All Articles Tagged "workplace etiquette"
To Friend or Not To Friend? Guess Who Should Not Be Your Facebook Friend, According to A New Survey…
This probably is a no-brainer. But according to a new survey the one person you do not want to befriend on Facebook is your boss.
A survey of 722 people conducted by survey site SodaHead and anonymous feedback site YouTell, found that 81 percent say you should not be Facebook friends with your boss. But there was a gender gap; slightly more men than women said it was okay to friend your boss, and those aged 25 to 34 (who were college-age kids when Facebook debuted) were the most comfortable with the practice, reports the The Huffington Post. When asked if you should be friends with coworkers, a parallel survey found that 55 percent said yes it is a good idea, while 45 percent said no.
Why? Because you might not want your boss to see all of your personal photos, your social life, your comments. “People generally like to keep a professional distance at work, and when your boss and coworkers can see every photo taken of you in the past 5 years, things feel a lot more personal,” notes HuffPo. And imagine your boss checking out last night’s party picture when you called in sick today. It can have an adverse affect on your career or your working relationship with your boss.
And people have actually gotten fired for Facebook posts. According to HuffPo (and seriously, WTF?), a Swiss woman was fired from her insurance job in 2009 because she had told her boss that she couldn’t work at her computer and needed to lie down in the dark. When her boss saw that she had been active on Facebook, she was let go. She shouldn’t have been hired in the first place.
The issues of friending folks at work have even been dealt with my some state governments. According to HuffPo, a bill was passed by the Oregon House of Representatives that prohibits employers from forcing their workers to friend or “like” them on Facebook.
Even without an official “friending,” many bosses may be actively checking out your page, so it is best to make your information private and viewable only to friends.
A little subtlety can go a long way in the workplace. What with everyone vying to be heard, sometimes it’s best to lay back in the cut. It isn’t always the loudest voice that is heard, but the quietly persuasive one that wins the day. There is an art to getting your way or winning an argument without being pushy.
Here are nine suggestions to try next time you want your brilliant idea to get the go-ahead.
During a fundraiser in California yesterday, President Obama made reference to the state’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, saying:
“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake. She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general in the country.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the President has since apologized, calling Harris last night, according to the AP, to say he was sorry for “ the distraction his comment created” and he “did not want to diminish Harris’ professional accomplishments and abilities.” Thanks for acknowledging your error in judgment Mr. President.
I think President Obama is doing a great job, but he did indeed step in it with these comments. Women have a lot working against them in the workplace — a glass ceiling that halts their advance up the ladder, discrimination or outright sexism, being taken seriously. The President of the United States is a leader, and this President in particular has made equality between the sexes a big part of his policy initiatives and rhetoric. The President’s comments don’t help us to combat those workplace struggles.
In the case of Kamala Harris, The Washington Post says that she’s “a potential gubernatorial candidate.” If she wants to move forward with a political career, Harris needs to be seen as a person who can exact change, manage a tremendous — and tremendously troubled — state economy, the major social issues that the state is dealing with, and maintain the trust of constituents. Being seen as the lady that the President called good-looking doesn’t really help with that.
Attractive has nothing to do with strong, capable, smart, or strategic. In the end, it’s those qualities that that get a person to the top of their profession. Let’s be honest — pretty can help. But studies also show that it can work against women. Pretty can also be easily dismissed. Eye candy doesn’t necessarily get a seat at the table. And no one wants to be accused of getting by on their looks.
To the President’s point, when you take the focus off of a woman’s abilities and place it on her looks, you undermine all the work she’s done to be treated as a force to be reckoned with in the workplace. There are worse things to be called. And many beautiful women are also amazing at their jobs. But, in our society, it’s still way too easy for a woman’s leadership prowess to be dissed and dismissed. It would be best to keep these sorts of superficial compliments to ourselves and focus on the work at hand.
It’s a tough economy, so everyone who has a job is trying to hold on to it. (At least until they can find something better.) Business Insider has outlined “three types of people you should fire right away” and at the top of the list is, naturally, the person who doesn’t give a hoot about the job. That’s a no-brainer.
Number two is what the writer calls “all effort, no results.” This is an unfortunate situation. “They are totally sincere, but incapable (or no longer capable) of doing the job that needs to get done,” says Business Insider.
Alternatively, when someone is trying but failing, there could be something else going on that has nothing to do with the employee. For instance, if you’re in sales where hard numbers are all that matter, poor results could be the result of a territory or business category that isn’t a good fit for the company. If you’re selling coats and your territory is Southern California, you’ve been set up for failure. In that case, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open with managers and executives. When you sense that things are going south, share ideas for turning things around. In that case, you may even have the opportunity to create a new and enjoyable opportunity for yourself.
The final type is the “poor fit.” This is the person whose style or manner of working isn’t in keeping with the way the business operates. Most people, sensing that they’re in the wrong environment, will usually seek out a new job rather than wait around to get fired. If you’re in a job where you get the feeling everyone knows what time it is and you’re consistently an hour late, it’s likely a cultural problem. And this is not to be taken lightly. We spend 40-plus hours with our colleagues each week. No one wants to be around someone they don’t get along with, can’t work with, or seems awkward and out of place. It’s important to go with your gut and get out while the gettings good if necessary.
Another person that we would add to the list of those who will get the heave-ho: the person with the attitude problem. This person comes to work with an attitude, grumbles while they eat their lunch, and then mumbles a harsh “good-bye” on their way out the door in the evening. All of this for seemingly no reason. Again, no one wants to work with someone they don’t like. Moreover, if a person isn’t happy, the company is of the mind that that person isn’t really doing their best. You don’t have to walk around with a silly grin on your face, but you can’t be perpetually angry either.
