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Author Archives: josantamaria

EAGER TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN FIRST JOB

May 1st, 2011 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

Finally, after being jobless for 1 ½ years after my graduation, I now have a good job in a good company.  I say it is a good job because it fits my qualifications, e.g. my college degree, my interests and my needs.  I say good company because its compensation package is good and the people (my boss and colleagues) are all nice to me.

I want to stay in this company.  Will you give me some tips that will help me become a good employee so that I will retain my job and even progress in my career?  Am I an “eager beaver”?

Mr. Eager Beaver

 

Congratulations for wanting to be successful in your first job and desiring to build your career in your company!  You are the first person who has written me who is not seeking advice on a work/career issue.  Your great desire is to be good in your job, so that you can keep it, the company can keep you and you can advance in your career.

In my book Managing Work and Career (New Day publishers, 2003) I wrote a chapter on “Get a New Start in your New Job” and another on “How to Keep Your Job” from which I’ll be quoting pertinent portions.

Most likely you will be on probation for six months during which you are going to be closely observed by how well and how fast you learn how to do your job according to the standards of your supervisor, by your work behaviors (such as punctuality on time and on submission of work) and by your work attitudes .  The high quality and timeliness of your work, your ability to get along with your supervisor and peers, your teachability, your continuous efforts to improve yourself and what you do, etc. — all these are observed and evaluated.

To be successful in your job requires the following things:

  • Knowing the duties and responsibilities of your job and doing an excellent job.
  • Knowing the required competencies required to do these duties and responsibilities and making sure that you acquire these competencies.
  • Knowing and appreciating your company: its mission, vision and core values and how these values are to be expressed in behaviors, attitudes and performance.
  • Having a good and positive interpersonal relationship with your team leader/supervisor and co-team members.
  • Participating actively during meetings.
  • Having an attitude of continuous improvement of your outputs and the process you use to produce it
  • Fast tracking your development

Do excellent work. Clarify with your team leader/manager your understanding of the duties and responsibilities of your position, the standards of performance, timetables, and the like.  These standards are used to evaluate your work outputs.  Ask your leader how  he/she wants a task to be done, what are the results expected of you, and by when, in quantitative and qualitative terms. In fact, it’s not enough to meet the current standards.  You have to exceed these standards.  An example: for one in sales, ‘making two more calls”, exceeding the monthly quota by 50%, giving a complete report a week before it is due, and the like.  You do not merely satisfy your customer; you must delight them; make them your “raving fans” — jargons that we have barrowed from the US corporate world.

Required competencies. When you develop competencies required to perform your job according to the standards of your internal customers, you are also developing yourself and acquiring personal mastery that results in your feeling self-empowered.  You will be appraised by the level you have progressed on these competencies on a continuum.

Know and appreciate your company. Know and understand the mission, vision and core values of your company.  Know its products and services.  If you are working in a consumer company, be sure that you use and patronize its products and services and not those of its competitors. Market your company’s products and services among members of your family, relatives and friends.

The core values are what make one company different from another.  They affect all aspects of the business – from the quality of products produced or what kind of service is given external customers, to how employees (internal customers) are treated.  They determine what are  acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.  A new employee must be sensitive to what behaviors are approved of or censured, and listen to his leader/manager and the senior team members, on  what “should” or “should not” be done.

Good and positive interpersonal relationships. You must be sensitive to how you affect others.  Understand how your work responsibilities and outputs affect your leader/manager and your peers, and how their work, in turn, affects you.  Your leader/manager is your No.1 customer; it is his/her standards that prevail.  So you must frequently seek his/her feedback on how he/she evaluates your work and seek his/her suggestions on how to improve it. Be a team player. Be helpful to your co-team members so that they, in turn, will help you when you need their help.  The quality (accuracy, completeness, etc.) of your work and your dependability in meeting deadlines will make them trust you.  Doing re-work is expensive.

Active participation during meetings. Add your value to every meeting that you attend by active participation.  Be  prepared for meetings  by knowing the agenda so that you can do your research and contribute useful opinions and researched data.  No-no’s during meetings include: texting or making calls thru your cellphone, bringing your work and doing it while the meeting is on-going, holding another meeting with others, or looking bored and yawning. These are negative behaviors that show disrespect for those who are participating.

An attitude of continuous improvement. If you do your job mechanically, that’s the start of boredom.  There  are senior employees who do the same things year in and year out because they are settled in their “comfort zone”.  Continue to improve your output and your process.  Never be contended with the “bahala na”, “ok na ‘yan”, “pwede n’yan”, and the like.  Seek the opinions and suggestions of your external and internal customers on how you can improve.  Ask your team leader how your work can be improved.  Challenge yourself to build lasting relationship with your external customers so that they continue to prescribe your products and be loyal customers.

Fast-track your development. Having a career goal towards which you focus your learning and development will help you see opportunities when you recognize them.  The notion of career advancement as “moving up “ is no longer possible in today’s “lean and mean” organizations.  Promotion to the next step in the ladder is hard to come by.  Career moves are often lateral and this is advantageous because you will be acquiring additional competencies.  Welcome multiple tasking as a way of acquiring more and varied skills.  Being multi-tasked, multi-skilled or using your multiple talents will increase your career options.  If you have a good relationship with your boss because you are helping him/her meet his/her team goals, you can ask him/her to coach you in areas where you can still improve.  Cross-functional teams being the way projects are now done will expose you to varied work environments and to interact with a diversity of talents.

Doing your work excellently, according to the  standards of your internal and external customers, enjoying doing  your work, and continuously improving it, will get you off to a good start in your new job.

No, you are not an eager beaver.  You re an enthusiastic beginner ready and willing to conquer the world!  Do not be disillusioned though if things do not go as you expect them.  Continue to be self-motivated in doing the above suggestions.  You will eventually reap the fruit of your proactivity.

God bless you.

 

Josie O. Santamaria

HOW TO ADJUST TO A TEMPERAMENTAL BOSS

May 1st, 2011 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

My co-employees and I read with great interest your advice to Mr. Short Fuse on how he could control his temper (Sunday Inquirer, October 3, 2010, Job Market, Working People, “How to Control Temper Outbursts”, p.5).  I wish my boss is like him who regretted his outbursts and wanted to change as it is not only unprofessional but also alienates his employees away from him.  We had planned to send it to our boss but we were so afraid of what she would do to us.  You see, unlike Mr. Short Fuse, our boss is unrepentant and continues to bawl us out for mistakes we commit.  This makes us all the more nervous and wants to avoid her.

