Day 2: Reflect, Review and Rethink Your List | 30-Day Confidence Challenge

How did you find yesterday’s task?

Were there ‘descriptives’ that were difficult to admit? Was it a breeze for you to just keep jotting down ideas and words? The experience is going to be different per individual and that is fine. What is important is that you finished the task and that you remain committed. After all, we have 29 days to go.

Like I said, this is not going to be an easy ride. All change or growth go through difficult times. These are times when we need to take a long, hard look at ourselves to see where we can still improve, the adjustment to something new and letting go of something (or someone) you have grown accustomed to. But it will all be worth it. In the end you will see how fun and fulfilling this month has been for you.

First steps are always the hardest but until they are taken the notion of progress remains only a notion and not an achievement.”

Aberjhani, Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I
Photo by Mikechie Esparagoza from Pexels

Day 2 Challenge: Reflect, Review and Rethink Your List

Take out your list from yesterday. Add the column headers such as in the below example.


Positive or Negative

There is no absolute positive or negative value. Note one as positive if this is something desirable for you. And negative if otherwise. Fat for example, can be positive for someone who has struggled with weight gain all his/her life. Another example could be responsible. I might say it is positive, but someone who is overburdened by his/her responsibility might consider it negative.

Permanent or Temporary

As in events in our lives, is it something passing or fleeting or just locked at a point in your life? If it is, it is temporary. If this is something you have for all your life and is a continuous state or theme, it can be permanent. Talents and strengths are generally permanent while moods and emotions are generally temporary.


What is the objective basis of your description. Is it based on what is actual? Is there a measure? Is it based on reliable, valid feedback? Does it have solid ground? Or is it as opposed to an ideal notion such as in my example above; much worse, is it based on the ideal as media portrays it to be.

PAUSE now and reflect, review and rethink your list.

Now…. let’s classify, shall we?
  1. Highlight or underline those that’s negative. Especially, look for those that’s negative and temporary, these are easier wins. Negative and permanent might take some more time, but something can still be done about them.
  2. Create action plans for these.
  3. Find negative items without sound basis. They may be your own assumptions which may not be true, hence could be taken out of your negative list. In my coaching and counseling practice, I see that often when people think about something negative about themselves, these are their own saboteur. Not grounded on any valid basis and often, in fact, other people see these traits differently. We have to free ourselves from these beliefs. We will talk more about this in the next few days.
  4. Celebrate the positive ones, both permanent and temporary. Keep these in mind and strengthen them.

Action Plan

Picking up from number 2 above. Create action plans for those that you can do something about.

What are your realizations from today’s exercise? It would be nice to share with your team or trusted friends and hear them out, too.

Thank you! It’m glad to see you again.

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-CertifiedStrengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook

Day 1: Make A List | 30-Day Confidence Challenge

Congratulations for choosing your own personal development!

I am so excited to officially begin the 30-Day Confidence Challenge journey with you!

If you haven’t yet, please make sure you read about the Four Tendencies part 1 and part 2. There are helpful tips in these articles that help keep you going to your desired results!

I think that many doors are there for us but for majority of these, confidence is the key. Talents, strengths, skills, and opportunities for sure, are necessary, too, but confidence is what seals the deal.

It impacts many areas of your lives including your career, your relationships and more importantly, how you view yourself and life in general.

That said, let’s begin!

Photo by Ann Nekr from Pexels

Day 1 Challenge: Make A List

A good place to start is where you are at.

Create or draw a table with 5 columns and several rows, at least 21. It does not matter whether you do it digitally or old school pen and paper. Here is what you will write on the 1st column – Self-Descriptions. Leave the other columns blank for now.

Do take a good look internally (or in the mirror) and list down adjectives about you – physical, intellectual, emotional, prrsonality traits, etc. Since this list is by you AND for you, it is imperative for you to be fully honest in everything that you add to your list.

Make sure that these are current descriptions of you and not your idealized version, neither are these from your past. Let’s recognize that we change as we go through life.

It can be as short as 20 descriptions minimum, or as long as you want. It should be substantial enough. The goal is for you to be able to look at the list, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, and recognize your true self in it.

Here is a sample.

Just keep this list for now. Do not share this with anybody for the meantime.

