Thursday

Don't Handle Objections

The corporation needed sales reps to sell its product. Prospects who would not buy were a problem. Sales experts then anticipated all of the potential reasons a prospect might not buy and came up with approaches to address these objections. If the prospect says they can't afford it, say this. If they say they need to check with someone else, say this. When in doubt, use the "Feel, Felt, Found Formula" which goes like this: Really Mr. or Mrs. Prospect. I understand how you feel. Many of our customers felt the same way, until they found..." Successful sales reps came home with the order or the contract.

Handling Objections is Nonsense

In today's post-modern world, handling objections is nonsense. Avoid anyone who tells you they will train you or your people on handling objections. Success today is not defined by how much you sell but by how well your solutions get implemented and the success you bring to your clients. Consequently, the quality of your sales matters more than the quantity. Of course, quantity matters. You have to make your targets. But you must make your targets by delivering real value.

Real value is delivered over time. Superficial value does not stand the test of time. If you do not deliver real value, your brand will suffer. In this age where everyone has a voice and anyone can amplify their voice, you can't afford to deliver superficial value. This means that you must partner with your prospects to ensure you can deliver value to them and to minimize the risk of delivery.

Rather than "handle objections", the focus of your sales effort in the latter stages of the sale, must be on mitigating risk. Rather than wait for the prospect to bring up reasons why they are apprehensive about proceeding and being forced into a reactive position, why not partner with your prospect and proactively address this issue?

Risk Mitigation

Prior to signing the contract, schedule a meeting with your prospect to address the issue of risk. You are in the business of helping your clients solve their problems. Remember, the issues you address are not your problems. They are your client's problems. This is an important realization. The burden is not on your shoulders; it's on your prospect's shoulders. You are there to help them remove the burden. Home Depot has the right idea. Their slogan is, "You can do it. We can help." You are there to help not to do everything. Sales professionals who don't realize this take on too much responsibility for the solution. Prospects knowingly or unknowingly collaborate with your sales rep to shift the burden of responsibility to your company. When things go wrong, you are to blame.

You Can Do It, We Can Help

Your sales team should make it clear to the prospect that your company is there to help. They should also make it clear that risk is involved, Based on their experience, they should proactively tell prospects the nature of the risks they believe the prospect will face and solicit input, based on the prospect's knowledge of their environment, of the risks they believe they will face. Once all the risks are on the table, they should be grouped into categories based on severity and likelihood. Together, the sales rep and the prospect should develop approaches to deal with the potential risks.

This approach keeps the responsibility where it belongs - with the prospect. It also develops trust and respect. More than ever, prospects are looking for partners not pitches. When you handle objections, you broadcast that you're only interested in making a sale. When you broadcast that you are only interested in making a sales, you trigger your prospect's defense mechanism. When you help your prospect mitigate risk, you broadcast, very clearly, that you are sincerely interested in building partnership. When you broadcast that you are interested in building a partnership, you inspire your prospect to connect with you.

Adrian Davis is a business strategist and trusted advisor for chief executives and business owners. He is a thought-provoking speaker and is frequently called upon to address senior management teams and sales groups on the subjects of corporate strategy, competitive advantage and sales excellence. To sign up for his monthly newsletter, please go to http://www.whetstoneinc.ca

Monday

Overloading - A Simple Solution to Reduce This Workplace Problem

What?

What if by simply drawing a line you could reduce the suffering and anguish of thousands and save lives in the process? Wouldn't you think it was a good idea?

In 1874, seafarer Samuel Plimsoll did just that. Plimsoll found a way to prevent ships from being overloaded and sinking under the weight of excess cargo. Literally thousands of lives were saved because Plimsoll Lines, indicating the maximum vessel load capacity, were painted on the side of ships. Given today's overloaded workplaces and lifestyles, we can learn a lot from Plimsoll's approach. We can learn to draw a line indicating our maximum capacity and prevent the negative effects of personal overloading. The Plimsoll Line is a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem.

So What?

Although overloading can enter your life in different forms, it typically creates the same kind of problems for the person or object being overloaded. Overloading creates a burden that is too great to bear and the consequences of that excessive burden negatively impact your life. That is as true today as it was in the 1800s. You might think we are the first generation to find ourselves trapped in this overloading dilemma, but history tells us otherwise. Overloading was actually a much more serious problem in earlier times. Rather than being a matter of getting smoothly through the day or coping with stress-inducing technology, overloading was literally a matter of life and death. This was especially true in the world of shipping.

When it comes to matters of staying afloat, a brief review of Archimedes' principle is in order. Archimedes discovered that a body immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid. Apply this to the world of shipping, and the consequences of overloading are clear. Ships sink when they weigh more than the water they displace. Ships will actually float at different levels depending on water temperature and type. Therefore, a ship loaded to capacity in a North Atlantic saltwater port would be in danger of riding too low and possibly sinking in a freshwater port in the tropics.

In earlier times, with only hand tools for the job, it took years to build a ship. Moving only under the power of wind and sails, it took months or years to sail across the sea and return. It made sense that ship owners and sailors would take extra precautions to assure the safety of their vessels. Unfortunately, ship owners did not always care. Why? As seafaring commerce developed, insurance coverage on the ships and cargo underwritten by such entities as Lloyd's of London often enticed ship owners to overload their ships. If the ships arrived safely, the payoff was greater for the more heavily loaded ships. If the ships sank, insurance covered the loss.

Also, in the mid-19th century the Irish potato famine reached its peak. Irish land owners, eager to shift their focus from potatoes to wheat and livestock, looked for ways to clear their land of Irish paupers made destitute due to the devastation of the potato crop. Landlords either evicted paupers with no promise of support, or packed them into unseaworthy vessels with phony promises of assistance in British North America, sending them out to sea. You can probably guess why these overloaded vessels were known as coffin ships. Many people lost their lives on these dangerous voyages. Eventually the general public became concerned enough about the loss of crafts, crew and passengers that British Parliament was forced to appoint a committee to investigate the growing number of sinking ships.

Enter Samuel Plimsoll. As a young man Plimsoll was fascinated with the problems of shipping coal to London. The main problem that attracted his attention was the simple fact that too many ships were sinking. In 1868, Plimsoll was elected a member of British Parliament. He immediately began to campaign for legislation to protect seamen. In 1873, he published a book titled Our Seamen that documented the fact that every year nearly 1,000 sailors drowned on ships near and around the British shores. These numbers did not include casualties from British ships that sank in locations other than the British coastline. Fishing vessels were excluded from this total and so were non-British ships that sunk.

Plimsoll's solution was simple: determine the maximum safe load a vessel could handle and make sure the vessel never exceeded that load. He proposed that a mark or line be painted on the side of all ships to indicate the limit to which the vessel could be legally loaded. If the weight and buoyancy of the ship caused it to dip below the line - referred to as the Plimsoll Mark or Plimsoll Line - the ship could not set sail. The Merchant Shipping Act of 1876 made these load lines compulsory. Unfortunately, the line's actual position was not fixed by the 1876 law. As might be expected, the ship owners loosely interpreted the law and painted the line wherever they wanted, until the position was finally fixed by another law passed in 1894. It is estimated that this simple line has saved countless lives since the late 1800s.

Now What?

So here we are at the beginning of the 21st century. Many of us live nowhere near the sea. What can we learn from the Plimsoll Line story that will make our lives better?