I’ve been working under her for only a year now and how I dread our meetings and the times she calls me into her office.  Twice she reprimanded me in front of her visitors.  I cringed in embarrassment but I still managed to smile.  She has never given me praise or recognition for the good work, i.e., when she does not see any error, in the work I’ve done.  I really feel very bad about this.

I’ve approached already the head of HR Department to transfer me to another section but she was unsympathetic and simply told me to adjust to her.  At age 32, I’ll find it difficult to get employment elsewhere.  Besides, I like our company, my salary and the benefits we’re getting.

Please advise me on how I can adjust to her, and not lose my self-respect and preserve my dignity.  I’m about to fall apart.

Ms. About to Fall Apart

 

I can see how hurt you are at your boss’ behaviors: bawling her employees, reprimanding you in front of her visitors, and not praising you for error-free work.  Because of these, you dread your interactions with her; you even want to be transferred to another section.  However, you are not thinking of resigning; you only want advice on how to adjust to your boss and the situation you are in and not feel degraded.

 

In order to adjust, i.e., to see your situation and your boss in a positive light so that you don’t feel as hurt as you do, I suggest the following:

 

1.      Change your way of seeing your boss.  According to the Hewitt Research on Best Employers in Asia, published in 2004 by John Wiley and Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd.:  managers who are predominantly left-brain people — accountants, finance, engineers — are often reluctant to give praise even though they may desperately be in need of praise themselves.  Most likely, your boss is not receiving any praise from her own superiors and this is why she doesn’t know how to give it to her employees.  Perhaps if you see her in this light, it could change your perception and your feelings towards her.

2.      Continue to do well in your work.  I suggest you review your position description and see if you are doing everything expected of you, and doing each task according to expected standards of quality and timeliness.  It is only when you exceed standards or when you do a project in an extraordinary way that you would expect to be given recognition.

3.      If you don’t get a deserved recognition, you can be proactive by asking your boss how she found the work you did.  If she says for instance, that it’s “OK”, you can probe by asking “What’s OK about it, Ma’am, so I would know what to repeat or do even better”.  If she still refuses to give you the satisfaction of a deserved recognition, then accept it as part of her style.

4.      See your boss as your #1 Customer whose needs must be met. To satisfy and delight her is your goal. Doing good work the best way you can is a requirement to please your customer.  If she praises you, consider it a bonus.

5.      Work on improving your character by strengthening your intrinsic reinforcement.  When you’ve done extraordinary work or walked an extra mile with success, feel proud of yourself and enhance your sense of achievement.  The “I did it!” feeling can boost your self-worth.  This verse from Phil. 4:11 “Not that I say this because of need, for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient.” might help you when your need for recognition is not being met.

6.      When your boss bawls you out for mistakes committed, simply apologize.  When she reprimands you in front of others, do not smile.  Your smile will reinforce her aggression.  After apologizing, just keep silent and look at her.

7.      Add a spiritual dimension:  Offer all your work and the efforts you exert, and your relationships with your boss to God who knows all and sees all.  It is getting His approval that is far more important than any human reward.

 

God bless you.

 

Josie O. Santamaria

HAVE I REACHED THE DEAD-END OF MY CAREER?

May 1st, 2011 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

I’m female, 35 yrs. old, still single. I’ve worked with this company for the past nine years and I can truly say I’ve given it my all! I was in the talent pool, at least I thought I was. I was being sent to attend several training events, in-house and outside, and my former boss (who is no longer with the company) had told me I had a great future in the company.

 

For the past three years, however, no promotion had come my way.  Three of my peers had been promoted and this greatly demoralized me.  I’ve lost my enthusiasm for my job and am no longer work-engaged (a subject of your column months ago).  It looks like I have no future in this company.  My current boss is so busy attending meetings to bother talking to us even about our work concerns.  He does not conduct real performance discussions.  He just let us sign the appraisal form which he had accomplished.  Shall I look at other options now, if I still have them.  What worries me is that I would have to start all over again if I’m taken in a new company.  I’ll appreciate your advice on this matter.  Thank you.

 

Ms. Demoralized

 

Your unmet expectations of career advancement had demoralized and now demotivate you.  You are now thinking of leaving your company; however, this would mean starting all over again.

 

I agree that you start to explore other options outside of your company; at the same time, you make a good assessment of where you are at in your current company.  This assessment process will also help you in your career exploration.  My advice consists of the following steps:

 

First of all, define your personal mission in life, your personal vision and your career goal.  Spend a week-end by yourself in a quiet and relaxing place, away from distractions.  Reflect on your mission in life, i.e., why did God create you?  What is His purpose for you?  What and how does He want you to spend your life?   What is your personal vision, i.e., what do you want to be or to become in 10 years’ time?   Have a clear picture of the future you want to have for yourself.

 

Define your career goal, which should not just be the next promotion.  What do you want to be in, say, five years that will engage you fully and enthuse you because   you are using skills and talents you enjoy doing, satisfying your important needs and living your values?

 

Ask yourself:  is your career goal aligned with your mission and personal vision in life?  These three should be aligned so that your focus is towards the same direction.

Having a guided retreat or participating in a workshop on life/career planning can be very helpful in helping you to craft your personal mission statement, your personal vision and your career goal.

 

For example:

 

Personal Mission:  To be God’s light at the workplace when people I work with witness  that I live the values of excellence, integrity, professionalism and teamwork, and this enables me to contribute towards the success of the organization I work with.

Personal Mission:  In year 2020, I see myself at the head of the sales organization either in my current company or in another company.  This position enables me to influence people in my organization towards meaningful work/life balance and still contributing our utmost to the successful growth of our organization.

Career Goal: By end of 2014, I am occupying the position of sales manager that would enable me to influence my direct reports to live the corporate values, thereby contributing towards greater productivity of our company.

 

Second: Assess your skills and talents, your needs, values and career interest. Look at on-line for self assessment instruments you can take.  Or, you may look at and see if my Career Planning Workbook available at National Bookstore can help you.

