Tag Archives: employee

These 4 fears are hindering your credibility in meetings

You probably spend far too many of your working hours in meetings. Chances are, you’ve contemplated how you can have less of them. But have you ever thought about how you can make those meetings more productive and beneficial? After all, they provide opportunities to showcase yourself as a star employee, and even present yourself as a potential leader of your company.

But to get there, you need to speak up in those meetings. Far too many of my clients don’t do that (which is why they come to me in the first place). By staying silent, they’re leaving potential career advancement opportunities on the table.

If you can’t cut the number of meetings, you can at least make them a more productive use of your time. Here are five things that might be stopping you from voicing your point of view, and how to push past those fears.

1. You don’t want to seem overbearing

If you’re always around people who force their opinions in every conversation, you might be inclined to do the opposite. After all, you don’t want to be that annoying person, right?

But there is a difference between talking for the sake of talking and speaking up because you have something valuable to contribute. You don’t necessarily have to have an opinion for every meeting item, but when you do, you should make that clear. You can start off by voicing one opinion per meeting until you become comfortable with expressing your thoughts in front of your colleagues. The more you practice, the easier it becomes.


Related: Three types of annoyingly chatty coworkers and how to shut them up


2. You’re too worried about your words

You’re unlikely to jump in with your thoughts if you’re the type of person who insists on finding perfect words to describe your ideas. But the thing is, your colleagues are probably not going to be paying that much attention to the words you say. Instead, they’re more likely to pay attention to your arguments. If you have a clear thesis, you don’t need fancy words (in fact, using them can backfire.)

Remember also that your listeners will be filtering your words through their own assumptions and interpretations, so focusing on them won’t make your messages more effective. Rather than getting too hung up on your vocabulary, include an anecdote. That allows you to connect with your colleagues at a personal level, and they’re more likely to resonate with your message.

3. You continuously question whether your ideas are “right”

Perfectionists like to micromanage their ideas until they feel that they’re 100% “right” or “perfect.” But by the time they’re happy with them, they’ve missed their chance to make their mark. Perhaps their employer has moved on or started implementing other people’s ideas already.

The solution to this is simple, though not easy–give up this goal of perfection. Think about your ideas like minimum viable products–something to test out and fine-tune later. Trust that your ideas are good enough to mention in meetings. If you sense that your boss and colleagues are interested in pursuing it further, then you can refine it.


Related: What to do when your meeting discussions becomes incoherent


4. You underestimate yourself

One of the biggest barriers to speaking up in meetings is simply underestimating yourself. You might feel unqualified to discuss subjects outside of your area of expertise. You need to get rid of this mind-set if you want to be perceived as a leader. Leaders don’t know everything, but they are comfortable expressing their perspective. Remember, vocalizing your thoughts on one subject matter doesn’t mean going into nitty-gritty details. You can point out an overarching issue, then defer to a subject-matter expert when discussions take a more technical turn.

You don’t need to be a chatterbox to gain credibility as a leader or high-performing employee. You do, however, need to make your opinions known when it comes to important issues. By understanding your resistance to speaking up in meetings, you can learn to push past those fears. You won’t get there overnight, but with plenty of practice, you’ll find that it becomes easier.

i-1-facebook-plane-react-first-came-the-glitch-then-the-scams

Facebook plane react: First came the fake feature, then the scams

So this is how Facebook scammers earn their wings?

Yesterday, we reported on a curious new feature that suddenly became available to some Facebook users on Android phones. If they went to comment on a Facebook post, they were presented with a new reaction option in the shape of an airplane. The cute little plane emoji would appear along with Facebook’s traditional “haha,” “wow,” “sad,” and “angry” faces.

From the outset, the whole thing seemed suspicious. Why a plane? What emotion does that even convey? Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson told me the feature was never meant for prime-time. Rather, it was the product of an employee hackathon. We can only assume the blue-winged beauty will quickly disappear over the horizon, if it hasn’t already.

