Thursday, February 17, 2011

The 'Terrible 10' Behaviors in the Workplace

Compliments of Yahoo! HotJobs

Think you can get away with leaving coffee grounds in the sink, or taking that handicapped spot? Maybe. But according to a new study, even if coworkers don't say anything about such rude behaviors, they are likely to harbor resentment about them.

Through an informal online survey with Yahoo! and Survey Monkey, researchers at the Civility Initiative at The Johns Hopkins University and the Jacob France Institute of the University of Baltimore identified workplace behaviors that irritate people the most.

More than 600 workers and college students in the Baltimore area ranked bad behavior on a scale ranging from 1 (not offensive) to 5 (most offensive).

The 'Terrible 10' List

1. Based on those rankings, the "Terrible 10" behaviors are (from most to least offensive):
2. Employment discrimination.
3. Erratic/aggressive driving that endangers others.
4. Taking credit for someone else's work.
5. Treating service providers as inferiors.
6. Mocking race, gender, age, disabilities, sexual orientation or religion.
7. People who behave aggressively or who bully others.
8. Littering.
9. Misusing handicapped privileges.
10. Smoking in nonsmoking places or smoking in front of nonsmokers without asking.
11. Using cellphones or text-messaging in mid-conversation or during an appointment or meeting.
12. Some actions, such as discrimination, may be illegal; but even more subtle behaviors, such as making a sexist joke or not asking before lighting a cigarette, still add to the stress of the daily grind and can actually lower productivity.

"The research suggests that people are bothered more by the transgressions of coworkers and strangers than by those of family and friends," says P.M. Forni, director of the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins.

Civility Helps the Bottom Line

Forni added that, although the survey did not explore the prevalence of these behaviors, years of anecdotal evidence suggest that taking credit for another's work, and texting or using a cellphone during meetings are widespread annoyances.

"These behaviors have a big impact on the quality of life for coworkers and on the bottom line as well," Forni says. "If we had better relationship skills, it would diminish the amount of stress in the workplace and eliminate a lot of misery."

The survey is backed up by increasing evidence that shows workplace rudeness taking a toll on both employees and on a company's bottom line. A previous study of rudeness in the workplace by the Jacob France Institute found that 67 percent of respondents feel society is ruder than in the past, and 83 percent stated that it was "very important" for them to work in a civil workplace environment.

Dealing with Rude Coworkers

In his book, The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude, Forni suggests using the S.I.R. (state, inform and request) approach to deal with incivility. "First, you state the problem to yourself, so you understand that it really is a problem," Forni says. "Next you inform the person of the bad behavior. Give them a way out and the benefit of the doubt by saying, 'Maybe you didn't realize you did x, but ?.'"

Finally, Forni suggests making a request of the perpetrator, politely of course. "Say something like, 'I hope you can refrain from doing this in the future.' If you present your grievance in a way that's nonconfrontational, you're likely to get positive results."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Five Ways to Stay Positive in Negativity

compliments of

It's easy to be positive in a positive environment. It's when things are emotionally draining and negative that you're challenged to behave differently. But you have the opportunity to be the beacon of light for others around you. By your actions and responses, you can demonstrate and teach others how to behave in an appropriate, positive and professional manner.

Positive energy catches on just as quickly as negative energy. Sometimes people are simply stuck in a habit or pattern of behavior and are accustomed to acting a certain way. If the environment is really caustic, then it's what people are used to and may be all they know.

It takes some time and effort as well as a commitment to do something differently to create sustainable change. You must be willing to identify and stop tolerating what's not working, do the right thing even if it's initially unpopular and then teach others to do the same.

Here are five ways you can be a positive force in your workplace:

The First Step Is Awareness
Recognize the negativity around you. Sometimes you can even feel your energy being drained by the words being spoken. If it feels bad or uncomfortable, then it's negative. These feelings are a form of intelligence similar to a tap on the shoulder letting you know something is not right. If you can identify what is happening, you can make good choices about handling it.

It All Starts with You
In what ways are you contributing to the negativity around you? Are you listening to gossip or participating in conversations where the only focus is to denigrate, diminish or criticize? Language matters. Everything you say has an impact; saying something negative not only dishonors the person you're speaking about and the person you're speaking with, but it also makes you feel bad even if you don't realize it. Learn to respect people's humanity and their right to be themselves. Complaining without end does not focus on creating solutions; rather, it perpetuates and magnifies the problem, wasting everyone's precious time and energy.

Speak Up
Tell the other person how you feel by saying, "This doesn't work for me." It's nonjudgmental, since you're making it about you, not them. Also, people often don't realize they are being negative. Point it out in a gentle, caring way: "Do you realize you are complaining?" Just bringing it to their attention can be enough to shift the conversation. Over time, people will learn what they can and cannot discuss with you, and it will stop being an issue. If you say nothing, your silence conveys permission to continue.

Be Constructive, Positive, Meaningful and Beneficial
What is the point or purpose of what you're saying? Is it to hurt or help? And at the end of the conversation, is there an action step to take? Constructive conversations are empowering and leave people a little better off from having participated in them. Become the kind of person who takes your time and words seriously.