Acknowledge that consistently overloading yourself is a form of dysfunctional behavior driven by irrational thinking. Therapists usually embrace one of two approaches when trying to help their clients solve such behavioral problems. They focus on the past so their clients can understand more about the source of their behavior, or they tell their clients to "forget the past" and work mainly on changing the unproductive behavior going forward. Here are examples of each of these approaches that you might consider trying:


By studying the history of shipping in the 1800s, Samuel Plimsoll began to understand why so many ships were sinking and developed a simple solution to the problem of overloading. If you are struggling with problems related to overloading, it is a good idea to study your personal history and discover past events and decisions that led to your present dilemma. One bad habit or decision rarely creates an overload of demands on your time and energy. It is usually a combination of many decisions and patterns of behavior. For example, people-pleasing behavior, and the inability to say "no" when it is appropriate, can create overloading. Study your personal history and see if you can identify specific decisions that are creating an excessive workload. I know this strategy sounds a bit oversimplified (somewhat like drawing a line on the side of ships and saving countless lives), but here's an idea for you: Stop making those same decisions if you want to eliminate overloading in the future.

Forget the past and just experiment until you discover your personal Plimsoll Line. Make a commitment to work no more than eight hours most days. You are kidding yourself if you think working 12, 14, 16 or more hours per day is a productive use of your time. Doing this sounds impressive to some people, but not to those who understand how the various systems of the human body work to optimize your performance. Your productivity plummets when you exceed your optimal workload. You will eventually sink. Try breaking an eight-hour day into 48-minute segments (there are, of course, 10 of these segments available). Make a commitment to spend at least 48 uninterrupted minutes tomorrow working on the most important things you need, want, or have to do to be successful. Then operate in your normal manner for the rest of the day. The next day go for two 48-minute blocks of highly focused time. My suggestion is that you draw your Plimsoll Line at about three 48-minute blocks of focused time most days. I am not suggesting that you only work 144 minutes each day. I am simply suggesting that you mentally designate three highly focused periods in a workday as a highly successful day. Then, cut yourself a little slack and stop pushing yourself so hard.

In the end remember that overloading is an upstream problem. When the ships began sinking in the warm freshwater due to being overloaded in the cold saltwater ports, it was a little late to start working on a solution to the problem. It would have been better to prevent the problems before the ships embarked on the voyage. The upstream issue that leads to work overload is making the decision to take on any additional tasks. If you are already overloaded, start focusing on how to eliminate tasks, not increase them. Start making sound decisions today to prevent overloading in the future.

Chris Crouch has spent years researching and studying both the mental and physical aspects of being more productive. He shares his discoveries through books, articles, presentations and training materials.

This article is an excerpt from his book Being Productive: Learning How to Get More Done with Less Effort available through Amazon.com

Friday

Back Office Outsourcing: Lessen the Load of Back Office Work

An organization functions on the basis of an amalgamation of tasks besides the usual core areas. Though strategies play an important role in the smooth functioning of the said company, there are other aspects whose contribution in the success of an organization can’t be overlooked. Surely, back office jobs are the kind of operations which assist in a constant development and growth of a company and require qualified personnel at every step of task execution. Since the growth parameters of an organization depend upon the productive operations and cost effective strategies, continuous technological innovations during the process help sustain the pace. In this endeavor of organizations worldwide, back office outsourcing professionals are of immense help due to their cutting edge expertise.

Innumerable tasks such as entering the payroll, making traveling plans and entering data on information are involved in the back office jobs category. Keeping the cost operations under control, releases pent-up energy of an organization further helping in establishing a firm foothold within a market. Back office outsourcing involves a number of tasks like efficient management of important, non-core business processes. Besides these, finance and accounting, human resources and information technology are the essential backbones of the procedure. Customized modules are created for the benefit of companies which further improve their costs as well as time saving mechanism. Companies worldwide, take the assistance of back office outsourcing services in performing innumerable business processes such as accounting outsourcing services, financial aid services for post-secondary education, HRO and IT services. The service is an apt solution for those who wish for a constant improvisation in their back office tasks.

Back office outsourcing services are quite cut out to carry out certain important functions which can save the organizational costs up to 50% to 60% of their total expenditure. This in turn, dramatically improves the delivery schedule of the given projects with a quality that speaks for itself. In this endeavor, the outsourcing professionals have set up the benchmarks quite high for themselves which is the reason behind their reputation in the market. Another reason why the companies go whole-hog with the outsourcing services is the minimization of paperwork in their offices. A continuous stress on the development of company strategies always puts time factor at premium for these organizations. Since there is a sustained focus on the development of core functions such as project timeline, operations, product development, customer relationships as well as internal leadership, other important areas tend to get overlooked. Outsourcing processes are guaranteed way to take into account these overlooked aspects as well.

Back office outsourcing services are meant to provide customized work packages for the client needs. The professionals working with these firms assist in decreasing the overall costs while improving the work quality of the crucial projects. The experts are adept in carrying out tasks which require skilled handling towards providing customized professional expertise to the business ventures. Suggestions flow freely from them which come handy in later years towards solving complex back office problems. Functions which are of significance with the se professionals include complaints, enquiries, and orders, besides others.


Michelle Barkley is a CPA who advises people on tax preparation and tax calculation. She specializes in Bookkeeping outsourcing, back office outsourcing and outsourced accounting. To know more about Accounting outsourcing, tax return and Tax return outsourcing to visit http://www.ifrworld.com

Team Working - What Stops Teams From Working Effectively?

When teams get to performing there is no doubting the value and benefit that they bring. Sometimes however, teams just do not work effectively. So what stops teams from working effectively?

Fuzzy goals or objectives

If a team does not know with absolute clarity what it is to deliver, chances are that at best it will deliver something of little value or at worst nothing at all. Don't compromise the ability of the team by leaving it to try and finger out what it is to deliver. Make it crystal clear.

Roles are not defined

Just imagine a scenario. Something has not gone as expected and everyone is saying that they thought that someone else was doing the task that was so critical. When riles are not defined things fall down a track and when things fall down a crack no one wins. Get clear on who is doing what.

Bad decision making

Taking decisions as a team is different to taking decisions individually. It requires team members to rely on each other, a concept that might be alien. One thing is certain you will get some decisions wrong. The key is to aim to get a clear decision making process on the team that everyone understands.

Policies and procedures that are past their sell by date

Organisations, especially big organisations need to have some boundaries and protocols which are typically set out in policies and procedures. Trouble is these policies and procedures can easily become onerous our out of touch with current practice. Make sure that policies and procedures are still relevant.

People don't interact with each other appropriately

We all based on our experiences, background, professional disciplines have different preferences. Trouble is people often forget this and fail to adapt their style to move closer to the people they are interacting with. Make a point of thinking about the other person's preferences when interacting.

Bottom Line- Teams when working well together have the potential to deliver great results. So what's getting in the way of successful team working in your organisation?

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements (G&A) works with teams in large public and private sector organisations who want to work more effectively and achieve better results. He is an authorised Facilitator for Team Coaching International's Team Diagnostic Asssessment.

He invites you to check out details of his sevices and programmes at http://www.goalsandachievements.co.uk/?pid=6

Thursday

Office Temporaries: How to Protect Yourself Against Dishonest Co-workers


Expected to do some questionable things on your new temporary assignment? If so, here are several things you might want to do to cover yourself.

