Monthly Archives: March 2017

Succeeding at Job Interviews

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The following characteristics and behaviors are likely to appeal to an interviewer:

*Being well-rounded, interesting, and curious about the world.

*Caring about more than just the specific job and showing interest in the entire business.

*Sharing a passion for something.

*Demonstrating a willingness to admit to mistakes and embracing them as learning opportunities.

*Having opinions on current affairs.

*Showing initiative.

Interviews provide individuals with opportunities to bring their experiences, qualifications, personalities, and unique skills to life. For the company, the interview is an opportunity to assess a candidate’s fit with company culture.

The techniques below can help ensure a successful experience before, during, and after the interview.

Before the Interview

Interviews are like class assignments–they require research. Candidates should spend time learning as much as possible about the company and the specifics of the job. The goal is to be able to have an intelligent and informed conversation about the company. They should practice these conversations with fellow students to get comfortable.

Candidates can learn about the interviewers from online sources like LinkedIn and Google. This research provides common ground and topics for conversation. They can anticipate questions that will be asked and develop responses in advance. Candidates should also come prepared to speak very specifically about their three top strengths, with reinforcing examples.

It is important to bring questions to the interview as well. This is another opportunity to show thought and interest in the company. Candidates should just be sure their questions have not already been answered elsewhere.

During the Interview

First impressions are very important. Candidates must dress professionally, be on time, behave politely, and use body language that reflects calm confidence. When invited to share information about themselves, candidates should present that information clearly and concisely, without rambling on. They should avoid the tendency to talk too much and too fast. In an interview situation less is always more.

Sometimes candidates will make mistakes when answering questions. In this scenario, they should keep calm and ask for the opportunity to restate an answer. Sometimes candidates will simply not have answers to certain questions. They should be honest and admit they do not have a good answer.

Candidates should ask questions that show interest in the company, not an interest in themselves, including questions that extend beyond the company to the industry and global affairs.

After the Interview

Candidates should always follow up with personal notes thanking interviewers for the opportunity to meet.

CREATE YOUR OWN UNIVERSE

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In the business world, individuals must attempt to understand their unique gifts and contributions and use that understanding to effect change in their organizations. This process requires self-reflection and having the determination to follow one’s “passion, imagination, and vision.”

Study–Finish What You Start

For many, the path to success begins with formal education. Lessons learned in that process can be applied to the business environment as well. Succeeding in college requires:

*Doing due diligence and carefully selecting the right school and program.

*Properly finishing what is started. Even if a class or program is dropped, it should be dropped in accordance with established procedures.

*Trusting one’s instincts about continued education (i.e., graduate school versus joining the workforce).

*Learning to love the concept of studying (education does not stop at the school doors).

The following practices will help make the most of the formal education experience as preparation for a successful career:

*Tailor curriculum to the business sector one seeks to join.

*Create a written plan for managing both school and non-school commitments.

*Develop and maintain a good study environment.

*Know and use one’s best learning style (i.e., auditory, visual, kinesthetic).

*Ask questions and build relationships.

*Gain experience and volunteer.

*Celebrate successes.

Networking for Novices

Networking is a business fundamental, and it is all about showing an interest in others. Networking can occur both in-person and online. The college campus offers abundant opportunities for networking. It is as easy as striking up a conversation with the person in the next seat in a lecture hall. Lastly, networking is mutual; it is not about getting something but about helping one another.

Students can build their networking skills by:

*Leveraging friends and family as resources for new contacts.

*Tapping online resources like LinkedIn to identify potential new connections.

*Spending time meeting people at face-to-face events like conferences, workshops, and social activities.

*Not being deterred by nerves; feeling nervous about meeting new people is natural.

*Creating personal business cards.

*Being real; authenticity should be at the core of everyone’s behavior.

*Remembering that networking is not an opportunity to brag; it is an opportunity to listen and share.

Get LinkedIn

A great networking first step is to create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has become a highly regarded professional networking platform that regularly adds value for professionals, not only in terms of making connections that can further their career goals, but also in terms of idea and opinion sharing.

Some ways to make the most of the LinkedIn experience include:

*Posting a professional-looking photo.

*Creating a strong headline and summary statement (look at other profiles for examples).

