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Friday, July 29, 2011

Are you an annoying co-worker?


Friends...I came across this article and considered it a great reflection piece 


Kahihu.

Quiz adopted from www.cnn.com/2005/US/Careers/07/28/annoying/ 

Quiz: Are you an annoying co-worker?

How many of these statements describe you?

1. You make provocative statements to "foster dialogue" or needle others.
2. You often find yourself delivering a discourse consisting solely of buzzwords and catch phrases.
3. You make up nicknames for all of your co-workers and refer to them only by these names (e.g., "Good job, Chachi!" or "I'm going to have to disagree with you there, T-bone!").
4. Your office is completely decorated in your children's pictures and artwork.
5. You have plastered your cubicle with photos of yourself taken with famous people.
6. It is your trademark to recite rhyming or other cutesy messages as your voice-mail greeting.
7. The questions you ask at meetings are preceded by long monologues of your views and accomplishments.
8. You routinely eat odoriferous lunches at your desk.
9. You bring in dishes that you tried to cook but didn't turn out quite right as "special treats" for your co-workers.
10. People seem tense -- even panic-stricken -- when they see you coming their way.
11. Others back away from you as you speak.
12. You send flurries of e-mails to the rest of the company telling them what you are doing (e.g., "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom.").
13. You vigorously chew or pop your gum.
14. You wear strong perfume or cologne.
15. You assume your co-workers are fascinated by your personal problems and exploits.
16. You interrupt others while they are speaking or are deep in conversation.
17. You are moody and don't care who knows it.
18. You often give others assignments as they're walking out the door for lunch or to catch the train home.
19. You borrow staplers, scissors and tape from others' desks and forget to return them.
20. Your dialogue with others often end with the other person shouting, "You are so annoying!"

If you counted only one or two, not to worry, you can quickly make changes before you're labeled a pest.

If your actions match three to five of these statements, take heed. You are on your way to becoming the source of many an eye roll.

If you do six or more of these on a regular basis, chances are you are already on the office watch list and have been anointed by your co-workers as annoying. It's time to do a reality check and make some changes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Could it be kakorrhaphiophobia?


(The author is an Organisational Development Practitioner)

The article on what motivates people to work has drawn a lot of excitement among the readers. There was an acknowledgement of the fact that many people are driven by various factors to work. This week, I want to dwell on a rather common drive factor for many people. As much as many workers are driven by positive forces, there are those who are driven by negative pressure. One such factor is kakorrhaphiophobia.

According to www.healthmad.com, kakorrhaphiophobia is an intense, irrational fear of failure or defeat. The person coping with this phobia may fear failure in every single aspect of their life and may feel that they must constantly prove themselves as being better, more able and more competent than others. A kakorrhaphiophobic individual may aggressively compete with peers, family members, co-workers and may obsessively seek acknowledgment of their achievements. This morbid fear of failure can consume the phobic person’s every thought.

The fear of defeat far out matches the drive for success. In every engagement, a person suffering from this condition exerts pressure on himself as they seek not to fail. They are very keen on their relationships with other people and are always on the lookout for possible sabotage by the other workmates. The fear of failure is so deeply rooted that they read malice in most cases when a coworker fails to deliver results as expected. This makes them very strict in their management of people and resources since they would rather lose people than lose the project goals.

Working with people driven by the fear of failure can a strenuous task. It becomes almost impossible to please them. The achievement of results has to be beyond average. Average performance is categorized as failure hence it is never enough until full targets are met as initially prescribed. A kakorrhaphiophobic staff exerts undue pressure not only on themselves but on others. They seek to work for longer hours, not for their love of their job but for fear of not attaining certain marks. To this end, they subconsciously vilify staff who leave the office promptly as they label such practice as a deliberate attempt to sabotage their efforts especially if they are in positions of supervision and management.

There is intense competition for recognition and fight for space by staff being accelerated by fear of failure. They increasingly consider the success of other people as an indication of their own failure. They hence find it difficult to celebrate the success of other people and are quick to find fault with every excellent performance of other people. This makes other staff perceive them as negativists and pessimists. The competition can get so intense that if not well managed, it can generate into a physical fight.

On the flip side, persons who harbor such a fear could on occasions propagate failure for other staff so that their star shines. To such people, if they have to fail, they have to be in the company of other people. It is not acceptable to fail alone. They have to drag other people into the failure picture when they realize it is inevitable. This leads to strained relations at the office as blame is passed to persons who least played a role in the failure of a project. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

What Motivates You to Work?


Words by Francis Kahihu 

It is 4.00am and Peter’s alarm has just gone off. He has over the years perfected the schedule in the morning and without much thought, gets through the preparation for the day ahead. He takes a shower, dresses up, takes his quick breakfast and off he gets at 5 to the nearest bus stage. He has to pick a bus to the city centre by latest 5.30am otherwise he will have to contend with traffic jam for the following 3 hours. He has realized that by leaving his house by 5.00am, he spends atmost one hour to work and reports to work a less stressed worker as opposed to if he were to leave 15 minutes later. In the evening, he spends almost 2 hours through the traffic and gets home a truly fatigued person, ready to take a break in preparation for the following day.

Peter’s case can easily pass for most workers in the urban centers in the developing world. With the persistent traffic snarl-up and the unpredictable public transport, many people have to make with relatively difficult work conditions. But just what drives Peter and others like him to wake up that early, struggle through traffic and survive through the rigours of the workplace? What motivates him to look forward to the following day even when he knows so well that the day will be as strenuous as the previous one? The following could be the reason.

1: Socialisation: Many of us are people persons. We love being around people and would do anything within our limits to ensure we are as close to other people as possible. We cross barriers and overcome odds to present us to an environment where other people are. To many people, the workplace is the ideal opportunity to be with people. For such people, being away from work could be a cause of internal fears. They want to nurture the relationships with people around them and would hence overlook any challenges along the path.

2: Opportunities to lead: Other people are driven by passion for leadership. They are wired to be in charge. They generate heightened internal peace when they are in charge of projects, programs, organizations and companies and seek to fully undertake difficult tasks. Such people are always seeking for challenging opportunities to prove their leadership capacities. They find pleasure in delegating certain tasks and are buried in ‘everlasting’ joy when the project succeeds. To such a person, waking up at 4.00am is a pleasant opportunity as it allows him to get to work earlier to engage in the dream tasks.

3: Fear of losing the job: The third category of workers is that which is driven by fear of loss. Such people wake up early to work, not because they really want to leave the house but since they realize the negative consequences for not reporting early. To such people, leaving for work is one among the various things they would rather not do given an opportunity. This fear can be so much that they start planning for the evening events even before they report to work. The day’s engagement is one big interruption in their life only that they have to undertake the tasks for them to earn their livelihood.

4: Finally, there are those who are driven by the desire to serve society. To such people, rising to provide helpful service to others adds extra years to their life. The joy of the society become their joy and hence would circumvent all odds to be available to other people.