Musings

Time for a position description refresh?

With Covid-19 forcing many workplaces to relook at who does what work, as well as where and how that work is done, now is a great time to revisit your position descriptions.

AND I have two things to help you do just that!

Firstly, check out my FREE position description workbook which will help you get super clear on each role, the responsibilities and they key stakeholders. Plus once you have worked through the workbook, there is a position description template for you to pop everything into. To get your copy, send an email to info@raremgmt.net.

And secondly, here is a blog post I wrote about WHY position descriptions are so important.

I hope you find both of these resources useful. Let me know what you think!

Until next week,
H

 

Checking in weekly

How are you going with your weekly one-on-ones with your team? Are you still doing them? Please say yes…

How has the current changed work environment changed your weekly check ins?

Many of you have shared that you are under an incredible amount of pressure right now. Many of you have also shared that you are “Zoomed out” – the last thing we want is another video meeting.

Yes, AND….

And now, more than ever, business leaders and people managers need to be focused on building connection. Weekly one-on-ones are one of the spaces that you create with your people to check-in and create connection.

So keep them up- or if you have let them slide, start up your weekly one-on-ones again.

And if you need a format to that gives you a way in, and creates conversation that builds connection – I have got you covered. Check out something I wrote about it right here.

Until next week,
H

What is vs what was

It’s Easter Monday, a holiday here in Melbourne. It was the start of Passover last week. And it’s not the Easter or Passover we planned is it?

So today, dear reader, I am taking the time to get present with what is. And noticing when I am getting stuck on what was.

How does this land with you?

Have you been taking the time to get present with what is? Are you noticing yourself being stuck on what was? What does it feel like when you are stuck on what was? And when you get present to what is, what comes up? What comes up for you in your work, with your team, with your people?

Lots of questions this week, friends. And if you take a moment with it, you may even have the answers. Or the start of some answers anyway.

Drop a comment, send me an email, give me a call. We can get present to what is together. And together, we can even let go of being stuck on what was – if that is what helpful.

Until next week,
H

What’s possible?

Here is a question for today my friends:

What’s possible?

This past few weeks, there has been a lot of change, transition, loss and even grief. A lot of new, adjusting pivoting.

AND…

What happens if you get curious? What happens when you ask, “what’s possible?”

Given everything that is happening, that has happened, what’s possible for your business, your team, your people. Given everything, what’s possible for you right now?

Leave a comment, send me an email, give me a call. Especially if this question is hard. I really want to hear from you -I’m here to help.

Until next week,
H

The virtual water cooler

How are you going with this new normal? What is it like working from home?

Many of you have shared that while you are making the best of what work looks like right now, you are missing the connection and contact with people at work. Hallway chats, chats at the photocopier, joking in the lunch room, Starbucks runs. You know, the water cooler stuff.

So today, try this:
Schedule a coffee with a colleague. An online one! FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, whatever works. Schedule a time where you sit down together and chat.

And there is one rule. YOU CAN’T TALK ABOUT WORK.

This is not a meeting. Instead talk about your weekend, what you have been watching on Netflix, where you found toilet paper. Anything other than work.

Let me know how you go. You can always schedule a coffee with me too! I love catching up with you.

Until next week,
H

Anniversary thank you

If you have been following my social media posts this week, you will know that it is anniversary week here at RARE HQ. You will also know that I talk a lot about the importance of recognizing your team, and I encourage my clients to say thank you to their people for the littlest of tasks. 

So, this week, in honor of the 1 year anniversary of RARE being my full-time gig, I want to say thank you to my crew, my people. Because even though RARE is a practice of 1, it takes a village.

My clients: This past year, I have been lucky to work with the most incredible people and interesting organizations. Thank you all for trusting me with the things that have challenged you and giving me to opportunity to partner with you to create solutions. It has been an absolute privilege working with each and every one of you.

