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Articles on this Page
- 09/30/15--09:38: _How to know when yo...
- 10/03/15--12:05: _What to do if you f...
- 10/03/15--13:15: _'Million Dollar Lis...
- 10/04/15--10:43: _Unorthodox question...
- 10/06/15--03:14: _What 'Shark Tank' c...
- 10/06/15--08:59: _Office politics aff...
- 10/06/15--10:05: _25 simple things to...
- 10/07/15--10:05: _Research shows that...
- 10/07/15--13:45: _Here are the 5 thin...
- 10/09/15--09:40: _12 facts about Walt...
- 10/09/15--10:05: _The best jobs for e...
- 10/09/15--12:33: _6 ways to win at of...
- 10/09/15--13:22: _How I kept my cool ...
- 10/10/15--08:07: _How to tell if your...
- 10/13/15--05:47: _5 LinkedIn mistakes...
- 10/13/15--11:30: _Beware of this snea...
- 10/14/15--07:14: _Nasty Gal founder S...
- 10/15/15--12:05: _A Wharton professor...
- 10/15/15--13:27: _8 phrases that kill...
- 10/16/15--07:45: _6 strategies for ge...
- 09/30/15--09:38: How to know when you should ignore your boss
- 10/06/15--03:14: What 'Shark Tank' costar Daymond John learned from losing $6 million
- Who has lunch together?
- Who gets invited to important meetings, and who doesn’t?
- Who always seems to be the first to know about coming changes, and who always seems to be last to know?
- What are the cultural hot buttons that get tempers boiling?
- 10/06/15--10:05: 25 simple things to give up if you want to succeed
- 10/07/15--10:05: Research shows that these 7 hobbies will make you smarter
- 10/07/15--13:45: Here are the 5 things that stress people out the most at work
- 10/09/15--09:40: 12 facts about Walt Disney's life that will inspire you to succeed
- 10/09/15--10:05: The best jobs for every personality type
- 10/09/15--12:33: 6 ways to win at office politics
- Who has lunch together?
- Who gets invited to important meetings, and who doesn't?
- Who always seems to be the first to know about coming changes, and who always seems to be last to know?
- What are the cultural hot buttons that get tempers boiling?
- 10/09/15--13:22: How I kept my cool when our billionaire CEO screamed at me
- 10/10/15--08:07: How to tell if your kid should become a programmer
- Late bloomers: 2/3 grew interested in computer science at age 16 or later.
- Great students: 81% of women in computer science fields had GPAs of 3.6 or higher in high school.
- Time managers: They didn't leave homework to the last minute.
- Into music more than computers: Music was preferred over computers (63% vs. 52%), plus one-quarter were involved in a band and one-fifth were into choir and theater.
- Scholars: 51% of women received bachelor’s degrees and 30% received graduate degrees.
- Early bloomers: More than half of men got into computers at 15 or younger.
- Good students: More than 2/3 of men achieved high school GPAs of 3.6 or better. However, male programmers were more likely than female ones to be mediocre students.
- Procrastinators: While most were students who turned their homework in on time, a good percentage, 41%, would wait until the last minute to do the work.
- Into computers over sports: More than 83% of men had computers as the top hobby growing up; sports (61%) and music (59%) came next.
- Not necessarily scholars: 42% received a bachelor’s degree and 27% received a graduate degree but they were more likely to have started college and dropped out than women (14% vs. 7%).
- 10/13/15--05:47: 5 LinkedIn mistakes the could be costing you job opportunities
- 10/13/15--11:30: Beware of this sneaky negotiating tactic
- In column one, write down the pleasures you enjoy and the temptations that you want to do.
- In column two, write down the tasks and behaviors you should be doing, but often procrastinate on.
- Only listen to audiobooks or podcasts you love while exercising.
- Only get a pedicure while processing overdue work emails.
- Only watch your favorite show while ironing or doing household chores.
- Eat at your favorite restaurant when conducting your monthly meeting with a difficult colleague.
- Getting a workout in will never feel like an urgent task on any particular day, but exercising consistently will change your health and your life.
- Cleaning your office space or kitchen will rarely feel like an immediate need, but reducing clutter can clear your mind and reduce chronic stress.
- Practicing the fundamentals of your craft is often boring, but when you master these core skills you begin to separate yourself from your competitors.
- 10/16/15--07:45: 6 strategies for getting what you want in any negotiation
I have a friend named Steve (name changed) who is a real high-achiever. He started a new job last spring as the senior director of product management at a well-known technology company.
Before he even started, he had his game plan for the first 90 days on the job. Every company should be lucky enough to have someone like Steve on their side.
But a few months after he joined, Steve started having problems with his manager. Here is what happened.
Steve’s boss had more than five years of experience at the company, the last three of those years as the VP, Products of his division.
She was well-known, but not well-respected by her peers, and increasingly turned to using fear to motivate her team. She also had no vision for where the business was headed nor the will to make controversial decisions that were in the best interests of the business.
This situation is tough for anyone to navigate, as it proved to be for my friend. After all, your boss is supposed to help you, not work against you, or worse ignore you. And you know that if you push back too hard against your boss, you could be pushed out.
But you are a professional and the quality of your work is important to you. You want to rightly focus on the goals of the company, and ignore what you cannot control. You also want to be mindful of your career and your future.
So, what should you do when your boss is hurting the business?
I have spent many years working in different work environments and with many different types of people. I have been the CEO of three companies, including now at Aha! So, I suggest that in an instance like this one, it is smart to grow your own internal network, over communicate about key decisions that need to be made, and ignore your boss when you have broad support to move forward.
Here is how to safely navigate this situation, while remaining sane.
Do what is right
When your boss is not looking out for your best interests or the company’s, it is time to go “transparent rogue” — and do the right thing. After all, you are conscientious and know the work you should be completing each day, even if it is contrary to what the boss is telling you. Someone needs to add real value to the company and team, even if the boss is not. They key is to communicate exactly what you are going to do, why it matters, and how you are going to do it. And then get it done.
Consider the consequences
Some managers toss threats around like confetti, using fear and intimidation as a motivator but never following through with action. Once you realize there will be no repercussions if you simply do not comply, you can start making decisions that are independent of the boss. Do this carefully, and ideally after you have grown your network.
Difficult bosses often fear you because they fear themselves. They question their own value, so clear thinking and hard work threatens their existence and highlights their lack of contribution.
To counter-balance what you might expose, they try to contain you. But do not be contained — seek out your peers, their peers, and even their boss when there is a conversation that would benefit from your expertise. You need to build relationships while you are doing your best to ignore your boss.
You can certainly stick it out for awhile as you work your “transparent rogue” magic. With any luck, the boss may warm up to you or decide to leave you alone. Or even better, the leadership team may notice your diligence in spite of the challenges. While you are in the role, you have a responsibility to yourself and the team to give it everything you have.
My friend was fortunate, he actually was promoted to VP and his boss moved to another role in the company with less product responsibility. This happened because he had a major positive impact on the business and the GM recognized his value and potential. He now leads his own product portfolio and team — and gives them room to shine and do their best work.
And he also tells them to go “transparent rogue” when he is not seeing clearly himself.
In the workplace, some situations are not in the playbook. That is when you have to draw on your own good sense and experience to do what is best for you and the organization you serve.
