Co-Workers: Creating Fans NOT Adversaries

The workplace can be a jungle at times.  When you put a group of people together who have differing personalities, different values and beliefs, and different ways of working, it can be a recipe for disaster. This should not be a surprise, but many workers aren’t productive and not a team player.

There are workers who aren’t really sure of their role as they either weren’t given proper onboarding or were too afraid to ask for help; workers who don’t have the skills or knowledge of the job, as they may have fallen into the role or gave the ‘right’ answers in the interview; workers who resent others who have more recognition or (perceived) success than they do. The list can go on and on.

But fitting in and getting along with your coworkers is a critical component to job satisfaction. It also is a factor to performance and engagement. You can love the job you do but if the environment isn’t conductive, the opposite will occur – dissatisfaction, anxiety and disengagement. But hope is not lost as there are ways that you can create raving fans and not adversaries with coworkers.

Taking responsibility for your actions is the first step, meaning that you are self-aware of your actions and behaviors throughout your workday. It also is a check and balance of how you may be coming across to others, as we often wear a veil of denial about our own behaviors. What we think is not always how it is perceived by others.

Here are some success tips to being a good worker:

  • be a team player – recognize that your work influences every other coworker’s tasks and functions, so keep the big picture in mind. As the saying goes, ‘there’s no I in team” so start to think of how your actions and performance affects your coworkers and the organization itself; this will give you purpose for you work to motivate you to give more
  • be a resource – offer to help out coworkers, which can be done by giving an idea or different perspective, sharing some knowledge, or helping to get a task done. This leads back to being a team player; your coworkers will see you as one which creates harmonious relationships and a higher functioning group
  • build bonds – as relationships are everything, get to know your coworkers. People want to know they are cared about – their child making the football team, the recipe for cookies they brought in, their ideas/opinions/values, etc. This forges deeper bonds and people are more accepting of you, especially if a conflict arises
  • complement and recognize – don’t be stingy when it comes to recognizing the accomplishments of your peers, or to give them thanks or a complement. Do it for the little things, not just big ones, as this makes you more memorable to them, and builds trust and acceptance
  • communicate well – ensure that your messages are completely heard by thinking ahead of what, and how, you will convey your message and reflecting back on what you’ve heard. Tell people the benefit of what you are asking and then truly listen, without thinking of your response, to their idea/opinion, etc. Resolve any conflict in a mutually negotiating manner, forging any defensiveness that you may feel
  • whistle while you work – ensure you have a good attitude each day; stop the complaining – yours, theirs. People want to be around others who are positive and engaging so set your mind each morning that you will love your job – it will catch on and you can bring followers with you

Doing the following steps will lead to better relationships with your boss, your coworkers and customers, as well. You can survive the ‘jungle’ by standing out and being a positive force.

If you, or your organization, is struggling with workplace culture and engagement, we have a program that will work to turn this around. Let’s talk!

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success, using brain-based principles. 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://cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com. For more great tips, visit our other blog at https://allaboutcareersites.com

 

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

 

 

 

 

Are You Managing Your Career or is It Managing You?

In this day and age of careers, a great question to ask yourself is: “Are you managing your career or is it managing you?” Often, it seems that most people today (in history?) scramble and find a job; after all, isn’t that what we’re told? Making money is the goal in order to make our way in the world, which entails work.

A question for you – were you ever taught in school of what a career entails and how to go about deciding what it is that you wanted to do for a good portion of your life? Personally, no. I don’t recall one teacher who had us research careers and then how to go about finding the path that would lead me to finding fulfilling work. Now I had made a decision on a path but, as life circumstances get in the way, the college I was going to attend had teachers who decided that they wanted more money and went on strike. This changed my whole path.

I found it was hit and miss in courses I took, not knowing what career I wanted to be in. So, from pushing by my mother and a desire to go away, I transferred to an out-of-state university and a new college path. Looking back, I only knew how exciting an advisor I had made this new major sound but, unfortunately for me, it never felt aligned with, even though I had successes in it. Until I started my own business.

My story is not uncommon; my office is near a major university so I get students who come in struggling with classes or feeling unhappy with their current state. Many chose their major due to a parental influence, or it sounded good (or friends who were going to pursue the same degree) but they now find themselves unfocused, having difficulty waking up to go to class and, sometimes, failing. I feel so sad for those who find themselves in this state who are about ready to graduate.

