Friday, October 26, 2012

Embarrassing Leadership Difficulties: Articulating Ideas a Lacking Skill

In many situations, embarrassing moments take place especially when something unexpected comes into play. 

Let’s look at the experiences of a recently promoted manager.  We call him Michael.  He was recently promoted to his new role from his engineering role for the last seven years. He gained expertise in his function, demonstrated essential knowledge competencies and delivered magnificent accomplishments in performing his job. He was promoted to lead seven people with ranges of experiences from 6 months to 5 years.

In the early months in his role, it was very exciting; he was having a blast, enjoying all the perks that came with it. He started planning for his vacation when he completed his first year. However, as time goes by there were things that kept bothering him.
Credits:, IdeasN

Michael was reflecting about the following situations:
1. He met his team in his first day, he was very confident in getting to know them, clarifying their roles and responsibilities. However, he was very nervous and felt short in explaining all the things in his agenda. He cannot find the right words to articulate what he was thinking. He decided to postpone the sharing of other information. But, as soon as he got into his office, he sent an email to his team enumerating what he wanted to share with them. He did this because of his inability to articulate his ideas when speaking.

2. During the meeting with his co-managers, he was unable to discuss and tell the entire story about his team members because the words that he wanted to use cannot be articulated. He struggled to demonstrate how to present his thoughts with his co-managers. He was frustrated and was very embarrassed. Others told him “don’t worry, we understand what you meant! English is not your first language.”  He believed that his inability to speak will create some issues eventually.

3. A member of his team brought to his attention an escalating issue with a customer. When speaking with customers over the telephone, he was continually getting frustrated for his inability to verbally express the best options that the customers can take. Instead, he was taking polite excuses to email customers with detailed information.  Michael was finding more and more challenging to communicate effectively.

4. Michael was meeting with four other management colleagues after work hours. He was excited about joining them as he can do bonding with them. He enjoyed their company, learning more about their thoughts and practices. But when it comes to sharing about his interests and passion such as travels, outdoor activities, and other social functions. He was limited with words. He felt embarrassed with management peers but he claims more confidence when talking things with his personal friends. 

What are the issues of Michael?
1. He lacks adequate business vocabulary and phrases to support his  ideas in front of his team
2. He lacks verbal and speaking competencies or  proficiency that will articulate his business and personal ideas
3. He lacks speaking communication skills that will make him more credible towards customers and management peers
4. He lacks conversational skills that will support his thoughts, ideas and opinions during small talks with business colleagues, peers and new acquaintances.
5. His organization did not prepare him for advance management role, nor trained him to become a team manager

What can Michael do?
Because Michael is leading a team of people. He will need to acquire knowledge and skills through a program called "Advanced Business English for Effective Communication". This will give him the opportunity to develop adequate proficiency in both business leadership and communication skills. Many of the issues he faced are covered in this program; such as increasing functional vocabulary, learning techniques in conducting situational scenarios, communicative skills development, increase verbal customer relations skills, ability to talk with new acquaintances in small talks topics and ability to conduct himself as a more professional as a real manager during business meetings within or outside his organization.

Speaking with a experienced leadership trainer and coach at Ideas N Conversations will identify the real causes of his problems. The free assessment which Ideas N Conversations use in determining those difficulties will allow them to create a suitable and customized program that will eliminate his difficulties. He can use these new learning immediately after each session. 

When experiencing similar situations like the experiences of Michael don't get embarassed in taking actions that will diminish those challenges. Lead yourself to acquire necessary skills that demonstrate credibility and effectiveness.

For any additional information or guidance, please contact 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pre-Halloween Business English Lessons for Communicative Convenience

Are you one among the adult professionals who like to become 'engaging' when you converse with other people, colleagues and new acquaintance? 

The only way to become one of the BEST is by learning the techniques of demonstrable 'engaging communications skills'. There are many available lessons such as Advanced Business English for Effective Communication, Leadership Skills for Business, ESL for Adults, Conversational English for Work and Personal Use. These are just few of the representative of lessons - you can get a customized lessons that will immediately resolve your difficulties.

