What To Read When

Blogging is an interesting animal.  Once you do it for awhile and have some readers, you start to get pitched different ideas, products, and books to review and write about.  Everyone knows that I don’t typically do that on this blog.  If I do recommend a book, it’s because it’s one that I bought or received as a gift from a friend with no expectation that I’ll write about it.  Well, a couple weeks ago, I was approached about a book called ‘What To Read When‘.  Actually, the PR person wanted me to review a business book and she had read on my blog that I have six year old twins and she suggested this book too.  It is written by another client of hers, Pam Allyn.

By Pam Allyn

While it’s targeted at parents, I want to share it here because I think there is a HR twist to it.  So, I want to be completely honest in my assessment.  When it arrived, I looked at the cover and thought…..wow, I don’t think that cover would have ever caught my attention in a bookstore.  I slowly flipped through the book and immediately found that the inside was much more compelling.  Touted as a book of what to read to your children, it is so much more.

Pam begins by painting a picture of what reading can do to open up a child’s mind.  How vivid the colors, sounds, smells, and other senses become as we read aloud.  There is a comforting quality as well as a teaching component when we read to a child.  Hearing the words tumble off our lips and into the growing mind of the child.  And it doesn’t stop there.  I still love when someone reads to me.  It can be anything, so if you ever want me to really like you, just pull me aside and sit me down and read to me.  And it’s not just me.  Only a couple months ago, Jason Seiden vlogged about how he loves being read to.  But, I digress.

The next section of the book is great because it breaks down year by year different types of books to read to the child at a specific age.  The age range is birth to age ten.  I can tell you as a parent this will be a helpful resource for me as my children grow because I want to make sure that what they read is appropriate for their age.  The last section of the book is my favorite.  Pam covers 50 themes ranging from topics like adoption, bullying, courage, divorce, coping with illness, and making mistakes.  I recently had a friend go through a divorce and she said she couldn’t find many books to help her kids.  With this resource, it would be easy to quickly have a list of books that address that theme.

From an HR standpoint, wouldn’t it be great if we had a list of resources like this for the major topics that our employees face?  Does anyone know if something like that already exists?  If so, let me know.

Thank you to Jill Daniel and Pam Allyn for asking me to read the book.  I encourage you to check out ‘What to Read When’ and add it to your list of great parenting resources.  For today, why don’t you share YOUR favorite kids book with me in the comments. Mine is still Goodnight Moon.

Voice Mail Etiquette

I was not going to post today but sometimes I think my blog is a good place to admit some of my shortcomings so that I stop repeating them.  Today is one of those days.  It’s been a crazy couple weeks with heavy workload, travel, training, and HRevolution planning at night.  ALL THINGS I LOVE and am happy about doing.  Truly.  The type of work I’m doing is really keeping me challenged so I love that.  The travel I’ve done has taken me to some conferences where I learned a lot and also spent some quality time with friends.  The training was at work and revolved around advanced skills in change management.  Again, something I was thrilled to participate in.  And HRevolution, the passion I have for that is not easily measured.

So, today is the first time I’m able to catch up on my Google Reader.  I’ve read some great posts and I’m commenting, sharing on Twitter and via Google Reader.  But I just read one that cut me.  Right to the bone.

It may not be written with me in mind, but it may be.  You see, my friend Jason Seiden posted this week about ‘How to Leave a Voice Mail‘.  You MUST go read it and watch his quick video. The reason it could be for me is that I am guilty.

I am guilty of leaving long, rambling voice mail messages for Jason.

I’ve done it for others.

I need to stop.

In my defense, I think I do it when I know I’ve not had the opportunity to connect with the person and I just go on and on.  Ask anyone who knows me, I do this bad habit.  It’s MY baggage.

So, now you know.  And, now I’m challenged to improve because if the next message I leave for you is long and rambling, YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO CALL ME OUT ON IT.

Do you do this too?

When Teamwork Really Happens

“Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success.” ~Henry Ford

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” ~ Michael Jordan

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.  The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives.  It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” ~Dale Carnegie

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” ~Kenyan proverb

Crimson Studios 2007Today, I am thankful for all the sticks in my bundles and teamwork is on my mind.  There are a couple things in my life right now that are reinforcing the importance of a strong team.  One is work, the other is personal.  From a work standpoint, you may know that I am still relatively new in my position at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  And, while there are many things there that continue to impress me, the teamwork here really stands out.  Never before have I felt such a strong pull of a team.  Sure, we all hear the lip service about being on a team, but have you ever REALLY experienced it?  I’m not sure I have.

Until now.

What are the elements I view as critical to being a team?

  • Mission– Working with a group of people who have clear mission and who actively keep each other on track by ensuring we provide service that clearly links to the mission
  • Communication–  Open lines of communication and knowing your opinion will be heard
  • Respect–  Acknowledging the experiences of individual members and embracing them

The other team I am on is personal….my HRevolution 2010 team.  Working with Ben Eubanks, Jason Seiden, Crystal Peterson, Steve Boese, Mark Stelzner, and Joan Ginsberg is wonderful.  Each of us volunteers our time to work together toward the common mission of pulling together an event for you~ the HR and recruiting professionals we want to interact with.  If you’re reading this blog, HRevolution is for YOU.

And, much like a work team or athletic team, the HRevolution team is focused.  We’ve got our goal, we communicate every day, and we have the utmost respect for each other and the strengths and abilities each individual brings to the table.  It’s a great feeling to be part of that.  And, we want YOU to be part of that.  Be sure to check out the HRevolution 2010 registration site and register for the event on May 7- 8, 2010.  Tickets are going fast.  Also, if your company is interested in sponsoring HRevolution 2010, let me know via e-mail at trisham89@hotmail.com.

So tell me, are you part of a great team?  Who are the “sticks in your bundle”?  It can be work-related or personal.  Share your story, tell us how it works, inspire us in the comments.