Sometimes Rules Are Meant to Be Broken

October 27, 2011
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Every so often, we must break conventional rules. 

Here are three  I recommend that you break at work before you physically and emotionally bend too far:

  1. 1.       Steer clear of emotional topics.

Although it may feel difficult or awkward, it is important to address all topics, including emotional ones, with your colleagues and/or boss.  Perhaps you and a co-worker have clashed over a project’s deliverables and tension has resulted between you two.  Tiptoeing around the issue may negatively impact your individual and team productivity, and cause resentment.  You could confront your colleague by saying something like, “You seem to dispute every point I make and it appears that you doubt my recommendations.  Did I do or say something to upset or offend you?” 

By applying the Dale Carnegie Human Relations principles below, you can be sure to avoid a major blow-out and revive your relationship:

#7- Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves.

#11- Show respect for the other person’s opinion.  Never say, “you’re wrong.”

#13- Begin in a friendly way.

#17- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s perspective.

#23- Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

2.       Do only what you were hired to do.

Leaders within in an organization must constantly focus on the bigger picture, so your boss will admire you for doing the same.  By considering the macro view of your organization and how your role may impact it, you’ll better appreciate colleagues’ roles and will be more likely to identify areas of opportunities that will positively impact your company. 

While there is a fine line between offering assistance and stepping on someone else’s toes, with your best intentions at heart, you’ll feel more confident making recommendations by applying the following Dale Carnegie Human Relations principles:

#8- Make the other person feel important- and do it sincerely.

#14- Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.

#19- Appeal to nobler motives.

#22- Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

#30- Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest. 

3.       Live at the office.

Even Americans who are fortunate enough to be employed in this economy are becoming more unsatisfied with their jobs.   According to a new CBS survey published last year, only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their work.  That was the lowest level ever recorded by the Conference Board research group in more than 22 years of studying the issue.  Workers under 25 expressed the highest level of dissatisfaction as approx. 64% of them reported that they were unhappy in their jobs.

Unfortunately, most people’s careers are not their life’s passions so it is essential to pursue outside interests for personal happiness and so as not to stymie one’s creativity at work.   Although most Americans take pride in working long hours and practically living at the office, amazing discoveries and insights are often made when people are pursuing outside activities and hobbies.  Often times, once people are able to relax off-site, the answer to a work problem will often reveal itself.  By applying Dale Carnegie’s Stop Worrying and Start Living principle, ‘Live in day-tight compartments,’ you can attain both professional and personal goals by scheduling time for work and play. 

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Evoljo

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