1.  Don't agree to do anything that you know full well is breaking the law, handbook, and other similar things.  Notify the temporary agency immediately and be prepared to quit the assignment even if they convince you to stay.

2.  Document who asked you to perform an illegal or questionable act, what the person said and include the date and time the conversations took place and where. Be sure to keep detailed notes what was asked of you and save the information elsewhere.

3.  Make copies of anything that will support your case especially if law enforcement is involved.

4.  Speak with a trusted attorney, someone who doesn't have a long-term relationship with someone who works there or is affiliated somehow with the corporation.

5.  Watch your back.  Even though you might assume some people would never do anything to hurt you or your family, never underestimate them.

Remember, you agreed to work to assist an organization, not to protect dishonest people and do their dirty work.

Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

Free Blog Promotion, Free Website Exposure

Simply respond to this blog entry including your website or blog url address. If your site is not offensive and useful to my readers, it will also appear on the right side of this blog site using the link you supply and the title of the website or blog.

Thanks for visiting.

Nicholl McGuire
Blog Publisher

Wednesday

Workplace Cleanup

Imagine a work place where everything is in disarray (no, I’m not talking about my desk), where yesterday’s garbage has yet to be collected and where the floor reflects the rainy condition the past few days. Both management and employees will clearly have a hard time concentrating on their work when presented with such circumstance. The solution for this situation is to janitorial cleaning services.

For a company, productivity is almost always equated to profit. But how can one earn profit if the employees themselves are not motivated to deliver quality service? I’m not asking that the management increase the salaries of their employees (but if they’re willing and able, I’m not the one complaining) I’m just suggesting that they start with the working environment. Another would be the perception of the clients. If your company boasts cracked floors, chipping walls or unsanitary lavatories---no customer will make the mistake in doing business with you. Again, you need to get someone offering janitorial services. Be it daily, weekly, bi-monthly or during board meetings, commercial contractors office cleaning experts will certainly give you an ambience as corporate as any business should be.

Now, how will one choose the perfect commercial cleaning service? Here’s my shot at answering that question. More often than not, everyone will go for the company who provides impeccable maintenance and who utilizes cleaning supplies office management prefers. This is easy to say, but hard to accomplish. The administration must note what the company and its employees really need. One salient point inherent in a good cleaning service is that they assess the workplace before doing, touching or even cleaning anything. Their experience cleaners will recommend what has to be done in accordance to your company’s preference. Also, they will apply only the finest of office janitorial supplies to address your requests. Take time to know what cleaning crew you’ll be hiring. List question you want to ask pertaining their services. The Q&A could be done through email or phone. Though I advise that a personal consultation/estimate be done in the actual building. If you’ve searched the web for said service, a chunk of industry players offer free estimate. Take advantage of these offers, remember, they are free. But one must be careful. The lowest estimate does not mean that you’re getting a good deal; same applies with an overly expensive janitorial services. Paying a large portion of your savings does not necessarily equate to premium, first-class cleaning.

Going back to the assessment issue, an average commercial cleaning knows how to sanitize the carpet but it takes a good cleaning company to recognize when to stop cleaning and start replacing. This is also applicable to wall paintings when chipping gets underway and floor tiles when it begins to break. License, bonded and insured. Three words that could make or break a business. The phrase is aimed towards both the janitorial cleaning service and their customers. Without these, no client will dare bring their business to your establishment. When an accident happens (hope it doesn’t), be it in the form of injury to an individual or to property, the customer will have the recourse, which is to claim damages from the cleaning company----provided the latter is fully insured.

Sometimes, no research could come close to a well-recommended and referred company. Ask your sister company or subsidiary (if you have one) or you may opt to solicit such from your previous boss or management.

Whatever you choose, just remember the purpose behind all of these. This is not for profit alone; this is for both the employees and management to provide them with a professional environment conducive to effective service.


For more information, check out this site on http://www.seccsupplies.com janitorial cleaning services. Sheryll Cross is a web copywriter for a web design company associated with a Georgia-based company offering janitorial cleaning service.contractors office cleaning, janitorial services, janitorial

Monday

Time Management Tips For Women - Grab These 8 Time Management Tips Today

Do you ever feel as though you couldn't possible cram one more thing into your day? With a woman's busy workload the thought of just grocery shopping can send you over the edge. Learn some time management skills and quell those out of control urges. You don't have to feel short on time and stressed out any more.

Stress can sometimes make you feel so overwhelmed you want to run screaming through the streets. You start to get that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. Your head begins to pound and you just know you're going to be sick. Road rage begins to take over when you feel like ramming your car into the rear end of the truck that just cut you off.

It's time to take a deep breath and regroup. It's time to learn some time management skills to help keep those uncontrollable feelings of doom and anger in check. These tried and true time management tips for women could be your saving grace.

Here are 8 Time Management Tips to follow right now:

1. Make yourself a list of everything you want to accomplish that day. Making a list will help put things in real-time and enable you to see if your schedule is realistic.

2. Prioritize your list. Do the important tasks first or when you have the most energy in your day.

3. Break down the tasks even further into bite-sized chunks. Doing things this way, you schedule doesn't seem quite so daunting.

4. Piggyback smaller trips and tasks for the day. Make all your phone calls at one time. Map out your route and plan your trips to the grocery store, shopping mall, kid's activities and so on, so it takes the least amount of time to complete.

5. If at all possible, handle paperwork only once. Don't waste your time opening junk mail. Throw it away immediately and unopened. You'd be amazed at the time you waste just peeking inside.

6. Try to avoid impromptu visits. If someone stops by or calls and you have a full load that day, arrange another time for your visit or phone call. I'm sure if you explained things they'd understand and commiserate with you.

7. Try to be prepared for potential stressful situations. Rehearse what you might say or do should the need arise. Make sure you have all your necessary resources at your fingertips.

8. Know when to ask for help. You'll know when you simply have too many priorities. Enlist assistance from your co-workers, kids and sweetheart and complete your tasks.

In my estimation the most difficult of these tips is number 8 - enlisting help. We all think we're superwoman and can do it all. Truth be told, you probably can do it all and probably a whole lot better than others; however, you'll only be able to do this for so long until your body says "no more". The object is to complete all your tasks in a timely manner and maintain your health and sanity in the process. Then your free time is your own.

At http://stressreliefforwomen.info Charlotte Winslow learned how to stop the physical and mental clutter in her life. There's no longer a reason for you to be short on time and stressed out. Try some time management tips today.

Stop the Work Insanity - A Stressed Out Womans Quest For Peace and Tranquility

When you wake up in the morning do you ever experience a feeling of dread? Like you just don't know if you can put in another day like yesterday? I have felt that way before. Then I found a way to help myself.

What causes turmoil and grief in your life? Are you, too, on a stressed out woman's quest for peace and tranquility in your life?

Before we can begin to heal ourselves we must first reveal what is causing our work-related stress.

- Do you never seem to have enough time in the day to get everything done?
- Is your job a little bit too demanding at times?
- Do you feel you have too much responsibility for all the more control you have been given?
- Do you have personality conflicts with others?
- Do you like your co-workers and boss?

These factors can often cause health issues that just sort of creep up on you until you find yourself going to the doctors because you just don't "feel good" anymore. Symptoms, such as a headache, neck strain, sleeplessness, and upset stomach are just a few signs of a woman with undue stress.

