Workplace Etiquette Rules One Should Never Overlook

Workplace Etiquette Rules One Should Never Overlook

In our modern world, levels of civility and etiquette have seemingly disintegrated. Perhaps people are unaware of these practices; perhaps they simply choose not to follow them.

However, we spend so many hours in the workplace with the same co-workers, that overlooked or ignored workplace etiquette can often generate co-worker resentment and maybe even a breakdown in professional relationships.

If professional relationships in the workplace break down, it certainly affects the mission and goals of the organization as a whole.

So, whether you are hearing these for the first time, or they are simply reminders of proper behavior, here are several workplace etiquette behaviors that maintain mutual respect and potentially enhance working relationships.

What Is Workplace Etiquette

Workplace etiquette is a social code, a social understanding that delineates proper social workplace behavior. It exists to maximize respect for co-workers, their communication, and their time. As a social “understanding,” workplace etiquette is not a list of hard and fast directives —some may be emphasized or de-emphasized depending upon the place of work. Nonetheless, they are manifestations of potential bad work habits.

Don’t Ignore These “Rules” of Workplace Etiquette  

Timeliness

How many times have you been part of a meeting where someone shows up late and immediately offers an excuse for his late arrival? It seems more and more people believe showing up late to an office meeting is acceptable if the excuse is serious enough.

Newsflash: There is NO excuse for showing up late, ever. Think of showing up late to a meeting as showing up late for an interview, which is often grounds for dismissal from the interview pool.

Remember, showing up early means you are showing up on time. Showing up on time is showing up late.

What Is the implicit message the late arriver sends? My time is more valuable than that of all my co-workers sitting around the table.

Handshakes

A handshake is still the way to introduce yourself in a professional manner. It represents politeness and respect. It is a great way to let those you meet know they have your full respect and attention.

Gadget Attention

No matter how skilled you are at checking your texts (or even worse, Facebook or other types of social media). Everyone knows when you are doing so, no matter how skilled you believe you are at it. How do they know? Because they have tried the same tricks. Checking your mobile device is the ultimate signal that you are not listening, AND whatever is being said is not worth hearing. Listening is an active pursuit. Make eye contact, nod at salient points, and ask intelligent questions afterwards.

Get Off Your Butt

When someone walks into the room, stand. Once you stand, extend your hand for a handshake. Nothing looks lazier or less respectful than a group of people who do not welcome a newcomer. Never shake hands from a sitting position.

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

Mommy does not work here. Clean up after yourself. Shared spaces such as break rooms and conference rooms are just that: Shared spaces. Those who avoid cleaning are once again reinforcing the fact that “my time” is more important than “your time.” Go into any workplace with sloppy, shared spaces and you are guaranteed to find a large segment of resentful co-workers.

Don’t Be That Person

Once you achieve the reputation as someone who skips one or more office etiquette rules, it is hard to break free of that reputation. Ingratiate yourself to all your co-workers by doing what your business culture expects.

Remember, full respect is what most, if not all, workers want. If this is the case with you, understand that full respect is a multi-dimensional feeling others have for you. It is determined by many more characteristics than just the quality of your work.




Should You Pay Off Student Loans Early?

Should You Pay Off Student Loans Early?

Well, you did it: You graduated and you have your first real job. You can’t believe how large your paychecks are (compared to what you earned as a dishwasher at your college dorm). So, what are you going to do now? You have a mountain of student loan debt, but you’ve also heard whispers that investing some of your income may be more financially lucrative than aggressively trying to pay off student loans.

Pay Off Student Loans Early or Invest

No one likes the psychological stress of knowing a huge amount of debt is linked directly back to them. But take a breath, and look at your long-term financial health. Ask yourself what is going to help you in the long run.

Reasons Not to Pay off Student Loans Early

Build an Emergency Fund  

Before tackling your loan head-on, Mayotte suggests setting up an emergency fund. That’s because without any savings, you might put unforeseen expenses on a credit card — which likely carries a higher interest rate than your student loans — and not pay it off right away.

Start small and set aside $25 or $50 a month until you’ve got at least $500. That pot of money will be there for you if your car breaks down, and it will keep you from going further into debt.

