Overheard in the Metro October 17, 2011Posted by solutionsbconsultants in Accountability, Business Improvement, human resources, Improving Personnel Performance.
Tags: anger, behavior, change, confront, tension, workplace
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I was riding in the metro this evening and the conversation of the two guys standing next to me went something like this, “Can you believe how ______ treated our co-worker this morning?” “Oh, that’s nothing, he/she laid into ______ the other day for absolutely no reason” “I guess that’s why they call him/her ‘The Viper’.” “Well, you know he/she has always been like this, even to some of the Vice-Presidents…..”
We all have (or have had) someone like this in our workplace. A source of constant tension and poison that degrades performance and negatively impacts the company’s culture. Yet, no one chooses to do or say anything. Why?
Being me, I asked the guys, “Why has this been allowed to go on”. One of the fellows said, “Well, he/she has been with the company a long time and everyone is scared of him/her.”
Sure, confronting this person would not be at the top of anyone’s list (nor recommended), but you have a duty to yourself and your company to try and figure the problem out. And it doesn’t have to be confrontational. Sometimes people like this have worked themselves in a rut and don’t know how to extricate themselves. Changing their behavior is going to require you to be friendly, accommodating, and genuine. You will need to invest significant time trying to develop a relationship with them. Even if they berate you, stand tall, be professional and work through the anger. In the long run, everyone will benefit and you may develop an ally.
Steve Jobs – What I learned October 6, 2011Posted by solutionsbconsultants in Business Improvement, Customer Service, human resources, Improving Personnel Performance, Internet, Marketing.
Tags: apple, istevejobs, jobs, seth godin, steve jobs, think different
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Steve Jobs passed away on October 5th, 2011. It’s hard even writing this fact down – the loss is so profound. I remember when I was in training at Apple in 2002, Steve came into the Apple Café and the Director of our program freaked out, warning us NOT to go up to him or talk to him. So we all, myself included, passed on speaking to the fellow who has revolutionized and changed our life.
Crazy isn’t it?
I am an Apple. Having been on the platform since the Apple II (and I may still have it somewhere), I have taken a lot of grief from the naysayers. The detractors said: its a toy, no IT department would adopt it, you could buy three PC’s for the price of one Macintosh, it doesn’t run any good software, blah blah blah. Now look at Apple’s market share and even more importantly, the charged-up, ecstatic, crazy customers that love everything Apple.
It is sad that many people will just get it today that Apple is and will always be something special. Born from a dream by someone who was a college dropout and described as directionless, Steve pursued his dream with fellow entrepreneur, Steve Wozniac. Steve didn’t make computers, he created tools that let us extend our current lifestyles and imagination. Seth Godin made a great point in his blog yesterday when he challenged all of us with the call to action, “What are we going to do with it?” The “It” is this wonderful tool that Steve and the other great folks at Apple have given us.
Now we just need to do like the Nike commercial and “Just do it”!
P.S. if Steve Jobs chose to invent the elevator, it would have a touch screen allowing you to deselect an incorrectly chosen floor AND the door open and close buttons would work! The iElevator would let you select relevant content about the building clients or local events thus helping passengers avoid those unnecessarily awkward elevator stares. The floor would have a small section that vibrates to sooth tired feet. You get the picture. Soon everyone would look forward to riding in an elevator again!
P.S.S. No, I am not an Apple snob – I have a PC and use it – mostly for Excel and VBA. If I were to liken it to a tool, I would call it an allen wrench – very good for very specific tasks. But I don’t carry an allen wrench with me all of the time….. I do, however, carry a MacBook, Ipad, and Iphone 24/7
How not to handle a people problem October 4, 2011Posted by solutionsbconsultants in Accountability, human resources, Improving Personnel Performance.
Tags: backstabbing, conversation, gossip, negative
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I spend significant time in Starbucks – love the coffee and the atmosphere. Occasionally, I meet someone who is just off the scale intelligent offering insight and wisdom. Today, wasn’t such a day and I believe you it is significant to speak about. Three folks came in and began a conversation right next to where i was sitting. #1 proceeded to bad mouth a slew of co-workers that he/she had. It appeared that #1 was a manager, quite intelligent in conversation and passionate about his/her work product. I was shocked that #1 spoke so openly about his/her co-workers in a negative manner and in a very public environment. #2 and #3 mostly listened to #1 as he/she droned on and on and on spewing negativity.
The point of this post is to encourage folks to discuss negative and positive issues directly with the person who is the causation of their pain OR not say anything at all and work around or through the problem. I cringed as I listened to #1 thinking why he/she would carry on in such a manner. Perhaps, he/she was unhappy in their career or felt threatened by his/her co-workers. Maybe it was just frustration – I have no way of knowing and I really wanted to ask #1 why? so I could gain some insight.
I hope you will think in advance (just as I will) before opening your mouth and speaking negatively about anyone. Ask yourself, what positive benefit is your conversation going to spark?