How to Talk Yourself Up – but Still Be Humble

October 3rd, 2017

If you’re at the point in your career where you want a promotion or would like to have more of an impact, you may need to talk yourself up a little bit so that you can earn recognition for the work you’re doing. However, you still need to stay humble, which can be a little bit of a delicate balance. Here’s how to talk yourself up but still be humble.

Start with a Tangible Work Example.

If you want to give yourself a little bit of credit or attention without feeling like you’re bragging, try bringing up a tangible work example in which you had an instrumental part. Bring up the work issue that was presented, how it was solved, and what role you played in it. This will help plant the seed of you being a resourceful and productive employee.

Give Colleague References.

If you’re looking for more ways to bring attention to yourself in a humble manner, you could always give colleagues specific references in which you’ve done so. This is similar to giving a tangible work example, but in this instance, you are prompting colleagues to respond to actual instances in which you may have affected their particular result or outcome at work. When you do this, it is likely that your colleagues will step up to bat for you when surrounded by your superiors, which will end up giving you more credibility while remaining humble.

End with Constructive Feedback or Suggestions.

One of the best ways to showcase your knowledge or skill with your job is to give out constructive feedback. When people see that you know what you’re talking about, they will be more likely to consider you an expert in your field and will readily listen to you.

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.


Providing Employees with Regular Feedback

July 25th, 2017

A lot of companies treat feedback as a yearly ritual. An annual employee review or salary review is formal, nerve wracking, and can become very tense when negatives are covered. Making feedback a regular part of the work environment can defuse the stress that often comes with criticisms and open new opportunities for you to grow as a business. Here’s why you should provide employees regular feedback.

Timing Matters.

Harvey Deutschendorf of Fast Company thinks “the time to give feedback is as soon as possible after a situation or event has occurred.” This is important with negative feedback but also important with positive feedback. You shouldn’t wait to motivate employees or help them improve. Fast feedback is also more effective than the annual sit-down. People learn best when events are fresh in their mind and can apply lessons better.

Feedback Sessions Help You Understand Your Business.

Employees may want to defend themselves or present differing views on situations than your own. This is a positive. Being a good listener helps team cohesion and gives you a chance to learn and grow as a company.

Feedback Is a Form of Training.

Thinking of feedback as a form of criticism is limiting. You should look at feedback sessions as training sessions. Treat them as an opportunity to exchange ideas, train new concepts, and motivate staff. Using feedback sessions to improve performance and leaving each session on a positive with set goals for improvement can create real impacts in your ability to deliver, sell and produce as a business. Cynthia M. Phoel of the Harvard Business Review says you should “approach the feedback session with the goal of getting a complete and accurate picture of the situation.” This will help you be more responsive and fair to your employees.

If you need to hire more employees who will help contribute to your workplace’s internal ability to learn and grow from feedback, contact Olympic Staffing. We are trained to look for potential recruits who have positive outlooks and know the value of constructive workplace dialogue.

Making The Most of Your New Hire’s First Day

February 9th, 2016

Hiring a new employee for your company is a big step. To get your new hire on the right foot, there are specific things you should do on his or her first day to set him/her up for success. Consider these tips.

Introduce Them to People

Make your new employee feel like they’re cared about and part of the company. The easiest way in which you can do this is to introduce your new employee to people. While they might have a hard time remembering names, your current employees will remember that there’s a new employee in the coming weeks and will make an effort to include them.

Brief Them on the Company Policies

It’s hard to be the new kid in town. One way you can combat this feeling of being new is to brief your new employee on the company policies right away. Though it might take a few weeks to stick, it would be helpful for them to start learning how to do things the right way from day one.

Don’t Overwhelm Them

Make sure you don’t overwhelm your new hire on the first day. They are going to have to learn names, policies, and rules – all while trying to do a good job for their hired task at hand. If you have a lot, you need to tell them or show them, try to break it down into deliverables that can be spread out over their first week.

Ask for Their Input/Feedback

The best way to make sure your new employee has a great first day is to ask for their input/feedback. Encourage them to speak up if they have any questions or to ask for help if they need it. After the day has concluded, you can ask them what they think about what they have been assigned so far or any other details that are pertinent to the company. Not only will you receive valuable information, but your employee will feel included and start to bond with the company.

Figuring out the right person to hire for a position can be tricky – let us help you. Contact Olympic Staffing and we will find the best and brightest candidates for your job requirements.


Stepping Out of the Echo Chamber

November 12th, 2013

It’s a normal human tendency to want to build our teams with people we relate to and understand. Working with like-minded people is comfortable. Unfortunately, it can also lead to an office culture akin to an echo chamber.

In the echo chamber, when one person has an idea, the rest of her team will be quick to tell her all the things that are good about it. This is different than being surrounded by yes-men. The problem of the echo chamber, of being surrounded by people who think and act like we do, is that our team members have the same blind spots as we do.

We can build much stronger teams when we recognize the value of a diverse workforce and learn to praise our workers when they tell us things we don’t necessarily want to hear. It’s a two-step process that can lead us out of the echo chamber and toward a company culture of innovation and productivity.

Step 1: Hire a diverse work force. This could mean hiring more women, or people from different cultures, but it is just as important to consider personality types. Introducing a few number-crunching introverts to an office full of aggressive sales reps can add much needed substance to otherwise great sales pitches. Something as simple as bringing a democrat into an office full of republicans can create opportunity for new discussions.

Having different perspectives interacting can help teams to see holes in their work, question assumptions that might be negatively impacting performance, or recognize new opportunities.

The challenge is to get a diverse team to work well as a single unit. To do that, you must take one more step. You must learn to be open to ideas that don’t immediately mesh with our own.

Step 2: Appreciate people who bring you seemingly bad news. This is the harder step and the reason may people shy away from hiring individuals with opposing viewpoints. It can be hard to hear what’s not good about our work, but consider the upsides.

Imagine you spent a week compiling a presentation for your board of directors. In your mind it is perfect, but when you show it to your team one person notes a data point that was not included, and which dramatically affects the results as you’re presenting them.

Resist the urge to retreat into defensive rhetoric such as “you just don’t get what I’m going for,” or “that’s not important.” If instead we are able to recognize the value of having caught an error internally, we will see the employee who brought the bad news as the true asset they are.

Managers interested in fostering a truly creative work environment need to encourage people to voice their thoughts carefully. It’s important that nobody feel attacked during the feedback process. Using phrases such as “I noticed…” or “I wonder why you chose to…” can open discussion. Taking ownership of observations by using “I” can make feedback easier to receive and create space for dialogue.

By building a team with diverse perspectives and fostering an environment of creative feedback you will see new and interesting developments in office dynamics. Ideas that never would have occurred to you will come into play. Not all of them will be exceptional, but it only takes one great idea to change the course of a company.