Sometimes, that means you need to nod your head and ignore your unprofessional boss who is clearly up to no good.
SEE ALSO: The 9 industries with the worst bosses
We've all been in those situations where we've forgotten someone's name.
It's even worse when it happens immediately after meeting them.
How can you deal with it without being too awkward?
Here are some helpful strategies.
This is an update of a story originally written by Maggie Zhang.
Ask them to put their number in your phone.
It's the best way to get their name without even asking for it. Typically, they will enter both their first and last names, along with their number. It's a great way to stay in touch with them in the future and to assure you won't forget their name again.
Ask for their email address.
Most people have their name within their email address, so it's an easy way to learn the information you need and gain a valuable connection. It will also show you care about reaching out to them in the future.
If they don't have their name, they might at least have a reference to their college, workplace, or favorite hobby within their username, so it can serve as a great conversation starter.
Introduce them to a friend.
At a party or networking event, making introductions is expected. Find one of your friends and introduce them first, and then wait for your conversation partner to do the same.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Ryan Serhant was a rising star in the New York City real-estate industry when he got an offer to be a founding member of Bravo's reality series "Million Dollar Listing New York" in 2010.
When we spoke with Serhant last month at the LinkedIn Next Wave party, where he was being honored as an industry leader under the age of 35, we asked him to name the worst advice he ever received as a professional.
He answered without hesitation: It was to not join "Million Dollar Listing."
"Which was what everybody told me — except for my boss," he said. His boss, Nest Seekers International CEO Eddie Shapiro, told him, "I will hunt you down if you dont do this and take advantage of the opportunity."
Serhant's friends, family, and colleagues told him that not only was a show about New York real-estate agent destined to fail and be a waste of his time, but it would also ruin his reputation.
Shapiro told Serhant that was nonsense. It would be a beautiful marketing opportunity, Shapiro said.
"In sales, the more exposure the better," Serhant explained. "You're always looking for different ways to brand yourself and market yourself and tell people, 'Hello, hey! I'm the real-estate broker you should use when you think about real estate!'"
And when "Million Dollar Listing" launched in 2012, it gave him an audience of 1 million more people who recognized his name, face, and business.
Since then, Serhant's career has taken off. As an associate broker of Nest Seekers International, he's essentially the CEO of his own independent team, and today The Serhant Team is the No. 1 real-estate team by sales volume in New York and No. 6 in the country, according to REAL Trends.
He said he's still grateful to Shapiro for convincing him to ignore everyone else's advice.
"The show is a big marketing device, and I'm just incredibly lucky and very fortunate to have gotten the opportunity and to still be doing it," Serhant said. "It's insane to me every day."
The fast-yet-fresh chain had some unorthodox questions to ask before hiring their newest wave of employees in September.
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Office politics are fraught with difficulty. Almost nobody likes dealing with office politics, and it’s the people who do enjoy it that you have to worry about.
And just like regular politics, office politics is an unavoidable element of human behavior—bring people together and the jockeying begins.
A lot of the advice about how to handle office politics boils down to “just don’t play,” as if avoiding the political system in your office will protect you and your career.
Saying you’re not affected by office politics is like saying you’re not affected by politics at large. It makes a difference, even if you close your eyes and hope it goes away.
The key to winning at office politics is to stop wishing it will go away and to start learning how to thrive in your workplace’s political environment. You don’t have to dive right into the seedy underbelly of office politics to win the game; you win by playing smart and knowing when and how it’s worth getting involved.
1. Learn the lay of the land.
Whether you just started a new job or just realized that avoiding office politics is detrimental to your career, you have to begin by figuring out exactly what’s going on. Your office is full of allies and rivals, and, if you watch and listen closely, you can get a pretty good sense of who’s aligned with whom:
The answers to these questions define your political landscape. This doesn’t mean that you should choose a side—that would be counterproductive — but it’s smart to understand the rules and the players and their strategies before you jump into the fray. Otherwise, you could find yourself unintentionally caught up in a long, simmering rivalry.
2. Build broad alliances.
One of the smartest things you can do is to build alliances throughout the company so that you’ll have a foot in as many of the political camps as possible.
If you accomplish this and show people across the board that they can rely on you, you’ll stand a good chance of coming out ahead, no matter which political camp is currently “winning.” You also won’t be left out of the cold if a group of allies leaves the company.
3. Keep your eyes on the goal.
Remind yourself, as many times as it takes, that you’re not engaging in office politics for fun or to be one of “them;” you’re doing it for two reasons: career success and job fulfillment. When you get caught up emotionally, you run the risk of making decisions you’ll regret down the road.
Gossiping, backstabbing, manipulating, and the rest are not needed to win at office politics. Keeping your eyes on the goal lets you develop and maintain a strategic approach for dealing with your workplace’s unique political atmosphere.
Related: 9 Things Successful People Won't Do
4. Keep things win-win.
You’ll also need to keep things win-win. Part of what gives office politics such a bad reputation is the perception that there’s always a winner and a loser and that you only win if your opponent limps off the battlefield, bloody and bruised. But, done correctly, this isn’t a zero-sum game.
Navigating office politics works best when you follow the golden rule of negotiating: end with everybody feeling like they won. Instead of trying to defeat an opponent, spend that time and energy thinking about how you can both get what you want. This is how you play the game smart.
5. Never pit rivals against one another.
One situation that everybody dreads is getting caught between two warring parties. In a situation like that, it’s easy to tell each of them what they want to hear, even if that’s just nodding in agreement when they bad-mouth each other. But fake allegiances are always exposed in the long run, and then, neither of the people you were trying to impress will trust you again.
Instead, steer your conversations back to the facts: What decisions need to be made? What are the next steps? What can I do to help improve this situation?
6. Stick to your principles.
Finally, you must stick to your principles, without fail. Before taking any action that’s fueled by office politics, ask yourself why you’re doing it. If you’re motivated by fear, revenge, or jealousy, don’t do it. If it conflicts with your values and beliefs about fair behavior, it’s better not to get involved.
Bringing it all together
Deciding to stay out of office politics altogether isn’t an effective strategy. As long as it’s going on around you, you’re going to be affected by it. It’s a lot better to be a competent, conscious player than to be a bystander or a pawn in the game.
The key is to understand the players and the rules and then to play the game in a way that aligns with your personal values and principles. Don’t be fooled into compromising “just this once,” because once is all it takes to lose control.
SEE ALSO: 6 rules for dealing with office politics
NOW WATCH: The sleep habits all successful people share
The best way to invite good new things into your life is to make room for them.
Just as you declutter your office and home, from time to time do a check and throw out anything that isn't helping you make your success achievable.
Here are some good places to start.
1. Trying to be perfect.
Perfectionism sets us up for failure. It's not a quest for the best but a way of telling yourself you'll never be good enough.
2. Playing small.
Expand your horizons. Go big. Grow! Sometimes the process is painful, but it's worth it.
3. Faking it.
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're always strong.
4. Waiting for luck.
Luck builds its foundation on preparation. Coming across good opportunities may be partly a matter of luck, but it's also a matter of knowing where to find them and being prepared to make the most of them.
5. Waiting for anything.
We have been fooled into thinking that if we wait for the right time, right place, and right person we will be successful, but opportunity is where you find it, not where it finds you.
6. Needing approval.
Don't let the opinions of others consume you. What a waste of time!