Take Advantage of a 401(k)

If you have a 401(k) at work and your company offers to match contributions, you should contribute at least as much as the matching amount. This is truly free money. It gets you on your way to saving for the future.

Maintain the Tax Deduction

Student loan interest is tax deductible. Normally, low student loan interest rates and a tax deduction combine to create a loan which can cost less than traditional loans.

Don’t keep your loan for the mere reason of the tax deduction, but if you need to allocate money elsewhere, remember your student loans don’t necessarily have to be a gigantic drain on your resources.

Financial Investment

The interest rate you pay on your student loan can be under two percent. If you invest money instead of paying ahead on student loans, you could see annualized returns of more than seven percent.

Reasons to Pay off Student Loans Early

Lower Your Debt to Income Ratio

If you pay off student loans early, it lowers your debt to income ratio. The result is more available money when you want to buy a house, or borrow money. Without a student loan, your money is “freed up.” The less your debt payment is each month, the more you can invest in retirement or any other interest you may have.

Save on Interest Rates

If you pay off debt early, you are no longer accountable to a lender. Even better is your savings on interest payments.

An example from Sallie Mae shows how you save money if you pay a bit more each month.

  • Current balance: $10,000.00
  • Interest rate: Eight percent
  • Repayment term: 10 years

If you pay only the amount due.

  • 119 monthly payments of $121.32, with a final payment of $119.89
  • It takes 10 years and a total payment of $14,556.97.

If you pay an extra $20 each month.

  • 96 monthly payments of $141.32 with a final payment of $7.10
  • It takes eight years and one month and you’ll save $983.15.

It’s Your Debt

How you pay off your student loan is your decision. Just make certain you evaluate your options and keep your long-term interests in mind.

Whether you decide to pay off debt as quickly as possible or take the longer road while you focus on other things, having a plan and sticking to it can help you reach your goals.




Workplace Dilemmas You Might Face One Day

Workplace Dilemmas You Might Face One Day

Any time a group of people spends 40 hours a week or more together there is bound to be some chaos, some drama, some issues. It is inevitable.

We are all different: Our moods, beliefs, manners, empathy, and modes of communication mix with deadlines, stress, success and failure that generate a unique environment.

Occasionally, we may even stumble upon one of many workplace dilemmas or ethical situations that test our decision-making abilities.

Here are a few potential workplace dilemmas that could happen to you.

Four Common Workplace Dilemmas

Your Current Job Is Not What You Applied For 

Your organization hired you to stock produce, but now you are the assistant manager in the fresh flower department. This may be a result of your flexibility, your never-say-no approach to work, or simply organizational disorganization. Whatever the reason, you are not doing the job you interviewed for.

If you’re unhappy, the first thing to do is speak with your boss or a manager. It would be good for them to hear your concerns, and give them the opportunity to determine how and why this situation occurred.

It is smart to have this conversation before frustration sets in so you can remain in control and keep your emotions at bay. Once you determine whether or not this was a purposeful “accident” you can decide whether to stay or leave.

The Troublesome Co-worker

No matter what you do, there is a definite clash of personalities with one of your co-workers (hopefully they are not to the point of workplace bullying, which is a completely different situation). A troublesome co-worker would be less a concern if you saw them once a month, but you see and work with them all week long.

If this occurs, remove your ego from the equation. There is no law stating you must like all your co-workers in order to do good work. Think about other sources of pride, such as your family and friends, when tempted to lock horns with this person.

Sometimes trying to find things you admire about your co-worker can help relieve your negative emotions. Other times, “fake it till you make it” has been known to work. Perhaps a concerted effort of pleasantness for two weeks can turn things around.

If all fails, simply realizing that the difficult behavior is about them, not you, can make that person easier to deal with.

Taking All the Credit

When employees work in teams there is usually a disparate contribution level from each member. If the project is a success, does everyone receive the same credit? If the project is a failure, does everyone receive equal blame? This is always a tricky issue.

The best way to make certain this does not happen to your team is to avoid it altogether. Team members must ensure everyone is given a specific task, which must be finished on time to complete the project.

Mixing Personal and Company Time

It is difficult to get everything done when you work 40 plus hours a week. Frequently, co-workers may attempt to take care of personal business on the company dime. This seems like a cut-and-dry dilemma: It is unethical.

However, it is not as clear cut as you may think. Is it an abuse to take a call from your doctor? A good way to determine if you think you are short-changing your company is to ask human resources about it. If you are too embarrassed to ask, then it may be likely you are taking advantage of the situation and your employer.

If someone else is making poor use of company time, you have a true workplace dilemma. Do you alert managers to these organization-damaging behaviors and risk ostracization by your co-workers, or do you keep your head down and remain silent? Only you can answer this question, and it is the most difficult of the four dilemmas to resolve.

Look for Good Company Cultures

The best way to avoid these workplace dilemmas is to work for a company that would never allow this nonsense to begin with. There are companies where employees hold one another accountable so these situations never reach dilemma proportions.

If you don’t have the luxury of choosing a company with a great culture, avoid the temptation of falling in with the ranks. Your ability to avoid or address workplace dilemmas are what make you a unique, valued employee.




A Great Resume Incorporates These Attributes and Avoids Others

A Great Resume Incorporates These Attributes and Avoids Others

A resume is an advertisement. It is an advertisement about you. It is usually the very first opportunity to make an impression on the hiring manager at the company where you are looking to gain employment. Naturally you are looking for a great advertisement; therefore you must create a great resume.

There are certain characteristics of a great resume. There are also certain mistakes which can instantly disqualify an otherwise great resume.

Attributes of a Great Resume

It separates accomplishments from job descriptions.

A great resume addresses readers who have little time or interest in reading long paragraphs. Separate your job descriptions from your accomplishments. Bullet point your accomplishments so they stand out, for it is your achievements which will let the reader know you are capable of becoming a great employee.

It has a functional, clean layout.

A great resume has a clean, easy-to-read format. Each section has labels. A logical, clean resume can’t help but reflect well upon the applicant. A good format shows the applicant is: Diligent, organized, and writing to their target audience (those with little time).

It has the hallmarks of a complete story.

People love stories. If your resume can tell a great story with a beginning, middle, and end—readers will remember it. Hiring managers will understand who you are, how you got there, what you have done, and what you can do for them in the future.

Attributes of a Poor Resume

It does not include specifics.

Your resume needs to convey to employers what you have accomplished in your professional life. Compare the following and it is obvious which one includes proper specifics:

  • Worked with employees in design department.
  • Supervised and trained a team of 10 design department employees who were responsible for generating $12 million in annual revenue.

It does not speak to who you are.

Your resume needs to convey to the reader who you are. Remember the story attribute above? Your story highlights your perfect company fit. To do this, don’t be afraid to substitute a bit of personality for all the business jargon. Business jargon does not accentuate your personal strengths.

It shares a novel, not a story.  

You want your resume to be a page and a half? Think again. A one page resume demonstrates to employers that you can synthesize, summarize, and highlight  important points of your career.

It does not incorporate keywords.

Your resume should include the same keywords used in the job posting’s summary of duties and responsibilities. Craft your resume to address as many of these specifics as you can. This will show you are a fit for the job and you performed due diligence in reviewing each posted job responsibility.

Take the Time to Create a Great Resume

What is that saying? ”You only have one chance to make a good first impression.”  A well written resume is certain to make a great first impression. You may be able to turn that poor first impression into a positive long-term impression if you are lucky enough to be given the opportunity. However, prospective employees usually don’t get a second chance, and your first impression becomes a couple of pages dropped into the recycling bin.




Is There Science Behind These So-Called Superfoods?

Is There Science Behind These So-Called Superfoods?

Kale is a superfood. And comedian Jim Gaffigan called for an end to “kale propaganda.” He believes kale is simply “real bitter spinach with hair.”

Okay, joking aside, what does science say about superfoods?

What is a Superfood?

Kris-Etherton, a Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, there are no superfood criteria. Nor is there a list of potential superffods.

A Woman’s Day article ran with a headline: 52 of the Healthiest Superfoods You Need in Your Diet. The odd thing about this headline is the seemingly large number of superfoods…at least 52, if this article is to be believed. Another thing of interest in the title is “healthiest superfoods,” which presupposes some superfoods are healthier than others.

