Government failing to deliver promised apprenticeship reform says Limerick TD

first_imgPrint TAGSBusiness Enterprise and InnovationDeputy Maurice Quinlivangovernmentparliamentary questionSinn Fein NewsPoliticsGovernment failing to deliver promised apprenticeship reform says Limerick TDBy Staff Reporter – May 9, 2018 1217 Email Decision to enter Phase 4 of reopening Ireland deferred to August 10 Previous articleUniversity of Limerick awarded two esteemed awardsNext articleNew aviation training campus lands in Shannon Staff Reporter WhatsApp Linkedin Twitter Sinn Finn TD for Limerick City, Maurice Quinlivan.Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD today said that the government is failing to deliver on the promised apprenticeship reform and expansion, as figures obtained by him show the government is missing its own targets by a considerable margin.Speaking today the Limerick City TD said;“Figures released to me in response to a Parliamentary Question show that only 335 people took part in newly established apprenticeship programmes last year, significantly missing the government’s own target of 800 for 2017.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “In addition, only 9 of the promised 15 new apprenticeship programmes were introduced last year.“To miss the number of new registrations by 58%, and only deliver 40% of the promised new programmes is totally unacceptable, and shows a complete lack of effort and priority.“Last year, I got a response from a Parliamentary Question outlining an estimated apprenticeship budget for 2018 of €135.3 million. A later response outlined that the actual budget for 2018 would be €122 million, over €13 million less in funding.“It appears that funding for apprenticeships has become a casualty of Fine Gael’s €335 million tax giveaway budget, and I have no doubt the targets will be missed again this year as a result.“Evidence of this can already be seen in the fact that, despite being 5 months into 2018, only 3% of the government’s target of new registrations for this year, have been achieved to date.“The need for more apprenticeship places and alternative programmes is clear. We need to increase this method of training and education, not just to give young people more tertiary education options, but also to equip Ireland with the skilled workers needed for growing and emerging industries.​”​We have to establish apprenticeships as a real alternative career choice for people, we need to champion this method of education and training.” Deputy Quinlivan concluded.More about politics here. center_img Maurice Quinlivan appointed Chair of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Committee Facebook Sinn Fein plans for ‘all female’ election candidates are sexist and discriminatory, says male party member snubbed for election run RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Senator has beef with meat industry Advertisement Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins appointed as Minister of State Pension issue is hot election topiclast_img read more

Coping with the change

first_imgWhat has been the impact of discrimination law on transsexuals and how willit affect the workplace?  By Joan Lewisand Linda Goldman The Sex Discrimination Act (SDA) came on to the statute book in 1975 at thesame time that the Equal Pay Act 1970 came into force. These Acts form thekingpin of legislation to ensure equality of treatment for the sexes in theworkplace and were originally designed to correct injustices suffered by womenin terms of pay and access to work. During the last decade or so, the concept of gender has shifted to that ofthe person. The European Equal Treatment directive (number 76/207) and Article119 of the Treaty of Rome have formed the legal framework for many questions tobe answered in the European Court of Justice where member states of theEuropean Union have had their legislation subjected to scrutiny and whereextensive case law has developed. Men are now as likely to bring sex discrimination or equal pay claims astheir female counterparts. Those whose gender is changed have been involvedincreasingly in employment litigation in recent years. Gender-specific protection The Equal Treatment directive and current statutes protect persons fromdiscrimination on the basis of sex or, in the employment field, discriminationon the grounds of being married. There is no overt reference to statutoryrights for transsexuals or homosexuals. However, the Sex Discrimination (GenderReassignment) Regulations 1999, widen the scope of the SDA within the currentsocial perspective. Although the UK is likely to see extension to the currentanti-discrimination legislation to cover sexual orientation in addition totranssexualism, the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), now in force, increases therange of protection for those who express a greater variety of individualsexuality. The HRA provides statutory recognition in Article 8 of the European Conventionon Human Rights, which recognises the right to have private and family liferespected; Article 10 recognises the right to freedom of expression. These twofactors should ensure that the sexuality, gender or change thereof does notaffect the right of an individual to carry out a day’s work in a discriminationfree environment. Until the last decade, there was no significant case law affectingtranssexuals in the workplace. Indeed, the law remains fixed that persons whoundergo a sex change operation retain their biological gender as determined atbirth (White v. British Sugar Corporation, 1977, IRLR 121). In 1996, in P v. S& Cornwall County Council, the ECJ ruled that the Equal Treatment Directiveapplied to transsexuals in a decision which encourages the view that the nextstep, on the grounds of logic and policy, is to extend statute to coverdiscrimination of sexual orientation more generally, rather than for the courtsto continue to rely on individual precedents. The English courts swiftly accepted the logic and reasoning of the ECJ inrelation to transsexuals. The approach was endorsed in 1997 in ChessingtonWorld of Adventures v. Reed where it was held that a female suffered sexdiscrimination when she was about to undergo gender reassignment and washarassed mercilessly during the pre-operative course of treatment. Further protection is given to trans-sexuals by the new Gender Reassignment(SI 1999/1102), in force since May 1999. They amend the SDA by the insertion ofnew sections to protect individuals from discrimination on the grounds that aperson intends to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a genderreassignment. This is defined in section 82 as, “a process which isundertaken under medical supervision for the purpose of reassigning a person’ssex by changing physiological or other characteristics of sex and includes anypart of such process.” Limitations of statutory protection Gender reassignment is a major surgical and endocrinological procedure whichdoes not include transvestism, although there may be a stage in the preliminaryprocess where the patient dresses in the manner of the gender which he or sheproposes to adopt. Thus, a man who wishes to attend work dressed as a woman (orvice versa) may be subject to disciplinary proceedings unless the conduct isundertaken under medical supervision and it is part of a process which involvesthe changing of physiological or other characteristics of sex. If the nature of a person’s exterior garments, make-up or hair-style rendersthe individual liable to dismissal, the claim may be on better grounds ifbrought for unfair dismissal in addition to sex discrimination. Thus, Ian(later Christine) Sheffield, a pilot undergoing gender reassignment in themid-1990s, succeeded in a discrimination claim when Air Foyle did not offer heran interview, short-listing other less qualified applicants. Practical implications Occupational health personnel should be aware that there is specificprovision in the new section 2A(3) of the SDA dealing with how absence due toundergoing a gender reassignment is to be treated. The employee must not betreated less favourably than someone who is absent through sickness or injury.There is an alternative catch-all provision which allows tribunals to look at howpeople, absent for reasons other than sickness or injury, are (or would be)treated. If the tribunal thinks it is reasonable that the employee should betreated no less favourably than those absent for a non-sickness reason, thatmay form the basis of a comparison upon which a finding of discrimination maybe based. Not all employees who have surgery to change their sex are treated ascompassionately as the former Reverend Peter Stone who returned to parishduties on 28 November 2000 (The Times, 29 November) in Swindon as ReverendCarol Stone, having undergone privately funded surgery during the summer. Shetold journalists that she had only two vocations in her life – “being apriest and a [being a] woman.” It is a sign of progress in eliminatingdiscrimination that she has been able to do so with the support of the churchand her parishioners. Industry can learn from this lesson. Alastair B Hodge, a barrister practising at 7 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn,London, carried out the research for this articleEqual Treatment directiveCurrent case law is affected by interpretation of the directive by the ECJ.Salient features are: equal treatment of persons at work with reference toaccess to employment, training, promotion and in respect of working conditions,including conditions relating to dismissal there shall be no discrimination whatsoeveron grounds of sex either directly or indirectly. By reference, in particular tomarital or family status, some occupational activities may preclude equaltreatment, particularly where the sex of the individual is the determiningfactor in access to the specific employmentLegal overviewP v S and Cornwall County Council, 1996, IRLR 347 The applicant, who was then male, was hired as a general manager. He wasdismissed a year later when the employer learned that he intended to undergogender reassignment surgery. The [then] industrial tribunal held that the casefell outside the scope of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, but referred thecase to the ECJ for consideration of whether the Equal Treatment directiveapplied. ECJ held that the scope of the directive could not be confined simplyto discrimination based on the fact that a person is of one or other sex. Therights which it sought to safeguard applied to those whose gender wasreassigned. The Advocate General said that there is “irrelevance of a person’s sexwith regard to the rules regarding relations in society. Whosoever believes inthat value cannot accept the idea that a law should permit a person to bedismissed because she is a woman, or because he is a man, or because he or shechanges from one of the two sexes… by means of an operation which – accordingto current medical knowledge – is the only remedy capable of bringing mind andbody into harmony. Any other solution would sound like a moral condemnation – acondemnation, moreover, out of step with the times.” Chessington World of Adventures v Reed, 1997, IRLR 556 In 1991, the applicant announced a change of identity from male to female.For the next three years she was subject to a campaign of harassment by some ofher male colleagues. She went off on sick leave and five months later wasdismissed on the ground of lack of capability. The Employment Appeal Tribunalupheld the decision that the Sex Discrimination Act could, in the light of P vS & Cornwall County Council, be construed so as to cover unfavourabletreatment following a person’s statement of intention to undergo genderreassignment stating: “Where, as in this case, the reason for unfavourabletreatment is sex-based, that is, a declared intention to undergo genderreassignment, there is no requirement for a male/female comparison to be made.In these circumstances we interpret the 1975 Act consistently with the rulingof the ECJ in P v S & Cornwall County Council.” R v Secretary of State for Defence, ex parte Perkins, 1997, IRLR 297 Here is an important quote from the decision. “If, as the Advocate General[in P v S] indicates, transsexuals’ right to sexual identity embraces the rightto marry persons [according to English law] of the same sex, to allowdiscrimination against transsexuals on ground of sexual orientation wouldundermine, if not totally defeat, the protection to which the court inCornwall’s case held them entitled, namely discrimination on the grounds oftheir transsexuality. The proper way to regard the decision in Cornwall’s casemay well be that trans-sexuals are equally protected on the ground of sexualorientation. “And if transsexuals, even before and without any gender reassignment,are entitled to protection against discrimination on grounds of sexualorientation, it is difficult to see how such protection can be withheld from thoseof homosexual orientation generally.” Coping with the changeOn 1 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: B’way Vet & Mad Men Star Bryan Batt Gets Hitched & More

first_imgHere’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. View Comments Jane Alexander & Erika Henningsen Board Show Boat Tony winner Jane Alexander will play Parthy with Erika Henningsen as Kim in the New York Philharmonic’s semi-staged production of Show Boat. They join the previously reported Norm Lewis, Alli Mauzey and more at Avery Fisher Hall November 5 through November 8. Don’t worry if you won’t be able to make the show—the production will be telecast on PBS (air date to be announced later). B’way Alum & Mad Men Star Bryan Batt Gets Hitched Broadway vet and Mad Men star Bryan Batt recently tied the knot with his partner Tom Cianfichi. Batt told Us Weekly: “I’ve had some good ones, but this was the best night of my life!” The wedding took place in New Orleans; guests included Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and her hubby Geoffrey Arend, The Elephant Man’s Patricia Clarkson and Tony winner Harriet Harris. Congratulations from us all at to the happy couple! Iconic Hair Cast Member Steve Curry Dead at 68 Original Hair cast member Steve Curry, who featured on the rock musical’s original artwork, below, has died at the age of 68. The New York Times reports that the cause of death was sepsis. He is survived by his wife Susan, their sons, Matthew and Andrew; a daughter, Catherine Goddard, from a previous relationship with the actress Susan Anspach; and three grandchildren. Drama League to Honor James Earl Jones You Can’t Take it With You’s James Earl Jones will be honored by the Drama League at a charity gala on February 2, 2015. The 31st Annual Musical Celebration of Broadway revue will feature numerous stars of stage and screen paying tribute to the Great White Way’s favorite Grandpa. Learn About The Oldest Boy Interested in discovering more about the background to Sarah Ruhl’s off-Broadway play The Oldest Boy? On October 28 there will be a discussion between Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche (Tibetan Buddhist Master and Founder of Jewel Heart), Mickey Lemle and Ruhl entitled Life Imitates Life, Again and Again. Additionally, on November 4, there will be a talk by Dr. Thupten Jinpa Langri on The Story of Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism. Both enlightening events will take place at Lincoln Center Theater.last_img read more

July 1, 2006 Letters

first_imgJuly 1, 2006 Letters Letters Civics Education Kudos to Alan Bookman, Rep. Curtis Richardson, Sen. Ron Klein, and all the concerned citizens of Florida for their support of civics education.Before I became an attorney, I was a social studies teacher in Florida middle schools for several years. With a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in education, I went confidently to my first interview for a teaching position. Imagine my shock when the principal told me: “Social studies isn’t important. Can you coach?” Unfortunately, I came to discover that this was a routine question in interviews for social studies teachers.Later when I was working as a social studies teacher, I was saddened to learn that the period for social studies classes was the standard time period to distribute yearbooks, have assemblies, and disseminate flyers on cheerleading. While all those things have their value, I was never able to persuade the school administrators that learning about the Constitution was at least equally important.In this post-911 world, there is a more urgent need than ever for civics education. Thank you for seeing the value in this and helping Florida’s children become effective citizens. Janet Allard Wilkerson Jacksonville Mr. Ethics On Monday, May 26, 2006, I lost a great friend, the Judicial Qualifications Commission lost a great advisor, and the Florida Bar lost one of its most valuable members. Thomas Cook MacDonald, Jr., was the long-time general counsel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. The obituary in the Tampa Tribune referred to him as “Mr. Ethics.” The St. Petersburg Times stated, “He made it right when Florida judges do wrong.”Some judges disliked Mr. MacDonald because of the strong stands he took concerning violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct. These judges misunderstood the mission of the commission. That mission is to protect the public from bad judges and to protect good judges from themselves. Mr. MacDonald worked tirelessly to achieve both of these goals. His tough stand in many instances reflected the will of the commission or was necessary to maintain confidence in the judiciary.Behind the scenes Tom strived as hard to ensure judges were not subjected to baseless charges as he did to see corrective measures were taken when the code of conduct was violated. It’s through his efforts that members of the Florida judiciary continue to be held in such high esteem.It is not only the Bar and I who have lost a great compassionate friend, but also the members of the judiciary who have sustained an immeasurable loss.Judge James R. Wolf Chair, Judicial Qualifications Commission July 1, 2006 Letterscenter_img Page Remembered Longtime Madison County attorney Ernest Page, Jr., passed away recently. At the time of his death, Page was a practicing attorney logging 58 total years of practice.A graduate of UF law school, he was the past president of the Third Circuit Bar Association, former attorney for Madison County, and North Florida Community College (f.k.a., North Florida Junior College). He served as counsel to Tri-County Electric Cooperative for 40 years, a tenure that was a record for representation of electric cooperatives. He is survived by his son, Ernest Page III, and grandson, Ernest Page IV, both of whom are assistant state attorneys in the Third Judicial Circuit.Greg Parker Perry Joint and Several Liability Having read attorney Joe Little’s letter in the May 15 News, I felt I should make my own contribution and state my view of the issues involving the most recent legislation eliminating joint and several liability in tort actions.The real issues behind the legislation have nothing to do with “right,” “fairness,” or “equity.” The real issue is as it has always been: money. And that singular issue involves insurance companies “capturing” (a more polite term for a more disreputable activity) Florida legislators to compel them to push for legislation favorable to them economically. There is no basis upon which a “fairness” argument can be made when applied to innocent injured parties. Any legislator who attempts to make a fairness argument of this legislation as it affects innocent injured persons is either stupid or thinks the public is.I would submit an anecdotal offering of the following: A few years ago during a meeting of “bigwigs” when I was then an “in house” managing attorney for a large insurance company, I had the temerity to question their position that Florida’s (then) joint and several liability was unjust and unfair, I proposed to them the following scenario:“Suppose your 12-year-old grandchild (all three had one) was standing on a street corner at an intersection controlled by a traffic light. Two vehicles collide in the intersection and one careens off and runs over your grandchild who suffers injuries resulting in her being a cripple requiring continued medical care the rest of her life and has incurred $100,000 in medical bills. It is without dispute that your grandchild is not in any way negligent. Consider that the jury awards $1 million in damages, and upon conflicting testimony as to which vehicle had a green or a yellow light, the jury found the vehicle with unlimited resources and/or insurance to be 10 percent negligent and the owner of the 10-year-old vehicle with no liability insurance or assets to be 90 percent negligent. Would it be fair that your grandchild, a wholly innocent bystander, receive only $100,000 for her injuries?”Of course, they could not make a response without revealing the effect on them personally.As the old adage says: Right and fairness and one’s view of what is right or fair depends upon whose bull is being gored. Insurance companies and their mentors consider only money. “Right” or “fairness” has nothing to do with it. It is intellectual hypocrisy (and in our case professional hypocrisies) to argue it involves anything but money. What is determined by legislation to be “right” or “fair” on this subject depends upon what legislators your viewpoint controls (or owns).Millard C. Glancy Coral Springslast_img read more

Trinidad state of emergency and curfew to continue

first_imgPrime Minister Kamla Persad BissessarPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the state of emergency (SoE) and the curfew (11 pm – 4 am) implemented in several areas of Trinidad will remain in place, until so advised by the security agencies.Speaking at a post Cabinet press conference on Thursday, she said the members of the security agencies spent several hours on Thursday addressing Cabinet.She said both measures, instituted on August 21, 2011, will be constantly reviewed. The three month SoE will officially end on December 5, 2011.The prime minister said the security agencies have said the SoE and the curfew have been “valuable tools in the fight of crime”. She said the agencies were putting measures in place to deal with crime after the SoE.The prime minister also announced the National Security Operations Centre (NSOC), which allows for all members of law enforcement agencies to share information. She said previously there was no joint planning or sharing of information. Quoting statistics since the start of the SoE to 6 am on Thursday, the prime minister said there have been 3,932 arrests. She said 57 persons were arrested for homicides. On a figure of 500 murders a year, she said it meant there were 45 murders per month. Noting that, although there were 15 murders in the first month of the SoE, “15 too much” it equated to a 70 percent reduction in murders. Other statistics given by the prime minister included 449 for gang related incidents; 745 for drugs; 769 for serious offences; 200 for other offences; 418 for enquiries and the seizure of 1,243 ammunition, 29 magazines and 125 firearms. Additionally, three quarters of billion dollars in drugs have been seized or destroyed.Caribbean News Now Tweet Share Sharing is caring! NewsRegional Trinidad state of emergency and curfew to continue by: – October 7, 2011center_img Share 10 Views   no discussions Sharelast_img read more

National team aims for better placing

first_imgJamaica’s national dart team is looking forward to a stronger performance at this year’s Caribbean Championship that will be held in Barbados.The local body, Jamaica Dart Association (JDA), named a 13-member squad for the regional tournament to run from July 12-17.National player/coach Colin Chandia expects the team to finish better than the seventh place in last year’s competition.”We participated last year after a long layoff, where we finished seventh out of 12 teams. We have been working hard for the past three months in order to be better prepared,” Chandia told The Gleaner.”The main focus is to finish in a higher position. We should give a significant performance this year,” he emphasised.He is looking towards the senior players to inspire the team, which was selected from players participating in the ongoing local league.The full team is: Men – Albert Bailey (Portmore Contenders), Colin Chandia (Chelsea Precision), David Green (BOJ Gators), Dwight Smith (Chelsea Precision), Evon Faulkner (BOJ Gators), Lynford Jonas (Dynasty MoBay), Mark Birthwright (Central Miners) and Winston Ferguson (Portmore Stimulus).Women – Carol Cheese (Shooting Stars), Catherine Stewart (BOJ Gators), Jennifer Reid (MoBay Darters), Lorraine Nembhard (Portmore Contenders) and Marvel Brown (MoBay Darters).last_img read more

Sharks vs. Avalanche roundtable: Who will win Game 7?

first_imgIt’s time for Game 7, again.The Sharks will face off against the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night in a winner-take-all game to head to the Western Conference final against the St. Louis Blues, who won a Game 7 of their own Tuesday night.We turned to our Sharks beat writer Curtis Pashelka and his Denver Post counterpart Mike Chambers to lend their expertise as we sort through the matchups and possibilities in Game 7.Question: If Joe Pavelski is able to return from his head injury, what …last_img read more

Using the Track Select Forward Tool in DaVinci Resolve 15

first_imgLearning a new application can mean spending hours stumped by usability issues. Here’s one we found in Resolve — and how to fix it.Every so often, we run across an issue that doesn’t have an apparent answer, partly because we’re not too sure what’s causing the problem. There’s one issue in Resolve that, when I was new to the platform, boggled me for hours, and that’s selecting multiple clips at once from the playheads position using the track select forward shortcut.If familiar with Premiere Pro, you’re likely familiar with this button:It’s the handy Track Select Tool, which allows you to move the contents of an entire track forward from the position of the playhead. You can also move multiple tracks by holding shift and selecting a different track. It’s an efficient way of moving multiple clips on numerous tracks forward or backward, without selecting all clips. As is the case in Resolve, if we were to select all clips (Ctrl+A) in the image below, we would be unable to move the clips back because track one already has clips that reach the start of the timeline, which acts as a wall.However, if we were to track-select Video 2 and Audio 1 and 2, we could then move all clips back to the desired position.We could, in theory, also hold shift and highlight the desired clips across the tracks to move them backward or forward. However, if you have a long timeline with multiple clips, that’s a recipe for disaster. I could happily sing the praises of Resolve’s user interface and design mechanics all day long. It’s very user-friendly, but every so often, I do run into a feature that could perform better. Selecting clips forward and backward is the heel today.In Resolve, we don’t exactly have a tool icon to select, nor is it available using the trim tool, but you can perform the operation by using a keyboard shortcut — which is Y or Ctrl+Y to select all clips back from the playhead position. However, as you can see in the GIF below, look what happens when I hit Y and Ctrl+Y after selecting the track region I want to move forward:The clips on the track above become selected, and the clips on track one, the track I selected, have been omitted from the process. This is because the track above is currently the designated video track, meaning if I were to insert a clip from the source viewer, it would appear on the secondary track. We can see that it’s the destination track because of the orange square active on the track header. So, even though I have selected track one because it’s not the active destination track, the select clips forward function does not work the way I need it to. To move the clips forward for the first video track, which is confusingly also called V1, you have to change the destination track — which you can do so by selecting the V1 button.A secondary issue when using these shortcuts is when you want to move clips forward from all tracks, which you do by pressing Alt+Y, or Ctrl+ALT+Y to select all tracks backward from your position. One would think that as you’re selecting all the tracks, there wouldn’t be an issue with having a designated video track as you’re selecting multiple. Yet, as you can see below, when hitting Alt+Y, only the clips from the one video track are selected.Why is this? Well, unlike having an active video track destination, this is now a result of autoselect (if you are unfamiliar with autoselect, you can read about that feature here). In the example, you can see that I don’t have autoselect active on any of the tracks. Therefore, to track-select all tracks, I need to activate autoselect. At first, this seems like a hindrance. However, it was designed this way — if you need to select all tracks except two, you can omit those two tracks by deselecting autoselect.So, the tl;dr:To change the track that you want to use the track select tool on, you have to change the designated video or audio track.To select multiple tracks, you have to turn autoselect on. Lewis McGregor is a certified DaVinci Resolve Trainer.Looking for more articles on DaVinci Resolve? Check these out.DaVinci Resolve 15 Video Crash Course — The Edit ToolsDaVinci Resolve 15 Video Crash Course — The Edit PageDaVinci Resolve 15 Video Crash Course — The Media PageColor Grading: Working with the Hue vs. Curves in DaVinci ResolveRevive Your Footage With Resolve 15’s Automatic Dirt Repair and Dust Buster Toolslast_img read more

How to Be Intellectually Curious in Sales

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now If you want to develop your business acumen, your situational knowledge, and your ability to create value for your clients and your dream clients, you need to become intellectually curious. You have to seek to understand how things work, why people do things a certain way, why people want what they want, and when it makes sense to do something.When I was young and first started selling, I developed the practice of asking my clients questions. At first, the questions I asked were direct, and my goal was not to understand, but rather to elicit the client’s dissatisfaction. The word we used to describe “what is keeping the customer up at night,” assuming they knew what should be keeping them up at night and that they were willing to share it with a salesperson who might be able to help). Later, after I became a better salesperson from having studied Neil Rackham’s work, my questions switched to what his model called “implication” questions. I started asking the question, “What happens if you don’t do something different?”At some point, I realized that creating greater value for my clients meant learning more about their business. I started to ask a different set of questions designed to obtain a real understanding of how their business worked, how they thought about their business and the competitive landscape, and how I might be more helpful to them.One of my clients was responsible for an enormous logistics operations. In a meeting I attended, the attendees from his management team continuously talked about “throughput.” I knew what the word meant, and I had some understanding of how what I sold would impact their throughput, but I wasn’t certain. So I asked my client to explain it to me, and then to share with me how I might impact that metric in a meaningful way. And then I asked five more clients to give me their views on the same metric, and in doing so, I became more valuable to my clients and my dream clients.Ask HowIt is valuable to know how different business models work. If you want to create value for the teams that manage and run businesses, you need to know how things work. You want to understand their overall strategy as a business, something you can quickly learn to discern by reading The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema. You can also learn a good bit by simply watching or listening to CNBC, especially in the morning, when they interview CEOs and business leaders.To be intellectually curious, you have to want to know how things work. You can ask your client how they compete in their marketplace and what they believe differentiates them from their competitors. You can ask how they handle some process or execute something that provides you with a better understanding of what they think they need to do to be successful. You can even ask how they feel about some strategic or tactical decision they need to make for their business.In exploratory or discovery calls, the depth and breadth of what you discover—and what you help the client discover about themselves—is going to be based on the level of questions you ask. Asking “What’s keeping you up at night” might still be a useful question, and you will have clients who want to share the answer and acquire some help solving those problems. However, that question doesn’t demonstrate a real interest in their business, nor does it indicate you have a deep enough understanding to be considered a future partner.If you work selling to and serving businesses and the people that run them, you have to intellectually curious enough to understand business principles.Ask WhyFrom time to time, you will be baffled by some of the things your clients and prospects do in pursuing some result. Sometimes you will see them doing something that doesn’t seem to make sense, only to find out is working well for them, giving you new insight as to how you might do something different or better. Other time you will see your dream client doing something so wrong that it’s difficult to believe. What you want to know is “why” they do what they do.If you are going to be intellectually curious, you are going to have to ask why, without being judgmental. You will have clients who seem to be doing things in ways that make the outcome they need difficult for them, only to find out there is a good reason why they do things in a certain way. How you provide a solution that gains their commitment to work with you may very well depend on you knowing how to improve their results in a way that doesn’t disrupt something that needs to be done in a certain way.But asking why often reveals areas where an improvement is available to your client because they don’t know there are better ways available to them. If you believe that salespeople are no longer necessary because their clients and prospects can research on the internet, likely, you don’t work in sales. The intellectually curious salesperson has the benefit of learning from clients and prospects, coupled with the experience of working with clients to know more about the nuances around decisions and solutions that exceed anything one might learn from researching company websites.Taking care of your clients and prospects requires the curiosity to understand why certain things are done, sometimes this way, and other times another way. You need to know how to think about trade-offs, what this is better than that, and when it makes sense to do something.What They WantSuccess in sales in large part depends on effectively working with and for other people. Even though you are supposed to believe relationships no longer matter in sales, the truth of the matter is that matter more now than ever in a world being pulled in two directions (super-transactional and super-relational). It pays to be intellectually curious about what human beings want and why.Let me give you an easy, sales-related example. I once heard a purchasing manager explain that his compensation was, in part, based on price savings over prior years. He wasn’t interested in cost savings if those savings weren’t visible as a reduction in price, as he was not compensated on the difficult to capture, but very real soft costs.Some leaders invest in outcomes and will willingly pay more for things like speed to market, greater market share, innovative ideas that create a competitive advantage, or any number of things they want. If you’re going to be intellectually curious, you’ll ask them why they want what they want, why it’s important to them. There may not be anything more interesting or useful than understating human psychology and motivation, something worth learning to understand (as much as it can be).If you want to be better in sales, a better sales manager, or more effective leader, and an all-around more successful person, being intellectually curious is as good a place to start as any.last_img read more