*Maximizing experience, including volunteer and extra-curricular activities.

*Including education and related activities.

*Asking for endorsements from others (and endorsing them in return).

*Highlighting achievements, honors, and awards, but only if they apply to career goals.

*Getting recommendations from teachers, employers, and fellow students.

*Joining LinkedIn groups, companies, and influencers.

Creating a Résumé That Gets Read

A résumé is much more than a list of skills and achievements; it is a view into an individual’s personality. Revealing personality in a simple, meaningful, and engaging way is what will make an individual’s résumé stand out from the crowd. Some tips for creating a standout résumé include:

*Avoiding clichés.

*Proofreading carefully.

*Including a well-crafted cover letter that is job-specific, showcases personal achievements, matches key job requirements to personal qualities, and illustrates potential contributions.

*Listing all contact information.

*Syncing online profiles with the résumé; and keeping them professional.

BEST COMMUNICATOR : IN NEW JOB

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T’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE

The best communicators are first and foremost keen listeners and keen observers. Speakers engage their audiences by listening to and observing audience members, then tailoring their communications to appeal and engage those members. These principles apply to the work environment as well. New employees’ first order of business will be to observe, learn, and test their communication skills, all while paying attention to the responses they receive. This is how individuals build rapport and respect.

A common mistake new graduates entering the business world make is to “over share” their knowledge. This can be off-putting to colleagues. Ultimately, the workplace is more about people than it is about information. Success comes from improving relationship-building and people skills.

The First Day of a New Job

The first day on a new job can be nerve-wracking. Common expectations are that the initial weeks and months will be a learning experience. Much like in the interview process, new employees should seek to make good impressions, listen more than they talk, be respectful, and focus on learning.

Tips for making good first impressions include:

*Dressing in alignment with others in the office.

*Being punctual, always.

*Being observant, polite, and helpful.

*Showing confidence.

*Being friendly while respecting boundaries.

*Thinking things over before asking questions, then asking good questions.

*Absorbing as much learning as possible.

*Syncing online profiles (like LinkedIn) to reflect the new position.

Establishing a Rapport with Your Colleagues

Though individuals can choose their friends, they cannot choose their colleagues. Successful people find ways to develop rapport with everyone in the office, whether they like them or not. Good communication is critical. A respectful, open-minded, and nonjudgmental approach helps ensure good relationships.

Ways to develop good rapport with colleagues include:

*Initiating get-together events like lunches and celebrations.

*Showing respect for others by being punctual, honoring deadlines, offering help, and embracing diversity.

*Keeping a light attitude.

*Seeking out commonalities with others.

*Being conscious of body language.

*Focusing on others, not on oneself.

*Recognizing others’ achievements.

*Building honest relationships.

*Staying out of office politics.

Remembering and Using People’s Names

Remembering someone’s name makes a great impression, but many people have a hard time doing so. This is a weakness that must be corrected, and it can be overcome with practice. Individuals can try these methods to improve their ability to remember names when introduced:

*Listen very carefully with a focused effort to remember.

*Ask again immediately.

*Probe for more information about the name to facilitate memory.

*Create a mental picture to go with the name.

*Get the person’s business card.

Teamwork and Poor Performance

Teamwork can be difficult when personalities clash or someone is not carrying his or her weight. However, the sign of a good leader is to be able get along with everyone, set aside differences, and help the team meet objectives.

When a team is dysfunctional, a leader can get it back on track by:

*Having an open dialog to probe for the underlying reasons for the dysfunction.

*Being a positive influence.

*Making sure to listen to others respectfully, and then acting from knowledge gained.

*Being inclusive of team members who are being left out.

*Seeking out more information if there are knowledge gaps.

*Creating socializing opportunities for the team to avoid “all work and no play.”

Getting People to Say “Yes”

The ability to influence others is an ongoing leadership challenge. Some people are naturally better at it than others. However, like other leadership skills, it can be developed. The more an individual’s opinions, predictions, and actions garner positive results, the more trusted he or she becomes as an influencer. Timing, positioning, confidence, and authenticity all play a part.

Successfully influencing others requires:

*Being respectful, particularly to authority.

*Knowing one’s audience.

*Demonstrating confidence.

*Tuning in to others and then addressing their concerns.

*Communicating well.

*Doing the research.

*Providing reinforcing examples.

*Patience.

SMARTER Concept for Winning

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Best of the leaders test their expectations with the concept S.M.A.R.T.E.R. measurements to ensure clarity and explained well below but would highlight with a real example of Chandamita Brother who is a true leader and influenced her by giving her direction & thought to become Trainer in Corporate world and today Chandamita is certified trainer in PRISM Philosophy  & delivering successfully in corporate. How leaders use SMARTER concept :

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How Brother of Chandamita used SMARTER concept and inspired her to complete TTT course with PRISM & how  she turned out to be a  great trainer.

• Specific: A detailed vision of the actions and deadlines that are required for the project must be provided.
• Measurable: The project completion point must be specific and measurable.
• Attainable: The goal must be realistically attainable by the team with its current resources.
• Results oriented: The requested task must move the company toward a desired objective.
• Trackable: There should be measurable milestones along the way to ensure progress is being made.
• Ethical: The requested tasks must align with personal and company values.
• Recorded: There should be someone aside from the requestor who knows about the effort and is available to answer questions.
After a manager presents expectations that have passed the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. test, he or she still must ask employees to reflect back what is being asked of them. This helps to ensure that the leader’s vision is being accurately communicated to staff.

Power, Manipulation, and Warfare

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Machiavelli wrote three major political works that advised leaders on the primary disciplines he believed mattered most. The Prince was a guidebook for becoming a powerful dictator, and many of its lessons focused on gaining and retaining power. Machiavelli’s second work, The Discourses, explored his preferred form of government, a Republic where power was to be divided among the many rather than the few. The Art of War explored the qualities of a great general and included detailed descriptions of early military maneuvers.

In author /his (Tina Nunno) works, Machiavelli observed that many leaders do not know how to be entirely good or entirely bad, so they choose a middle course of action. CIOs must practice a variety of extreme tactics if they are to gain the skills they need to become strong wolf CIOs and prevent negative situations from getting out of control.

Wolf CIOs are at full strength when they have gained the essence of all six of the other animals in the extreme animal ecosystem–the lamb, the dove, and the dolphin–those that practice light-side leadership tactics–and the lion, the snake, and the shark–those that practice dark-side leadership tactics. As a blend of light and dark–best described as grey–the wolf is at the center of this “hub-and-spoke” model. The animals are also binary pairs, with the lamb and the lion representing power, the dove and the snake representing manipulation, and the dolphin and the shark representing warfare. Leaders must master these three disciplines in order to strengthen their inner wolves.

SECTION I: POWER

Recognize Power and Increase It Exponentially

Power is the ability to make something happen–and it is something that is expected of all leaders. Leaders must embrace power unapologetically and recognize that wielding it is both an opportunity and a threat. CIOs that use a lamb power approach are often driven by the desire to be liked. They are typically reluctant to say “no” in order to please others; they use positive incentives to motivate team members; and they often fail to develop conflict-management skills. CIOs with a lion approach, on the other hand, actively gather positional and coercive power. They are typically confident and charismatic and are viewed as good at execution but not at inspiring others. CIOs with this style often rise to power in aggressive and competitive cultures where they can hold their own with other “predators.” A wolf is neither a lamb nor a lion–it is both.

Prioritize With Force and Finesse

Most CIOs deal with a greater demand for IT than they can deliver, and many take the lamb power approach to prioritization. They hope to please others and avoid conflicts by saying “yes” to as many projects as possible and then end up with more projects than they can handle. Over time, their colleagues view their inability to say “no” not as a sign of willingness to help but as a sign of weakness. Lion CIOs engage their various teams in decision making and maintain their power. Wolf CIOs find a way to combine light and dark tactics and combine force and finesse to benefit their enterprises.

Exude Power by Growling, Rather Than Roaring

People are easily influenced by what things seem to be. Humble lamb CIOs often take little to no proactive action to ensure that their enterprises know they are making things happen, and the only time colleagues hear anything about IT is when things have gone wrong. It is the CIO’s job to tell the story and advocate for and manage the organization’s reputation. Lion CIOs want to be perceived as strong, so they tend to “roar” about successes but are reluctant to divulge their weaknesses. Since everything always appears to be great, few colleagues volunteer assistance. Wolf CIOs build their reputations and power by proactively communicating about their accomplishments and asking for help to deal with real issues. They actively hunt down those who say negative things about IT and work to set the record straight. They protect their reputations by growling and not being soft targets.

