Thursday, June 14, 2007

Myths and Myths

Penelope Trunk lists six myths about work in her latest column in the Boston Globe. I'll probably write more about these at some point because I don't agree with them all (She says "the glass ceiling still exists" is a myth.)

But one thing she says I go along with. It's her myth #6, "Work hard and good things will come."

You'll actually be rewarded only if you're likable. People get hired for their qualifications, but they get promoted because people like working with them. So spend your days trying to figure out what people need and what people want, and how you can help them. Empathy makes you likable.

The people who don't want to have to deal with kindness will complain. But for most of us, it's a big relief to know that the workplace of the new millennium demands more kindness and respect than ever before. This is a workplace that rewards being nice rather than being a genius.

The people who will complain about this situation will feel that the niceness isn't genuine. The people who are genuinely nice will not complain.

Put yourself in the latter category and be grateful we're living in the new millennium with a new workplace. It's an opportunity for you to shine in your best light and get what you want most for your life.

I'm not sure these dynamics apply at senior and partner levels - There seem to be an awful lot of putzes out there who treat their staffs terribly but thrive because they bring in the business. But for those of us toiling away at the staff level, I think there's a lot here.

6 myths about work [Boston Globe]

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