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4 Etiquette Tips For Your Tech At Work

Having your smartphone at work can make any day go by a little faster, right? From a quick check of Facebook to exchanging messages with a loved one, it allows you to stay connected to your life while you’re covered in professional misery. Having your tech at work can cause you problems, however, if you aren’t following professional etiquette expectations, so here are 4 tips to help you stay out of trouble as you work for the weekend:

1. Keep your device silent. There’s nothing more annoying for a co-worker than to hear the constant beeping and buzzing of a phone. The noise interrupts thought patterns and let’s faces it – you get unwanted attention if it’s constantly going off. That alerts your boss and you don’t want to have that conversation! Besides – if you’re talking with someone, do you really want to have to silence your phone in the middle of a conversation?

2. Don’t text your co-workers. Being old enough to remember when texting didn’t exist, I can say that having texts available at work for quick messages from home is invaluable. Your co-workers, however, deserve the respect of a phone call when you need information from them. Not only is this the fastest way to get a question answered [because who knows when that text might be received], a text is still considered informal and impersonal.

3. Keep your conversations to the background. In the movie Office Space, the words from the woman across the cubicle hall still rings in my ears: “Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking… just a moment.” No one is saying that you shouldn’t be having a conversation with someone [unless company policy says not to do so], but be polite about it. Keep your voice down and offer your co-workers the same respect you’d want if the roles were reversed. If nothing else, take an early break and have the conversation somewhere besides your desk.

4. Eliminate your tech as a distraction. The primary problem that people have with their tech at work is that it becomes a distraction. It’s more fun to check your phone and play games than it is to actually get those reports out on time, right? Add in the social networking notifications that need to be checked, your personal e-mail account that needs to be checked, and those texts you might be receiving and a workday can quickly become unproductive.

When you treat your tech at work as a secondary thing to do after you get your work done, then you’ll find the highest levels of success with it. Follow these etiquette tips and you’ll be able to stay under the radar and that’s ultimately where we all want to be, right?

4 Tips For Brainstorming

One of the best ways to encourage creativity and generate new ideas from employees is to hold a brainstorming meeting.  In the process of brainstorming you should suspend any concerns about staying organized. The goal is to pour your thoughts onto paper without worrying about whether they make sense or how they fit together. Brainstorming is an essential part of good thinking, and it is also an essential part of coming to good decisions.

Brainstorming is a great way to come up with a lot of ideas that you would not be able to generate by just sitting down with a pen and paper. The intention of brainstorming is to leverage the collective thinking of the group, by engaging with each other, listening, and building on other ideas. Below are 4 tips for brainstorming.

1. Try to come up with several ideas at once. The nature of brainstorming is that new ideas expand upon other ideas that have already thought up. This combination helps the brain process complex strategies and structures, allowing you to develop an idea that is interesting, in-depth, and very valuable. Don’t be afraid of a bad idea, but don’t settle for just one good idea either. Always keep going!

2. Set aside dedicated time every day for idea development. One of the most difficult tasks that someone can place on themselves is to force an idea out in a certain amount of time. Instead of setting deadlines for yourself, set aside a portion of each day so that you can brainstorm ideas either by yourself or with people you trust.

3. Capture everything about an idea. Having an overarching idea is a good thing, but it won’t mean anything if you don’t put in the specific content that helps to develop that idea. These fine details are easy to forget, so don’t rely on your memory – use white boards, Post-It notes, napkins, the back of your hand – anything you can find to make sure a good concept doesn’t just float away.

4. Look for diversity to help brainstorm new ideas. There are four basic communication types which people have: dominators, informationalists, controllers, and supporters. Each type of person will approach an idea from a different perspective and offer unique implementation ideas on an overarching thought. If you can pull all four types of people into a brainstorming session, you’ll certainly come up with lots of good, implementable ideas!