Sadder yet is that these stories are common among those already in the workplace, who find themselves in a job they don’t like or can’ figure out how to navigate to be successful. They often don’t like the work they do, finding it routine or boring; others want to move into a new role or up the ladder but feel there are no opportunities to do so; while another group can’t stand the people they work with or the overall culture of their department (or organization).

These examples are a big part of why our current engagement level continues to stay around 33% (Gallop, September 2017). People feel frustrated with their work, with their boss, with coworkers, with the time they have to spend in work, with not feeling they are paid enough, and not having enough time for themselves and their family. Essentially, they are allowing their career to manage them and their life.

Is it possible for one to manage their career? I emphatically say YES! There are many components that go into this but, once started, self-management becomes easier. Here are some components to consider:

  • Self-assessment/awareness: this entail fully owning your skills, abilities, aptitudes, values, beliefs, expectations, interests, to name a few. This helps you to know what you have to offer and your motivation to best manage how your career path goes
  • Awareness of your preferred work environment – not everyone aligns with how things are run in a business, no matter the size. Knowing the type of culture, i.e. the environment, values, and the way things are run, will lead to having more satisfaction.  Knowing yourself and how you act in situations is important to finding them; as an example, I thrive in busier and more active environments, where I can move around and interact with others so an organization that prohibits this type of movement will not work for me – this I know for sure
  • Goal setting is a critical component – where do you want to go in your career? Is it to be a CEO or VP, or other position? Perhaps it’s an industry you want to work in? Having that end-goal in front of you will lead you to investigate how you will go about getting there
  • Good actionable steps – these are the daily actions you will take as you work on the identified goals. This can include: working on a particular skill to get better at it, raising your hand to take on more challenging work so you get noticed for upward mobility, networking internally to get to know those who can move you up; it also can include ensuring your resume is up to date, looking for those internal opportunities, and working on your personal development.
  • Having a clear plan to follow – this means writing all of these steps down, so you can refer back to them frequently. I’ll tell you a story of a young, late twenty-something, gentleman who I was helping with his interviewing skills; he was going after a very high-level position with a retail giant. I was amazed at how far he was in his career at such a young age. He said that he started working for this company when he was 18 but knew that he wanted to move up every two years; he learned everything he could about the job he was doing in the first year, and then, in the second, he learned all he could about the position he was going for – he reached all his goals (and did get the position he was going for). He had a clear plan and followed  it.

Managing your career is not only empowering but your responsibility. Having control over your work-life will give you more control over you life overall; you will feel more empowered, more focused, and more motivated to go after what you say you want. I think identifying resources you may need is another part of the plan, i.e. a mentor, hiring a coach, as relying on others isn’t a bad thing in some situations. Don’t allow your career to manage you – take back control and get in charge of your career; you will be glad you did.

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 Top 10 Work Values

During self-assessment, which is a crucial step in one’s career management process, an area of importance to understand is one’s values.  Values are “the beliefs about the qualities of human life or the types of behavior that an individual wants to attain” (Greenhaus & Callanan, 2006).  Values usually develop early on and can be learned behaviors or patterns that one esteems in their life.  In regards to a career, values include the preferences one has about the rewards, payoffs, policies, or leadership of their working life.  Schwartz (1999) identified the 10 top values that are relevant to the world of work.  It is important that you identify the value(s) that are important to you so that your job or profession will meet your value-orientation and help you be more engaged in your work and for higher job satisfaction.  See which of these top 10 are important to you:

  1. Power
  2. Achievement
  3. Hedonism (pleasure)
  4. Stimulation
  5. Self-direction
  6. Universalism (applies to all)
  7. Benevolence (kindness for the good of others)
  8. Tradition
  9. Conformity
  10. Security

Not aligning your values with your work can cause you a lot of stress and distress in both your personal and work life.  Are there any values that are not on the list that have high relevance to work?

Political Skills as a Deterrent for Stress

Do you ever wonder why there are some employees or managers who deal with  a high level of daily stress do not burn out? Some researchers have shown that one’s political skills help them deal with stressful situations.  Here are some skills that are most useful:

1. Using practical intelligence as opposed to analytical or creative intelligence

2. Being calculated and shrewd about social connections

3. Inspiring trust and confidence

4. Ability to deal with individuals who have a wide variety of backgrounds, styles, and personalities

To summarize, these skills can be learned but need focus and attention in order to adopt these behaviors.  When you understand that these skills help you not to react to adverse situations in the workplace, you will be less frustrated or stressed and will feel more positive.  This can equate to increased job satisfaction and involvement in your work.  Do you possess these skills? Which do you use?