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The Gorilla – Ego In The Interview

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 15, 2013 in Executive Coaching, Interviewing Skills, Self Improvement, Thinking Positive

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Conflicts among gorillas are most often resolved by ritualistic displays intended to intimidate without becoming physical. These displays can include chest beating, ground stomping, and other showings of strength.

Gorilla-like behavior can surface under a wide variety of circumstances in the workplace. Perceived “threats” such as:
• authority being taken away
• new policies and procedures
• company reorganization

can cause the “gorilla” to emerge by making individuals feel self-doubt or under appreciated. Skill sets might be stretched into previously un-treaded territories, new responsibilities can trigger inner feelings of self-doubt, or the person isn’t feeling as challenged in a new role which they feel is beneath their abilities.

Consider this interview scenario; a management level person is participating in interviews where the new employee will become their peer. How will they view the interviewees if they are experiencing self-doubt about themselves and their own work?

It’s important to know as much about whom you are interviewing with and how your level of experience compares with them so you might be able to spot areas that would cause the interviewer to pound their chest and try to intimidate you. If you find yourself in this Gorilla’s cage, seek common ground where you can show how you will be a supportive experienced member of their team working towards a common goal.

But don’t be afraid to pound your chest a little in the interview. For example, I recently had a conversation with someone who had performed 4 general ledger systems conversions in his career and they were interviewing for a job that required that type of experience. Having successfully completed this work “only” 4 times before had left this person feeling that there were other, more qualified consultants in the world who perhaps had far more experience. The truth of the matter was, that in the interview setting they were the expert in the room because no one in that company had ever completed more than one system conversion. So, while you might suspect you aren’t the “most” experienced at something, it doesn’t mean you aren’t the most experienced person at that moment and, therefore, the immediate subject matter expert in the eyes of the hiring manager.

Be proud of your accomplishments and achievements. Prepare for every interview by researching the individuals you will be interviewing for and do a personal inventory of what you have made, saved, or achieved in the past and how your accomplishments will benefit your potential new employer in the future.

Have a bit of the gorilla’s confidence while steering clear of threatening territory!

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The Lioness or Tigress? – Woman in the Workplace

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jul 28, 2010 in Building Confidence, Self Improvement, Thinking Positive

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We’re called the fairer sex, but when it comes to the workplace, there are certainly no discriminations that favor the female of the species. You can count on looks for some jobs, but for the most part, it is talent and sheer tenacity that count. Look at the feminine aspect of the jungle, more specifically, the lioness and the tigress. Undoubtedly two of the most powerful creatures in the wild, these two females may belong to the same cat family, but they’re like chalk and cheese when it comes to their profession. So the question is – as a professional woman, are you a lioness or a tigress? How do you know which species you are?

The lioness is brave, audacious and single-minded; she hunts down her prey with precision and skill; and her family means more to her than anything else. She is loyal to the point of docility, a trait that shows in how she waits for the lion to eat her kill first, after which she and the cubs eat their share. So if you’re a lioness, you’re very good at your job, extremely committed to your organization, determined to be the best at what you do, and willing to go to any lengths to achieve your company’s goals. But on the downside, you don’t stake claim to your victories; rather, you allow your boss or immediate supervisor to garner the glory while you’re happy with the scraps they throw you. You don’t like the limelight, even when you know that you deserve to be in it. And you don’t mind staying in the shadow all your life, even though deep down you long for your place in the sun.

The tigress on the other hand is a beast that prefers solitude. While she’s protective of her cubs and willing to share her kill with them and the father, she does not take too kindly to other tigers from intruding on her turf. She is neither dependant on the tiger nor subservient to him. She decides if she wants to let him share the kill or not. So if you have a tigress in you, you’re a team player even as you still retain your individuality. You don’t brook any nonsense, from your coworkers or your superiors. You demand acknowledgement for your achievements, and you know that you can do anything as well as the male of the species, even though you’re smaller in size.

So now tell me, would you prefer to be a lioness or a tigress? The answer is obvious – so if you’re a lioness, it’s time you started morphing into a tigress. It’s not that hard if you set your mind to it – the basic characteristics are all similar, it’s just your attitude that needs to change. All you need to do is to take pride in what you do and stand up for your own rights at your workplace; demand what you deserve, be your own person instead of being content to stand a few steps behind other people, and you’re well on the way to becoming a regular tigress.

This guest post is contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topic of degree online. She welcomes your comments at her email id: anna.miller009 @gmail.com.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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