If you joined as a team (and for those with obliger tendency) it is good practice to inform each other that you’ve done the task.

Alright, all the best in today’s challenge! See you tomorrow!

Thank you, glad to have you back!

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook

The Four Tendencies and Getting Things Done Part 2

What is your tendency?

Did you use the informal method on others? How did it go?

New to EngagementImperative? Here’s article with The Four Tendencies Quiz and link to the 30-Day Confidence Challenge.

Gist of The Four Tendencies

4:28 short video on The Four Tendencies

How Will Knowing My Tendency Help?

Each tendency responds to inner and outer expectations differently. Instead of using these differences as limitations or mere categorization, let’s use this self-knowledge to strategize. Each tendency will have it’s own strategy in keeping on and delivering results. These strategies were sifted from another one of Gretchen’s books, Better Than Before. So, let’s go…

For Upholders

Strategy of Scheduling
The Strategy of Scheduling is a powerful tool for Upholders. They love to keep a schedule and march through every item.
Whatever appears on the calendar—go to the gym on Monday and Thursday; write 1,000 words every day—gets done.

Strategy of Monitoring
Upholders do well with the Strategy of Monitoring, because they tend to love to-do lists with items to check off.
Monitoring plays to this inclination: “I intend to walk 10,000 steps today, and look, my monitor says I hit that number.”

For you my dear upholder, it might be a good idea to set-aside time during the day when you will focus on the 30-Day Challenge. And, don’t forget to add it to your to-do list throughout the month.

For Questioners

Strategy of Clarity
The Strategy of Clarity is crucial for Questioners. They want to know exactly what they’re doing, and why. They won’t
meet an expectation if they don’t understand the reason, so they must receive robust answers to their questions. They
also must clearly see and trust the authority and expertise of the person asking them to meet that expectation.

Strategy of Distinctions
The Strategy of Distinctions may resonate with Questioners, because it emphasizes that a habit should be tweaked
very specifically to suit an individual’s character and idiosyncrasies—something that appeals to Questioners, who love
customization. They can sometimes be convinced to try something “as an experiment.” “Why don’t you try this. You’ll find
out if it works for you, and if not, you can try something else.”

Dear questioner, for sure, you have a reason and that’s what brought you to join in and for that I applaud you. More reasons why this is important can be found in the invite/introduction and surely something that you’ll love (spoiler alert!), we’ll touch upon this in the first few days. Hang on. Feel free, too, to make personalization of the task for as long as it serves the purpose. A bit more about me and how I can help – I am a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Developmental Psychology Major and a Transformational & Strategic HR Lead.

For Obligers

Strategy of Accountability
All Four Tendencies (even, under certain circumstances, Rebels) find accountability to be useful for developing habits,
but Obligers absolutely require structures of external accountability. They need oversight, deadlines, and consequences, and the involvement of accountability partners, such as coaches, accountability groups, trainers, health navigators,
friends, or their own children. Obligers often feel a powerful sense of obligation to be good role models. They can often do
something for someone else that they can’t do for themselves. “Once my baby was born, I had to quit smoking.”

Strategy of Monitoring
Monitoring supports accountability, and the more Obligers monitor their behavior, the more easily accountability
will attach.

Dear Obligers, this is something that is very familiar to me. ~95% of my teammates are obligers. You probably know several others like you, too, because majority of those who took the quiz are obligers (and questioners). As you go through the 30-Day Confidence Challenge, have an accountability partner. It could be your boss, mentor, coach, friend or teammate, even a family member will be great. It is important that you have an accountability partner. Someone who will check-in on you and encourage you to keep going, someone who gives you feedback for the changes, no matter how small, that you are beginning to show.

For Rebels

Strategy of Identity
For Rebels, the most effective habit-change strategy is the Strategy of Identity. Because Rebels place great value on being
true to themselves, they can embrace a habit if they view it as a way to express their identity.

Strategy of Clarity
The Strategy of Clarity works for Rebels, because it focuses on why a habit might have personal value for them. The more
Rebels think about what they want, and why they want it, the more effectively they pursue it.

Dear fellow rebel, we’re a rare kind, so, foremost, please do reach out. This is the mostnmisunderstood of all, too, but luckily, I know “rebel” like the back of my hands. So, I have questions for you. Why are you keen on pursuing the 30-Day Challenge? Who do you want to be? How can this program benefit or support you?