Still, a lot of people seem to really want this feature, and while their hopes may be pie in the sky, there are plenty of Facebook pages ready and willing to show them how to get it. All you have to do, these pages say, is like their page and comment with a hashtag, such as #addplanereact. And people are doing it—lots of people—despite the fact that, again, this is not a real feature.

The phenomenon offers an interesting window into the birth and life of Facebook like farms. As of this morning, one of these “plane react” Facebook pages had amassed over 3,000 followers. A single post from this page had over 720 comments within a few hours.

[Screenshot: Facebook]

It’s anyone’s guess what the end game is, but in Facebook’s engagement economy, all these likes, shares, and comments have value. Pages that get big enough could be sold or converted into who knows what. And even as more insidious forms of Facebook malfeasance—like Russian-backed propaganda campaigns—have taken center stage recently, the “plane react” pages are proof that Facebook and its users are up against an insurmountable game of whack-a-mole.

I reached out to Facebook about the pages, and will update if I hear back.

[Screenshot via Facebook]

Read Elon Musk’s email alleging there is a saboteur at Tesla

The CEO emailed every employee at his car company on Monday night alleging a fellow employee conducted “quite extensive and damaging sabotage” to the company by altering internal product code and exporting company data to outsiders, reports CNBC. The email states that Musk is not sure if the rogue employee was working alone or if he had other accomplices at Tesla. Here is Musk’s email in full:

To: Everybody

Subject: Some concerning news

June 17, 2018

11:57 p.m.

I was dismayed to learn this weekend about a Tesla employee who had conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations. This included making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false usernames and exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.

The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad. His stated motivation is that he wanted a promotion that he did not receive. In light of these actions, not promoting him was definitely the right move.

However, there may be considerably more to this situation than meets the eye, so the investigation will continue in depth this week. We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations.

As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die. These include Wall Street short-sellers, who have already lost billions of dollars and stand to lose a lot more. Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in the world — they don’t love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars. Don’t want to blow your mind, but rumor has it that those companies are sometimes not super nice. Then there are the multitude of big gas/diesel car company competitors. If they’re willing to cheat so much about emissions, maybe they’re willing to cheat in other ways?

Most of the time, when there is theft of goods, leaking of confidential information, dereliction of duty or outright sabotage, the reason really is something simple like wanting to get back at someone within the company or at the company as a whole. Occasionally, it is much more serious.

Please be extremely vigilant, particularly over the next few weeks as we ramp up the production rate to 5k/week. This is when outside forces have the strongest motivation to stop us.

If you know of, see or suspect anything suspicious, please send a note to [email address removed for privacy] with as much info as possible. This can be done in your name, which will be kept confidential, or completely anonymously.

Looking forward to having a great week with you as we charge up the super exciting ramp to 5000 Model 3 cars per week!

Will follow this up with emails every few days describing the progress and challenges of the Model 3 ramp.

Thanks for working so hard to make Tesla successful,

Elon

When offices die, how do you design an office chair?

Office chairs have gone from corporate status symbols to afterthoughts. Here’s how one furniture manufacturer is adapting.

When you look around at your office, what do you see? Maybe it seems like just a bunch of chairs and tables, a few conference rooms. But that entire set up is built on an assumption about what work means, inherited from the 19th century. If your office has invested in spacious desks for every employee, and Aeron chairs customizable by every owner, what your employers are really saying is: We expect that most of your work happens at your desk, because you’re working on your little piece of the puzzle, like in a factory.

Read Full Story

business practices • Re: Past Projects (in Consultancy) shown in New Personal Com

steppenwolf wrote:
Had a quick discussion with my lawyer on the matter we discuss here.

Dan Lewis wrote:If you were an employee then the work you did for your employer is Work For Hire.

DanLewis is correct, this is what my lawyer told me. However, he added that the relevant law in EU countries (may not be the case in US) also states that the Company/Employer owns the material that is enough for the creation of the product. It is kind of vague. Furthermore, the “moral” rights, remain to the employee. The only explicit part is that in Work for Hire, the employee transfers all the money-related rights to the employer.

ref: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/ … nts_en.pdf (pages 137 bottom – 138 top )

Where are you located, not the US? Helps to know if you want useful comments.


business practices • Re: Past Projects (in Consultancy) shown in New Personal Com

Had a quick discussion with my lawyer on the matter we discuss here.