Make Sure No One Is Always in Control

No one likes being controlled or told what to do, but people without boundaries tend to behave irresponsibly. This is especially true when it comes to technology. Senior executives often pursue new technologies as though they are in pursuit of new toys.

CIOs must distinguish between information gathering and asking permission. Gathering a reasonable amount of input when needed is wise, but allowing others to make decisions democratically when not required can lead to a loss of power. Lion CIOs allow their stakeholders minimal input and are sometimes too comfortable with control. Wolf CIOs calculate the risk of deliberately not doing what they are told, which allows them to usurp power from the masses without their knowledge.

Follow the Money but Don’t Let It Fool You

Money is power, and the ability to move money and strategically invest it is fundamental to the CIO’s ability to create change, but money does not always ensure strength and safety. While having control of large sums of money can make CIOs powerful, it can also make them vulnerable to attack when those funds are coveted for alternate uses. Competition for money can quickly turn an enterprise’s light culture to a dark one.

Recognize Stronger Wolves and Know When to Be a Lamb

Even the most powerful CIOs do not win all the time, and the strongest leaders often have the most difficulty dealing with losses. Great wolf CIOs maintain their focus on the good of the enterprise and their colleagues in order to minimize collateral damage–sometimes at great personal or professional expense. A partial win is better than no win at all, and sometimes the goal is to successfully choose between bad and worse. Wolf CIOs need to be manipulative, but they must not be perceived as such. Rather, the most skilled manipulators are viewed as helpful, empathetic, and charismatic leaders.

SECTION II: MANIPULATION

Employ Manipulation or Risk Being Manipulated

CIOs must learn to recognize manipulation and take appropriate countermeasures to prevent it. Applying light-side techniques when handling others is often referred to as influence, whereas applying dark-side techniques moves people into manipulation territory. Manipulation is more appropriate and effective than influence and honesty when colleagues are deceitful, irrational, or more powerful. Wolf CIOs must strive to use manipulation altruistically rather than for personal gain.

Treat Colleagues as Friends, but Assume They Are Enemies

While trusting others too easily can be dangerous, so is rushing to judgment. CIOs must use their analytical abilities to assess new stakeholders to determine if they are worthy of trust or an investment of resources. Respectfully questioning colleagues can yield information about their trustworthiness. To find others’ hidden agendas, wolf CIOs go to the source, exercise pragmatic optimism, and hope for the best but plan for the worst.

Treat Information as a Weapon, and Don’t Load the Gun Aimed at You

Information is a powerful weapon that CIOs can use as protection against untrustworthy individuals, but weapons can be turned against those who wield them. The more information CIOs bring forward, the more likely they are to be micromanaged.

To CIOs, transparency often means sharing tremendous detail and volumes of data that other executives would not think to share. Sharing too much information conveys a lack of confidence and credibility. Snake CIOs might share massive piles of data with executives, but intentionally bury key information in order to avoid being micromanaged. Wolf CIOs share what is required, but not one data point more.

Recognize That the Hero Is Often the Arsonist, So Don’t Feed the Fire

CIOs typically find themselves faced with urgent requests that are delivered with powerful emotion. Urgency is a tool used in emotional blackmail, and how CIOs deal with it can determine if they are masters or targets of manipulation.

Many CIOs enjoy responding to urgent requests; they get a rush as they strap on their “hero capes” and save the day. Manipulative stakeholders often fan the flames of urgency and refer to their CIOs as friends or allies, but when their requests are fulfilled, the CIOs are simply thought of as service providers. Wolf CIOs break this cycle to create healthier behaviors and outcomes, and they give their stakeholders what they really need rather than what they are asking for.

