How to handle the bully in your office
July 7th 2014
Bullying at work can be very subtle, but it can lead to serious mental and physical health issues for the victim of the bullying. Diane Peters, writing for Canada’s CPA Magazine, has advice for dealing with the office bully. She also offers managers advice on how to spot bullying, which can bring down workplace enthusiasm and productivity.
How to respond to criticism
July 3rd 2014
Few of us are good at fielding negative feedback, but an outburst could leave your colleagues with an unfavourable lasting impression. If you feel overwhelmed by emotions, request some time to consider your response. Ask open-ended questions to define the issue and gain a sense of proportion. According to research, the ability to learn from criticism fuels creativity and encourages valuable communication, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Become successful without becoming a workaholic
July 2nd 2014
Striving for success doesn’t necessarily mean taking on every task or opportunity that comes your way. Instead, take control of your workload, cut out the trivial, unimportant, or irrelevant, and learn to say no, advises author Greg McKeown in an interview with The Fast Track. It’s better to do fewer things and do them well than to agree to lots of tasks and end up achieving a mediocre standard. Giving yourself time to think and rest is also crucial to success.
Stay longer in a job, and you’ll get paid … less?
July 1st 2014
Employees who stay with the same company for more than two years can, on average, earn around 50% less during the course of their careers, writes Forbes. Over the last few years, average pay rises have shrunk to the point where they are all but cancelled out by inflation. The key to boosting your earning power is changing companies, which can net you an increase of between 10% and 20%. But taking that option too often could damage your career prospects, as this article on “job-hopping” explores. So the vital question is, does the risk of quickly changing companies outweigh the reward?
CEO lament: Too many tardy employees
June 30th 2014
CEOs at one corporate forum recently had a complaint that surprised Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto: Why is everyone always late? Instead of being concerned about a lack of available talent, the executives were concerned that workers and even job-seekers had trouble showing up on time. One CEO called the tardiness selfish; another said it showed a lack of respect.
You might be great but still not be promoted
June 26th 2014
Job skills certainly can get you noticed, but doing your job well isn’t, on its own, enough to guarantee a promotion, Lindsay Kolowich writes for HubSpot. Not every talented worker gets a promotion, because not every such worker knows how to be in place for that step up in responsibility or title. Kolowich writes that skills, humility, and visibility all play a role in who gets promoted.
One CEO’s strategy for improving workers’ lives
June 25th 2014
When Christine Day became a CEO, she drew on her experience to implement policies to help those juggling work and family. These included maternity and paternity leave and setting boundaries for when meetings could take place. In an interview with Fast Company, she encourages employees to speak up about any changes to the work environment that would help them perform to their full potential.
How to defuse conflict
June 24th 2014
Finding the right thing to say can be tricky when emotions run high in the workplace. If confronted with an angry colleague, don’t frame the issue in terms of who’s right or wrong. Instead, ask questions to get to the bottom of the problem and understand the other person’s perspective, Linda Hill, a Harvard University professor, suggests, in an interview with Harvard Business Review. Focus on potential solutions and how you can move on. Also, sometimes it’s best to resist the urge to talk and just listen to a person who needs to vent.
BYOD or CYOD: What’s right for your organisation?
June 23rd 2014
A bring-your-own-device policy makes sense on several fronts – the main one being that employees can use tech gadgets that are familiar to them and therefore can be more productive. But, as Simon Culmer writes in Tech Guru Daily, security and IT management of such outside devices can be problematic. Instead of employees bringing devices to work, companies can explore a choose-your-own-device model, where employees get to look at a menu of acceptable gadgets to use at work.
Don’t hide when you’ve disappointed your boss
June 19th 2014
Ducking your supervisor after you’ve made a mistake doesn’t really help, Karen Dillon writes in Harvard Business Review. That will only make issues between you and your boss fester. Dillon has other tips for how to respond after you’ve made a mistake.
