Tag Archives: John Robert Powers

Oct 11_Blog 1

Win Over Your Boss

As a kid, you strove to make your parents proud. As a student, you wanted to impress your teachers with your intelligence. You seek approval from your superiors your whole life, and that applies even more in your professional life. To win over your boss isn’t a matter of sucking up. When you have a good relationship with your boss, you get a better understanding of their expectations towards you and their perception of you influences your chances in moving your career forward. So how do you win over your boss?

1. Communicate effectively.
On your first day, make sure to ask your boss how s/he prefers to communicate and how much detail you should give when updating them about your progress. When you communicate effectively with your boss, you can build a strong relationship with him/her.

2. Be loyal.
Never talk badly about your boss behind his/her back, especially to your colleagues. Remember, gossip spreads like wild fire and your boss will find out you’ve been talking about them eventually. If you have a problem, communicate properly and keep those conversations between yourselves. Lack of trust could damage both your relationship and your career.

3. Take initiative.
Always know your work load, and when you see that you have a bit of free time, try and take initiative. Volunteer for some new projects! Make sure that you give a 100% with your work load and the initiatives. This shows your boss that you’re capable of handling more responsibilities.

4. Seek solutions.
Try not to rely on your boss to fix everything. Don’t whine about your problems either because that brings down the morale of everyone in your team. When a problem arises, don’t just point it out, try to come up with solutions of your own and ask your boss for their advice on it.

Good relationships with your boss can give you better confidence at work. Remember, Confidence is Powers. Learn more of it at John Robert Powers.

Sept 29_Blog 3

Business Small Talk

Do business meetings scare you? Would you rather stare at the ceiling as if it were the most interesting thing in the world and avoid talking to people at social events? Don’t worry! You’re not the only one. The prospect of talking to people you don’t really know, freaks most people out. Knowing how to engage in small talk is necessary in business though. So, read up on how to improve your business conversation skills.

1. Use an icebreaker.
Icebreakers are the best way to jumpstart a conversation. Hopefully, this can lead to a fruitful conversation, rather than the dreaded awkward silence. So, use questions like “How did you find yourself in the _____ field? And make sure to lessen the unnecessary silence in the room.

2. Find common ground.
When you stay on a topic that most of the people in the conversation are familiar with, you’ll lessen the pregnant pauses. Finding common ground leads to easier and more effective communication. Avoid controversial topics like politics and religion so the conversation doesn’t tense up or lead to a heated debate.

3. Ask open-ended questions.
Yes/No questions or one-answer questions will lead to a dead end conversation wise. So, avoid questions like “Where did you go to school?” “Where do you live?” Encourage your conversation partner to share some more detail (but hopefully not too much detail) about their lives. Ask them about their children or their family.

4. Share anecdotes.
It’s important for you to share a few things about yourself as well. If they bring up a topic that you have a funny story about, share it! It lets your conversation partner know that you can relate to them, and that you’ve really been listening to them. This also forms a better bond, which will help you in the long run.

Remember to remain confident all throughout your conversations. Learn the Powers of Confidence at JRP.

Sept 20_Blog 2

S/He’s Dating the Boss

Your boss: the forbidden fruit in the Eden that is your office. We get it! It’s hard to resist that charm, that intelligence and that confidence, but dating the boss probably isn’t going to end up in a fairy-tale ending like Laida and Sir Miggy did. So, if you’re dating your boss or your officemate seems like they’re in a relationship with their boss, mull over these points:

1. The choice is yours.
The very first thing you need to do is take a step back and check if everything is consensual — that no one is being forced to do anything they don’t want to do and that the choice to be in this relationship was freely made. If everything is good, we can move on to the next item.

2. Check the policy.
A lot of companies have policies in place addressing junior-senior relationships because they believe that these types of relationships can compromise business’ interests. So, make sure to check if your company has these policies and what the implications are if they do exist.

3. Draw the line.
Probably the most important tip in this list — do NOT mix personal life and professional life. Dating the boss, especially when s/he isn’t single, doesn’t give an excuse to use the relationship as an advantage in the workplace. Remember, you’re being paid to work and not to have public displays of affection in the office.

4. Expect the gossip.
Despite any and all attempts to keep the relationship hush hush or in the down low, office gossip spreads like wildfire. So, expect the outrageous rumors and even some hurtful comments. For a while, the people involved will most likely be known more for the relationship than for the work that they do.

Deal with these kinds of obstacles with grace and confidence. Learn the Powers of Confidence at John Robert Powers.

‘Reply All’ and Other E-mail Mistakes to Avoid

‘Reply All’ and Other E-mail Mistakes to Avoid

Ah, e-mail, making work life easier since the 90’s – but when you spend your whole day sending e-mail after e-mail, it kind of gets easy to overlook some mistakes. You don’t want to be made fun of by your officemates because you forgot to spell-check or because you accidentally sent a joke e-mail to your entire company, now do you? Not to worry, we’re here to remind you of some e-mail mistakes you should make a point to avoid.

1. Unforgettable Subject Lines
When writing e-mail drafts, it’s fun to think of creative subject lines, but there are times when we forget to re-edit the subject line and end up sending e-mails with things like “SO AS I TOLD YOU A MILLION TIMES BEFORE –“ or “Please let this be the last e-mail I ever send this person”. Remember: the subject is the first thing your recipient reads, so make sure it leaves a good impression of you.

2. Forgetting Attachments
Have you ever had that dream where you go to work or school and look down only to realize you’re still in your pajamas or worse, your underwear? Forgetting to attach files is basically the e-mail equivalent of that. Make life easier for you by making sure you have the word ‘attach’ in your message as most e-mail services will remind you that you haven’t attached anything or even better, attach your files BEFORE writing your message.

3. “To Whom It May Concern”
Basically, this means you haven’t done your homework. With the internet helping us access as much information as we can, there’s no reason for you not to know who you’re sending an e-mail to. This also makes the e-mail sound so generic.

4. Reply to All
Unless you’re the CEO or some high executive in your company, it’s best not to ever press ‘Reply to All’. No matter what intention (i.e. congratulating a winning team or even responding to a “Send to All” e-mail), it’s probably best not to open yourself to the kind of ridicule that a “Reply to All” could bring.

Make sure you double or triple check every important e-mail you send as well-constructed e-mail shows confidence, and proficiency. Learn the Powers of confidence at JRP.

Aug 27_Blog 3

Liked or Respected?

“Would you rather be liked or respected?” It’s a weird question to be asked, because it’s really silly to think that it’s impossible to be a leader that’s respected and liked as a person. You don’t have to be Miranda Priestly, respected but absolutely feared to the point where she’s referred to as a devil, nor should you be like Michael Scott, who is nice enough as a person, but isn’t a great boss. Here are a few things to remember to balance being respected and liked:

1. Don’t seek to be liked.
Remember not to avoid situations just so you’re liked.

2. Take time to know your people.
Understand that friendship doesn’t happen right away.

3. Be confident but humble.
Be self-assured, but share the limelight with your team.

4. Be open-minded.
Consider other views, and then weigh in.

5. Don’t let your pet peeves get in the way.
Focus on other’s needs rather than your own personal preferences.

6. Encourage diversity.
Don’t create clones.

7. Put yourself in the line with your team.
“Work it out for yourselves!” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary.

8. Seek excellence, not perfection.
Be reasonable, and make room for forgiveness when mistakes happen.

9. Provide empathy.
Attend to your team’s human needs, not just their employee needs.

10. Encourage innovation.
Change is scary, but necessary. Give your team the courage when change happens.

Being likeable alone limits you as a boss, and being respected alone is a very isolated way to live. Learn more at John Robert Powers.