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Today, we continue our conversation with Margaret Meloni, Margaret  MeloniMargaret is a project management guru and the founder of Meloni Coaching Solutions, Inc. In her more than 18 years in corporate America which included roles in Fortune 500 management, Margaret observed how individuals who learned to cope with conflict succeeded and recognized their full potential, while others became road blocked.

You can connect with her via @Facebook @Twitter @LinkedIn

Here is part 2 of the brand conversation.
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Mohammed: How can project manager become a professional communicator. What is the secret ingredients that you have to make 90% of Project Manager’s time work for them especially communicating with difficult people?

Margaret: The secret ingredient is be a fabulous listener and a strategic communicator. Or in the case of written communications, be a very good reader. When you really pay attention to what people are telling you and take action when required, people will continue to communicate with you. When a team member approaches you with information, take time to understand the message. Why are they telling you this information? What do they want you to do? What do you really need to do? Who else needs to know? While this person is communicating with you use active listening to remain engaged and to ensure that you are correctly receiving the message. Active listening includes:
  • While they are talking do not try to form your response. Paraphrase or mirror back to them what you think they are saying, keep working at it until you have an understanding.
  • .Be strategic in the communications that you share with others. When you send an email or publish a document or memo, make sure there is a valid reason. Try to consolidate and plan your communications so that your team and your stakeholders do not receive multiple emails from you, when one would have sufficed. Everyone has too much to read, try and make it easy for them.
  • .If people find that you do not listen or that you do not act upon communications in a timely manner, they might give up on you. If they give up on you your 90% communications time will be time spent desperately trying to keep in the loop, instead of time spent proactively engaging in productive communications. If people find that you hit them with too many meaningless communications, they will stop listening to you and stop reading emails from you; that isn’t the communication brand you want, is it?
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Mohammed: In this tight economy, project managers could be hired to another positions or make career transition. Do you think PM can keep the project management expertise even if they didn’t work directly in project management for years? and how?

Margaret: You are so right! I am hearing from project managers who receiving other job opportunities. The irony? Even though they have not hired into a project manager position, it was their project management expertise that helped them secure the job. It seems that companies are appreciating the extra skill set and perhaps hiring these people with the idea that they can also take advantage of their project management skills.  This means be a good team member and visibly continue to draw upon your project management skills. As you receive assignments, make sure you understand the scope of your assignment just like you would want to understand the scope of your project. Create accurate and well documented estimates. Schedule your time well and exhibit excellent time management skills. Of course make sure your status reporting is flawless. If for some reason you don’t think your current assignment is allowing you to keep your project management expertise current, then volunteer your time as a project manager and keep your education current.
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Mohammed: What are the steps you recommend to people in order to define themselves at work or to create their inner brand?

Margaret:
  1. Define the words that describe you as a professional. Remember, if you do not start with a clear definition, how can others see who you are and what you are made of?
  2. Take your words (I call them brand words) and put them together into a few sentences.
  3. Review your brand words. Define actions that support these words. These are the actions or behaviors that you should be regularly exhibiting.
  4. Keep track of your actions. You know how you want to be perceived and you have defined actions that support that perception, are you acting appropriately?
  5. Ask others to describe you. Your reputation is in their hands. What are they saying?
  6. Objectively review the perceptions others have shared with you. Decide what information you will accept and what you will reject.
  7. Consider making some changes.
  8. Become aware of what triggers you to behave in a way that is not compatible with your brand.
  9. Recognize that managing your brand is part of your career development, grow your brand AND your technical skills.
Brand Word: Knowledge is learning something new every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.” – Zen Proverb. Your brand is YOU. The real INNER YOU comes first, be comfortable with who you are and then work on the exterior. Every day that you learn something about yourself is a day where you can strengthen your brand and every day that you let something go is a day where you feel more secure and authentic with your brand. People can sense this in you.
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Brand Spotlight: Sometimes the conflict that people find the most challenging is the conflict around who they want to be or how they wish to be perceived. Many people run headlong into their lives and into their careers without every thinking about this. I am not suggesting that you should obsess over other people’s opinions; but you should know who you are and what you stand for. When you don’t, people will make up their own definition of you. Is that what you want? Of course not! That is why I ask you to stop and think about it? Does your character show up with you at work each day? It should. Remember you own your character, other people make up your reputation.The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. – Joseph Campbell
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See http://margaretmeloni.com/products.html or contact her at for more details.
Click here to read part 1 of the conversation.
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Special Thanks to Maria Duron for support.

There are many stories on the web of people rising unexpectedly at the speed of light, Susan Boyle is one of them. My story is about poor Iraqi guy that his life changed forever.

Abbas is a funny talented singer who was so lucky. Abbas could be known by 50 people at the area where he lived but could be known by 500000 right  now!

You will definitely ask how? and the answer easily is social media. One man took a short video for him before few years and started email that video, the video spread the web specially the Iraqi network. Few months after that, the video on YouTube and Abbas now is a super star. I’m sure he was not a ware of all social media networks but at least he is smart enough to accept and perform in front all cameras.

Abbas is singing on Alsumaria TV

Abbas is acting now on #1 Iraqi channel – Alsharqiya TV

This is the shortcut towards a new life. Thank You Social Media!

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Today, I Interviewed Margaret Meloni, Margaret is a project Margaret  Melonimanagement guru and the founder of Meloni Coaching Solutions, Inc. In her more than 18 years in corporate America which included roles in Fortune 500 management, Margaret Meloni observed how individuals who learned to cope with conflict succeeded and recognized their full potential, while others became road blocked.