Praise and Acknowledge
It's amazing what a few words of praise and acknowledgement can do. You want to be the kind of person people gravitate to because they know they will be uplifted by you, not put down or drained of life-sustaining energy. In short, you want people to feel good after being in your presence.

No matter what is going on around you, you control your inner environment and how you choose to respond to external events and situations. It's your responsibility to become the kind of person you enjoy being and with whom others enjoy being around.

It takes a true leader to walk a path different from the crowd. So when others are negative, stretch your boldness muscles and be positive in spite of what others do or think. It's the only way to create a ripple of change

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Work Efficiently

Enhance Your Mood to Create an Efficient Attitude and Efficient Work

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To be efficient is to be able to produce a desired effect with a minimum of effort and waste. When we witness or experience efficiency it can create a pretty good feeling inside. We realize that the energy that was expended was used very selectively and we appreciate the foresight of such an undertaking.

Working efficiently and not hard is just a dream for many people. Too often we have our minds focused on hard work and not efficient work. How can you increase the efficiency of your work? Here are a few great strategies that you can implement immediately:

  • Take Breaks: Just 2 to 5 minutes of doing something different or taking a brisk walk will give your focus a break and you will return to your work with a fresh attitude and more energy.
  • Breath: It's always amazing to learn how many people hold their breath. When you are experiencing tension anywhere in your body take a deep cleansing breath. This will give you a boost of oxygen in your bloodstream and your mind will relax into your work more easily.
  • Smile: Think of something that makes you smile. I bet you're smiling right now aren't you? Smiling is an immediate mood enhancer. A genuine smile makes you feel good. It leaves you feeling enriched. Smiling a lot can make a big difference in how your day goes. The next time someone asks you "What are you smiling about?" tell them that you're smiling to make sure your day goes as you'd like.
  • Laugh: They say that laughter is the best medicine. If you're a fan of social networking sites, such as Twitter, go there... that is sure to give you a few good laughs while reading others Tweets. The thing is to be open to moments of laughter in your life. If you're on the stiff side, then loosen up. Laughter tends to dissipate tension. Find something to laugh at and enjoy the release that comes with it.

When you take the time to implement these strategies you will come back to your work with a fresh attitude and more energy to get the job done with fluidity. These strategies are mood enhancers and when you enhance your mood you will get the job done in less time and with a far better attitude!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How to be Successful

compliments of suite

The New Rule to being Successful Today

The rules for how to be successful in today's world are different to those of yesterday. The rules of success have changed from competitive ones to cooperative ones.

In the past, people learned how to be successful according to the Darwinian principle, known to most by the phrase "survival of the fittest".

In other words, to be successful, one had to be stronger, smarter, faster, or more cunning than another, and achieve their success at another's expense. Today, this is no longer the requisite formula for success, according to Kabbalah theory.

Darwin's Formula on How to be Successful No Longer Works

Today, a different principle for how to be successful is at work: successful people are those who work together with others.

"Working together" in this context means more than, say, just being business partners, where one person might ruin the other as soon as a better opportunity arises.

Instead, Kabbalah explains that "working together" requires people to add consideration and mutuality in their relationships, in which everyone is equal and no one surpasses anyone else.

The Need to Renew Human Relationships

The need to renew human relationships is not a new idea. Kabbalah is one of many voices addressing this need, and the idea that today's rules for how to be successful have changed.

Even political leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama and England's Prime Minister Gordon Brown have spoken out about the need for people to connect with each other. Political leaders have suggested that the world's troubling situation demands that people forge connections in order to advance toward positive change.

Moreover, political leaders are not the only ones voicing the need to increase awareness that the connections among people are global ones. There are thousands of people working on figuring out how to use this new rule of success to humanity's advantage, and how to implement practical measures to make certain that humanity begins cooperating, instead of egoistically exploiting (and thus, destroying) one another.

However, as much as the leaders manage to insert moments of hope in the public, and as much as people continue to research the multitude of problems facing humanity, beneath the surface, the problems remain. And that is because the greatest tool capable of making the change for success possible is not being used to its fullest advantage. According to Kabbalah, that tool is education.

Education - That's How to be Successful!

Kabbalah states that education is the means for solving all of humanity's problems.

Education, in Kabbalah, means teaching mutual dependency, consideration and cooperation as society's greatest values, and as the true path to success for everyone. If the billions of dollars being spent on helping banks and enterprises would be spent on creating a worldwide education system, and education system focused on raising a new kind of person - one who knows how to consider the whole global-scale society in one's attitudes and relationships - then humanity would literally "grow-up" beyond these problems and dramatically improve quality of life.

Kabbalists state that humanity now faces the revelation of the law of nature, which is a law of mutuality and cooperativeness. Global unity is a concept still unclear to the majority of humanity's very survival and well-being.

The moment people will begin to understand the rules of success pertaining to living in accordance with this law of nature, the world's situation will improve on all levels - personal, social, and global. And according to Kabbalah, as soon as people begin cooperating, nature will provide its support.

Kabbalists believe that be replacing competitive attitudes with a cooperative mindset, everyone will grow and find success, while also discovering a while new world full of perfection and fulfillment.