Survive a Boring Meeting
What to do in order to keep from dying a slow death at a conference table.
Everyone lies, right? Despite being taught since birth that telling the truth is the right thing to do, research suggests that Americans average almost two lies per day. And since we spend so much time at work, it's not surprising that many of those lies are told at the office. According to a long-reported survey by psychotherapist Dr. Brad Blanton, a whopping 93% of respondents out of forty thousand Americans admitted to lying "regularly and habitually in the workplace." And don't we all agree that the remaining 7% are probably lying to themselves about not lying? Let's face it, we've all called in sick when we weren't officially down with the flu and blamed "horrible traffic" when we were simply running late. They're little white lies, and everyone pretty much ignores them. But sometimes, a few well-chosen fibs can actually help propel your career. Here's a handy cheat sheet.
If you tell your co-workers that you were out late drinking at your friend's party (and throwing up afterwards), you run the risk of looking out of control and irresponsible. This way, they'll leave you alone and by this afternoon you'll be back to your old self and ready to work. Then you'll look like you're playing through the pain like a champ.
You may've never taken on something this big before, but if you trust in your abilities, you'll come to see you're able to handle it. Patrick Lencioni, author of The Advantage, recommends asking for specifics when assigned a daunting project (timetables, expectations and staffing) which will reassure your boss and give you all the necessary information to succeed.
When negotiating for anything, you have to come from a position of strength. Start high as an opener. What you ask for during a salary negotiation doesn't just influence how much you earn—it also tells your future employer whether you're good at negotiating. Which is a skill you can put to work for the employer once you're hired. If they say they can't pay that, ask how much they've budgeted for the role and if there are any possible bonuses associated with the job. It's a direct approach and they'll respect your confidence.
Nobody likes a backstabber or a gossip, and negativity adds nothing to the conversation. But by recounting a challenging situation he put you in and what you learned from the whole ordeal will illustrate your ability to adapt to a challenge and think on your feet. Plus, your restraint will certainly earn you respect.
It's always a good idea to bond with your co-workers or boss. But sometimes you all you want is to get out of the office and enjoy your free time. What you don't want to do is tell your colleagues that you'd rather go home than spend time with them off-the-clock. You'll be considered aloof or superior and it could negatively affect the morale and camaraderie of the team. Best to play nice and duck out gracefully.
Avoid digging yourself in deeper with another lie. Instead, start with a sincere apology. A simple “I'm sorry I wasn't honest about that” will work. Then, explain what your thought process was. Most of the time, there's something not-so-malicious behind the lie.