Posts tagged ‘Alicia Marie Fruin’

January 5, 2012

Disrupt Your Life

Disrupt your life, business, relationships, or even your body, and engage in the power of a new year!

You may have noticed that we as human beings have a limited ability to pay attention – you know, really be present – which is why we benefit from declaring publicly what we will pay attention to each year. What we pay attention to grows and thrives. This is what makes goal setting, declared intentions, and resolutions a sound strategy.

However, as a result of this inability to be present 100% of the time, we unconsciously design an environment to depend upon, which allows us to free up mental power and the ability to pay attention. To say it simply, we have an unconscious dependence on our environment to determine WHO we will be and WHAT we will do.

So, for real change to occur you MUST actively interrupt your current environment to see real growth and development in any area of your life or business. The loftier the goal, intention, or resolution, the larger the disruption must be.

Steps:

  • Declare your intention, goal, or resolution publicly.
  • Do not make the mistake of thinking you will only initiate behavior change from within.

You have to change the environment, or in other words, structures and systems that support the attitude and behaviors – the status quo.  Every way of being has an existing structure. Everything you do on a regular basis creates an environmental dependence. If you want to be another way you will have to tear down the structures that support the old way of being. If you want to build a new habit, you must figure out what environment would be conducive to that new behavior.

An example: Let us say that I wanted to change from being overweight and out of shape to being slender and athletic. I would have to change my schedule, what is in the refrigerator, how I shop, who I associate with, the clothes I wear, the books I read, and the shows I watch on television. All my systems (practices, patterns, policies and processes) would have to be evaluated for their ability to support my goal of slender and athletic.

Another example: I am a consultant who has been hired to identify why retention and productivity are so low. It doesn’t take long to identify the culture of hard work, sacrifice, and fear, conditions not conducive to retention and productivity. Some of the systems I will have to dismantle or change are e-mail outside of work hours, late afternoon or early evening meetings, what the managers do and say, how we acknowledge employees and what we acknowledge them for, communication lines, etc.

Again, when you are looking to create something new, or to change a condition or circumstance, you want to evaluate the environment that supports it and determine what needs to be dismantled and what needs to be put in place.

Time and time again I have had to reassure staff, our coaches, or clients that disruption is supposed to happen when people are in our programs. We are in the growth and development business for goodness sake :)   … we take people way outside their area of comfort so they can explore a new possibility. The first thing clients notice when in our programs is that all their old ways of doing things are insufficient for growth. This can appear to be a bad thing until conscious environmental design begins to occur.

There are two pitfalls to avoid when looking at what or how to disrupt, and therefore grow:

      • People in your life or business are the largest structure to dismantle, re-train or elicit support from. You cannot design an environment that is conducive to your growth without including others.
      • Do not underestimate small environment changes.  The simplest of changes can make all the difference. For example; you have a solid declared commitment to eat healthy yet you eat poorly at night and can’t seem to change. Each night you sit in front of the TV and eat whatever you want, while relaxing in your favorite chair. You might: rearrange the living room, move the TV, sit in a different chair, create a family dinner night where everyone sits in the dining room with TV off. Maybe you just get support from your family with never eating while watching TV? Even just one of the environment changes could be the difference.

For more support in having an unprecedented year, consider engaging in one or more of our upcoming programs:

  • Inspired Goals Webinar on January 12, 2012 – Join us for an enlightening look at how to set goals that inspire, motivate and support your vision. Give yourself the time and space you need to create your goals this year. You have never done a course quite like this one. People who participate report breakthrough results all year long!
  • Leading Change Program starting March 21, 2012 – Learn how to cope with yown fear and lead others through change.  Understand self, manage self, understand others, and manage others.
  • One-on-one coaching with one of our professional coachesOur coaches help clients achieve measurable transformation in realizing their personal and professional goals.

I look forward to sharing this adventure with you!

Many blessings,
Alicia Marie Fruin

 

People Biz, Inc. is a coaching and training company that helps clients to achieve measurable transformation in realizing their personal and professional goals. Owner Alicia Marie Fruin has since been coaching, training and helping business owners for over 12 years. Her years of experience as a professional coach, workshop leader and entrepreneur have allowed her to help individuals and businesses reach their optimal potential, improving productivity and increasing profits. More information on coaching and training services offered by People Biz, Inc. can be found online at www.peoplebizinc.com or by calling (512) 989-2230.

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December 31, 2011

“The Gift of Presence” by Ellen Palmer

“This year I was given a present so valuable that I couldn’t possibly keep it all for myself.   So today, I am paying it forward.

