Assessment: Do People Want to Join Your Organization?

Workplace Training Center e-letter

Assessment: Do People Want to Join Your Organization?

Before you begin recruiting, give some thought to why top talent would want to work for you and your organization. No matter how effective you are at sourcing top-quality job candidates, you still have to offer some substance. Consider these factors: 

  • Are you able to offer competitive pay?
  • Will candidates have abundant opportunities for internal advancement?
  • Do you offer consistent recognition and rewards for outstanding performance?
  • What kind of challenges are you able to offer?
  • Will candidates have autonomy in how they accomplish their work?
  • Does your organization offer a cooperative team atmosphere? A competitive environment?
  • Are you able to offer candidates flexibility so they can manage their work/life balance?

Quick tip: Not sure which factors will appeal most to top candidates? Interview your current top performers to find out why they applied for and accepted their jobs. Then use that insight to home in on the most distinctive benefits you can offer future top performers in those positions.

Hire Exceptional Employees

This assessment comes directly from the pages of the brand-new training kit Hire Exceptional Employees. This resource offers you a simple and easy-to-follow plan for finding and hiring the best person for the job. Commit to the process to ensure that you don’t make another bad hiring decision.

This training kit includes the following:

  • The 18-minute video Hiring Secrets: 12 Tips to Get Candidates to Reveal Their True Selves (a $149 value).
  • The 60-minute audio conference presentation, Avoiding Bad Hires: Systems for Effective Hiring (a $229 value).
  • A 76-page workbook stuffed full of best practices, guides, tips, quizzes and more.
  • Dozens of print-ready and customizable forms that team leaders and employees can reference again and again.

Get it all now for just $287!

You will learn how to:

  • Ensure culture and team fit.
  • Define key jobs.
  • Define the ideal candidate.
  • Write a job description and posting.
  • Surface top candidates.
  • Expand your recruiting efforts.
  • Weed through résumés quickly.
  • Conduct phone interviews.
  • Determine which candidates to interview.
  • Draft interview questions.
  • Prompt candidates to reveal their true selves.
  • Uncover the true cost of a bad hire.
  • Explore hiring trends and the impact of the current economy on the job market.
  • Discuss the projected workforce shortage and how to adapt your hiring process to deal with increased competition for top performers.
  • Identify the types of available hiring tools.
  • Discover the importance of having a system in place rather than just a tool.
  • Learn how to spend less time interviewing and still improve your hiring success rate.
  • Discuss the specific hiring tools that are being used by “benchmark” organizations to ensure success: tests, simulations and inventories.
  • Review sample systems for different jobs or position levels.

View the Table of Contents. 

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If it’s human resources training you need, Briefings Media Group LLC is your one-stop shop for professional development!

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Clear your mind for what’s important

The Organized Executive's Priority One

Clear your mind for what’s important

Make fewer decisions to make better decisions. Last year in The Organized Executive newsletter, we wrote about the problem of “decision fatigue,” and recently we’ve seen several articles that mention how people limit the decisions they must make daily.

That includes a winning football coach who eats the same salad for lunch every day and the president of the United States, who has limited his wardrobe to suits that are either blue or gray.

“You need to focus your decision-making energy,” President Obama explained in a Vanity Fair article by Michael Lewis. “You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”

Here are three ways to eliminate unnecessary decisions from your day:

  1. Pare the choices. Simply restricting your options can save you time and free your attention for more important things. creator Erin Doland recently explained how limiting her wardrobe has saved her time shopping. Set boundaries for the options you will consider, and you will have fewer choices to weigh even for important decisions.
  1. Batch actions. Instead of eating or wearing the same thing every day, I make all those decisions for the week at once. In the morning, I don’t have to think about what to wear, and in the evening, when I’m worn out from all the other decisions I’ve made, I already know what my family will have for dinner.If you know you have a set of common decisions to make over the next week, month or quarter, sit down and make those selections now. More important decisions can benefit from the batch approach too. For example, I’ll soon be drafting an editorial calendar that will outline the major topics we will cover every month in 2013 in our newsletters, websites and e-letters. (Send me an email if there’s a topic you’d like us to write about.)
  1. Delegate the decision. Focus on the decisions that you are best suited to make, and delegate the rest. Defer to team members who have greater expertise in the area involved, or train employees to make decisions within parameters that you set.

