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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Avoid Workplace Drama

A very good article which was emailed to me.

Drama: it’s great for the movies or television, but not so great in the workplace. Work is stressful enough without the added burden of backstabbing, gossip and strategically placed comments. So how can you keep your focus in the right place – on your job – and avoid any unnecessary workplace dramatics? Here are five suggestions.

1. Choose sides carefully (or better yet, not at all)
At some point in your career, or at many points, you’re going to get caught in a dispute between two or more factions. While it may seem politically advantageous to align yourself with management, or more loyal to align yourself with your peers, either route can backfire. The best strategy is to try and stay as impartial and neutral as possible – just focus on your own responsibilities, and deal with people on both sides of the conflict equally and fairly.

2. Be direct, but not confrontational
If you have a disagreement or problem with someone at work, you generally have three options. You could: a) Ignore the problem and hope it goes away; b) Complain bitterly about this person behind their back; or c) Talk to the person directly to try and resolve the issue. Guess which is the most likely to achieve the outcome you want?

Talking directly with someone is always the best way to get your concerns out into the open and hopefully work out a compromise. Try to bring up your concerns in a neutral way; address the issue, not the person. To avoid sounding accusatory or confrontational, use “I” or “we” statements to bring about a collaborative solution. For example, instead of: “You never get your work done on time,” try: “I feel like that last project didn’t go as well as it could have. What can we do differently next time to make sure we meet our deadlines?”

3. Be careful what information you share
It can be difficult to resist the temptation to repeat things that have been told to you in confidence, or repeat a juicy rumour you heard at lunch. But if you’re serious about getting ahead, resist you must. Revealing sensitive or confidential information (such as impending company layoffs or account losses) can only do harm to your reputation, or even your job. Some companies have very strict policies on how and when information can be shared – policies that, if broken, could possibly even result in termination of your contract. So don’t take the risk!

4. Be friendly and cooperative
While it’s important to focus on tasks and be professional, it’s a smart idea to stay on good terms with colleagues. That means always being polite, friendly and willing to help someone out. This doesn’t mean you have to say “yes” to everything, or offer any grand gestures; simple things like offering to help change the toner in the photocopier, or always greeting your colleagues at the beginning and end of the work day, can mean a lot. If you build a reputation as a pleasant person who doesn’t just care about himself, you’ll be less likely to find yourself the target of malicious gossip, and more likely to move up the career ladder.

5. Stay positive
It’s natural to sometimes get frustrated and angry with your work. But no one wants to work with someone who is constantly complaining. A perpetually negative attitude (“I can’t stand working here”; “The boss is such a jerk”; “I’ll never get promoted”) just feeds on itself, making you and everyone around you miserable. So try to focus on what you like about your job: your great colleagues, the flexible hours or the opportunities to learn new skills. And if you do have a complaint, try to offer a solution so that you’re turning something negative into a positive.

1 comment:

Eluzai said...

ok so wheres my bah ku teh?

Comment whatever you like, but comment moderation is turned on. It might take some time for your comment to be published.