And finally, there’s the person who has memorized their job description and follows it to the letter. This person won’t do anything that isn’t outlined on the HR document they signed the day they accepted their position. If they do, it’s only after a long and difficult conversation in which they’ve been told that no one else is available to take care of this task.
The problem with this attitude, especially now, is that companies are working with smaller staffs. Positions are being eliminated, severe cuts are being made. It’s a given that workers are being called upon to do more because there are fewer hands. In the end, these added tasks are the things you add to the list you bring in to your manager when you’re ready to ask for a promotion or a raise. If it’s gets out of hand and you feel you’re being taken advantage of, start sending out your resume.
What other type of worker would you add to this list?
Disrespecting the support staff. This is the first of seven “deadly sins” outlined by BlackEnterprise.com in the first installment of their “7 Deadly Sins” series, which will tackle the “mistakes, blunders and snafus” committed in the office, across industries.
In this first feature, the site looks at the common mistakes made by young employees.
“Some of the most powerful people in the office will be administrative assistants and secretaries because they have been there for a while and they can help prevent you from making mistakes,” says Calvin Harris Jr., president of Harvin Consulting L.L.C.
Also on the list: pride. Doing the “grunt work” is part of the process of working your way up. “Thou shall not be too arrogant to pay your dues,” the article says.
For the entire list, visit BlackEnterprise.com.
These days office environments are increasingly casual, with employees coming to work in jeans and flip flops or even shorts. But although the culture may be changing, there are still some general behaviors that can still be seen as unacceptable, such as the hug.
“You usually don’t see in the code of conduct, ‘No hugging,’” Pamela Eyring, the president of The Protocol School of Washington, said to MSNBC. Her organization offers business etiquette training. “So it makes the lines very blurred.”
Although there may be some confusion, office etiquette experts everywhere agree that in general an arms-off policy is recommended. Even still, most people have given or received an unwanted hug in the office, and it usually results in some awkward moments.
“Most of us don’t want that intimacy with our co-workers,” Jim Webber said to MSNBC. Webber is the author of the advice blog Evil Skippy at Work and also provides workplace training on preventing harassment. “We have to be with them 40 hours a week. We don’t want to hug them, too,” he said.
So what should you do if you are the giver or receiver of an awkward office hug? Sometimes the best response is simply to act as if it didn’t happen. The uncomfortable feeling usually fades away with time or perhaps the person didn’t realize just how awkward the hug really was. If playing it off doesn’t work, then try to address it jokingly.
“A self-deprecating confession can make a world of difference,” Webber said. Carol Miaskoff, the assistant legal counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission advises that the best policy to avoid awkward hugs is to let your co-workers know upfront how you feel about hugs.
“A clear dividing line is if someone says, ‘Don’t hug me,’” she said.
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Behind The Click: Tara Roberts, Co-Founder of GirlTank
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: Wedding Photographer Amber Knowles on Building Her Studio
- How CARA B Naturally’s Founders Launched A Natural Skin & Hair Care Company For Ethnic Children
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: Meet The Women Behind The Groupon of Black Hair, The Fly Cut
- Do Black Designers Skip Over Black Models to Gain White Customers?
- How She Made It: Alia Jones-Harvey, Producer of A Streetcar Named Desire
Who doesn’t enjoy the occasional surprise of homemade cookies or cake in the office? It’s a nice, sweet gesture from one colleague to the office for all to enjoy. But according to a Forbes article, it’s possible that for women wanting to establish a solid professional image in the workplace, bringing this sweet treat to share with the office may be a bad idea for your image.
“It’s certainly an overt gesture,” Ellen Lubin-Sherman, New York-based business coach said to Forbes. “Baking cookies or bringing in treats does nothing but demonstrate your femininity. It sends mixed messages about your performance and can do serious damage to your reputation and gravitas. The next thing you know, you’ll be donning an apron.”
Most people who bring in treats for the office simply thought they were being nice and friendly. Perhaps they had hopes of bonding with their fellow employees or wanted to celebrate a colleague’s birthday in a special way. But Lubin-Sherman firmly asserts that bringing in baked goods can quickly be associated with motherhood and domestic duties, and that is not an image most of us want to portray in the workplace.
“If I saw my doctor in her office and we were talking through a difficult medical problem and she offered me a brownie she had baked, I would be very, very nervous,” she said. “I want my doctor to be reading medical journals on the weekend—not baking. She, and all women who want to be taken seriously in the workplace, should keep her baking to herself.”
Offering baked goods to a patient or a client may not be the best move, but office treats for employees is another matter. Linda Henman, president of executive strategy firm Henman Performance Group, tells Forbes that the days when women must hide their homemaking skills are over.
“I think that the notion that woman have to worry about gender questions like this is absolute nonsense,” she said. “Modern companies care about one question and one question only: can you deliver results?”
Nastiness is far too common these days. There’s the woman who works in the cafeteria at your job who routinely rolls her eyes when you ask politely for extra napkins. The co-worker who hasn’t spoken a word to you since you got a promotion that he was hoping to covet. The neighbor who doesn’t seem to be able to get past the time you sent his pizza delivery back to the shop when the driver rang your doorbell by mistake. However, you may be able to soften even some of the most abrasive personalities by a little bit of kindness and a bit more savvy. Check out our tips for diffusing touchy situations with less-than-kind folks and perhaps you’ll find your days going by a little smoother.
5. “Get over it.”- When someone on a work team has a problem with a work issue, and a colleague or supervisor uses this phrase, it devalues the complainant’s feelings, yes.