Dan Lewis wrote:
If you were an employee then the work you did for your employer is Work For Hire.

DanLewis is correct, this is what my lawyer told me. However, he added that the relevant law in EU countries (may not be the case in US) also states that the Company/Employer owns the material that is enough for the creation of the product. It is kind of vague. Furthermore, the “moral” rights, remain to the employee. The only explicit part is that in Work for Hire, the employee transfers all the money-related rights to the employer.

ref: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/ … nts_en.pdf (pages 137 bottom – 138 top )


general design discussion • Re: "Things are going digital"

Much like manufacturing, all ID jobs were going to be shipped out to China in the next 5-10 years. Looking back, this statement was completely ridiculous and I don’t know how that guy could say that. Think about how difficult it is to communicate with overseas manufacturers regarding measurable things like tolerances and part quality.

I will comment on this line, again not because all jobs were outsourced – but for companies which manufacture in Asia, it’s MUCH easier to hire an overseas ID team to handle design and direct connection with the manufacturers. At my last job our ID team & ME team saw no growth (or a small decline) in our US or European studios over the past decade, but began hiring additional resources in Asia to help do the jobs which usually required designers getting on a plane and spending 3 weeks in China. It was easier to pay a lower salary for an additional employee overseas then it was to spend huge amounts of money on overseas travel.

Only a single example, but certainly not a ridiculous standpoint, especially given the cost and availability of ID labor in Asia. It also became tougher to argue the quality of overseas design, since for every 100 mediocre designers overseas there were still some great designers that you could track down.


business practices • Re: Past Projects (in Consultancy) shown in New Personal Com

bepster wrote:
steppenwolf wrote:@ bepster, if I recall correctly, still some rights remain to the individual creator who did the design, despite the fact that she/he was an employee in a design studio. To be on the safe side though, I asked my lawyer and I am waiting for his response.

That would be really interesting to know. I have never talked about this to a law specialist and was only assuming that when you work for an agency, the work you do does belong to them which in turn they can sell to their clients.

Both my last agencies and at my current employer, designers that have been involved with a project are being named on the patents.
In that case ownership might be a bit different but I am not sure what this changes as the patent is still issued to your employer.

If you were an employee then the work you did for your employer is Work For Hire. They own the work you did for them, and they may have had a contract with their client that made the work the firm did Work For Hire and then it belongs to the client. Katie Lane is an attorny that specializes in these and contract issues — she has a good blog that answers a lot of questions. http://www.workmadeforhire.net


Labor Review Board lawyer says fired Googler James Damore has no case

Google did not violate the law when it fired engineer James Damore for circulating a controversial memo inside the company, according to the National Labor Review Board’s general counsel, Jayme L Sophir.

Last year, Damore shared a document that questioned Google’s effort to create a diverse culture while also asserting that women earned less than their male counterparts and were less likely to ascending to executive levels because of inherent biological differences. Specifically, he said women on average are more neurotic and less able to handle stress, and have IQs that are more middling than those of men.

After being fired, Damore filed a complaint with the National Labor Review Board. Last month, the Board’s general counsel said this about Damore’s case, in a letter which came to light yesterday:

Statements about immutable traits linked to sex—such as women’s heightened neuroticism and men’s prevalence at the top of the IQ distribution—were discriminatory and constituted sexual harassment, notwithstanding effort to cloak comments with “scientific” references and analysis, and notwithstanding “not all women” disclaimers. Moreover, those statements were likely to cause serious dissension and disruption in the workplace,” the NLRB concluded. “Where an employee’s conduct significantly disrupts work processes, creates a hostile work environment, or constitutes racial or sexual discrimination or harassment, the Board has found it unprotected even if it involves concerted activities regarding working conditions.

Damore pulled his complaint with the NLRB and the case has since been closed. He is, however, still pursuing a class action lawsuit against Google in which he seeks to prove the company discriminates against white, conservative men.