This week, President Trump delivered his third State of the Union address.  Currently, social media is abuzz with various opinions on what he shared, how he delivered the message, and what the future of our country holds.  Although it is personally astonishing to me that many choose not to celebrate or acknowledge the fact we are in a much better place as a nation than we were three years ago, to those in the audience, it may seem to be merely an issue about political ideology, or their views of the President as a person.

Following the State of the Union address, the news media wasn’t focused on people seeing increases in their wages, a military hero reunited with his family, a 100-year-old three-war veteran being honored. our military being strengthened, victories in the fight against ISIS, or even the young girl who received a scholarship to attend the school of her choice.  Instead, they were focused on the President not shaking Nancy Pelosi’s hand and Nancy Pelosi’s behavior during and after his speech, including physically tearing up the document itself in front of the entire nation and world.

Every time a candidate completes an interview, we ask them to call and share how they believe it went and discuss their interest in the next moves forward.  We do the same with the hiring manager with whom they interviewed. Quite often we hear from one side that it went really well, to only hear from the other that they feel it did not.  We always ask for specifics as to how they arrived at their views.  Often the feedback is initially solely focused on how they feel or something they noticed about how the other party behaved.  Through discussion with both sides, we address the behavior to see if it was an anomaly due to some circumstance at the time, or if these parties would not align with their ideas of “what’s acceptable” irrespective of whether the skill, location, compensation and all other factors match or not.

One of my maxims repeated ad infinitum over the years is “if it is a red flag on the interview, it is usually a red room when they go to work there”. Similar to someone’s behavior irritating you when you are dating, how much do you think it will irritate you when you chose to live with them each day?

The good news about behaviors is that we can work on them.  We control our brains.  Your brain does not control you. My brain does not control me.  How we choose to think will affect the outcome of each situation.  This includes interviews, our overall careers, and the future of all our relationships.

Louise Evans has a Ted talk entitled “Own Your Behaviours, Master Your Communication, Determine Your Success”. She speaks to the different stages we all can grow through to get to the point where we master our communication and determine our success.  Louise uses the “analogy of the five chairs” to help us slow down and observe and shift our own behaviors for success.

Louise quotes Lincoln with his saying “I don’t like this man, I must get to know him better.”  I hope you will watch her eighteen-minute talk and find it helpful, as many people who have attended our coaching program on leadership and behaviors have.

The nation is watching behaviors right now from both sides of the aisle in Washington D.C. How their behaviors will ultimately affect not only the success of their careers but the future of their lives will play out in time with their choices, as it will with ours.

Louise ends her talk with a quote from Viktor E. Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

To Behavior adjustments in D.C. and in our own lives,

Suzanne Breistol


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