My mentors and advisors: To say that I couldn’t do it without you would be an understatement. Beth Plante – RARE would not exist without your gentle pushing me to get it started in the first place. Michelle Bihary, our FaceTime chats, your wisdom and insight, they inspire me to think deeper, get curious and learn moreSarah Rowley, you taught me so much of what I know, and I continue to learn from you. Jess Lilly, you came to hang out and co-work the first week that RARE was my full time gig. Your support means the world to me. Josh Rosenthal, my social media guru. Thanks for showing me how it is done. Zak Eichenbaum, thanks for being my IT genius and teaching me websites and all things tech.

My friends: Thanks for supporting me and for taking an interest in this gig. Love you all.

My referrers: You guys – you know who you are. Thanks for sending the most wonderful people my way. It means a lot that you recommend RARE to people who are near and dear to you. And these people are now near and dear to me too!

My family: To my parents and mother in law, thank you for all of your support, interest and cheerleading. A special shout out to my dad, Sam Eichenbaum – the original people whisperer whose impact of people and workplaces cannot be understatedYou thought up the name RARE, and I owe so much to you I work in the hope that RARE can make a fraction of the impact that you have had on people and workplaces. My son Arthur, thanks for being my number one fan and all your encouragement. And of course, to my husband David. You believed in me and RARE well before I believed in it myself. Thanks for insisting that this little idea became real.  

And finally, to you dear reader! Thanks for coming on this journey with me and reading my musings each week.  I love getting to share it with you.

Year 2, let’s do this!

Until next week,
H  

Unexpected chats

In my coaching practice, we talk a lot about time – and you have probably figured that out, because I often write about time here. Time management, where time goes, prioritizing time, organizing time.   

And when we start to look at how we spend our time during our work day – especially if we are managing people – something that comes up is dealing with the unexpected. Specifically, people stopping by to chat about something.

Being available to your team, your people being comfortable to come and chat with you, run ideas by you, ask questions is really important. And when they do that, you need to be fully present, to give them your full attention so that they feel heard, and that you can give them the answers or advice or suggestions that they are looking for.

But it’s challenging to be fully present when there are a million other things swirling in your head. The email that you were just reading, or the meeting you are about to go into or all the things you need to get done today. It can be hard to shut that all off and drop into the moment when the chat is unexpected.

So, today I want to share a little script for you. Experiment with the script and see if you find it helpful in managing your time, and dropping into the present when accommodating unexpected chats with your people. 

The opening: 
Someone comes to your desk and seems to have a question or want a chat. Before launching into the answer or the conversation, try sharing:
I have about xx minutes to chat right now. Do you think that’s enough time? If not let’s schedule a time for us to chat. I want to be fully present with you. 

The conversation: 
When it comes time to have the conversation, you are responsible for keeping time. So if you agreed to 10 minutes, then you need to keep the conversation to 10 minutes. Other than keeping time, you now need to be fully present. No emails, phone calls or anything else. And because you have carved out the space for the chat, you might find you have more space to be present. 

The ending: 
About three quarters of the way into the allocated time, it is time to start rounding the conversation up. The chat might be ready or end or it might need more time. Try sharing:
I wanted to let you know that we have about 5 minutes left. Are you feeling complete or should we schedule a time to continue this conversation?
And if another chat needs to be scheduled, set a time now.

Three steps to managing time and being present when dealing with the unexpected chat. 

And remember, you can also model this to your people. When you have an unexpected question, or need to have an unexpected chat with your people, you can start by saying do you have xxxx minutes to chat about xxxx.  This might help give them the space to be fully present or give the permission to schedule a time for the conversation when they know they can be present.

Try this experiment and let me know how you go. Is it helpful? And what happens when you model the script when you have an unexpected question for your team? I can’t wait to hear. 

Until next week,
H 

Story telling

This week at RARE HQ we have been focusing on interviews, both from the perspective of a candidate and employer. 

Monday’s social media post reminded candidates that interviews are a two-way street –candidates you are interviewing the employer just as much as they are interviewing you. On Wednesday we looked at something that many hiring committees say about candidates they like that may in fact be a major red flag. 

