I remember those apologies that I had to say when I knowingly did something wrong, but then there are those apologies that have nothing to do with you, but you say them anyway just to quiet the person with the complaint. Then you follow them up with, "What would you like for me to do for you?" The person tells you what he or she wants, and you try to reach a compromise--end of story, right? Not for some people.
The worker and client become irritated because neither one feels like their being heard. The customer doesn't feel like his or her needs are being addressed. The worker doesn't want to be held accountable. He or she may avoid apologizing while the client looks for some peace of mind. The more the two talk, the more they don't get anywhere. Everyone involved becomes increasingly angry.
We all can avoid a lot of unnecessary arguing if we just simply acknowledge that there was a misunderstanding, say we're sorry, and try to make wrongs right. What's the use in taking on a defensive stance? In the end, you just may lose more than your temper.
You are the new kid on the block and chances are they had plenty of time to meet with one another on what changes they want to see happen in the workplace since the old person left. "Sir, have you considered changing our department's work-flow to include A, B and C? Have you noticed our break-room, we could sure use a new...? Did anyone tell you about our admin, she is useless?"
Show off your skills too soon and you just might have some people taking advantage of you, take too long to address an issue and someone might be looking to get rid of you. Finding middle ground is often a challenge, but you can do it! The advantage of being the new kid per-se is that you can bring a fresh perspective to an old way of doing things. If your ideas help the team meet goals, you come out ahead. However, if your thoughts are nothing more than repackaged goods from yesteryear, you won't win those that "have been there and done that."
How might you make a lasting first impression? Start off getting a few loyal followers by doing the following: "really" listening to them and address each concern, help them with those small requests (like a personal day off), offer a lunch date with the staff, create an incentive program to make some work days a little more interesting, and acknowledge a few personal announcements like that upcoming birthday or recent birth of a grandchild that an employee shares with you. They will think, "You remembered--wow!"
Being the new kid doesn't have to be a difficult transition, but you can make it be if you do some of the following things. For instance, if you don't bother to make a to-do list everyday, nothing you really want to get done will be accomplished. You will find yourself frequently forgetting to do things and apologizing more times than you can imagine for not staying up on tasks, not only that, you won't turn your bosses' heads (at least positively.) They will think, "Now why am I paying her the big bucks?" Forget to meet with key staff and you will be left out the loop. Miss too many important phone calls and/or arrive late for work often, and someone will think you are slacking off. As long as you look like you are in control, you just might win the respect of your team. Before long, you won't be that new kid that your employees think they can manipulate.
One. When conversing with this person, he or she makes stereotypical remarks, jokes or false assumptions about your age, race, gender or religion. You find yourself having to defend who you are and what you believe.
Two. When controversy erupts regarding your particular age group, race, religion, or gender, a racist person will make statements like, “Your people, you women, you young people…” You feel angry and often feel the need to explain why you or your group is different.
Three. When asking a boss or supervisor about additional opportunities to better yourself, share ideas, and service others, you are met with a negative attitude and are told, “Thank you, but I can handle it. You should stick with what you are doing.” Sometimes people will act as if they are superior by saying, “I didn’t know you knew that…I thought your people weren’t interested in that sort of thing.”
Four. When you share your personal experience, the person will belittle it, debate as if they were there, talk about their “friend” who is the same race or religion as you and do other things to make them look like the authority on the issue.
Five. When you try to be friendly or make friends, you are greeted half-heartedly or not at all. The person doesn’t include you in on any activities, meetings or events. When asked about them, he or she always has an excuse to why they hadn’t included you such as, “I misplaced your phone number. I thought I emailed you. I told Bill to tell you…I thought you knew already.”
Six. When you come around people act as if they don’t trust you without reason. They may even deliberately set traps to catch you lying or stealing so that they can replace you with someone else.
Seven. You overhear someone talking about your race and when you come around they quickly change the subject and act as if they like you. When you tell them what you have heard they try to set you apart from the rest.
