Don’t Box People in by Making a Gift of Gender Stereotyping

‘Tis the season to be gender-stereotyped. We may think it’s been a long struggle, but that at last the cause of equality is making some progress.

Belatedly, we are publicly addressing issues of power and imbalance between men and women. We are careful to use gender-neutral language. We don’t think in terms of boys’ careers and girls’ careers. We don’t assume that certain toys are suitable for girls and certain toys are suitable for boys. And then…

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How Likeable People Can Find Real Confidence

How’s your Confidence Barometer at this very moment?

For many of us, it’s hovering in the lower figures, perhaps threatening to drop right off the scale unless something drastic happens to raise our level of self-possession and faith in our ability to succeed in — well, anything really. How can we find our way to having True Confidence in ourselves?

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How to Deal with Envy in Friendships and at Work

How to deal with envy by

You know the feeling — the inner lurch of dismay when your friend buys the Jimmy Choos or Mulberry bag that you can’t afford, the gritted teeth through which you congratulate your work colleague on their promotion, the pang of misery with which you view images of happy families and couples on your social media feed…

As the American writer Gore Vidal so memorably said: ‘Every time a friend succeeds, something inside me dies.’

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Emotional labour or a labour of love?

How many hours have you spent in the past week or month on the activities involved with maintaining relationships and recognising the needs of the people in your life?

These ’emotional labout’ activities could include, for example, organising a social or family event, spending time with someone, sending thoughtful texts, listening, cooking a meal, remembering birthdays, having a drink or coffee with someone, offering help, making someone comfortable — it probably adds up to a lot of time and probably the greatest amount of hours is clocked up by women.

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How To Speak Human

The rise of management speak and workplace jargon not only debases language — it also diminishes those who use it.

It creeps into communication and, without realising it, we adopt the latest buzzword or usage, fearing that not to do so will reveal us to be out of touch.

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How to Talk to Strangers and People You Don’t Know

In some situations, it isn’t too difficult to exchange words with strangers or semi-strangers. When the context is clear, we know where we stand.

We know that at a wedding or party or reception, there is a general expectation that we will engage with the people at our table or in our group, and daunting as ‘small talk’ can be, we can learn how to become better at it.

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5 Steps to Effective Last-Minute Exam Revision

Exam time has started and we feel your pain. Even the most confident students can feel overwhelmed at the prospect of the testing period ahead.

Your schools and colleges will have given you loads of excellent advice about the best techniques and approaches. Here are a few more ideas to help you maintain your focus and energy in the final sprint towards exams.

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How Jargon Makes Us Less Human

The workplace is rife with jargon. We use the currently fashionable (or sadly outdated, if you don’t keep up) pre-packed phrases to make our banal utterances sound zippy and dynamic, and to impose a veneer of gravitas on our trivial observations.

Why take a broad view, or an overall perspective, when we can get the ‘helicopter view’? Why meet for coffee or a chat when we can ‘touch base offline’? But office jargon also disguises the reality behind the pithy expression.

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How to Deal with Bullying When it’s Called Honesty

In these times of fake news and alternative facts, how could we not be in favour of honesty? Honesty is a core value which is essential to human interaction. We have to be able to trust each other.

So let’s be on our guard for communication which, in the guise of honesty, presents negative comments masquerading as helpful feedback, and which raises questions about the motives of the speaker.

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How to Identify the Real Power in the Workplace

At first glance, it’s quite clear — the people at the top have power, and everyone else doesn’t. There’s an element of truth in this, of course.

If you have a position which gives you the last word in hiring and firing, rewarding and punishing, then you are powerful indeed. And we don’t hate you for it, because we know that you will always exercise this power with intelligence, sensitivity and responsibility.

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How to Disagree with People at Work

Frank and fearless exchanges of views about entertainment, public personalities and the best place for a lunchtime sandwich are fun and stimulating.

On the other hand, disagreements about practice and policy, decisions and projections and similar kinds of work-based stuff are trickier to handle, whether they involve your colleagues or your boss. Here are some tips on how to handle contentious matters.

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