Feeding Off of a Coworker’s Negative Attitude is the Kiss of Death for Yours

A common complaint I hear is a coworker’s negative attitude, or their work habits, leads to not liking the job (or that coworker or the boss, who seems to continue allowing this to happen). Working with others is not always easy, as banal as that sounds; we all have our differing ideas and expectations – the differences -which get in the way to being satisfied in our work.

A negative coworkers’ words or behaviors can be the kiss of death for your career, which will show up as:  frustration that the coworker gets away performing poorly, which, eventually, creeps over to the boss/organization, for not addressing the issue; anxiety that you can’t control the situation; anger in taking on extra work that is not getting done ; apathy and disengagement, i.e. a ‘whatever’ attitude; thoughts of leaving or transferring out.

Negativity can be like a virus, which can spread rapidly. The more you hear negative comments, the more likely you are to start agreeing and then seeing your situations in a negative way; the more you keep thinking about them, the deeper the negativity lies. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The fact is, it is up to you for how you choose to respond. You can’t control the coworker or your boss in how they handle the situation. Some things you can do that may help to stop negativity from affecting you:

  • model positive behaviors to your coworker
  • answer questions they may have, but ask question back to them so they can seek out their own solutions
  • redirect negative comments to something positive (doesn’t have to be work-related)
  • refer them to the boss for guidance
  • use empathy to try to see and understand their behaviors; often, anxiety could be the root-cause for their procrastination or disinterest and not because they don’t care, are lazy, etc.
  • establish boundaries to not over-help or take on more than is yours; this also includes not taking on their emotions, as well
  • focusing in on your own tasks, and the skills/expertise you possess, and using them to their highest to be more empowered and job-involved

Taking stock of your response to your feelings will lead to a deeper understanding of the situation and your reactions; only then will you be able to take appropriate actions to make corrections. The choice is yours, so do so wisely; your job satisfaction depends on it.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

 

 

 

 

Even a Cat Can Get a Job

I’m always looking to see the latest news/trends that involve work and the workplace. A recent news article really caught my eye, as it said “Pa. program gives mean cats a chance to punch a clock.” My initial reaction was ‘huh?’
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It seems that cats who are unadoptable, such as those who swat or won’t come around people, are being put to ‘work’ in barns, factories and warehouses; they are called ‘mousers.’ It seems that they are keeping rats and other pests away, preventing them from doing any damage to products housed there. The program has been a success so far.
How novel is that to come up with the idea of putting these animals to work for the good;  it also shows that when given the chance, one will work to their highest level, no matter who that is. These cats’ natural tendencies have kicked in and they are using them with success. They are also finding acceptance by workers in these establishments; these unacceptable animals are now being socialized by human touch and interaction, and are now functioning as ‘natural workplace stress relievers.’ It’s a win-win all around.
Equating this to the workplace, if given the chance, employees will work to their highest when in roles that tap into their strengths and meets their needs. Acceptance and validation leads to calmer environments so workers can do their best. Organizations can look at creative ways to engage workers so the business runs smoothly. They can take a lesson from cats.
Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

The Highest Rated Skill Organizations Want You to Have Today

If you’ve been following the news (or my blog), you’ve no undoubtedly been seeing that leaders want workers who possess specific job skills, and that is what hiring is  all about these days. But, I think the important skills get overlooked, particularly the soft – or people- skills; you can possess great technical skills but if you’re not interacting and being engaged, problems are going to arise.
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It’s easy to forget that organizations are made up of people, who have differing personalities and ways of working. Often, these differences can lead to conflict of some kind, leaving either the worker unhappy or the boss, as work will suffer in some way. Ongoing conflict among workers disrupts workflow and makes the atmosphere uncomfortable for all.
The one skill that leaders really value today is the concept of collaboration, which essentially is ability to see an issue from all sides and meet with (an)other to work together. Collaborating goes along with negotiating; no one will ever get everything they want so it’s about a give and take on those wants. It’s about being open to hearing the other person’s side and then the give and take to come to a mutually beneficial outcome.
For example, a new project is on the table and you’ve been chosen to be on the team who will develop it; say you’ve had some past experience in this area, hence, your role. You come in to the meeting with a ton of ideas for how to take the project forward. But, when you get in, you’re met with resistance and you leave the meeting feeling dejected or angry (‘how could they not see how my ideas would be successful? I’ve done this before!’).
Essentially, you came in with your own agenda. In the spirit of collaboration, and replaying the scenario, you come into the meeting with the same ideas but you sit back and listen to everyone’s ideas before you present yours; you recognize other’s contributions and see how theirs, and your, ideas could blend and complement each other, also recognizing that the other person has experience with this type of project, also.
Collaborators don’t push their own agenda and are willing to work together for the good of the team and the outcomes they are charged with. This makes for more productivity, more good-will and respect among team members. People are more likely to then recognize your expertise and to work with you in the future; your boss would be more open to having you take on more responsibilities and challenging work, which could lead to promotional opportunities.
Collaborative leaders are able to engage people and get them working for the common cause, even outside of their department or control, motivating and inspiring them along the way. Being collaborative makes for calmer and happier workplaces; as people see that their ideas and strengths are being recognized, they take more responsibility for their own work and are more successful. Leaders can delegate tasks, thereby giving autonomy and empowerment to workers.
So, if you want to be more successful in your career, begin to adapt collaboration as part of your daily routine; you will then find it leads to better relationships overall.
Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

So What Goes in a 'Plan B'?

Yesterday, I mentioned the necessity of having a ‘Plan B’ as part of truly managing one’s career. Having well-developed and thought-out plans for how your work-life throughout your time in the workforce will lead to having more confidence, as well as control, over how they play out.
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To give you an example of why – and how – this works, is a story of someone I’ll call John, who works in an IT role in a fairly large company. While John has enjoyed his job, he feels that the culture is too strict – he likes movement and is starting to resent the increasing longer work hours – and he has desires to move up into a lead role. John has found that he is becoming apathetic in his job, not caring much. One day, John shows up to work, only to be told that the department is too ‘heavy’ so he, along with two others, were let go.
John, along with his two ex-coworkers, decided to go to lunch to commiserate and support each other. As John sat listening to the other two talk badly about their boss and the company (“what losers – they’ll be sorry”; “I gave them my all and this is the thanks I get”; “why me – Larry never does anything”), he just sat there not saying much. Why? Because John knew he had a plan to follow for how he would go about finding another job; he had taken time to keep on top of his work and to plot out his future. He had a “Plan B.”
So, what goes int a Plan B? Here are some examples, so you can develop yours:

  • listing of your skills, aptitudes, passions
  • listing of all work experiences, no matter how small
  • your strengths (the SWOT is a good tool to use)
  • your values
  • your work expectations
  • your preferred work environment (top-down, bottom-up, open, quiet, etc.)
  • companies you want to work for (if not yours); identify their culture, jobs they hire for, job requirements, identify hiring managers
  • ensuring you have references in place
  • resume is up-to-date
  • identify people you can network (or keep in contact) with who you can contact
  • job search strategies, i.e. job search engines, professional associations, social media sites, groups, print, etc.
  • short-term goal (up to one year)
  • mid-term goal (1-5 years)
  • long-term goal (5+ years)

Of course, you may add to this list; ask yourself “What would I do if I lost my job today?” and then go into problem-solving mode; you’d be surprised at how many ideas you could come up with – these go in your plan, also.
Take control of your career today – don’t go on autopilot and leave it up to chance. It’s your responsibility to do so. Your future career success depends on it.
Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com