Third.  Look at your current job and see if there is a job-person match, i.e., the skills you are using, the needs you are satisfying and the values you are expressing and activities you prefer to do, are those that relate to your assessed interest, skills, needs, and values.  There is NO perfect match.  What is important is that most of the skills you are using are those related to your interests, and that your needs and values are those that are important to you.  If there is a match, then you can continue to pursue your present career when you apply to other companies.  Or if you choose to remain in your company, you only need to “recharge, refocus and reconnect” which will be discussed below.

 

Fourth, recharge. With your mission, personal vision and career goal clear to you, and your skills, needs, values and interest clarified, you can now look at how you can make your job meaningful because you see it as a way of fulfilling your mission in life and is a stepping stone towards your personal vision, and in achieving your career goal.

 

Fifth. Refocus. Being clear about your mission, personal vision and career goal will enable you to drive your own success when you define your job/work goals from a new perspective.   This will promote your work engagement.  You take responsibility for your own success and you are able to define the contribution you want to make.  Promotion is a consequence of these.

 

 

Sixth.  Reconnect. Strong positive relationships with your manager and your co-team members are vital to both a great work experience and job success.  Take initiative in setting a meeting with your manager to discuss your job/work goals and getting his inputs.  Take initiative in asking him before the performance appraisal period, to sit down with you to discuss your areas for improvement and how you can hone your skills to enable you to help him meet his own work/team goals.

 

Write down the script of what you will say to him so that you will gain self-confidence in delivering your message in an assertive yet respectful way.

 

Leaving your company is bold and risky.  Explore this option anyway by looking at companies whose corporate culture is based on core values aligned with your own values.  Activate your network of former classmates to get leads of job openings.  Ask around.  Update your resumé.  Look at job vacancies and match the requirements of what you know about yourself – your skills, needs, values, career interest, your career goal, personal vision and mission.

 

God bless you.

 

Josie O. Santamaria

MS. LOYALTY TRADEMARK

May 1st, 2011 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

Is there such a thing as loyalty nowadays?  I know I’m a good boss to my employees.  I develop my direct reports and I expect them to develop also their direct reports.  I think of what’s good for them.  Despite these, however, I observe that most of my employees are not enthusiastic about their work; they do their duties because they “have to” not because they “want to”.  I get the feeling that they are on the lookout for a better job offer elsewhere and then get out.  This frustrates me because I want my employees to be loyal to the organization and also to me.  What can I do?

Ms. Loyalty Trademark

You are frustrated that your employees:  1) are not enthused about their job as much as you are about yours; 2) do not show signs of being work engaged; 3) are just waiting for an opportunity to get a better job elsewhere.  For the things you are doing for them, e.g. developing them and looking our for their welfare, you expect them to be grateful to you by being loyal to the organization and to you.

Most of what you say about your employees are all perceptions i.e., your interpretation of their behaviors which are colored by your biases, expectations, needs and values.  This is true to all of us.  In my Ask Your Career Counselor advice, published in the Job Market section of the Sunday Inquirer, July 5, 2009, in the Working People, page 4, I defined employee engagement as one in which the employee is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about his or her work.  He/she feels a strong emotional bond to the organization they work for, and feel connected to the company that values their contribution

Researches have cited five factors as causing employee disengagement:  (1) job dissatisfaction because there is no job-person fit; (2) employees don’t see how their jobs contribute to their section’s, department’s and organization’s goals; (3) lack of feedback and coaching from their supervisors;  (4) incompetent and poorly trained supervisors/managers; and (5) employees are not given opportunities for growth and development.

Research has also shown that the one most important factor that contributes to employee engagement is a strong supervisor-employee relationship.  This is rated higher than “opportunities to excel”, “good work-life balance” and “competitive compensation”.

To validate your perceptions, I suggest you spend time to talk to each one of your direct reports and ask broad questions to show your interest in them.  Questions like:

1.      Are you happy with your work?  Probe further with:  What is it about your job that you like?  What can be improved?  How can you improve it?   How do you want me to help you?

2.      How do you see yourself growing in our company?  What career path do you have in mind?  How do you want me to help you?

3.      How can we improve our systems and procedures?  What should I do more of?  What should I do less of?

In doing this one-on-one conversation, it is important that your verbal and non-verbal behavior (i.e., what you say and how you say it) are conductive to their opening up. Keep silence as you listen with interest to their responses.  You will learn much about them and about you from them.  However, getting information from your employees is one thing; acting on their feedback is another.   It’s important for open communication that they are not afraid of any negative backlash, resulting from what they say.

Self-awareness. There is so much that you need to know about yourself, your attitudes and behaviors when you interact with your employees that could point the way for you to improve.  If they do not open up to you, are fearful or hesitant to approach you, etc., these are signs that you might possibly are directive, task-oriented and controlling despite your good intentions to be a “good boss”, and a good coach.  Intentions and actions are two different things.  As the author Aldous Huxley wrote: “If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasure of illusion”

No doubt you know that loyalty is never deserved; it is earned.  Loyalty is strongly driven by the connections employees and managers feel with one another at work.  Building loyal relationships professionally and personally always begins with honest and valid self-assessment.  Improving connections with others invariably begins with improving oneself as a leader, as a manager, as a colleague, and as an employee.

Instead of being concerned about gaining your employees’ loyalty, I suggest you concentrate your efforts on building strong positive relationships with your employees.  Research from time  immemorial has shown that the most productive, most innovative teams within companies are built on strong relationships.  Even satisfaction with and happiness at work are in large part a function of the bonds at work.

Building a loyalty-driven organization doesn’t just happen.  It requires questioning some practices of managers, being open to self-confrontation on their part, and changing some long standing behaviors.

Believe me, change must always start with the boss, or the leader.  It’s always a top-down approach.

Get and Give Feedback.  It is just as important that you get feedback from your colleagues/peers, from your own manager on how they see to be your areas for improvement.  Thank them for their feedback.

When you coach an employee, it is for the purpose of helping her/him become a winner and contribute to team victory.  Give credit to the contribution of each person in your team, not merely to the success of the whole team.  One of the strategies to getting employees engaged is when each one sees how he/she has contributed to the success of the team in achieving a goal.

