If you've ever tried to up your listening game, you know it's harder than it seems. It's not a matter of simply cultivating interest in what the speaker is saying, or suppressing the tendency to wait for your chance to talk. This week's roundup includes insight into why you can't become a better listener, just by listening harder – plus, how to improve, the right way, and an explanation of why all those productivity hacks aren't helping you to get more done.
Bad table manners are like any lapse in etiquette – when the problem is coming from someone else, it's immediately apparent, but if you're the offender, you probably don't even realize it's an issue. (This explains such mysteries as why there are still people who belch in public or trim their nails on public transit.) If you are an unseemly eater, you could be damaging your career and not even know it.
If you complained every time something got on your nerves at work, you'd be at the top of the annoyance list for most of your co-workers. But, what about when the irritation is a genuine productivity-suck, like long meetings? Sometimes, then, you can speak up – but not all the time. This week's roundup includes advice on knowing when to say something and when to stay quiet, plus how to get more followers on your blog, and how to prevent excuses from derailing your career.
If you've never made a mistake at work, the saying goes, you're not working hard enough. But, that's small consolation when your face is red and you're stammering out an apology to your boss or client or co-worker. In this week's roundup, we look at what to do when you're embarrassed at your job – plus, how to find the right corporate culture for you, and how to steer an interview, without looking like you're embarking on a hostile takeover.
We're supposed to pretend that we don't care what people think, especially at work – to do otherwise would be to admit that we're weak, that we lack the conviction and courage needed to get the job done. Reality, however, might be quite a bit different. In this week's roundup, we look at why other's people's opinions of you are still their business, and their business only – plus, tips on branding with a less-utilized social network, and what you absolutely shouldn't do if your employer shows you the door.
No one likes being micromanaged, but being a micromanager is almost worse: you know, on some level, that you're the problem, and yet you just can't stop nitpicking everything people do. In this week's roundup, career experts tackle breaking the micromanaging habit, learning how to fight productively, and beating the dreaded cover-letter writer's block.
How can you tell a happy person from, well, everyone else? Often, it's that they spend less time tracking what other people think, and more time paying attention to their own goals. This week's roundup includes the false assumptions happy people don't make, plus a post on why we should thank our high school teachers for those classes we hated, and tips on what to avoid when negotiating salary.
Even if you're not into sports, you can learn a lot about leadership -- good and bad -- from watching the managers of professional sports teams. It all comes down to using data to help you make better decisions. Plus, also in this week's roundup: how depression affects working memory, and thus our productivity, and the best way to answer, "Why are you looking for a new job?"
Even if you're not superstitious, it's hard not to ascribe other people's good fortune to luck. Everyone knows that one person who seems to always be in the right place at the right time, getting more than their fair share of promotions, raises, and desks near the window. (Understanding, of course, that their fair share should be "equal to or less than you're getting.") So how do these folks do it?
How do you start your workday? If you, like many of us, are generally a little bit late, it could be by grabbing the caffeinated beverage of your choice and hurriedly scanning your inbox. But maybe it's time for a reboot.
So, you've got a job. You can breathe a sigh of relief. And, for some workers, just having a job is enough. You're hearing all that great news about the uptick in the economic projections, employment is up, and the job market in general looks more hopeful. But, here's the thing: Just because you have a job doesn't mean you shouldn't be consciously making an effort to improve yourself and your position. The question is, how to do that without sticking your neck out and courting disaster.
In a perfect world, we'd be able to walk away from less-than-awesome jobs, preferably after making a well-scripted scene that somehow has no lasting repercussions for our professional futures. In real life, however, being able to ditch an unwanted job at a moment's notice is as rare as a meet-cute on public transit with the love of your life. It's the stuff of romantic comedies, in other words. If you want to improve your life immediately, your best bet isn't ditching your job; it's learning how to make your life better while you sneakily make long-term plans to secure new employment.
One of the toughest things about life, both personally and professionally, is that there's only so much you can control. You can't change your nature, for example, and become wildly extroverted if you're someone who draws her energy from within, and you can't necessarily make a bad job into a good one. You can, however, learn to make things better by cultivating certain skills and improving your attitude. And sometimes, you can quit your job and go on to another one -- if you go about things the right way.
Maybe you're a hugger, or a back-slapper, or -- in your personal life -- a terrible flirt. Chances are, you know that none of this behavior will fly in the office, no matter how innocent your intentions. No one wants to be referred to HR for remedial training or, worse, lose their jobs because they didn't get the memo that it's 2015, and co-workers don't touch each other. In this, we are probably more with the program than many of our leaders in Washington. Take, for example, America's touchy-feeler-in-chief, Joe Biden.
Your annual performance review is over. Hopefully, you have some new goals to work on and a few pats on the back to keep you motivated. Now what?