Ideas N Conversations ( offers various Pre-Halloween English lessons with Promotional Code: Fall-012  that will make you more engaging for your business and personal communication. Experienced in tutoring or coaching individuals who came from non-english speaking countries like Japan, India, Singapore, S. Korea, China, Malaysia, France, Germany, the Philippines, South American countries, United States, etc .

What do you get from Ideas N Conversations?
1. You will learn customized lessons that will increase your communication proficiency, you don't get these lessons from traditional class types or centers
2. The lessons solve your difficulties and very important to your current endeavors
3. We turn your weaknesses to become strength because you will gain high level of proficiency in communicating your ideas with others
4. Techniques in coaching you are progressively changing to sustain your improvement and will continue to gain higher level of proficiency
5. Learn how to use the language forms in Business English as well as Conversational English, which reflect correctness in both speaking and writing. Having all these, you will get better opportunities that will advance your career, and be able to communicate better with anyone among customers and colleagues

Our Coaches, work with individuals who are employed in any profession, expat spouses who need to learn English for their day-to-day activities, those who are in college or graduate school and others who are US born individuals who like to improve their English communication skills and proficiency for better career advancement.

For more information and to arrange a Free Assessment of your current weakness, please call +1 (650) 241-3207 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Business English: A Competency among Global Workforce

Researches show that there is a growing deficiency in Business English as a competency, particularly among  workforce working globally, they are demonstrating weaknesses which ranges of 58% to 71%.  Interviewed internationally based workforce acknowledged their handicap on Business English Skills which effectively support the demand and communication requirements of their jobs. 
Regardless of the profession, white collar or blue collar job, temporary or permanent status - English has become a burden among workers and employers. This is brought along by globalization of organizations and workforce migration across cultures. 

In addition, a misconception prevails that when you speak English you already very competent in working and become a part of the driving force of a business enterprise. Unless you demonstrate its  intra-cultural implications or the so called Socio-linguistics of the English language then you are capable.

Globally, English is the understood preferred language of major business enterprises. It is the emerging conversational language required among professionals who are deployed to work internationally or has responsibilities that will interface with multi-country based business operations. Internationally inclined business men or women and their families demonstrate proficiency in the English language. 

Additionally, experienced professionals in Linguistics, Global Business and Cross-Culture arena are finding that there is growing gap regarding English proficiency particularly with limited Conversational Business English competency.

Do I like to acquire or increase my Business English Conversational Proficiency?
It is a matter of personal and business decision making. Prioritizing your business preferences for advancement or selecting to  become a misfit at workplace and feel inadequate professionally. Ideas N Conversations has some programs that will help you increase the level of your proficiency.

Would You Like to be One among of the BEST?
The programs that were carefully developed and has been coached by experienced professionals in Linguistics and Business will give you the strengths and advanced level skills that you will need to communicate effectively regardless of location. Call IdeasNConversations and use the code: IC121008 to register for any of the available program for you.

Let us hear from you, as usual we will appreciate your comments and insights.

Being Relevant with Hiring Practices will diminish Unemployment

This article is being re-printed from its original publication date because its content is very relevant to the current challenges of job seekers of today. 
What matters today:
Two years later since this article was written, its content is still very relevant to today's challenges. Job seekers are faced with various discriminating business practices of screeners, interviewers and hiring representative of organizations. All players including hiring manager, recruiter and the candidate must be practical and abreast with the realities. Face the facts that will drive the acquisition of high caliber talent. It is essential to determine the value of the candidate immediately at the very beginning. 
Identify their value-add to your current organizational needs. Do Not depend on the data that is produced by your Applicant Tracking Systems. Keep your staffing indicators ahead of the game in regards to long term human capital investments and returns. Set appropriate expectations and approach it with competence and not wait for the moment of negotiation that will delay the start date. 

