Honing New Habits In Four Easy Steps

  1. Identify and repeat behaviors that are working well for you at present.

Versus looking for things to fix about your poor or missing behaviors, try the reverse and look for things to repeat and re-apply about your positive behaviors.

For example, I, personally, get much more thinking and planning work done in the mornings.  This was an awareness of mine early in my career.  So, when I have planning or designing work to do, I get up early and schedule my planning, problem solving, designing and other computer work for mornings.  It helps me focus and concentrate for longer periods of time without becoming distracted.

This means my phone calls, colleague interactions, collaboration, meetings and physical work are scheduled for the afternoons and evenings.  This works for me because, I enjoy working with others and being with others, and they seem to be more available in the afternoons and evening than in the morning.

  1. Focus on strengthening one behavior at a time.

Don’t try to change every behavior at once.  You’ll burn out from the intensity required to stay focused on more than one behavior change at a time,

Behavioral change requires that you stay in the moment while consciously and intentionally focusing on how you are feeling, what you are doing, and the consequences or impacts of the behavior change you are undertaking.  This requires some insightful analysis on your part to determine if the behavior changes are achieving your desired outcomes.

Psychologists say that our behaviors are solidified based on the consequences achieved.  Are you satisfied with the consequences your re-applied behavior is achieving?  Only you will know.  Nobody else can tell you the answer.

So, exert some self-control and consciously focus to learn if your behavioral changes are really resulting in your desired outcomes.

  1. Identify triggers that initiate repetition of the behavior.

Trigger your awareness of the opportunity to use the new behavior by identifying times, situations, facial expressions, comments, people or events that could benefit from application of your new behavior.

For example, I identified the morning hours as the best time for me to work on mental/ cerebral projects.  So when 6:30 am came along, I consciously and intentionally sat down at my desk to work on these types of projects.  Secondly. I triggered focusing on these types of projects by listing a couple of them in my calendar as morning projects.  Together, these two triggers helped me remember and focus on applying my new behavior.

After a few weeks, I found that I automatically scheduled my mental and thinking projects for the morning and set my clock earlier to wake me so I could work on these projects.  As a consequence, I felt good about what I was accomplishing, and eventually incorporated these triggers into my daily routine.

Others use specific meetings they attend as triggers to apply and practice a new behavior such as asking more questions, or interjecting possibility thinking, or giving positive feedback, etc.  They initially trigger these behaviors by scheduling them in their calendars every time the meeting is scheduled.  Others have asked a buddy (who is also in the meeting) to remind them of their desired behavior.  One friend, wrote on a sticky note and posted it on his computer; “Turn off email notification until after 10:00 am”.  He reinforced a positive behavior that helped him focus to get important and critical work done earlier in the day.

Triggers are identified and implemented in order to remind and assure us that we practice the behavior until it becomes a habit based on the positive consequences recognized from using it.

  1. Build new habits through repetition.

If the consequences of the behavior you are focused on are positive for you, repeat them, schedule them, improve them, and discipline yourself to continue using them.

As you develop trust and confidence in yourself to reapply the behavior, you will find that you spend less time focusing on the new behavior.  It has become more comfortable and familiar because it is delivering to your expectations; and you like the outcomes of repeating the use of it.

The behavior has become a habit and requires very little maintenance to be sustained.

Congratulations!!!!!  You have honed a new habit!!

Call or email me with your success stories!!  Chad@cookconsulting.biz or 330-329-3137.

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Military Talent Employer Certification Available – Free

NEOVETS is Hosting Free Workshops focused on Best Practices for Recruiting Veteran Job Seekers

A Certified Military Talent Employer (CMTE) Application Workshop 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, May 20 Lorain County Community College Elyria, Ohio.

Get hands-on assistance to help businesses complete and submit an application for the CMTE certification, one of the first programs of its kind in the nation.

CMTE signals to veteran job seekers that the employer welcomes and understands them, providing employers a competitive edge in recruiting top-quality talent for their businesses.

Go to www.neovets.org and click the date to register.

May 27, 2016 Certified Military Talent Employer (CMTE) Conference 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lakeland Community College Kirtland, Ohio.

This audience-driven educational and training conference with sessions covering topics from military branches, rank, and training; compensation and benefits; case studies and best practices; legal concerns; and introduction of the “Certified Military Talent Employer” certification process.

Click the date on our website www.neovets.org to register

A third Certified Military Talent Employer Conference & Workshop will be held at Cuyahoga Community College June 10th from 10 a. m. to 2 p. m.  Visit our webs for registration, www.neovets.org

For more information on either the conferences or workshops, call NEOVETS at (440) 521-1137, or visit our site at www.neovets.org

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Engaging Millennials

It had to happen eventually and now it has. The Millennials are finally beginning to understand what really matters. Recently Futurestep, the RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) arm of Korn Ferry released a study detailing the new Millennial attitudes. They used to value money over all of the other aspects of employment. Now, Millennials are “placing greater value on understanding what a company stands for and how, as employees, they can play a role in growing the organization into a better, stronger brand”.

For the purposes of this study, the company defined Millennials as everyone born after 1980, actually lumping the next generation (The Homelanders/Generation Z) into the mix—which may explain why the results turned out as they did. (We typically define the Millennials as those born 1980 to 1997; and the next generation, we define as those born 1998 and later.)

What Matter Most to Millennials

The study “highlighted the top considerations for attracting and retaining Millennial employees and recruits”.* When asked what matters most to employees who are part of the Millennial generation the greatest number of respondents (23 percent) said it was ‘the ability to make an impact on the business’, followed by ‘a clear path for advancement’ (20 percent) and ‘development and ongoing feedback’ (16 percent). Income came in at fourth place at only 13 percent.

What Influences their Employment Decisions

When executives were asked “what makes Millennials ‘choose one job over another’, more than a third (38 percent) said ‘visibility and buy-in to the vision of the organization’ while 28 percent said ‘a clear path for advancement’. ‘Job title and pay’ came in third place at 18 percent.”

Best Tactics for Millennial Recruitment

Moreover, the survey revealed that 42 percent of respondents believe social media is the best tactic for recruitment, followed by ‘word-of-mouth/networking’ (28 percent) and online talent communities (19 percent).

What These Results Mean for Employers

Trish Healy, Futurestep vice president of RPO Operations in North America said it best, “This research demonstrates the changing priorities of today’s young workforce”. Wise employers will take these new priorities to heart and recruit on social and mobile platforms. They will also build these new Millennial priorities into their onboarding processes, clearly communicating opportunities for development and advancement. ###

* It is important to note that Futurestep asked executives for these answers, not the Millennials themselves.

To read the entire survey results, visit http://futurestep.com/press/futurestep-survey-finds-compensation-one-least-important-factors-recruiting-millennial-talent/

Guest post from “The Herman Trend Alert,” by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3547 or http://www.hermangroup.com.

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The Millennial (GenY) Mindset & Future Implications

The New Employee Mindset™ & What It Means for the Future

As the Millennial Generation (or Gen Y) ages, they are becoming increasingly important in the workplace. They are moving into positions of responsibility and becoming more valuable to their employers.

Growing Gap between Expectations and Offerings

Unfortunately, there is a growing gap between Millennial expectations and what their employers are actually offering. This gap is having a negative impact on the engagement and retention of this generation, and is likely one of the primary reasons why Millennials will be looking for new opportunities in 2015.


In a recently released study from Aon Hewitt titled Inside the Employee Mindset™, we saw that the qualities that differentiate employers were as follows:

  • Fun place to work
  • Flexible work environment
  • Innovative
  • Good fit with my values
  • Provides stimulating work
  • Financially successful/market leader.

The Improvements Millennials are Looking For

To increase their overall engagement or satisfaction, the areas Millennials would most like to see improved in their current workplace were:

  • Pay and benefits (51 percent)
  • Good career or development opportunities (39 percent)
  • Performance recognition (38 percent)
  • Open/complete communication (34 percent)
  • Flexible work environment (33 percent)
  • Fun (30 percent)
  • Having a strong management and leadership team (30 percent).

Job Hopping Ahead in 2015

The data suggest that employees are feeling overworked and hampered by rigid systems/processes and limited resources. They want to feel appreciated for their efforts and successes, see opportunities to advance, and be more involved in the workplace, while having ample time for their personal lives—in short, they want a more “human” workplace.

“Beyond wanting competitive pay and benefits, Millennials expect to feel appreciated for their efforts, see opportunities to advance, be more empowered in the workplace, and also have the flexibility to balance their lives at work and home.” The lack of these aspects contributes to the statistic that 43 percent of Millennials plan to actively look for a new job in 2015.

Wise employers will take these findings to heart, changing the ways they are working with their Millennials, particularly their high potentials. By giving the Millennials what they are looking for, these smart employers will be able to reduce the number of employees leaving and beat the odds.   

Special thanks to Aon Hewitt; their study examined the differences of employee preferences and expectations across three of the generations, including Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. To read the full survey report, click here.

From “The Herman Trend Alert,” by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3547 or http://www.hermangroup.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc.”

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How Leaders Maximize the ROI From Development Investments

Leaders who provide development opportunities for others in the form of coaching, training, stretch assignments, reading, benchmarking, mentoring, schooling, etc. have an opportunity to improve and encourage retention and application of the learning through their pre-, during and post-behaviors of support.

When providing training, articles, books, benchmarking, schooling and any other form of development that takes place away from the performance environment; try the following:

  • Before the development event (approximately one week ahead of it) meet with the participant and discuss what he expects to receive from the training and how he intends to apply it to his work.  Support him with ideas, options, and thoughts in an open exploration of possibilities.  Capture commitments for re-visitation after the event and schedule a time to meet upon his return.
  • Before and during the development event meet with the provider or instructor and volunteer your time to participate and deliver portions of the session that relate directly to work.  Be the model, exemplar and teacher.
  • Immediately after the event meet with the participant and review what she learned, if it met her expectations and how she intends to apply the learning on the job.  Schedule a follow-up session to determine how the work applications fared; what worked well and what she could do differently to assure the next application of the learning works better?  Assure the participant that application failure is expected when applying new knowledge and skills on the job and that you expect it or she isn’t stretching enough.
  • Daily, (as frequent as possible) provide feedback through recognition of work applications, expressing interest in work applications, demonstrations of caring about his work applications, etc.
  • Weekly follow-up to determine the impact the development event had on the participants’ performance is necessary.  Provide feedback, reinforcement and coaching as needed to demonstrate you care about her successful application of the learning.
  • After a few weeks of application and honing of the new learning, ask the participant to prepare a brief lunch session where she will present the learning and application options to others in your group.  Ask that it be designed with a clean, succinct presentation, an open dialogue focused on what was easy to implement and what some of the limiters and barriers were to application.  Coach her to share the impact and benefit derived from the application of the new learning.

Leaders who deliver coaching and stretch assignments as on-the-job development could follow a similar approach to pre-, during and post-development support for improving the return-on-Investment from their investment of budget, time and mindshare.

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Cook Consulting

Chad Cook is a Professor of Organizational Behavior, Team Building, Leadership, Staffing & Development, Career Assessment, Analysis, Planning and Deployment at Baldwin Wallace University’s Masters Program, and partners with Bright Side, Inc. Consulting Firm.

He feels your pain and understands what the best, most productive path could be to make your work environment more pleasant and profitable. Behavioral strategy, career coaching, executive coaching, executive team development, succession planning/management, strategic planning and deployment, leadership change and human resource development are a few of his specialties.

Accelerating organizational and personal performance, executive and personal coaching, organization assessment, along with design and development are his favorite areas of expertise.

With skills in executive consulting and coaching focused on organizational change and transitions, strategic planning and deployment, mergers and acquisition integration, succession planning and management, executive development, organizational assessment, organization re-design, executive team development, and leadership development.

Past Experience

Chad logged over thirty years of experience in two major Fortune 100 companies in operational and strategic roles, before establishing his own business. For the past ten years he has been partner and president of two consulting firms.

Some of his past work experiences included sales leadership, store management, customer service, finance, human resources, training, organization development and sales training, organization assessment and development, human resource development, strategic planning and deployment, global leader development, lean strategies, innovation, SBU design and development, business team performance and acquisition management.

Geographic Area
Although Chad’s preferred geographic area is Akron, Cleveland, Canton, Fairlawn, Medina, Independence, Wooster, Columbus, Youngstown, Dayton, Cincinnati, Richfield, and North East Ohio, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Morgantown West Virginia, he does travel where needed.

Chad also does:
Career Training, Business & Leadership Consulting, Employee Commitment, Non-verbal Communication, Executive Development, Executive Team Development, Leadership Academies, Personal Leadership Development, Executive Communication, Mergers & Acquisition Integration, Succession Planning & Management, Individual & Organizational Assessment, Training & Development, Strategic Planning Models, Performance Coaching, Strategic Coaching, Focus & Leadership, Implementation & Deployment, Communication, Personal Growth, Leadership Coach, Student

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