Needy, controlling and aggressive: How to handle three types of difficult people

What a hot topic. Everyone seems to be handling a difficult person — whether it is a staff member, team colleague, customer or their manager. Or they have a difficult person in their personal lives. Certain types of difficult people affect us more than others. For example: Angry, aggressive, abusive, bullying; Moody, tired, depressed, teary; Uncommitted, unmotivated, […]


Smartphone addiction: Why it’s worrying the typical user touches their phone 2,617 times a day

By 2030, the World Health Organisation has forecast depression and anxiety will be the number one healthcare burden, costing upwards of US$1 trillion a year in many countries. Already, studies are revealing a correlation between anxiety, depression and smartphone use — not to mention what smartphones could be doing to our neurochemical balance. The urge to seek distraction People call it ‘smartphone […]


Reigning supreme: The world’s patent-pushing innovative leaders

When comparing innovation leaders between countries, a study (of US registered patents since numbering began in 1836) offers some surprising results. As far as being both innovative and having the most patents filed, Taiwan comes out on top, ahead of the others in the top five: Israel, US, Denmark, South Korea and Japan. Australians are pretty inventive, though we didn’t […]


EQ and success at work

Emotional intelligence or ‘EI’ (colloquially described as EQ) is essential for human development. EQ — skills we can develop The historic privileging of technical problem-solvers is gradually making way (thanks to the work by pioneer Daniel Goleman and many others) for equally valid social and emotional skills. Progress on the work front is piecemeal. I have been […]


Glass half full?: Optimism and pessimism in the workplace

Glass half full or glass half empty? Why, glass half full, according to some. Norman Vincent Peale and before him Dale Carnegie made their fortunes extolling the power of positive thinking many years ago, and their influence has pervaded workplaces all across the world. Carnegie’s philosophy went beyond simplistic “don’t worry, be happy” mantras — his Depression-era book How […]

A workplace without rapport is like a ready-made suit without good stitching: Developing rapport and empathy at work

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. As a manager and customer service officer, it is an essential skill. But empathy may actually hold some people back from making business decisions. Rapport might actually be more appropriate for many work interactions — understanding others’ ideas and communicating well, thereby forging a […]