It all started this summer when I had a simple accident at the shore that resulted in a serious concussion.  I tried blowing it off, but ended up with a CAT scan and the following advice from my doctors “no activity and absolutely no multitasking until the headaches subside in a few months.” A few months?!  They further explained that no activity meant no TV, no reading, no movies, no talking on the phone, no running, jumping or playing, no computer and no working.   Seriously, there wasn’t much left except staring at the wall, sleeping, and observing.   So that is what I did, I observed the following:

1)    We are bombarded with noise, images and multiple simultaneous tasks all day. It’s amazing that we can hear ourselves think let alone be present to truly listen to someone else.

2)    We are rushed and we are rushing.

3)    Because we live in this rushed, distracted world, it is very hard to stay focused on who we are with or what we are doing at the time.  We are not truly engaged in the moment.

4)    If we aren’t present in the moment, we aren’t really listening and connecting with those around us.  We are disconnected, separate and often at odds.

5)    If we are at odds, we aren’t usually feeling happiness or comfort, but we are too busy to know how to fix it.   Good news ~ I now know.

Because we couldn’t have any noise in the house this summer, I would sit with my family at night and we would talk or play cards together.  There weren’t any “screens” to distract us and we had some of the best conversations we’ve had as a family.   We truly engaged with each other because we weren’t rushed.   We were actually paying attention to what each of us had to say!   We were present in the moment.  We all felt loved and that time together was one of the most rewarding, unexpected gifts I have ever received.

Many of us are missing the truly joyful connections that come from being present in the moment. Perhaps like us, you didn’t intend to be distracted or disconnected from the ones you love.  It just happens.   When life returned to normal after the concussion for us, we crept back into a few bad habits, but we now know what to do.  We took the “day off” together yesterday, went out to lunch and went to the movies.    We made time to truly engage with one another.

The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect.   Perhaps the least expensive, yet most rewarding gift you can give this year is your presence.”

______________________________________________________________________

Ellen Palmer is a People Biz client that attributes her recent positive changes and insights to her participation in the Leading Change Program.  Ellen Palmer is a Holistic Health Counselor, LIfestyle Change Coach and Public Speaker. She works with individuals to help them achieve optimal health through nutrition and lifestyle changes. She address digestive issues, symptoms from menopause, weight loss, Candida, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes and other chronic conditions. Ellen also hosts workshops and does public speaking on wellness topics such as: Hitting the Restart Button~ Integrating Healthy Habits In The New Year; Healthy Foods That Are Making You Sick, Sugar And The Mood Food Connection, Wellness In The Workplace and others.

September 7, 2011

Embracing Failure

Written by Alicia Marie Fruin

I have heard it said that “if you can’t do it right, then don’t do it at all.”

I wonder how important it really is to always get it “right”? How many times does this philosophy keep us from just taking the next step? Could this just be a strategy designed to play it safe? Do we really think “if I am careful I won’t fail”? Really?

I find that ironic since failure is inevitable.  You will fail…I will fail. We will all hit ceilings of achievement. We will all get stuck. We will all fail now and then. If you are playing in the game of business at all, it will happen. Every choice, effort and move you make has to line up just right to get your intended outcome. It makes sense that it will not happen at times. What is this notion that it is bad to fail really about? Each time we don’t hit our goal it allows us to learn, tweak, re-align our actions and go for it again.

As a business coach, I have noticed that people who are very accomplished have a healthy relationship with failure. They embrace it, watch for it, learn from their mistakes and move on.  Sometimes they even publicize their failures, modeling the kind of leadership they want to see in their employees. They seem to know and understand that who they are is not their job, their business or their results.

Most of us only see these high powered, accomplished individuals when they are in the public and enjoying some measure of success. We do not see the every day struggles, disappointments and failures. On the weekly phone calls with my clients, I have a privileged point of view. I hear the challenges, hesitation, the pain, the disappointment as well as the wins, successes and accomplishments.

Accomplished people seem to understand a simple truth. They are not their mistakes and they are not their behaviors. Both mistakes and behaviors are changeable. They know in their heart that when they fail at something, they are not a failure. When they make a mistake, they are not a mistake. When they do something wrong, they are not wrong. They seem to understand that who they are as a human being is constant. They are people who can fall down, smile, pick themselves up and keep going.

