Category Archives: Discussions

Cozi a warm and friendly family calendar

So, I start work today, yay! This past week I found there was a lot of organizing I needed to do to prepare my home for my new schedule.  I apologize for my absence! I looked at the wall calendar and thought of filling in the pertinent appts for my husband to see. We will now need to share the teacher conference schedule as well as dental appts and school physicals.  I went hunting for a solution and I stumbled upon Cozi.com, not just another calendar. It is a virtual assistant. I created a family profile, set a group password my husband could remember then loaded my chlidren’s school schedules. This part was super easy because you can load the electronic school calendar. That’s right Cozi’s got district schools in it’s system including my children’s small year-round district.  Then I proceeded to load the appointments on our calendar.  Next I downloaded the app to mine and my husband’s iPhone then set the alerts! Best part ever it will text and e-mail reminders to whoever is designated on the appt. So on Friday, two hours before our daughter’s preschool parent conference, my husband’s phone will  text remind him, and he will get an email from Cozi. This may just be my new best friend! You can add the whole family then simplify and only view the events that involve one person.  Did I mention you can set others to read-only so they can’t mess with your beautiful schedule?

The waiting is the hardest part of anything

During different parts of my life, waiting for a breakthrough for my next goal is the hardest part of change. I thought the hardest part of transitioning fields would be going back to school. Instead, I found the work hard but rewarding. I learned I am a much better student as an adult who knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I loved learning the business concepts for work I had been doing for years without the foundational knowledge.  I gained a true perspective on budget statements and management style, as well as creative approaches to problem solving, that don’t occur naturally.

So why is it that the hardest part is waiting for your chance to put those enriched skills to good use? I think it is because I’m so eager. Not just eager to find a job, but I’m eager to start a new career.  I get so much joy from working hard and collaborating with people, that I find I miss the little things like the joy of adult conversations and hearing diverse opinions. While most will tell you to enjoy the time you have off between jobs, I think the joy of working hard in a satisfying role is just as rewarding.

I had an interview last week for a position I really want. So this week I wait. Wait for a call for round two, wait for a call on a new interview opportunity and wait to begin that new career. Honestly I don’t know how I’m going to stay in my skin long enough to get through the week!  Send positive vibes for my sanity! If you are thinking of going back to school, do it!

Today is Higher Ed day, I did it so I know you can!

Being yourself on the interview

I recently polled my friends on Facebook about advice I had received to not wear my hair braided to my upcoming interview. A dear friend passed along advice she had received from her mother who is an African-American business woman. She believes the corporate world does not respond well to ethnic hair styles. Since I have been searching for a job I have worn my hair both braided and unbraided. I usually alternate as in the spring and summer it is much easier to maintain a neater hairstyle in the humidity if it is braided.

In my professional career I have followed this pattern for years. It is time to rebraid my hair and this time my appointment is the day before a corporate interview. I am going to be me. I am going to braid my hair and then put it up in a professional, yet “ethnic looking” bun. I will wear a business suit and I will be well prepared. I figure they should know who they are getting up front. A professional Black  woman.

What do you think? Am I decreasing my chances of being hired?

Pinterest addiction

There are a lot of unique features of Pinterest  and it’s growing popularity. I found this information graphic on Mashable that adds great clean graphics with an even cleaner explanation off the rapidly growing popularity of the site. One of their greatest aspects is simply the KISS principle. (keep it simple stupid). The clean and simple design makes for extreme ease of use.

How to be more fascinating!

I’m currently reading Sally Hogsheads book Fascinate. It is an amazing insight on why certain ad campaigns do not work and why others do. Her website that just recently launched allows you to find your own personal fascination triggers.

For example Ms. Hogshead discusses why teen drunk driving ad campaigns based on the fear of losing their life, generally don’t work. Most teens are still at an age where they feel invincible. The fear of death at their young age is not nearly as effective as the fear of public embarrassment for teens.Ms Hogshead suggests that a campaign based on the fear of losing their license and being driven to the prom by their mother is far more effective. Studies have proven she is right.

Her website and book walk you through both how to be more fascinating and how to use the most effective fascination triggers for your target audience. The power of persuasion maybe easier than you think.

Yes, and…..brilliant!

One of the most difficult tasks in business is brainstorming new ideas. The wonderful workshop I went to yesterday at the Brave New Workshop TheaterInnovating at the speed of Laughter” tackled the problems a lot of companies have with encouraging employees to think outside the box and share their ideas. They point out that one of the biggest hurdles is self-judgment. People are naturally apprehensive about feeling foolish or saying the wrong thing. The often talk themselves out of sharing good ideas because past experiences of idea sharing resulted in a long litany of reasons why their idea won’t work. John Sweeney, co-owner of the theater, conducted the workshop. Sweeney’s idea is for people to change their thinking toward ideas. A positive response can go a long way to encouraging more ideas being shared. One good way to do this is by starting your response to an idea with “Yes, and….” This shows you are both listening and still open to the idea. While every idea may not be feasible or appropriate, you goal here is to encourage the behavior of idea sharing.  So you response could be “Yes and I appreciate you sharing that idea with me” or “Yes, and can you tell me a little more about that?” Such a simple change from the usual “Yes, but” can help the ideas keep flowing!

