Unfortunately for Lochke, his atonement would have to be on a scale far beyond the stuff he broke in a bathroom. Personally, I would hate to see Ryan wait around and end up succumbing to penalities possibly applied by the IOC or by American Olympics interests. Right now, he could announce measures of sincere atonement that would likely hit both hearts and minds of Brazilians, his teammates, and all of us in America who are embarrassed. He could very well regain respect.

Ryan Lochte surely wants to regain his image as a great Olympian. Probably his best chance is to be a Great Atoner. For instance, he could fly back to Brazil right now and directly apologize to the property owner he hurt, the security guards he disrespected, the local Olympic committee he offended, the national leaders whose fortunes and sweat were laid on the line to pull the Olympics off, and the millions of people whose pride was hurt. Beyond that, if Lochke does this right, he will continue to get endorsement contracts that he can leverage to provide trust funds for much needed causes in Brazil, perhaps especially for young athletes and scholars.

And even if atonement, even the sincerest form of it, does not win over hearts and minds, the very act itself is healing and the right thing to do.

Choosing Just ONE New Year’s Resolution

Choosing Just ONE New Year’s Resolution

Look up “change one thing” at Amazon.com and you’ll find a handful of self-help books with such a title. I myself am living proof that it works, not only because changing one thing is easy, but because it has a domino effect on the rest of your life.

Take a look at your weakest Window Color and find a strength there that you KNOW you need, then work on that one thing. If you’ve forgotten your Windows Color Spectrum, click here to take the survey. It’s free.

In my case, a long time ago, I chose to arrive early for all my sales appointments. Being on time or early is a signature Gold Window strength. Gold was so weak in my character that it hardly registered on any scale at all. Bottom line, by making the change to show up early at appointments, my sales career turned around. And I surprisingly gathered other Gold strengths without thinking about them, such as not cancelling appointments, by preparing better, and by developing pretty good follow-up techniques.

So I urge you to consider making just one New Years Resolution for 2016. And consider scanning the strengths of your weakest Window. Here are some suggestions.

If your GOLD Window is foggy:
• Save money regularly.
• Make a financial management plan and follow it.
• Buy something that will appreciate.
• Commit more strongly to something or someone.
• Never be the first to change an appointment or be late for one.
• Spend a little more time on projects that test your patience.

If your ORANGE Window sheds little light:
• Be in the now, embrace the now, and wallow in it gleefully.
• Set up triggers to lighten up.
• Take up some physical activities and don’t stop doing them.
• Follow impulses – for some fun.
• Learn or develop skills — for art, sport, or fitness — especially for self-expression.
• Kill your fears and welcome new things to do, at least one a week.

Do you need to clean your BLUE glasses?
• Devote yourself passionately to someone who needs your help and cannot give anything back.
• Stop judging and be more adaptable to others’ ideas.
• Understand someone’s feelings as a possible logical indicator of reality.
• Be more enthusiastic around others.
• Regularly ask yourself how others might be thinking and feeling.
• Study morals and ethics.

Is it hard being GREEN?
• Regularly and aggressively understand at least two sides to controversies around you.
• Before buying something expensive, do deep research on it, demanding thoroughness, quality, and excellent scientific inquiry.
• Use words to express yourself accurately, avoiding vagueness and sloppy thinking.
• Upgrade the level of information you take in by choosing better quality reading and media.
• Make a hypothesis, do some research, then carefully explain your findings.
• Read about nature and how to interact with it better.

Yes, there are 24 possible resolutions above. Don’t get crazy with ideas. Choose JUST ONE, stick to it, then watch some magic happen throughout 2016.

Case Study: How To Hire a Green

Case Study: How To Hire a Green

Last year, I did a Four Windows workshop for a team with only one single employee out of sixteen who saw the world through a Green Window. So guess which rational Green strengths were missing from the team. Big picture thinking? Yes. Eagerness for strategic planning? You bet. Competent research analysis? Yes again. I.T. skills? Oh yeah.

The manager, Renee Jones (we’ll call her) knew that new Green Window strengths would make a difference. The team was stagnant and uncomfortable with change. When measured against big-city teams in the same industry, her department competed poorly. They were not flexible. Nobody could write code.

So Renee designed interview questions that would reveal Windows strengths and values for all four temperaments and which would certainly reveal folks who seriously viewed the world through a Green Window.

Question #1. What did your former bosses most appreciate about you? The Green candidates answered that their bosses praised them for figuring out problems on their own and finishing jobs with perfection within timelines. Bosses depended on Green Window research and long-term planning of all kinds.

Question #2. How would you describe your ideal boss? Green candidates said the best bosses got their respect when they demonstrated deep knowledge and skills, they were open, they were fair. Greens especially liked superiors that did not micromanage.