I have also noticed that successful people seem less likely to avoid their emotions such as rejection, guilt, self-doubt, fear, overwhelm and dissatisfaction. Instead they just allow and move through their emotions like a hot knife through butter staying their course regardless of the fear. One of my clients, let’s call him “Joe” would say, “It’s just part of the ride. It is normal to have fear sometimes, to feel lost sometimes, and to be disappointed. I wouldn’t trade any of this for a dull cubicle and a steady paycheck”.

Mastery is a succession of failures, not wins. You have to be bad at something and keep going to master it. Failure and success are events. Whatever emotion or circumstance has been stopping you; I encourage you to embrace the possibility of failure and the emotion that goes with that. If you wait till it feels safe you will have waited too long.  Just take your next step towards your goals today and then again tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

People Biz, Inc. is a coaching and training company that helps clients to achieve measurable transformation in realizing their personal and professional goals. Owner Alicia Marie Fruin has since been coaching, training and helping business owners for over 11 years. Her years of experience as a professional coach, workshop leader and entrepreneur have allowed her to help businesses reach their optimal potential, improving productivity and increasing profits. More information on coaching and training services offered by People Biz, Inc. can be found online at www.peoplebizinc.com or by calling (512) 989-2230.

August 25, 2011

Jamie Rohrbauck Gives Business Advice on WRAL News

Jamie Rohrbauck, People Biz client and owner of Dust and Mop, was interviewed about the ups and downs of owning a business last week on WRAL News in Raleigh.  (Watch her full interview here!)  Inspired by her parents who each owned their own businesses, she started her residential cleaning company in 2009.

As an awardee of the M3 1000 event, she says she enjoys motivating and inspiring people to do better for themselves.  She started her grassroots effort by tapping into the local community and talking to other local business owners about how they’re running their businesses. “You definitely have to push through it, and there is definitely times when you’re not sure if you’re making the right decisions, which is why the Make Mine a Million organization is so important to me.”  Jamie reaches out to her fellow awardees to get feedback on different aspects of her business, since she knows they’re going through the same process of running a business.

Jamie is currently a participant in the Blast! Count Me In Business Accelerator Program designed and led by business coach Alicia Marie Fruin at People Biz, Inc.

We’re so happy for you, Jamie!

August 25, 2011

Karen Lincoln Discusses Child Talent Industry on KUSA News

Karen Lincoln, People Biz client and owner of Marbles Kids Talent, was featured on KUSA news in Denver last week.  (Watch her interview here!)  Her long-time talent agency, best known for representing Zachary Ty Bryan of Home Improvement, has been around for over three decades, and Karen was asked to give advice to parents who are looking to make their kid a star.

“We get the call [from parents that say] they have spent $2,000 to $10,000 to get this coaching and, all along, the parents thought they were having representation when they were not,” Lincoln said. “There are five agencies in town and most of us have been here a very long time, and those are the people that you want to represent [your child].”

Karen explains that it’s not necessary to go to LA and New York to follow your dreams of becoming an actor or a model.  Denver’s market, although different, can offer options, too.

“Eighty percent of our work in the Denver market is going to be commercial work,” Lincoln said. “So the types of clients that are coming to us are ad agencies, department stores, casting companies, catalog houses, manufacturers of clothing lines, producers, directors and project managers.”

Lincoln says that even though acting or modeling may be fun, it is still a business and kids should be coached in the areas they want to work.

Marbles Kids Talent provides talent for advertising projects in and around the Denver area.  The agency was founded in 1984 and was purchased by Karen Lincoln in 2007, and offers guidance and coaching for both the parents and kids who work in the commercial advertising business.  Karen Lincoln is a recent awardee of the M3 1000 competition, and is currently participating in the Blast! Count Me In Business Accelerator Program designed and led by business coach Alicia Marie Fruin at People Biz, Inc.

We’re so proud of you, Karen!

August 24, 2011

Webinar Series

WEBINAR PRICING:
$39 General Admission
$29 CMI Awardees
Free to Current Coaching Clients of People Biz, Inc.

Register Here!

STRATEGIC PLANNING | Friday, October 14, 2011 | 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM CST
Led by Paula Fracasso
Create a vision statement, mission statement, and practiced values as the foundation for your business plan and culture. Then get step-by-step instruction on how to set goals, build strategies and create action plans in alignment with your culture. This is a great course to do with your team!

HIRING PLAN | Thursday, November 10, 2011 | 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST
Led by Alicia Marie
How do you know when it is time to hire?  What role is the right one?  Identify a strategy for building your organization as well as a hiring process for identifying talent.  Save time, money and the headache of a bad hire.

