Four Steps to Better Work Boundaries

by Heather Boerner, for Yahoo! HotJobs
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Want to advance your career? Saying “no” may be the key.

“It’s wonderful to be the go-to person to a point — until you find you’re totally overwhelmed, exhausted, resentful and in a time crunch,” said Susan Newman, author of “The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It — And Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever.” “Setting workplace boundaries means you will be doing better work and not spreading yourself all over the lot.”

Here’s how to get there:

1. Track your yeses.

You can’t set a boundary you don’t know you have, so watch yourself for a week, Newman said. Where do you say “yes”?

  • Do you agree to lunch with that coworker on the day of a major presentation?
  • Do you accept another project on top of the eight you already have?
  • Do you volunteer to change the printer’s ink cartridge for a harried coworker?
  • Do you work on the Saturday of your daughter’s recital?

2. Figure out your priorities.

“Every time you say yes, you’re giving up something,” said Newman. So get your priorities straight:

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Four Steps to Better Work Boundaries- Monster+HotJobs.


Thanks to ProBlogger and his 31 Days to build a better blog challenge – link below – we have a new overview/about section for Wisewolf Talking – here it is.

Information and comment from Wisewolf Consulting for those managing change or going through change themselves – from strategy and programme management to personal mentoring and things to help you make the most of the opportunity!

Thought pieces to stimulate discussion and to help you develop yourself and your business.

Sometimes original, sometimes interesting pieces from elsewhere, but all aimed at helping you to meet the challenge.”

You can find out more about Wisewolf Consulting at the blog roll links on this site or by emailing

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Looking at Change with a Positive Focus

Since change is a fact of life you cannot change, it’s up to you to change how you look at it. By looking at change openly and honestly, you can begin to deal with it from a rational viewpoint rather than an emotional one. To put change into perspective and add a structure for dealing with it, start with these two simple steps:

Step One: Describe the Change

  1. What caused it? What happened or is happening to put the change into consideration?
  2. What is the exact nature of the change being proposed?
  3. How will the change affect your responsibilities? What specific issues will the change directly affect?
  4. Who is responsible for implementing the change?
  5. What system will be used to ensure the change succeeds?

Step Two: Recognize the Imposition (Decide who is doing the imposing, who is pushing for the change)

  1. Boss or management
  2. The system
  3. The customer
  4. You

Boss- or Management-Imposed Change

Boss-imposed change may come from a new boss or from a company merger, which brings about fresh insight, identifying where change is needed and will be beneficial. These changes create several questions:

  1. Can I do this? You may be afraid you won’t be able to do what the new boss asks of you. You may fear losing your job if you don’t handle the change correctly.
  2. Am I the one to do this? New management may not be aware of your individual responsibilities and may wrongly assign tasks involved with the change.
  3. Do I need to redefine my job? If the boss is firm on his assigning the change task, you may need to redefine your job description to accommodate the change.
  4. What retraining or education is available to help me deal with the change? Seek out retraining to avoid failure and to stay valuable to the company.
  5. Do I have any say in the change? Can I use my knowledge, expertise, interpersonal and leadership skills or group dynamics to bring about the desired change? By doing this will it position me to receive a bonus, promotion, salary adjustment, or overtime privileges?

System-Imposed Change

Change often stems from an outdated system. The old system no longer works and something has to give. This type of change also poses questions.

  1. Is it within my responsibility? This is one of the hardest questions to deal with in a system-imposed change. While you may see changes that would help the system, you may lack the authority to bring them about. It falls to you to convince your bosses of the wisdom of your suggestions. Remember that offering a resolution is more diplomatic than simply complaining and is a positive way of dealing with a failing system.
  2. Is it worth doing? The change must be measurable and positive or it’s not worth carrying out.
  3. Do I have time? Do others? When implementing change, always consider the time commitment required.

Customer-Imposed Change

When a company realizes that its customers are unhappy, it’s time for change. Ultimately the changes must satisfy not only the customer but the company as well. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can I do what the customer wants? Hiring more service representatives so the customer gets helped more quickly may make the customer happy.
  2. What is the bottom-line impact? Hiring more service representatives would mean a sharp increase in costs.
  3. Will I keep my customers? A large price increase may well lead to a reduction in the number of customers.