In order to get a handle on the situation you must learn something very important in your quest for peace and tranquility. You must learn Acceptance.

To learn Acceptance you must:

Keep things in perspective. Think to yourself, "will this make a difference and affect my life 5 years from now?" Many of us worry about things that never come to pass. If you can imagine the worst possible outcome and can deal with this possibility, you've accepted the situation for what it is and can move forward. Worrying about it will not change the outcome. It will only make you sick.

Use a mantra or self-assuring phrase. Repeating a mantra to yourself in bad times can be calming. If unsure of one to use try one of these:

Someday we'll all laugh about this
Remain calm and relaxed
Things could always be worse
Invent one of your own

My mother was always telling me something of this sort when I was growing up. Perhaps yours did, too. Think back on those times and reflect. Perhaps all those sayings we thought were silly back then actually had some meaning. For your health's sake, pull them out, dust them off and put them to good use.

Stay positive. Smiling in the face of negativity is next to impossible, but letting your negative emotions rule your feelings only complicates matters. If you stay focused on the positive side, your positive attitude may become contagious, making your work environment easier to handle.

Working with the general public as well as in a closed office environment, Charlotte Winslow has dealt with many different kinds of individuals and has, on many occasions, wanted to Stop The Work Insanity. If you, too, are a stressed out woman on a quest for peace and tranquility, http://stressreliefforwomen.info could be your answer.

Sunday

Do you have a potty mouth at work?

It had been almost three years since I worked in an office environment and now I hope to return back home with the children for one simple fact, angry, impatient people.

The bus drivers are impatient, people in the workplace are both impatient and angry, and even the strangers that walk past me are just as bad! I have heard more curse words over the littlest of things. From the copier to someone not moving fast enough to sit down in front of the boss.

Is the recession making people lose all respect for self and others? Are people angry because they aren't working in a career they enjoy? What is going on in these air-conditioned, quiet office spaces that appear clean and carefree?

I don't know about you but I am reminded to count my blessings everytime someone is asking me for money on the street. This attitude over simple things just might cost one his or her job. Supervisors and co-workers appear like they don't care that the guy who rants and raves in the breakroom is just having a hard day, but I can almost bet you that if I am offended by one's rude behavior, someone in management is too! Most likely, the cursing sailor will be the first they will axe!

I don't know about you but sometimes a word here or there may slip unexpectedly, but we have to be careful to get our thoughts and actions back in control as quick as possible. Being a potty mouth doesn't get one the corner office, it gets him or her the back office so far away that eventually no one even knows you work there.

May we all remember to clean our mouths out before someone else does...

Written by Nicholl McGuire
Author and Poet
http://spiritualpoemsbynicholl.blogspot.com

Saturday

How To Improve Your Lousy Writing Skills In The Workplace

If there’s one important reason why you need to write effectively in the workplace, it is this: the quality of your writing imprints a lasting impression on the reader. This reader may be your boss, a client, or a person who is ready to make a billion dollar business deal with you.

Have you ever read a poorly-written document that made you lose interest right away? It was so poorly-written that you lost trust in the author and asked yourself why the author was wasting your time? How about those junk e-mails that sneak into your junk box like annoying cockroaches? You know the ones I’m referring to: the ones pitching vitamins, software, and sex aids. These e-mails are the biggest showcase of writing blunders, stricken to death with grammar mistakes, misspellings, and sloppy sentences. I doubt these e-mails pull a sale because their poor writing style immediately alienates the reader.

What impression does your writing leave on your boss, clients, or co-workers? Does your writing alienate readers, cause you to lose sales or clients, or cost you job promotions? Or does your writing build streams of loyal readers, increase sales for the company, and help you earn six figures a year at your job?

Whatever type of writing you do in the workplace, always know this reality: readers believe the quality of your writing reflects your skills, work ethics, and integrity as a person. If you write eloquently, clearly, and lively, the reader trusts you and you are able to build rapport quickly. If your writing is sloppy, disorganized, and riddled with errors, the reader assumes the rest of your work is flawed, your work ethics are flawed, and perhaps as a person you are flawed. Why should this reader waste his time reading the rest of your junk or even do business with you?

This article provides fail-safe strategies to help refine your writing and help you to communicate with clarity, simplicity, and impact so you will never write junk again. You will learn five masterful steps to guide you in planning, writing, and refining an article; and you will learn how to avoid common writing mistakes.

AIM! FIRE! FIRE!

To become a superb writer, your first task is to establish your aim.

Yiddish novelist, dramatist and essayist, Sholem Asch, once said, “Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.”

What message do you want to convey with your writing?

To establish your aim, ask yourself:

1) “Why am I writing this document?”
2) “What do I want to communicate?”
3) “Do I want to inform, educate, report, persuade, challenge, or entertain?”

Developing your aim will help you to adopt the best writing style for your reader. For example, an educational document will likely be more formal than one written for entertaining.

CONNECT WITH YOUR READERS

To write effectively, you need to connect strongly with your readers. Ask yourself:

1) “For whom am I writing this? Will I be writing for colleagues, my supervisor, my team of employees, or our clients?”

2) “How much information do my readers need?”

3) “How familiar are my readers with the topic?”

4) “How much time do my readers have? Would my readers prefer a short, succinct presentation of facts and statistics, or more narration and exposition?”

Knowing your audience will allow you to write content in a way that appeals to your readers.

SHAPE YOUR DOCUMENT

You know your aim. You know the people who will likely read your document. Now plan your document. What information will it contain? What information will most likely grab the reader and hold their interests? What points do you need to get across? Start with a rough outline of ideas. Then go through the outline and add more information and more detail. An outline will create the structure for your document. Soon enough your writing will come more easily, quickly, and with greater clarity.

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW BEST

At this stage, read over your outline and write the first draft. Establish the main idea of the document and support your argument throughout. If a blank white page glares back at you like headlights, just start writing on whatever topic you know best. According to American novelist Jack London, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Don’t worry about the sequence if the ideas come to you out of order. You can cut and paste later.

WORDY WEIGHT LOSS

If you have time, step away from the document. Come back to it later with a fresh mind. Now add material where needed. Trim away unnecessary sections. Refine the text to communicate what you want to say. Remember: less is more. Try not to repeat ideas. Repetition, unless necessary, is tiresome for the reader. Keep the piece moving along. Use a lively pace. Progress through your points efficiently.

The following sections address some of the most common writing problems. Use these tips to write more clearly, effectively, and lively.

I.) PUNCTUATION

a) Apostrophes

Do not use an apostrophe in the possessive form of “it.”

Incorrect: Our department submitted it’s reports for 2005 last week.
Correct: Our department submitted its reports for 2005 last week.

Do not use apostrophes in the possessive forms “his,” “hers,” and “ours.”

Incorrect: The window office is her’s.
Correct: The window office is hers.

Do not use apostrophes in plural nouns.

Incorrect: How many new computer’s are we getting?
Correct: How many new computers are we getting?

b) Commas

Do not connect two complete sentences with a comma.

Incorrect: The meeting was cancelled, I finished my work early.
Correct: The meeting was cancelled, so I finished my work early.
Correct: Since the meeting was cancelled, I finished my work early.

II.) MECHANICS

a) Split Infinitives

Do not insert words between “to” and the infinitive form of a verb.

