Tuesday shorts 11/13/07

Work/life imbalance stereotypes: Tom Stern, a Fast Company expert blogger on work/life balance issues, has posted a list of the Top Ten Work/Life Balance Turn-Offs.  This list of stereotypical characters (who may show up just in time to destroy your work/life balance) is both amusing and a good warning for those evaluating potential co-workers and supervisors.  One example is The Rationalizer, about whom Stern observes, “We do not want to hear about the logic which led you to neglect your loved ones in order to come up with such a brilliant idea that’s really going to turn the company around. Sure, we’ll have a stronger third quarter, but we’ll spend it picturing your family staging an intervention.”

Energy management: Anyone who’s heard me speak on time management knows that I hold that energy management is the foundation of time management, since none of us can use time effectively without abundant energy.  Cali Williams Yost, another Fast Company expert blogger, is lauding the recent focus energy management:

Just as the personal and professional demands on your time are going to change throughout your life, so are the demands on your energy. The good news is, however, unlike time which is a finite resource, energy is renewable. But you need to be aware of when energy is being depleted to order to implement strategies to maintain and increase it. If it’s not part of your awareness, you will be continually frustrated when your detailed work+life fit time analysis keeps coming up short.

How to make a losing argument.  James McElhaney’s fictional character Angus shares brilliant litigation insights every month in the ABA Journal magazine.  This month’s column, How to Make a Losing Argument, will be beneficial for non-litigators as well, since all lawyers seek to persuade.  Two ways to lose stood out to me from the seven that McElhaney identifies: “base your argument on obscure technicalities” and “push a good point too far.”

And a follow-up on last week’s post about the flawed room service breakfast I received and how important it is to inquire whether a client is happy with the service rendered — especially for those who thought it a petty point.  My breakfast was incorrect the next day as well.  (I’m usually not such a room service fiend, but when a conference starts at 7 AM…..)  And then I started to notice other shortcomings.  The ballroom was freezing cold; when my assistant called the hotel to get the correct mailing address, the operator said that neither Brown nor Fleming-Brown nor Fleming was registered and declined to confirm that my conference was indeed at that hotel; housekeeping didn’t replenish the toiletries that I’d used.  And then my breakfast was wrong on the third (and final) day that I ordered room service, at which point I called to complain and requested the charge to be removed from my bill.  When I checked out, the clerk didn’t ask how my stay was, which confirmed to me that the hotel really didn’t care, and she didn’t thank me for my business.  Will I stay there again?  Not likely.  Will I consider that experience when I consider the hotel chain in the future?  You bet.  Thus ends this client service parable.

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