Next time you're confronted with charts and graphs and reams of data at work, you might want to simply shove it all aside and look at the person sitting across the table and ask: "So, what's your sign?"
While it may sound like a bad pickup line from a single's bar, talking about astrological signs in the workplace may be gaining acceptance as more people look to develop communication beyond the hard data often continuously spit out by technology.
Steve Weiss, author of a new book on using astrology in business, says that he does believe astrology can be an important communication tool on the job.
"No way, no how, is astrology a substitute for everything else you need to know," Weiss says. "But I think it can help create a language for us to understand one another better."
That's why he says he has written "Signs of Success: The Remarkable Power of Business Astrology," (Amacom, $24).
Astrology -- defined in the dictionary as "the study of positions and aspects of heavenly bodies with a view to predicting their influence on the course of human affairs" -- is often only experienced by others through brief astrological predictions in the morning newspaper (Taurus: "Money will come your way this week").
But Weiss says that by using the "terminology" of astrology for business trends, people can develop a greater ability to understand why bosses or co-workers behave in certain ways.
He stresses, however, that astrology should not be regarded as something written in stone, and even goes so far as to say that some aspects of astrology -- such a predicting specific events -- is "a bit wacky for my tastes."
"In the wrong hands, astrology is just another form of intolerance," he says. "It's not a science. It's much more like an art -- like art wrapped up in the science of math and astronomy."
The book provides information about each of the 12 astrological signs, and gives examples of traits for those born under various signs. For example, "creative entrepreneurship is the true stamp of the Leo leader, frequently to the point of personality cult as well as to fortune and fame." Weiss says those born under the sign of Leo include Martha Stewart, Magic Johnson and Mick Jagger.
Or, "a Capricorn is inclined to the more conservative position that a happy destiny is the result of a hard, well-managed, socially- sanctioned climb. …