Type ‘keywords’ LinkedIn into Google.What do you see? Your first page of search results will include three types of article. Firstly, keyword and search engine optimisation advice. Secondly, a list of verbs to include in your profile. Thirdly, a list of words not to include in your LinkedIn profile. While this advice will help candidates get their profiles through automated candidate–screening processes, it won’t help them make a great impression. This is because the principles that make for good search engine optimisation are the opposite of principles of influential language use.
Once a job candidate’s LinkedIn profile is clicked on by a recruiter, what happens next? It’s a critical question for both job seekers and recruiters. Thanks to the fields of applied psychology and eye tracking technology, interesting answers are emerging. This article explores what we now know about how recruiters view and make sense of profile pictures on LinkedIn. Let’s start with what eye tracking technology has revealed. A study conducted in 2012 demonstrated that recruiters spend 19% of their time looking at the head shot when viewing LinkedIn profiles. While that sounds like a reasonable amount of time, in practical terms, it translates to approximately one second per profile page. This means job seekers need to take the old saying “First impressions count” very seriously indeed. And so do recruiters. After all, first impressions are usually created at an unconscious level and therefore, can trigger unconscious biases.
I was an experienced trainer when the competency-based training model was introduced in Australia. When I first heard the term ‘competency-based’,I thought,“Why would anyone want to be competent when they could strive for excellence?”Today, I believe this reaction reflected a mindset which has underpinned my success as a consultant. It also explains why I enjoy working in learning and development. I’m always thrilled to meet people who share my passion for excellence and self-improvement.
First-rate negotiators are adroit influencers. They know how to subtly guide their counterparts’ thinking by making smart linguistic choices. These are word choices that prime a listener to give a positive reaction. Think about the most influential people you know. I bet they’re skilled in the art of priming. They keep others on-side by framing their messages in positive and collaborative language. This means they get ‘yes’ responses more frequently.
It’s a frustrating situation. During a high-stakes negotiation, your counterpart shoots down every idea you put on the table. They respond to every suggestion you make with a resounding ‘no’. They definitely don’t seem to know how to disagree without being disagreeable. Oh dear. This behaviour can really bog down a negotiation and create a stalemate.
Do you think of negotiation as a stress-inducing activity, or do you see it as fun? If you answered fun, you’re operating from the same mindset as a savvy negotiator. Savvy negotiators take pleasure in the art of communicating with their counterparts. They enjoy the to-and-fro of concession exchange. They’re also playful and creative in both their thinking and communication patterns. They enter what positive psychologists call a flow state. Being in this state vastly increases their negotiation effectiveness.
When you think of win-win negotiation, what comes to mind? Obviously, a key tenet of the win-win approach is the idea of winning together, or mutual gain. But in practical terms, what exactly does this mean? For inexperienced negotiators, striving too hard to show a co-operative approach can blur the line between collaboration and capitulation. What’s the difference? And why does it matter?
What’s the difference between negotiators who cave in at the first sign of opposition and those who persist, are assertive and create win-win deals? It’s not just skill-set, it’s mindset. I’ve observed thousands of negotiation role plays. And I’ve noticed that people with positive, can-do attitudes tend to get better deals than those with less resilient mindsets. So what is resilience, and how can you apply it in your real-life negotiations?
Lately, there has been a lot of discussion about how disparity in pay rates is impacting professional women. Attention is being paid to the consequences of pay gaps between men and women. Whether it’s framed as women working for free one day a fortnight or losing hundreds of thousands of dollars over their working lives, it’s obvious that the problem is impacting in very real ways.
I love people-watching. As a trainer, of course, I have ample opportunity to do so. While groups are completing roleplays or activities, it’s my job is to observe their body language patterns and communication habits. Many years of closer observation have brought my attention to a problem which creates ‘glass ceiling moments’ for female negotiators. Here’s what I’ve noticed, when women step into senior roles, body language patterns that previously helped them in negotiation begin to backfire. For example, patterns of smiling frequently often can help a woman be successful in a junior role. When she’s attempting to negotiate as a leader, however, smiling too often will reduce her credibility and be perceived as an anxious habit.