When you feel discriminated against you must not act on feeling alone, you must have solid information that proves that a person was acting unfairly toward you because of your race. A quick indicator that most people who have been victims of prejudicial behavior is when you see that other people of a different race are being afforded better opportunities than you and when you question it the company always has an excuse despite all the efforts you made to fulfill company requirements.
By Nicholl McGuire
One. Pay close attention to your facial expression.
Look at your self in the mirror if one is available. Notice how you look as you think about the news you will be sharing with this person. Keep in mind how you would want someone to approach you with bad news.
Two. Think about your tone of voice.
You don’t want to ever sound angry, because this only makes the person anxious and irritated. You also don’t want to rush through the news either, because this will only put you in the position to have to repeat the news all over again.
Three. You will want to ponder on what you are going to say before you say it.
So the old adage goes, “It isn’t what you say it’s how you say it.” If you have to tell this person that someone is ill, dying, losing their job, they are a victim of theft, or their mate was seen cheating, then you will want to save the long speech and get to the point.
Four. When you begin to share the news in your calm, controlled voice, start with something they already know before you tell them something they don’t know, because it prepares their ears to hear what you have to say.
For instance, let’s say this person is going to lose his or her job you may say something like, “You know our boss has been talking about letting some people go…” Then you will provide details, “Well I was informed that on January 1 the company will be letting several employees go.” By this point he or she may interrupt with, “Does this mean I will be leaving the company too?” then you can confirm the details. If they don’t catch on to what you are saying, then state what the company will be doing by making your point clear, “So I have been told you are one of the employees. However, I found out that XYZ is hiring.” You will do the same if you should deliver other bad news. State what you know, provide details, and if you are able to assist them in any way with their problem offer to do so.
Five. Give them some space, if need be excuse yourself.
Most people who receive bad news need time to think. They may have many questions or none at all. Some may be in shock and may not be thinking clearly. Give the person a chance to collect his or her thoughts before you give them anymore information. Whatever you do, never give them false hope by telling them something you are not certain. You may not know the answers to all their questions and if so, direct them to someone who could help them.
Giving someone bad news is never easy to do, but if you take your time, stick to the facts, and keep your composure at least you know you have done your part to the best of your ability.
By Nicholl McGuire
1. Think of everything that is wrong with a situation and try to make it better.
There is always something that could be improved, changed, rearranged, or done away with. Look around for opportunities to solve problems while making life better for those around you. Then get these people who you are trying to impress involved with your ideas.
2. Make room in your schedule for a time to sit and talk with the one you are trying to impress.
Contrary to popular belief, especially in a down economy, you don't want to scare anyone with an over the top invitation that includes fine wine, expensive dinner, and other things that may look like wasteful spending in the eyes of those who are budget conscious. The goal with a one-on -one meeting is to get this person to see you. This would be a perfect time to share your knowledge with this person and tell them how you can be of assistance to him or her. Don't just reserve a meeting like this for someone at your workplace, try this with a person you wouldn't mind having a relationship. Who says you have to have a traditional date to get to know someone?
3. Utilize any and all communication devices to make a connection.
Whenever you can call, email, text, or chat online with someone, do it. But don't use all devices on the same day; you might scare him or her away! You can easily start a conversation with someone by asking them a question, sharing some knowledge about something they may be interested in, or praising them for something they did for you or someone else. These are great ways to take them up on their request to call them some time.
4. Don't pass on opportunities to meet with people in significant positions.
Even if you don't golf, could care less about bowling, or absolutely hate going to church picnics, if you know that the people you are trying to impress will be there, you need to be there too! What better way to see these men and women in leadership in a different atmosphere? Who knows, he or she might have heard some wonderful things about you and would like to know more. Don't be a stranger when you don't have to be.
