the best “ask the readers” posts in 2012

One of the most awesome things about Ask a Manager (to me, at least) is how great our commenting community is — and that’s especially evident when we have “ask the readers” posts. Here are some of the most popular “ask the readers” posts in 2012:

1. How has your parents’ level of achievement influenced you?

2. International readers: tell us your workplace customs

3. Team-building exercises: a scourge upon the earth

4. What cultural things do you need to know in a white-collar environment?

5. What’s your worst office holiday story?

{ 5 comments… read them below }

  1. Cheryl Becker*

    But is there a team-building “exercise,” or maybe that’s the wrong word, that is GOOD? What kind of inservice training is helpful for an organization that has trouble working as a team, and the boss/manager wants to improve that?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I think the manager needs to figure out what the fundamental issues are, and address those, which is something that you don’t need team-building exercises to do (and in fact, team-building exercises can just irk people even more in an environment like that, because they’re frustrated that the real problem isn’t being dealt with).

  2. Girasol*

    I was rereading the teambuilding one too and wondering if it would work to get everyone into a circle and have each person in turn tell about his worst teambuilding experience.

    1. Lynne*

      Heh. Maybe! It would be entertaining, anyway. I had one once where the couple who came to give it were all, “positive thinking can change your life! and cure any illness!” – but the best part was when, during the break, they got into a conversation with a few of us about how you can tell things about a person based on the shape of their head.

      Seriously. Phrenology.

      I have referred to them as the Nazis ever since. :)

  3. Anonymous*

    I’m really glad to see the team building one. My team is undergoing a round of a bunch of these over the next few months and I’m dreading them. I usually have a few prepared things for these kinds of moments and hate not knowing what they are going in so I don’t know what to prepare. The idea of sharing personal things is horrible, and right now is much worse, if someone expected me to share anything deeply personal right now all they’d get was a torrent of sobbing. Not really good for anyone. But all these horrible ones are helping me make sure I can prepare all the glib and “honest” things I need to have in the mental bank to lie my way past the “personal” part of team building.

    Why oh why can’t I just do my job and be professional with my coworkers?

Comments are closed.