Industrial and Workplace Articles

Strategies for the Chronically Overworked

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Witnesses to Workplace Bullying More Apt to Consider Quitting Than VictimsThe following is an interview with Dr. Greg Marcus, founder of the Idolbuster Coaching Institute.

Q: Dr. Greg, I recently read your book, Busting Your Corporate Idol: How to Reconnect with Values & Regain Control of Your Life. I was impressed with how well you described the dysfunction behind the “company-first” identity, which so many corporations adhere to. Please share more about this, what you mean by corporate idolatry, and what people who work in these environments should be aware of.

A: In many companies, you are expected to be on call 24/7. This includes checking email and taking phone calls on vacation. In effect, people are asked to make the company a higher priority than whatever else is going on in their lives.

Ambush Firing: Is it Illegal?

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Ambush Firing: Is it Illegal?Large corporations have a strategy to get you fired once you’ve been bullied in the workplace. It’s transparent to anyone who cares to look, but the company would rather keep it a secret. It’s called “ambush firing.”

What happens first is the target gets bullied. It usually takes several months for him to notice he is being bullied.

The Cost & Solutions to Stress and Mental Illness in the Workplace: An Interview with Graeme Cowan

Friday, April 18th, 2014

The Cost & Solutions to Stress and Mental Illness in the Workplace: An Interview with Graeme CowanThe direct cost of depression to the United States in terms of lost time at work is estimated at 172 million days yearly. According to the World Health Organization, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada.

Australian Graeme Cowan, who experienced a horrific five-year mental breakdown, published a report on this topic called, “The Elephant in the Boardroom: Getting Mentally Fit For Work.”

Why Does the Boss Prefer the Bully to You?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Why Does the Boss Prefer the Bully to You?Bullying, it seems, pays off. Did you ever wonder why the bully gets away with it and even benefits with a promotion or other reward?

Your gut feeling is correct: the boss really does prefer the bully to you.

No wonder you hesitate in reporting workplace bullying. Not only is it unlikely you’ll get a fair hearing, but it could also incite retribution and even lead to the loss of your job.

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.

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