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Great article on keeping a positive attitude

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Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:41 pm

Saw this article and thought it was very relevant to our discussions here!

Dave Jensen

https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2016/02/08/strategies-combat-pessimism-essay
"Failure is a bruise -- not a tattoo." -- Jon Sinclair
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Re: Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby Nate W. » Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:40 am

Thanks Dave for this wonderful article. It highlights the importance of watching what you say. Ever since the great recession in 2009, people tend to be awfully sensitive about any negative statements in an interview and are extremely reluctant to provide any referrals to those individuals who they don't know personally.

The last few interviews I have been on have only asked behavior questions; no questions were asked about my scientific training. Recently, I probably lost out on a sales position because I asked the manager what do you do when there is a significant downturn in NIH funding at a key account? He replied what do you mean. I replied the key account in this territory had its operating budget cut by 25% in 2012. Of note, I worked at this key account as a lab manager.

Lesson learned. Always keep it positive. If it requires a negative answer, just say "I don't know."
Last edited by Nate W. on Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby Yandorio » Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:18 pm

"Thanks Dave for this wonderful article. It highlights the importance of watching what you say."

I didn't think it was a wonderful article. In fact I thought it was
a load a crap, a lesson in conformity. I haven't heard anyone warn us to "watch what we say" since Ari Fleischer in 2001 or so, and look at how people frown on him and that grotesque administration he supported. Scary times. If anything we have a duty to speak out against the lousy career statistics in BioMed research and demand some changes. Many people have spoken out and if you have read "The Case of the Disappearing Postdocs" you realize undergrads these days are increasingly scared to go the science route, because jobs are scarce, in comparison to the increasing number of PhDs emerging from grad school.
http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2015/ ... g-postdocs

My thesis adviser sarcastically replied, “Thanks, Tom,” and immediately ended the conversation.


Your thesis advisor sounds like a moron. You were just stating a
fact. If he can't handle the cold hard truth he should have become a kindergarten teacher. If you were condemning the whole field
that would be another thing but you were just stating a fact.
It's rah-rah groupthink, obfuscation, fear, and poor planning that led to this crisis and it's time for honesty and changes, and from the looks of things it's finally starting to happen.
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Re: Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby D.X. » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:55 am

To the article, I can only say spot on, and totally applies throughout one's career.

Alot of it is about changing attitude, but alot of is having the Poise not to always speak or raise the Facts or truth, especially when negative. Always think about the People around you.

Also the author gives good advise on how to handle such things if one feels compelled, Humor. But to state something negative all the time, just puts you in a bad light. Others can interpretate things in a differ way. And it just Comes down to being politically saavy, with some elements of Empathy.

Especially during interviews. Take Nate's example, what was the Point of that question really? It could be interpretated that the hiring Manager didn't know his or her territory.

Later in career it becomes more important, because then you get a Reputation, next Thing you know, People don't want to work with you and worse case senario, you become in effective.

We all know the types, described in the article, the post-doc that complains all the time, citing statisics etc. etc. but we have them in industry too - maybe I'm one of them, but I don't blast all around, I Keep my complaining in small circles, why on earth do I want others to think I'm negative? Not politically saavy, or worse..no empathy?

Just my 2 Cents.

DX
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Re: Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby Nate W. » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:33 pm

D.X. wrote:Especially during interviews. Take Nate's example, what was the Point of that question really? It could be interpretated that the hiring Manager didn't know his or her territory.

Just my 2 Cents.

DX


DX, my concern was that sales goal might not be achievable given the territory and cuts in NIH funding at the key account. I knew many of the PIs at the key account who buy this piece of capital equipment. Of note, the territory didn't include hospitals and diagnostics companies in the area; other potential customers. I wanted to see if he was open to adding a few other accounts to the territory when asked about prospecting new accounts. I should have let it go but I am glad it didn't work out because I had reservations about the dependability of the manager; he told me that he would get back to me in a week after the interview and it took a phone call to the recruiter 4 months later to find out my status.

Whether it is an interview or as a fulltime employee, you have to be aware of the appropriateness and how you say state your comments when at work. Given the economy since 2008, managers are extremely sensitive to behavioral inclinations and the emotional intelligence of employees or potential employees. At times, the interview today seems like an psychological interrogation where the manager is trying to be an arm chair therapist. This was not the case early in my career in the late 90s. I have never seen a time when people are so sensitive about their career and helping others professionally.


So, today you have to be careful about what you say and how you comport yourself. You might have to be quite creative in how you engage others when asking for a favor in your job search. The only part of this article I don't entirely agree with is the idea of focusing on solutions not the problem. You can't provide an effective solution if you don't understand the problem especially when others might be too sensitive to discuss issues that are problematic.

Frankly, I wouldn't have been offended by Thomas's statement. However, I am not Thomas's PI.

I am curious if other forum members would have been offended by Thomas's statement, especially if you knew he was not a complainer. If so, why?
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Re: Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby D.X. » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:59 am

Nate W. wrote:


Whether it is an interview or as a fulltime employee, you have to be aware of the appropriateness and how you say state your comments when at work. Given the economy since 2008, managers are extremely sensitive to behavioral inclinations and the emotional intelligence of employees or potential employees. At times, the interview today seems like an psychological interrogation where the manager is trying to be an arm chair therapist. This was not the case early in my career in the late 90s. I have never seen a time when people are so sensitive about their career and helping others professionally.


So, today you have to be careful about what you say and how you comport yourself. You might have to be quite creative in how you engage others when asking for a favor in your job search. The only part of this article I don't entirely agree with is the idea of focusing on solutions not the problem. You can't provide an effective solution if you don't understand the problem especially when others might be too sensitive to discuss issues that are problematic.



Hi Nate,

You are correct in the first paragraph about behavioral elements being key in an interview. To be quite honest,nobody wants a behavioral Problem on their Team and employees must fit a Team culture. You can have the worlds best expert on a Topic of relevance on the team but if they can't get along with others, are negative, and Insult others, i.e they are egocentric moron, then we don't want them because then they are not effective in the Team they are in right?

I can tell you I had an amazing expert in my Team, nearly 10 years experience on my brand, one of the company's experts - but with my Team, behavior wise when I came on board, the person wasn't jiving with my new team, to make a Long Story short, that Person was removed from my Team, I couldn't care less about the Expertise, behavior wise the Person was ineffective and demonstratedly hindered Progress to my Team. Yes it was a loss of Expertise but the behavior was intolerable...to my Team. I probably wouldn't care if the Person was intolerable to me, but to my Team..absolutely not. And this is why we have such behavioral asessments.

Now pyschological interrogation, I own that Story. For one interview, as a part of my interivew process, the Company flew a pyschologist in from another Country to give me a day Long pyschological assessment, complete with case-studies and roll playing. I do think you are right, there is alot more emphasis on behavioral elements, but we've learned that having an effective Team is key to success, those who are behaviorally negative or don't have the right behavioral competencies Impact Business. Plain and simple.

With respect to your disagreement on being Solutions Focus, think about it this way, if you only focus on problems without a solution, you run a very very very high risk of being perceived as negative and a disrupter to a Team. If you don't come with a solution to a Problem you raise, then you do a disservce to yourself and to your Team. So you'll find in many company's alot of negative People, are the one who just Keep stating the Problems ....kinda like them post-docs mentioned in the article right? Being Solutions focused automatically supports a Problem exists and that some form of understanding, be in a prelimnary assessment, of a Problem has been considered, otherwise, you wouldn't have a solution. Get it?

Take home message, be Aware of all places where one can be perceived as negative. One won't get too far, no matter how much of an expert one is really - unless you have a noble prize under your belt, then maybe, do you? I don't. Little joke.

DX
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Re: Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby Rebecca Q. » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:29 pm

'In fact I thought it was
a load a crap, a lesson in conformity.'

I second that ... keeping a positive attitude has become the anthem of masses conditioned to behave reasonably ... a change that we need can only be made by individuals who are free to choose their own attitude ...
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Re: Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby Rich Lemert » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:25 pm

You are free to choose whatever attitude you wish.

You are NOT free to choose the reactions that your attitude generates in others.

Personally, I find antagonizing the person/people whose help I need to succeed in my task right from the start does not entice them to offer that help.
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Re: Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby RSD » Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:47 pm

On positive attitudes in science, I think there is a fine line between being a realist and being a pessimist. In my field (immuno-oncology), most of the big breakthroughs have been pushed through by individuals who fought for years against the chorus of "it will never work." For most biotechs and biotech products, any 4th year grad student can find a myriad of reasons why they should fail, and why the technology will never work, will never be profitable, etc., but inevitably some of these companies will succeed and put out amazing drugs and products.

Sometimes you need to swallow your doubts and push great ideas forward, or at least keep your mouth shut. Its easy to shoot holes in someone else's ideas, much harder and riskier to champion your own.
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Re: Great article on keeping a positive attitude

Postby RGM » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:00 pm

D.X. wrote:behavioral Problem on their Team
DX



C'mon DX, in industry there's no such thing as a "problem", only "challenges" ;)
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