From Employee Skills to Salesmanship

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”Multi-Task Employee, Is This an Unreasonable Expectation?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

I operate a consignment store and we are in transition as I wait for a new employee to come on board. In the interim I delegated some of the work that will be assigned to the new employee to a senior employee. This work requires less skill than the senior employee has and he is reluctant, even insulted, to take on these lesser responsibilities. Am I being unreasonable by requiring this kind of flexibility in terms of skill level?

Frustrated Employer

Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Employer:

Without doing the research on applicable labor law, it seems to me that the employee should be more than happy to perform the less skilled job providing that he is getting the same pay as he would for the higher skilled job. I personally see nothing wrong with that. In my opinion, an effective employee is one who can be productive in several roles and demonstrates a willingness to do varied tasks.

”Entrepreneurial Skills, How to Develop Salesmanship?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

I am about to fulfill a dream — starting a business as a hair stylist. My problem is that I am uncomfortable with selling. People say I am a talented stylist but I know I am going to have to promote my skills in order to succeed in this competitive business world. In the future maybe I will be able to afford an office manager who can be part of my team and do the promoting, but till then how can I psych myself up for success?


Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Uncomfortable:

It is true that some people just don’t have a taste for dealing with the public. However, your description of your dilemma tends to reveal that you do not believe that you are as talented as others say you are, or perhaps you do not see yourself as talented as you would like to be. People who suffer this type of poor self-confidence often experience embarrassment even at the thought of trying to sell themselves and typically prefer that someone else take on that responsibility. It is so important for such individuals to recognize and acknowledge their talent and find a way to believe in themselves. Some have tackled this challenge by learning how to strengthen their confidence and take pride in their work at which point they have no problems bragging about how good they are.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this weekly column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Extra articles and additional Q & As may occasionally be posted in response to specially requested topics. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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