Thank you and all the best!

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook

2021 Philippine Holidays (Amended)

Malacañang released an amendment to the 2021 list of holidays on February 26, 2021.

Additional Special Working Holidays

  • Nov. 2nd – All Souls’ Day (Tuesday)
  • Dec. 24th – Christmas Eve (Friday)
  • Dec. 31st – New Year’s Eve (Friday)

The dates above were non-working holidays for most of the previous years. Now, however, for economic recovery – to lessen the work disruption, these dates are now considered Special Working Holidays.

Is There Impact To Pay?

There is no impact to pay; special working holidays are emphasized for observance purpose only, however there is no premium associated with this holiday type. That means these dates are treated much like any other ordinary day in your payroll (hence, in your payslip).

For the employees, it may mean you will need to file leaves well in advance for these dates if or when the nature of your business and engagement permits.

Always remember to follow your Company’s or department’s leave filing policy. Each company (and sometimes departments within a Company) have their own leave filing process. It is good practice to be respectful and abide by them.

For us, fellow HR Practitioners and People Leaders/Managers, we will have to manage employee expectations and set clear parameters on when to file and who are granted leaves and for which leave types.

Proclamation No. 1107: Amending Proclamation No. 986, S. 2020, Declaring The Regular Holidays And Special (Non-Working) Days For The Year 2021

Here’s a copy of the official document as it was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.

Thank you and all the best!

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook.

The Four Tendencies and Getting Things Done Part 1

As I was thinking about the 30-Day Confidence Challenge, I think of the daily tasks as building blocks; like Lego pieces. They come with plates and studs that allow them to “stick” together and allow us to build any which shape in whatever size we prefer. This is why we have this primer. For this knowledge to serve as the studs, which will allow us to join the blocks together and form one beautiful, cohesive piece.

Lego building bricks and blocks. Photo from TechGuide.

What are the Four Tendencies?

The shortest way I could put it is this – they are how we are naturally wired to respond to expectations – inner and outer. This is based on the book by Gretchen Rubin of the same title – The Four Tendencies.

What is your tendency? Take this quiz to find out. This takes less than 5 minutes to answer and see the results.

Just one tip to make sure your result is as accurate as possible – pick the answer that comes first. If you spent time thinking about the answer, it might be an image that you want of yourself or something other people want you to uphold. Be honest for you to get the most out of it.

The author, Gretchen has an upholder tendency. Yours truly has rebel tendency. Just to be clear, I am not a rebel in the current associations of this word and definitely not armed… but admittedly, there’s a bit of resistance. In everything. What this means is that I have the natural tendency to resist outer expectations as well as inner expectations.

I can’t wait to know what your tendencies are! I will explain more about these tomorrow. This will serve as our “studs.” So check back and see the best way, based on your tendency, for you to stick to our 30-day plan and get things done!

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

Want to Find out Another Person’s Tendency?

Now, this is fun. Obviously, one way is to have them take the quiz. But in cases when that is not possible or cannot do at the moment, there’s an informal method to figure out someone’s tendency.

Here are a few clues (from The Four Tendencies Course):

Ask: “How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?”
What to listen for:

• In general, Upholders enjoy New Year’s resolutions, and will also make resolutions at other times.
• Questioners will make and keep resolutions, but they often object that January 1 is an arbitrary date, or that it’s
inefficient to wait to start a resolution.
• Obligers often say that they no longer make New Year’s resolutions because they’ve failed so often in the past.
Or if they do make them, they often don’t keep them.
• Generally, Rebels won’t bind themselves with resolutions. Occasionally, Rebels find it fun to do so, and they
emphasize that they wanted to do it, they enjoyed it, they liked the challenge.

“Looking back, can you remember a time when you succeeded in changing an important habit?”
An answer such as, “For years, I walked every morning with a neighbor—but she moved away, and I don’t do it anymore”
suggests Obliger, while, “I read a lot of the new research about the value of strength-training, and after interviewing a
few trainers, I now strength-train regularly” suggests Questioner, and “I run when I feel like it” suggests Rebel.
Upholders will have many examples

For each Tendency, one question matters most:
• Upholders ask: “Should I do this?”
• Questioners ask: “Does this make sense?”
• Obligers ask: “Does this matter to anyone else?”
• Rebels ask: “Is this the person I want to be?”

