Thursday

Today is Your Off Day!

For some of us, we rarely have an off day especially if you are a parent of small children. So even if you have a vacation day, you are still working! From preparing meals to running errands, there is never enough time to get everything done!

Yet, we do have those unexpected moments during the day, the personal days we didn't take, and the vacation days that we let accrue! Take advantage of them! Some of us are suffering in our relationships because we don't know how to take off work. Others are hurting all over because the stress has set up in our bodies like a cancer and is slowly killing us. There comes a point when we have to say, "Enough is enough!" Slide back the office chair, get up and just breathe! Take one day more off than what you planned sometimes. Go out of town if a change of scenery does you good. But whatever you do, know that it isn't just you that you are helping, but those around you who have been putting up with your mood swings.

Take today to thank God for what you have and don't have. Hug your family and realize that if it wasn't for them, you probably wouldn't have the drive to keep working like you do! It's okay...give yourself a break!

Nicholl
Take it from me soon after I finish my blog posts, I am turning off the computer and thinking of another time I will fast from being on it. With four sons, a relationship, work at home projects, and a recent relocation, I need the break!

Tuesday

The Boss that Micromanages: A Former Employee Perspective


He checks over your work two and three times after you have told him, "It's done." He calls two or three times while you are out running an errand just to see that you are doing it. He enlists someone to check up on you when you are given a task. He doesn't want you submitting, uploading, downloading, deleting, or filing anything without him looking at it. You are beginning to hate him!

Bosses like this have a history of being burned by others. They may have trusted someone to get something done and it never was done; therefore, their job may have been in jeopardy because of it. They don't believe employees when they say, "I locked the door...I put that away...the fax was sent...I cc the supervisor...I mailed the package." They need proof, assurance, and most likely some medicine for frequent stomach or headaches from all their worries. However, remind yourself, "My bosses stresses will not affect my mood!" It may be easier said than done, but remember you have an innocent family at home that would like to see you in a good mood on most days coming home from work. Don't let your boss affect you and your household!

These micro managers will lose sleep at night if they don't feel confident that a task is done, their problem, not yours! They will show up at the workplace after hours and during vacations just to be sure everyone is doing what they are suppose to--you can only imagine what their family thinks of this!

So what can you do to put your boss at ease? Just do whatever he or she asks. If it makes him feel good to get a second signature on a document that only requires one, do it. If she feels that a follow up call to a client is necessary, do it. The more you harbor angry feelings about your boss, the more you will want to quit prematurely.

You can always suggest to your boss some things that could be changed at the workplace, but you will have to do an exceptional job proving your case. If your idea will save money or time, you just might tickle the micro managers ears. But by all means, put it in writing and schedule an appointment to go over your suggestions with your boss. Who knows if you have won his or her trust, the boss just might start using your ideas and hopefully give you credit!

Nicholl McGuire is the creator of What About My Job found on Blurb.com

Monday

Job Interview - What Not to Do

One of my employees answered the phone, put the caller on hold for a moment, and said to me, "This person is looking for a job. Do you want to take the call?" I really did not have need of another employee at that time, but might in the future. So I took the call.

The caller talked about the place where she was now working and the fact she wanted to move upward in her career. From the way she spoke it sounded like she "knew her stuff," so I made an appointment for her to come talk with me.

When time came for the interview I saw her pull into my parking lot, but she did not get out of her car! Instead she sat in her automobile, with the windows rolled up, and smoked a cigarette. Okay, she is here for a job interview, and she is nervous, but she must have smoked an entire pack while driving to the interview, because when she walked through the front door the odor of smoke was overwhelming.

Take a dirty ashtray filled with cigarette butts, pour in a little water so it gets really stinky, and that is the smell she had about her! She could not smell it. Her nose had become desensitized to the odor of cigarette smoke because she lived with it all day.

While I was interviewing her, we happened to be near one of the cold-air intakes for the building's heating system, and within minutes the smoke odor had permeated the building. Later, after she left the building, we could still detect the smoke smell for a couple hours.

I had quit smoking some thirty years earlier - yes it is very difficult to do, and at the time of this lady's interview it just so happened none of my employees smoked. They gave me the "Oh Don, please do not hire her, she smells bad" comments.

Of course it is someone's own personal decision to smoke, but anyone who does (and is going to a job interview) may want to consider nicotine gum, or a nicotine patch on the day of the interview. Not only does the smoke smell get on the smoker's breath, but it also clings to clothing and hair.
I also remember a fellow who came to see me who smelled like he had just smoked an entire bag of weed. The odor was even stronger than cigarettes. And he was stoned too. Go away!

Other odors too may not be so obvious, except to the interviewer. For example perfume and men's aftershave lotion -- a tiny dab goes a long way. A big dab goes everywhere. Garlic, lots of garlic -- while it may keep away werewolves and other nasties, the smell stays in your body's system almost twenty-four hours and dissipates through your lungs! Do not breathe in the same room as does your interviewer.

Interviewers usually know within 30 to 40 seconds whether or not they want to hire the person they are interviewing. Your first impression happens in an instant. Do not stink.

Don Schenk has been conducting hiring interviews for four decades. The real, insider's secret to Job-Search is not what you think it is! Discover the 3 little-known strategies that will make the interviewer want to hire you within the first 30 to 40 seconds of the interview! Go to:
http://www.HowYouFindAJobFast.com
Total Training Online Software Training - Try it Now Get Free Access

Tuesday

Quitting a Job - Before You Quit Your Job, Some Things to Consider

Some Things You'll Learn About:
  • Things to consider before you quit your job
  • What to consider before you quit your job improperly
  • We'll review typical reasons why you would want to quit your job
  • Alternatives to quitting a job
  • Unemployment possibilities will be discussed and questions answered such as: "Can you collect unemployment if you quit your job?"
  • How to quit your job gracefully and professionally
  • How to quit your job and get the last laugh
  • How to quit your job without burning any bridges. This should not be taken lightly!
  • If you want to quit your night job, some things to consider that are different from if you wanted to quit your day job. You'll want to hear this...so don't quit your night job yet!
  • Things to know if you want to quit your job to start a home business of any kind
  • Make a game of it!
NOTE: The information you receive from reading this article will give you some things to think about that you may not have considered but ultimately, remember that nobody can make that decision for you. You should always do your best to find out everything you can before you take any action.
Think of this scenario: you now have quit your job and are hunting for another...feverishly, urgently, with very little time before you go under financially. Now that's stress! Not only that, you left for the wrong reasons. You may have quit your job because of stress, a bad coworker or boss, poor conditions, no recognition or whatever it is but it won't matter to the unemployment office when they have a line of people waiting for benefits. Bottom Line: Do not quit your job before you have another one lined up! When you have another job lined up then you should quit your job. Nevertheless, quit your job gracefully and professionally. Let's find out the Ins and Outs of quitting your job...

The first thing to consider is CAN you quit your job from a financial standpoint? Do you have the reserves in place (money in the bank) or another job lined up BEFORE you quit? Think of it this way, the moment you quit, you free that position up for the LINE OF PEOPLE waiting to get your job! If you do not know how to quit your job properly, depending upon the circumstances, you may very well burn a bridge. In this day and age that is not a wise idea! After you quit your job it's far too late to try to retrace your steps and go back begging on your hands and knees should you need that job back! I'll show you how to resign from your job in a respectful and professional manner to prevent you from burning any bridges.

If You Quit Your Job Improperly:
You may very well not only burn a bridge, so to speak, but this may also follow you for some time and become a thorn in your side when you apply for a job and well into the interview process. Even though companies have a very fine line they have to walk when an inquiry regarding a former employee surfaces it can be difficult at times to prove if something was said during the conversation since you are not even there.

You will likely be asked in an interview in one form or another some questions about your previous job. People can tell when you are not being completely honest by such things as your body language, tone of your voice, even at times when your blood pressure goes up and your heart starts to race. You may even start to perspire a bit and so on.

If you quit your job prematurely you may very well jeopardize your financial situation. It is easy to make it worse in one form or another even when you have the right intentions but you merely miss the mark of what your goals are versus what reality is. That is a hard lesson to learn.

Typical Reasons Why People Quit Their Job:
The second thing to consider is WHY do you want to quit your job? Is it too stressful? Not getting along with the boss? Just simply hate your job? Is it for health reasons? Do you have challenges when it comes to performing the job duties? Do you have to move? Are you not advancing as quickly as you thought possible? Let's address a few of these for starters.

If your answer is somewhere in the "hate my job", "can't advance", "can't get along with the boss" arena then there may be a better alternative to quitting a job which we will discuss shortly. If it is for health (including stress) or anything that falls close to this you have a possible reason to quit your job. Do not take this lightly. If the job is high stress and/or your health is suffering then speak to your physician about this. There may be medical options available for you that will require your doctors' endorsement. This may also protect your position/job for the time being. This is typically a protected area depending upon the state and area you live in. Let's get into the other reasons why you want to quit your job.