Self-Imposed Change

Often change comes from burdens you place on yourself. You switch word processing programs; you go back to school; you make career changes. You can diminish the negative impact of these changes by anticipating difficulties that may arise. Ask these questions:

  1. How will this affect the work I do? Before tackling self-imposed change, consider the damage you may do to your job. Will you have less time or make more mistakes because of the additional pressure? You need to prepare yourself and others for potential problems during the implementation of the change.
  2. Can I control this? If the change will hurt your work, you must have some degree of control over it. Seek flexibility. Avoid requirements that the change be carried out a certain way and within a certain time frame.
  3. Can I delegate parts of the change? Self-imposed change leaves little room to delegate. But persuasion can take the form of delegating if you can convince others of the need for change.
  4. What are the opportunities? How do I create winners? Consider WIIFM. “What’s in it for me?” definitely applies in this situation. To successfully convince others to go along with the effects of your self-imposed change, you need to convince them there’s something in it for them too. Do opportunities exist for them, such as acquiring new skills or making their jobs easier?

It may come as a surprise that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a fast-moving train. Instead, it’s the sun that appears when you consider the positive side of change and prepare for it. So take the challenge. Look at change in a new, realistic light that lets you control the effects of change, not the other way around.

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Social media is changing. It has moved away from the world of techies and youth into a community wide phenomenon with a new way of connecting across all social divides. It can now meet all the challenges of social communications from making friend to doing business. Here are 6 ways in which we think it is changing.

1. The People Focus

We’re moving away from being “users” to being just people communicating with each other – here come real human beings. If you want to succeed as a company using social media – then take it a step forward and find a way to use social media to meet some different basic human needs e g for making contact with other real humans

2. Creating Meaning for Real People

Social media features and applications are common – people are now looking for more real value than just something new. People want to ge the latest news but they also want to be involved themselves and have conversations – lots of conversations – real interaction with you and others.

3. Supporting Technical Convergence

FriendFeed — now both a destination and an API — is growing rapidly, despite a doubtful wiki-like interface and interactive experience. That’s because people are at a loss when it comes to pulling their conversations together from various sources and assigning meaning to them. Companies that deliver beautifully designed, easy-to-use, searchable, flexible, aggregating platforms will become more important than any social media tool by itself.

4. Building a Truly Cross-Platform Experience

The iPhone experience has changed the playing field for users, companies, and developers. In Q1 of 2009 alone, Apple sold 4.4 million iPhones, and Google’s Android and the new Palm continue to build on the cross-platform, application- and service-driven model. People are seeking solutions that seamlessly cut across mobile, web, and live interaction.

5. Creating Relevant Social Networks

People will create, join, and seek social networks that enable them to have meaningful and relevant experiences with each other. Delivering social networks that allow people to connect easily and seamlessly around the things they love will make then next generation of IT billionaires.

6. Making Money

The next phase of social media will bring lots of ways to make money. With the rise of aggregating platforms, social networks, and new mobile and location-based features, there are going to be lot of ways of targeting ads to meet personal needs as well as providing new services and new hardware. All it needs is imagination. Social media has forever changed the way people with access to technology interact and that access is becoming easier to gain and cheaper by the day. We can’t put the monkey back in the box all we can do is teach it new tricks to serve us in the world we now live in.


Business and skills solutions

Whether you require advice, facilitation, training, or support on a particular work-related problem, we will work with you to find an effective solution. Areas where we can help include:

* communication and consultation

* redundancy and notice

* contracts and hours

* employee engagement

* organisational change

* disputes and mediation

* equality

* job evaluation

* flexible working

You may want to review your policies and procedures. Maybe you require advice on introducing a change in your organisation, like introducing annualised hours. You may wish to explore problems with staff communications or underlying reasons for absenteeism. Whatever the problem with employment relations is, our advisers, who have an in-depth knowledge of issues faced by organisations in all sectors, can help.

But maybe the problem involves more than just employment relations and you need to review working practices to manage your business better. Perhaps you are looking at manufacturing processes to see if your organisation can become more competitive or avoid the need for redundancies. Our facilitation specialists will work with you and your employees to find a way forward

Perhaps you organisation has areas of conflict within or between teams. Our independent and impartial adviser can provide mediation, team building and help with resolving relationship issues.