7. Trying to do it alone.
Even if you can pull it off, it's twice as much work and half as much fun when you do it alone.
8. Making empty promises.
Make your promises rare and 100 percent reliable.
9. Fixating on your weaknesses.
We all have our weak points. Work on them, but focus on your strengths.
10. Blaming others.
It's cowardly and it costs you respect.
11. Overlooking your negative thoughts.
You may believe that you are responsible for what you do but not for what you think. The truth is those things can't be separated.
12. Living in the past.
Your future starts now.
13. Trying to please everyone.
The surest path to failure is trying to please everyone. Work to please only yourself and those who are important to you.
14. Small goals.
Small goals yield small results; big goals, big (and sometimes huge) results.
15. Holding on to grudges.
They're a waste of time and a thief of contentment and happiness.
16. Avoiding change.
Change will happen with your permission or not. Manage it when you can and always make the best of it.
17. Trying to never make a mistake.
Avoiding risk and never daring is the biggest mistake you can make.
18. Saying "I can't."
Don't give up just because things are hard, and don't talk to yourself in negative terms.
19. Minimizing yourself.
Being a shrinking violet doesn't help you, it doesn't put anyone else at ease, and it's a bore.
Small people indulge in gossip. Talk about ideas instead — and when you do talk about people, be compassionate and supportive always.
21. Staying down.
Failure does not come from falling down. Failure comes from not getting up.
If you spend time complaining about yesterday, you won't have time to make tomorrow better.
23. Spending time with negative people.
If those around you are trying to bring you down, maybe it's time to lift yourself up.
24. Comparing yourself with others.
Comparison is another thief of your happiness. Don't worry about what others are doing.
25. Thinking you can't make a difference.
Each of us can make a difference — and together we make a change.
We all have traits and tendencies we need to give up so we can let something great come in. Everyone is entitled for success; we just have to make room for it. Learn to give up what is keeping you stuck and start moving closer to the things you want out of life.
NOW WATCH: The sleep habits all successful people share
For a long time, it was believed that people are born with a given level of intelligence, and the best we could do in life was to live up to our potential.
Scientists have now proven that we can actually increase our potential and enjoy ourselves in the process.
We now know that by learning new skills the brain creates new neural pathways that make it work faster and better.
Here is a list of seven hobbies that make you smarter and why.
1. Play a musical instrument
Playing music helps with creativity, analytical skills, language, math, fine motor skills, and more. While these are all great advantages, some people argue that playing team sports might do as many things. What playing musical instruments does that other activities don’t is strengthen the corpus callosum that links the hemispheres of the brain by creating new connections.
An improved corpus callosum helps with executive skills, memory, problem solving, and overall brain function, regardless of how old you are.
2. Read anything
The benefits of reading are the same whether you are enjoying "Game of Thrones,""Harry Potter," or the latest issue of The Wall Street Journal. Reading reduces stress, which makes you feel better about yourself, and increases all three types of intelligence — crystallized, fluid, and emotional.
That helps with problem solving, putting different pieces of knowledge together to better navigate everyday life, detecting patterns, understanding processes, and accurately interpreting and responding to other people’s feelings.
At work, this translates into better understanding how to make things happen and better managerial skills.
3. Exercise regularly
Occasional exercise alone doesn’t do the trick. Regular exercise is much more effective than hard workouts every now and then. When exercising regularly, the cells are flooded with BDNF, a protein that helps with memory, learning, focus, concentration, and understanding. This is also often referred to as mental acuity.
Some scientists speculate that sitting down for prolonged periods of time has the opposite affect and actually hinders our brain from working as well as it could.
4. Learn a new language
Forget solving puzzles to improve your memory and learn a foreign language instead. Research has shown that people who are bilingual are better at solving puzzles than people who speak only one language. Successfully learning new languages enables your brain to better perform any mentally demanding tasks. This includes the typical executive skills such as planning and problem-solving.
Additionally, speaking at least two languages positively affects your ability to monitor your environment and to better direct your attention to processes.
Many people are told that because executives speak languages, they should learn Spanish or French if they want to move up the ranks. Based on how the brain reacts to learning languages, it might be the other way around. Learning another language might be the last, missing link people need to get their brain ready to take on C-level jobs.
5. Test your cumulative learning
Many intelligent students in high school and college "cram'' for finals and seem to have mastered the topic the day of the big test. The trouble with that is we tend to forget these things quickly because we are rarely, if ever, required to repeat that knowledge in that same way.
One reason studying a new language makes us smarter is because it requires cumulative learning. Because we need them over and over again, the grammar and vocabulary we learn is repeated countless times as we improve our foreign-language skills.
Apply the concept of cumulative learning to everyday life and your workplace by keeping track of noteworthy bits of knowledge you acquire. Go through takeaways from recent books, observations during an important negotiation, or keep a small journal with anything that strikes your attention. Start integrating cumulative learning into your self-improvement program.
6. Work out your brain
Sudoku, puzzles, riddles, board games, video games, card games, and similar activities increase neuroplasticity. This encompasses a wide variety of changes in neural pathways and synapses that is basically the ability of the brain to reorganize itself.
When nerve cells respond in new ways, that increases neuroplasticity, which allows us more ability to see things from different points of view and understand the causes and effects of behaviors and emotions. We become aware of new patterns and our cognitive abilities are improved.
Considering that neuroplasticity is involved in impairments such as tinnitus, an increased amount of it can help prevent certain conditions. For instance, people with high neurplasticity are less prone to anxiety and depression while learning faster and memorizing more.
In 1992 the Dalai Lama invited scientist Richard Davidson to study his brain waves during meditation to find out whether he could generate specific brain waves on command. Turns out that when the Dalai Lama and other monks were told to meditate and focus on compassion, their brain waves showed that they were in a deeply compassionate state of mind.
The full research results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2004 and then in The Wall Street Journal, where they received an enormous amount of attention.
Meditation became interesting to ambitious people because the study implied that we could control our own brain waves and feel whatever we want to feel whenever we want to. This means we can feel more powerful right before a negotiation, more confident when asking for a raise and more convincing during a sales call.
The general idea is that the brain can develop further, and you can do it on purpose. Different activities stimulate different areas of your brain, so you can work on becoming unbeatable at your strengths as well as improving your weaknesses.
Focusing self-improvement on the brain is a good idea for anyone who feels they are at their professional peak (or maybe just have stopped getting better), ambitious professionals, and, of course, entrepreneurs who are looking to maximize their potential.
NOW WATCH: The sleep habits all successful people share
Stress is a common roadblock to productivity at work. But what exactly is stressing workers out?
Wrike, a project management software provider, decided to find out by asking 1,500 knowledge workers in various positions and companies to rank a list of common work hurdles from the most to the least stressful.
Below are the top five stressors at work based on this 2015 work survey management report from Wrike:.
1. Missing information
Andrew Filev, CEO and founder of Wrike, says the top stressor — missing information — is an indication of dependence on others as technology allows more and more workers to collaborate across countries and time zones.
"If you've got the time and the energy and the passion to work, but you're being blocked by something else, it is very frustrating," says Filev.
He suggests incorporating tools or systems that will allow all members of a team to see where a project stands and, perhaps, why it is not progressing. When team members have a central home online for a project, then everyone can easily see when another member is at a roadblock due to missing information from another member, he explains. This method keeps team members accountable in real time.
2. Problems with prioritization of tasks
Filev says that prioritization is key to succeeding or failing at your career. "There is more and more work everyday and it's only going to get worse — or better — depending on what you do about it," Filev said.
Improving your prioritization habits comes down to focusing on the most important task until it's finished and then moving on to the next most important thing, he says.
Filev recommends that workers follow the Agile Project Management method that has taken over the software industry and prides itself on responding to change in a quick and smart manner by adding, taking away, or reordering tasks according to changes in the industry or new requests from stakeholders or customers.
3. Unrealistic goals for projects
Unrealistic goals for projects is often a result of insufficient or poor communication, Filev says. Inbound requests will continue to increase on top of already unrealistic demands because other people don't know what tasks you're working on at any given time. "So for them, the goals could be very realistic," Filev said.
Make sure you are clearly communicating with your team and your manager about what you've got on your plate and all important deadlines.
Then, prioritize your most important tasks and communicating to your colleagues why those tasks are the most important. "If I cannot do everything in the world then at least I can communicate why what I'm doing is so important for the company," Filev says.
4. Deadlines often moved around
"The reality of life is business moves fast, markets move fast, technology moves fast so as we get more and more information you often have to change your decision," he explains. This often results in changing deadlines.
Rather than stressing out when things change, Filev suggests learning to live with and work around them.
5. Unclear leadership
While unclear leadership can be frustrating for workers who are relying on their boss to provide direction for the team, Filev says workers should remember that their bosses are human, too. "They are as overwhelmed as we are," he adds.
Filev suggests that workers remember: one, that bosses aren't always perfect, and two, that communication is often the best solution for problems of ambiguity. If you are unclear about a specific task or an overall company goal, then schedule a time to talk with your boss in a respectful manner. Come prepared with specific questions and ask for clear answers, he advises.
An army of real estate agents fanned out over central Florida, working on behalf of a mystery client. They bought thousands of acres, sometimes offering as little as $100. Who was the buyer? They couldn't tell anyone. In fact, they didn't really know for sure.
Then, a newspaper figured it out. The governor held a press conference to get in front of the story.
The buyer was Walt Disney, 50 years ago this month, and that's how the story of his most ambitious creation broke — "the greatest attraction in the history of Florida," as he called it.
Walt Disney World opened 44 years ago today. I guarantee you begged your parents to take you there when you were a kid. Now Disney is old school, one of those entrepreneurs whose legacy has been around so long we hardly notice it. If you dig deep, however, you can take a lot of inspiration from his story. Here are some of the most surprising and interesting facts:
1. He grew up poor.
We have no shortage of Horatio Alger tales in America, but Disney's story was the real deal. He was the fourth of five children, and his family had very little money — which is why they bounced from Chicago to a Missouri farm to Kansas City in search of a living. Two of his older brothers ran away when he was just 4, sick of the constant work and deprivations. Still, Disney persevered, in part because of the support of the family's neighbors.
2. If not for his neighbors, there'd be no "Frozen."
Or "Pinocchio," or "Lion King" for that matter. When he was just a child, one of Disney's neighbors hired him to draw pictures of the man's horse. He also became friends with a boy named Walter Pfeiffer, whose family had been in vaudeville and theater and who introduced Disney to the world of the movies. Without them, he might never have developed his interest in animation and art to begin with.
3. He lied about his age to join the military.
Disney certainly had a spirit of adventure. He was 16 years old when the U.S. entered World War I, but he claimed to be old enough to serve and attempted to join the US Navy. When he was turned down, he tried unsuccessfully to join the Canadian armed forces. Finally, he was accepted as a Red Cross ambulance driver — the same job Ernest Hemingway had. Disney trained with fellow enlistee Ray Kroc, the future founder of McDonald's, although the war ended before he made it overseas.
4. His first studio went bankrupt.
Back in Kansas City after the war, Disney landed a job at an art studio working on print advertisements. He and a co-worker left to start their own commercial company, and he ultimately wound that business down to start another studio focusing on animation, called Laugh-O-Gram. None of these businesses were big financial successes. Although Laugh-O-Gram's cartoons were popular, the company eventually went bankrupt. Maybe there's some alternative universe in which Kansas City winds up being the center of American entertainment — but Disney headed to Hollywood.
5. He created Mickey Mouse as a result of a bad business deal.
Disney's new California studio worked on an animated series called "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit," which was distributed by Universal Pictures and became very popular. However, instead of increasing Disney's production fee, his client tried to get him to take a pay cut, and when the dust settled, Disney had lost the rights to the popular character. Disney started work on another animated character: Mortimer Mouse. His wife suggested renaming him Mickey, which sounded happier.
6. He had to mortgage his house to create his first epic movie.
Disney's studio primarily created cartoon shorts that were to be shown before feature-length films, but he started to think about doing a full-length, animated movie. Almost nobody else thought this was a good idea. His brother (and business partner) Roy Disney objected, and Hollywood wags referred to it as "Disney's Folly." The cost approached $1.5 million — but when the movie, "Snow White," was released, it was hailed as an "authentic masterpiece" by Time magazine and brought in $8 million. (That's about the same as $134 million today.)
7. He still holds the record for the most Academy Awards and Oscar nominations.
Disney had a string of acclaimed animated hits after "Snow White" in the early 1940s, including "Pinocchio,""Dumbo," and "Bambi." He had a few misses as well — we could write an entire separate column about "Song of the South"— but ultimately, he won 22 Academy Awards and was nominated 59 times. Both marks stand as records.
8. His studio went to war during World War II--and he almost lost everything as a result.
With the dawn of the Second World War, the European and Asian film markets disappeared, and when the US entered combat, Disney's studio went to work creating training and propaganda movies for the US Army. Disney's business suffered, also because many of his key employees were drafted into the military. It wasn't until 1950's "Cinderella" that his studio fully recovered.
9. He considered his first giant theme park success a major disappointment.
In the late 1940s, Disney began to think about building physical places to attract families. His idea for the original Disneyland reportedly came after he visited a theme park in Oakland, California. Still, he came to see this first creation as a disappointment. Instead of the park he envisioned, The New York Times reported, he was "heartsick" to realize he had created an environment full of:
... seedy hotels, garish advertisements, vistas of the wrong sorts of people. ... How was he supposed to fashion a flawless dream environment, with urban blight as the backdrop? For that, he needed control over the entire context of the park. Not a land, in other words, but a world.
10. He included a hidden memorial to his father within Disneyland.
One of the windows in one of the buildings on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland reads, "Elias Disney, Contractor." It's an ironic reference to Disney's father, given that for most of Disney's childhood, the family was forced to move repeatedly looking for work and economic security, and that the date in the window — "Est. 1895" predated Walt Disney's birth by six years.
11. Walt Disney World was named to ensure he wouldn't be forgotten.
Unlike the California park, which is called Disneyland, the Florida creation includes Disney's first name in its official name. The reason is that Disney died in 1966, and Roy, who postponed retirement to oversee construction, insisted that his brother's first name be included, saying:
Everyone has heard of Ford cars. But have they all heard of Henry Ford, who started it all? Walt Disney World is in memory of the man who started it all, so people will know his name as long as Walt Disney World is here.
