An important life lesson is revealed by an unlikely source.
BY JUSTIN BARISO
Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) is marked by a person's ability to recognize and understand emotions (both his or her own and those of others), and to use that information to guide decision making. It includes demonstrating extremely complex qualities such as empathy, sympathy, and compassion. Of course, these qualities help us to be better people. But they can also help youbreak your worst communication habits, so that others receive your message in the best way possible.
For example, have you said something recently that you wish you could take back? For years, I struggled with the weakness of speaking too quickly, without thinking things through.
Curbing that tendency is easier said than done, but there's a quick "three question method" that can prevent you from saying something you'll later regret.
The 3 Vital Questions
I discovered this brilliant strategy through an unlikely source. I was watching an interview with comedian and television personality Craig Ferguson, when he gave some very sage advice:
There are three things you must always ask yourself before you say anything.
Does this need to be said?
Does this need to be said by me?
Does this need to be said by me now?
Ferguson says it took him three marriages to learn that lesson.
Before you dismiss this method as simplistic, think about how many antagonistic comments this would eliminate from social media. Or, we can take it a step further and consider how it might apply at work:
Let's say you're a manager, and you've been working hard to improve the relationships with certain individuals on your team. One day, you witness someone doing something great at work, and you take advantage of the opportunity to commend them. Great job! (Sincere, authentic, and timely praise goes a long way in motivating employees.)
But suddenly, you remember how they messed something up a few weeks ago. "I should bring that to their attention, too," you reason. "Let me tell them before I forget..."
No! Stop! Ask yourself:
Does this need to be said?
Does it need to be said by me?
Does it need to be said by me now?
True, constructive criticism is best delivered soon after a mistake. But you've alreadymissed that boat. If you give that negative feedback now, it will completely destroy whatever goodwill you built with your praise and commendation. The person will think:
"So, essentially you just told me something nice to soften the blow of what you really wanted to say. Jerk."
When you ask yourself the three questions, you'll probably conclude one of the following:
- You know, the criticism I wanted to share wasn't so important after all. My opinion may even be changing on this.
- It might be better if I speak to their team leader first. Maybe what I saw a few weeks ago wasn't really the whole picture.
- I definitely still need to talk to them about the problem I saw. But now's not the right time. Let me set a reminder to schedule an appointment with the person after I'm better prepared.
See how well it works?
This is just one scenario, but practicing these three questions will help you in various situations. Imagine if everyone did it: We would see far fewer (and shorter) emails, shorter meetings, and fewer employee complaints about others' inappropriate remarks...and yes, maybe even a few saved romances.
Keeping It Balanced
Of course, I'm not discouraging speaking up when appropriate. I strongly believe in honest and direct communication, and there are times when the answer to all three questions will be a resounding yes--even when what we need to say isn't comfortable for us or the recipient.
When those times come, the three question method will help you speak with confidence--and learn to be assertive when it counts.
Apple's iconic co-founder had an unmatched talent for zeroing on what's most important.
BY MINDA ZETLIN
Co-author, 'The Geek Gap'@MindaZetlin
There was only one Steve Jobs, and it's easy to see why we're so fascinated with him. A twin separated at birth; a visionary who made products that changed how we use technology; a college dropout who studied coding and calligraphy for fun; a wisdom seeker who spent months wandering India barefoot in a sarong. Oh, and after a long flirtation with sweater vests and bow ties, a man who wore a black turtleneck and blue jeans everywhere he went.
Here are some of the reasons more freelancers, startups, and other businesses are going the coworking route.
BY JEREMY GOLDMAN
Founder and CEO, Firebrand Group @jeremarketer
More and more Americans are turning to freelance employment; in fact, by some accounts, it's now reached 34% of the workforce. These workers are looking for productive spaces to conduct their businesses. When your home isn't conducive to concentrating and cafes are too loud and crowded, where is a freelance professional supposed to work? One major solution to this growing problem is coworking spaces--communal offices that are shared by new businesses, digital companies, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. When I started Firebrand Group, I turned to coworking spaces as a viable, future-oriented way to start our digital consulting agency. While coworking has been on the rise for a few years now, it looks like 2016 may be the year that coworking goes mainstream. Here are some of the many reasons why freelancers and others are turning to coworking spaces:
47 percent of people surveyed reported that the meetings they attend are not productive. Don't make it worse by saying these
words and phrases.
BY PETER ECONOMY
The Leadership Guy@bizzwriter
Few of us enjoy--really enjoy--the time we spend in meetings. Part of the reason for this is the fact that, for a variety of reasons, meetings can be particularly unproductive. In fact, in a survey of 1,000 people, intranet provider Igloo found that fully 47 percent reported that meetings were unproductive. That's pretty abysmal.
In the ever-elusive search for ways to get more work done faster, these ideas proved to be some of the most popular on our website.
BY ANNA HENSEL
Editorial assistant, Inc.@ahhensel
As an entrepreneur, it doesn't matter how successful and profitable your company is--there are still days when you can feel like a failure for not getting enough work done.
After having successfully launched several companies during my career, here are the 10 things that I look for in a new hire.
Entrepreneur and investor@johnrampton
Hiring the right people for your small business isn't a nice little perk. It's an essential part of your business since your employees the heart and soul of your business. They're your biggest brand advocates and will responsible for the successful growth of your business. Furthermore, if you can retain great employees, you'll save a ton of time and money since you won't have to be concerned with a high turnover.
"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
-Norman Vincent Peale-
The curtains close on yet another year with the magical show of Christmas! With jingle bells on silent nights, winter wonderlands, mistletoe and wine. While Santa makes his list and checks it twice, and Rudolf prepares for his sleigh ride, the entire world prepares to welcome the most wonderful time of the year. So as the sleigh bells ring, let’s deck the office halls with boughs of holly and rock around the Christmas tree. Let’s bring a little bit of Christmas magic to the office!
It’s all about the content! Check out this year’s top contenders.
For brand marketers using LinkedIn it’s imperative for them to be able to measure their content marketing efforts. At LinkedIn, content is king and engaging professional audiences with information that not only educates, but also inspires them is ultimately our goal.
From left: Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation Executive Director Ho Se Mun; MillenniumIT Project Director Vidumini Ranasinghe; LOLC Chief Risk Officer Shamini Wickremasekera; Department of Computer Science and Engineering Senior Lecturer Vishaka Nanayakkara from the University of Moratuwa; Microsoft Education Programs Manager Yashinka Jayasinghe Alles; FITIS Manager Administration and Operations Chadika Yahampath; Deputy Head and Spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office of Sri Lanka Rosy Senanayake; ICTA Chairperson Chitranganee Mubarak; TechAdvisor.lk Editor Mihiri Wikramanayake and FITIS Chairperson Chinthaka Wijewickrama