Maintain eye contact without being creepy – and other interview advice
June 18th 2014
Eye contact is the single most important aspect of body language, but don’t just sit and stare at your interviewer. Look away every few minutes before returning your focus to them. Based on experience of 100 financial services job interviews, Sofia Faruqi shares more tips on body language, surprising questions, and the right level of confidence to project, on The Wall Street Journal blog.
Eight career mistakes by smart people
June 17th 2014
Even the brightest people sometimes manage to derail their own careers. Their most common sins include complacency, losing focus of the details that matter, surrounding themselves with “yes men”, and deciding that they can become experts in new fields overnight, writes Forbes. To avoid career suicide, remember the value of relationships, be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, and never stop working hard.
Why being a good listener can be bad for you
June 16th 2014
Being the reassuring presence that colleagues turn to in times of crisis may make us feel valued, but soaking up everyone else’s problems can take its toll on our work and wellbeing. The Fast Track underlines the importance of setting boundaries to protect yourself. Practical tips include encouraging colleagues to seek out solutions rather than dwelling on problems, referring them to professionals for help when necessary, and making time to relax and get the negative energy out of your system.
Three ways to close the self-confidence gap
June 12th 2014
Author Geri Stengel offers three tips for overcoming self-doubt. She has written specifically about women in the book Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One, but the advice in Forbes can apply to all people seeking to overcome their own lack of confidence.
How to combine risk management with strategy
June 11th 2014
Striking the right balance between pursuing new opportunities to create value and protecting your existing business is a fine art. Corporate Finance Insider provides ten tips on embedding a culture of risk management, advising companies to stress-test their strategy against a range of scenarios and to formulate response plans accordingly. Monitoring any change to their critical assumptions about the market can also help companies seize new opportunities before their competitors do.
Boost problem-solving ability while you sleep
June 10th 2014
When wrestling with a complex problem, the traditional advice to “sleep on it” may seem simplistic, but it is in fact borne out by scientific research. Studies show that the more relaxed the brain is, the more its networks can put information together in new ways and allow creative ideas to surface. Fast Company provides simple tips on how you can optimise this process – for example, try vocalising the problem you’re trying to solve last thing at night so you can wake up with a fresh perspective in the morning.
Keep references to yourself – at first
June 9th 2014
References are a vital tool in any job search and should be protected accordingly. If you include them on your CV, they take up valuable lines that could be used to expand on your achievements and suitability for the role. Holding them back until requested by a prospective employer enables you to let your contacts know when to expect a call from a recruiter and provide specifics about the role you’re up for, suggests Careerealism.
How to gain credibility in a new job
June 5th 2014
Research suggests that the success or failure of a new leader is determined within the first 90 days of taking on a new role, so making the right impression is crucial. City AM rounds up expert advice on gaining the trust and respect of a new team. Getting to know the organisation’s culture and politics as far as possible in advance, engaging and listening to your colleagues, and keeping your promises will get you off to a great start.
How to play nice with other departments
June 4th 2014
Getting timely assistance from colleagues on other teams when your task is not in their immediate interest is a fine art. Think about what exactly you need and how you make your request. Explaining it face-to-face and giving a sense of how valuable their insight is make it harder for the other person to turn down your plea for help. If understanding and flattery don’t work, you can always resort to cake-based bribery, suggests The Fast Track.
How to take advantage of cultural differences
June 3rd 2014
Everyday concepts such as meetings, budgets, and hierarchies serve different purposes in different cultures, and colleagues around the world may have varying expectations of them. IMD Business School research shows that efficiency requires a high degree of hierarchy, while flat hierarchies are important for innovation. To achieve the best results, businesses should tailor their approach to the cultural context. For example, 360-degree reviews work best in Germany, Russia, Italy, and Brazil, but they are less beneficial in more collective cultures such as India and China.
Narcissism and CEOs
June 2nd 2014
Confidence is one trait most companies want in their chief executives; high doses of brazenness and narcissism are less desirable. Two professors from Arizona State University, writing about their research for INSEAD, say such CEO traits can undermine strategic decision-making. CEOs who exhibit high degrees of narcissism have difficulty listening to outside opinions, including those of the board of directors, and think they learn from mistakes better than others.