If you are quitting a job to move and the move is a 'must do' or 'no option' sort of thing then it's pretty much said and done. You should quit your job for these reasons. Just make sure you are moving for the right reasons. If you quit your job to take care of a family member or for a better job, to move to a better area to bring up your kids or even just a better area in general then you should quit your job. Follow the section about how to quit your job gracefully but remember to have another job lined up if at all possible before you give notice.

Alternatives to Quitting a Job:
Before you quit your job, ask yourself this question... Am I the type of employee I would hire (meaning you)? Would you hire YOU if you owned a company? If the answer is not a quick yes then maybe a change in your work activities is in order. Are you on time? Do you take only the allotted breaks and for only the time specified? Do you go above and beyond what is required of your job even a little bit? If all you are there for is a paycheck and all that you ever do is the minimum at your job, you will struggle with this quite possibly for the rest of your life. I'm not kidding. When you step it up just a bit your employer sees you as a bigger asset to the company. Deliver more than the minimum, do your job as BEST as you can! I don't care what it is, give it your all and you will be recognized as a great worker! Oh yes, one very simple thing you can do to really improve how you are perceived is to SMILE! Now, would YOU hire you?

If you are having issues with your Boss or even another worker, get those issues addressed as soon as possible. If you have a union or some other governing bodies (including your Human Resources Department) then contact them to find out your options as well as the proper procedures to follow.
Communication is key and this goes hand in hand with people skills and a little bit of finesse. So, be polite, be patient and be open for change. Pointing the finger at someone else assigning blame will not work. I don't care if you were right or wrong, if you create a conflict it will likely compound. I am not saying to roll over though. Stand your ground (if it's worth standing on) and state the facts. Not possibilities or speculations, just the facts. Keep any documents that support these facts or keep a log book if necessary. Remember the old cliche that addresses winning the battle but losing the war?

Keep that in mind.
Your company is likely to have a process to follow for issues like this. Follow them. The chain of command (management hierarchy) is there for a reason. Use it! Stick with it until you can get some sort of resolution. There is nothing wrong with respectfully speaking with your boss about the issue even if you don't get along with him/her and want to resolve it. Any professional will see it as an attempt to fix a problem and not take it personally. Perhaps you do things that your boss doesn't like and it is eating at him/her just as much as his/her actions eat at you? Level the playing field and you will likely be respected as a professional.

Is a transfer to another department or location a possibility? This may save you a lot of grief versus to quit your job over something that could have been overcome with a simple transfer.
Finally, if you can't seem to get a resolution, then start looking for another job! Don't quit your job because you hate it, can't get along with someone and so on. That is a foolish thing to do. However, my own personal 'standard' if you will, for quitting your job is right here:
- Only quit your job after you have another job lined up, then give the appropriate (at least) 2 weeks' notice politely and in written form giving the date of your last day. Keep working hard!
- Only quit your job after you have your financial needs met (like quitting the employee work force to become an entrepreneur...see the business section below) and also with at least 2 weeks' notice, in writing, as above. Again, keep working hard!

Unemployment Possibilities:
In general there is only one area that MIGHT allow you to leave your job and that is for medical reasons. This is an area that can get very convoluted depending upon your state labor laws, so check with them to find out the particulars for your area. If your job is aggravating an injury and the employer is not accommodating you appropriately or in a timely manner than you MIGHT be able to quit your job and get unemployment benefits but I would not hold your breath....check it out thoroughly before you take that step! With people standing in line at many unemployment agencies they may have even clamped down even further in this area by now so even if you THINK you can just quit your job and draw unemployment, check with the unemployment office FIRST.
If you are already working while drawing unemployment then be aware that if you quit a job (or can't go to work because of requiring a doctors release) the unemployment department may very well see the drop in hours and halt your benefits while a review of your case unfolds. Remember, your benefits will typically STOP while they perform this review so be very careful with your decisions. This review can take up to a month or more!

Ways to Quit Your Job:
How to quit your job gracefully and professionally: Your letter of resignation should only highlight the positive points of your work at your company. No slander or finger pointing. Simply point out that you are leaving on whatever date and you enjoyed your time here. If it's for another position, state it is for another position but leave the company name and such out of it. Keep it general, positive and professional. There are plenty of sample letters that you can find in a web search.

How to quit your job and get the last laugh: This is more for your own personal giggles and if used will likely result in you not laughing for long. Do not use this unless you understand the ramifications and have become independently wealthy. So, here it is. Explain in your letter of resignation that you have been told by your physician specialist in whatever field (a little research here to make sure make believe names of ailments match with the right kind of doctor) that you have been diagnosed with a terminal ailment, disease or whatever. Maybe something like Caribbean Getaw ay Syndrome or GoN2 Bora Bora Disease. Explain that the first signs of which are currently appearing and they start with the loss of sight. Then proclaim that you can't see yourself working for them any more! Righteous!

How to quit your job without burning any bridges: This should not be taken lightly! Even though the last entry was somewhat comical it is highly recommended you keep that to yourself. DO NOT act on it. Quit your job gracefully and professionally. Period.

Quit Your Night Job? Are you crazy?
If you want to quit your night job, there is one thing to consider that does not apply to wanting to quit your day job and that is the shift itself. Sure, it can be hard on your family life, social life and so on but you have an advantage with a night job. You see, you can not only go on interviews during the day and keep up the job search but you also have fewer managers during a night job than you would have on a day job. Try the other possibilities like transfers or addressing some of the issues you have with HR or similar to keep from just outright quitting your job. Consider it a stepping stone to bigger and better things! It may even be plausible to address your concerns directly but in a non-threatening, open and friendly way. Do whatever you can to get the situation either rectified or at least reduced in intensity.

If You Want to Quit Your Job To Start a Home Business, Consider This:
If you have or want to start your own home business ONLY QUIT YOUR JOB after you have surpassed the gross pay from your job and have one year of wages/salary in savings (again, gross pay). Oh yes, and no bills! In this regard, when working your business part time (and while you are still working a job) limit yourself in a new business to 10 hours per week until you get it built up! Then, up it to 20 hours but remember that it is time spent WORKING your business, not tying yourself up answering emails, driving to the store to get supplies and so on. That is getting lost in the 'putting out fires' routine and is not ACTIVELY BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS. The time you spend should be productive, quality time. You still have a life to live and need a balance between work and recreation, family time too. You are no good to anyone if you die in the process so create a balance and spend quality time in each area of your life. Your family and your business will thank you! When you reach this point (No bills, one year savings, greater pay)then you should quit your job. No doubt!
NOTE: I recently witnessed a VERY successful speaker divulge a lesson learned that catapulted her business success. She was working 100 hours per week and making really good money, but when she cut her hours to 20 hours per week, her income quadrupled! Now, this may not be typical in the sense that you will get the same result bu tit illustrates how honing her activities to only those that were productive can result in HUGE results. In essence, she was wasting 80 hours of her week! Regardless if you double, triple or even retain the same income level for a fraction of the work, pay attention to the quality of work you are doing. If you are not growing your business then you are stuck in it and that is too much like a job!

Lastly, sometimes making a game out of your job can help. Not in a foolish sense but sometimes you just need to create a routine where you need to challenge yourself to make the job more interesting, and thereby improve your outlook of that job. You may even find you actually like it!

DeAnna Foster has been a successful trainer for many years and has a unique and awesome ability to take a concept and adapt it to each person's learning style. She does this in a way that can be quickly and easily understood in a 'take-you-by-the-hand-approach' to learning. She is always looking out for your best interests while she guides you as you work towards and accomplish your goals and dreams. Imagine what you could accomplish with her guiding you through it all? She only teaches top notch programs, systems, content that produce results!

Monday

Gossip at the Office

No one likes it when other people talk about them in a negative way. However, it seems that hardly any of us can resist getting caught up in the occasional gossiping that can take place when we are in an office setting.

When I worked as a police officer, I was both shocked and disappointed at how much gossiping took place throughout the department! Because we were so closely knit, it wasn't uncommon to overhear one person talking negatively about someone else and something that had taken place either while that person was on duty or off duty. It seemed as if the gossiping was worse if police officers hung out with each other outside of work. I had a few friends from my police academy that I would hang out with outside of work, but we were always respectful about what we said regarding one another and never talked badly about the other person while we were at work. However, the older officers and other administrative people who had been there for a while would speculate and gossip about the newcomers and about each other as if it was no big deal.

Eventually, I was able to witness the suspension of several officers based on gossip that had flown around the department. In several instances, when the negative gossip about various officers turned out to be true, I witnessed the dismissal of several people. It was both unfortunate and sad that something that had started out so small had led to several officers getting fired. Upon leaving the police department and entering into the private sector of the working population, I found that while the gossip was not nearly as bad, it was still prevalent.

If you work in a small office, it can be extremely easy to get caught up in jealousy or speculation- all of which leads to whispering, snickering and messages back and forth about what is going on with whom and who is getting paid more than someone else. The negative side to gossip is that it can weaken company morale and eventually lead to the downfall of a company based on lack of motivation, intimidation or even self criticism because you know and/or think that others are judging you.

While there may not be a lot that you can do to prevent gossiping from taking place at your office or place of work, you do have control over whether or not you choose to become an active participant in the gossip that is going on. If you feel comfortable enough doing so, you can voice your concern and/or opinion over how you disagree with talking about other people. If you do not feel comfortable confronting others about the gossiping that is taking place, then it may be something that you will want to meet with your supervisor privately about so that he or she can address it as an anonymous complaint. Whatever you do, if you find yourself among others who are gossiping about another employee or co-worker, imagine how you would feel if they were speaking the same way about you and then base you reaction on this. The easiest thing that you can do is to just walk away.

By Brenda Williams

How To Convince Someone To Stop Smoking - Without Being A Pest

Many a times you may have asked this same question to people around you over and over again. How to convince someone to stop smoking? Well, the brutal truth is your possibility of being able to do so is close to none. Simple because for most smokers, it's very hard.

Even if you wanted to get yourself to quit, you would find that it takes tremendous discipline and motivation. By that I mean an iron will and a faith much, much bigger than a mustard seed. What's even more troubling is that most young people do not want to stop smoking. Let along the 'seasoned' smokers.

Yes, it is hard. But it is better to already know how to convince someone to stop smoking rather than not knowing at all. Be prepared for the harvesting season. You got good news. It gets a whole lot easier as smokers grow older. Maturity and age does play a part.

It is a known fact that many people give up smoking as they grow older. This is where all your knowledge on how to convince someone to stop smoking becomes really handy. They will be more receptive to listening to your suggestions on how minimize smoking.

This is your golden chance and here you can use more aggresive tactics such as shoving some "hints" out to them. For instance, when you are close to that person try to keep a distance when talking. It is something like both a body language and will make him strain to raise his or her voice a little. Very indirect indeed.

Your true talent on how to convince someone to stop smoking comes into light when you see them "getting it". Here's another move which will be far more effective after those body signals you've sent out.

Ensure all your face-to-face conversations are as usual and keep informing him (or her) how much you want him to quit. Remind him that you really love him so much that you wish they'd stay around for a really, really long time on this earth.

In closing, it was both my kids and my wife that convinced me to stop. It took awhile but I must say, I'm truly thankful to them for teaching me the real truth on how to convince someone to stop smoking.

Michael Benedict is now a happily married father of two wonderful children who is living a smoke free life.

Thursday

Poem: Uncomfortable

Driven to a place
to sit with strangers.

A special invitation
encouraged by a friend.

Thoughts surround my mind
didn't want to go, but had to
otherwise a hard-earned reputation
would be tarnished.

They won't like me,
I'm one of "them."
I won't like them
they are one of those.

My stomach churns,
reminds me to eat.

Excuses of why I didn't make it the last time, scripted.
I wait for the opportune time to roll them off my tongue.
Maybe I can get out of this one,
before it's too late.

"Forgot something at home
don't bother to wait
just drop me off.
Something came up,
I just got a text.
Maybe next time...
thanks but no thanks!"

The undesirable moment has arrived.

At first glance,
they look annoyed,
yet they smile.
A handshake barely felt.

Sitting and laughing
sitting and laughing
trying to fit in.
This is getting old.

Time for a bathroom break.
Release the stress.
Wash my hands of their germs.
Check my teeth.
Smell my breath.
Wipe my mouth.
Adjust my clothes, my hair.
Good, no flaws they can use against me.

Back to that world where
Daydreams take hold
such an uncomfortable situation
My mind escapes.

playing with hair
why do I fear them?
picking with fingernails
It's just silence, someone will speak again.
stuttering when asked a question
I know my stuff, why did I just do that?
staring out a window
Hope they don't notice, I'm bored.
time is ticking
Did my watch stop working?

Thoughts of anywhere
but here!

At last,
time to go home.
Should have brought my car.
Relief has finally come.

"Nice meeting you."
Not really.

Back to my shelter from a ridiculous world.

Peace.

Nicholl McGuire is a Poet, Blogger and Internet Content Producer. To read more of her work visit here.

Wednesday

How To Quit A Job?

Leaving a job is often a difficult step. Sure, there is the exciting opportunity to do something different, but if have been with an employer for over a year this can become an emotional step. People leave jobs for various reasons. The old job might just plain and simple suck. The pay is lousy and the boss is behaving like a dictator of a 3rd world country. Or the job might be target of outsourcing and the employee is pro-active by looking for his/her own way out. Or the job is a dead end. No opportunity and the daily routine is boring. It could also be that the immediate co-workers and managers are just not as nice and that there is no great work relationship that makes the employee to love to go to work. A not so exciting job can still be a great place to work if you have great co-workers and managers around. Work is about money, but the socializing part is important, too.

We're not trying to get into the reasons for leaving a job here for the matter of this article. However - we want to concentrate on the actual part of resigning from a job. And again - there are several different ways of leaving a job. If you absolutely do not care about your old job you could just leave but this step can have severe impact on your career down the road. Keep in mind that employers like to check the places you worked at before they want to hire you. These sins of the past might come back and hurt your reputation. "Oh, he left that job without any notice. What if he does the same thing to me?" - This could be just one thought a new employer might have. Depending on the job a one week or two week notice should be given. In some cases 3-4 weeks can be appropriate. As higher you get up in the ranks this might be the way to go. An executive leaving a company without taking care of a proper transition might hurt himself if the company gets into problems afterwards and this becomes public knowledge. Treat the employer fair and do not burn any bridges. In the long run this will be the best decision an employee can make.

When resigning you should be prepared to avoid unnecessary stress. In most cases resigning is a stressful event. A well prepared employee can take some stress out of this big step with proper planning. Write a 2 or 3 line letter of resignation. Nothing fancy. Try not to explain why you leave. Just state that you are resigning from your position and let the company know what your last day at work will be. Sign the letter and hand it to the manager you are resigning to. Do not just turn over the letter and walk away. Say that you are resigning and then hand over the letter of resignation. Be prepared to answer questions why you are leaving. Do not make up things. Prepare a quick list of pain points if needed. You might even help your co-workers by giving constructive feedback about certain situations and problems. I personally recommend never to mention the word money as the main reason of leaving. If things come down to money if often gets dirty.

Eventually be prepared for an immediate counter-offer during your resignation. Some companies try to fix the problem of an employee leaving by throwing more money at him/her. Or they want to buy time and pretend giving you more money. They give you more money but work on your replacement at the same time. Things might also work out Ok for a while but when the going gets tough and it comes to layoffs the guy who took the counter-offer might be one of the first ones to be let go because of the cost factor. I see only one situation when it can be good or Ok to accept a counter-offer. Say you are leaving because of the work environment and you are able to point out problems and issues. Some employers are blind about these things and just don't realize how employees feel about certain things. Suddenly a good employees leaves and the issue comes to the surface. Some employers are willing to fix the issue and these are rare situations a counter-offer can be accepted. Still - the employee has to carefully evaluate the situation. It is important to know who you are dealing with from a personal side. Can you trust the employer?

Sometimes a counter-offer can come up during the last few days at a company or shortly after the last day. We have seen cases when counter-offers were made within 60-70 days after the employee left. These situations are not good. I highly recommend not to accept such a counter-offer no matter how tempting the offer is. The employee has to keep in mind that he/she already left. This mark will always stick. One day the employer might be in a different situation and has to decide who to let go first. Will it be the loyal employee who is with the company for 8 years or is it the "Gung-Ho" who left just to be lured back by money and who eventually leaves again if the next employer is willing to hand out even more cash? Make a bet ....

These are just a few things to keep in mind when thinking about resigning from a position. Be prepared. Be strong. Change can be very good for your career.

Christoph Puetz is a successful entrepreneur and international book author.

How To Keep Fit In The Workplace


You can participate in exercises at work to help yourself. Some exercises you can do while working are: Ankle rotation, back stretches, and tightening and relaxing the abdominal muscles.

1. A Foundation for Fitness

You can contribute to your fitness by using a healthy diet and exercise plan. You do not have to start a fad, crash diet or spend hours daily at the gym. To stay fit, cut fatty foods and high sugar foods from your diet, snack on greens and fruits and take long walks every few days. Many people can maintain a healthy body by eating salad for lunch and taking a refreshing jog every other day.

2. Prevent Obesity

Anybody can become obese by for example neglecting themselves. Financial concerns usually takes priority over physical fitness. If you often find yourself pressed for time because of a large project or a looming deadline, there are a few simple exercises you can do right in your cubicle to keep your muscles flexible and your joints strong.

3. What You Should Do

Rotate your ankles to help blood circulation and to loosen muscles and joints. Stretch your back often to help prevent achy back problems. Tighten and relax your abdominal muscles to give your tummy some workout. You can do this in many places because they're discreetly tightening and relaxing muscles.

4. Work Exercises

Abs: Sit on the edge of chair, arms extending in front. Keeping back straight, contract the abs and slowly lower torso towards back of chair. Hold 2-3 seconds and repeat.

Curls: Cross arms over chest and sit up straight. Contract abs and curl shoulder towards hips, pulling abs in. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat.

Standing Hip Flexion: Stand with abs in, spine straight. Lift leg up until level with hip. Hold for 2 seconds, repeat other side.

Leg Lift: In same starting position as above, lift left leg straight out to the side a few inches off the floor. Hold for 2 seconds, repeat on the other side.

Leah Gorecki

For more great fitness related articles and resources.

Monday

Stress Equals Overeating, Overworking

Which comes first the stress or the overeating and the overworking, that is the million dollars question, millions of dollars that is; in health care, prescriptions, therapist bills. The true story, all we have to do is find balance in our lives and that means in all areas; the right amount of hours of working; the right times to eat; eat the right foods; the right amount of exercise; the right amount of time for play and recreation; the right amount of time for the family and for our spiritual growth. This all balanced out will release the stress factor in our life and our overeating at work will disappear and it will reduce the pains of overworking.

When we don't find the time to grocery shop for our health, there we are at the vending machine getting a quick snack of food with no nutritional value, hitting the box of donuts or bagels that some one brought in as an incentive to get your business, or even worse, stopping at the donut shop for your breakfast because you did not have time to fix something of value at home. This kind of food is on every street corner and they make it very convenient to just "drive thru". It takes all of our will power not to fall into this trap.

The solution for this, look at ways you can reduce stress at work, take action in eliminating them to the best of your personal ability, take healthy snacks to work for when you just have to feed that stressful situation, eat breakfast, find restaurants close by that serve healthy dishes, find a health buddy at work so you can encourage each other when the down times come; have green tea at your desk for a quick pick up without caffeine and/or sugar.

Health problems, mostly stress related, cost employers $13 billion dollars a year, this is every reason your employer would appreciate your efforts in staying healthy and stress free, let them know and ask if there isn't a plan that could be developed to reduce their amount of these billions of dollars and assist in making that plan happen.

We are at work more than we are at home, we deserve to have it be a healthy, happy, functional, safe place to be.

Thought for the Day
: "We do not go into the wilderness to escape from life. We go to keep life from escaping us. -Naturalists source unknown-

My mission is to teach and encourage individuals how to find and maintain their balance in mind, body, spirit connection, which brings peace, joy and prosperity into their lives. They learn how to experience the joy of balanced living. I accomplish this thru my Wellness Coach Program which i offer to individuals and corporations.

by Darlene Siddons

Body Odor & Menopause - Three Things Women Need to Know About Hyperhidrosis and What to Do About It

Everyone knows that hot flashes are a frequent complication of menopause. But if that's not bad enough, the hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, caused by menopause is also a major contributor to body odor. Here are four things women need to know about excessive perspiration and how to prevent the odor it can cause.

1. Hot flashes sometimes get "hotter" as a result of medication. Many medications cause excessive perspiration. Just a few of them are:
· Aspirin· Buproprion (Wellbutrin) · Citalopram (Celexa) · Chlomipramine (Anafranil) · Clozapine (Clozaril) · Duloxetine (Cymbalta) · Escitalopram (Lexapro) · Fluoxetine (Prozac) · Fluvoxamine (Effexor) · Goserelin (Zoladex) · Insulin · Niacin, nicotinamide (Niaspan) · Rituximab (Rituxin) · Ropinirole (Requip) · Sertraline (Zoloft) · and Tositumomab (Bexxar)

In the most extreme cases, sweat can literally drip from the hands to the floor. Bacteria trapped with sweat can cause a cheesy odor that offends others and distresses the person with the condition.
To remove sweat from the body or keep sweat from soaking the body, the number one element is personal hygiene, or in other words, bathing regularly.

2. Washing: Daily showers with soap and water are necessary. In some cases it may be necessary to shower twice a day or more. Be sure to use warm water. Hot water can cause flaking of the skin, which provides additional food for odor-causing bacteria. Cold water stops perspiration for a time, but then the shock of returning to a warmer environment makes sweating even worse.

Also, pat or air dry skin, but don't rub yourself dry with a towel. Rubbing can loosen dead skin and clog pores. Finally, be sure always to use clean washcloths and towels, to avoid reinfecting yourself with the bacteria you just washed off!

Taking a soak in the tub is just as effective as taking a shower, but be sure to be careful about soaking in hot water for more than 15 minutes. Long, hot soaks can dry out the skin and provide bacteria with an additional food source.

3. Antibacterial soap: There are many good soap products on the market that will kill the bacteria that is present in skin. By killing bacteria that thrives in a sweaty environment, one reduces the amount of odor caused by perspiration.

One precaution: Don't use antibacterial soap on dry skin unless you also use a moisturizer. Antibacterial soaps, like all scented soaps, can dry out the skin.
And the fourth thing women need to know about body odor and menopause.

Sunday

Getting Your Boss to Listen to Your Ideas - Four Questions That Will Earn You the Right to Be Heard

Have you ever experienced a situation where your boss didn't seem interested in listening to your ideas? Have you ever been frustrated by not being able to get to first base selling a worthwhile concept to upper management? Have you ever been tempted to stop trying all together? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, maybe you need to brush up your skills in the fine art of earning the right to be heard.

I would suggest there are four questions that all decision makers need to have answered before they can comfortably and confidently approve any idea. For those of us able to both identify these four questions and formulate appropriate answers for each, the probability of our concerns being heard and acted upon increases greatly. Consider the following four.

Question 1: How much is it going to cost?
No self-respecting manager would ever approve any proposal unless armed with this answer. Therefore, take the time to do your homework up-front. Be prepared, but be honest. Never over-estimate or pad the numbers! Others may, but for those of us wishing to earn the right to be heard, the risk is too great. If decision makers believe you're playing games with them, they may let you play somewhere else.

Question 2: What are the benefits?
This may be the most important question to be answered. Benefits serve decision makers as both reason and motivation for taking action. Whenever we sell any idea we should be prepared with as many tangible benefits as possible. However, be careful. Only benefits which are legitimate and defensible should be included. Even one benefit that is not legitimate or defensible may serve to make the entire list suspect in the mind of the decision maker.

Question 3: How long will it take?
Time is money. Therefore, we need to offer decision makers a realistic expectation of the time required to get our recommendation up and running. However, contrary to my earlier advice regarding question number one, always over-estimate the length of time expected for the project to be completed. Create a specific implementation plan that will allow you to position yourself in such a way as to always be under time and under budget.

Question 4: What happens if we don't do it?
This is a favorite question of many decision makers. After listening to your well-prepared case for a certain action to be taken, many decision makers may seem compelled to consider the downside of the equation. Don't despair, prepare. Prepare yourself with a ready response for this predictable question. My suggestion? "Boss, if you decide not to approve this proposal, I will accept your decision. However, let me remind you of the benefits which will not be realized as a result of your decision here today." Then immediately refer to the earlier list of legitimate and defensible benefits.
Will leaders always be successful in getting what they want when following the approach outlined above? Of course not. However, even if we don't get what we want, we may still be successful in creating quality "face time" with the appropriate decision makers. After all, the first step to getting to "yes," is earning the right to be heard.

Phillip Van Hooser is a leadership expert and best selling author. His management training system, The Leadership Journey, have been used by companies all across the U.S. and beyond to help their people become more successful leaders. When his strategies are implemented, organizations and individuals experience lower turnover rates and higher productivity, enjoy improved management/employee relations and understand how to motivate today's "new breed" of employee. For more information, please visit http://www.vanhooser.com

Monday

Excessive Work and Sexual Difficulties and Problems

When we get enough experience with sexual activities, we reach a stage where we conclude that such activities are best done in a proper mental and physical state. We find ourselves relaxed, free from tiredness, away from distractions, etc. Involving in sexual acts while the above factors do not favor, result in very negative behaviors, leaving us unsatisfied or we fail to perform sexually. Excessive work and sexual difficulties go hand-to-hand today due to the current hectic lifestyle and for the need to earn more.

Excessive work and sexual difficulties have become a common syndrome now. You can find many people suffer very much due to excessive work that results in fatigue, lack of time and, above all, a constant stressful mental state. Many busy people report leading a very unsatisfactory sexual life due to the long working hours or due to their busy schedule. Some people feel so tired and sleepy that they prefer rest than sex. Some find their sexual frequency badly affected by their busy schedule. Some find negative changes in sexual behavior. Many couples, who used to have sex almost every night before, now report to have just once or twice a month after both of them got busy in work.