Remember that these are only clues and should not be used to “box” people in certain categories neither are these to be used to judge them. We wanted to know our tendencies to help us through the next 30 days and to commit to the changes we want and need so we can be more confident and successful.

Update: When you’re done with the, quiz, click here for your guidance using The Four Tendencies.

Thank you for visiting!

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook.

An Invite: 30-Day Confidence Challenge

Join us as we embark on the 30-Day Confidence Challenge. The goal is to push the boundaries of what’s comfortable and what’s usual to unleash your best selves.

If you are ready to move beyond your comfort zone, join us from March 1st to March 31st. There will be thoughts and tasks daily (more details below), which will be fun, well, not always easy, but surely you’ll have self-discoveries, realizations and changes that you will love. Team Leads and Managers, this can be a fun and fulfilling team activity as well! There are days when output sharing is necessary, so journeying with teammates or someone you trust is going to be awesome.

Anna (not her real name) was shy, always slouching and never spoke up in meetings. In 1-1 conversations with me, she was an A+ employee. She knew what she was doing and an expert in her field. The Country Head does not see her the same way, though. She appears to be someone who was timid and somewhat of a pushover.

We worked on building her confidence to overturn this perception. It was not easy but she stayed on and worked hard.

Now, Country Head and everyone in the team look up to her when it comes to her area of expertise and doubles as “ate” to the younger teammates.

Many years ago, I was asked to buddy up with the bottom agent from another customer service team. This was my first coaching experience in a corporate set-up yet an experience I would never forget.

My buddy, John (not his real name), had the lowest Quality Assurance score, lowest Customer Satisfaction score and longest handle time.

As this was my first time to coach, I didn’t know what to do so I started with the basics – I tried to understand him as a person. He was an interesting character – always looking at the floor or ceiling, dandruff all over his shoulders and back, same (and smelly) jacket everyday, hair covering a good 80% of his face. You get the picture.

He said he was not confident, that he was shy and feels invisible. I asked if he could change anything, what would it be. He wanted to be seen and to feel comfortable being with other people. So, I helped him, we worked on basic hygiene to good grooming to how to look confident in his walk, gait and gestures. We worked together and ensured that the basics are in place.

You might think of it as a counter intuitive move. The other buddies went straight to addressing their metrics and how to be better at QA or Customer Satisfaction. But you know who ended at the top of their team the very next month?

It was John!

Now, John is an esteemed Manager in the Contact Center space and a happily married man.

I believe in laying cornerstones, in making sure that the basics are in place before moving to solve other issues. In fact, often, the issues would self-correct once the foundations are strong.

Just look around you. All the people you look up to. All the leaders you admire. There is one common denoinator. That is Confidence. Confidence is among the basics to a success career and not only that, even in your personal endeavor and relationships.

Luckily, for many of you, boosting confidence will not start from where John did. [If you see yourself in John, please write to me, I would be happy to work with you personally]. However, regardless where you are strating in this confidence journey, it will take work, it will take heart, but for sure, you will reap the rewards in the end.

I can’t wait to get started in this journey with you! So…

What will happen in the next 30+2 days?

We are starting with the 30-Day Challenge on March 1st to 30th. Everyday, at 7AM (MNL), I will publish your tasks for the day, in bite-size, easy readings. You will work on what’s being asked and you are to share your output to your teammates or to a trusted someone at the end of the day.

There are 2 primer days on Feb 27th (update: click this link for the 1st primer) and 28th (update: click this link for the 2nd primer) for tips on how to get going and get things done based on your own tendencies.

Core Areas:

  • 5 days for Mindset Matters
  • 6 days for Personal Image
  • 6 days for Communications Sharpening
  • 4 days for Strengths Development
  • 4 days for the Heart
  • 5 days to nourish the Spirit

Excited? See you tomorrow at 7am and everyday on til March 30th!

If you are reading this after Feb. 27th, it’s ok, just take it one day at a time! Bring your team with you to make it extra fun!

Thank you for visiting!

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook.

