Surviving in an Open Office Space

The lure of cost savings and the promise of increased collaboration have led many organizations to move to open office spaces. These fields of desks are fantastic unless you're an introvert (you prefer to concentrate and have privacy) or an extrovert (you're easily distracted)... Given that almost everyone struggles with making an open office work, here a few tips.

What Do I Do When I Hate My Colleague?

Is there someone you have to deal with at work, at school, or in your community whom you hate? Those powerful emotions are creating undue stress for you and wreaking havoc on your ability to get things done. Use this approach to rebuild your relationship, or at least to reduce the negative impact it has on you.

Are You Resisting Change?

Change is everywhere today. We are abandoning the old ways of doing things in support of the new. But when change comes to your workplace, your school, and even your home, how do you respond. Take this simple quiz and see if you are resisting change. Then use the three quick tips to start dealing with your resistance right away.

Good People Do Bad Things in the Afternoon

We can all relate to times when our energy gets low and we give in to temptation. But new research suggests that the risks can be greater than eating the odd cookie. It turns out that people are significantly less moral as their energy flags late in the day. Read about how to manage this afternoon integrity-dip on your team.

Ten Back Pocket Phrases to Disarm Conflict

Keeping your team focused on high performance means staying open to the ideas and perspectives of your teammates. On the good days, that might come easily. But on the bad days, keep these handy phrases close at hand and use them to signal that you're ready to listen. The result will be forward progress instead of time wasted fighting about who's right and wrong.

The Value of Saying I'm Sorry

You could probably improve your relationships by more frequently taking responsibility and saying sorry when you do something wrong. But did you know that you can also contribute to healthier relationships by saying sorry when you have no fault whatsoever?

Are You Being Defensive?

Some people use the phrase "feedback is a gift," but we all know that it can be the hardest gift to receive. Reacting defensively to feedback gives people the perception that you're insecure, closed-minded, and overly emotional. Take this quiz and see if defensiveness is something you need to get under control.

How to Say Something Nice

The world needs a little more kindness and gratitude. One way to contribute is to stop being shy with positive feedback. Here are five steps that will have you sharing the love at your office, throughout your school, and in your community. When given with skill, your positive feedback will be treasured for a long time to come.

Is Your Vulnerability Making Others Uncomfortable?

The era of feigned perfection and impermeability is ending, but just as unwillingness to show vulnerability negatively affected teams, so too does the over-expression of vulnerability. It is critical to get this balance right: too little vulnerability makes you distant and aloof, too much makes you pitiful and ineffective. Here's the happy medium.

Don't Let Your Voice Be Silenced by Your Boss

Hierarchical management styles aren't necessarily the most effective in an innovation economy. Unfortunately, we still have many old style, dominant team leaders floating around. New research shows that team members have the chance to undue the damaging effects of a dominant leader.

Quiz: Are You Making These Promotion Killing Mistakes?

Have you been passed up for promotion or told you just don't "have it?" You could be sending the wrong message about your potential with these 12 behaviors that make you look junior. Take the quiz and see if you need to spruce up your image.

Is Gossip Your Guilty Pleasure?

Admit it, you gossip. It's not something you're proud of, but it's just so tempting, right? And what are you to do if someone starts gossiping to you? That's not your fault…or is it? Gossip is an ugly and unproductive behavior that affects relationships at work, at school, and at home. Here are some great techniques for redirecting gossip into something more productive.

More Guilt, Less Shame

Failure is unpleasant but can also be a great source of learning and a strong motivator or future success. The difference between failure that debilitates us and failure that emboldens us might be whether we feel guilt or shame. Find out the benefits of guilt and how to use guilt to make your team better.

Insulting Your Colleagues Without Saying a Word?

Smart phones have made many things in our lives better. Unfortunately, they have also done serious damage to our ability to connect with one another. We use our phones to text and check email in situations where it sends a very negative message—a message that we would never send intentionally or directly. Here's what you need to do to quit your bad habit.

Quiz: Are You the Victim on Your Team?

One of the most damaging roles you can play on your team is that of victim. Take this quick quiz to see if feeling wronged is getting in the way of contributing to your team. Then use these three strategies to start standing up for yourself.