Positive feedback always has great impact when it is personalized and specific.  Look at your employee straight in the eye, smile, shake his/her hand and say with a tone of sincerity, “I am so happy with the way you responded to Mr. Customer’s objection about the higher price of our product.  You were so convincing!”  Or, “I am very proud about the way you got Dr. X to prescribe our product.  When I was covering him as a Med Rep, I couldn’t get him to prescribe our product.  But you did it!  Congratulations!”  Then follow this up with a written memo of congratulations for his/her achievement, forwarding a copy to your own boss and to your employee’s 201 file.  How do you think their affirmation will impact your employee?  What a boost this will be to a strong positive relationship between you.  Sad to say many Filipino managers are remiss in the area of affirmation and recognition.  Is it because they don’t experience receiving it themselves?

My advice is for you to develop strong positive relationship with your employees.  Their loyalty to you and to your organization will follow.

God bless you.

 

Josie O. Santamaria

REMOVE THE JITTERS IN MAKING PRESENTATIONS

May 1st, 2011 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

In all honesty, I’m a good performer and I’ve been receiving consistently high ratings in almost all aspects of my work except in one.  I feel anxious and afraid to give a presentation before our management team.  Just the thought of this gives me the jitters.  I’m an assistant to a member of this team and my boss has been wanting me to give a presentation for two reasons :  she wants me to have visibility and to develop me.  She is a great boss and genuinely concerned about my growth and career advancement.  For a number of times I’ve been avoiding this task, giving all sorts of excuse.  My boss finally told me that she will schedule me to give a presentation to our ManCom, first quarter of 2011.  I’m so nervous I spend sleepless nights and can’t concentrate on my work just thinking about this.

 

Please help me overcome this fear and gain self-confidence.  Thank you.

 

Ms. Very Nervous

 

You have described very well your feelings about making a presentation before the management team.  I suppose you don’t have similar fear and anxiety when presenting before peers and before employees with lower status since you didn’t mention this.  You have two options to choose from since your boss has told you, with finality, that you would be giving a presentation in the first quarter of next year:  face the challenge and develop your skills and self-confidence to give a presentation or continue to withdraw and erode your self-esteem in the process.

 

I can empathize with you because I used to exhibit the same fear reactions in giving a speech before a big audience in an auditorium.  Yet, I was already at that time, an assistant professor in a university. Let me share with you what I did to overcome my fear and gain self-confidence:

 

First, I made sure I was prepared with the material that I was going to present.  I gained mastery of the subject matter  so I could answer questions about it.

 

Second, I practiced reading the material, making sure, I had audience contact and appropriate pauses.

 

Third, I role played or rehearsed the presentation in the actual place where I would deliver it, and doing this after office hours when there was no one else in the lecture hall.  I walked to the podium, pretended I was looking at an audience, smiled and delivered my presentation, ensuring I had audience contact at appropriate times.  When the mock presentation ended, I looked at the audience again and smiled.  I pretended there was an open forum and that I was answering one question after the other about my presentation.  Then I thanked the imaginary audience, and walked away.  I was fortunate that I had a sympathetic colleague who accompanied me during two rehearsals, asked me questions and critiqued my presentation.

 

Fourth, on the actual day and time of my speech, I controlled my nervousness by repeating to myself over and over again : “ I can do it.  I will do it.  The Holy Spirit is with me.”  This process helped me lessen my fear.

 

Fifth, after each “successful presentation”, I would congratulate myself with a “I did it!  Thank you, Lord!”  I allowed myself to feel good with my achievement.

 

In the May 2010 issue of the journal T + D of the American Society for Training and Development, an article entitled “Speaking Up :  10 Tips for Making a C-Level Presentation” written by Kathy Reiffenstein, gave some practical suggestions that will  help you in your preparation to top-level executives whom she describes as having a short attention span, have a “show me” attitude, and a license to interrupt a presenter at any point in their presentation.  This unique group’s frequent complaints were that presentations given to them provide too many details and don’t link to corporate objectives.  In addition, these executives complain that presentors can’t answer challenging questions.

 

The writer of this article gave the following tips

 

1.     Analyze your audience and anticipate their needs.  The CFO, for instance wants to analyze the financial implications of what you have presented before being asked to make a decision.  The CEO prefers to see an agenda before the presentation.  Perhaps you can ask your boss about each of the members of the ManCom and their peculiar needs;

2.  Link your presentation to the challenges and overarching business issues :  Show how your message is relevant to issues the executives focus on, be it corporate strategy, profitability, revenue or RO1.  Don’t leave it up to them to figure it out.  Demonstrate the business links through specific statements, examples and metaphors.

 

Every audience, no matter how senior, asks the “What’s in it for me?” questions.  Specifically, “Why should I listen?” “What benefit will I get from this presentation vs. doing things I need to do right now?”

 

3.  Start with conclusions.  Since top-level executives are results-focused, start with the conclusions of your presentation and then support those conclusions with the necessary details and facts.

For example, begin your presentation with the following information : “Approximately 50 percent of our business currently comes through referrals from our existing customers. The referral training and tracing program I am recommending will increase our revenue by $500,000 annually. The benefits will include a greater number of prospects for the sales force and higher customer satisfaction scores.  Let me show you how this will be.”

4.  Beware of too much detail. Senior- level executives think more strategically than operationally.  In considering a topic they want to understand quickly what the impact is on the big picture without wading through a pile of details.

 

The author suggests that you structure your presentation around high level concepts and just be ready with facts and supporting data when asked about them.  Present examples, figures and analysis only when your audience wants them.

 

5.  Beware of too many slides. Keep your slides to a minimum, keep them clean and simple and use them only when they can add value to or further explain what they are saying.  It is better to use charts and graphics rather than bullet points.

6.  Expect and welcome interruptions.  See interruptions in a positive light : you have sparked an idea that the person wants to talk about rather than that you have confused them and they want clarification. Know your material forward and backward so that you can determine how to get back on track.

 

Be attentive to your audience to determine what they want to pursue further and when.  It is better to allow your audience to interrupt you and discuss something in your presentation that interest them than to stick rigidly to your script.  If you have sparked a lively discussion, your audience is engaged.

 

7.  Anticipate tough questions. Your boss can help you what these tough questions might be and how to answer them.

The author of the article gives these three techniques to handle tough questions:

  • Redirect. Ask if someone in the ManCom would like to comment on the question.
  • Rephrase or confirm. This will ensure that you have understood the question correctly or getting correction on your understanding.
  • Resist the fear of saying “I don’t know”. Don’t be afraid to say “ I don’t have an answer to your question” rather than trying to bluff.  You’ll get respect from your honest admission of not knowing the answer.