Tips for a Great Candidate Experience

I am so proud of Chess Capistrano, one of our amazing Recruiters. (All our Recruiters are amazing!) She was endorsed for Niche Talent Acquisition by one of the candidates she gave regret feedback to. Of course, selected candidates had wonderful words to say, too, about their Candidate Experience. Cheers to Bev Geronimo and Nic Sigua here, too!

I have made a few friends from when I was myself a Recruiter. Most of them from those I gave feedback to which helped them land a job elsewhere eventually, some were hired. We still talk and they still consult me on HR, leadership and career move matters.

A note from a candidate who reached the final round of the interview process.

Now, that Candidate Experience as opposed to…

Jen who was invited for an initial interview in the Shared Services of one of the biggest global Companies. Jen was excited and even though she lived far from the office, she was willing to commute for a chance to work with this Company.

She arrived early, only to realize that there were 11 others booked on the same slot as hers. Everyone arrived early.

Problem was, there was only one initial interviewer, who did not start on time… Anyhow…

Alas, after 5 hours, it was her turn.

Regardless, whether you hire this candidate or not, the starting point of the relationship was not nice and was very likely to make an impact – a negative one. For sure, the interviewer had no intention of this whatsoever and maybe just thinking about efficiency. So, here are tips, small and big changes that we can employ in our Recruitment process to make candidate experience a better one.

Why is Candidate Experience So Important?

I will give you 3 reasons.

  1. This is to be the starting point of your employee-employer relationship. You want all sort of relationships to have a sweet start.
  2. Even if they don’t end up working with you, they could be an ambassador for your brand. You always want good things said about any and all associations with you better be positive.
  3. Last and certainly not least, they are human beings who deserve respect. Respect that is shown by the below tips…

5 Tips for a Great Candidate Experience

Map the interview process and set proper expectations.

It’s never a positive experience to not know where you stand and what will happen next. Everyone needs clarity and certainty. So, from when a requisition is filed, lock your interview process in place. Then, communicate this to the candidate from the get go.

Don’t make them wait.

Properly and thoughtfully schedule interviews. Be there on time if not ahead of the candidate. No one wants to be in Jen’s shoes as in the above story. Everybody’s time is precious, including the candidates’. This is a basic expression of respect.

Nowadays, employers are no longer giving candidates a favor by inviting them. Candidates are more like customers. Now that changes things, doesn’t it?

Make Interviews Conversational

What you want to do is to put them at ease. Not to scare them. Not to position yourself as the all powerful. Especially, not to drain them. Some interviewers are, themselves nervous and stressed during the interview. The candidates then feel uncomfortable as a result. So, foremost, relaxed and comfortable recruiters and hiring managers are key. You want to simulate your actual work atmosphere (which we hope is nice and friendly) in the interview.

This way, too, you get the best from your interviewees. People generally perform better when they are at ease because they can focus on the question or task and not worry about anything else.

Provide real-time, honest and tactfully crafted feedback

I think this is most popular, and not in a good way. Recruiters’ seeming inability to provide feedback to candidates. They use the term “ghosting” as in when someine initially pursuing you suddenly and without warning disappears to thin air. In a sense, this is understandable, especially in cases of volume hiring. Difficult, but it can be done. There’s technology nowadays that recruiters can leverage. So, no matter how challenging, it is an imperative to give feedback.

But what’s key here is how much personalization you can do and how helpful your feedback is. It is also wise to onboard the Hiring Managers in giving feedback becuase this is something that they can do even before they end the interview. There’s higher percentage that they already know whether pass or fail midway through the conversation.

Collect Only the Needed Data Per Application Step And Keep All Records Confidential

Many years ago, I was invited to apply by courier service Company. I was scheduled for my initial interview and was asked to bring all necessary documents which included my birth certificate, entire family’s birth certificate, transcript of records, several 1×1 photos to name a few. Seriously? Initial interview documentation requirements? No!

Each document for a reason and requested at the right time.

What other candidate experience best practices would you like share?

Any candidate experience nightmare so far?

Coming Up: 30-Day Confidence Challenge

Join me and my team as we take on the 30-Day Confidence Challenge. Here, we build on the confidence that we already have. Yes, even the shyest person has it deep down. It just needs to be unleashed for greater success and happiness in your career and all your relationships.

