Monday, June 29, 2015

"Key questions to ask to find key staff"/ "Get ruthless with the 'season of rush'"

May 1 "Key questions to ask to find key staff": I cut out this article by Harvey Schachter in the Globe and Mail on Dec. 12, 2011.  These are some inquisitive questions:

When hiring, Thomas Nelson publishers chairman Michael Hyatt says you should look for people with H3S. That’s shorthand for filling your company with people who are humble, honest, hungry and smart.

In recent blog postings, he outlined the importance of those criteria and, perhaps more helpfully, some questions that can help you to evaluate candidates:


You want individuals who don’t have too high or too low an opinion of themselves, and are learners, respecting other views. They should be “other-centred” – valuing other people, and open to correction. Some questions to ask in the interview to :

What do you see as your three greatest strengths?

What do you think is your biggest weakness?

How do you learn best? How would you describe your learning style?

You’ve obviously accomplished a great deal. To what do you attribute that success?

We all make mistakes. When you discover that you have made one, how do you handle it?


You want someone who is honest and has integrity – someone who does not lie, does not withhold negative information, keeps commitments, and is honest in giving feedback to others. Provocative questions:

Do you think that telling a “white lie” is ever justified for the greater good?

If things go wrong with a project, what obligation if any do you feel compelled to share with your boss?

If someone has wronged you in some way, how do you deal with the situation?

Can you tell me about a recent situation where you had to share bad news with someone? How did you handle it?

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make good on a commitment that you wished you hadn’t made?


A hungry person is one who doesn’t dwell on past accomplishments but is always reaching for more. He or she should be intellectually curious. Telling questions:

Are you satisfied with what you have accomplished in your life so far?

What are your biggest personal goals? What are your biggest career goals?

Do you consider yourself a reader? What was the last book you have read? What are you reading now?

How do you make sure that you follow up on your assignments? Do you have a system?

How do you typically prepare for meetings?


You want someone who is a quick study, with street smarts, able to connect the dots through an ability to think laterally. Some questions:

How well did you do in school? If you had to do it over again, how would you have done it differently?

What do you wish they had taught you in school that they didn’t?

Do you consider yourself a smart person? If so, why?

What are some of your interests outside work?

"Get ruthless with the 'season of rush'": I cut out this article by Dianne Nice in the Globe and Mail on Dec. 12, 2011.  There is a picture of Santa and it's under a shotgun target.  I thought that was kind of a funny picture.  You can click on the link and see it.

On a cold December morning, career coach Eileen Chadnick is readjusting her busy schedule. She has put off running to take an important call, and has a full workday ahead, with a holiday celebration to attend later. It’s all part of the year-end juggle.

“It’s always busy in my world, but December has its own unique brand of business,” said Ms. Chadnick, principal of Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto. “I call this the season of rush.”

To cope with it all, she said she gets “ruthless” about what goes on her to-do list. Her seasonal newsletter and year-end blog entry can’t wait, but coffee with clients can be put off until January.

She also schedules time for personal reflection. “That’s a huge priority for me. Even when life and work get super busy, reflective practice keeps me grounded and focused.”

She reflects on what’s going well and what she’s grateful for – the things that keep her going when she feels worn down. “Yes, I’m busy but I love my work, my clients, my family. It’s important that along the way, you grab those moments and celebrate them.”

Here are her top tips for dealing with the holiday crunch at work:

Time to triage

Deal with the most important needs first and direct your energy where it’s needed most. Identify which items are most s critical. Then look at the other items and see if some can wait until January, be delegated to others, or simply taken off the list.

Learn to say no

If you are getting requests to accommodate dates, meetings and projects that are not high priority or achievable at this busy time, just say no. If saying no is difficult, try “not at this time,” or say yes to a modified request. For example, if you’re asked to run a holiday fundraiser, say no to the organizing role but yes to helping out.

Make a list, check it twice

It’s hard to keep everything top of mind when there is so much going on, so write it down. This seems like a no-brainer if you are already organized but if lists aren’t your thing, this would be a good time to try it. You’d be surprised how helpful they can be to keep you focused. You may also want to add some “do not do’s” to keep focused on your commitments and not get distracted by things that can wait.

Eat, sleep and be merry

When we are stressed with lots on the go, it’s easy to compromise some of our healthier habits. Don’t skimp on your sleep, exercise and healthy nutrition because you will need all the energy you can get. It’s much harder to cope when you are sleep-deprived or over-caffeinated.

Practise gratitude

To avoid letting the Grinch steal your holiday spirit, be aware of how you are dealing with stress at work. One way to stay optimistic is to remind yourself daily what you are grateful for this year. Show gratitude to colleagues by saying thank you. This is a great way to “give at the office” and truly mean it.

Practise presence

Being mindful in the moment will allow you to enjoy the present without getting too overwhelmed by all that’s left to do. So keep your nose to the grindstone, but stay open and notice the moments that make this season special.
Most importantly, Ms. Chadnick said, look forward to the future. If you have a break coming, use it as a carrot to stay energized. “And take a moment to reflect on at least one thing you are looking forward to at work for 2012. In other words, get yourself another carrot – it’ll be good for you!”


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