Take More Breaks and Get Ahead Faster?

    July 30, 2003

Apparently so. A recent study by Pfeffer and Sutton, presented in their book, “The Knowing-Doing Gap,” found that when 1,000 employees in business, government, and non-profit organizations were surveyed, it turned out that most workplace learning goes on “unbudgeted, unplanned and uncaptured by the organization.”

Up to 70% of workplace learning is informal, they say.

It takes place around the water cooler, or in trial and error with customers, or at meetings of gab sessions between workers.

Most of know how to do our jobs, but how to maneuver them in that particular company, where to go for information, knowing who’s likely to sabotage our efforts, who has the boss’ ear, who really runs things — this kind of vital information gets passed around only through the grapevine.

It’s never covered in the policies and procedural manual, and doesn’t come up in training sessions. Furthermore, this type of learning has a lot of impact, because it’s person-to-person.

It’s important to know how to learn informally on the job. Keep your hand on the pulse of the organization if you’re the boss, and stay in the loop if you’re an employee. The coffee isn’t the most important thing about the coffee break!

This sort of emotional intelligence (EQ) is usually more important to your career advancement and your ability to run your business than your IQ and it isn’t covered in the text books.

Susan Dunn, MA, Marketing Coach,
http://www.webstrategies.cc. Marketing consultation,
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