INSPIRED GOALS | Thursday, January 12, 2012 | 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST
Led by Alicia Marie
Just another year?  Join us for an enlightening look at how to set goals that inspire, motivate and support your vision. Give yourself the time and space you need to create your goals this year. You have never done a course quite like this one. People who participate report breakthrough results all year long!

DISC TRAINING | Friday, February 24, 2012 | 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST
Led by Paula Fracasso
Discover your own behavior and how to relate best with each behavior style. Go beyond the interview and learn to accurately use the DISC Assessment tool when hiring. Learn to effectively coach your employees and/or understand how to best train and manage an employee.
*Tuition is $99 (includes cost of DISC and your in-depth 15 page DISC report)

MASTER COMMUNICATOR | Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM CST
Led by Alicia Marie
We learn how to communicate because we want something…to be held, fed, etc. Most of us still communicate for that reason and only that reason, which leads to a control/command style of communication. As most leaders have figured out, “telling and directing” simply doesn’t work well. Yet as leaders, it can seem as if we do not have any choice? We are stuck in that first model of communication. Join us and learn how to shift into an effective communication model of engagement, collaboration and possibility.

COACHING SKILLS FOR MANAGERS | Thursday, April 12, 2012 | 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM CST
Led by Deborah Huyer
Maybe you do not have to know it all or do it all? Join us for a lively discussion about coaching versus managing. Learn how to grow and develop your employees and reap the benefits of leading versus managing. (Master Communicator is a prerequisite for this course.)

RAVE REVIEWS | Thursday, May 17, 2012 | 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM CST
Led by Deborah Huyer
Stop going through the motions of an annual review. Learn how to set yourself, your business and your employees up to win. Write employee reviews that support growth, learn how to give feedback, identify growth opportunities and develop personal development plans with employees.

Register Here!

July 12, 2011

People Biz, Inc. Welcomes Paula Fracasso As a Business & Life Coach

People Biz, Inc., a results-driven coaching and training company, is pleased to announce our growth and expansion with the newest addition to our team–Business and Life Coach Paula Fracasso.

New to People Biz, but not new to coaching, Paula combines her extensive background in human development, non-profit management, and social and cultural entrepreneurship with her specialization in teaching new methods of learning for personal, organizational, and cultural change. Bringing her expertise in creating new teams and working with existing teams on project creation, design, and implementation, Paula has successfully coached groups and executives in a number of diverse areas. Together with her deep study of life she fosters understanding and action in her clients for their extraordinary growth and expansion, digging deep to uncover what transforms her clients’ lives and work.

Paula holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Grinnell College, a Master’s Degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and coaching training from Newfield Network. As a non-profit executive and philanthropic manager, Paula launched successful ventures for the benefit of society and culture, raising millions of dollars and creating long-lasting social interventions.

Having served as an Executive Director and as a Development Director, Paula inquires deeply into conversations about money and other resources and how current structures and systems perpetuate disease or promote healing for ourselves, our businesses, and our world. Simultaneously intrigued with social and cultural progress, Paula found an outlet for her enthusiasm for curiosity and change in campaign organizing, first in politics, and later for non-profits, advocating for a number of issues about which she is passionate, including responsible stewardship of the earth, self-expression through art, and the ongoing creation of peace and justice, globally and in our homes.

Says Paula, “I chose People Biz for a number of reasons. The most important one is that People Biz is founded and operates on values that are wholly my own: people before profit, excellence in service, gratitude, ambition, and truth in the service of personal and professional growth.”

A coach is trained in the ability to observe your inner game and support you in designing actions and practices to produce new results in your outer game. Do you know where your game could improve? Wherever you are, there is always something undiscovered, a new layer of bliss, and the next level of creation available for you. Your life’s work deserves a coach. Paula Fracasso can help!

www.peoplebizinc.com

Tel: 512-989-2230

Email: info@peoplebizinc.com

 

January 24, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Have you noticed that when you allow the entrepreneurial spirit in you to lead the way – with passion, authenticity, purpose and persistence – you naturally express thoughts and actions of abundance?  You just know that all things are possible.

Our recent economy has been built on entrepreneurialism; it’s rooted in the unwavering entrepreneurial spirit of creativity, ingenuity, determination and drive.  Entrepreneurs live in a perpetual state of opportunity and they produce a powerful ripple effect of abundance for all of us.  Why is that?