12. Half a century after Disney's death, Walt Disney World is still the most-visited vacation destination resort anywhere.
About 52 million people visit Walt Disney World every year. That's more than two and a half times the population of Florida itself.
Your level of job satisfaction may have something to do with how well your role fits your personality.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test, which measures preferences like introversion and extroversion, has been part of business culture for decades.
Today about 80% of the Fortune 500 and 89 of Fortune 100 companies use it in an attempt to get employees into the right roles and help teams work well together.
To determine five of the best jobs for every personality, we consulted one of the most popular personality guides based on the Myers-Briggs system, "Do What You Are," which is now in its fifth edition and has sold more than 1 million copies. The book is not affiliated with CPP, the company that is the exclusive publisher of the MBTI instrument.
We also spoke with one of its authors, Paul Tieger. As CEO of SpeedReading People LLC, Tieger has spent 30 years advising companies and people on how personality types can help teams work together.
Of course, the job lists aren't meant to be definitive, but rather serve as a fun way to see how certain occupations attract a particular kind of person.
Figure out which type suits you best, and then check out the charts below.
SEE ALSO: 14 habits of the most likable people
According to this system, every person falls into one of two options in four categories.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Office politics are fraught with difficulty. Almost nobody likes dealing with office politics, and it's the people who do enjoy it that you have to worry about.
And just like regular politics, office politics is an unavoidable element of human behavior — bring people together and the jockeying begins.
A lot of the advice about how to handle office politics boils down to "just don't play," as if avoiding the political system in your office will protect you and your career.
Saying you're not affected by office politics is like saying you're not affected by politics at large. It makes a difference, even if you close your eyes and hope it goes away.
The key to winning at office politics is to stop wishing it will go away and to start learning how to thrive in your workplace's political environment. You don't have to dive right into the seedy underbelly of office politics to win the game; you win by playing smart and knowing when and how it's worth getting involved.
1. Learn the lay of the land.
Whether you just started a new job or just realized that avoiding office politics is detrimental to your career, you have to begin by figuring out exactly what's going on. Your office is full of allies and rivals, and, if you watch and listen closely, you can get a pretty good sense of who's aligned with whom:
The answers to these questions define your political landscape. This doesn't mean that you should choose a side--that would be counterproductive — but it's smart to understand the rules and the players and their strategies before you jump into the fray. Otherwise, you could find yourself unintentionally caught up in a long, simmering rivalry.
2. Build broad alliances.
One of the smartest things you can do is build alliances throughout the company so that you'll have a foot in as many of the political camps as possible. If you accomplish this and show people across the board that they can rely on you, you'll stand a good chance of coming out ahead, no matter which political camp is currently "winning." You also won't be left out of the cold if a group of allies leaves the company.
3. Keep your eyes on the goal.
Remind yourself, as many times as it takes, that you're not engaging in office politics for fun or to be one of "them." You're doing it for two reasons: career success and job fulfillment. When you get caught up emotionally, you run the risk of making decisions you'll regret down the road. Gossiping, backstabbing, manipulating, and the rest are not needed to win at office politics. Keeping your eyes on the goal lets you develop and maintain a strategic approach for dealing with your workplace's unique political atmosphere.
4. Keep things win-win.
Part of what gives office politics such a bad reputation is the perception that there's always a winner and a loser and that you win only if your opponent limps off the battlefield, bloody and bruised. But, done correctly, this isn't a zero-sum game. Navigating office politics works best when you follow the golden rule of negotiating: end with everybody feeling like they won. Instead of trying to defeat an opponent, spend that time and energy thinking about how you can both get what you want. This is how you play the game smart.
5. Never pit rivals against one another.
One situation that everybody dreads is getting caught between two warring parties. In a situation like that, it's easy to tell each of them what they want to hear, even if that's just nodding in agreement when they bad-mouth each other. But fake allegiances are always exposed in the long run, and then neither of the people you were trying to impress will trust you again. Instead, steer your conversations back to the facts: What decisions need to be made? What are the next steps? What can I do to help improve this situation?
6. Stick to your principles, without fail.
Before taking any action that's fueled by office politics, ask yourself why you're doing it. If you're motivated by fear, revenge, or jealousy, don't do it. If it conflicts with your values and beliefs about fair behavior, it's better not to get involved.
Bringing it all together.
Deciding to stay out of office politics altogether isn't an effective strategy. As long as it's going on around you, you're going to be affected by it. It's a lot better to be a competent, conscious player than to be a bystander or a pawn in the game.
The key is to understand the players and the rules and then to play the game in a way that aligns with your personal values and principles. Don't be fooled into compromising "just this once," because once is all it takes to lose control.
Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, "Emotional Intelligence 2.0," and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider ofemotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.
A high-flying technology company acquired a corporation I used to work for in the early 2000s. As the top corporate communications executive for the acquired firm, I had dual-reporting into our former CEO (who was demoted to a regional role) as well as the high-profile billionaire CEO of the acquiring company.
Several months after the deal closed I received a request from a reporter at a national daily newspaper who wanted to do a follow-up story on the integration that included an interview with our "rock star" CEO. I had briefed our top exec on the potential upside and downside of the interview.
He agreed to participate because he liked the limelight and had only received glowing profiles to that point in time.
The story ran a few weeks later. While it was balanced and fair, the reporter included a few anonymous quotes from "former employees" which characterized the new boss as an arrogant blowhard who lacked the operational gravitas to successfully deliver sustained results.
Within moments of reading the story myself that morning, my gut tightened as I was summoned to his corner office. Walking down the hallway, I heard him raging and swearing loudly before I entered, yet somehow he still managed to dial it up when he saw me. As I approached his massive desk, he folded the entire newspaper and flung it at my head along with some choice cursings.
I literally had to duck as he pointed his finger and blamed me for this perceived public besmirchment to his sterling reputation.
Here are the three things I did in that moment to survive his withering diatribe and keep my job.
1. I stayed calm.
This was the first time I had ever been berated by someone with such a disproportionate delta of power and wealth. In the moment, it felt like I was being verbally eviscerated by a king or ruler. Instantly recognizing the precarious nature of my professional situation, an ancient proverb came to mind that goes, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1, NIV)
I wasn't interested in stirring up anymore anger so I calmly began addressing and answering his questions, in a quiet and even tone, with a measured pace. I stopped speaking every time he interrupted and agreed with his every point.
After two or three minutes of my Zen-like responses, he had calmed down and we began to have a conversation.
2. I stood my ground.
Prior to this corporate communications position, I had been a print and broadcast journalist for more than a decade. I was the only employee of our 8,000-person workforce who had ever worked in a newsroom. I was the subject matter expert when it came to media relations.
As such, another nugget of wisdom sprang to mind, "If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post. . ." (Ecclesiastes 10:4, NIV)
I had firsthand knowledge of how the media worked and gently — but with the authority and conviction from 10 years experience — reminded him that no one controls the media message and we discussed those risks prior to the interview.
I calmly but directly asserted, that if we wanted total control over the message we needed to create and place advertisements — which was sub-optimal — rather than rely on straight editorial opportunities. As a public company, we had to pursue both earned and paid opportunities.
He grudgingly nodded in agreement.
I then stressed that we can't write the articles for the media, we can only provide (or limit) access — which we had agreed to do.
The nodding continued.
