Your Time Is Too Important To Waste.
You can effectively relate, connect, understand, and lead... if you have the right set of tools.
Each of us has two sets of tools. The first toolbox is filled with the technical skills, equipment, and devices needed to help us carry out our activities. The second toolbox is invisible. It contains the tools that we use in human interactions.
According to Harvard University, Stanford Research Institute, and the Carnegie Foundation, 85% of your success comes from our interpersonal skills and how you relate to others.
Your Invisible Toolbox® tackles the challenges many of us face with a unique set of research-based tools, put together in an easy-to-apply road map to success.
When used well, the effects of using these tools are anything but invisible.
Your Invisible Toolbox Blog
TOOLS FOR LEADERS: Do You Remember When?
The past is where you learned the lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson. Don’t give up in the middle. – Unknown
I love this quote that is expanded upon in Chapter 70 of Your Invisible Toolbox: The Technological Ups And Interpersonal Downs Of The Millennial Generation titled Do You Remember When…?
I am pondering these words and recalling two pivotal times that I felt very much “in the middle” and for me the middle seemed to last forever.
There have been two major changes that pertain to my professional life. The first was in the beginning of my professional career as I worked for a large corporation after graduating from college. I was in the first stage of my job, perfecting my technical proficiency, taking on training responsibilities and looking forward to a managerial future. It was exciting, rewarding and proceeding exactly as I had planned.
Then I made a personal choice for a change. I started a family. When my first daughter was born, I gladly returned to work ready for a break from this new uncharted territory of motherhood. She had an amazing grandmother watching her full time so it was a perfect scenario. Everything seemed perfect until my daughter called grandma “mom” first and not me. All of a sudden, my work goals outside of the home took a backseat to a new role as mother. I wanted to reallocate those 40 professional hours back to being a mom.
It was a bit more than I had bargained for. While I didn’t miss the grind of driving downtown in rush hour traffic, I did miss dressing professionally and enjoying a Friedrich’s coffee while gearing up to exercise my mind for the day with new mental challenges. After having a second daughter, my most strenuous mental challenge now consisted of singing Raffi songs just to get the girls to brush their teeth. My main focus became learning patience and negotiation with toddlers which made previous workday crisis seem much more important and rewarding. I would meet other working mothers or people without children who asked “What do you do?” I would answer with “Oh, I just stay at home.”
What had I gotten myself into?
It literally took me five years of small daily changes to embrace this new lifestyle that I had embarked upon. After countless hours volunteering at school, creating arts and crafts and hosting birthdays and sleepovers, I felt so fortunate that I had been in the position to have made the change from working outside the home, to being a homemaker. I was full of warm memories of raising both my girls to become the amazing women I know today. I taught them a love of cooking, gardening and animals. I’d traded the potential to manage in a professional environment to managing a home and family. I’d embraced the change and would proudly announce that I was a stay at home mom and successful homemaker.
My second personal choice to change arose organically from the fact that the kiddos grew up. They no longer needed my daily attention no matter how much I tried to offer it. I was ready to ease back into the workforce. I was fortunate to run into a colleague from my former professional life that connected me with Tero International and their opening for a Training Coordinator. It was a great fit for me. I was able to draw upon my well-honed homemaker skills and apply them to office management. Meal planning and shopping became catering training luncheons, school registration, taxes and tracking health insurance became coordinating training workshops and most of all my hospitality skills were able to shine to a larger, and often more appreciative audience.
What was unanticipated was how behind I was on technology. A lot had changed in 15 years, even email platforms. My hardware and software knowledge was out of date, I’d rarely used internal servers, and my Microsoft Office skills were non-existent. Feeding a family of four was certainly not the same as catering for large groups even if I wasn’t cooking the food myself. How could I assure on time delivery and account for everyone’s tastes? It was a bit more than I’d bargained for, creating a sense of déjà vu.
What had I gotten myself into?
Your Invisible Toolbox suggests that I “borrow from the past.” “Whenever you’re faced with change and feel the need to proceed cautiously because the change could be threatening, remember how much your life improved as a result of the change…”
I drew upon my five years of small daily changes to adapt to staying home full time and remembered how rewarding it had felt to accomplish each one. I closed my eyes when I was frustrated with a computer application and remembered the sense of achievement that I’d felt when I calmed a temper tantrum in public by one of the girls. I could certainly calm my own internal urge to stomp my feet in frustration and smash the computer. When I felt overwhelmed at catering a lunch for 25 people I smiled because it seemed less daunting than getting the kids to eat their peas.
I am now five years into my Training Coordinator position which seems to be my cycle of acceptance for change. I’ve researched, purchased and set up costly computer equipment. I face Microsoft Excel without fear and I can navigate our server like a pro. I have also hosted successful work events with elegant food like shaved beef filet presented on a Himalayan salt block for 100 people. These new skills are exciting, but I still smile at my artfully dyed green spaghetti noodles that formed the seaweed bed for an octopus shaped hot dog.