Incorrect:I was told we needed to slightly tighten the deadline.

Correct:I was told we needed to tighten the deadline slightly.

III.) SPELLING

a) “A lot” is always two words.

Incorrect: I have alot of work to do.
Correct: I have a lot of work to do.

b) “To” is a function word often used before the infinitive form of a verb (to go).

c) “Too” is an adverb that means “excessively” (too difficult).

d) “Two” denotes the number 2.

Incorrect: This file cabinet is to heavy for me to move.
Correct: This file cabinet is too heavy for me to move.

e) “There” is an adverb indicating a place (over there).

f) “Their” is a possessive word that shows ownership (their computers).

g) “They’re” is the contraction form of “they are.”

Incorrect: There results for this quarter were excellent.
Correct: Their results for this quarter were excellent.

Incorrect: Their working very hard today.
Correct: They’re working very hard today.

IV.) STYLE

a) Sentence Variety

To write more lively, vary sentence structure. Use alternate ways of beginning, and combine short sentences to create different sentence lengths.

Before:

I organized the files for all the new accounts this week. Then I created a more efficient labeling system. I color-coded everything. I made sure all paper files had been documented electronically. I put these files in the empty file cabinet.

After:

This week I organized the files for the new accounts and created a more efficient color-coded labeling system. After I documented all paper files electronically, I put these files in the empty file cabinet.

V.) ACTIVE VOICE vs. PASSIVE VOICE

The English language has two "voices": active voice (the subject performs an action); and passive voice (the subject is acted upon). In business communication, all good writers write in active voice. Lazy writers write in passive voice. Writing in active voice shortens your sentences and makes your writing sound more direct and formal.

Examples:

PASSIVE: The recipe book is read by her.
ACTIVE: She reads the recipe book.

PASSIVE: The radio announcement should be listened to by everyone.
ACTIVE: Everyone should listen to the radio announcement.

PASSIVE: The photo is being taken by the photographer.
ACTIVE: The photographer is taking the photo.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

To learn more about fixing common writing mistakes, check out The Electronic Writing Course ( http://www.ElectronicWritingCourse.com ). It’s a program that teaches the basics of good writing and editing. If you want to check your document against 36,000 style and usage mistakes, check out StyleWriter ( http://www.StyleWriter-USA.com ). It’s a style and usage Plain English checker. If you want to write more lively and creatively, check out WhiteSmoke Software ( http://www.WhiteSmokeSoftware.com ). It’s a program that fixes and enriches your text.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll stop yourself from writing lousy in the workplace. Your writing will be lively, clear, and concise, and you will build rapport with readers. Perhaps it’s now time to e-mail your boss a perfectly-written e-mail requesting a salary raise?

Brian Konradt has been a professional freelance writer for over ten years. He is founder of http://FreelanceWriting.com ( http://www.FreelanceWriting.com ) and http://LiteracyNews.com ( http://www.LiteracyNews.com ).

Monday

Do You Have Management Issues?

I came across this interesting site just for managers, like you, who have real problems with your team and are seeking a bit of outside advice. Check out the following link: Site for managers

Wednesday

Can There Be A Psychopaths At Your Workplace?

Do Psychopaths exist in the workplace? Better yet can a psychopath appear in your life at your workplace?

Psychopaths are usually seen in roles of self centered individuals who care about no one but themselves who do great harm. Their motto may well be “I don’t do anything that is not in my interest and that I do not get my piece – right away”. Or it may be that this deviant behavior is below the surface and never noticed or apparent.

It is often said in retrospect that the “Axe Murderer” was a quiet person who kept to himself, may have been a good family man and bothered no one.

Psychopaths are usually seen in serial killers, rapists or sadists in Hollywood movies. They appear in the media and literature. Think of an early model as the Zodiac Killer in the Bay area of San Francisco. However these same people and personalities are never expected to cross our paths in real life. Yet it is estimated that approximately 1 percent of the general population fits the mold. It’s only a matter of time until you cross paths with a psychopath in real life at your workplace or place of employment.

What exactly is a psychopath? In clinical psychology a psychopath is defined as a condition characterized as a condition characterized by a lack of empathy or conscience, poor impulse control and / or manipulative behavior.

How can you determine whether a fellow worker is a workplace psychopath? A leopard does not lose their spots. Similarly psychopaths, either on the loose or under fire may well indicate or revert to certain personality traits and behaviors.

First of all does the person show no remorse no matter how much they exhibit mean behavior – whether it be victimization, talking behind the backs of fellow employees or worse and backstabbing. Is the person more than an excellent talker – a story teller of lies? Even if caught with lies and deceit do they show no remorse – just switch tack with another tale – as if everyone else is both foolish, a mark and that they are smarter than everyone else. It’s as if the world is there to be plundered – for their enjoyment and pleasure. Watch for the pleasure that such people take in their deeds of trouble. Everyone makes mistakes or may be forced into situations that they would prefer not to be in. The difference is that these people relish and are proud of these deeds and events – when it should be the other way around.

Sometimes these people are loners. Some of the times they will even function in groups. It can even be family groups to rip off and plunder everyone else outside of their close (or perhaps not close and self hating) group of vagabonds and carpetbaggers. Such individuals and groups can be seen to prey on people’s weaknesses and insecurities – especially low self esteem. It’s as if the undertone is “If you do not do what I want …. Give me possessions or money that I want … You cannot be part of the group ….. Or you will face abandonment.”

It’s not uncommon in the workplace but these people have an abnormal, almost pathological fear of failure. “I must be number one” is their constant internal motto. Along with that they may well rush to take credit for other people’s work and successes. Again these traits are not those of psychopaths – yet the pattern of such behavior and personality traits along with the rest of the ball of wax should raise alarm bells in your mind.

The problem is that these psychopaths do not only negatively affect a few people in the organization. Given a level of authority in modern large corporations the effects and damage that these psychopaths can be great. If a psychopath considers everyone else, especially people they have outdone or outsmarted as downright foolish or even stupid rather than helpful souls who were taken advantage of and in addition the psychopathological culprit shows no guilt for making decisions that negatively affect the company, shareholders or employees then this is a recipe for great disaster and heartaches . Think of Tyco, Adelphia Communications, Enron and WorldCom.

Bay Area WordManitoba Job ShopAce-Training.

Tuesday

In Business There is no Such Thing as Job Security!

There are very few people that make it to thirty years and even fewer that want to do that with the same business whether it be a small business or a large business. It seems to be more advantageous to change companies every few years to get that raise or promotion or better job.

Don’t get me wrong, workers used to be secure in the knowledge that their company would still be there and so would their pension. Then came mergers, companies buying each other and some of those Wall Street money grubbers buying companies and then selling off components, causing many people to lose their jobs, while the grubbers and the CEO’s where making millions.

So what is a person suppose to do? It appears more and more that YOU will have to be responsible for yourself! What does that mean? It means that you will have to depend on yourself to make the money you require for your freedom without depending on the “man”.

Now in previous articles I have written about small business failures and the insecurity of going into business for yourself. With a failure rate of 96% over 10 years it is hard to justify going into business for yourself unless you have a line of products that can guarantee you a residual income for a very long time.

Here is an example of residual income? That is income that is yours every week, month or year for a fairly lengthy time. Suppose you are an appliance sales person, you will get a one time commission on the sale price of that item. If you sell none or don’t go to work that day, then you get nothing. For residual, suppose you provide a service contract for that appliance and the buyer signed up for a two year contract, wouldn’t it be great if you received a percentage of the payment every month for the next two years? Well that is residual income!