When my clients are preparing for an interview, they are often nervous about how to answer questions without rambling. And I get it, it’s hard! In an interview you are trying to showcase all your skills and tell the story of you.  You have a lot to share, but you want to keep your answers concise. It’s a tough balance.

So today, I am going to share how to shape your answers to interview questions, so they showcase your skills while keeping the story concise and to the point. Here we go:

Step 1:  
Context – set the scene. What was the background? What was the problem?

Step 2:
Intervention – what role did you play? How did you contribute? 

Step 3:
Outcome– then what happened? 

Boom! Context, Intervention, Outcome. When you use these three points to shape your story-telling, you are giving the interview panel insight into the situation, showcasing your skills and then sharing a tangible outcome – your impact.

And here is a fun trick- you can also use this format when highlighting skills in your cover letter, resume, and LinkedIn profile. Context, Intervention, Outcome.

Need help prepping for your next interview? Reach out- I would love to work with you to hone your story telling skills.

Until next week,
H 

Nice to meet you

Happy Friday friends. It’s been a while since I introduced myself, and there are lots of new people around here. So today for blog day, I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little about me.

I’m Helen Slucki, founder of RARE – a people practice. 

After spending over a decade in Australia building a career in people management and organizational development, leading teams in top 200 public corporations and privately owned retail brands, I moved to Charleston, SC in 2013. 

With over 15 years of people management experience, I am a people whisperer on a mission to transform people and workplaces. I am passionate about creating workplaces where people thrive. This means developing strategies to recruit, attract, retain and engage top talent while coaching people through transitions in their work lives.

What does that all look like? My coaching has helped people re-enter the workforce after a career break, helped a hostess and former teacher land her dream job in higher education, and helped an administrative super-star take the leap into the tech world – just to name a few. My consulting practice has helped businesses revamp their vision, mission and values to better reflect their greater purpose, trained hiring managers to spot top talent in a crowd and created remuneration structures that retain top performers so they are not poached by the competition.

Whether you are looking to recruit, attract, retain and engage top talent for your business, or looking for expert support in your own work life, I am here for you.

Now it’s your turn. Introduce yourself – I can’t wait to get to know you. 

Until next week,
H 

Managing Up

I write a lot about managing people, managing your team. How to create workplaces that recruit, attract, retain and engage top talent.

And all of that is really important– it’s the core of what I do. 

But today I want to focus on something a little different. Managing up. Managing your boss. Or to put it another way, managing our relationships with and expectations of our manager.

When my clients come to see me about their relationship with their supervisor, we start with two clear objectives: understanding the role of a manager and asking for what you need. And so that’s what I am going to share with you today dear reader.

Understanding the role of the manager.
Your manager’s job is to be your manager. They need to set clear expectations, define what success looks like and then ensure you have the tools you need to get there. They need to be able to give you feedback- both when things are going well and when things are not. 
And that’s it. Anything else is icing. You may want your manager to be your mentor, your friend, and it’s great when that happens. But being a mentor is very different from being a manager and often for one reason or another your manager can’t be both.
So, get 
really clear. What would it look like if your expectations of your manager were simply that they defined what success in your role looked like, gave you the tools you needed, and gave feedback? Without expecting the extra. What would be possible in your relationship from that place?

Asking for what you need.
Your manager can’t read your mind. Remember how I said that it’s your manager’s job to provide the tools you need to do your job? Sometimes that will be really clear, and they will be able to provide that. And sometimes they will need you to tell them what you need because they just don’t know.
So, have you set up the space in your relationship with your manager where you can ask for what you need? Do you meet with them one-on-one on a regular basis? If not, how can you and your manager work together to create that space? Maybe in your first act of asking for what you need, you ask for regular meetings.

A little disclaimer: the vast majority of people and managers have the best of intentions for their workplace relationships. And there is a tiny minority who don’t. But that’s a whole other post.  

So, think about your relationship with your manager. Would it be helpful to adjust your expectations of them? And how can you create the space to ask for what you need. 

And if you need some help, reach out! That’s what I am here for.

Until next week,
H