Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Time Management Class Part 5: Other Employees/Friends dropping by the office

In todays Time Management Class Part 5, you’ll learn 5 Ways to limit your interrupted times through employees or friends dropping by your office.

Most of us know the feeling: You are just getting settled in the office, you start working on your project and finally you are completely focused and productive when - another employee drops by to start chatting. No matter if it is a Manager, Friend or Colleague who’s disrupting your focus, it’s frustrating and destructive to your Day. So what do if someone drops by your offce? Here are 5 Ways to take back control when someone comes to you to start a conversation:

1. Get out of your chair and stand up. When you stand up and move in your workplace, it looks like you were just about to head out and the visitor wont feel enticed to sit down and begin longer conversations.

2. When a person comes by, lead them out of your office to get Water, Coffee or Paper from the Printer. Then while they hang out when you get the Water for example, wrap up the conversation and say “I guess I better get back to work”, leaving the person at the kitchen or office supplies for example.
Get used to saying “Thanks so much for coming by, but I have to get back to work now.” 

3.  Keep saying “I got to go back to work” and you will notice people reacting to this statement.

4.  Whenever you drop by someone elses office, ask “Is this a good time for you or should I come back later?” and by insisting on asking, you will notice individuals start doing the same to you. Help others to ask you “Is this a good time for you or should I come back later?” Then you can be honest to state that you are in the middle of a project.

5. Take the visitor by the arm under the pretense to head out of the office and show them some information. Any information could be useful, such as a new Memo or Company Announcement. Then wrap the conversation up, leaving the person at the information board to get back to work.

Some of this advice is geared towards taking Visitors out of your office. The reason for this is that a lot of time is lost through people who stop by your work area to stay for extended conversation. Be creative when you use those solutions.You’ll notice as soon as you make it less comfortable for people to stick around, you’ll save several hours a week and you have more uninterrupted time to be focused. Also don’t be afraid to let people know when you need to concentrate or work alone. As long as you intend to be friendly and polite about it, people will understand the request.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

What’s up with all the Bullying here?

 I was 8 years old the first time I was bullied. Our school director was the primary teacher of our class and because of my silent introverted nature and my immigrant parents, he chose me in the class to call Sleeping Pill or solely by my last name, making jokes and comments daily for three years. I can remember being bullied for shyness, oversized clothing, my mothers czech name, dandruff, not being aware of labels or simply being too eager or caring for classmates.  


Bullying is one of the most discussed subjects in educational institutions and on the workplace of the 21st century. Public figures such as Oprah, Lady Gaga, Deepak Chopra and many more have been on the forefront of the fight against bullying - a phenomenon often called epidemic in today’s western culture. Cities in New Jersey, California and Minnesota even issue Anti-bullying laws.

But what is Bullying really? And when do conflicts become Bully attacks? Is it really such a new concept in human Nature?

Through research, studies and experiences I have come to the conclusion that bullying is neither a new phenomenon nor a result of our western Society. There are two separate bullying concepts, each one based on a different instinct. One of the concepts refers to the bully who acts like a predator, searching out a weaker individual and attacking it. The second concept refers to bullies who want to be part of the peer group, therefore putting down anyone who could take that option away from them.  The first concept being active, the second one more so passive in satisfying the instinct.

1st Concept: The Predator Bully
The Predator Bully refers to the person who searches out a weaker Individual to actively attack. Sometimes several Predator Bullies come together to collectively attack the weaker One. This instinct can be observed in the Nature on wild Dogs, attacking the weaker Dog until he either steps up and acquires the necessary strength or dies. Almost an evolutionary Way to let the strongest survive and force the weaker animals to increase their strength. The Predator Bully follows similar instincts in attacking the weaker Bullee until he either acquires the necessary strength and confidence or leaves the group.

2nd Concept: Peer Group Bully
The Peer Group Bullies follow the Instinct of avoiding their greatest Fear - being left out of their Peer Group. One of the greatest human Fears is that of being left out of society, unwanted and alone. This is why we are given emotions such as Shame, in order to remain coherent with our group, doing what is necessary to be in the Peer Group. The Peer Group Bully sees unpopular individuals as a threat to his or her status. In order to differentiate themselves from the unpopular people, they either take actions such as putting them down or limit the contact. Peer Group Bullies can act unconsciously, not being aware of the damage they cause.

So what do with bullying?
The advice I keep giving to individuals who struggle remains unpopular with most. I keep insisting that the outcome relies in my opinion with the Bullee. The possibilities in changing Bullys are limited, since Group Dynamics and Instincts are often much stronger than the awareness of Ethics and Empathy. The reason many Bullees face bullying similar challenges over and over again connects often back to the Bullee Self-Concept. Individuals who are bullied change their Self-Concept, either to the Self-Concept of being the one overcoming the Challenge, or being the Victim controlled by the Circumstances. This is the main explanation why overcoming Bullying often relies on the Bullee. It is crucial to overcome the initial emotions of Self-Pity, Fear and Powerlessness to move to a place where actions can be taken and Confidence acquired. Just like many others I experienced much hurt and shame through Bullying, but nothing ever changed about my situation until I changed the way I saw myself. I have seen the same happen to Adults and Children over and over again, turning their self-concept around, becoming in control of their environment and group interaction. It remains a work on learning how to establish boundaries, letting go of old stories to develop the necessary confidence and the healthy self-concept of feeling some sort of achievement in life - even if this achievement is unconnected to the School or Work place.