Finally, take the pressure off yourself to always make the “best” decision. Learn how to become satisfied with your choices, in the Oct. 27, 2011, issue of The Organized Executive’s Priority One. (Read past issues online at

Our Readers Tell Us!
To-do list advice

In our last issue, we asked you to share your tips for writing an effective to-do list. Lynette told us that she paces her day by adding tasks to her phone calendar and setting alerts.

Bill, a software quality assurance engineering manager in Maynard, Mass., recommended Asana (, which is available as a Web-based or mobile app. It allows you to create projects and break them down into simple tasks, he explained. “You can even give other Asana users access to your projects and assign tasks to them. A comments field for each task allows you to keep track of the status.”

We love hearing from our readers, whether you are sharing a tip or asking a question, so keep them coming!

The Complete Time Management Toolkit

The Complete Time Management Toolkit

This product is designed specifically with the busy manager in mind. Not only will you learn how to manage your own time, but this product also provides you with all the resources necessary to train your staff to be more efficient.

And you know that in this do-more-with-less business environment, time management skills are critical.

The Complete Time Management Toolkit teaches you and your staff how to improve your productivity and efficiency and do more in less time—all in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step process. You’ll learn to overcome typical time traps and wasters and find the best practices to follow. But best of all, the toolkit provides you with a detailed process and all the handouts you need to conduct a successful, thorough and memorable training session. This budget-friendly product is designed to save you the time of developing your own training session—and it teaches you and your employees how to manage your time more effectively.

Use the product as suggested as a multimedia, classroom-style training session to administer to employees or opt to have employees take the training as a self-paced course. Either way, if your staff members put the advice in this toolkit to use, they are guaranteed to increase their productivity and efficiency—and reduce their stress levels.

This toolkit includes:

  • The 21-minute videoConquer the Chaos: The Best Ideas in Time Management.
  • The 60-minute, tip-filled audio programOverworked and Overwhelmed at Work: Tips for Calming the Chaos at Work.
  • A 34-page workbook stuffed full of best practices, guides, tips, quizzes and more.
  • A CD with dozens of customizable, print-ready forms.

View the Table of Contents.

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Don’t ignore gender’s impact on communication

Communication Briefings E-Letter

Don’t ignore gender’s impact on communication

by Amy Beth Miller, editor, Communication Briefings

Men and women might as well be speaking different languages, not in words but in their communication styles. Those differences can lead to misunderstanding and conflict.

Not everyone exhibits the communication habits associated with their gender, of course, but those habits are prevalent enough that you should be aware of the tendencies of both your gender and the other.

Here are some examples of the misinterpretations that can happen between men and women:

  • A woman telling a story may not be beating around the bush or wasting time. Instead, she may be laying the groundwork for her point, thinking aloud or attempting to build rapport.
  • A man who is silent may not be disengaged from the conversation. Instead, he may be thinking things through before speaking.
  • A man who makes a decision without consulting you may not be shutting you out. He simply may not have the collaborative style that women tend to exhibit.
  • A man who leans back while you are speaking may not be tuning out. On the contrary, he may be listening intently.
  • A woman who nods her head while you speak may not agree. She may just be showing that she is listening.
  • A woman who offers help or advice may not think that you’re incapable of handling the situation yourself. A man who doesn’t ask for help or advice may be afraid that it would show weakness to do so.

The styles of both genders have advantages and disadvantages. For example, men could benefit from learning how to better recognize social cues, while women could strengthen their positions by coming to the point quickly.

To communicate effectively, recognize your own tendencies and what might be more effective in certain situations, particularly if you are dealing with people of the opposite gender. Also view other’s actions through the perspective of how their gender tends to communicate, so you don’t misinterpret their intentions or abilities. When in doubt, ask directly what the person meant or intended.

Last month’s poll

All the readers who responded to last month’s poll said their team members are diverse in age. However, only 29% said their teams are racially diverse and 43% said the teams have gender diversity.

