With so much going on during the workday, it can be very easy to forget about your health. One aspect that is easy to ignore is your posture.
You might have heard that sitting kills and therefore it is important to reduce the harmful effects of your desk job. Luckily it’s not that hard to do. Read the following tips and/or watch the video at the end, to find out more.
Keeping a good posture means that you’re maintaining the 3 natural curves in your spine:
In, at the Neck
Out, between your shoulder blades
In, at the lumbar spine
Bad posture will ultimately take you out of those 3 natural curves and give you pains.
To start with, there are a two tips you should remember when working a desk job:
Move around every 30 minutes. This will help loosen your back and keep you going.
Use a chair that can be adjusted; everyone is made differently.
Here are rules to keeping good posture when sitting at your desk at work:
Make sure your bottom is as far back as possible.
Raise or lower the seat, so your hips are slightly higher than your knees.
The height of the arm rest should be dropped down so your shoulders, elbows, and arms are free to move around.
When you are typing, keep your hands over the keys and make sure there’s a 90 degree bend at your elbows.
The letter “G” should be aligned with your bellybutton, and your mouse should be close to your keyboard so you’re not overreaching.
If there is a phone at your desk, it should also be close enough so you aren’t straining to reach for it.
The computer monitor should be at eye level and around an arms length away from you.
If you’re working from home, that can be more challenging, since you might not have a seating environment that is conducive for good posture. If it is possible, try using a table and chair, but if not, these guidelines are suitable for working on your couch:
Make sure your bottom is as far back on the sofa as possible.
Raise your bottom from the couch (sit on a pillow if you need to) so that your knees and legs are making a 90 degree right angle.
Maintain your natural curves in your lower back by using a rolled up towel or a small cushion.
If needed, raise your laptop with a third cushion that is placed between your knees and the laptop.
Have you ever pondered on why you buy the useless odds and ends sitting in your junk drawer?
Why did you purchase the treadmill that collects dust in the corner of your living room?
Why did you get the Instyler when you’re straightening or curling iron works just as well?
Why do you acquire the name brand cereal instead of the cheaper alternative?
Dr. Robert Cialdini (Professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University) provides some answers, through the principles of persuasion, which can be very useful in the workplace and outside of it as well.
To sharpen your persuasion skills, Professor Cialdini lists six important influences to keep in mind, using the acronym C.L.A.S.S.-R.
C-Commitment and Consistency
The first letter refers to commitment andconsistency in actions and behavior. The desire to remain stable is rooted in our evolutionary psychology.
Dr. Cialdini performed a study, which found that when asked to place a large billboard advertising road safety in their backyard, people were reluctant. However, when people were first asked to place a small sign on their window, many of them agreed. When these people were later asked about placing the larger billboard, 76% of them agreed.
It goes to show that when asking someone to make a large commitment, ask them first to make a small one.
You can probably think about several ways in which this principle can be advantageous in your business endeavors.
For example. instead of asking customers to make large decisions right at the start, ask them to make smaller and insignificant choices first, until it would appear inconsistent for them not to proceed with the larger decision. Most of the time, people prefer to be consistent with previous behavior.
Likability and attractiveness are important aspects of persuasion.
It is no coincidence that actors and actresses are often attractive people; it makes you want to see their work. The same applies to Sales Reps, who are often attractive and friendly people.
This phenomena is known as the “Halo Effect,” which refers to the idea that attractiveness and likability enhances our perception of a person’s expertise/talent.
We have less control over our looks, so Cialdini suggests a few techniques to become more likable:
Listening – When dealing with people, call them by their name, be interested in what they have to say, and ask questions. People love hearing their own name and voice.
Praise – Complimenting people is a good way to increase your likability and make that person’s day at the same time. Try to be as sincere as you can and compliment something you actually like about that person.
Positive Association – Positive association can be a powerful ally. Provide signals to associate yourself, or your product/service/idea, with something positive. For example, car showrooms often have well dressed and sophisticated looking people standing next to the vehicles, to associate the car with luxury and lifestyle.
Contrast – Compare what you have on offer, with something that is relatively less desirable.
Following and believing in an authority figure is a natural response.
The Principle of Authority is the driving force behind some of the greatest crimes in history. Cults exist when a charming and charismatic figure enacts laws and patterns for people to follow.
If you are knowledgeable, well trained, and have the degrees to show it, don’t be afraid to flaunt it. Such things can make you more seem more trustworthy and believable.
When people do not have enough information, they often look to others to help them make a decision.
They believe that other people are rational.
One of the best examples of this phenomena is the laugh track in sitcoms. They tell you when it is time to laugh, by providing the social proof of other people laughing.
You can use various forms of social proof to be more persuasive, such as numbers/benchmarks, testimonials and name-dropping.
Exclusivity and scarcity are very useful influences.
If diamonds or other rare gems lay on the ground for anyone to find, they would not be such a hot commodity.
Scarcity is a helpful motivator in the decision-making process: it forces a choice without leaving adequate time to deliberate further.
People do not like being in someone’s debt. If they receive a present or favor, they have a need to pay that action back.
Researchers have hypothesized that this evolutionary value comes from tribal societies that thrive on cooperation and reciprocity. If one member fails to do so, then they are kicked out of the tribe and less likely to survive.
