10 most unusual workplace gifts this season

Now that the (holiday) dust has settled, what did you get for Christmas? CareerBuilder asked more than 5,300 managers and employees to name the most unusual gifts they've received from a co-worker. Here are the 10 most unusual workplace gifts (if you can call them that): A box of Hot Pockets. A chess piece (that’s right, one chess piece). A fire extinguisher (maybe they are trying … [Read more...]

5 essential steps for pursuing happiness at work

Best selling author, blogger and entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau did a remarkable thing: He visited all 193 countries. (Now worldatlas.com says there are actually between 189 and 196, depending on your definition. But we'll let that slide for now.) From that journey, and from the stories many people shared with him along the way, Guillebeau wrote his NYT bestseller, The Happiness of … [Read more...]

3 steps to working with people you dislike

Will Rogers said he never met a man he didn’t like. For the rest of us, well, you know you have. And when you are stuck working with people you dislike day in and day out, all bets are off. Well-trained managers with good intentions know better than to let personal feelings get in the way of creating engaged work relationships.  It is something drilled into us from Day One. Yet managers … [Read more...]

One mouth, two ears … you do the math

We have two ears and one mouth so we may listen more and talk less. – Epictetus Or is it … We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say. – Zeno of Citium Or maybe … We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less. – Diogenes Laërtius When philosophers know their words could be memorialized through the centuries, shouldn't … [Read more...]

Headline, Hints or Storyteller? What’s your communication style?

Communication is the basis for all workplace success. Thankfully, it’s a tool every manager can afford. It fits your budget. As managers we really have no good excuse for not having at least an adequate supply of communication sitting around someplace. It’s putting it to good use that takes some effort. (If you haven’t seen communication for a while, or wonder who had it last, ask around. … [Read more...]

Need a break? Careful what you ask for …

Spring is right around the corner, right? Right?? Sure it is. So, maybe it’s time to plan a little getaway to recharge your batteries - with the higher goal of making yourself a better and more productive manager. But, researchers warn that you should really put some effort into the planning aspect of your next vacation IF you really want to relax and enjoy yourself. Studies of … [Read more...]

Another day in paradise? It’s all in how you spin it

Let’s face it, we all spin – if just a little. If it’s already good, we put a better spin on it. If it’s bad, we spin it back to good, or as close as we can make it. We spin at work, rest, or play. It's all in how you spin it. We fine tune our communication to make things appear as we want them to be perceived, or to make our decisions seem somewhat more valuable, even when they are … [Read more...]

Learn to say no 10 different ways

No. Don’t be afraid. Go ahead and say it. You won't hurt anything. Learn to say no. “No” is very often the sign of a wise manager. It turns out some people are actually addicted to saying “yes.” At least that’s what workplace psychologists say. The way it works is some people get such an emotional lift from just the very idea of being asked to be included in some activity; from … [Read more...]

Halloween at work: The Pink Slip and other scary costumes

It’s Halloween week, and if you plan to dress up for a party at your place of employment, the experts advise that you do it tastefully. In other words, don’t let your antics come back to haunt you. “Don't show up in something skimpy that leaves little to the imagination,” warns the San Francisco Chronicle. “Likewise don't put on anything that drips ‘blood’ or any other strange … [Read more...]

3 ways to handle (just about) any dumb question

“There is no such thing as a dumb question,” Carl Sagan assures us in his book, The Demon Haunted World. Alright then, Mr. Smarty Pants: Why do pets love being petted? All good managers embrace the idea that all questions should be viewed as a cry to better understand the world. Well, in real life, that’s true ninety-some-percent of the time. The rest, they are dumb … [Read more...]