Seek insight from peers, not just superiors or mentors. The wisdom of people your own age or at a similar stage in life can be valuable, too, says best-selling author Kevin Daum. When you talk, catch them up on your life, explain your situation, keep an open mind, let the discussion wander and see what you learn.
Repeat new names in conversation so you won’t forget them. When you’re introduced to someone, repeat her name back to her when you say hello. Try to use her name a few more times in the conversation. This will help the person’s name stick, says Careerealism’s Ariella Coombs.
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Take the “Hi” road. There are two types of people: Those who make eye contact, smile and say hello in the hallway and those who don’t. Think how much more pleasant it is to encounter someone from the former group. Vowing to become a “Hi” person is a major step toward creating a friendlier workplace.
Meeting icebreaker: Try ‘Guess My Lie.’ It’s an ideal game when you want people to get to know each other better and lower their defenses. Here’s how it works: Ask each participant to make three statements about himself—but only two of them should be true. After each speaker’s turn, invite the audience to guess which of the three statements is a lie. This can trigger a humorous and eye-opening discussion, and serve as a bonding experience to boot.
Co-ed work teams produce high revenue and low morale. A study from MIT and George Washington University found that teams of all one gender reported the highest happiness and satisfaction, but earned less revenue and were not as productive as co-ed teams. People like working with others who are like them, but the discomfort of diverse teams seems to keep people focused on work.
Unplanned absences from work cause a greater toll in the United States than the rest of the world. Sixty-one percent of survey respondents in the United States say unplanned absences cause added stress. The numbers were 54% for Australians and 51% in Europe. Nearly half the U.S. respondents said absences hurt morale, with 36% and 31% agreeing in Australia and Europe, respectively.