How You Can Survive a Frustrating Boss

Having a problem with your boss consistently can make for a very frustrating professional environment. If you’re always butting heads, then going to work is no longer fun. The alarm clock goes off and you basically drag yourself through your morning routine because you dread stepping foot inside the office, right? The good news is that you don’t have to look for a new job… yet. Here are some ways that you can survive a frustrating boss:

Find where your problem really lies. There’s a number of different reasons why you and your boss could be having issues. Some common ones are:

  • creative differences
  • personality conflicts
  • different professional expectations

If you can determine what your problem actually is, then you can begin to work on the differences that you’re really having with your boss. It is impossible to move forward with any repair until you can determine exactly what it is that is making you so frustrated!

Determine realistic solutions to the problem. The only person that you can change is yourself. Going into your boss’s office and expecting them to change is an unrealistic goal that will only lead to failure! Look instead at what you can do to improve the environment. That might mean adjusting your own expectations or making an effort to understand why your boss is doing things the way they are. With greater understanding of the situation and proactive efforts at finding a solution, even the most difficult bosses can become more bearable.

Make an effort to talk it out. Having a productive conversation means being honest about how you feel, but doing so in a non-threatening way. Remember: you’re looking for a solution to the issue that you have – not to create more issues! Communication is a two-way street and it is often a communication issue that creates high levels of frustration. By making more of an effort at having productive, useful communication, the more likely you’ll create a better work environment.

If nothing seems to work Sometimes it is just an unfortunate fact of life that people are incompatible. If you’ve made an effort to resolve your differences with your boss without success, then it may be time to bring in a third party. That could be the boss of your boss, a human resources manager, or someone else on an equal or greater management level. Together you can have a meeting where both sides can talk about their frustrations in a safe environment.

If having a third party involved doesn’t work to settle your differences, then it might be time to find a new position under a new boss. Remember that a professional frustration is really just feedback in disguise. Is it feedback regarding your job performance? If not, then chances are the issue your boss has that may be frustrating you isn’t really about you. Realizing that fact can often be enough to relieve  a lot of frustration!

How To Become An Expert In Your Field

People gravitate towards people who have the most knowledge within their field. It’s just simple common sense, right? If you’ve got a problem, you want the smartest person you can find to be able to help you find a solution that works. You don’t have to be a genius to be able to become a niche expert – you’ve just got to be willing to put in the work to truly understand your niche. When you can do that, you can provide a better value to people and that’s ultimately what people want: value.

Are you looking to become a niche expert in your field? Then you don’t need a doctoral degree and a bunch of initials after your name. Just follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to being seen as a world expert in your niche.

Tip #1: Start With a Higher Level of Discipline

It takes nearly 2,000 reading hours for someone to attain a doctoral agree. That equates to about one hour of reading per day about your particular subject. Increasing your knowledge base is critical to becoming a niche expert, which means you’ve got to do research! Putting time into your busy day to read will help you accomplish this. Even if you can’t set aside a full one-hour block, you could try setting aside four 15 minute blocks.

Tip #2: Make Learning a Habit

It takes about three weeks of doing the same thing every day in order to make an action become a habit. Whatever blocks of time you set aside to read, research, and study, make sure that you are setting aside the same blocks of time every day. This will help to develop your reading time as a habit! After the first couple weeks of doing this, it will actually become harder for a few days to make the time to study. If you can push through during the tough choices, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a niche expert.

Tip #3: Allow Yourself To Succeed

One of the biggest factors that prevent personal success is a personal viewpoint that has already pre-determined that there won’t be any success whatsoever! When people don’t feel like they can succeed, that viewpoint becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, even if that person has the skills and opportunity to find success!

Don’t let negative self-talk affect you as you work toward becoming a niche expert. It’s not about your intelligence: it’s about your inner strength and willpower. You must have the will to succeed! If you can maintain that strength, you’ll become a niche expert – plain and simple.

Are You Ready To Get Started?

All it takes to become a niche expert is a level of dedication and focus toward the goal of learning more about your chosen field than anyone else. If you’re willing to put in the work and can make positive decisions toward meeting your goal of becoming an expert, then you’ll be able to find that success you want. It might seem easy to do on paper… but unless you can drive yourself toward that goal, it’s much, much harder than people think.

Work hard, study hard, and you’ll find success!

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