May 8, 2008

Can a Handshake Land You a Job?


I often travel to colleges and universities to speak about resumes, interviews and career skills. One the things I teach is the importance of the hand shake. Let's be honest here, folks. Nobody likes shaking hands with the limp noodle. The usual reaction for most people when I say this is to laugh. Yet, even though it may seem lightly entertaining, the reality is that your hand shake is a critical part of the first impression potential employers get of you. Now, a study that will be featured in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows us that your hand shake really can make a difference. Here is a snippet of the article featured on Livescience.com.

"If you're seeking employment, get a grip. A firm handshake is key to landing a job.

In a new study, scientists put 98 students through mock job interviews with businesspeople. The students also met with trained handshake raters who, unbeknownst to the students, rated their grips. Separately, the businesspeople graded each student's overall performance and hireability. The two group's scores were then compared.

Students who got high handshake marks were also rated most hireable."


To read the rest of the article, click here.

January 15, 2008

How Are You Doing on Your New Year's Resolutions?


Yes, yes, yes, January is unofficial resolution month, and approximately 40-45% of you out there have resolved to improve or change something in your lives.  So, why are resolutions such a big deal?  Well, it comes down to your overall chance of success. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions (46% success rate for resolvers versus only 4% for non-resolvers).  

So take for example, the most popular resolution of losing weight.  Let's say that you made an official resolution to lose 20 pounds in this new year.  Well, you have an almost 50% chance of meeting that goal this year.  Meanwhile, someone who just thought about losing 20 pounds, but didn't make a formal commitment to it, has a less than 5% chance of meeting the goal weight.  

That's a pretty big difference, and one that might make you think twice about making your resolutions official.  For some ideas on how to formalize your resolutions, click here.  

Source: 
Auld Lang Syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year's resolvers and nonresolvers, by John C. Norcross, Marci S. Mrykalo, Matthew D. Blagys , University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology, Volume 58, Issue 4 (2002).

January 11, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary: Inspiration to Reach Beyond Boundaries

1919 - 2008
You don't have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things - to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals. --Sir Edmund Hillary

After Peter Jackson, Sir Edmund Hillary is probably the next most famous New Zealander in the world. At 11:30 on the morning of May 29, 1953, he and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest, 29,028 feet above sea level, the highest spot on earth.

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. --Sir Edmund Hillary

As a result of the deep bond he developed with his Sherpa friend, Tenzing, Hillary also devoted much of his life to helping the Sherpa people through the Himalayan Trust, which he founded. He was also outspoken about the current attitudes of mountain climbers where they would be willing to leave people on the mountains to die in order to get to the top.

It is with great respect that this Diva commemorates the exceptional life of this Divus who inspired others to push beyond their personal boundaries, and who also showed us the value of true friendship.

May he rest in peace.