Industrial and Workplace Articles

3 Lessons from Making Mistakes at Work

Monday, April 14th, 2014

3 Lessons from Making Mistakes at WorkWe regularly hear that making mistakes is key to learning, innovating and succeeding. But how often do you hear people actually discussing the details of their mistakes?

That’s what inspired Jessica Bacal to interview women about their biggest blunders. As she writes in Mistakes I Made At Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong, “… [O]ver the years, I’d seen too many women waxing rhapsodic about the ‘value of learning from mistakes,’ without actually describing any, to find that platitude helpful.”

In the book, women from a variety of fields, including medical, arts and finance, share in their own words the vital lessons they’ve learned from their errors — because, as Bacal says, “There’s power in talking about our mistakes and failures.”

Below are three lessons from Mistakes I Made At Work.

Is it Good to Be Bad in the Workplace?

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Is it Good to Be Bad in the Workplace?In recent years there has been a growing examination of the dark side of personality. Researchers have begun to appreciate the role played by socially undesirable traits.

In fact, recent research has taken an interesting slant, examining the way in which dark traits actually can be advantageous. The book Snakes in Suits is an excellent example. It argues that psychopathy can in fact help executives get ahead by making them ruthless, charming and impulsive. Indeed, we have previously discussed how agreeableness can be a hindrance in business.

How to Get Over Impostor Syndrome

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

How to Get Over Impostor SyndromeImpostor syndrome is a sneaking feeling that you’re a fake, according to Melody Wilding, LMSW, a therapist who works with young professionals and business owners.

You dismiss your achievements and successes as the result of timing, luck or anything else that’s beyond your control, she said.

You worry that others will find out you’re a fraud, an impostor, who’s not smart, capable, good, interesting or talented enough. You’re convinced that you’re unworthy of an accomplishment, accolade or position. You fear that any minute all your “faking” will be found out.

Peer Support, Peer Problems

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Peer Support, Peer ProblemsFor Steve Harrington, president of the National Association of Peer Supporters, the loss of a relationship triggered a deep depression with psychotic features, resulting in hospitalization.

For Leah Harris, communications and development coordinator for the National Empowerment Center, it was her parents dying young from a combination of mental illness and the “toxic effect of overmedication and broken spirits,” and then her own treatment for mental illness during her youth.

They and other advocates describe years of languishing in traditional treatment settings until the peer support movement, with its emphasis on recovery and wellness, showed them another way.

Judgment, Low Expectations and Mindfulness

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Judgment, Low Expectations and MindfulnessCertainly, the people closest to you want what’s best for you. They want you to be safe, secure, and, if possible, happy. Sometimes they want these things for us even more than we want them for ourselves. This is loving, caring, and compassionate. And it can be a burden that holds us back from our true potential.

After a year of not working due to the difficulties of my bipolar disorder, I abandoned hope of returning to the executive ranks I had belonged to. I took a job in human services, supporting people with developmental disabilities. It was challenging, rewarding, and important work. It paid very little.

I was back in the workforce and establishing my independence just as I was 40 and back living with my parents. My passion for business and economics became hobbies, stuff I read about, and I lowered my expectations of what I could accomplish. So did the people around me.

Work with the Flow of Life for Business Success

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Work with the Flow of Life for Business SuccessThere is one secret to abundant business prosperity that only a handful of successful companies throughout the world seem to know. It is this: Human beings are hardwired to be social, interconnected beings. Enduring success in business depends entirely on working with the flow of human life rather than against it.

Too many corporations operate from a fundamental and deep-seated fear of lack, which turns them into forceful, resource-grabbing militaristic machines that leave workers deeply disconnected and discontented.

How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to Success

Monday, March 24th, 2014

How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to SuccessSuccess isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. But many of us make the mistake of believing it is. We may compare our lives to others. We may worry we don’t measure up.

We may strive for material things at the expense of what’s truly meaningful. We may be unsure of what success looks like in our lives.

Natasha Lindor, a coach who helps professionals have a successful career while working less and living more, defines success as “feelings of joy, happiness, gratitude, peace and soul-satisfaction that you experience throughout the process of reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself.”

She helps clients get clear on what’s important for them, why it’s important and how they want to incorporate those values into their lives.

Below, Lindor, founder of The AND Factor, shared three obstacles that sabotage success and how you can overcome them.

Why Positive Affirmations Don’t Work

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Why Positive Affirmations Don't WorkControl your thoughts and you create your reality. A positive mindset begets positive end results.

These popular tenets are espoused by the likes of Louise Hay, Napoleon Hill, Anthony Robbins and countless other self-help gurus. The problem is, they don’t actually work.

Consider the last time you really wanted something to happen… It could be a dream job, an ideal relationship or even a parking space in the city.

The 5 Negative Types of People I Have Met on My Recovery Journey

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

The 5 Negative Types of People I Have Met on My Recovery JourneyI have read countless books on self-actualization, self-realization and spiritual awareness. I have done hundreds of hours of yoga, pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation. I have worked with therapists, energy workers, acupuncturists and a million body workers. All of this has been helpful, even critical, to my recovery.

One of the primary spiritual premises I have heard is that the universe will give me exactly what I need. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

In my early years of recovery, I thought that had something to do with the physical world. Of course, as a trauma survivor, it was pretty hard to believe. Actually, I didn’t believe it. Or at least, I didn’t believe it applied to me.

7 Tips for Setting Boundaries At Work

Monday, March 10th, 2014

7 Tips for Setting Boundaries At WorkMany of us spend the majority of our days at work. That work also can bleed into our life at home. So creating boundaries around our workplace is critical.

It also shows your boss, clients and colleagues that you have a backbone, said Melody Wilding, LMSW, a therapist who works with young professionals and business owners.

When you respect your personal boundaries, others typically will, too. Remember that “you teach people how to treat you.”

But creating boundaries at work can get tricky because there’s the real worry of being demoted or fired. Yet with clear communication, practice and preparation it can be done.

5 Difficult Workplace Types & How to Get Them to Cooperate

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

5 Difficult Workplace Types & How to Get Them to CooperateThe workplace is filled with difficult personalities — bullies, know-it-alls, rumor mongers… Our fallback reaction when faced with problem people at work is to either assert ourselves or walk swiftly in the other direction.

But there’s a middle ground, a way of communicating that’s more effective, because it’s not rigid or oppositional. It’s about being fluid, surrendering to your intuition, and letting go of your need to push back or control the outcome. Your ability to go with the flow is really important when dealing with difficult people.

In my new book Ecstasy of Surrender, I describe five difficult workplace types and some communication strategies for each type.

Self-Protection in a Bully-Prone Workplace

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Self-Protection in a Bully-Prone WorkplaceIf you are looking for a new job, or have just started one, it pays to read the signs of a bully-prone workplace early so that you can take adequate steps to protect yourself against bullying before it happens.

Conservatively, one in three workers have experienced bullying and one in two have witnessed it. You are likely either to be on the receiving end of bullying, or watch a colleague being bullied at some point.

So what are some of the common signs of a bully-prone workplace?

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