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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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12/01/17
High Performance Habits. Burchard
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:24 am

Just finished a book by Brendon Burchard– High
Performance Habits:  How extraordinary people become that way, Hay House, 2017

that addresses a consultant’s approach to look for
ways for mid-career and later professionals to increase
curiosity and genuine self confidence.
.
It differs from the more common “instruments” that reveal
to you something about yourself– strengths, MBTI
values, behaviors, etc. providing
‘ideas about the correlation between motivation - high
performance and alignment with values, clear intentions
and higher purpose. It can help you figure out how to
redefine your goals to better align with your true
desires…
” [in a review…]
.
The short story that is valued to share what he writes on
developing influence and expressing courage.
.
Where early career professionals seek certainty,
others benefit from action steps they can adapt
to and separate emotions from feelings.  It is a
self-help contribution that some may find to provide
value.
1 comment
08/12/17
Self Assessment Reflection.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:41 am

Yesterday’s first year graduate student seminar involved
a pre-class homework assignment.  

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/types2.asp 
Since the group was large, eleven of the 16 preference
types were represented.  That meant that there were a
variety of learning styles in the seminar.  
.
The larger group size meant that we could not go into
detail into each individual preference class.  
.
We did reveal how preferences can influence us in both
subtle and explicit ways by asking each individual their
name and whether they were left or right handed and
whether they liked cats or dogs.  These are preferences
that are genetic and influenced by our early life 
experiences… much the same as MBTI.
.
To maximize the experience we had each person
sit with their own similar preference groups and
complete and compare a Values and a Behaviors
instruments to go after an emotional understanding
They learned that despite similar MBTI profiles their
values and behaviors revealed different trends and
these are also important to learn in working in teams.
.
The second half of the seminar involved two
exercises– one involved discussing projects which
troubled several since they had to come up with their
own project and a physical constructing project where
they had to describe their result.
-In the first, one outstanding group had an individual
take leadership and point out how each person, by 
name,  would contribute to the expected outcome.
.
-In the second we had a group presenter relate a 
story to describe their constructed model  she asked
for a volunteer to participate in a short role play and
provided a reward for the participant.
.
In short, they learned about themselves, about 
working together in teams and how to interact
with others and develop a baseline for continuing
learning about themselves– this session was not
over at the end, but a beginning.
3 comments
10/06/16
Applying Self Assessment Results.
Filed under: Position Searching, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:17 am

Honestly, there is a special combination of formal
learning, study and experience that allows us to gain
self knowledge from assessment instruments.  

.
What is still harder is to guide others to explore their
emotional make-up, values and behaviors.
.
It can be more of a challenge to offer intelligent people who 
are from different cultural backgrounds (international and 
educational training) to perceive the interpretative benefits.
.
Nonetheless we attempted to bring out interpretations 
of instruments that a graduate school class had taken and
apply it to achieve better teaching.  
.
Great teaching, the Economist cited Rob Coe of Durham
University is comprised of 
A - Your motives (and student’s motives)
B - interactions with peers
C - using time well
D - fostering behavior and high expectations
E - planned instruction with goals and strategies
F - pedagogical content
A is a function of our values.
B, C, D are functions of our behaviors.
E, F are functions of our specific training and experience.
.
So we reviewed MBTI ‘middle two’ preferences
that identified
ST:  getting ‘it’ right and efficiency 
SF:  service to others and improving people’s lives
NF: helping people fulfill their potential
NT: mastering knowledge and developing systems
These reinforce our behaviors and reflect our fears,
inhibitions and approaches (emotional side).
.
We used Tony Alessandra’sRelationship Strategies
to bring out the interpretations of the behavior instrument
scores.  There a several test identifiers that we linked to
the Alessandra model
“dominant director” = driving or dominance
“interactive socializer” = expressive or extroversion
“steady relator” = amiable or stability
“cautious thinker” = analytical or control
.
Commonly, our experience is that individuals do not have
just one behavioral preference identifier, but perhaps is
a combination of two.  The use involves hard work in
studying your self and others to develop approaches to
achieve positive outcomes.  This is important in critical
rather than casual interactions.
.
We did not find the “Values Instrument” giving unique
and helpful information for teaching excellence.  So, 
we performed 2 minute interviews with each student 
exploring motivation, mentors, influences on choices.
.
It was surely a different topic for this class.  I can
imagine it very hard for some international students
to walk away with a benefit other than the “take home”
messages.
comments (0)
08/14/16
Graduate Student Orientation. Self Assessment
Filed under: First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:46 am

Some universities have a section of their graduate
school orientation that will involve self assessments
for each.  It is so important that this part of
technical professionals education is incorporated
as it is so often missed or at least delayed so that
reflection and use of the learning can be part of
their education.

