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Common issues at Work

When Managing Your Emotions at Work Really Counts

By: Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach – [work]
Posted 09/25/03



When Managing Your Emotions at Work Really Counts, by Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach

The 112 3/16 carat Hope Diamond first showed up in the hands of French merchant, Jean Tavernier. It was triangular and crudely cut.

Tavernier sold the diamond to King Louis XIV 1668. He had the stone recut, resulting in a 67 1/8-carat stone. It was set in gold and the King wore it on a ribbon around his neck for state occasions.

In 1749, King Louis XV, had the stone reset. During the French Revolution, he was unable to take it with him when he tried to flee France. All the jewels of the French Royal Treasury were turned over to the government. During the looting that followed, the then-called French Blue diamond was stolen.

It landed in the hands of King George IV of England, and was sold on his death to settle debts.

It next became the possession of Henry Hope (from whence it’s name), and, upon his death it went on to other Hopes, and then a series of jewelry companies.

It then became the possession of Evalyn Walsh McLean, in 1912, who had it reset as we see it today ( ) and made it famous!

After her death, it was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, where it is today.


This diamond has been cut several times, and any of those times it could’ve ended up a pile of worthless stones.

The cut of a diamond adds of subtracts greatly to its value, and is completely in the hands of the diamond cutter. They analyze the rough diamond and determine how to cut it in order to extract the most beauty and profit.

One cut by the hand of the diamond cutter can make the difference between $100,000 and nothing; and notice it’s still done by hand.

Now here are three EQ questions:

1. Aside from disease or injury, what makes our hands shake? 2. Would Optimism make a difference to the diamond cutter’s ability to do the work? 3. Does any of this apply to your job, or parts of it?

If you read about our current-day diamond cutters, you’ll see that most of them are at least second generation and mostly male. One wonders what combination of genes and personality contribute to this.


We can forget that emotions are to be managed and there are times when one must be able to set them aside and concentrate. EQ means knowing when and what to do with the emotions, while still being able to experience them.

Sometimes we need to think, and sometimes not think; sometimes act on feelings, and sometimes not. There are also different forms of learning. Try, for instance, telling someone how to tie a bow. You’ve probably been doing it so long, it’s “automatic,” i.e., (1) your hands know it but your “mind” doesn’t, and (2) to think about it would mess you up.

Check out what’s a well-cut diamond and what isn’t: .


Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach, . Individual and executive coaching, The EQ Foundation Course=, The EQ Learning Lab, and EQ Alive! training and certifying EQ coaches. Visit The EQ eBook Library Mailto:sdunn@s… for FREE ezine. Call 210-496-0678 for immediate assistance.

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Keeping Your Cool When The Customer Gets Hot
By: Lydia Ramsey
A day in the life of a business person can be filled with joy and satisfaction or it can be frustrating and stressful. When things go wrong, some people lose control. Holding emotions in check and reacting professionally under fire are not always easy. It is particularly difficult to be nice to people who are not being nice to you.

So what do you do to keep your cool when the customer is chewing you out? Most of the time, it is not even your fault. It could be that the problem was with a product or a service delivered by someone else in your organization. You’re getting the blame because the unhappy person found you first, and it’s not pleasant. When faced with angry people, there are four key steps that will help diffuse the situation.

Step one is to apologize. “But,” you say, “it’s not my fault.” It doesn’t matter who’s to blame; apologize anyway. As a representative of your company you have a responsibility to see that things go well. Your willingness to be accountable will have a positive effect. After all, it takes two to have an argument. If one of you refuses to be disagreeable you can’t have a disagreement. You are not accepting blame-you are simply saying, “I’m sorry about the problem.” You are wasting your breath unless you apologize with complete sincerity so be sure that your tone of voice matches your words.

Step two is to sympathize with the irate customer. Let the person know that you can identify with his feelings. Say that you understand the frustration of receiving a faulty product or poor service. The angry person begins to feel better as soon as his reaction is validated.

Step three is to accept responsibility for the situation. Be accountable to the customer. Let him know that you intend to do whatever it takes to make things right. You can’t help what has already happened, but you will come up with a solution to the problem or you will find someone who can.

The last step is to take action. Decide what you can do and tell the customer. You will replace the defective or incorrect product as quickly as possible. If the issue was poor service deliver better service. Whenever you can offer a bonus of some sort or waive fees, the tiger before you is transformed into a pussycat.

Use the acronym “ASAP” to remember these four steps for calming upset customers. Each letter stands for part of the process.

A is “apologize.”
S represents “sympathize.”
A stands for “accept responsibility.”
P means “prepare to take action.”