I’ve had the pleasure of working with entrepreneurs and business owners for more than a decade.  It’s been my personal experience that entrepreneurs are particularly generous people.  I was reminded of this when I read a recent study that reported that 89% percent of entrepreneurs donate money (both personally and through their companies) to support charitable causes, while 70% also donate their time.  The majority of those surveyed believe that being an entrepreneur makes them more inclined to give to charity.

Entrepreneurs value individual effort and know that greatness starts with a commitment to personal excellence.  When you strive for excellence in everything you do, it’s then reflected throughout your company.  Because you live it, your staff embraces it. They, too, enjoy seeing their best come through in the work they do.

We see this spirit in our clients all the time here at People Biz, Inc.

  • Every Valentine’s Day, Shelley Capretto with Village Maternity in Seattle gives 10% of their sales to charity.  They have been involved with “Shop to Make a Difference” for 6 years, and along with other Univeristy Village shops, they raised $51,000 for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2010.
  • Diane Dean of Epiphany! Counseling & Wellness Center in Pittsburgh mentors counseling students au gratis.  Using these students, Epiphany! provides free counseling services to those without insurance, or those receiving medical assistance and unable to find a counselor.
  • Dr. Martha Pyron, MD of Medicine in Motion in Austin provides medical care for the Hill Country Ride for AIDS each year, organizing 30 or more volunteers.  The ride generated 600,000 funds for AIDS services in Austin last year.
  • Doreen Zayer, owner of Relax on Cloud 9 in Staten Island, opens her doors the Monday after Mothers’ Day for an exclusive spa experience for mothers and their special needs daughters.  Staff volunteers their time to give the girls special spa treatments such as facials, massages, and foot scrubs.   
  • Pam O’Bryant’s Keller Williams Realty office in Arlington, VA donated over $40,000 to the Arlington Food Assistance Center in November from their gala and silent auction. They also donated over $8000 last year to the Keller Williams national charity, KW Cares, which helps KW agents in need.
  • Each year at Christmas, Ed and Charlene Hoey with Meyer and Associates Marketing & Communications in New York lets staff members pick several charities to which the company will donate, such as Unicef, World Hunger Year, and Habitat for Humanity.  They also sponsor NYU students in conjunction with the monthly HSMAI luncheons.
  • Representatives of Bluebonnet Electric in Bastrop, TX were honored at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas’ 25th Anniversary on October 25th.   The company is listed on the Wishing Wall, a permanent display at the Ronald McDonald House, which was built in appreciation of loyal supporters and was dedicated at the anniversary event.

And the list goes on.

We want to take a moment now, as the new year begins, to honor you and wish you the very best in the year to come.  At People Biz, Inc., we are very proud of who you are and what you do for your community!

January 18, 2011

Alicia Marie Interviewed on Deb Scott’s Radio Show

Click here to listen to Deb Scott’s interview with Alicia Marie on “The Best People We Know” Radio Show.  Alicia Marie discusses different ways to take “mental” advantage of the new year, how and why everyone should set measurable goals, how to get a fresh start in 2011, and much more!

December 21, 2010

So, you were fired. Now what?

So, you were fired.  Now what?  How will you explain it when you interview?

How do you respond to a job interview question about why you left your last job, when the answer is that you were fired?  This question is dreaded by everyone who has ever been laid off.  But it doesn’t have to be that way…

There are many questions that job seekers are asked. “What salary are you looking for?” is a common one.  “Why should we hire you?” is another.  And “Why did you leave your last job?” – this one can leave you spluttering if you were fired and don’t know how to answer, and most people don’t!  After they’ve stumbled through a few answers, trying in vain to phrase it in an acceptable way and are not invited back for a second interview, their fears are confirmed.  No one will hire them because they’ve been fired.

But that’s not what is really happening.  The problem is not that they were fired, but how they answered the question.

We don’t stay at a job our entire lives like our grandparents did.  Not only is it common to change jobs, some believe it’s the best way to leverage salary and a career.  Most of the changes may be of your own volition – odds are a few changes will involve being fired or laid-off.

Companies are bought out, they merge, they down-size, and they consolidate, which means inevitably there’s a duplication of staff.  It can be as simple as the new president wanting to bring in his own team.  He probably didn’t even look at your capabilities; he just decided you were “outta there”.  These departures aren’t as difficult to explain, and your answer can be relatively easy.

The instances that cause real concern feel very personal, even when they aren’t. You are the only one who was dismissed, and what’s more, you know they’ll replace you.  You’re caught off guard, angry, and frightened.  In an instant, you’re on the defensive, which is usually where people remain. And that’s exactly what causes the problem.  Interviewers can spot “victim” mentality from a mile away.  

