Monday, August 29, 2016

Diversity: 5 Skills for Working with the Changing Workforce

David Jamieson and Julie O'Mara identified 5 skills for working with the changing workforce.  These skills build on good management practices.
  1. Empower Others:  Share power and information; solicit input and reward people; manage more as a colleague than a boss; encourage participation and share accountability
  2. Develop Others:  Delegate responsibility fully to those who have the ability to do the work; question and counsel employees on their interests, preferences, and careers; work to individualize training needs.
  3. Value Diversity:  Know your own assets; understand diverse cultural practices; facilitate integration among people; help others identify their needs and options
  4. Work for Change:  Adapt policies, systems, and practices to help meet organizational needs; identify and influence organizational changes
  5. Communicate Responsibly:  Communicate work and performance expectations clearly; listen and show empathy; understand cultural and language differences; provide ongoing feedback with sensitivity to individual differences
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dimensions of Diversity

Diversity has many dimensions.  Some dimensions are unchangeable, such as gender, ethnicity, and physical abilities.  Other dimensions may change, such as income, marital status, work experience and religious beliefs.
  • Organizational dimensions can include functional level/classification, work content/field, division/department/unit/group, seniority, work location, union affiliation, or management status.
  • External dimensions can include geographic location, income, personal habits, recreational habits, religion, educational background, work experience, appearance, parental status, or marital status.
  • Internal dimensions can include age, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, ethnicity, or race. 
The above list is not meant to be comprehensive; there are many more dimensions.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, August 22, 2016

Diversity: How do we define it?

Management involves training our people and letting them do their jobs.  However, our employees are all different, and new differences can come to light everyday.  Through societal and cultural shifts, our diversity is growing.  Will we appreciate the differences among us and use them to our advantage?  The smartest organizations will do so.

To attract and retain the top workforce in today's changing climate, we must know who our employees are and value how they think.  This will not only help us manage our workforce effectively, but it will affect our organization's bottom line.  What happens when a valued worker wants a day off for a religious observance that we haven't heard of before?  What do we say to the father who asks to work a different shift so he can be home with his children during the afternoons?  Do we know how to answer the woman who insists that we owe her a promotion into management because none of our other managers are female?

Think about your answers to the following questions.  This is a great exercise to do with a group of managers.
  • What does diversity mean to you?
  • When you think of diversity in the workplace, what positive reactions do you have?
  • What negative reactions do you have?
  • What are the challenges of managing diversity effectively?
The topic of diversity generates a wide range of definitions and reactions.  For us to value and manage diversity, we must have a common understanding and definition.  For simplicity, let's define diversity as "the differences that make each of us unique." 

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Friday, August 19, 2016

Before and After: What Exactly Changes after Obtaining a PMP® Certification?

Today we welcome Mohammad Farooq, a guest author, to Tools 2 Succeed's Leadership from the Balcony!

Mohammad Farooq works as an Analyst with a keen interest in Project Management.  When not spending hours at work, he backpacks around India.  He regularly blogs about travel, movies, political issues and lots more on his blog, “Revering Thoughts.”

PMP, PMI, and PMBOK are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute.

Before and After:  What Exactly Changes after Obtaining a PMP® Certification?
By Mohammad Farooq

PMP® (Project Management Professional) certification is an internationally-recognized certification that is issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).  After completing the PMP® certification process, individuals can work in any industry as well as any locality.  Life before and after PMP® certification can be very different, both in regard to how the project managers carry out their programs and how they are viewed by their peers and colleagues.  Their career development is usually enhanced as well.

Life before PMP® Certification

Project managers with no prior PMP® certification lack the necessary knowledge to efficiently and swiftly run the projects to completion.  Some of the common problems experienced by such project managers include:
  • ·       Inability to run projects on time.  An IT project manager without PMP® certification can, for example, fail to introduce newer technology on time when given such mandate.
  • ·       Inability to run or complete projects with the budget availed to them.  A project manager in the construction industry, for example, can fail to complete the construction of a bridge with the available budget due to lack of PMP® certification.
  • ·       Inability to estimate the continuation costs precisely.  A project manager in a company might fail to determine the real cost of product development to its desired standard accurately if he/she lacks PMP® certification.
Projects run by projects managers who have no PMP® certification often do not fulfill all project management requirements.  Project managers in the service industry might fail to service their clients properly if they have no PMP® certification.

Most of the projects carried out by project managers without PMP® certification do not fulfill the expected return on investment (ROI).  A project manager working with securities or hedge funds without PMP® certification might fail to make proper decisions or execute plans that fail to yield the expected ROI.

Additionally, many project managers have admitted that lacking PMP® certification has affected their ability to gain employment or advance their careers.  Employers often overlook applicants without PMP® certification, giving those certified better chances of becoming employed or promoted.

A non-certified project manager may lack knowledge that is vital for the success of initiating and running a project.  This can be a huge loss in regard to the project cost as well as trust from fellow administrators or investors.

Life after PMP® Certification

PMP® certification gives project managers distinctive capabilities and differentiates them from other managers due to their high level of managing and running a project.  By applying and sharing the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide, the results can be exemplary and rewarding.

The greatest advantage of becoming PMP® certified is that you can apply your PMBOK® learning across programs in different industries and even in various countries.  With PMP® certification, a project manager enhances his/her chances of either getting promoted or getting a more rewarding job.  In other words, the project manager’s career progression is much easier.

