Category: Office Politics

The 5 Best Ways to Say ‘No’ to Your Coworkers

Filed under: Attitude, Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Communication, Office Politics, Psychology

You have to say ‘yes’ to a lot of things throughout your day. You answer emails and questions, get roped into mandatory meetings, and need to pick up projects at the last minute in order to meet company deadlines. In some cases, you won’t have a choice about those new tasks that get added to your already-full plate. And in almost every situation, it feels easier to say yes and pick up another assignment rather than risk upsetting a colleague, boss, or people who depend on you. But saying yes too often — or every time — has negative affects, too.

If you’re constantly shifting your schedule to accommodate a new project, or you’re picking up the slack for another coworker on a frequent basis, your own work will suffer. You might think that it’s showing you can be a team player, or that it’s just a one-time occurrence that won’t happen again. But habits are rooted in repeated events, and you can be sure that if you’re in the habit of saying yes too much, that eventually you’ll wonder where all your time went.

If you want to prevent this, or if you’re already at that point and need to get out of the cycle, there are effective ways to say ‘no’ without damaging your workplace relationships, while also establishing clear boundaries for yourself. In some cases, those boundaries are good to let others know where you stand, but more often than not they’re the most beneficial to helping you see where your priorities lie. It makes you more productive and ensures that when you do say yes to a new project, you won’t be burnt out and will be able to give it your full attention. Here’s a list of five tips you can use as a starting point, and adapt for the situations where you need to turn down a request.

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Is It Ever OK to Yell at Work?

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Good Habits, Insights, Office Politics

I was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post for a story that had been prompted by reports that Steve Jobs had yelled at Apple CEO Tim Cook 4-5 times during their working career. Emily Peck, the Huffington Post’s Executive Business Editor, wanted to explore whether or not it was ever OK to yell at work. In the few days since the article went live, it has generated a lot of debate – both for and against.

I’d like to think that throughout the course of a thirty- or forty-year career we all a few “chits” we can cash in should we find ourselves raising our voices. The key is figuring out when and if it’s the time is right to use one.

Each interaction presents us with choices as to how we present ourselves and how we react. If we take a moment to make an informed choice and consider the alternatives, I am confident there is a better alternative to yelling. Problems arise when we simply react, rather than respond.

I took a quick straw poll with my colleagues. What picture does the word ‘yelling’ conjure up for you? The key themes were someone who is angry, up close and in your personal space, red-faced, raising their voice, spittle coming out of their mouth as they let a tirade loose at you. It’s intimidating, it’s scary, and it’s NEVER acceptable.

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7 Ways You Can Function In A Dysfunctional Workplace

Filed under: Distractions, Focus, Office Politics, Quick Tips

We spend so much of our lives in the workplace. The right setting can make even a tedious job something to look forward to, but there are many workplaces that suffer from some degree of dysfunction, says Inc. Knowing how to manage workplace dysfunction with grace is one of those priceless skills you don’t learn at school.

Here are seven thoughts that can help:

  1. Stay focused.

Rise above and stay focused on your job and your performance. Act as you would if you were the boss. Don’t be concerned with what others do; concentrate on doing your own job and doing it well.

  1. Keep your distance.

Do not participate! One of the best things you can do is to keep yourself apart from the games, because participation–even as an adversary–makes dysfunctional behaviors thrive. If you distance yourself, you’re not part of the problem.

Click here to read the rest on Inc >>

7 Sentences You Shouldn’t Say to Your Boss – EVER

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Insights, Office Politics

There are certain things all bosses dread to hear. “I lost the account,” “There’s a big mistake,” and “I think the building is on fire,” would all qualify, but I’m talking about sentences that may seem innocuous to you, but can be a big deal to your boss.

Consider each of these sentences — and how you can turn them around to stay on your boss’ good side.

1 “Are you sure you want to do that…?”

You don’t want to come across as teaching your boss something he or she already knows. Tread carefully when schooling your boss on anything. If you feel you have to say something, approach the topic with the assumption that your boss may have overlooked or forgotten something — not that he doesn’t know how to do his job.

2 “Did you see what so-and-so just did? She is just so hard to work with!”

Save the interpersonal drama for your friends and family members, because your boss doesn’t want to hear about it. He certainly doesn’t want you to be a tattle-tale, and he doesn’t want to know about how much you dislike your coworkers. Unless someone you work with has made a major violation of company policy, or a big mistake in their work, keep your personal grievances, well, personal.

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Why Can’t We All Just Get Along – In the Office

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Insights, Office Politics, Rational Thought

For most working people, we spend more time at work than we do at home, so it’s important to have healthy relationships with the people we work and interact with, including employees, managers and customers. Dealing with personalities, moods and egos can be tricky. Since we can’t change them, then we must look to ourselves to be the lead in creating the most healthy environment to foster strong relationships. Here are some tips to help you put your best foot forward:

Be a Can-Do Person

Being positive is the first commandment of any relationship. Your attitude can be your biggest attractor or detractor. There are going to be off days, and these moments are more defining of your character than the smooth, trouble-free times. Anyone can handle good days well, but how do you handle bad days?

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Dealing with Office Politics

Filed under: Best Advice, Office Politics, Your Career

“There’s too much wrangling and maneuvering going on – I just hate this office politicking”. “Joe, well he’s a smart political mover – knows exactly how to get what he wants and how to get on.” Whether you hate it, admire it, practice it or avoid it, office politics is a fact of life in any organization. And, like it or not, it’s something that you need to understand and master to be sure of your own success.

“Office politics” are the strategies that people play to gain advantage, personally or for a cause they support. The term often has a negative connotation, in that it refers to strategies people use to seek advantage at the expense of others or the greater good. In this context, it often adversely affects the working environment and relationships within it. Good “office politics”, on the other hand, help you fairly promote yourself and your cause, and is more often called networking and stakeholder management.

Perhaps due to the negative connotation, many people see office politics as something very much to be avoided. But the truth is, to ensure your own success and that of your projects, you must navigate the minefield of Office Politics. If you deny the ‘bad politics’ that may be going on around you, and avoid dealing with them, you may needlessly suffer whilst others take unfair advantage. And if you avoid practising ‘good politics’, you miss the opportunities to properly further your own interests, and those of your team and your cause.

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