Nothing will be solved by becoming argumentative and reactionary. Instead, diffuse the client’s anger by being apologetic and sympathetic and focus on positive steps that will resolve the situation. Before you know it, your adversaries will become your allies.

Oh yes, remember to smile. It will make everyone feel better and behave better.

Author Bio
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL – ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors’ Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman’s Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at or visit her web site

Article Source: – Free Website Content


Workplace Design: The New Competitive Edge In Business

(ARA) – It’s a buzz-phrase that’s often bantered around — “the psychology of design.” But can the chair you sit on, or the desk you sit at really influence your performance at work? Will it make you a more productive, happier employee? Will it make you want to work harder? Do employees even care about their surroundings?

The answer to all of these questions is yes. Studies have been conducted verifying that office objects in an employee’s workspace can serve more than their intended, functional purposes. For example, the chair an employee sits on may portray a nonverbal hierarchy in the office, or even function as a motivator, or perhaps a status symbol. That same chair can even be a reflection of who is truly valued in the office.

Additionally, the American workplace has changed drastically during the last two decades. Employees are continually being asked to do more with less. Work pressures are increasing as a growing number of employees across a wide-range of job classifications are expected to work longer hours and produce more work. That said, office comfort and well-thought-out workplace design have become more important and can have significant impact on productivity, as well as a company’s bottom line.

Design Matters

In fact, according to an independent 2006 U.S. Workplace Survey conducted on behalf of Gensler, a leading global design, planning and strategic consulting firm, design does matter. Sixty-five percent of workers asked said that the design and layout of their workplace is “extremely” or “very” important to them. And, more than ninety percent surveyed said the quality of their working environment affects their attitude about their work.

Furthermore, those running today’s businesses also realize the impact office design has on employee performance. Ninety percent of senior executives say that a better physical working environment would have a positive impact on their company’s success.

“Businesses are waking up to the fact that the workplace is much more than just real estate and a means to house their people,” says Diane Hoskins, an executive director at Gensler. “They are embracing performance-focused workplace design as a strategic business initiative-as the forum that can drive employee excellence, business objectives, and ultimately, the bottom line.”

Psychology Of Design

So what are companies doing about it?

“There are several design elements that can be implemented to provide a more employee-friendly environment that encourages productivity, while also maintaining the appropriate corporate image that needs to be portrayed,” says Ric Andersen, Gunlocke vice president, sales and marketing. “Many of these elements are based on the simple principles of human nature.”


Without even knowing it, color in an office space can significantly influence attitudes and morale. So, choosing the correct office colors should go beyond aesthetics and take into consideration the impact of color on the human psyche.

Dark, drab colors can impede performance, making employees feel tired or even depressed. On the flip side, colors that are too bright, such as yellows and reds, can distract workers, leaving them feeling edgy and nervous. Color experts suggest using calming neutrals such as tans, greens and even blues, all colors which have been found to improve overall efficiency.


Andersen goes on to say, “In addition to color, employees can consciously, or subconsciously, perceive how their company feels about them by looking at surrounding office furnishings. Employers can make workers feel valued by paying close attention to the type of furnishings used in everyone’s office, from a junior workstation to the CEO’s office. “

However, office hierarchy can play a role in design, too. Status motivates people, and with increased status usually comes larger, more expensive office furnishings. Still, there are ways to ensure employees are provided with the best furnishings possible, no matter what their career level.

For example, Gunlocke, an industry leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of wood contract furniture offers their Menu line of office furnishings. This new furniture platform delivers an extraordinary range of integrated options in design, materials and scale, allowing companies to customize personal workspace while still working within one product line.

Plus, all of Menu’s materials and finishes may be optioned up or down to reflect employee status within an organization, Andersen points out. Menu’s well thought out use of steel, one of the most durable and recyclable materials available, means companies can use either all-wood drawers, or the more durable option of steel drawers with wood veneer fronts, depending on where the furniture is being placed.

By utilizing appropriate furnishings and design, employees feel appreciated, and in turn, are more productive, which in the long-run benefits companies.


While it might seem obvious, researchers have found that sufficient daylight in an office leads to increased productivity and lower absenteeism. If natural daylight is limited due to location, proper workplace lighting can help. It’s essential to any good business since it allows employees to comfortably see what they’re doing without straining their eyes and bodies and creates a pleasant atmosphere and sense of well-being. This is particularly important with the increase in the average worker’s hours.

The bottom line is employees perceive how their company feels about them through office design, layout and their general environment. And while the formula for a successful company may be complex, there’s no doubt that creating happier, more productive workers through the “psychology of design” is a corporate investment well worth the time and effort.

