As President of IHD Corporation, a leader in pre-screening and personnel development for 28 years,

Leroy Hamm has written popular human resources articles on a variety of HR topics.

ARTICLES BY IHD

Assertiveness

A mind-set that leads to achievement.

 

Years of frustration from living in a “prison of passivity” led me to write this article. Saying “yes” to decisions and people when I should have said “no” left me living with some very negative consequences — in some cases for years afterward. The internal struggle of feeling powerless in some situations and of being tentative in circumstances that required honest, direct communication left me ultimately with a choice: Learn how to communicate more effectively, or stay locked in my ineffective, self-made prison. I had to learn to be more assertive.

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Conflict Resolution

Understanding Human Behavior to Resolve Conflict in Your Workplace.

 

The hope of every relationship is to keep conflict to a minimum; but once you find yourself  in a polarized “us vs. them” or  “me vs. you” mind set, the challenge is stepping out of the conflict and looking at conflict in terms of interests versus position.  Keeping mutual interests in focus is paramount to resolution of conflict. A domestic conflict which focuses on mutual interests, such as the children’s needs being met, is more productive than a positional perspective where demands come from who gets what. As a  business partner, associate or employee,  if I make judgments about  you from a positional perspective,  then you are a threat to me.

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Five Factors of a Healthy Relationship

 

In observations made in one-on-one sessions over a twenty-seven-year period, I have had the opportunity to discuss each of their close and personal relationships. These reviews have brought me to the following conclusions that outline the basic makeup of healthy relationships. In over 95% of the one-on-one sessions conducted in a twenty-seven-year period, participants have said that their spouse had the opposite temperament. Some call temperaments by other names such as personality types or behavioral styles. The old adage “opposites attract” certainly holds true in the case of temperaments since building a relationship with a person who has the same pattern as yours can, by nature, cause either boredom or conflict.

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How to Sell to the Temperaments

 

Have you ever noticed that there is just a chemistry between some  people and it is awkward at best with others? When my brother, who was over sales and marketing with Sherwin Williams Co. for thirty four years, was  asked why he thought people "bought," he said, "For the most part,  I buy from people I like." It only makes sense that the success or failure of a salesperson in selling to a prospective client is the result of his knowledge of people as well as his knowledge of the product. Mistakes in this "relational" area are made every day and  often without the salesperson even knowing the real reason for losing the sale. The following is an overview of the fundamental differences in people and what motivates them to buy. Suggestions are given on how to create a comfort level with the prospective client.

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Interview Skills for Employers/Managers

 

Hiring new employees is a gamble. However, you can increase your odds in hiring by creating an effective system of recruiting, interviewing, and selecting the right person for the right position. It is interesting that many companies have systems for accounting. sales or operations but nothing for hiring. Have you ever hired someone who turned out to be a total disappointment? Often, poorly performing new hires are the result of poor discipline in executing the interview process. Most people, especially sales managers, view job candidates through rose-colored glasses. They base their decision more on wishful thinking than on an objective set of criteria. Using an interviewing system  allows you to not only ask consistent job-related questions but it also helps you continuously improve your interviewing process.

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Negotiating and the Temperaments

 

Understanding the basic differences in others can make a big difference in how you relate to the opposing side. The idea that “one size fits all” puts you at a disadvantage with those who know how to adjust their negotiating style to work effectively with others to get what they want. Negotiating with a knowledge of temperaments reveals that enthusiasm does not work for everyone.  High D’s, for example, are not necessarily impressed with your attempt to enthuse them and don’t want to know who all your clients are and your stories.  Just give them the facts to help them save time and make decisions. You will hear them use words like “Cut to the chase,” “Just give me the bottom line,” and  “How will this help us reach our goals?”  You must be ready to answer these questions using their  language.

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Improving Your Odds in Interviewing

 

Have you ever hired someone who turned out to be a total disappointment? Hiring new employees is a gamble. However, you can increase your odds in hiring the right person for the job by creating an  effective system of recruiting, interviewing, and selecting the right person for the right position.  Often, poorly performing new hires are the result of poor discipline in executing the interview process.  The purpose of this article is to give you a few ideas in developing a system that will improve the  consistency of hiring quality people who have both the ability and willingness to do the job. Most people, especially sales managers, view job candidates through rose-colored glasses. They base  their decision more on wishful thinking than on an objective set of criteria. Using an interviewing system  allows you to not only ask consistent job-related questions but it also helps you continuously improve  your company’s interviewing process.

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Understanding Temperaments in the Retail Environment

 

Retail sales requires a selling knowledge and skill set that is quite different from the skills of a salesperson presenting a product or service that requires long-term relationship building, as in financial planning or insurance.  At Starbucks Coffee Shops, for example, I have noticed that the behavior of people at the counter can reveal their  fundamental purchasing needs. In the sale of a commodity, especially where service is a part of the exchange or interaction, the salesperson who is able to recognize the basic differences in customers can increase his or her odds in improving his “serve” if he fine tunes his people skills with a better understanding of the basic temperaments.

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Pre-Employment Testing

 

The U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics indicates that half of all new employees stay in their jobs for less than six months. Some are promoted, but the majority of new employees quit or get  fired. The cost of a new hire at the $20,000 level is estimated to cost $40,000. These costs include wasted salary, benefits, severance pay, headhunter fees, training costs, hiring time, and  wasted business opportunities. Not only are hiring mistakes costly, they are time consuming. One way to hedge against the extraordinary costs of bad hires is to use effective pre-employment testing.  The reason that companies like Kraft, General Mills and Tandy Corp. (Radio Shack) use mental aptitude  and personality dimension testing is that they want to minimize hiring  mistakes, as well as resolve conflict within the organization, build teams and retain people. With an eye on what companies can do to help improve their DNA makeup, we will take a look at the benefits of  these tests.

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Gossip & Passive/Aggressive Behavior in The Workplace

 

The eighteenth century English author, Robert Burns, is quoted as saying, "The best laid schemes of mice  and men oft go astray." Many a man's or woman's best laid schemes, fondest dreams and greatest hopes  have been dashed by the insidious poison of gossip. Organizations have been torn asunder by gossip.  Gossip, in its most malicious form is attacking a person in a forum in which he is not present to defend himself. In its more subtle form, gossip can be defined as "casually sharing detrimental information with  others who are neither part of the problem nor part of the solution." Gossip creates rumors that, if left unchecked, take on a life of their own. During World War II the U.S. Armed Forces printed posters warning that "Loose lips sink ships." Many an organization's ship has been sunk by idle (or not so idle) gossip.

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The Characteristics of a Purchasing Agent

 

If the job of a purchasing agent is simply to maintain inventory, then “stocking part X and buying part Y only when needed” can be taught. However there is much more to being a top performing purchasing agent than only that which can be taught. A top purchasing agent has to have certain inherent characteristics that substantially increases his or her value to the company. Some of those characteristics are the same as in top salespeople. That should come as no surprise since the salesperson is selling a product or service and the purchasing agent is selling his idea of the value of that product or service.

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IHD Corporation, 1901 Central Drive, Suite 710, Bedford, TX 76021.

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