3 Resolutions if You Want a Promotion This Year

If you are hoping for a promotion this year, there are a three important questions to ask yourself. 1. Am I secure and adding value in my current role? 2. Am I holding on to work that is below me? 3. Am I demonstrating that I can move up? Resolve to make yourself an attractive candidate for promotion this year by reflecting on these three questions.

Will You Be Turned On Over Christmas?

Many people I know have never turned off their cell phones. But this holiday season, think about the cost to your team and your family of staying connected to work. Some time away can make you a better contributor and give your brain some time to make new connections and think novel thoughts. Time really invested in your family sends the right message about what matters.

8 Tips to Survive Your Office Holiday Party

The holidays are supposed to by joyous but several prickly situations can make the holidays a difficult time at work. In this second post in the series, I unwrap the do's and don'ts of the office holiday party. When handled well, the holiday party can be a great chance to strengthen relationships and make lasting memories with your coworkers.

To Give or Not to Give? Unwrapping Issues of Gifts at Work

The holiday season is supposed to be joyous but a variety of prickly situations arise when the holidays come to the workplace. This three part series helps you unwrap the challenges of the holidays at work. In this first article, how to handle the delicate situation of gift giving at the office.

A Magic Trick to Increase Your Credibility

Credibility is essential when you want to influence others at work, at home, and in your community. Unfortunately, once you need something from someone, it's too late to repair a damaged reputation. You'll be surprised how one simple conversation can work wonders in building your credibility.

Letter to Those Who Don't Put Their Mug in the Dishwasher

Teamwork requires all of us to follow a few simple guidelines for communal harmony. The important issues revolve around communication, trust, and productive conflict. But if we can't even demonstrate a basic level of self-sufficiency, then trust and conflict are far beyond our reach. Do you agree? Is there someone in your office who's violating basic tenets of teamwork?

Happy No-vember: 10 Things to Say "No" to This Month

It's too easy to let tasks build up and slow you down. It's "No"vember and a great excuse to say "no" to to some of the activities that have gotten a little out of control in our lives. Here is a list of 10 that you can start with.

Can I Be Happy at Work if I Don't Like My Teammates?

Although you can be productive, engaged, and successful at work without liking your teammates, it's pretty difficult to be happy. The good news is that it's possible to radically change the way you view your teammates and even to start liking someone you dislike today. These 5 simple steps will help you like your teammates more and increase your happiness at work.

Only You Can Turn a Mountain into a Mole Hill

When bad things happen to our favorite people, the temptation is to minimize them or play them down to help our friend feel better. New research shows that this is more likely to hinder than to help. It turns out we have to make our mountains into mole hills ourselves. Here's what you can do to be helpful.

4 Tips to Overcome Your Conflict Avoidance Issue

Most people think that good team players are nice and work hard to get along. Unfortunately, biting your tongue and holding back to avoid rocking the boat can be a path to a passive-aggressive and dysfunctional team. Get your issues out in the open with these constructive, practical tips that even the most conflict-averse person can feel comfortable with.

Spread Too Thin: 4 Secrets of Reducing Your Workload

Too many people think that being a good team player means saying "yes" to every request that comes along. In fact, over-committing and diluting our efforts puts undue pressure on our teams and ourselves. Learn these four techniques and stop stretching yourself beyond your limits.

Are You Drowning Out Minority Voices?

Too many teams shut down dissenting voices and lose the value of diverse perspectives. It's critical that you use your role when you're in the majority to make space for those who think differently. Minority voices need your help to have impact on the team.

Overworked and Undercontributing?

Whether you're run ragged with out-of-whack work-life balance or just cynical about what you can contribute, you're probably not really giving it your all at work. Bring the benefit of your expertise, of course, but don't stop there. Your life experiences, your relationships, your talents and your personality are all required. Add your full value.

Time to Unpack Your Emotional Baggage

Relationships spiral downward when you misinterpret neutral information as negative because you don't like or trust someone. Getting a handle on your assumptions and unpacking your baggage will give you an opportunity to improve communication and reset relationships. You'll feel a lot better when you get rid of the dark cloud that's been hanging over you.

8 Bullies Who are Really Weaklings

Being on the receiving end of aggressive behavior can be unpleasant and intimidating. Often, that behavior is interpreted as a show of strength, when in reality it masks weakness. Here are 8 common office characters who you thought were strong but are actually wimps.