Monday, January 25, 2016

Why Am I Being Passed Over For Promotions?

Why Am I Being Passed Over For Promotions?
" Many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn't spend half our time wishing."
Alexander Woollcott
Most of us like to feel appreciated in our jobs and proud of our careers. But sometimes we hit a wall or a glass ceiling, and it seems as if nothing we do can change the situation - except suffer in silence, or go to another company.

The new job might seem like the best option, but it can also be a great deal more work. You will need to prove yourself all over again. You will also need to navigate successfully through a whole new set of relationships.

Are You Being Sabotaged by Others?

It is possible that others are sabotaging you because they want to get promoted themselves. Or your manager might want to keep you exactly where you are because you make the department so much more productive. They might see putting you in a managerial role as less important than you continuing to crank out projects at the speed of light.

Are You Sabotaging Yourself?

But there might be some things about yourself that are worth taking a look at and trying to change if you are showing any of them at work. In a recent survey of human resource managers, here were their top reasons for not wishing to promote a person:

* A negative or pessimistic attitude versus a can-do attitude
* Frequent lateness
* Using foul language
* Often leaving work early
* Taking too many sick days
* Gossiping around the office
* Spending office time on social media sites
* Not cleaning up after themselves but expecting others to do it
* Constantly talking about non-work topics in the office, such as sports
* Taking too many personal phone calls at work
* Taking too many or too long breaks
* Taking too many smoking breaks

If you know you are guilty of any of the items on this list, now is the time to nip these habits in the bud.

Are You Too Much of a People Pleaser?

But do not make the mistake of swinging to the other end of the spectrum and becoming a "people pleaser," otherwise known as a "yes man." This will not gain you any respect either, except possibly from a manager who thinks even their most half-baked idea is a stroke of genius.

It is possible to be positive and upbeat while also telling the truth and giving valuable feedback as needed. You might need to work on your confidence and perhaps even assertiveness so you are not so shy in meetings, but will speak up and have something worth paying attention to.

Are You Too Arrogant?

We've all heard the phrase, "There's no such thing as a stupid question." Yet many of us roll our eyes in disbelief at the "dumb" questions they think they hear at meetings, conferences and so on. Some of these questions will of course be the person opening their mouth trying to impress others with what they know. They might even totally disagree with the speaker and try to hijack the meeting. Needless to say, this is rude and very unprofessional.

However, most questions that are asked out loud in a public situation are asked because the person genuinely does not know the answer and wants to find out. Therefore, be respectful of all contributions no matter how trivial, in the same way that you would wish your questions to be treated.

Be approachable to all staff and they will soon ask you for help, which will put you on the radar as a person with leadership potential who is worth promoting.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Improve Your Relationships

Improve Your Relationships
"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." 
Oprah Winfrey

We Are All Guilty

We ALL do it. We are so busy and pressured to get everything done that we dash off an email without reading it through, checking the spelling, and so on. Or we make a comment, or what we think is a joke, in an email or on one of the social networks - only to find at the end of our plane flight that our boss has fired us. The young lady who made a racist tweet discovered to her cost that anything you say can and WILL be repeated or passed around online.

In this article, we will discuss some of the major trouble spots in online and offline communication, and how a few simple changes can lead to big results.

Email Relationships

One of the main issues with email is the lack of "tone" of voice that you would get from speaking to someone in person or on the phone. Email lacks the human touch. If you are working in a cubicle-based office where the people on your team are sitting right next to you but you always email, it might be time to get a bit chattier with them in the real world.

If what you need to discuss is something important that includes other people, by all means use email. Or, speak to them and then confirm via email what you understood to be the most important points and action steps.

Before hitting the SEND button, take the time to check over your email to be sure you are as clear as possible and that it is error-free. A good rule of thumb in any corporate communication is to never send an email you would be embarrassed to see posted online.

This is especially true of customer service replies. Customers are the lifeblood of most businesses. Unskillful replies can and do filter to the top of social networks all the time, perhaps tarnishing your reputation or that of your company forever.
One CEO made the mistake of emailing one employee he trusted that he would be offline for a couple of days to deal with some personal problems. When he returned, it was to his worst nightmare. Some of his "trusted employees" had stolen valuable assets, and a larger company was going after him in a hostile takeover bid.

Social Media Strategies 

In terms of social media and online discussions, only contribute the bare minimum and never venture any personal information that might be used against you in some way.

If you feel you have something really helpful to say to others, join in. But don't use the network as a soapbox to spout your own views. Every post or tweet should be about your customers, not you.

If you want to advance your career as an expert in your industry, don't try to prove it by boasting about your skills and accomplishments. Your expertise will speak for itself when you give intelligent response to a person's most pressing problems.

Finally, never "flame" anyone on a social network or discussion board, and do not respond in kind if you are. That would lower you to their level. The best thing is to ignore it. If you feel you can’t ignore the flame, simply say that everyone has their own perceptions. Remember, our relationships are as much about what we do as what we don’t do. Be courteous and polite to others and see what a difference it can make to all your business and online relationships.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Deal with People Who Sabotage You

How to Deal with People Who Sabotage You - Jeff Heiser
"Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick.  Don't lose faith." ~ Steve Jobs
It is the start of a new year and time for the resolutions for change to be made.  It is great to want to improve yourself in order to improve your relationships, but you might discover that you meet with resistance at every turn from people in your life. What should you do if you discover someone you care about is sabotaging you and putting obstacles in the way of you working towards a better self?

