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The Covid-19 Rollercoaster Tumbler, How PNKR© brings Clarity and Vision

The Covid-19 Rollercoaster Tumbler, How PNKR© brings Clarity and Vision

Dear Readers,

Once again thank you for taking the time to read my weekly article. I know many of my 1st circle “LinkedInners” are out there reading and liking, sharing and commenting my articles. Thank you. To those of you reading and enjoying the read please let me know by liking, sharing and commenting.

When I posted my first Covid-19 article named COVID-19: The Confinement Roller Coaster Wave, my fantastic business partner Cyrille Gay chose an amazing picture of a roller coaster in black and white. I did not know at the time, that this image would become our trademark image throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

Where we live, summer is in the air and we would like to think it is vacation time.

We would like to be able to just enjoy the nice warm weather and relax. However, our minds are still focused on the work that needs to be done.

TransitionKit takes care of companies and their employees. Our interactive webinars focus on understanding the psychological impact Covid-19 has on employees and organisations. They are designed to accompany staff and management.

Our PNKR© (see post about PNKR here) tool has proven to be of great support to individuals and companies alike in these troubled confinement, deconfinement, reconfinement times. We use it in our webinars and the compounded results can be shared with management teams.

The results show that companies have managed Covid-19 very differently.

The more trust (see link trust vs mistrust) there is in a company, the better the company has been able to manage the Pandemic crisis.

 PNKR© has given us insight to how employees experienced confinement. Keywords such as trust, work from home or relationship with colleagues came up often, illness and accident rates, etc. seamed less important and generated less complaints.

 In our experience work from home resulted in closer relationships between employees with more empathy for example which came as a surprise for many of us. What also surprised our participants is that in the vast majority of cases, the list of positives was much longer than the list of negatives.

Positives most often cited are: more time at home, no commuting, better performance for those with good networks and no child care issues. For those with small children obviously the work/life balance was more difficult to cope with, realising the job was right, the environment was not (that could also be under negatives.)

Negatives most often named are: too many video conferences and too long (in one company six-hour video conference without breaks, unfair monitoring in companies lacking trust in their employees), companies not prepared for the work at home transition.

Keep, most wishes from the confinement period are the fact that many enjoyed the working from home experience and would want to be able to continue working from home for part of their time. They often mentioned the fact that spending more time with family and namely with children was a positive experience.

What employees say about the life they would like to Return to the most in post Covid-19 at work, is being physically at work (balanced with teleworking), spending time with colleagues and clients. They often mentioned how much they missed the social side of their lives.

 Conclusions:

Those unhappy at work noted for example how much they became aware that the job they are doing is great, but the environment is wrong. Several of our candidates are now looking for new jobs. They came to realise that their health and mental health problems had to do with their job. Several candidates said “when I go back to the office I come home with a headache” or “my stomach problems flared up again”, one HR professional could not cope with how her company was treating and firing staff during the Pandemic. She accelerated her own job search with our assistance and has just signed a new contract. Several of our candidates transitioned during Covid-19 with interviews via video conferencing for which we specifically trained them.

In our most recent webinars caring employees used PNKR© to pinpoint what if re-confinement hit in the fall. They are concerned for their company: In their analysis, these employees suggest a number of actions and precautions the company should consider putting in place.

As Matthieu Poirot argues, to manage efficiently companies should consider their employees experience to co-create viable, efficient, productive and healthy work environments.

If you have concluded that your job is ok but the company philosophy is not, it may be the right time to act and consider a program with TransitionKit to plan your move. Be proactive, get ready to move. Know your options. Don’t stick your head in the sand but rather take a long view. Life is too short and valuable to spend up to 40 or more of your working hours per week with people whose values and philosophy you do not share. Should your company be planning a downsizing you should be preparing yourself proactively.

 Let us support you to avoid being taken by surprise.

As always, take care of yourselves,

Marion

TransitionKit Article in HR TODAY

TransitionKit Article in HR TODAY

Dear Friends, We are very happy to share with you the very nice article published on HR TODAY digital platform on June 19th, 2020 by Marc Benninger.

Click here to read the article.

We wish you a great week and check out for more articles soon.

DOSE©

DOSE©

Dear Readers,

Once again thank you for joining me.

Covid-19 is creating havoc. We are all reading about anxiety, depression, PTSD and other psychological symptoms.

If you need professional help, do get in touch with your MD first. If you don’t have a GP reach out to a professional helpline, a trained psychologist or psychiatrist.

