Change Management Training

Change Management is the process that is chosen when an organization embarks on a new initiative. Before a Change Management Process is launched there should be sufficient analysis to determine the direction, the purpose, and the desired outcomes. In addition, the change agents should evaluate whether there is sufficient time, energy, resources, and commitment to the desired outcome. If there is not adequate buy-in to the need for the change, it should be postponed until a time when the climate is ready, willing, and able (RWA) to successfully effect the change.

When the due diligence has been performed and it has been determined that the timing is right, the people are on board, and the resources are available to guarantee success then it is time to move forward. When embarking on the change journey, it is critical to choose change agents who are qualified, competent, and experienced in ushering effective transitions in organizations. The choice is made based on certain criteria. Those criteria are both objective and subjective and should be used as a checklist prior to proceeding. Recommendations for other clients, colleagues, and firms who have undergone similar processes are a good initial step. Conducting interviews in which the change agents are expected to present case histories that they have engineered directly is a prudent second step.

The third step is to ask the tough questions:

  1. What were the conditions when you started the project?
  2. What resistance did you encounter?
  3. How did you deal with it?
  4. What percentage of the organization bought into the change?
  5. What did you do to get the rest of the organization to buy in?
  6. Did the project take longer or shorter than you originally estimated? (how much?)
  7. What other challenges did you encounter?
  8. Was the project successful?
  9. How do you measure your success?
  10. What was your biggest failure and why?

Depending on how the change agents respond to these questions, and how you feel about your ability to work closely with them, i.e. rapport, connection, effective communication skills, ability to receive feedback non-defensively, service-oriented, flexibility, excellence, integrity, availability, and price.

  • Flexibility
  • Ability to receive feedback
  • Connection
  • Effective communication skills
  • Price
  • Rapport
  • Availability
  • Integrity
  • Service oriented
  • Excellence

When you have narrowed the field and you are between the final two change agents, ask both organizations to do the following:

  1. Map out their plan for the change management Process including time, resources, and funds
  2. Ask what could possibly go wrong with their plan
  3. Ask what their contingency plan is
  4. Ask what they are willing to do to solve the situation if things do not go according to their plan
  5. Ask if they will stick to the price they have quoted regardless of circumstances?

Based on the manner in which the change agents respond to your final set of questions, you should be able to determine the right match of change agent for your organization. Your change agent is critically important to the success of the process and you want this collaboration to be a match from the onset.  There will be wrinkles, challenges, and glitches along the way, but if the outcome is worth the effort, then when the going gets tough, hang in there…don’t lose faith. In every change process there is a moment when the executive team is tempted to abort. The process seems too difficult, too long, too much to endure for the employees, and too costly.

This is standard for any transformational change process. The phases of the process are:

  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Obstacles
  3. Frustration
  4. Disillusionment
  5. Hopelessness
  6. Capability
  7. Hope
  8. Functionality
  9. Breakthrough
  10. Success

If you reflect on any successful transformational change process that you have experienced, these phases have been present. If you abort at step three, four, or five, you will never see the significant transformation in steps nine and ten.

One of the most important steps in the process is the final evaluation of the process. This is where you want to get the Core Team together and assess what was learned, what was gained, and what insights you want to apply to future projects.

Change Management is a methodical, strategic, and effective way to design and engineer organizational change. When conducted properly it is the most efficient and practical way to transition an organization to embrace desired initiatives.

Coaching Skills Workshop

The Coaching Skills Workshop is a four and one half day program with home assignments and sessions that focuses on coaching skills. Designed without the personal development component, it is specifically meant for Corporate in-house training and is geared to give managers, trainers coaches, mentors and consultants who work together, an experience of the MMS approach to problem solving. Unlike the in-depth, three-month MMS Coach Training process, the Coaching Skills Workshop focuses on the tools while barely touching on the personal development side.

We met with one specific group of technical consultants who were already a successful group of busy consultants; they wanted to learn Coaching Skills in order to be a better coach for the trainees in their in-house Training Programs, and to have the opportunity to ask more in-depth, innovative questions regarding the coaching process. They wanted to ask more probing questions that would generate more responsive answers.

What they liked about the MMS approach:

1.  Determining what a person wants in a specific situation
2.  Establishing a step by step action plan
3.  Supporting the person until the objective is realized

Case Study: One member of the group was highly sensitive and creative. He was experiencing some challenges in his sessions, yet was hesitant about asking questions. He was also fearful of being too aggressive. He discovered a parallel in his business life in that he was unwilling to say what he felt for fear of offending others. As a result he wasn’t achieving the results he wanted in either his sessions nor in his professional life. He discovered that he needed to go the extra mile and risk being judged “too assertive” rather than adhering to his traditional role. His instant behavior change made all the difference in his professional performance on all levels.

Conclusions: As a result of the three-month workshop design with weekly reports and assignment sessions in-between, the positive comments at the conclusion of the program were uplifting.

Leadership Training

Leaders are sometimes born and other times they are developed. At MMS Institute, we believe that Leadership is a choice! When you make the choice to lead in your life, you must know who you are, and what values you endorse. You must have a clear sense of whom you want to lead and where you want to lead them. To be an effective leader, you must show up, stand up, and speak up for what you truly believe.