Question #3. What workplace strengths are you most proud of? Green interviewees talked of being terrific team players, usually adding that they prided themselves on making sure everybody was on the same page about each project. They liked being seen as dependable and loved it when their coworkers were just as reliable.

Question #4. How do you like your co-workers to treat you? Most Green candidates wanted their co-wokers to respect their space and time, as well as the quality of the work they produced.

Question #5. What behaviors cause you the most stress and frustration? Green stressors turned out to be high emotions, too much socializing, too many meetings, and wasted time.

Question #6. What is your ideal work environment? Being highly task-oriented, Greens interviewees hoped for plenty of time, space, and independence to complete projects, together with resources, open-mindednes, and teamwork to support and fuel the projects.

Notice what Greens did not say to Renee. The language was devoid of Blue Window idealistic expressions. Neither did they dwell on Gold-Window rules and traditions. And no Green responses seemed as knee-jerk as Orange folks might tend to voice.

So what can we conclude from this? First of all, during job interviews, why not get a face-to-face personality scan while delving into work background, skills, and education? When your organization is Four Windows savvy, you realize you can confidently identify your needs for strengths and values and then ask for them, find them, hire them, and leverage them.

Another benefit: Yes, your job description in this case would have asked for I.T. skills, experience with strategic planning, etc., but the personality probing would make interview comments more telling. Non-Greens can say “the right words” to fit the official job description, but a people who have viewed the world through a Green Window all their lives will say those right words with the conviction of genuine passion for the values that meet your needs.

Disclaimer: Never, ever discount the experience of Blue, Gold, and Orange people. Do not exclude them from hiring, even in a case like this one, because plenty of non-Greens do indeed not only have experience, but they often possess Green values and strengths that they have developed over time, thus bringing to the table a whole palate of skills that nobody else can ever replicate.

So you want your committee to succeed?

So you want your committee to succeed?

Rule #1 for committee formation: Invite people whose values and strengths differ from yours.

If you don’t have Greens (rationals), you might lack lovers of research and long-term strategic thinking. For example, if you were on the committee to protect kids from violence in your local grade school, Greens would look for best practices locally, nationally, and internationally – with gusto and thoroughness.

If you don’t have Golds (guardians), consider disbanding the committee. Those guys stay on top of logistics, rules, policies, and especially follow-through. For the grade school anti-violence committee, Golds will probably link the committee’s work to respected organizations and leaders in the larger community, will guard against sloppiness and inconsistencies, and will hold everyone else’s feet to the fire of quality and high responsibility.

The Blue people (idealists) facilitate, mediate, teach, mentor and often become the greatest cheerleaders for the committee’s mission and implementation. Without Blues, don’t be surprised if the people you need to persuade tell you that your committee wreaks of sharp-edged, bureaucratic turn-offs. Besides, For the school anti-violence committee, the Blues will not let you forget the people issues, human feelings, and ways to appeal to peoples’ emotions, ideals, and dreams.

Oranges (artisans) are the least likely to be invited to join a committee. Oranges themselves shy away from sit-down events for fear of slow activity. Non-Oranges are wary of fast Orange decision making. Orange strengths, however, include inborn high practicality, natural awareness of common-sense priorities, and especially abilities to carry out and enforce safety measures. For protecting school children, Oranges are the natural first-responders and uniquely capable to lead and think on their feet when it matters.

Each temperament style has values and strengths that differ from the others. At least three styles see life significantly differently from each one of us. They complete us. They are rich resources. Together we build collective wisdom, even genius. So how wouldn’t a genius committee succeed?

 

How important is blogging?

How important is blogging?

I have seen precious little evidence that blogging matters. Millions of people are blogging, but who is paying attention? I am guessing that a handful of bloggers have such unique material and compelling issues that they of course rise to the top. The rest of us must be flailing in the wind, blogging to ourselves and a few friends, hoping against hope that what we think and say even matters. Is it possible that Facebook is more effective than most blogs?

Yes, I see some people and organizations stand out like Fast Company, the social media version of it. I’ve recently discovered Gretchen Rubin who is BRILLIANT. How does one complete for attention with those heavies in the marketplace?

Well the answer, I guess, is to do stuff that seems to matter — and, eventually, a few people might care about it as much as you do…and then they’ll spread the word.

Choose Valentine Gifts by “Color”

Choose Valentine Gifts by “Color”

If you want an idea or two for your loved one this Valentine’s Day, here you go.

