Cliques, cattiness, gossip, backstabbing, lack of trust…Do any of these unpleasant experiences remind you of where you work? Toxic work environments can make your life a living nightmare. No one wants to be unhappy in the place where we spend a large portion of our lives week-in and week-out, but did you ever think part of the problem might be, you?! Gasp!
“One of the things that drive us crazy in other people are the things we really don’t like about ourselves, or that we don’t accept in ourselves,” Linnda Durré, psychotherapist, business consultant, and author of “Coping With a Toxic Boss,” said in an interview on the podcast, “The Career Catalyst”.
Durré says we must “have the insight to look at ourselves and see if it is objectively a toxic situation.”
So, now what do you do? If you find your behavior has contributed to your unhappiness, never fear. Baker Creative is here to give you tips on how to put on your big kid Underoos and get to the bottom (no pun intended) of office discord!
Are there some traits you possess that you are not so thrilled about? Not finding any? Talk about the situation to a trusted friend, and ask him or her if they HONESTLY see similar traits in you. Ask them to illustrate certain instances where this behavior might have been a problem in your friendship. Be sure to keep an open mind. You may not be too fond of the exercise, but remember that it is for your own contentment in the long run, not to tear you down.
Figure out what you can do to help alleviate the problem that is making you crazy. Are you retaliating when someone does something you do not like thus making the problem worse? Are you doing something to start the problem in the first place? Make an action plan to get rid of your role in the issue.
Implement your plan and see how the predicament changes. If the issue still persists, talk to your coworkers in a constructive manner about the problem.
Durré recommends using the sandwich method by framing positivity around the behavior you wish to change.
Positive complement: I really enjoy your stories you contribute to our meetings….
Behavior to change: “….and we have a deadline to meet this afternoon, so we must keep this meeting on track.”
Positive solution: “How about we finish up your story at lunch later this afternoon?”
Durré adds that using “and” instead of “but” is crucial when offering solutions. It allows the suggestion to retain its positive tone. “But” negates the positive statement leading the other person to feel put down. After all, since when did you like receiving a backhanded compliment?
Positivity is key in office relationships. Keep your spirits up and your work experience will sure to be more tolerable….maybe even fun!
Baker Creative is a brand firm that practices a holistic branding approach that encompasses marketing, business, HR, public relations and social media with creative execution. You can follow us on Twitter @BakerCreative or check out the company website at Baker-Creative.com.