Part of success language is getting along with people in your workplace (or other location where you work or volunteer with people). A question was posed in one of the e-groups to which I belong and the following list is a compilation of the responses to the question, "What bugs you in your workplace?" The learning point from this is to avoid doing or being the things on this list.
Workplace Pet Peeves
(Actual responses to the question, "What bugs you at work? What is your workplace pet peeve?")
"My workplace pet peeve is people who don't begin work until the afternoon and then wants to consume your evening "catching" up on what happened during the morning."
"It's the loud talker, but specifically with personal issues. I am sympathetic to challenges people have, but take your cell phone (which should be set to vibrate, especially if you're in a cubicle) and go somewhere private – for both of us! "You" really don't want "me" or anyone else knowing your bank business, credit concerns, health issues, holiday plans at your sister-in-law's house or other things we must take care of (briefly) during the business day. Further to the loud talkers…minute-by-minute weather updates at the sign of the first flake or drop, etc. Arghhh!"
"People who use fingernail clippers at work. 'Nough said."
"Mine may be a little out there, but my all-time worst pet peeve is people clipping their fingernails at the office."
"And to add to that – starting a new job and finding all those nail clippings in the little spaces in the lap drawer!!!!!! AAAACK!"
"…gum snapper, copier jammer, napper (sleeper) and the orally fixated folk who have this profound need to make animal noises with each chew they take!"
"It makes me crazy when people chew pens and then leave them around for others to pick up without realizing it has been chewed until it's too late."
"My pet peeve is when a 1 hour staff meeting goes into overtime because everyone just spent the first 1/2 hour talking about personal stuff."
"Copy machine jammers who walk away and leave mess for next user."
"Filing fingernails, picking at skin, clipping finger nails, eating while talking on the phone."
"FLIP-FLOPS! Hate 'em. Flop, flop, flop walking. Ugly toes."
(Sylvia's note, with humor: I couldn't tell whether it was just the flip flops that were the pet peeve or whether the ugly toes were, also. LOL!)
"A manager would come to my desk – this is unbelievable – open a paper clip, clean his ears, and leave the [dang] clip on my desk."
Make sure YOU are missing from the "pet peeve" list for YOUR colleagues!
The top 5 personal qualities/skills employers seek are:
- Communication skills (verbal and written)
- Strong work ethic
- Teamwork skills (works well with others)
- Analytical skills
Students' top criteria for choosing an employer are:
- Opportunity for advancement
- Job security
- Quality of employer's benefit package
- Friendly co-workers
- Location of the job
The top 10 employer benefits important to graduates are:
- Medical insurance
- Annual salary increases
- 401(k) retirement plan
- Dental insurance
- Life insurance
- Family-friendly benefits
- Tuition reimbursement
- Pension plan
It pays to attend – and graduate from – college (with statistics that compare salaries and job opportunities).
Answer: The National Association of Colleges and Employers
Learn much, much more at: (NACE's Job Outlook 2009 Survey; 2008 Graduating Student & Alumni Survey)
Meetings and Conventions Magazine (MCMag.com) gives the following tips for picking up where others leave off after layoffs and reorganizations:
- Clarify expectations when you inherit responsibilities from a former colleague. Have your boss provide you with a detailed job description for the work you pick up.
- Share accountability by bringing your boss into the loop. Do this frequently. Ask for constructive feedback while making them aware of issues that arise. Frequent communications also helps to keep you both jointly responsible for those issues.
- Stick to your previous routines, especially at work. When you are stressed by working longer hours due to the additional workload you "inherit", you compromise your mental and physical health. When you don't take care of yourself, you cannot take care of your work responsibilities.
- Think like your manager. Show you have initiative and are difficult to replace by suggesting ways to more-efficiently do business…then do it. Put what you suggest in writing. You may need your notes for future performance reviews.
"Do more with less" is a mantra used frequently in the workplace. Follow these tips and you just may be able to do so.