More on this on Feb 26th. Day 1 of 30 days start on March 1st.

Thank you for visiting. 

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey.

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Unwritten Rules for HR Practitioners

HR has so many policies in place, yet, there are certain rules that govern our conduct as a practice that is not any of the policies we keep.

I listed 5 for you. Let me know unwritten yet necessary rules that you wish to add.

We don’t go to the “grapevine.”

“I heard from the grapevine…” should be eliminated from the vocabulary of all decent HR practitioners. Remember, trust and credibility is very important in our role and this line says otherwise.

Even those feeding you with information or those you’re sharing these with will not be comfortable with you because of the image it projects.

Instead, encourage employees to have matured, well-meaning conversations with each other. If you want to find out something, just be upfront and ask. If you want to validate something, just be transparent enough. If you want to give feedback, be ready to present facts and data.

We check data, ONLY when necessary.

One Company terminated an employee for looking through and spot checking individuals in the payroll file without any need for it. The poor employee doesn’t know that there’s a tracker and every click is logged. Of course, there were consequences to this action. But, we have integrity, so regardless if watched or not, this should not have happened.

We handle all sorts of information, from IDs to addresses to salaries and other personal and confidential employee information. We have it because we need it to verify, file Government documents, etc. So, handling them is on a need-only basis.

That means no checking someone’s salary when there’s no legitimate or documented request or need for it. This also means the 201 file is only opened when filing or retrieving relevant documents.

This way employees have confidence in us and know that they are in good hands.

We are neutral.

While we are expected to be human, to humanize and all its variants, much restraint is also necessary.

What do I mean by this?

Political views, religious affiliations, belief systems, etc. are to be held private. We can share our values and thoughts, for sure, but only by way of an intellectual discourse and not to promote or impose upon others.

We should remain neutral so as to promote diversity and avoid any form of discrimination.

We are fair.

Fairness for all employees across layers, genders, nationalities, tenure, and all other factors is what HR espouses.

This article by Brian Walker says it all.

We present ourselves well.

A scene from Late Night

HR, in most organizations, dress professionally.

Why is that?

We communicate verbally and non-verbally, and the most obvious under non-verbal communications is the way you dress – live or remote. Remember that the way you dress say something about you, your values, your priorities and most importantly, how you view those around you.

Professional dressing, across styles or personalities, communicates respect to the people we meet, it communicates that you want to be here and your readiness to take on challenges. No matter how you dress, you communicate something.

So, dress wisely and behave accordingly. 🙂

Thank you for visiting. 

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook.

Business photo created by freepik –

5 Reasons Recruiters Should Not Discriminate Against Employment Gaps and Short Tenure

Once Upon A Time

When I did Recruitment for the very first time, I was keen on looking for lengthy tenure with no employment gaps. Back then, lengthy tenure would mean about 5 years or more.

There are more qualifications, of course, on top of these two, but these were filters.

I had my reasons. I wanted to hire for keeps. This would of course mean minimized attrition and no backfill hiring.

Don’t get me wrong. It has worked! The folks I sourced and endorsed have been with the same Company for about 4 years now. All 40+ of them, save but 1 who went back to a job in another country.

But, what about those whom I screened out? Was it fair for them?

Then It Struck Me

I had to experience a short tenure + employment gap myself to realize that it’s not all so bad. It also wasn’t a reflection of bad attitude and not always about poor performance. No. Not always.

I started to be fair, I realized. The more I spoke with individuals who have these gaps and short tenure or both, my perspective widened. I am sharing my learnings with you.

For starters, there are certain factors beyond an individual’s control. Then, there are decisions that you make because of stronghold to your principles and values.

Here’s Why

It is a possible indicator of inner strength and stronghold to values.

My friend from college left a multi-national Company (hence an employment gap) because of Company practices that went against her principles and sense of integrity. Indeed, this Company was in the news in the past due to involvement in a huge public health scam.

Now, in comparison, I interviewed someone who has been with the same Company, a local brand, for the past 10 years. She said, she’s now exploring because she got tired of all the errands, both work related and personal requests from her boss. Up to this point, it’s understandable. As we went on in the interview, she said that she has been asked many times to re-write their books to lower their tax obligations. Which she did. This was not even the reason this lady was exploring. No employment gap and not clear sense of integrity.

