Why Emotional Decisions Can Ruin Your Business

istock-emotionsEmotions can run high in the workplace. Most of our waking hours are spent working and during that time we are expected to shut off our emotions, roll up our sleeves, and ignore our human nature to react when we are offended, stressed, or feel attacked. Often we are required to balance something as natural as our emotions without having any idea whatsoever how to do it. The result – negative reactions caused by emotional decision-making.

Even when people mean well in reacting emotionally, often the outcome can become negative. The key is to find out what your emotional triggers are and learn how to curb those emotions to yield more positive outcomes.

So how can we curb those negative emotions? How is it possible to hit the “off switch” when we are about to burst? The key is a little something called self-control. Now I realize this solution is easier said than done; and while there may be many aspects of one’s life causing us to lose our self-control I will limit my scope to the workplace.

First let’s have a look at possible workplace stressors and ask; what are the things that make you “tick” while in the workplace? Is it an annoying co-worker pestering you with the same questions over and over again? Or possibly a teammate who always drops the ball causing you to pick up the pieces without receiving credit? It can be a boss with unreasonable requests causing you to work long hours or even someone trying to sabotage your promotion. The list can go on and on; but the goal here is to find what makes you “tick” and think about ways to positively deal with those situations. When facing stressful situations its best to avoid immediately reacting.DIFFICULT PEOPLE

Negative emotional decision-making can potentially put a company at great risk damaging the company brand/image, job loss, career ruin, or worse. It is for this reason we must learn to choose our reactions stemming from disappointment, anger or dislike.

When we feel angered it is possible to react without considering the outcome. We let our pride get the best of us and we can view things as being a personal attack rather than a valid concern regarding performance and productivity.

I’ve found that it is always best to handle a situation where you feel your emotions are running high is to immediately separate yourself from the situation. Instead of reacting immediately, digest what you are being told and stay silent. This allows you to take the opportunity to think about what was said and strategically plan how you intend on addressing it at later time.

None of us are robots and able to suppress our emotions in every situation. I too have fallen victim to heavy emotions while in the workplace and can say from experience that walking outside and separating myself from the workplace, the building, and even the parking lot helped me tremendously to make a conscious decision and gather my thoughts.

It is helpful to clear your mind and separate yourself from any negative situations that may cause you to over react. Conscious decisions are key to career and organizational sustainability and success. You’ll find that your initial urge to react to a negative situation will change if you take a step back or sleep on it and face the situation head on at a later time when you have had time to process the situation and all possible avenues.

Profile-Pic_thumb1_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Surviving the Office Scandal

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Kerry-Washington-ScandalPut down the phone, relax and breathe. Olivia Pope is not the only one you need to call on when there is a scandal causing havoc in the workplace. Here are a few ways to get things back to normal when your office is in chaos over a workplace scandal.

Acknowledge the problem. Have a meeting and acknowledge there is a problem in the workplace. You don’t have to be specific about who the parties are, but just let your employees know you are aware there are issues disrupting the flow of work. Apologize for any inconvenience the disruption may have or is causing and ask for your employees’ full participation to move forward with work as usual.

Find the influencers. Influencers will tremendously help with recovery. Have a prior conversation with the influencers leading up to the meeting so everyone is appropriately informed and in support of the process. Allow a few of the influential people to speak-up during group meetings to discuss how the problem has impacted their team’s performance. Ask that they use discretion and not to mention names, but just state the facts of how the problem has changed behaviors and productivity.

Be forthright. If there are any changes or adjustments as a result of an office scandal, let employees know. Help them understand that due to the recent events and issues associated with the leering problem, there are adjustments that need to be made and walk them through the process. Ask for their participation, cooperation and full support while you collectively transition and make these changes. Again, connect with your influencers to execute this process.

Focus on the future. Don’t get stuck in the present. When addressing the problem, plug-in futuristic statements. Be encouraging and let employees know that with their help, the company will get through this and the process will make you stronger in the end. Employees need reassurance from their leaders. They need to know their jobs are secure and that their voices are heard. You are responsible for delivering that message.

You can bounce-back from this by using effective communication skills and trusting the process. Before you know it, it will be business as usual or as Olivia Pope would say: “It’s handled.”

Profile-Pic_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Are you Hiring for Character or Skill?

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Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I recently attended a chat session about best hiring practices. The participants were asked when hiring: Should placement be based applicants blending well with the corporate culture or should it be based on applicants possessing the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job?

Both arguments were quite convincing but I chose to side with hiring for character over hiring for skill. Here’s why:

By definition, a skill is an ability coming from one’s knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well. While character is defined as a distinguishing feature or quality. It is a compilation of life events and knowledge that mold a person into who they are.The word 'Integrity' highlighted in green with felt tip pen

Character is about integrity, honesty, and moral or ethical quality. It’s not possible to duplicate quality employees, but it is possible to duplicate a product by teaching skill to someone.

Why is it that employers try pulling good talent from their competitors? For the product? No! For the knowledge, work ethic, character and skill they posses. You see, it’s a packaged deal; but it is wiser to hire someone with good work ethic and values and teach them a skill than it is to find someone with skill not possessing good work ethic, character or values; much-needed traits to stay competitive. The competitive edge one company has over the other are their employees; not their product – that can be duplicated.

Skillful people can execute processes and implement procedures; but those with great character, knowledge and work ethic can boost employee morale, encourage team building and engage workers. Having experience and skill is great, but if not paired well with company values and corporate culture what you have is an employee mismatch; which is a costly mistake.

When you hire employees with personal values in sync with the values of the organization you are adding valuable people with a vested interest in the company’s growth and sustainability. Employees become more creative and engaged therefore sharing ideas and innovative ways to help the company grow. New products and services don’t just fall out of the sky, they are introduced and suggested by great employees; invested employees with unique characteristics and fresh ideas.

Surely we cannot know everything about a person through a simple interview, but we can look for traits and ask the right questions during the process to find out more about hopeful hires. Try looking for those with previous volunteer or community work experience. Quality characteristics to look for are people involved with non-profit organizations; those that inquire about the organization’s social responsibility efforts and those having special interest in helping others. These interests and activities can tell you a lot about an applicant and can help to differentiate a hire based on character and values vs. skills.

“Life is less about what you do, and more about how and why you do those things. This is called character.” – Josh Verseput

MDD-160Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing workplace performance, career coaching, leadership coaching and training & development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. To connect with Mary, you can follow her on twitter @MVDavids or you can email her at maryd@honestleadership.org

Calling All Bloggers!

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Do you love writing? Do you have great content to share with others on personal development, career planning and strategic management topics? Email me your writing sample for consideration to be a guest writer on my blog.

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Interviewing 101: Learn How to Score Big on Your Interview

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Interviewing can be intimidating and nerve-racking. Before an interview it is important to take some time for yourself, get your thoughts together and go into the interview with confidence as companion. Here are a few tips that will help you nail it!

How can I prepare?

  1. Do your research! It is vital that you research the company prior to going into the interview. It is best to know what you are up against, a little background on your interviewer and anything you can congratulate the company on (recent accomplishments, awards, etc.) are a great way to show your interest in being a part of the organization.
  2. What you need to bring. You need to have at least 3 copies of your résumé including cover sheet and references available at the interview. You never know how many hiring managers will be there and you want to be sure to prepare yourself in case they do not have a current résumé in front of them. You should also bring official transcripts and letters of recommendation just in case.434_dressing-for-a-job-interview_flash
  3. Appearance. Make sure you are well-groomed (nails manicured, dress appropriately, no smoking or chewing gum). Ladies should wear below knee-length skirts, blouses should not be low-cut, and men should always wear appropriate business attire. No jeans please!
  4. Arrival. Arrive no less than 15 minutes early. You don’t want to seem too eager by coming too early; however, you want to have enough time to fill out any on-site job applications prior to your appointment.

During the Interview

  1. Prepare yourself to respond to difficult questions. If the employer asks you questions such as “Why are you interested in working for our company?” or “Why do you think you are qualified for this position?” you must prepare yourself to respond immediately with positive reasons why you will be an asset to the company. Try to practice with a relative or friend.lock phone
  2. Limit unnecessary distractions. Turn off your cell phone! You don’t want to distract the employer with the latest hit single. Be sure to remove any flashy jewelry or noisy accessories. These items can distract the interviewer from hearing your strategically planned responses.
  3. Stay positive. Be sure to positively respond about any prior experiences and/or professional relationships with previous employers, co-workers and customers. Questions like “Why did you leave your previous job? or “Describe a time where you had a conflict with an employee or supervisor, how did you handle the situation and what was the outcome?” are opportunities for you to bring out the good in you. Remember, this is all about you – your brand, your image, your paycheck.
  4. Body Language. Avoid slouching and leaning. Body language is crucial during the interview. You never want to seem lackadaisical or bored. Sit up straight and look the interviewer directly in the eyes when responding. Respond to questions with a pleasant voice and facial expression.
  5. Questions. Always have at least two questions for the interviewer. Never bring up compensation and benefits. Doing so may imply you are only interested in the financial rewards.

After the Interview

  1. Contact Information. Be sure to get a business card(s) from the interviewer(s). Remind them of dear sirwhen/how they can reach you and ask for a point of contact to follow-up with. Don’t be shy; now is the time for you to shine, show your confidence and show you are serious about your career. Pride is an unnecessary distraction that prevents you from moving forward.
  2. Follow-Up. Always send a thank you email or hand write a note and send to the interviewer(s). This reminds them of who you are and gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants.

These tips are a sure way to help you score big on your next interview.

See you at the top!

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Brand New – Brand You!

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RE-BRANDSix Ways to Re-Brand Yourself and Create a Competitive Advantage

When you re-brand yourself you are essentially telling others what you want them to know about you. By taking control of how others view you, you are laying a solid foundation to create a competitive advantage in today’s job-market.  Re-branding yourself takes time and requires serious thought and discipline. Here are some key tips to get you started.Businessman in a tight cardboard

  1. Highlight your uniqueness. Think outside the box. What makes you stand out among others within your industry? Are you resourceful, connected, intuitive or collaborative? These are key words to differentiate you from others. Find out what it is you offer that makes someone want to connect with you to create a mutually beneficial relationship.
  2. Be clear and consistent. Your message must be clear and consistent to your brand. For example, if your desire is to become a photographer every conversation you engage in should include a mention relating to that. When you are passionate about your work, it becomes second nature to mention it when speaking with others. Hone in on areas that interest your target audience and strive to become a recognized leader within the community. Regularly provide insight about hot-topics in your specific industry; share your opinion and engage in conversation with your audience.
  3. Create awareness. Start a blog; contribute to a local newspaper, e-newsletter or write a book. Re-introduce yourself to your friends and family and ask for their support to help build awareness about your brand. Get involved locally by attending networking events and creating relationships with local business owners who may need to use your services.
  4. Build an Alliance. Connect with like-minded professionals within the same or similar industry. Develop relationships by seeking their input on industry changes and bounce ideas off them as you are going through this transition.
  5. Form a Following. Need I say it? Create a profile on the leading social media platforms and engage with your target audience. If you have a current page that doesn’t mirror what you want your brand to look like then change it. Granted you may lose people who connected with you previously but re-branding yourself requires change. Remember – you are growing. You can’t take everyone one with you and those that really matter will jump on board the train anyway.
  6. Develop new skills. Don’t be naïve when re-branding yourself. You can’t expect people to just accept you as the new leader in the industry. Proving yourself requires you to develop new skills. Perfect your craft and give those in the industry a run for their money. Changing your brand requires you to invest in yourself. Learning new skills shows you are committed and serious about your brand.

Make no mistake about it; re-branding yourself is no small job. Laying the ground-work, remaining consistent and engaging with your target audience requires discipline and sacrifice; but I’m sure you are up for the challenge. See you at the top!

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

How to Perfect your 30 Second Pitch

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Time is limited and valuable for everyone but especially for successful entrepreneurs and C-Suite executives so it is important to appear confident and relaxed when engaging with them.

The 30 second pitch is essential to landing an account or developing valuable relationships in an effort to boost your personal brand and/or your business. Within the first few seconds of your conversation you should identify what your business is about and what products or services you provide. Make it interesting. What sets you apart from everyone else in the same industry or service? Why would you or your business be valuable to the  listener and why is it relevant?

The listener will value a substantive and brief conversation so make it good. Write down your 30 second pitch and rehearse it. It is best to rehearse with someone so they can give you feedback. You may want to record yourself and time yourself to make changes. When you speak, people have to hear your confidence and decide if they are willing to entertain a proposal of sorts or work with you in the future.

When pitching, it is important to listen just as much as it is to speak. There is a chance that the listener may interject during your pitch but don’t let that sway you. Get right back on the horse and reiterate why your service is valuable and how you believe it will be beneficial to the listener.

Confidence is key in selling yourself, service, or product. Remember, if you are not excited about what you have to offer then why should anyone else be? Try tying in a compliment or some humor (run it by a few close friends/family first….it may be only funny to you) to lighten the conversation. This can get tricky so be cognizant of your audience and their demographics.

Ultimately I want you to think about your current approach and ask yourself, would you hire you? Why?

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.