So, our working definition for superfood comes from medicine.net: “Superfoods: A non-medical term popularized in the media to refer to foods that can have health-promoting properties such as reducing one’s risk of disease or improving any aspect of physical or emotional health. So-called superfoods may have an unusually high content of antioxidants, vitamins, or other nutrients.”

What Science Says About Superfoods

To determine the science behind superfoods, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom published a recent article. It is titled: Superfoods: The Evidence.

NHS teamed up with the British Dietetic Association to evaluate research on 10 popular superfoods, including: blueberries, goji berries, chocolate, oily fish, wheatgrass, pomegranate juice, green tea, broccoli, garlic, and beetroot.

Let’s examine blueberries and summarize the findings per Superfoods: The Evidence.

Heart health

  • A study in 2012 found 93,000 women who ate three or more portions of blueberries and strawberries a week had a 32 percent lower risk of a heart attack.
  • However, the study could not prove the fruits caused the lower risk.

Atherosclerosis

  • While the evidence is inconclusive, blueberries may relax the walls of the blood vessels.
  • This may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
  • Atherosclerosis can increase the risk of a heart attack and stroke.

Cancer

  • There is little evidence that blueberries protect against cancer.
  • In animals, blueberry extracts may decrease free radical damage that can cause cancer.
  • However, it is inconclusive if humans absorb these compounds from eating blueberries.

Better memory

  • Small animal studies found a link between blueberries and improved memory.
  • However, these studies had small sample groups.
  • There is no evidence linking blueberries and improved human memory.

The Verdict

Alison Hornby, a dietitian, reports: “While research on the health claims of blueberries is inconclusive, they are a fantastic choice as one of your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.”

The Verdicts on the Remaining Nine Superfoods

The following verdicts are quotes from Alison Hornby.

  • Goji berries: Various goji berry products are sold as health foods, but the evidence of their health benefits so far comes from scientific studies using purified extracts of the fruit at much higher concentrations than the products contain.
  • Chocolate: A range of health benefits from the consumption of cocoa products have been investigated, particularly in relation to cardiovascular disease, with early results showing promise.” (Most studies concern themselves with cocoa, not chocolate.)
  • Oily fish: The benefits of eating at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish, include keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level and improving blood lipids, both of which reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease…
  • Wheatgrass: There is no sound evidence to support the claim that wheatgrass is better than other fruits and vegetables in terms of nutrition. It cannot be recommended above any other choices in this food group.
  • Pomegranate juice: Research suggests there may be a benefit, but we’ve not shown it yet. The studies that have found an improvement in existing health conditions were very small and more investigation into the role pomegranate plays in these improvements is needed.
  • Green tea: In the Far East, green tea has been used as a treatment for a variety of conditions ranging from arthritis to weight loss, as well as a preventative measure for diseases such as cancer, although the evidence for the majority of these conditions is weak or lacking.
  • Broccoli:…is a member of the family of cruciferous vegetables along with cauliflower, bok choy, and cabbage. These all contain compounds that are linked to improving the body’s ability to impede the growth of cancer cells. 
  • Garlic: Studies using high concentrations of garlic extracts have been associated with improved blood circulation, healthier cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure, all of which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, current evidence does not support the use of garlic supplements to improve health.
  • Beetroot: …and beetroot juice, along with green leafy vegetables, cabbage, and celery, are very useful as part of a balanced diet, as their nitrate content may help to reduce blood pressure.

How Super Are Superfoods

Would it disappoint you to learn that superfoods are not magic bullets? They do not cure all ills and lead to eternal youth. However, these food items are healthier ingredients to add to your diet. And you never know what verdict future science will reveal.

In the meantime, it seems that broccoli and oily fish have the greatest amount of positive science behind them.

Bon appétit.




Some of the Top Budgeting Apps Available

Some of the Top Budgeting Apps Available

Saving. Investing. Budgeting. These financial responsibilities take up your time and you are not quite up to the task. Maybe you will be once you are less busy. Or once you have settled into your new home. Or once you get engaged. Enough! There are apps that help you with these financial responsibilities. It can’t get much easier, can it? Since many people find budgeting to be one of the greatest “burdens” of financial planning, we’ll take a look at some top budgeting apps.