Remember, a psychologist has full university training and a psychiatrist is a medical doctor, who in many countries is allowed to prescribe medication. Psychologists in most countries are not authorised to prescribe medication. Check your national authorities.

Today I want to introduce you to DOSE ©

As you know from my previous Covid-19 posts, we are ALL experiencing the emotional roller coaster I presented in March (link)

It is now time to provide more useful tools to have in your toolkit to be able to cope with the emotional wave I described. I don’t want anyone to drown!

 Most of you will have experienced the wave gush of emotional flooding since the beginning of the pandemic. The timeline is personal: for some it started in December following the news coming from China, for some it hit home later.

 If you have been personally hit hard by the wave, I extend my thoughts to you. If you have been an onlooker to hard hits, you also get my sympathy of course.

We are ALL in this together in one way or another. So, we all need efficient tools to ride the waves to prevent going under. Positive psychology, meditation and mindfulness, are current buzz words. However, I find that in conveying them, in my opinion, something’s still missing.

 I was lacking some form of understanding, which in my case prevented me from letting go and using mindfulness for example to its full extent. And let’s face, it I don’t always have the patience and time to meditate for 45 minutes per day, which when I was trained was what you were supposed to do!

 Already 15 years ago, I “secretly” modified my practice in how I introduced and taught mindfulness to my candidates looking for jobs.

There was no way was I going to tell candidates, who had recently learned that they had lost their job to spend 45 minutes per day “meditating” when they had bills to pay and a job to find!   

 Based on the book of my acquaintance Loretta Graziano Breuning, “Habits of a Happy Brain” (also available in French), I created DOSE© an easy to remember acronym.

By learning how to use DOSE© you will be able to master positive stress better, use it to advance and you will learn how to understand your negative stress better. This is important as your hyper negative stress is what will get you into the mental lockdown… procrastination, anxiety, fear blocking you from moving forward.

Let’s dive into the emotional roller coaster.

Our brain is designed to cope with life’s ups and downs: it’s an amazing 2kg blackbox which stores all the information it needs to get us through the GOOD and the BAD times.

For many of us right now, it is partially a bad time.

The Covid-19 tsunami has thrown us out of our comfort zones. Some of you have lost everything and loved ones. That is the worst-case scenario and I know it’s happening to millions of people around the world.

Some of you have lost not everything, but a lot. Your job? Your security? That is quite enough to lose in such a short time to lose ones bearing.

Some of you, on the other hand, are on the top of the wave and surfing. For sure, some people are in areas where business is thriving… some in an honest way, some maybe in shadier ways. Human nature…

Where ever you stand, DOSE© will come to your rescue. Because understanding DOSE© will allow you to better fend for yourself. It will, in my opinion, also help you better let go, appreciate positive and Realistic© psychology (my definition) and benefit from the likes of mindfulness, yoga, praying sincerely and other practices.

Just practicing mindfulness, yoga, praying, etc. won’t bring the quick fix results you are looking for. People with years of experience sometimes get there. Right now, we need something more EFFICIENT to alleviate the anxiety, pain, fear and hurt NOW.

Dopamine

Oxytocin

Serotonin

Endorphin

How D-O-S-E helps you survive?

 DOPAMINE:*

Helps you seek rewards and motivates you to get what you need, even when it takes a lot of effort

OXYTOCIN:*  

Helps you build social alliances and motivates you to trust others, (link to trust vs mistrust) to find safety in companionship

SEROTONIN:*

Helps you get respect from others and motivates you to get respect, which expands your mating opportunities and protects your offspring.

ENDORPHIN:*

Helps you ignore physical pain so you can escape from harm when you are injured.

 *In Habits of a Happy Brain (L. Graziano Breuning)

You can’t see your “DOSE”, because these HORMONES are invisible to the eye, but you feel them – they are the ones responsible for your “yes I did it” feeling (dopamine), your hug and smile (Oxytocin) your happiness and confidence (Serotonin) and your boost (Endorphin)

You can learn to react more rationally (system 2) and not on the spur of the moment when they hit you (System 1 = irrationally)

Once you understand which Hormone is pulling you either to positive energy or negative energy (negative stress) you will be able to take the first step to stay calm and make rational (system 2) decisions (see link to cognitive bias article)

Next week I will go further into how you can learn to DOSE© better thus getting a new hold on your life. It’s once again an amazing tool. Using it in conjunction with the other tools from Transitionkit’s toolkit, you will transform your life forever.

We are giving all this away free of charge as part of our modest support to the global community.

