"How to Avoid a Bad Reputation at Work"

Very good career advice from LawCrossing, in a series of questions & answers:

"Little things that you do every day without thinking could be driving your coworkers crazy. Your bad business habits can give you a bad reputation and make you the topic of water-cooler gossip. Take a deep breath—and a good hard look at yourself—and then ask yourself if you are guilty of committing any of the following reputation killers.

"Are you nosy? People eventually get irritated with the person who has to know every little thing that goes on. If staying abreast of workplace happenings is part of your job, schedule brief meetings for people to bring you up to date. Otherwise, try to mind your own business.

"Are you unprepared?

"Are you a kiss-up?

"Do you share too much information?

"Do you have sticky fingers?

"Do you talk too loudly?

"Are you confident?

"Are you too wordy and repetitive?"

Definitely recommend reading the entire article & investigating the helpful links, if only to find out the answers to these questions!


"How to Command Respect through Body Language"

Really long list -- 101 bullets! -- of sometimes obvious, but mostly helpful, tips for improving how people respond to you:

"Some people are the center of attention wherever they go. They’re not glamorous movie stars, just ordinary people with excellent command over their body language. Here are some pointers to help you emulate these confident people and command respect from those around you.

[snip]

"1. Stand tall, even if you’re the shortest person in the room. Keeping your shoulders pushed back will lend you an air of confidence.

[snip]

"14. If you wear glasses, don’t look over the rim. It makes you look condescending.

[snip]

"32. Be sure to nod your head so the person you're speaking with knows you're listening and interested.

[snip]

"58. Don’t tap your fingers on a table or arms of a chair; you'll seem anxious.

[snip]

"79. Don’t huddle into a corner with your mobile phone while in a crowd of people. Get out and mingle instead. Keep your private conversations for a time when you’re alone."

Some readers who commented on this article thought it was helpful; others not so much. Perhaps half of the points struck me as worthwhile!


"Paralegals and Smartphones"

I'm not saying you should buy a smartphone, but the Indiana Paralegal Association rightly points out the value of quick email replies:

"I am willing to go out on a limb with this one, but I have come to the conclusion that smartphones are quickly becoming a requirement for paralegals. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world of invisible fences and constant communication (as one of my collegues constantly reminds me). Several weeks ago, I finally broke down and purchased the Samsung Blackjack smart phone (I highly recommend this phone to anyone interested in a slim smart phone)."


"27 Tips for Teleconferencing"

Wow, this is a remarkably smart list! Stuff I hadn't even thought about. (Links below are from the original post.):

"Whether you call them conference calls or telecons or excruciatingly dull time-wasters, multi-participant phone conversations are as important to most web workers [& paralegals] as email. If you can’t meet face to face or arrange video conferencing, the conference call is the next best thing. But just as with email and instant messaging, people don’t always agree on how to use them as effectively as possible as a tool for collaboration.

"Try these tips for your next telecon whether you’re the leader of the call or just a participant."

BTW, you can find more info about Web Worker Daily here...


"12 Rules of Client Service"

Found this advice on a very interesting blog, "What About Clients?"

"The goal of the 'What About Clients?' 12 Rules is outrageous client service--but the 12 Rules' way of getting there is to align the interests of clients and customers and service providers. They were derived from the 'How To Practice Law' section of our firm's Practice Guide, written for associates and paralegals in 2000. The rules, like service itself, are not perfect, and can be improved. Promise: This model works--if you work at it. Follow these rules by building a disciplined culture at your shop where they are enforced and kept alive--and your clients and firm both get stronger and better together. You'll see repeat business. You'll make money. And assuming you have the talent pool, and the right people to do the work, you can steal and keep any good client you covet. No limits.

"The Catch: Instituting the 12 Rules (as opposed to just following them) is very, very hard work, whether your firm already has a passion for customer service, or has been happy going from day to day with only the faintest sense of its mediocrity. Real client service is as difficult and as important as your day-to-day work."

I like rules 10 & 11 the best:

10. Be accurate, thorough and timely--but not perfect.

11. Treat each co-worker like he or she is your best client.