Firing isn’t always about the individual, even though that’s who is impacted the most.  Sometimes it’s about the boss—especially bosses with issues.  It might be about poor performance, but that’s not always negative. It could be the result of having different philosophies.  For instance, the company may value those who work weekends, nights and holidays.  You prefer to balance your life.

Once you’re fired, you can’t change the circumstances.  But you can control how you view them.  While departmental or companywide layoffs are easier to explain, they can also cause damage.  You wonder, “If I’d been really good, wouldn’t they have found another spot for me?”  In addition, you’re in an insecure place that sometimes is difficult to adjust to.

Take some time to clear some tears or anger.  If you’re tempted to recoil, rehash, threaten revenge or otherwise communicate with your previous employer, don’t.  Remember two words: reference and reputation.  Don’t burn your bridges!  Leave the company gracefully.

During this time you have given yourself, detach yourself from the event and honestly examine what happened. Look at the facts.  That’s the only way you’re going to get any insight and begin adjusting your thoughts and perspective.  There are hundreds of reasons for dismissal, so there is no perfect answer.

The first step, as trite as it sounds, is to look at it as a blessing – an opportunity to grow or move on.  It may take some time to see, but no matter how bad it looks or feels, something good will come of it.  Maybe it will be a better job, a chance to grow, a new business, or the realization that you hated your career – who knows?

If you’re too busy being the angry and defensive victim, not only will you miss the chance to capitalize on the positive outcome, but you’ll also keep experiencing negative consequences.  When you’re in a victimized frame of mind, you’ll miss recognizing an opportunity and continue to perpetuate your unemployment.

The unequivocal rule in an interview is to tell the truth.  If they discover you lied, you’ll be wondering for a long time how you’ll pay your bills.  So when you’re asked why you left, tell them you were fired.  Forthright brevity is best.  It’s all in how you phrase it.  The trick is a shift in perspective, which is easier when you’ve purged the defensiveness and shame.

Don’t give a long, rambling story or blame the company, your boss, or anyone else.  Take full responsibility.  Do not be a victim in any way shape or form.  Did you learn from the experience?  Then by all means, say so. It is okay to say the role, company, or job was not a good fit for me.  Not every job is right for every person.  There are philosophical differences, chemistry problems, tough spots, and bosses who are difficult and self-absorbed.

Regardless of the reason, it wasn’t your perfect job, or you weren’t quite what they needed.  The great thing is that it was recognized (in whatever form) and everyone is moving on.  The goal is to be real about what works for you and why the firing took place.

Let’s examine two answers to the question: “Why did you leave your last job?”

“I don’t know.  I was doing my job.  Most everyone liked me.  They always came to me for advice instead of our boss.  When the other manager left, they promoted the assistant.  She’s maybe about 28.  I guess they thought she’d be good just because she’d been there a long time, but she really was a shrew.  I think she hated me.  She was always talking down to me.  She never did this with the “higher ups”.  One time she took credit for one of my projects.  She’s the one that should have left!  I’m glad to be out of there.”

“I was fired, actually.  The assistant manager was promoted to manager because she had seniority and she was very good at her job.  Unfortunately, she was young and perhaps she thought respect was automatically accorded instead of earned, because when everyone else began coming to me instead of her, it didn’t seem to sit well with her.  Despite that I excelled in my responsibilities and met my goals, she let me go.  I’m sorry to have had to leave the company.  I did learn that I could have been a better communicator and I could have built a relationship with her.  That could have saved my job.  Next time I will work harder on that instead of assume someone knows my intentions.”

Can you spot the differences?  As the interviewer, what would you think?

You must work out a comfortable response.  Rewrite it, rephrase it, and test it.  Be able to say it calmly and sincerely.  If you notice hesitation or discomfort, your words and your attitude (possibly both) need an adjustment.  There is no good or bad.  There’s only perspective, which is your choice.  Firing is considered “bad,” but what’s bad about being fired when a boss has issues?  What’s bad about protecting a customer or not compromising your ethics?  What’s bad about being asked to leave because the position description changed and doesn’t fit your job preferences or skills?  What’s bad about being fired from a sales job for lousy numbers when you hate selling (and realize later that you’re relieved to be gone)?

One last bit of advice:  talk through your responses to interview questions with an objective supporter, like a career counselor or a career coach.  Sometimes we can gain perspective by having a conversation with a neutral party.

Alicia Marie
People Biz, Inc.