5. Avoid socializing with people who have had a major disagreement with those you are trying to impress. Sometimes a person will falsely assume that you are a negative person just by the company you keep. Disassociate yourself from people who are not interested in building a positive reputation, impacting those in management, or helping others.
6. Be dressed to impress.
This seems to be a problem with people who are so focused on what they are planning to say when they are around that group they want to impress, that they forget about basic things like appearance and body odor. What a person sees is just as important, if not more, as what they hear.
7. Be honest.
People can tell the difference between someone who is genuine and someone who is being fake. Be secure in who you are by doing things to help you love and appreciate yourself. When you are equipped with knowledge of who you are and where you want to go in this life, you won't find yourself scripting phone calls or acting around certain people, you will just do it naturally. Those who may have much education, miss out on great opportunities in life because they don't know how to separate the person who has book knowledge from the average Joe who has common sense. Figure out how to balance the two.
These seven tips you can do as soon as you’re done reading this. Create a plan that will keep you on the mind of the individual or group you are trying to impress, but whatever you choose to do, don't do the following: make a nuisance of yourself, talk about others negatively, share a lot about your personal life, offend by making jokes or comments about people, places, and things you don't know much about or know too much about, or break rules. It’s better to do more listening and less talking. When you are ready to make that lasting impression, do it with style! Also, remember to offer your assistance -- people always want to know what you will do for them before they will ask you, “What can I do for you?”
By Nicholl McGuire
You may remember the wise Proverb from the Christian’s Bible that says, “A soft answer turns away wrath,” how true this statement is! If someone speaks loudly to you, rants about everything that is going on around them, and you respond with a low, controlled voice having very little if anything to say, usually they won’t want to be in your presence for long. They may also calm down when they realize they are looking like a fool in front of you or become so angry that they quickly dismiss you from their presence.
If what they say is shocking and offensive, rather than immediately react, try walking away while saying, “I need to take a bathroom break. Do you want anything from the vending machine? I need to take care of another issue, I will come back later.” Many hot tempered people resort to name-calling, threats to physically beat up someone, and other things that can cost them their job and/or their freedom. As much as you would like to say or do something to get even, remember anything you do has not only a negative effect on the one you are doing it to, but you and those who know you will be impacted as well.
The first thing you will want to think about when dealing with a person you know it’s not completely a master at self-control is to find ways to keep yourself busy. When you make time for a person like this, he or she will always look for you to listen to them whenever they are having some kind of crisis or meltdown. Always have something going on and never encourage their negativity by giving him or her lots of eye contact, nodding your head or acting interested. Laughing or teasing can easily be misunderstood by someone who is in a rage. If you joke around at the wrong time, your crazy boss who was once upset at someone else will most likely become upset with you which will ultimately trigger a negative reaction within you toward your boss.
Another thing you will want to consider when dealing with a hypersensitive personality type is how he or she interacts with others and how others respond to them. When you find you don’t know what to say or do around this person, watch how others react. Find a way to react to him or her that you are most comfortable. In this way, you are in control of how you feel and not the other way around.
Next, if your boss seems to be happy one minute and cursing like sailor the next, avoid approaching him or her with a concern if you can find someone else who can assist you. This mentally unstable person may direct their negative attitude on you, just because you brought them yet another problem they feel obligated to solve.
Third, think of ways you can always look good in his or her sight. This angry person may be your secret weapon one day in case you need someone to help you fight a battle in the board room, court room or wherever you need support in the workplace. Find out what his or her favorite music is when he or she is mellow, listen to the conversations they are having with others, and take the time to study their mannerisms and wardrobe. You may learn a thing or two about your boss that no one else has noticed and this small detail may win you brownie points with him or her.
Lastly, avoid wasting a hot tempered boss’ time by complaining. Remember you want to be a part of the solution not a part of the problem. Whenever you approach your boss, get to the point, find a way to communicate a 10 minute discussion into a five minute one. Ask questions when you don’t understand something and never assume you know-it-all when you don’t. When the time comes to meet with your boss about a concern, provide him or her with appealing visuals if you know this person likes them and also to help you illustrate your point, but if you don’t know whether your boss likes pie charts over statistics and you aren’t quite clear on the subject matter you are attempting to present then you are setting yourself up to be the next victim.