Ruthlessly Keep Others from Wasting IT’s Time

Machiavelli believed that it was appropriate for leaders to break their promises when others broke theirs first; however, today most CIOs are vehemently against this. Dove CIOs compensate for poor project partners by applying strong resources, while snake CIOs penalize their partners by providing prompt service but assigning the weakest project teams available. Wolf CIOs believe it is crucial to be as clear as possible about what their partners need to do at the outset of the project, and then hold them accountable.

Combine the Wolf’s Power with Manipulation

Power and manipulation are most effective when used together skillfully. CIOs often find themselves in hostile situations that require them to go on the offensive in quick and efficient ways. By applying manipulation techniques, CIOs can prevent or delay all-out warfare.

Effective wolf CIOs make sure that manipulators cannot hide or find protection among their herds. In total warfare, they scale up the impact of power and manipulation across multiple targets simultaneously and take control of a large territory. This is how wolf CIOs come into their full strength and realize their true potential.

SECTION III: WARFARE

Master Multilateral Wars of Expansion

The difference between power, manipulation, and warfare is scale. Wolf CIOs apply both light-side and dark-side tactics, even in warfare. As leaders, they inspire loyalty and make others want to follow them while simultaneously instilling discipline in their troops and fear in their enemies.

Dolphin CIOs create followers by making experiences more enjoyable; they enjoy being with and leading people, and they prefer peace to warfare. They demonstrate genuine care and empathy toward staff members and colleagues. Meanwhile, shark CIOs achieve results at any cost to themselves or others. They have excellent fighting skills and aggressively drive results. Wolf CIOs must become both dolphins and sharks during warfare. They must be highly disciplined, mastering a blend of the dolphin’s social and information analysis skills and the shark’s fighting skills.

Engage Lieutenants

No matter how much power or manipulation skills CIOs acquire, their reach and range are limited if they act as independent entities and cannot execute to scale. Members of teams that are so large that they lack attention and clear direction from their leaders often turn to one another in a negative fashion.

Dolphin CIOs avoid creating teams that are too large to control, while shark CIOs avoid scaling up fear and paralyzing followers. While shark-like aggression is sometimes useful in getting teams to move quickly, when used in the extreme it only increases paralysis. Wolf CIOs create strong, highly coordinated and disciplined wolf packs, or teams of highly engaged individuals who work closely together as a unit. Developing disciplined wolf packs that can maintain ranks and secrecy in warfare is not easy, but it is possible when wolf CIOs demonstrate clarity, discipline, and missions worth following.

Create Strong Alliances

Strong partnerships and alliances are critical to a CIO’s success. Machiavelli identified three ways to form strong alliances:

  1. Form a partnership of equals in which everyone is treated the same.
  2. Create a federation with a strong central authority that governs multiple states.
  3. Execute a mandate and take over an entire enterprise by force.

Dolphin CIOs create alliances of equals, while sharks favor the all-or-nothing power play. Wolves, on the other hand, use multilateral strategies and make the most of each crisis that occurs.

Fight on Multiple Fronts

The three critical battlefronts for CIOs are top-line growth, bottom-line savings, and risk mitigation. CIOs must be cautious not to fight on too many fronts at once. By taking on too many battles, they become weak in all areas. Dolphin CIOs let themselves get boxed in and limit their opportunities for growth, while shark CIOs are suspicious and fight on the fronts their colleagues avoid. Adventurous wolf CIOs expand their battlefronts and territories into the grey areas, well outside of IT, by taking advantage of opportunities that others ignore.

Create Weapons of Mass Destruction

According to Machiavelli, the best strategy is the one that is perceived to be so high risk or destructive that it is hard to imagine anyone implementing it. Successful wolf CIOs build their strengths and skills, and plan their campaigns carefully. Sometimes the most powerful weapon is the patience to let an enemy self-destruct. In extreme cases, wolf CIOs recognize that the best way to win the war is to allow their enemies to lose it.

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Put One Paw in Front of the Other

CIOs can wield their power for good or for bad, but they must know how to defend themselves and wage offensive wars to grow their businesses. Wolf CIOs always use light-side tactics when they are effective, but resort to dark-side tactics when necessary to ensure favorable outcomes.