This is a Lunchtime Seminar interview with Sylvia Henderson (featured guest) and Sandra Ruiz, substituting as host for Greg Williams ("The Master Negotiator" and Founder of the "Lunch and Learn" Internet broadcasts). In this interview (approx. 28 minutes) Sylvia explains her "Success Language" program and talks about her book "Why You Talk So White? Eliminate the Behaviors that Sabotage Your Success".
When I started my own business and became an independent writer, speaker, and business consultant, I thought my days of boring, unproductive meetings were over. "Never again!", I said to myself as I sat in my last few meetings before my "corporate re-organization" resulted in my becoming independent. Was I wrong! Only now, I usually have little control over the meetings I attend as I attend them as a potential speaker or contractor, there to make a good impression on my hoped-for future client. I cannot – outright, anyway – tell a client how to run his or her meeting without serious jeopardy to their considering me for my fee and services.
And so I use this forum to communicate tips I give in my workshops on running productive meetings. My hope is that you, the readers of this forum, are my future clients and that YOUR meetings – when we do meet to work out my services and fees – are the most motivating, interesting, and productive meetings I will have the privilege of attending.
How to Have Productive Meetings
- Ask yourself if the meeting is really necessary. Do you need a face-to-face meeting? Would a better solution be a phone call, e-mail, or conference call?
- Invite as few people as possible. Only have the necessary participants attend.
- Have a written agenda with clear objectives.
- Make sure the agenda is circulated far enough in advance so that those who will attend can review the agenda and prepare for the meeting. Note time frames assigned for each item in the agenda.
- Be timely. Start and finish the meeting on time (or earlier). Respect your and everyone else's time.
- Select someone other than yourself to serve as the scribe.
At the beginning of the meeting either ask for a volunteer or select a trusted participant. This person monitors the timing and takes appropriate notes. You have to concentrate on fulfilling the purpose of the meeting.
- If the meeting is longer than one hour – which it should not be – allow everyone a stand-up-and-stretch break.
- Ask everyone to turn off mobile phones and other wireless devices. People have been known to survive without their devices for an hour and live to tell about it afterwards!
- Circulate the meeting minutes and action items within 2-to-3 days of the meeting. Make sure the action items have responsible people and "by when" dates noted for each.
And finally … avoid calling meetings unless you absolutely must.
The following are FREE resources with articles, downloads, advice, humor, tips, and links to additional resources (some free; some fee) to help you host and run great meetings. I list these not to endorse specific products or manufacturers. I use these resources myself for the information they provide rather than any products or services they may promote. (Please…if you find any of these no longer active, let me know so I can delete them.)
- www.effectivemeetings.com – articles, downloads, advice. (Sponsored by InFocus, the projector people.)
- www.despair.com/meetings.html – humorous cards and other "anti-success" tongue-in-cheek products. (You need a sense of irony to enjoy the humor at this site.)
- www.3m.com/product/information/Meeting-Network.html – articles, advice, products. (Sponsored by 3M Corp.)
- www.fastcompany.com/online/02/meetings.html – article on seven sins and salvations of meetings. (From FastCompany magazine.
- www.managementhelp.org/grp_skll/meetings/meetings.htm – text resource (no ads) on how to run effective meetings.
- Amazon.com – tons of books on running effective meetings and planning meetings and events. Search for "meetings" and you get more than you can possibly sort through.
- http://beginnersguide.com/management/meeting-facilitation/ – short articles on facilitating effective meetings.
- Suite101.com, About.com, SelfGrowth.com, and HR.com – searchable libraries of articles on any topic you wish. For this listing, search "meetings", "effective meetings", and "meeting resources" for a plethora (do people even use this word?) of information.
Now you can politely hint to others to refer to this resource when they are responsible for meetings that YOU have to attend.
A resource for developing language skills – Wordsmith.Org.
