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I was meeting with the head of litigation for a national insurance company and let’s just say, it was a bomb. From the moment we met, she looked bored, crunched for time, fidgety and uninterested. I couldn’t help but wonder why she even agreed to meet.

It was the equivalent of a terrible match.com first date and it felt like I was the one with the-disappointing-in-person profile. Ugh.

Meetings like this can make you feel a bit slimy.

Have you ever meet with someone and you can tell from the first instant that they’d rather be eating glass shards than talking with you? If you’re like me, you have. And it’s not even just client meetings but inner office meetings can be just as lackluster.

If we’re out to make connections, to really get to know people, then we have to be creative. The same old thing isn’t a good start for making a natural connection.

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Whether meeting with a new client, a co-worker or a potential new employee, here are 7 things you can do with someone other than a coffee or lunch meeting:

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When we suffer unhappiness in our careers usually the first point of blame is our company, boss or co-workers. Don’t get me wrong, they can all be culprits. But in order to fix a negative situation, it’s best to look within first.

Understanding who you are is necessary in understanding how to find happiness at work.

Let’s say you love ripe, juicy cherries. Now imagine going on a diet where you have to eliminate those delicious suckers. While you may power through if you’re seeing results, you won’t be able to live this way long term because, well, you’ll always love cherries. Unless you leave this diet in order to find a cherries-only diet (not likely), you’re going to have to find a way to simultaneously prioritize the diet and your love of cherries.

So the question is, is it possible for your job to contribute to your happiness instead of sabotaging it? I say yes!

Here are 3 things you can do to be happy amidst a world of miserable workers. [click to continue…]