You can connect with her via @Facebook @Twitter @LinkedIn

Here is part 1 of the brand conversation.
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Mohammed: There are millions of projects and thousands of thousands project managers, How can one project manager be remembered and chosen from many project managers to manage $1B project? What personal brand attributes he/she needs to be unique?
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Margaret: It is true there are many project managers. But each of us brings our own unique perspective and way of being to the table. For example, there are project managers you call to rescue troubled projects; there are project managers you call when the team needs a leader who is more people oriented and sometimes we need a leader who has a more militaristic style. When I meet you and you tell me you are an IT project manager, that is just part of the mix. You are more than just a job description. So I urge each of you to get in touch with your own inner brand, the part of you that separates you from the pack. Your inner brand translates to what you want people to see in you and what you want to hear people say about you. It all starts by you being clear about your character.

In today’s tied market, you need to stand out showing your brand attributes. We are so lucky to live in the social media revolution that let our brand heard at five continents. I’m sharing personal branding quick tips to help you get more followers whether on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

1 – Set your home page to your favorite search Google Me!engine

Whether you are using Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. there is a place to set home page for your Internet browser, set that to ex: Google.com

Now, each time you start your Internet day, you will start with Google search, I suggest that you Google your name everyday and see if your name topped the results, not only your name topped but try to keep the first 10 results of Goggling your name relevant to your personal profession. Let that results inspire you and  to Forget the Business Card. Just Google me.

2 – Use the power of hashtags

# Hashtags are essentially a simple way to catalog and connect tweets about a specific topic. They make it easier for users to find additional tweets on a particular subject, while filtering out the incidental tweets that may just coincidentally contain the same keyword.

Once you’ve figured out the tag itself, the next step is simple: start using it and promoting it. Make sure your tweets using the hashtag are worthwhile and add something of value to the conversation. Promote your tag or the social media campaign that uses the tag via other social media channels, such as your blog or email newsletter. Tweet out calls to action explaining your new tag at regular intervals (but don’t overdo it!). For example, let’s say you own a bookstore, and you’re running a Twitter contest to give out a gift card to your store. Your explanatory tweet might be something like, “What’s your favorite summer reading material? Tweet using #beachreads to win a $100 gift certificate to Al’s World of Books!” # From Mashable.com

Hashtags

3 – Write an E-Book

I love e-books specially the short, linked to resources and full of advices. I wrote some e-books in Arabic language and planning to write some in English soon. Writing an e-book position you as an expert in e-book subject and spontaneously let the readers follow you.

PMI Certifications E-Book

I hope you find these tips informative, do you have brilliant personal branding ideas to share? Please do at the comment box below.

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I’m always excited to offer valuable information to you. I’ve conducted brand conversations with some of the best, most notable names in social media, personal branding, career and project management. Each person is offering his or her valuable insights on being an entrepreneur, providing lessons learned along the way, and tips to help smooth your road toWalter Akana success.

Today, I Interviewed Walter Akana. He is a career and life strategist who works primarily with mid-career individuals who want to achieve more self direction in their careers and lives. He has more than 25 years of diverse experience, and is a Reach Certified Personal Branding and Online Identity Strategist; as well, he is an RPS trained retirement coach and has a Master’s degree from Columbia University.

You an connect with him via @Facebook @Twitter @LinkedIn

Mohammed: I read “the passion that pays the bills” from your Facebook profile, I love what you said. Can you tell us how can we find our passion and connect it to our expertise? And how can we start a brand new day with the gauge referring to 100% passion?

Walter: I think that many people are intuitively aware of activities that “fire them up” – both at work and in other parts of their lives. Generally, it’s those activities where they become so absorbed that they don’t see the time go by. Yet, it is our passions that can drive fulfillment and accomplishment, if we let them.

The first step is awareness. One way to obtain that awareness is to undertake a personal branding process which involves both introspection and 360 feedback. Introspection can help uncover one’s passions and especially how they’re tied to one’s vision for the world, purpose in life, values, and motivated skills. Examining feedback from others can provide even more clarity about the way our passions connect to expertise and the value we bring to others.

As for setting that passion gauge to 100%, I think that’s the natural result of using our clarity about what excites us to produce value for others!

Mohammed: Social networks can hurt more than help our online identity. What do you advise people who throw negative comments about their boss publicly? And what you recommend to employees who hate their job/boss, but don’t want to quit?

Walter: Generally speaking, my advice for people in managing their online identity is to keep it positive! In fact, like other online identity strategists, I stress cleaning updigital dirtand building a positive online identity that reflects well on who they are and what they offer to others.

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Quote Me

I spent a lot of time thinking about writing quotes. Each day on Facebook and Twitter, I’m seeing a lot of them and each one is a lesson because the writer lived in an experience to format that shining deliberate phrase.  I will share a lot of quotes in the future especially for personal branding as it becomes the new code for career development.

Disclaimer: Feel free to use any of these quotes for personal or business purposes, as long as you cite my full name.

“ Only personal momentum will create an obtainable goal. ”

“ Passion is the fuel towards prosperous career. ”

“ It’s never too late to fulfill your dreams, whether you cerebrating the 40th birthday or reach the retirement age. ”

“ Failure creates many shortcuts to success. ”

“ Jobseekers is a transit period where the poor personal brand stay waiting and the strong one take off immediately. ”

“ It’s not about the number of certifications you own, it’s all about the knowledge behind them. ”

“ Those with strong personal brand have a passion to add value to the lives of others. ”

“ When you Believe in YOU, YOU will find everything. ”

“ Those who percepts each step are always a head of others. ”

“ If you build a unique personal brand, the success will follow you. ”

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