Our session incorporated concepts put forward
by Tom Vanderbilt and Daniel Goleman on how
Myers-Briggs, Values and Behaviors instruments
might be used.  Vanderbilt clarifies that our
“likes” form our identity and often are habitual
and we may not have a “why” or words to describe
categories and choices under specific
circumstances.
Goleman brings up the psychology of interpersonal
behavior  that brings in self-knowledge and logical
understanding of others values, behaviors and “likes”.
Equal time in our session involved actual exercise
engagements to point out how differences can be
systematic with groups identified by MBTI.

 - Who likes “small talk”, working by themselves,
who gains energy from crowds.
 - Pointing out the difference between the
“golden rule” [treat others like we want to be treated]
and the

“platinum rule” [treat others like they want to be
treated].
 - revealing habits of J vs. P profiles [again without
reflection and considering “why”] in working on
projects due in a month. [early starters vs pressure
prompted]
 - hands on activity of selecting, building and
explaining a group toy project that emphasized
using creativity.
comments (0)
11/09/15
Undergraduate Majors. ITAR, Use of Contractors for Screening, Interviews
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Technicians, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 4:04 pm

More than thirty Chemistry field majors attended a workshop
Effective job Searching last Saturday.  The topics included:
Matching your skills and interests to the job market, Job
search strategies, Resumes and cover letters, Giving presentations,
Interviewing in larger organizations, Mock interviewing and
Resume reviews.

1.  More organizations are using recruiting firms to perform
screening resumes, screening interviews, and reference
checking. 
They are adept at the process and are generally
not responsible for the final decision.  It is not ununsual for
the position to be temporary, but there are legal limits on the
length of temporary employment. 

2.  ITAR review to enter certain industrial sites.  Organizations
who design, manufacture and work with a number of government
agencies are required to comply with International Traffic in
Arms Regulations ITAR. 
Thus, if you are invited on site for
interviews you will need to bring along a birth certificate,
form of ID with your photo and may be expected to leave
your cell phone at the door
(no photos)..

3.  Problem solving interview questions are popular again.
These may require out of the box thinking.  They may require
how you might work with other applicants to solve a problem.
They may be time limited, may have no set answer and may
just demonstrate how you deal with unexpected situations.
We observed a mock interview asking:  how would you design
an emergency evacuation system for this building.

4.  It is hard to justify the one-page page length rule
of thumb
for resumes for all kinds of positions and applicants.
Each resume, however, does need to be targeted for each
situation using keywords.  It is an advertizing document for
you with a readable form and both computer and person
designed content.  It needs to be brief, concise and specific
with no errors.

5.  MBTI assessments were brought up several times as
helpful for preparation for your job search, for informal
meal interviews
and for audience analysis for presentations.

comments (0)
10/26/15
Revealing Emotional Intelligence Class.
Filed under: First Year on Job, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:39 pm

Two dozen grad students attended a class on learning about their
emotional make-up.  They had been given assignments to complete
their MBTI profile and also asked to assess their values 3   and
behavior tendencies   3  .

Each one of these grad students is very smart and are
put into situations where they might wish to look smart
[leading a problem solving class, tutoring, giving seminars,
etc.].

It reminded me of an article by Sue Shellenbarger of WSJ who
conveyed “the appearance of intelligence is [done] largely
with nonverbal cues… People get high marks when they talk in
simple, straightforward language with a lot of energy and
engagement.  Make eye contact.  Speak in a pleasant voice. 
Articulate words clearly, pause between sentences.  Listen
closely to others and be transparent about what you do and
do not know.”

Attempts to talk over people’s heads by using jargon, big words,
or complicated sentences will be quickly seen as a pose.  

Observing how the class was widely divided in terms of
MBTI preferences [10 of 16 MBTI subcategories were
revealed and confirmed by descriptions found in two books*]. 
Their different preferences view the world and decisions they
made with different lenses and criteria.   It was revealing and
several remarked that this puts a whole new view on working
with people.

* S. J. Scott and Rebecca Livermore, Confident you…2015
Habitbooks.com, Kindle
   Isabel Briggs Myers, Introduction to Type, 6th edition, CPP
Inc., 1998

comments (0)
10/09/15
Self Assessment Dilemma. Thinking overtaken by Technopoly
Filed under: Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:43 pm

In preparing for a future class on assessing our personal
emotions that effect our behaviors and decisions
three
books came to my attention, that I wish to tell you about.

- Peter Whybrow,  The Well-tuned Brain:  Neuroscience
and the Life Well-Lived, Norton and Company, NY, 2015

- Neil Postman, Amusing ourselves to Death:  Public
Discourse in the Age of Show Business, Elisabeth Afton
Books, Viking, NY, 1985

- Neil Postman, The End of Education:  Redfining the
Value of School, Vintage Books, Div. of RandHouse, NY
1995

I was curious to learn Whybrow’s take on how our brain
works as we go through our daily activities and thinking. 
We describe most routines as habits that seem to be a
repetition from before and we go into auto-pilot to
perform.  Intuition is based on implicit learning a pattern
of facts, cues and events that we synthesize while going
about our daily activities.  We unconsciously use both.
The class intends to help discover them using MBTI,
values and behaviors assessments.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU
Research reveals that although human brains attain 90%
of their size by age 6, it will take 2 or more decades to achieve
functional maturity with different regions varying in pace
and timing.
To achieve self-command we must learn what drives us
and accept that we are often ruled by the short term and
habit, although intellectually driven, curious and self
interested.