We all know that is not true. The person that sells that appliance and the service contract only receives a small commission on the sale or no commission at all as they get an hourly wage for selling.

When people have declared bankruptcy, it could have been prevented if they had only $458 per month in additional revenue or income. The bankruptcy could have been prevented with that small income increase. That is less than $5,500 per year. And when you go to a lawyer to declare bankruptcy it will cost you another $800 to $1,200 for their assistance. And then your credit is shot!

Well, for less than the price of a lawyer, YOU can be making a residual income with your own small business. This residual income will provide you with that extra money you need to stay solvent or after a very short period of time the income needed that will allow you to quit your job and not be dependent on anyone but yourself.

The only thing better than that would be to win the lottery? The quicker you get involved the quicker you can start making money. For more info, go to my web site listed in the author’s box below.

By the way, this is a turn-key small business that will provide everything you need to start your business in minutes. You can get your first customers within 24 hours and begin to earn a rewarding income. I will be with you every step of the way helping you make the money you want.

The amount of money you make is dependent on how much work you put into it. I will explain everything to you in detail and I will continue to be with you after you have purchase your own business. You will be in business for yourself but not by yourself with a Billion dollar company backing us both. I look forward to working with you.

About the Author
Lou Martiniano, the author of this article is a Profit Improvement Specialist for business and consumers. He helps people like you generate savings by providing ways to save money or by providing additional income sources. Goto ==>http://www.makingmoneybyTCOB.com

Is An Unbalanced Work Life Bothering You? Work From Home Careers May Just Be The Solution You Need

The number of work from home careers available today is astonishing. If you are dreaming of being your own boss so that you can spend more time with your family and kids, work from home careers may be the answer you're looking for. Work from home careers help to restore the work-life balance which may have gotten skewed.

There are so many work from home careers that it can be slightly overpowering when you a sifting through the list. This sifting is extremely important so that you can decide which work from home careers are legitimate and which are scams.

Work from home careers can be divided into two categories: Your own business and working for someone from the comforts of your home.

Your Own Business:
If you wish to start your own business, there are multitude opportunities available to work from home and you should see which one suits you. I have listed a few down.

- eBay Business
Do you have a lot of old unwanted things? Why not sell them on eBay and make some extra money. If you need to make more profit by selling a wide variety of products, here's how you can find products for reselling on eBay:

1. Buy from flea market
2. Deal with wholesaler or drop ship wholesaler

- Virtual Assistant
One of the best easy to work from home ideas is to be a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant works at home for a company or a business. A virtual assistant may have to do data entry, administrative work, bookkeeping, handling customers’ enquiries, issuing bills and many more. The hourly pay for a virtual assistant is $5 to $50.

- Paid survey
One of the good easy work from home ideas. It includes anything from watching movie trailers online and giving feedback, completing 5-minute opinion polls, or testing products like perfume or cologne. There is an equally wide range of compensation for those who contribute a bit of their time and opinions. It is not uncommon to receive $25.00 for a survey that takes 15 minutes to complete.

- Affiliate Marketing (E.g. Refer to link below)
Affiliates make money by selling other people stuff. To generate sales, you need to drive potential buyers to your merchant's website. There are several methods you can use to send potential buyers to your merchant's site:

1. Open a Google AdWords account to advertise on Google.
2. Build an opt-in subscriber list through a website or blog and promote your affiliate products to your subscribers
3. Article writing

- Forex Trading (http://www.forex-united.com/?livefreely)
You can achieve high returns if your trading techniques consistently predict the market movement accurately. However Forex trading is not suitable for everyone. When trading Forex, you should invest only the amount you afford to lose. There are many technical tools you can use to form your own trading system and strategy.

If you start your own business, you will be responsible for providing the goods or service as well as taking care of the business aspects of the business. These include marketing, customer relations, and accounting.

Working for Someone Else:
Now you have work from home careers that allow you to stay at home while letting someone else remain in control of the business aspects, if you are uncomfortable with it.

Many of the businesses highlighted above can offer work from home careers for you, without you having to be responsible for the business. Often, people who have built a successful career in one of these areas subcontract work to those who prefer to provide the service and not deal with the business side of the job.

Other work from home careers can be taking surveys, doing medical transcription or being a translator. Believe it or not, companies do pay you for taking surveys on various topics and subjects. However, there is a screening process to ensure you fit the demographics for the required survey.

Many work from home careers are computer-based jobs since internet has become such an important part of our everyday life. However, work from home careers give people the luxury to work from home while taking care of their families. With work from home careers you control your hours; you can work full or part time, whenever you want.

About the Author
Calvin Heng is an Online Income Expert. His Business Team creates $10,045 sales just by sending out 5 emails. Visit www.deluxeincome.com to get your FREE e-book and discover the simple ways to riches.

Monday

Understanding Burnout Associated With The Workplace

Burnout associated with the workplace is a common issue. This is normally a result of stress that is experienced in the workplace. When an employee suffers from work-related burnout, they often feel as if they are emotionally and mentally exhausted. In addition to this, it is also quite common to experience a true, physical exhaustion as well. When this common experience appears in an individual's life, a general sense of apathy may overwhelm them. They may feel disheartened, and lack the motivation to perform even their basic responsibilities. Here, you will gain an understanding regarding burnout in the workplace.

When an individual experienced work-related burnout, it is a condition that has developed over time. It is not likely that an employee will become overwhelmed with burnout overnight. This is mostly a slow process that develops more and more as time progresses. This is a direct result of stress that is experienced in the workplace. Deadlines, dealing with uncooperative coworkers, unfavorable work conditions, and personal unhappiness in the work environment can all lead to burnout. This condition can affect all areas of an individual's life - job performance, relationships in the workplace, personal relationships, and even a person's health.

There are many signs and symptoms associated with work-related burnout. If you are in charge of employees, it is important that you gain an understanding of these signs. If you are an employee in the workplace, you should also learn the signs and symptoms associated with burnout. The more quickly that you are able to recognize that burnout is becoming evident, the quicker you can work to resolve the issues that you are facing. Listed below are some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with this common, and every real issue:

- One of the first signs of burnout is when an individual becomes frustrated. This frustration may be self-directed, directed to others, or towards the company in which they work.

- The second sign that an employee may be experiencing burnout is when their performance starts to falter. In many cases, this sign may be the most evident. A once reliable individual who completed work in a timely fashion that displayed a high level of quality may begin to take longer completing tasks, and the quality of their work may decline rapidly.

- Many individuals who experience workplace burnout may start expressing the fact that they feel as if they are "trapped" in their work situation. If an individual feels "trapped", this is a bad sign. It is important to be happy and content with the work that we do. If we feel anything else than this, it is important to seek assistance as workplace burnout is becoming evident.

- Those that experience this common work-related issue may start to detach themselves from friends, relatives, coworkers, social situations, and more. Social detachment is not a good sign. This is especially true when an individual is normally not socially withdrawn from others.

- Many who experience workplace burnout may seem extremely irritable. This may show in the means of rapid moods, and similar situations. If there is no apparent cause for this type of personality change, the issue may be related to workplace change.

