Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Kisses on the bottom - A good degree is not enough -Positive Mental attitude is back in vogue.

Paul McCartney’s album, “Kisses on the Bottom”  was released on the 7thof February This is his 16thSolo album. It has met with critical acclaim. It was given 4 stars by the Daily Mirror “This sweetly conceived tenderly sung collection of classics such as Paper Moon and Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate The Positive ( track 7) is his finest album in years.”

The chorus line in Harold Arlen 1944 song with Johnny Mercer’s lyric’s “Accentuate the positive” goes

...You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between..
In 1998, a specialist in Strengths Psychology, Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003), along with Tom Rath and a team of scientists at Gallup, created the online StrengthsFinder assessment.

In 2004, the assessment's name was formally changed to Clifton Strengthsfinder in honour of its chief designer. Based on a 40-year study of human strengths, Gallup created a language of the 34 most common talents and developed the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to help people discover and describe these talents. From the book there is an access code to go on-line and complete the questionnaire and print out your report.

"Hide not your talents.
They for use were made.
What's a sundial in the shade?"
-- Benjamin Franklin

Gallup brought out a version specifically for Strengths-Based-Selling
After discovering their talents through the StrengthsFinder assessment, readers will learn to use their strengths in every step of the sales process, including how to:
· measure cold calling success, and improve contact and conversation rates
· determine when to walk away from the wrong customer
· become a partner to customers, not just a vendor
· improve negotiating and closing strategies
· make the most of the honeymoon period with a new customer
· turn satisfied customers into engaged customers
I went on line for Strengthfinder 2.0 some time ago and have found the method very helpful. It 'revealed' my natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving. It suggested that I should focus on time practising these 'talents', developing my skills and building my knowledge base. It gave a useful set of ideas for action and an action plan template.
Clifton Strengthfinder 2.0 states, Hugh Alford's top 5 themes are
Input, Adaptability,Developer, Connectedness and Restorative

Another popular tool is CAPP’s Realise 2 which identifies 60 strengths according to three axis model ( dimensions) energy, performance and use.
The data from CAPP’s completed questionnaire is used to identify where candidates strengths lie across four categories  
1. Their realised strengths,
2. Their unrealised strengths,
3. Their learned behaviours
4. and their weaknesses.
Ernst and Young ( E &Y) were reported in the London Evening Standard Tuesday 14th February 2012, to look for relationship development and problem solving as key attributes that they look for in their graduate trainees.
Those finally selected also demonstrate determination and resilience and are able to work hard and thrive in difficult situations.
E & Y need to know that their trainees are going to be able to cope if they are sent halfway across the world to work on a client project.
Coincidentally the attributes they look for in their trainees who may not be seen in the conventional sense as salespeople are key to the selling profession.
E & Y released the results of a survey of 1,000 students where it was attitude that was valued by E & Y more than a good degree. The survey of over 1000 UK students was devised by the Centre of Applied Positive Psychology CAPP and tested for employability skills.
Ernst & Young – Capp designed, developed and delivered  a capability for building strengths-based graduate recruitment across the business, including the development of Realise2 Lite as a graduate attraction tool.
Ernst & Young is a major graduate recruiter in the UK, and as one of the ‘Big Four’ professional services firms, is recognised as being a top place to work for many graduates. Notwithstanding this natural attraction of candidates to the firm.
To continue to attract the most talented and motivated people to join them, their graduate recruitment offering  has to be fresh and appealing for the emerging Generation Y of graduate talent. ( E and Y 's slogan is Quality in everything we do)
E& Y ‘s head of graduate recruitment stated that they interview over 3,000 bright graduates each year but only 25% have the all-round skills set that they recruit for.
 CAPP developed Realise2 Lite, a bespoke version of Realise2 that was tailored specifically to assess the 16 strengths required by Ernst & Young in their graduates.
Graduates who complete Realise2 Lite (it  costs less than £20) then  automatically receive a short feedback report detailing their Realised and Unrealised Strengths. They can then use this self-insight to improve their employability and to help them in their own career development decisions, through having a greater insight, awareness and language to talk about their strengths.
CAPP however stress that their Realise2 Lite is not used as part of any selection process for Ernst & Young, but purely as an attraction marketing tool.
But the top five skill sets were:-
· Pride in their work
· Problem solving
· Being true to themselves
· Building relationships
· And having a sense of humour
The five weakest were
· Resilience
· Time optimisation
· Showing courage overcoming their fears
· Taking risks
· Making themselves the centre of attention
“ a good degree from a respected university no longer guarantees students a job”
says E & Y's Stephen Isherwood.
Although 83% of students interviewed were confident about achieving their career aspirations, Stephen warned graduates against becoming complacent.
Students need to stay focused on what they are good at and develop their experience around these core areas, rather than trying to cover all bases. This in turn will help to build confidence in their abilities and improve their levels of resilience,’ warned Alex Linley, the director of CAPP.
CAPP’s Student completions which are in excess of 1,000 per month for Realise2 Lite, with over 18,000 students having completed the tool in the first 18 months since it was launched
There has been significant website and social media traffic through the graduate recruitment portal, driven by referral and recommendation of the various strengths activities, including Realise2 Lite
Differentiated student engagement at campus events through the strengths focus of Ernst & Young’s graduate recruitment campaigns is supported through Realise2 Lite
Differentiated employer brand and graduate attraction has been achieved, through positioning Ernst & Young as a graduate employer where you will be recruited for your strengths
Reaise 2  provides enhanced graduate employability through providing all graduates who complete the tool with increased insight and self-awareness of their strengths, together with a language of strengths that they can use on their CV and at interview.

Further reading

Strengths Based Selling
Authors: Tony Rutigliano and Brian Brim
Gallup Press: 2011
 220 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59562-048-4

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