How to Use Coffee Breaks to Get a Promotion

by Susan Dunn

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 bosses ear, who really runs things -- this kind of vital information gets passed around 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.

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About the Author

Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, . Susan offers coaching, distance learning courses, and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your personal and professional development. She also trains and certifies EQ coaches. Free ezine: Get Daily EQ tips; send a blank email to

You too can get in this field (dubbed "white hot" by the press) now before it's crowded, and offer your clients something of real value. Start tomorrow, no residence requirement, global student body. Email for prospectus. Business programs - .

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