Leadership has eight components:

  • Vision
  • Clarity of purpose
  • Effective communication
  • Ability to inspire and motivate people to follow
  • Self-management
  • Problem solving capabilities
  • Decisiveness
  • Willingness to learn from successes and failures

Participants in this Leadership Training will learn to:

  • Clarify their vision
  • Discover their purpose
  • Augment communication skills
  • Assess their strengths and weaknesses as a leader
  • Build on their strengths
  • Minimize, improve, or eliminate their weaknesses
  • Become more effective problem solvers
  • Become more decisive
  • Take inventory of past successes and failures

Leadership Training Program objectives:

  • To help leaders understand the forces affecting their careers
  • To learn how to use their power and influence more effectively in the business world
  • To experience greater self-confidence
  • To gain a full and honest picture of strengths and developmental needs
  • To become better managers of gender issues in the workplace to learn strategies for achieving greater influence in the organization
  • To overcome the biases and discomfort associated with exercising political savvy
  • To learn effective leadership skills

Consultative Sales Training

Selling traditionally involves convincing, persuading, or talking someone into purchasing your product or service. People often shy away from sales people because they don’t want to get “sold.” What makes Consultative Sales Training different from other sales courses is that you ask questions, focus your attention on the customer or client, and you actively listen to their responses. As you listen to their responses, you can then determine whether there is a match between the person and what you are offering. Your initial purpose is to determine if this person is a genuine prospect, meaning that they have the desire, the resources, the time, energy, and the authority to purchase what you have to sell. When that determination has been made, you can either let go of the opportunity because the candidate is not a qualified prospect, or you can start to build bridges between their interest and your product or service. Another difference is the sincere desire to be of service to another. It is as if the “service-orientation” becomes senior to the need to make a sale; the tone of the conversation dramatically changes. There is an absence of struggle, the need to be right, to win, or to dominate. What makes this program special is the incorporation of the MMS coaching techniques coupled with the sales framework. When you ask questions, without an agenda, and honestly support people in having what they want, regardless of whether it benefits you, you have mastered the art of consultative selling. The ultimate goal of the course is to build successful relationships with customers that endure over time.  

Time Options:

Individually coordinated with senior MMS trainers

Who this program is for: 

Corporate Sales Teams

Cost Options: 

Customized to suit client’s budget

Number of Participants: 

Depends on the organization’s needs and wants

Interviewing Skills

Most people believe that interviewing is easy and it involves very little skill. They see the process of simply sitting in a room with a candidate asking a variety of questions, and then trusting your gut level response about the person. This approach will not yield the most qualified candidates for the organization. Effective interviewing is a developed skill that can be mastered with practice, patience, and perseverance.

MMS has over 40 years experience in skill based training on strategies to improve organization’s productivity and enhance self development. MMS Interviewing Skills Training is aimed at anyone who wishes to develop their interviewing skills. Interviewing Skills Training will cover all the practical skills needed to make recruitment interviews productive and focused. Participants in this Interviewing Skills Training will gain complete understanding of entire process of planning, recruiting, interviewing and hiring the right person for the right job.

The purpose of the job interview is to gather sufficient, relevant data to be able to accurately assess and evaluate applicants so that you will make the right choice about the person/job match and positively influence the applicant to make the right choice about their future.

Studies have discovered that people who follow their preferences, rather than their competencies have more job satisfaction for the long term. For instance, a candidate might be a terrific typist, but they love to travel and would ideally love to be a tour guide. If that person gets a job as a typist, they will be dissatisfied and listless.

There are 4 key answers that you want to be certain that you can answer after the interview is complete. They are:

  1. Does the applicant have the ability to do the job?
  2. Does the applicant want to do the job (is it his/her preference)?
  3. Does the applicant fit into the organizational culture?
  4. Is this the best person for the job? Will they feel comfortable and at home in their new job?

The person must integrate into the culture otherwise the situation will result in a short-term engagement rather than a long-term commitment. When people feel like they don’t belong they end up leaving when presented with the opportunity.

You ultimately want to choose the very best candidate for the job, not just someone who is acceptable, available, or presents well.

To help you determine whether the applicant is the right one for the job, here are some areas that address these specific questions.

To answer the question, “does the applicant have the ability?” we examine his/her capabilities, skills, experience, education, knowledge, technical expertise, specialized training, analytical skills, accomplishments, and flexibility to show that they know and have experienced a similar situation. You always want to ask questions rather than assuming that a person has the abilities and know-how.

To answer the question, “Is this job the person’s preference?” we look at Motivation/Desire, behavior, preferences, interests, their goals, their drive and energy, their reliability, cooperation and taking initiative.

To answer the question of the candidate’s fit into the organizational culture, we ask about their need for structure, autonomy, freedom, direction, and independence. We also want to know if their values are aligned with the majority of the group. Where these questions don’t constitute a legitimate “knock-out punch” they do provide some indicators of long-term integration or expulsion.

Interviewing Skills Training is customized to meet your organization’s needs. Anyone who has to recruit as part of their job can take this training. Interviewing Skills Training helps the organization executives to learn successful interviewing strategies to find the best employee every time.

Time Management Seminar

We live in a world that is full of “Time Gobblers.” Time Gobblers are the intangible moments that seem to steal your precious moments and leave you feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. At the end of the day, you either feel a sense of satisfaction or you feel frustrated and discouraged. The purpose of learning Self and Time Management is to be able to orchestrate your life so that you are in alignment with your values, use your time wisely, and feel fulfilled at the end of each day.

Time management is not a skill set that anyone is born with. If you haven’t taken a course in Time Management or had a coach to help you with managing your effectiveness, then you are a product of your environment, doing what you have observed others do.

In order to be an effective time manager, you need to identify the time Gobblers are, and know how to address them when they threaten to derail the perfect plans that you have established for your day.