8.   Use stories and examples. The use of stories, anecdotes and metaphors humanize flat facts and figures making them more engaging and your message interesting.  Stories must be relevant to the point you are making.  Like the rest of your presentation, prepare your stories ahead of time, and practice them until your delivery is perfect.

9.     Plan to use less than your allotted time. A good rule of thumb is that your presentation should take only 70% of the time allotted to you.  This time allotment includes interruptions, question-and-answer time, and unexpected dialogs.

10.   Practice, practice, practice. In this age of technology, videotape yourself  delivering your presentation until you have reached a level of confidence.

 

Let me add another tip:  Stop saying negative statements to yourself as “I’m nervous”, “It’s difficult”, “I can’t do it”, etc.  These will make you  even more nervous and agitated.  Replace them with positive self-affirmations to boost your confidence level, such as, “I’m getting better in my delivery”, “I can do it”, “I can overcome my nervousness”, etc.

 

Communicating powerfully and persuasively in any presentation can be a career-making skill and nowhere is it critical and challenging than the executive suite or in the boardroom.  Every element of the presentation must be planned and practiced for you to learn the skills. After every presentation, you hone your skills and enhance your confidence level. The intrinsic rewards are great: self-satisfaction, self-fulfillment, sense of achievement and personal empowerment.

 

God bless you by rewarding your efforts with success.

 

Josie O. Santamaria

HOW TO ADJUST TO A TEMPERAMENTAL BOSS

November 14th, 2010 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

My co-employees and I read with great interest your advice to Mr. Short Fuse on how he could control his temper (Sunday Inquirer, October 3, 2010, Job Market, Working People, “How to Control Temper Outbursts”, p.5).  I wish my boss is like him who regretted his outbursts and wanted to change as it is not only unprofessional but also alienates his employees away from him.  We had planned to send it to our boss but we were so afraid of what she would do to us.  You see, unlike Mr. Short Fuse, our boss is unrepentant and continues to bawl us out for mistakes we commit.  This makes us all the more nervous and wants to avoid her.

I’ve been working under her for only a year now and how I dread our meetings and the times she calls me into her office.  Twice she reprimanded me in front of her visitors.  I cringed in embarrassment but I still managed to smile.  She has never given me praise or recognition for the good work, i.e., when she does not see any error, in the work I’ve done.  I really feel very bad about this.

I’ve approached already the head of HR Department to transfer me to another section but she was unsympathetic and simply told me to adjust to her.  At age 32, I’ll find it difficult to get employment elsewhere.  Besides, I like our company, my salary and the benefits we’re getting.

Please advise me on how I can adjust to her, and not lose my self-respect and preserve my dignity.  I’m about to fall apart.

Ms. About to Fall Apart

 

I can see how hurt you are at your boss’ behaviors: bawling her employees, reprimanding you in front of her visitors, and not praising you for error-free work.  Because of these, you dread your interactions with her; you even want to be transferred to another section.  However, you are not thinking of resigning; you only want advice on how to adjust to your boss and the situation you are in and not feel degraded.

In order to adjust, i.e., to see your situation and your boss in a positive light so that you don’t feel as hurt as you do, I suggest the following:

1.      Change your way of seeing your boss.  According to the Hewitt Research on Best Employers in Asia, published in 2004 by John Wiley and Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd.:  managers who are predominantly left-brain people — accountants, finance, engineers — are often reluctant to give praise even though they may desperately be in need of praise themselves.  Most likely, your boss is not receiving any praise from her own superiors and this is why she doesn’t know how to give it to her employees.  Perhaps if you see her in this light, it could change your perception and your feelings towards her.

2.      Continue to do well in your work.  I suggest you review your position description and see if you are doing everything expected of you, and doing each task according to expected standards of quality and timeliness.  It is only when you exceed standards or when you do a project in an extraordinary way that you would expect to be given recognition.

3.      If you don’t get a deserved recognition, you can be proactive by asking your boss how she found the work you did.  If she says for instance, that it’s “OK”, you can probe by asking “What’s OK about it, Ma’am, so I would know what to repeat or do even better”.  If she still refuses to give you the satisfaction of a deserved recognition, then accept it as part of her style.

4.      See your boss as your #1 Customer whose needs must be met. To satisfy and delight her is your goal. Doing good work the best way you can is a requirement to please your customer.  If she praises you, consider it a bonus.

5.      Work on improving your character by strengthening your intrinsic reinforcement.  When you’ve done extraordinary work or walked an extra mile with success, feel proud of yourself and enhance your sense of achievement.  The “I did it!” feeling can boost your self-worth.  This verse from Phil. 4:11 “Not that I say this because of need, for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient.” might help you when your need for recognition is not being met.

6.      When your boss bawls you out for mistakes committed, simply apologize.  When she reprimands you in front of others, do not smile.  Your smile will reinforce her aggression.  After apologizing, just keep silent and look at her.

7.      Add a spiritual dimension:  Offer all your work and the efforts you exert, and your relationships with your boss to God who knows all and sees all.  It is getting His approval that is far more important than any human reward.

God bless you.

 

Josie O. Santamaria

MS. ABOUT TO FALL APART

November 5th, 2010 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

I read with great interest your advice to Mr. Short Fuse on how he could control his temper (Job Market, Working People, p.5, “How to Control Temper Outbursts”).  I wish my boss is like him who regretted his outbursts and wants to change as it is not only unprofessional but also alienates his employees away from him.  I actually cut out your article and showed it to my co-employees.  We planned to send it to our boss but we were so afraid of what she would do to us.  You see, unlike Mr. Short Fuse, our boss is unrepentant and continues to bawl us out for mistakes we commit.  This makes us all the more nervous and wants to avoid her.

I’ve been working under her for only a year now and how I dread our meetings and the times she called me into her office.  Twice she reprimanded me in front of her visitors.  I cringed in embarrassment but I still managed to smile.  She has never given me praise or recognition for the good work, i.e., when she does not see any error, for the work I’ve done.  I really feel very bad.

I’ve approached already the head of HR Department to transfer me to another section but she was unsympathetic and simply told me to adjust to her.  At age 32, I’ll find it difficult to get employment elsewhere.  Besides, I like our company, my salary and the benefits we’re getting.

Please advise me on how I can adjust to her and not lose my self-respect and preserve my dignity.  I’m about to fall apart.

