Assessing Workplace Conflict

Assessing Workplace Conflict
There can be many types of conflict in the workplace. Work groups, teams, or departments may disagree about the best way to proceed. Employees may disagree about decisions management or their supervisors have made. There can also be conflict between two employees about a project or option. Sometimes conflicts occur because there is a lack of information or data. Other times, conflict results from a lack of resources, and the conflict becomes a zero-sum game. If one side wins, the other side ... Read more
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Honesty is Always Best When Applying for a Job

Honesty is Always Best When Applying for a Job
We all have strengths, and we all have areas in which we are less competent. Usually, these equal out. We eventually hone our strengths with the goal of becoming a recognized expert in several areas. Sometimes, however, when job seeking and wanting to present the best possible application, we may over rate our competency level in some area. For example, did your two semesters of college French really result in your being “fluent in French?” Could you actually design a ... Read more
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Avoiding Negative Optics

Avoiding Negative Optics
Recently, President Trump arrived 20 minutes late for a Gender Equality Advisory Committee meeting at the G7 Summit in Quebec. His entrance was disruptive and rude, and it was documented in news reports around the world. The optics were especially negative. Think back to a recent meeting at your workplace. Was anyone late? Were you late? If so, what optic did your lateness provide for others? A few possible scenarios include: 1. You were viewed as someone who thinks she is self-important. ... Read more
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What’s Your Hurry?

What’s Your Hurry?
“What’s your hurry?” “You have plenty of time to get ahead in your career.” “Take some time for fun.” “Why would you change jobs when you can coast in the one you have?” “Don’t be so competitive.” “Stop pushing yourself so hard.” Perhaps friends and relatives have made statements like those above  to you. Perhaps they are well meaning and they do feel like you are working too much. Or, perhaps they ... Read more
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Would You Promote You?

Would You Promote You?
Most promotions are not automatic, and, generally, a variety of factors enter into the decision making process. Sometimes there are annual quotas such as the number of open positions for tenure decisions at a university. Sometimes a business is quite small, and there is a very short career ladder. Other jobs, like many in government, require a certain score on a civil service exam in order to be promoted. And, it is a reality that not all promotions are fair. For example, a family member of ... Read more
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Are you Managing Your Career?

Are you Managing Your Career?
Remember how you felt at the start, when you were looking for your first job? All you wanted was a toehold, a way in, a chance. But it felt like everyone else had control of your future. I got my first job out of college because I could type. And yes, I was taken aback when the hiring manager later told me the reason she interviewed me. Typing wasn’t supposed to be what got me a job—my BA in Spanish was supposed to be wildly appealing to the Pan American Health Organization! Years later, I ... Read more
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Would You Hire You?

Would You Hire You?
Most employees hope to move up the career ladder to become a supervisor, manager, or administrator—in short, a boss. When that move occurs, you may be in a position to hire your own staff, or, at least, contribute to the hiring process. Finding and employing good staff is a significant undertaking. Sometimes you are successful; sometimes not. What would your boss say, if after your first year, you were able to ask her if she still thinks her decision to bring you on-board was a good one? ... Read more
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The New Job Didn’t Work Out: Now What?

The New Job Didn’t Work Out: Now What?
For weeks you have been in the running for a new job. Things looked positive. You completed two or three interviews and you made the short list. There were a few negatives, but as the process moved forward, you tended to overlook that long commute or the fact that you would be back in a carrel rather than an office. There was a momentum that seemed to signify you would soon be moving on. Psychologically, you began to envision yourself in the new job. At the same time, you mentally ... Read more
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Complaining at Work

Complaining at Work
During your career, you will probably experience some unfairness, some nepotism, and some favoritism. You will see employees who are considered “the golden girl or boy,” and others who are labeled negatively. It is hard to know what or how to do something about these situations. Note that I am not talking about issues like sexual misconduct or discrimination. Those are so serious that they require action with the help of your boss or human resource department. Instead, I am ... Read more
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Risk Taking is Worth the Risk

Risk Taking is Worth the Risk
When was the last time you put yourself in a situation where you could fail? I don’t mean playing a game of tennis or playing a fun game of poker online. I’m talking about a potential failure with actual consequences. Maybe you’re thinking that you’re not interested in risk, that you like to “play it safe,” that you don’t want to “rock the boat.” Yes, you have heard the self-help advice about the importance of risk-taking. You’ve ... Read more
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