The “Time Gobblers” are:

  1. Lack of planning or prioritizing
  2. Telephone interruptions
  3. Disorganization or cluttered desk
  4. Procrastination
  5. Drop-in visitors
  6. Lack of self-discipline
  7. Ineffective delegation
  8. Unrealistic expectations
  9. Inability to say, “No”
  10. Leaving tasks incomplete

Some people resist planning because they want to use their free time to relax; they want to go with the flow, being spontaneous, avoiding structure, and believing that they know everything they have to do because it is stored in their head. Others allow for interruptions, both on the phone and in person. Having a cluttered desk is also a habit. It too can be overcome, but it won’t become decluttered by itself. You must do it, and you also must allocate time for this discipline if it is going to be maintained on a regular basis.

Procrastination is a Negaholic habit that can be broken once you understand when you do it, why you do it, and address the three components that anchor the behavior and keep it in place. It can be overcome, but it takes discipline. If you lack self-discipline, then you need to take yourself in hand and honestly evaluate who is running the show. Self-discipline happens when you become the CEO of your life. You get things done because you determine the priorities, you choose to do them, you allocate time, and then you execute the task in the time allotted. If you set unrealistic expectations, then tell yourself the TRUTH regarding the situation. Then build in a cushion on top of that “truth.” You probably anticipate the best possible outcome and ignore the “stuff” that happens, like traffic, accidents, other people being late or even missing deadlines. If you imagine that you live in a perfect world, think again… Start to anticipate what could go wrong and then factor that possibility into your planning. If the random “Stuff” doesn’t happen, then consider yourself ahead of the game!

There are ways to overcome these, however, you must be ready, willing, and able to change your behaviors. Changing behaviors is easier said than done. We are creatures of habit and when a behavior becomes ingrained it becomes habitual, or a part of you. If you want to change behaviors, you have to separate yourself from the habit or behavior that has attached itself to you.

If you have difficulty saying, “No” or “Not at this time” then seriously consider taking the Inner Negotiation Workshop to change those behaviors. Old patterns will need to be broken to ensure success. Do one thing differently, and then reward yourself. Remember, 21 repetitions will change an old habit into a new behavior pattern. Start today!

When you have mastered the components of Time Management you will:

  1. Discover how to balance time and life
  2. Use your time efficiently
  3. Exercise choice when managing your schedule
  4. Feel more in control of your days
  5. Experience success in accomplishing tasks and projects

Communication and Conflict Resolution

Communication and Conflict Resolution focuses on the basics of communications, listening skills, the five levels of communication, how to become a better communicator, how to deal with conflict, how to manage anger, and overcoming common communication barriers. Communication and Conflict Resolution is the essential program to avoid an office breakdown.

If any of these 12 ineffective communication behaviors exist in your corporate environment, it’s time to contact Motivation Management Service, LP for a consultation before they elicit feelings of frustration, anger, resentment, defensiveness, and misunderstandings among peers and management.

  1. Ordering, directing, commanding
  2. Warning, admonishing, threatening
  3. Exhorting, moralizing, preaching
  4. Advising or suggesting
  5. Lecturing
  6. Judging, criticizing, disagreement, blaming
  7. Patronizing
  8. Name calling, ridiculing, or shaming
  9. Interpreting, assuming, diagnosing
  10. Sympathizing, consoling
  11. Interrogating, sarcasm
  12. Withdrawing, diverting, distracting

If you are unsure whether or not you have the listener’s attention, consider this list of indicators that the listener’s attention is elsewhere:

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Nervous distraction
  • Clock watching
  • Interrupting
  • Continuing previous activities
  • Asking inappropriate questions
  • Abrupt exiting mid-sentence
  • Projecting
  • Rambling
  • Sentence completing/word filling

There are ways to ensure more effective listening.  Be sure to reduce distractions, seek underlying attitudes and hidden motivations prior to the conversation.  Be sure to give your full attention to the conversation and look for non-verbal clues, while using feedback to confirm that you’re listening.

The ultimate goal of this course is to become not only a better communicator, but also a better listener.

Performance Appraisal Training

Performance appraisal is one of the most important ways an organization can ensure the continued best performance practices of its employees and promote their future development. All employees need to know where they stand concerning their job performances…Each organization has its own specific way of planning, organizing, conducting and evaluating the performance appraisal process.

For more than four decades, Motivation Management Service has worked with millions of professionals and various organizations. We have conducted profound research on the employee appraisal system and its effects on the financial and program components of an organization. We discovered how to inspire the best performance through recognition and reward, and adopt a supportive approach to correcting mistakes and disciplining employees. We have explored a structure and some guidelines for conducting successful Performance Appraisal.

Most people have a fair amount of discomfort when they think about conducting a performance appraisal. The reason is that it is rare that you have only glowing reports to communicate about an employee. When they consider pointing out required attitude or behavior changes, giving constructive feedback, and enumerating ways for an employee to improve, they would rather avoid the subject all together. The purpose of the performance appraisal is to solidify your coach/mentor relationship so that the employee…

  1. is open and willing to receive both positive and negative feedback from you.
  2. perceives him/herself similar to how others see him/her (an accurate self- assessment).
  3. learns from his/her mistakes and takes positive action to correct past errors.
  4. becomes re-motivated to seize the challenges in front of him/her with clarity, direction and new confidence.

The Performance Appraisal is a special time set aside without interruption to give relevant, meaningful and timely feedback to an employee about his/her performance.

During the performance appraisal meeting, the manager will discuss areas of responsibility, review and assess agreed upon objectives (to determine whether they have been met or not), to see if there is a need for additional support, and to set new objectives for the next upcoming period.

There are three purposes for performance appraisal, and they are:

  1. Giving and receiving honest, relevant, and meaningful feedback regarding his/her effectiveness on the job.
  2. Assessing with him/her whether his/her objectives (set by both of you) have been met.
  3. Setting new realistic job-related objectives for the next upcoming unit of time.

Let’s address what NOT to do. We are going to focus on what pitfalls many managers make, that you want to be conscious of, and therefore avoid!

The first pitfall is called “Glossing over” which is in effect a rubber stamp. Glossing over is commonly committed by a manager who has a fear of confrontation. He either doesn’t know what to say, or he tries to do the minimum in order to get the whole process over and done with.

The second pitfall is being overtly critical. This type of appraisal usually comes from a Negaholic boss. A Negaholic is someone who focuses only on Negative aspects and has difficulty noticing anything positive. This comes from taking for granted everything an employee does “right” and looking for behaviors that are above and beyond the job description.

The third pitfall is an incomplete assessment. The manager will focus on symptoms, not causes, ignore big issues, and superficially assess the employee. This is usually the action of a manager who has not sufficiently prepared for the appraisal, or they have never been trained to do them properly.

Number four on the list of common pitfalls is superimposing your view. This is caused by telling the employee your approach is best and putting your suggestions in front of theirs. Ideally, they should be agreed upon together.

Perhaps the manager likes to hear his own voice, or he believes he knows better than the employee; he might want to save time by lecturing rather than listening. This approach dis-empowers the employee and doesn’t encourage them to think, participate, or be involved in their own developmental process.

Number five is vagueness or never making clear what you expect. If the expectations are not clearly understood and agreed upon, it is difficult to use mutually agreed upon objectives as the key reference point. They may have a hard time dealing with specifics, have memory issues, are forgetful, or are overwhelmed with task-saturation.

The last pitfall is prioritizing or putting off the appraisal.

This thought process suggests that the manager doesn’t value the appraisal process, considers it is a waste of time, and doesn’t subscribe to “career-pathing” employees.

In addition to the other classic pitfalls, here are 10 more that can easily be avoided.

They are:

  1. Spending too much time on one annual performance appraisal than on ongoing relationship building through consistent communication.
  2. Comparing or pitting employees against each other.
  3. Focusing on blame rather than on improvement.
  4. Believing that the actual “form” is the appraisal.
  5. Ceasing performance appraisals when an employee’s salary is no longer tied to the appraisal.
  6. Believing employees are in a position to accurately assess staff.
  7. Canceling or postponing appraisal meetings.
  8. Measuring or appraising the trivial.
  9. Surprising the employees during appraisal.
  10. Thinking all employees and all jobs should be assessed in exactly the same way using the same procedures.

In order to conduct the Performance Appraisal in the best possible manner and to obtain optimum results consider addressing the process in three units of time…before, during, and after the appraisal.

First before the appraisal happens, there is preparation to be done. Here is your checklist.

  • Review the previous list of objectives
  • Review the employees file
  • Review all commendations
  • Review any disciplinary write-ups
  • Solicit input from other managers who interface with this employee on his/her performance
  • Plan and note what you want to address
  • Have your papers organized
  • Schedule the date and time and let the employee know when it is

The day of the appraisal make sure that the environment is set up for a positive outcome.

Here is your checklist:

  • Schedule a conference room if necessary.
  • Inform staff that you are not to be interrupted.
  • Ask that all calls be referred to someone else.
  • Have all your papers organized in advance.
  • Make sure to confirm the date and time with the employee.
  • Meet with HR to know what you can offer the employee in terms of position, compensation, benefits, etc.
  • Turn off all mobile phones prior to meeting.

You may already know how to set the stage, but in case you have forgotten, here is a structural reminder of six key points…

  • Welcome the employee
  • Clarify time allotted for the meeting
  • Set the stage with the purpose and desired outcome of the meeting
  • Ask the employee how he/she feels about the meeting
  • Propose an agenda
  • Follow the agenda

Here is your agenda for the appraisal. The reason for this is to avoid guesswork and to ensure that everything necessary has been covered.

  • Review last year’s objectives
  • Review accomplishments & successes
  • Address challenges & setbacks
  • Discuss career path updates & changes
  • Ask for clarification re: how the employee wants to handle the challenges
  • Establish next objectives
  • Ask what support you can offer
  • Set follow up dates and accountabilities
  • Address feelings and feedback regarding the meeting

At the end of the meeting, make sure that you close on the right note. You also want to document everything that happened so that the next time you meet you have a reference point and can pick up where you left off.

The items include:

  • Thank the employee for coming
  • Document the meeting
  • E-mail what was agreed to the employee
  • Make sure the file is updated
  • Send a copy of appraisal to HR
  • Set the follow up date on your calendar

To summarize our training, here are six key points:

  1. Successful performance appraisals are a function of effective relationships
  2. All people value being respected. No employee will object to receiving too much respect
  3. Clarifying expectations is important. When people know how to play the game, they are grateful. Removing ambiguity and uncertainty is always appreciated.
  4. Agreeing on the game plan is critical
  5. Being on the same page really counts and is another relationship builder.
  6. Mini performance assessments should happen frequently in order to ensure the annual is pleasant, and valuable for both people.

All people like to know where they stand. If you have built a solid relationship with your employees, and you give them meaningful, relevant, and timely feedback that they can easily integrate, you will then ideally have happy, focused, and satisfied employees for a very long time.