Lastly, I also pointed out that this was not an ambush piece. Roughly 90 percent of the article was favorable and included a few sentences regarding the CEO's personal philanthropy to several charities, which helped neutralize the negative unnamed quotes.
3. I gave solutions.
Once the immediate situation was defused and he had given full vent of his anger, there was another ancient saying I thought of, "Don't curse the darkness, light a candle."
So I immediately began laying out a tactical impromptu response that included: questioning the reporter for using anonymous former employees and how their employment was confirmed (e.g. pay stubs, termination letter. . . etc.); draft a letter to the editor if in fact they were not actual employees; while subsequently pitching profile pieces of the CEO to local/regional/trade media outlets to further assuage his ego.
I had no idea how any of those tactics would play out but it gave the CEO confidence that we had a plan of action, while ensuring I continued having a job.
It ultimately turned out that the reporter had only spoken to a former vendor whose contract was not renewed and two temporary contractors who had been on long-term assignment — no actual employees had been interviewed. While the publication did not run a correction to its story, it did run our letter to the editor asserting the need for fact-checking and journalistic rigor.
Lastly, the CEO had two cover features that ran in a regional business journal and a respected trade publication. I had both matted and framed for his office.
I worked for that company for another two years before I decided to pursue other options. The framed articles were still hanging on his wall the day I left.
There's no question that the tech industry is growing like crazy and full of high-paying jobs.
There will be 1 million more programming jobs in 2020 than there are qualified people to fill them, some studies predict.
But programming is also a very specific skill, and it's not for everyone. Who is it right for?
Learn-to-code site Code School conducted a survey of more than 2,200 professional programmers in July to find out about their personality traits as teens.
Some of the things the survey found you might expect, like most programmers were good students. Some of the findings were kind of surprising, like the fact that guy coders were frequently procrastinators as students in high school, but girl coders almost never were.
Here's a rundown of the traits that could indicate programming is a good career for your kid.
As teens, female programmers were:
As teens, male programmers were:
If you didn't already know, LinkedIn is the new résumé. No, you can't toss your résumé out just yet. But eventually, we won't need it.
LinkedIn is the No. 1 tool recruiters use to research candidates. Five out six HR managers and recruiters review your profile to determine if they should contact you about an opportunity.
However, while there are over four hundred million member profiles (and counting) on LinkedIn, it's estimated as many as half of them aren't optimizing their profiles, a/k/a filling them out correctly. Here's why. . .
Unless you're a SEO & marketing ninja, you have no clue how to write your profile
Like your resume, your LinkedIn profile is a marketing document. You're summarizing the success of your business-of-one and presenting it to potential customers. However, on LinkedIn there's an added component: you need to choose your keywords wisely in order to get found. LinkedIn is search engine, like Google or Yahoo.
Your profile must have the right words in it. They must also be in your profile repeatedly and in particular places within profile to increase your chances of being found. This is referred to as "keyword density," and it has a major impact on the chances a recruiter finds you.
Why should you care? Job boards are dying. Recruiters aren't posting the good opportunities on them any more. Instead, they do proactive searches on LinkedIn to get a list of candidates they can then contact to discuss the career opportunities they have available. It's called the, 'hidden job market,' and it's where all the good jobs are. If you want access to it, you need an optimized LinkedIn profile.
Don't outsource the marketing of your business-of-one. Here's why. . .
You can hire someone to write your LinkedIn profile, but I advise against it. Why? You will need to update your profile on an on-going basis. You're better off investing some time into learning the right way to present yourself on LinkedIn so you can maintain the profile. Honestly, it's not that hard.
To get started, let me share with you the top five most common mistakes made on LinkedIn profiles today.
How do I know this? I run CAREEREALISM, a website with more than one million monthly visitors. We created a recruiter directory — a place where you can go search, find, and meet recruiters. These recruiters have specifically told us what drives them nuts about LinkedIn profiles. According to them, the following things turn them off:
1. A bad top-fold. Your picture, profile background, headline, and summary are the first thing that comes into view when a recruiter looks at your profile. It's referred to as the top-fold. Recruiters won't scroll past the top-fold and look at your work history and skills if they don't see something they like.
Unfortunately, too many people treat LinkedIn like Facebook and Twitter. They put the wrong photos, silly headlines and over-the-top summaries that scream, "I'm trying too hard." Recruiter are skimmers, they don't want flash, they want facts. Keep it simple and professional.
2. Too much text. Detailed, lengthy paragraphs aren't for LinkedIn profiles. i.e. if your summary is more than four or five sentences long, it isn't a summary! You need to simplify your text and focus on your keywords to create density. A long-winded profile actually works against you because it dilutes your keyword density. Not to mention, recruiters take one look and say, "next" because they don't have time to read your epic novel about yourself.
3. Subjective, narcissistic writing style. Calling yourself a, "proficient, self-starter with exceptional multi-tasking skills and incredible attention to details," sounds self-important and silly. It's annoying to recruiters because their reaction is, "Oh ya. Says who? I'm the one that will decide if you're those things." It's their job as a recruiter to determine your skill level. When you sell yourself that hard, you sound over-the-top and and look like you're trying too hard. Which leads to the next one. . .
4. Too many multi-syllabic words. Studies show people who use too many of these words are less trusted. Why? It makes them appear like they're trying to sound smarter than they are.
Not only is there a good chance you don't know the real meaning of the word, but it's condescending to the people you're communicating with if they don't know the meaning of the word. Stop trying to impress with words.
Instead, let your actions speak for you. If you can't explain what you do to a sixth grader, you're suspect.
5. No numbers or stats to back up your expertise. The easiest way to cut down the text in a LinkedIn profile is to share the facts. When you can quantify your accomplishments, you're giving the recruiter what they need to assess your abilities and sell the hiring manager on the idea of meeting with you.
Recruiters need to compare apples to apples. Listing your accomplishments in a quantifiable way is the easiest way for them to compare you to others. Plus, studies show numbers are easier to read on a LinkedIn profile. The more you have, the more impressive you are.
If you're making any of these errors, I suggest you carve some time out on your schedule and fix them. Especially, if you want to be contacted about career opportunities. Your personal brand on LinkedIn matters. The sooner you know how to make a good impression, the more likely you are to get noticed.
SEE ALSO: The most in-demand jobs around the world
You know what it means to tell a "flat-out lie," of course, and you've no doubt heard of a "lie of omission," in which someone intentionally holds back relevant information, but have you heard of "paltering"?
If not, it might come back to haunt you the next time you negotiate a deal.
That's the takeaway of a fascinating recent Quartz piece by Max Nisen outlining research done on paltering, which Nisen defines as "actively using factually true information to mislead someone."
What does paltering look like in real life? Nisen gives an example of a real estate negotiation in which the buyer but not the seller knows that "zoning laws are set to change, making commercial development possible, and the property much more valuable."
The seller, sensibly covering all bases, asks the buyer if her company is planning to use the property for commercial development. The buyer's company is, but rather than say that or lie outright, the buyer says, "As you know, we have only ever done residential development." It's true, but it's misleading. That's paltering.
Why it's so dangerous
Paltering is dangerous because it's common and often effective, according to research out of Harvard's Kennedy School, cited by Nisen. This sort of deception happens more frequently than bald-faced lies, mostly because negotiators find it easier to tell themselves they're doing nothing wrong when they palter, the study found. Paltering also pays dividends.
