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How to Spot a Toxic Employee:  Narcissism, Machiavellianism, a Pinch of Pyschopathy

Some red flags can help you identify a toxic person, according to the MIT Sloan School of Management. The first is narcissism, or an excessive interest in or admiration of one’s self.  Next is Machiavellianism, the power-hungry and unethical mindset made famous by Niccolo Machiavelli’s 16th century work “The Prince.” Last is psychopathy, an inability to deal appropriately with one’s negative emotions and impulses.  Click for article

Lower-Ranking Employees Tend Not to Speak Up 

"A lack of employee voice can be fatal on an individual level," write Khalil Smith, Chris Weller and David Rock. "In the U.S. alone, medical errors involving miscommunication lead to the deaths of up to 400,000 people annually. "On an organizational level, the lack can be extraordinarily damaging and expensive. Over the last decade, federal agencies have fined banks more than US$250 billion for unethical behavior that very well could have been nipped in the bud had an employee spoken up early on. In addition, survey data indicates that almost 75 percent of employees have experienced workplace bullying or harassment, which can lead to a toxic, low-performing work environment. Only a small fraction ever speak up about it." Click for article

Crisis Management and Fatalities

An article by The Wharton School digs into crisis management as it relates to fatalities, specifically infant deaths tied to a Fisher-Price product.  “The rules of crisis management are 1) validate concerns; 2) show action; and 3) control the narrative,” the article quotes Americas Reed, a marketing professor at The Wharton School. In the article, Reed said the executive in the Fisher-Price recall video has earned a failing grade “because he’s reading a script — obviously — and he spends the entire 50 seconds defending his safety record instead of acknowledging first, that the death of a child is a horrendous tragedy and that the incidents in question are of grave concern, and that is why the company is doing the recall. He is doing OK at controlling the narrative. But this violates some very simple principles of crisis management.” Click for article


Nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states face an elevated flood risk through May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  NOAA recently published an outlook that shows which areas of the U.S. could be affected.   “This outlook will help emergency managers and community decision-makers all along the nation’s major waterways prepare people and businesses for the flood threat,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting administrator at NOAA. “In addition to the safety aspects, our rivers are critical to the economic vitality of the nation, supporting commerce, recreation and transportation. NOAA forecasts and outlooks help people navigate extreme seasonal weather and water events to keep the country safe and moving forward.”   Click for report

SURVEY: Top Ways to Tick Off the Boss

Customized signage company surveyed 800 people — half managers, half employees — about decorum at work, focusing on behaviors they found most inappropriate. Bosses resented employees when they felt they were being taken advantage of. 90% of bosses found chronic lateness unacceptable. 83% said romance is bad — or making unwanted advances toward anyone at work. 80% said spending too much time on social media irks them. 77% are annoyed when employees make too many personal calls. 76% of bosses can’t stand it when employees tell inappropriate jokes. Click for article


Elliott Bell writes in TheMuse to keep your emails to as few words as possible. A really long email is going to be scanned so quickly that there is almost zero chance that your reason for emailing is going to be seen.   He advises writers to: Pay attention to the time of day. Be brief. Be clear. Make it about them. Come up with a good subject line. Click for article


At any age, regardless of your station in life or your salary, table manners are essential for two reasons, according to the Gentlemans' Gazette. To make others comfortable.  To keep us from embarrassing ourselves.  Most businesses overlook training employees in business dining etiquette before sending them to meetings and conferences. Your business can stand out for making the extra effort. Watch the video Read the print version

Consumers Reveal Driving, Gas-Buying Behaviors

A new NACS study called "Consumer Behavior at the Pump" shows: Consumers who drive more are doing so because of jobs or longer commutes. Price dominates where consumers purchase fuel: 59 percent of those surveyed in 2019 cited lower prices as the reason they prefer a specific store or chain. Food quality and employees influence where consumers shop. Forty-four percent of gas customers also go inside the stores. Click for report  

How Norway Will Achieve 100 Percent EV Sales by 2025

Compared with countries such as the U.S., where 2 percent of vehicle sales are plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), Norway’s EV adoption would seem implausible if not for its significant government support for the technology, writes Raquel Soat for Navigant Research. According to the article: Norway levies an import tax on cars that can reach €10,000 ($11,338) or more depending on the vehicle’s carbon dioxide emissions. Battery electric vehciles (BEVs) are exempt from this tax, and plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) owners pay a reduced rate. The annual road tax for non-BEV drivers is some €365 (about $414), but BEV owners pay only about €50 ($57). BEV owners are exempt from paying the VAT of 25 percent on the purchase or lease of the vehicle. Click for article  


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