Office Relationships

Have you ever been afraid at work - afraid to ask a question or afraid to make a suggestion. Even if you are a confident person, perhaps you had a feeling more of hesitation or worry. No matter what you call it, chances are your answer is yes. At some time or another, most of us have been fearful or hesitant to offer a suggestion or new idea at work. It can also be difficult to ask for guidance, help, or even time off.
Now consider this: Have you ever been afraid to ask a question or make a suggestion with your family or friends? You probably answered "no," or at least "not as often."
The main reason for this is that you almost certainly have better communication skills and patterns with your family and friends than you do with co-workers and others at the office. You've been around your friends and family longer, and you know their speech patterns, tones, style of joking, and so on. As a result, you are more comfortable with them and enjoy better relationships with them.
Comfortable communication equals better relationships
Now think about what it would be like if you could have that same kind of comfortable communication with your office mates. If better communication equals better relationships at home, wouldn't the same hold true for work? Of course it would! Ensuring that you convey your messages clearly and coherently will help make sure you are not misunderstood. This should naturally result in better communication all around which, in turn, will improve relationships significantly.
Remember, though, that the opposite holds true as well. Communication is a two-way street, and good listening skills are half - if not more - of good communication. You don't want to end up misunderstanding someone else because you weren't really listening to what they were saying. Better communication results in better relationships because it puts everyone on the same track. Fewer misunderstandings happen when you are clear, when you provide specific details, and when you are both practising effective listening skills.
Better relationships equal improved morale and increased productivity
Once you start developing better relationships through better communication, you'll benefit in several ways.
  • You'll feel more comfortable at work, more accepted. Most of us want to feel like a valued and valuable part of a group, a member of something.
  • With good communication skills, you'll feel like you belong, like you are a part of the office community.
  • You won't have that fear of stepping forward as much, because as your comfort level increases your professional relationships will strengthen.
  • Feeling more comfortable at work will make you feel better about your contributions to the office workload in general. There's nothing like the feeling you get from being a trusted and effective team member.
  • You will find you can make suggestions for changing procedures, or even changing a product, without worrying about what others might think.
  • Better yet, since you'll feel better about being at work and being around your co-workers and bosses, your morale will improve.
  • Improved morale, in turn, will help you be more productive.
  • You won't have that fear of stepping forward as much because you know your co-workers understand you better. You don't need to become friends with everyone; you just need to improve the working relationship you have with them so that working together becomes much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Improved morale and increased productivity benefits everyone
Good communication is a win/win situation for everyone in the office. Once you improve working relationships with co-workers, you will automatically feel better and work harder. Your co-workers are happy because there are fewer chances for misunderstandings, and now they know you just a bit better. Your boss is happy because the better communication in the office has resulted in happier workers who are more productive.
You'll be thrilled to make that suggestion or ask that question because you'll know that others are willing to listen to you. You know they aren't going to laugh at you or roll their eyes, even if you come up with an off-the-cuff comment. They're going to give you the respect you deserve. You'll increase your productivity because people won't misunderstand you and you won't misunderstand others.
Let's look at the formula backwards: To improve morale and increase productivity, you need better relationships, which are achieved through better communication. It's really quite simple. In a nutshell, better communication is the way you can increase productivity and become a more valuable member of your team.