Hot tempered bosses could care less about what others think. They aren’t usually the likeable type, they usually don’t have many friends, and they don’t really like people but tolerate them because they need a paycheck. Don’t expect an angry boss to hand hold, micro manage, or spend a lot of time repeating his or her instructions, difficult bosses prefer fast learners who make them look good, and are readily available when they call – simply put a good slave!
Mr. Time Off
Mr. Closet Thief
We are in an economic crisis as we all know and companies are doing what they can to save money including eliminating employees. When there are many good and talented people working it can be difficult for a manager to choose which will stay and which will be let go regardless of tenure. So how do they conduct a process to eliminate employees while saving the company thousands, they become petty! In the past they may not have cared that you showed up for work a few minutes late, they may not have bothered to review your expense reports carefully for wasteful spending, and it may not have mattered too much that you showed up a half an hour late from having lunch. But nowadays, what use to be considered, “Don’t worry about it, its okay!” Now has become “Worry about it. We don’t really need you.”
So how do you know you are being watched at work? Here are enough tips to help you make the necessary adjustments and hopefully get you off the company radar.
Your immediate supervisors and co-workers are contacted about your performance behind your back.
Those people you love to have lunch with may also be responsible for putting you on the radar to get the managers off their back. Sometimes those we work around know more than what they are telling us, so when they feel like they are backed into a corner with nowhere to go, out comes your name. You may have forgot about something that needs to be done, was slow about turning a document into your boss, or did something else that hasn’t gone over too well. When your co-worker doesn’t want any blame to fall on him or her, they will bring up someone or something else to distract the boss.
Your co-workers or supervisors seem to come around your workspace more.
This is their way of checking in on you. Don’t take those “Good mornings” lightly. They are also watching the clock too. What time did you come in to work is all they really want to know and then they may record it somewhere in their files. Did you leave for lunch early and come back late? He or she didn’t have that last minute request for nothing. Once you turn your timesheet in, they will check it for accuracy. If they catch you in a lie or two or maybe you just have a slow clock and they have a fast one, you just may be reprimanded which will set the paperwork in motion to eventually dismiss you. You may also notice they are showing up at your workspace nearing time for you to go home too. For some managers, they do this to see if you are leaving the office earlier that you should.
Someone checks the websites you have visited when you aren’t around.
If you haven’t learned how to clear history by now you should, but some people are just savvy enough to find other ways to see what you have visited like installing spy software. It is best to visit those social networking, gaming, video, music and personal email accounts away from the office.
Tasks may be created to see if you would volunteer for them.
You may have been able to get away with only doing the things that fit into your job description for years, well at some point someone will challenge you to do more and if you decline too many times, your boss may look toward the young and ambitious that work alongside of you to do what he or she requests. Try to be more flexible and find that spark you love about your job again.
Email time stamps and confirmation receipts are checked.
Bosses who are extremely detail oriented are checking the time stamp on when you sent an email and when you opened it. Don’t feel tempted to lie when you know you should have opened his or her email a little sooner. He or she will know because they have the time at which you responded and the time when they sent it. Lying will also put you on the radar for a future dismissal.
Fake problems are created to see how you would resolve them.
There are real problems at a company, but then there are the phony ones that some managers will create to test you. How you resolve to handle the mystery shopper’s issue that comes through the door or calls you over the phone may also determine whether you or your bubbly co-worker is a keeper.
Your company joins a network for live chat, and requires that you sign in everyday, so that they can see when you are online.
When your boss is in another town, city or state, he or she is not always able to just pop in on you, so to be sure that you are at least in the office; there are those companies who register for these types of programs. This way they can see whether you are offline still sleeping in or online ready to get your day started.
