Friday, July 15, 2011

SOAR Stories

Our SOAR “storytelling” process

Situation. Describe a job by outlining the situation when you began, making it interesting.

Opportunities. Then describe opportunities the job presented. For example, “When I joined the firm, sales had been declining for three years. I saw the opportunity to target new areas.”

Actions. Next, move to actions taken by you and others (the team). These actions are the most important part of the SOAR process, and a great place for the descriptive phrases.

Results. Then relate what results occurred. For the “R” in SOAR, try to quantify the results. For example, you cut costs by $100,000 or 20%. In administrative situations, you can measure results with statements like “I did it in half the time,” or “The system I developed was adopted throughout the company,” or “I won an award.” Indicate positive things you did to help your organizations. Describe how you helped your management meet their goals, and the results they achieved. Show how you demonstrated a skill or a personal quality.

Create stories that demonstrate benefits you can bring. If you successfully managed the integration of two teams following a merger, and the new business gained market share and/or costs were reduced—by all means say so. Wherever possible, quantify with dollar amounts, percent- ages, etc. Even an average SOAR story is better than none at all.

Examples of SOAR stories

Situation / Opportunity. When I joined MBC Sales, the company had lost nearly $7.5 million on a new product release. I recognized an opportunity to employ my Procter & Gamble experience in marketing.

Action. With the help of the Y & R agency, I relaunched the brand, created a new television advertising campaign, and refocused all marketing efforts.

Result.Withinayear,weturnedan$8millionlosstoa$4million gain—30% of the firm’s profits.

Situation / Opportunity. The company recruited 5,000 people a year but never had a training program.

Action. I created the firm’s first training course. With a staff of 20, we introduced it in 57 markets.

Result. The firm was able to bring in recruits who produced within four weeks. In the following year, sales by newcomers accounted for $3,000,000.

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