In this episode, Marc shares Part 4 of 4 parts of the CareerPivot evaluation process. This is the Stress Report session, where Marc helps Tim understand how to plan for stressful situations, and how to avoid them. Marc gives Tim more homework to help him collaborate with people to reduce stressors.
[2:20] Tim is a 50-year-old who has been stair-stepping himself out of a career and building a side business. Recently he got laid off, which was his trigger to pivot. In this episode, Marc takes Tim through the Birkman Stress Report, with his top 40 needs and actions he can take to keep himself out of stress. He will learn some questions to ask.
[3:16] If you haven’t listened to Episodes 48, 49, and 50, Marc would suggest you stop here and listen to them, first. If you listen on the go, listen first without the reports and then download them from CareerPivot.com/Tim and listen to it again. There is a lot to digest, and Tim is very open about his experiences at work.
[4:16] Tim says the homework was much harder this week than last. He noticed that while the tasks had changed, he used the same problem-solving process for all of them. He gathers information first, discusses the problem with people, puts his thoughts in an organized order, takes some time to put together a plan, and charges forward.
[5:38] The exercise gave him the opportunity to look back at his business work behaviors and see where he added the most value.
[6:21] Marc notes that the more Tim understands how he solves problems, the more he’ll understand how other people solve them differently. Tim discusses how his wife solves problems differently than he does.
[7:32] Marc covers the Stress Pages. There are four sections. For each area, there are interpersonal relationships, schedules and details, conflict and decision making. There is one page about being in stress. Marc skips ahead to the page about staying out of stress. Page 3 is Managing Needs for Esteem and Acceptance.
[8:16] The page shows things Tim needs, and activities he can do to stay out of stress. Tim relates to personalized benefits, genuine pats on the back, criticism balanced by praise, and time alone. He also notices his need for a few close friends. In the four areas, there will be a total of 40 needs. Tim should mix them down to 10 or 12.
[9:44] Tim should come up with a core set of needs, and develop an open-ended question for each. Next, come the things Tim can do to avoid stress. Tim reads through them and considers his compliance to each. One thing he does now to keep busy is home repair and door replacement. He also sets time aside for some quiet time.
[15:00] Tim comments on the suggested activity of spending one weekend a month alone with his significant other. He and his wife have not tried that yet. He is too active to just relax with her. They are always on projects. The last activity is to spend quiet time alone before big holidays. Tim will try that. Marc avoids certain holiday parties, himself.
[17:29] Page 5 is Managing Needs for Structure and Change. Tim has a low need for rules and a moderate need for variety. He is a borderline structured anarchist. Tim needs freedom from close controls and needs a minimally structured routine. He also needs novelty during the day, or he feels drained.
[18:45] Tim has an independent work role now, and that pleases him, and he likes varied and complex work activities. Tim needs direct access to everyone. Tim likes Twitter because there is no gatekeeper, but Tim will have a hard time narrowing down the list.
[19:58] Tim’s suggested activities are, set aside time weekly for new activities and interests, take vacations or spend time on hobbies, create opportunities to discuss goals and plans with his family, make schedules that allow for flexibility, build up a stockpile of small projects to work on, and time management that allows several tasks each day.
[24:22] Tim needs to avoid home projects that will take months of the same activity to complete. Basement remodeling would be a bad idea.
[25:34] Page 7 is Managing Needs for Authority and Freedom. Tim has a very low need for authority, and a moderate need for freedom. Tim needs low-key discussions, comprehensive policies to follow, suggestions rather than orders, encouragement to speak up, agreeable, pleasant relationships, and assignments that allow independence.
[25:54] Tim needs opportunities to set his own direction, freedom from control by others, opportunities to be unconventional, and superiors who delegate broadly. Tim likes bosses who ask him to do things, and then leave him alone to do them.
[27:03] Tim needs to identify a few close associates who are low-key people and good listeners and spend more casual time with them. He is in a small mastermind group that offers this type of conversation. Tim needs to develop signals with people close to him, to use when he wants to call a truce to a heated exchange.
[29:19] Tim recalls an unpleasant conversation with his former boss, who pointedly did not want to hear his side of the story. Tim retreats from confrontation finding no value in it. Tim has brought this up to Marc multiple times.
[30:08] Tim needs to spend more time in activities where rules have been made that are observed fairly. He needs to single out tasks he can execute without controversy or opposition, to do without stress. He needs to avoid being put on the spot with new suggestions, but have time to think without responding.
[32:28] Tim needs friendships with people who understand his need for independence and are patient with his nonconformity. He needs to develop a clear definition of his concerns and values to share with those around him. Tim should look for commitments others have to finding good solutions to common problems.
[35:01] Page 9 is Activity and Thought. This is making big decisions. Tim is very high in thought and moderately low in activity. Tims needs are, stimulation of new ideas, friendly, low-key surroundings, time for reflection, unhurried work conditions, and time to think, support from others on decisions, and offer assistance and help.
[35:36] Tim needs others to be cautious in decision-making. This is common among high-thought people. They also want others to be careful thinkers.
[37:01] To stay out of stress Tim can plan schedules and projects in light of past and future, give more time to abstract thought. Thinking helps Tim de-stress. He needs to avoid taking on too many projects or social obligations. Tim sees this as a valid need.
[39:04] Tim needs a relaxing low-key hobby or recreation for its curative powers. Tim has one in mind to start again. Tim needs to build life goals and important plans with advice from knowledgeable advisors, and develop close relationships with advisors.
[40:15] Tim should keep abreast of major developments in his work area, to keep ahead of changes affecting his work. He should have a good idea of where to go for assistance and information.
[41:04] Tim should remind those close to him he needs careful preparation before making a decision. He should elicit their support in developing options to consider.
[41:15] Tim’s homework is to synthesize his needs in the report down from 40 to 10 or so, and then write an open-ended question on each. Marc will send Tim a link to a blog post on the art of writing questions, and the responses he wants to hear. The goal is to get the other person to open up. Marc gives some example questions he uses.
[43:37] The questions Tim will write should be questions he will use with his actual prospects to determine if they are people he wants to as clients. Tim knows he has a couple of questions right now that take too long to answer him.
[44:20] Open-ended questions help move people along to figure out the things you need to find out.
[44:56] This wraps up the last feedback session. For clients that are not going to move into branding with Marc, he will do a fourth and final feedback session, which he will do with Tim, but not in a podcast.
[45:14] Marc gives Tim a branding project for homework: talk to three people from work, and three people from personal life, and ask, can you give me three to five phrases that describe me? The idea is to see the difference between the perceptions of the two groups of people. Tim needs to notice the words they use about him, not his own words.
[45:46] Tim is also to take the phrases that he translated in last weeks homework, and turn them into a narrative about himself that is written in the way he speaks, and not in the way he writes.
[46:51] Tim feels very much more self-aware after these feedback sessions.
[47:03] Marc hopes you enjoyed this series. He would like to hear from you about it. His thought is to do this twice a year with different types of individuals. If you are interested in having Marc do a Birkman assessment with you as a series of podcasts like this, please contact Marc at CareerPivot.com/contact-me or any contact method on the site.
[48:32] Check out next week’s first birthday episode of the Repurpose Your Career podcast!
Mentioned in This Episode:
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