Five Great Budgeting Apps

PocketGuard

Budgeting app PocketGuard connects to your bank accounts. You will never be without instant transaction and balance access again.

The app has an easy to understand home screen that monitors the amount of money in your pocket, your current income, and how much of it you have spent. This budgeting app dissects your spending habits, identifies recurring payments so you can plan for them, and provides a snapshot of your cash flow.

Charts inform you where you spend by category. This in itself helps you find areas that require belt tightening.

You Need a Budget

YNAB, or You Need a Budget, also connects directly to your bank account. YNAB highlights four financial rules: Plan for infrequent expenses, give every dollar a job, roll with the punches if you overspend, and age your money.

Beyond budgeting, you can watch online classes that help you get the most from this budgeting app.

Spendbook

Spendbook features great tracking and budgeting capabilities. Adding new income or expense transactions is a breeze. Photos of an item purchased, or a receipt, enhance the app’s utility. Expenses and income are easily categorized. Daily and monthly expense reports are available with companion infographics and charts.

Home Budget

Home Budget with Sync has a useful family sharing feature. It allows users to set a budget and sync income and expenses among numerous devices. Home Budget allows users to track purchases and gain insight about spending habits with the aid of charts, infographics, or itemized lists. The aspect that sets this budgeting app apart from others is definitely the family sharing capability.

Budget Boss

Budget Boss is a very simple iPhone app. It helps you create a budget, and it evaluates the strength of your budget. This is a perfect budgeting app for those looking for simple, quick, and easy budgetary assistance.

Budgeting IS Difficult Even with Budgeting Apps

In the introduction, we teased the “non-budgeter” by implying that apps will make budgeting an incredibly easy task. However, apps cannot work miracles. There are many reasons, beyond technology, which create budget-averse people.

Here are a few of those reasons:

  • Limiting ourselves financially makes us discouraged about our current financial situation.
  • We simply have never been taught how to prioritize financial goals.
  • Budgeting does not come naturally.
  • Our financial choices are heavily influenced by how we were raised.

That said, budgets are a mandatory element of financial health. They help you save, stop you from spending what you don’t have, expose bad spending habits, and pave the way to retirement.

There are also a number of mental health apps for the apps enthusiast. Check out these anxiety and depression apps.




Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Myths, Facts, and Treatment

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Myths, Facts, and Treatment

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is an invisible illness. And like many invisible illnesses, there is a certain social stigma to it. Is it real? Is he just lazy? I fight through my fatigue, why doesn’t she? Does everyone need some type of illness for sympathy? That is a pretend condition if I ever heard one.

Not only does the sufferer of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome face the illness itself, but also potential backlash from others who doubt the very existence of the illness.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

The Mayo Clinic defines chronic fatigue syndrome as “…a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.”

Sounds like a veritable hell on earth to more than a few people.

Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The cause of CFS is unknown. However, scientists have speculated about potential contributing factors: unusually low blood pressure, viruses, hormonal imbalance, and a weakened immune system.

Chronic fatigue can occasionally develop after a viral infection. The Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6, rubella, and several others have been studied without solid conclusions.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Myths

CFS does not exhibit measurable abnormalities.

There are many studies that observe central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, and immune system abnormalities in CFS patients.

CFS is a mental disorder.

Without a cause, some people consider CFS a mental disorder. This is not true. The condition exhibits a collection of physical signs and symptoms that validate the medical diagnosis.

CFS is an illness that affects white, middle-aged, affluent women.

CFS strikes all ages and socioeconomic groups. Affluent white women is the population that seeks out CFS specialists the most. However, this does not mean it strikes this group more than others. A 1999 CFS study indicated the highest occurrence of chronic fatigue syndrome to be among minorities, those with low levels of education, and lower occupational status.

Stress causes CFS. 

Stress does not cause the disease. There have been numerous outbreaks of CFS. Pathogens most likely cause outbreaks.

Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There is no drug specifically aimed at treating CFS. There is no proven cure. CFS is not well understood at this point. However, treatment strategy usually consists of one or more of the following:

It is important for patients to stay as active as they can in order to experience symptom reduction.

