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My Resume/Sales Presentation is Perfect… It Must Be the Economy

Photo by Taku

Photo by Taku

The first question I have to ask is, is it really perfect?  (By the way, the answer to that is always yes.  Human nature.)

It’s hard not to take pride of authorship, and this somehow seems to get worse in the face of stress or insecurity, doesn’t it?

We have a word for this in coach-speak.  It’s called “uncoachable.”  This is the person who has to be right even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

My father was a perfect example of this concept.  We went through a period after his quadruple bypass surgery in which chicken was was “what’s for dinner.”  Barbecued chicken to be more specific.  You see, Dad was a red meat kind of guy, and he still hadn’t developed a taste for skinless boneless breast.  So, it was always whole chicken, skin on, out on that grill.  Many people parboil it to get some of the fat off before putting it on the grill.  Not Dad.

So, every day around 6:00 [not exaggerating, it was every day], the chicken was on fire.  If the grill lid was open, it was on fire such that the soffits were in danger of catching fire.

The game in our house was not to be the one who had the misfortune to point out the the chicken was on fire {yet again].  But, there came a point at which self-preservation took over, and something had to be done.  As teenagers, god forbid either my brother or me go out to the grill and shut it off.  The problem with being the master of the obvious was that it became our fault that the chicken was on fire.  Yes, it was our fault, we who had no participation in the purchase or the preparation of the chicken.  And, there was no change to be suggested or made, because my father made chicken perfectly, even if it was charred through the bone [not exaggerating, the dog wouldn't even partake].


I was leading a free workshop recently about having a networking conversation, in other words, how to create a conversation from the question “What do you do?”  The example I gave of what not to do was this: “I’m an out of work Project Manager in the telecommunications industry.  My passion is bringing in projects on time and on budget.  So, do you know of anyone who might be hiring?”

The point of the workshop was to talk about the value you offer in a way that promotes more conversation.  My friend, networking expert Jeff Klein, calls it coming up with benefit statements rather than product statements.  Because the reality is, there are very few professions other than circus clown that people want to hear more about in more than a polite way.

So, we had a marketing product manager in the group.  We worked about five minutes on how he could say what he does for clients in a way that’s more interesting.  His was something along the lines of “I create innovative new products that make the iPhone well… the iPhone.”

When he got up to give his new answer to the question “What do you do?” his answer went something like this:  “I’m a Marketing Product Manager, but not really like the ones you normally think of.  I’m more like an engineer, but not really.  One of my products was to create a new microchip that… [imagine it going on for about another minute].”

Someone asked me why I didn’t provide any feedback.  Well, I did provide feedback, about 5 minutes of it in the workshop.  I didn’t see how more feedback would help…. Uncoachable.

So, back the economy that isn’t working for you.  Think of a time that someone has looked at your marketing materials and provided some feedback.

If they said, “Hey that looks great” while trying to change the subject and leave…. you might be Uncoachable.

If they offered you a suggestion and you said, “I already tried that, and it didn’t work” or “that would never work” or “that’s stupid”… you might be Uncoachable.

Really, if anything came out of your mouth other than, “Thank you very much for that feedback.  What else do you see?”… you might be Uncoachable.

Remember, it is completely up to you whether you want to act on that feedback or not.  It’s your chicken to douse or not.

Discouraging someone who genuinely wants to help you and wants you to succeed makes you Uncoachable (and probably unsuccessful).  No one has all the answers.

With that, go out there and get ‘em!

Be Your Best You Today,


p.s. – If you recognize yourself in anything above and have no intention of doing anything about it, please don’t call me for a complimentary session.  You are welcome to disagree in the comments.

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