Ms. About to Fall Apart

 

I can see how hurt you are at your boss’ behaviors: bawling her employees, reprimanding you in front of her visitors, and not praising you for error-free work.  Because of these, you dread your interactions with her; you even want to be transferred to another section.  However, you are not thinking of resigning; you only want advice on how to adjust to your boss and the situation you are in.

In order to adjust, i.e., to see your situation and you boss in a positive light so that you don’t feel as hurt as you do, I suggest the following:

1.      Change your way of seeing your boss.  According to the Hewitt Research on Best Employees in Asia, published in 2004 by John Wiley and Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd.:  Managers who are predominantly left-brain people — accountants, finance, engineers — are often reluctant to give praise even though they may desperately be in need of praise themselves.  Most likely, she herself is not receiving any praise from her own superiors and this is why she doesn’t know how to give it to her employees.  Perhaps if you see her in this light, it could change your perception and your feelings towards her.

2.      Continue to do well in your work.  I suggest you review your position description and see if you are doing everything expected of you, and each task done according to expected standards or when you do a project in an extraordinary way that you would expect to be given recognition.

3.      If you don’t get a deserved recognition, you can be proactive by asking your boss how she found it.  If she says for instance, that it’s OK, you can probe by asking “What’s OK about it, Ma’am, so I replicate or do even better.  If she still refuses to give you the satisfaction of a deserved recognition, then accept it as part of her coping style.

4.      See your boss as your #1 Customer whose needs must be met. To satisfy and delight her is your goal. Doing good work the best way you can is a requirement to please your customer.  If she praises you, it’s a bonus.

5.      Work on improving your character by strengthening your intrinsic reinforcement.  When you’ve done extraordinary work or walked on extra mile with success, feel proud of yourself and enhance your sense of achievement.  The “I did it!” feeling can boost your self-worth.

6.      When your boss bawls you out for mistakes committed, simply apologize.  When she reprimands you in front of others, do not smile.  Your smile reinforces her aggression.  Just keep silence and look at her.

7.      Add a spiritual dimension:  Offer all your works and the efforts you spend, your relationships with your boss to God who knows all and sees all.  It is getting His approval that is far more important than human reward.

God bless you.

 

Josie O. Santamaria

HOW TO CONTROL TEMPER OUTBURSTS

October 3rd, 2010 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

I am trying to manage my “short fuse”, i.e., my impatience that makes me flare up at some of my subordinates when they make the same mistakes a second or worse, a third time.  When I flare up, I end up shouting at them and pounding my hands on the table in front of them.

I always regret my actions afterwards because not only am I being unprofessional; I also hurt their feelings even if they are wrong.  My negative image in the office as a result of my outbursts has made me a topic of conversation among the rank-and-file and has also damaged my reputation.  This could be the reason why I have not had any career move for the past so many years.  I’m sure no one wants to work under me.  .

Although this happens infrequently, I can see that my subordinates are tense in my presence, are passive during our weekly meetings and come only to my office when I call them.  They don’t ask questions to clarify; they proceed with the task I tell them to do and commit the errors that make me flare up.

Can you please help me handle my temper?  Can I change my reputation so that I am  seen as a good leader worthy of respect?

Mr. Short Fuse

 

I admire you for your desire to manage your temper and for not justifying it, for admitting your need to change, and for seeking help to bring this about.  You are right about the negative consequences of your temper outbursts on yourself and on your subordinates, and on your reputation and on their self-esteem, and on your career movements.  You are right in your observation that your employees are afraid of you which makes them withdraw from and avoid you.  Their fear makes them tense leading to errors that infuriate you.  This becomes a vicious circle.

The change effort I suggest requires a paradigm shift about yourself and about your subordinates.  This is known as the inside-out approach.  It starts with changing your mindsets and perceptions of yourself and of your subordinates.  Changing your mindsets and perceptions will change your feelings/emotions (impatience, anger, rage) when errors are committed; in turn this will change your behaviors towards your employees.  The only way you can change your image and your reputation is for you to change your behaviors so that you will eventually change the way they perceive you.  This may be a slow process as your subordinates have already formed mindsets about you based on their interactions with you.

The inside approach requires the following steps:

First, analyze your aggressive behaviors and what causes them.  Write down the behaviors of your subordinate that cause you to flare up, what thoughts you have about a subordinate when he commits errors.  These are the stimuli or antecedents to your aggressive behaviors.  Opposite each one write down how you react, i.e., the words you say and how you say it.  Example:  you spot an error in your subordinate’s report.  What thoughts do you have of your subordinate?  Such negative thought as: “He is so stupid!”, “Not again!”, “When will you ever learn?” and the like, will make you tense and angry.  Before you know it, you are calling him in a loud/angry voice and shouting perhaps, “Why this… again?’

Second, take deep breathes to release your tension, ask God to help you ease your tension and say to yourself “STOP!”.  As you do these, change the way you think about yourself and about your subordinate.  Put in your mind positive thoughts about yourself, e.g., “It is my role to coach him so that he can improve”; “I am blessed to have more knowledge, better skills and more experience”; “I am expected to share my knowledge and experience with my subordinate”; “It is my duty as his supervisor to develop him so that he can do his task correctly”; “My shouting at him will only make him afraid of me and nervous when I call him”; “I don’t improve him by shouting at him”, etc.

See yourself as a steward (“katiwala”) of your company’s important human assets which are your employees, and you have the responsibility to develop them and enhance their knowledge and skills.  See your subordinate as your customer; he has a need for knowledge which you must satisfy.  He is one of the reasons why your position exists.

Third, analyze the cause of your subordinate’s mistakes.  Is it because he didn’t understand you?  Why did he not understand you?  Was it a matter of communication?  How did you communicate with him?  Did your tone of voice and facial expression make him tense and nervous? Was he afraid to ask you questions?

If you see yourself as a steward and your employee as the company’s asset, and as your customer, you will not be impatient, rude, angry and furious.  When your employee commits an error, you will see the mistake as an opportunity for you to perform your role as a coach, and to develop a positive relationship with him.  Coaching him shows that you care enough that he learns and improves.