Spread Awareness

The more people with CFS education, the less likely they are to perpetuate the rumors of this invisible illness. And with awareness comes the interest of those with and without CFS to push forward the research needed to find the cause and eventual treatment.




If I Could Turn Back Time: Millennial Money Mistakes Which Can Affect Your Future

If I Could Turn Back Time: Millennial Money Mistakes Which Can Affect Your Future

“I’m Young.” “Nothing but time.” “Family: I’ll think about that later.” “Retirement: Decades away.” “Insurance: I am strong as an ox.”

We all think similar thoughts when we are young. However, if you are a millennial and these thoughts guide your financial actions, it’s important to know the common financial pitfalls — let’s call them millennial money mistakes — that you’ll make when you’re young, only to regret them when you become your future self.

Millennial Money Mistakes with Far-reaching Consequences

Depending on the level of financial education you have received, some of these millennial money mistakes will prove obvious (yet still important), some not so much.

Avoiding Credit Cards Altogether

What? Isn’t cash king? Isn’t credit card debt a nasty spiral? Doesn’t the average American household face $16,061 credit card debt? Well yes, these are all true.

However, lack of a credit card can cause numerous problems.

If you go to a bank or a credit union to apply for a loan, they will look at your credit (FICO) score.

Even though this may sound counterintuitive to some, a lack of credit history is a millennial money mistake because institutions will be less inclined to loan you money without a solid credit history behind you.

Hosting a Wedding with Borrowed Money

How many times have you heard a person say that his/her wedding day is ‘their’ day? Holy emotion! Money and emotions are like oil and water. They just don’t mix well.

Certainly the parents of some may pay for an entire wedding. But the average cost of American weddings is creeping above $28,000.

As the trend of waiting longer to get married continues, more couples are deciding to pay for their own wedding. But expectations are just as high as if their parents were paying. So they borrow money.

Sometimes this borrowed money could be the price of a luxury car, or a huge down payment on a house. It is difficult to start a lifelong relationship with large debt hanging over the marriage.

A smaller wedding may disappoint some, but they‘re not paying for it.

Choosing Money Instead of Future Opportunity

What do young people, or people looking for their first career job, most likely focus on as far as benefits? Salary.

Another millennial money mistake is to look at salary over opportunity for growth.

You need to look at both. Growth is often much more valuable than money because it allows you to move upward and eventually score that position with the big paycheck.

Avoiding Budgeting

This is the most important mistake to avoid.

An income earner without a budget is likely going to fall far short of any financial goals. Knowing what you bring in, and what goes out (and for what), is of the utmost importance if you want to avoid money mistakes and take hold of your financial future and retirement.

Simple budgeting? Just follow these steps: Document monthly income, document monthly expenses, document likely future expenses, and lower or erase every expense you can.

Millennial Money Mistakes Honorable Mention

These were just a few mistakes. Here are some others:

  • Don’t buy too much house.
  • Don’t buy too much car.
  • Protect your income with disability insurance.
  • Don’t wait to save for retirement.
  • Attack student loan repayment.

All These Things Are So Adult 

Yes, you think you have time. But, you really don’t. Time moves quickly, especially when finances are involved. If you can’t do all of the above, do as many as you can. They get easier the more financially involved you become. Your future self will thank you. That is a guarantee.




Workplace Bullying: What Forms Does It Take and What to Do About It

Workplace Bullying: What Forms Does It Take and What to Do About It

When you hear the word bully, does it conjure up images of an over-sized, seventh grade punk stealing licorice from a fifth grader? Probably not, especially if you are an adult who faces workplace bullying. To you, the two instances of bullying are very different. One would think that bullying ends after grade school, and especially in certain atmospheres like the workplace. If it had ended, there would be no such phrase as ‘workplace bullying’, nor would there be a need for the Workplace Bullying Institute.

What is the Definition of Workplace Bullying

The Workplace Bulling Institute, defines workplace bullying as: Repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is:

  • Threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or
  • Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done, or
  • Verbal abuse

 What Forms Does Workplace Bullying Take

Workplace bullying can often involve interactions with those who are in a position of power. The target of the bullying often has feelings of defenselessness, injustice, and indignity.