                                                                                                                           By : 
Shirley Taylor

Cell Phone And Ways To Success

How is YOUR Cell Phone Etiquette?
"Hey Dave, you won't believe what the doctor told me yesterday" is not quite what any of us wants to hear from our table-mate at a seminar, even if the seminar hasn't started yet and even if the statement is not directed at us.
Cell phones have become ubiquitous in today's society, but standards of behaviour for their use have lagged behind a bit. If you want to stay on good footing with your co-workers, supervisors, friends, family - pretty much everyone you come in contact with, including strangers - remember that good cell phone etiquette boils down to one basic rule:
Use Good Judgment
Using good judgment with your cell phone use can make people sit up and take notice of your first-rate behaviour. Because today's cell phones allow us to do so much more than the word 'phone' implies - talk, text, search the Internet, watch movies, listen to music, review and respond to emails, play games, and more - a simple list of tips just won't do.
Each of these activities requires good judgment on your part as to whether a certain time and place is appropriate for a particular activity or not. That's why a short behavioural analysis is more effective than a list to help you determine good cell phone etiquette on your own. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering using your cell phone:
1. What are you doing?
2. What are the people around you doing?
3. Will you be interacting with the people around you in any way? (hint: if the answer is yes, then let good manners prevail)
4. Will your activity disturb the people around you in any way? (hint: see the hint above)
5. What is the importance of the call compared to the first four issues?
One example where people tend not to use good judgment is when driving. The answers to these questions in a driving situation suggest that your safety and the safety of the people in other cars are more important than a phone call; it's certainly more important than a text or a game.
You might not want to turn the phone off while driving, but certainly if you receive a call that needs to be handled right then, it would be good judgment to pull over to the side of the road or find a parking lot to complete the conversation. Hands-free use is great, but it's not your hands that are trying to concentrate on busy traffic and the big merger all at the same time.
And what about the business lunch where you are expecting an important call regarding a huge sale? You have a couple of different ways you can handle the situation. You could turn your phone off, but that's not particularly polite to the person who might be using their lunchtime to get this important information to you. You could answer the call and discuss the entire deal for the rest of the hour, but that's not going to be polite to your lunch companions.
Answering the above questions suggests that good manners would dictate letting the others know at the start of lunch that you are expecting a very important call. Apologise to them beforehand and let them know that if you do get the call during lunch, you will keep it short. Thank them for their understanding. Put your phone on vibrate, and if the call does come through, excuse yourself and step away or even outside to keep disruption of their meeting to a minimum.
Good manners are a major component of good judgment. If you are in your office with the door closed, working on a presentation, perhaps listening to music with your headphones helps you produce more creative ideas. If that's true for you, then go for it and 'play that funky music!' However, sitting next to someone on the commuter train with music blasting so loud from the headphones that people sitting two rows back can 'name that tune' is not such a good idea!
Really, a list of rules won't help you be noticed for your good cell phone etiquette. Instead, learn to develop the best behaviour by keeping in mind the five questions. If the answers suggest you might be causing the people around you danger, irritation or embarrassment, put your phone away and help boost your good reputation.

                                                                                                                                              By : 
Shirley Taylor

The way to approaches to Managing an Overbearing, Conceited, and Arrogant Co-Worker

You can't escape the overbearing, conceited, and arrogant co-worker. We have at least one in every department. You can spot them from a mile away. They have every right answer, and they have a ridiculous desire to be the center of attention. In some cases, they have a certain skill or knowledge base that provides a level of uniqueness. Of course, they will talk non-stop about that ability because that makes them feel important.
Over the years, I have learned several approaches to working with overbearing fellow employees - and here they are:
Approach #1: Have a concrete agenda for meetings involving these individuals.
People who are pompous and dominating prefer meetings that have open agendas. They want to have the floor, and a non-existent set of discussion points allows them to control the meeting.
Therefore, you must have an agenda and assigned experts who are in charge of the particular topics. Of course, make sure you have hard start and end times to meetings. It's critical that everyone understands the ground rules for meetings.
Approach #2: Focus on the content provided by overbearing co-workers, and not their personality.
It is easy to lose focus on what is important when someone is showing-off. However, as professionals, we must look for the important information contained in the midst of the fluff. In other words, concentrate on what the individual is saying, and not on how they are communicating it.
"I've been working here for 10 years, and I have been able to maintain excellent standards because of the training I've taken. I produce excellent results because my skills are perfect for this position. The last guy who had this job was incompetent. It took someone like me to meet the quality standards required by the industry. I have no idea where this company would be without me in this position!"
This employee has a clear idea regarding industry expectations, and likely works in a department where others are contributing equally to meet the quality standards.
Instead of ignoring the conceited employee, think about what can be learned. He is likely following a process that can be replicated in a different department. Keeping an open-mind will improve the lessons learned process.
Approach #3: Avoid complaining about the overbearing employee.
If this person has any longevity in the company, it's highly probable the leadership team has him on the radar. For that reason, it's best to avoid lodging a complaint. If you do, you are no different that the other countless victims who have gone before you.
The best approach is to show how you are working with Mr. Arrogant. In fact, your ability to lead people, especially those who are difficult to manage, make you an effective leader. In essence, the overbearing co-worker has provided you with the opportunity to differentiate yourself from others.
The lesson here is that working with overbearing, conceited, and arrogant people is part of doing business. For you to climb the corporate ladder, it's imperative to develop the leadership skills to ensure everyone is moving to the same target, regardless of their personality types.
Dr. Jimmie Flores,PhD,PMP,ITIL,SSBB,SPHR,GPHR is a seasoned organizational development and continuous improvement professional with 20 years of experience. In 2006, he founded the Flores Consulting Group, a company based in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Flores is also an expert in project management, ITIL, Six Sigma, Entrepreneurship, and Sports Officiating.
                                                                                                                              By : Jimmie Flores