Please share, like, comment my articles.

Needless to say we are also open to support your companies and you individually.

For that do get in touch with us (Contact Us)

Wherever you are, stay safe.

Marion

To Trust or Not to Trust. That is the Question!

To Trust or Not to Trust. That is the Question!

Dear Readers,

 Thank you for joining me again.

 To Trust or not to Trust?  

 Last week I wrote about cognitive bias based mainly on the Kahneman’s work. Click here for the link.

Today, I share with you the literature scan I have made, digging further into the phenomenon trying to better understand the diverse human reactions I have experienced in my clients, family and friends before and during lockdown and now during the deconfinement period.

How can I trust the info that is delivered to me?

Depending on your information source, you trust your source or not because of your cognitive bias filter.

Who can you trust?

Digging into the readings, it appears that it is vital to understand the trust versus non-trust aspects of information sourcing.

Stephen Pinker, Dan Ariely and Yuval Harari share with us their understanding of Covid-19. All three of these important scholars are telling us, how influenced we all are by our different biases.

For Pinker, many of us went into “overdrive” meaning our stress (system 1) went totally out of control. Pandemics are “part of life” and not “divine coercion” as was believed in the middle ages and as some groups may still believe today. Ariely points this out, when telling us how special efforts need to be made to get certain groups of people to adhere to the necessary shutdown rules.

Steven Pinker points out that when we are sick and/or threatened by epidemics/ pandemics we tend to become more introverted, xenophobic and prone to emotional disgust

= non-trust.

He explains that in today’s 21st century, our intellectual, cognitive system allows us to act fast. Within 2 weeks the virus’s genome had been identified, hundreds of world class scientists are working round the clock to develop vaccines. Public health care programs are being rolled out all over the world.

Steven Pinker asks why we had no well-functioning “firefighter” brigade ready. Share your thoughts or comments with us!

If I take the liberty to summarise my thoughts after having reread Pinker, Ariely, Kahneman and Harari, I would argue that the main problem today is the fight of misplaced egos of world leaders on one hand, and the scientific community on the other. And even within the scientific communities, opinions diverge.

Right now, it would appear that the population overall would listen more to the scientific leaders (system 2 rational scientists) and even more so when the political and scientific leaders act together as in Switzerland.

Steven Pinker further points out that “your political standing predicts your behavior to health measures” he adds that depending on what “tribe” you belong to, your behavior towards authority will change in the face of a crisis like Covid-19.

The very big question is how to get a large number of the population to be more rational.

Did you know that more people die from bee stings and drowning in the swimming pool for example than from terror attacks and epidemics/pandemics? Check our last week article

Our brain has a hard time to compute the exponential character of the pandemic. Somehow at the outset we had a problem to compute the numbers.

The main effort is to reduce the Fear impact which is what gets system 1 irrationality skyrocketing. An old proverb says “Fear is not a good counsellor” and in the case of Covid-19 the pictures and stories told from China and Italy at the beginning of the pandemic seem to have “frightened us to death”, making many of us, as Pinker, Ariely and Harari all say overreact. Fear induced reactions to events are often irrational.

Now it’s time for us all to “calm down and reset our brains” using our rationality.

Going back to the office is a huge step for those who went into Pinker’s “overdrive” during the crux of the crisis.

If you feel that you cannot cope and that your anxiety and stress levels are still out of control, you may want to get professional help.

It would be a shame for society and individuals to recover from Covid-19 but remain vulnerable and develop lasting psychological and somatic damage. Preventing an outburst of phobias, stress and anxiety disorders is now highly recommended.

Many companies are therefore putting in place our webinars as well as offering personalised help lines to accompany staff.

In many languages there’s a saying that translates into “trouble never comes alone”. This appears to be true in some cases now. Many of the clients calling our help lines, call for personal reasons that got out of hand during lockdown and conflictual relations at work. In my personal experience few are complaining about home working. Those suffering from home working are mainly doing so either because of the work load especially at the beginning of the crisis and child care issues. In our sample we find that many people actually have a longer list of positive outcomes from the lockdown than negatives. Our tool PNKR© allows to analyse this in a qualitative and quantitative SWOT analysis.

Finally, it is always a good idea to cross check information and never rely on one source only. Whether political or scientific.

We wish you all a great week,

Marion  

How Cognitive Bias is shaping our post Covid-19 World

How Cognitive Bias is shaping our post Covid-19 World

Dear Reader,

Thank you for joining me once again.

