Guarantee good luck at work

Q. I see people who seem to be born with a rabbit's foot in their pocket that works. They show up at the right time, say the right thing, and usually get what they want. Are they lucky or smart?

A. People who seem to be born under a lucky star are benefiting about 80 percent from smarts and 20 percent from luck. What these means is most of us can discover a lot more luck in our careers if we only learn the right tools.

Words are not cheap when it comes to getting what you want on the job. Words are actually quite hypnotic. You can use language in ways that make people go out of their way to help you or go out of their way to harm you.

Here is a simple example. Next time you call a customer service person, pay attention to what you say after they ask, "How can I help you!" Do you immediately start blaming them for your current problem? Another option would be to pause and say pleasantly, "I am sure you can help me," and then describe what you need.

You may even get one of those companies where the representatives ask, "How can I give you excellent service today!" You can then reply, "I am sure you will!"

The point I'm making is that your choice of language will either put people around you into a cooperative mood or make them feel hostile. You have the power to choose your language and thus a lot of power over your "luck."

The biggest problem I see in clients I coach is their unawareness of the effects of their habitual language. If we have a habit of blaming people, defending ourselves or pointing out what others do wrong, we stop seeing how people react. Then we chalk up bad reactions to bad luck rather than our choice of words.

If you want to discover more luck, spend a week pretending a reality show is taping you at work. At the end of each conversation, review the tape. What words did you choose, how did others respond, what did you want, and were there other words you could have used?

Once you see that you have the power to change your language, you'll also see you have the power to change your "luck." You won't need lucky stars or rabbit's feet when you learn to use words as your good luck charm.

The last word(s)

Q. I am certain I don't have my ideal job. I also can't see how I can ever get that job when I'm stuck working in a position that I only do to pay bills. Is there a way to bridge the gap between a dead-end job and the job you dream about?

A. Yes, stop treating this job like a waste of time and seek out responsibilities that make you qualified for your dream job. If you can't grow where you're planted, you'll never be ready for your ideal position.

(Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel's "Workplace Guru" each Monday morning. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.)





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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