For more information about Menu or other Gunlocke furnishing products, contact Gunlocke at (800) 828-6300, or visit its Web site at

Courtesy of ARA Content

Management Conflicts Are A Valid Reason To Look For A New Job!
by: Shaun Stevens

We have all had jerk bosses who caused us to swear that it was high time to quit our jobs or resign. Somehow though we make it through until that boss either was fired, left or even tragically died an alcohol related death. However there are times when it best for you to pack up and leave. How can you spot these signs?

First of all two points must be stressed. One – this is not something to be taken lightly or flippantly. Secondly it cannot be stressed enough that it is always best to get another job before leaving.

A replacement job is important not only for maintaining your vital finances and standard of living that you are accustomed to. Believe it or not is a sad fact that that to your next employer you are significantly more valuable you are currently gainfully employed. Rather than not.

It stands to reason that if you are currently employed that somehow you must be a productive useful employee with skills and attributes, valuable to the organization – a good find that should be snapped up promptly without delay.

Thus the potential new employer reasons that more must be paid to you in pay or in benefits – which can not only be financial but also they canb in other intrinsic forms of rewards or payments – this if course to steal you away from your current employer ,

It could be more in the form of more pay, better benefits, a higher position (a promotion so to speak) or even such rewards as a corner office of better parking spot placement.

You will be in a much better, enhanced bargaining position for you new job if you are still gainfully employed during the job search.

What are the inherent signs to look for that is time to look for a new job?

1)That you know in your heart that you are not perfuming up to the best of your abilities

2)You start gravitating and making friends of coworkers that you previously could not stand

3)If you think about it you cannot picture you future with your current employer

4)When you think about it and consider the good and bad things about your job the cons win out

5)You keep trying to improve your current situation but it never really turns out

6)Your skills seem lagging – either behind the times or not up to par and your position offers no opportunities to improve or update them

7) You cannot get enough positive reinforcements to keep your spirits up

8)Your salary and remunerations are just not enough

9)You want to move somewhere else to live

10) Your company or work situation has changed radically since you were hired

11) You either hate your job, your boss or company that you work for so much that you consciously or unconsciously start to perform actions that are sabotage in nature.

Changes are always difficult. Fundamentally we are always creatures of habit and there is a comfort in the status quo even if we despise it. If you find that the above questions above relate greatly to you then it is time to bite the bullet.

Start looking and as well start quietly putting feelers out. Remember the highest percentage of jobs is filled by word of mouth.
About The Author

Shaun Stevens
Employment Job Trainer
Ace Employmnet Services
Winnipeg Job Shark

Surviving Office Politics At Your New Job

By: Simone Emmons – [work]

Whether you are just starting your first job or your 10th job, you will find that office politics is consistent in all companies. Office politics is something that is inherent in any company you may work for. It’s part of the culture and you won’t be able to avoid it. So just how do you survive office politics and still get to make your talents shine? Simple, you need to market your talents everyday, just as you did during the interview that got you the job.

You basically need to focus on fitting in with the scheme of things around the office. Be friendly and outgoing and offer support to your co-workers and management when possible. Refuse to engage in the sleazier side of office politics and soon management and your peers will take notice of you. You will win their support and respect.

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn to management. Don’t assume that they should know what you do all day. They have their own agenda and may take notice of some things that you do, but many things may go unnoticed. Your positive attitude and activities will rally support and leave a lasting impression to everyone.

It’s ok to offer to take on additional responsibilities, but only do it if you have the time or someone else hasn’t stepped up to the plate. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, it will make matters worse and make you look incompetent. The trick is to show that you are worth more and soon you will not only fit in, but also come to be relied on for more important assignments. You will be a player in the game of office politics, no longer an outsider looking in. An increase in responsibilities usually means a raise as well.

Playing the game of office politics well can lead to many rewards in your career. In addition to fitting in and getting personal recognition when an opportunity presents itself, you also need to accept constructive criticism just as well. Never take it personally, rather look at it as a chance to grow and learn from mistakes. If you come off as defensive when you are being criticized, it will sabotage any chance you have of becoming part of a group.

Know your limitations, toot your own horn, play by the rules, make your talents shine and most of all, respect yourself and those around you. Remember that you will not be able to please all of the people all of the time. But pleasing those that count, those in authority and those that you work closely with is equal to winning half the battle. Be subtle, make the transition as seamless as possible and make yourself useful. Only then will you have a chance at winning the war. It is the easiest way to survive office politics in any company.

Simone Emmons is a human resources professional of 18 years and founder of and

At and we provide thousands of job opportunities for bilingual English/Spanish and English/Asian-speaking professionals ranging from entry level to executive level – nationwide.


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