Our advisers can set up joint working groups or task groups in your workplace to look at your requirement and work with you and your employees. We have unique experience backed up by a good knowledge of HR, employee relations and employment law. We will be able to evaluate the issue, give valuable advice, and facilitate the implementation of an effective solution.

Benefits delivered by our customised help and support in the workplace to date include:

* improved profitability

* improved quality of goods and services

* lower levels of absenteeism

* fewer discipline cases

* fewer grievances

* avoiding redundancies

Can Acas help you?

More at  Acas – Business and skills solutions.


An Australian study has shown that short periods using the Internet at work actually increases productivity – Study Author Brent Coker, Department of Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne.  Apparently Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing – or as Brent calls it WILB – gives you a break from concentrating on work, you return refreshed and so concentration is sharpened overall.  He studied 300 people who browsed for products, played games, kept up with the News and even watched YouTube videos.  I’m not sure what effect YouTube videos had on others in the office.  But this applied to those whose Internet breaks made up less than 20% of their time .  Those who were obsessed with the Internet were less productive.  So where does that leave those of us who love to Twitter?

Life after redundancy – Thea Montgomerie-Anderson – Management Today

When Thea Montgomerie-Anderson was made redundant, she found a job in her hobby – stand-up comedy…

I used to work in the City for an American company selling IT software to investment banks and insurance companies. Gradually they made more and more people redundant, and when the pound went through the floor it was pretty obvious my days were numbered.

I’d started doing comedy two and a half years ago as a drunken bet with one of my clients. I used to just do open mike nights to de-stress. The world of sales is very aggressive: I was walking around with hair in a tight bun, wearing Gucci dresses, high-heels and pearls. Comedy was just a good release. Then I got made redundant last December. Now I’m in platforms and hotpants.

More at  Life after redundancy – Thea Montgomerie-Anderson – Leisure & Tourism – Management Today.

How Social media can speed up your job search – blogs

This is from  Wall-McLaughlin Recruiting & Staffing – JobWall Blog.

A prominent blogger recently proclaimed that any professional who considers himself to be a top performer in his field has a blog. So if you don’t have a blog, you must not be a top performer. With more and more employers buying into that statement, the establishment and maintenance of a blog is becoming as important a part of the job search process as is having a clean resume or nailing your interviews. By establishing and maintaining a blog you:

– Set yourself apart from other job seekers

– Show your expertise in a niche field

– Show you are keeping up with the times and are able to display your understanding of the happenings in your industry

– Establish yourself as a source of information, not just a name on paper

– Attract others with the same interests as you, allowing you to grow your professional network

So now that you’ve established a blog, what are the key dos and don’ts to ensure your blog will help you land that dream job?

More at  Wall-McLaughlin Recruiting & Staffing – JobWall Blog.

BLT Management Consultancy Blog, HR Blog Tax Blog

Would you go for Redundancy or Redeployment?

Permalink 03:00:06 am, by Paul Email , 259 words, 57 views English (UK)

Categories: BLT Recruitment Blog

In a bid to help employers cope with the current economic crisis, ACAS and the CIPD have recently published a guidance note ‘How to manage your workforce in a recession’.

The document gives a lot of advice, including the need to think about the future. Although we don’t know when the markets will recover, we do know that they will eventually. Where does that leave employers that have made mass redundancies? Making people redundant and recruiting again later when the market picks up is expensive. And if you have to recruit, you also have to train, which will take up valuable time that you can ill-afford to lose.

We talked the other day about adopting a shorter working week as an alternative to redundancies. Another alternative is to take this time to retrain existing employees. If their skills are no longer in demand, provide training and redeploy them to other parts of the organisation where their skills will be in demand. This approach makes a lot of sense because when the market picks up again, you’ll have a ready trained workforce all set to go.

Surviving the recession and still coming out smiling at the end will require a lot of forward thinking. Companies that have had the foresight to prepare for the future are likely to have a head start when the crisis is over.

What advantages, or disadvantages, can you foresee for companies adopting this approach? Would you consider training for a different role within your current company if it meant you remained in employment?

via BLT Management Consultancy Blog, HR Blog Tax Blog.