An individual with PMP® certification is viewed as a person with a positive attitude towards knowledge acquisition.  It opens the door for more job opportunities as well.  Some of the helpful lessons and programs include clear project direction from the start to the end that will enable a project manager to carry out the task efficiently.

A PMP® will also acquire excellent communication skills that are necessary to conduct the project more effectively.  These communication skills are necessary as they enable the PMP® to communicate with all the team members who are important to the success of the project.  The certification also allows the PMP® to have consistent client contact that is essential to the success of the program.

Another advantage of PMP® certification is the ability to plan efficiently and execute the programs while running a project.  The certification can help the PMP® to be motivated and handle any project with confidence and enthusiasm due to the high level of training and expertise that comes with certification.

Project managers with the PMP® certification are also better able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of his/her team members and make the necessary adjustments to improve the running and management of the project.

Certification enables the PMP® to be recognized by various players in project management and obtain contacts that would not be possible without certification while advancing his/her career in the process.

Another invaluable benefit for a PMP® is the ability to make a career change with ease.  PMP® certification will enable you to be considered for a project management positions across various industries.


The PMP® certification takes only four hours to complete, and the standard fee is currently between $405 and $555.  One becomes certified after passing the examination but can retake the exam if he/she does not pass.

There are various ways to study to take the PMP® certification exam, such as reviewing the PMP® handbook, sample questions, the current PMP® exam content outline, or the latest PMBOK® Guide edition, or enrolling in a formal study course that is offered by PMI® chapters or an accredited Registered Education Provider.

Certification makes a PMP® stand out from other project managers regarding qualification and expertise.  It’s the way to enhance the program or project under your management to admirable levels.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Time Wasters

Recognizing the "time wasters" in our lives is the first step to increasing productivity.   However, in order to improve our results, we must develop a solution to the challenges we face.

Ask Yourself . . .   
  • What responsibilities make me feel unproductive?  
  • What area in my life constantly overwhelms me?  
  • Who else could help me? 
  • What other resources could I tap into?  
  • Which time-wasters could I eliminate and how?      
  • What steps can I take to get things done on time?   
  • How can I eliminate negative thinking and concentrate on the positive?   
For a printable worksheet containing the above questions and more, click HERE.

Mind, Body, and Spirit
Although organizations are looking for employees who work hard, they also want people who are able to create balance and harmony between their personal and professional lives.  Studies show that people who have strong, personal commitments to family and friends are happier, healthier, and live longer.  An important part of learning to work smarter, harder, faster, and better involves learning how to stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit so we can meet the challenges of today's workplace more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, August 15, 2016


What if you could work smarter, harder, faster, and better?  Impossible?  What if we changed that to "just a little bit" smarter, harder, faster, and better?  That little bit extra can make a lot of difference.  What if every employee increased his/her productivity by only 5 percent?  The overall productivity would grow astronomically!

It is easy to decrease your productivity unintentionally.  For example, instead of spending ten minutes each morning organizing your work space and planning your day, you waste time during the day looking for something you misplaced and not accomplishing what is truly important.

Think about one thing you do that decreases your productivity.  How can you change the situation to increase your productivity?

Take a look at some barriers to productivity below.  How can you be proactive and find a solution to overcome the barriers that may be hindering your performance?

Some Barriers to Productivity  
  • Lack of training
  • Insufficient resources
  • Negative attitudes  
  • Laziness
  • Unwilling to be a "team player"
  • Poor organization
  • Procrastination
Using Time Wisely
The secret to managing time is managing yourself.  Daily planners, "To-Do" lists, priority-setting, and other organizational methods are merely tools to help you work smarter.  These tools are not time management in themselves.  The way that you use these tools to manage your work processes and yourself is true time management.  You manage your "response" to time so you can use it to your best advantage.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, August 1, 2016

Embrace Reality

Embracing reality is one of the core principles for living in the paradigm of Integrity.  This does not mean that we like all aspects of reality, but it does mean that we have a healthy respect for it and seek to live in harmony with it. The four views of reality are: "mentor," "challenge," "taskmaster," and "enemy."

Truths about Reality
"The way things are" defines the context of our lives.  Reality defines the rules of the game of life and the context in which we make choices.  Some realities we may choose, such as our career, spouse, etc.  Others are thrust upon us by our heritage, such as our stature, age, etc.  These realities form the boundaries within which we live and make choices daily.
Trying to live in the world of "unreality" or "what is not" results in frustration and disappointment.  This only wastes our energy and leaves us unhappy and feeling disempowered.
Reality has no inherent meaning.  It is not good nor bad, right nor wrong, but rather it is what we make of it.  For example, your job is just your job.  The same is true of your appearance, the way your boss is, or a flat tire on the way to work.
People who are high on the scale of emotional intelligence live from "the way things are" rather than "what is not".  They acknowledge and respect the realities of their lives and make a conscious choice to live well, given their reality.  Those who succeed in life view their reality as a winner.
Present, Past, and Future

This moment is the only moment that is real.  Your entire life is lived in a moment of "now" - the present. The past exists only in our minds in the form of memories.  What does this mean about the past and the future?  They are not real.  They exist only in our minds.  However, there is value in thinking about the past and the future.

We have lots of good memories that we can access and enjoy.  We can learn from our painful experiences of the past and use them to grow.  Likewise, we can dream and consider new and exciting possibilities for our lives in the future.  Then we can make specific plans to make that future a reality.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP