Archive for February, 2010

Pilfered Lunches Point to a Bigger Employee Problem

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

The Napkin, the Melon and the MonkeyStealing lunches from the office frig could be a symptom of a more serious problem — low employee engagement.

“Hunger does crazy things to you,” was the comment made by an employee interviewed on the Today Show segment, “Pains in the Office.” While physical hunger is one reason employees pilfer lunches, I suspect that employees who steal from each other have a different kind of hunger.

If your office is experiencing a rise in the number of stolen lunches, you are not alone. Recently several call center managers told me that they’re getting a lot more “stolen lunch” complaints. It’s no coincidence that these are the same managers who are plagued by low employee morale.

Low morale can have disastrous effects. When employees are dissatisfied and chronically unhappy they are less committed to delivering great customer service. Low employee engagement translates into sub-standard productivity, too many customer complaints, low customer satisfaction scores, negative turnover, and high operating costs.

If you have an employee morale problem, you have an employee engagement problem. Start by measuring engagement with a survey. I predict that one of the things you will learn from the survey results is that your employees yearn for a different, more personalized type of support from their immediate supervisor. When supervisors provide each employee with the right blend of coaching and mentoring, they feel more valued. When front-line employees feel valued, they make their customers feel valued.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2010

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Eating disorders affect five times as many people as schizophrenia, and twice as many people who have Alzheimer’s disease. And yet Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia …

Does Happiness Follow on Vacation?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Does Happiness Follow on Vacation?

One of the holy grails of modern psychology is figuring out what makes people happy. The thinking goes, “If we know what makes people happy, people can then do more of that thing and increase happiness in their own lives.” Makes sense.

We’ve noted previously how an experience — such as a vacation or going out to dinner — is more likely to increase happiness than buying a material gift. The reasoning behind this is that experiences create (hopefully fond) memories, which can be later recalled and enjoyed again. While you may also enjoy a gift, it just doesn’t seem to have the same impact that an experience does.

But research published last week demonstrates that this finding be more complicated than we originally thought.

On Being a New Therapist: Week 3

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

On Being a New Therapist: Week 3It’s the end of Week 3 of being a counselor, and my internal gas gauge is on “E,” with the “low fuel” light on. Usually, I am awake before my alarm goes off, but this morning, it woke me up, and I was none too happy to hear it. The marathon of classes, clinic and work continues.

My caseload is full now: I have six clients. It’s a lot to keep track of and a lot to think about. Each one presents different counseling challenges since each is in a difference place in his/her life. However, I am finding it easier to remember details about their lives than I thought it would be, and making connections between comments in previous sessions to what they are presenting when we are together is coming easily as well. I was concerned about the challenges of not having my own office and the “shuffle” that goes on between sessions that prevents me from taking a minute to settle and focus before greeting my client. The situation is far from ideal, but it isn’t as bad as I thought it might be.

The Gift of Anger

Sunday, February 21st, 2010
The Gift of Anger

An ancient saying states that just as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend to show rage or worthy purpose. What could this mean? Could anger be an emotion that reveals hidden truths about a person?

In her classic book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron elaborates on the ability of anger to disclose concealed aspects of a person’s direction and purpose in life. One needs to translate the message that anger is sending. It is trying to bring something to the light to be looked at and examined. Usually one tries to conceal or bury anger, feeling the social restraints and consequences. While sensitivity to not hurt others is valid, an individual’s feeling of anger needs private examination. Anger must not master us, but it can become a tool for self-revelation. It can be a guide or map to help us find our purpose in life and the hidden passions of our heart.

Ease of Use Trumps Security Every Time

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Ease of Use Trumps Security Every TimeIn my recent entry The Buzzkill of Google Buzz, I described how Google used their popular free email program, Gmail, to populate and spread an attempt at building a new social network overnight called “Google Buzz.” They did this by automatically adding people to your network from your contacts list (which is automatically built from anyone you email regularly).

The problem was that this exposed your contacts to one another, initially including even their email addresses (which you didn’t realize nor intend when you agreed to Google Buzz that first day it launched). And Google never asked your permission to add these people to your Buzz network.

It also shared your Google Reader documents, apparently. (I don’t use Google Reader, so I wasn’t aware of this component of the privacy invasion until later. Which only goes to show you how complex the Google network of interconnected services can come back to haunt you later on, in ways you never imagined.)

This creates all sorts of privacy problems not just for professionals, but for ordinary folks too. Imagine a new boyfriend learning that you correspond with someone from “” Information you were going to share in due time, but now suddenly exposed.

In the comments to that post, an interesting discussion ensued which I encourage you to read. It lays out all of the problems with what happened, the ramifications, and why professionals should never rely on a free email service for any kind of professional activity.

It got me to wondering about why people flock to free email services like Hotmail, Yahoo mail and Gmail, when they almost always have an email account provided by their Internet service provider that is likely less susceptible to these kinds of issues.

I can sum it up in three words — ease of use.

Seven Ways To Access Your Inner Cheerleader

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Seven Ways To Access Your Inner CheerleaderOne way to stave off the urge to procrastinate is to call motivating thoughts to mind early, before you have to panic. Think of some inspiring phrases or statements, write them on sticky notes, and put them in places where you are likely to go to procrastinate, such as on your TV or video game unit.

The idea is to activate your inner butt-kicker before your situation reaches a crisis level.


What Do Girls with ADHD Look Like As Adults?

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

What Do Girls with ADHD Look Like As Adults?We’ve long heard about the negative impact of attention …

The Buzzkill of Google Buzz

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The Buzzkill of Google BuzzGoogle Buzz is a new social networking tool that Google unleashed upon its unsuspecting …

Teens, Sunlight and Sleep

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Teens, Sunlight and SleepTwo new studies out this week demonstrate the importance of teens getting enough sunlight …

MindApps Releases eCBT Trauma

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

MindApps Releases eCBT TraumaWe’re pleased to announce that our partner MindApps has released a new iPhone/iPod Touch …

Focus on Georgia’s Mental Health Crisis

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Focus on Georgia's Mental Health CrisisFormer First Lady Rosalynn Carter will provide opening remarks for a discussion on the …

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