- Many individuals may feel as if there is no hope for their current situation. They may walk in and out of each and every single day feeling a lack of motivation; many individuals may witness this behavior in the workplace and realize that it is uncharacteristic of the individual. This is a probable sign of work-related burnout.

- If you feel as if you have absolute no power, you are not getting anywhere, and you find yourself constantly feeding negative thoughts and emotions, you may be experiencing workplace burnout.

- Many individuals who experience burnout often start experiencing many different kinds of failures. These failures may be directly related to their work performance, or they may be experienced in their personal life.

There are a number of causes that may lead an individual to experience burnout associated with the workplace. The following reasons may be associated with this type of work-related stress:

- Many individuals set their goals in the workplace too high. Setting high goals or having others in the workplace place too high of goals is a common factor in workplace burnout.

- Many individuals may feel as if they are stuck in a particular job because they are unable to afford a change in careers, or they are unable to pass up the benefits that a job poses. For these individuals, workplace burnout may be experienced.

- Many individuals who have proved to be dependable and provide a high quality of work may be expected to consistently asked to perform additional work on top of their standard responsibilities. While many are flattered by the fact that they are given more work, this work can often become exhausting.

- There are many who do not feel personally challenged by their work. This type of work can become dull and a person may not feel as if they have anything to look forward to. This can result in workplace burnout as well.

Workplace burnout is a common issue that must be dealt with. If you are in charge of employees, it is important to know and understand the basics of workplace burnout. If you are an employee, it is important that you know and understand the basics as well. By understanding the conditions that cause this to occur, the symptoms associated with the condition, and how to overcome it, you can beat work-related burnout!

Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of My-Personal-Growth.com, a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.

The Causes Of Workplace Stress And How Best To Prevent This From Happening

The modern world is work focused and employment based. We spend the majority of our waking hours at the workplace and this has its own benefits and problems. One of the most common of these problems is workplace stress. This is a chronic ailment caused by conditions that negatively affect your performance and overall well-being. It can also affect an individuals' psychological and physical health, as well as organization's effectiveness. Workplace stress is affecting a whole spectrum of the population ranging from doctors to plumbers

Workplace stress is now recognized globally as a condition that can affect all categories of workers, in all types of jobs. Stress is a source of tension and frustration that may arise through a number of interrelated influences on behavior, including the individual, group, organizational and environmental factors. This usually leads to loss of concentration, sleeplessness, and it can also increase the risk for illness, back problems, accidents, and lost time. Workplace stress is now one of the most prevalent reasons for lost working days, which hinders the progress of the organization as well as the individual.

There are various reasons for workplace stress and one of them is management. This usually happens when managers behave in an authoritarian way, offer no constructive support or advice to the work force or deny promotional opportunities to the deserving members of the company. This is when employees become frustrated or cynical towards the organization. Another reason for workplace stress is overbearing or jealous work colleagues. Office gossip can be harmless fun if kept within reason but if it is constantly directed towards one particular person then it can be quite damaging and lead to a lot of workplace stress for the person concerned.

There are steps that organizations can take to prevent or minimize the effects of workplace stress, so that they have more contented and happier employees. Some of the ways to achieve this is to make sure that your workforce have a voice and are heard, they are aware of their importance to the organization and are seen as unique and exceptional. Some of the policies that can help towards this are to include flexi-time, working from home, stress coaching, on the job support, keeping jobs open during sick leave, provision of quiet rooms, exercise provision, training initiatives and social activities.

Workplace stress can also be caused because of the work place atmosphere, for instance noisy, dirty, messy areas can all contribute towards job stress. It is therefore a good idea to keep the work areas clean and tidy to have a healthy, relaxed and stress free working environment.

Employees can also contribute towards minimizing and preventing workplace stress. Worker s should refrain from harassment or bullying. They should not tease, insult or even threaten others due to their sex, religion or race. Under no circumstances should they spread malicious gossip in order to destroy another's good name.

By working together, employees and management can minimize and prevent a lot of workplace stress. Organizations should always be looking for ways that lead to a workforce that is happy, healthy and therefore more productive.

Nim Aulakh is a writer and webmaster. Find out more about the causes of workplace stress and how to deal with it. There are so many easy ways to prevent job stress. One easy way is by having aromatherapy stress relief

Thursday

If you ever need anything...

Workplace drama? I've had my share that was my reason for putting together this blog. As I write, I think of one supervisor who loved to walk by my cubicle staring, smirking, or saying something stupid. He was always very careful about what he said and did so that he wouldn't be accused of harassment. One day a co-worker commented to me, "You know why he is always bothering you?" I said, "No." She said, "Because he likes you." That was the last thing I thought. But when I took a moment to think about it, he did act like one of those goofy little boys who would tap a little girl's shoulder and then run or pull her hair, hoping she would chase after him. My co-worker was right. So I made a point not to be friendly and always act very serious where he was concerned.

He tried to make small talk and I would just keep it business related. He wanted to know what was wrong with me? I would always tell him nothing and then quickly talk about the business at hand. He tried to make it his business to get me to open up, but I wouldn't budge. I continued to be guarded in everything that I did when he was around. He got the point, but it didn't keep him from commenting on my hair or looking at me when I wasn't looking. My co-worker liked to instigate him to do or say something, "You know you like her..." she would say. His cheeks would turn bright red and he would keep walking. Oftentimes, her bold accusations would keep him off my back.

I never wanted him to think I was even a little bit interested in him and it all worked out for the best. Eventually we were all downsized and I needed him for a reference. He didn't give me any problems about it. He told me how much he appreciated my work and if I ever needed anything don't hesitate to ask. "Yeah I bet," I thought. He smiled and for the first time in three years I gave him a hug. My big mouth co-worker said to him, "You know you like that!" His cheeks turned red. A few days later I left the job before they told us to go. I was ready to start a new job elsewhere. I know he missed me, I could see it in his eyes. Like I said, it all worked out for the best!

Nicholl McGuire

Wednesday

Companies self-destruct when workplace bullies run amok!

I have vivid memories of being bullied when I was in the fourth grade. Darrell would line me and other classmates up each morning and extort our lunch money under threat of beating us to a pulp! Darrell had already missed about two grades and towered over everyone. We were thoroughly intimidated. Growing tired of watching other kids enjoying their lunches I came up with an idea. I'll tell my mom about it and she will get him off my back! I knew my dear mother would show me empathy.

Wrong! She gave me one of the worst thrashings of my life and said, "Don't you let that boy take your lunch money. I'm going to call your teacher tomorrow to make sure you eat lunch." Now I was really in a jam, I had to decide who I was more afraid of Mom or Darrell! I didn't get an inch of sleep that night and the next morning went off to school hoping to hide from Darrell. Unfortunately, he caught me before the homework bell and proceeded to pound me for refusing to cough up my lunch money.

During the course of the fight I remember being cheered on by other victims of Darrell's tyranny. Mercifully, the teachers arrived and saved me from further punishment. I looked at Darrell and to my amazement, I had actually bloodied his nose! As we were marched to the principal's office, I was cheered and patted on the back by my classmates. I also got a lot of attention from the girls in my class. I explained to the principal about Darrell's extortion racket and mom's response. He sent me back to class and Darrell was suspended for a week. After that, I never had any more problems with Darrell. We in fact became good friends.