BE THE BEST PERSON YOU CAN BE

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Achieving personal goals comes from fully applying oneself in every situation. This is what earns the trust and respect of others that will catapult an individual to a position of greater responsibility. A positive work ethic gets results and is contagious. If expectations are not being met, an individual should ask the right questions, find the answers, and make the necessary changes. If expectations are being met, an individual should push to exceed them. Individuals should never become complacent.

Getting Organized and Getting Things Done

As an individual’s success at achieving goals grows, so do his or her responsibilities. Good organization and time-management skills become increasingly important. While each person might have a different process for staying on track, every individual must develop one. Planning ahead, setting priorities, and communicating well should be part of this process.

Being organized includes:

*Creating a regular, daily routine.

*Establishing a reminder system (for meetings, deadlines, etc.).

*Making allowances for the unexpected (flexibility is key).

*Breaking projects into manageable “chunks.”

*Eliminating distractions.

Spotting an Opportunity and Standing Out

Opportunities to excel are not always obvious. Networking and taking on “out of scope” tasks (with a manager’s permission) can yield hidden gems of opportunities that otherwise might not have surfaced. When presented with an opportunity, individuals should not let fear of failure stand in their way. They should fearlessly grab hold of opportunities as they come along–it will be noticed.

Some ways to bring about more opportunities include:

*Networking across the business.

*Earning a reputation as a “go to” person.

*Being analytical and always asking “why.”

*Speaking up and sharing thoughts, ideas, and initiatives.

*Leveraging chance encounters and talking to strangers.

*Taking novel approaches.

Sucking It Up

No matter how good a job might look from the outside, sometimes it turns out to be not as good from the inside, but that is no reason to quit. A willing and learning attitude that transcends difficult relationships and unrewarding tasks can result in great returns in the future. If nothing else, “sucking it up” builds character.

Below are some ways to view a bad situation differently:

*Be introspective and recognize the opportunity to learn.

*Be decisive and take action–get things done.

*Set out to win over challenging people.

*Keep emotions in check and always present a professional and positive countenance.

Pushing Back and Saying “No”

Often, new employees who are eager to please are taken advantage of and end up taking on too much. Learning to say “no” is an important part of being a productive employee. However, saying “no” is contextual. The method will vary depending on whom the request is coming from.

*Requests from peers. Clearly but politely communicate current priorities, deadlines, and commitments. This conveys that a “no” is not personal, but is tied to organizational goals.

*Requests from senior employees. These requests can trump one’s current projects. The individual should make sure he or she has a clear understanding of the request’s requirements and impacts on current projects, and then vet the request through his or her first line manager. If the request is from an individual’s manager and competes with other responsibilities, it is time to sit down and review priorities with that manager.

*The request seems inappropriate. Early on, it can be difficult to have the expertise or authority to know what is an appropriate or inappropriate request. This knowledge comes with experience. It is fine to ask questions and respectfully offer alternatives. However, a managerial edict (in the absence of an ethical or legal transgression) should be followed.

Ways to make saying “no” more productive include:

*Recognizing that the act of saying “no” is hard.

*Earning the right to say it by having built a good reputation as a hard worker.

*Understanding exactly what the request requires.

*Looking for alternative solutions to help solve the problem.

*Enlisting others to help in meeting the request.

*Communicating the reasons for saying “no” clearly and respectfully.

*Not becoming confrontational.

*Turning down the request in person.

Working Out When to Leave

The time to leave a job is when the opportunities to learn, develop, and make unique contributions end. It is very important not to leave prematurely or for reasons one has control over, such as difficult relationships or mastery of the position.

Individuals sometimes stay in jobs when they should move on because they feel comfortable in their roles, they are earning a lot of money, or they simply like their coworkers. While these are attractive features, in the absence of ongoing challenge, growth, and development, they can actually hold individuals back from progressing in their careers.

Before deciding to leave a job, employees should make sure to:

*Clearly identify what the undesirable aspects of the job are to determine if there is opportunity for change.

*Evaluate whether or not there are continued opportunities to learn and grow.

*Determine if there is only one overwhelming negative issue and, if so, take steps to resolve it before leaving.

*Seek counsel from a trusted friend or family member to get perspective.

*View the situation within the larger picture of life.

*Consider how the circumstances would be interpreted in a résumé or interview.

If at all possible, employees should resolve the situation and leave on a “high note.”