AT THE OFFICE: Readers step up, provide additional ideas and leads
Once again, it's time to turn the spotlight over to the readers for a little feedback. In response to my column about veterans returning to the workforce, one reader recommends "The Wounded Warrior Handbook," which offers "a well-organized checkl...
Once again, it's time to turn the spotlight over to the readers for a little feedback.
In response to my column about veterans returning to the workforce, one reader recommends "The Wounded Warrior Handbook," which offers "a well-organized checklist of do's and don'ts for veterans, their families and friends and for others who want to understand their problems and challenges and to help them." The value of this book extends beyond health and injury-related issues to broader aspects of reintegrating into civilian life.
To provide support for people who have lost their passion for their work, one reader, now retired, reminded himself about the many others who depended on him for their livelihood. Realizing this interdependence, he writes, "was the thought that kept me going at times when I really wanted to give up."
Your client asked you to hire a relative? This is not a good client, says one reader, who notes that the client is completely out of line for requesting this favor. When you're thinking about asking a professional associate for a personal favor, think hard about the implications and the position you put that person in.
Creative and analytical can go together well, but it can take some work Try moving your body: "A simple way to begin is marching in place, touching the opposite knee each time it comes up. This cross-crawl motion activates both sides of your brain." Another reader, Dr. Berenice Bleedorn, provides excellent resources about creative thinking on her Web site, www.creativityforce.com , including an article on the messages for the workplace from improvisational jazz. Bleedorn suggests balancing "leadership and followership to give everyone a chance to 'solo,'" trusting intuition, and being playful -- lightening up and thinking smart simultaneously.
When it comes to firing employees, emotions run high, including cautions about "thinking twice about perhaps permanently ruining this person's life." It is a big decision to terminate an employee, especially in a tight job market, and not one where one should be cavalier. However, if an employee doesn't take the opportunity to step up and improve performance, it can be a disservice to other employees to let it slide.
Are you a less-than-compelling speaker? Have a hard time holding an audience? Several readers mention Toastmasters and the value that it brings. The method includes practice in front of a group, positive reinforcement and constructive feedback. Building your emotional intelligence also will help you read your audience better and be more attuned to their signals. One reader suggests setting very specific goals for building emotional intelligence with expected outcomes in order to achieve the best result.
For workers who cut corners, in addition to focusing on the employee's behavior, one reader reminds me that an excessive workload may explain the behavior. She notes that, "in today's world of 'doing more with less,' cutting corners is a good way to get the project 80 percent right and move on." Managers who are noticing the corner-cutting should also re-examine their expectations to be sure they are realistic.
Thanks, readers, and keep your ideas coming.