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Showing posts from September, 2016

Bite Me! When Co-Workers Offer You A Bite of Their Food

You're eating lunch in the break room when a co-worker points a fork in your face and says: "This is soooo good! Would you like to try it?" Soooo, are you going to bite?

We've all been in this situation with friends, family and colleagues. They're noshing on something and suddenly offer us a taste of it from a spoon, out of a bag, or out of their hand. I've watched this scenario play out so many times in life (as recently as a few weeks ago!) and it's almost like time stands still for a few seconds as the recipient attempts to stick a fork in it.

"Uh, no thanks?" the recipient might say, tentatively. "I'm fine."

"Are you sure? It's really good, try some!" the other person implores as they stick their hand into the bag to take another handful before pointing it in the potential recipient's direction once again.

Yikes. At this point, the potential recipient might feel flustered to find their initial attempt to reb…

When You're Always the Overly-Prepared One On Your Work Team

You've been preparing for a major team presentation to a potential client, and today is the day when you get to show off all your diligent prep work!

But not your teammate who prefers to let the moment...evolve. This colleagues likes to let everything come together last minute, on stage, in front of an audience.

Maybe your co-worker likes to give you a hard time for putting so much sweat equity into your PowerPoint presentations. Why bother? You never know what's going to happen, so preparing can be a waste of time. The universe will provide, the stars with align, so let's fly by the seat of our pants as we carry the day! Spontaneity is the spice of life, as they say.

Last night's presidential debate was a study in how to study. One the one side, we had the student who (it seemed obvious) had poured over her notes and practiced, leaving little room for debate regarding her debate readiness. On the other side, we had the student who could have practiced more, but may…

Did I Just Say That?! How To Handle Verbal Slip-Ups At Work

You're in a meeting when something you didn't mean to say suddenly slips out of your mouth.

You meant to say "please sit," but somehow you added an "H" to the word "sit." (And no, it's not "sith.")

Maybe you said "leverage our asses" during a meeting instead of "leverage our assets."

Perhaps you were so tired this morning that you didn't realize you switched your words around during the daily team meet. We're going to need to peel back the onion of the layers, everyone. Let's go do it!


Hey, don't get down on yourself. Verbal mix-ups happen to the best of us, and often when we least expect it! Whether we like to call them Freudian slips or malapropisms or sleep deprivation, research reveals that we throw in up to two spoken flubs for every 1,000 words we speak.

These data, presumably, apply also to every-day business conversations. Maybe we'll coin a new word in the process. Um, convalesc…

Mirror, Mirror: Is A Colleague Copying Your Body Language?

You're in a meeting when you notice the business person sitting across from you is doing exactly what you're doing.

This person is sitting like you're sitting, and moving like you're moving. Warning: you're being mirrored, a business influence tactic thought to help seal the deal!

But frankly, all the copying is a bit unsettling as you shift in your seat again, only to have the other person do the same thing a minute later. What should you do when you realize a colleague, or salesperson, is copying your every move and gesture? You feel like you're in the mirror scene from the 1933 Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup, only it's not nearly as funny and amazing as the original.

This topic comes to mind after reading a Sue Shellenbarger article in The Wall Street Journal earlier this week. To sum up the "do"s and "don't"s from the article:

Yeah, sure, go ahead and mimic a business colleague's moves, but only after you've built "…

Forget Swimsuits, We Want Our Pant Suit Calendar

It's almost October, which means it's almost time to buy our wall calendars for next year. And online clothing firm Betabrand is giving the world what it didn't know it needed: The pant suit calendar!

Hillary Clinton isn't the only one with a flair for pant suit technology. Professional women across the land are putting their pant suit pants on one leg at a time!

Or they're donning "dress pant yoga pants," which look like the yoga pants stay-at-home moms wear to the grocery store -- only they're paired with a blouse, blazer, accessories and heels. So, it's different. Before we move on, let's take a moment to salute the power suit!

In the modern workplace, comfort is key. And who can blame us? If we're going to put in another twelve-hour day at work, then we may as well be able to breathe out comfortably as we digest another working lunch.

But back to the point of this post: San Francisco-based Betabrand, which describes itself as "a…

Workplace Trends: The Ethics of Dealing With Robots At Work

How do you want robots to treat you at work?

I'll bet you haven't given much thought to this question, but the fine folks at the British Standards Institution have done it for you. In fact, BSI has just issued an official ethics guidance regarding human-robot interaction!

The rest of us were simply worried about robots taking all our jobs, but there's another, emerging layer to the worldwide robotic workplace invasion and here it is:

What are you gonna do the first time a robot pisses you off, or slights you in some way, at work or anywhere else? What if, for example, your robot co-worker listens to "Mr. Roboto" on repeat play all day long?** Yeah, now what?

We must not be that far away from workplace robots becoming Passive Aggressive Patty v2.0 and Know-It-All Andy v3.0, because we need guidance! Hitachi is already rolling out artificially intelligent managers and Betty the robotic office manager is busy spying on us at work. So it's only a matter of time…

Oh Great, Globalization Could Be Giving Us Heart Disease

It's Monday, and we need a bit of happy news to perk up our nascent work week. How about new research that finds a possible connection between cardiovascular disease and economic globalization? That's right: cardiovascular disease may not necessarily be the natural result of aging and personal habits. No, it's the economy, stupid!