LOSING THOUGHTS REVEALING CONNECTIONS
Humans sense the need for order in the changing world,
an understanding of our place and purpose which imagination
and traditions/culture offer “touchstones” and signify our
values.  Postman, Whybrow asserts, reflected on a technopoly
which represents an invasion into our imagination organized
realm due to our now gadget-driven, time-limited, distracted
world.  Education is no longer providing the basics to allow
thoughtful questioning, open and adaptable curiosity to
pursue learning.

We have allowed our memory, values, curiosity and imagination
to be outsourced drawn by hyperlinks, video clips, side-bars
distracted thinking and superficial learning.

Schools reinforce the culture of learning for economic utility.
consumership and technology.  This reality, Postman asserts
is a Faustian bargain… we gain a little and we lose a lot.
  - the advantages are unevenly distributed
  - while seeming simple, there is complexity embedded in
each technology
  - new technologies replace older ones in a competition
which speeds up and loses some of its benefits because
of intellectual and emotional biases and financial incentives
  - it is believed that there is a common core with a global
view, but there is too much and much has to be displaced.
–arbitrary inclusion and exclusion results.



comments (0)
08/10/14
Watch-Outs 63. Tax Inversion Consequences, Personal Mission Statement, Missing Microbes
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 5:20 pm

It is in the news daily.  The corporate M&A moves
by a number of large firms to avoid 35% US
corporate tax rate is poignantly described in an Economist
cartoon
.  A link offers caution to investors about
consequences of the inversion.

We had a seminar about ‘Mission statements, goals,
objectives and development plans’ a couple of weeks back.
A recently uncovered blog offers positive insight into
tactics for individuals just starting to develop personal
mission statements
.|

We have mentioned one of the curious areas of research
is in dealing with antibiotic-resistant microbes.  A link
provides untold stories of how important our microbiome is.
Our micrbiome is the complex system of bacteria that live
in on and around each one of us.

TAX CONSEQUENCES OF INVERSIONS
SOURCE  L. Saunder,
WSJ, August 2, 2014, p. B1
How to Ease the Tax Hit from an inversion
There are a series of unintended consequences from mergers
like AbbVie-Shire and Medtronic-Covidien.  Ms. Saunders
writes inversions will be unwelcome for long-term investors
who were planning to hold their shares for estate planning
purposes. 
Some shareholders in firms that do inversions will
owe taxes they would never have had to pay.  Tax advisors
indicate that stock in taxable accounts should be evaluated
with careful planning and investors be prepared to act.

Three common tactics in the short term are discussed.

CAREER MISSION STATEMENT
SOURCE: Catherine Rains, Writing a career mission statement,
(8-6-14)
Using your results from MBTI and Strong indicator tests, she
suggest how you can fashion your own mission statement at
an early career point. 
This is when each of us are most uncertain.
I found this most thoughtful and engaging.

MISSING MICROBES – BLASER’S BOOK
SOURCE:  M. J. Blaser,
Missing Microbes:  How the overuse
Of antibiotics is fueling our modern plagues
, Henry Holt and
Company, NY, 2014

Your body is composed of an estimated 30 trillion cells,
but is host to more than 100 trillion bacterial and fungal
cells.  Thus, 70 to 90 % of all cells are nonhuman.  They
reside on every inch of our skill and in all organs.

Most of the time doctors have no idea if a patient’s illness
is caused by virus or bacteria.
Doctors have very good reason to reflexively prescribe
antibiotics for many upper respiratory tract infections–
fear of rheumatic fever.  Untreated strep can cross react with
a child’s heart muscle, joints, skin and brain…

Doctors prescribe antibiotics for strep to ward off rheumatic
fever.  While the body’s natural defenses might treat the
illness, people inevitably think that the antibiotic had made
them well.  A situation where correlations does not mean
cause and effect.

Young adults in US between 20 and 30 receive 30
courses of antibiotics before the age of 40.  Many of the
young women will be mothers and the antibiotics may affect
the next generation.  implications of this course of action
may effect obesity, asthma, cancers, GERD, CRE.

Very powerful reading for biotech and pharma workers and
interested parties.

3 comments
01/05/11
Personal Assessment. Things to develop for knowing who you are
Filed under: Recent Posts
Posted by: site admin @ 4:52 pm

In a course on Professional Development, we
will inquire students to assess themselves with
behaviors and attitudes assessments.  In addition
we will suggest to them that a Myers Briggs
Temperment indicator
be taken.  It offers a
different view based on the work of Carl Jung.

It is useful to gain these different perspectives
on ourselves.  As others are doing the same thing
unconsciously, as M. Gladwell has written in
“Blink.”  1  2 

See also 3  .

comments (0)