Excessive work and sexual difficulties affect the lives of many people, both men and women. In fact, women tend to lose out more. The relationship between excessive work and sexual difficulties seems deep-rooted. If you are tired, you do not find the desire or strength left for sex. A stressful workload or busy schedule very badly affects the sexual life, and it even can cause several sexual disorders.

The relation between excessive work and sexual difficulties also result in many other problems when it comes to sharing intimate moments in the bed. Many people report different symptoms such as: difficulty to experience orgasm, unable to relax in bed, vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction, inadequate foreplay resulting in unsatisfactory ending of the act, irritability during the intimate moments, and in some cases even breaking up of relationship.

Busy individuals are warned unless they find a way out and try to have enough free time and approach sex when they are fresh both physically and mentally, their suffering will increase over time. This can give rise to many other physical and emotional complications. Couples have to take this matter more seriously and honestly. They have to cooperate fully with each other and increase understanding and tolerance. The results will certainly be more encouraging.

Ryan Mutt
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Seven Lessons Learned From Bad Bosses


As a human resources professional, I've worked with all sorts of managers and have seen my fair share of bad bosses and tyrants. I have compiled a few of the lessons I've learned along the way on how not to manage employees and sincerely hope that these lessons will help you become the great leader that you know you can be:

Lesson 1: Don't Share Too Much Information (TMI) - Your direct report is an employee of the company and not your counselor, confidante or BFF (Best Friend Forever). Employees really don't want to or need to know the intimate details of your personal life, really. One manager actually told me during a one on one meeting with her that her mother never found out about all the black men she had slept with. Bonding session? I think not. You put your employees in an uncomfortable position when you divulge too much private information. Discussing what you did with the kids over the weekend is fine, discussing your love life, not so much.

Lesson 2: Give Constructive Instead of Crushing Criticism - Check out this scenario - An employee feels like he's doing a fantastic job, he constantly exceeds your expectations and you've given him good feedback on his performance during the year. It's the end of the year and time for the annual performance review; said employee is sitting across from your desk waiting eagerly for you to formalize in the review what you've been telling him throughout the review period. Suddenly, you inform him that although he's done great work, his humor is off-putting and he made a comment 6 months ago that you thought was kind of racist.

If you wanted to thank your employee for a job well done, correct any bad behavior and motivate him for another year, you have effectively done the opposite. As a manager, you're supposed to build relationships with your direct report. This includes giving immediate feedback and finding an effective and sensitive way to give constructive criticism. After his review, the employee had a long conversation with HR; he was clearly upset and disillusioned.

Lesson 3: Don't be Intimidated by Your Direct Reports' Intellect - As a manager, you're paid to ensure that you motivate and bring out the best in your employees. With companies reaching the productivity frontier and everyone scrambling for a competitive advantage, it's even more important to encourage employees to think creatively and to support innovation. As a leader, your employees want to impress you with their creativity and ideas. So don't follow the example of a Director at a large insurance company that would compete with her direct reports at meetings and say things such as, "I thought of that already" anytime one of her employees would make a suggestion. You're the manager and as such are expected to nurture and encourage employees, not get into a contest of how smart you are. We know you have to have some intellect otherwise you wouldn't be a manager. Making your employees look bad instead of making them shine in front of others just makes you look petty.

Lesson 4: Never Belittle Your Employees - One Vice President I knew seemed to derive pleasure from making her direct reports look and feel stupid and small. When she received a completed assignment from an employee she would hurriedly review it, looking for mistakes. If she found any, she would gleefully point it out to the employee; you could see her almost salivating with excitement. In addition, this manager would make belittling comments to her direct reports, such as "well now that you took the stairs, maybe you'll lose some weight". She couldn't help herself! Managers should be mindful of their employees' feelings (yes, employees do have feelings!). You don't have to make everyone else look bad or feel small in order to make yourself look good.

Lesson 5: Stay Objective - There was one manager I worked with that would either really like or really despise her direct reports. Once, she hired a new employee on her team who, it appeared could do no wrong. All the other team members called her the manager's pet. Until one day, the employee and manager disagreed on an issue. The manager took the disagreement as a personal affront, told the employee that she was very disappointed in her behavior (the employee hadn't wanted to attend a company holiday party) and began to overly criticize the employee's work from that day on.

As a manager, understand that your employees can have and express a different viewpoint from yours; in fact this should be encouraged. Don't take it personally when your employee doesn't always agree with you and more importantly don't punish the employee for it.

Lesson 6: Don't be a Wimp! - We understand that decision-making and authority is sometimes centralized in organizations, it becomes frustrating to employees however when their manager can't make a single decision without having to consult someone higher up. There was a Director that I worked with that couldn't make a decision without vetting it with the Vice President of the division. Her direct reports would wait endlessly for a response to a simple, routine question. To make matters worse, the Vice President would berate the Director at team meetings and the Director would take the abuse like a wounded dog. She never stood up for herself! The rest of the team would cringe at the sight of the Director being talked to like a naughty little girl and quickly lost respect for her. At the very least, the Director should have pulled the Vice President aside and informed her that she would appreciate it if the VP didn't tell her off in front of her staff.

Work out with your manager what types of decisions you can make autonomously so that you appear to have some authority and don't become a bottleneck. Also, it's never okay to take abuse from your superiors.

Lesson 7: Don't be Afraid to Admit You Made a Mistake. - Everyone makes mistakes, even you! The biggest mistake you can make as a manager is to never admit when you've made one.
There was a Vice President at an international Fortune 100 company that would do anything to cover up the fact that he had made a mistake, including blaming his team, pointing the finger at his peers and throwing temper tantrums. The funny thing was that his team soon caught on and he became a laughing stock. When you admit your gaffes, you're telling your team that you're human and that you are holding yourself to the same high standards that you hold them to. You're also telling them that it's okay to fail, sometimes. Some of the world's best innovations were created through trial and error. There's absolutely nothing wrong in apologizing and saying "my bad". Then you can go about the business of fixing the problem instead of trying to look good.

I hope you've picked up a lesson or two from the above. Remember, as a boss, it's your job to ensure that your employees are coming to work for more than just a pay check, that's when you cross the realm from boss to leader.

Busola Olatilu is a Human Resources and Management Consultant with over 10 years of experience in HR. She has a Master's Degree in HR Management and an MBA.

Tuesday

The Potential to Be Harmed by the Process of a Business

I have used this portion of definition for my title because it brings us to the heart of the matter of risk assessment. What is a risk assessment? Risk assessments are processes used by employers because they are duty bound to consider and identify any and all risks in their business that are potentially harmful.

At Home and Abroad
Employers are obligated to address these things at home or in the field and make changes that are reasonably practicable to manage them. These could be risks to employees, suppliers, sub-contractors and to the public as well. There are five major components to every risk assessment:

- Identifying all hazards
- Conclude what is potentially dangerous and who is affected by it
- Evaluate said risks and create a contingency (precautions) to manage it
- Make a record of all findings and employ the action plan to meet the needs of safety
- Make regularly scheduled reviews of all risk assessment policies and update them accordingly
- Making a Plan

After the risk assessment plan is complete, it will be necessary to create an action plan that adequately addresses the issues. The emphasis of any plan needs to be on making the improvements necessary to ensure safety. The need following that would then be to perform regular reviews to assess effectiveness and to address any changes that may develop from day to day.

Many employers can do these things in house. There are trained professionals however, who are established at doing risk assessment planning to incorporate all issues at any scale. Often the situation warrants such involvement. This is especially true for issues that deal with things such as water hygiene, disability access, fire prevention and asbestos. This is just to mention a few. The old adage comes to mind- "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

Herb

Monday

How to Quit Drinking and Start Living Again - Get Back Your Life Without Going to AA Meetings!

If you can't seem to stop drinking no matter what you do and find your life spinning out of control, then this may be the most important article you ever read. I have been exactly where you are at right now! I was desperate to know how to quit drinking. All I wanted was to have a normal life again. I have that life now and so can you! And you don't have to go to AA meetings to do it!

My drinking career lasted about 25 years. The last ten or so were pure hell. My marriage was falling apart, I was bouncing from job to job, I had hangovers all the time and I frequently made an ass of myself in public. I was a terrible father to my infant son and basically unavailable to the people who loved me. My days were spent drinking from the time I got up in the early morning until passing out in the evening. No matter how drunk I got though, I remember waking up every night around 3:00 AM feeling terrified and depressed. I'd lay there staring up at the ceiling, unable to sleep and sick with worry about what was happening to me. I'd make a promise to myself that the next day, things would be different. No more drinking for me!

The next day I'd get up and do it all over again.

I couldn't live with alcohol and I couldn't live without it. My life was unbearable. I wanted to die but couldn't do that to my family. All I wanted was to know how to quit drinking and start living again!