Here are a few ways which one might experience bullying in the workplace:

  • Public humiliation
  • Invalid criticism
  • Attacked by shouting
  • Exclusion from events
  • Micro-management
  • Baseless blame
  • Singled out and treated differently
  • Attacked with profanity
  • Unrealistic deadlines
  • Deliberately impeding work.
  • Withholding information or providing wrong information

If you are uncertain as to whether you are experiencing bullying, use the “reasonable person” test. Ask yourself if most people would consider the action in question as unacceptable.

How Does One Deal with Workplace Bullying

Stopping a bully at work takes a certain level of courage, and the ability to set boundaries. Here are some steps you can take.

Determine What You Will and Will Not Tolerate

Once the bully exceeds your work boundaries, tell the bully so.

  • Describe the bully’s behavior.
  • Tell the bully how the behavior affects your work.
  • Tell the bully they crossed the line and you will not accept their behavior any longer.

Confront the unacceptable behavior.

  • Point out the unacceptable behavior to the bully and walk away.

Document the behavior.

  • If it’s an email, save it. Any other personal communications, write down what transpired, the language used, the date, and the time.

Inform HR or your manager.

  • If setting boundaries does not work, take the episodes you documented to someone who can help you.

You Are Not Alone

Key findings from the 2014 Workplace Bullying Institute’s survey revealed:

  • 27 percent: Those who have direct or past experience with abusive work conduct.
  • Bosses compose the largest segment of bullies.
  • 72 percent of employees defend or rationalize bullying.

Do not ignore the workplace bully. It is unacceptable for a co-worker to put that type of pressure and stress on someone who is simply looking to work for a living. Do not delay in taking action. If your action falls on deaf ears, perhaps it is time to scan the classifieds.

 




Valuable Money Lessons to Share with Children

Valuable Money Lessons to Share with Children

How often have you heard friends or acquaintances bemoan the fact they were never taught the true value of money by their parents? Perhaps it’s you who shares this regret for the lack of parental money lessons. There are also related discussions about how schools need to improve upon, or emphasize, money lessons throughout their curriculum.

In the absence of lessons concerning the value of money, it often takes many years (if it happens at all) before people begin to learn from their money mistakes. A large portion of our population can be considered financially illiterate.

To afford your children the advantages of understanding money, we present three money lessons that should be staples in any financial discussions with your children. These discussions have the potential to teach good money habits for life.

Three Money Lessons to Teach Your Children

Spend Within One’s Means

Steve Schaffer, CEO of Offers.com, shared a personal experience which helped his child understand what living within his means is all about.

Schaffer and his wife allow their children to spend their allowance as they like. However, the children are not allowed to spend beyond their budget. One son had saved enough for an iPhone. Before his son went to buy it, Schaffer simply asked how he was going to afford the monthly phone charges.

His son never accounted for these charges. As parents, a great money lesson is to teach children that initial cost is one thing, recurring cost is another. Living within one’s means incorporates initial monetary outlay and future charges.

Needs vs. Wants 

A young mind may struggle with differentiating between a need and a want. Children may want something so badly that they assume it is a need. This money lesson often takes time and numerous examples before it takes hold. Once established, this lesson can help children make better money decisions, as well as, understanding corollary money lessons such as delayed gratification, emotional purchases, and impulse buying.

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

To kids, money is the thing that gets them what they want. But where exactly does this magic green paper come from? It comes from working. In most instances, when you work, you get paid for that work. To help reinforce this concept, parents may choose to allow their children the chance to earn an allowance. Another way to reinforce this concept is to bring your children to your workplace for an hour or two, or to incorporate a discussion of the  work parent(s) performed during the day (a great mealtime topic).

What do You Want Most for Your Children

Happiness? Purpose? Love? A passion? Responsibility? Civic-mindedness? When you as a parent are asked, “What would you like most for your child’s life?” these are some of the typical answers.

You are not likely to hear: Being financially secure later in life. This is because we, as Americans, have a strange relationship with money. However, financial security often enhances the chances, or eases the burden, of typical goals of parents’ wishes for their children.

Don’t allow your children to ever wish you had instilled in them money lessons.