Over the last 15 days we created and rolled out some 50 interactive webinars in English and French, with several hundred participants on

“How to bounce back serenely from Covid-19” https://www.transitionkit.com/interactive-webinar-how-to-bounce-back-serenely-from-covid-19/

In today’s article, I share one aspect of the webinar which appears paramount to me which is the cognitive bias based on Daniel Kahneman work (with Tversky) which earned Kahneman a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (Shared with Vernon L. Smith in 2002) on the psychology of judgement and decision making and behavioural economics.

Based on Kahneman’s as well as on Olivier Sibony’s (HEC Paris) work, I am inclined to describe what we are experiencing as a BC and AC time period (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/going-from-bc-19-ac-19-new-era-marion-aufseesser-stein) and therefore I am talking about the “AC era” rather than a “new normal”. 

Why and how is Cognitive Bias influencing our world?

According to Wikipedia’s definition:

cognitive bias is a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment. Individuals create their own “subjective reality” from their perception of the input. An individual’s construction of reality, not the objective input, may dictate their behavior in the world. Thus, cognitive biases may sometimes lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, illogical interpretation, or what is broadly called irrationality.

We are totally subjective when under emergency stress. Saving lives is the prime objective.

We tend to take irrational, system 1 and not system 2, rational decisions as described by Kahneman in his book.

What are system 1 and system 2?

According to Kahneman definitions:

System 1: is fast, automatic frequent, emotional, stereotypic, unconscious.

System 2: is slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious.

In essence, thinking fast and slow makes most of us realize how strongly we are influencedby our former assumptions and patterns and how little we really analyze new albeit uncomfortable data.

Our behaviour is much more influenced by the environment of the moment than we know or want.

Given the information gathered, that most of us make up our minds from, we easily understand how strongly we are influenced and how little we take the time to find reliable sources. (If we find sources we believe we can trust, which in the case of Covid-19 is a major problem given that we should be able to trust for example WHO, but given the politics can we trust WHO? What about Bill Gates? To trust or not to trust – that is the question!  Many of us don’t know whom to trust (anymore?).

Studies show that people tend to trust the scientific community more than the politicians. Then again there are varying scientific communities with very different approaches. In addition to this, studies show that certain populations will trust celebrities more than politicians and the scientific community.

In summary: I am drawing our attention to the fact, that what you think is your personal analysis and judgement (system 1) needs to be seriously challenged by yourself and become a concerted (system 2) reflection. Then and only then, will you be making your own personal judgement.

My LinkedIn articles are voluntarily short teasers and non-exhaustive. On a subject as complex as our thought process I invite you to read original Kahneman articles. I also invite you to follow Olivier Sibony (HEC, Paris) in English and French

Wishing you all a great week and take care of each other,

Marion

(Thanking Cyrille Gay, my business partner for being the best sparring partner, editor and visual designer you can wish for)

Going from BC-19 to AC-19: A new era?

Going from BC-19 to AC-19: A new era?

Deconfinement without jams!

Dear Readers,

It’s again a special week. Like all previous weeks but this one has a particular flavour. Why is this week different from all other weeks? Because, in my country of residence, (Switzerland) deconfinement from our semi-confinement has begun.

What is the impact on our daily life in AC-19 read after Covid-19?

In addition to a return to “BC-19” (read before Covid-19) traffic level, I observed an overall very aggressive road behaviour, particularly towards bicycle riders. Lots of hooting too.

 “AC-19” sees the beginning of a new era. We’ll certainly be witnessing lots of changes compared to BC-19.

Some of the changes are definitely positive. Such as seeing friends again and socializing responsibly, being nicer with each other, smiling, smiling with our eyes. Living through this pandemic together brought us closer, discovering that we could live differently, work differently, discover abilities we didn’t know we had, or simply slowing down. We are full of hope and good resolutions for this new era.

Of course, not everything is better and most likely this includes the way we feel about our safety. Is it safe to deconfine? Is it the right timing? Do we all have enough masks, will we get access to tests? Uncertainty and anxiety are words often cited at this moment. We fear for our health and our loved ones’. Yes, deconfining can trigger anxiety as we, despite the sometimes-harsh conditions, got used to our new living conditions. And now what?

Interestingly enough deconfinement comes with its loads of questions. We feel confused by the often contradicting messages we hear from the authorities and news.

Deconfinement comes with different kinds of jams. Traffic jams, jam lines in front of shops, jam lines basically anywhere you need to go inside and do something. The general jamming can cause aggressive behavior, decompensating from confinement? Frustration? Fear?