An excellent example of such an idea is that of the Hare Krishnas and how they first give their congregates a small gift (like a flower) before asking for donations.
If you want people to give you something, give them something first: free samples, coupons, promotions, tips, excellent service, etc.
Here’s Cialdini, with some more information on persuasion:
Teams are created to do all sorts of everyday tasks, in almost every career field.
A team of chefs or cooks may be assembled to operate a restaurant. A corporation may assemble a team of executives to handle a major project. Or a team of volunteers may work together to organize a charity event.
Regardless of the goal being aimed for, the success of a team cannot happen just by getting smart individuals together. You need to build a smart team, in order to be more successful the the average team out there.
Communication is a huge ingredient in any team. Smooth operations happen with clear and distributed communication.
Each member of the team needs to have a role and be involved, as far as communicating is concerned. Studies show that a team is much less effective, when team conversations/communications are dominated by one or two members.
There is nothing wrong with having a leader or dominant people in a team. However, a people need to recognize when they need to be listening to other members. Everyone needs to be involved and giving their full attention, as well as making a contribution vocally.
This applies to both physical and virtual communication.
Although a team leader may be necessary, studies have shown that a team accomplishes more without having one or two stand out superstars. Collective intelligence always produces more than individual intelligence.
A single person trying to accomplish more than their share or stepping out of their role can produce a negative effect throughout the rest of the team. When everyone is involved and the team is working together, they are more likely to accomplish more with less time and effort.
Gender diversity is important. Teams that have at least 50% women perform better.
One reason for this, is that women have more social perceptiveness.
Hundreds of teams that were tested, demonstrated more intelligence as a group when the team was more socially perceptive.
These teams show the ability to pick up on non-verbal communicating such as facial expressions and body posture.
The teams that are able to read each other’s minds through their eyes, demonstrated more collective intelligence and accomplished more.
It is also needed to note that as a whole, the collective intelligence of any given team is always driven by its lowest scoring member.
While a single person cannot make an entire team by themselves, any individual does have the ability of slowing a team down.
So individuals who may drag the team down, such as overly negative or dominant people, should be avoided. If such people must be included in the team, then they should be actively managed.
When we fail or mess up at work, our thoughts and moods generally head in 2 directions:
Self-pity – where we blame other people.
Self-flagellation – where we put the blame on ourselves.
The direction that presents a greater risk, is Self-flagellation.
Often we can take self criticism too far, to a place where we learn nothing from the experience. All we do is overthink things and keep beating ourselves up, which lowers the levels for our morale, sense of achievement and performance.
Instead of going down this spiral, take 15 minutes to think through things positively and practice a bit of self compassion.
Use the 15 minutes to consider that:
The task might have been too hard.
You weren’t properly equipped.
Failure is more common than you think.
Lady luck exists.
Your entire sense of self worth is not dependent on external factors/things.
You might be able to turn the failure into a success.
We’re not trying to wipe our hands of all responsibility here. What’re we’re doing is trying to take it a but easy on ourselves, get into a positive mindset, learn from the experience and improve.
Studies have shown that establishing this type of relationship with a coworker can be beneficial and may ultimately help you get ahead.
Keep reading to learn more about how this type of relationship is one worth developing.
What is a frenemy?
The term “frenemy” started popping up in casual conversations in the not too distant past.
Linguistically, the word is simply a combination of “friend” and “enemy.”
It refers to someone with whom you maintain a friendly relationship despite an underlying feeling of dislike or active rivalry.
Scientifically, it is known as an “ambivalent relationship.”
Social scientific study
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lehigh University combined to create a study of their students.
They conducted a study in which pairs of students were asked to communicate with each other via instant messages. Some of the students were told to ask questions to foster a frenemy-ship between two students.
The students were asked to evaluate their frenemies’ work (a blog post).
Frenemies did a better job editing the work of their partner and also felt more feelings of empathy toward them, than the partners who were simply friendly with each other did.
Why did the frenemies do better?
The researchers concluded that the underlying reason for the results can be found in the relationship between the frenemies.
Frenemies get under the skin of each other in a way that friends and enemies do not.
Generally, as you focus on how a frenemy is irritating to you, it also causes you to think about other aspects of the frenemy as well, such as their career, activities and how they tick.
There is also an underlying desire to compete against frenemies and ultimately do better than them.
Since you are constantly in competition mode with a frenemy, it will make you work harder so you can do better.
How can a frenemy make you better at work?
Although this study was performed on college students, the same conclusions can be applied to work colleagues and other people in your life.
When you develop a frenemy you can expect the following results:
A keener understanding of your frenemy.
An innate sense of competition with your frenemy.
A desire to work harder so you can perform better than your frenemy.
You can also have frenemies outside of work, who can help to motivate you and also provide great feedback on various career related issues.
This is especially useful when the person is well connected, smart and is doing well in their career.
Although it may not seem desirable to foster a relationship with someone you don’t particularly care for, it is actually a good idea.
If you have a relevant coworker or person you do not particularly like, instead of steering clear of the person, get close instead. Find out what makes this person tick, develop a frenemy-ship, and use the friction to your advantage.