But how?
Alcoholics Anonymous saved my life and I haven't had a drink in years. It worked for me but I am one of the very few success stories. I have become concerned in recent years about the very high failure rate of AA and would like to offer advice to those who are looking for another way. Despite what many hardcore members of AA will tell you, it IS possible to overcome your drinking problem without going to AA meetings. There are some basic fundamentals that must become a part of your thinking and your way of life:
  • You must recognize that your body cannot tolerate alcohol. Treat it like you would a serious allergy because that is basically what it is. The idea that you can drink casually needs to be buried!
  • You must value your sobriety above everything else! Getting sober and staying sober must be your #1 priority. If it isn't, you won't have anything else anyway.
  • You will have a much greater chance for success if you hang stop hanging around heavy drinkers. Try to surround yourself with people who don't live to get drunk.
  • You need to have a belief in a power greater than yourself. This has been difficult for people who have trouble with the idea of God. However, you can be successful just by believing in something and it can be entirely your own concept. People have chosen a doorknob as their higher power!
Here is something else that may appeal to you which may be the best part of all. What if there was a discreet and much easier and quicker way?

What if you could reduce your craving for alcohol or drugs quickly, safely, naturally and inexpensively and make your chances for a full recovery from alcohol addiction a certainty?
You are the only one who knows what will happen if you don't take action to stop your drinking!

My best to you on your journey to a new sober and wonderful life!

Types of Sexual Harassment

There are two types of legally recognized way of committing sexual harassment: (1) Quid pro quo sexual harassment; and (2) Hostile environment harassment.

I. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employee is offered to be retained in his/her job or be promoted in exchange for sexual favors. In case of a student, the offer is to help receive a good grade or a favorable recommendation in exchange for sexual favors. The person who commits quid pro quo sexual harassment is a person with power to influence the victim's employment or educational situation like a supervisor, manager or a teacher in case of a student. An example would be if a manager suggests that an employee goes out with him on a date or asks for a neck or back rub every so often in exchange for retaining her post or be promoted.

In this type of sexual harassment, it is not important if the victim gave in or agrees to the offer. It is enough that the harasser floats or makes the offer and the victim is not barred from filing a claim if he or she later on changes his or her mind.

II. Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment
Hostile work environment sexual harassment, on the other hand, occurs when a co-worker, manager or supervisor in the work place makes unwelcome sexual advances which interferes with work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, or learning environment in the case of students. The sexual harassing conduct could be verbal, non-verbal, visual or physical. Example of a verbal harassing conduct is when one makes a sexual comment about a person's clothing, anatomy or looks. In cases of non-verbal sexually harassing conduct an example would be leering, staring or glaring at someone. Visual sexually harassing conduct on the other hand could be displaying sexually suggestive calendars, photographs, posters or cartoons in the workplace. Physically harassing conduct is when someone gives a massage around the neck or shoulders and the victim did not ask for it and regards it as offensive.

In this type of sexual harassment, even the employer is liable if he has knowledge or should have knowledge of the sexual harassment perpetrated on one of the employees and the employer either does nothing about it or even faulted the victim for the happening of the sexually harassing conduct.
In both cases, it would be to the best interest of the victim to secure the services of a lawyer immediately to protect the victim's legal rights.

John Luke Matthews is a regular contributor of relevant articles about the jurisprudence of businesses. He is part of the Mesriani Law Group and is currently taking information technology studies as well.
For more information about sexual harassment her employment law issues, visit our Professional Los Angeles Lawyers.

Tuesday

Signs of Lying and Getting the Truth

Some of the more obvious signs of lying include different answers when you repeat a question, and hesitation in answering. You also can watch for eye movements that differ from the usual. Be careful with these individual signs, since shifty eyes may be normal for some people, even when telling the truth. Compare eye movements and other behaviors to their known tendencies.

There are other signs of lying you can learn, but perhaps it is more useful to learn how to get the truth out of a person. That's what the rest of the tips below cover.

Motivation
Determine whether the person is more motivated by rewards or fear. You may have to ask about events in her past to determine this. Then tailor your approach accordingly. Suggest or hint at good things that will come from telling the truth, or bad things that will come from lying. You might even do both.

Build Rapport
Suppose you are trying to get some information about your friend - who may have lied to you - from his brother, who you don't know well. The first thing you would want to do is build rapport. If he mentions a movie he liked, you say, "Yeah, I loved that movie." You continue to find things you have in common with him and then start working any relevant questions into the conversation.
Rapport creates trust. Other ways to create rapport include sitting like the person you are talking to, using the same words and expressions he uses, and talking at the same speed. The more he feels that you are just like him, the more likely he is to open up and talk.

Use Subliminal Persuasion
Subliminally reward the subject whenever you know he is telling the truth, and quietly "punish" him when he lies or withholds information. This might be as simple as a compliment and a smile when he tells the truth, and an uncomfortable glare when he lies. If your acting ability is good enough, you might change your whole demeanor in a second according to whether he is cooperating or not.
Of course, you'll have to have a pretty clear idea of when he is lying and when he is telling the truth for this to work. But this will work when done right. Anyone who consistently feels stressed when lying, and relief or pleasure when telling the truth, will unconsciously feel a greater inclination to tell the truth.

Make Assumptions
You can sometimes get a confession by making assumptions about what you think happened. For example, suppose you suspect a friend of saying some nasty things about you. If you ask, he will lie.
Instead, you start with, "I think I know why you said those mean things about me, but if you're my friend you can at least tell me why you said them."

If your friend did say things about you, and is convinced that you know this, he will usually offer some explanation at this point, confirming his guilt. If he hesitates after you say this, he may be weighing his options, indicating that he did say something about you. He now has to decide to lie and risk losing the friendship, or acknowledge what he did. If he is truly innocent, he is likely to immediately say so.

The signs of lying are a good thing to know, then, but it can also help to know the techniques for getting at the truth.

Copyright Steve Gillman.

Monday

You Can Conquer Workplace Bullying Without Fighting

Bosses who bully are unpleasant to work for. However, sometimes you can handle the situations they present you with by responding in calm and determined manner. Can you learn to conquer a bully without fighting her? The answer is yes. Try following the steps below to combat workplace bullying.

Your primary objective is to show the bully you are in control of yourself. You're not going to bend to her demands. You need to gain control of the situation and redirect her energy toward an outcome that is positive for you.

In dealing with bosses who bully, first absorb her attack.
· Calm her by speaking in a low but self-confident tone.
· Physically stand your ground. Do not back away. "Own" your space.
· Show her that you understand her immediate problem and what she wants.
· With your voice, tone and body language, show her that you don't take her attack personally.

Second, use the force of the bully's attack to subdue her.
· Ask her to restate her main point.
· Ask for her relevant opinions and suggested solutions.
· Listen actively. Paraphrase her ideas and ask follow-up questions.

Third, give a meaningful response.
· Let her know you want to help her, if possible. Again, stand your ground. Control your voice and tone.
· Summarize the situation and options. Use the same terminology and phrases as the bully.
· Give your conclusions. Tell the bully what you're going to do.

Finally, respond effectively to the bully's objections.
· Restate your own intentions.
· Describe the bully's options again.
· Explain the benefits and problems of each option.
· Ask the bully to make a simple choice.

Even bosses who bully ultimately have a job to do. Your job is to do the work--and the bully knows it. Stand up to the bully; offer her choices that you can live with. She may begin to see you as an ally instead of an impediment.

You have worried, analyzed and suffered long enough from bullying in the workplace - Now it's time to re-claim the confidence and respect you deserve!

Now you can be Bully Free at Work!
Valerie Cade is a workplace bullying expert and author of Bully Free At Work. For more tips, articles, how-to's, and podcasts, visit THE resource to stop workplace bullying

Friday

Hate Your Job But Can't Leave? 5 Career Strategies to Survive, Thrive and Become More Marketable

Feeling forced to work in a job you hate is one of the biggest sources of job stress. It is critical to develop a game plan as early as possible. Many people promise themselves to stick it out, but eventually sabotage themselves because they hope they won't have to. Here are 5 strategies to get started.

Strategy #1: Change the way you talk about your job. It's easy to fall into the blame game. It's almost fun to call up a colleague and talk about how horrible your boss is and how you wish you could leave. But these conversations cause a downward spiral into deeper frustration.
Refuse to participate in negative conversations. Change the subject. Say your other phone is ringing. But do it.
When you find yourself feeling frustrated and angry, focus instead on what you want to feel, have and be. Instead of, "Why does he call meetings at the last minute?" say, "I want a work environment where we get at least a day to prepare for important meetings."
Some people find it helpful to create a mantra to recite when your company's name comes up in your thoughts. For instance, one person tried reciting, "Quiet. Respect. Reward." Over time, she was surprised at how calm she felt. She could think more clearly.

Strategy #2: Recognize areas where you can cut back on efforts without risking your job.
One of my acquaintances has a policy for his workplace. "When I get asked to do something that will take time, such as a change in the format of a report, I wait. Sometimes nothing happens. If it's really important, they will ask me a second or even third time."
Obviously this policy won't work everywhere. But you may be contributing to your own frustration by doing work that isn't valued or rewarded.