Fear for some of us going back to the office. Going to places, taking jammed up public transportation where it may be impossible to keep the social distancing required, and where not everyone is wearing a mask (not mandatory in our country). And the risk for some and a reality for others, losing one’s job now. AC-19 comes with a lot of workforce adjustments and we deeply regret if you have been notified with a termination of employment. Or if you find yourself in the difficult position to set up a layoff plan.

 How are we going to adapt to our AC-19 life?

If you haven’t yet filled out PNKR © (http://www.transitionkit.com/pnkr_tk_editeng/) it’s the last moment to do so before your brain forgets and transforms your memories of what confinement did to you in positive as well as negative aspects during Covid-19.

It appears that we are pondering our actions more: we are thinking differently before acting. Do I really need to …go somewhere, buy something? Whatever it is we think we need.

If I really need -or just want to? – run that errand when is the best time to do it?

Online shopping versus brick and mortar stores? If we are choosing to go to a real store because we need to try the product before buying, we might adapt our schedule to avoid jamming. Or like millennials, choosing to favor online shopping whenever possible.

Do I really need to …go somewhere, buy something?

In Switzerland, online grocery shopping has become very popular since about 15 years and obviously even more so since the beginning of Covid-19. At the same time, we see an ever-growing number of local producers organizing home delivery to counter the loss of clients wanting to queue up and those not satisfied with the longer delivery times offered by the online stores.

Interestingly, in Geneva, authorities have decided to introduce larger bicycle lanes, to facilitate use of bicycles and anticipate on the fear that the population might feel about public transportation. This is a major change, here in Geneva. We can easily imagine that the same is happening in more countries.

We now see masked security agents at the entrance of stores with disinfecting lotion to be put on our hands.

This generates inevitable queuing lines, steel barriers, markings on the floor everywhere. You know like the ones, when we used to go to see a show, or we went to a sports event. The difference is that, in BC-19 times we were hoarded and pushed each other. Remember?

Now, in AC-19, we politely smile at each other from behind our masks.

Luckily, if we haven’t had a facelift our eyes will smile back … thank goodness for that.

Some human emotional element can be seen even with a mask on.

To read more on smiles and eyes movement, check the web for real or fake smiling and eye movement articles. (https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/general/spotting-a-duchenne-smile-how-to-identify-a-genuine-smile/)

The information could come in handy especially if you are in a working environment with a mask on policy.

We will adapt. Humans will adapt. That is what stress processing is all about in human beings. Remind me to write about resilience and coping with AC-19 stress soon.

Take good care of yourself until we meet next week,

Marion

“PETS and ANTS”

“PETS and ANTS”

Dear Readers

Another confinement week flew by. 

I promised myself to be at your side all through COVID-19 with an article per week.

It’s my contribution to being supportive to the community. 
I first described PET’s & ANT’s in my book written in French (Link) and I read something similar in a book by A. Grant.

Positive Expected Thoughts (PETs), if you have more of these you may be more of an optimist, and Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANT’s), if you have more of these you may be a little bit more inclined to be a pessimist, a worrier or anxious. 

Most of us are a bit of both and that’s ok, as long as our ANT’s don’t interfere too much with on getting on with life.

Our lives are made up of good and not such good times. (See the Rollercoaster article)

Life’s rollercoaster can be compared to a child’s toy, the yoyo. A yoyo goes up and down.  Sometimes knots form in the string. In life, these “knots” are the obstacles we meet. They can be internal, such as health problems, or external, for example unwanted situations we find ourselves in and then have to cope with. 

During COVID-19 many of us are experiencing both internal and external events impacting our life and/or closes one’s lives.

Understanding ANT’s and PET’s helps us identify the mechanism that triggers our reactions given any situation and breaking away from the vicious circles PET’s entails.

Being able to adapt to the ups and downs of life is what brings us serenity and prevents negative stress building up.

A child usually instinctively knows what to do when his yoyo gets into a knot. As adults, we don’t always know how to react when “life knots” appear. Should we carry on trying, or stop and ask for help?

If you are stuck, asking for help is far more beneficial.

People with PETs are usually energetic and enthusiastic. Their Positive Expected Thoughts, help them see that doors will soon be opening. PETs get us moving in search of solutions.

When we have ANTs, or Automatic Negative Thoughts, we are stuck in vicious circles. Our “engine” is at a standstill and we have trouble rebooting it again.

We go around in circles, without being able to do anything to get moving again.

Many of us experience periods in life when nothing goes the way we want it to go.

“My company is in a bad way. Lots of employees are going to get sacked… If I’m one of them, I’m sure I’ll never be able to find a new job… at my age… with the same salary! What on earth am I going to do? I’ll never be able to cope!”

Which path to take: ANTs or PETs?

Transforming automatic negative thoughts into positive expected thoughts is similar to changing one’s outlook on the half empty glass into a half full one! 

It’s all a matter of perspective, and positive projections. 

If you are more PETs than ANTs keep it up. Being realistically positive is a great way to face life’s challenges.

If you are more ANTs than PETs become a “copycat”, watch and imitate that person who is always so positive. Talk about it with that friend. Start small. Give yourself time. Changing old ingrained behaviors and thought patterns is hard work. If you’ve been living with lots of ANT’s it may take some time to lose the habit.

If you need support, do get in touch with me. 

Maybe in your country’s deconfinement is starting. Take the opportunity of this new beginning to stick to the PNKR’s (click here) you described a few weeks ago when you did the exercise described in the PNKR article.

Post Covid-19 gives us all an opportunity to do things differently. It’s a new era.

“Just do it now “and let go of those internal barriers you have put up and may have been fighting against for years.

Take care and do remember, your comments and shares are important to me.

Marion Aufseesser

www.transitionkit.com COVID19

Coaching Psychologist FSP/ASPCo
Mob: +41(0)79 342 50 92

How to optimize your networking during and after COVID-19

How to optimize your networking during and after COVID-19

How to optimize your networking during and after COVID-19 

Dear Readers,

After the success of my video training 10 days ago, and my other articles on coping with COVID-19, here’s 6 tips for COVID-19 and post COVID-19 networking written for you.

I am sure you know a lot about networking already. Hopefully the info and insights I am about to share with you will add value, supporting you specifically in these pandemic times. 

6 Tips for networking during COVID-19

Tip 1:

You can’t go outside, so go inside: Go on LinkedIn and follow webinars…

If you’re not on LinkedIn, now is the time to join. This platform is catching tremendous momentum and is a must! And free. We can help you with teaching more about LinkedIn in our booster tailor-made virtual and other workshops.

  • How do LinkedIn and “Zoominars” work for networking?  
  • How are we each other’s “net workers”? 
  • Why is it vital to network now?

Networking through LinkedIn and webinars:

  • From the reader’s point of view:
  • You get to share your opinion and also get known and hence grow your network as people will reach out to you too by leaving comments and participating in the chats. Even better, they might even repost your message.
  • From the author’s point of view:
  • The author needs food for thought to keep the fire burning:  Please give me feedback allowing me to know your needs and then respond to those needs.

Tip 2:

Ask yourself: Do you or don’t you like to network? 

  • If your answer is NO you may be more of an introvert, or shy. If it is blocking you, do get in touch and we can work on the issue and help you in private sessions.
  • If your answer is YES you may be more of an extravert and appreciate meeting new people. If you thrive on networking you may be a connector, networking comes naturally to you.

Tip 3:

Network NOW!

  • Now is the time to reach out and meet new people, even make new friends and colleagues via LinkedIn and all the different webinars, events online being offered. 
  • Our physical social interactions are still very limited right now. Use LinkedIn and video conferencing to socialize in the meantime.

Tip 4:

How can you network successfully during COVID-19?

  • Join online events that are meaningful to you.
  • Join events where there is interaction, break out groups
  • Join events where you can chat individually with participants and strike up a conversation.

(I needed to send flowers to another city and found a great florist like this, and a “Zoominar” participant found a dentist)

Tip 5:

Practice makes Perfect

  • The more you network, usually the better you become at it. It’s often the first step that is difficult when “entering a room”.
  • In today’s virtual world, networking events may be easier to “go to” than with in person networking. Check my PNKR post: Positive aspect of confinement. 
  • So, go out and onto your platforms and practice. It’s like learning to swim. You won’t drown, you may get wet.
  • The risk you are taking is negligible. You won’t be distracted by unexpected disturbance, and in the comfort of your home office, you will feel empowered to go more towards people that you might have avoided in a physical meeting or convention.
  • If your apprehension of networking gets worse and you have to network, get in touch and we will sort it out. Usually in a few sessions you will understand why you hate networking and overcome that fear of failing.

Tip 6:

Know who you want to connect with

  • Shortlist and identify people you want to interact with.
  • First try and contact people on the shortlist. 
  • Know your 20 sec pitch for each person you want to meet. (Elevator Pitch)
  • Be sure to be able to reconnect after the event via LinkedIn.
  • Give first before asking for something. You will either receive in return from that person or… in some other way, at some other time good will come of it.

Looking forward to your comments and I will be back next week.

Best regards

Marion

Please follow me on  www.transitionkit.com   

Pour le français merci d’utiliser la fonction traduction de LinkedIn 

Vous pouvez commander mon livre Rebondir : Réussir votre transition professionnelle, Odile Jacob sur le site de la FNAC ou commandez-le chez votre libraire préféré.

Sorting out Positive and Negatives: Write up your COVID-19 PNKR sheet…

Sorting out Positive and Negatives: Write up your COVID-19 PNKR sheet…

Sorting out Positive and Negatives: Write up your COVID-19 PNKR sheet…

Dear Readers, Friends, Colleagues and Family,

Once again thanks for reading me.

To those of you who have lost a family member my condolences. To those of you who were ill I hope you are feeling better or are on way to recovery. 

Check my first article on the confinement roller coaster emotions. It may be helpful to better understand and cope with all your emotions. (https://www.transitionkit.com/covid-19the-confinement-roller-coaster-wave/)

These are very hard times for you. 

COVID-19 confinement will however provide valuable feedback on how you coped, reacted and evolved.

How are you adapting and reacting to the confinement?

Where do you live and what kind of confinement are you in? 

In France a stricter confinement is much more difficult to live with, especially if you are in a big city and small apartment with three young children for example. 

In Switzerland we are fortunate enough to still be able to walk around our neighborhoods freely, making sure to obey to social distancing rules.

What about all of you in USA, UK, Australia, Africa or wherever you are! Do let us know how you are experiencing your confinement.

We are starting to hear about the progressive deconfinement in certain countries. How do you feel about deconfinement?  Are you looking forward to it?  Does the idea of deconfining add stress and anxiety to your current life now?  

No matter where we are and however we feel about it, we are all on the emotional roller coaster. 

We may be reacting both positively and negatively depending on the day or the issues we are having to deal with on a given day.

There may be some positive aspects in your life right now. Therefore, in this post, I am inviting you to write up a balance sheet (we call it PNKR-read pinker) with the positives you want to keep in post COVID-19 life the negatives you will be pleased to see leave your current life.

If you live in a household with others, I suggest you all write your balance sheet and then discuss. It can be an interesting discussion. No arguments please – just calm discussions, which make us wiser, warmer and more caring.

I would be delighted to host a zoom meeting on POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES OF COVID-19 Where we could meet and discuss YOUR balance sheets.

Please send me an email if you wish to participate on FRIDAY 24th April at 17.00 ZURICH/GENEVA time zone and we will send you a zoom invitation to participate.

Click here to send us your email for the Zoom Session

Take care – stay safe- when deconfining follow best practices-

Marion

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR VIDEO RECORDINGS

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR VIDEO RECORDINGS

HOW TO OPTIMISE YOUR VIDEO RECORDINGS

The 6 step program to make successful video recordings from working@home (and a pleasure for those watching you!): Do’s and Don’ts

Dear Readers,

Once again thanks for spending some of your precious time with me.

I originally wrote this article for my candidates going through remote interviewing for jobs some years ago!

COVID-19 has changed business practices, therefore I have adapted this short video training manual to the current working@home situation.

This information should be of value to many readers, even seasoned TV presenters and big-time celebrities could benefit from it when I see their home-made videos!!

Many people have an interesting message to share, but many don’t come across well. That’s a pity…

So, let’s dive in!

Any form of filming demands a lot of preparation. Virtual meetings and interviews need careful preparation as the interaction will be different given that you and the other parties won’t be in the same room (by definition). The “chemistry” or human bond that one might usually feel will be missing.

It is important to do the best to make up for this missing “human factor”.  We are all – and I mean practically all – telecommuting all over the world. Work practices have changed literally overnight for many of us. All meetings are taking place through the various video conferencing software. Many of us are using Teams®, Zoom®, Skype®, Meet®, etc. or secured inhouse systems.

Master rule for all meetings: Be on Time!!!

STEP 1:  SOFTWARE

What software are you using? Is it secured and encrypted? Are you familiar with it?

STEP 2: SET UP

Internet connection, make sure it is optimal from your work station

Back Drop: Think of it as an element that will enhance your appearance. It should be neutral and should not interfere with you. Avoid a messy background.

Video positioning: Keep an “arms’ length” from your camera. Avoid image distortions.