Researchers at the University of California-Irvine and SUNY Downstate Medical Center threw their hearts and minds into more than 30 years of epidemiological research. What they found was a relationship between cardiovascular disease and the rise of the modern, global economy in high-income countries.

Who would have thought that putting in long hours doing repetitive work tasks with less control over our highly-demanding, increasingly-precarious jobs wouldn't exactly be heart-healthy? It's a vicious circle though, because logging too many work hours in a 24/7 economy leaves little time for important things such as preparing a well-balanc…

Employee Survey Reveals What We'd Give Up To Keep Our Coffee

Do you like your morning coffee? Of course, you do! And why stop there? It's always 2 p.m. somewhere, which means it's time for your afternoon double shot hazelnut latte!

With National Coffee Day brewing on September 29, Staples Business Advantage and Survey Monkey have released a new survey that filters some interesting findings on employee coffee drinking habits.

The main finding? Nearly one-third of employees said they would rather streak naked through the main street of their town than give up coffee for a year. Now that's some coffee-drinking dedication! Cue the coffee music.

Meanwhile, more than half of employees surveyed would rather give up sweets than coffee (for the rest of their lives!) if they had to choose one to lose. One-quarter would relinquish their smartphones forever to keep drinking coffee, and nearly one-quarter (24%) would give up their annual vacation in order to keep their coffee.

The average employee drinks two cups of coffee per day, and more tha…

Watch Out, Millennials: Here Comes Generation Z

The 2016 Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index is here, and it tells us there are now five generations in the workplace: The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, the Millennials and Generation Z.

Anyone born between 1994 and 2010 is a member of Generation Z. Gen Z will comprise 10% of the U.S. workforce by 2020, meaning we can expect 16 million young, new hires to enter the workforce over the next four years.

The oldest members of Generation Z are seniors in college this year. So it won't be long before they're wandering into the workplace -- if they haven't already been there as interns, that is. They think it's funny that you actually use Facebook, because only old people use Facebook. To them, a Facebook page is sort of like having a MySpace page, or maybe an AOL account.

I'm seeing it all up close as a Generation X parent to Generation Z. Just yesterday, I was asked: "Who is N Sync? Is it a band? From the 1980s, right?" Sure, it's…

Want To Go Part-Time? Check Out These 10 High-Paying, Part-Time Gigs

Are you tired of pulling 70-hour weeks at the office? Would you like to drop to 35 hours per week, max?

Have you been out of the workforce for awhile, and you're looking to wade back in part-time? Oh no, where to start.

How about with FlexJobs' brand-new list of ten high-paying, part-time jobs?

FlexJobs, a job search site that specializes in part-time and contract employment, considered four criteria in ranking its ten high-paying part-time positions. First, the job must require fewer than 40 hours per week. Second, the job must be "professional-level, requiring advanced experience and education." Third, the job must pay at least $50/hour. Fourth, the position was recently posted in FlexJobs' database. Here are ten high-paying, part-time jobs, as ranked by FlexJobs:

1. Director of Operations. Director of Operations seems more like a senior management role than a part-time job, but who knows? This could be just the flexible job for you! You can help create compan…

Whatever! Five Ways To Deal With Rudeness At Work

Rudeness at work. We've all experienced it, but it's how we choose to respond to it that matters. So how should we frame our response to the co-worker who seems about as warm as an icy Arctic wind?

I'm still getting back into the swing of things after a summer hiatus, so I thought I'd turn to an expert on business manners for advice on putting the rude co-worker in better perspective (and with our rude co-workers, we definitely need some perspective).

Beverly Langford is author of the new book, The Etiquette Edge: Modern Manners for Business Success (AMACOM). She teaches Business Communication at Georgia State University, and also owns her own consulting firm, LMA Communications. Here are five expert tips she shares for dealing more effectively with rude people in the workplace:

1. Develop a mindset that you will refuse to return rudeness.

Once you decide that you will not let another person's rudeness make you play his or her game, then you can be creative in workin…

How to Trip Up the Vacation-Shaming Co-worker

I've been on vacation in the Silicon Valley. Who on earth vacations in a workaholic's paradise, you ask? Good question.

But there I was, sitting pool side in the shade while the luxury Google buses cruised past and the stressed-out, smartphone-wielding business traveler at a nearby table made arrangements for a meeting that seemed to be falling though. Apparently, I need somebody wound up in the background to help me unwind.

Now I'm back, refreshed and sort of ready, trying to remember how this blogging thing works. Getting my mind back into the game is tough, but at least as a solobloggeur I don't have to put up with co-workers who make me feel awful for taking some time off, right? On that note...

Vacation Daze
We've all worked with somebody who makes us feel guilty for going on vacation. The trendy, nom du jour for this workplace phenomenon is "vacation shaming," and the Millennials are very good at it.

When car rental agency Alamo surveyed 1,500 empl…