Posted on: February 8th, 2012 by
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By Bill Kaufmann, President of My Greener Future

All interviewers have a primary style or approach.  If you can determine the style, you can influence the outcome. All you require are some telltale signs for the best approach.  It’s relatively simple, but very powerful when done well.  Here are some insights:

  • Results/Action Style – Questions come quickly and are targeted. Impatient.  Assertive,  
    • Quick, short questions on accomplishments, achievements and future contribution
    • Little time for chitchat.  Will drive to the core questions. They take charge immediately.

Response:  Answers should be short, accentuating the outcomes of past actions, but be ready for the “how did you do that?” question.  State the issue, action, and results.

  • Thoughtful/reflective Style – Wants facts, analysis, numbers “talk”, measurements, ratios
    • Focus is on “my” area of responsibility, “issues that affects me or my group”
    • Typically are more comfortable with numbers, not personal or social relationships

Response:  Answers can be more expansive, but relate the rationale behind the decision.  Why one option over another? Focus on the thought process and how you measured results?

  • Relationship oriented Style – Social, feelings, group emphasis, compatibility, team orientation
    • Focus is on “fitting in”, being a part of the support network.  A productive part of the “team”
    • Will try to put you at ease, increase your comfort zone and theirs. Wants a relationship.

Response:  Emphasize the “we” not the “I”.  Look for common values and consensus views. Involvement of others is important even though the decision may be theirs.

  • Get-along Style  – Provides support but doesn’t lead, avoids controversy, seeks balance
    • Focus on the neutral, “no big changes that will upset my world”.  A rebel is to be avoided.
    • Stability is important, status quo, change should come in small doses

Response:  Reinforce the positive approach/results of the past, the need to add value, but on a planned incremental strategy over time. Seek their ideas and positively reinforce past outcomes.

 What to look for to determine which style is prominent:

  • Their offices and external signs:
    • Strong action-oriented: Spartan.  Functional. Few personal items or nick-knacks.
    • Thoughtful/reflective: Degrees on the wall. Nick-knacks. Reports or papers piled high.
    • Relationship oriented: Personal pictures, boat or hobby. Chairs grouped around a table.
    • Get-along: Pictures of family, dog, a bucolic sunset. Neutral office in both color and décor.
  • Their behaviors:
    • Strong action-oriented: Few social niceties. High intensity. Short meeting. Looks at watch. 
    • Thoughtful/reflective: May overanalyze details. Thinks about alternatives & implications.
    • Relationship oriented: May talk about themselves. Longer meeting. More casual.
    • Get-along: More passive. Least formal. Looking for connections. Seek out your views first.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.  The higher the level of manager the more difficult it may be to assess a style.  If you’re in a conference room there are far fewer clues to “read”. Good luck.

Take control of your destiny.  Be a candidate rather an applicant.  Join us at My Greener Future.

Our website:  Mygreenerfuture.com

Email:  Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net


Posted on: February 6th, 2012 by
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By Bill Kaufmann, President, My Greener Future

Keeping a small or mid-sized business in balance and profitable is not an easy task in these economic times.   The following are some guidelines that may be helpful as you review the past, manage the present and prepare the strategies for the future.

DOWNSIZING –The goal when downsizing is “hang on”.  You want to create a business model that will endure the buffeting of the marketplace in times of chaos or uncertainty.  Survival will depend upon understanding and managing the core elements of your business that will keep you above the marginal lines of profitability.  You will need to identify the key functions that must be performed to keep the business running at a minimal cost level.  Next is to define the skills and experiences required to keep those functions operational at a high level.  Staff will need to be sorted to those who meet those requirements then refocused and trained.  Others will need to be separated, but provided the skills and strategy to find another job.  These steps should be a smooth and planned strategy to maintain the dignity and integrity of the business and all its employees.

RIGHTSIZING – The goal when rightsizing is to stabilize and balance the business.  The model is to meet the needs of the current business, while maintaining its equilibrium as results may shift higher or lower than expected or planned.  Rightsizing will then focus on the functions that are needed to maintain business while you set the stage for planned incremental growth.  Staff may need to expand their responsibilities but not to expand in numbers unless it’s imperative.  Adding staff at the wrong time can undercut your efforts, add to cost but not return a great deal to the investment. Use overtime, part-time or family members if needed.  If staff is to be added, it should be those functions that increase revenue and not those that only add to cost. 

UPSIZING – The goal of upsizing is to accelerate a growth momentum while maintaining the cost control that you have already established through your downsizing and rightsizing efforts.  Staff additions should continue to be a last resort unless and until you are able to expand revenue through new products/services and new customers.  These new products/services and new customers will always be the drivers for added revenue and profit.  It is very difficult to grow without it unless there is a great demand from your current customer base.  Upsizing should also be funded “from behind”.  This means that costs should only be expended once it’s demonstrated that the cost to benefit value is heavily in your favor.  Avoid funding cost items from the front-end, if possible, as your costs will always outstrip your benefits and may not reach your expectations.

My Greener Future – Business has experts to assist your business move from Downsizing into Rightsizing and then Upsizing for a growth strategy.  Email for more information at mygreenerfuture1@cox.net, or call our President, Bill Kaufmann at 757-220-0774.  More information on the website:  www.mygreenerfuture.com


Posted on: January 31st, 2012 by
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By Bill Kaufmann, President of My Greener Future


  • You need a dynamic job search strategy in order to accelerate your career
  • You may be missing a few key skills necessary to become a finalist candidate
  • You need to differentiate yourself above all others within the marketplace
  • Your key results need to be designed to align with the needs of the hiring organization
  • Your potential contribution has to solve today’s issues and tomorrow’s needs

These strategies and skills can be learned within a short period of time.  My Greener Future has an excellent track record working with talented people to find a more rewarding job. 