Strategy #3: Grow your career on company time.
Nearly every organization offers courses, seminars and growth opportunities. When you're feeling frustrated, it's easy to ignore them because you think, "I already have so much to do."
Meanwhile, begin using your free time to join networking groups and develop some free lance opportunities. You gain power as you gain independence.

Strategy #4: Schedule time to turn inward with meditation and silence.
When you're not sure what to do, it's easy to get involved in activity that doesn't carry much meaning. It's also easy to listen to a lot of bad advice. Some well-meaning friends will say, "You'd better hang in there. Good jobs are hard to find." Others, equally well-meaning, will urge you to resign even before you have another job lined up. You lose energy listening to this conflicting advice as you struggle to make your own decisions.

Strategy #5: Find a safe place to express your feelings, ideas and insights.
When you talk to colleagues and anyone who may become a colleague, keep your game face. You might miss out on a hot job lead because you're branded as dissatisfied or unmotivated. Anyway, complaining puts you in a one-down position.

Family and friends can be supportive confidantes if they understand your situation. On the other hand, you can jeopardize close relationships when you ask them to act as sounding boards. Every career coach has clients whose spouses have said, "Haven't you found another job yet? It's been a whole month."

Career coaching can seem expensive but it's a wise investment if you can hang on to your job while protecting your personal relationships and your sanity. Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., offers consulting services to mid-life, mid-career professionals who want to enjoy the first inning of their second career.

Improve Your Team Culture With Team Building Activities

Team building activities help build a purposeful team culture within your organization. One of the reasons companies have offsite meetings is to not only share and gather information, but also to improve their team culture by giving people "face time". If you're planning an offsite meeting, here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Build camaraderie with interactive sessions. When you have a quarterly or annual meeting it's a great opportunity for your team to get to know each other through interactive team building activities. When we are connected to each other, we participate. When we have trust, we take risks. When we care, we are willing to go the extra mile. Collaboration and creativity start when we begin to know each other as human beings, not just roles or titles. For example, we provided our Build-A-Bike workshop for a client in the New York area last month. Because of the interactive team building activities, the participants said they knew each other better after a half day session than after a year sitting next to each other in cubicles. And when times are uncertain, it's the relationship that matters.

2. Learn to think creatively. In today's economy everybody has to learn to do more with less. What happens when we have limited resources? How do limited resources impact our relationships and integrity? To not only survive, but thrive we need to do things differently to get better results. Going back to the New York team building activity we provided, participants were given a series of creative challenges and problem solving activities. What they realized was just because we've always done it that way, doesn't mean it's the way we should continue to do it. Rather than looking for what's not working - ask what's possible. This releases creativity and attracts those who care and are committed to making it happen.

3. Feel good by giving back. Team building activities that include a philanthropic twist have become increasingly popular in recent years. And with good reason! Service to others has become a strong part of the culture within many companies. Build-A-Bike is by far our most popular workshop because teams build bikes that are then donated to children in the community. Do you remember what it felt like when you got your first car - how it expanded your world? A new bike can change the life of a child, and it's a goose bump moment when you watch them ride it for the first time. Decide if a service mentality is an important part of your culture, and send that message at your next offsite meeting.

So if you want to improve your team culture, start at your next offsite meeting by building camaraderie with interactive sessions, learning to think creatively and be resourceful, and feeling good by giving back in some way. There is no power greater then a group discovering together what it cares about.

Colette Peterson is a speaker and trainer specializing in Team Building in New York City, NY that insert fun and energy into any convention or annual meeting.
( http://www.teambuildingnewyorkny.com/ ) Colette teaches team building events in major cities New York, Boston, Detroit, and Toronto.

Thursday

Are You a Success Or a Failure? Only You Know For Sure


What is success? What is failure? For each of us, these terms mean something different. One person may obtain worldly financial riches and feel unsuccessful. Another person may easily find love and feel like a failure. Yet another person might be financially poor without a loving partner and manage to feel successful.

Do you know the difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person? Success results from a mindset, a consistent habit pattern and a way of being. Success in love, in finances, in health and recovery from illness, in business, in athletic or artistic activities, or in any life endeavor requires skills that high level marketers have developed. Inspired by teleseminars offered by top level marketers, I realized that we are all, always, marketing in our lives - in love, in business and in everything else. Some of us succeed. Other fail. What is the difference? What does it take to succeed?

For me, the deeper secret about success and failure is that those who are successful do what works. They are not attached to the results. They give and share, what they have and know, freely without holding back and without expecting something in return. They listen to the needs of the other person (customer, lover, friend, acquaintance, boss, employee, family member, organization, etc.). They discover the other person's perspective and find a way to offer what the other person perceives as valuable. They learn about the other person's pain, what is giving them anxiety and causing them to suffer, and they find a way to teach and encourage and convince the other person that they have what it takes to meet that person's needs and make their pain go away.

The unsuccessful person, on the other hand, does what he or she thinks "should" work and continues to do it without testing, or perhaps just gives up when it doesn't work easily. They do not take the time or make the effort to listen to what the other person claims they need. The unsuccessful person offers what he or she "thinks" the other person "should" need or want. The unsuccessful person feels entitled to receive (money, love, sex, happiness, recognition, respect, etc.) and is attached to receiving what they feel entitled to (becoming emotionally upset when not received). The unsuccessful person "expects" the other person to just "know" how valuable (wonderful, loving, important, expensive, worthy of being loved) they or their products are without finding out what is perceived as valuable to the other person.

The unsuccessful person has no idea what causes the other person to suffer, to feel pain and anxiety, but attempts to persuade the other person to want and desire what he or she is offering.

The successful person is a value creator, helping others to feel seen, heard, acknowledged, appreciated and helped. The unsuccessful person communicates from a place of self-interest, self-importance, self-concern.

Are you creating value for yourself and for others, right now? Does your daily interest focus on self-concern or greater concern for others? Do you feel successful or unsuccessful at this point in your life? And, do you have plans set in place for your own future success?

Dr. Erica Goodstone, a Healing Through Love Mentor, has helped thousands of men, women, couples, and groups to develop greater awareness of the issues in their relationships and their lives, to overcome and alleviate stressors and discords, and to revitalize their relationships and their own mind-body-spirit connection. Dr. Goodstone can be contacted through her web site at http://www.DrEricaWellness.com and you can take the Create Healing and Love Now Personal quiz and get your free personal report and bonus gifts at http://www.createhealingandlovenow.com.

Tuesday

The Danger of Workplace Negativity and Stress

Nothing is more sinister to the employee's morale than persistent workplace negativity. It saps the liveliness of organizations and diverts critical attention from performance.

Negativity occurs in the attitude, outlook, and talk of one department member, or in bloating voices responding to a workplace decision or event. A new book, Joy at Work: Empowering Scriptures for the Workplace soothes the Soul. It is Spiritual 'first aid' to help you get centered--anytime, anywhere. Joy at Work is a collection of biblical principles and scriptures to help one navigate the crossroads of the workplace using screen beans illustrations.

Religion is always able to produce solutions to the various problems people face. One's faith does allow the person to deal with the problem usually in a calmer way. We can assume that the significance of religion is similar to the importance of understanding the job description. The buffering effect' means religion serves to buffer the impact of adverse circumstances.

Leah Smiley, President of Society for Diversity quoted, "Joy at Work: Empowering Scriptures for the Workplace is a must read for all those struggling with workplace issues or frustrated from seeking employment. The book has given me a sense of solace in the midst of turmoil."

It has been recently reported that employees are dissatisfied with the conditions at work. They are quitting in record numbers despite the fact they have no back-up plan. The rash of those quitting their jobs have most been contributed to pay, long work hours, and not enough flexibility in the workplace.

Nothing is more powerful than Joy at Work: Empowering Scriptures for the Workplace to zap workplace negativity and stress.

Ramona Clay is a Christian author, speaker, and inspirational coach. Ms. Clay is owner of Global Staffing Partners with over 20 years in recruiting, training, and coach. She has started Joy@Work.com seminars and has her own radio show on BlogTalk radio, Monday evenings at 7:00 PM. Ramona's website, http://www.ramonaclay.com

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Friday

Building a Positive Workplace Through Situational Leadership

Situational Leadership is NOT something you do to people, but something you do with People. Developed by Paul Hersey, professor and author of the book Situational Leader, and Ken Blanchard, leadership guru and author of The One Minute Manager. This Theory was first introduced as "Life Cycle Theory of Leadership" During the mid 1970's and was renamed later as "Situational Leadership theory".