How do you receive new ideas? Do you kill them before the person sharing leaves your desk? What are some ways you keep yourself from staunching the flow of ideas?

Mini tantrums

Well it happened. The job I really wanted isn’t mine. I did not make it to round 3. This is not the standard rejection letter or you have great qualifications etc. I had been there more than once and researched the company and begun to picture myself there, so moving on takes a little work. One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that when something bad happens, it’s ok to let yourself have the mini tantrum. The mini tantrum allows you to keep your sanity and speed up the grieving process.

The most important thing to remember is that if you keep the anger and disappointment inside, it will only harm you internally. It will build up and cause you to doubt yourself. Sometimes I like the dance it out mini tantrum. I just blare some of my favorite 90’s music and do really bad dances I learned in college. Have you ever seen an angry “Cabbage Patch?” It ain’t pretty! Yesterday I threw the “watching far too many episodes of 24 while eating chocolate and drinking half a bottle of wine” mini tantrum. This is a great quiet tantrum especially when the kids are sleeping! The second part to both of these tantrums is the important need to spill the beans. I shared my frustration with friends and family

If you let out the bad news and share it with friends and colleagues, some amazing things happen. You are instantly surrounded by people who will remind you of how talented you are. The best part is these people are believable because they actually know you! The morning after your mini tantrum, get up have whatever you want for breakfast (cause these calories don’t count after a mini tantrum) and plan a fun activity to celebrate your making it through the dark night.  Today, I will read “The Lorax” at my daughter’s preschool and we will see the movie this afternoon when the girls get home from school. Celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday is a great cure for the blues! Lastly, be grateful for having a network of family and friends to lean on. I have a gratitude list on my computer. I add a few things a day. Today I’m grateful for not getting the job, because it was not God’s will.

Monday morning I will be back at the job of finding a job knowing I have a lot to offer and a lot to be grateful for.

Hmm fancy that?

Pinterest, I’m so sorry it’s not you, it’s me. I just want permission to hang out on other sites that let me purchase an outfit right on the site. You see I’ve discovered  “Fancy!”

While I love Pinterest, I love efficiency more. Fancy has beaten Pinterest to the ROI. The items you love, collect and “Fancy” versus “Pin,” can also be bought right on the site. No need to travel to third-party sites to make a purchase. While I’m not an impulse buyer usually, this efficient business model capitalizes on the impulse buy immediately. Why is this a good thing? It is the virtual equivalent of not letting the customer, leave the store. The longer they stay in the store, the more they buy.

When I first found Pinterest I loved being able to share the things I love with friends. However, I also wondered, how the heck do they make money? While there are featured products etc, to serve as advertising, If you send consumers elsewhere to make a purchase there is a greater possibility they won’t finish the transaction. Fancy is smart to keeps the customer in the store and still allowing them to share interest and purchases with friends in a social media platform.

 

Have you met TED’s app?

Streaming TED talks is now easier than ever.  First if you don’t know what TED is you need to. TED is an idea consortium. They offer great talks and presentations for free and motivating workshops for a membership. Memberships are not cheap but are beneficial if you want to allow your business to incorporate TED talks into training. TED now has an app that allows these presentation and talk videos to be shared on mobile devices and tablets. It also allows you to save and organize your favorites so you can easily get back to them for reference.  I have used TED talks to shape the ideas behind what kind of leader I want to be, how to maintain happiness as I work and how to motivate others to do their best. Check out TED.com if you want really great resources for effective leadership and team building.

I love this blog! I just wanted to share a great read on confidence today. Have a great Sunday!

Goss Coaching

While off celebrating my 20th anniversary, I’m sharing a few of my favorite blogs that you might have missed.

It’s easy to compare yourself with others, particularly when it looks like they have what you want. A quick way to determine if that is beneficial or not is to look at how it makes you feel.

Does looking at someone else’s journey inspire you? Convince you that you can get the same results? Make you feel like you are that much closer to achieving your goals? If so, by all means continue to look and be inspired.

But, if looking at someone else’s journey makes you feel defeated before you even begin, frustrated that they have it and you don’t, or unworthy because you aren’t doing it “right” or haven’t made enough progress fast enough, then it does not benefit you to keep looking.

Part of “enjoying the journey”…

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