Anyone responsible for conducting performance reviews can take Performance Appraisal Training. MMS Performance Appraisal Training program is designed to document the expectations of individual and organizational performance, provide a meaningful Performance Appraisal process by which employees can be rewarded for noteworthy contributions to the organization, and provide a mechanism to improve individual/organizational performance as necessary.

Termination & Exit Training

Termination is a meeting with an employee for the purpose of letting him know in a clear, direct, specific, firm, detailed, and documented manner that he is no longer working with or for your company. When terminating an employee, you must be firm, fair, and direct. You cannot waffle, and you need to deal with objective criteria, facts, figures, and empirical data. These skills can be learned, and must be utilized in a termination interview.

It is never easy to let an employee go. You may have been meeting with the employee over a long period of time anticipating this moment, or it may be a sudden occurrence precipitated by illegal actions. Regardless of whether you planned for the meeting or whether it was unforeseen, you need to know what to do to make sure that you handle things properly.

There are always feelings associated with termination. At the very least it is regrettable admitting that your hopes and wishes for an employee didn’t turn out the way you had wanted. It can also be distressing, and even traumatic when you consider that an employee may not perceive their behavior in the exact same way you do. They may feel unfairly treated or set up to fail. In order for you to be successful in the termination process, you want to be able to put yourself in their situation, empathize with their circumstances, and be firm, fair, and direct.

It is important to note that unless a sudden and critical act happens, termination should be the end result of a process that has reached a conclusion that is the best solution for everyone involved. For instance, if the employee is chronically unhappy, is unable to do the work required, or has violated company policies or civil laws, then action must be taken.

The ideal outcome of an employee termination is have the person leave the organization having learned something positive from the experience; in addition you want them to bear no malice toward any person associated with the organization, including the overall organization itself.

When you meet with an employee for the purpose of termination, you want to:

  1. Help the employee attain closure
  2. Complete the relationship for yourself and the organization
  3. Ensure that there will be no legal ramifications
  4. Ensure that there will be no retaliation, retribution, or recrimination

Important questions to ask… Did you feel the organization provided you with sufficient training, opportunities for advancement? Do you have any suggestions for ways the organization or your department might enable the work environment to be more pleasant and productive?

The purpose of the exit interview is to:

  1. Help management determine the reason behind voluntary termination
  2. Minimize misunderstandings and resentments
  3. Complete administration

An exit interview should not be confused with the meeting at which notice of termination is given. Exit interviews are conducted after the termination decision, whether voluntary or not and are intended to help management determine the actual reason behind a voluntary termination. Explanation should be provided to minimize misunderstandings and possible resentment caused by involuntary terminations. In addition, completion of compensation, administrative details and information regarding termination of benefits should be clear at this final meeting.

It is recommended that information from individual exit interview remain confidential. If an employee knows that their supervisor or manager will read the report they may be less willing to be open and candid. The meeting should be held in a private office to ensure the employee’s comments won’t be over heard. Document the exit interview and turn off mobile phones prior to meeting.

If the employee blames others for their circumstances, you can be sure that he/she does not take responsibility for their mistakes, for their job, or generally speaking, for their life. With this type of situation you want to use tactics that bypass the syndrome. You can say things like, “I know that you are not responsible for this situation, but it would help me greatly if you could possibly assume some responsibility for a positive change. What do you think of that?”

Remember: “Praise in public, provide feedback in private!”

When carried out consistently, exit interviews are a valuable tool as part of a company’s overall, pro-active human resource strategy. Interviews can provide helpful information for further improvement in the company’s overall performance.


The exit interview is an important tool for employers. When properly conducted, the interview provides the employer with the opportunity to:

  • Discuss and clarify the reasons for termination
  • Clarify pay and benefits issues
  • Explain company policies relating to departing employees
  • Ensure the return of keys, security cards, and company property
  • Obtain information about a supervisor’s management skills
  • Obtain information about how effectively a department operates
  • Obtain feedback about employee’s opinions and attitudes about the company

Presentation Skills & Public Speaking Skills

Presentations are an inevitable part of life. Whether your talking to your kids, delivering a presentation in class and especially in your work or professional life. Presentation skills and having the ability to clearly communicate to others in a group setting is an invaluable skill to have.

The quote that most people are more afraid of Public Speaking than they are of dying is no longer accurate. That quote is from 1972, and in the passing years, more people have overcome the fear of public speaking than any other phobia.

If you want to give presentations with excellence, then you must have the three connections in place. The three connections are:

  1. Connection with yourself
  2. Connection with your material
  3. Connection with your audience

If you have these three connections in place, then you will be dynamic, engaging, and charismatic.


Your relationship with yourself is the central template from which your personal destiny manifests. The relationship with the self is the most important and crucial relationship in your life. Your career, your personal relationships, your home, and your health are all a direct result of the quality of your relationship with you. The way you hold yourself creates a vibration that sends a message to the world about who you are, what you deserve, and how you should be treated.

The relationship with the self is the way you hold, perceive, believe in, and relate to you. It is comprised of the various thoughts you have about yourself, the ideas you have about how others perceive you, the emotions you feel about yourself, your judgments about yourself, your perception of your self-worth, and your internal conversations in your mind. Your relationship with yourself includes the way you treat yourself, whether you abuse, neglect, or honor your needs, feelings, and wants. It also includes the promises you make to yourself, the subsequent actions that you take, and the manner in which you deal with your completed projects and your broken agreements with yourself: when things go your way, how you express your satisfaction; when things go awry, how you deal with your displeasure. If everything goes perfectly, how do you interact with you? How do you relate to yourself when circumstances occur that are disappointing, upsetting, or unfortunate?