We know to give presents that our loved ones actually want, and not what we want, right? It’s probably hardest to buy stuff for people so different from us because we ourselves do not place the same value on the gift. For example, my very Orange adult granddaughter wants a new tattoo for the holiday. To begin with, I don’t understand tattoos at all and certainly would never spend any money on one for myself. But that’s the point of a gift, isn’t it? It’s a gift — something truly valuable to the recipient.

If you do not remember what the Colors mean, here’s the link: http://www.jackdermody.com/4w.html

Gold Gifts. Who is the traditional, responsible Gold person in your life? They like what’s “right.” Here’s a partial list: tasteful jewelry and clothing, practical furnishings and utensils for the home, the next piece of a cherished collection, gift cards for the right store, or an intimate item that further bonds your relationship.

Green Gifts. Your rational, deep-thinking Green friends and family members like stuff for their minds: cutting-edge software, books, intriguing games, coveted resources, tickets to events around their favorite subjects and hobbies, and useful material things that keep life utilitarian and efficient.

Blue Gifts.Those idealistic, harmony-seeking Blue folks in your life may be the least expensive to shop for just because they can value “the thought” more highly the actual gift. Are you good at making things that you can custom-tailor for your loved one? Can you write something special? How about tickets to music, theater, and concerts? Flowers and arty things? Or a warm piece of clothing they’ll always remember you by?

Orange Gifts. Truth be known, nearly everybody wants to get what Oranges want and usually get. Oranges just want to have fun. They want to enjoy personal freedom. So they get surprises, trips, the latest clothes, cool tools, exciting games, toys, musical instruments, vacation tickets — well, you get the idea.

Here’s my own take on gifting. The best gifts are given with no strings, no investment in the outcome — except in the hope the gift will bring genuine joy — however temporary — to the recipient. Say what you will about the materialism of the day, underneath the colorful ribbons and enormous credit card debt is a desire to enrich the lives of others.

How to Fail Interviews for Top-Paying Jobs

How to Fail Interviews for Top-Paying Jobs

The problem with a great resume is it will get you the interview. A bigger problem is the interview itself. My friend Beth walked into a panel of interviewers who squashed her like a bug with brutal questions that only expert interviewers will deliver. Beth was squashable because she did not prepare for Expert questions. She had claimed to be executive-level material for marketing and ended up in a room full of actual marketing executives. They beat her up.  For example, what books and journals are you reading right now? What would you do if…? Who do you know? Can you prove what you just said?

Expert interviewers are not just “experts” per se. They possess what I call “Expert” personalities whose values reek of geekdom. They live for knowledge and competence and are rigorous about who they work with…and more importantly, who they pay to work with them. Read more about them in Job Interviewers: Get Inside Their Heads. (Amazon.com)

If you are reading books that give you pat answers to “standard questions,” throw them away right now. To get a high-paying job, you must be the professional you claim to be. If you did not finish graduate studies in your field, you will not be perceived as professional. If you are not continually reading and learning and gaining recognizably important experience, then you are not professional. Top money is given to top performers. Period.

Do I sound like your dad? Good. Listen up.

That’s right. Colors can’t solve all problems.

That’s right. Colors can’t solve all problems.

A snarky colleague can’t refrain from reminding me that the four classic temperaments (the four Colors) do not solve all of life’s problems.

Of course she is right. In fact, before proceeding, let me recommend an easy introduction to personality theory that covers much more than Colors ever would: Making Sense of People: Decoding the Mysteries of Personality by Samuel Barondes. It’s new. You get to find out what today’s psychological community agrees on. But beware you might finally change that major to Psychology before you’re through.

But why is Colors so great? Without answering all life problems?

It’s simple.  Just the act of identifying ourselves with one of four Colors tells a lot about our personal values and needs. And most of us understand the focus is on how great we are, rather than what might be “wrong.” By seeing ourselves in one of only four groups, it’s hard to get paranoid or “invaded” when it’s clear there are millions of other people “just like us.”

And there’s more good news. With the simple day-to-day tools that are part of personality studies, you and I see real hope that we’ll get along better with others and communicate more effectively.

Still, a small percentage of my clients feel even the Colors program is more invasive than they like. They say they don’t want their test results shared with the rest the team. Occasionally such folks get excused from a workshop.

I know what they mean. As I am combing through Barondes book a third and fourth time, I literally sweat about my neuroses and examine my life deeply…well, like many of us did as young religious children. Here’s hoping you won’t read my notes before I’m dead. LOL, as they say.

The reason I do the workshops is this: The old ways, the moralistic ways, the religious ways, even the fully scientific psychological ways look harsh and invasive to most folks. The four classic temperaments as seen through the four Colors, the Four Windows — allow us to think and talk about ourselves safely and still make big changes without embarrassing ourselves.