Height: check the height of your installation- often times one will see more of the ceiling of nostrils, than the face of the person! As a general rule, you always want the lens of your camera to shoot you slightly from above, not the opposite and your face and shoulders are what you want people to see in this type of situation.

Noise and interruptions: Choose a quiet place for your video, no phones, doorbells, children, work colleagues, etc.

Lighting: Take light conditions into consideration. Avoid reflections and glares.

Dress code: It is important to wear an outfit with solid colors. Not too flashy. Watch any good TV presenter and you will remark that they usually wear a top with solid colors, not too bright.

For ladies: I recommend a shirt or round collar and sleeves. The advantage of the round collar: it usually stays in place. Be careful with dangling earrings and choose any jewelry carefully. Understatement is preferred.

For men I recommend a solid colored shirt- stripes, squares, etc. are distracting – unless you want to make a statement. Either with or without a blazer or as many doctors (if you are one) with your white hospital blouse.

Branding: Unless you are an influencer and being paid for wearing a brand I suggest keeping away from branding on your shirt – true for ladies and gentlemen alike.

Step 3: IDENTIFY THE MEETING YOU’RE HAVING

What is the nature of the meeting? 

Regular weekly business; meeting with the usual participants; meeting with someone you know well and often work with; meeting with someone you have also had email/phone calls with but no visual contact; meeting with a person you have never had contact with…

Being interviewed by television, Youtube®, self-promotion…

Job interview…

Adapt your speech and message to every audience

Step 4: PRESENCE OPTIMIZATION   

Most people don’t speak loud enough. You want to convey an image of confidence and a stronger voice will help. Maintaining a clear and strong voice will allow your diction to be clearer as you want to avoid stuttering or munching your words. 

Test it with someone before, fine tune as you don’t want to shout either!

Along with a strong voice, looking directly at your camera is important. Don’t look at a particular person. This is important to understand when there are several people in the video meeting. 

During introduction of meeting attendees, think about acknowledging the entire audience, (Hi Mrs. Daniels, nice to see you again, Hello Mr. Osborne, etc.). This is when you can be personal when several people assist in the video conferencing.

When video recording always focus, look at your camera and not your screen.

Step 5:  WHO WILL YOU BE SEEING? BE PREPARED!

Know as much about the other parties participating as possible. This is especially important in job interviewing and/or negotiating through video conferencing.

Get names of people attending the meeting beforehand whenever possible. Most business people will be on LinkedIn® or Google® with a photo. 

When zooming for example, be aware that some people may appear with an  ID number and not their name. 

Step 6: Questions and Answers

Imagine the scenario of the video meeting you will shortly be having.

Write down at least 10 questions you expect to discuss.

Your answers: 

Write down in full the answers you would give if you are not used to live videoing.

For every question you should know exactly what the KEY MESSAGES are that you need to deliver in very brief and clear short sentences.

If English is not your mother tongue and the video recording is in English this is even more important.

Each question has a key message in its answer.  One question: one message in your answer! The more technical the question, the more this is important for the answer.

Practice makes perfect: REHEARSE!!

Read /talk your answers into your computer, tablet, smartphone …   The important thing is to record yourself – preferably with the image. Then listen to yourself. 

Do the same exercise for questions you would rather NOT be asked. These are the hard ones. Again, do the exercise in writing. Practice and record.

It is important to realize that most people think they know what they will answer. However, if they have not prepared the KEY messages they want to convey in a very brief answer, people have to think during the interview. 

The trick of the methodology of this interview training is that you prepare BEFORE the interview. In the interview you should not be “surprised” by the questions the interviewers are asking you. 

It is the interviewee’s job, your job to think beforehand WHAT will the interviewer ask, how will he ask it.

In the case of a video interview, where there may be a panel of interviewers, you will need to have done exercises with a panel team and see how you come across, how you focus on the interviewers, where to look in the camera.

INTERVIEWERS QUESTIONS

It is also extremely important to LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY to the interviewer’s questions.

In an interview we may be nervous. The better prepared we are, the less nervous we will be.

Listening carefully is like reading the questions of an exam.

If you are not sure you understood the interviewer’s question, repeat the question to the interviewer for example.
« If I understood correctly, you would like me to explain why I am so interested in this position »; “You would like to know how I managed to….” ; “You would like me to describe in detail…. “; “You would want me to evaluate…. “

Best Regards,

And do Keep in Touch with me. I value your likes, shares, recommendations and most of all your suggestions you would like to hear about.

Marion