Robin Kessler - Competency Speaker and HR Consultant

Using competency-based strategy

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and the world will soon be blind and toothless.”

Implied? Maybe there’s a better way to handle our conflicts and disagreements than plotting direct payback or revenge.

We know that managing our emotions is a big part of emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, there will also be people in our lives who decide to talk badly about us to others, even when we’ve done nothing to directly provoke them. When we find out, how do we handle it? Do we confront them or decide to ignore their bad behavior? Are we able to take comfort in the idea that they may be making themselves look mean-spirited to others?

One of my friends who offices down the hall told me he believes, “Like attracts like.” By responding the same way the other person did, we may simply be perpetuating the conflict.

How is this related to our personal and professional competencies? Consider making a commitment to improve your interpersonal skills and organizational awareness this year. Be more strategic with dealing with others, and be careful who we choose as a confidant or friend, especially at work.

I heard about someone who complained about how much money something was going to cost in front of a person she should have, strategically, been trying to impress. Remember that people have different values, especially about money, and not everyone finds complaining cute and clever.

But all of us can make the commitment to work on improving our response when people push our emotional buttons.  I recently took one of the online emotional intelligence quizzes and realized my score was 15-20 points higher than it had been four years ago when I took a similar test.

We can all get better at this by deciding that we need to do a better job of recognizing our emotions and consciously choosing our response, especially in work related situations that could provide evidence we are strong in key competency areas.

Urban dictionary

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2011 at 4:03 pm

During my communications class last Friday, one of my students told us about the site, I’m really impressed.

For most of us past a certain age, it is not always easy to stay current with the language. is a great resource to help us do that. I’ve always believed that it is important to keep learning, and to stay current with our language.

That doesn’t mean that we should always use all the words we know. I had my class laughing this morning when I asked them how ridiculous it is when a middle-aged woman like me uses words like “bling,”  which I understand is on the way out, or “ice,” which is the more current word to describe jewelry.

So here’s one example from  Regret Ceiling. That’s the point at which someone stops feeling remorseful about a thought, comment or action. So here’s the example, straight from the site, “I hit the regret ceiling last night regarding my comment toward Jody’s weight several weeks ago. Her fat ass just needs to get over it.”

Trying to improve our vocabulary shows initiative. It can also help us with our interpersonal skills

Please remember, though, to  be appropriate when you use examples from I don’t want to have to SMH, or shake my head, when you try to sound younger than you are.

Catching mice

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Summer is over. Time to get blogging again.

Between the weather, the economy, and politics, it is easy to allow ourselves to focus on things that are not within our control. Consider making some extra effort now to identify what can have the most impact on our future, our own careers. 

Stay focused on what you need to do. In one of his speeches, Deng Xiaoping quoted the old Chinese proverb, “It doesn’t matter whether it is a yellow cat or a black cat, a cat that catches mice is a good cat.”

Applying this idea to our own lives just makes sense. Being strategic, solving problems, and focusing on catching those mice is particularly important right now, when many of us are being impacted by the changes around us.

Do your research, or information seeking. Keep a results/achievement orientation. Use your organizational awareness to stay out of less critical interpersonal problems.

Be able to prove, through your accomplishments, that you are strong in key competency areas.

And try to avoid getting distracted by the politics we can’t control, the economy we can’t personally fix, or the drought or flood or earthquake or tornado we didn’t see coming.  Just handle it and get back to business.