Being competitive in the global economy is important. What matters in the global economy is the combination of strategic mindset, cross cultural and diverse experience including professional competencies of individuals. The assembly line mentality should be only utilized in the manufacturing environment unless you intend of treating your workforce as objects. Today, it is necessary to increase growth and advancement of the organization by employing critically strategic thinkers and competent professionals with common sense 

Strategic Competencies in recruiting and hiring:
At the very start when the Job Requisition is being executed, there must be an identified timeline in hiring the talent. Demonstrate consultative competence in consolidating all details of requirements. Discuss with the Hiring Manager the actual job functions and expected end results. Liaise the same with HR Manager or HR Business Partner, including salary range, benefits, hiring incentives, technical skills and professional competencies of the candidate at-large. 

The compensation package that will afford the position is necessary. It is a pro-active practice to obtain current industry compensation range for the position similar to what you are hiring. Depending on two years or older data will provide you a wrong decision. To be strategic, one must be knowledgeable about current practices. Guide hiring managers and human resources personnel who are not knowlegeable about current trends that facilitate effective hiring is a form of investment.

Hiring Managers must understand that experience require reasonable and comensurate compensation. Be shameful to underpay an experienced professional. Staffing professionals need to demonstrate professional responsibility that will connect the needs of the Job and the strenghts of the candidate. There should be a realistic and functional description of responsibilities and requirements that will determine the expected type of individual to be hired. Determine what matters. The essential skills to achieve the result of the function and not 'requiring qualifications that are not relevant to the job', be realistic! Do not copy from the internet a job description which you think will be applicable to the job you are hiring but the actual function is not relevant to the position. Seek guidance from a professional consultant if you do not posses the competencies of developing actual Job Description for your position. 

Plan ahead about candidate's availability for interviews whether via video-cam, telephone or onsite, brief and debrief candidates prior and post interviews, family matters that might affect the hiring such are relocation or may be immigration, time frame to begin work, and most importantly the candidate's current application activities. What are the current objectives and needs of the candidate? Beware of the patterns and trends of the personal application activities. One common error of inexperienced recruiter is not pre-closing and sustaining the high level of interest of the candidate to the job.

Given the conditions of the economy, the hiring team must be mindful that candidates are actively looking for the best employment opportunity. Many have been out of job from few up to many months. Be sensible with compensation offer, avoid underpaying your human capital. Invest on them to retain their quality of service and loyalty. Employees will not move to a competitor if employer values their competencies and abilities. Implement active hiring technique when a candidate who possess the competencies to the Job Requisition is found. 

As a professional hiring practitioner, interview candidates at par. Discuss their competencies and capabilities. Learn their background and stimulate effective conversations to understand their strenghts and what they can do for the advancement of the organization. Avoid tactical activities like reading a resume alone. Be mindful, that resume is only a preview of the candidate's qualification. It does not illustrate concretely the complete expertise, competencies and qualification of the candidate. Conducting a consultative interviewing with the candidate will leverage your ability to decide and recommend whether the candidate is right for the job or better fit for another business unit within your organization. That is being strategic in regards to candidate screening and managing your hiring manager's expectations.

Professionals who think outside the box and strategically hiring the top talent and right candidate for any position are always spending time with candidates. Investing time in learning one's qualification, experience and competencies will provide better results and return of investment instead of wasting time in ticking your checklist whether or not the candidate possess the 'c++, web 2.0, MS Word knowledge or project skills'.

Observations about challenges of candidates on current hiring practices?
There is a complex irony about facts of unemployment and available jobs. Observing at job boards, job aggregators and corporate job webpages and every other sources of employment - there are many positions to be filled.

However, based on research and actual conversations with almost 1,000 candidates, 90 percent of candidates said - they applied to hundreds of positions in the last six months or longer but never heard of any call from any of these companies that were advertising opened positions. Approximately 2 percent confirmed, they had an interview but did not get an update. They struggled following up on results but the representative of the company they interviewed with did not return their calls. 8 percent received an email that they did not qualify. Majority confirmed receipt of the traditional and automatic reply sent by an applicant tracking system such as this; 

"Thank you for applying for the xyz position, requisition number cx000123. We will review your application to match with the position requirements. We encourage you to continue to visit our jobs web site at to apply for other positions that may interest you. Also, don't forget to register for "Job Agent" to receive notifications for xyz opportunities that match your interests. We wish you success in your efforts to identify employment opportunities." 