Your Invisible Toolbox®...
This book isn’t criticizing millennials. This book isn’t ONLY for millennials. This book isn’t built on opinions. This isn’t another boring business book. This isn’t a quick fix to personal or professional success.
So what is it?
This book is for everyone. This book is a key to success. This book is easy to understand and use. This book translates across all generations. This book is foundational to 21st century communication. This book is a must read for anyone trying to get a promotion, lead a successful team, get heard and noticed, gain confidence and poise, take control of their life and career, and become a well-groomed professional.
85% Of Success Is Based On Your People Skills
What is the number one reason people get a job, keep a job, and get promoted in their job? Short answer - they have an ability to communicate effectively.
- Carnegie Institute of Technology
How The Book Is Organized
Part I: Tools For Interacting With Others
The skills that led to success in the past are being challenged and replaced with new models of interacting. This section provides the skills and tools to prepare professionals for the new reality and changing environment for how we communicate with each other.
Part II: Tools For Presenting Yourself In The World
Anytime you show up somewhere you are presenting yourself. But how do you want to be perceived? Presenting yourself effectively, whether one-on-one or to groups, ranks high on the lists of qualities identified for success in the workplace.
Part III: Tools For Working Globally
Whether you're in the city you work or in Dubai, twenty-first century business requires you to competently interact and communicate with clients and colleagues of different cultures. Be prepared and don't let what you don't know hurt you and your work.
Part IV: Tools For Leaders
Leaders are faced with challenges they've never seen in the past and no leaders that preceded them have dealt with. The ability to acquire skills through experience or from mentors who have "walked in their shoes" will be profoundly insufficient. Find guidance on how to lead.
Part V: Tools For Personal Growth
The best place to to start understanding people is to understand ourselves, our strengths and blemishes. Only then can we begin to understand others and choose actions and reactions suited to the wide range of interpersonal situations we can encounter.
"Many business based books provide insight and motivation around two or three key concepts. Your Invisible Toolbox rises to the next level, delivering 100 tangible and actionable skills that millennials, gen x'ers and baby boomers can and should utilize regularly in the workplace. The book is loaded with numerous real life examples, that are easy to relate to and provide support to the tools provided. This is a very useful and fun book that can serve as a road map to successfully navigating the modern business environment."
Jeff Rommel, Senior Vice President, Nationwide
"A great insight and instructional book that was captivating, motivating and overall a book that I will keep to picking up as I continue to grow as a professional!! Would highly recommend for anyone."
Mikaela Stanley, CEO/Founder, Woofrider
"Called by multiple names - soft skills, employability skills, 21st-century skills - they are critical skills necessary to go along with the hard skills, digital fluency, creativity and innovation that modern work and life demand. Rowena and Deb put it all together in one place - Your Invisible Toolbox - simple to understand, adaptable and read to work when you want to enhance your life."
Scott Raecker, The Robert D. And Billie Ray Center
Team Leaders, Your Time Is Too Important To Waste.
Ensure your team is all on the same page by giving them the tools to relate, connect, understand and lead. You will find success in engaging team discussions vital to creating the best possible outcomes for your work.
Your Invisible Toolbox® will help guide you and members of your team by improving upon communication skills. Use the 100 research based tools to facilitate discussions, meetings and team gatherings. With these tools you will notice the positive difference in your team.
Don't let your team be invisible, but instead have them stand out with Your Invisible Toolbox®.
Calling All Team Leaders!
Take the tools from Your Invisible Toolbox® book and make them interactive with your team or leaders. Don't stop with just reading Your Invisible Toolbox, but make those tools actionable. The NEW companion card deck is the perfect piece to compliment team meetings, lunch and learns and more!
A few ways to play:
• An ice breaker
• Use to set goals
• Facilitate discussion
• Get to know team members
• Set challenges
• Fishbowl style
• Section a week challenge
• Starting strategic thinking
Communication skills may be viewed as common sense, but they aren't. Use the card deck as a "vehicle" to start and drive the discussion and move creative conversations forward.
®Your Invisible Toolbox® Show on YouTube
The show, Your Invisible Toolbox airs every Monday at 9:03 a.m. central and runs for 17 minutes. It is the ideal amount of time to enjoy a cup of coffee and get fortified with the latest and best interpersonal skills to impact business success. If you want to be alerted to when the show is going to air, subscribe to our YouTube channel and stay tuned!
Don't miss interviews with top leaders, business owners, communicators and millennials. Have a suggestion for the show? We want to hear it! Email your ideas and questions to [email protected].
Graduates and Young Professionals, Your Time Is Too Important To Waste.
No matter the job you are applying for or just beginning, strong communication skills is the number one trait employers hope to see in candidates or recent hires.
Your Invisible Toolbox® contains unique research-based tools, available for you to use on your way to success. Easily applicable and relatable to adapt to your daily life. Make sure you have the extra edge employers and companies are looking for.
Don't be invisible or just one of the many applicants, but stand out by using the tools available to you. You are anything but invisible.