Monthly Archive for September, 2006

My Dog Ate The File Last Night

I recently posted a blog about liars and cheaters at work. Since then I have come across another study that claims to shed more light on what people lie about.

One out of five of all workers report telling a lie at least once a week. Here are their favorite fibs:

20%–I don’t know how that happened.
16%–I have another call to take or I’ll call you right back.
10%–I’ve been out of town or out sick.
10%–I like your outfit or you look great.
8%–I didn’t get your e-mail, voicemail or fax.

Let’ see what you think.

How do these stats square with your own experience? Do these kinds of lies really make a difference in your work and the results of your employer?

What do you do when you “catch” a co-worker (including your boss) in one of these kinds of fibs?

Here’s to your success!


Learn To Trust Your Gut

Do you trust your gut reactions when it comes to making decisions? (Career Tip: You must if you want to achieve career success.)

You may call it intuition, hunch, imagination or sixth sense. Whatever, until you are ready to depend on that “quick and ready insight” (Webster’s definition) that empowers you to make decisions based on “just knowing” beyond hard facts and figures, you will not function at full speed on your career path.

Albert Einstein believed that his theory of relativity was the result of a flash of intuitive insight, not the data-based research in his laboratory. “The really valuable factor was intuition,” he declared.

Dr. Jonas Salk, the creator of anti-polio vaccine, said, “It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely upon it. It’s my partner.”

How Decisions Are Made

Brains are made up of two hemispheres. The left side is the part where logical, sequential, rational and verbal processes take place. The right side is the place where imaginative, artistic and creative activities are conducted. The best decisions are made when both sides are hitting on all cylinders.

It’s far simpler and more comfortable to understand and rely on the process of gathering facts. But facts can take us only so far in the total process. If we are to make good, solid decisions we also have to rely on intuition. It is there that the facts we have gathered are rolled around in our mind, bounced off our sub-conscious storehouse of all we have experienced, felt and known (aka our universal information matrix).

Then if we are cooking on all cylinders the mysterious intuition factor comes in a flash. Eureka! We see the decision. (Often, the first idea will turn out to be the best.) At that point, the logical side of our brain comes back into play to measure the soundness of our finding.

There are four steps involved in making good decision that lead to the rewards of career success:

1. Gather facts.
2. Let them stew or incubate in our intuition tank.
3. Feel the Eureka insight of a decision.
4. Verify the decision.

Discipline, Faith and Courage Required

Career Tip: Good decision-making requires discipline, faith and courage.

Fact gathering has to come to an end at some point. Otherwise, there will be paralysis by analysis. Discipline is required because going back time and time again for more data is a cozy way to put off decisions and action.

We must have faith that our intuitive powers are real and powerful. It takes courage to believe in our intuitions. We often have to go against the tide and withstand the ridicule of our associates. The left sphere of our brain, the seat of logic, will try to persuade us to deny our intuition. Logic always has the potential to smother intuition.

Believe, at the bottom line, that the power of intuition separates winners from also-rans in the competition for career success.

Mind Your Manners

I don’t know about you, but for me the telephone, as necessary as it is, it is often a source of irritation at work. And at home for that matter. Alex Bell’s invention is truly a marvel of technology. The problem is the people who use it.

A debt of gratitude is owed to The College of Business at the University of Missouri for their recently issued publication titled “Telephone Etiquette.” Working from their advice, here’s an edited version of the guidelines:

1. Be aware of your ‘voice impression’ (i.e. slow down, speak clearly, maintain volume and modulate your voice.) Listen to yourself on an answering machine.

2. ALWAYS identify yourself and your affiliation.

3. Respect the time of others. Always ask if the person you are calling has time to talk.

4. If you have to put someone on hold state how long the “hold” will be and stick to it. Never leave the call hanging in limbo. When you return to the line, say, “Thanks for waiting.”

5. When screening calls, ask, “Who is calling, please,” rather than “Who is this?”

6. Use these phrases: “One moment please”, “Yes”, “All right”, “She’s not available now,” “Good-bye.” DO NOT use: “Hang on,” “Yeah”, “Okey-doke,” and “Uh-dunno where he is”.

7. If you reach an answering machine, leave a message. Be succinct; explain whether you are returning a call or asking for a call back (be sure to leave a number, stated slowly and distinctly); and give the date and time.

8. If you get one of those damnable auto-voices that gives you a number of options, don’t smash the phone; grit your teeth, hang on. You either comply or see your call result in zero. If you finally reach a real, live human person remember chances are it’s not his fault. Be nice and follow points one through seven above.

The world of work would be much more efficient and pleasant if we would all take heed of the advice.

Share with other bloggers you pet complaints about lack of telephone etiquette and suggestions for better manners.

I wish you success!