Doubts arise whether or not these advertised jobs were for real or just a recruiting technique to gain or attract resumes for future use? 

Today, many companies have integrated in their human resources department an applicant tracking system that was meant to be a tool which capture all applicants to the job that is being recruited against - the resume database per se. The same tool was meant to support the reporting and compliance procedure of the staffing hr department. The HR personnel of many companies were convinced that making this tool as the only absolute portal to all candidates who will apply for any position, is the best practice. 

The intent of this endeavor was purposeful. However its current functional role does not resonate a good practice of how talent acquisition should be. It became a gate keeper. At some extent, the applicant tracking system has become a shield of the recruiter from speaking with candidates directly. To many job seekers, it became a detriment to their advantage as a qualified candidate for a position. It also opened possibilities of risks on personal indentifiable information that can be a subject to identify theft. 

The integrated applicant tracking system is prevalent in many websites of corporations or a job board. Some websites which integrated the applicant tracking system even require sensitive information such as "social security number". And this field is not optional. Where was the HR Manager when this system was integrated into their website? Is your organization keeping up with the best practices in the Human Resources Management?

Be Relevant, Sensible and Strategic:
In order to become relevant, sensible and strategic, the entire hiring team must be reflective about the valued hiring practices towards the human capital assets of the organization. Coping up with current practices that are in line with current state and federal regulations must be an absolute practice. Human Capital is about people. Be people oriented always.

Tools (Applicant Tracking Systems) are aids to do the job in compiling piles of resumes in a more efficient way and they are not a substitute of a human being who will negotiate with a fellow human being.  Both hiring representative and candidate must discuss the areas of responsibilities and capabilities in order to find the right individual who can execute / learn the expected function at the shortest possible time. This is why and how people work humanely and with respect to one another.  Not to be discriminated by an algorithmic search created by a single track of mind that eventually eliminate people with great background, skills, and qualifications. It is a loss of the hiring investments of organization that was facilitated by the poor business practice of a recruiter, hiring manager and Human Resources.

Suzanne Lucas, of RealEvilHRLady says; "Remember, you can train any reasonably intelligent person on the "how" part of the job. But organizations need people who are capable more than that. And finding that means you need to step away from the computer".

For any relevant question about this article please email to: or call (650) 241-3207.# # #
Source Reference Credits:
1 JNTC Articles 
2 RealEvilHRLady

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

California's Social Media Privacy Protection effective January 1, 2013

Recently, California Governor Brown signed into law the Social Media Protection of individuals against employers who like to snoop on the activities of people in the social media platforms.

Upon signing the Bills to become California Laws, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced his action through various social media platforms like; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace,  that he signed two bills that increase privacy protections for social media users in California. 

The following illustrates the briefs of both Bills; 

The "Assembly Bill 1844 authored by Nora Campos (D-San Jose) prohibits employers from demanding user names, passwords or any other information related to social media accounts from employees and job applicants. Employers are banned from discharging or disciplining employees who refuse to divulge such information under the terms of the bill. However, this restriction does not apply to passwords or other information used to access employer-issued electronic devices. The bill further stipulates that nothing in its language is intended to infringe on employers’ existing rights and obligations to investigate workplace misconduct." -

The details of this AB 1844 can be read through this link -

The "Senate Bill 1349 authored by Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) establishes a similar privacy policy for postsecondary education students with respect to their use of social media. While the bill prohibits public and private institutions from requiring students, prospective students and student groups to disclose user names, passwords or other information about their use of social media, it stipulates that this prohibition does not affect the institution’s right to investigate or punish student misconduct". -

The details of this SB 1349 can be read through this link -


This new laws will reinforce privacy of individuals, and protect them from wrong practices of several organizations who like to know the private activities of people working in their environments. These private activities remain private and they are not the main core skills and expertise required when performing a job.

Individuals who are responsible are capable of differentiating or not mixing their private affairs to that of a business activity paid time by the employer or a particular organization. Employers and other organizations must respect individuals with their privacy as these people are not slaves to organizations per se where such activities needed to be known as a requirement for employment.

As always, we like to hear from you. Please send us your insights to: