For Women & Co. by Mercedes Cardona, OMH Communications
Once a year, you probably have to sweat out the annual employee performance review. And, if your employer is doing it right, it’s not only when you find out how much of a raise you’re getting, but where you stand and where you’re going in your career.

A glowing performance review is always a good experience, but a negative one doesn’t have to be a setback. You can turn a bad review into an opportunity to grow and improve your career if you handle it the right way. “Plenty of highly successful performers have had a not-so-stellar review at some point in their career,” says Nancy Sherr, life coach and owner of A Zestful Life in New York.

The first priority is to stay calm and objective—a tall order after hearing negatives about yourself, but it’s important if you’re going to be constructive going forward. “By handling the interaction in good form, you’ll illuminate your ability to remain professional in what may be a challenging situation,” Sherr says. “Becoming defensive, argumentative, angry, or sobbing will not lead to a positive outcome.”

The easiest way to remain calm is not to respond right away. Most employers will give you a copy of your performance review in writing for your records, so sit with it and really pay attention to the critique. Then, ask your supervisor to explain what his or her expectations are: What exactly would have earned you a good review on each point?

“Let it sink in,” says Linda Wright of Wright Co-Active Coaching. “A lot times if you’re handed a bad review, you see it as: ‘You’ve done poorly and everything is wrong.’ Well,” she points out, “that may not be the case. It may be one area where you need to work.”

How to respond is another issue. Experts disagree on whether to contest the substance of the review. Unless you have some specific achievements you want to point out that were overlooked, arguing that the criticism is unfair can be counterproductive. After all, it is based on the impressions of your supervisor about how you perform within the company.

It is a good idea, however, to set up a time to sit with your supervisor and develop a plan to work on the weak spots that were mentioned in the review. “Everyone is not super-duper at everything,” says Robin Samora, president of Let’s Make You Shine. “It’s a good idea for the supervisor to be able to expand on your strengths and offer suggestions for things they think you can do. You can also ask what development programs are available in the company.”

A negative performance review doesn’t have to be a setback.

If you’re told you’re having trouble expressing yourself or participating at meetings, you can ask if the company will help you join a training group such as Toastmasters. If it’s technical or language skills, maybe your boss can help you line up training or classes. The bottom line is: You need to own up to the trouble spots and offer ways to improve.

During the performance review, listen carefully and ask questions, but frame them in a positive manner: “What would have been a better solution?” is better than “What would you rather have had me do?” A good manager will perceive your interest and focus as a good sign, says Sherr.

Samora recalled once in her twenties when she got a 2% raise that she felt was smaller than she deserved. So she set up a meeting, asked her boss to reconsider, and she not only got a bigger raise, but a confidence boost, as well. “There’s always a nice way to say everything, even when it’s unpleasant,” she says. “You have to be able to stand up for yourself.”

Wrap up your meeting by setting up a timeframe to check in again with the boss to ask about your progress. Regular check-ins should be a part of your routine, anyway.

Negative reviews rarely come out of left field, say experts. If they do, it can be a sign that there’s something wrong in the workplace or how you fit into it. If that’s the case, you need to take inventory and decide how to move on. It can be asking for a transfer to another department—or maybe starting a job search.

“You can tell if the supervisor is willing to work with you or not,” says Wright. “If they gave you a bad review and just want to get rid of you, you’re going to know that.”

Many of you don’t know that I am a beekeeper, and ‘tis the season, right now when bees are a buzzin’.

Between life and business, my schedule is pretty busy so I’m fortunate to have the help of a friend, Danny, who helps care for my bees. Just this week, I asked him a question; “What do bees and business have in common?” and was really surprised at the Zen-fulness of his answer.

Q: What do bees and business  have in common?”

A:  “Robin, with honey bees, the bottom line is success of the hive.  They are goal-oriented with an understanding that no job is too small in achieving success.  Every bee plays their part – queen, worker and drone. One could anthropomorphize (attributing human behavior to a bee, for example) loyalty as a virtue.  The good of the hive comes first.  Business and corporations could do well looking at the hive as a business model; they do no harm. They leave everything they touch better than it was and create useful products everyone can use in a responsible manner.”

I got this on text, no kidding.

So, I’m adding to Danny’s wisdom. Bees never give up. They thrive on good conditions, and rebuild  when times are tough. Everyone’s all in, or they’re removed. The Queen is the leader, but if she’s not doing her job, she’d ousted – in fact, the other bees mysteriously create a new one, with drama kept within the hive.

Just like a business, when leadership is strong and expectations are met, there’s sweet success.

Now, I’m not sure about “dancing in the dark”, but perhaps that’s what goes on late at night behind closed corporate doors?

Here’s to your business, buzzin…

The Money Faucet

I’m in New Jersey with a client of mine and today at breakfast, we had a discussion about the flow of money. Where was it coming from? Where was she resistant? Where was her joy? What other opportunities were showing up for her to tap into, or open up to?

My client is an idea generator, to the max, but seemed to have a block on allowing the money to flow because she was committed to having it come in only one way, through her core business.

We had a spirited conversation about the energy of money, and how it comes to you. Who’s to say that if money flows in from another source, that it’s wrong – especially if the other source is directly related to an additional gift? Remember, she’s an idea generator and her work is creative and powerful. In some ways, she can’t help but make money because she has such passion and takes inspired action – big time. But, she’s resisting it.

The reason I am writing this today is because we each have blocks to where the money comes in. It’s not wrong if you are gifted by an inheritance, and your business is down. It’s not wrong if you are called to share a special skill for payment, and that adds to your bottom line. And, it’s not wrong if business comes to you in unexpected ways.

It’s all right.

My client transforms bodies, in fact lives, and has an incredible sense of style. Her look is part of her brand. Why shouldn’t she add fashion stylin’ as a service? Frankly, it’s a disservice not to.

Be open to your ideas and let the money flow.

No need for Draino, when you use your Braino.

You’re a busy entrepreneur pulled in a million directions.  Meetings, network receptions, events, campaigns.

Sometimes it’s hard to fit it all in. If you’re promoting yourself properly — You Have Your Info Out There! That means press releases in a steady flow about where you are and what you’re doing.  It also includes social media components.  I’m fairly new to social media, but have a team of textperts and experts who are also on the go, helping “me” get out there in the marketplace.

If I can’t get out there, how can I help you get attention in a crowded marketplace? That’s my passion!

So, what do I do?   Set up a Google Alert on myself.

One night I came home to three postings on the web  (see below) :

I might have been skiing, I might have been working, I might have been creating a new proposal for a client, or on a strategy call with a small business owner.

But the bottom line is this.  My name was out there.  And Google let me know.

Thank you Google.

I appreciate the referral.

 

Milton, MA…Business and Life Strategist, Robin Samora, recently interviewed celebrity photographer, Nikki Incandela from La Jolla, California on her monthly interview series.  The title was Put Some Pizzazz in Your Picture: What Your Image Says About You.

Nikki spoke about the importance of images in your personal branding. “With the prominence of Facebook and other social media, consistent branding is very important for your on-line presence and distinguishes you in the marketplace,” she said.  Nikki also offered some pointers on the different ways to use your image in your marketing and collateral, and shared her vast experience about being comfortable in front of a camera, style, and how to have an image that “attracts business.”

“A bad image can follow you for years,” said Nikki, “but a great image makes you confident and empowers you in your professional and personal life.  You have about four seconds to create an impression to say who you are as a person.”

“Nikki incorporates an important lesson I’m offering,” said Robin.  “No risk, no reward. Go for it. Don’t wait for someone to discover you. Put yourself out there and celebrate your brand – and  pretend it’s bigger than it is. If you do what it takes, you’ll grow into your new shoes. Nikki works at her public image using networking, social media, and she is a fabulous photographer,” continues Robin. “She also aligns herself with who she is, and where she wants to go!”

Incandela, who started as a fashion designer, was just at the Oscars not only to shoot the most glamorous Hollywood stars as they came down the runway but also had an opportunity to get fitted for a couture dress to wear at the gala event.

“Nikki and I have been working together informally for a couple of years,” said Robin, “but recently – she made a decision to make it big. I see fireworks in what she’s doing. It’s a combination of her inner flame, talent, and doing what she loves. Nothing makes me happier.”

About Robin Samora

Robin’s career began in advertising and then transitioned to media buying in the film industry. She owned two restaurants, became a Major League Baseball licensee, and worked in cable television as an Event and Promotions Manager – with major networks such as ESPN, HGTV, CNN, and MTV.  Robin eventually started her own company in 2002, Partner Promotions, a

Brand Ambassador firm for Fortune 500 companies like Comcast, Tivo, and NBC, marketing products and services – one-on-one in the retail sector, at business events, and in the community.

Wanting to utilize her talents, and years of coaching experience, Robin realized she loved working one on one, with clients, entrepreneurs and small businesses – not just major corporations.  She couldn’t help but notice that she would attract people who wanted to talk, and ask her advice. It became clear to her and those who sought Robin out for her insight, wisdom and advice — that she would be a “calm voice of reason, in a storm,” and provide a path for “next steps” to get recognized and promoted in the marketplace.

With years of business knowledge under her belt, Robin launched — Let’s Make You Shine a business and life strategy company for entrepreneurs who want to boost their bottom line, get attention and stand out in the marketplace. Now, Robin takes great pleasure in teaching others how to realize their dreams and potential, while also making a difference.

