Jump start conference learning notes

I attended jump start conference last week. It was great to meet many diversity candidates like myself from other schools before the start of the MBA learning process.

A few concepts I learned during the forum worthy of a note:

1. The four stages of learning

Unconsciously incompetent -> consciously incompetent -> consciously competent -> unconsciously competent

The first one is the standard “ignorance is a bless”. The second one is “defense mechanism”. The third one is the hard worker and the explorer. The fourth one is the ultimate boss.

2. Effective communication

55% communication is non-verbal, 38% communication is the tone of speaking, only 7% comes from words.

Put on a good suit/dress, stand tall and be confident, use the tone that suits the circumstance, then you are good to go. Language is important, but it’s secondary.

When we have a conversation with people, remember to recap, have an open mind and paint a picture.

Ask people “does it make sense”? To see their responses and have them agree on things. This is the way to move conversations forward.

3. Stages of emotions for feedbacks

S (shock) A (anger) R (rejection) A (acceptance)

Feedback is so important for self-improvement. Yet many of us are resilient when it comes to feedback. The most accomplished we think we are, the less we want to listen to people. Executives today are having trouble listening to their employees, shareholders and peers. We have to counter this intention to improve.

4. Behaviors quadrants

– behaviors both you and others see on you (open behaviors)
– behaviors you know but others do not ( hidden behaviors)
– behaviors neither you nor others notice (unknown traits) you need to find someone neutral to uncover them
– behaviors others see often but you do not (blind spots)

One of the reason why schools cannot predicts success lies in the way learning happens in school. We accept knowledge in school, but not necessarily good behaviors. In order to take it to the next step, we need mentors and couches who provide us feedback. Feedback is in fact one of the most valuable things for students.

5. Career success depends 10% on performance, 30% on image and 60% on exposure

Often we think performance is everything. It took me failures after failures when I was recruiting after undergrad to find out I was wrong. Success depends on exposure, not performance. Yes I was a top student. But I cannot competent with students who spent time to gain exposures and changed their GPAs on resumes. The matter of the truth is – companies do not check transcripts and hiring managers or VPs look for people they like. I am in no way an unlikable person, but I did not play the right game. (Or wasn’t even in the game because no one led me) I will not make this mistake again.

Yes, performance still matters. But when competing with the top talent, it is such a small part of the game. Image is another important component. Humans are visual animals. We like what looks good, sounds good. I used to wear decent looking cheap suits. Now I am upgrading them to well-
fitted good material clothes.

There were a lot of ambitious bright candidates at the conference. I was very lucky to get to know a few of them well. I hope I have the opportunity to work or interact with some of them in the future.

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