Deliberate or Unconscious

First, you need to determine if the sabotage is deliberate or unconscious on their part. They might just be a control freak, true, but they might not even realize what they are doing. For example, women often think that their romantic partners would love it if they slimmed down, or that their mother would be proud that they were getting healthier.

Instead, they are told, “You look fine just the way you are,” or “Go on, have a little. It’s your favorite.” This can be through habit, or it could be because the person sabotaging you is afraid of change. If you change for the better, what will happen to the relationship?

What if you drop 50 pounds and get down to a healthy weight, will you suddenly become so sexy that you will have a lot of other options apart from the person you are with? Or if your mother is a competitive kind of person, she might hate the thought of competing with her own daughter to be the center of attention.

No one is saying that these thoughts are logical, or even conscious. What we are saying is that if you feel anyone is holding you back from being your best self, it is time to make some smart decisions so you can make the changes that will improve your relationship with yourself first, and by extension with others.

Shun Those Who Sabotage You

This does not mean you have to give up the relationship completely. But while you are working to change yourself for the better, surround people who will be supportive of your efforts. Join an online support group, for instance. Get a workout partner. Tell your friends you want to avoid gaining weight at the holidays, and see if you can all come up with tasty low calorie or low carb recipes you can share.

Set Boundaries

Sticking with our weight loss example, it can be almost impossible to lose weight if the people you are living with have habits that will damage your chances of succeeding in making the changes you wish to. For instance, they might be buying fast food or snacks all the time and putting the food in front of you to eat.

In this case, set your boundaries the best ways you know how. Tell them not to eat it in front of you. Or, take that huge can of peanuts, look at the suggested serving size, and then use a kitchen scale and some plastic bags to divide it up into snack packs.

Be More Assertive

We’ve probably all encountered this situation: someone takes all the credit for the work we’ve done. There are a number of ways of handling this without seeming like a crybaby. You could casually offer all the supporting documentation that you used to draw up the report to whomever the thief was trying to impress. You could also ask them if they wanted your help explaining any of the details behind it. From these helpful offers, everyone will soon see who is the high-performing team player and who the sneak.

Being sabotaged in any relationship can be an unpleasant experience. But, it doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship if you set your boundaries and assert your right to live on your own terms, with your own goals and boundaries.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Have You Lost That Loving Feeling?

Have youlost that loving feeling?
"If you would be loved, love and be lovable."  ~ Benjamin Franklin
Whenever we hear the word relationship, we immediately think romance - such as boyfriend, girlfriend, partner or spouse.  There are of course many different kinds of relationships, but for many of us, romantic ones are at the top of the list.

However, all relationship change over time, for a number of reasons. How you handle that change can make all the difference between sizzle and fizzle.  


Teamwork may not sound very sexy, but it takes two people to make a relationship. And there are a lot of external factors and people that can damage it if we are not careful. For example, the number one cause of divorce is money problems. If you and your partner have been arguing about money recently, there are a number of positive steps you can take.

You can review your own spending habits by keeping track in a diary. You might be surprised at how much you are frittering away each day on coffee, lunches and so on. Then consider ways to cut back and still get what you need - such as investing in a good coffee maker and travel mug and brown-bagging four days a week, then treating yourself on the fifth.

You can review your budget with your partner. Collect all of the regular bills together and your pay stubs. Add up all your income in one column and all your expenses in another. You might be shocked at what you find.

Together, you can then work out a plan to get yourselves out of debt and stay out of debt. You can even start to save up for your family goals, such as a down payment on a house or a dream vacation.


It is tough to be romantic with one another when you are constantly worried about financials. And the word budget is about as sexy as the word diet. However, working together in this way can often lead to a much closer relationship through honesty, forging a real partnership.

The sad fact is that many people mislead or downright lie about themselves. Some partners get the shock of their lives when they apply for a mortgage and discover their partner has a terrible credit score or even a recent bankruptcy.

Why do people lie by commission, or omission? Often it's because they value the relationship and do not wish to lose it. However, this is like trying to build a house on quicksand.

Honesty really is the best policy in any romantic relationship. If you’ve been holding things back from your partner, you are withholding parts of yourself, and withholding is a barrier to true intimacy.

Is Intimacy Important to You Both?

A reality check with regard to your intimacy might be painful, but it can also save a marriage. Once the children come, romance often takes a back seat, causing the sizzle to fizzle. Luckily, there are a number of ways to tend the spark to keep the flames burning regularly.

For example, no matter how tough things might be, try to schedule a regular date night and stick to it. Arrange for child care, even if it is only for a few hours, to reconnect with your spouse.

Avoid emotional infidelity, which can lead to physical infidelity if you are not careful. Treat your spouse like the most important person in your life rather than seek out others you might think you have more in common with.

When a romantic relationship hits the rocks, it can seem as if it is impossible to salvage. But truth, honesty and reminding yourself about all the reasons you fell in love with that person and the best qualities they possess, can improve your relationship and keep it on the right course in future.