We live in a world where the ability to get things done as a team is more and more prized. You will be judged (and promoted) on how well you work with customers, colleagues, superiors, and those lower down on the corporate ladder. It’s one of the major keys to career success. While you probably learned in kindergarten how to play well with others, sometimes we lose track of the basics. So here are 10 useful tips:
1. Heads up. When people talk to you, don’t continue tapping away at your keyboard. Instead, give the person the gift of your undivided attention, if only for a minute. It sounds like a small thing. But the art of truly paying attention is a dying art, and if you excel at it you will stand out.
2. Listen actively. Many people don’t express themselves well. You may need to look beneath the surface of their words to get to the core of what they’re trying to say. Be a little patient, and don’t interrupt, or jump on small mistakes.
3. Show (sincere) interest. You may not want to be BFFs with your cubicle mate but it won’t kill you to ask, “How was your weekend?” Listen for a couple of minutes, and then turn back to the work at hand. Now, was that so hard?
4. Assume goodwill. Most people are sincerely trying to do a good job. So no matter how stupid or incompetent or misguided your colleagues’ actions might be, consider the possibility that they believed they were doing the right thing at the time. Try to look at the situation from their perspectives. You might learn something. At the very least, you’ll earn their gratitude.
5. Share credit. Even if a success was all your idea you will look like even more of a winner if you share the glory. Besides, does anybody really ever accomplish something entirely on their own?
6. Be open to the possibility that you might be wrong. Hey, it’s possible. At least accept that there’s room for improvement. Your ideas and work will benefit from the input of others. Really.
7. Honor your commitments. Be the kind of person who says he’ll have the report done by Tuesday and has it done by Tuesday. Reliability and integrity not only make you look good, they’re contagious and will contribute to a constructive work environment.
8. Show appreciation. Even though it may be someone’s job to supply you with, say, paper clips, when that person delivers the paper clips, say “thank you.” It costs you nothing, and it fosters an atmosphere of civility.
9. Speak to others in a clear, direct, respectful, pleasant, and positive way. It inspires your coworkers to treat you likewise.
10. Finally, don’t expect to like everybody. And don’t expect everybody to like you. As with any group of people, you’re going to get along with some better than others, and there may be a few you just can’t stand. Be tolerant. Pick your battles. Sometimes it’s just enough that the work gets done.
By Karen Burns for U.S. News & World Report. Burns is the author of the illustrated career advice book The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use released by Running Press.
Research shows that when people come home from a vacation, the urge to find a new job often kicks in. One expert explains that time off can provide clarity needed to evaluate life changes, and post-vacationing office workers returning to work are more likely to look for a new job.
A study from the online jobs site Monster.com found that some 70 percent of employees search job listings upon returning from vacation. The survey was based on more than 1,200 job seekers in the US.
The rationale? Monster.com career advice expert Mary Ellen Slayter said all that free time, relaxation and detachment from the humdrum can help employees sort out problem areas in their working lives.
Vacations “also provide the mental clarity needed to carefully consider the life changes required to remedy the source of your strife,” she said.
“As your vacation comes to a close and you are faced with your impending return to work, your disposition can be an important indicator,” she said. “It’s natural to sulk a bit at the end of an enjoyable holiday, but…. feelings of dread and anxiety should be cause for concern.”
Some people don’t know when to stop talking. But how do you escape when you’re dealing with a long-winded senior executive or important customer?
First, diagnose the problem. Does your boss tend to deliver speeches in meetings when there’s no agenda? Does your biggest client complain for hours when you’re out for lunch? Change the circumstances, then set limits. You might say, “I know your time is valuable. Let’s keep this to five minutes.” Or perhaps: “I’d like to talk with you about the Jones account. I’ve prepared a three-bullet-point agenda. Could we discuss each item for five minutes?” On a conference call with a client, you might start with: “I’ve got a hard stop at noon. Is there anything you’d like to tackle right away?”
Excerpted from “Advice for Dealing with a Long-Winded Leader” by Joe McCormack for the Harvard Business Publishing’s “Management Tip of the Day.”
There was very little magic to be found on July 17, 1955, when Disneyland held its official grand opening. In fact, the park’s opening was such an epic disaster that not even Snow White’s Evil Queen could have conjured it. Fifteen thousand guests had been invited to the opening ceremonies that day, but because of a glut of counterfeited tickets, nearly twice as many showed up—inundating the park and creating massive traffic jams on the Anaheim Freeway. The hordes quickly gobbled up all the available food and, with their sheer mass, nearly capsized Mark Twain’s Riverboat. A plumbers’ strike had forced Disney to make a choice between working bathrooms or running drinking fountains—thus, toilets flushed, but the lack of water left people parched and cranky in the blistering 101-degree heat. So scorching were the temperatures that the recently paved Main Street became a gurgling tarry mess that sucked off shoes. Rides failed, surly guards intimidated visitors, and a gas leak forced the closure of Fantasyland. No wonder, then, that Walt Disney came to refer to opening day as “Black Sunday.
Adding to Uncle Walt’s misery was the fact that Disneyland’s grand opening was being televised live and viewed by nearly 90 million people. It was a star-studded extravaganza, featuring Ronald Reagan, Bob Cummings, and Art Linkletter as emcees, but various glitches and miscues only made the fiasco more apparent. In one mortifying instance, actor Fess Parker, who played the rugged Davy Crockett in movies and on television, was described as the lovely Cinderella as he led a parade down Main Street.
A lesser man might have been crushed by such a dismal day, but with all the pluck of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney forged ahead. Just three months later, Disneyland greeted its one millionth guest and went on to become the grandfather of an empire of renowned theme parks — and all with working drinking fountains!
~ From the book, “Bad Days in History: A Gleefully Grim Chronicle of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year” by Michael Farquhar
According to the Pew Research Center, LinkedIn usage is especially high among the educated (bachelor’s degree holders and up), and high earners (those making $75,000 a year or more) — exactly the types of people with whom you’d want to connect professionally. It is also the only social networking site Pew measured that showed higher usage among 50-to-64-year-olds than among those ages 18-29, which means that those with more professional experience (and who are more likely to be in a position to hire) are on the site.
Here are more facts you should know about Linkedin:
– 35% of users access LinkedIn every day– Over 25 million profiles are viewed on LinkedIn daily
– 1 out of 3 professionals on the planet has a LinkedIn profile
– 41% access LinkedIn from their mobile devices