Shut the door! Geez!!

I sat next to a group of cacophonous card players on the train this morning.  I have nothing against people socializing on a long commute, but they were shouting and laughing at FULL volume, as if there were no one else on that car working or sleeping.  I asked myself (as I plugged in my noise-cancelling…

The heartbeat of a meeting

Have you ever attended a formal meeting or special event and wondered “why all the rules?”  There are so many traditions, customs and parliamentary procedures… there’s no way to keep track or live up to all of them.  And you may think “why bother?”  Why not just wing it? I’m sure you’ve had to sit…

The key to influence

We had an interesting presentation about influence at work recently.  One of our executives led us through an exercise where each of us had to sell a “magic” pen to the person sitting next to us.  It was a compressed timeframe and the pressure was on.  Afterwards, she asked which person talked the most in…

Wow that sucks

How do you tell someone when their work needs improvement?  We’ve all been there… one of our co-workers or bosses (or children) brings us something for review and it’s just not good.  Ideally the person knows they need help and readily accepts your critique.  What happens when the person really believes it’s up to snuff,…

Believing in ghosts

Another good friend from work just announced she was leaving for a new job.  When you work in a large company, change is inevitable. The more people in your company, the higher the odds are that your work friends will move into other positions inside or outside the company.  But it’s still a shock to…

The value of humiliation

When interviewed about the secret to American Idol’s success, Simon Cowell replied, “It’s all about the humiliation.”  He is of course referring to the early audition trainwrecks they invite in to sing for the judges, knowing full well they will be laughed at.  We used to get Paula Abdul mitigating the pain for these delusional…