Workplace Wisdom

21 Jul 2015

How to Keep From Drowning in Your Own Thoughts

Are you stuck somewhere inside your head, talking to yourself about things you want to change? Are you stressing over how stalled you feel, or fixating on why the situation is so awful? No wonder you can’t sleep at night and feel fretful all day! Why not get some benefit out of your worries and doubts? Move them out of your head, where they’re scrambling like countless little hamsters on a squeaky hamster wheel. Externalize them so you can use […]

28 Apr 2015

The Benefit of the Benefit of the Doubt

I hate to be in default or in the wrong, or to create a problem for someone. So I was quite distressed when I was scolded by a client’s administrator — not someone I usually work with — for being unresponsive and not sending in some materials. Is Anything Really Wrong? My first internal reaction was defensive justification: “Of course I sent it in!” My second internal reaction was doubt: “Oh my! What if I didn’t send it in! What […]

21 Jan 2014

How to Close the Curtain on Employee Drama

How can you keep yourself from getting hooked by employee drama — especially if you’re a hero type who naturally likes riding to the rescue? It’s particularly difficult if dealing with an urgent or incendiary employee situation feels like a higher priority than much of your “regular” work — and if its urgency creates a sense of vitality and engagement for everyone involved. What would happen if you just stop joining in and playing your part in the show? Will […]

25 Mar 2013

How to Manage Your Own Emotional Data on the Job

Emotions in the workplace: You may not like them, but they’re there, all right, and you can’t just wish them away. “Feelings and emotions” reminds me of those “ring around the collar” ads for Wisk back in the ’70s: “You’ve tried soaking them out and scrubbing them out, and still you get” feelings and emotions, feelings and emotions! They’re messy, and can become permanent if you don’t deal with them skillfully. And yet emotions can give you truly pertinent, useful […]

08 Jan 2013

Can You See How Much You’ve Accomplished?

New Year’s resolutions often don’t work (see How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution Any Time of Year) because we get a little distracted, lose focus, lack persistence, or slack off. Sometimes we let events or other people’s needs get in the way.

21 Sep 2010

Shift Your Perspective to See Where You Are

A client’s customer service group was very upset about how dissatisfied some of their customers were with their company. One of the reps spoke quite negatively about how terrible their products were, because “everyone was unhappy with them.” After a little research, it turned out that “everyone” wasn’t unhappy, not even everyone who was calling for customer service. When we reviewed the statistics, and the rep saw how tiny the percentage of actual complaints was compared with the large number […]


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