S/He is Certain about his/her priorities in life.

Some life changing events may entail leaving the workforce momentarily to focus on ones health or baby or family. For example, some women may opt to leave a job to take care of her baby when no one else could. She might then later re-enter the workforce when the the circumstances are more favorable.

Of course, my dear Recruiters, be very discerning because this is also a popular excure. Just cross check when this is real vs. a publicity reason.

A rested mind make a stronger comeback.

It’s been a year since I started drafting this article (and I do hope to publish this tomorrow) and I have started hiring, regardless of the gaps in employment. And boy, what gusto, life and energy they brought to the table! They are just so excited to be back, so willing to learn and absolutely fired up to not only meet but also exceed expectations.

There are Managers who aren’t good (to say the least) at managing nor leading. Let’s face it.

Culture is a popular concept nowadays. However, while culture might be a broad concept, it can be simplified into one person – the immediate lead! To the employee, this lead is the Company culture’s ambassador, a representative. So if they experienced poor leadership, they leave, and they say it is because of Company culture. When in fact, they are leaving because of their Manager or Supervisor.

I have a coachee who opted to leave a rather good Company, with good benefits with clear prospect of career growth and awesome colleagues. This coachee was and still is an A-player, a performer, a key contributor. So, the stakeholders are taking good care of him/her. Yes, his/her own Manager wasn’t. His/her Manager have been a micromanager and credit grabber, let’s just put it that way.

If indeed something went wrong in the previous work, next Company benefits from all the learnings.

Now, let’s say, something indeed went wrong and the employee was either terminated or is at the brink of being terminated, do you think this employee would want to repeat this experience? No. This employee would want to redeem himself. This is a natural tendency of the human being.

In Certificates of Employment, rarely would you see “terminated” or “had disciplinary issues.” This is true. Why? Because we all want a second chance for the employee to have a good life, a chance at redemption.

So, should you go about hiring people who’s been let go by other organizations? This is not what I’m saying. But you may choose to. The key is honesty. To start a good relationship, you need full transparency.

One high ranking Director was let go owing to a harassment case. He was a performer but values are strong and there’s just no room for such behavior. You might think, what will become of him after what he’s done?! Now, he is now a Vice President, still a top performer, and a lay minister in church. Now, talk about a total turn around!

Events in our lives teach us lessons and how we grow from them is what defines us as individuals, not the events themselves.

Do you have an employment gap? Would you like to share how it came about?

For Recruiters, what’s your principle around this matter?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for visiting. 

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook.

Featured image by makyzz at

Top 10 Best Boss (Leader) Behaviors

Name your best boss/es…

Surely, you have great stories to tell. They impact our personal and professional growth & development.

I know, because I have been blessed with many of them – great bosses, great mentors, and great role models.

New Leaders, this is for you, too. Check out these leadership qualities that are worth emulating.

Top 10 Best Boss Behaviors,


Employees work at their best. Or at least, they try. The best leaders appreciate their employee contributions and recognize them when they’ve gone above and beyond.

It could be a simple gesture of “thanks” or the proverbial “pat on the back.” Whichever you choose, mean it. Your teammates and employees will feel a sincere, authentic thank you and this will be a source of motivation and acceptance for them.

POP QUIZ: How often should we show appreciation to our employees? Write in the comment box. 🙂

Clarideth “Dhey” Libut, former ePLDT Operations Lead, is very good at motivating the team. I recall, she would often pause and say, “team, ang galing niyo” (team, you’re the best) and smile at us with admiration. Indeed, she lead us to be the best team that took care of the Company’s top customers.

It’s been 14 years yet I still recall these happy office moments. This is how big the impact of appreciation is.

Communicates – Giver & Receiver

In any relationship, communication is key. Here, I am talking about communication that flows from the boss to his/her employees and vice versa. It is important that the boss knows how to deliver and to receive messages.

Many bosses have no trouble delivering a message or giving feedback. Some of them, though are not able to take feedback constructively or to accept an idea that is different from their own.

This is one of the biggest factors that separates best bosses from the pack.


I perform at my best when I am empowered.

Does the statement resonate with you?

You are not alone. Many of us are able to deliver more, perform above expectations and outdo our own output when we are empowered, when we know we are trusted and when there’s less limitations and more possibilities along the way.

David Meniane, CFO and COO knows exactly how this is done. He is very particular with the talents he hires. Dave listens, supports and allows you the freedom and space you need and helps clear any obstacle that might be getting in the way.

Shares the Spotlight

Best bosses and leaders shine the light and attract the light. They also share this light to their teammates and team members, giving them appropriate exposure to people across levels and different spans of responsibility across the organization. They also give credit lavishly when and where due.

Andrew Dingcong, Country Manager (Philippines), showcases the talent of his team and the Philippine site whenever a chance presents itself. As a result, he not only uplifts his own image but the Philippine team as a whole. A great way to enable leadership, employee and customer journeys. #enablejourneys

Learns Continuously

The Law of the Lid: Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness.

John C. Maxwell

The best leaders I know has that child-like curiosity. They never think of themselves perfect, they don’t pretent to know everything. They are always curious and interested in learning new things, new theories and new trends. It could be reading books – didn’t they say on average, CEOs read between to 52-60 books a year?

How many have you read this year so far?

It’s not only about reading books. It can go from as simple as being open to new ideas to taking on online courses, certifications or additional higher education degrees.

This is their own volition, something that they like to do, regardless of whether companies would sponsor this endeavor or not. This is not age dependent. No one should stop learning because of age or civil status or number of kids. Finally, this is something that gives them life, not a burden or an added work.

Advocates Progress

There are traditional types and there are progressive types. Traditional, as the name implies tend to honor tradition, does not stir the pot as much and creates that strong sense of stability. Which is not at all bad. However, for me, it is the progressive types who have shaped the world today, who have pushed the limits of imagination and who have espoused innovation. Leaders who advocate progress are more future-ready and catastrophe proof compared to their traditional counterparts.

Growth and progress, are, for me synonyms, thus if you want to grow, you have to progress.

I remember Marc Gregorio, Managing Director of Human Resources at Maxim Integrated and my first mentor in OD. She has a progressive approach to her leadership and management style. I loved that her brand of HR is not one who merely follows or jots down orders, it was (most likely still is) the HR that has a seat at the table and key to making huge Company decisions on people and business strategy.

Decisive and Takes a Stand

Leadership is not a popularity contest. Not because everyone loves a leader meant that everyone respected him/her. Although, I firmly believe that a leader can both be feared and loved. No need to choose. However, if you have to, choose the former. Some decisions can be difficult but they need to be made. Decisions that involve discipline, termination or benefits and salaries, can be very controversial, but at the end of the day, a leader must do his/her job.

The more a leader takes a stand, the more s/he is respected…. and loved.

Because of the sensitivity of the following example, I will not name this HR Leader. S/he decided to terminate the Department Head, HR Head and Legal Counsel in one site because of a harassment case. These men have served the company for a very long time and are key performers. However that was not taken into consideration because the Company has very strong zero tolerance to harassments culture. Culture upheld, respect and love reinforced.


Inspire others and you’re halfway through. Inspiring leaders allow their teams to dream and see beyond their current reality. This produces a ripple effect where other people are not just inspired, they are also motivated, challenged (in a good way) and happy.

This last bit, happy, is so underrated in today’s employee engagement landscape, yet it can be a game changer. Leaders who inspire, make people happy and ultimately, happy campers stay and are a lot more productive than their unhappy, uninspired teammates.

I can think of so many people here. Can you name one inspiring boss you have/had?

Invests in his/her People

We said earlier that the best bosses and leaders continue to learn and up themselves. But, they don’t do it alone or just for themselves, they always involve their teams.

Veron Estrella introduced us to so many things – from HR frameworks to Everyday Creativity to laughter yoga. Some of these from her own pocket because it is among her priority for us, her then team, to learn and grow. Read more about her here.

Has A Strong Sense of Integrity

This is last but certainly not the least. If you report to someone who have questionable integrity, hurry, leave!

This is very deep, yet very self explanatory. With that, I leave you with a quote from Warren Buffett.

As I always say, light and love to you. Til next! 🙂

Thank you for visiting. 

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follows me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook.