Thoughts, Ideas, and Concepts by Sandra Parks

Archive for the ‘Encouragement’ Category

10 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Mentor

How can a mentor improve your business and career advancement? Many ways: A mentor can guide you, take you under his wing and teach you new skills. Research has shown that mentoring relationships succeed and are satisfying for both parties when both the mentor and the person being mentored take an active role in developing the relationship.

Here are 10 tips you can implement to ensure you get what you need out of the relationship.

  1. Be clear on why you want a mentor and why you are meeting.
    Define what type of help you’re looking for in a mentor. Are you looking for someone with similar skills or someone with a very different skill set who can coach you? Are you looking for someone who has gone up the corporate ladder and can advise you on the ins and outs of corporate politics?
  2. Establish goals for the relationship.
    Discuss and agree upon the goals of the relationship and what you, personally, are doing to make it a successful venture. Review these goals from time to time to be sure the relationship is working; if not, adjust and refocus.
  3. Network, network and network to find a suitable mentor.
    Once you decide on the type of mentor you need, participate in functions and professional associations where you might find this type of person. For example, scour your chamber of commerce events, alumni and professional associations or even your owncompany. If you do choose someone from your own firm, it’s best to select someone other than your direct supervisor.
  4. Don’t limit yourself to one mentor.
    You can establish multiple mentoring relationships with individuals who can help you grow in different aspects of your life. Think of it as building your own personal board of directors. Also, don’t underestimate the value of a ‘peer mentor’ or someone at your level who has complimentary skills and experiences — even if you think you’re on the same level, you can learn a lot from their previous experiences.
  5. Establish communication methods and frequency of contact from the beginning.
    Talk with your mentor to determine the lines of communication that will work for both of you. Will you meet face to face or communicate mainly through e-mail and the telephone? Make sure you meet/talk enough to suit both of you.
  6. Manage expectations and build trust.
    Mentoring takes time and implies sacrifices for both the person being mentored and the mentor. Be respectful of your mentor’s time and the other priorities in her life, such as family, travel and community activities. Avoid any trust-breaking behaviors such as canceling appointments or not following through on leads and contacts given to you by your mentor.
  7. Acquire mentoring skills and competencies.
    Pay attention to great skills that you notice in your mentors; these skills include listening, guidance, recommendations and wisdom. When you receive corrective feedback from your mentor, don’t be defensive. Listen, digest and take immediate steps to apply what you have learned.
  8. Be respectful of your mentor’s time.
    Do not overburden him by demanding too much time or too many contacts. Understand that the moment you decide you need information might not be the best time for him, so be patient.
  9. Express your gratitude.
    Your mentor is likely to give a lot more than you do in the relationship in terms of time and contacts. Be sure to express regularly that you value and appreciate your mentor’s guidance.
  10. Vary the activities you do together.
    There are numerous activities you can do with your mentor, such as talking about your past experiences, goals, plans, and skill development and attending meetings, conferences, and other events. You can also shadow your mentor at work or exchange and discuss written materials like your resume or an article one of you has written.

Are you Arrogant of Confident?

Personal Branding

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. This is especially true given both entail a strong belief in one’s own abilities. When it comes to the results they provoke, however, that’s where the similarities end.

Confidence is inspiring; arrogance is a turn-off.

Confidence gets hired; arrogance is shown the door.

Building confidence takes work; arrogance is simple. In fact, it’s easy to come off as arrogant. Avoid these 10 behaviors so you don’t leave the impression of being a Class-A jerk people would rather avoid instead of the confident leader they want to follow.

1. Drop names out of context.

The name-dropper is a character who frequents many local Chamber of Commerce mixers. Name-droppers are a dime a dozen. Completely unsolicited, they will jabber endlessly about who they know, who they met and who they pal around with. As a journalist, I interview many great business leaders, one of whom was Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Bringing up his name in a presentation about leadership is appropriate; talking about Schultz with a barista at my local Starbucks is arrogant.

2. Avoid eye contact.

Arrogant people could care less about others. They’re only interested in themselves. The arrogant person will constantly be looking past you for someone else to talk to — someone they think will benefit them more than you. Confident leaders look you in the eye and make you feel as though you’re the most important person in the room.

3. Arrive consistently late to meetings … and don’t apologize.

Arrogant people think their time is more important than anybody else’s. Being late means nothing to them. Confident leaders are timely and quick to apologize when they’re off schedule.

4. Use condescending phrases and put-downs.

Some well-known business leaders have been known to put down others with phrases like “that’s stupid” or “you’re a bozo.” These particular leaders are supremely confident, of course, but they’ve crossed the line into arrogance. I worked for one famous broadcast executive who routinely demeaned his employees and colleagues. Before long there was a massive brain drain from his department. He was bright ; ambitious; and yes, confident. But his arrogance turned so many people off that he lost the loyalty of his team (and ultimately his position).

 

5. Strut or swagger when you walk into a room.

The best way to describe arrogant body language is “dominating.” Examples include pointing a finger at someone’s chest, hands on hips or waving someone off with a flick of the finger. Confidence is open and less intimidating.

 

6. Interrupt conversations … frequently.

Since arrogant people are only concerned about themselves, they’re not really listening to you. Not only are they always on the lookout for someone else to talk to, they interrupt the conversation frequently

7. Have an answer for everything..

Psychologists say that arrogance is a compensation for insecurities and weaknesses. An arrogant person will rarely say, “I don’t know the answer, but I’ll find out.” Confident people admit mistakes and learn something from those experiences.

 

10. Always one-up the other person.

The other day I was speaking to someone who has a reputation for arrogance, and I noticed a common theme in his conversation with me — he always tried to one-up everything I said. For example, when the conversation turned to a documentary that I had recently seen on sharks, this man said, “That’s nothing, I swim with sharks.” This trait in arrogant people is so common that the famous Dilbert cartoon strip has a recurring character named “Topper.” Confident people don’t feel the need to brag. Their accomplishments do it for them.

 

11. Blast competitors.

Arrogant people can’t see the strengths in their competitors, and if they do, they seek to minimize those competitors by bad-mouthing them. This simply makes the arrogant person look even smaller. I recently overheard a woman talking to a recruiter and saying vicious things about her former company as well as other companies in the industry. The recruiter listened patiently. When the woman left, I leaned over and asked the recruiter what he thought. He simply rolled his eyes. Take the high road so you don’t get the eye roll.

 

12. Blame someone else.

Arrogant people can’t ’fess up to their own mistakes. Watch America’s Top Model with Tyra Banks. The most arrogant young wannabes are the ones who blame others for not taking a good photograph — it’s either the fault of the photographer or the makeup artist. Needless to say, they don’t last long, even in an industry that has more than its share of divas.

Some famous business leaders are unquestionably arrogant — people about whom you may have heard or for whom you work. But the vast majority of inspiring leaders are confident, not arrogant. Be a leader people want to follow and not one people would rather avoid.

EMAIL FROM MY GIRL KIM!!!

Without God Our week would be: Sinday, Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday,

  Thirstday, Fightday & Shatterday.

 

  Look back and thank God.

 

  Look forward and trust God.

 

  Look around and serve God.

 

  Look within and find God!”

 

  Who wouldn’t forward it!!!

 

  God closes doors no man can open and God opens doors no man can close.

WHAT A GREAT WAY TO START YOUR DAY !!!!

Daily Rules from God

1. Wake Up!! Decide to have a good day. ‘Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up!! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. ‘The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.’ I Samuel 16:7

3. Shut Up!! Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. ‘He who guards his lips guards his soul..’ Proverbs 13:3

4 .. Stand Up!!… For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything. ‘Let us not be weary in doing good ; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…’ Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up!!… To the Lord.
‘I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.’ Phillippians 4:13

6. Reach Up!!….. For something higher. ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path.’
Proverbs 3:5-6

7. Lift Up!!… Your Prayers.

‘Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.’
Philippians 4:6

Remember that God answers Knee-Mail.

YOU PUT THE DEVIL OUT, BUT DID YOU LET HIM LEAVE HIS BAGS? This is powerful!

You got out of a bad relationship because it was bad, but you are still resentful and angry (you let the devil leave his bags)

You got out of financial debt, but you still can’t control the desire to spend on frivolous things (you let the devil leave his bags)

You got out of a bad habit or addiction, but you still long to try it just one more time (you let the devil leave his bags)

You said, I forgive you, but you can’t seem to forget and have peace with that person (you let the devil leave his bags)

You told your unequally yoked mate that it was over, but you still continue to call (you let the devil leave his bags)

You got out of that horribly oppressive job, but you are still trying to sabotage the company after you’ve left (you let the devil leave his bags)

You cut off the affair with that married man/woman, but you still lust after him/her (you let the devil leave his bags)

You broke off your relationship with that hurtful, abusive person, but you are suspicious and distrusting of every new person you meet (you let the devil leave his bags)

You decided to let go of the past hurts from growing up in an unstable environment, yet you believe you are unworthy of love from others and you refuse to get attached to anyone (you let the devil leave his bags)

When you put the devil out, please make sure he takes his bags!

HAPPINESS KEEPS YOU SWEET,
TRIALS KEEP YOU STRONG, AND
SORROWS KEEP YOU HUMAN,
FAILURES KEEP YOU HUMBLE,
SUCCESS KEEPS YOU GLOWING,
BUT ONLY GOD KEEPS YOU GOING!

In The Remainder of 2009, Let the devil Take his bags with him! Be Blessed, Healthy and Happy

Venting Via my Blog

My heart is so heavy right now!  I guess I should have never gone on that youtube site to look at the teenager being beat in Chicago.  Initially I had just heard of it and was reading the media outlets.  But after watching it you have to be dead not to feel something.  I just don’t know what to say or do.

Anyone that knows me knows that I love the kids.  I love working with them and encouraging them.  One day while in Atlanta on my way to my sister house we saw three little girls and three little boys going into the bushes at around midnight.  I spoke in a loud voice asking LaVerne to stop so that I could tell the little girls not to go into the woods this time of night with those little boys.  I knew they were up to no good.  But she said no.  She said that she wasn’t getting involved.  I believe that this was in June.  Just recently last week I had a dream that those girls were found dead.

One day I was in the Mall with Reggie and we saw this little boy with is his pants sagging.  I asked Reggie to say something to the little boy and he said no.  So I was going to say something to him instead and Reggie pulled me away and said Sandra come one and leave people alone.

I have a mentee that is a teenage mom (and so was I) that I work with.  One day she told me about her baby daddy hitting on her and I was driving around South Dallas trying to find this kid to speak to him.

These are just a few of the situations I’m sharing with you all now.  But there are so many more.  Its a sad day when the adults are afraid to chastise the youth today because of fear of them hurting us.  I remember when I was coming up my elementary teacher Ms. Hill would pull my ears because I had a big mouth and was always running it.  My oh my when I saw her heading towards my desk I knew I was in for that ear to be pulled red.  My granny didn’t say a word because she knew Ms. Hill was making sure that I got my lesson.  We have moved away from this as a nation.  No one wants the teachers to discipline the children although they are at the school 8 hours a day.  Then when they get home we so tired or so occupied on facebook and other things that we don’t pay them any attention either.  So  you have these kids with hours of no chastisement, no structure, no discipline, but yet we expect them to be the next President Obama.  Probably not gone happen.  Even the bible says that Jesus Chastised those that he loved.

It’s in my heart to help young people.  They have so many options today.   Do you know that all children of all backgrounds and socio-economic status can attend Harvard??  When I was a child Harvard was not even in my vocabulary.  But look at our children today.  The sky is the limit.  Often times they don’t even know this. That is why the shoot for some dreams.  That is way they take the easy way out.   So someone must tell them.  How come we don’t have more lawyers, doctors, Accountant, Engineers, CEOs, CFOs, COOs?  Because we are not showing them how to get into these fields.  But we shower them with the latest video games, the latest clothes, we allow them to have all those stupid hair cuts, color in your hair.  People we must tighten our shot groups and take our kids back!!!  It’s too simple!!!

I believe that our youth are hurting for many reasons.  You have some that are from single parent homes, some have been molested by family members that they looked up too, some are intimidated by other kids being placed higher then them, some are jealous over material things, some have learning disabilities that we are overlooking, some are missing their fathers, some have drug habits, some were carried by parents that were doing drugs while they were in the womb.  So many other factors come into play.  Our  babies need help.  Some are adults now that never got the help that they needed.

The system is going to put them in jail, what will that solve?  Some are going to get the death penalty, what will that solve?  Some we will let just wither away, what will that solve?  I don’t know what to do and I don’t know all the answers.  All my life I’ve been a lover of numbers.  But I’m human and I hurt when I see my young people going through.  I don’t care what color they are.  I’m a soldier and I’m green.  I’ve lived all over the world and I love people.  I love children.  I’m telling you that they need love.  And more love and then some more love!!!  But they also need discipline, they need structure, we can’t be their friends.  That is clearly not working.

What are we going to do?  I don’t know so if someone wants to help me please let me know.  I can start by offering them The Sandra Parks School of Etiquette.  You can find us on line at http://www.sandraparksschoolofetiquette.com or call 972.838.0106

Magnificant Mondays!!!

For some Monday’s are dreaded days but for me its another Magnificant time to continue to prepare for success. See everyday that I’m allowed to see is another day for me to stay focused on what it is I want to do. My overall goal is to come out of corporate and make a living for me and my children on my own! Now don’t get me wrong corporate America is not a bad place. But it’s not what I want. I’m a carefree spirited person! I love to help others! I love the ability to just get up and go. I can’t take someone watching me go on lunch for a hour!!! UGH!!! But I’m not complaining!!!

At any rate let me encourage each of you to get out and explore! Dig deep down inside and figure out what it is you really like doing and step out on faith! Make sure you have paid off your bills though if you can. But go out and do what it is you really like doing. Even if it is the same thing that you are doing for your current employer do it for yourself! You can make much more and enjoy much more freedom doing it for yourself. It’s really not that hard. I’m a single parent of three and I enjoy doing my own thing!!

Stop by later on in the week and I’ll give you some more income tax information along with some much needed etiquette tips as well. 2010 is going to be a prosperous year for me and for you!!! Not making any new years resolutions either just speaking things into existence thats all.

Be blessed! You can look me up on facebook, LinkedIn, MSN Live or you can visit my website at www.sandraparksschoolofetiquette.com or www.saptaxes.net (coming soon) and one other project is coming soon too. You will hear about it really soon right here on my blog so stay tuned and keep coming back! I won’t disappoint you I promise. You can also reach me at 972.838.0106 or 972.569.7938.

As always be blessed!

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