When the research team ran simulated real estate negotiations like the one above, "People who paltered earned an average of $1.6 million more in one version of the simulation, 15 percent above those who were honest," Nisen reports. "In a modified version that made standoffs more costly, palterers earned $2.4 million, or 24 percent, more."
The Quartz article is aimed at those considering employing paltering as a strategy themselves. (Be warned. If you're discovered manipulating the truth in this way, you're very likely to blow up the negotiation — people despise the technique if it's discovered.) But the piece also offers takeaways for scrupulously honest negotiators. Given how widespread paltering is, even if your approach is ethically spotless, you're very likely to meet palterers in the course of your career.
When getting a straight answer is essential for you to get a good deal, it might pay to pause and ask yourself if the other party's answer really addressed what you were asking. Could the person's words be taken another way?
SEE ALSO: The most in-demand jobs around the world
In the eight years it took Nasty Gal founder and former CEO Sophia Amoruso to grow her online vintage retail store into a $100-million business, she hired more than 350 employees.
So it goes without saying she's seen her fair share of bad cover letters.
"Although playing hard to get might be cute in the dating world, it won't fly with potential employers," Amoruso writes in her 2014 book "#GIRLBOSS.""They don't have time to court you, so you had better romance the hell out of them."
To help make your cover letter "sing," here are four mistakes Amoruso warns you should avoid at all costs:
1. The cover letter is all about what you want.
Too many candidates focus purely on what the company and job can do for them, Amoruso says.
When she receives a cover letter from a candidate who says she has a "passion for fashion" and details how working at Nasty Gal could help her "pursue her interests, gain more experience, and explore new avenues," Amoruso says she clicks "delete" almost immediately.
"I have a business that is growing by the day, so I want to know what you can do for me," she writes.
2. Your cover letter doesn't connect the dots.
One of Amoruso's biggest pet peeves is when job applicants don't connect the dots between their past, present, and future in their cover letters.
Amoruso says she couldn't believe when an applicant for a copy editor position at Nasty Gal neglected to mention in her cover letter that she graduated with an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, one of the most prestigious writing institutions in the US.
"Unless you spell out [where you've been, where you are, and where you're trying to go] in your cover letter, your potential employer may never know," Amoruso writes.
If you did not participate in many extracurriculars in school because you worked 30 hours a week to pay your way through school, she says you should explain that in the cover letter because it demonstrates "financial responsibility" and "work ethic."
3. You give so-called constructive criticism without being asked.
While Amoruso appreciates constructive criticism and even asks for it during in-person interviews, she says that the cover letter is absolutely not the place for it.
Giving constructive criticism in a cover letter "is like meeting someone for the first time and telling her that you think she'd be so much cuter if she lost just five pounds," Amoruso writes. "It's distasteful."
Rather than taking the applicant's advice to heart, Amoruso says that it makes her want to reply with a sassy email about unsolicited opinions, but she doesn't because she likes to keep things "professional-ish."
4. Either you didn't take the time to read it over, or you just really, really can't write.
If your cover letter has mistakes or doesn't flow well, Amoruso says she will assume you rushed through it just like you will rush through your future work assignments if you are hired at Nasty Gal.
She recommends using spell check but not relying on it, knowing the difference between "there," their," and "they're" and asking someone else to read your letter for clarity and overlooked mistakes.
Like many people, Katy Milkman knew she should be exercising more.
But each day she left her job as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania feeling exhausted and drained.
By the time she made it home, all she wanted to do was curl up on the couch and read a book or turn on her favorite TV show. On this particular day, she wanted to read The Hunger Games.
That’s when she had an idea.
What if she created a rule for herself? What if she was only allowed to read The Hunger Games when she went to the gym?
“I struggle at the end of a long day to get myself to the gym even though I know that I should go. And at the end of a long day, I also struggle with the desire to watch my favorite TV shows instead of getting work done.
And so I actually realized that those two temptations, those two struggles I faced, could be combined to solve both problems.”
Milkman’s strategy worked. Not only did she go to the gym more often, she actually looked forward to going to the gym because it meant that she got to do one of her favorite things: read a good book or watch her favorite TV shows.
This idea that you can make it easier to perform a behavior that is good for you in the long-run by combining it with a behavior that feels good in the short-run is what Milkman refers to as “temptation bundling.” You are essentially bundling behaviors you are tempted to do with behaviors that you should do, but often neglect.
Milkman was happy with the progress that she was making in her own life, but she wanted to see if the idea extended beyond her own behavior. Given her interest in behavioral economics and her teaching post at one of the country’s finest universities, she naturally decided to design a research study.
Milkman and her colleagues studied the exercise habits of 226 students, faculty, and staff at the University of Pennsylvania. After teaching a cohort of the participants how to use temptation bundling, Milkman found that people who used temptation bundling were 29 percent to 51 percent more likely to exercise when compared to the control group. The findings were quickly published in Management Science (full study).
How to Create Your Temptation Bundle
There is a simple exercise you can use to figure out your own temptation bundling strategy.
You’re going to create a two column list:
Take your time and write down as many behaviors as possible. Then, browse your list and see if you can link one of your instantly gratifying “want” behaviors with something you “should” be doing.
Here are a few common examples of temptation bundling:
Always Important, Never Urgent
There are many factors that contribute to success, but you can make a strong argument that consistently accomplishing tasks which are important, but not urgent is the one ability that separates top performers from everyone else.
Consider how many tasks are important to our progress, but not urgent in our daily lives.
Temptation bundling offers a simple way to accomplish these tasks that are always important, but never feel urgent. By using your guilty pleasures pull you in, you make it easier to follow through on more difficult habits that pay off in the long-run.
You want to project confidence, competence, professionalism, and self-assurance.
Not only because it's how you want people to think of you, but also because your business success depends on it.
Yet, chances are, the way you use words is undercutting that professional, confident image. And you aren't even aware of it.
That's a shame, according to best-selling author and executive coach Wendy Capland. Would-be leaders and entrepreneurs undermine themselves with what she refers to as minimizing language— words and phrases that imply uncertainty and self-effacement even when they're trying to give the opposite impression.
And while women may be especially prone to harming their images with minimizing language, men can do it too. It's a good habit for everyone to get out of.
Here's Capland's list of words and phrases that can weaken your message and dull your impact.
Next time you make a pitch, write an email, give a presentation, or have an important phone conversation, see how many of these all-too-common things you catch yourself saying. Once you're aware of them, it's a lot easier to cut down on them, or even cut them out altogether:
1. 'I just want ...'
"I'd just like to follow up …""I just want to mention …""I just want to tell you …"
Can you see how use of the word just dilutes the impact of each of these statements? Compare "I just want to mention that I have the right experience for this job" with "I want you to know I have the right experience for the job."
Which sounds more powerful to you? To whom would you give the job?
"It's a qualifier," Capland says. "It highlights to the person that whatever comment follows the word is smaller or not important."
2. 'A little bit...'
This is another qualifier that may have even more of a minimizing effect than just does.
"I'm a little bit concerned that we won't make our projections this quarter."
Nonsense — if you were only a little concerned you'd have kept your mouth shut. You're probably scared as hell, and the words you use should make that clear.
3. 'I feel ...'
