Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Aim Higher

The post "Having Trouble Finding a Job? Aim Higher" really struck a chord with me. The author (Oztech) makes the case that you should lift your sights for a very practical and pragmatic reason - to look for jobs which require more of the worker and are ideally offer fewer competitors. This is reasonable advice.

But, buried more deeply in the post is the message that you need to aim higher in all things - improve your skills to expand your aspirations, work to present yourself better and to take advantage of opportunities and challenges that expand your horizons.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

C.A.L.M. when speaking

You strive to be calm when speaking in public, right? Here's why - you want to be:
C.A.L.M.when speaking.

Yes, it's an acronym, a mnemonic (Professional hazard as I am an engineer by trade and mien.)

An oft-overlooked skill - taking meeting minutes

From Lockergnome, Diana Huggins presents Meeting Minutes 101. This points things to do in preparation for a meeting that make it easier to take good notes and minutes.

I reccomend reading it as she offers helpful points on taking effective meeting minutes - a task frequently done poorly.

I think the article is missing one important point - always be ready to take meeting minutes.

I'm guilty of the "if I ignore it, it'll go away" syndrome. You are too, I'll wager.

I have worked myself into the state of dreading having to take minutes - thus I do everything to be unprepared to do so - all in the hope that I won't have to, someone else will, they won't be needed, etc. and etc. Generally a bad plan - an approach to fail.

Rethinking this approach and instead taking these tips to heart is much more realistic. Here's a way to look at it:

  • If I'm going to spend my time in a meeting, then I'm probably going to take notes, since the act of taking notes helps fix the discussions, the issues and my thoughts firmly in my mind.
  • Now, if I'm going to take notes, there's really not a lot of difference between the preparations and techniques for me as a simple note-taking participant as compared to a "scribe" (minutes-taker). These tips are in the article by Diana.
  • So, my thinking goes, I'm actually ready to "take minutes" for most any meeting I attend.

So where Diana suggests:

"If you find yourself having to take meeting minutes, here are a few pointers"...

Instead, read that as "Since you're always prepared to take good meeting notes and minutes, here are a few pointers..."