This site has the following resources:
- A.Word.A.Day: The Newsletter (discover the magic of words)
- Wordlovers' Library Project (free books for libraries worldwide)
- Internet Anagram Server (find the wisdom of anagrams)
- Wordsmith Chat (live chat with authors, lexicographers, thinkers, and more)
- The Wordserver (lookup services via email)
- Listat (a statistical tool for mailing lists)
What wonderful tools for improving upon YOUR language for success!
(Sylvia's "No Advertising/Marketing" blog policy: As always, the resources I recommend I so do because I've found them, used them, or someone I know and trust has done so. I accept no marketing or advertising on this blog.)
Ever receive a gift and hate what you received, yet the gift-giver is in front of you watching you open it?
Ever have to respond to seeing someone else's newborn baby whom you think isn't so cute?
Ever receive a comment from someone that you would rather not have received?
Another list to which I belong began a string of words/phrases we can use for the awkward situations in which we find ourselves. How many of these have YOU used? LOL!
Original word and "urban definition" that started this list: "Interesting "
(adj) Something which arouses no interest at all. Used to politely avoid admitting this, which indirectly expresses your indifference. Example: "Yes, your bottle cap collection is INTERESTING."
Contributions to the list from group members:
- Open a gift that you find absolutely horrid, yet the gift giver is there watching you open it: "Oh, this is…pause…USEFUL." (Unspoken message: Useful to someone but not to you!) S.H.
- Receiving not-so-positive feedback from someone whom you know gives not-go-nice feedback to anyone, any time: "Well, thank you for SHARING." (Unspoken message: …but I could have lived without you doing so.) S.H.
- Observing someone doing something outrageous and inappropriate: "My! THAT was SOMETHING." (Unspoken message: But I don't know what that something is.) S.H.
- "My Aunt would, upon seeing many newborns, children or grandchildren of friends, usually said 'Now THAT's a baby!' It said it all." J.E.
- And there's the story that has gone around for years about Southern women who say "Bless your heart", and what they really mean. J.E.
- And on the Southern note, another saying is "Isn't that NICE!" That says it all, too. G.N.
- As in "How NICE for you!communication, speech, say, embarrassed, sorry" When I say that it means I either think what they are doing is really lame or I am having an attack by the green-eyed monster!!! D.D.
End note: Here's a link to a nice article written by one of my speaker colleagues about whether to confront someone or not, and what to say when you'd rather not say anything.
"Green Jello: Principles of Conflict Resolution". Author – Sarita Maybin. Look under "Resources" for this signature story by Sarita.
Heavy odors that follow a person around – whether overly sweet or noxious – are a concern in the tight confines of an indoor workplace. Many conditions can contribute to odors – cultural, smoking, hygiene, illness, and "freshening up", to name a few. How to approach and address someone for whom trailing odors are a reality? Wow! A tricky situation to address.
Talking to someone about unpleasant odors risks hurting feelings, yet also provides the chance for the "offender" to remedy the situation. The full workplace article with tips on how to handle this situation is HERE at The Washington Post – Jobs site.
Article Title: "10 Tips for Building Resiliency"
Related Topic: Perseverance
Discover how to bounce back from, and successfully adapt to, life's setbacks and adversities with tips and suggestions from the American Psychological Association in this article.
Why is it that you can say the same thing as your colleague, yet your colleague gets a positive response and you receive a less-positive one? It could be that the words you use reflect a less-than-positive expectation or outcome. Incorporate positive words into your messages when you communicate.
What are positive words? They are words that "feel" good, reflect a can-do expectation, and imply a belief that it is possible to achieve what is to be achieved. Examples of positive words include: can instead of cannot; do instead of do not; when will you instead of would you; we expect instead of we would like.
Use positive words in your letters, proposals, contracts, e-mail, and when you speak. They plant subliminal messages to the reader or listener that "no" is unacceptable and that you expect results. Positively!
Bonus: Here is a list of positive words you can use in your communications.