First of all, feel is too often used incorrectly to indicate a thought or a matter of judgment rather than a feeling. But even worse than that is the subtle message it contains that you are an emotional creature subject to moods.
Try using "I think" or "I believe" when you're speaking about an opinion you've reached or a judgment you've made.
Or, if you really are expressing a feeling, try a form of the more direct and powerful "I am" instead.
"I'm excited about this project" comes across stronger than "I feel excited about this project." And "I feel confident we'll make our projections" indicates a lot less certainty than "I'm confident we'll make our projections."
4. 'I'm sorry.'
This does not mean you should never apologize, Capland says.
It's perfectly appropriate to apologize when you've actually made a mistake or miscalculation, acted thoughtlessly, or caused unhappiness or harm. If that's the case, then apologizing is one of the most powerful things you can do.
The problem is that too many of us apologize almost reflexively, any time anything unpleasant happens, even if it was in no way our fault.
One female executive I know has a particularly bad case of the "I'm sorries" and has apologized to me for everything from a bad snowstorm to the fact that I called the wrong number. It always makes me think of a dog with its tail between its legs, displaying submissiveness in the hope that you won't be mean. Not the image you want to project.
5. 'I don't know.'
The point is not to pretend you know the answer when you don't, Capland explains.
If you don't know something, it's wise to say so — but don't stop there.
You'll appear not very powerful unless you follow "I don't know" with whatever should happen next — for example, "I'm going to do some research and get back to you." Be specific about when that will happen. If you're mentoring someone, you might follow your "I don't know" with a suggestion as to how he or she might find an answer.
The point is that "I don't know" should never be the end of your statement. "If you leave it there and you're done, it doesn't make you look good," Capland says.
6. 'I'll try.'
Yoda said it best: "Do. Or do not. There is no try."
"When people say they'll try, it's not a commitment," Capland says. "You can't actually know what that means. It's minimizing your power."
If you're not sure you can do something, then be as specific as you can about what you will or won't do. Not "I'll try to get to your party," but "I want to go to your party but my parents are in town that weekend, so it will depend on what they would like to do."
7. Turning everything into a question.
Don't phrase everything as a question, and don't make your statements sound like questions, with a rising inflection at the end, or you risk annoying everyone around you.
Worse, this super-minimizing phrasing makes you appear extremely weak. It sounds like you're asking permission for everything you have to say. You don't need permission. Go ahead and say it.
8. 'Do you think I'm ready?'
When offered a promotion, plum assignment, or big project, this should never, ever be your response.
Of course you're ready to take on this new challenge, and everything you do and say should reflect your knowledge of that readiness.
If the new project requires specific skills that you lack — say, fluent Spanish when you've just had a year or two in high school — then address that issue. Say that you need a refresher course, or perhaps an interpreter.
But don't ask your bosses or customers whether they think you're ready — or they may start thinking that you're not.
Women are facing a crisis when it comes to negotiating.
According to a 2015 Levo reader survey, 60% of millennial women are not negotiating at work, and 63% of all women feel uncomfortable negotiating.
This is bad news for women, considering not negotiating your salary could cost you $1 million over the course of your career, according to Salary.com.
At a recent Lean In event in New York, Bobbi Thomason, a senior fellow in the management department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, offered six steps to successfully negotiate your way to your dream job, salary, or project.
1. Identify your desired career-related negotiation.
When most people hear the word "negotiation" in relation to work, they immediately think about negotiating a higher salary, Thomason says — but negotiating extends far beyond salary requests.
"Negotiation is the tool for which you're going to gain multiple professional resources," she says.
Thomason cited research she is conducting with Harvard's Hannah Riley Bowles and Stony Brook's Julia Bear, which explores how workers use negotiation for both seizing opportunities and resolving problems.
For example, a Simmons CGO Survey shows that the opportunity negotiated for the most by the 364 female executives who participated in the survey was a new position, followed by leadership opportunities, a change in work goals, a promotion, and a higher salary.
2. Consider everyone who has a stake in your negotiation.
Once you know what you want to negotiate for and why you want to negotiate for it, you need to decide who is in the position to either grant you your wish or fix your problem, Thomason says.
While you might not know who to set up a meeting with, ask around at work so you can find the right person or multiple people to help you achieve your goal.
You should also think about who might block your request, and what you could do to meet their interests and needs, while also meeting your own. Thomason added that negotiations at work often include multiple people and occur over days, weeks, or even months.
3. Reduce ambiguity.
Now that you have the logistics down, you need to compile as much data as you can in order to reduce ambiguity. Otherwise people will resort to "the short click our brain makes to say, 'When I see someone like this, this is what I can expect,'" Thomason says.
If people don't have a lot of information, Thomason explains, they fall back on stereotypes like associating men with leadership positions and assertive behavior and associating women with nurturing and warmth.
If you want to reduce this ambiguity when asking for a raise, find out if you are due for a raise and what a fair wage for someone in your position is. If your boss turns your request down in the meeting, pull out your research.
"Use numbers, industry standards, and company precedent as a shield to refute an offer that you do not believe to be fair or advantageous and as a sword to go for what you want," Thomason says.
You may be thinking you can skip this step, but Bowles, in collaboration with Linda Babcock at Carnegie Mellon and Kathleen McGinn at Harvard Business School, conducted a study on women negotiating in the workplace and found that, "In negotiations where more information is available on the criteria on which decisions are made, the difference between men's and women's negotiation outcomes disappears."
4. Enhance your negotiation through relationships.
Men tend to befriend other men who can help them advance their career, otherwise known as "strategic friendships," while women tend to separate their work and personal life, Thomason says.
Thomason believes women need to pro-actively reach outside of their most convenient networks to talk to men and women in different teams, companies, and industries in order to build connections and get more information.
One way Thomason suggests to do this is simply to ask for advice.
Thomason recalls a woman who was working at a firm in the Midwest when she found out the office she was working at was shutting down. While she had the option to relocate to the East Coast, she was hesitant because the company was paying for her to get her MBA at a school in the Midwest, and she was so close to finishing the degree.
She went to someone senior for advice, and, as it turned out, he went to someone senior to him, who ended up offering the company jet to the woman so that she could relocate to the East Coast and fly back and forth to complete her degree.
"Sometimes reaching up and out can be hard, but asking for advice makes people feel important and makes them feel like they want to help you," Thomason says.
Strategizing should take place at the table and away from the table, both before and after the meeting, Thomason says.
Before the meeting, you should be building your arguments, planning the timing of your meeting, and seeking out connections who can advocate for you or your cause. You should be continuing to improve your alternatives — what you will do if you do not come to a deal — because your alternatives are important sources of power and leverage in a negotiation, Thomason says.
Also, if you can "walk away" to a better option than the one available to you at your current negotiation, you should do so. It is important to be able to resist the inertia at the negotiating table if the deal on the table is not as good as you could get elsewhere.
6. Role play.
The final step to negotiating successfully is simple: practice, practice, practice.
Find a fellow colleague or friend to role play the negotiation with you, Thomason says. He or she should be an active listener and should challenge you with questions or objections that your boss might challenge you with in real life.
Don't try to wing your negotiation speech. You need to find the right words and the right arguments to present your case beforehand so that you don't blow your chance at a new position or to resolve an important issue like not fitting in at work.