In addition, this relationship includes how you relate to and manage your productivity on a daily basis, how you manage your time, energy, projects, finances, and network of associates. The essential question is: do you manage your motivation with diminishment, dismissal, and disregard, or do you use the tools of recognition, reinforcement, and reward? If you have never thought about this, consider this concept. When you are “at one” with yourself, you are in alignment, and it is peaceful inside. When something happens that does not meet your expectations, a conversation can start that splits you in two. The dialogue that ensues is between you (your public self) and the self (the private you).


If you are going to stand up in front of people you need to know what you are talking about. You need to have done your homework to have the right to the focus of attention. You also want to feel confident about the knowledge you have amassed in addition to having it at your fingertips. You want to be enthusiastic about the subject matter and you want to be able to answer most questions that might surface about the topic. It helps if you are eager to share what you know and if you can access the information rather than getting tongue-tied when you establish eye contact. You also want to be clear about your purpose. Do you want to inform, educate, motivate, entertain, inspire, or call your audience to action? When you know your material, your purpose, and your desired outcome, it is easier to make choices regarding what you are presenting.


This is one of the areas where many people err. They believe that if they know their material they are home free. The connection with the audience is so important that without it, you can simply write a paper and put it online. If the audience doesn’t feel your connection, you might as well not be there. Your connection with your audience is about noticing where your attention is located. Is your attention on yourself or on your audience? Are you concerned about them approving of you? Are you preoccupied with them liking you? Are you being your authentic self? If you are focused on them getting full value out of the experience, then most likely you will be focused on them and not on you.

I have been giving presentations, teaching, training, and giving speeches for over three decades and it is my contention that the essence of a terrific presenter lies in the three connections. This is my original material, and that is what I look for when I am in the audience.

Stress Management Strategies

Stress is a fact of our times. It is like smog, you may not be aware of it, but it is there nonetheless. Stress is a large topic that can hold a variety of conditions, circumstances, and variations, but unless you are living on a tropical island, you will most surely have some degree of stress. After the tsunami, even island life became included in the list of possible stress locations. The degree of stress that you have depends on the choices you make, how aware you are, and how you manage your stress. Even age isn’t immune to stress. Young people can become concerned about not being popular, middle-aged people can become anxious about financial concerns, and older people can worry about their children and grandchildren.

Stress is a biological term that refers to the consequences or failure of an organism to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined. It includes a state of alarm, adrenaline production, short-term resistance as a coping mechanism, and eventual exhaustion. It refers to the inability of a human to respond appropriately. Common stress symptoms include irritability, muscular tension, inability to concentrate and a variety of physical reactions, such as headaches and accelerated heart rate.

The term “stress” was first used by the endocrinologist Hans Selye in the 1930s to identify physiological responses in laboratory animals. He later broadened and popularized the concept to include the perceptions and responses of humans trying to adapt to the challenges of everyday life. The term is commonly used by everyday people as a metaphor rather than a biological term; it has become a catch-all phrase for all perceived challenges that appear to be overwhelming. Stress also became a euphemism, a way of referring to general problems and eliciting support without having to reveal all the gruesome details. You could respond to the question, “How are you?” with the response, “I am totally “stressed out” and without disclosing the details receive compassion and sincere concern. The term “stress” covers a huge range of reactions from mild irritation to severe problems that might result in a health crisis. In popular usage almost any event or situation between these extremes could be described as stressful.

What causes stress? Usually stress comes from a perception, real or imagined, that there aren’t enough resources to be able to respond to the immediate demands. Often the resources are: time, money, energy, capability, enjoyment, nurturing, rest, wellness, knowledge, stimulation, or work. When someone becomes overwhelmed, stress sets in because, by definition, overwhelm means: to overpower. When you become overwhelmed you activate the “I can’t” syndrome which feels real and diminishes your self-concept and your self-esteem (reference: Negaholics: How to Overcome Negativity and Turn Your Life Around).


1. Breathlessness
2. Increased dependence on alcohol
3. Irritation with little things
4. Nail biting
5. Avoidance of social situations
6. Withdrawal at work
7. Headaches
8. Loss of sleep
9. Loss of appetite, Increase in appetite
10. Memory loss

The symptoms range from mild to serious, to critical. The effects of stress depend on how much stress you can handle, how you cope with your stress, and how you manage the stress in your life. What is stressful for one may seem like a walk in the park for another. Therefore, comparing stress is not a really productive exercise because someone most always feels diminished.

The Four Key Checkpoints

When you notice stress in your life, you have certain options. Those options really depend on how much control you feel like you can exercise over your circumstances. For instance, if you feel like the commute to your job causes you stress, you might want to move closer to your job, or take a job closer to your home. If you feel as if your child causes you stress, then you might want to put yourself into her mindset and see if you could find some compassion for her situation. If you feel stressful whenever you must do paperwork, then you might turn on your favorite music before tackling the task. If you feel like the economic situation in the world is causing you stress, and you don’t see any options providing relief, then you will need to deal with the stress in a healthy and functional manner.

These are the four checkpoints that you can focus on to relieve, manage, or cope with stress: 
1. Change the stressful item in your life.
2. Change your attitude regarding the stressful item.
3. Change your response to the stressful item.
4. Deal with your reaction to the stressful item.

