In a previous post, I provided a common sense "cheat sheet" with the 7 most useful things for managers to know. Here's another set of shortcuts useful for managers and non-managers alike.
1. How to Earn Respect
- Be yourself rather than your role.
- Show interest in other people.
- Always share the limelight.
- Dress and groom to match your ambitions.
- Pause before speaking to mentally frame your thoughts.
- Speak from your chest without verbal tics or end-of-sentence rises in pitch.
2. How to Play Clean Office Politics
- Find out what other people need and want.
- Build mutually useful alliances with those you can trust.
- Keep track of the favors you owe and the ones owed you.
- Use your alliances at key points to help achieve your goals.
3. How to Recruit a Mentor
- Forget official mentoring programs; they're like arranged marriages.
- Mentors crave to teach people what they have learned.
- Seek out mentors who have experience and skills you lack.
- Ask for advice and let the relationship develop naturally.
- Be kind when you outgrow the relationship (as you will eventually).
4. How to Handle Annoying Coworkers
- Wafflers can't decide, so force the issue.
- Conquerors must win, so make them team leaders.
- Drama queens and kings crave attention, so ignore them.
- Iconoclasts break rules needlessly, so avoid them.
- Droners are boring, so find something else to do.
- Frenemies sabotage, so keep them at arm's length.
- Toadies mean you must either leave the firm or become a toady yourself.
- Vampires leach energy unless you stay upbeat.
- Parasites steal credit, so track who's contributed.
- Geniuses are all talk, so pester them until they deliver.
5. How to Handle Corporate Lawyers
- When risk is minimal, leave lawyers out of the loop.
- Lawyers are not decision makers; they only give advice.
- Insist that legal gibberish be simplified into plain language.
- Never rush a lawyer, because it will result in even more delay.
- If you've got a corporate legal group, find somebody in it to befriend.
6. How to Build a Personal Brand
- Your personal brand will define how people see you.
- Get a professional portrait and expunge unprofessional ones.
- Customize your résumé to match your career goals.
- Solicit recommendations that are realistic and relevant.
- Avoid blogging unless you're being paid to do so.
- Keep your irrelevant opinions off the Internet.
7. How to Shine in a Meeting
- Treat every meeting as a possible way to advance your own agenda.
- Decide whether each meeting will be useful or useless.
- Don't attend the useless ones; prepare well for the useful ones.
- Take notes so you can speak coherently when it's your turn.
- Speak confidently and, if appropriate, segue into your own agenda.
Excerpted from the "How to Manage Your Coworkers" chapter of my new book, Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.