The fundamental underpinning of the Situational Leadership Theory is there is no single "best" style of leadership, It is like giving everyone according to their particular needs. "there is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of unequals". Effective leadership is task-relevant and that the most successful leaders are those that adapt their leadership style to the Maturity of the individual or group they are attempting to lead or influence. Treating unequal as equal is the great inequality that a leader may commit the level of maturity or the capacity to set high but attainable goals, willingness and ability to take responsibility for the task, and relevant education and/or experience of an individual or a group for the task is not all equal. So an effective leadership varies, not only with the person or group that is being influence, but it will also depend on the task, job or function that needs to be accomplished.

Prescription: we need to learn how to diagnose the needs of the people you work for us
The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory rests on two fundamental concepts; Leadership Style and the individual or group's Maturity level.

Leadership styles
Hersey and Blanchard characterized leadership style in terms of the amount of Task Behavior and Relationship Behavior that the leader provides to their followers. They categorized all leadership styles into four behavior types, which they named S1 to S4:

• S1: Telling - For people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed. They need direction and supervision to get them started. This is one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, when, and where to do the task. Decisions are made by the leader and announced, it is a directing type of leadership or somehow called dictatorship style.

• S2: Selling - For people who have competence in themselves but lacking commitment. Direction and supervision is needed because they are still relatively inexperienced or unwilling to do the task. They need support and praise to build their self-esteem, and need to be involve in decision-making to bring out their commitment. The leader here is providing the direction and using two-way communication by providing the socio-emotional support that will allow the individual or group being influenced to acquire into the process. This is a high task focus, & high relationship focus - The leaders here still define roles and tasks, but seeks ideas and suggestions from the group member. Most of the times decisions remain the leader's prerogative, Its like a leader giving a lessons or instruction merely I say its like coaching, but communication here is two-way.

• S3: Participating - For people who have competence, but lack confidence or motivation. They do not need much direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation. This is now shared decision making about aspects of how the task is accomplished and the leader is providing less task behaviors while maintaining high relationship behavior. This is Low task focus vice versa high relationship focus - leaders pass all decisions, such as task allocation and processes, to the follower. The leader role here is sustaining and or supporting by facilitating and taking part in decisions, but total control is in the hand of the follower.

• S4: Delegating - For people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and willing to work in an entrusted work or project by themselves with little supervision or support. Leader here is still involved in decisions but, the process and responsibility has been entrusted and passed in individual or group. Leaders here involved just to monitor the progress of given project or task. It is Low task focus, low relationship focus - leaders are still involved in decisions and problem-solving, but control is with the follower. The follower decides when and how the leader will be involved.
Of these, Leadership style none is considered optimal for all leaders to use all the time. Effective leaders need to be flexible, and must adapt themselves according to the situation.

By Jaime Menor

Monday

What to Do When Your Team Gets "Stuck" - 7 Ways to Get it Moving Again

There is no question about it. A team can be a powerful vehicle for accomplishing a major project, guiding a unit to superior performance, or bringing together diverse perspectives to solve a pressing problem.

Have you ever been a member of a smooth functioning, high performing team? Those of you who have, no doubt, harbor fond memories of how energizing it is and how great that rush of pride feels when you achieve great things together.

The best teams, including certainly that great team you were on, are not just adept at driving outcomes. They also monitor their process,--how the group deliberates and makes decisions--the morale of the group and the well-being of the individual members. Therefore, the best teams are aware of how well they are doing during a meeting and, when necessary, discuss it openly right on the spot or in a debrief discussion at the end.

Getting Stuck
Do you remember the last time you were in your car when your wheels were mired deep in a patch of oozy mud (or, for those of you from a colder climate, in a bank of snow and ice)? How heavy it feels to be stuck. How helpless and frustrated you feel. You try to accelerate, spinning your tires faster and faster. If that doesn't work, you try first revving up, then pausing, in an attempt to get a back-and-forth motion going so you can catch the next forward momentum and rocket out of the muck.

While even the best teams get stuck occasionally, most working groups experience this state more often than they realize or admit. I have seen some teams stay stuck for quite awhile, for days, even months.

Just what do I mean by "stuck?" Here are a few examples:
*A couple of people continue to dominate the discussion.
*After much debate, you still have two factions pushing their different solutions or goals.
*The discussions keep going off agenda and consuming too much time.
*Certain individuals hold up team progress by missing meetings or failing to deliver on task commitments they have made to the group.

The vast majority of teams either are not aware-or simply ignore it-when the team (which is, remember, a group of human beings) becomes stuck. Why? Because "stuckness" is a people issue, a so-called soft skills problem. It calls for courageously confronting the whole group or certain members and potentially bringing emotions into play.

The Cost of Remaining Stuck
You can't afford to deny or ignore it for very long. When your team gets stuck, it can cost you serious money, in at least three ways:
  1. The energy and enthusiasm around the table drops off. Team members become discouraged. They start to lose interest in the team's goals. If the situation isn't resolved, their off-line comments about the team turn negative. ("Man, what a waste that meeting was. We're going nowhere. I wish they'd let me drop off this team and just do my regular job.")
  2. The extra time each one of you spends spinning team wheels constitutes an opportunity cost. That time and effort could certainly be used more productively elsewhere.
  3. Your team may end up squandering the time available for a quality decision on an issue or it may fail to meet promised deadlines. Obviously, poor decisions or missed deliverables can have serious negative repercussions for the operation and for the wider organization.
It pays to recognize when your team is stuck and then intervene quickly to get it humming again. But this still begs questions: How do you know when your team is, in fact, stuck? What can you do to turn it around?

Seven Pitfalls and Seven Solutions
Below are seven situations that can cause your team to become bogged down and unproductive. In italics are suggestions of how to respond in order to give your team new found traction.
  1. Lack of Agreement. We often proceed with the business of the team without everyone being clear and onboard about the team's goals, priorities, tasks and time-lines. Have you ever held a discussion as a group to clarify everybody's expectations regarding objectives, team operating rules and individual roles and accountabilities? Raise questions when you are not clear about something. Challenge the team to confirm that everyone is on the same page.
  2. Lack of Commitment. Sometimes people's initial commitment to the team's goals and agreed-upon priorities wanes. You can hear it in their voices and see it in their record of attendance, participation and delivery on promises made to members. When some people withhold their commitment, it can be a drag on the rest. Help each member identify benefits that will accrue to him or her personally from the team's success.
  3. Lack of Accountability. Are all members following through on tasks they accept responsibility for and promises they make to the group? Take accountability for confronting-with respect and for the good of the team-a colleague when he or she does not (take accountability to) deliver on task commitments by the agreed-upon deadline.
  4. Lack of Leadership. Whom among you do team members rely upon to step forward and lead? Who keeps the team on target and on agenda? It need not always be the formal leader, the boss. Any member can take the initiative, when needed, to challenge, inspire or confront his/her colleagues. Ask the manager to be more directive when leading. At the same time, raise the issue with the team that none of you seems to play a leadership role. Or, try stepping in yourself.
  5. Lack of Communication. Communication is the lifeblood of your team. It is how the team makes decisions and gets things done. Are people being authentic when they speak in team discussions? For that matter, is it safe to say what you think, even if it goes against what the group-or the leader-thinks? Does everyone have a chance to contribute? Do members truly dialogue or do they just engage in dueling arguments? Ask everyone to be more conscious of listening, honoring all points-of-view and disagreeing constructively, with respect.
  6. Lack of Collaboration. Some teams, by their very nature, need to collaborate more than others. This is particularly true for groups, such as project teams, that have to share information, reach consensus decisions and integrate individual tasks into a collective outcome. This, of course, is less of an issue for a management team composed of department heads with little in common other than they report to the same boss. When collaboration is a must, alert everyone to be sensitive to what their colleagues need and how their own action (or inaction) can impact their team mates' contribution.
  7. Lack of Trust. Leadership expert Warren Bennis calls trust the "emotional glue" that holds a team together. It underpins all six elements, above. For trust to be present in your team, members must feel safe to disagree with and confront other individuals or even the team as a whole. They must believe that their colleagues genuinely hold their interests in high regard. Be patient; trust builds slowly. Encourage everybody to demonstrate their trustworthiness by meeting their commitments and speaking authentically. In return, others will reciprocate...and trust will grow.
Whether your team is a project, cross-functional, matrix, limited life or a permanent one, it will from time to time become stuck. Look to the above seven factors for the key to pulling your group out of the mud...or the snow!

Ian G. Cook is a trainer, keynote speaker, and facilitator and, since 1988, Principal of the leadership development firm, Fulcrum Associates Inc. He works with managers who want to increase their effectiveness as a leader and build a stronger team.

Ian invites you to contact him regarding the ideas in this article or to discuss challenges you face around building strong leadership at all levels of your organization, the kind of leadership that generates strong results and gives your enterprise an enduring edge.

He can be reached at 1-888-FULCRUM (385-2786) or Contact Ian. You can visit Fulcrum's website at: http://www.888fulcrum.com and for solutions to some common challenges managers face, go to: Solutions

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