Every morning, set as a goal that you will seize an opportunity to coach one of your employees, and that you will smile and be relaxed in your interactions with each one during the day.  Visualize positive interactions with your employees.  Take lunch with them in the pantry and talk about non-work topics.  Start pleasant conversations by asking them about their families and listening to them with interest as they share.  Share with them about your own family, too.  There will be initial discomfort and awkwardness on both your part and theirs initially, but as you keep at it, these will minimize.

Display positive behaviors when you interact with your employees.  Examples of positive behaviors are:  smiling when you talk to your subordinate; looking at your subordinate eye-to-eye when you talk to him or when he talks to you; not using your cellphone when you are talking to or if your subordinate is talking to you; saying “thank you” with a smile when your subordinate submits something to you; greeting your subordinate with a smile when you arrive in the morning; saying “goodbye/good night” with a smile when they or you leave the office.  When your subordinate submits a report, give positive feedback on what is right about it.  Then later on point out areas to improve or change.  In correcting mistakes, ask the employee first what he thought of what he did and what can he do about it.  Build on his correct responses.  Then show him how to do.  Take care though about the words you use and how you say them.  You can conduct coaching in an angry way and you get a fear and nervous reaction.  Your non-verbal, e.g., facial expression, body language, gestures (such as pounding your hands in the table) could be aggressive.

Do not say “It’s hard to do these things”, “I can’t do it”, etc.  These are negative thoughts which you must remove and substitute with “I can do it.  With the grace of God, I can do it.”  God wants you to be kind, patient, understanding and compassionate especially to the least.  Your talented employees don’t need you.  Those who may be slow now may have potentials that require your patience to bring out, to develop and nurture.

Fourth, reward yourself with a pat on your back when you are able to coach a subordinate or behave in a positive way as suggested above.  Rewarding yourself will motivate you to repeat the same behaviors.  Repetition of positive behaviors will make them habits that will modify your character.

If you backslide, don’t fret.  If you notice yourself behaving negatively, stop immediately.  Then do the positive behavior.  For example if you notice yourself becoming tense and angry and your voice becoming louder, stop immediately.  Take a deep breath, then pray “Lord, help me please!”, then lower your voice and start the positive behavior.  Never mind if your subordinate sees you “changing gears” when you do this.  It shows to them that you are exerting efforts to change.

Above all, ask God for the grace to develop and practice positive behaviors each day.  If you are consistent in doing these positive actions everyday, eventually their negative image of you will change.  To fast track the change in perception, I suggest you meet all your subordinates and disclose to them your desire to change your behaviors.  Admit to them that you are taking responsibility for your past behaviors of aggression; that you are not blaming their mistakes for your show of temper.  Apologize to them for hurting them in the past, and that you will be exerting efforts to manage your disappointment at mistakes committed.  See what happens and how they will respond.

You may want to visit my website at www.careersystems.com.ph and look up my article in the Sunday Inquirer on December 28, 2008 to January 3, 2009 entitled “How can I change my ways” in reply to a reader with a similar concern as yours.

God bless you.

 

Josie O. Santamaria

HOW TO CONTROL TEMPER OUTBURSTS

September 27th, 2010 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

I am trying to manage my “short fuse”, i.e., my impatience that makes me flare up at some of my subordinates when they make the same mistakes a second or worse, a third time.  When I flare up, I end up shouting at them and pounding my hands on the table in front of them.

 

I always regret my actions afterwards because not only am I being unprofessional; I also hurt their feelings even if they are wrong.  My negative image in the office as a result of my outbursts has made me a topic of conversation among the rank-and-file and has also damaged my reputation.  This could be the reason why I have not had any career move for the past so many years.  I’m sure no one wants to work under me.  .

 

Although this happens infrequently, I can see that my subordinates are tense in my presence, are passive during our weekly meetings and come only to my office when I call them.  They don’t ask questions to clarify; they proceed with the task I tell them to do and commit the errors that make me flare up.

 

Can you please help me handle my temper?  Can I change my reputation so that I am  seen as a good leader worthy of respect?

Mr. Short Fuse

 

 

 

I admire you for your desire to manage your temper and for not justifying it, for admitting your need to change, and for seeking help to bring this about.  You are right about the negative consequences of your temper outbursts on yourself and on your subordinates, and on your reputation and on their self-esteem, and on your career movements.  You are right in your observation that your employees are afraid of you which makes them withdraw from and avoid you.  Their fear makes them tense leading to errors that infuriate you.  This becomes a vicious circle.

 

The change effort I suggest requires a paradigm shift about yourself and about your subordinates.  This is known as the inside-out approach.  It starts with changing your mindsets and perceptions of yourself and of your subordinates.  Changing your mindsets and perceptions will change your feelings/emotions (impatience, anger, rage) when errors are committed; in turn this will change your behaviors towards your employees.  The only way you can change your image and your reputation is for you to change your behaviors so that you will eventually change the way they perceive you.  This may be a slow process as your subordinates have already formed mindsets about you based on their interactions with you.

 

The inside approach requires the following steps:

 

First, analyze your aggressive behaviors and what causes them.  Write down the behaviors of your subordinate that cause you to flare up, what thoughts you have about a subordinate when he commits errors.  These are the stimuli or antecedents to your aggressive behaviors.  Opposite each one write down how you react, i.e., the words you say and how you say it.  Example:  you spot an error in your subordinate’s report.  What thoughts do you have of your subordinate?  Such negative thought as: “He is so stupid!”, “Not again!”, “When will you ever learn?” and the like, will make you tense and angry.  Before you know it, you are calling him in a loud/angry voice and shouting perhaps, “Why this… again?’

Second, take deep breathes to release your tension, ask God to help you ease your tension and say to yourself “STOP!”.  As you do these, change the way you think about yourself and about your subordinate.  Put in your mind positive thoughts about yourself, e.g., “It is my role to coach him so that he can improve”; “I am blessed to have more knowledge, better skills and more experience”; “I am expected to share my knowledge and experience with my subordinate”; “It is my duty as his supervisor to develop him so that he can do his task correctly”; “My shouting at him will only make him afraid of me and nervous when I call him”; “I don’t improve him by shouting at him”, etc.

 

See yourself as a steward (“katiwala”) of your company’s important human assets which are your employees, and you have the responsibility to develop them and enhance their knowledge and skills.  See your subordinate as your customer; he has a need for knowledge which you must satisfy.  He is one of the reasons why your position exists.