Certain co-workers may appear very friendly and visible because they may be responsible for “keeping an eye on you.”
Be wary of those people who smile in your face as the old song goes. They have hidden agendas whether they are looking to take your position, obtain some knowledge from you to elevate their status, or hope to get rid of you. If you do everything you can to at least keep your job on your end, then at least when the time comes to lay people off, you will be missed.
Traps are set such as money being left out in the open or a cabinet, door or drawer that is typically locked is suddenly left unlocked.
Sometimes there are accidents and sometimes there are those things that people do on purpose. Too many accidents only mean one thing someone is trying to set you up to fail. Always double check everything you are responsible for locking up and if you can get someone to witness your actions by all means do it!
Certain office desk drawers are set with paper sticking out and other traps to see if you opened them.
You know that you have no business snooping through your manager’s files, but you want to know what he or she has written about you or you may want to know when the company plans to lay people off, if you want to go sooner open that drawer otherwise walk away from temptation. Most likely, he or she has set it so that they can see whether you are trustworthy or looking for an excuse to let you go when the time comes.
Expense reports and company credit card statements are checked for excess or frivolous spending.
You know that you shouldn’t have bought the most expensive pens in the catalog or bought an extra meal to take home, but you did. You may want to attempt to cover up your actions with an excuse. Thanks to President Barack Obama’s speech on accountability, more and more companies are finding ways to make their employees accountable for wasteful spending.
Mileage on the company vehicle is checked closely.
Maybe in the past you didn’t always write down the exact mileage you used when you went from point a to point b in the company vehicle, because you knew you also shopped for groceries and took them home, stopped by a friend’s house, and picked up your dry cleaning – whatever you did, at some point someone will be responsible for checking the records and if you haven’t been honest that will also put you on the company radar.
Someone is used to ask you how you feel about your job.
You thought maybe this person sincerely cares about your honest feelings about your job. They may care, but then again they may not. This “good friend” may really be a “mole” for the boss who is wondering how you really feel about the job, him or her, and operations say the wrong thing and you give them an excuse to put you on radar.
Venting about your job is taken seriously and viewed as you being a trouble maker.
So you converse with the “mole” and now he or she has went back and told your boss about what you said. Depending on what your comments were such as, “I think this company needs to pay its employees more. Management does a poor job about meeting our demands. I am thinking about looking for another job” will determine whether he or she keeps you. Most likely, they will view you as a threat with the potential of rallying up support for your cause and if that is the case they will let you go without notice or reason.
Completion of tasks are timed.
The manager knows approximately how long it takes you to complete each task, so when he or she notices that you are falling behind schedule, this person will start searching. What could be distracting you lately to keep you from performing your duties? Is it the Internet, the personal telephone calls, or your social personality? All of which have been the cause of many talented individuals being dismissed.
Phone records are checked for long distance calls and how long you spent on the phone during work hours.
You may not think it’s a big deal to converse with your mother who lives on the other side of the world for about 15 minutes, but a manager who is looking to get his or her bonus for saving money in the department does think it’s a big deal. Not only that, he or she may reason that you aren’t meeting deadlines because you are too busy taking up company time chatting.
Fraternizing with the staff, clients, contractors, and customers.
Everyone has been guilty of talking or listening to someone longer then they should when they are suppose to be working. The boss who walks by looking at you isn’t admiring your new shirt, he or she is timing when you will wrap up that conversation and get back to work. When he or she has warned you about this behavior and you still continue to do it, at some point it won’t be hard to make a decision whether to keep or dismiss you.
In conclusion, consider all of these points the next time you go back to work and make necessary changes. It is very difficult to find a job these days that will give you the benefits you most likely receive at your current one don’t let a dismissal for petty things upset your way of life. As mentioned before, many companies are looking for ways to save money and if it means that they can eliminate just one more position from their workflow chart they will.
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