If you’re reading this, you’re probably in some way connected to the corporate workplace (or you just like small business IT blogs?) and have had some amount of professionalism, or “soft skills” training. If not, or if you are looking for new tips for dealing with typical workplace issues, then this one’s for you.
Work is kind of like being in a group project…all the time. You get teamed up with people you may never have chosen to collaborate with and it is the best and worst thing possible for your craft. The positive lessons that are earned while working with others are imperative for challenging the things you thought you knew about yourself, others, and your field. The less positive lessons you will learn will also be an important part of your journey.
How do these points apply to where you are on yours?
Change your perspective: With so much on our plates every day, in every realm of real, real life, it is easy to get tunnel vision. Sitting in the same office, talking to the same people, knowing you’re stuck in a potentially a strange city for at least until your bills are paid can be a lot. Try to make the smallest perspective changes as you go about your day. For some, writing thoughts down helps. Set reminders on your electronics if that’s more of your style, telling you to stand up, smile, or get a snack. Staying in control is key. Whatever may be getting to you is weak- stay strong. Your brain is crazy strong if only you allow yourself to make the decision to swat the negative thoughts away.
Be deliberate with your word. This one is a daily project. With emails, break room convos, texting, IMing, etc. fast paced communication needs to be clear and concise. Get your sleep, have breakfast and stay mentally sharp to ensure that you are always putting your best foot forward. How well you communicate with others is an obvious reflection on yourself and most importantly in the workplace, your business.
Think about your coworkers as the real people that they are. The roles we play in the office can be exhausting to your true spirit. You are expected to come ready to work, ready to speak up and put your best foot forward. Think about the days where everything seems to be going wrong at once and how much harder those days are to put on your work hat and smile. When your boss or coworkers seem to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, or worse, consider their whole self. There are countless things that contribute to what a person reveals to you in a given circumstance. Be bigger, go deeper and show compassion (even when it is really hard).
What to do when you have a hardship or conflict. Be honest. Sometimes the fear of disappointing the role you play at work inhibits the ability to just be real. The nerves you feel when confronting peers or superiors is normal, don’t be overwhelmed. Being honest is the easiest way to leave the nerves behind. Try thinking to yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” and maybe the issue will be a little less hairy.
Horrible bosses. Everyone has had one. If they are not the type-A micromanaging type, they’re the weird, casual Friday “let’s get drinks and be cool” or anything in between. Having a boss that drives you crazy is somewhat inevitable, but what about when you have a down-to-earth boss that is carefree and interpersonal relationship lines are blurred? Sometimes working in a carefree environment allows for employees to take advantage of the responsibilities the occupation requires. Managing laid back office culture can be difficult to stay locked in on the idea you need to please your boss or come ready with quality work by a set deadline. Just because the relationship is lax does not mean the demands to perform should be too. Keep yourself and your peers accountable by being prepared for your job at all times. Use soft skills and standard organization tips to set the mark for yourself. Watch how contagious productivity can be.