 

Third, analyze the cause of your subordinate’s mistakes.  Is it because he didn’t understand you?  Why did he not understand you?  Was it a matter of communication?  How did you communicate with him?  Did your tone of voice and facial expression make him tense and nervous? Was he afraid to ask you questions?

 

If you see yourself as a steward and your employee as the company’s asset, and as your customer, you will not be impatient, rude, angry and furious.  When your employee commits an error, you will see the mistake as an opportunity for you to perform your role as a coach, and to develop a positive relationship with him.  Coaching him shows that you care enough that he learns and improves.

 

Every morning, set as a goal that you will seize an opportunity to coach one of your employees, and that you will smile and be relaxed in your interactions with each one during the day.  Visualize positive interactions with your employees.  Take lunch with them in the pantry and talk about non-work topics.  Start pleasant conversations by asking them about their families and listening to them with interest as they share.  Share with them about your own family, too.  There will be initial discomfort and awkwardness on both your part and theirs initially, but as you keep at it, these will minimize.

 

Display positive behaviors when you interact with your employees.  Examples of positive behaviors are:  smiling when you talk to your subordinate; looking at your subordinate eye-to-eye when you talk to him or when he talks to you; not using your cellphone when you are talking to or if your subordinate is talking to you; saying “thank you” with a smile when your subordinate submits something to you; greeting your subordinate with a smile when you arrive in the morning; saying “goodbye/good night” with a smile when they or you leave the office.  When your subordinate submits a report, give positive feedback on what is right about it.  Then later on point out areas to improve or change.  In correcting mistakes, ask the employee first what he thought of what he did and what can he do about it.  Build on his correct responses.  Then show him how to do.  Take care though about the words you use and how you say them.  You can conduct coaching in an angry way and you get a fear and nervous reaction.  Your non-verbal, e.g., facial expression, body language, gestures (such as pounding your hands in the table) could be aggressive.

 

Do not say “It’s hard to do these things”, “I can’t do it”, etc.  These are negative thoughts which you must remove and substitute with “I can do it.  With the grace of God, I can do it.”  God wants you to be kind, patient, understanding and compassionate especially to the least.  Your talented employees don’t need you.  Those who may be slow now may have potentials that require your patience to bring out, to develop and nurture.

 

Fourth, reward yourself with a pat on your back when you are able to coach a subordinate or behave in a positive way as suggested above.  Rewarding yourself will motivate you to repeat the same behaviors.  Repetition of positive behaviors will make them habits that will modify your character.

 

If you backslide, don’t fret.  If you notice yourself behaving negatively, stop immediately.  Then do the positive behavior.  For example if you notice yourself becoming tense and angry and your voice becoming louder, stop immediately.  Take a deep breath, then pray “Lord, help me please!”, then lower your voice and start the positive behavior.  Never mind if your subordinate sees you “changing gears” when you do this.  It shows to them that you are exerting efforts to change.

 

Above all, ask God for the grace to develop and practice positive behaviors each day.  If you are consistent in doing these positive actions everyday, eventually their negative image of you will change.  To fast track the change in perception, I suggest you meet all your subordinates and disclose to them your desire to change your behaviors.  Admit to them that you are taking responsibility for your past behaviors of aggression; that you are not blaming their mistakes for your show of temper.  Apologize to them for hurting them in the past, and that you will be exerting efforts to manage your disappointment at mistakes committed.  See what happens and how they will respond.

 

You may want to visit my website at www.careersystems.com.ph and look up my article in the Sunday Inquirer on December 28, 2008 to January 3, 2009 entitled “How can I change my ways” in reply to a reader with a similar concern as yours.

 

God bless you.

 

Josie O. Santamaria

Mr. Team Player

September 5th, 2010 | Posted by josantamaria in Articles - (0 Comments)

I like my job and my company.  The only thing I dislike is a fellow team member (there are four of us reporting to our section supervisor).  This Smart Aleck and Know-It-All thinks he is superior to the rest of us because he graduated from a so-called exclusive school.  Yet, he passes on his sloppy and often incomplete work to me which I have difficulty “deciphering” and it frustrates me when he reacts to my questions for clarification with a “Why can’t you understand it?” and leaves me at that.  He doesn’t take his phone when it rings and since I sit next to him I end up taking his phone.  He answers the phone only when the boss is around.

Yes, when the boss is around he also talks to me politely.  During our meetings he is always in agreement with the boss but behind the latter’s back, he makes critical remarks of decisions made.  Our boss never sees this guy’s negative behaviors so she thinks Smart Aleck is so smart.  Do I sound petty?  What can I do?

Mr. Team Player

You did not describe what moves you have made to give Smart Aleck (as you refer to him) feedback about how he is affecting your productivity, i.e., the time you spend trying to understand his work and completing it, and answering his phone calls.  When you don’t give him feedback about how his behaviors are negatively affecting you, he gets the impression that he is OK and he has your approval to continue behaving the way he does.

Your concerns about his behaviors are not petty.  You should address them sooner because they are affecting your productivity and making you stressed out.

If you have not given him feedback, it’s about time you do.  Before you start a work day, go and face him, and with eye-to-eye contact, state calmly the following message which describes his behaviors and how they affect you.

(His nickname), I want to take up with you two things that are important to me and to my productivity.  First, I almost always have to ask you to clarify some things in the work you give me and there are times when you gave me incomplete work that I have to ask you for additional data.  When I do this, you don’t answer my question.  I get so frustrated with this behavior because my work depends on the work you give to me.  I end up spending time trying to decipher and understand what you mean…. (Pause).  Secondly, we are expected to answer the phone by its second ringing.  When you don’t, I am forced to answer it and this disrupts my work.”

Have a positive expectation that he will see your side and act appropriately.  When he gives you complete and understandable work, thank him for it.  If he doesn’t improve his work, you can again repeat what you have told him, this time telling him that you will have no recourse but to talk to your supervisor about your problems with him and his work.

When you do get to this point because Smart Aleck still ignores your concerns, you can approach your supervisor, again describing your co-employee’s behaviors and how they affect you.

When he gives you sloppy and incomplete work, return it to him for correction and completion.  Document your request with date and time and write “For appropriate action on or before ” and have a copy of it.

Was it the late Mrs. Eleanore Roosevelt who said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”?  Do not be stymied by the school he graduated from.  The good performance of a school’s graduates is what gives prestige to a school.

God bless you.

 

Josie O. Santamaria