Let’s Make You Shine has been created with more than two decades in business development, operations and execution, sales and marketing, and extensive professional training. It’s Robin’s mission to help her clients make more profit, share their gifts and passion with the world, and get recognized for who they really are.

Robin Samora, Business & Life Strategist, discussed ways to use your brilliance to boost your bottom line at a gathering for small business owners and entrepreneurs at the Citizen’s Bank in East Milton on February 15.

The group was eager to learn from Samora, a successful entrepreneur who has launched two companies and makes it her mission to help small business owners make more profits, get more attention, and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Robin, who has worked with major Fortune 500 companies promoting products and services, wanted to utilize her talents and years of business experience, realizing that she loved working one on one with clients and small businesses.

Today, I had the fortune of meeting a post office worker in my home town, while on my Make Money Monday Tour.

We sat down for a bit, over a coffee, and I found out that he had a love of music so BIG – that he in fact has over 10,000 Rock CD’s in his library. Not only that, he searches blogs for 3 – 4 hours at night to find out about music that other “experts” have commented on, that are not currently part of his collection.

When I asked what his perfect life would look like, (he’s ready to retire soon) he sat for about 5 minutes not really sure. But he did say one thing. He loved music.

What proceeded next was magical. As I looked in his eyes and told him that HE was the expert — and that he could comment, recommend, and share his knowledge about music to others who didn’t have his passion – he was speechless. He could have a blog (we came up with a perfect name, sorry can’t share that yet) and it was available. More into the conversation, he mentioned
wanting to help those with cancer, and that was important to him. We talked about having an event utilizing Rock Music (from the Beatles, to today) with funds to benefit the Cure for Cancer.

This lovely man who has served my community for years, delivering mail in the rain, snow and shine is an expert, with such a gift, that he was himself, in awe.

He never thought of himself in that way. No one ever told him such a thing. Do we ever know what gifts we have?

This moment made my day. So today’s tip is quite simple. That deep down passion you have is real. Make a decision to do something with it. Your life will never be the same.

Next stop today is The Speak Your Mission telesummit to talk about How to Use your Brilliance to Boost your Bottom line.

I’ll be joining nine other amazing entrepreneurs for a week long telesummit on spotlighting your message to make a difference in this world.

Boy, Mondays are great, aren’t they?

Robin Samora, Business & Life Strate gist, discussed ways to use your brilliance to boost your bottom line at a gathering for small business owners and entrepreneurs at the Citizen’s Bank in East Milton on February 15.

The group was eager to learn from Samora, a successful entrepreneur who has launched two companies and makes it her mission to help small business owners make more profits, get more attention, and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Robin, who has worked with major Fortune 500 companies promoting products and services, wanted to utilize her talents and years of business experience, realizing that she loved working one on one with clients and small businesses.


Has anyone out there had a bad day where you’ve just beat yourself up  — over and over again —  about something you said, did, or imagined you had a part in? I know I have.  It’s like Ground Hog Day at its finest.  We relive every action, comment, or “not so nice thought” we’ve had or said to someone, and feel worse as time goes on.

I think one of our greatest challenges is to develop the skills to be able to switch our thinking — from negative to positive, or even negative to neutral ” because negative thoughts tend to linger endlessly, and there’s never any reward. In fact in my experience, negative thoughts snowball and never turn to positive, without a shift in mindset.

Eleanor Roosevelt had it right when she said, “nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” My Dad must have know Eleanor (probably not, but you never know) when he said, “Robin, it doesn’t matter what they think, it’s what you think. That’s what counts.”

What’s my take on the subject? After much study, I’d suggest the easiest and most direct route to disallowing the negative, is to change your thinking.  After all, your thoughts do create your world.

Hard to believe?  Think of it this way, and add arrows as you please.  Thoughts turn into emotions, which turn into actions, which turn into results (or lack thereof). Bottom line: Change your thinking ” Change your world.

Case in point. When I was traveling recently to meet with my Coach, and Mastermind group, I received repeated calls from my new landscape helper. I found missed call after missed call, or just a message with the voice mail, “call me.” Working all day, unable to pick up his calls, I became a bit anxious, wondering what was wrong. “Would he quit?” ‘did he have another job?” “Would I have to learn to ride the Big Bad Mower?” I live on a fairly large property, with lots of grass and trees, and was panicked at the thought of making friends with the real John Deere. After all, we’d only seen each other in passing!

Fretting about the future doesn’t serve anyone, and knowing how to read a situation for “what it is”, rather than “what it may be” is a lesson we should consider repeating often.  My landscape helper just needed to get his finances in order, and called often ” to speak with me. I took it far too personally, and expected the worst, rather than expecting the best.

So, there you have it.  I made myself feel badly for no reason.

My take away?  Watch what thoughts you put in your head. If they’re negative, I urge you to change your thinking.  Remember, change your thinking —  change your world.

Bonus points, I also defrag daily.  And you?