According to Daniel Goleman, author of "Emotional
Intelligence," the hardest thing kids must do is break
into an already-formed play group. In adult life, that's
starting a new job.
We are intensely territorial at
heart. Our reptilian brains are keyed to be suspicious
of "intruders," and to fear what we don't know. Your
first few days in a new job, you're being scrutinized
under a microscope and are only tentatively welcome.
Use your Emotional Intelligence to survive the first 100
hours! Here are 10 things NOT to do.
1. Don't forget people's names.
do nothing else, remember people's names. When
introduced, wait expectantly for a cue. If they stick
out their hand, shake it. If they don't, just smile and
say the usual.
2. Don't move in too
Take it easy bringing your "things" to the
office. Save the photos and personal items for awhile.
Place your yogurt discretely at the back of the
refrigerator. Don't grab any old cup from the coffee
room, or start making the coffee until you see how it's
done. It's a reptilian, territorial thing. You're moving
into THEIR turf.
3. Don't talk too much, reveal
too much, or express unnecessary feelings or
Keep your conversation light, neutral,
and just enough to be friendly. Sure as you get loose,
you'll step on someone's toes. You don't know yet who
just got divorced, who's married to an Italian, and
who's opposed to daycare. As soon as you say, "Well
personally I hate . . . " the next person who comes in
will have that, do that, like that, or live
Use "neutral" language and tone of voice, like
the anchor people do. Avoid any slang or colloquialisms
in this new country. The King's English: what you
learned in school.
4. Don't assume
Maybe everyone leaves at 5:31 on
the dot; maybe they don't. Keep a low profile and pay
attention to what others are doing. You're moving into
an established culture and they have a set way of
doing things whether they're mindful of it or not. You
want to fit in, not stand out. Remember the
saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans
5. Don't overdo it. That threatens
Save the designer stuff and status
symbols. Appearing "better than," in any way, will
backfire on you later. If you drive a brand new
expensive something or other, park at the back of the
lot, and don't advertise it. If you just got back from a
Barefoot cruise, or just bought a new home, save it for
later. You don't know the circumstances of those
around you. The person you're telling may have just
And speaking of parking . . . one
first day on a job, with uncanny bad form, I actually
managed to park in the boss' unmarked, but definitely
claimed, parking place. "How lucky," I thought. "I can
park right in front of the door."
6. Don't volunteer.
They don't trust you
yet. "Get" that. Don't volunteer to make the coffee or
make the nightly run to FedEx. You could poison them.
You might never make it to the FedEx office. (I am not
7. Don't make it too hard, or too
Pace your initial tasks. If you start out
blazing, you'll be held to that pace forever, or you may
threaten others who do what you do. If you go too
slow, you might not be there long. It's a marathon, not
8. Don't say "no."
asked to join them for lunch, pitch in for a baby shower
gift, "grab the phone," or do a task for someone,
say "yes." If something goes against the grain (and
there's always one person in an office who tries to
make life hell for the new guy it seems), file it for later.
First you need to find out how disputes are
The good manager, the one with the high
EQ who knows people, and knows HER people, will tell
you, "If so-and-so gives you any trouble, just be nice.
Then come tell me and I'll take care of it." The inept
manager won't know, or isn't willing to deal with it, and
you'll have to figure it out for yourself. How do you do
this? By having your antennae out. Observe and
9. Don't critique, criticize or appear
to be complaining.
You'll notice things that
could be done differently and better, but if you speak
at this point it will sound like complaining or criticizing.
If it's too hot or too cold, for instance, wait it out.
The "new kid on the block" isn't entitled to anything.
You can straighten the place out later.
Don't violate pack behavior.
Picture the troop
of monkeys, i.e., if you're not the alpha male, you're
just one of the pack, so get in there and do what the
monkeys do -- start grinning and grooming the others.
Suasn Dunn, MA Clnical Psychology, The EQ Coach, can
be reached at
2004 CoachVille, LLC
||COACHING CALL TO ACTION
Susan's advice can be applied to any new
situation. Basically, you need to get the lay of the land
and start building trust. What's new in your life that
you can apply these steps to?
Take some time to
assess your last new job. How was your "entry?"
Could following Susan's ideas have helped?
always, please feel free to share your learnings with me
July 15, 2004
Pounce on a Project IV
asked for it, you've got it! Come to 'Pounce on a
Project IV." Here's what participants are saying:
had to get all of my marketing material organized and
sent to my advisor. Where was I going to find the time?
Pounce on a Project gave me 4 hours of uninterrrupted
time to easily complete my plan!"
"Pounce on a Project enabled me to fulfill a long-
time goal of mine, while energizing me to undertake
other projects that I had been putting off."
"The simple structure of commitment and
accountability had me easily complete my project."
-Business owner, England
"I learned I can use this
time to accomplish many small projects I've putting off.
--Freelance writer, Boston, MA
Did you know that incompletions and clutter can drain
your energy? In anticipation of a summer of fun and
freedom, are there projects or spaces you need
to 'clean up' to fully move into this next season? In
preparation for our next get together, consider the
** What do I need to let go?
can I simplify?
** What needs to be done to get
** What needs to be stored for
Join Andrea on Thursday, July15, from
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern. We will join as a group
by phone and declare what you want to accomplish:
organizing your office, simplifying your filing system,
cleaning under your bed, finishing your website,
planning your pricing strategy for your new
During the morning, the group will gather
by phone a few times to check progress and get any
support needed to finish with a bang. At noon, the
group will celebrate their accomplishments. Who says
projects have to be boring and tedious? Bring your
lightness and fun and join us for energization.
To sign up or learn more, call or e-mail Andrea by noon
on July 14, 2004. Space is limited. First come, first
served. Feel free to share this with friends and
coworkers. (Cost of the program is only the cost of long
distance phone calls.)
||IDEAS AND INFORMATION
I just read Love It, Don't Leave It: 26 Ways to
Get What You Want at Work by Beverly L. Kaye
and Sharon Jordan-Evans. This book encourages
employees to assume responsibility for the way their
work lives work. They take a witty and practical
approach to finding job satisfaction. Presented in an
appealing, accessible A to Z format, the book includes
strategies for communication, career growth, balancing
work with family, and more. There's a great chapter on
Values - Yours and Theirs.
The last chapter, "But If
You Must Leave," includes 3 very helpful
1. Review Your Equity - a list of
questions to ask yourself.
2. Investigate That -
techniques to help you make a sound decision about
3. Going Out on Your Own -
Steps to take and questions to ask yourself to
determine if starting your own business is a fit for
||ABOUT ANDREA NOVAKOWSKI
This Coaching Tip of the Week is brought to you by
Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach who
provides Business and Personal Coaching to
Corporations, Businesses, and Individuals. Andrea is a
professional coach who partners with people to set
goals and create momentum to produce effective
results in their business and/or personal lives.
Andrea is available for individual coaching. If you are
serious about reaching your goals and living with
greater fulfillment and satisfaction, consider using a
coach. To schedule a COMPLIMENTARY initial
consultation, send an e-mail to Andrea at
||PASS IT ON
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