The more powerless you feel, the greater is the stress. The key is to see options, exercise choices, and remove, reduce, or relieve, the stress so that you experience relief, either temporarily or permanently.

Ask yourself these Questions:
1. Can you avoid the situation?
2. Can you avoid the person?
3. Can you stop the behavior?
4. Can you eliminate the cause of the stress?
5. Can you reduce the frequency of the stress?
6. Can you shorten the length of exposure?

If the answer to all questions is, “No,” then find ways to manage the stress so that it doesn’t become a health risk.

Stress is a fact of our times and if you meet it head on… it doesn’t need to overpower you!

Women in Leadership Program

The Women in Leadership Program is designed to help women leaders understand the forces affecting their careers, learn how to use their power and influence more effectively in the business world, and experience greater self confidence.

In this training you will be empowered with the six tools to transcend differences:

  1. Mutual respect
  2. Suspending judgment
  3. Willingness
  4. Boundary management
  5. Solution thinking
  6. Win-win outcomes

You will learn how to gain better balance in all aspects of your life: physical, emotional, intellectual, interpersonal, financial, spiritual, family, community, work, and self.  We will delve deep to discover how you delegate, whether you empower or blame, if you can create and lead a team, and if you inspire team work.

Women in Leadership will help you to manifest your personal answers to these questions:

  • What could you do to increase your influence?
  • What is the extent of your influence?
  • What is your current leadership learning?
  • Do you consider yourself an effective leader?
  • What are your leadership strengths?
  • What is the extent of your power?
  • How could you expand your power?

Successful leaders declare themselves leaders.  They have goals, relationships, and a clear understanding of perception and reality.  Leaders know their value.  Do you have what it takes?

Goal Settings Strategies

 A goal is a way of determining where you are going. It is the “there” that you identify from your vantage point of “here.” Between where you are and where you want to go is an invisible cord; when you stake out and define where it is you want to go, you energize that cord. The promise of your goals are what creates the dynamic tension that pulls you automatically towards their realization.

We all have visions; what we want to accomplish, what we want to achieve or attain, images of how we would like our lives to be. What transforms those visions into reality is the willingness to establish them into real goals. By doing this, you begin to chart a course that will take you to the heart of your highest visions and dreams and make them into reality.

“Goal setting” has become a rather over-used term in the fields of career and life guidance, but there’s no way around it: it is still the most effective way to get you from where you are now to where you want to go. Conventional wisdom may seem ordinary, but the power of it lies in its universal truth.

I have been using goals with my clients and myself for over three decades and I know that the process works. It activates the “Laws of attraction” by having you articulate your wishes and desires, by being really clear and specific and also by being brave enough to specify a date. All the people that I have “mid-wifed” to success have started the process by establishing their goals. If they didn’t have a goal, I never would have known how to support them, nor would they have known what steps to take or when to take them.

Your goals are what move you along your personal game board of success. As you achieve each one that you set for yourself, you move yourself closer to the vision of success that you have created in your mind’s eye. Goals are mileposts along the road that help motivate you as you reach for your finish line. The size and scope of the goals are not important- they can be small or significant; what matters most is that you take the time to articulate them.

A Goal is a statement of a measurable result to be achieved. Goals provide a means for translating wishes into reality. They help you “know when you win” and provide a basis for determining where effort should be focused. All of your goals should follow the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.


To make your wish specific, you must articulate precisely what you mean and exactly what it is that you want to achieve. For instance, if your goal is to climb the corporate ladder within your company, you need to articulate what that means for you. Perhaps your goal is to eventually become president of the company. Or, another example I recently heard from a workshop participant, if your wish is to play professional basketball, you might specify which position you want to play and for which team.


The second criteria is that it must be measurable. You must be able to count, or mark, the outcome in some way. In the corporate situation, the marker would be your appointment by the board to the position of president.


The third criteria is that is must be attainable according to your personal profile. Is it possible for you given your features, characteristics, assets, and limitations to achieve this goal? You can’t be five feet tall and realistically play center for a major league basketball team. If your firm requires all executives to have a college degree, you can’t expect to become president of the company without one. In other words, the goals must be within your realm of capabilities.


Is it realistic for you to play professional ball if you have bad knees? Is it realistic for you to become president of your company if you know it means relocating to another continent with aging parents who require your care and attention? In other words, does your goal make sense? There is a fine line between reaching for the stars and losing your grip on reality. The best way to test to see if your goal is realistic is to notice how you present it to yourself or to others. If you are defensive about your goal, it probably lacks realism.


Fifth, you want to anchor your statement of outcome in a timeframe. Every goal must have a completion date attached. If a date is not attached, the desired outcome turns into an intention rather than a goal, postponed by the eternal promise of “someday,” crippled by the “not now syndrome.” Dates commit intentions to calendar realities. They target the timeframe for the goal and prevent it from withering away into infinity.

Take your goals and make each one “SMART.” Make sure you put down the date when you want them accomplished.

Action steps always start with a verb such as: write, research, e-mail, call, buy, etc…

Starting the task with a verb enables you to immediately know the action you must take. Take one goal and create mini action steps for it.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you feel about your goals?
  • How do you feel about the tasks?
  • Are they aligned?
  • Do you see a direct relationship between each goal and the tasks you have established?
  • Can you see the path to fruition?

Post your goals at your desk, on your refrigerator door, on your bathroom mirror, or on a sticky note on your computer desk screen. You want to consciously focus on your goals every day to make sure that you are on track.

