The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

March 28, 2014

Watercooler: A know-it-all who knows how he sounds

Q: I'm in the fortunate position of being able to attempt to fix a problem. Some background: I am more intelligent than average (150+ IQ) and have lived the cliche of someone who gets bored easily and doesn't apply himself. This, plus the necessity of putting my wife through college after I dropped out, means I have been chronically underemployed.

A few years ago, I lucked into a complete change of scene, finished my degree with straight 4.0s and got a job with a real career track. A few people in upper management see my potential and want to help me get promoted, but I've got a few rough edges to smooth out. The largest is my delivery: matter-of-fact to the point of abruptness. I've had it all my life, and it's given me a reputation as a know-it-all.

I've done a lot of soul-searching and have polled my friends and family, who agree I can be condescending. Their advice boils down to "act dumber."

Now I've been given an opportunity to help train new employees, and management will be watching to see if I can do so without acting like a "glass bowl." I'm terrified that every time I have to correct someone, I'll cement my reputation and squander this opportunity. Any advice?

A: A glass bowl, maybe, but a reflective glass bowl. There's hope.

Know-it-alls know all the answers, but not when and how to share them. The smartest people I know let others be smart, too — not by "acting dumber" but by being strategically generous.

They ask questions instead of spitting out answers: What do you think? Does anyone have a different idea? What if we tried this instead?

Text Only
Business
  • Fancy management systems won’t fix bad managers

    In violation of my long-standing “only watch TV” rule, I read an article recently about how Zappos is adopting a management structure known as holacracy.

    July 30, 2014

  • Your Office Coach: Supervisor-employee boundaries must be honored

    QUESTION: Two weeks ago, my husband “Barry“ unexpectedly came home from work with a large flat-screen television. He explained that one of his employees gave it to him as repayment for a loan. I was shocked, because I had no idea that Barry was lending people money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Silly mistakes that sink job applicants

    Some employers won’t care - or won’t catch them - but mistakes in word usage can put your application in the reject pile.

    July 29, 2014

  • Watercooler: Raised to the roof

    Q: Over 15 years, I have worked my way up the corporate ladder with the same organization. I have been given a raise every year and excellent reviews, as well as several promotions.

    July 25, 2014

  • Career Coach Q&A: job search follow-up; introverts as leaders

    Starting a business:

    Q: I have a stable job that I don't hate, but I have an idea for starting my own business.

    July 25, 2014

  • How to become a leader

    QUESTION: I’ve just been promoted into a leadership role. I’m excited, but also kind of overwhelmed. What do I need to do to be good at my new job?

    July 24, 2014

  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

  • Career Coach: Bringing a purpose-driven spirit to work

    Increasingly, religious beliefs and practices of employees are becoming more evident in the workplace. Religious diversity and concepts of spirituality are more prevalent in organizational settings.

    July 18, 2014

Business Video
Stocks