  • Assess where you are now, how you got there, and what is your next step?
  • Create a Career Map to get you to your Ultimate Career Goal, over time
  • Identify the leverage points to connect to an advancing position
  • Research and define the marketplace opportunities
  • Create a compelling resume that will provide a major competitive “edge”
  • Penetrate the marketplace with high potential targets
  • Develop the “mini-pitches” that influence decision-makers in your favor
  • Develop and practice telephone-screening power interviews
  • Practice one-on-one interviews focusing on critical issues of the hiring organization
  • Understand and learn how to “’negotiate” a hiring offer
  • Design an “entry strategy” for the new job, based on the key success criteria


The greatest coaches for you are the professionals who have directed the hiring process from the other side of the table:  Recruiters, decision-makers, hiring-level executives, coaches, consultants and others with at least 20 years experience in all kinds of different industries, job levels and market segments.  My Greener Future President, Bill Kaufmann has 40 years as a corporate executive, external recruiter, university professor, and coach/consultant to corporations and individuals around performance improvement and the management of change.



The primary reasons clients seek professional help are:

  • Dissatisfaction with their current job, or unchallenging work (39%)
  • Not compensated adequately to the results achieved (22%)
  • Currently unemployed (22%)
  • No career path or training to advance (11%)
  • Lack of trust/respect with their current company (6%)

After working with My Greener Future, all of our current clients have either:

  • Found a new and higher level job (43%)
  • Been promoted to a new or expanded position within their current organization (30%)
  • Currently interviewing with highly interested companies (27%)


Contact My Greener Future.  The Website is:  Mygreenerfuture.com   The email address is:  Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net   Or contact Bill Kaufmann, President directly at:  757-220-0774.


Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by
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By Bill Kaufmann, President of My Greener Future

Interviews are a curious way to find a job.  It’s kind of like going on a date:  Everyone is dressed up, on his or her best behavior, and move through choreography like a written script.  Now ask yourself, “How can I differentiate myself from all others so I’m the candidate of choice?”

There are basically a series of three interviews:  First, the telephone interview to check you out.  Secondly, as a result, there’s a screening interview.  Third, you interview with the hiring manager.

Within each interview there are 3 segments:

  1. To start off they’ll say, “Let me tell you a little bit about the company”
  2. They’ll get to the heart of what they want, by saying, “Let me ask you questions about your background and experiences”
  3. Lastly they casually ask, “Do you have any questions of me?”

During this last segment is where you jump in with your Show Stopper questions.  Your objective during an interview is to answer all the questions intelligently, but you also need to ask the right questions. The answers you receive from the Show Stopper questions will provide you with the information you need to design and excel at the next round of interviews. 

What are the Show Stopper questions?  During the telephone and screening interviews you need to ask key questions:  First, “What are the key issues in this function that need to be solved?” and second, “What are the performance expectation for the new hire during the first year?” 

When you extract that information during the telephone interview, you will be prepared for the screening interview, as you now know what they are looking for.  Your responses can now be customized to fit the “key issues” and “performance expectations” from the previous interview. 

During the interview with the hiring manager, your objective is to engage in a discussion around actual issues that are important:  Issue definition and potential alternatives for solutions.  Since you already know the key issues and performance expectations, two items are key to your success:

  1. Shape your answers to the questions based on your prior interviews that will help solve the hiring manager’s issues.  Lay out alternatives, pro’s/con’s and implications to those solutions.
  2. Develop an interactive relationship with the hiring manager.  Their mental question will be: “What can this candidate bring to my organization that will add value to my results?”  Your job is to answer that question without it being asked.  Show Stopper questions are the key.

When the hiring manager sees you as a problem-solver to the issues that need resolution, you become a primary candidate.  Now it’s just a question of “closing the deal”.

Take control of your own destiny. Be a candidate rather than an applicant.  Join us at My Greener Future.  Find more information, articles and mini-webinars at our website:  Mygreenerfuture.com


Posted on: January 23rd, 2012 by
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By Bill Kaufmann, President of My Greener Future

Here are some key points to consider if you plan to downsize your employee base:


Ease the pain for you and your employees as much as possible

Communicate the need to downsize in a compassionate way, with the right information

Assess your objectives:  Where do you need to be – Revenue increase/cost decrease

Prioritize the business needs over the next 3, 6, 9 and 12 months

Identify the key employees that will help you achieve your objectives

Communicate with the employees that are to stay

Consider some incentive for them to remain highly productive


Maintain the dignity of those being let go

Provide support assistance to those employees affected

Meet with affected employees on a group then individual basis

Provide them with the skills to land another position

Hire a professional to help you

Provide a way back for some, who may be needed later

Provide references & recommendations to help displaced employees

Help them understand their benefits and support agencies

How do you downsize employees with dignity?  How do you downsize in “the right way”. Like the famous saying goes, “Measure twice and cut once”.  When it comes to your downsizing strategy, think through the steps and implications then implement flawlessly.  Of course, a professional can help you make sure the actions you take are not going to cause you more problems later on.

Employees that have been separated from a company need to feel that they have been treated in a fair and positive way, even if the situation is not positive.  Companies that provide employees with the tools and skills to find another position are seen as caring for their welfare. It also leaves a positive attitude for those that remain. You will benefit in a number of ways when you develop a strategy of support for terminated employees by training them in the skills of finding another job.

Consider the end game:  Always develop your strategies by asking the question, “A year from now when we are up and running again, how do I want to look back at the way the business handled its downsized employees?”

My Greener Future – Business can provide the professional help you need.

Call now for a free consultation and we will explain how we can help – no obligation, just objective input!

Contact Bill Kaufmann, President, My Greener Future at 757-220-0774