Once per quarter, review your goals to ensure that you are focused on your highest priorities. Most of all manage yourself so that you produce the results that you are capable and ultimately get what you want.

Strategies on Overcoming Negativity

 One of the key components for Negaholism to take hold is stress. Excessive stress creates a feeling of overwhelm. When you experience overwhelm, it becomes a catalyst for the “Hole in the Soul” syndrome to engage. The “Hole in the Soul” syndrome means that you think, feel, and believe that you are insufficient to meet the challenges that are being presented to you. As the stress increases, the feelings of insufficiency grow exponentially and you feel smaller and smaller.

I have studied every aspect of negativity, including why and how people become negative, what reinforces negative attitudes and behaviors, and to how to overcome negativity. In fact, I am the world’s foremost authority on Negativity and how to conquer it. I have conducted the research, gathered the data, and formulated the breakthrough theory that enables people to shift from having their circumstances run their lives to them taking control, being in charge, and becoming more positive people. I became so fascinated with the subject that I coined the word, Negaholic. A Negaholic is a person who is addicted to negativity in thought, word, or behavior. If you think the word “addicted” is too strong a word, then ask yourself if the negative person you have in mind can control their negativity. If the answer is, “No,” then that matches with the definition of an addiction. An addiction is something that has control over one’s behavior. Addictions replace choice with compulsion and dependence. When someone is addicted to a substance or a process, they no longer feel as if they can choose to say “No” to the focus of their attention. Negaholism, as I have labeled the addiction to negativity, is at the root of all compulsive and addicted behaviors. Whether the addiction is to sugar, cigarettes, coffee, TV, shopping, washing your hands, overeating, alcohol, or drugs, underneath the symptom is the “cause” addiction to negativity that drives the behavior and locks it into place.

Here is a formula that acts as a catalyst for Negaholism:

Change plus excessive stress, plus the “Hole in the Soul” syndrome” result in Negaholism.

In a perfect world, where there is enough time, enough energy, enough health, enough money, Negaholism doesn’t surface very frequently. However, when scarcity of time, energy, health, and money will trigger the Negaholism to surface.

Each one of us has certain standards that we establish for ourselves. These standards are based on past experiences and expectations. When you have a situation that does not match up with your image of yourself it creates a schism between your idea of who you are and the reality of the situation. We call this the “margin for beat-up.” The “margin for beat-up” engages when you feel overwhelmed and start to feel like you can’t get it all done. The “cycle of negativity” starts with overwhelm. Overwhelm happens when you feel as if you simply can’t do everything that is on your plate.

You are pulled in too many directions at the same time, the deadlines are unrealistic given the time you have available, and the demands placed on you exceed the time and resources you have available. This experience of overwhelm triggers the “I can’t” syndrome. You start hearing in your head, “I can’t do it, I can’t get it all done, I can’t meet the deadline.” This response, which is diminishing, degrading, and depressing causes you to fill the emptiness or the “hole in the soul” syndrome with activities, substances, or behaviors. Watching TV, eating excessively, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, shopping are all activities that produce short-term gratification and sabotage any long-term satisfaction. When the temporary positive or euphoric feeling wears off, the emptiness, anxiety, fear or panic return, coupled with embarrassment. The cycle then repeats itself over and over again until it becomes a “normal” feeling to the person. The feelings of embarrassment logically lead to a Negattack. A Negattack is when you attack yourself for not living up to your expectations. The Negattack happens when part of you engages in a specific behavior while another part separates from the behavior and criticizes the part that is engaged in the behavior. This separation or split is important to note. When you have a “Negattack” several significant things occur that explain why Negaholism becomes addictive. Addictive elements are associated with imprinted experiences. An imprint is an event or a series of events that create a long-lasting emotional and psychological effect. When someone judges and criticizes himself, there is a multiple effect that anchors the experience and locks it into the addictive pattern.

This triple imprint that occurs reinforces the behavior.

The first imprint is Psychological, and supports the human need for attention. When positive attention is not possible, the negative is the only other option.

The second imprint is emotional and addresses the need for excitement. When you can’t get excitement in any other way, the act of doing something that creates drama allows you to be the star of your own movie, even if it is a melodrama.

The third imprint is Physiological, and supports the chemical rush in your bloodstream. The Negattack releases chemicals called “opiate peptides” into your system, which attack your immune system. With these three imprints occurring simultaneously, a person becomes locked into the negative pattern. This is the reason that intelligent, capable, and talented people become Negaholics. This is called, the “cycle of negativity.”

There are four different categories of Negaholics: Attitudinal, Mental, behavioral, and Verbal. Within those four categories, there are fourteen different types of Negaholics, and there are varying degrees of the condition. You might have a mild case of Perfectionism-Negaholism which only surfaces when you are hosting a dinner party, and you want everything to be perfect, and the fish becomes overcooked and the pasta is chewy. You may be a little more infected with the virus in that you talk yourself out of opportunities, jobs, relationships, or contests, claiming that you never win anything, and why bother trying. You could have an extreme case of Negaholism where you argue for your limitations and sincerely believe your own belittling concepts, “I am not good at public speaking, and I am terrible at sales!”


First of all they bring their low self-esteem from their family of origin into the work environment and act it out.

Second, old hurts or resentments from the past that have never been resolved are brought into the new work situation.

Third, there may just be the wrong match of person and job

Fourth, the person may have never been able to receive any positive attention, and so they act out negatively to get attention

Fifth, they may be doing a job that is over their head, and subsequently experience the “I cant’s” on a regular basis.

Sixth, the person may suffer from a chemical imbalance in their system.

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