Finish A Conversation

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I know when a conversation is over?
  • How do I use body language to suggest a conversation is over?
  • How do I excuse myself from a conversation?

This cast gives our guidance on how to finish a conversation.

At least once a month we're asked: is there a way to help a conversation draw to a close without diminishing the relationship building aspect? Most recently, this came up on a forum post which Mark answered, but it comes up so often, we thought we'd answer it in a cast.

We just wish it wasn't that all of the people who ask it weren't incredibly high D's who constantly interrupt and have short attention spans. (Not casting aspersions - it's true of us too).

Literally, we have NEVER met someone who has asked me this question who, when asked for an example, didn't want to end a conversation after an abruptly short period of time, after having appeared to have been tapping their fingers in irritation within seconds. I've seen them expect conversations to be over ("okay, I've built this relationship, now let me go do IMPORTANT STUFF, BYE!") within 30 seconds. In the context of this posting, they would define "reasonable" as that 30 seconds.

But maybe that's not you. ;-)

So, if you think you've spent enough time:

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Creating A Presentation

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Where do I start when I need to create a presentation?
  • What are the steps to creating a presentation?
  • When should I start creating my presentation?

This cast helps you start to plan to create a presentation.

We've covered a number of aspects of presentations in both Career Tools and Manager Tools, but we've never really told you where to start. A great presentation doesn't start when you stand still in front of the room (Presentation Basics - Principle 1). It doesn't start when you send the invites out. It starts way, way before that. At least, it does if you want to be successful.

It's human nature to wait until a few days before a deadline (or the night before) before starting anything, and yet we all know the sooner we start, the easier it is and the more successful we'll be. So, if you hear nothing else in this cast, hear START EARLY.

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Pre-Interview Prep Chapter 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do you need to do before an interview?
  • What do you need specifically for THIS interview?
  • Do you have questions for the interviewer?

This cast gives our guidance on what to prepare for your interview.

Our interview series gives the most comprehensive guidance on how to interview. As we continue to build our audience, we receive questions which make us realize we left something out, or we weren't specific enough.

This cast is one of those which addresses an issue about which we realize we could have been more detailed. That is, what do you prepare for the interview? We don't mean in the broad sense of preparing to discuss your experience, or how to answer the interviewer's questions - that's covered in the interview series. We mean in the sense of the few things you want to make sure are top of mind just before you go into the interview.

In one of our casts we will describe what to do when you're waiting in reception for the interviewer. We'll recommend you have several 3 x 5 cards with the pertinent reminders on them so that you can review them while you wait. This cast gives the specifics of what needs to be on those cards.

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Following Up

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I follow up professionally?
  • How do I keep track of everything I need to do?
  • How do I find time to make sure I'm getting everything done?

This cast helps you be more efficient in following up.

We've talked about following up in numerous Career Tools casts. It's one of the marks of a true professional. People who follow up well, who don't let things fall through the cracks and who are in control of their workload stand out from the crowd. So how do you become one of those people?

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My Boss Finds Fault With Me - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Do I have to take my boss's criticism seriously?
  • Do I have to apologise to my boss?
  • How can I make my boss stop criticising me?

This cast concludes our conversation on helping you deal with the situation when your boss finds faults with your work.

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My Boss Finds Fault With Me - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Do I have to take my boss's criticism seriously?
  • Do I have to apologise to my boss?
  • How can I make my boss stop criticising me?

This cast helps you deal with the situation when your boss finds faults with your work.

This is another cast which follows the theme of 'what we wish we knew when we were 20'. Apart from the robots on the line at car factories, no-one's work is perfect. Part of the reason we have managers is because they have more experience and can guide us to making our work better. For some of us, the criticism isn't delivered constructively and that is hard to deal with. With age and experience, we've learned the hard way how to deal with having our work critiqued. In this cast, we're going to give you a head start, so you don't have to learn the way we did.

We're not covering major deliverable failure here. In this cast, we're just talking about faults with your every day work. If you've missed a major project deadline, or received a below average performance review, this cast isn't for you. If your boss really does criticize undeservedly, then you need our Bad Boss cast. But don't leap to conclusions. Your boss might not be as bad as all that.

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Interviewing - What To Do While You Wait

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do when waiting in the building for an interview?
  • Can I make phone calls while waiting for an interview?
  • Should I talk to people whilst waiting for an interview?

This cast gives our guidance on what you do while you wait in reception for an interviewer.

We've given this guidance on what to do when you sit in reception waiting for an interviewer, but it applies equally to any meeting where you're in an unfamiliar building and have to wait to be collected.

Like lots of our guidance around interview etiquette it's a mixture of the practical things to do and what not to do. Many of the things interviewees do are things they THINK give a good impression. Unfortunately, in many cases they're wrong.

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Meeting A Senior Executive

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I prepare to meet someone senior?
  • What kind of things do I need to be prepared to talk about?
  • What do I do if it goes wrong?

This cast helps you deal with meeting a member of the business who is two or more levels above you in the organization hierarchy.

One of the recommendations we make in Manager Tools is that every manager who has managers below them needs to periodically have a 'skip meeting'. That means she meets with not her directs, but their directs. That's all very well and beneficial for the manager, but it can be intimidating directs' directs. If you find yourself in that position, what can you do to give a good impression and not embarrass yourself?

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Develop Your Career Using Your Network

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How can I use my network to increase my skills?
  • What kind of skills can I get from my network?
  • How do I ask my network to help me?

This cast gives our guidance on developing your career using your network.

It seems like in every cast we record, we talk about the importance of building your network. We talk about how your network can help you with problems, get you a mentor and help you find a new job. We've told you how to build your network by being indiscriminate and adding everyone, and then, importantly, KEEPING IN TOUCH with them.

But how can you develop your career on a day-to-day basis by using your network? This cast tells you how.

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Interview Etiquette

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What is correct behavior during an interview?
  • Should I take a drink if offered?
  • What should I have prepared to talk about?

This cast gives our guidance on how to conduct yourself during an interview.

We've said it before, and we'll probably say it again, interviews are nerve-wracking. For everyone. In some ways it's like meeting your girlfriend's parents for the first time. There's that feeling of desperately wanting to impress and of being on your best behavior. We call the right behavior in that circumstance "etiquette" or "manners". Fortunately, etiquette rescues us during interviews too.

Debrett's Guide to British Behavior says of manners: Manners are valuable in this world for the simple reason that well-mannered people know how to set others around at their ease, know how to make the world feel a more civilized, friendly and calm place, and like to put others' comfort ahead of their own. Would you be more or less likely to employ someone who made you feel that way? Of course, you would be more likely, we all want to be around people like that. So, what to do?

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