Andrea Novakowski's Coaching Tip of the Week
Andrea Novakowski's Coaching Tip of the Week )
  July 9, 2004 
Contents In This Issue
    The Top 10 Things NOT to Do the First Week on Your New Job
    by Susan Dunn

  • Brought to you by Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach, Business and Personal Coaching for Corporations, Businesses and Individuals


    "Never be afraid to sit awhile and think."

    -- Lorraine Hansberry

    The Top 10 Things NOT to Do the First Week on Your New Job
    by Susan Dunn

    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.
    If you 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 fast.
    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 opinions.
    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 there.

    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 anything.
    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 do."

    5. Don't overdo it. That threatens people.
    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 filed bankruptcy.

    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 kidding.)

    7. Don't make it too hard, or too easy.
    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 a sprint.

    8. Don't say "no."
    If you're 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 handled.

    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 process.

    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.

    10. 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
    Copyright 2000- 2004 CoachVille, LLC


    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?

    As always, please feel free to share your learnings with me at


    July 15, 2004
    Pounce on a Project IV

    You asked for it, you've got it! Come to 'Pounce on a Project IV." Here's what participants are saying:

    "I 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!"
    --Business Owner, MA

    "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."
    -- Lisa W.

    "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. Hooray!"
    --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 following:

    ** What do I need to let go?
    ** How can I simplify?
    ** What needs to be done to get better organized?
    ** What needs to be stored for future use?

    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 products.

    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.)


    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 sections:

    1. Review Your Equity - a list of questions to ask yourself.

    2. Investigate That - techniques to help you make a sound decision about another opportunity.

    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 you. /coachandrea


    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


    Please feel free to pass on the Coaching Tip of the Week to your friends and colleagues. To subscribe, click the "Subscribe" button below. You may also subscribe at

    We never send unsolicited e-mail. If you have received this message and you did not subscribe yourself or you wish to unsubscribe your e-mail address from the list, please click the link below. You may also unsubscribe at

    If you need to get in contact with us directly (if you have trouble subscribing/unsubscribing, or have questions about the list itself), send an e-mail to

    Copyright 2004. When you forward Andrea Novakowski's "Coaching Tip of the Week" to your friends and colleagues, please keep the copyright and contact information intact.

    Quick Links...

  • Subscribe to Coaching Tip

  • Last Week's Coaching Tip
  • More About Us

  •      email:
    Andrea Novakowski · 39 Lakeview Terrace · Ashland · MA · 01721


            Tip of the Week
            Tip Archive 2008
            Tip Archive 2007
            Tip Archive 2006
            Tip Archive 2005
            Tip Archive 2004
            Tip Archive 2003
            Tip Archive 2002/2001
    July 9, 2004
    Contact AndreaE-mail Andrea

    © 2000 Andrea Novakowski. All Rights Reserved  | designed by The Complete Website


    Sign up to receive a free weekly tip from Coach Andrea. These tips provide thought provoking and inspirational ideas on business and life issues. We will also let you know what's new at