Michael Heath's blog

    Do you have to be Aggressive to be Successful?

    I bet that you, like me, can instantly think of someone who was successful because, in their dealings with people, they were aggressive. We all know little maxims warning us that ‘Nice guys finish last’. Doesn’t that say it all? Be nice to people and watch your career shudder to a grinding halt.

    But I argue that there is another way. That you can be strong, decisive, authoritative and knowledgeable - all the behaviours many ‘aggressive’ people display - and yet still be a good human being.

    Want to Know What Your Interviewees are Saying about You?

    Greeting Interview Candidate

    How confidential are your interviews? Many would reply that their interviews were entirely confidential: notes are always filed away afterwards and the discussion is never divulged to others.

    But what about your interviewees? If you believe that they reciprocate your confidentiality, then prepare yourself for a shock. Many openly share their interviews with others, not only questions asked, but even exercises or presentation topics as well. Within hours, your process might be openly available online for all to see.

    Help! How Do I Tell An Employee They Smell?

    Man smelling himself

    I recently received an email from a contact I’ve known for many years:

    “Michael, in my new team leader role one of the men who works for me apparently gives off an unfavourable smell, but the issue is I haven’t yet noticed it so I’m not able to describe the smell. Apparently my line manager and others in the team have already tried to bring it to his notice.

    He’s really well groomed, so asking him if he could wash his clothes seems so demeaning. How can I best convey this to a great employee without trying to upset them?”

    Here’s my reply.

    10 Reasons Why You Should Never Give Up

    Rejected Stamp

    On the shelf behind me sit two rejected manuscripts from the BBC. The rejection letters are complimentary but still end with a thumping ‘No’.

    So why am I still writing? I still write because:

     a)      I can’t stop writing – it would be like stopping breathing

    b)      I really hate losing

    c)       I utterly believe in the messages I want to communicate

    So it was heartening when a recent post by Dr. Avra Lyraki pointed me to the following list of 10 people whose experience of rejection was greater than my own.

    Three Learning Myths You Must Avoid

    I’m going to nail my colours firmly to the mast here: I do believe that men actually walked on the moon! I know that there are many who contend that the moon landings never actually took place and it was almost entirely a hoax staged by NASA.

    But why aim for the moon to prove that we are being duped by a myth?  Down here on planet earth, there are many theories that are regularly expounded as de facto scientific theories which, on closer inspection, are nothing of the sort.

    Muddling with Mehrabian

    Does Success Really Make You Happy?

    Happy and Sad Face

    Here’s a question for you. What did the following three writers have in common?

    a)      Arthur Conan Doyle, writer of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries

    b)      J. M. Barrie, the writer of the Peter Pan children’s books

    c)       A. A. Milne, who was the author of the Winnie the Pooh tales

    Putting aside the facts that they were all men - and writers of course - what links all three? The answer, which I shall reveal later, is very much tied up with the subject of success.

    The F Chord of Life

    Guitarist playing F Major Chord

    If you’re a guitarist you’ll know exactly what the above title is referring to. If you’re not, then let me enlighten you.

    When you first learn to play the acoustic or electric guitar, initial progress is rapid. By placing your fingers on to the strings you can soon make nice noises and even start to croon a few songs you know whilst you play. In time your fingers hold down the strings with such accuracy that you no longer dampen neighbouring strings in the process.

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