Unfortunately there are "Darrells and Darrellettes" in the workplace who are just as intimidating to fellow employees. Standing up to workplace bullies can be just as frightening for the victims. Workplace bullying can take on different forms such as

psychological abuse
physical abuse
emotional abuse
verbal and non verbal abuse
sabotage of the victims work product


According to Wikipedia workplace bullying, "is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker." From my workplace experience, I have witnessed bullying of customers, vendors, visitors and other interested parties! Bullies in the workplace often take advantage of their power by...

humiliating
insulting
affronting and confronting
intimidating


...the "target" of their abuse. Many times this behavior is played out in front of witnesses to destroy the victim's self esteem. When management allows bullying, trust in the workplace is nonexistent. Studies show that when there is an environment of distrust, employees tend to perform poorly. So bullying is bad for business. when employers are aware of bullying from employees and managers and do nothing to correct it, they share in the negative consequences. Workplace bullies come in all shapes, genders, races and sizes and have a great need for control. Here are the four basic types of workplace bullies.


Yellers

They always have to talk over the target(s).

Blockers

This type likes to undermine the reputation of the target and destroy work product.

Backstabbers

Self explanatory, they work in the shadows spreading ugly rumors and gossip aimed at the target.

Nitpickers

This bully lives to find fault with everything the victim does no matter how trivial. The bully will trash any suggestions by the target for improving workplace performance and efficiency as well.

A national poll conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute says 37 percent or 54 million American employees have been or are bullied at work. Gary Namie, director of the Institute says, "It’s a silent epidemic". Workplace bullying is also called "mobbing" when two or more managers or employees gang up on a victim. Co-workers who witness bullying have increased levels of low morale and stress. Employees who are the targets exhibit...

insomnia
stroke
depression
migraine headaches
low self esteem
high levels of stress disorder
suicidal tendencies
greater risk of heart disease

Because there are no laws protecting employees from bullying there is no clear definition for it. That makes it hard to distinguish from other behaviors such as sexual and racial harassment. To this point, the federal government has no workplace bully laws. Businesses and organizations by and large don't have policies to prevent it. However, several states have proposed legislation to provide employees some protection. There are some things employees can do to protect themselves.

Learn more about it
Stay calm
Promote your good work
Inform management of the problem(if the bully is the manager go over his/her head)
Understand the bully is the problem not you
Keep good records detailing the bullies behavior over a period on time. This includes names, dates, times, places, witnesses, etc.

Try to get the bully to create a paper trail for you. You would be amazed at how easy it is to get people behaving badly in the workplace to email their negative intent toward you. I have successfully used email that required a response to accomplish this. Keep all the documentation you receive from the bully that helps you prove his/her accusations against you are false.

Finally, if possible always try to have one or more witnesses who aren't intimidated or a part of the bullies "mob" around as witnesses to what is said and done.

Raising awareness and making a stand like the one I did against Darrell are the most effective ways to discourage and prevent workplace bullying. Seeking legal guidance is always an option as well until specific laws are passed to protect employees.

Yancey Thomas Jr. has functioned as a certified and trained mediator in alternative dispute resolution of employment and general civil issues for over 10 years. He is a national panel mediator/neutral through the Cornell University Alliance for Dispute Resolution with emphasis on employment/workplace disputes. As an employee, he has a unique perspective on how to prepare for employment. Yancey's you can learn basic employee rights site offers the job seeker and employee more information on achieving workplace success! Follow this link for more relevant info on workplace bullying.

Workplace Communication

Communication is a two-way process. Communication is successful only when the receiver understands the message intended by the sender.
Effective workplace communication is very essential for smooth and efficient functioning of an organization. The manager should have proper communication with his subordinates, else it will lead to absenteeism amongst workers, lower productivity, development of grapevine networks in an organization. There should be two-way communication in an organization. Manager should have personal contact with his subordinates. He should clearly communicate goals and policies of the organization to his subordinates and should get feedback on these goals and policies.

Feedback plays a very important role in the communication process. It enables us to evaluate the effectiveness of our message. Giving the subordinates chance to provide feedback is important for maintaining a open communication climate. The manager must create an environment that encourages feedback. For example: after communicating a job assignment, he should ask "Do all of you understand?", "Is that clear?", "Do you have any doubts?", etc. This will ensure that whether his message is understood or not.

Both upward and downward communications are important. Upward communication will keep manager informed about employees job satisfaction, employees feelings for their peers and about organization in general. Downward communication is important so that manager can give job instructions, explain the roles and policies and explain the issues which need immediate attention. Similarly we have horizontal communication in an organization which is also very important. It is essential that people working at same level should have effective communication amongst them so that there is co-ordination between them. Communication at workplace should be clear, concise and specific. There should be effective use of body language at workplace. Body language reflects the position of a person in the organization. A manager should make effective use of his body language while communicating with his subordinates.

Communication at workplace is mainly of two types - Verbal (Meetings, Speech, One to One feedbacks etc), Non Verbal (Written, printed, emails etc).

A healthy communication at workplace is good and essential for every business. Author is publisher of www.managementstudyguide.com/business_communication.htm, which provides more information on business communication.

Tuesday

A Major Obstacle to Career Change...The Fear of Self-Promotion and Selling!

Do you have a great business idea or a new career you would like to build? Many people do and some even create their idea. Then they stop. One of the most common obstacles to building a business or career you love is your beliefs about selling and promoting.
Whether you are creating a business or building a career, you will have to sell. You will either be selling a product or service or promoting your own abilities and accomplishments. There is no way to get around it...you must learn to sell.

There are many limiting beliefs keeping us from whole heartedly promoting our business or ourselves. Many of us hold the belief that selling is a negative activity. We believe sales people are pushy, uncaring and annoying. There are many beliefs around the idea that it is "bragging" to talk about our achievements. People should just notice how great we are! Of coarse that rarely happens.

Since you can't be successful and refuse to self-promote or sell then perhaps it is time to change your beliefs around selling. How would it change your attitude if you truly believed that you have something wonderful to share with others? What if you believed that you could promote your business in a way that showed you cared about the success of others? What if you believed that in the process of promoting yourself or your business you could make wonderful friendships and business collaborations?

It all starts with our beliefs which then translate into the attitudes we hold and how we share with others. If you think about it you can probably remember someone who sold you something or offered you a service in a way that felt good. In fact you felt better after they talked to you then before. That is how you want to sell.

Along with changing your beliefs to supportive beliefs around selling it is also time to take a look at how you like to sell. Where do your strengths lie? I found that I loved to show the value of my business through offering workshops. I enjoy leading workshops and talking about my business came naturally in that environment. Others like to get involved in volunteering and in the process share with people what they do for work. Some people thrive on meeting people through networking. Many like to market over the Internet. Some people even enjoy cold calling! Experiment for yourself and find the marketing venue that fits you and your strengths.

As you think about your resistance to promoting your business or yourself make a list of fears and limiting beliefs that come up. When you have your list write an opposite powerful belief to replace it with. Don't let the fear of marketing keep you from the career or business of your dreams. Remember that whatever you have to offer is your unique gift to the world so give it!

Leanna Fredrich helps people discover their passion and build a business or career around it. She specializes in helping people get over their fears and limiting beliefs quickly and easily so they can create their dreams. Are you ready to enjoy a career you love? Get the FREE report "The Top Ten Secrets to Discover Your Passion-filled Work." For your free report go to http://www.LeannaFredrich.com

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