One reader wrote in that the team has diversity in knowledge. That’s an important factor to consider when you build a team.

Discover how team members can become comfortable with teammates’ diversity in the Free Tips section of this month’s Focus On Managing Diversity at

C3: Clear Concise Communication

C3: Clear Concise Communication

With an effective communication strategy, your team can excel. You and your employees can work together to reach—and even exceed—your goals. And people can be happy at work. C3: Clear Concise Communication presents you with that strategy. With it, you will learn how to communicate in a direct manner—across all channels—to get the results you want while avoiding communication pitfalls that can wreak havoc in the workplace.

This multimedia resource includes the following:

  • The 17-minute videoAm I Making Myself Clear? Get Your Point Across Whenever You Communicate, with a companion Trainer’s Guide and Viewer’s Guide.
  • The 60-minute audio conference presentation Screw the Elephants in the Room: Straight Talk in the Workplace.
  • A 66-page workbook stuffed full of best practices, guides, tips, quizzes and more.
  • A Customizable, Print-Ready Forms CD that trainers and trainees can reference again and again.

View the Table of Contents.

Order today!

Click here to receive the Communication Briefings E-Letter each month.

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Top 10 guidelines for using the phone at work

Workplace Training Center e-letter

Top 10 guidelines for using the phone at work

Phone calls continue to be one of the most dependable and effective communication tools. In a world where emailing and texting are becoming the most popular choices for reaching out to someone, the phone call is a more personal option. A quick call can be much more efficient than a round of emails, text messages or instant messages. They are crucial in maintaining customer relationships. And when face-to-face meetings aren’t an option, they are the only choice for addressing conflict, providing feedback, and discussing sensitive or confidential matters.

Ground Rules

  1. Answer the phone enthusiastically.
  1. Identify yourself always. When answering the phone, say something like “John Doe, XYZ Co.” When making a call, say “This is John Doe from XYZ Co. I’m calling to …”
  1. Focus on the call. Turn away from your computer, set aside what you are working on and pay attention. If you multitask, the other person will know, and you could appear scattered or rude.
  1. Answer a call by the third ring.
  1. Give your recipient a true estimate of the amount of time that you will need.
  1. Speak in a pleasant and professional tone.
  1. Maintain a moderate speed. If you speak too fast, you’ll seem hurried or the person may not understand you.
  1. Show a genuine interest in the person’s call.
  1. Use standard manners, such as saying “Please” and “Thank you.”
  1. Ask your callers for permission to put them on hold. Always offer a brief explanation as to why you are placing a caller on hold.

To learn even more rules for communicating on the phone, purchase Polite, Professional and Promotable: Etiquette for Today’s Workplace. The new training kit teaches you business etiquette ground rules for the workplace. Follow them, and you will prevent conflicts, build stronger work relationships, present a polished and professional image, and be seen as a model employee—the type that is sure to advance in your organization.

This product includes:

  • The 60-minute audio conference Business Communication Etiquette: Dealing With Technology, with a companion PowerPoint presentation.
  • The 60-minute audio conference Business Communication Etiquette: Dealing With People, with companion PowerPoint presentation.
  • A 44-page workbook stuffed full of advice and etiquette guidelines.

View the Table of Contents.

Order for the incredibly low price of $199!

If it’s workplace communication training you need, Briefings Media Group LLC is your one-stop shop for professional development!

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Do you have contingency plans? Prepare for these 4 possibilities

American Speaker Forum

Do you have contingency plans?
Prepare for these 4 possibilities

by Catherine Ahern

Practicing your speech is only one aspect of preparing for your presentation. You should also spend some time readying yourself for the unknown. If you aren’t prepared to handle a surprise or two, you could become flustered in front of your audience. Make a plan for how you will respond to these sorts of surprises:

  1. Difficult questions. You can’t predict every question that could come up during a Q-and-A session, but you should have a plan for how you’ll respond if you don’t know the answer or if an audience member challenges you. I’ve provided a number of suggested responses on the American Speaker Blog for how to satisfy the audience when you don’t know the answer. In the second situation, don’t allow a hostile audience member to engage you in an argument. Keep your tone calm and respectful. If there’s a point you can agree on, build on that. Otherwise, briefly explain your position, announce that it’s time to move on and call on the next audience member.
  1. Hecklers. How you respond will depend on the level of heckling. Many hecklers you can simply ignore. Review the blog post “Prepare yourself for unpredictable hecklers” to learn how to maintain your poise, professionalism and control of the audience.
  1. Technology problems. Know what you will do if any of the technology you plan to use malfunctions. If the computer or projector doesn’t work, do you have an alternative way to display your key images? How will you react if the lights go out or if your microphone fails? Remember that those glitches can’t take away the most important thing your audience expects to receive: your expertise.
  1. Low audience turnout. Don’t be discouraged if fewer people than expected turn up for your speech. If you are disappointed because of low turnout, you will project negativity, and your audience will pick up on it. View a small audience as an opportunity to give a more intimate, conversational presentation. Tip: If you are unsure how many people will attend your presentation, put out fewer chairs than you think you’ll need. That will force people to sit closer to you and to each other, making the room feel less empty. If more people arrive, you’ll create the impression of a full house and can bring more chairs in.

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Handle an employee’s outburst with dignity

Bud to Boss Take 5

Handle an employee’s outburst with dignity

Problem: One of your team members has done something wrong—missed a major deadline, spoke rudely to a customer, bullied a teammate or something similar—and, because you’ve made a commitment to stop avoiding conflict, you know that you must address the issue. However, when you speak with the person about the behavior, you’re shocked that the employee reacts by crying or shouting. How do you handle that kind of unprofessional meltdown?

Solution: It can be difficult to stay composed when you’re blindsided by that sort of behavior. However, if you lose your cool, you’ll risk worsening the situation, ruining your relationship with the employee or tarnishing your reputation with the rest of your staff.Follow these tips to handle an employee’s meltdown with aplomb:

  • Stay calm. Whatever you do, don’t escalate the problem by responding argumentatively. If you call the person a “baby” or even “unprofessional,” you are likely to increase the tears or shouting, not diminish them. If you respond to the person’s shouting with more shouting, you won’t prove your point. More likely, you will grab the attention of everyone in the workplace, and they will think you’re as unprofessional as the employee. Keep your tone even and your words to the point. Excuse the person from your office. Say “I don’t think we can have a productive discussion while you’re in this state. Take some time to compose yourself. We can talk about this in an hour.”
  • Consider the employee. Think about what you know about this person. Has he or she displayed that sort of outburst before, to you or other team members? How has the person reacted to criticism in the past? If the meltdown is out-of-character: Give the person the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has bad days, and maybe your feedback arrived the morning after he or she lost a pet or stayed extra late covering for a friend at work. Having a bad day doesn’t excuse the behavior, of course, but if the person is generally a good, reliable, even-tempered employee, you can forgive the outburst. If the meltdown is in-character: Let the person go. That sort of volatility is dangerous for your team.
  • Schedule a follow-up meeting. If you’ve decided you need to fire the employee, follow your organization’s protocols. Be sure to have an HR representative in the room, especially considering the person’s history of unpredictable outbursts. If you’ve decided to hold on to the employee, approach the meeting as a coaching opportunity. Express your surprise at his or her reaction, because you view the employee has a dependable professional. Listen to any explanation the person offers and be empathetic, but also explain assertively that the behavior is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated in the future.
  • Put the incident behind you. Remember that as awkward or uncomfortable as the employee’s outburst was for you, he or she is probably feeling far more embarrassed than you are now. Once you’ve resolved the issue, let it go.
  • Reflect and make changes, if necessary. Take advantage of the growth opportunity for yourself too. Think about whether something in the workplace contributed to the problem. Are your employees overworked? What can you do to alleviate some of that stress and to raise morale? Also reflect on your initial meeting with the employee. Did your tone come off as accusatory or condescending? Were you flippant? If, upon reflection, you find that you could improve your workplace environment or your feedback techniques, make a commitment to do so.

Inspired Leadership

Inspired Leadership

Propel your employees to new heights!

Leaders play an enormous role in the lives of their employees and in the success of their organizations. People succeed and organizations succeed because their leaders succeed.

Inspired Leadership: Propel Your Employees to New Heights provides you with advice for more effectively leading your team or organization. Learn the keys to becoming a respected and trusted leader, to building employee loyalty, and to driving creativity at every level in your organization.

This multimedia resource includes:

  • The 17-minute videoBottom-Up Innovation: Unleash the Creative Intelligence of Everyone in Your Organization, with a companion Trainer’s Guide and Viewer’s Guide.
  • The 60-minute audio conference presentationNo Leader Does It Alone: Empower Your Team to Succeed!
  • A 65-page workbook stuffed full of best practices, guides, tips, quizzes and more.
  • A Customizable, Print-Ready Forms CD that trainers and trainees can reference again and again.

Order today!

Click here to receive Bud to Boss: Take 5 once a month, delivered straight to your inbox!

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5 things you shouldn’t say to customers

First-Rate Customer Service Forum

5 things you shouldn’t say to customers

You can deliver stellar service to your customers by adhering to a principle often referred to as “the golden rule.” It’s easy to remember—and easy to follow: Don’t say anything to your customers that you would not want a service representative to say to you. And even when customers are being truly difficult, never use these phrases when communicating with them:

  1. “Call back later.” Customers who ask you for help—whether they are standing in front of you or calling on the phone—do not want to hear that they need to make the effort to call another time. If you are unable to help customers, and if you are unable to locate someone who can, ask for a telephone number and offer a time frame for when you or someone else will call back. Better: “May I take your number and call you back before 5 p.m. with that information?”
  1. “That makes it really hard for me.” Customers do not care about how hard you find your job to be. They care about gaining what they want, which is an acceptable level of service. Better: “We could do that. I think we could meet the same goals if we _____ instead, and we could start right now. Would that be acceptable?”
  1. “Hang on a minute.” Abrupt statements like that are almost certain to sound rude in your customers’ ears. Even worse, when you say something like that, you are telling your customer what to do instead of asking how you can help. Of course, sometimes you will need to ask a customer to wait a moment. The key is to ask instead of tell. A polite request often works wonders, especially when you follow up with sincere appreciation and a desire to serve. Better: “Would you mind waiting just a minute while I finish serving this customer? Then I will be able to give you my full attention.”
  1. “Who’s next?” Treat your customers like sheep in line for slaughter, and they will respond almost as enthusiastically. Instead of belting out an impersonal and harsh “Next!” offer a friendly invitation. Better: “I can assist the next customer in line, here at register 4.”
  1. “What do you need?” The answer to that question should be obvious to you, because it is to your customers. They want you to solve their problems, meet their needs and make everything better. However, you cannot do those things unless you politely inquire about those problems and needs.Better: “How may I assist you?” or “What may I help you find today?”

Purchase The First-Rate Customer Service Training Kit to learn 22 more things you should never say to your customers. 

First-Rate Customer Service Training Kit

Never has it been more important to get back to providing good old-fashioned customer service. That’s why you need the First-Rate Customer Service Training Kit.

This comprehensive multimedia product will develop customer service reps’ skills in a wide range of areas, including communicating, dealing with difficult customers and turning service into sales. The program serves both as a training program that supervisors can facilitate for teams and as a self-paced study course that service reps can take on their own.

The First-Rate Customer Service Training Kit is an essential resource for developing the front-line employees in your organization into confident and effective representatives of your brand. Customer service reps will discover how to:

  • View service situations from customers’ viewpoints.
  • Act in the best interest of the organization to please customers.
  • Avoid phrases that irk customers and damage your organization’s reputation.
  • Handle the most difficult customers with confidence.
  • Turn service situations into greater sales.
  • And so much more!

This resource includes more than a dozen guidelines that show customer service reps step by step how to handle the most challenging situations they will encounter. They will learn how to assess each situation and quickly adapt their responses. The result:reps who shine in every service interaction.

View the Table of Contents.

Order today!

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